Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference

As I mentioned in a previous post I stayed in the kennel while Barbara went to a conference. She goes to APDT conference every year to learn more about dogs and dog training. As much as I don't like her to leave me, this is an important thing for her to do. Dog are a very important subject and people can never know enough about us. Barbara said that there were 1158 trainers at the conference. I really don't understand why every trainer does not go. Especially since APDT promotes reward based training which I will tell you is the only kind of training that I want anything to do with. Bring on the treats and toys.

Speaking of treats and toys, Barbara always buys me new toys and goodies at the conference trade show. That is the best part of the whole thing as far as I am concerned. This year the Board president, Don Hanson, gave all the Board members T-shirts with pictures of their dogs on the front. I must say that I look very cute on Barbara's shirt. I think she should put my picture on all of her shirts!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm back

I've been away from the blogosphere for over a week because Barbara went out of town to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference to learn about the latest in dog training and I went to K9 Kindercare ( K9 Kindercare is run by a nice woman named Terrie. She takes care of all the dogs who stay there. We each have our own kennel and we get to play in fenced yards with other friendly dogs. Even though I miss Barbara I really like to stay there.

Terrie puts up a baby pool filled with water and I like to spend a lot of time in it, splashing around and playing. I also play chase games with other dogs. I have a new friend named Dutch who is a young Boxer. He would chase me and then we would bash into each other. That is a lot of fun.

Barbara sent me to the kennel with some new toys and I completely destroyed them!!. I ripped the legs off and then pulled out the stuffing and the squeakers. I shredded what was left into lots of little pieces. I had a great time ripping them up but then Terrie had to throw the toys away.

As much as I like to go the kennel, I was really glad that Barbara came to pick me up. As we turned into our driveway I was whining with excitement. It is good to be home and sleep on my own bed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sometimes I'm Good, Sometimes I'm Bad

Today I was bad. Barbara left me alone while she went to work. I really don't like to be left alone. It is boring and makes me tense sometimes. Barbara always leaves me with good toys and a stuffed Kong or Twist and Treat. I watched the squirrels for a while but I got bored after I finished my treats.

Barbara had left her bait bag on the kitchen counter and I could smell the treats. So I pulled it down and ate the cookies. Then I pulled a roll of paper towels off the counter (I like the cardboard tube in the center) and then a glass bowl. It broke. When Barbara got home she saw all the broken glass. "Niamh, what have you done?" she said. Then she had me lie down on my bed so she could check between my toes for bits of glass. I think she was worried that I cut myself.

Barbara never yells at me but I heard her muttering a lot of bad words while she was sweeping up the glass.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trotter CGC

My boyfriend Trotter is smart as well as handsome. You can see from his picture that he is a gorgeous blonde with beautiful brown eyes. But he is not just a pretty face!! Today he passed the Canine Good Citizen test and now can add the initials CGC after his name. The CGC is a test of basic obedience and practical exercises like sitting politely for petting, walking through a crowd and meeting another dog.

Chris and Trotter took a class and practiced the exercises for many weeks. Trotter passed all 10 parts of the test and he will get a certificate from the AKC. I am so proud of him. Now Barbara and I will have to practice hard so I can pass the test and have initials after my name too. I really have to work on that down stay and my loose leash walking. I don't want Trotter to be embarrassed to go out with me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Friend Ayla

Here is a picture of my friend Ayla tracking. Doesn't she look intent on her track? Ayla is an English Shepherd and is a rescue dog. That means for awhile she didn't have a home or anyone to look after her. Someone adopted her but didn't keep her because they said that she didn't know anything. The nerve of some people. So Ayla went to live with Sandi who is now her special person .

I got to know Ayla at the dog park. Sandi wouldl bring Ayla with Ruby and Barbara would bring me with Selkie. We are both very fast and very silly so we would race around the dog park and have a great time. Ruby would bark at us when she thougth that we were behaving badly. But Ayla and I play very well together. Sandi started training Ayla, who is very smart even though her first adopter didn't think so. She learned to track and do Rally and passed her Canine Good Citizen test. She also joined the Drill Team and now we get to see each other every Monday at practice. Barbara and Sandi really have to arrange more play dates for us because there really hasn't been enough running around lately.

English Shepherds (not to be confused with English Setters) are very nice dogs. They were bred to work and to herd. You can find out more about them at .

A Fun Morning

Even though I got a lot of exercise yesterday running in the dog park and practicing with the Drill Team I woke up feeling very skippy this morning. Fortunately Barbara had a lot planned for us. We went over to my boyfriend Trotter's house so I could run in the yard with him. Trotter is a handsome Golden Retriever and I flirt with him all the time. We chase, then we freeze, do a play bow and chase some more. We also like to play the chew face game where we get lots of slobber all over each other. Sometimes Trotter sniffs me in rude places and I have to air snap at him.

After playtime we went in the van with Chris and Dreamer and Tully to go tracking. I love to track. My friend Ayla came with Sandi and we all had a great morning of sniffing. It wasn't too hot although the ground was dry and the long grass crunchy-not the best scenting conditions. But that didn't stop me.

Barbara laid two tracks for me that were longer than any that I had ever done. One was 100 yards and the other was 130 yards with 3 turns. The straight track was a cinch and I found my article with no problem even though the grass was very high. The next track was harder and I had a little trouble with the first turn as it was close to a change in cover and I kept wanting to go where the grass was shorter. Barbara helped me, I found my turn and didn't have too much trouble with the second turn. I did a great third turn and headed straight to my finish article which was a little slipper filled with lamb treats!! I was quite pleased with my performance.

The other dogs did their tracks very well also. Then it was back home for a nice long nap after all that exertion.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I have forgotten how to stay. I know that Barbara taught me how to stay when I was a puppy and I could do both a sit stay and a down stay. Somehow I forgot how to do them (maybe we didn't practice them enough) but the whole concept of stay just escapes me. I do not want to sit still.

Barbara is retraining me on the stay. I think it is boring. I would rather practice walking backwards. We have gone back to the beginning and we are doing it in puppy steps. She has me sit in heel position and hold still for 5 seconds and then clicks and treats me. Very boring. Down stay is even harder as I just want to leap up. I really do have to relearn these stay skills if I want to be in the parades with the rest of the Drill Team. Lots of the tricks have stays in them so I will just have to buckle down and practice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Barbara has FINALLY gotten around to putting the photos from the Jambalya Jam on my blog. Don't you think I look pretty in my bandanna? Green is a good color for me.

This is a picture of me with my friend Lucy. She is a setter too but not a Gordon. She is an Irish Setter and they are always red. Lucy is an excellent spinner and a lot of fun to be around.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Green Bandanna

I made my Drill Team debut this afternoon. I was very proud to get to wear the green bandanna that all the other Drill Team dogs wear. It is bright green and has a picture on it of a dancing dog. The bandanna matches the T-shirts that the people on the team wear. I thought that I looked very pretty. I was always a little jealous that Selkie got to wear a bandanna and I did not.

Barbara and I went to the Jambalya Jam at APS with Mary and Walter and my friend Amiga. It was very nice that Amiga let us have a ride in her van. Amiga is a sweet Golden Retriever and she gave me a kiss when we got into the van. When we got to APS a there were balloons, a band and lots of food that smelled delicious. Most of my Drill Team friends were there and we warmed up on the lawn where we were to perform. I was very excited and had a hard time settling down to practice. There were lots of people there who wanted to pet and admire me.

Barbara introduced the Drill Team and all the dogs got to perform a trick. But she forgot to introduce me!! I didn't get to perform my spinning trick which I had practiced. How could she forget me?? I was standing right next to her and she was holding my leash. The Drill Team got to perform their first routine which I am not in because I don't know all the tricks yet. Then we lined up for "I Will Survive" and I got to show my stuff.

This is a fun routine and I thought that I did well. Barbara gave me lots of help and rewarded me with treats throughout the routine. The music is lively and I got to do my tight rights and lefts and my Schutzhund turn. The hard part is the moving down but I even managed that. All the people clapped a lot when we did our pinwheel at the end. Everyone made a great fuss over us. One lady said that I was very elegant!! I was so pleased.

The one big disappointment was the food. We performed right near all the delicious Cajun food. People were filling plates full of jambalya and barbeque. My nose was in over drive as I passed the tables. And no one gave me any of it. I think this is cruelty to animals.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Visiting Friends

Today I am resting. Yesterday was very busy and tomorrow I will be going to my first Drill Team performance so I need to catch up on my beauty sleep.

Yesterday I went to play at Jane's house with her two dogs Snowflake and Pippo. Jane is Barbara's friend and she is a dog trainer too. Snowflake is a nice older dog and Pippo is a cute reddish brown dog. I met him when he was a puppy but haven't seen him in a long time. Pippo was a little excited about meeting me. We ran around his fenced yard. I like to run fast and he would chase me and bark. He didn't seem to know the same games as I do but we did a lot of chasing. Then we went in Jane's house. Pippo let me play with all his stuffed toys which I thought was very nice of him. Jane and Barbara picked up all the rawhides though. I splashed water all over the floor in Jane's kitchen when I had a drink from Pippo's dish.

The most exciting thing was the bird. I am a Gordon Setter and I know about birds. I point them all the time in the yard. But Pippo and Snowflake have a bird living in their house!! And they are not even interested in him. I had no idea that birds could live in a house. We certainly don't have one at home. This bird yellow and gray and was in a big cage with toys! Jane called him Sammy. The birds in our yard do not have names or toys. I was astounded to see Sammy play with his toys and it startled me quite a bit. You learn something new every day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I am a busy girl

Life has been busy lately. We are doing a lot of fun things. Monday night was my Drill Team night. I went to the dog park first and then had to wait in the crate while Barbara taught her class. That part is boring. Then my friends came for Drill Team practice. I am always happy to see them. It is such a good time although I would really like to have some time to run around with Ayla, Lucy and Amiga. Barbara is just going to have to arrange some play dates for us.

Yesterday I went to visit a Labrador Retriever puppy named Albert. He is cute but very pushy. I had to tell him off several times when he sniffed me in rude places. He even tried to hump me so I had to snap at him. If Selkie were around she would have sorted him out in no time flat because she never tolerated any boy dogs doing rude things to her. I don't quite have the confidence that she had so it took me a bit longer to get my point across. When he finally behaved himself I did allow him to play chew face with me and got nice and slobbery.

Then a surprising thing happened. I had a bath. Dani, Albert's person, has a special dog shower built into her garage and Barbara and Dani put me in it and washed me. I was not expecting it but I am now a very clean dog. Barbara says that I am very soft and shiny. I don't like the bath part too much but I do like the drying part with towels. That feels very good. After my bath I got to go in Albert's house and play with all his stuffed toys. I liked that too.

Tomorrow I am going to play and practice with another dog friend. Life is good.