Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions and such...

So it is the 31st today...the last day of the year and although I don't generally like to do the whole New Years Resolution thing this year I do have some specific goals...

General Resolutions
1) Be Healthier- I tend to have not great eating habits, haven't gone to the doctors in forever, and am just generally too busy to take care of myself
2)Get my ass in gear and behind the wheel- self explanatory I think
3) Save more money...

General Dog Resolutions
1) Train more often
2) Be a more patient trainer

Wicca's Resolutions
1) Get a CDX
2) Get into the Rally ring
3) Win her height division at regionals and place at Nationals

Sam's Resolutions
1) More tracking (see below post)
2) Send for PEN # (it's the procrastinator in me)
3) Keep up with the physio

Vito's Resolutions
1) Teach him to weave
2) Get into the Rally Ring
3) Get him out more into the general public- increase his confidence with people

Boone's Resolutions
1) Cutting ALL of his nails without fuss
2) Be okay when I leave him for a weekend (a post about that coming soon)
3) Get into an Obedience/Rally ring

Kate doesn't really have resolutions....the joys of retirement and couch potato life! ;o)

Sam's new hobby

Lots of my friends do tracking but it never interested me that much- I do a lot of dog things and couldn't imagine adding one more thing to do...but with Sam being unable to do agility, or obedience we needed to find him an alternative.

So yesterday we went for the first time. It was lots of fun and Sam had a great time! He was pretty excited to be out and about and I am eager to learn more. I am going to do some reading on tracking and talk more to my friends about it. Sam did three little mini tracks and was overjoyed at finding his toy at the end. It was pretty cute!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Video

I brought all the dogs to work last night and even managed to get some video!
Wicca really needs work on entries- especially when there is speed involved. This is near the end of the session- after I worked on three poles- and a gate. I was overall pretty happy with her. She is such a great weaver- she just has to get in there!

I worked on jump skills with Vito- some one jump exercises aswell as 180's. He did great and was very full of himself. We also worked on some heeling and stationary attention. I used the goodie container to get him to move out ahead of me in a straight line- which of course he loved! He's so cute!

Boone had a great time- I haven't done much with him as I wasn't sure what all I wanted to do with him. At this point I am still figuring out what he knows- and what he thinks he knows :o)
Boone has a few Q's already so he has a pretty good idea of what a jump is, and he loves tunnels. I am working on targeting on the flat to retrain contacts as I want a 2on2off. Last night I asked him to weave for the first time- so I could see what I have to work with. He kind of gets it...but not really. i think he mostly guesses until he gets it right :o)
It is very cute to see him try so hard. I think a month of gate training and he will have decent weaves...I found that he loves the goodie container so we used that last night to work on some basic jump drills...

and Sam got to come out and run through a few tunnels and play catch while I packed up. He was pretty excited about it....

Anyway, here is the video of Wicca weaving. I put the camera on a chair and just let it go. I know nothing about Video editing so there are some "gaps" of nothingness. Sorry :o)
Enjoy it anyway!

For some stupid reason I can't get the code to work.....For now- use the above link!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Say What?

Vito is looking very handsome these days. I love it when he cocks his head when I talk to him. I'd love to be able to get his trademark smile on camera...everytime I try I miss day I'll get it...but until then- trust's very, very cute
Wicca, Sam and Boone stayed home today- I am going to bring them back tonite and do some work with each of them. I am working on teaching Sam some new tricks, building Boone's confidence and trick repetoire, Wicca is working on fronts and finshes, and Vito is working on heeling...

Wicca Says...

she's very tired after a long day of opening presents, eating, and visiting family!
She hopes that all her doggy friends had a great Christmas too!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Boone Pictures

I don't have many pictures of Boone to share with you all yet. I had hoped to get some this weekend but we'll see how the rest of my day goes :o)
I do have a puppy picture of him though.......

he is 8 weeks in this picture...cute eh?

Boone continues to improve and is mostly normal now. He hasn't had a melt down in a few weeks and his true personality is starting to show. He is very playful, has a great sense if humor and enjoys showing off!

Here is a link to his mom "Breeze"
and his Dad- "Rookie"

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Reason

No reason for this post, except that I thought the pictures were cute and wanted to share!

The love of his life....

Vito loves Molly Brown....he hasn't seen her for a few weeks and he started singing and whining the minute he saw her this morning. She loves him too, but plays hard to get sometime :o)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Agility Babble

Wicca was such a good girl last night!

I have been working at getting our distance back as she has become a little confused and therefore is pulling back to me off of a jump etc. I have been working mostly at home with the coffee table! and it totally paid off.
In the bottom sequence (white) I was able to lead out to the tire- and stay in the middle and rear cross 7 -8. She had great weaves, a solid start line and one bar. In the black sequence lead out pivot 1-2 and her 4-5 weave entry was awesome- she collected and had no bobbles.
The top sequence was super fun and I really pushed her for speed but still maintaining criteria, bars, and weaves. Black- the 4-5 weave entry was tough and we missed it the first time- I ended up pushing her out to make the approach better for her. 6-7 I layered the no.10 jump and just hung back to get the turn. White sequence-this one was more technical and required a well thought out plan. It was interesting to see the different paths my students chose. With Wicca I did a lead out pivot 1-2, sent her to the tunnel and picked her up on my right for the jump. Rear crossed 5-6 and again with the nasty weave entry- this time she got it the first time- and the rest was pretty straight forward- you had to be sure that you commited to the #13 jump- some dogs missed the jump completely. the weaves from the tunnel was a given as long as you got your cue out in time. Wicca was smokin and I was very pleased with her. Last night was the last barn night for three weeks- so it was good to really let her go full tilt....
I took Vito last night aswell and he did great. He was VERY full of himself and really wanted to play. We warmed up with some jumping-and some front crosses. His A-Frame training is coming along great and he was AWESOME last night. I was very impressed with him. He is understanding what touch means and that makes me really happy! He loves the contacts (because of the high rate of reinforcement) and had no problem with his first little discrimination. We did some restrained recalls over two jumps to a tire- he doesn't like to be restrained though- and that's something we will have to work on more. We ended on some teeter games- which he loves!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


This morning I was playing around on facebook and stumbled on to a Cardigan Corgi group.
I was very surprised to find this in the photo section! This is a painting of Wicca that I had done more than two years ago. The artist-Ryan Schmidt was at an agility trial. He takes a photo of your dog and then in a matter of an hour presto! a really cool portrait of your dog...Super Fun.

Anyway, it never occured to me to show you them, as I have had the paintings much longer than I have had the I have included Sam's aswell...
Check out his website- he has buttons of all sorts of dog breeds, and silhouettes aswell....
Fun! Fun!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Party

We had our combined GoDogGo and Paws on the Run Doggie Daycare Christmas Party on Saturday and everyone had a great time. We raised more money for the rescue and the games and santa pictures went over really well. Wendy set up the Santa picture display and Vito thought he'd keep the seat warm for Santa! It was super cute- he jumped up and had a little nap while we set up...
I will have the actual Santa pictures later this afternoon....I hope. :o)
I took the three corgis and Boone, and they all had a pretty good time. Wicca got to play wiener dunking (and she and Jane tied!) and Boone won the trick contest. He did really well- friendly with people and kids, and didn't seem to be too stressed out. He even behaved for the santa pictures. Everyone was pretty impressed with him- compared to a month ago he is quite the different dog....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Video of Vito heeling

Choosing to Heel

There has been discussion on one of the forums that I belong to about how hard it can be to teach a dog to heel. I enjoy teaching dogs to heel and usually both the dog and I end up having a great time. I like to teach heeling without a leash.
*note- my dogs have a full understanding of what a click means before I start this

I start in a smaller enclosed space- a backyard, or at the training centre. I have treats in my left hand and my clicker in my right. I start walking. The puppy will probably sniff around a little and not pay me much attention. I walk faster or start to run. The puppy thinks this is great fun and will run to catch up- C/T!

Now the pup is going to stay pretty close to me- C/T when pup moves closer to "heel position" or looks up at me. If pup wanders away or looses interest I will change direction and reward more frequently the next set.

Once the pup understands the game you will find him paying closer attention and staying with you- now is the time to make the pup work harder for the click. Depending on the age of the puppy (mentally and literally) will decide how many steps you will ask your pup to "heel" for. If my puppy is just three months old I am going to start with three steps-

  1. Leash is off

  2. Treats in left hand

  3. I start walking

  4. Puppy runs eagerly to catch up

  5. I count my steps when puppy is actually walking with me

C/T JACKPOT at 3! (once pup is consistenly attentive for three- go to four, then five etc. etc. )

It is important to remember to reward where you want the dog to be- quite often people reward their dogs in front of them- so are surprised when the dog always swings in front to get the cookie for heeling....Ideal heel position is the dog shoulder to knee with you- reward there.
I also like for my dog to "look up" at me while they are heeling- so I will go one stop further and change my criteria to include - you must be looking at me while we heel. I do this because when I do competitive obedience I like the look of this aswell as I know that my dog is paying attention to me. I don't add a verbal cue until the dog understands the behaviour- so my "heel" command doesn't come until the dog can offer me heeling for five steps or so. Once I have the moving part of the heel down I teach automatic sits (which is a whole other post) aswell as a "start" or "ready" (again, a whole other post)

I love this method of teaching heeling because

A) my dogs learn to "think about it"

b) i am not forcing them- so heeling never becomes boring and well, forced

c) it is fun- again the dogs learn that heeling is fun

I guess I should also mention that my dogs don't "heel" on a walk. Heeling for me and my dogs is in the rally or obedience ring- when we are on a walk we will sometimes practice the game of "heeling" but mostly all that I require my dogs to do is walk nice and not pull on the leash. I teach this by rewarding the dog for not pulling and stopping when the do pull. They learn that they don't get anywhere by pulling.

There are also some GREAT tools out there to make your walking experience more enjoyable. My all time favorite new tool is the Easy Walk Harness it works amazing and is very easy for the dog and the person to figure out! The neat thing about this is that there is little to no adjustment period for the dog- unlike the Halti which takes quite a while for the dog to be comfortable with.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Sam is unhappy. Well, maybe unhappy isn't the word. He's Miserable. And there really isn't much I can do about it. It has been 10 months of pain for him- and I think he is realising that it's not going to go away. So he is cranky, barky and sulky. Which makes living with him not very much fun.

I am at a loss now as to what I can or should do for him. We haven't gone to see a physical therapist in four weeks. I am still doing the exercises and things everyday- but I am unable to get up to Calgary as frequently as before. I feel badly for him and wish that he would be magically better.

I should say that he isn't ALWAYS miserable. He is very happy in the mornings, and at night when we cuddle. He likes it when I sit on the floor with him and rub his belly, and of course he is especially happy when it is breakfast time. He is mostly bored I think- we do lots of "brain" games- he gets kongs, treat balls and the like in the daytime, and I am teaching him tricks (that don't require as much moving around) We still play catch but it just isn't the same as playing ball, or tugging with a toy, or doing agility.

It has been a big adjustment for both us I think. I am doing better than he is.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I will be first to admit that my dogs are jerks. They bully each other, they will guard toys, and they are just generally jerky. I don't know what it is, but ALL three of the corgis are like that...must be a corgi thing :o)

Sam is the worst by far. He is very pushy and has a history of aggression (I got him at two years old from a shelter who was going to euthanise him) He is very opinionated and thinks that he should be the center of attention. All the fun toys are his and he takes offense of one of the other dogs is getting attention. Of course these are all thing he doesn't get away with- but he still pushes it every day. He has taken to licking me- rather forcefully if I am petting one of the other dogs and he wants my attention- usually this results in him being put in a downstay a few feet away. Sam hates to get in trouble. If he is reprimanded or physically corrected (a muzzle grab if he snapped at one of the others or is being an ass) he will fight me back. He growls and gets a scary look in his eye. I don't doubt for one minute that this dog has bit someone. I never let him win these battles and I am glad to say that they are few and far between. I do however need to take my own advice and deal with the root of his problems....

Wicca is just a *itch. She is very bossy, but is subtle about it. Half the time the boys don't even know what just happened but all of a sudden they will be on the ground. She is growly and violent in her play- and will quite often slam into Vito and latch on to is pretty funny to watch as Vito LOVES this game....Wicca tends to be the ruler of the house- if she wants something she will either flirt her way to it, trick them into giving it to her or outright steal it. (Except chewies- which have a pretty high value) She is very guardy and will stand across the room staring at a bag, or coat pocket that might contain treats. If the cats happen to walk by she will race over growling...they don't have a clue why! Wicca can be bossy with other dogs aswell, and will immediatly attempt to put her head over their shoulders- which is pretty hard to do when your 11 inches tall. I will say though that she is pretty good with most dogs- and that she is actually pretty insecure around big dogs (thanks to Kate)

And poor little, innocent Vito? Well, he may seem all mild mannered and meek but the inner demon surfaces occasionally! At daycare is pretty jerky. He LOVES to be chased, but will become worried if there is no where to hide or isn't sure how to end the game. He has also taken to chasing and barking at the big boy dogs- they try and ignore him but sometimes he pushes them a bit too much- in which case he is given a time out or a squirt with the water bottle. Vito is very into food and will guard anything that he sees as a food source. It is funny because he and Wicca will be guarding the same thing but from different parts of the room...but mostly he is as cute and innocent as he looks, I think it's his inner border collie that makes him a nice dog ;o)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Morning Rituals

(not the best picture I know, and it doesn't really apply to what I am blogging about but oh well)

  • 5:45- Sam starts rooting around, rolling, snorting, and grumbling his good mornings

  • 5:50- Alarm goes off, Sam jumps around on the bed- Wicca comes up to the head of the bed to say goodmorning- making woo woo noises, she likes to stick her cold little nose into my neck and then she proceeds to roll around and smear herself on me. If I am lucky I can pin her down for a few seconds of cuddling....

  • 5:55- Vito wakes up from his beauty sleep, and walks around on the bed smiling like a fool, when he almost gets to me he "falls" down and drags himself the rest of the way. Then he proceeds to grind his body into my head, trying to kiss me (I hide under the pillow)

  • 6:00- MUST get out of bed, open Boone's kennel he spins and twirls in happiness making little happy noises. I sit on the bed and he gets his morning cuddles and pets. He LOVES mornings and his whole body wags with anticipation- not sure if he's happy for attention or knows that he gets breakfast soon!

  • 6:10- Outside for pups, Shower for me

  • 6:20- Breakfast for pooches, (this is a one minute endeavor- even Boone eats like a mad man!)
  • 6:21- Outside for last minute business

  • 6:30- Pack up the dogs who are coming to work, give chewies or kongs to dogs staying home. And off to work I go!

Now of course there are always variables in our routines- some mornings we are up earlier (if we have "extra" dogs) or the dogs need more exercise, and some mornings we don't spend the extra 20 minutes in bed and will fit that 20 minutes somewhere else- training maybe, or a short walk around the neighborhood...but I will admit that most mornings that 20 minutes is spent cuddling with the dogs :o)

Oh, I have a Queen sized bed by the way....

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Reads

I have been blogging for a while now...and until recently I didn't really think of all the fun OTHER blogs out is all Wendy's fault actually...(her and her fun yarn knitting blogs, made me jealous so I had to find my own "daily" read)

Anyway...slowly my list of favorite blogs to read has been growing, and before it gets TOO big I wanted to share some of them. I have put a link panel on the side of the blog so that you too can read my favorite blogs...

I have categories of blogs, and depending on the mood I am in will depend on which I read first.

If I am feeling a little sad, or the rescue stuff is bothering me- I'll read the Rolling Dog Ranch blog- these people are amazing, they rescue dogs,cats, and horses who otherwise would be euthanised. They blog five days a week and the stories are heartwarming, and the pictures great.

If I am in a "dog' mood I have LOTS to choose from.

The C-Myste blog is my ultimate favorite lately...mostly because they have a puppy cam, and well, I am only slightly addicted to watching the puppies play...I must say that the puppy named Clem is my favorite- she's cute and full of herself (much like another cardigan I know)

another favorite blog is the dolittler blog- she is a vet, who is funny, and is a very good read..I am still reading all the archived posts!

and of course the daycare blog- even though I am usually here and part of the action it is still fun to read and look at the pictures

and I can't not mention Moxie and Izzie who are Vito's biggest fans!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Foreign Objects

Apparrently although Vito is techinically an adult he still has the appetite of a puppy. In the last week he has injested alot of not really edible things, and I thought it would be a great blog topic.

Item #1
My 10 year old leather leash. He ate it in a way that instead of being a 7 foot leash, it is now a 3 foot leash. I was less than impressed. I was even more ticked off when he puked up 10 pieces- chewed into convenient 1 inch lengths.....ugh

Item #2
The remote control for my TV. Granted, it hasn't worked in ages...but still. Are you kidding? And he didn't even just chew on it, he ate it. The battery cover is completely gone, as are numbers 2 through 8.....

Item #3
Paper...and just paper in general. Nothing specific. He enjoys Newspaper, aswell as tissue paper (what self respecting canine doesn't) and then the ever popular cardboard...

And Finally, Items #4 and #5
The favorite- sticks and rocks....He is pretty sneaky about it as he knows that rocks aren't for playing or eating...he will start by sneaking one into the house...hidden in his tightly closed mouth. He rolls on it, pounces on it, and then the real fun begins- he throws it up in the air, catches it, drops it, picks it up and the process is repeated until A) he swallows it or B) I catch him and take it away....And sticks, well...I will let him play with sticks..but chewing them to little bits is just not allowed..and occasionally if I am not watching him he will do just that...
Good thing he's cute!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This is Boone. Isn't he cute? (some don't think so, but I do) anyway, beneath his cuteness he is the oddest dog I have ever met. Really.

Boone is a Pyrenean Shepherd, or Berger Des Pyrenees if you want to get official about it. He came to me through a friend in Calgary. She had heard about the dog from a breeder friend of hers. He has some serious baggage and issues that have been ongoing. His name was Blair. He is four years old.

When he came off the plane in Calgary he bit the luggage handler. He stayed in the crate for two days before my friend finally dumped him out. After that he hid under the sanctuary of the kitchen table. She emailed me to see if I knew anyone who would be up for the challenge of trying to bring this dog back to normalcy...I am a sucker. I said "I will!"

I have had him for about 4 weeks. He is not normal, and never will be normal. But he is doing MUCH better than when I first got him. It took him 2 weeks to learn to "just be" in the house. In that he wouldn't just hang out in the living room and you would almost never see the little guy. I started closing off the crate when I was home- he wasn't allowed to hide. He was rewarded when he stayed in the same room with me, and was given a jackpot if he came near me. Now he follows me around and I reward him when he moves away from me :o)

This dog had a lot of work done with him in the beginning of his life- he did Freestyle, Agility and Flyball. He has a few Q's in AAC agility (he is already out of Starters Snooker....Wicca!) and I have seen his freestyle video and he's pretty good. He knows lots of tricks and is pretty motivated by food. Boone's problem is that he couldn't possibly do any of those things if there is someone watching, or if it is in a new scary place, and oh my god what if the sky falls while I am shaking a paw :o) He is a worrier, and I am working hard to change the way he thinks about things...It will be an ongoing battle I think...but one that so far I am enjoying.

Once you get past his freakiness he is a pretty neat little guy. He has just been allowed to be a worried dog- one that previously could never be loose in the house with company over, one that couldn't go for a leash walk because the boogie man might get him and a dog that would either melt to the floor or bite you if you make him do something he doesn't want to. In the short time I have been working with him I have discovered a few things about him-

He really likes to rough house with you- pull on his chin hair and he goes loopy :o)

He prefers women over men, and has shown no aggression to women at all (well, except the nail trimming incident)

He has a hernia...something that I will be looking into getting fixed. He is VERY reluctant to show his belly so to fix that I am making it a trick- with lots of reward.

And Finally, this dog is VERY, VERY just have to show him what you want in a way he understands. :o)

oh, and he and Wicca are best buds...Boone and Vito not so much....and Sam well, he is happy playing by himself :o)

Here are some links to information about Pyr Sheps for your reading enjoyment!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Vito will be One year old on Saturday- Time Flies!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Herding Pictures

Here are some herding pictures from Yesterday- Enjoy!
Wicca bit her tongue when she was working with the sheep- she didn't even notice though!
Wicca watching Gyppie work- she was very upset when her turn was over!

Gyp did great! She is just going to get better and better! It was neat to see the Border Collie come out in her- usually Gyp is so meek and mild mannered- not with the sheep! She didn't take any crap from them and had a BLAST!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Great Day for Wicca

Rally Obedience Sanction Match- 95/100
Herding Lesson with Scott Glen
Wicca's Best Day Ever

Today was an action packed day for little Wicca. This morning we went to a Rally Obedience Sanction Match- and placed 2nd with a 95/100! She was a very good girl, and had a good time- she was up beat in the ring and I was very happy with her. I haven't actually taken her in to the Rally ring (well, except for the peeing incident at the Cardi Nationals but we don't talk of that) But I still like to train her in the exercises anyway- one day we well get in the rally ring- regardless it is good practice for regular obedience.

Little did Wicca know that her day was only going to get better!
Sarah and I went to Scott Glen's place for a herding lesson- and oh my did the girls have fun! Wicca was instantly excited to see the sheep- she has only been on sheep once before and that was two years ago. I was a little worried that she wouldn't remember (what was I thinking??!!!) She LOVED it- Wicca turned into a little herding machine and had a blast. She was listening very good though and didn't have any wild wicca moments...well, okay maybe one or two.. :o)She was such a good girl- and I got goosebumps jsut watching her. I have done very limited training for herding so she is mostly working on autopilot- it is very, very cool. Sarah got some video so hopefully we will get that up.
Sarah also took some amazing pictures- you can see some of them on her Flickr site
(I took the ones of Gyppie)

And then it was Gyppie's turn- Gyp came from Scott and Jenny originally but hadn't really been on livestock while they had her. Sarah did a Herding Instinct test with her this summer and Gyp did great- so we knew she had it in her! She didn't disapoint and had a grand time bossing those sheep around. Little Gyppie was a maniac and surprised us all by scaring the sheep so much that they jumped the fence!!! She also had a run in with the Ram and won! It was pretty amazing to see.

I have a feeling you will be hearing more herding stories from Sarah and I-
New Dayton isn't all that far and for the amount of fun the girls had it was well worth it!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New (Old) Pictures

Thought that it would be nice to post some of my new (but not really new) pictures of the Corgis...I have found that I have tons of Vito now- as he comes to the Daycare everyday, but not as many of Wicca and Sam....and No new ones of Kate....poor girl...I will try and get some this weekend of her...honestly I do have a dog named Kate- she's not imagined!
Wicca is very photogenic and always looks great in photos!

Sam, not so much. He tends to look a little goofy in pictures...But that's how is in real life. I love this picture of him...

And Vito looks more and more grown up each day. It's amazing how handsome he is....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First Barn Night

Yesterday we moved all of the agility equipment to the new barn, and tonite was the first training night. Sarah and I are working it so that we are teaching for 2 hours, and get 1/2 hour in between to work our own dogs- which works out great. I brought Vito and Wicca- as I didn't want to work Wicca too much due to her busy weekend.

Wicca and I worked on jumping- consequences for knocking poles included a brief down, or being put away while Vito came out. We also worked on Weavepoles- she of course blew past the entry- a down, and a resend- with the same speed. I fall into the habit of just resending her from the poles, which isn't really teaching her collection with speed. Next week I am going to work only with a gate on the first pole. And only four poles.

Vito was SO excited to be there. He had a blast. We warmed up with some dogwalk races- which he loves. Did some tugging, and some obedience, and also worked on some jumping. I have been jumping him at 6" but am starting to throw in the odd 10" jump. He will jump 6" in a trial but I'd like him to be able to do 10" for the odd Nadac trial in which he'd jump 8".
He did great and was very up beat and really wanting the toy. We ended with some teeter games (which he also loves) I am starting to challenge his approaches a bit and I was very pleased with him. I worked him for about 10 minutes total- broken up.

This new barn is MUCH better than the one last year- it is way cleaner and less smelly. Should make for a fun winter!

Sam Update

This weekend Sam saw Susan Sutcliff for the first time. I have been taking him to the Fitness Centre but out of curiosity I wanted to see what Susan would say about him. He had been doing very well but would go days of being pretty sore. I am a little frustrated about the whole thing. Anyway, Susan worked on Sam for just over an hour and gave me some great tips. She thinks that his lameness had alot to do with his Sacrum- which was not where it should have been at all. After some adjustments he was already feeling better than he had been. She also talked to me about how he walks- Sam always (or nearly always) has a hop to his walk. His back legs move together instead of apart. She wants me to teach him how to use his legs independantly of each other- So we have excercises that will help that aswell. She also suggested swimming. So the search begins today for a facility that has a pool for dogs. I have heard of one in Calgary and will do some phoning today.

Susan came and worked on him at the trial on Saturday- which meant that Sam had to sit around all weekend- watching all the other dogs play agility. It was pretty hard for him- he really wanted to play. I haven't taken him at all this year because I knew how hard it would be but this time it was unavoidable. Poor Guy, he doesn't know why he didn't get to play.

Weave Woes and Jumpers

We were at a trial this weekend- the last of the year and boy do we have things to work on.

Wicca was very pushy with her startlines all day Saturday and it got to the point that if she moved again I was going to take her off...and then of course she was perfect the rest of the weekend! :0)

She also had a horrible time with the weave poles...she missed every entry on Saturday, and for no good reason either. After talking it over with Sarah we decided that there had to be a more obvious consequence for when she blew past the entry- a down and a resend, or leave. I am happy to say that after a down and resend she was pretty careful. I think Wicca's problem is that she goes on Autopilot and when there is lots of speed she has a hard time using those braincells very effectively :o)

We also had some bar knocking- more than she has in a while. By the end of Saturday I was pretty frustrated at her. Steeplechase on Sunday was a good example of just how bad she was- Knocked the first bar- twice (we got a re-run) knocked the second bar after the frame and before a tunnel, tire, tunnel sequence. Where instead of taking the tunnel entrance I told her to she shot out 30 feet to the other one....After getting on her for it she was good though, and weaved beautifully.

On the plus side she had awesome contacts- even on the teeter and I really pushed her on them, so I was pretty happy about that. It is always such a good feeling when you see results at a trial.
And we had the most spectacular jumpers run ever. EVER. She didn't knock a single bar and I don't think I have ever ran so fast in my whole life. We ran it in 25seconds...the fastest time overall (winning us 7$ ) It was the last run of the day and to be honest I had little hope of qualifying as she had been so rotten all weekend. But somehow we pulled it together and it was pretty amazing.

So this winter we are doing three seminars, lots of training and hopefully we can keep improving as a team. I have a notebook that I write all of my training goals in and this winter the top five are:
1) Weave Poles
2) Jumping
3) Commitment (we've been having some problem with jump commitment, I need to take a look at my cues and find out why she is confused)
4) Distance/Discrimination (this is usually a really strong point with her, but I haven't worked specifically on that for a while)
5) and Startlines.....

I will keep you all posted :o)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vito and the Hollee Roller

Vito has a new favorite toy....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cellphones are amazing!

I figured out that my new phone will let me video! I was pretty excited about it and of course had to video the dogs to try it out. Out of curiosity I tried this morning to upload it to You Tube and it worked!!! So- here is Wicca's cheesy first video....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What to say...

Well, it has been a few days since I last blogged but what can I say...nothing too exciting happening these days. The weekend was spent keeping warm and sleeping away some mild food poisoning....ugh. I was kind of hoping that something fun would happen yesterday or today but no. Sorry to dissapoint but no fun little stories and I don't even have any new pictures to share with you....

But, I do want to share with you one of my favorite videos on you tube. I have watched it oh about a million times. I want to get Wicca one of those- maybe it will help her jumping ability???!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Due to Popular Demand

More Farm Pictures!

Vito was VERY interested in the horses, but left them alone when I asked!
You can see the whole collection on my photobucket site

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I am a confessed collar addict...really. My dogs have many, many collars. (too many to count) Yesterday, I added more to the collection. These collars will become their everyday, normal collars. I actually got tags to put on them. Can you beleive it!!! My dogs rarely wear collars, but am becoming a bit paranoid about them one day getting out. Our animal shelter here is pretty stupid so I'd hate for them to be picked up without tags. I actually had a nightmare about that the other day.
So- on to my selections:
For Sam- New Wave pattern, looks amazing and matches his wild personality.
For Wicca- Jelly Roll, I was concerned that it would be too girly but it looks great. I have never had her in purple before.

For Vito- Silverado, He looks very dashing and the sparkles stand out on him....fancy shmancy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun at the Farm

My friend Natalie has been looking after her inlaws farm and horses while they are away. I went with her a few times last week and was amazed at how beautiful it is down there. Today I brought the dogs- and a camera!!!

I have a few more really good ones that I will post tomorrow...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bugs 'N Obedience

Today was a pretty busy day!
This morning we went to an Obedience funmatch where Wicca and I entered Open. She was such a good girl! Her heeling was great and there was no weirdness on the recall at all. She did everything perfectly until we got to broad jump. Ugh. She walked over it, and even when I set her back up to try again she still was hesitant...So- more broad jump work is needed apparently :o)
I pulled her from long sits and downs as I thought the distraction was more than she could handle. (the conformation people had started to arrive and were being of course rude) I was pretty happy with her overall performance and have some things to work on.

We had our 1st Annual Howl-oween Party at work in the afternoon and it was lots of fun. We had a Parade of Costumes, followed by judging- some of the costumes were awesome! We played Musical Mats, and Weiner Dunking. We had also set up a "Photo Booth" of sorts- where people could get their dogs pics taken. Of course I had to get some of Wicca and Vito. They were very cute- but very unhappy!

Sam stayed home, but he does have a costume, I will try and get a picture of him before Wednesday!

You can see more pictures of the Bugs on my Photobucket site and more pictures of the whole Howloween Event at the POTR Flickr Site...There are some GREAT costumes- totally worth checking out...


Wicca and Vito got all dressed up today for a Howl-oween Party.....More details of the day to come!

Friday, October 26, 2007

How Perfect...and Unusual

I think it is really neat that when you name your dog generally the dogs personality becomes perfect for the name. I know some really cool dogs and it always amazes me how well they suit their name. Now, I know some other really cool dogs with pretty ridiculous names but mostly I blame that on their owners bad choice. :o)

Take the name Wicca. What do you think of when you hear the name. I think a witch, intense, and fast. How would you describe my dog- a witch, intense, and fast. :o) See?!

What about Sam. He came named, and I couldn't think of anything. I know, lame. But what do you do. So- Sam is a happy name, one that I attribute to retrievers mostly..and well, Sam is very retriever like sometimes. This dog has a serious case of ADD.....

And little Vito. Initially Vito was named after Danny Devito But later on we discovered (well, sarah actually) that Vito is very much a Mobster name...And well, Vito does think he rules the world. He can be a bully and has no problem bossing other dogs around....he is also suspicious and doesn't trust a lot of people...perfect eh?

I have friends dogs too- that for the weirdest reason their names are perfect...

Coulee- I had never met a dog named Coulee before. And I had never met a dog quite like Coulee before. She is a Golden Retriever/Border Collie cross who is exactly what you would think that cross would be like. Hyper, Energetic, and well, Active. She is the color of the Coulees in the fall, and has wild hair, and fuzzy toes. Her name suits's quite amazing really...

And then there is McKeely- I had never heard the name for a dog before and I will admit that I was skeptical at first. But wow- does her name ever fit. Mckeely is a Weimeraner. She is a girly dog, but not really. Kind of like her name- it is definitely feminine, but not girly. Mckeely is an active dog and was named after a Tennis player or something like that...for whatever reason it works!

And my last Unusual but Perfect name-
Perkins- he is a miniature dachsie who is undeniably just Perkins. He was named after a device for hearing impaired people, and again for some reason is an amazing name. Perkins is Mr.Personality. This dog is happy, happy and loves most people. Everyone knows who Perki is and of course he is adored wherever he goes

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Agility 101

I am starting to work with Vito a bit more seriously (a bit, not a lot) and thought it would be fun to blog about some of the things I am doing with him.


The most important thing for any dog- and especially a dog like Vito is building up a motivator. In Vito's case he loves the tug 'n treat, aswell as a long furry purple tug like thing. He has been a hard to dog to motivate so I am thrilled that now he will tug almost anywhere- we do lots of fun warm up games to get his brain working, and to increase the excitement of the training- so sit, down, throw the toy; down, sit, stand, tug the toy etc. etc.


Even though I am not going to keep a 2on2off I do want to teach it- I want him to learn independant contact behaviour so that I do not have to be there with him. Also- I want to have f-a-s-t contacts- so it is quite a complicated thing at this point as I mostly want fast- not accurate. So- I am racing him- I have a target on the bottom, loaded with goodies I might add, I hold him back get him pumped and if I get there before he does I get the cookies! The nice thing about this is that with the target there he isn't jumping off-which is what I was getting when I was racing him without the target. I am teaching his actual bottom behaviour on a contact trainer. Using a clear target- asking for a nose touch in a traditional 2on2off stance. This is coming along well, but not great as he tends to sit...I am also continueing on with the happiest place which has made the most impact on him. He loves this game and I think that this is what is actually helping him to understand what I want. The teeter is his best piece of equipment at this point. I started doing teeter games with him months ago so this dog LOVES the teeter. He gets on, runs to the end, and rides it down- exactly what I want.


He is jumping 6" and knows how to find a jump, will go out to a jump, and is learning jump patterns. He can succesfully complete a pin wheel on his own, as well as a serpentine. We have just started threadles and 270's. I am trying to do a lot of jump work- as I do not need another bar knocker. We have a goodie container with PB or canned food that he gets when we do jump games. I want him to think that jumps have the most value.


He can follow a front cross, and a rear cross on the flat. We are using tunnels to teach rear crosses on a jump and he has front crosses down pat. I think that he is the dog that I will have to be doing front crosses- alot. With Wicca and Sam I tend to use a lot of rears- mostly because I am always behind them! With V I think that I will be using front crosses to keep him moving and paying attention.

Weave Poles:

I have been teaching him entries- just with two poles and clicking. And that is about as far as I have got so far with weaves. I will be using gates to teach them, but am not in any hurry.