Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowy Agility Practice

Well, we didn't actually practice agility in the snow. But we enjoyed the snow all the same!

I apologize for all the photos being so dark, it was about to snow again.

Small Dog Posse hunting in the snow

One cold paw? Or pointing to something under the snow?


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

5 Days of Christams Photos: Day 5

Merry Christmas from the Brews Brothers!


Thank you to the Bluegrass Barkery for the Santa photos!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

5 Days of Christmas Photos: Day 3

Don't worry, Santa was not harmed during the photo shoot. Just the perfect "click" at the perfect (or not so perfect) time  :)

Thank you to Bluegrass Barkery for the photos!

Friday, December 21, 2012

5 Days of Christmas Photos: Day 1

Are you ready for some Santa photos??
How many bloopers will there be? Who was naughty? Who was nice? Just how many kisses did Santa get?
Stay tuned for the next few days as we countdown to Christmas!



Thank you to the Bluegrass Barkery for the Santa photos!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rally Practice

I did it - I entered Stout in the Rally trial at the end of January.

Just one day, one run.

Here is a video of a little bit of practice we did Monday night:

How many points do you think we'll lose if he does "prairie dog" everytime I have him in the "front" position?  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Beach Photos

I know we had these photos taken almost 6 months ago, but I didn't want to post any of them until we had decided what to use on our christmas cards  :)
So now that the cards have went out (and hopefully been received!) I don't feel like I'm ruining any surprises!
Here are 2 of just the boys:


Thank you again to Amy of Still Frames Photography!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Best Compliment Ever!

As you know, Stout & I have been taking an online agility foundations class with Silvia Trkman. She is kind of my agility idol  :)

Anyway, I submitted Stout's most recent video to her yesterday:

Upon viewing it, she gave me a critique that ended with the best (agility) compliment I've ever gotten:
"... very nice handling!"
Yes, Silvia Trkman complimented my handling!  I was giddy!  :)  So please excuse this bragging  :)
This is the Silvia Trkman I'm talking about:

I feel like I should add this to my agility resume or something  :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NADAC Weekend

Porter, Stout, John, & I all went down to Murfreesboro, TN, last week for some NADAC agility.

I wanted to get a few more Q's for Championships, and see our corgi friend Maude  :)

I only ran Porter in things that he still needed for Champs, so it was kind of a light weekend for him. He really deserves a break, poor little guy. He won't be doing anything else until the end of January.

There's some awesome weaving in this video! And a much coveted Chances Q!

Just because it's NADAC, Porter, does not mean you always take the farthest obstacle!  :)
You can definitely see him start to tire out on that last run too. He had a long nap on the way home.
So now we are just 3 Regular Q's away from qualifying. No hurry though, we have until August. Then I just have to decide whether to go or not  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stout's Performance Career is Beginning... Maybe

So today I found myself filling out an entry form for Stout. Well, then I'd change my mind. Then I'd start again...
I am thinking of entering him in a Rally trial in January. This is one of the few agility trials we attend that also has rally & obedience. Ironically enough, this was the very first trial that Stout tagged along to after we brought him home!
January 2011

January 2011

So it kind of seems fitting that this would be his performance debut  :)  We've been practicing our rally moves a little. And we have plenty of time for more practice...

So I'll finish filling it out. Or not...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Porter the Ranch Dog

Last weekend, Porter & I competed in an AHBA herding trial at one of  the places where we take herding lessons.

We have had a lot of mixed results at herding trials. Wait, I take that back. We've had very poor results at herding trials, with one exception.

Anyway, I thought this would be a great test to see just where & why we fail at trials. Is it my nerves? Is it the new place? Is it the new stock? Is it Porter's amped up attitude? Is it our training? I figured half of these things would be eliminated. I mean, Porter knows the stock. He knows the location. And we even practiced certain bits of the course at our last lesson. And my nerves were considerably less due to those things  :)

But before I go on, let me state how we did: We did pretty darn good! At least results-wise  :)

Was his work up to my standards? No. Was he as good as in practice? No. Was he better than most trials? Yes!

We qualified in 3 out of 4 runs. The one we didn't qualify in we missed by a half-point.

And I even have video! My friends Megan, Matt, & Jodi came out to see Porter in action and offered to film.

They watched us do the Ranch course. This class is supposed to similate using your dog in a real working farm. We had to do a gate-sort, go through many other gates, take the sheep out to graze, push them through a footbath, and put them through the chute thing.

And Porter did it all! He earned his HRD-1 title! See the video below for a glimpse:

 Sure, it wasn't pretty in some spots. Especially by AKC standards  :)  But this organization is more concerned with getting the job done & doing it quietly & safely.
Good things in this video:
  • I actually gate-sorted! Usually Porter has them so jammed up in the corner that they rip the gate from my hands are I can't open it to let even one out  :)  And I didn't even slam a head or neck in there!  Now, I know part of the reason this worked so well is because Porter was over there eating poop (thus the giggling from the film crew). But it worked & I'll take it!
  • We never lost the sheep completely. If you've seen us trial before, you know we loose the sheep at least once to a dead run down the field to the exhaust. And I usually don't let Porter cover because I'm afraid of the outcome. But we didn't have that here, for the reasons stated above.
  • We put them through that footbath both times! In practice Porter came on too strong in the walk-up & would squirt them everywhere. Or he would over-flank & they would run back down the fence aways. But I set it up early, dropped him, positioned myself, took a deep breath, and whispered for him to "walk-up." He had to walk up a couple times, but he stopped when asked each time. And I did have to flank him a little, which he also took. Yay Porter!
  • We also succeeded in penning the sheep in the free-standing pen in the 2 HTAD runs! One was a gimmee (I don't know why those sheep wanted in there so bad, nothing else in the run went that well!) and the other run we only penned 3 out of the 5 (but I took it!). We have trouble penning due to the same over-pushes & over-flanking that kills us in everything else...
Most of our failures were the typical ones: a real lack in some of Porter's early foundation work. And the fact that he gets so excited and his adrenaline is pumping (pushing the sheep thru the footbath & chute did not help to curb that AT ALL!). And my nerves. (I was not nervous hardly at all at this trial)
So we identified some of our trialling issues. And now we go back to training!

The Daily Corgi

Porter & Stout made the Daily Corgi's christmas photo post today!

I will post more from their photo shoot at the Bluegrass Barkery with Santa as we get closer to Christmas. There were quite a few bloopers. That all involved Stout. Oh Stout...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thank You Cardi Claus!

It was an early christmas today for Porter & Stout - Cardi Claus came!

This is only the 2nd year we've participated, but it will become an annual tradition from now on. I just enjoy shopping for my recipient too much - and then the receiving isn't bad either  :)

This year our package came from Lyberty Cardigans down in TN. As you can see from the photo, Zero was  almost as interested as Porter & Stout!

Stout immediately ran off with the frisbee, which said "Naughty" on one side & "Nice" on the other. I think we all know which he is...

And after dinner, both boys got one of the Nylabones to for dessert.

Thank you Cardi Claus & Laura!

My Cardi Claus package was also received by Jimmy & Wilson today. I hope they like the duck feet as much Porter & Stout do  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Backyard Training

Once again, it’s time to partake in the Dog Agility BlogEvent Day!
This day’s topic is backyard training. I will admit that I don’t train much in my backyard. I even bought my first tunnel recently & borrowed 2 jumps so I could work on Stout’s foundation skills. And I still haven’t done as much as I’d have liked.
Why not? Well, besides pure laziness, take a look at the shape & size of our yard:

Our humble home - complete with Vanagon!
It’s .2 acres (including the house!) and it is shaped in a “U.” Then you throw in the patios, ponds, & hop yard (yes, John grows his own hops in our yard) and it becomes a weird maze of workable space.

Porter enjoys the fishes in the backyard more than agility back there.

So how do I work with what I have? We do lots of foundational skill stuff  :)
Porter practices his weaves in that long sliver beside the house.
Stout learned to skateboard on the patios & out there in the cul-de-sac.
He learned to wrap trees & poles throughout the backyard.
He learned to drive for tunnels. He learned to follow my hand. He practiced all his tricks in the backyard.
I’ve even set up some small drills for his online Foundations class with Silvia Trkman. While we were able to squeeze the course in, it was tough trying to find a place to film from! Finally I had John come out & stand on the picnic table as kind of a “sky-cam.”

Your backyard is only as small as your imagination. And I’m learning to stretch mine!
For some other great blogs on this topic today, check out:

For even more blogs on the topic, check out the entire list of participants here!