Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why do herding?? It's what herding dogs do.

If your dog is a herding breed, they probably do some things that drive you nuts, like herd your kids or try to chase moving objects. We can't help it!! It's what we were bred to do. Teaching herding dogs to properly herd is great way to channel their instincts and burn off a ton of energy. And you don't have to be a herding dog to enjoy or do herding. See herding instructor Claire Apple's link in my previous post for info on her herding lessons.

Can't get enough herding?? Jenn has another video she did a while back of my housemates Big Sandy and Bernie doing some high energy herding with Claire. Big Sandy goes first and is about the best three-legged herder out there. Bernie is very young in the video and like to bark at the sheep (like I do). They both had the time of their lives. Check it out!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sheep Herding with Claire

Jenn said that we were going on a special adventure. Her dog trainer friend Claire Apple teaches dogs how to herd sheep. I remember seeing sheep when I was with my breeder Katrina and my mom in Nevada. But I was only eight weeks old then.

So we drove down to Claire's farm and I not only got to see sheep, smell sheep, and eat sheep poop, but I also got to herd them! First I was on a long leash and that wasn't very fun. I voiced my opinions a bit too loudly. Claire said that I didn't need to tell the sheep off like that. She took me off the leash and showed me what to do with her herding stick. This gave me a boundary and she helped show me what I'm supposed to do. My job is to listen, take instructions, and move the sheep accordingly keeping them in a group close to their person. I really wanted to split up the group and chase them, but that's not the deal. I got to do some calm and steady movements and the sheep responded. Very cool.

And I got to meet Claire's bull Albert. I was kind of intimidated, but he just hung out and let me sniff him. I've never been that close to a cow. Jenn said that I just needed to stay calm and it would OK.

What an exciting experience!! Jenn made a video so you can get a gander at my first herding lesson with Claire. I hope I get to do this again. Check out Claire's webpage for information on her herding lessons.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Memoir Meme

My Gordon Setter friend Niamh has tagged me for a Memoir Meme.

The rules are:

1) Write your own six word memoir.
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
6) Have fun








Monday, May 5, 2008

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise...

So what's the deal with all this exercise? I've started getting an extra walk and more physical activity every day. Jenn's putting lots of miles on her new walking shoes and taking me to park to run, run, run. She says that puppies my age need more activity to keep us from getting bored or using our pent up energy in a bad way, like destroying things, digging, or barking a lot. We sometimes have "Crazy Puppy Time-CPT" when we zoom around and kind of go nuts getting into everything. It sometimes comes after we eat, usually in the morning and evening, but sometimes more often. Jenn says that increasing daily exercise can prevent outbreaks of "CPT" helping puppies to behave more calmly. All puppies were bred for a purpose to their lives or to do a particular job, even if your dog is a combination of several breeds. I was bred to herd sheep and livestock all day long so I need plenty of physical and mental exercise. What was your puppy bred to do? Are you providing outlets for those instincts and their activity level? Check out how you can.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Object of my Affection...

I love whatever this thing is. Jenn and Eric fiddle with it at night and I want to eat it. They won't let me touch it, which is very frustrating. They keep it out of my reach. Once, they left it on the couch and then left the room. I quietly put it in my mouth and took it over to my bed. Wouldn't you know that Jenn found me there slobbering on it. She gave me a treat for letting go of it. Hmph! No fun. I guess I'll just have to keep a lookout for absent minded folks that leave things lying around for puppies to find. You can make it easy for your puppy by keeping gadgets like this up, up and away. Don't leave them on the coffee table or on puppy's level. If your puppy does get something that doesn't belong to them, don't chase them (which would create even more instant fun for puppy!). Be calm, get a treat or a toy and play "trade for something better". Your puppy will learn that it's rewarding to give things to you. Jenn says they make a product called "Bitter Apple" that you can spray onto things that you don't want your puppy to touch. Very effective in my case. Yuck!