Saturday, May 19, 2012

Congratulations to Ryan and Asher (Tidewaters Fire Quacker WC JH RN) on their first HRC Started pass at the High Flyers test in Pennsylvania today.  Ryan's mom Danielle had this to say about it: "One of the most precious things about a Tidewater dog is that they are so gentle, smart and biddable that an 8 year old can easily handle and pass them at his first HRC. Thanks for breeding this fantastic boy who we are all in love with!!!! Asher & Ryan say! WooHoo Started Pass #1". While we'd be happy to take the's been Danielle, her husband Doug and Ryan who have done all the hard work training and raising Asher to be such a good boy.  We're very proud of this dog and handler team!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Food tubes - this is how we begin to teach scent articles

Crispin-Little gets a belly rub after a successful training session.  Learning is SOOO stressful.

Spent the morning helping out at an obedience training match at Companion Dog Training.  I got to run a bunch of dogs through an Open routine which was very fun. I find it amazing how much you learn about dogs, dog training and dog (and people) behaviour when you play "judge" for the day and get the opportunity just to observe. 

Rowan and Crispin are the dogs that I'm currently working on obedience training with (that's obedience, the dog sport, as opposed to obedience as in behaving one's self).  While we were on vacation, Rowan and Crispin both spent a whole bunch of time working on scenting.  Crispin picked it up very quickly and soon figured out how to reward herself by popping open the food tube (they used to hold M&Ms, now they hold cheese).  Rowan and I are struggling with the same exercise.  Rowan seems to think that scent articles are about retrieving, so he quickly picks up and brings back the first article he sees.  I'm still working on convincing him that it's the SCENTED article I want.  Other than that, he's about ready for me to start taking him to some matches and getting some ring experience.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mark with Sage, doing some de-cheating.
 Mary and Rowan practicing HRC set ups.

Crispin learning to wait patiently. The leash helps.

We had a lot of fun in Kentucky this year.  The dogs got lots of water work under their belts and Mark and I both relaxed and enjoyed the time just hanging out with the dogs.  Don't get me wrong - getting up at 6 a.m. and training and caring for 8 dogs is not exactly lying on the couch eating bonbons, but it sure is enjoyable and all that fresh air and sunshine sure beats working in an office every day.  

It's amazing to me just how fit dogs become after swimming every day for 5 weeks straight.  Everybody toned up and came back home happy and healthy.  The tick population was horrible, so we spent a bunch of time picking ticks off everybody, which is an exercise unto itself.  Ick. They sure are horrid little disease carrying creatures.