Sunday, March 29, 2009

Canine Freestyle Workshop

I just got back from a most exhausting, but educational and exciting weekend. Barbara and I do Canine Freestyle and we belong to the Carolina Canine Freestyle Guild. Our group organized a seminar with Kristen Scicotte to learn all about music and choreography for freestyle. I had a great time and learned so much.

We had to bring Ambrose along but he knows nothing about freestyle yet. Everyone made quite a fuss over him. It really is quite sickening.

But he had to stay in the crate most of the time while I got to work with Barbara on our freestyle moves and of course I got lots of cheese, hot dogs and praise for doing so well. Ha!

Here are some photos of my freestyle friends doing their moves. Smudge can actually put her paws on Sue's feet and stay there while Sue walks forward!!

Takoda and Ellen working on their moves while Kristen, the seminar leader, watches.

I was one of the three dogs chosen to show off their choreography at the end of the seminar. Everyone admired my beautiful movement and elegance. Unfortunately, even though Barbara had her video camera with her, she forgot to ask anyone to film us! I am so annoyed because I did my piece very well and we got lots of compliments.

Kristen is a wonderful teacher and she gave us a lot of good advice for our practices.

Our Carolina Canine Freestyle Guild worked hard to put on the seminar and all the participants, people and dogs, had a great experience. Here are the Guild members with Kristen.

Canine Freestyle shows off the joyful relationship between dog and handler. You can see great routines at the Hall of Fame on the CFF website.

Barbara and I have a lot more practicing to do because we are going to enter a competition in July.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I spent the weekend at K9 Kindercare while Barbara went away to celebrate her Mom's birthday. I like going to K9 Kindercare because they take great care of me and I have lots of fun with the other dogs. But Barbara didn't bring me back a present from San Antonio. I feel very sorry for the dogs there if there are no treats and toys in the entire city.

But what really annoyed me is that Ambrose got to stay with my boyfriend Trotter, his big sister Dreamer and Chris. I cannot believe that I had to go to the kennel while Ambrose got spoiled at Trotter's house.

He got to play in the yard all the time and hang out with Trotter.

Chris always has really good treats and I bet she gave him a lot.

On Saturday, Chris took Ambrose with her to a seminar and I heard that everyone there made a big fuss over him. I am just sick with jealousy about the whole thing!

I got him back though. He tried to play with my fish stuffie this morning and I nailed him. He won't be doing that any time soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I always like it when I see Barbara's friend Gretchen because it means I'm going to have a tracking lesson. Gretchen is a tracking judge and she has trained one of her Weimeraners to be a Champion Tracker, which is very hard to do.

Gretchen laid a very interesting track for me that crossed a ditch with water in it. I had no problem with the track but Barbara has to learn to do her part, reading me, better.

Ambrose got to do his very first track. Gretchen put down a track with lots of articles (cloth, leather, plastic and metal) every few feet. Every time Ambrose found one he got huge praise and lots of hot dogs and sausage biscuit. They made a big fuss over him so he will like tracking. He doesn't really know what he is doing yet but he did get his nose down to sniff.

Ayla's person, Sandi, took these pictures for us. You can read more about tracking on Ayla's blog.

I do love to track. It is always interesting and fun and I am sure, once Ambrose figures it out, he will love it too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tug o' War

Tug o' war is a great game but my big sister Selkie would never allow me to play it. She and Barbara used to play it all the time but if I tried to join in, Selkie would give me a very fierce correction. So I stopped trying since Selkie was in charge and I didn't want to get in trouble.

Ambrose and I have had a few good tug games which have been lots of fun. The pictures are blurry because we were moving so fast. Barbara really should have had the video camera out to capture the whole thing.

See how well Ambrose holds onto the rabbit. He is quite strong for a little guy. Of course I can yank it away from him anytime I want to.

Notice how wet his left ear is? That's because when we play bitey face, I hold his ear in my mouth and gnaw on it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It's all about socialization at our house these days. Barbara is obsessed with it. Ambrose needs to be socialized to this, Ambrose needs to be socialized with that, is all I hear. It is very important that puppies get exposed, in a gentle, positive way to all sorts of experiences when they are under 16 weeks old. So according to Barbara, the clock is ticking. Of course we dogs need to keep being socialized all through our adolescence but the early weeks are critical

I was very well socialized as a puppy but I am getting a bit sick of all the time Barbara is spending doing it with Ambrose. It means I get neglected while she takes him off to have adventures. I have to stay home and he comes back with the smell of cheese on his breath.

Today she took him to her friend Jane's house to socialize with her foster dog Cherie and to walk in their neighborhood. Cherie is a lovely young pit bull mix that Jane, who is a dog trainer too, is fostering for the Durham Animal Protection Society.

Ambrose liked Cherie very much and you can see how nice she was with him. They practiced their sits before they went on their walk.

Ambrose got to see bicycles and he and Cherie met a little toddler. I hear that they behaved beautifully. I, of course, was not a witness since I was stuck at home alone. Barbara says that she has to "concentrate" on Ambrose. How hard can it be? He isn't that big!

Cherie is up for adoption. She is about a year old, spayed, housetrained and crate trained, really good with other dogs, loves people and of course has learned a lot of obedience skills from Jane. If you know of a great home for her, let me know.

Thank you for all your concern about my eating the brownies. I was fine and I can not understand why there was all the fuss. Actually I think it is some kind of conspiracy to keep us dogs from tasting something that is so delicious that the people want to keep it all for themselves.

The brownies were delicious. Barbara says that she hopes I enjoyed them because it will never happen again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am in BIG Trouble

Yesterday was Barbara's Junior Puppy class graduation. She always gets special biscuits from the dog bakery for the graduates and bakes some treats for the people too. I love the smell of baked goods. This time she made a nut bread and a pan of milk chocolate brownies.

She put the bread on a rack to cool on top of the fridge and left the pan of brownies on top of the stove. Later she put Ambrose in his crate when she went to take a shower. She forgot about the brownies. I did not.

I could not blame this on Ambrose since he was in his crate. It didn't help that my muzzle was covered in brownie crumbs.

Most of what Barbara said is not printable in a family blog. She did refer to me as a "complete pig" though and said that I was "a bad example to my little brother". To be fair, she directed most of the HBO words to herself for foolishly leaving such temptation in my way. And of course she was very upset because I ate chocolate. Fortunately I am fine.

To further humiliate me she announced to the entire Junior Puppy class that the reason that they only had nut bread to celebrate graduation with, and not brownies, was my fault.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bite, Bite, Bite

Ambrose has very sharp little teeth that he uses all the time. Barbara says he is a little barracuda. So it is really important for him to learn bite inhibition so that by the time his adult teeth come in and his jaws get powerful, he knows how to control his mouth.

Bitey face games, or jaw fighting, teach us to control the force with which we bite and keeps our mouths soft. Who knew that something so fun is also a good way to learn an important skill?

Ambrose and I had a good game of bitey face today. Notice how my mouth is open but I am not biting down.

I am doing what trainers call self-handicapping. Instead of jumping on top of Ambrose, which I certainly could do, I am stretched out on my side to make the game more fair for him. This way he can lean over me and bite on me.

Then I take his muzzle in my mouth but I don't bite down.

This gives Ambrose confidence to play with me and understand that I won't hurt him.

Good bitey face games are reciprocal. That means that no one is in charge all the time. We reverse roles so that sometimes Ambrose gets to think he is controlling the game. Of course, I am really in charge!

Then I put my foot over his face. The game continues as long as Ambrose controls his mouth.

What usually happens is that eventually Ambrose bites me too hard and then I flip him off me and make him squeak. That ends the game and he learns that the game is over if he looses control of his mouth. After such a work out, we have to take a nap.

Ambrose also has to learn bite inhibition with people. Barbara doesn't play bitey face with him of course, but if he bites her hard when she is petting him, she gasps and takes her hands away. Already his bites are getting less intense. Puppies have a lot of things to learn. Now if I can only get him house trained.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ambrose Visits the Veterinarian

Our people have a responsibility to help us stay healthy. They buy us really good food, exercise and train us. It also means that they have to take us to the veterinarian. Now I know some of you don't like to go to the vet's office but I really like my vets at Colony Park Animal Hospital. Barbara always makes the vet visits fun for me. I got lots of treats and petting there. Fortunately I am a healthy girl so I don't have to go very often, but I always have a big time when I do.

Ambrose had to go to see the vet for his vaccination and checkup. He seemed to really like the smells in the lobby.

Of course the receptionists and vet techs made a big fuss over him. Jessica gave him some treats too.

Dr. Allison was really gentle with Ambrose and gave him lots of peanut butter treats while he was on the table. When she looked in his eyes, he got a treat. When she looked in his ears, he got a treat. It was a complete treat fest, especially when he had to get his shot. He didn't even make a peep. Well he couldn't because his little mouth was stuffed with goodies!!!

I think he had a good time and will be happy to go for his check up in 3 weeks.

But outings are really tiring for puppies even when they are good outings. Ambrose came home and had to rest right away. Fortunately he is napping on his bed and not on mine for a change.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

We woke up this morning to see that it had snowed overnight. I was very excited and did zoomies in the yard. Ambrose, of course, has never really seen snow but it did not phase him at all. He is a bold little guy.

He really enjoyed racing around in the snow and chewing on everything he could get his little mouth on.

It was hard to get good picture of him because he was always in motion but he had a great time.

We are getting along pretty well these days. We have had some good play times but of course I don't like Ambrose near me when I am chewing on a toy or eating. Barbara supervises us pretty carefully.

So after a lot of playtime outside we came in and Ambrose did some roaching on my bed with my fox stuffie!