Monday, August 31, 2009

Fuzzy Butt

Pixel has a fuzzy butt, and a super fluffy tail...
It's one of my favorite parts of her

Photo by Wendy

Border Collie Land

I volunteered yesterday at the Canadian Border Collie Association's National Herding Championships. It was very cool. Like, amazing. The stamina, and training on the dogs was astounding. I've seen smaller trials, and I've been lucky enough to see some very cool dogs working day to day stuff. But the Double Lift was out of this world.

So first the dog had to run up a hill until it was a tiny speck you couldn't even see and bring back a set of 10ish sheep. And then once the dog had brought those down had to go up in the opposite direction until it was an even tinier speck and bring back a second set. The second part was tricky as the dog then had to get the sheep (around 20ish) around a course and through three gates. The hardest part was the shedding. Out of the 20 or so sheep were five marked with orange tape. Those are the only sheep that could be penned.

Sound exhausting? Yeah. Each dog had 25 minutes, and not one dog managed to get the sheep penned. Some came close, but none finished the whole course. There were some pretty amazing dogs and handlers. The patience the handlers have is truly amazing. The winner of the event stood for about 10 minutes when the sheep were all gathered to let them settle, and then calmly had the dog shed the non marked sheep. There were others who had the group split only to have the marked sheep bugger off back to the herd. Stupid Sheep.

They had demonstrations in a small round pen so that the public would understand what was happening, and they had Goose/Duck herding demos too.

I also got to see one of my favorite Border Collies again- who I haven't seen in about 6 years or so. Mike belongs to a gal who used to play agility once in a while.

She was wild and crazy in her younger days, and is still super spunky at 13 years old! She does not look, or act her age. Being a farm dog agrees with her apparently!

This is Scott Glen and Drift. They did a pretty good job I thought, although we came in half way through. He had only one non marked sheep left when his time was up.

This was my favorite Border Collie of the day.

Salty is from Nova Scotia and was super cool. He was the demo dog, and general helper. I didn't get any great pics of him- the freckling on his face is just so cool. They were using a young dog to demo in the round pen and the sheep kept trampling the poor thing so they put Salty in to show them who's the boss. He did a good job of it and the sheep didn't give the young dogs any problems after that.

This is Zero. He was born with no tail and did a great job with the Geese.

He moved V-E-R-Y slow and low to the ground...he had the geese doing all sorts of patterns. It was pretty neat to see the control.

It was a pretty great way to spend the day, and I must admit I am beginning to be a tad obsessed with Border Collies. I've been stalking Border Collies online for the past year or so, mostly for my friend Sarah. And I pretty much spent the day gawking at all the dogs, and trying to figure out who was who....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Year

It has been a whole year.
I still miss him.
But my heart doesn't hurt anymore.

He was such a great dog. I was very lucky to have him.

Sam- a Great dog.

On the Patio

I am dogsitting at Wendys and after a long (but fun) day of agility it was nice to just hang out in the yard with the dogs last night. Jolene came over, we ordered Pizza and drank a wine cooler or two. It was pretty wonderful, and the dogs had an absolute blast playing.

There were butt rubs for Tate.

Pizza for Us (and Mr.Nosy)

Vito was on Guard Duty

Of course there was fetching. :o)

Wicca had the best seat in the house!

And two very amazing things happened. Coulee let Lacey beat her up in Public.

AND, she played with play bowed, and wrestled. Poor Kort didn't know what to do!

All in all it was a pretty relaxing evening- the dogs were dead tired, which meant a bit of sleep in for me!
Isn't Lacey super cute??!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Agility Demo

Today our agility group put on a Demo in support of the local humane society. All of the dogs did awesome, and fun was had by all! You can see pictures on the Go Dog Go Blog

We did a fun little course to start, and I ran a friends little border collie (Neena) and Wicca. Then we did a 24 weave pole challenge. Our group only has 24 weaves, or it would have been more! But it was lots of fun, Wicca has never weaved that many poles before and she did awesome. I am sure she would have had the fastest time had she not popped the last pole.

Kim put together the video- so thanks Kim!!

We ended with a team relay, and a fun weave/tunnel course. All of the participants had fun that's for sure. Demos are a great way for the "newbie" dogs to play agility in new places- and everyone rocked!

Wicca had lots of fun, although did miss her share of weave entries in the weavers course....we've been doing so well in training, but it just goes to show you what happens with the excitement!

People Don't Listen

I am annoyed. People don't listen. Why? They are paying me for my opinion and advice, and still they do not listen. I don't get it.

There is a puppy in one of my classes. Very cute, brilliant little thing. 4 months old. They complain she bites them. A lot. She has seriously bit one of the kids already. Rule #1- don't wrestle with and encourage the puppy to bite you!

Twice last week in class I saw them encouraging her to bite their pant legs, the leash, their sleeve. And the week before was even worse. Pup had a full out temper tantrum and he allowed her to bite him.

Today I see an ad that they are looking for private classes because she is still biting them. If they'd listen in the first place they wouldn't need private lessons. Geesh. I emailed them and referred them to someone I trust. There are a lot of wacko dog trainers in my area, and I'd hate to see that pup wrecked or hurt.

Another example, A Young teenage girl with a young lab. Girl is boring. Dog is very outward focused. Girl barely talks to dog. Dog is doing well depsite this. Girl hardly rewards dog. Dog sniffs ground and lunges at dogs a lot. I have talked to her in private, I have talked to her in front of the class, and have even taken dog and worked it to show her what i want. Still. Nothing. The dog continues to be distracted and bored.

I used to work at a pet store, and people would come in- ask for your advice about what size of collar to buy etc. You spend 20 minutes with them, and they come to the till with a different collar. And then return it three days later when it doesn't fit.

I find that I often repeat myself over, and over, and over again. Reward the Dog. Feed the Dog. Don't let her bite you. Watch him every second and when you can't- crate him. It's not okay that your puppy is 6 months old and not housetrained.

What really bugs me is when I've said something a thousand time and they haven't listened- and then someone else tells them the same thing and all of a sudden they get it and are like. "Wow! No one ever told me that before." Drives me.

I am always amazed at how patient I am with people- when really patience is not my strong point, and well, I am not really a people person! I can usually get through to most people, but obviously I am losing my touch! Maybe I need to be meaner. Like I am with my agility students. They always listen to me, and I think a few of them are afraid of me. (joking of course) :o)

Friday, August 28, 2009


Dog in Field

I am dogsitting at Wendy's house, and was looking through old photos she's taken of my dogs. I found lots she didn't even show me!!! Anyway, I really love this one of V- and thought I'd post it. Thanks for the pic Wendy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CKC Agility

On a whim, and at the very last minute, I decided to enter Wicca in a CKC Agility trial. I am not sure what possessed me, but my friend Kim and I will be heading up to Edmonton next weekend.

I rarely do CKC. Like can count on one hand how many trials I have run. Two? Three? Way back in 2005...I don't play CKC often mostly because there are no local trials. Calgary has one, or two a year and the rest are in Edmonton (five hours away) so yeah, the opportunity doesn't occur often.

Anyway, I actually had to call CKC and find out what Q's my dog had. It turns out that I started her in "regular" earned two standard Q's, and a JWW Q, and then moved her to "Select" and earned two JWW Q's, and one Standard. So what does that equal? A whole lot of nothin!

She needs one JWW Q, and two Standard Q's in Novice. Totally made me laugh. Novice. Really.

In CKC Novice there is no weave poles. None. Nada. Zip. There is however a table that she will either have to sit, or down on. We have to practice that next week! The courses will be very fast, and flowy (i.e Easy). Hopefully I won't manage to screw them up, or miss a tunnel or something. (I've been known to do that!)

So with the CKC trial next weekend that means that I have three trials in a row. Edmonton, Kimberley, and Medicine Hat. I have Boone entered in Kimberley and Medicine Hat in full trials. And Wicca in all all three.

Pointy Nose

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speaking of Photos...

I have been waiting for WEEKS....

for the photography company from Nationals to get all the photos up.

Finally- Wicca's pics are up and I am thrilled. There are LOTS of great shots to choose from.


I have a free small one to pick for placing in her class, and I think I am going to get a collage- so one big pic, and four/five smaller ones or something...

I love the straight on weave ones, and there are some great jumping ones too....

What are your favorites?

Dog On Chair 33/52

Dog On Chair 33/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I am still plugging away at my 52 weeks photo project. Last week there was a Challenge theme- Dog 'n Chair, and I ended up doing my photo at the last minute. It turned out pretty good though, and I am pleased with the results. Pixel looks very innocent in this photo- only because you can't see the teeth marks on the leg of the chair!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Boone

Boone is 6 years old today!!

I've had him almost two years now- and I can't imagine my life without him. He is the funniest dog in the house- always goofin' around, and making people laugh. He has come a long way in two years- and is just getting better and better. He is confident, outgoing, and is super smart. He tries so hard and puts his whole heart into everything. He is a great dog, and I adore him.


Happy Birthday Boonie!

(thanks to wendy for the agility photos- they are from Saturdays fun day!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vito's Big Day

A few weeks ago I brought Vito out to agility and he had fun. He ran, he jumped, he tugged, and he barked for his turn. Since then I've been puttering in the yard with him and he is still having fun. We aren't doing anything serious- just the mechanics of front and rear crosses (it's been since Winter that I did any agility with him!) and some basic jump patterns.

I brought him out to the fun day yesterday and ran him twice- he did great! He wasn't super speedy, but he didn't stop, or want to leave. He did run over to wendy twice though. :o) But he enjoyed himself and did a whole little course (minus the weaves).

Vito is a dog who can't be pushed- he is not a forgiving dog, and we've spent the past year or so repairing our relationship after I tried to make an agility dog out of him. Trust is something that is very important with all dogs- but especially so with a dog like V. I have his trust now, and we are building his confidence- slowly.

Not all dogs are cut out for agility. And I respect, and understand that. I used to think that it was my fault. What kind of trainer am I if I can't make my own dog play and love agility? Well, let me tell you that it is much harder than one could imagine. Vito is a dog who doesn't like to exert himself. He is sensitive. He has people issues. He is moody, and quite often cranky. My goals with him had to change for us to get along. :o) I am in no rush to play agility with V- I have three other dogs to keep me entertained. If Vito wants to stay home on the couch he can do that!

It will be a long time, or maybe never that I actually train him like I train the other dogs. And I am okay with that. But if he continues on the path he is now it is very possible that Vito will be training, playing, and competing along with the other dogs...

I have entered him in a Jumpers run and Gamblers run at a trial in September. He is making the trip anyway, and if I can continue to putter with him at home he'll have all the skills he will need for both classes....

Thanks Wendy for the great pics!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Go Dog Go

Tomorrow is the four year Anniversary of Go Dog Go K9 Sports. It is pretty amazing to think that four years ago Sarah and I were worried about if we'd be able to make it work. We started Go Dog Go after being unsatisfied with the restrictions of the business we were teaching agility for. Sarah jumped in feet first and bought a whole ring left over from a Nationals. We had less than five students at the start.

Go Dog Go has been growing steadily. We have a great group of dogs who are competing, and a fantastic group who are just starting out. Each year we offer one, or maybe two beginner classes. We are strict about who can join classes, and we weed out the wackos. Sounds harsh, but we were done with teaching dogs who didn't know their names, and people who didn't have a clue. Each set of beginner classes has given us more and more base students. Our students are most amazing and I am very grateful to each and every one. They have taught Sarah and I a lot in the past four years. Our teaching methods have changed and evolved, and our students are proof that our methods work.

This is Tag (who just went to Nationals!!!) at our first set of puppy classes!

This fall we have a handful of students just starting to trial, and another handful debuting in the Masters ring. We are very proud of them. We are lucky to have such great people to teach, and we consider them to be our friends- not just our students. To see the progression from novice, to competing at trials is a pretty amazing thing, and it has been a great experience.

Go Dog Go started out as a "How cool would it be...." kind of dream to a reality. There are still things that we wish we had (an indoor training building would be freakin' nice!) but mostly we are very satisfied with what we've created! Thanks to our students, and friends of Go Dog Go!

Oh, and thanks to Sarah (and our students) for putting up with my bossiness for four years! :o)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's like I'm some sort of sucker or something...


A little kitten was dropped off at my work this morning.

I work at a dog daycare.

BUT- the cat rescue place in town has a similar name. People get confused all the time.

Anyway, the people who had the cat said they found him and were desperate to get rid of him because they would get evicted if they took him home again. I explained that the cat rescue in town is very full, and it was not likely they could take him. I gave them some other options, but I had a sinking feeling they would just leave him somewhere.

So I said I'd find him a place to go.


Yeah. But could you say no to this face?

I am not a cat person- but I couldn't imagine the guilt I'd feel if he ended up on the street like so many other cats.

"Freddie" is looking for a home. We guess that he is about 6-8 weeks old. He's a typical looking orange tabby with green eyes. He is very friendly and outgoing. Loves people and purrs like mad if you go anywhere near him. He likes to be held and cuddled- but is also very busy. Freddie is a confident guy who is not shy with other cats, or dogs.

If you know anyone who might be interested please spread the word! (Local homes only please!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Great Target Debate

There was an article in last months Clean Run- or maybe it was the month before...anyway- it was really great and talked about the different methods, and mostly talked about to food, or not to food on the target. It's a hot topic these days!

Targeting is a useful way to teach your dog an end behavior on the contact equipment. A Target is generally a clear plastic lid type thing. I use Pringles lids- they are perfect. There are LOTS of different methods to targeting. As with all things agility related one method doesn't work for all dogs and all people. There is no right or wrong way- it's just different. :o)

CAMP A- common/well known

Dog is taught to nose touch target away from equipment
Dog is taught to nose touch to earn a reward (no food on target)
Dog is taught to repeatedly nose touch to earn single reward
Dog is taught on "plank" or "travel board" to pounce off of board and repeatedly nose touch
Target is faded away.
Dog is backchained on full size equipment
Target is never placed on full size equipment.


Dog is taught to nose touch target away from equipment
Dog is taught to nose touch to earn a reward (no food on target)
Dog is backchained on full size equipment (with target still visible)
Target is faded away
Target is brought back through out training to reinforce/motivate/remind dog to drive to position
Occasionally the target is baited.

Yes, you read correctly. I do food bait targets. Wicca was taught using the CAMP AMANDA method- her contacts are fast, and for the most part very accurate. She never misses a contact, although sometimes leaves before being released (which is a whole other issue entirely) However- she comes down the contact with her head up- which is caused by the target position not being valuable enough (nose down) and my lack of consitency in WHERE I reward. (head up, head down, between the feet, off the side, etc)

Pixel is being taught mostly with CAMP A. She has the travel plank down pat, and understands targeting behavior. I am now shifting gears slightly towards CAMP AMANDA. I will be backchaining her contacts with the target in place. I also am not asking for repeated nose touches. And one day, if I feel that she needs a bit more "oomph" I will put out a baited target. Only time will tell I suppose!

I think as long as you are consistent, and the dog understands their job in the end there is no right, or wrong way. It is all in what you expect for contacts, and if you are happy with the end results. I am not *quite* happy with Wicca's contacts- hence the change for Pixel. We'll see what the results are!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Go the Distance

This weeks theme at training was DISTANCE. And I had a GREAT night.

Distance is one of my favorite things to teach. I love to see the dog think for themselves. Distance is one of those things that just take tons of repetitions, and proper placement of reward- there is nothing fancy to teach it- just practice, practice, practice! Our students last night, and tonite did great with these exercises, and will be rockin' the gamblers class in no time! Just remember- reward your dog OUT THERE- not at you.... :o)

Boone was pumped to be out there, and was tugging, and eager to play. He gave me some great distance and we worked on out, and go ons. His Go Ons were great, and he drove down a row of jumps no problem. His outs were also very good, and he moves away with just a little pressure. We also spent some time on Weavepoles- he is getting very, very consistent and only missed two entries. He has a good rhythm, and can find his entrances on his own. We ended the night with a bit of contacts- Jolayne helped me with the teeter, and we did three fast repetitions. He is improving a lot on that. He was such a good boy. I am very, very happy with how he did tonite- he didn't flake out on me, and had fun the whole time.

Wicca did very well with her go ons and her turns. Her turns are getting so good- we are able to do them out of tunnels, over jumps, and out of the poles. Her weakness is out- she doesn't respond to the pressure, and will just keep driving straight. This goes back to the "old" days when OUT didn't have a definition. We need to work on this and I have some good ideas to play around at home. We also did some difficult weave entries, and "hidden" tunnel entrances. She was a good girlie. We ended on some contacts, and I got the trusty target and clicker out to reinforce her 2 on 2 off.

It was a great night, and I am feeling pretty confident about the next two trials coming up...

Conditioned Response

For those who read my blog often you know that Vito has an unhealthy obsession with Coulee. ((of Crazy and Little))

It has gotten to the point where he cannot come on walks when we go together because he barks. The whole time. He barks even more at the river- and will not shut up. Even on leash he will bark. It is awful, and very annoying.

When Wendy dogsat him while I was at Nationals she emailed Stanley Coren to see what his thoughts were behind the "why." He actually replied and said that the barking could be an effort to bring Coulee out of the water and back into the "pack."

I think that it is Coulee's movement and excitement that get him riled up. Coulee is a fetching machine and is very fast. Vito has always loved to chase things (cars, sheep, birds, bugs) - he just gets really into it when he is chasing Coulee and feels the need to be loud....

Whatever the reason it needed to be stopped.

On Sunday Wendy and I took Coulee and Vito to the river. Clicker in hand I sat in the mud and click/fed every time he looked at Coulee. Barking or Not. Once we had that down I gave him a bit more leash and C/T for moving towards her, barking or not. Once we got to that point I started C/T for responding to his name while moving towards her. And then I started making it hard. I started C/T for moving towards her, but not barking. We were down there for a little over half and hour and it went very well. Near the end the barking was super minimal and he was learning that he could play, but not bark.

I am excited that he was starting to understand what I wanted. I really hate getting mad at him, but when we have all the dogs down there, I can't be focused on just him, or just on preventing the barking. Wendy and I have planned to go again this coming weekend. I am hoping that after a few sessions we can start including him on the less exciting walks to start, and build up to the river fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Bird

Kaleb (of Dig It, Fetch it, Herd it) has a nickname- Bird. He also has a theme song- Bird is the Word. Sarah has forced me to listen to the song on numerous occasions traveling to trials. I am sure there is **no one else on the planet who likes this song. EXCEPT for "The Family Guy."

I don't watch The Family Guy often, but last night I was flipping channels and before I realised what was happening I heard the first few lines to the song. So I went to bed last night humming this stupid song...

Before you click, I warn you all to view this video at your own risk. It is highly obnoxious, and slightly offensive.

**apparently I am wrong. There is facebook group for doGs sake....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just that Quick.

I guess when you are this cute (and perfect), you find a home fast!

Robbie is going to his new home tonite. I am excited for him. His new family is amazing, and are very responsible dog owners. They loved him at first sight, and had two visits with him yesterday.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed that the overnight visit goes well!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Message...

Pixel wants you all to know that she is still the cutest thing ever

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I don't do Rescue Anymore.....

I don't do rescue anymore.
I don't do rescue anymore.
I don't do rescue anymore.

I have been telling myself that for a week.

But it's a corgi.

I couldn't help myself. The people were desperate. I couldn't fathom the thought of this cute little corgi sitting in a shelter, or being given away to just anyone.

So I did up a handy little surrender form, and he was dropped off last night.

Why did they give him up you ask? Well, they are getting a divorce. I mean, c'mon. It's a perfectly valid reason to give your dog away. Ugh.

Robbie is 17 months old and is the product of their own "breeding." Sigh. They currently still own his father. He is a CKC registered Pembroke Welsh Corgi, although not one dog in his pedigree has any sort of title....

Robbie is a cute little fella- with big ears, and pointy face. He is a tri- very black- with not a lot of white. Robby is also very fat. He needs to lose probably 7lbs or so. Which is a lot when you are 13 inches tall.

Despite being uprooted he is wonderful. He adores people and is very happy, happy, happy. He is snuggly, and affectionate (even after just a few hours of knowing me) He is great in the house- has not had one accident and settled right down in a crate at bed time. He is pretty perfect so far.

He and the girls are best buds. Pixel especially thinks he's pretty cool and they've been playing all morning. Wicca and Robbie have been pretty flirty- but Robbie is very appropriate, and backs off when Wicca says. Vito told him off once, and Robbie has avoided him like the plague since. And Robbie and Boone completely ignore each other. He's a pretty dogsmart little dude.

Robbie is good with cats, and didn't even wag his tail at the store cat- just walked on by.

He is quite playful and I caught him carrying around a stuffed toy outside this morning- happy as can be, his little stump wagging like crazy.

Oh, and he hasn't barked. Not once. Strange eh? My dogs will teach him how to be a real corgi in no time. :o)

Robbie would do well in just about any kind of home- he is a great little dog, and would be a fantastic addition to any family!

Robbie is neutered, vaccinated, and is ready for his forever home. If you are interested, or would like more information please don't hesitate to email me! (

Isn't he cute? I am sure I'll be able to find him a great home in no time....well, at least I am hoping that is the case!