Monday, February 24, 2014


I am really enjoying the nosework stuff. I didn't really think I would- I mean I've been trying to get into tracking for years and never seem to get around to it. I find it boring. lol. It was just never my thing. And I figured nosework would be the same.

But I actually am having fun! I've been working with Wicca mostly, but she has been off and on lame, so I started more work with Vito.

They have very different styles so it is interesting- Wicca of course is fast, and serious, and forceful. Vito is happy, and slower, and and enthusiastic.

Here is a video for each of them- this is Vito's first time with the cardboard box exercise. He was hilarious to start. lol. Once he smelled the find it was cool to watch him work the pile. I find it so interesting!

And Wicca, who is in the process of learning a better indication. You can see in the first clip that even after I mark her find with a yes- she leaves the box! I don't really get it. lol. Maybe Kim B will read this and have some advice? I have been working at home on finding, and staying with the source. We started trying to lure away with food too (you can see that in the last clip really good). So I am hoping she just needs more training to progress past that point.

We have yet to do any outdoor, exterior searches. She has been sore off and on so it's been tough to get the training in. But she is such a smartie pants, so I am sure she will pick it up.

I am lucky that my friend Shauna is sharing her new found knowledge with me! She is taking the Advanced Nosework course online, and is learning a ton of great information. I love how easy it is to learn new things these days! The internet/online classrooms are becoming more and more popular. It's just amazing!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Week in Review

Life is moving along at a steady pace. Some days I am so busy that I can hardly remember what I did. No good I say.
I need to find a better balance.


I am a horrible blogger lately. Too busy. Not much time for computer time. Rushing from one thing to the next.

Here is my week in review in photos. (All from my 365 iphone project which is still going! Amazing really!)

Boone, an old dog enjoying a nap

car troubles meant leash walks, and park time rather than coulee walks. Leo wasn't complaining

happy dog dog training. I love happy dogs.

chewy needs a bigger bed.

Hedley. Amazing Concert. Jacob is so talented.

Crittering at the petstore. One of Wiccas favorite old dog hobbies.

Vito the Co-Pilot.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I love this dog. A Lot. She tries hard, and is eager to please. Always willing to try again. She has lots of great traits- working aside, she is sweet, snuggly, happy, and the best cuddler. But she certainly has her struggles. Part of being a Border Collie is having quirks I guess! lol

Yesterday at the Scenthurdle Tournament she was bang on- fast, accurate, and full of zip. Until she randomly stopped using her brain. lol. Dropping her dumbbell, running circles around the box, and just looking sort of confused about the whole thing. She is very sensitive so I just called her back when that happened, or tried to help her. We made quite the mess at the box a few times. lol.
It was a succesful day for her though- and she had a great time. She is VERY eager to race and actually pulls at the start. I think she would like to race first, or second, but her scenting is not reliable enough for that yet. I am going to go back and work on just the scenting for a bit I think, and see if I can work on bringing up the consistency.

Today at the Arena trial Brit had her worst kind of sheep. Heavy, and Argumentative. They did not want to go. And weren't afraid to express that. Brit tried SO hard for me though. I am proud of her. I knew the sheep were tough- because lots of the open/nursery dogs had trouble too. So I went with the plan of keeping her on her feet so that the sheep wouldn't settle. It was a good plan. But this time the trouble started before the drive- around the post they were stuck to me and wouldn't push off. But I got Brit beside me and encouraged her up step by step. We got them moved, but then had trouble all the way up the arena. I couldn't get her to hold a line, I think in part because they were so heavy? I don't really know for sure. But then when we finally got them to the top they refused to move. So I went up to help her. I watched the video on my friends phone- and it was actually worse than I originally thought. She was majorly avoiding- and wouldn't even look at them. From the post I thought she was- at the very least she was taking my flanks- but in between sniffing, and looking for help from the people at the pens. lol. So I am extra glad I went up to help her before she got physically chased off. It's hard to know when to call it, when to help. I've called her off too soon before, but this time I am sure I made the right choice.

I am proud of how far we have come, but it seems that everytime the sheep are hard it's two steps back. I think that for the next arena trial I am going to drop her back down to Novice so the drive is shorter. Because that is where there are troubles- now a few times in a row. I really don't want this to become a trend. It is hard to predict what type of sheep we will have. Even when it's the same sheep we always use. Sometimes it's no problem! But I think to be safe I better back up a bit until I can get the confidence up again.

We will just continue to putter around- I know that we can get over this, I just need to figure out a way. I am looking forward to a herding camp I signed up for in the summer. And I think maybe when Scott isn't so busy I'll get another lesson for her. If she would bite them it would be very helpful!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Outtakes

looking wistful.

a little too aggressive for a "love" themed day

a wicca in hiding.


shake it V

ditto. lol


eating it up


too much crazy

this is the look! the I'm so happy I'm almost stoned look. lol

and Boone thought the whole thing was stupid and went inside.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

From Us.

a day early, but I couldn't wait any longer! Because seriously, how cute are they?! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Agility Leo

Agility Leo is so much fun. He is so happy and excited to work. And the best thing is that we are learning together. I've trained more than a few agility dogs and each one is so different that the journey itself is different.

Our progress remains slow, and I am okay with that. I am in no hurry and am enjoying each training session we have. I do wish that I was a bit more motivated to do more. But I'm working on that!

He shows great potential and I am hoping to trial him eventually. Maybe Spring/Summer even!

Here is a list of things we've been working on.

1) Dogwalks- we are finally past the backchaining portion of my contact training and am now doing full dogwalks. The training space I have with the dog walk is very small however so am unable to work on finding the entrance, adding equipment before or after, or too much in the way of proofing with my motion. But we have enough space to work on sending, recalling, and running with. And proofing the end behaviour. So I am happy!

2) A-Frames- are on hold right now. There isn't quite enough space for me to work on a running frame. So we just do the odd ones here or there. So it will have to wait for Spring before we get much progress.

3) Teeters- are coming! He is a pro at finding the approach and is learning how to drive into the contact like I want at the end. I'm hoping to be able to start putting it into sequence in the next few weeks.

4) Weaves- are so close! He had some setbacks- I used the 2x2's for too long. Not in the 2x2 position- but as a set of six and he learned to slam his way through and push them. I can't stake them where I train so was just taping them to the floor. It didn't work so well. lol. So now we are on a solid base of six and he is having to relearn some footwork.

5) Table- he hasn't seen one. lol. It's on my list of things to build in the spring

6) Tire- he has seen one only a few times- again on my list of things to teach when we are outside and I have equipment.

7) Tunnels- he loves. A little too much. I can see many off course tunnels in our future.

7) Handling/Jumping- he's got the foundation handling down for the most part. He can find a line, send down a line, do a front cross, do a rear cross, a blind cross, and even the beginnings of a serpentine. He understands the basics of a threadle- but we need to work on that a lot more. He is slow to react. We are learning the new fancy stuff via youtube videos. lol. It's interesting. I feel for the most part that we are just fumbling around. But I think that is my confidence issue, not so much the dog. I did register for online lessons with Dante, but I just do not have the spare time right now to commit to regular sessions. Any spare time is spent trying to make money, not spend it. lol

I do hope in the near future we will be able to get on track handling wise. I've got some exciting agility weekends coming up so I think that will help to motivate me, and give me some direction! If nothing else he needs experience, and to be able to learn to work in that kind of environment.

Oh, and he is a poor jumper. I will likely special him, hopefully he measures under.

General Training Observations

He goes into this weird trance if I do too many repetitions or if he is unclear about what I want. It is bizarre and I have to actually physically stop him and pat him for a few minutes before he goes back to normal. Very weird.

He has very low stamina. Not just agility, but in everything. Even exciting things that he does for fun-  like running in the coulee. It is weird. And I've been working on trying to build it up, but I can't MAKE him run any more than he wants too. He needs to go to the vet for a check up, so I am going to get a full blood panel done on him too just to be sure everything is okay.

He is crazy smart and learns things fast, but does not generalize well. Doing the dog walk in one direction is not the same the other way... Strange, but true. So we do lots of changing things up to help him to learn that a dog walk is indeed a dog walk. ;)

Monday, February 10, 2014

House Guest

This is Dudley. He is adorable, no?

He is staying for a few weeks while his owners vacation somewhere warm. Hardly fair, I know. Dudders is one of my favorite daycare dogs. He is so sweet, and shy, and an easy going kinda guy. The perfect house guest really. I was thinking he would take a few days to settle in because he is so meek and mild.

Hah! Not so much. He is Mr.Confidence and is not afraid to tell those bad corgis off if they need it. He has also discovered the wonders of cats, and is sure he is 10 feet tall compared to them. Thankfully my cats have been humoring him and just ignore him for the most part. I think my fuzzy cat is as big as he is. lol. So that's a good thing. ;)

So I leave you with some cute pictures of a white dog in the snow. I impressed myself with the ability to figure out the camera settings with the white on white. ;)

Cookie please?

Pretty Please?!



He was making this high pitch squealing nose when I delayed the cookie for too long. lol

Friday, February 07, 2014

Bedtime Cookies

Feb 6. Bedtime Cookies, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

My 365 photo from yesterday.
Bedtime Cookies. Each night before bed they all run to the kitchen and sit for their cookie. It is the second most favorite time of the day. (The first being breakfast. ;) )

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Third Place x 2

I am a bad blogger, but seeing as how the main reason I blog is to keep track of my dog training, activities, etc- I had better start getting better at it! lol

Last weekend Brit, Leo and I went to High River for an Arena trial. It was a great day- followed up but a superbowl party of sorts, and a long drive home in the dark.

Brit ran really well- she actually looked confident, and I think that was because I was confident too. She is very sensitive to that. The sheep were very heavy- probably the worst she has even worked actually. And she managed okay. I had to really help her, and force her up, but she never quit. She did circle her sheep twice- once at the start of the drive, and once at the top. Both  times were because she couldn't get them to move, and the pressure was making her nervous. In Arena trials it is pretty much all time- so there are no points taken for that sort of thing. Just time wasting. So we still finished in third! I am proud of her just for being brave. It has been such an interesting, and often frustrating journey even to this point. So I am proud of me too for not giving up, and being able to give her confidence.

Leo was very excited, and took the wrong flank a few times. It is not like him- but we haven't been working at all, or very little because of the stupid cold and ice. We are still having trouble with the walking in park- on the "drive" (that was a fetch because it's a allowed) I had a hard time getting him on his feet- he will only walk in at the end of a flank, not from a stop. And again the same problem at the pen. So I had to do most of the work. With Brit, that was okay because it was a confidence issue- with Leo I think it is more that he doesn't understand. So I really need to get that fixed ASAP. I think a lesson with Scott is in order- as soon as this cold spell breaks. But the run itself was decent- his outruns are good still, which is nice and surprising as his outruns have turned to shit with all the driving we have been doing. lol. And again- good enough for third place.

Thanks to Wendy Schmaltz for videoing, and I hope you all enjoy her commentary. lol.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Cold Toes Boonie

I am frozen. And cannot move

oh dear. my foot appears to be freezing off...

emergency! emergency! carry me to warmth please!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Wicca's awesome nose

I have barely practiced. This is the fourth? time we've worked. I need to commit more to this game because she rocks, and look at that tail. Man, I love this dog.

I need to be sure my timing is better for rewarding- the first find I fed her the final time after she looked away. lol. Also, I need to go back and work on teaching her to stay committed. She passed the scent and was only mildly interested on the last one, and it wasn't until I prompted her with another find it that she went back to the hide.

But mostly she is awesome. ;)

Thanks Shauna for videoing for us! And for the help!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Sad Day

Today was a sad day. My friend made the difficult choice to let her little corgi go. He had been diagnosed with Lymphoma a few weeks ago. And his time had come. Such a hard decision. And so painful. It is the last great thing we can do for them though, and we are lucky to be able to help them like that. But it doesn't make the decision, and process any easier.

So because I took the morning off, I had to work late, which just made me even sadder. I wanted to be at home with my dogs. I don't know why, but Crawfords death really shook me up. I expected to be sad, I loved him, and played a big role in his life (I set him and maureen up. ;) ). And he was completely awesome, and only 9 years old.  But, it was more than that this time.  A little too close to home I think. He was a corgi too, and around Wicca's age, or maybe it was because my friends grief was so raw. He was her heart dog, and I imagine I will be in the same state when it is Wicca's time. In any case, I have been a mess most of the day.

Thankfully the daycare dogs are great cuddlers. Even the bulldog got in on the action. Dogs are so in tune to how we feel. It surprised me that even the rowdy dogs (i.e the bulldog) were oddly calm. Ever been hugged by a bulldog? It's something else. lol.

Because I am so sad, I decided not to go to a kennel club meeting tonite. I felt bad skipping it. Until I did. And then I decided it was the right thing for me. I played with my dogs. I hugged them.  I bathed Boone. I did some videoing for a friend, and even did some nosework practice with my own dog since it was set up. It was a good night spent with all of my dogs. I may have sat on the floor with them all and cried. And I don't cry very often.

I am home now. And am exhausted. Showered and heading for bed. I am feeling pretty drained.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Oh, and I have video of how awesome Wicca did tonite, that I will post tomorrow.

And I haven't posted about how great the Border Collies were at the arena trial. What a bad blogger I am these days! No wonder I can hardly remember anything anymore!  Wednesday. I'll blog about it then.