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Dogs and Dog Agility Feed

Accomplished one of my goals!

Marcie Q'd again today, with a 1st place! I have to go back and check, but 2 Qs and 1st places in a row is NOT BAD!

I'm going to move her back to preferred now, as she is more comfortable with that time.

Maggie had a clean run, but way over time. I ended up laying down in the dirt to get her to down. Oh well.... There were people there surprised I could get back up to finish the run that quick. Including the judge.


Maggie

Maggie is a mess ... but she isn't NEAR as much a mess as she was.

She's a rescue (wish you could hear me say it the way I say it), think pathetic... She came with two trunks of baggage, and I have to say, I'm down to half a trunk. It's taken a huge amount of work.
She was free to a good home, found on a chain with no house. Then accidently had a little of beagle puppies. We have no idea how old she is, but we got her the Friday before September 11th.

I often introduce her as the bad beagle, especially when we are lining up for an agility run, so people understand that she doesn't behave.

When I first got her, when you came into the house, she would bellow until you left. I accidently found out, that if people went to the downstairs bathroom and flushed the toilet, she would settle down. For about a year, I had to have people do that. She now bellows a few times, then settles down. Bellowing is not a bad thing -- it keeps burglars way. They hate small, loud dog.

She used to rush up to every dog bigger than her and bellow in their faces. She would also snap at any dog smaller than her (or the same size). I can't stand dogs that don't behave around other dogs. It's one of my pet peeves.

She will still bellow at other dogs but she doesn't snap very often any more. Snapping and biting really isn't a problem because her teeth don't meet. She bit me several times when I first got her. It's a wonder she can eat, she's both undershoot and wry. Her canines go in two different directions.

When I first got her, she was afraid of police cars. A big problem, since we live on a large busy straight, and on any given weekend the cops will pull over 5 or 6 days in front of house. Until last February, she was deathly afraid of cameras. She now bellows at them when I forget to give her a treat for taking her picture.

She is still deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Right now, I'm using Zanac to help that. I can at least sleep peacefully when she is on it and there is a thunderstorm.

She does try very hard. However, when I start with a new behavior, she yells at me in 4 letter beagle words. She even does that in agility class, and sometimes during runs. Usually when she is confused. She is getting better though. Sometimes when I get frusterated that the yelling my husband has to remind me -- he will tell me that she really is trying hard. And she does!

I think in the last few months she's finally learning that this is her forever home. I also think she trusts more. The best part, is that she is running full courses and doing what I want, most of the time. I can't rely on her saving my rear when I make a mistake yet, like Marcie does, but I think it will come.

I've always felt sorry for her, but lately I'm starting to really like her.


Marcie

I thought I'd talk about my dogs and that I would start with the one I've had the longest. I do have their pictures posted at Dog Photos.

I've been in dogs and especially beagles for many years. When Peppermint Patty was diagnosed with cancer at 9 years, I know it was time to start looking for the next beagle, but I wasn't serious. At the time, I had a GSD (German Shepherd Dog), named Aysha that I was doing Police K9 work. She was a handful, so I wasn't real serious.

An internet friend saw the photographs of litter of beagles in Vermont and sent the pictures on to me because one of the pups was the spitting image of Patty. At the time, I was just realizing that Aysha needed a job and that she was bored living with me. Yes, I bought Marcie over the internet, but it isn't as bad as it sounds. Ellen and I had been IMing for quite a while, and emailing on a frequent basis even longer. She knew Deenie, plus since Patty was the Number 1 Obedience Beagle in the country at the time, I had a reputation.

I got with the breeder Deenie via IM, email and telephone and we all decided that it would work. I had a short list of things I wanted out of a pup, and some things I wanted a breeder to do, if I couldn't do it myself. Deenie agreed to doing all of that, and had some other really good ideas. For example, I mailed them a t-shirt I'd wore overnight, and Marcie slept with the tshirt for several nights before she was shipped.

So Marcie was purchased sight unseen and shipped to Dallas. She was thrilled to death to get out of the cage after 12 hours, and to smell the person she'd been sleeping with. Okay -- it was REALLY getting out of the cage.

She always been a real adament dog. Very pushy on how she thinks the world should be and somewhat vocal when she doesn't get her way. When she was a puppy, she'd even bite when she didn't get her way. It actually works out pretty well, as most of the time her way is my way. About the only time it doesn't work out is ear time, nail time, and oh, after agility -- leash time. Oh, and you can't pick her up.
Not for all the beagle chow in China.

I had Deenie click and treat her every time she feed the dogs, and also had Deenie play ball with her daily. Most people don't know this, but many of the lines of hunting beagles are natural retrievers with extremely soft mouths and the younger you encourage that the better. They will actually retrieve a killed rabbit to hand. Marcie's obviously of that line. So is Miss Maggie, but she's another post.

I've done lots of clicker training with Marcie. She's got some really cool tricks, I need to get some movies done of some and post them on the photos site. She's backup, retrieve, spin in both directions (has different cues), high fives and nose touches, crawls forwards and back with different cues. I can teach her to target to just about anything, that's one of our favorite parlor tricks.

She is a fabulous agility dog. Unfortunately she paces to me, so sometimes comes across as slow, but can turn on a dime. She often saves my butt when I give a slow command. The other thing I think that makes her run over time a lot, is that she really overjumps. She can easily clear 20" and once cleared a 26" triple -- at agility trials she measures at 14 3/4 and jumps 16" in almost every venue. She tends to take off very early, clear by a lot, and land very far out. They tend to move faster on the flat.

Her weaves suck, she tends to go into the weaves too fast, pulling her out of the poles, and she often can't get a rhythm. That's all my fault. She's also got a table problem. She doesn't like getting on them, and likes downing less.

She LOVES tunnels, but also likes obstacles. I can never really tell which obstacle she's favoring in a discrimination -- for the non-agility person, you'll often see a tunnel under a contact obstacle, with both facing the dog.

She's a really cool dog. She doesn't like it when I am in pain, or having trouble breathing and will shut down, not just when we are doing agility. She's very affection but on her terms. With strangers, I can tell she's really just sucking up for treats. Or scratches. She has a problem with ear infections and lves ear scratches.

She's extremely photogenic and got some modeling work when she was a puppy. She was featured in the "Essential Beagle". I think she's got around 10 pages. She LOVES having her picture taken. I think she just likes the extra attention.

Oh, and she loves other dogs. She played with a 100 pound Malinois when she was 8 weeks old until she was about 2 years old. Other dogs don't scare her, and she likes to mess with dogs in crates. Her favorite thing to do at trials is to get in crated dogs faces.

Her other favorite thing to do is what I call f* with border collies and other focused dogs. She pulls this all the time with a friends dog. He'll be laying at course side watching class, very intent, and she'll walk up and do all the "I want to play things" Finally she'll start patting him in the face with her paw. She's totally fascinated with the fact they are ignoring her.