Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pixel Update

Fetch! 3/12/2012 Pixel, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Pixel remains awesome. :) Only one more week until the Red Deer dog show and another try in the Open ring. Training is going well- and I think we've conquered the drop on recall issues....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Black and White

Things would be simpler if everything was black and white...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Agility Seminar with Dante

It was a very long day, but a lot of fun. Dante is a great presenter and had lots of good information, aswell as reminders. It is funny how you just forget about things when you don't use them all the time. The thing I enjoyed the most about the day was that Dante had something for everyone- fast dog, slow dog, and everything in between he had suggestions and advice. I appreciate that.

He spotted Pixels weaknesses right away and gave me some good ideas for her. Pixel is a dog that is completely driven by my motion. If I don't have motion she will go- but she will go slowly. He showed me a simple two jump exercise to build that up a bit more. Also he noticed that Pixel really gets excited at the end when I clap for her or cheer. He suggested that I use that more. In fact he made me, and it did speed her up more but do I really want to cheerlead her throughout a course? I might die. lol. But I could certainly see the difference so something to think about.

The seminar was all about crosses- front, rear, and blind. For a slower dog Pixel has pretty great rear crosses- thanks to Terry Simons she really understands how to drive to a jump. The front crosses took a bit more work- my timing was off and I need to just send her and go- trust that she will take the jump. He is a believer in doing the cross as soon as you can- and as far ahead as the dog as possible- this really pushes the dog to go faster and hug the jump standards. Not only was he looking for good crosses- but perfect ones. And he would encourage everyone to try again, and again until they got it right.

 I have never learned how to do a blind cross and have done a handful in my whole life- mostly by accident. But I was willing to learn! He talked about the controversy a bit- in the GD system (of which I follow) there are no blind crosses. So there is certainly conflict. His point was that a good blind cross can speed up your dog, and put you farther ahead. He admitted that the biggest problem with them was that in his experience it does confuse the dogs- so it is important to keep your shoulder open and really make sure to present the dog with the correct side. (the same as you would after a front really). The exercise we did was fast and fun. Pixel was able to maintain her speed throoughout and didn't stall out or have to wait for me. It was fun.

While I don't intend to start blind crossing all over the place, it is good to actually know how and when it could be useful. With the way that AAC courses are headed I can certainly see that there could be the need for them sometimes. Our courses are getting more and more technical with a european flair- staying ahead of your dog can definitely give you an advantage sometimes! 

I would take a seminar from him again- it was a fun day and I came home with some stuff to work on- what more could you ask for!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Putting it all together.... Herding Lesson

Today Brit and I had another herding lesson. This addiction is outta control. Serious.

Anyway- it was awesome. We did a few outta the pen, back in the pen, sort out a few and then we took them to the big arena. She has no problem at all with that exercise. Brit is a confident worker, and is listening better and better. On the way over to the arena she drives them even though she has never learned that or has any idea of what she is doing really. lol.

Once at the arena the sheep went around the side so we had to bring them back and put them actually in the arena. Brit handled that just fine even though I was in the wrong spot. I need to remember that I am the pivot point!

And then as I was setting up the panels and Jenny ran to do something at the house the sheep escaped through the open person gate at the other end. lol. So we had our first experience actually being useful. Except that the sheep were not cooperating and ended up going all the way back to the barn. So we got to round them back up and drive them to the arena again. This time we closed the gate.

We then spent some time on putting things together. So I had her fetch the sheep and let them settle on the designated spot (which was hard. lol). And then we went back to our "post" (a bone on the ground. lol), and I sent her again and then took them around the post. We did this a few times until I managed to be in the right spot, and tell my dog to do the correct thing... And then we added the dreaded Y chute....

 Last time it took us about 10 minutes to make any progress. This time we got it pretty quick. I just need to stay on my feet and watch where the sheep are looking.We did this a few times and then gave her a break.

While Brit rested, Jenny worked Ford on the Y chute so I could see what I need to be looking for- the head turns. I couldn't resist bringing my camera.

 Ford is super cute, and a little speed demon. Agility people would love him. lol.

When we brought Brit out again we worked on the Y chute again, and I got some good ones right away. I was pretty excited! I believe I even shouted out Yay as the sheep rushed through the chute. lol

After that we ended on some corner panels. I am pretty confident on that- and we only had a bit of trouble going in the one direction. Again I need to be better at remember my flanks. If I have to think about it it's too late. I am going to practice in my head while watching some herding videos online. lol.

So a pretty awesome lesson again. I am so proud of my little dog. She has come so far, and really truly loves it.Even better,  I love the connection we have built while training in this sport.

Jenny took the photos for me today when we were working on the Y chute,and the corner panel.  It's neat because she took so many that you can actually see the sequence of how she worked. It's pretty cool! Thanks Jenny!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Pixel and I are heading to Olds bright (dark) and early tomorrow morning for a one day handling seminar. I am pretty excited about it. The seminar is with Dante Camacho- who is not only a talented agility guy, but is a fantastic trainer. He is soft and quiet with his dogs, and really is very genuine with them. I have never taken a seminar from him, but he's been in this area for the past few years so I see him plenty at trials. He is from Brazil originally but he's been in Canada for a long time now. Aside from agility he also does Freestyle, and is a great showman in Canada's Super Dogs.

The seminar is all about crosses- front, rear and blind...uh huh. I said blind cross. I've never been a fan of blind crosses, but I figured now might be a good time to learn about them. (The whole Year of the New thing.) It will be interesting. My plan is to work Pixel, but I am bringing Brit in case Pixel peters out. Not that Brit can really do a ton, but she can do anything basic or broken down. Pixel is uh, energy efficient and if the day is long she won't last.

It should be fun though- we are travelling with my friend Cindy and her two crazies (a corgi, and a kelpie). I'll have some stuff to talk about on Sunday I'm sure!!!
Hopefully this recent blast of winter doesn't mess up our plans. The roads might be a little icky...

and just because this should have some sort of agility related photo or video-
 last years Regionals with Pixel.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cutest Dog Ever

Seriously. He's so smushy.

Even though he is naughty and I found him in the kitchen sink licking a dinner plate this morning.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brit has a nose!

Brit is putting things together in Scenthurdle! I'm so proud of her!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Someone else thinks she's awesome too...

The Canadian Cardigan Corgi Club has an award that they give out every year called The NaBs Trophy. It is for Blue Merle dogs only, and over the year the dog earns points for Qualifying scores in Performance Events, aswell as Conformation wins. The trophy was started years ago by an old time breeder who wanted to showcase Blue Merle dogs. I had never heard about it until someone from the club emailed me and told me to apply. I tallied up all her Rally, Obedience, and CKC Agility scores and submitted them. I found out last week that Pixel won!!! We received a pretty certificate in the mail and her name will be added to the actual Trophy. It's pretty cool! 

I am so proud of my little Pixel. She really is a pretty amazing dog. I am very lucky. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Love at first Bite

Love at first Bite, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Remember this photo? I took it in January. I am not normally one to say "I told you so" but uh, I told you so.

Today Scamp officially is adopted by one of my awesome friends. I am so happy for Scampers!!! He and Neena (the other BC in the photo) are total buds and are very good for each other. I knew right away that Scamp would be a good fit- but it was a decision that my friend really had to sit on for a while.

In any case, I am thrilled. Yay for Scamp. And for Jen!

My dog is brilliant

Today we had our best herding lesson ever. Brit is just so good. I would have video to show except that my video camera is a piece of crap and died shortly after we arrived- even though it charged all night. Looks like I will be purchasing a new one soon....

So you will just have to believe me when I say that Brit is awesome. ;)

Today we learned how to take the sheep out of the pen, how to get them back in, and how to sort just a few out. Also we peeled them off the gate when I wanted to put them back in again. And we were able to take the sheep all the way to the arena! Seriously exciting! Brit did so great! She looked like a real border collie. It was super cool. She even learned how to go through barbed wire. ;)

That was the whole first part of our lesson- and Brit rocked it. She took her flanks really well, and her stops were okay. A few moments of being unsure on my part- but for the most part she did great. I think that the smaller take pen at the trial will be a piece of cake compared to the big pen at Altapete.

The second part of the lesson was spent on a Y chute. It was painful. lol. Until we just got it. And then it seemed easy. lol. But really we spent about 10 minutes trying to get them through the damn thing. And then reset and she got it in like 30 seconds.

So I'm pretty pumped about our lesson today- it makes me feel much more confident for the trial. We still have LOTS of training time so really we should know everything we need to by then! Brit is just so amazing though. I seriously adore her. She went from all serious sheep dog to bouncy happy Brit in 2.5 seconds after we were done. Love her.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Happy (VERY MUDDY) Pyr Shep

Boone started out relatively clean and dry.

and then we started playing fetch

and swimming

and then the dirt became mud

and then so did the dogs...look. at. those. feet.

I guess lying down in the mud is no biggie when you are already this dirty...

Look! A Flying Pyr Shep

Fetching on dry land- still excited, a little less muddy..

all in all a happy Pyr Shep. Muddy, Wet, and he even got the toy a few times!

Thanks for the great photos Wendy!!!

We celebrate St.Patty's day with Mud.

I went on a walk today with Wendy (Crazy and Little). I took just the boys, and they had a blast! 

I bought ths cute festive scarf. Look how pretty and white it is...

Vito had lots to say on the walk-  mostly complaining about the pretty white scarf...
I should note that I did not take these photos. I was a dork and forgot my camera. So these are all courtesy of Wendy. Thanks Wendy!!! We don't get together and walk very much anymore. Vito is a barking fool when he is around Coulee, and our schedules don't normally work out to get together. Today was a great walk though- we will totally do it again!!!

 Vito LOVES Wendy's dogs. Lacey is one of the few dogs he will actually play with, and Coulee is magical. Really. He is obsessed with her and if she is in the water he barks, and barks, and barks some more at her. It is annoying but I've given up trying to fix it. It is cute in small doses. 
see the crazed look?

Wendy took all these photos (and a TON more). I was very sad to not bring my camera- it would have been prime time to get my 52 Weeks photo....oh well.  Wendy got lots of great ones- I will do a post of just Boone later tonite. 

Lacey is a tail biter. Naughty, but cute.

He really wants to bite her but is kinda afraid...

and now I bring you mud. Lots and lots and lots of mud. I don't think Vito has ever been this dirty before. It took two baths to get all the sand, dirt, and grossness out of him. But the photos make it worth it- look at him!!! Is he not the cutest thing ever...

take note of how white and pretty the festive scarf is now.... :)
Thanks for the walk Wendy!!! (and the great photos...)

Friday, March 16, 2012

FrIday Afternoon Fun



Woodstock, I mean Pixel

Wicca (who didn't get to play, but got to "critter" for a few minutes after everyone else was done their walk.)


Woodstock, and Boone. ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


you know it's windy when your spit flies away.... thankfully this particular wind is bringing spring. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


A year ago today I decided to keep Brit. A spur of the moment, rash decision. I didn't need five dogs. But  from the moment she walked into my house and into my heart I knew she was meant to stay. She was supposed to be a foster dog (of which I've had plenty of), but there was something about her that made her different than the others.

I have not regretted my decision once, and love this dog to bits. She is the happiest, sweetest dog I know. Always willing to make friends, a smile on her face, and a wagging tail for everyone. 
I adore her.
She has come a long way in a year- from a dog who didn't know how to play with toys to the dog that refuses to give them up now. lol. A dog with no muscle, stamina, or endurance- to the dog that outruns my corgis, and is always ready for more. She is smarter than any dog I've ever owned. Came knowing nothing but her name and how to sit, now she is well on her way to a great obedience career, and is proving to be a lot of fun in other venues aswell. The sky is the limit with this dog.

Thank you Brit, for being so wonderful. I am so thankful.  It has been a great first year, here is to many more. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Park Lake Fun

This handsome fellow is Drew.(my parents dog)

wet pyr shep
it was super windy- so windy that the dogs ears were all standing up. even the non prick eared dogs....
boone was very happy to find this stick

shaking dogs are always the best. lol

vito and his stick- notice it's bigger than boones?

Corgis are psycho when they play. All teeth and growl...
my fav of the day. lol. Brit is running for her life, and Boone is running because they are. lol
ball? pixel? leaf blowing in the wind? she's not obsessive at all....
Notice no pictures of Wicca.... I'm sticking really hard to the no fun rule. Although it was pretty awful leaving her in the van....poor woo.