Sunday, February 28, 2010

Double Trouble

"Jetzen & Phoenix"

"Phoenix & Jetzen"

Yes, so very cute. Don't they just look like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths?? YEAH RIGHT!! These two when they team up really are "Double Trouble". I swear with the noises you hear outside sometimes, that they are egging each other on to see who can dig the biggest hole under the trampoline (just as well the grass was already dead under there!).

Then there is stalking each other around the outdoor table, with lots of paw lifts and play bows, followed shortly after by tearing off and racing madly around the yard playing catch me if you can. It's a bit much for poor Saxon some days. As soon as Nix & Jetz start this he is off to the safety of his kennel!!

But you look at those faces with their big Kelpie smiles and you just can't resist giving them big pats and cuddles. It's not so much Double Trouble then, more a Double Act - double the love, double the fun!!

The Three Amigos

Just some recent pics that I have taken around the house of the hounds together. The old man of the house Saxon (almost 10yrs old), Phoenix, who absolutely rules the roost (2 1/2yrs) and Jetzen, the newcomer (9 months). Three VERY different personalities, each of which brings me different joys and challenges - but I wouldn't be without a one!!

"The Old Boy"

"The Ruler of the Roost"

"The Newcomer"


"Phoenix ~ Saxon ~ Jetzen"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Where did the time go???

Seriously folks... Where has the start of the year gone?? Summer is nearly over already! So begs the question.... How did my plans for training go? Well I was pleasantly surprised at what I got done. Not quite as much as I had planned but I was still happy.


  1. Dog Walk - We are progressing nicely with her understanding of the end criteria. I thought I would test this at training Wed just gone. Previously Nix had been hesitant on the down ramp but this has greatly reduced now. She is still slower than I would like but is running straight to the end now instead of hesitating and then walking into the contact.
  2. Weavers - Aaarrghh the weavers. They are improving but still have a LONG way to go. Nix is getting the footwork happening and has a good understanding of the entry and even the exit! If she misses a weaver she will then miss another one before the end so that she exits on the correct side - go figure. I guess I have reinforced the exit well :) We just need to get the consistency still. So we will say the weavers are still a work in progress!!
  3. Handling - Ok so this was more about me and what I do than anything Nix was doing! With a lot of concentration and several mistakes in the beginning it seems, from all accounts, that I am no longer confusing my poor dog so much! It shows too, as she is running a lot nicer and faster. I still need to work on my timing so as not to pull off from an obstacle to early, but we are getting there.
  4. Stand For Exam - Lots of informal work on this. Any time Phoenix has been standing next to me I've touched her back in some way, gradually increasing the pressure as I go. She will now quite happily stand for me and allow me to do a proper exam. Now I have to pair that with my moving towards her to do it instead of starting already at her side. It's a vast improvement from the start of the year, but still a long way to go!
  5. Trick - I have been working on teaching Nix to walk backwards while standing only on her two hind legs. She manages about 5 steps. Now I have to get her to do it in a straight line instead of curving away from me.
  1. Targeting - Hmmm... Seems this one went by the way side a little, and became more about focusing on me rather than his environment. Must be working as he was much more responsive and far less distracted at training on Sunday just gone.
  2. Flatwork - My main aim here was just to do more of it!! So in that sense we have achieved well ;-) I still have to work harder on holding Jetz with me on the right but it's definitely improving!
  3. Barking - Well I can at least call Jetzen off the back fence now, instead of having to go and fetch him when the dog over the back is razzing them up!! He is quite the barker at the moment and I have learned well that the more I stimulate him mentally the less he barks - or maybe he has trained me well!!
  4. Positions - I'm really happy with the work Jetzen is putting together here. He is so eager to work and to please that he is doing things at a million miles an hour which is great but challenging my timing :-)
  5. Trick - Ok, I'll be honest here - we haven't done one!! I couldn't decide what to do and thus it hasn't happened.... to be continued ;-)