Monday, January 31, 2011


photo by Wendy.

-41 with the windchill

I heard on the radio this morning that it was -41 with the windchill. No wonder the dogs didn't want to go outside this morning. All the fresh snow is certainly beautiful- and best of all there is no wind!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Our seminar today was cancelled due to the snow storm we got overnight. The highways were in rough shape so Dr.Devall wasn't able to make it. So I ended up with almost a whole day to do my own thing. I did some training with the dogs, played in the snow, and visited with my parents. While I was over their visiting I took the opportunity to go through some old family photos. It was a hoot, and we all laughed about the funny hair, and clothes. My mother thought that my sister and I should always dress the same when we were young- and of course they had to be these super elaborate (very uncomfortable) dresses. Some of the photos are pretty funny.

I took some photos with my iphone for your viewing pleasure. Sorry for the poor quality but it was this or nothing.

First some family photos with my siblings- Kris is two years older than me, and Sabrina is just about two years younger.

Matching dresses.  I remember being so itchy!!!  Look how cute we are though!

I almost didn't bother taking a pic of this but I had to show the hated dress!!! My sister and I hated these dresses. And my mom made us wear them to the first day of school. Note the matching (but different color) backpacks...

We were seriously cute.

Now here are some token school photos. I didn't think to look on the back for ages or the year so I will have to guess...

maybe grade 3?

grade 6?

and one last one- just because I am especially cute in yet another itchy dress. :) 

It was a fun way to spend a few hours. I am thankful that I no longer can be forced to wear dresses (or eat hamburger helper!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Assesment and Preventing Injuries

V ~1/12/Vito, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Last month we brought Dr.Veronica Devall to Lethbridge for a lecture about structure followed by a chance for people to have their dogs assessed by her. Dr.Devall specialises in rehabilitation, pain management, and does accupuncture, laser therapy, and chiropractic word. Last time I went to the lecture, but didn't have any of my dogs looked at. Wicca has seen her before and we have a pretty good handle on what her issues are and what we can do about it.

I have decided to have Pixel looked at this time though- not because there is anything wrong, but just to be sure that there is nothing I should be worried about. She sometimes has a lazy sit, which makes me wonder about her hips, or maybe it's just a lazy sit?! In any case it doesn't happen much, but still something to have looked at. It will be interesting to see what she says, and how Pixel reacts. Pixel is not fond of strangers touching her so I imagine she will take a bit to settle.

The lecture this time is about common injuries in performance dogs. So this will include agility of course, aswell as sled dogs, herding dogs, and any other type of physically demanding sports. I am sure it will be interesting!

I will have some stuff to blog about I am sure. :) I am all about doing what I can to prevent injuries on my dogs. I will be the first to admit that corgis are not ideal agility participants and if there is anything I can do to minimize risks for them I will do it.

My dogs are all on supplements, great food, specific exercises and stretches, and I know that all of these things combined are helping my dogs stay healthy.

Everyone else will have a boring day, we are supposed to have major snow tomorrow. I am hoping to be able to take the dogs for a nice walk sometime tomorrow though- at least to get some new photos. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I haz a stick 4/52

I haz a stick 4/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Wicca cracks me up.

Happy and Sad

Yesterday I made someone very happy by telling them that Dave could indeed be their dog if they still wanted him. He will be going to the best home ever and I am very happy for him. He is a dog with a soul and heart that is too big to even put into words. He is an incredible dog- one of those dogs that is definitely a once in a lifetime dog. And I am giving him away.

It makes my heart hurt a bit. I love this dog. I love him too much to keep for myself though. He deserves a home where he will be the center of someones universe. And so it shall be.

I often have foster dogs for months and months and yes, there have been some that were hard to give up, and ones that I couldn't (Boone and Vito). In Boone and Vito's case I made the decision with my heart, and not my head. This time I let my brain do the decision making. And I know in my heart that I am making the right decision. It doesn't make it any easier though- I am sure I will cry when he leaves. But in a happy way.

He still has to be neutered- am hoping to get him in early next week, and then once he's recovered from that he will be off to live the life of luxury with a family who will adore him. I wish all dogs could be so lucky.  :)

So everyone say yay for Davie!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Walk with Manymuddypaws

Jolene started this a few weeks ago- I thought it was a cute idea, and what better way to show everyone the craziness that is my life. lol.

It is long, but I did edit a lot out. Mostly mindless barking, and the wind. LOL.

Enjoy. :) P.S you should play too!!! Post a video of your walk. :)

I'm a big boy now...

Robbie had the big snip today. So come spring he'll be all ready to spend more time outdoors- where he really, really, really wants to be. 
He already looks like a cat, and not a kitten. Still super cute though, and with loads of attitude...

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yay for good dogs. :)

I had a great night at class tonite. I was in a good mood from start to finish, and am just so pleased with the girls.

Wicca didn't knock one bar all night. Serious. That is a rare occurance. The sequences were challenging and I was confident in my abilities to handle them with my dog. Yay for Me! We did some fun gamble things and worked on my timing of the "turn" cue over the bar. The bar stayed up so it must have been good!

Pixel was a good girl. I brought her out for really short fast sequences and kept her up and pumped each second. It was exhausting, but so worth it. She was very fast (for her) and had super rhythm in the poles. She missed a few entries but we ended the weaves on a tough entry that she nailed. Sarah gave me some more good advice tonite with her- although I try already, I need to make sure that I am varying the placement of my reward more, and keep it moving. So reward and continue on right away instead of resetting her. Also having the toy "dissapear" sometimes and then bringing it back out will keep her guessing.

Anyway, just super stoked about tonite. :)

oh and does Pixel not look like some sort of alien in this photo. lol. she totally makes me laugh.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Higher 3/52

Higher 3/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

"Up high I feel like I'm alive for the very first time
Set up high I'm strong enough to take these dreams
And make them mine" ~Creed

Week 3 of the 52 Weeks Flickr Challenge...

An accidental shot that turned out pretty great. Sometimes accidents are awesome. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

WOOF! x100 shrieking girls

MOM!!!, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Pixel's bark is awful- a high pitched shriek really. When she wants something (like a ball) or when she is annoyed (like when Dave runs her over) you hear all about her displeasure.

Thankfully she doesn't bark much, and when she does she is quick to stop. This picture totally made me laugh- it's made even better by Dave in the background. lol

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Funny Photo of the Day

Thrill of the Chase, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I called this "The Thrill of the Chase"

Dave loves Pixel. Pixel loves Wicca. Wicca hates them both. :)

Thoughts on instinct, and not having any. lol

I don't think that herding is in the cards for me. lol. I am going to take Vito next time as not only is he my last chance, but he likes to chase and stalk things so maybe he might be interested...

Instinct is an interesting thing- the sheep guy "Tyler" was working an 8 month old BC when we arrived and it was beautiful. 6 months old and already he was able to shape her instinct into what he wanted. It was pretty incredible. After my failure with the two dogs I brought he let me work another young dog and it was pretty neat to see and feel the power of a dog who knows. THe dog I got to work was 6 months and had only been on sheep a few times. This trainer believes in teaching the dog balance and pressure right away and so my job was to keep her balanced and apply pressure (a raised arm, or two) when she was close, or if I wanted to change directions. It was interesting.

I think the problem with all three of the dogs I've tried is that A) they see sheep so infrequently it is hard to sustain interest B)I give my dogs shit for chasing things all the time (each other, the cat, deer, etc) C) Their age. Wicca is 6 and hasn't had a positive sheep experience for two years. Boone is 7 and as with all things in his life he isn't able to deal with pressure- even slight. Pixel is a young'n and theoretically with more exposure I should be able to spark an interest. She sure had it when she was young.

My friends Kelpie did very well and again he just has that instinct and with very little training he already has a good idea of what is expected from him. I thought he looked very good.

Herding is a sport that I won't ever get into seriously but it sure is interesting to watch and learn!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vito, Dave, and Stuff...

Small and Tall, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Vito is the only dog in the house that still doesn't like Dave- he will bully him if given a reason, or a chance and I am always listening for the little growl.

To his credit Dave completely ignores Vito- even when V gets in his face. Dave is a very good boy.

That said I've started spreading the word about a home for Dave. I think he is ready, and once he is neutered will be on his way to a home of his own.

Last night he ran in the house through the entry way with no hesitation and happy tail wagging. He sat for his food this morning, and scratched to be let out! All firsts. I am proud of how far he's come in such a short time.

You may have notice a little tab on the top- labeled "For Adoption" that is a link to a direct page about Dave. That way I can send people there instead of having to look through my whole blog.

Keep your fingers crossed that someone AMAZING, will apply for Mr.Handsome.

nothing earth shattering for plans this weekend- going herding tonite to a new place which will be fun. still havent' decided who to take. Definitely not Princess Pixel... lol
and other than that just normal stuff. Lessons and stuff on Saturday, one Private on sunday, and that's it. Should be able to have lots of "me" time so that will be good!

I will post some herding videos on Saturday...I am thinking of taking Vito just for fun. He has only been once and was a total lunatic about it...but it will get him out of the house and be fun for him...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Frost Princess 1/12/Pixel, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Winter is stil here. We have had a few nice days which is great except those nice days are now being followed by a chinook- which is nasty, blowing wind (60-100km winds). And that nasty blowing wind isn't warm either- it just blows around all the snow you've been shoveling so now we have to shovel more.

I keep telling myself that it'll be over soon and we'll be complaining that it's too hot....but it seems so far away. lol

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Handsome Dave

Handsome Dave, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Dave is almost ready for a home to call his own. Some important things to know about Dave:

He has learned lots in the short time I've had him and is pretty well adjusted to living as a house dog.

He is housetrained, crate trained, likes to go for walks, is great off leash, and loves other dogs. He does obsess about cats, and other small critters, but is learning what leave it means.

He loves to tug, and actually will pull with all his might now. It is very cute. He doesn't fetch quite yet- rather it is a game of chase the toy, and the beg Davie to bring it back to you. :)

He sleeps on a dog bed in the bedroom at night and doesn't make a peep. He is crated during the day is quiet (well, at least I assume so)

He has met lots of people, and been to lots of new places. He thinks all people have cookies and is actually rather rude about it which is awesome. He is interested in kids, but hasn't met any.

The home that would be most suited for Dave is one that has experience with dogs. He still has a long way to go, and lots to learn. He still gets a bit nervous if a meeting with people is forced on him, he doesn't trust strangers, and will need a quiet home. I think he'd make a good agility dog with some work- he is easily motivated, and is fast. He is a cautious dog though and likely will always be a litttle on the reserved side with people. I also reccomend he go to a home with another dog (or two. :) ) He really loves dogs, and would gain a lot of confidence having another dog around to rely on.

He is going to be neutered in the next week or so, and will officially be looking for a new home after that. If you know someone who might be interested please pass on his info.

As always I am pretty select in where my rescues go- so be prepared for some questions!

Email me at for more info, or if you have any questions.

The Special Kid

Disobedient, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Boone is odd- he has more quirks than any dog I've met. He definitely marches to his own drum so to speak...

He does things on his own terms and sitting in the snow for a group photo was not something he was going to do today. Instead he'd like to sit two feet away.

I sometimes wonder what he would be like if I had gotten him as a puppy. Sometimes he is just so Brilliant. It is frustrating when he acts like such a dork. I wonder if more socialising would have made a difference, or if he would be the same no matter the up bringing... One of lifes mysteries I suppose.

I have had him for three years now and I think that he is as good as he going to get temperament wise, and I am okay with that. But sometimes it's just a tad bit frustrating....

I've spoken with the owner of his sister, and his relatives are all pretty well the same. It is unfortunate that Pyr Sheps don't have better temperaments as I think they are just an incredible breed. Perfect size, good assortment of coat type and colors, super smart, athletic, and then you get to temperament and it pretty well washes everything away. The dog can look as perfect as can be but if mentally they are unable to handle the job there is a problem.

I love him though- despite his many quirks. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Training Troop Results

I had a great weekend- I was relaxed, happy, and focused for each of my runs. It was pretty perfect really.

Wicca was incredible. She is continuing to listen and pay attention which makes me very happy. The courses were not easy this weekend and we managed to do each one with confidence. I knew what would work for my dog and am proud of the little successes we had. She knocked a bar or two in every round however- I really need to get back and do more jump grids with her but am not sure where I will find the time, or the space. The run I am most proud of is her jumpers- which is the second run in the video. I didn't get lost. And except for the flick to the tunnel (BRAT!) it was very nice and smooth. It's a shame about the bar, but even with that I am still pretty stoked about it. We did get a gamble Q but it was a sloppy, messy run that I won't post. lol

Pixel was great- I only had her in three things and she was super. She was fast, and peppy, and did exactly what I told her to do. Running her in masters was fun! We really need to get those weaves sorted out- but I am so impressed with her confidence. She brought home a snooker Q. She was a little weird on the teeter again- actually bailed off in the closing of my snooker run...But overall I came away knowing a bit more about her. I got lots of compliments about her and how cute and happy she looks- and that's pretty awesome. :) oh, and i should add that she ALMOST got the advanced gamble...which is way awesome.

I have mixed feelings about Boone. Rewatching the videos he doesn't look to bad. No outward signs of stress really. But I could feel that he wasn't quite with me. It's strange. He was happy though and ran his little starters course pretty well, he liked the steeplechase but the two sets of twelve poles fried his brains and we were over time. I am going to continue to slowly add pressure in training and see if we can get him past whatever this is....

I am proud of my dogs this weekend- they all have their strengths, and weaknesses. As usual we have lots to work before the next trial!

NOTE: I couldn't get the embed code to work! Will sort it out later...

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Agility of the year!

We are off this weekend to the first trial of 2011. I am looking forward to a fun filled weekend and hanging out with friends. I have Boone, Pixel, and Wicca entered. Wicca is in a full trial, but Boone and Pixel are entered in three things each. Hopefully the roads are okay- I am traveling with Tammy and we are leaving today after work so it should't be too bad- but it is supposed to snow off and on almost all weekend.

I've remembered to pack my video camera so will have stuff to post on Monday! Have a good weekend everyone! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow, Snow, and more Snow...

Critter?! 2/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Winter is still here, and for the most part isn't too bad. Well except for the bitter cold (-30C), the killer winds (70km/h), and the snow...lots of snow.

Yesterday was beautiful though- the sun came out and for a day Winter was bearable. And then today the sun was no where to be seen. :( We have more snow and cold in the forcast.

The dogs are all a little stir crazy- I took them for a run today though and they had a good time while they could. Boone was the first one with cold feet (of course!).

I did manage to get my photo of the week for Wicca. She climbed the tallest drift (4 or 5 feet) and started her classic "crittering." I couldn't resist, although I am sure that there will be more crittering photos over the year! It's what she does best. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did someone say nails?

there is nothing Pixel hates more than nail trimming. She is such a princess that the whole thing disgusts her. The unwanted touching is mostly what bugs her I think. She is such a little snot about that- she doesn't like people to pet her unless there is something in it for her. Even me. lol
She was napping on the back of the couch and I all I said was "nails?" and she leaned away from me and gave me this awesome look.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Supa' Stars

I took Pixel and Boone to class tonite and am so proud of them both.

Boone was awesome- quick and focused. He had two little weird moments but I was able to stop him and refocus right away. He is a total drifter- and we've struggled with this for a long time. So I was happy when I was able to get him back into me and continue working. His weaves were very fast, and we practiced front and rear crosses on them. I was impressed. I have him entered in a few events this weekend- two starters standards (FEO), and a steeplechase. Both of those classes will be fast and flowy- a good reintroduction to a trial. The goal is for him to stay "up" and connected with me the whole time. After tonite I am feeling pretty excited about that.

Pixel is just a good girl. She just always does what I ask, and if she does something wrong it is my fault. Always. That's just the kind of dog she is. We had some good speed tonite- and her dogwalk is improving a lot- she was succesful about 80% of the time- her highest yet. We've been working on the board at home which has sped up the process and understanding a bit. Her weaves are also much improved. I've discovered that I really have to pull her through them- keep her driving ahead instead of rocking back. The second I fall into step next to her she looses that bit of "oomph" that propels her forward. We worked on entries and exits and she was pretty great. I have her entered in just three things aswell- Gamblers, a Masters Standard, and Masters Jumpers. When the entries opened for this trial I wasn't sure where our contacts would be so didn't enter much. But it will be good for her to have to sit around and WANT to play. We like to tease the pixel. :)

When it gets this cold...

you hafta start thinking of warm weather to get you through. Imagine the sun shining, and that it is hot enough for the dogs to pant, for outdoor agility, the birds chirping, and wearing shorts and a t-shirt...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Life Lessons- from Dave

Be Comfortable. Always.

Don't Give Up

Follow your desire, even if that puts you in awkward situations.

Pick your battles wisely

Show affection to the ones you love

Keep Your Eye on the Prize.

Only eat white snow (stay away from the yellow stuff...)

Let loose once in a while

Be Yourself. Always.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


nothing better to cheer you up than a baby pixel :)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Keeping it Balanced.

Yesterday I had a breakdown. Not ashamed to admit it but I was ready to never again leave my house and be known only as the crazy dog lady who doesn't come out in the daytime.

You see for the past however many years I have been teaching people on average of four nights a week. That's from 6pm-9pm almost every night. On top of that I work a regular job, and do rescue, and have my own four dogs, plus the odd rescue or extra dog. That's a lot of stuff. I am used to a lot of stuff- in fact I love being busy. But I think that yesterday was a pretty good indication that things are not okay.
Yesterday I felt so overwhelmed by everything I couldn't breathe. My head was spinning, and I felt a little crazier than normal. Not good. Interestingly enough there wasn't one thing that set it off. I got home from class and it was just this weird thing. Creepy. And a little crazy.

One of my new years resolutions was to only do what is best for me and my dogs. I started today.

With the help of two great friends (you know who you are) I figured out some stuff. We went through each of the "extra" things I do to see what could be dropped, even temporarily. I thought about how much each thing meant to me (and what they paid $ vs. what they cost mentally). With only a little hesitation I dropped two nights! One right away, and the other after this set of classes. And I cut another night in half- only doing one class instead of two. Although the loss of income might be a little scary- keeping life balanced is a little more important.

This has happened before, and I've said that I will make changes and never followed through. But the difference this time it that I feel good about my decision. More time at home with the dogs, and more time to just learn to relax. I don't know how to do nothing. It's strange, but even to sit through a movie is pretty painful sometimes. So I will have to learn. Jo suggested that I start doing puzzles. I laughed out loud.

I am also cutting back on rescue until I return to sanity. :) No more intakes until things have settled. Which is a good thing- we have our hands full with a few long term/hard to adopt dogs.

And the reason I publicly admit that I am a little crazy? So that I can look back on this blog post and see that there is a reason I am poor, and sitting at home being bored.

And because I can, and it's one of my new all time fav songs.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

In the distance I see change.

Don't Look Back, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Things are going to change soon. Something has to give eventually. Even if that something (or someone) is me.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Today Wicca is Seven.
I can hardly believe it.
It has been quite the journey so far, I am looking forward to many more years with her.
Happy Birthday to the best little Wicca in the world. :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Davie Update

Dave is doing awesome- he is steadily improving and more and more I see little glimmers of the dog he will be.

He is great on walks, and doesn't woof at people very much at all. I pretty well ignore his insecure behaviour and reward the brave. We stopped in at the vet clinic after a walk yesterday and he was great. Met a few tech's, and a vet. He was pretty relaxed about it until someone bent over him.

He is learning all sorts of things and can now sit and down on command. The down he kinda had before, but it does pretty happily now. He has also learned a nose touch but that is still not reliable.

Davie is housetrained now- which is super! I still don't trust him in new places and buildings, but once he is neutered I think there will be no need to worry anymore about it. Speaking of neutering, I am going to make his appointment in the next few weeks. I was putting it off as I didn't want to traumatize him but as the confidence grows so does his love for the ladies. :)

He still has weird movement in the rear which I am not super happy about. He hops occasionally and is definitely weaker on one side. Sarah and I attribute this to running in circles- and interestingly he starts circling the second there is tension on a leash. Always to the left. We've started doing exercises to build muscle so hopefully that will help. I don't think he is displastic, but may get xrays when he is neutered to be sure. So every day (twice a day) we do left and right circles (slowly), stretching forward, and up, and today I am going to introduce some perch work.

Davie is becoming SUPER playful and will seek out toys in the house. He has figured out the game of tug, and I can really see the goofy teenage boy coming out. He has quite the sense of humour. He also LOVES to chase things- moving dogs mostly. I've had to get after him about chasing Pixel. He is completely smitten with her. He listens very well though and responds to his name almost instantly. And I must mention that he is smoking fast when he runs. He has a huge stride and goes full out. It's a sight to see!

With all this progress it won't be long until he is ready to head off for his new home. I am not going to place him in a sport home because of the weird movement. I don't know for sure if it is just the muscle weakness, or a long term issue and I don't want to put that on someone else. But he will make someone a great pet! But that won't be for a little while yet- at the very least not until he has been neutered.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Wicca 1/52

Wicca 1/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Wicca is the chosen one for this years 52 Weeks Project. It's hard to believe this will be my third year doing it! I am looking forward to fun filled year of Woo.

Recalls and Stays

So a few people commented that they'd like to be bored to tears with my plan for Vito's recall. So I figured I might aswell really bore you all and write down my plan for a rock solid stay aswell.

First off I am changing the word. Stay to Wicca means kinda sorta stay in position until I release you. It is also a word that she associated with a lot of stress. It does not mean stay still- no feet moving, no slouching, no sniffing, no gawking. I need a word that means all of that. Criteria is important. So my new word for formal stays is "Place." Eventually Place will mean to stay without changing position. Right now Wicca is just learning that. (I will still use the word stay for agility etc. as she understands it in that context.)

I am using a placemat. (get it, Place.) lol. I couldn't help it.

She is learning to sit on the placemat and not move a muscle. If she leans forward, or moves a foot we break off and start all over again. No correction, no emotion just a flat "break" and we restart. There will be no correcting. Ever.

Right now I am right in front of her. Like less than a foot away. I will stay less than a foot away until she can hold a three minute sit. And then a three minute down. We are up to 30 seconds. That's in three training sessions. I will increase the distance (by a foot) when she is rock solid at each step. No mistakes, no signs of stress. It's going to be a long process but I think it will help her to understand that stays are fun and rewarding. Not scary.

As the process continues I will make the placemat smaller and smaller. I am not sure exactly when I will start to decrease the size, I think it will depend on her and her comfort level. I am hoping that this very broken down system will help. If we don't get the stays it won't be the end of the world- but what kind of trainer would I be if I gave up?


We've started with the name game- a refresher. Name = Cookie. After a few days Name = Running Vito. Anywhere in the house. I have cookies on me at all times. ALL TIMES. If I say his name I better have a cookie to back it up.

Next we will play the "Throw the Cookie" game. Throw the cookie a few feet away. After the dog gets the cookie- Name, wait for head turn, Click followed by Come! followed by big huge jackpot of cookies. 'Tis fun and dog should catch on really fast. Vito starts listening for his name on the way out to the thrown cookie already. The jackpot is a pretty big draw.

And then we will play the "Throw the Cookie, but call the dog before he gets there" Game. This can be tough so set up for success right away. Throw the cookie close. As you release the dog to get the cookie say his name. Shove cookie in face and run back a few steps. As he is turning head CLICK and jackpot. After he does this a few times you can be a little farther away from the cookie. The reason you throw close to start is so that you can hopefully be in more control that way. Once he is solid on that I will increase the value of the distractor. Instead of just a mere cookie I may use a chunk of meat, or the cat, or a gross dead thing. (joking about the dead thing)

And of course I will do these things in every place I can think of. Inside to start, and then the yard, and then the park, and then the dog park, etc. I will also get in as many restrained recalls as I can. This won't be many as I live alone- but if you have a helper restrained recalls are a GREAT way to increase the excitment for a recall. I think the key factor in all of this is the timing of the marker work or click. Make sure you are rewarding the dog for motion towards you. First a head tilt, and then a step, and then running. Change the criteria, don't be rewarding the head turn for five weeks.

Hopefully after all this Vito's ears will work better. Already in just a few days he was great on our walk today. Amazing what a little training will do.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011 Revisited.

I changed my mind. About the goals. I don't want 'em
I tried. But it's too stressful. I just can't be nice to people.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Goals and Such for 2011.

Be nicer to people. I think this was a goal I had last year, and I do think that I was better. But I think I can improve on it. I need a better filter on my mouth. lol
Stop caring so much. It sounds bad doesn't it. But really it's true. I need to just chill out. Why should what someone else does bug me? Why should what someone else thinks of my matter so much? That's right. It shouldn't.
Be Selfish. Again, doesn't look so good in type. Lol. But true. I need to make sure that I am doing what is best for me and my dogs. Teaching four nights a week is not good for any of us. Not sure when I will be able to afford to NOT teach four nights a week. But I'll have to figure something out.
Stop Procrastinating. This is so hard. It must be a hereditary thing. I seriously am the worst in the world. When I think of something I just need to do it. Just do it.
Improve My Memory. I briefly tried vitamins, but didn't go buy more after the second bottle. (see above). I have been doing some reading about memory and am going to try some other naturopath things, aswell as start doing memory games. I seriously have the worst memory ever. And it's only getting worse.

ATCH. This was our goal for last year. We only need one more jumpers Q. I can hardly believe that we've made it this far. I am so excited. I've never had an ATCH before and it seemed like such an impossible dream for us.
Retrain Stay. I've already started. (last week) I am going to blog about the process later this week. I am thinking this should work. Once we have a stay we will go back into the Open ring.
Qualify at Regionals. I assumed that this would not be a problem for us ever. Last year was a pretty humbling experience. This year we will be training harder, and be more focused.
Rally. Since we are taking a break from the Open ring until our stay is trained and solid I am going to take up Rally with her. We have a few RAE legs already. The ring experience is awesome, and will go a long way to keeping her fresh for Open when we get there. And the training is fun. And depending on the judge it is a great challenge.

Confidence. It's a pretty broad thing to work towards but it needs to be. Before he can succeed in any venue we need confidence. To get that I am going to take him to lots of new places, and spend more time making sure he is in the right frame of mind. We had confidence once, not sure what happened to it but we will need to work hard to bring it back.
Agility. We're bringing out the goodie container and building up our trialing from scratch. I have him entered in a January trial in Starters. :) Two runs at FEO of fast, straight lines. He will love it. I think that with him I need to be careful to find the balance between pushing too much, and too little. If I don't push enough he won't get better, and if I push too hard he can't cope. It will be a bit of trial and error at first. I am not sure what I was thinking when last year I wrote Regionals and Nationals as his goals. Talk about being unrealistic.
Rally. I had said that I wasn't going to do any more Rally or Obedience with him- but I think that if I get his confidence up he will rock. His heeling is getting better, and he always has lots of spunk training. We just need to take it places.

Oh Vito. It's hard to have goals when you are a house dog. :) But I do want to improve his
Social Skills. Simply put, he doesn't have them. He has never been an overly friendly dog, and doesn't like strangers petting him. Once he knows you he is awesome- the snuggliest dog around. But if you are a stranger, you must be bad. I do want to be realistic about this though- I know that I will not stick with meeting a new person every day. The sad fact is I just don't have time for that. But once a week I can do. We will go to a public place and meet people once a week.
Recalls. Vito has the worst recall of any of my dogs. Ever. He is a naughty, naughty dog who belongs to a person who is okay with a little naughty. It's a bad combo. So recalls. Must improve. I have a plan for this but I won't bore you all to tears with it...

Sustained Attitude. How's that for fancy? Pixel is a great worker. She is up, she is focused, she is happy- when she is in the mood. If she is not in the mood I have no dog. Of course my job as a trainer is to ensure that she is in the mood but sometimes (at an obedience trial for example) there is not much I can do to help her. So. Train. Train. Train. That's the plan. In all sorts of new places. Lots of varying reward types, and placements. So that in a place (like an obedience trial) that she might be a little worried about she will have the tools to get herself through that. I've watch the Bridget Carlson DVD's twice now and have some good ideas about that.
Obedience. A CDX. We have the foundation for it. And so far I am doing great with the training plan I'd made up month or so ago. I am pretty confident about her abilities.
Regionals. I am going to enter her, and I think that she will do pretty well. We need to work on our gamble skills, and obstacle independence but overall I think that she has the skills needed for such an event. I am excited to even write that!

And that's it. Should keep me busy for the next 363 days.


I took the last photo for Boone's project yesterday! For those who don't know the project I am talking about is a Flickr Group called 52 Weeks for Dogs. It's a photo a week of the same dog. There are challenges posted throughout the year, but mostly you just do your own thing.

The first year I chose Pixel- you can see her full set here:

This past year I did Boone- and it was hard! Definitely more difficult than I thought. First off my photography skills are pretty novice, and self taught. Trying to focus on a dark, shaggy dog was not easy. Secondly Boone is not an easy dog to photograph. He doesn't like to be posed, and almost all the shots were candid- which was difficult as action shots did not come easy to me.

But we did it- only missing a few weeks! It has been a great way to showcase Boone's year, and I ended up with some pretty great photos of him. I love the 52 Weeks group- it sure has pushed me to try harder, and be more creative.

So, I present Boone's 52 Weeks Project. :)