Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family Photo

I was finally able to get a photo of all 4 dogs, since I can walk 2 inches away from Avi now while she is in a sit stay.

I have good looking dogs!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lynn Valley Days

This past weekend Beezer was asked to participate in Lynn Valley Days Q ball agility demo.  I was happy to get my handsome boy out for a day of sunshine and agility.  He did so so well.  I wondered how he would do in a large crowd full of kids, but he wasn't bothered at all.  He performed flawlessly and even did a few zoomies in between runs :)
Happy boy.

I took R out to practice his stuff in between shows.  I didn't expect much since there was a lot of distraction.  He must be maturing.  He worked with me the whole time!  And since his favorite thing is people, I let him out a lot to socialize with kids.  I cannot express how happy it makes me trusting him with all those people.  He is such a good boy.

Avi was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning.  Walking through the crowd was a bit much for her.  The beginning of any outing usually gets her fired up.  I was pleasantly surprised that after a little bit, she settled in.

 I was able to work her around the crowd of kids on a few tunnels, and she was fine with people milling about.  I made sure that she could approach people if they wanted to say hello.  It's better if it's her choice.  At one point she was surrounded by half a dozen kids throwing food into her kennel, as well as 4 teenagers playing with her and her frisbee. Good girl!

At one point I had to tie her up while I packed up the car.  A woman went right up to her, leaned over and petted her.  That wasn't a problem.  She's just so funny to figure out.  Something I think would trigger her, doesn't at all.  Where as earlier she completely lost her cool.  Over a feather.

Even Amigo got to run in the demo!  She was so happy to do her thing.  And eat hot dogs.  She did the tunnels, jumps and weaves. No contacts, but she was flying!  I caught her once vacating the premises to visit the hamburger/hot dog tent.  Still a food hound :)

My mom took her home before I was able to get pictures of her.

All in all a great weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sheep Herding

This weekend I look the two Mals sheep herding after Ring practice. I wasn't too sure what to expect with either of them. Reckon has seen sheep before, about a year ago. That wasn't a good experience. Reckon was intense and John didn't know what to do with him. So he held onto his tail. Not so good. Anyways this time around we went back to see Shelley Fritzke. Beezer got his HIT (Herding Instinct Test) with her a while back. I quite liked her. I told her I was totally prepared to muzzle R, and for her to do her thing. I know his prey drive is pretty high. She had him on his pinch collar, and put the sheep in the round pen. This doesn't give the sheep as much room to run. She walked him around, and I was surprised at how calm he was. He was certainly interested in the sheep but was respectful of Shelley and listened to her very well. She then handed his leash to me (I was on the other side of the fence) and told him to sit. I then unclipped the leash and we let him go! Well he floored me once again. Maybe he has just matured since he last saw sheep, but he did amazing! You could see him thinking, not just running in prey drive. He listened to Shelley and respected the wand/stick thingy. If he got "inside" of the flight zone, he would go in the nip, but would back off with just a voice correction Good boy!!

I expected Avion to run in there barking her little butt off and not stop.  She surprised me too.  She barked at Shelley when we first got there, but soon settled in.  I brought her into the ring with Shelley on leash. The sheep were behind a curtain so we walked towards them and she got us to line up about 30 feet away behind them.  At first Avi didn't seem to notice anything.  Honestly.  Nothing.  Not even sheep or horse poop.  Then the sheep started to move.  OH!  That looks like fun.  And no barking!  A bloody miracle.

Shelley asked me to take her off leash to see what she'd do.  My girl was amazing!  She was actually herding, not just chasing them.  Shelley was quite impressed. She was also a thinker.  She kept her distance and respected Shelley's commands.  I was a proud momma.

Side note, there was another woman there who does a lot of conformation with her Tervs and Collies.  She immediately remarked on how well put Avion was and how she had excellent movement,  Shelley agreed, who owns, shows, works and breeds German Shepherds.

I knew she had good looks and brains :)

I love her but...

I know I know, never a good way to start a blog post.  I adore Avi, I really do, but this fear barking is too much sometimes.  It's like having Beezer all over again.  Now, Beezer has turned into a WONDERFUL dog, perfect really.  And he started off bad, he came home a nervous wreck! But with a lot of time and A LOT of patience, he is really a pleasure to live and work with.

But Avi is different.  She started off super confident.  And now anything or anyone she deems out of place she barks her arse off.  She runs towards barking with her hackles up, and I'm afraid she'll get so scared she bites.  The only good thing is her recall is awesome.  So I can call her off and treat her while we move along.  She also barks at the same people she sees everyday.  Like Auntie Emma.  Or Tina. Or my mom. She will approach them barking and then the light bulb goes off,  "oh yes, I know you!"

At French Ring practice a few weeks back, I was in tears.  She was barking at EVERYONE.  These are people she's known from day one.  She really doesn't like kids.  She snaps at them if they get too close. Everyone said to send her back to the breeder.  I refuse.  I will do everything in my power to help her through it or at least get her to the point where she can ignore people.  She doesn't have to be the social butterfly Reckon is, just don't bark!

I will continue working on it throughout the summer and see how she does.  I love her so much, and even though she's a bitch in a little body, I'm not giving up.  Plus she has energy and drive to die for.  What I expected out of a Malinois (hint hint Reckon...)  She is a lot of fun to train, as she wants to!
What's interesting is she may be afraid/nervous of the Decoy, but will still engage with him and play tug. She only gets uncomfortable if he gets too touchy with her.  Then she will growl and warn him it's too much. But still better than letting go of the tug and biting his arm!

Enough negative stuff for one post.

R is doing well in Nose Work and Ring training, and when I can get him to Beezer's agility class he does well there too.

Beezer is a superstar in agility.  We have Regionals next month...

Amigo is the perfect little good child as always. I still love her the most.

I've been gardening a lot lately.  Everyone is very helpful.  Except their not.  At all. Beezer and Avion love the hose.

Amigo plants a tennis ball wherever you may be working.

 Or sitting.

And Avion is now obsessed with water buckets.  They're fun to splash around it!

It's very cute watching her place her ball (or toy) in the bucket.  She sinks it with her foot and puts her whole muzzle in the water.  She likes to place both front feet in and if there's room, scoop all the water out.
Plus she does cute things like this:

How can you give up on that adorable face?