Some terrible photographer dropped in on Barb & Sydney’s AKC class last night. Robert can attest to the fact that everyone is just so pleasant there.  I have never seen so many scowls directed at a well-behaved dog before! (Note to self—remember to change camera settings. Shooting dogs indoors is not the same as shooting deer at dusk.)

There were three trainers in this tiny fenced-in area. Two almost always had eyes on THAT GSD. Kudos to Barb for having the patience of getting nagged to death and doing what is best for her dog…bring out the ball!

Which is better? A dog being led with food at their lips and handler bent over, or a dog focused on its handler?

How about a nasty-looking spoon in front of the dog’s nose? There’s that crazy GSD and her ball. “THAT DOG is obsessed with THAT BALL.” “YOU should use food.”

Huh—she looks pretty calm to me.

Syd was calm and well focused.

Does Syd look like she requires two trainers “on standby” to you? Each dog took a turn going around the group, including Syd. She maintained complete focus throughout the exercise.

Syd had to remain sitting in this circle while Barb walked to the other end of the building and back. This was repeated a few times. The first trainer had such a grip on Syd that it almost made me laugh. She was ready for her to bolt at any second! Syd never moved a muscle—all three times!

GREAT WORK, Barb & Sydney!!!

Grizzly Quote

“I think my Dad is afraid of Aunt Carole.”

If being afraid of Aunt Carole produces results like this, then be afraid. Be VERY afraid!

I have been saying just one or two good steps is all you need. Today I worked with three superstars and saw many more than a few good steps.

Do dad and son have the same expression, or what?!  🙂

Last week Winston had little interest in the ball. It is the first time that he has experienced this style of training. Susan is doing an excellent job with him and he is coming along quite nicely.

I saved the Party Girls for last:
I don’t know why Barb decided to sprawl on the ground, but as you can see none of us rushed in to help her.  John, however, did yell something about not missing a Kodak moment. 🙂

I was really quite impressed with both. When Barb fell, Sydney had the sense to not pull on the rope and NEITHER let go of the ball! Both kept a full, calm grip. 🙂  I love Syd’s expression!

When the game stops, Syd is very calm and relaxed yet keeps a very solid grip on the ball. She is ready to engage at any time. For a dog whose Mum didn’t think she would “go for the ball,” this dog has great focus. Barb & Syd won a contest at their AKC school that has to do with Barb’s “unorthodox methods” of training—but I’ll let Barb tell you that story.

Susan, Barb, and John—Thank you, for training your dogs!

Roman Goes Herding

Roman and I had our first herding lesson with Kelly Malone, who is also a trial judge. I honestly expected Roman to be over excited, barking and wanting to “get” the sheep. Surprisingly, he remained calm, cool and collected. The only time he barked was when we had to stop and he thought the sheep were going to get away. He did a really great job for his first time out and got the hang of it pretty quickly. It was amazing to see his natural instincts come out. I handled him for the 2nd round and thought it was a blast. Next time, I need to remember to wear gloves, as rope burn isn’t very pleasant 🙁   Chris gets credit for the great shots!