July 31, 2009
Dazzle turned 1 year old today and had a GREAT birthday!
We started the day by going to the other side of town (a little over an hour away) to work on his herding. He had GREAT fun chasing the sheep, but as a result I have pulled his entries for a herding test coming up in 2 weeks. I agree with the instructor that he's not ready yet. It seems the more often he gets in with sheep, the less control he seems to have. :-( He needs to see sheep often enough that they are "no big deal" instead of being an exciting and novel activity.
I don't think I can afford to have him around sheep that often right now, so I think his herding will be going on hold till I can either get our own sheep or somewhere closer becomes available with sheep that are pretty "sticky" for him to learn on. It's not like we don't have enough other venues to pursue! :-)
VIDEO: Herding part 1:
(Part 1 is just his intro to the sheep till I went to get a ball. Not very exciting)
VIDEO: Herding part 2:
(Part 2 actually has some herding and some chasing)
VIDEO: Herding part 3:
(More chasing and herding)
After herding, we went to their neighbor's pond to do dock diving! They have a regulation dock and even a set-up for "Extreme Vertical". This is a new segment of Dock diving in which the dog tries to go more for height and not as much for distance. The bumper (toy) is held in place on a rig that holds it about 8' off the end of the dock and is adjustable in height. A Malinois holds the World Record height of 8' (because that's as high as the equipment would go!)
We started on land and had Dazzle jump up to get the toy - no problems there. Then we held the toy just out of reach off the end of the dock- lots more hesitation with that :-) But he did do it several times! Then I tried to do too much and have him get it from the competition rig. No dice :-) So we went back to distance throws. I'm sure that with practice, he will do the Extreme Vertical too, but we were just there for fun and the EV was stressing him out a bit.
VIDEO: Dock Practice and fun
By the end of our day, you would think he would have been tired! But no, he kept going out on the dock as I was packing up to leave and I had to catch him to get him back in the van. :-) He was having SO much fun I hated to leave, but it was getting late.
By the time we got back home (almost 2 hours later since I stopped for my food and a bag of dog food), he was ready to play more!
Here's to many many more active years together!
July 25, 2009
July 23, 2009
These were taken at the event right after camp by Teri. After seeing the photos, I have to say the "dock" was even smaller than I thought! Maybe only 2' wide? It's hard to tell in the photo how big the drop is to the river. They did have someone in the river during the competition to help the dogs find the exit ladder, retrieve toys, etc. and the water was to his waist, so it was deep enough for the dogs to go under when they landed. These photos were taken after the event...
July 21, 2009
The July camp was LOTS of fun! Dazzle earned 5 more badges and was TIRED by the time we got in the van to head home :-) We didn't hike with the campers, but occasionally I took the golf cart out and let him run off leash around the trails with me. He's so good about checking in and mostly staying in sight. Only rarely going off trail after a chipmonk or squirrel or good smell, but coming right back.
He got the CPR badge the first night during that class. He wasn't so sure what Beth was trying to do when she was trying to get him to lie on his side to take his pulse and demonstrate that a person (that's not the owner) can do that, restrain him and check his respirations. He also had to let someone (not me) put a muzzle on him (which was no problem) along with a few other requirements I don't recall off the top of my head. I learned how to do CPR on a doggie manikin, which I hope I never have to do to a real dog!
Dazzle was a great demo dog for the Dog Scout class I taught each day. Thankfully he was also very good waiting in the room with just a baby gate across the door when I had to do things that were easier to do without him. He got loose once when some kids were petting him and the gate fell. He checked the computer area first then ran right to my "office" and found me. :-) He seemed content to curl up behind my chair, so I let him stay with me more often when I was in my office doing paperwork.
We got a great photo of all the Dog Scouts in uniform, but for some reason it wasn't on the photo CD. I'm checking into the whereabouts of those photos.
Dazzle won the Devil Duck game (staff catagory) this camp by retrieving 6 ducks before time ran out. He was really having fun with it!
On Wednesday evening it was cool enough to have some lure coursing! Dazzle really loved it (as I thought he might) and earned the lure coursing badge. At the end of his first run, he acted like he wasn't sure he wanted to get near the lure (a plastic bag) once it stopped. But after the second and third runs he had no problem with it, he did a quick sniff then came to me when I called.
VIDEO: Lure Coursing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3FaO2hRkXI
Above is a 2 minute video of his 3 runs set to music. Below are a couple photos from that video. It was overcast and late evening, so the lighting wasn't bright enough to get good action shots with a regular camera.
Ducks being dumped...
The following photos were taken by Joanne Weber. She is a professional photographer as well as one of the photographers for camp. We had our private photo shoot the day before camp 2 and I am in LOVE with these photos! Every one she took is excellent, but these are my most favorite...
"I love you mom... now throw the ball!"
July 20, 2009
Dazzle the Loch Ness Maligator
You want me to retrieve what?
July 08, 2009
The sheep are normally worked by Corgi's, so I guess Dazzle was pretty intimidating. It made it harder because I think their "bubble" was somewhere outside the fences of the pen :-)
Mostly we worked on a long line on self-control. We did a short bit with him dragging the line, but because the humans weren't together and the sheep were bolting in 3 different directions, it was a disaster. So we went back to leash work. But even during the chaos of the chasing (and the leaping sheep), I don't think Dazzle was completely in lizard brain. I think there was thinking going on. He just had no idea how to group them, so he chased them one at a time. He calmed down pretty easily right afterward.
His self-control was good for the most part, but sheep are SO hard to behave around! Especially ones prone to that exciting bolting behavior! LOL At one point, he decided that a cat that wandered into the pen might be easier to herd :-)
I couldn't set the camera in a place to get the whole ring, so there's a lot of gaps. But I think you'll get the idea. What we mostly were working on was his choosing to stay along the fence (where the "bubble" was) and not rushing straight at them. A few times it was my poor leash handling and inability to keep up with him that caused him to go straight at them when the line got tight.
It was 2 long sessions with several short breaks in which we didn't leave the pen. Between the 2 sessions, we did come out and Dazzle played with some sticks in the shade, then was ready to go back in. The videos are edited for length.
I think Dazzle was sensing that I had no idea what I was doing and so he wasn't listening to my cues as much as normal (that and the fact that there were SHEEP mom! SHEEP!)
Part 1 (9:11 min):
Part 2 (6:56 min):
July 06, 2009
July 01, 2009
I finally had a chance to edit the photos and videos from camp. Not many this time, but some good ones!
This is several Dog Scouts in full uniform. Dazzle is far to the right because the other Belgian "Grrr'd" at him and he was respectfully giving him plenty of distance.
This is a photo of the ribbons we won at the C-Wags event on our way to camp. It also shows the trophy we won at camp, but I have a better photo of that near the bottom. While at my parent's house for the C-Wags event, I took some portrait type photos of Dazzle. He's becoming quite the handsome dog!
Patiently (or is that not so patiently) waiting for the cue to move!