These are the chronicles of two Shetland Sheepdogs and their adventures in rally-o, obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and therapy dog work.
Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shelties Like Scratches!

Hi everyone,

I know, I am a horrible person and have been slacking off on the blog-front for a LONG time now! I do have some good excuses, we've been super busy around here lately. Just no time to write anything worth reading.

The PhD project is coming along well.
Gio and Romeo are both happy and healthy, no issues with seizures for a long time now!
I'm now a certified CARO Rally-O judge and am eager about my first judging assignments coming up soon!
I'm still teaching Rally-O classes for Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club.
I've been traveling a LOT for school, and the boys are loving the quality time they get to spend with "gramma" when I am away.

Why am I dusting off the blog today? Because I've entered the boys in a really fun photo contest and I would LOVE if you could maybe help me out with some votes!

The contest is being run by the Western Canada Lottery Association. 10 winning photos (2 from Saskatchewan, where we are) will be selected to appear on Scratch-n-Win tickets! How hilarious is that?! Shelties LOVE scratches, so a Scratch-n-Win ticket is the perfect place for them to be.

I've entered the max of 10 photos into the contest and would greatly appreciate if you could all swing by there and give them a rating. I don't think this is a "vote every day" thing, so just once is enough! I'm trying to find the fine line between asking politely for votes and being so obnoxious so as to turn people off from helping me out. haha

Below are the photos. You can rate them all, or just pick your favorites. I think the voting is only open to Canadian residents.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Boone from Many Muddy Paws is MISSING!

Anyone in the Lethbridge, AB area, please keep an eye out for this boy! Please crosspost.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blast From the Past

"Past" being June, anyways!

Back in June, SAA held an AAC agility trial and I had Romeo entered in a couple of runs. That weekend he earned a Starters Standard Q and a Starters Snooker Q. A friend video taped Romeo's Standard run, and this weekend gave me a DVD with the video!

For the little bit of agility that we do, I'm very proud of my boy for how well he does! He had a bit of a bobble at the weaves (was his VERY first time EVER seeing 12 weaves in a row), and he still isn't super strong on the tunnels, so some of my handling is a bit awkward to ensure that he takes the tunnel.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ROAD TRIP continued

So we're home now, settled in and rested up. Life is back to normal.

Last weekend the dogs and I went on a road trip to attend a Sheltie Party! WOOHOO! Circle of Sheltie Friends has a yearly summer party for members. Not all of us are from the same area, so this year there were Sheltie Parties spread across the US and Canada. I attended the party in Edmonton, which meant about a 6 hour drive. Took a couple of days off, packed the car with dogs and presents, and headed out!

The party didn't start until Saturday, but the hostess was gracious enough to let me bunk at her place for the weekend. She has two stellar Shelties, Luka (9 years) and Cullen (2 years). All of the boys got along very well; Romeo and Cullen chased each other around the house while Gio and Luka stood back and barked at them. Perfect match!

Gio and Romeo especially loved the resident children! The young boy was a ball throwing machine, and tossed toys and balls for the dogs for ages. Easy way to win over the heart of a Sheltie ... balls and food.

The party on Saturday saw 13 dogs (12 Shelties and 1 Collie), plenty of food, loads of kids, and some great company! It was a great time had by all!

Remember the two ways to win over a Sheltie? Here is the second one! FOOD!

I guess, in lieu of food, scratches are acceptable, too.
And kids can supply ball throwing, food, AND scratches! WOOHOO!

Gio made a new buddy in Jake, the other super-sized Sheltie at the event. I think they are the most handsome super-sized Shelties EVER! Even down to their matching front leg markings.

All of these festivities resulted in plenty of tired Shelties.

We hit the road again on Sunday to come home. One pit stop along the way ... Vegreville!

Vegreville is between Edmonton and Lloydminster and is home to the world's largest Pysanka (ie. Ukrainian Easter egg). This has always been my favorite roadside attraction. I have an odd love for those giant statues or sculptures that many towns have and would some day love to go on a road trip and visit all of the big monuments, statues, and small town museums that I come across! Some day ... when I have more money and time than I know what to do with.

I have a photo like this from when I was much younger. Thought it was only appropriate to get a picture of the dogs with the egg as well!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The boys and I are going on a very special road trip!

But you'll have to wait to hear details and see pictures until after we get back. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

I found this on the Many Muddy Paws blog and just HAD to re-post it here!

(Dog Trainer Version)
Author: Unknown

Pavlov: we fed the chicken on the opposite side of the road each day at 4p.m. until the chicken’s autonomic system actually began causing the chicken to cross the road at 4 p.m. without even questioning the “why.”

B.F. Skinner: on prior occasions when the chicken voluntarily crossed the road, this behavior was followed immediately by a reinforcing consequence.

Cesar Milan: I bullied, chased, poked, and intimidated the chicken until it raced across the road, because I am a strong leader.

Barbara Woodhouse: You just say, “Walkies” with the right accent and place a crumpet on the other side of the road.

Karen Pryor: by associating R+ with road crossing and P+ withstanding still, with a VR schedule, and offering a reward in keeping with the Premack principle, we increased the intensity and frequency of the road crossing behavior.

Bill Koehler: a few well-timed pops on the choke chain and the chicken was cheerfully to crossing the road.

Nicholas Dodman: I gave the chicken fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, carbamazepine, and azapirone and then it was happy to cross the road.

Patti Ruzzo: I crossed the road, pausing every step to spit a treat out of my mouth like a human pez dispenser and the chicken followed along catching the treats.

Electric Collar Advocate: whenever the chicken does not cross the road I give it an electric shock. But do not worry, the shock is no more than you would feel if you walked on a carpet wearing socks and it does not bother the chicken at all. The feathers standing up and the smell of burning flesh mean nothing. In fact, they are happier having nice clear communication than they would be otherwise.

Yuppie: chickens are just like little people in feather jackets, and if you love them and give them diamonds and feel sorry for them all the time, they will be happy to cross the road for you.

Paris Hilton: Because I put it in a Gucci bag and carried it.

Shelter director: Any chickens that do not cross the road will be euthanized for their own good, and the others we will ‘adopt’ out tomorrow for only $200 each. Please send us money so we can keep doing more of this important work!

HSUS member: I do not know anything about animals, I have never been around animals and am not really fond of animals, but we passed a law mandating that chickens be kept without cages because animals belong only in the wild and cannot be happy coexisting with man, so now they are walking wherever they want.

PETA member: chickens have the right to live in world without roads. Any chicken that lives within a hundred miles of a road is suffering an inhumane existence and might eventually be hit by a car so we should kill it today to ensure that it does not die tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Reverse

I've received some requests via my Sheltie Hair Facebook page for videos explaining how I do my training.

One request asked for a demonstration on how I train a "back up". So here it is!

And, while I was at it, I made a video showing how I train a backward heel. There are more techniques to clean up the backward heel once the dog has the basic idea, but this video shows the very beginning steps with a STRONG focus on heel position.

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