Friday, October 30, 2009

Birthday Parties

It really is fun getting photos from families who have gotten Dalmatians from us in the past. Here
UOCH, MOTCH, OTCH Patch MT's Sharp Dressed Man UDX7, AX, AXJ, TDInc. (Tuxedo) celebrates his 10th birthday with the newest addition to the family PatchMt Second Time Around (Ditto). Tuxedo is obviously quite used to wearing birthday hats after all those years! Ditto will learn how to properly wear a birthday hat as she grows up.

Here is puppy (Amber) Patch Mt & Blackthorn's Atlantic Time helping to celebrate her older Dalmatian house mate's birthday. (Spencer), Patch Mt's Blaze of Glory's celebrates his second birthday. Spencer is the mascot for the local fire station.

Therapy Dogs

Here is a cute picture of Ghost and his buddy Fenway at the local nursing home. We couldn't be prouder of all that Dawn has accomplished with this young dog.

Ghost has his AKC championship, advanced rally titles, is competing in agility and now is actively using his Therapy Dog International title with weekly visits to the nursing home and soon to be a regular at the local hospital.

And Fenway wins the award for my all time favorite Sheltie. Kathy Jo has worked very hard with training Fenway and the effort shows as they have already accumulated their advanced Rally titles and novice agility title.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tracking - It's What We DO

Well our dogs are multi-talented, tracking is my passion. Here is a picture of Violet tracking in my fields. She earned her AKC Tracking Dog title in fine style at a test in Vermont a couple of weeks ago.

Maeve and Corey are working on their Variable Surface Tracking titles, training once a week at the local schools. It is amazing to watch them work around the sports fields without even noticing all the activity. Just focused on their tracking and finding all the things we have left behind. And, what great PR for the breed. Corey got stopped twice yesterday on his track to be petted and fussed over - and then it was back to work to find things.

And Spring is progressing nicely in her training. We still use lots of treats to help build drive down the track and to keep her focused to the task at hand, but titles are definitely in her future. Last night she did great crossing the parking lot, and across the area filled with acorns. Maybe we can get her ready for the test at the Dalmatian Club of America National Speciality in April in Kansas. The tricky part is hoping for an early spring in Maine!

And Carina - the ace Champion Tracker - now gets to concentrate on agility - and maybe someday try for her Canadian Urban Tracking titles!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Puppy Training in Minutes

Because I have yet to win the Lottery, I have to work for a living. That limits the time I can spending doing things I would rather do - like riding my horse and training my dogs.

So, I have to train when I can. A few minutes in the mornings and at night happens in the daily living at my house. Everyone must wait patiently while breakfast and supper are prepared.

Here is Spring and Corey waiting, and of course begging, while Don prepares his breakfast. Spring can sit for the several minutes it takes, and guess what - Corey can sit pretty for pretty much the whole time, too! I won't say where Carina is waiting at - she is the Queen Bee and can do what she wants - she knows she will be feed first - let the others do all the work!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring at Puppy Class

Spring is enrolled in a Wednesday Night puppy class. Here is her learning, in one sessions, how to run to her mat and lay down. We had NOT trained a down prior to last night. Oh, the power of clickers, food and positive rewards!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Puppy Teething

Well, the good news is that Spring's bite -how her teeth line up - looks very nice and correct. The bad news - she is STILL loosing some of her baby teeth. We were playing tugger the other night and she yelped, and started chewing on something. I pried open her mouth in time to see a tooth being swollowed. Oh well, a little natural calcium in her diet!

To help her with the teething process I make sure she gets a raw, meaty bone every day when I leave for work. Sure helps her like her crating area and helps keep her occupied while I'm gone. I went to the local butcher shop and bought lots of knuckle bones cut to about 3 inches long each. I am NOT a proponent of marrow bones. The short ones - about an inch or two long - can get caught on the dog's lower jaws. Linda and I have both had THAT very scary situation happen. And the longer ones chip off pieces, in addition to the marrow in the center getting really rancid. I have also bought oxtail bones at the local Walmart recently. Why anyone would buy them except for dog bones is beyond me.

Rawhide chews contain way to many chemicals for my comfort level, and I had a dog - poor Cheeca - almost choke to death on one once. I threw out all I had at the time and have never given my dogs rawhide since then.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Puppy Socialization

Well, let's see if we can get back into posting on a more consistent basis.

Puppies sure are a LOT of work. Socialization will continue for many, many months, and then real obedience work will begin. Here is a picture of Spring at an introduction to agility class. It was just a chance to get her out and about. Yesterday she went up the road to play with our neighbor's Bernese Mountain Dog puppies - who are only a couple of days older.

It was interesting watch them all meet for the first time. All 3 were timid and unsure for the first 30 seconds, then touched noses, and then it was off and running! Within minutes they were all playing well and chasing around the fields like old buddies. It cannot be stress enough how important it is for puppies to learn how to play with other puppies. They learn important body language signals that we just can't give them. As all these puppies are headed for show careers they need to be able to read other dog's signals and feel happy and confident meeting new dogs. We have always said the Carina and Corey go to shows just to make new friends. Corey almost insists he must say "Hi" to every dog there before he can focus. Makes a HUGE difference for the life time of dog show and trial experiences.

BTW - that is sister Lucy leading the way up the A-frame!