Friday, March 26, 2010

At the Dog Show

There is a 5 day dog show here this week and my sister Tori is entered and so are some of Ambrose's siblings. My breeder, my Auntie Karen, brought my brother Travis along too so I got to see them both.

I was so excited to see Travis. We jumped around and got very silly together and then had a few kisses. It was good to go for a walk with him around the show grounds. He is a very handsome boy.

We both got on the dog grooming torture table for a photo.

Then I got to get together with my sister Tori. We had some good sniffs together.

Tori is on the right and I am on the left. Don't we look a lot alike? Of course she has undergone massive amounts of dog grooming torture so she can be shown. She seems to like it which makes me think she is a little crazy.

She is a very beautiful girl and I am sure that she will finish her championship soon.

I was shocked to find that after making a nice fuss over me, my Auntie Karen tortured me too! Barbara wanted her to show her how to thin out the hair on my sides and front feathers. Sometimes they get matted because they get too thick. Auntie Karen is very skilled at the dog grooming torture so I doubt that Barbara will be able to replicate this. I will probably look all lopsided after she gets through with me.

Ambrose's brother Wallace did very well at the show yesterday and today. He got Winner's Dog both days. He is a handsome boy.

It was good to see some of my littermates again. I wish we could have gone for a nice run together.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Puppies

Don't worry. We did not get another puppy! One Ambrose is quite enough for me.

My Drill Team friend, Royal, got an new puppy sister a couple of weeks ago. He seems to like her a lot (how strange?) and lets her nibble on him all the time. She is pretty cute though.

Royal's person, Jenn, thought that little Jet needed to meet a dog that would not be so besotted with her and teach her to respond to cut off signals. So Barbara brought me over to meet her. I was more interested in running around Royal's yard than playing with a silly puppy. Of course Jet was fascinated with me (who wouldn't be?) and followed me everywhere on her little puppy legs. I pretended she wasn't there. When she came too close, I glared at her or gave her a little growl. She was very respectful and backed off immediately.

I think she is a smart little thing and will turn out well. If you want to see more pictures of Jet's training you can check out Royal's blog.

Then I found out that Penny, my Airedale Terrier friend who is also in our Drill Team, has a new brother. His name is Joey. He looks like he is going to be a wild boy like Ambrose.

Since it was a beautiful day, we got some dog park time. I love the fresh, new grass. I couldn't resist doing a bit of roaching.

Here is a little video of me enjoying myself.

Look at all the foliage that I managed to get in my fur! I even had pine straw hanging from my feathers.

Ambrose had a big time running through the park. He stole another dog's squeaky toy and raced around showing it off.

Finally he wore himself out and it was time to go.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Hope you got some corned beef or some soda bread.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shopping Expedition

I worked very hard this week. Besides my demo to the pre-vet students I also helped Barbara with some of her clients' dogs. I specialize in working with dogs who have on-leash aggression. My body language is very clear and not at all provocative so I can help these dogs get used to passing by other dogs without being afraid. Because I have been such a good girl, Barbara took me to Phydeaux, my favorite pet supply store, and said I could pick out any toy that I wanted.

First we checked out the dog food aisle. It is stacked with all sorts of tasty and healthy food.

Then we moved on to the wall of toys.

I checked out the Kongs but since I have several of those already I decided to hold out for a new stuffie.

Phydeaux has an excellent selection of stuffies and flatties as well as tug toys.

Should I get this cat?

Good bird dog that I am, I finally decided on this ring-necked pheasant flattie. Ambrose got a stuffed skunk because he put it in his mouth and got his slimy puppy cooties all over it.

We passed by this display of treats and I just had to stop for a sniff. I was very pleased that Barbara got me some of the Norwegian salmon treats. So delish!

Ambrose, the bad boy, has chewed through another leash!

We had to get him a new one. What a waste of money that could have been spent on more salmon treats.

(Note from Barbara: Don't be so smug Niamh. You demolished a number of leashes when you were a puppy including a hand made, very expensive leather leash that I had had for 18 years)

I love going to Phydeaux. They have the best dog stuff and the staff is always very nice to me. Unfortunately Barbara made us leave when Ambrose was caught shoplifting a bully stick, the little criminal.

Some of my blogging friends have asked about my good recall. I learned the Leslie Nelson Really Reliable Recall method along with some other fun techniques. Barbara tried to get some video today but she could not seem to manage calling me to come, shooting the video and giving me praise, petting and treats all at the same time. We will try to get someone to video us next week to show you what we do.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pre-Veterinary Medical Association

Last night Barbara and I went to North Carolina State University in Raleigh to give a talk to the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. Well, she gave the talk and I got to be the demo dog. We left Ambrose at home so he would not disgrace us in front of all the future veterinarians.

I enjoy demonstrating my skills and getting lots of attention from the audience. And of course I knew it had to be a good place to go to because the university's mascot is the wolf!

All the students were very friendly and gave me lots of attention. Of course as pre-vet students they all like dogs and so I was much admired. Many of them even gave me ear rubs which I adore.

Barbara gave a talk about humane, positive training methods and how they build the relationship between dogs and people. She talked about the ways trainers and vets can work together and all the great training information that is available now and not like in the dark ages when she started training dogs. I got to demo some of my tricks and showed off my great recall. I had to come all the way across the lecture hall, passing the table where all the people snacks were, and up the stairs to Barbara. Needless to say, I was great.

The students asked lots of good questions about training. I enjoyed meeting the students and I hope that they all become excellent vets and help lots of dogs.

Here I am posing with two of the officers of the club.

The only disappointing thing about the meeting was that the students were eating chocolate chip cookies and I wasn't able to beg for a single one. Because they are pre-vet students they all knew that chocolate is bad for dogs.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Before and After

Ambrose and I were having a perfectly good game of chase in the dog park when Barbara took a look at us and decided that something had to be done.

She said that I looked "tufty and disheveled". Very rude of her I think. When she starts talking that way, I know that I am in for a session of dog grooming torture.

Then she made remarks about my "bedroom slipper feet" and I knew there was no hope that I would escape it.

Regular readers of the blog know that I hate being bathed and groomed. Barbara has desensitized me to all the evil implements of dog grooming torture but I still don't like it. Goofy boy that he is, Ambrose does not seem to mind it at all.

I find it stressful even though I get lots of treats when she tortures me.

Just look at the evil implement that she is using on my paw fur! I think that she got it from that TV show 24 when they try to make someone tell where the nuclear weapons are hidden.

Then we had to go Max's Dog Wash and Torture place for baths. I refuse to have my picture taken in the bath anymore. It is humiliating! Here are a couple of pictures of Ambrose in the bath. Even though he likes being brushed, he doesn't like the bath either.

Every time I have to suffer through this torture, Barbara tells me that it is important for my health and well being for me to be groomed and bathed. It is her responsibility to check my skin and ears for parasites and icky conditions and if my fur gets matted it will be hard for me to move properly. I think she is full of it.

So I suffered through it all and now she tells me I look lovely. Well of course I do but I am NOT happy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jr. Puppy Graduation

Last night Barbara's Junior Puppy Class had their graduation ceremony! Junior Puppy Class is for very young puppies who are under 16 weeks of age when class starts. This is the best time to teach puppies that learning is fun and to help them get socialized to people, other pups, and new places. The old theory was that puppies couldn't learn anything, and shouldn't go to class, until they were 6 months old, which is completely ridiculous. A puppy's mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Good puppy classes balance socialization, play, management and basic skills to get puppies off to a great start. I, of course, was in puppy class almost as soon as Barbara brought me home and look how well I turned out.

The puppies showed off their tricks and then went through an obstacle course to demonstrate their skills. Sasha is rewarded for excellent attention to her person.

Sailor bravely walked over the hula hoops.

Gracie enjoyed going through the tunnel. All the puppies showed great confidence - one of the benefits of attending a class.

Here are the graduates. There were treats for dogs and people and they got nice diplomas for completing the class.

Of course 7 weeks of class is only the beginning but all of the puppies signed up for another set of classes. Soon they will be practically perfect just like me!