Thursday, October 29, 2015

While driving to Tucson, we took a break and had a bit of a romp.  
(Devon is still wearing his car harness, hence the 'bib'.)

Devon simply loves to run.  In truth, he pretty much loves everything!

Go, boys, go!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Novice B at HVOC Trial in Escondido, Oct. 18, 2015.

I was absolutely delighted with Devon's attention and teamwork under Judge Cathy Dutra.  We were the first dog to perform in the class and we placed 1st in a class of 17 Novice dogs with 197.5.

I absolutely have no idea where we lost so many 1/2  points.  After awards I did ask the judge, and she told me it was halts and our front in the recall.  Okay...

Nevertheless, the promise is there and I'm over the top delighted.  We also showed in Pre-Utility.  Again, Devon did a wonderful job; however, we did not qualify:-(    During Signals I left him in a stand, but when I reached the other end of the ring and turned around, he was sitting scratching.  I simply gave him a verbal 'stand' and we continued with style.

Plan to stay in Novice all of October, for sure.  Perhaps longer.  He really needs ring time, something very short on demand here in So. Cal.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Showed Devon in Novice B at the HVOC Trials in Escondido.  Devon placed 1st out of a class of 17 Novice dogs.  Judge:  Cathy Dutra.  I was especially pleased with his attention and teamwork.  We still need to smooth our performance out a bit, but as he is still so young, I am very hopeful and  optimistic.  

Sure hope this video comes through.  Have been having fits and fiddles.  Why is it never the same?  Each time I do this, the process seems different!  Very frustrating....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thank goodness I haven't entered Devon in any Utility classes yet, as things have taken a bit of a dive .  A few days ago he just couldn't do a Signal stand no matter what.  Kept sitting.  Last week it was Utility articles: kept grabbing the one next to the scented article.

Amazing how at one point in the learning curve most dogs will have a melt down, especially in Utility where the dog must work away from you for many of the exercises.  They become confused and make mistakes. Their confidence is shot. It's really critical at this point that you help them build back that confidence before ever subjecting them to competition.  And of course I do no proofing during this stage.  Train, help, succeed.  That's how we proceed.

This is where Devon and I are now.  Yesterday in our training session Devon did wonderfully, but today?  Who knows what surprises lie  in store?

In the following video Devon and I are practicing the Utility Moving Stand for Exam. This is basically my training approach for this exercise.  (Training, not teaching!) I am not doing anything special for Devon in the video.   As yet, he's fairly stable on this exercise.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Devon earned his Companion Dog Title 
under Judge Kathy Moore
at the Shetland Sheepdog Obedience Trial!
Escondido, Ca.  Oct. 3, 2015

Not only did Devon earn his title, he WON the class with a 198.

And if that wasn't enough, his performance also earned him


I was so proud of my baby.  

The grounds were extremely uneven, making smooth sailing impossible.  Kathy Moore did her best, even changing her regular heeling pattern to best accommodate the uneven ground in the ring and make heeling as easy as was possible, all things considered.  

Then to top things off (as evidenced in the video), the wind was blowing the ring tape right into us, forcing us to veer away on the first leg of heeling.  Hardly smooth!

Sadly, something went wrong with the video camera and only the heel on leash was taped.  ah, well, that's life in the fast lane as they say...