PUDX Leg #3!

Ah, 100 degrees – summer is so overrated. Though my tomato plants grew like six inches in two days, swear to god – and suddenly they’ve got blooms and are making up for lost time. I really didn’t expect all four of the plants I had to survive, hence why I got four. Assuming they actually start producing it’s going to be cherry tomato extravaganza the likes I’ve which I’ve never seen. So, see, summer has things I like about it.

Obedience trial 15 minutes from my house – woot! This is the first time I’ve been to Canby when they’re also having a breed show, and it was CRAZY. Conformation is such a weird, weird world. Though I think all around it was a lot smaller than it would have been, I think a lot of people bailed by this point, what with the weather. In other weather, might have been fun to check things out, but I was focused on getting in and out and not going out in the sun as much as possible.

So, yeah, kind of a ghost town in the obedience building, a lot people were done with it by this point in the weekend. In fact, when we got there they asked if we could start early with Preferred Utility. I said okay, but I think both Haku and I did not have our obedience hats on yet. It’s kind of a cool thing that even when we’re, uh, not super focused, we can still fumble our way through the exercises at this point. Just not our normal connected work, it did not feel ‘real’. He had two stopping short go-outs, which was weird, as that hasn’t been an issue in forever. Still technically legal, but probably 10 feet from the gates, and he’s been really consistent with those, so that was surprising. He did it both times, but at least he was straight! Some moving on the stand, then he was like, “Oh yeah.” Fronts were not even trying to be straight stuff, which definitely shows me we weren’t there together. Gloves he ALMOST locked onto #1 when I marked #2, but fixed it. Heeling he was looking around quite a bit. We just both needed a little more time to acclimate and come together as a team, I needed to make sure I had the exercises in my mind and my responses snappy and focused. Good stuff too though, great articles especially – probably because we never practice those. 😉

The good news, I felt much better about our teamwork later for Open, we were out there together! I was much happier with our work all the way around, including a clean pick up of his dumbbell both times – woot! First time in competition, I was thrilled. What do you know, practice works! Now, here’s the amusing part, the judge was the same one that had given us the ridiculously low score at the last trial. I had asked her at that trial about the scoring as I know we’re not perfect, but that was so many points lost I couldn’t even guess why. She had responded that my change of pace in the fast and slow was not enough. So you can bet your ass my changes of pace were ridiculously obvious this time, almost ran into the gates, so slow Haku was barely moving. And we improved! We only lost 11 points in heeling as opposed to 20 something last time (I still have no idea how we lost 11, but hey). Still, I was really happy with what we did, and keep in mind with our ‘bad’ heeling in Utility today we lost 1.5 points in heeling, then lost 11 points in Open, which I thought was a much better performance. So funny. I think it will become my new personal challenge to try to actually get a good score from that judge.

And now we have three PUDX legs! And probably should work on actually getting to some obedience matches before our next trial, as I felt there were some things we should address before they become actual problems. Good news is that I don’t think there really is anything for us to enter until the Fall anyway, so we’ll look at doing some roadwork. Maybe incorporate some stuff I got from Fenzi camp, my new goal is to teach Haku to play without toys WITHOUT barking like a lunatic. We’ve introduced to the concept, he thinks it’s pretty fun!

Oh, and we got High in Trial for preferred! Which is less exciting as it seems as he really was the last dog standing for the award. We’ll take it though, I think Haku is pretty darn amazing. Haku much preferred the ice cream we got on the way home though.

So after all that craziness last week, I wisely scheduled some time off from classes this week to catch up on things. Doggies NEED action – we’re off hiking tomorrow! And, yeah, once again, Navarre seems totally fine today, no sign of any limping from the time he got up this morning, completely sound, not sore at all. So what is happening with the limp, what is the cause, how can I fix it? I have no idea, so we’re going to go hiking and see if it shows up again.


The Camp Experience

The Fenzi Camp ended up being a really great experience, very glad that I went, and very fortunate it ended up being in my backyard. Depending on the circumstances, something I might travel to in the future, as it is just a very inspiring experience to be an environment with great trainers and good information. And it’s so nice to be a place where every presenter is doing their best to actually spend the time to make every dog AND person as comfortable as possible. Wonderful to have trainers being advocates for the dogs and for the handlers.

I think the difference between this and Clicker Expo is the focus is on dog sports, even if the session is not actually about a specific sport, it’s still with the assumption that the dog sports are the goal. Clicker Expo was a much broader audience, with sports being a side attraction. In some ways that was interesting too, some of the presentations at Clickerexpo are things that don’t really apply to sports, but were super interesting.

Still, of the two, it’s way more engaging when the sessions are focused on things I actually DO, rather than theory. And, let me say, there are a lot of trainers that can spout training THEORY at the drop of a hat, but are actually poor trainers. Theory does not equal execution. In fact, my little revelation for the camp is that what was happening was presenters were attempting to break down and explain in steps how to train things that natural good dog trainers do instinctively. This is not always easy or effective, but I did see many different protocols from a variety of trainers attempting to teach people how to produce the same concepts, just in different ways. I think the problem comes from trainers that don’t have good skills themselves thinking that just religiously restating a protocol is THE WAY things should be trained. Good trainers understand that every dog is different, and that you don’t try to change the dog to fit the protocol, but the protocol to fit the dog.

Anyway, I liked all the presenters I saw over the weekend, I tried to get around to a wide variety. The bummer part about a camp like this is that you do have to miss things that you would have otherwise really liked to see, and especially with trainers you’ve never seen, it’s hard to judge which would be the best time investment.

What I ended up with:

Agility Motivation Games – Loretta Mueller

Ready to Work – Shade Whitesel

Engagement – Denise Fenzi

Judging Pressure – Amy Cook

Utility Problem Solving – Nancy G. Little

Play Without Toys – Amy Cook

Back Chaining – Julie Flanery

Privates with Loretta Mueller

Distance – Amanda Nelson

Privates with Hannah Branigan

Confidence Games – Amanda Nelson

I tried seeing Julie Symons for Obedience Games, but it was too hot out in the arena at that point. I also had to skip out on Focus with Deb Jones to get Navarre worked on and she was one I was very curious about seeing work in person, I heard good things though.

Probably the most unexpected favorite was Amy Cook. Knew nothing about her, she does reactive/fearful dog training, which is not my area of interest. The thing is, dealing with those sort of issues is HARD, and I don’t know many people that really do it well. Amy was great to see work with dogs, and probably because she comes from that focus of working with fearful/reactive, she was so good at bringing out the play and happy of all types of dogs. I love seeing that sort of thing! And, let me say, you want to talk about hard, try having a session on personal play with dogs that don’t like to play in a crazy overwhelming environment with everyone watching with dogs you’ve never met before that you’re supposed to teach them how to do this in less than 5 minutes each. Now that’s a challenge, and she did it very well. Fun presenter as well.

No bad presenters in the bunch though, some better at speaking than others, but I felt like I brought back something from everyone. I have tons of notes that I’m sure I won’t be able to read or understand. OMG, so dyslexic at this point, how did I ever used to write? Just very motivating to have new ideas to try out in classes, things to try with my dogs and it’s just always inspiring to see what can be done when you let it be dog’s idea. In both agility and obedience it can be hard to see people putting so much pressure on their dogs, rather than inviting as a partner. But it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around if it’s not something you’ve seen before. So relaxing to be a place where everyone was focused on bringing the joy out in their dogs.

My brain did reach capacity about 2pm today, I ended up staying to about 4:30, but I was ready to head home and process. It always takes me a while to process and think about new ideas and concepts. The leap between seeing, processing and actually applying to your own training is a big one. I went home and napped in the air conditioning, hiding from the 100 degree temperatures. Hopefully everything started to get filed away at that point, as I had some WEIRD dreams.

Oh, and I forgot I also snuck in a photography private with Amy Johnson, who was there photographing the event. So that was fun to talk to someone about action photography with dogs, which is really it’s own very specialty niche. Was very helpful to hear her process and have a better idea of what is reasonable to expect, especially with erratically moving targets. She has a class on action dog photography coming up in August I’m going to look into as well, I liked her a lot.

Meanwhile, Navarre had his big agility vacation today! I dropped him off with Heidi about 8am and she took him and Dove to the trial today. Have I mentioned the 100 degree temperature thing? Heidi stayed for all her runs though! Salem is actually the best venue for heat, the open sided arena is the coolest place you can be, especially if there is a breeze, which there was today. Heidi said Navarre was totally relaxed and happy all day, no worries at all. Sounds like they had some good parts to their runs, though I’m still saying my dog DOES know how to rear cross – I made sure of it for this one! I met Heidi as she was getting back from the trial this evening (long day!) and Navarre and Dove were ripping around the property, shoulder the shoulder, matching smiles – they are just so fricken adorable together. And it’s true, they really grew up to be the dogs I thought they would be at 4 weeks. Navarre is the good boy, Dove is the party girl, and they are just such SWEET and happy dogs. I’m so glad that we ended up getting littermates, watching them grow up together has just been so much fun.

Of course, now less fun is that Navarre is limping again. ARRGH. He was running around at Poodletopia, full out, trotting, running, jumping, playing – looked totally sound. Got home and let him out of his crate – limping on the right front again. WTF? He walks it out, but continuing to get up with that limp, same sort of ‘whole side’ limp, I think it’s the neck again. So no trial for him tomorrow, not sure what to think at this point, but super frustrating. Him and Bright will hang out at home while Haku and I head to the obedience trial tomorrow, maybe Navarre will be magically fixed by then. But, still, what is the issue? Hmmm ….

Oh, and guess who turned six? Brightypants! Such a mature sounding number. I just adore that dog more than I can say, she can make these squishy smiling faces that make me laugh and melt at the same time. Such a wonderful friend and my constant shadow, I know we will be best buds forever.

Fenzi Academy Camp

The Fenzi Camp seems well organized and I enjoyed the presentations I saw today. Though the ‘agility’ equipment was pretty horrifying, I’m bringing them some safer jumps tomorrow. We had perfect weather but I’m happy to hear that there is air conditioning for tomorrow and Saturday, with the whole ridiculous 100 degree weather thing. Because god forbid we have something between 50s and 100s for a little while.

As with the Clickerexpo, I don’t think it’s very worthwhile to have a ‘working’ spot in the event, as you end up getting very little actual working time, but it was nice to see the dogs as examples of the ideas that were being presented. I thought it was reasonably priced for auditing, and lots of great topics and presenters, many of which I’m interested in seeing how they work in person. Even with two days to go, I’m having a good time and happy I signed up.

Everything I attended today was looking at focus, motivation and engagement, which is the stuff I find most interesting. It’s definitely the theme for what I’m looking at this weekend, though there are a few other sessions thrown in as well.

I did miss the last presentation with Deb Jones as I wanted to take Navarre to Maddy to see how he was doing. As far as I could tell, he seemed perfectly fine the day after his weird lameness. But we took it easy this week, practicing leaving the dogs at home anyway, what with the hot weather coming (they did fine, no issues – border collies are so easy). Yesterday I let him roam about the arena and he looked totally sound to me, but then, he looked totally sound to me before his adjustment too.

So, yeah, Maddy didn’t find anything with the neck or shoulder, completely back to normal again. He probably WAS just fine to run last weekend. But better safe than sorry and he’s now got the greet light to head to the agility trial with Heidi this weekend. You know, now that it will be 100 degrees. Sigh. I’ve had bad luck trialing this year, even when I’m not the one doing the running!

In the meantime, dogs are hanging at home again tomorrow, thankfully Mary can let them out. Nice not to have to worry about them and just relax and enjoy the camp.

USDAA Weekend

They had some really fun courses at this trial, way more interesting than AKC, so that was fun. The trial ran well, nice to see all the USDAA folks I never see otherwise, and it didn’t get TOO hot. A good trial, I look forward to my next USDAA trial … whenever that may be.

Of course, it was not all sunshine and rainbows, unfortunately. Navarre somehow managed to break himself and I have no idea what happened. He ran three runs on Saturday, he was moving really well, jumping looked great, absolutely nothing that concerned me. Took the dogs to be adjusted, brought along Navarre just because, and when she got to his shoulder he yelped – uh oh. And after that he was limping big time on his right front, so manipulating it seemed to bring out whatever issue was there. She felt neck and shoulder and Maddy agreed when I brought him to her for a massage. It just broke my heart, he would cry when Maddy was just barely touching his upper neck. She felt that the upper neck problem was the issue that caused the shoulder/arm issue. After working on the shoulder he was moving better. I gave him some metacam last night and this morning he wasn’t limping at all. Whether that was from the meds or rest, I don’t know, but obviously scratched him from the trial and he’s on rest this week. Going to try to see Maddy again on Thursday to see how he’s feeling. Tonight he looks perfectly normal, so that’s encouraging. I’m hoping he just tweaked something.

So, yeah, this trial was all about Navarre and suddenly it was just about Bright. Always good to have a spare agility dog! Bright was just along for the ride as long as I was bringing Navarre, but she ended up with 2 Advanced Gamblers legs, Advanced Snooker and Advanced Jumpers – so we’ll have to actually enter Pairs and finish off that Advanced title once and for all. Only took five years … Though we also entered biathlon and didn’t have much luck. Saturday standard was a hot mess of ridiculousness, and jumpers today she messed up her weavepoles.

But guess what Bright rocked this weekend? Steeplechase! Never used to be her thing, but she won the first round and I hear would have won the second round … but missed a pole. They were great runs though, unfortunately not on video, but they FELT good and Bright was really happy.

Really, overall I felt more connected to Bright than I have for a while, and I think having so many USDAA classes where we can … make it up as we go along, helps. We only had one hot mess, so not too shabby. Oh, and once in gamblers she refused to weave near the judge. Dork.

Before broken Navarre he had a lot of good stuff too, he ended up getting his starters gamblers title, and would have gotten to run in advanced Gamblers today, which would have been fun. We did manage to fumble another starters standard course, which is silly. It goes back to be being TOO careful, I was stopping and making sure he got his teeter contact and that ended up pulling him to the wrong end of the tunnel. And he had a nice biathlon standard run, but both him and Bright did not do their independent wrap from a tunnel up the dogwalk, which we’ve practiced quite a bit at home … but did not transfer to a trial for either. Bummer. But we did managed to fix it and Navarre looked great. You know, until he didn’t.

Just got two videos this weekend (neither of which is very exciting), thanks to Rosie! I wasn’t much into the video thing, as Bright can be so unpredictable.

Navarre Standard

Bright Jumpers

And Kip was a star, naturally. He quickly made himself at home in the VERY loud USDAA trial environment. It was so crazy loud, border collies like the bark, apparently. Kip has swagger and he did great. He’s back at home with his mom now and was ridiculously happy to see her – he certainly didn’t forget ‘his’ person! Will be fun to watch him grow, such a fun pup. Will be nice to get back to normal around here, puppies are a lot of work!


All of the sudden Kip has discovered his sheltie bark, and he’s not afraid to use it.  Happened yesterday, he was hanging out during classes it was like a switch turned on, he’s a little yapper now! He had been so quiet it’s quite the change. Good thing he’s heading home soon to join his fellow shelties in barking solidarity.


Kip heads home Sunday night, I think Mary is very much missing her puppy. I do think this has been a great experience for him, hopefully it will help him be a well adjusted adult who realizes there is life beyond other shelties. 😉 He really did great the last couple weeks, took everything in stride and very much impressed me, I think he’s going to be a super fun dog. I used him for my foundation class, he was being a ‘distraction dog’ while the other dogs were first playing with their owners, then working on their stays. Kip was tugging and growling and carrying on continuously throughout all the exercises – that boy loves to play! He is really fun to just run around with too, he loves to just romp and chase (and bark!).


Fast little thing too, we went hiking today and I did another little ‘pre-hike’ with Kip and such a big difference with his speed, coordination and confidence since our first hike last week. Puppies grow up so fast! And, yeah, LOTS of barking – that boy can bark. I’m used to silent dogs these days, so it was really weird to be out with a loud one again. My dogs were not terribly impressed to be harassed by a loud, feisty sheltie puppy – that little guy has gotten really pushy!


Last hurrah with Kip this weekend, he’ll hang out at the USDAA trial. We also started working a little on pedestal pivots, he’s not a natural at this one, but he’s trying. Hopefully he’ll still like me once he goes home, but he IS a sheltie, so we’ll see.


Meanwhile, Bright and Navarre are hanging out in the Starters/Advanced ring this weekend, with a dash of biathlon. Hopefully it will be a fun trial!

Oh, and Happy 3rd Birthday to the Sparklepuppies! Hard to believe they’re all grown up, love those pups.







Kip Video

Kip was quite the little trooper this week, he’s hung out in his x-pen all day during classes, just quiet and well behaved. Sheltie people tell me this is not the norm. 😉 So he got to meet lots of new people and dogs and hear TONS of barking. He would either play with his toys, watch quietly or nap. He did bark a little, and Tuesday it seemed like he was being a liar and didn’t go potty when he barked, but today he did. Getting good at pottying on leash too – superstar!


He has also been doing much better in general with his car sickness. He had seemed completely normal for the most part, but for some reason this morning he had some drooling. On the way home he was totally dry and perky though, so I do think all the driving has done him good.


I keep trying to take some cute video of him doing his little tricks, but we always end up working on something instead. Today he was not as good with his drop out of motion, and he was sticking a bounce before his ‘Sad’ as well, but he’s getting there. Also happy to go into his crate today, but wasn’t offering the cute down there that he did yesterday. Still, he’s so cute, and if you wait for puppies to look perfect you don’t get any video until they’re grown! So some cute Kip (yes, I need more lights in my house!):

Navarre, that boy is such a nerd when learning new behaviors. Such a thinker! He’s got putting away his toys now, but there are just some toys he doesn’t like, so he doesn’t want to put them away. Anything spherical, really – that dog does NOT like balls. What a nut.


And let it be said, Haku did great with his slow heeling and stands today and other than his first dumbbell throw, great pick ups. Too bad it’s the first one that counts … Bright has worked on contacts this week, I’d like to think she’ll stop on her teeter in the trial this weekend, but I’m not putting money on it.

We’ve been enjoying what may be our last cool week … or maybe not. June is a fickle month, but July usually isn’t. Hot weather IS coming, it’s just a matter of time. And my allergies finally arrived, I was all remarking how I had felt totally fine. Ha! I take it all back, and I think allergy meds are making me loopy and tired. A-choo! Sniffle.


Training This and That

Every dog always teaches you something new. Loving Kip’s ‘head down’ behavior as it’s transferred into an awesome fold back down out of motion. That wasn’t my intention, but it makes sense when they’re focused on the head the front goes down first and then the rear folds back. We just added the motion today and I was super impressed how quickly Kip figured it out. ‘Happy’ and ‘Sad’ are getting more proficient, though there is a certain voice inflection that seems to need to happen. Also weird since both behaviors were totally free shaped he has no physical cue for these, you can’t ‘help’ him if he seems confused. That went so well I brought out his crate and looked into shaping going into that – it took about 2 minutes until he was bouncing right in and lying down. Smart puppy!



Other dogs have not been neglected. We’ve been working on our Bobbie homework, which is sidestepping – not our favorite behavior. Working on it has made it a little better, mostly for Navarre, who is just such a thoughtful guy. Bright is the worst at this, surprisingly. Haku is the worst at our other new exercise – playing with a 5 gallon bucket. I had picked one up at the store to look at training a few tricks with it. One of the first was just doing their pedestal pivot with a taller pedestal, which SHOULD have been easy. I figured the bucket would be fairly stable, but it really shows how much the dogs were just putting all their weight on their front for this exercise with the exercise disks – and Haku is the worst. He literally can’t do it, he just keeps knocking the bucket over. Navarre, once again, no issues – Bright figured it out eventually, but she had the same issue that Haku had. So interesting experiment.


As Navarre was super good with the bucket pivots, he got to move on to a new exercise – putting his toys away into the bucket. This didn’t take long for him to figure out! His biggest issue is there are some toys he doesn’t want to pick up! Once he gets past that hurdle he’s great at lifting even big, unwieldy toys into the bucket.


I snuck Haku into one day of an obedience trial in a couple weeks, and I keep meaning to practice more – but I haven’t. I suppose we shall see if our homework from the last trial had any effect – or if we just end up with new issues. Probably the latter.


No complaints about the dreary weather, so nice to be able to take all the dogs with me still. Hurrah for Spring June!


Adventures with Kip

All puppies should be as easy as the Kipster. He’s a fun, spunky and engaged little guy when you want him to be – and then he’s just totally chill hanging out. It’s pretty remarkable in a puppy.  He’s just an easy and fun puppy, I’m really happy for Mary, I think he’s going to be a great dog.


With the seminar cancelled it was a good opportunity to take the puppy out for exposure over the weekend. We hung out at the mall, outside at a restaurant and the hardware store. He just took it all in, the traffic, the people, the noise – he just calmly watches and observes. Never seen a puppy that you could plop into the child seat on a cart and he would just sit there as you wheeled him around the store, just checking out the world. No issues hanging out under the table at the restaurant, and he was a big hit at the mall. Heck, he was a traffic stopper, with people yelling out of their car windows how cute he was.


Kip is not a huge fan of people he doesn’t know, which doesn’t shock me – such a sheltie thing. Now, if they have food he’s right there, otherwise he does the sheltie ‘look right through’ them thing. Some of the men he seemed wary of, but was happy to approach and take food. There were a couple things like a big garbage bin being wheeled by that he was a little alarmed with, but he seems like he just takes it in, absorbs it, and then he’s fine – great bounce back.

Kip loves his dog friends though! Watching him play with giant Rico was hilarious:

Kip believes every dog is just a friend he hasn’t met yet!


Kip and Cake were also equally adorable, dogs just seem to like Kip, he’s a charmer.



Kip also enjoyed a trip to Poodletopia, got to meet sheep and chickens – he was just curious about it all.



He’s got a couple behaviors on cue … kinda. Went with ‘Happy’ and ‘Sad’, sad being head down and happy being his bounce. He’s pretty good with the cues (just a verbal) at home, but tends to only want to be ‘happy’ in public. Sad is technically also a down cue, so, see, I did actually teach him something USEFUL. We’ve been working a bit more on roll over, and he’s doing great coming to hand for indicating side when coming into me. His baby recall is pretty good, he’s usually happy to come. He will walk on a leash … as long as there is no pressure on the leash, so it was pretty much just teaching him to walk with me. Just more focused and interactive in general, I feel like we’re communicating now.


Mary comes back late on Sunday, so we have another week together. Would be fun to start teaching him something with props, maybe going into his crate or mat work, a pedestal pivot would be fun too. We did nails and brushing today, he was not a huge fan, so we worked on rewarding for relaxing and handling – he got better.


Had him in the x-pen all day for classes today – he was quiet as a mouse. Still, he was awake some and watching and enjoyed getting visits from everyone (those that knew he was there – he was so quiet!). Getting better at going potty right away when you take him out. Could be a fluke, but he has done a little barking in his x-pen at home and in class and when I took him out he went right away and then was quiet after that. Had one accident in his x-pen at home, but other than that, he seems to want to keep it clean – which I appreciate. At home I’m pretty right on top of him, so no other accidents in the house … so far.

He’s a good puppy! Makes me want a puppy. At least, one as easy as this one. 😉


Puppies are Fun

Kip continues to settle in and I’m going to say it, I like him. Yes, I really like a sheltie! He’s just such a nice dog – playful, smart, funny, fierce and confident. These are not normally qualities I associate with shelties. I think the biggest surprise with Kip is how crazy independent he is. I find it amazing that he’s totally fine wherever you put him, content with his own company. Put him an x-pen, crate, outside, wherever – he just settles in and makes himself at home. He’s happy when you come let him out, but truly amazing to me that a little puppy is so content wherever he is.


He’s getting a little louder, he’s a sassy guy and has lots to say when he’s playing or thinks he needs more rewards. Yet no barking otherwise, which is so funny. We’ve had lots of little adventures this week, he did great at the Brooks barn (I know he’d been there before with Mary), he was chasing me around and tugging and being awesome. He even hung out in a crate for the last class and seemed to really enjoy watching the agility this time. Did great with the other dogs coming up to him, he’s just playful and wiggly, strange dogs are just friends he hasn’t met yet in his book. The other people, well, doesn’t give them the time of day. Unless they have food, of course.


He got to come in during obedience class, worked with me even with all the other dogs training around us. He likes the offering game – not so much restrained recalls, he offended by a strange person holding him – heh.  Today we went hiking and I took him on a little hike before going on a longer one with the big dogs. I was a little worried as we had just started making some progress on his recall, but he was a natural, stuck right by me, came to me every time I called – good puppy! He was very sensible, would chase after the other dogs, but not get underfoot. He mostly stuck to the trail, but did a little offroading – no fear in that puppy, just joy as he checked out the new place.

Training wise I’ve just started to try to refine a behavior. He gets mad when his other cute behaviors aren’t rewarded and barks at me. Been focusing on his sheltie ‘bounce’ and head down. We’ve experimented a little with introducing hand touches and roll over, and he much prefers to do things his own way. He’s got a strong personality, he likes things to be his idea – once again, I don’t think of this as a sheltie trait, so I find it very amusing. Also been working on his recall, he’s doing much better with that, which transfers well to the leash training as he’ll walk right with me … as long as it’s his idea.

Doing better in the car, as he’s spent so much time there this week I think it’s helped. Not covered in drool when we get there anymore! Dogs still find him completely acceptable, which is nice. Did have two accidents in the house today, he’s quick!


My seminar was cancelled for the weekend so we’ll see about getting Kip out in public, though, big surprise, more rain is expected!



Mary’s 12 week old sheltie puppy Kip is staying with me for a couple weeks, he arrived yesterday. It’s been fun seeing Kip as I have had very little exposure to sheltie puppies, so this is novel – and my big chance to actually spend quality time with a sheltie that will actually give me the time of day. Kip acknowledges that I exist! Not so much other people though, it’s such a sheltie thing. I took him to classes today and he hung out in an x-pen for a few hours. He had zero interest in the other people and dogs going by – so weird! I was worried he was going to be loud, but he just napped the whole time, go figure. We’ll see if that changes by the time he leaves though.


At home he settled right in, no worries, made himself at home, chases the dogs (and cats!) around and generally is just happy and playful. The dogs find him pretty much completely inoffensive, Bright can barely find it in her to give him any lip, though she gave him a couple mild corrections for jumping and biting at her that he respected. Navarre has not any interest in playing with Kip at our house, though he’s not offended by him.


Still getting to know Kip, we had our first training session this morning at the arena, but he was pretty sedate as he gets carsick (better this afternoon though!). So this morning we started ‘Puppy’s Choice’, rewarding anything he did, really, and seeing what behaviors he naturally gravitated to. There was a LOT of waiting for him to do anything other than sit and stare at the food before we were able to get started, and he was pretty tentative about making the connection between his behavior at the rewards. I thought he would be throwing his ‘wave’ that Mary has worked on, but I was highly amused at the behavior that Kip focused on – circling around me. That’s a first for me! He likes going to the right and he thinks it’s awesome.


Back at home he was much more animated and was really having fun offering behaviors. He finally was getting his adorable wave on, head down, bounce backwards, frog and, of course, circle me. Puppies are so much fun!


What we need to work up to is walking on leash (he acts like he never has before, but maybe he’s just lying to me) and a recall – that puppy likes to play keep away, and he’s FAST. I had no idea I had so many places for a puppy to run around things in my house to keep away from me. Little Kip definitely has an independent streak, but I do appreciate that in a dog. Definitely no shy flower, this guy is confident on his own, I like that about him. He’s a great puppy, friendly, sweet, sassy, outgoing, playful – but not obnoxious. He’s been really quiet so far too – maybe he’s not really a sheltie? Happy to hang out in his x-pen and slept through the night in his crate – good puppy! No accidents in the house so far, but I’m making sure he doesn’t have the opportunity.


Fun little guy, and SO FLUFFY, I do not envy Mary dealing with all that hair. He’ll probably be good for grooming though, once you can catch the little troublemaker he’s totally chill being carried around, even on his back, and loves to snuggle. Sweet guy, it’s been fun to play with a puppy again. They grow up so quickly!