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Burnout... and what you love

Well, yes, the Ranch is for sale, but, as everyone knows, not everything for sale, sells... so, I may end up keeping the place, renting a few rooms, boarding a few horses, and well, staying here!At this point, acting "as if" the ranch wont sell. I'm so mad, that I sold my two horse trailer! grrrrr but... well, it's a long story. So, planning on continuing with dog training, on a different level, for students.Not selling any more ranch stuff. Going back to training "basics" to companion dog owners, should... read more »

Long (really long!) awaited update

Knightley: 1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days oldApollo: 9 months 4 days old Apollo and Knightley together recently.Well, it has been many months since my last update. That is because on December 26th last year I started feeling dizzy, tired, finding it hard to speak and would also pass out occasionally. I was in hospital for over three weeks, but even after then was unable to walk or do much for another couple of months. I couldn't concentrate, or even get out of bed without feeling like I would vomit or... read more »

Been a looooong time....

It has been a long time since I've written... since last fall, well, that seems like a long ways off! Kell joined us at the ranch, he is a pup from Paula Bowden and is growing up to be a great dog! Kell is from Paula's lines, bred to her imported Killibrae sire.We've already lambed, got our nice Merino ram for next year, and right when things were going well, I ended up getting sick and in hospital for pnuemonia for just under 3 weeks... so things are moving rather slow around here, pups are learning to ... read more »

Dog Training 101: Training Attitude

(SOURCE: a dog needs more than a dog’s obedience, respect and loyalty. The very first thing a pet parent should do is to prepare him/her with the whole training; not the dog alone. One of the main reasons why our dogs couldn’t grasp what we teach is rooted to our own attitude. Too sweet, you’ll end up with a spoiled little mutt; too hard, you’ll end up having a destructive or fearful one.Be very pati... read more »

Poop-Eating: A Disgusting Reality

(SOURCE:’s a very bad thing and some dog parents even deny the fact that their precious little one does in fact, eat its own poop, or worse, any other ones left in the open. And yes, it is disgusting but sadly, even once in our dog parenting life will we have a dog who likes to “recycle”.And we might go bonkers to find out why in the world they eat their poop, when we give them the best dog food we can get our hands on. They are given enough amount ... read more »

National Geographic Channel presents first ever...

(RE-POSTED Press Release)Set your dogs loose and let their tails wag as they walk to a day packed with fun, playtime and surprises prepared especially for man’s best friend. Dogs and their owners are in for an adventure-filled afternoon on November 11, 2012 as National Geographic Channel (NGC) and Pedigree present the country’s first-ever Doggy Day Camp at the Bonifacio High Street Ampitheatre in Taguig City.Camping adventures at the Wilderness Pupplay, free massage and grooming services in Furrr-fect... read more »

Sheepdog Trialing, fall in the West

So Trial season is upon us, out west, we don't see many (if any) sheepherding trials in the summertime due to our hot weather, so once fall hits, we start to see more sheepherding trials. It's looking like November 2 trials, one approx 400 miles away, the other just over 200. (one way... ) December, we'll have 2 more, in the beginning and the end of December. Makes it a little difficult with the holidays in December, but it's a great chance to "get away" and get in a little fun.Our first upcoming trial, ... read more »

Physical Maturity in a Herding Puppy, is it imp...

I've been in a discussion on "when to start a pup" in his herding training, and in addition to some of the usual "reasons" of when to start or not start, which include maturity, is the pup "serious" or just "playing" (tail up, etc) there's also some other factors I like to consider, such as development. Physical development. There's really no hard and fast, "this is the time" to start a pup, Border Collie puppies are all different, as are training styles and experience of the trainer. Some pups mature ea... read more »

Why do we enter Sheepdog Trials?

Why do we enter dog trials? (sheep or cattle, no matter, it's the same) Seriously, why do you enter a dog trial? Why do I enter a dog trial? I imagine all of us could have a different answer to that one, but I'll fill you in on my thoughts, feel free to comment on yours :-) Lill, ranch and trial dog extrordinaire I love the challenge, difficult sheep, challenging field and terrain. Many of our trials are on rented sheep: range ewes, commercial flocks that are not used to dogs. So, it can be boom or bus... read more »

Ranch Life~ It isn't always "fun"...

...but it is, interesting! Living on a ranch, is more work than many realize, there's chores to do, sure, but then, there is "work", what's the difference you might ask?Well, chores, are those things you do every day, feeding the sheep, collecting eggs from the chickens, moving the sheep to the pasture, locking them up at night to keep them safe from predators. One could fill a whole page with my list of daily "chores". And then there is the "fun", training the dogs, working with students and their dogs.... read more »

Dog Training 101: No Begging for Food, Please?

(SOURCE: know what I am talking about. Every dog parent knows how annoying (c’mon admit it!) our dogs can be when they beg for food whenever you start to eat or even come close to the dining table. And the common reaction to make them stop is to yell at them or by striking the tabletop to startle them. But let’s face it; although it’s tempting to give in to their puppy dog stare and whimper, you know it’s going to be ... read more »

Dog Training 101: Command without a Word

(SOURCE: few weeks ago, I attended the Hill’s Science Diet AwwMazing Day where Better Dog Canine Bahavior Center demonstrated the power of a wordless command. It might sound strange but it works, I tried it to my dogs and even the untrained ones understood what message I was trying to convey without a word out of my mouth. (SOURCE: read more »

Massive news: a very very very important appoin...

Well, the last few days Knightley has just been absolutely CRAZY with energy, especially in the evenings. The type of energy where he jumps on and off the couch 30 times and there is noreductionin his eagerness to GO! Hubby and I had a great session of the "Come Game" with him, and he was the most enthusiastic he has ever been about it (skidding around corners, bashing into furniture.... he was running for the reward of chopped up beef heart, his favourite, but still!).For those who don't know it, the Co... read more »

Fantastic public access training and teaching t...

10 months 1 week 6 days oldToday I needed some prescriptions filled, and the shops are not at all far away and Knightley needed some public access work so off we went together. He behaved like a dream!! I can't actually believe what a good boy he was. First I went to drop my scripts off (I had like 7 to get filled, yes I take a *lot* of medication), then I had about 15 minutes to use up while we were waiting. So we went into the supermarket to do some training. He was such a good boy. I had his halter on... read more »

The leg has risen! And many decisions to make

10 months 1 week 3 days oldWell!!! After some twitches, and then peeing closer and closer to trees until he was almost trying to be absorbed into them... Knightley has finally lifted his leg! It was very matter of fact, no wobbling around as I have heard other dogs do on their 'first time', and he wasn't even proud of himself! Well, I'll be proud of him for him. Some people de-sex their male dogs when they first lift their leg to pee, as it usually happens somewhere between 8-12 months and shows somethin... read more »

Assistance dog equipment plans progressing, and...

10 months 1 week 1 day oldWell, if you're a regular reader of mine, you'll know that I've been considering starting a bit of a hobby/small business making assistance dog equipment. There is literally no one in Australia making that type of stuff, everything has to be imported from overseas. I often get search queries from inside Australia looking for vests and harnesses, so there is obviously a niche to be filled. I've looked into costs and done quite a few sums trying to figure out profits on individual... read more »

The Fly.

Last night as Lucie my big, red dog and I went to bed I noticed a strange buzzing. I soon figured out we had a fly in the room. I do not have a TV at this point so I use my laptop to watch movies and shows. Works well and it is better than [...] read more »

Wonderful public training, retrieving awkward o...

8 months 1 week 4 days oldFirstly, for those who missed it, I have a brand new Facebook page, at Do go ahead and join the page to get my updates about what Knightley and I are up to on a day to day basis, especially when I don't have the energy for a big post here. Also, if you ever want to contact me for any reason, it's a great way to do it.I'm trying out a new 'thing' on my blog... bolding important phrases and words, so that you can scan an entry and se... read more »

Good Girl Lucie.

Lucie my big, red dog and I were out on our morning walk today. I was letting her nose around the open area in front of my house. She loves to do this and I swear there is some bloodhound mixed in her genes. All of a sudden I hear a woman calling, Maggie, Maggie [...] read more »

A trip to the dog park, a little training, slow...

5 months 3 weeks 6 days oldWell I'm still not well, but I am feeling a little better I think. I think I have been pushing myself a bit overall, and last Thursday/Friday was just the final straw, trying to balance everything. The pile has finally come falling down. Unfortunately the timing is pretty bad! I have very definite commitments at the Arts Centre I volunteer at this week, and they aren't something that can be put off. Nevermind, I will just try to minimise the hours and rest as much as I can.The ... read more »

So much in Level 2 but nearly there!

Zen5 months 2 weeks 6 days oldWell, we are getting kind of close to finishing Level 2 of Sue Ailsby's Training Levels. We have a little more work to do, but compared to the HUGE amount of training contained in Level 2, we are close. The photos in this post come from over the last three months of training since Knightley was a little baby pup. Here's where Knightley and I stand.Zen = complete, can leave treats alone on the floor in front of him for 1 minute. FocusFocus (eye contact) = complete except f... read more »

Zen, recall practice and crate improvement

5 months 2 weeks 5 days oldI am beginning to see the truth in what Sue Ailsby says, in that zen is the foundation for all training. Zen, when used in this context, basically means doggy self control - especially on cue. Like when you don't want your dog to follow you through a door even though he really wants to go, or you are eating food on your lap that he wants to steal, you can use your zen cue (mine is leave it) and he should retreat from whatever he wanted to go through or after. Saying leave it in... read more »

Knightley and cupboards, more leash work, holid...

5 months 1 week 5 days old So the pup still has a bad stomach, although it seems to be a little better. He is sure enjoying his rice and chicken meals.... they smell so good I wouldn't mind eating them!! I am using them for his training, and he will do just about anything to get his greedy maw on them, so that is useful. We're doing more work on his cupboard closing skills. Paw there MrKnightley! Bullseye! Yes! Yes!! Have some yummy chicken and ricefor being such a very good boy. B... read more »

101 Things to Do with a Box, a lovely walk and ...

So today Knightley and I had a lovely cool very early morning walk - about 5:30am. It has been rather warm here of late, as you would know if you have been reading my blog regularly... so getting out in the morning means you experience the nicest temperatures. It was indeed lovely this morning, pearly light, a gentle breeze, parrotssquawkingfrom the trees and most of all, rather cool - so much so I had to go back for a jacket. Such a relief from the last couple of days. I took Knightley out on his long l... read more »

Happy 5 month birthday Knightley! A review of o...

So, Knightley is 5 months old today. Time has gone so very quickly!! He has gone from a tiny fluffy thing to a quite large boisterous but promising teenager.The first photo is of Knightley the first time we ever saw him. We had a very long drive up to where his breeder lived, about 7 hours from us, and did the trip over a weekend. We were there to temperament test the puppies of his litter, a big litter of 11, 8 of which were male - and I wanted a male for the extra size and strength. There was one other... read more »

New Sue Ailsby books (yay!!!), and training on ...

So after many many months of impatiently waiting, I have finally received Sue Ailsby's Training Levels: Steps to Successand so far am very very happy with the two books. They come some 10 years after she wrote the original Training Levels (which are available free online here), and while in many respects they are similar to the originals, they are some big changes and improvements. One of the main changes is instead of the 7 levels of the original levels, there are now only 4 levels in the new books. The... read more »

Great training sessions, some barking help, fin...

Giving me a "Watch me" cue, one of the behaviours we are doingas part of Sue Ailsby's Training Levels. I like to reinforce eyecontact even when I am not asking for a formal Watch me, so Ioften give him treats during the day for it.Knightley is really getting into his training these days. There was a time I was really worried he wasn't "in the game" as they say, but that time is truly long gone. We've had some absolutely terrific sessions lately, where everything has been spot on, and he improves and lear... read more »

Changing how I train Knightley

Since the first days of training Knightley, he hasn't been particularly switched on by training sessions. I have already talked on here at some length about the difficultly in finding a treat that Knightley could really like and now I look back upon my techniques, in a way I used that difficulty as an excuse for his slight passiveness - and didn't really try to change anything about the way I was actually doing the training sessions.In a way, I don't blame myself much. Those first couple of weeks with Kn... read more »

Is your puppy biting or nipping?

So this will just be a quick one. It's a crazy time at night as I just got up to take Knightley out to go "looloo" which is the cue I am training for him to do his number 1. I think we are close to him being able to comfortably sleep through the night though, so that'll be nice for me. Anyway, I said I would write a post on puppy nipping, as we have virtually completely eradicated it, after dealing with a very very nippy puppy for a few weeks. As Knightley is a Golden Retrie... read more »

My birthday, training continuing, floor sharks

So, last week it was my birthday, my dreaded 30th birthday in fact. Ugghhh. Where on earth has time gone? I find it somewhat hard to believe I have lived 30 years, although some days I physically feel like I've lived 80! Well, at least I'm guessing a bit there obviously. A closeup of Knightley asleep in his ex pen withthe new camera I got for my birthday!I did have a nice birthday though. I spent the evening before with my immediate family, my parents, brother, husband and Knightley - at my parents ho... read more »

Another Update on the Dog Training.

My big, red dog Lucie is a star pupil. She consistently performs well despite the fact that the temperatures are soaring here. Last Saturday was low key because it was too much for the dogs. They did the confidence course again. Lucie jumped through hoops, over bars and ran over the ladders. She made some [...] read more »

Dog & Human Training Update.

Yes, I do believe that Lucie my big, red dog and Buddy have the easy tasks in school. They only work about 10 minutes to learn new behaviors. Me on the other hand, I have to spend time thinking about what I need to do and when. It is work but I do not think [...] read more »

Buddy Got Kicked Out Of School.

Well, not really but he probably should have been the one with the dunce cap in the corner. Things were going really well. Lucie, my big red dog and I were learning about yes and no, exercise alternatives and the big leave it. Buddy was in his travel crate and right in the middle of [...] read more »

Buddy Jumping the Pole.

Sort of short post but if you can check out Buddy jumping a pole. He took a bit of a spill but he is a trooper. Next week I will take my camera and get some more photos of these two and me of course. Oh, please excuse my butt at the end. I did [...] read more »

Lucie, Buddy and Juliannah Go Back To School.

*Update* If you go here you can see Lucie in action. I would have never believed that I could spend one training session with my dogs and have them turn around so much. On Saturday me, Lucie my big, red dog and Buddy went for our first training class. I thought it would be a [...] read more »

Sighthounds and Displacement Behavior

Sighthounds can't be trained by a common template.In previous posts I have mentioned the importance of understanding a dogs' genetic behavior. Most dog trainers understand that while genetic behavior is a major factor in planning a training program, every dog is an individual and their training must be custom 'tweaked' to obtain the best results possible.Last week I overheard a conversation between an owner and a professional trainer concerning a young show quality female Whippet I was personally quite f... read more »

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