Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yay for the Old Boy!!

Wahoo Super Sax!! Why so excited you may very well ask. There have been many times over the years that I have tried to trial Saxon, in both agility & obedience. Now whilst he has the ability, talent, and, without a doubt, the enthusiasm, we have hard a hard time over the years managing his arousal levels. Thus, we don't compete in CAWA trials. I continue to train with Sax as he enjoys it so much, and on occasion I will enter him in one of our clubs Members Competitions, be it agility or obedience.

So Wed night Northern Suburbs had it's last Agility/Jumping Members Comp for the year. I entered Sax in Pre-Trial (Equivelent to Novice but for dogs not competing at CAWA level) Jumping. Full of beans as usual he was ready to fly off the start line and I had a hard time making him wait. Got to the second obstacle and he was off!!! Although not a brilliant run by many peoples standards I was thrilled to say the least. All the bars stayed up, there was no spinning between obstacles, there was no cutting back to me and there was no barking (a few "woowoo's" though!!). I was so proud of him. Super Dog!!

So at the grand age of 9 1/2 Saxon won his first ever "Comp". Yup, thats right, he managed to take out first place - Yay Saxy Man!! I've got to say that I think he was pretty chuffed with himself too. He tugged so hard on his toy once he'd finished that he actually broke part of it - ripped it clean in half!! Oh well, you deserve it "Old Boy".

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another good night :-)

I am so very proud of my Nix, second trial in a row to be the only qualifier in Excellent Jumping!! It was quite a nice course, courtesy of Mel Rhoden, with a combination of flowing sections interspersed with some interesting challenges and tight turns.

I was really happy again with the way Nix was reading my body cues, especially on the serpentine out of the tunnel (which we haven't done a lot of in competition - or in training for that matter!!). My front crosses are getting faster and thus Nix is travelling a lot tighter through them. I do need to rework my start lines though - typical thing, in training I can get a really decent lead out but come to trials and it seems I can only get to the second obstacle. Another thing to add to the training list for summer!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Camper!!

So last night saw saw Nixy and I return to our first night trial, hosted by Perth Training. Thankfully the impending rain decided to circle around the grounds and only delivered a few drops before courses started being run.

A quick check of the catalogue and although Novice Agility and Excellent Jumping were going to run at the same time it did not appear that Nix's runs would clash - always a good thing!! Off to walk the courses.......

Novice Agility - not bad. Couple of challenges - one for the weave entry and the other a 270 after the table. Other than that fairly straight forward up and down the ring.

Excellent Jumping - One needed to be able to keep a level head here - so many front crosses that even if you remembered the course you'd be lucky if you didn't get dizzy and fall over!! A number of challenging turns and possible off courses.

So our first run was Excellent Jumping. Watching a few dogs before me and there were knocked bars, off courses, and one competitor who decided they would try dancing with the judge in the middle of their run!! Nice one Jules ;) Then it was our go. Well I couldn't have been happier with my girl - her turns were tight (well most of them), she decelerated at all the right spots and then powered back out when required, she seemed to be reading my body cues a lot better and I wasn't having to verbalise to her quite as much. Her speed is increasing and we are working much better as a team. Result... Clear round!! Happy Camper. Turned out that we were the only ones to gain a clear round and thus first place!!! Bonus.

Quick drink and a few minutes rest and it was into Novice Agility. I'll be honest and say I wasn't holding up much hope here as Nix is still struggling with the weavers. So I figured I'd still go in and bypass the weaves, but give her some practice on the other equipment in a true trial setting. Well low and behold Nix weaved!! Yup first time ever and on the left (she much prefers to enter on my right as she has a clear picture of what she has to do - wrap the first pole), I think I was in shock for the rest of the course, that said though, I still do not think that she truly understands the concept of the weavers. She did a lovely A-Frame and didn't budge on the table. Best bit though was how she read my body cues for the 270, she decelerated beautifully and just popped over the bar with a nice angle and straight around to take the next jump and complete the 270 - I was so excited at how she handled it I forgot to call quick enough for the dog walk and we had an off course. Sorry Nix! There was also none of the hesitancy on the down ramp of the dog walk like I had been getting. So although not a clear round I was thrilled with the sections of work we put together - Happy Camper again.

Jetzen had a great night out too. LOTS of socialising with so many different breeds and ages of dogs - it was fabulous. He is Mr Social so he loved it, myself however... I find I have to work so much harder for his attention than what I did with Phoenix, I have to be a lot more on the ball to reward for every piece of attention I get. That said he is very good at focusing on me, and also regaining his focus after being distracted. Very much a happy go lucky loping puppy. I will update shortly with some more of his training.

So all in all an excellent night. Great atmosphere, lots of laughs, and some wonderful time spent with my furry 'kids'.

Phoenix - Excellent Jumping First Place

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last weekend saw the kids, myself & my Mum head to Rockingham (about 45 min South) for a double header Agility / Jumping Trial.

I must note a special thanks here to both of my parents. With so much to do in their own lives they still happily give up their time to help babysit for me. Without their help I would not be able to do even half of what I am able to do with my dogs. Thank you.

So to the trial. After a scorcher of a day previously (37 degrees) and expecting another hot day it turned out to be quite pleasant. Still hot for both humans and dogs if you stood in the sun too long though.

In the AM trial I had to wait around a bit as both Nix's runs were in the second session. It was our first trial in Excellent Jumping which of course ran at the same time as Novice Agility. It's been a long time since I have had to memorise 2 courses at the one time - but I managed. It was also the first time Nix has gone straight out of one ring and into another.

I had hoped to run Jumping before Agility but it wasn't to be. Nix had a lovely Agility run but we got caught up in the weavers - Damn Weavers! She powered off the start line, responded well to my body cues and hit both her contacts. Very happy. However no time reflect as we ran down to the Jumping ring where they were waiting for us.

Now if I had of been thinking I would have taken a minute, composed myself, let Nix have a break and then run the course. But alas I was flustered and worried about missing my run so I went straight in the ring. Sorry Nix. My girl did the first couple of jumps and then went all 'airy fairy' on me, not least of the reasons why was the fact that I had no idea what I was doing!! We pulled it together and finished the course, with a few missed jumps and off courses along the way, but I wanted Nix to still have a bit of fun and for us to put a couple of obstacles together nicely before leaving the ring, which we did.

During the break I thought about those morning runs and how I could better transition myself and my dog between runs in the afternoon. Both runs in the afternoon were going to be at the same time again. Hmmmm...

So to the PM trial. After letting the stewards in both rings know that I may clash, I decided I would do EJ first and then NA, and hope that I wouldn't put the agility ring too far out of whack. So it to EJ, a nice course by Mel Rhoden. Nix ran beautifully and even though I lost her position for what seemed like an eternity between two obstacles I managed to find her behind me and get her over the next jump at a HUGE angle - Good girl Nix - to finish with a clear round. Her first leg in Ex Jumping which also gained her second place.

Now to NA. Instead of racing up the ring. I took time to reward Nix for her jumping run and walk calmly up to the next ring. I was called straight away but asked if I could take a minute as I had just come out of another ring - wasn't a problem. By the time I walked up to the line I was calm and focused on the course in front of me (a far cry from the mornings effort). It payed off. Although not a clear round (Damn weavers again), Phoenix was focused and worked lovely. I was more than happy.

So even though we got a clear round. I was more happy with the fact that I was able to read my dog and know when she was and wasn't ready to work in the afternoon, and to give her the chance to succeed instead of rushing and hoping.

Something else that interested me at the trial was my son who is nearly six. He walked each of the courses with me, called obstacles by name and by the end of the day was asking "Mummy do we need to put a cross in here", and darn it if he wasn't right too. He has been coming to trials all his life and was interested but not to this degree. It was great. While we were sitting watching some of the runs he was commenting too. He was picking up when they missed a weaver or if they took a wrong jump. I think his best comment of the day though was after he watched Graeme and Mavy (super fast Working BC) run Novice Jumping. He said "Mummy, you know, I think Mavy would do better if he slowed down a bit, then he wouldn't knock the bars so much" - PRICELESS!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Update For 'The Boy'

The little man is really not so little anymore - 5 months old now and the same height as Phoenix (46cm)!!! Hmmmm - only time will tell.....

As for training, well unfortunately I haven't been able to do anywhere near as much with Jetzen as I had with Phoenix by the same age. Guess there is a lot to be said for getting a 'Summer Pup' as opposed to a 'Winter Pup'. Was by far easier to get out in the pleasent summer evenings with Nix - so many times I 'thought' about getting out and wanted to get out with Jetzen, but alas there was the cold, the wind and the rain. Not so much a problem for me, but Miss 3 and Master 5 seemed to object!!

So instead of 'formal' training. Jetz has had more 'house' dog training! Problem is now he thinks he owns it - he's so darn cute and funny too that it's hard not to let him get away with things at times :) He is hillarious to watch run, all legs and no idea of how to stop!! He tries to race the big dogs out the back door and he keeps up with them just fine but he looses it on the turn. While Sax & Nix pull up and make a gracefull turn and exit out the door, Jetzen has legs flying in all directions and ends up sliding a good metre past the door as he attempts to stop at speed on tiles. This is then followed by the desperate scramble and flailing of legs, again at a zillion miles an hour so as to catch up to the others and not miss out on what might possibly be happening!!

'The Boy' would make a great post hole digger too!! If there is anyone who needs fencing done I'm sure we could arrange a nice deal. Although Jetzen may not dig the holes quite where you want them ;) The following pic shows Saxon retrieving one of his toys from one of Jetz's burrows!!

He is great with the kids too. I always thought how good Nix was - but Jetzen is 10 times better, it's amazing. He came along the other week to watch while my son had Little Athletics Training. There would have been easily 60 kids. At first he tried to jump on a couple but this was soon replaced by a lovely stand as they patted him. Due in part to the well timed delivery of treats by me. About 10 minutes into the session and he wasn't even fussed as the kids came running from behind and on the way past ruffed the top of his head.

Hopefully now though, with the approach of warmer weather (and baby sitters back from their 3 month holiday!) Jetzen's agility and obedience training should come along in leaps and bounds!! Will keep you posted - yes a little more frequently than I have!!

~ Stalking Saxon ~

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time Flies - An Update for Nix

It would seem that the old saying 'Time Flies' is true. As you can see it has been a few weeks since I last posted, so here is an update!!

A couple of weeks back (30th Sept to be exact!) our club had their Agility/Jumping Members Competition. Her Jumping run was great. This was Phoenix's first run on an Excellent level course and I was so very pleased with my girl. I have been working hard on keeping her drive and motivation going and it seems to have payed off. Nix took off from the start and was pushing to get ahead, she was focusing more on the obstacles ahead rather than checking in to me after each one, and responded extremely well to my cues (verbal and especially body) although almost too well at times :) A really pleasing run topped off with a first place!!

Agility however was a different story....... Well, I shouldn't really say that. Her drive was still there, even at the end as she pushed ahead for the run home, she got both her contacts nicely, and just loves to power at the table. So why the different story?? THE BLASTED WEAVERS! Yup, they got us. Guess Nix wasn't as well versed at them as I thought :( Aaaarggh. It really is quite frustrating.

Apart from those weavers though, I was extremely happy with both runs. It seems acting like a loon at training, jumping around squealing and making stupid noises while waving 'tuggie' in the air and wriggling it along the ground in front of a dog who is standing staring at you with a look of 'Are you OK?' pays off. Why? Because now I have a dog that will go nuts for her tuggie (except on the odd occasion if she knows there are REALLY good treats around!). She will launch at it and tug like a dog possessed. Thanks to Gina here for her yells of 'Keep Going' from across the training ground as I am absolutely exhausted from all the jumping around and carrying on and on the verge of putting it in the oh-so-easy 'Too Hard' basket. For anyone who thinks their dog 'can't' or 'wont' play with toys. Don't give up. Yes it is hard, yes you will be exhausted, and yes you will provide entertainment for those you train with, but by geez the payoff in the long run is HUGE!! The difference in Phoenix's attitude to work since has been amazing.

1st Place - Intermediate (Excellent) Jumping NST&ODC Members Comp

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Success at Last!!

It's finally happened - I think the penny has finally dropped for Miss Nixy Pixy!! At training tonight she put together her first set of 12 weave poles!! YAY!! Those dreaded blasted weave poles are no longer the bane of our existence, they are friend, not foe - well..... for tonight anyway :)

Not only was she doing the poles when she was asked but was willingly entering of her own accord. She had drive into them and a spring out - it was great. She was actually enjoying racing through the poles and thought it was a great game. It is truely amazing how sometimes no matter how much we try (and lord knows I've tried with those blasted weave poles) there just isn't a darn thing more to be done until that lightbulb goes on inside our beloved canine's head and they just 'get it'.

Hmmm - now to wait and see if she can do it again!! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The good, the unexpected, and the 'oh my'!!

The other weekend (13/09) saw our Members Obedience comp for Northern Suburbs. Thankfully amidst all the horrible weather we have been having, the day was just lovely. All the dogs and their owners seemed to enjoy the day too. As for me, my day had a little of everything....

Firstly, young Jetzen surprised my by winning puppy class. There are some very lovely pups and talented handlers in the group and with (by my standard) the little amount of 'training' we had done I thought for sure it would just be a bit of fun and an attempt at trying something different together. So thanks little man for being such a good boy!!

Next was to take Phoenix into the ring for our equivalent of CCD. Hmmm - seems we need to do some work before the Nationals! Nix did a lovely heel routine which I was quite happy with, however we didn't do the 'stand for exam' (while practicing outside the ring, every time she was approached she would sit! So I thought it best not to attempt in the ring!) and the reacall.... Well lets just say there is a lesson to be learnt in having a smart dog. Apparently her cue to come to me was when the judge said "Call your dog" so there was no need for me to call!! Gotta love it. The judge found it mighty funny, especially as the look on Nix's face was - See, see Mum, look how clever I am, I did good didn't I?!

Now the old boy. I put Saxon in as a bit of fun. He loves to do his heel work - full of enthusiasm and a happy waging tail. I couldn't fault him. Fantastic heel work, lovely 'stand for exam' and a great recall. He gets too stressed in the stays so he doesn't do them, and neither of us mind. He is just a joy to work with in obedience and knowing how much fun he has makes it even better.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Boys

Just a few photos of the boys that I couldn't help but share. Saxon 9 1/2 years and Jetzen 16 weeks.

The Past Few Weeks!!

Hmmm - what can I say other than life's been a bit hectic lately and thus I haven't updated the blog as often as I would like. Sorry folks :)

The furry kids are doing well, and Jetzen is growing, and growing, and growing!! My little puppy is not so little anymore. He's now 17 weeks and is only about an inch or so shorter than Phoenix. He still hasn't managed to grow into his ears yet though!! The following pic may not be the best photo, but it's a great one of Jetz doing his bat impersonation.

The little man is fitting in very well still and he and Nix play for hours on end. She is very tolerant with him, more so than what most dogs would be I think. Jetz will literally try and stand on Nix and she lets him. Nix is such a lovely girl and ever so patient!

One of Jetzen's greatest attributes is his lovely nature. Everywhere I have taken him and everything he has seen he just takes in his stride. He is still very appropriate too with his body language. He has met quite a number of dogs of all different breeds, sizes and ages in many different environments and has handled both the dog and the situation perfectly. There is nothing that seems to bother him. At training he will quite happily lie down calmly and watch - even with the likes of Indie, Domino and Maverick racing around the equipment.

Jetz is a definite character, and oh so funny and mischievous. Give him half a chance and he will get hold of something he is not supposed to and have a grand old time with it :) It's been great for helping me keep the house tidy, and for teaching the kids to put their stuff away!!

Thanks again to Mary & Stephen Bilson for breeding such a lovely puppy. I will never be able to thank you enough for both Phoenix & Jetzen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birthday Girl

Nix is 2 today!! Where has the time gone?? I can't believe that Nix has been part of our lives for 2 years now. I have had lots of fun with my girl over the last two years and she certainly has challenged my knowledge and taught me lots. Here's hoping the next two years (and more) are just as much fun. Happy Birthday Nixy Pixy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Water Pup

Introduced Jetzen to water this week and he took to it like a duck - straight in. He was not fussed in the slightest. I think having other dogs with him that love the water was a big help. Although that said, Phoenix had the same introduction to water yet she would rather stay out of it! Go figure.

Jetzen had a great time running after the big dogs and trying to steal the ball from Saxon - which he managed on the odd occasion when I was too slow to get to it first!! Jetzen has it sussed now though - the first few times he had taken off with the ball I traded him off for a piece of food. Now he picks up the ball, then spits it out almost straight away and sits in front of me for his treat. Hmmm - I get the feeling I am going to have to be on my toes with him!!!

When the water got too deep Jetzen just kept on going - straight into swimming. Poor little guy looked a bit like a drowned rat. Didn't stop him though - he had to get out to his Mum. Such a mummy's boy.

I was really happy too that at times Jetzen would rather do his own thing than chase the big dogs every where. It is great that he is not obsessed with following the others. He is like that at home too - happy to play his own games and do his own things while the other dogs are running around him.

Jetzen has his first bath, well shower, when we got back and that didn't bother him in the slightest either. He stood there like a seasoned professional - except when he was trying to chew the shampoo bottle and lid!!

So far this little man seems to take everything in his stride. Nothing appears to faze him. I'll be doing my best to keep him that way as well!!

As for the others, well Saxon always has a great time when he's got his ball to chase, and he just loves the water so he couldn't have been happier. Mavy spent almost the entire time at Saxon's side racing with him where ever he went and Nix, I think she ran the most out of all of them!!

Phoenix isn't overly fond of the water - although she is getting better with each visit - and would prefer to race backwards and forwards along the shore line while the others go to fetch the ball. She does a beautiful curving arc out, and far far away, while Saxon waits for the ball to be thrown then tears off once Sax moves and then races back to cut him off as he returns. She has a great time stalking, chasing and trying to head him off!!

Here are some more pics off the big dogs - enjoy!

Puppy Class

Sunday saw us attend our first day of Puppy Class at Northern Suburbs! I had forgotten how much fun it is. All those puppies so full of life and enthusiasm. Jetzen had a great time and now has a new best mate - Windy, a very lovely Siberian Husky owned by Kathy. The two of them hit it off like they were old friends!!

There were at least 20 pups (possibly more as I wasn't really counting) and all of a different breed in the group. I was very pleased that Jetzen greeted all of them very appropriately. Actually all the pups were lovely.

I was happy that Jetzen managed to stay focused on me when it was asked of him and also that he calmed down quickly after his play sessions. An hour was a bit much for the little man though and he was mighty tuckered afterwards - though not for long :)

Looking forward to this Sunday and another hour of Puppy Class!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The first week

So one week has passed already - how time flies. The "Jet Man" (as my son calls him) is settling in nicely. He is your typical puppy .... Into EVERYTHING!!!! Boy is he fun though, loves to play with his toys - and the big dogs toys too. Nightime is great, he's in bed by 11 and sleeps through till 7! Mind you now that I've said that he'll probably be up all night tonight :)

Phoenix absolutely loves him. They would play all day together if I let them. Tracks are already developing in the yard as they do their laps - just as well I decided to wait to redo the gardens!! It's hilarious, when Jetzen wants to get away he races along the fence under the pine trees because Nix doesn't fit, then he'll stop with the funniest look on his face and look at her to say "well whats the problem I can do it!"

Saxon is accepting Jetzen well too. To the point that when Sax and I are playing fetch, once Saxon has dropped the toy of choice he will let Jetzen pinch it if I am not quick enough to get it first. Sax just stands there and looks at me to say "Mum he's got it again".

So all in all a good first week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Handsome Boy

Had to share this photo taken only moments ago. Such a handsome boy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Toy Boy

I was told by Mary (breeder) that Jetzen had quite a personality and sense of fun - boy was she right. This little man is a dynamo with toys. Absolutely LOVES them. He is also a giant spaz of a puppy, his spac runs are hilarious to watch, not just because of him but the look on Phoenix's face as he goes tearing by!!

He has met a couple of friends over the weekend - a lovely Beardie who I'm sure he's bound to get up to mischief with, and a Great Dane who's paw was nearly the same size as Jetzen's head!

Here are some more photos for you all, hope you enjoy them....

Friday, July 17, 2009

He's Here!!!!

Jetzen has arrived!! I'm not sure who has been more excited today waiting - myself or my son. All day he has been asking "When are we going to get my new puppy?" and here I was thinking I was getting a new dog :)

Jetz seemed to handle the flight well - mind you he wasn't that impressed when I put him back in his crate for the trip home but he settled really quickly. I'm really looking forward to seeing his personality develop - I've been assured that I will have lots of fun with him!! So far so good :) and as you will see he is already loving tug!!

Here are a few of his first photos....


Crack up - We have just been out for a toilet break and I wasn't paying Jetz any attention so he started whining - that didn't work, so he ran and grabbed the tug toy - sorry not play time, so he whined again - nope still not gonna work, so he flops down onto his side with a noise like his world has just ended and then looks at me with this cheeky look as if to say "Did you buy that one?" FUNNY.

Time to go play!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three more sleeps :)

Yup that's right - just three more sleeps!! Three more sleeps till what you may ask? Three more sleeps till my new boy gets here - Introducing.......

"Noonbarra Jetzen"
(Photo from breeder - 7 weeks)

The phone call came today to let me know that Jetzen will be arriving from NSW on Friday afternoon - I haven't stopped smiling since!! Although I have had a few "Oh geez" moments thinking of all the things I still have to get done before he gets here. I'm looking forward to the challenge though and can't wait to have another 'mate' following me around. Until Friday...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Almost there....

Ok, two posts in one day - don't get too used to it!! Just trying to get up to the present :)

2009.... So far so good.

We have continued on with the herding and tried to get down there as often as possible, unfortunately as much as I would love to go every week it just hasn't been possible. Still, at the start of the year Nix passed her Herding Instinct Test (HIT), Herding Test (HT) and Pre-Trial Test (PT) all in the space of less than 3 months.

Agility is going well - more to the point Jumping is going well. Nix gained her Novice Jumping Title (JD) in June with three second place qualifying rounds. Along with a second in the State Novice Jumping Final as well. Not bad considering the age and experience of the dogs she was up against. Agility would be better if she didn't have such an obsession with the A-frame and Dog Walk!!!

Unfortunately obedience has taken a back seat for a while although I must step that back up again with the Nationals here in October. Stand for Exam and Stays to proof and we should be right.

So with that quick summary of the first half of 2009 we are up to date!! Well almost.... Now to meet the new addition, but that will require a post all of it's own.....

Nix's First Year

So this is a year in review....2008

I thought about trying to write everything that has happened but it would just take far too long. So here is a quick overview.... Phoenix and Saxon are the best of buddies now, although Sax does get a bit annoyed when Nix tries to get him off the comfiest sleeping spot! Her training for both agility and obedience is coming along nicely, as well as training a few tricks - which the kids just love!! She has developed quite an art in landscaping (the kids thought we must of had rabbits with some of the burrows she had dug) although I must admit she only turns to this past time if I have not paid enough attention to her!!

We entered into the world of Herding, which she absolutely loves - naturally. She is a great little dog with lovely footwork and distance off the stock. I think I have found another addiction, although unlike agility it's a bit hard to train at home :)

Her dislike of water began to improve with thanks to several other dogs who LOVE the water. That and the fact that each time I venture into the wet stuff she cant help it and has to follow.

Nix has also developed a really cute (and funny) habit, in that when I am standing still she will come up behind me and stick her head through my legs and look up at me with a really funny look - very cute!!

Well enough jabbering, the following are a few of my favourite photos of Nix over the year, although it was hard to choose considering the 1000's I have taken!!