Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Not a sheepdog, but a weaving show off! With Photo's!

So now that Jock doesn't have sheep to round up, he's become my 'insight' dog. I'm a full time dog trainer and behaviourist, and rather than have Jock sit around and get fat, I thought I'd put him to work for me.
I get a lot of "red zone" dogs in, and Jock tells me the dogs I should trust, and the ones to keep an eye on. So far, he hasn't steered me wrong. If he wont approach a dog, I'm wary. If he wants to be friends, then I'm happy to work with the dog.
We recently held a recall clinic, and Jock, obviously, was there for the 2 days. He's got an incredible recall, but he's also showing his paw at a few other things, like weaving off lead through the traffic cones.

20m Recall

Monday, August 24, 2015

The terrible two at play (with Photo's)

Hi guys,

Well, I've been flat out lately training other peoples dogs and haven't had a great deal of time to put into my two. They haven't seemed to mind though, and have been enjoying the sunshine.

Jock is on a break from being assistant trainer at the moment, although he did get to "show his stuff" this evening when I had to show a client the "return to heel", and how to teach it. Fortunately for me, Jock did this beautifully, but also managed to show what can go wrong when teaching it. I wasn't really wanting that part of the lesson, but thanks for taking the initiative Jock! lol

Anyway, yesterday I took some photo's of Jock and Peppa playing, or should I say Jock teasing the hell out of Peppa with the rope toy.


Jock will rest for a couple of days before being put to work again with another client dog coming in. He's such a sweet boy that he's brilliant for this job, so long as the other dog doesn't try to eat him! lol

Monday, August 10, 2015

Working? Where's the sheep?

Hi Guys,

Well, Jock may no-longer enjoy running on the farm and having sheep to boss around, but he does have another job to do.

Ever since I started up dog training again, I've had the need for a non-reactive dog. Peppa, the little darling, is NOT that dog. Not only does she react to anything and everything, she over-reacts. Not suitable for my needs.

Jock, however, is happy to get along with just about anyone, especially if he can con a pat out of them.

Well, tonight, he was put to the test.
I have a client that has an interesting dog. She is a 3 part dog.
1 part Shar Pei
1 part Bull Terrier
1 part Siberian Husky.

How's that for an interesting combination?!
She has the brown coat colour of the husky, and the head shape and ears. Her ear set, coat and tail are pure Shar Pei, and her temperament is Bull Terrier. The best of all worlds!

This little gorgeous little girl LOVES other dogs, and often lunges at them to greet them. This puts many dogs on the defensive and she doesn't get a very warm welcome.
Today we not only had her walking calmly by our leg (something she only learned last week) but we were side by side with Jock. He was desperate to go and say hello, but he stayed by my side. We were in front, then behind, then beside, and all went really well. I did have to stop Jock from goosing her up the bum (something he seems to love doing just for the reaction of the other dog), and remind him to stay close at times but he did really well. He was also under pressure because he doesn't usually get led by complete strangers. He tried to con pats but once I told him to behave, he settled down and did the job.

So Jock has been promoted from ex sheepdog to assistant dog trainer! He doesn't get a badge though, that'd go to his head!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Updates on life for Jock & Peppa

Well guys, it's been forever since I've done a new blog post, and boy is there lots of news!

1. We've moved house. Not entirely by choice, but you get that. It's turned out for the better, even though it's really taking some getting used to.
We've moved from a 6 bedroom, 7 acre property into a 3 bedroom and approximately 1/8th of an acre property. I'd guess the block is around 650 - 700 square metres. I call it a postage stamp!

There are pros and cons with this place. Two of the biggest pro's are that a) it's warm. Gone are the days of wind whistling through the holes in the walls, floor, gaps around windows and chasms around doors. Pro b) is that we are within spitting distance of the schools where our two girls spend their weekdays. Well, you'd have to be a damn good spitter, but it takes approximately a minute and a half to walk to their classrooms.
One major con about the place is that due to having too much stuff, we've had to hire not one, but two storage lockers of a reasonable size to put all of our excess furniture, clothes, etc. It's costly, but at least we know it's safe.
The other major con is the lack of space for the dogs, and my youngest to run around. That being said, there aren't any snakes here, so that stress has gone from our life.

2. Jock is now an almost inside dog! I say 'almost' because he is now in a crate in the laundry instead of outside, and he's doing surprisingly well. Not only has he decided that crates are the best thing since red meat was invented, but he gets an unlimited supply of pats, is out of the wind, and occasionally gets let into the lounge room to mooch pats off every unsuspecting family member.

3. Peppa, the little darling (dripping sarcasm there), was booked in to be desexed (as was Jock) about two weeks ago. Three days before this, she decided to come into season 2 months early. Why? Because I've been bringing strange dogs into the house. I've started dog training again, mainly working with Red Zone dogs, or those with behavioural issues that are causing their owners to consider re-homing their dog/s. This didn't sit too well with Peppa and she decided to throw a spanner in the works. Her coming into season has caused Jock to stop eating, to whinge and whine almost constantly, and generally just make a pain in the bum of himself. I'm not entirely sure that if I gave him Peppa he'd know what to do, but I'm sure he'd figure it out, which is why they are separated, and staying that way until she is most definitely finished with her season!

4. Sadly, Miss Pippa, our beautiful white Boxer bitch had to be put down. At age 5, she had her ear flaps removed due to mast cell tumors, and although the vets gave her around 8 - 10 months to live, she stayed with us for another 4 years. In the end, she must have had a brain tumor of something, and her quality of life plummetted. She was such a loving, beautiful dog that we made the decision to put her out of her misery and give her peace. It broke our hearts, but we had to do what was best for her.

5. Jock is LOVING having all of these new dogs coming over for training because he gets to show off what he knows. He has now learned to walk beautifully on lead, and is so well mannered and behaved that I can get my clients to walk him. This teaches them what they need from their dog, what is acceptible, and what is not. I train their dogs to walk properly on lead, and then swap with them so that they can do it too, under my instruction.
The training has taken off to such an extent that I now have people on a waiting list, and I'm yet to advertise my services publicly!

So guys, apart from all that, life is ticking along as normal. I'm no-longer in a wheelchair, but I still rely on my crutches to get around, and have to take painkillers still so that I can help people with their dogs. If I overdo things, or spend one minute too long on my feet, it's back to bed for a couple of hours until the pain settles enough. As I write this, my back is swelling up due to me sitting at the computer, so I'll pay for it later, but it's worth it.

Take care, and in coming days, I'll put some photo's up of Jock in his new bedroom, and maybe a few of Peppa!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Oh My God, he did it! Jock did it!

So, Jock has always been fearful of pens, crates and kennels. He'd much rather sit out in a storm with torrential rains and terrifying winds than go into any small space.

I've been working with him these last few weeks, and today, he did it!

I have a collapsable crate that my young female sleeps in, and she loves it. I've been using that to train Jock about how nice pens can be. Once he's happy in a crate, he can come and live in the house permanently, so we've been working hard.

Before today, the only way to get him into a crate was to push him, physically, in, and close and lock the door quickly.
Today, after hiding treats in the bedding, I managed to get him into the crate. He'd gone in and out a few times, and I thought I'd lock him in there for a few minutes. Well, after we did this, he still looked absolutely petrified, but did it because I asked him to.

Eventually, I had him running into the crate, turning around and coming back out again. No pushing or shoving, no coaxing with food, nothing. He did it because it was fun. Twice I managed to get him to stay in the crate by giving the 'stay' command, and as soon as he stopped, I let  him come out again and made a big fuss of him.

My boy did it. He went into the crate all by himself! He's far from cured of his fear, but he's definitely making great progress!

We can't do any outside training today because it's raining again (which is lovely) so at the moment he's learning to sit still on his mat by my side.

Well done Jock!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Update on doggies, and me (With Photo's!)

Today is a day of wet weather (see photo), so the dogs aren't impressed. We've gone from sweltering heat to pouring rain in the space of 24 hours.

The dogs may not like it, but I'm loving it. More water for the rainwater tank means that everyone can shower, and I can get some washing done.
Well, given my back is still really bad, it means that I can get the kids to put the washing on lol

I managed to get some photo's over the last few days, and a printscreen shot of the weather coming our way!


Why do I have to hold still? There's so much I wanna do!

Have you got food for me? That looks like food, is it mine?

You can faintly see the word Korumburra in the bottom right corner, about an inch from the bottom, that's where we are, and this rain is going to come straight over the top of us!
So, I've started on Norspan patches, and my nerve pain medication dosage has been doubled. I feel sick all the time, but the pain is getting less and less by the day. I'm able to spend more time with the dogs, training and playing, and when I can't, I get onto Victoria Stillwell's forum and chat to everyone in there, plus read some very informative posts. You guys should check it out. Just type Victoria Stillwell into any search engine and it'll show up!
Take care

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Update on the dogs and the doctors.

Okay, let's start with the dogs.

Jock - He's fantastic. A little upset that we don't let him into the house permanently, and every time the door opens, but he is being rather philisophical about it.

Peppa - She's not behaving herself too well right now. Apparently someone 'gave her an inch' somewhere along the line, so I'm trying to take most of that 'mile' back. Not an easy thing when you're confined to an office chair!

Pippa - She's figured out the treat ball, but would rather you just feed her the treats rather than go through the whole exhausing process of rolling the ball around.  She's also gaining weight, and is looking really good. I'm hoping it's not the calm before the storm, but right now, she's happy.

Now for the doctors.

Today my doctor filled out all of the forms I handed to him, and also seemed a bit disgusted to hear that I'm on a waiting list for my back to be 'looked at' by a neurosurgeon that is over 12 months. I'm not sure I can stand another 12 months of this!
Also, after looking through the latest set of scans, it seems my back is deteriorating. It used to be just L4/L5/S1 that were the problem. Now we can include L2 and L3 in the mix, so no wonder I'm in more pain than I was 6 months ago.

The best part about all of this is that my dogs don't seem to care. Sure, they'll give me cuddles and lick my tears away, but all they really want is to be close to me, or better yet, throw the damn ball!

So, today we're all resting up for our trip to Melbourne tomorrow. It means an early start, a long drive in the car, and lots of poking, prodding and interrogation for me when I get there.

My son assures me that the dogs will be fine, he'll be home with them all day, and he'll keep me updated. (text messages at least every hour will do me fine) lol

I'll let you know how it goes, and also try and get some video footage of Peppa's new trick!