(Rilda and Ryelee at the AKC Nationals in Ohio, 2007)
A Message from Liz, who was kind enough to welcome him into her home after Rilda was diagnosed with lung cancer in July. Thank you Liz for giving him a great 6 months, and giving Rilda peace of mind knowing that Ryelee would have a 'forever' home.
I just want to let you know that I said good bye to Ryelee yesterday.
Ryelee was diagnosed with lymphoma 2 weeks ago. Although the prednisone
therapy helped in some aspects of his life, the treatment did not
achieve the hoped for results. After discussion with Dr. Mulch, we
decided it would be best for Ryelee to be with Rilda.
had the privilege of taking care of Ryelee for about 6 months. While
he was with me, he enjoyed walks at the farm, around Clarence and the
conservation park. The rabbits in my yard were just lucky that Ryelee
was an old dog because he knew they were there. He also enjoyed
tormenting Scamp at the back door.
favorite Ryelee story was when Rilda was working on his CD. The stand
for exam is tough when you have a dog that does not particularly like
humans. I told Rilda the way to help this was to teach Ryelee to give
kisses. Much to Rilda’s horror, I taught Ryelee to give me a kiss. I
don’t know if this actually helped get the CD but Ryelee could still
give me a kiss when prompted to the very end. The most fun part of this
was watching Rilda’s face when he would give me a kiss!
Thank you to all of you who have helped me take care of Ryelee the past 6 months.
Liz (thanks for the kisses!)
Scamp (Couldn’t really hear him
barking at me anyway!)
Tilly (Could not get him to play with me but I really tried. I even grabbed his leash and took him for a walk!)
What’s your dog’s favorite
reward?Have you ever tried to figure it
out by letting the dog choose?It’s
rather fun, and I highly recommend it!It was raining, windy and too cold kind of a day a few weeks ago......It's a I don’t want to clean the house
kind of game!
Here’s what I did, your
results may vary!!
I started with toys, and I did
the same set up with both Seeker and Nettle, working them individually of
course.I asked the dog to sit, I showed
them each toy and put presented them in a pile about 10’ ahead of them.I just gave them a release word, and let them
do whatever they wanted.I knew they’d
both go to the pile of toys, so that wasn’t a concern.I was just curious to see which one they
The toy pile consisted of: a
bumper, a jolly ball on a rope, a rabbit skin, a soft plush squeaky toy,
another soft with crinkle fabric inside.
Then I put them out in a line
in front of the dog, and released.
Did they get the same
toy?Or choose a different one?I gave each dog two attempts at each
Food was a bit more
challenging as I wasn’t sure how to approach it.I didn’t want to put it in a pile, as I
wouldn’t be able to tell what they ate first.So, I put them about 3’
apart on a lid, in a row and about 5’
in front of the dog.I also did this
‘test’ right after they ate their evening meal, hoping it would result in them
being a bit more thoughtful, and not such pigs.
I then mixed up the order of
the food placement, to see if they would go to the same plate, or actually
choose a different one.
I did each of these twice, and
yes….I let them eat all the food each time.Life’s short!(‘;
I used a few pieces of cooked
beef, a small pile of ‘candy’ (dog kibble), a spoon full of raw ground turkey,
and a few chucks of cheese.
Seeker’s Results –
Toys in a circle –
Jolly ball - #1 - He LOVES the Jolly ball stuff!
Food - Couldn't tell, he started in the same place, at plate #2 each time and went left, then back to the other 3. He didn't take the time to look for anything 'special'.
Nettle’s Results –
Toys in a circle –
Rabbit skin - #1 - No doubt!!
Food - the same as Seeker, she didn't have a clear preference based on this set up. She did get a 3rd try however, as she ate her treats and ran back to set up on her own. It was too cute not to reward. G
Have you ever noticed how we seem to put a lot of time into our 'Start Lines', or 'Set up'? We also put a great deal of time into our overall obstacle performance. Why is it that we never seem to put any thought or time into how we'll finish our run?
Over the last two weekends running USDAA, I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in the ring, not only as a competitor, but also as a worker. I do enjoy working at trials, there's rarely a better seat in the house. My focus while working over the last couple weekends was on 'start lines', contact performance and how teams ended a run. This post is on the endings.
First off, why are the endings important? Most people might think they are important so you can praise and reward your dog for a job well done, okay, I can agree with that. Endings are also an important time to be sure you are still connected and in control of your dog. The majority of dogs I saw these past two weekends were in a high state of arousal, or drive, at the end of there runs, a time where bad things can, and occasionally do happen. This could involve an altercation with another dog, or more commonly, an arousal aggression, 'biting, nipping' their handler, or even resource guarding their leash.
Several years ago, AKC implemented a rule that required dogs be on a leash and 'under control' when exiting the ring. I will admit, I thought it was a stupid rule. The more I watch the ends of the agility runs, the more I agree with it. Handlers are just too disconnected at the end of the agility run, whether they are just happy they survived, thinking about what went wrong, or just trying to breathe. They assume the dog will be with them, that's when bad things happen.
I started thinking about 'endings' when I was about to enter Seeker in his first trial a few years ago. He does get highly aroused when watching other dogs work, and I knew I didn't want to have any issues with other dogs in the ring. I decided for him, running the leash and having a quick sit was the answer. This allowed me to put slip his leash over his head and release to a game of tug. It was quick, and got us out of the ring under control.
For a couple of our other dogs, jumping into my arms was a good option. Again, I knew where my dog was at all times, and was able to slip a leash on and get out quickly.
Other options that work well are having the dog come to you and you take their collar, then go to your leash. This isn't an option in USDAA, as you aren't allowed to wear collars.
I personally don't like sending a dog to a leash at the end for a reward. I've seen a couple handlers scream at leash runners (not the last two weekends BTW) to drop the leash as the dog will grab it out of their hands. Potential for a dog bite just isn't worth it. Also, dogs that 'resource guard' might not like someone else handling their leash.
If you have a dog that jumps up and nips you, seriously consider a sit or down at the end of your run. The more often they get to rehearse that behavior, the more serious it could become. I've seen some pretty nasty bruises and bites from agility endings. OUCH!!
With the 2013 Agility Season just under way, I challenge you to add 'happy endings' into your training. You and your dog will both be happier for it!