Monday, 27 January 2014


Uh oh, we have entered an obedience show in Februaury! I do like doing a bit of everything with the doglets and seeing as we are on the ESSC Working Section (sheltie club) committee its nice to see the obedience shelties strutting their stuff. They are such amazing versatile little dogs and throw themselves into any activity you want. Ours are hilarious doing obedience training, Brooke spits the dumbell out and wants it thrown rather than presenting it nicely, Brax tries to get BETWEEN Matts legs instead of in finish position at the side of him and Brodie is a lazy toad and lies down in his sit stays-we will be the entertainment I'm sure!! Its a shame that its a sheltie only show as I would love to do a bit with Sparkle as its a nice way to get them working in a ring with a judge and steward. The shelties have all won out of Pre-Beginners so they have the retrieve to do as well-must find the dumbells!!

Here is Brooke doing some heelwork with Matthew back when it was sunny. He has been told many times that she is perfect for obedience and should do more-she is awesome at agility though so it might have to be a retirement hobby for her!

The other slightly scary thing is that I have entered Brodie and Brooke in showing classes! Brodie has been in the ring lots so I'm not worried about him as he will love showing off. Brooke has never been taught to stand let alone be gone over by a judge so LOTS of practice to do! I had a little practice this morning and she was typical Brooke, took it all in her stride and posed beautifully. I just need someone with a camera and I'll be fine!

First attempts at standing her-I had to stack her rather than free stand her to get her feet in the right position-she does have lovely angulation in her hind legs-sod the showing, look at that power for agility!!

Pretty girlie, despite having wild ear hair which will need minor trimming (shush don't tell Matt!)

Brodie had a bit of a bad tummy earlier in the week so he had his butt hair and tail plaited up (thanks to my ace groomer Jenni for the tip!!) It shows his hind legs better-he looks a bit sad as his tummy hurt :( He isn't stacked properly in this picture but he is very four square normally. He needs a ear hair tidy too!

Here is Brodie in action doing some gridwork this week and loving it!! Flying fuzzball!! :D

Sparkle and I went to a 'Injury prevention in agility dogs' worskhop on saturday. It was very interesting as it was run by my Sally Medcalf my dog physio. Sparkle was a good puppy and concentrated very well though all the exercises. Here she is doing a sensory labyrinth with a balance harness on-you can tell how hard we are both concentrating!! She slept soooo well after, bless her x

Monday, 20 January 2014

Canine conditioning and a visit to the dog barn

Wow what a busy weekend!! On saturday I took my two doglets for the second in a series of canine conditioning classes with Gail Baker. It is something that I feel very strongly about and am always aware of, even when training various people who never plan on competing. You wouldn't expect to drag yourself off the sofa and do an assault course once a week with no warm up and a very basic fitness level...yet we think our poor dogs can!! I have to say that the people I train are awesome and most can be found in the car park before a lesson walking their dogs round and doing stretches. Most of the competing dogs regularly see a veterinary physio (who competes in agility herself) a couple of times a year as well.

Brodie and Sparkle were really good and got another batch of homework, it is amazing how much better they have got at the exercises over the few weeks between sessions. Sparkle can now beg! (Well with the help of primula cheese!) Her leg lifts are much better now, this picture was taken at the first session, Miss wobbly pants!

Yesterday we went to the Dog Barn in Banbury as I was teaching a couple of Brooke's nieces as well as some of the owners other dogs. It was great fun and wow those pups are talented! Our girlies had a go each and really enjoyed themselves. Poor Matt was very rusty having not worked either girl properly since the beginning of Dec but they got it together and started to look like a team again. This was Matthew running diddle ginger!

Sparkle worked well, it is such a great venue and I love the fact that she has now worked in nine different venues on equipment and just got on with it. She even seemed to be ok with Matt restraining her :) She did get chased and bowled over by a sheltie in the exercise field which I was pleased about as it was about time she was on the receiving end of it!! She is great around other dogs and people but its nice for her not to be too bold all the time. This was her sucking up to the shelties :)

Mummy-I got beaten up!!

And when she got hold of a ball she went and sat on various peoples feet with it!! Daft pup!
 Mr Toad has been on his holidays at Auntie Jenni's house. It sounds like he is having such a good time with them and his mate Rommy. He is probably enjoying not being beaten up by all the girls! I have missed him like crazy but its better that he doesn't get stressed about Brooke. Jenni has been great sending me pics of him! Here he is all muddy and happy on a walk with his best mate Rommy-super handsome boys :) It is giving Jenni practice at having two shelties too...!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Puppies on hold...

Brooke has decided to come into season finally after being poorly over Christmas. Unfortunately it is too late for puppies this time as they would be here while we are in Holland competing. Anyway, our puppy owners to be have been very understanding so fingers crossed for Autumn beanie babies! Toad is being a very good boy at the moment but will heading off for a couple of nights sleep over at Auntie Jenni's house next weekend. He'll have great fun I'm sure :)

The shelties saw a squirrel, or possibly two as Brooke is looking in a different tree! I have moved my equipment to the other side of the field I rent as it has been so muddy recently. There are chickens wandering around in the trees which provided a lot of entertainment for Brodie!

Sparkle is upset as her favourite Octopus toy got binned this week due to his innards falling out! Last play with 'Octo'-happy face!

And all sad as Octo was not there the next morning...

We haven't started our agility training in earnest again as I was so busy last week but this week hoping to do some gridwork with the doglets and borrow Dolly to start her back training again. Hopefully I can get some videos with any luck!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lots of pics and some training

After the fun and chaos that was Christmas we are back to our normal routine today. I was very proud of the doglets over the holidays as they all behaved well at various peoples houses and we had my lovely Mum staying as well. We had a bit of a week running up to Christmas with Brooke and Brax being very poorly (Brooke was much worse) and us running around like headless chickens. Fortunately they seem much better now but Brooke lost a lot of weight which was worrying. Brodie, Brax and Sparkle got physio'd and both of the older two had a tight spot so they have been lasered, stretched and are hopefully ready to get back to training after their months break if the rain ever stops!

Brodie watching out of the window at 'Granny's' house!

Sparkle found this Christmas malarky a bit hard going...

Brooke fully recovered and back to being ball mad!!

Brodie and Brooke on our road trip to Wales to visit my Aunt and Uncle-sleeping on a lovely patchwork quilt that my clever sis made for Christmas. Thanks Amy!! x

Brooke and my Mum relaxing at my Aunties!

Brax seeing if there is any dinner left!!

Doglets out in St Albans!

Snuggly gingers curled up 

Yesterday Sparkle and I went on a training workshop with Dave Munnings. It was brilliant fun but I realised how rusty I had got from not doing any training for a month. Poor Sparkler was chucked in the deep end a bit with older dogs but we broke some exercises down for her so she got rewarded more frequently. We did some blinds, ketchkers and front crosses and once I got my brain in gear it all clicked! She was a good puppy-I was really pleased with her being restrained by three different people and coping much better with it than before. HUGE thank you to Becky who owns Sparkles lookalike Sixx as Becky managed to juggle restraining and filming!! It was great to have a chat with Becky as they are similar in character as well as looks, right down to the not liking restraints. It is also lovely to have video evidence of what your arms, shoulders and feet are doing and how my timing affects Spark. I was very pleased that I didn't fall over!! Spark is almost a year old so it is a good time to think about what she has learnt so far and what I need to start working on. I am very proud of my little pipsqueak! This is a video of her last run-you can see what a head start a ketchker gives me on jump 3 versus a pivot. She has a little look at the end as Dave is holding her toy but she carried on working :)