Updated September 26, 2012 - more updates on page 3 and beyond

August, 2012

August 1, 2012- Steel City Cluster, Canfield, Ohio

Well, we survived the 3 1/2 hour drive to Canfield. My truck is making horrible scraping noises when I brake, and also when I turn the wheel. I have a bad feeling about this, but at least I made it safely...so far!

My friend set up her camper on the show grounds, and I left Pretzel with her while I went to check in to the hotel, the luxurious Red Roof Inn. This will be Pretzel's first time in a hotel! Of course, they promised me a first floor room but of course I got third floor...*sigh*.

Pretzel was full of energy after our long car ride, so my friend got out her camera and I took Pretzel for a run in the field. She got some GREAT shots!

August 2, 2012- Steel City Cluster, Canfield, Ohio

Today we spent the day watching the show, and learning. It was an educational day! Pretzel behaved very well, probably because all of the show dogs were so quiet and well-behaved themselves.

When the show was finished for the day, we met up with some very helpful experienced exhibitors who did a "mini clinic" for me to help me and Pretzel for our class tomorrow. It was really helpful to run a mock class with their dogs so I can understand where and how I am supposed to go. Pretzel's stacking is still hit or miss. Sometimes he stands patiently, other times he is a wiggly snake and I cannot get him to hold the position. Oh well, such is a puppy, right?

Our first night in the hotel was calm and quiet. Pretzel walked in the elevator and rode it like he has been a traveler for years. I was pretty proud of him - there were a lot of people with dogs at the hotel and a lot of dogs were barking and carrying on all night, but Pretzel didn't even make a peep (not even when the pizza guy showed up!). He hung out on the extra bed while I watched some television, and when it was time for bed he went into his crate just like he does at home. It was fun having a companion in my room, I am liking this!

Chillin' out on the bed!

August 3, 2012 - Show Time!

Pretzel woke me up around 3:30 in the morning, whining. I knew what that meant, but it was a long walk/ride downstairs! We stood waiting for the elevator and I could tell he REALLY had to go...in the elevator he REALLY had to go...finally when we got to the first floor I just scooped him up and carried him outside just to make sure he didn't have an accident in the lobby. We barely made it to the grass...he REALLY had to go!!! Back upstairs, and back to bed for a few more hours.

I got up pretty early, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the show grounds. I turned Pretzel loose and played soccer with him, ran around the fields for about 45 minutes to get his energy out. Show time for our class was 8:30am. It was strange - everyone else was running around with elaborate grooming setups, and I really didn't even need to brush my dog. Wash-N-Wear! Gotta love Weimaraners.

In our puppy class there were only 2 of us. the other puppy was a bitch that was about the same age as Pretzel, but a bit smaller and finer-boned. We stacked well in the class, and Pretzel held his stack for the inspection!!! he only moved when the judge checked his teeth. We had to do the triangle pattern, and I had only practiced that once, but it was no big deal. I was really happy with how Pretzel gaited. He was definitely a well-behaved puppy. unfortunately we got 2nd, which meant we automatically got Best of Opposite Sex (and a nice purple ribbon). The judge said Pretzel just wasn't as coordinated as the other puppy. I am not surprised. Pretzel sometimes has trouble remembering where to put his feet! It was a great experience, and a lot of fun.

Free-stacking, he did fairly well for our first time.

Getting inspected by the judge

Pretzel checking out his lavender "Best of opposite" ribbon.

Pretzel and his friend Sugar - exhausted after showing their classes!

Random pictures from August, 2012

Pretzel curling up next to my dad. Pretzel knows how to find the real dog lovers in the family!

A neat picture of his profile. He is starting to look more and more grown up.

Sleeping with all of his toys. He is never satisfied pulling just one toy out of his toy box. I have yet to teach him how to put them back when he is done!

Pretzel sleeps in the weirdest positions. I find myself constantly snapping pictures of him sleeping with my phone because his contortions amaze me!

Standong on the mounting block at the barn - he figured out that he can see the horses in the arena if he climbs the steps.

Cool picture - our shadow as we take a walk around Schoonover Lake.

August 7, 2012 - Dog Park!

Lima has a dog park, who knew??? Membership is free when you get your dog license. Pretzel is officially licensed now, he is legal! I have never seen anyone else at the dog park, for some reason. We had fun checking out the obstacles. Pretzel LOVES the tunnel and ran in and out of it for quite a while. he is figuring out how to approach the obstacle based on my signals. I definitely am thinking agility classes in our future.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pretzel and I got invited to the Weimeraner Club of Columbus's annual cookout and picnic. Everyone brought their dogs, and they had a great time running loose in the fields and swimming in the pond. Pretzel had a blast!

Pretzel finally got brave enough to swim after following an older dog into the water

He stuck with his swimming mentor the whole time!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Well, I did it - went ahead and entered Pretzel in another dog show! This one is in Owensville, Ohio (near Cincinnati) on September 8-9. It is one day after Pretzel's 6 month birthday, which means he will get to compete in the 6-9 month puppy class for real points. They also have a sanctioned "B" match which is kind of a practice match for no points. I signed up for that also, because we can definitely use the practice! I am kind of excited. I had a lot of fun in Canfield and I am interested to see how we do now that we have a tiny bit of experience.

Tonight after work I took Pretzel to the dog park. Someone else actually showed up with their dog...first item we actually shared the dog park with someone else. Pretzel's new friend was a 7 month old Boxer named "Tank". They had a BLAST playing! They both will sleep well tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I took some stacking pictures today. Our stacking practice comes and goes...some days it works and some days I get so frustrated I just want to quit. I think maybe Pretzel will show better without bait. he just gets SO interested in the food that he will not stand still. I place his legs and he immediately moves them to try and get closer to my hand with the food, and he just doesn't focus. It seems when I run out of food, I can get him to stand better. hmmm...something to think about!

We had a fun day - ran around the barn for a while, then went to the dog park and ran around by ourselves for a while, then headed home. It was a good afternoon/evening of companionship. That's what I love most about Pretzel - he loves being with me no matter what time of day or night. I can't exactly say that about anyone else in my life LOL!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy National Dog Day! Appropriately, Pretzel and I spent the entire day together. We went to the barn and he ran around while I rode my horses, then we went to my property where I watered the newly seeded lawn and he ran around attacking the sprinklers. We went for a walk in the ghetto neighborhood (after encountering one nasty pit bull that almost broke his chain trying to kill us and one creepy guy on a bike that followed us, we decided to head back home LOL!) and then played in the yard until it got dark. I snapped this photo of Pretzel sleeping in my truck on the way home. He sleeps like that a lot in my truck, and it is the weirdest position. It can't be comfortable!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Well, our stacking practice has been going well lately. It goes much better without bait. he is learning to stand still and allow me to position his legs, and he holds them. With bait he tends to move a lot trying to get at the food. Yep, we are going to try another show, coming up next weekend! His 6 month birthday is Friday, so Saturday will be our first time in the "real" 6-9 month old puppy class. Oh boy!

Our obedience class went better last week. Pretzel really feeds off of the moods of the other dogs, and when they are riled up or playful, he gets extra playful. It is so hard to keep him on task when he gets like this, but I think we are doing better.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor-Free Day!

Today I spent the afternoon at the barn riding outside. Pretzel accompanied me, and he ran around the field with me, staying within 20 feet at all times (he was exhausted trying to keep up with my horse!). I love love LOVE that about him - that off-leash he will stick so close to me. This is something I have always wanted in a dog, and I never had that in my German Shorthair Pointer "Pasta". She never stuck by me when off-leash, I could NEVER trust her. I always thought it was just my bad training that made her that way, and I worried when getting Pretzel that I wouldn't be able to train him correctly for this. Part of me chose the Weimaraner breed specifically because people complained about how velcro-y they are and how obsessive they are about their people. You know, I never did anything special to train Pretzel to stick by me, she just simply wants to. It has made this summer so much fun, watching him run around the fields at the barn and our property and be free of leashes or chains. It makes me so happy! I guess maybe I can take a little credit - those hours and hours and hours of dog breed research I did all winter paid off, because I do think I found the perfect breed for me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy 6 Month Birthday, Pretzel!

Today is Pretzel's 6 month birthday! Hard to believe that 6 months ago he was a tiny, blind little puppy! It's amazing how fast puppies mature in the first 6 months. Today wasn't a very exciting birthday for Pretzel. I worked all day, but managed to run home for a couple hours before the football game to put a hat on him and take a few pictures (doesn't he look thrilled?). Tomorrow morning we leave for the Owensville, Ohio dog show. I am excited! Pretzel is excited because I am excited, as usual.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Clermont County (Owensville) Dog Show...Day 1

They delayed the show 2 hours because of the storms that hit overnight, so I arrived with plenty of time to get ready. Pretzel spent the morning playing hard with his two new Weimaraner friends that we were staying with. He played hard enough to wear him out just a bit, which was good (he was pretty wound up when we got there). Today was our first "official" class - 6-9 month old Weimaraner puppy class. We were the only 6-9 month old dog, so we automatically got the blue ribbon. We had to go back in against the other age groups, and of course we didn't place in that group, Pretzel was the youngest and the smallest. It was all good - I was REALLY happy with how well he stood for the judge. He stacked up nicely and looked great! We even got a good gait around the show pen in the mud (I came close to slipping but managed to stay on my feet...whew!).

That evening they had a sanctioned "B" show, which was for puppies 12 months and younger for no points. Once again he was the only 6-9 month old pup, but there were a few other puppies in other age groups that we went against for the best of breed (puppy) and we won! Pretty exciting, Pretzel once again stacked great and gaited great. Then we went in for the Sporting Group (puppy) and we got reserve in that! Pretzel was most thrilled by the new toy he won, and he carried it in his mouth all the way back to the motorhome where we were staying. What a fun day, and so much less work and pressure than the horse shows (not to mention the significantly less money!).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Clermont County (Owensville) Dog Show...Day 2

Pretzel didn't sleep well last night - we got up several times, once to pee and once because he was bothered by the noise outside and started woofing. I didn't want him waking up our hosts, so we took a brisk walk outside in the cold night air, and he was more than ready to come back and settle down after that. I, however, was pretty wiped out! Our second day of showing went pretty much like the first day - we were the only 6-9 month dog so we got our blue ribbon, and didn't get anything in the combined class. He stood fairly well again, though he kept stopping crookedly and it was hard to get him straightened out and stacked because the judge wasn't inclined to wait for me to finish. Oh well, still a fun day, and a fun weekend! our first official show is history, and we didn't make complete fools of ourselves, so it was a major win in my book!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fun at the dog park!

Pretzel and I went to the dog park, and his best friend "Tank" was there!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Graduation Day!

We have been working hard in our Family Dog Obedience classes every week, and today was our last class, which meant competition day! You know me, my competitive spirit took over, and Pretzel rode to the challenge and we ended up co-champions.

Everything is working out well with our training. He is becoming more and more natural at stacking, he is leading better, and he is learning to be more focused on me (having treats in my hand helps that!). We are hoping to win the Facebook contest sponsored by the place when we go for training. The dog's photo with the most "likes" wins a free training class. I decided if we win, we will take the Canine Good Citizen class to test for our CGC title in AKC. I'd rather do agility, of course, but he is still young. Next year....!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!

I woke up this morning and forced Pretzel to celebrate my birthday by wearing a bow from one of my presents. As you can see, he was less than thrilled (not his color, perhaps?) but grudgingly accepted it.

The good news is Pretzel's photo won the cutest dog contest, so we won our free training class! Tonight we will start a 4 week course preparing us to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen's Test

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