Friday, September 28, 2012

Wright Brothers Memorial

While in the Outer Banks, we walked the dogs around at the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk.
I'm not an aviation or history buff, but I still found it interesting. The monument and statues provided some good photo opportunities  :) 
Trekking up the large hill to the monument. Porter says "Thank goodness for 4-Paw-Drive!"
I guess this was originally one of the dunes they soared from.
But they reworked it from sand to something that would hold a monument  :)


I love this photo.

John is such a good sport when it comes to my photo-taking  :)

Stout is slowly becoming the super model that Porter is: his poses are improving (along with his "stays")

This was a life-size recreation of the first flight.
Right behind my head is the bronze guy lying down on the wing.
This FREAKED Porter out. He barked & barked, and only barked more when the statue didn't move...

At the statue with the memorial in the background.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Outer Barks

"Hey everybody! Welcome to Yappy Hour!"
 While in the Outer Banks, the dogs got to attend Yappy Hour at the Outer Barks store.
They were greeted with doggie hors d'oeuvres & ice cream. They even had pizza for us!

"Mmmm, ice cream!"

Stout chose to eat through the styrofoam cup to get to his ice cream.
There was a small agility course set up and they had a paw painting station! We got to take home a souvenir from Yappy Hour!

After finally giving up trying to eat the paint, Porter resigned himself to letting her paint with his paw.

"Hey lady, what you doing back there?"
The finished product (which now hangs proudly on our refrigerator).
Porter is blue, Stout is green.
They also had baby pools set up filled with toys.

Stout enjoyed removing all the toys from the pools

"There shall be no toys in these pools!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Foothills Brewery

On our way to the Outer Banks, we decided to stop at a brew pub in Winston-Salem for lunch (happens a lot when you travel with a home brewer!)
The Foothills Brewery had a nice little table outside and were happy to serve the Brew Crew  :)


Unfortunately, once the food came we had to move the pups to the car. It's not a pleasant dining experience for us (or other patrons!) when Porter barks everytime you lift something off your plate...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Out-Takes from the Outer Banks

I apologize for the lack of posting these last 2 weeks!

We went on vacation with the Brew Brothers to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. And then I've been busy trying to get caught back up since we've been home  :)

But I finally have a few photos edited from our vacation. I guess the theme here would be "signs."

We stayed in Duck, NC. 

Stout says "Try my Nuts!"

Porter reminisces about when he had nuts / jewels...

And yet another photo having to do with nuts!

But Life is Good!
With or without nuts.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stout's First Dog Paddle!

Last Saturday, Stout got to attend the 12th Annual Dog Paddle hosted by the Friends of the Dog Park. 
As a member of the Board, I have never brought a dog  :(   But this year, we had the perfect dog for the Paddle: Stout!
He loves water, loves other dogs, and John was willing to bring him, take him home, then come back & volunteer  :) 
Why not bring Porter? The Paddle is not really Porter's type of fun. If there were fishes in the pool, then he would enjoy it  :)  He prefers creeks & lakes, not these concrete ponds.
But Stout had a blast!
That's Stout behind the Newfoundland tugging on a frisbee

Stout's favorite thing about the Paddle: running with the big dogs!

His second favorite thing about the Paddle: sniffing butt!


This is pretty much what he did the entire 2 hours he was there: run!

Just ignore the dog pooping in the pool, that's why we don't allow people to swim.

He did fall in once. He was chasing a dog around the deep end and cut the corner a little too sharp. We heard a splash, looked over, and he was already swimming across the pool! We pulled him out when he got to the side. He shook off, then continued chasing another dog  :)

Pool monitor

He really thought about jumping in the deep pool for that ball...


"Is it really time to go?"

Inside with the pool-gator

Friday, September 7, 2012

Agility Videos From The Weekend

Porter & I competed at the Derby City agility trial over the weekend.

And our QQ streak came to a screeching halt  :)  We qualified once in 2 days, earning 18 speed points.

I LOVED Porter's flip off the dogwalk into the weaves! Nice & tight! But then he saw that chute while he was in the weaves & the temptation was just too great to stay in them... Classic Porter  :)

This was our qualifying run. He was quite slow... But check out that rear cross after the weaves onto the table! I think that was the "correct way" to do rear crosses  :)

Porter's first blind cross! I don't know why I threw that in there... I saw that weave entry miss coming, but I just couldn't quite fix it in time...  And check out that other "correct" rear cross! I started to drift away, but caught myself  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Battle of Wales vs. Portugal?

After obedience class, Stout often gets to play with his friend Dezi, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno puppy. 
"Play" is probably not the right word...  Things tend to get a little heated and the battle of Wales vs. Portugal breaks out.


Luckily Stout did not have to break out the big guns in the battle...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What makes a good instructor?

Today is Dog Agility Blog Action Day! Although I’m not a blog focused solely on agility, it is one of our main hobbies  :)  And I think today's topic fits all dog sports...


Anyway, today’s topic is “What makes a good coach / instructor?”


There are some things that I feel are critical to being a good instructor:

  • A good instructor will support you in your failures as well as your successes. This is especially true in your early trialing experiences! There needs to be emotional support as well.

  • A good instructor should also be learning from you!

  • Good instructors will admit to their own mistakes, and vow to help you not make the same mistake!

  • A good instructor evaluates a team’s strengths & weaknesses, and works with those to improve the team.

  • A good instructor will think outside the box. Not every method will work for every handler, dog, or even every breed.

  • A good instructor welcomes feedback & evaluation. Not just from students, but from themselves. Introspection & self-evaluation are critical!

  • A good instructor actually enjoys their students and their students’ dogs. An instructor should be able to find one redeeming quality in each dog & person. There should never be any talking down or bashing of either.


So all of those things define a good instructor. But what separates the “good instructors” form the truly “GREAT instructors?”
  • A great instructor also has an instructor! It's all about continuing education! Never settle for someone who assumes they already know it all and has nothing left to learn. Teaching the same things you’ve taught for years or teaching things the same way you’ve taught for years is just stale.
  • A great instructor is not always someone with a high caliber dog winning at national events. And a person with that high caliber dog is not always a great instructor. Do not confuse someone who can “train their own dogs well” with someone who can teach you to train your dog well!
  • A great instructor realizes that they are not just training a dog, but a person too! You can teach a dog every complicated move in the book, but if the handler cannot perform those moves, well, you’ve really not accomplished anything. Teach what they’ll use. You can push them to try more, but realize that some teams may never be able to perform certain things.


I encourage everyone to think about what personally matters to you in an instructor. And don’t forget, you can have many different instructors & coaches! There are a lot of good & great instructors out there! Broaden your horizons! Don’t feel that you have to stay with 1 person, whether it be out of loyalty or whatever. Every instructor has strengths & weaknesses. What one instructor may excel at, another instructor may fail at. And communication skills vary. How do you know what works for you & your dog if you’ve never tried anything different?


Please check out all the other blogs participating today! Click here.


Some of my personal favorites:

He Graduated!

Yep, he did it!

A big thanks to Beth & Best Friends Obedience for taming the Stout-er pup!

I will have more photos tomorrow from graduation  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Night of Obedience Class for Stout

Tonight, Stout (hopefully) graduates from Obedience Class! *fingers crossed*
Just in case we don't have any graduation photos to share tomorrow, here are some photos from last week's class:

"Down stay"
It's actually been quite a treat taking Stout through obedience class. I don't have the fondest memories of Porter in the class... Take the below photo for instance:

Practicing for "off-leash heeling"
I hate to compare the two, because they are both very good dogs, but Porter absolutely could not do any kind of heeling in obedience class. His nose was constantly in the butt of the dog ahead of us.
Why didn't we leave more room between us & the other dogs? Well, we did. But Porter would choke himself pulling to get to the other dogs. It was a constant struggle of of "pressure" then "release," "pressure" then "release." And he did not care at all! I remember our hands being raw from the leash...


Stout's "stand stay"

Porter's "stays" were always pretty good though, until we started herding  :)  So Stout is following in those footsteps!

And a "sit stay"
Kisses for job well done

Waiting for the "release" command
John calling Stout away from the cookies in Beth's hand

Stay tuned for graduation photos! *fingers still crossed*