Monday, March 29, 2010

"What do you mean I can't go over it?"

*mutters*Ilovethisdog.... Ilovethisdog... Ilovethisdog... *ends muttering* I still don't believe it.

Tonight I knew would be trouble. Nubs wasn't focusing as we were doing his normal run before Agility Class and kept looking at everything besides where the bike was and kept almost getting hit by the bike. He wasn't paying attention to my commands and luckily he doesn't like to pull when I put so much back pressure on his harness (bad for weight pulling, good for biking) so he slowed down to a stop before he got hit by a car. I know it is my fault since I didn't work him at all this weekend because I wanted to completely relax that back leg of his, but goodness! Just LISTEN will ya?!?!

So we went to Agility Class and my boyfriend tagged along again. He's my moral booster and support for all the dumb things that Nubs WILL do in the class. There is no might anymore, it is now expected that he will do something to entertain the class. Tonight was no different.

Tonight we relearned the teeter-totter. This is the one thing Nubs isn't the greatest on. He likes to jump off of it when it moves and doesn't really pay attention to anything really. In his mind it goes something like so: "OHHH! Something to RUN on!!!!!"

I have issues with him and the trainer already. He LOVES the trainer too much. He would do anything for this woman. She is the only person that can run him in agility class besides me and Nubs will listen too. So she ended up having to walk away while I worked Nubs on the TT. It goes something like that:
Me: Nubs, easy!
Nubs: OH LOOK OH LOOK OH LOOK!!!!! *Runs and yanks me around*
Nubs: What? I it looks like fun???
Nubs: Run up it? OK! *Attempts to go up the TT again*
Me: NO! Nubs, you are on my LAST nerve. KNOCK IT OFF *Stares Nubs down*
Nubs: What? Why are you giving me that look... LOOK! ANOTHER DOG!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: *alpha rolls Nubs*

Joking on the Alpha roll part. I wouldn't do that. Nubs would either jump up and knock me on my butt to give me kisses or stay on his back and demand a belly rub.

I run one run with Nubs and he is just so HAPPY that he gets to run that he starts doing zoomies. I swear he's like a kid in a candy store. So the first run through we learned, Nubs needs to sit and refocus every other obstacle. No problem.

Next run, my boyfriend attempts to run Nubs over the course. That was a disaster. Nubs didn't want to run with him so I hid out of sight and watched as they started. When Nubs got to the second obstacle, he bolts from my Boyfriend and takes off running toward the crowd. He JUMPS over the little 3ft fence and heads directly for a Pointer that doesn't like really any other dogs with the Trainer and my boyfriend on his heels. I just stepped out of behind the a-frame (which was in storage) and yelled "HEY! COME!" and Nubs turned and headed directly to me. Goodness I love that dog's recall.

This next run I run him. He is so EXCITED to run this time that he decides to attempt to jump the 3ft fence that divides the waiting area and the running area since we have a few dogs that like to make a break for the door when they get running. They all decide to stop at the fence line, Nubs decides "Fence? I won't let no freaking fence stop me!" and over he goes. Well I'm on a short 3ft lead and I go to correct him but he instead of stopping before he jumps, does a jump and ends up landing on the fence. This is the type of fence you see at a lot of outdoor events that are in small sections about 4 to 10ft wide and then are just latched on some small colored board. Well Nubs knocked all 3 sections down, landing with that goofy face like "Oops. That was FUN!!!!!! Lets do it again!" Everyone in class just starts LAUGHING, I'm beat red, my boyfriend looks as if he wants to melt into his chair and the Trainer is giving Nubs a sweet-talked scolding. You know the scolding that you give the dog in a happy super-duper sweet voice while your actually using words that would make a sailor blush? Yeah that one.

We run the course pretty well, and call it a day. We are watching the next woman go up and I'm talking to a woman who owns an Australian Shepherd. She makes a comment about how "happy" he is to do everything and how even though we had biked before class, and had done all of the class he was still a "bundle of energy". I just replied "Yep, there is a reason why Terriers have the nick name "Terror Terriers". They just go and go and go." The Trainer overheard us talking, and said very loudly "Yup! That is why they have that Nickname!".

I have to give it to this Agility Trainer though. She puts up with Nubs and myself so well, and just loves Nubs attitude. She is a wonderful woman. Looks like we might be getting together in the next few weeks to do some drag sledding with our dogs. I can not wait to do it. It sounds like a blast!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Agility Class: Nubs is Getting it!

Tonight was again, Agility class. I ended up spending a good 3 1/2 hours at the dentist so I ended up having to call in for work. I felt bad but hey, these wisdom teeth needed to be looked at (and sadly need to be pulled too!). This ended up giving me about 3 hours before agility class to tire Nubs out and even take him out to Petco for a bit.

Honestly, Petco should just give me a job. I swear every time I'm out there, I have at LEAST 2 people stop me and ask "Do you work here?" which I reply "No, but I know a lot about dogs, maybe I can help you anyways.". Today I ended up selling Bitter Apple Spray and some Natural Balance food. Go figure! People see a girl walking around with a well behaved dog (ok semi-well behaved) and automatically think "She HAS to work here!" either that or I just give off that retail worker vibe. I'd like to think the first option there.

Agility class tonight was learning the Dog Walk and the broad jump... well relearning it for Nubs. That dog is beyond confident at everything he does even if he doesn't have a clue what to do. At the last class of the last Beginner Agility Class, while we had "free time" so the teacher can talk to us all independently, I worked Nubs hard on the Dog Walk since he just didn't ever seem to understand where his feet was as he was doing it. By the 5th time doing it, he had gotten it down and was doing well at staying on there. That was... over a month and a half ago so I decided to take it easy and start from scratch on it. Yeah... Nubs would have NOTHING of that.

The first time over it he is only paying attention to my hand holding the treat nothing else so the second time I did it with no treat. We had a helper walking next to the Dog Walk and Nubs being Nubs, wanted nothing to do with the dog walk and only to play with the person helping out. The instructor ended up putting up her dog and helping us out that time. The last 2 times we walked it, we did it without anyone standing next to the Dog Walk and Nubs did it PERFECTLY! Silly dog.

We ended up doing two runs of the course. Nubs is soooo EXCITED over this. He LOVES being able to run the course, he LIVES for it. So we jump over the broad jump, then go to jump through the tire, and Nubs just starts to get too excited and wanted to play Tug with the leash instead. I drop his leash and refuse to play with him but he is happy to just stand there and "kill" the leash. He stops and we do it again, and he starts with the Tug things again. The instructor yells at me for dropping the leash because I'm "giving him what he wants so he's picking what he wants to do" which in my mind, he wants to play tug, and by dropping the leash I wasn't playing with him. Who knows. I end up just letting him run the course without me touching the leash and he runs the rest perfectly.

Run two: same thing happens. So I just remove the leash completely and put it in my treat bag (it's a 3ft leather leash) and just do the whole course off lead. He does PERFECT. No joke. He over-did the table but quickly jumped back on it, but did wonderfully! The A-frame he's learning to come down slowly on, he flies through the Weaves (it has the training wheels on it so you have to do them correct), and does the Dog Walk without a blink. The Trainer and I looked at each other as if we both were thinking the same thing "Looks like he's ready for off leash training now!" (this is the reason we have to repeat the Beginners class)

So Nubs is constantly improving but also being his normal nutty self. He just does everything with a smile on his face and doesn't pay attention at all, unless we start running a course then it's like "I better do this right!" and he does it wonderfully. What an odd dog! Got to love him though!

"Hey! Who are you calling a nut?!?"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Training Pays Off

Ok... So there is one rule I break and I think it's the number one rule of owning a Pit bull: Never let your Pit Bull off leash.

Yes my City has leash laws, but your dog has to be on leash or under reasonable control. There is this HUGE field up the road a bit, about 3 blocks long by a block wide. Nothing but open field that the city keeps mowed. I take Nubs up there to run and train. It's surrounded on all sides by streets, but the land is so big that you have plenty of time to yell off a command if your dog takes off.

So I take Nubs up to this field almost every day to run. I've had the City Police department sit there and watch Nubs and I play and train before so I know that they really don't care.

Nubs is 100% on his recall command, and about 90% on his "leave it" command (poop is his weakness ick!). So I'm out there walking in the middle of the field and Nubs is.. very far away. At least a half block. I see him alert to something, and then I notice a lady and her two dogs walking by on leash not too far away from Nubs. I instantly yell out "No!" and Nubs stops dead in his tracks. "Nubs COME!" just very easily and Nubs takes off in a run to me. I can't help to be proud of this boys training. Nubs is scared to death because of all the times he's been attacked by dogs off leash, so a dog not behind a fence makes him all tense. So for him to listen to me when 2 dogs are passing us like they were it just made me beam.

They work I put into Nubs always makes me proud. But with all the stuff I do with Nubs, he HAS to have strong commands that will stop him in the middle of something. I don't want to be biking with him down a street and have a car coming at us and him not listen to the word "Side" and end up getting hit ("Side" is the word I use to have him move over to the end of the road to up on the curve into the grass.) or us come up to a busy road and his decide that the "wait" command is only a suggestion and pull me into the middle of the road.

I'm proud of the work I've done with Nubs and the bond we have. I can't help but just be proud of it. People think I'm crazy for all the time and energy I put into my dog, but these are the same people who say "Man, I wish my dog acted like that!".

Friday, March 19, 2010

Agility Class... Again...

So Monday was our first day back at agility class with a whole new set of dogs. Since I work until 5pm and class is at 6pm and it takes anywhere from 15 to 30mins to get home, I've decided for the most part, Nubs and I will be biking to class. The class is only 5mins away by car maybe 7 depending on lights. It's about 20mins by jogging dog depending on traffic. We have to cross 2 busy roads, one EXTREMELY busy one. So biking with Nubs was interesting.

He did PERFECTLY with all my commands. "Wait" "HAW" and "GEE" which actually I accidentally taught him Haw and Gee backwards BUT since he isn't a sled dog, I guess that isn't a huge issue. The worse part of the whole deal was crossing the EXTREMELY busy road since it doesn't have lights to cross at. You just have to wait for a clearing which is hard enough when you have a car. Doing it on foot with a bike and a dog? It was interesting.

We got to class about 7mins early so enough time to get Nubs some water and get me all set up for class. Nubs is again the class clown. Who would think that a Pit Bull could make everyone laugh with their antics? Who knew Nubs would try jumping through the tire incorrectly and I would still be holding onto his leash as he took down the whole thing?!? Who would have known that Nubs would run through the tunnel so fast that he would knock the blocks off of it and cause it to start rolling around with him inside of it?!? Who would have known that Nubs would find this new tunnel thing exciting and fun and make it roll on purpose!?!?

He is doing MUCH better though. He is actually getting to the point of running a course and LOOKING AT ME FOR HIS NEXT INSTRUCTION!!!!! I about fell on the floor in shock about it. He is even getting to understand that the A-Frame isn't a toy to just jump off of, but something to slowly climb down on. Honestly he is doing much better and is listening so much better. Now that I say this, you know next week's class he'll be his normal idiot self and just be there to be laughed at.

On a side note: My dad decided the other day to mess around while Nubs was practicing weight pulling. He decided to hook up Nubs to his Mini Van, a good Ton and then some. Nubs PULLED HIS VAN! Yes last weekend he pulled almost 2500lbs, but understand that was on rails which is easier to pull then wheels. The last time he did a cart pull, he only was able to do 800lbs before having issues. I've VERY interested now to see what this dog can really do. If he can do a ton and more on wheels, He will be one heck of a puller!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1st UKC Weight Pull

Man, what a busy weekend!

I took Nubs out to Kalamazoo Michigan for the Michigan Classic which was paired with a Weight Pull event. Met a lot of people who I know on some of the forums I've been on, and got Nubs out on the cart and did some good pulling with him.

I had gotten an all clear from the Vet on Thursday so Friday I packed up my stuff and headed out to Kalamazoo for the weigh in. Now I've been out at weight pulls before as a spectator, so while I knew some things, I didn't know much at all about what to do. Thankfully I ran into someone I knew and they kind of helped me figure my way around. After the weigh in (65lbs! That boy is getting FAT! Gotta work off some of that winter fat now that he is getting better) I sat my stuff up, and called it good. Weigh in was at 3:30pm... Weight pulling started at 5:30pm with the 20and 30lb weight class. The 50,60,and 70lb weight class started about 7:30pm. There was 58 dogs entered this day so that is a LOT to go through.

Nubs ended up pulling 2000lbs his first night. And here is a video of him pulling 1167lbs on Friday night:

Man he had fun as did I.

On Saturday weigh in started at 9am. We started pulling around 1pm. He did his personal best this day at 2420lbs. He could do more, but with him just getting over that leg limp, I didn't want to push him further and harm him.

What a weekend! If I find some photos of him pulling I'll make sure to post them here!

Monday, March 8, 2010

No Agility Class tonight

Tonight was suppose to be the start of beginner agility class again, but sadly I do not feel that Nubs back leg is ready for it yet. He is already a nightmare most of the time during class with lack of exercise but right now with me being unable to run him it would just be asking for trouble and be would just be a distraction to the class.

I called the vet today to get a digital copy of his x-rays and tomorrow I'm going to make a few calls and get a second opinion on his leg and on the x-rays. I need to get to the bottom of this. He is no longer limping at all on his back leg, but it is still too stiff for comfort. While standing I'm still unable to bend it but it's starting to bend much more then in the middle of last week. So it's better to be safe then sorry.

I'll post updates as I get them!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unscheduled Vet Visit

Well, on Sunday Nubs somehow hurt his right back leg. My parents aren't sure how as he didn't have a limp when they brought him home that night, but when I returned home later that evening, he was limping really badly. Monday morning I called the Vet to see what they would say and they told me to wait a few days to see if it improved or not. So I decided to wait until Wednesday, since I had the day off, before I would make an appointment to see the vet.

Tuesday night I ended up coming down with a horrible cold. On Wednesday I could barely move out of my chair so since the limping was better then on Monday but still very considerable, I figured Nubs could wait until Friday to see the vet.

Nubs was just laying on the ground chewing on an Elk Antler like a good boy. Since this was day 3 without a walk, he was being very VERY good. All of a sudden Nubs was practically throwing himself in my lap whimpering. At first I couldn't figure out what was the issue. It's pretty common to see blood on chew toys with Nubs, so the little bit of blood and saliva on my hands didn't click. It wasn't until I pushed Nubs off of me that I saw that my pants and my shirt also had a lot of blood on them that I figured something was wrong. I opened up Nubs mouth and there on his right side of his mouth, and a completely cracked back tooth.

So, I call the vet and tell them what happened. They have an opening in 20mins and the vet is only 5mins away so I get dressed in some non-bloody clothing, and take Nubs to the vet all the while here I am practically in a cloud caused by Day Quill.

I pull into the vet with some time to spare (To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late - High School Band Director) and I walk in. I could barely remember my own name let alone Nubs. I end up sitting down and some lady then walks in with this Aussie mix that seems to have a MAJOR dislike for Nubs. Nubs will ignore other dogs unless they bark at him. He has to have the final word in edgewise, so you can imagine it was a noisy waiting room.

We get in to see the Vet, and the Vet Tech walks in with a Thermometer and a flea comb. Completely approaches Nubs the wrong way and Nubs takes a step back and gives her a warning bark. Before I can say anything, the woman runs out of the room and returns with a muzzle. Now I wasn't to happy at this, but I honestly would rather they muzzle Nubs then accuse him of attempting to attack the woman when he ends up actually liking her and trying to kiss her. Thankfully, she decides that the muzzle isn't the best course of action since the vet needs to see his teeth and decides to just wait for the Vet.

I had to laugh at this poor woman. She walks up to the door and see's Nubs on the floor on his back just squirming because he's getting his belly rubbed. She turns to me and says "Ok, I was just handed your card and for some reason a muzzle" I explained to her what happened and after just a few moments with Nubs, she had even decided that the Vet Tech was nuts.

So Nubs ended up going in today to have his tooth pulled and to have x-rays done on his hips and knees (To see if there was an issue with them causing the limping). The surgery was perfect, and his broken tooth was taken out no issues. His X-rays came out with some good news and bad news

The Good News
Nubs's Knees are in perfect shape. No wear, nothing out of alignment, everything in perfect working condition.

The Bad News
While Nubs's left hip is perfect, no signs of Hip Displacement His right hip has some wear where the leg meets the hip socket. It may be early signs of Arthritis.

More Good News
It isn't anything that will keep him grounded from weight pulling or agility or anything like that.

More Bad News
While we know it's not his knees or a torn ligament causing Nubs to limp, we aren't 100% sure that it's not his hip starting to flare (caused by some trauma from Sunday night) or if it's just a sprang or a pulled mussel.

So we just have to wait to see what comes up. At least with this information I can start Nubs on some supplements and get and early run on it before it gets any worse. Now I just need to recover from that unexpected Vet Expense and the really REALLY sad news is... Nubs is still due for his yearly shots and I haven't even brought Heartworm and flea meds for this year yet *cries* Another $150+ down the tube.

Nubs, you better know how much I love you! Thankfully He is worth every penny of it!