Friday, June 26, 2009

Red does "Safety Town"

"Safety Town" is a program for young elementary school kids to learn about safety in various subjects (like crossing roads, talking to strangers, etc). There is also a portion on dog safety, and Red and I were invited to do a presentation for the kids =)

We did the 2 afternoon sessions - each consisting of 30-40 kids, of about 5 years old, plus some older kids helping with the program. There was also a morning session, and the dog that did those sessions was also a Doberman! An 8 year old male named Zeus. Great PR for the breed indeed!

I was really nervous about getting up and talking in front of a large group... even though most of them were only 5 years old, lol. The 1st group was ok, but I kept getting interrupted with questions, so it made keeping my train of thought a lot harder! But the 2nd group was better.

Someone was kind enough to video the 2nd session for me. She didn't video the whole thing all at once, so I sorta edited all the clips together. But since YouTube only supports 10 minute videos, I had to split it up into two parts. The 2nd part is kinda boring toward the end when all the kids are going up to him one by one... sorry!

Red did so well! I was sooo proud of him!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Therapy Visit

Red and I went on a therapy visit today. It's been a long time since we last were on a visit, so I wondered how he was going to be, but he did well. At first he is always bouncy and excited and inevitably bonks the first person he sees (which is usually the receptionist who comes around the desk to greet him), but after awhile he calms down.

One of the places the staff always want me to go is into the dining area where the residents hang out, eat, and watch TV. Which seems like a good place to bring the dog to socialize, but Red knows there is food around and that the people are only too willing to feed it to him, so he constantly has his nose to the ground or is begging for food. So I don't spend very long in the dining room - I prefer taking him around to the individual rooms, where he behaves MUCH better.

Here are some photos of our day. I've never gotten any pics of Red at a therapy visit until now. Some are kinda dark and a little fuzzy.. it's hard to get good shots! And for those wondering, I did ask permission to take photos and the facility and all the residents these pics are of gave their permission =)

click to enlarge








How did I do, mom?


Everyone loved him, of course! I am really going to make an effort to do this on a more regular basis. At least monthly, hopefully.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Open House

My brother's high school graduation open house was yesterday. My Dad and stepmom are really cool about us bringing Red over, so he got to come with us =)

When we first got there, we put him in the fenced front yard with their female standard poodle, Bella, so they stayed out of everyone's way. There were more people at this open house than I've ever seen! A few people had also brought their dogs, but only my sister's Chinese Crested (Roxie) didn't like Red.

After awhile, it started to rain so I took Red out on his leash so we could stand under some cover. By that time, he had calmed down a lot so I let him off leash. The kids that were there immediately stole him to play fetch. He happily played for awhile, then came back to follow me around. He was seeming a little tired so I tried putting him in the car for awhile because he has settled down and napped there in the past, but he didn't sleep this time. So I let him back out and he wandered around some more.

Everyone loved him and he got a ton of attention. Most people didn't know what breed he was, and I must've explained about the 4 different colors of Dobermans at least half a dozen times. But it was cool so people could see first hand that Dobes aren't as bad as people and media make them out to be. We bragged about our Rally titles and therapy work too =)

Here's a short video of Red successfully puncturing a basketball... (shh! don't tell! LOL)

A little later, another friend brought her Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix named Biscuit and Red, Bella, and Biscuit went tearing around a few laps, almost taking out the knees of several people. So the big dogs were banished back into the front yard after that.

He zonked out on the way home (1.5 hr drive), and once we were home, he went straight to his bed and sprawled out, dead asleep within a minute. He's still a little quiet today, even! A tired dog is a happy dog! =)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun Match

Had another fun match today.

I've really been working on the treat spitting for more focused attention and I think the work is paying off. He did much better this time! I'm really happy with how everything is going. Now I just have to start not talking so much during the exercise and we should be in good shape!

Here's the video:
(Michelle wasn't there today so I had someone doing the videoing...)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watch Dog

It's 2:30am. The side window of the bedroom is half open to let in fresh air on the warm night, and we are dead asleep.

Suddenly, Red starts barking a deep bark and growling out the half open window. James and I jump up out of bed and he peers out the window. "Grab my flashlight, quick!" he hisses, "There's someone out there."

Still half asleep and disorientated, I fumble around in the dark to find his police flashlight. My hands finally find the heavy handle, and I seize it and quickly pass it over to him.

"Go see if the DTE truck is sitting out front," he whispers. I run quietly to the front room, tripping over Red who is still running around growling, and peer through the blinds to see the big power company truck sitting in the middle of the road in front of our house. I feel a little better knowing it's probably a worker in our yard instead of a bad guy. But weren't we JUST talking about break-ins in the neighborhood a few hours ago??

I quickly sneak back into the bedroom, my heart thudding loudly, just in time to see James flick on his huge maglight, pointing it out into the side yard, and say in his loud police voice, "How's it going?". I faintly hear someone quickly say, "Detroit Edison!", and James reply, "Just checking."

James and I look at Red and then start with the praise and pets. "Go get him a treat!" James says. What a good boy to wake out of a dead sleep and alert us to someone prowling around in our yard! That DTE guy was lucky there was a wall and window between him and Red!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yay for recall!!!

and I'm not talking about the formal obedience recall... I'm talking about calling Red off a DEER today!

We were walking down the trail as usual and suddenly to my left I see something brown and quite big jumping through the brush and trees. For one crazy moment, I thought it was a huge dog, but then I realized it was a large deer. It caught sight of us (or heard us, or both) and starting bounding out ahead and away from us. Red saw and heard it and took off down the trail after it to cut off its path.

He was wearing his e-collar (though I haven't had to stim him in months), and it was turned on and ready, but I sharply said his name once, and he put on the brakes and came right back! I was amazed! I've called him off of rabbits and squirrels before, but nothing like this. He was still all geared up when he came back, but at least he came! So happy with my puppers =)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Redders made a Min Pin friend

One of James' friends came over yesterday and brought his female Min Pin, Lucy, with him. Red has never really got to play with a little dog before, so he was enthusiastic at first. But after awhile he pretty much ignored her in favor of a tennis ball, lol

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun Match

Went to another fun match today. I was kinda worried because I haven't been working with Red AT ALL - not even so much as going for walks - since we've been so busy working on the house. So he's been bouncing off the walls for the past few days... and I figured he'd be pretty psycho for the fun match.

He wasn't that bad actually. I signed up for 2 novice runs this time - but only decided on the second after we did the first one... I was not too pleased with the 1st run at all. Heeling was laggy and sloppy, and the sits at the halt were horrible. The stand for exam was the best thing, really. He fronted crooked on the recall again. I think the no attention during heeling thing is really an issue. I think the bumping and stuff would resolve if he would pay more attention to what we were doing.

Here's the video:

The long sit/down was awesome - gave me eye contact the whole time, and didn't even think about going down on the sit like he sometimes does in practice.

The 2nd run was much better. The heeling was more focused and the sits at halts were MUCH better. The figure 8 was about the same as far as bumping goes. Still came in a bit crooked on the recall. Supposedly he sort of lifted a foot when I came back around for the stand for exam but I didn't see it. But I was happier with the heeling portion. I got some advice from one of the experienced handlers there about how to make the about turns faster and have him keep up with me better. My footwork needs A LOT of work.

Michelle really thinks I should start spitting treats for the heeling focus... I guess I'll break down and try it with cheese, but ugh... I don't want to! *whines*

- Start spitting treats
- Practice footwork
- Practice fast non-laggy about turns

Slow blogging...

I haven't been doing much with Red these past few weeks and therefore not blogging much. We have been remodeling half our house so I've been up past midnight most nights working and painting - after working a full day at work even.

I think we only went for 1 walk this past week, and he's been spending most of the day outside while the work is being done.

Hopefully I'll be posting more soon!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Red was ready to go this morning - I think he's figured out the days of the week and Saturday mornings meaning TRAINING!! yay!

Heeling. Wasn't too bad. He forges ahead a bit at first so I looped the leash around my back, and then after a minute or so he is better. The attention was nice, and I released a couple times in the middle of the heeling pattern before he started to get bored and put his head down.

Figure 8. Not as much bumping this time even though he still keeps his head down. Not sure why he thinks this isn't like normal heeling... But it was improved from last time in regards to the bumping anyway.

Stand for exam. No problem.

Recalls. Much improved! I returned to him twice after Michelle yelled "call your dog" - the first he didn't flinch at all and I returned and rewarded, the second she said it he flinched a tiny bit but didn't move his feet so I returned but didn't reward, and the third time he didn't flinch and I called him. I've been keeping my arms down to the side and not bringing them up to assist luring him into posiiton. The front wasn't perfect but it was pretty close, so I waited a second to make sure he was seated in position, then rewarded with a big handful of treats. I was pretty happy with it. At least we're making progress!

Sits/downs. The last two times we've been to training, he went down on the long sit. So this time I made sure he was in a nice, tall sit - said "stay" very firmly, and then returned and rewarded three times during it. The dogs on either side of him broke their sits and he continued to sit nicely while their owners returned to put them back into position. Upon returning, I gave him a big handful of treats and praised quietly as he stayed in position. The down was great, he popped onto a hip but didn't flop over onto his side. I didn't return to reward because he hasn't had a problem with the downs. After returning, he got a jackpot and was allowed to stick his nose in the treat bag.

Dumbbell. He stole another dog's db but didn't seem to like it because it was huge and didn't fit his mouth well so he dropped on his way to me. The handler didn't seem too happy that Red stole the db, but I'm not going to correct him for picking up ANY db at this point. So I got out Red's own db and the first time he brought it back, he acted like he was going to drop it but then held on so I could take it. Then I had him hold it while I walked around him. Then he got to retrieve it and came back into front and held it nicely. He earned a big handful of treats and the db got put away.

There is another OB fun match next Friday, so I am excited to run him again and see how he's doing when we put it all together.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Redders pics - We love spring! =)

It's so nice now that everything is GREEN again! It's been a long time coming.

I was in the picture-takin' mood today and took some on our walk. Of course, Red was made to pose for some shots ;)

click thumbnails to enlarge



Oh! I see a birdie!



*chases birds*


I love running!


Did I get all the birdies?


Let me look around and see...


What do you think, mom?


I guess they're all gone...


ok enough with the pictures, woman!!


I know! Let's go to down the trail to the pond! You can take more pics there...


Me: ok then, let's go!


This is NOT what I had in mind...


geez... let's go!


This is more like it!


Swamp monster!


mmm pond scum...


ok I'm happy now


Now we go to the pet store plz??