Friday, March 30, 2012

Sing and a bit of Sonic training

Poor Sing has a bit of skin problem, we think! Not sure what happened and how he "got" it. Colin spotted it last Saturday while we were at NADS show. He called me over so I can have a good look. I was really surprised that I have not noticed/spotted it before. As he grew older, he likes to snuggle up to me in the evening and I normally run my hand all over him like you usually do. I found some dry skins and tried to peel it off, bad move! Unfortunately there is one particular one was nasty, when I got the dry skin off him, there was yellow puss inside, so that really concern me, so I rushed him to the ring side vet Ed. He was treated straightaway. We cannot understand why or how he got so many spots on his back, all at different areas. The only thing we could think of he probably got caught it some bushes but Sing is not a hunter, he won't go into shrub to chase rabbits! Anyway, after nearly a week, he is looking so much better and the nasty spot is also drying up nicely after lots of TLC. Phew! Sadly, he has to lost some of his fur :(

Sing obviously is not happy as we have a gorgeous week, all the others were swimming in the pond and I have to keep him on the lead. Poor boy was crying, screaming, barking when the others were in the water! Hopefully, he will soon he the King of the Pond again :)

We have a fantastic weather this week, really warm and sunny. Me and the dogs enjoyed our days laze around in the garden, doing nothing. I think we deserved garden agility off, just enjoyed this beautiful weather. I know soon I will have to get the lawn mover out to do some gardening. The grass needs to be treated :(

Today, we went to train with Toni Dawkins. I worked mostly with Sonic and 15 minutes with Sizzle. Sonic was great-ISH. He is coming along very well. He is still a baby and I am really happy with his performance and most of all, the enthusiasm in agility. He so far is my only dog that will work all the way though without needing food/treat. He is highly motivated on toy, if there is food/treat involved, he is happy and if you take the food/treat away, it didn't slow him down. One big improvement for me :) I did work very hard with him as a puppy and I am so happy that my training is getting better. 

We varies the jump height now when training Sonic. Sometimes, he jumps really low, pole on the base height or UKA toy height and every now and then we move the jumps to KC small height. Also, we varied different heights altogether. He is doing well on KC small height today. 

My problem now with him is he does not turn after the DW! He does not respond to my directional command at all when doing full DW let alone body language! He is very good with his directional command while doing jump or ground work but just don't applied on the DW! My homework now is to go back to very basic turning left & right after DW. It probably will take me a while but there is no rush :)

We've also started on  V Weave. I've just loved this dog, he is so enthusiastic on learning everything! My V Weave has sent in to be mended to the new KC spacing, hopefully I will be able to get it back before Easter, so I can practice during this period and have Colin to film it. 

Very sadly, Colin lost his job yesterday, so a lot of our plans for this year is changing ... with petrol prices hitting the record high, we are unable to attend many shows. Also, we consider to move away ...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

working wednesday #9

Well, this is not really a working wednesday but I have been working on getting Sonic to swim voluntarily and willingly without me keep using my verbal command to "push" him to swim. Thanks to this lovely sunny weather, we got to swim in the pond nearly everyday! Sonic is like suddenly "click" on Monday evening when we had our evening walk. Daddy Sing was on the lead because he had problem with the skin on his back (this will be on a separate post), so Sonic and Sizzle were both "in-charge" of swimming :D

I wasn't plan to get them wet in the evening so I didn't bring a ball, Sizzle found a nice stick. It was a real good one, no side branches or rough end, so it is safe to play. I decided to chuck the stick in the water and Sonic suddenly came from nowhere and straight into the water. WooHoo? He was very keen and fast, poor Sizzle was left behind, and luckily I found another one to entertain both of them. 

I thought that was a one-off from Sonic but he proved me wrong! Basically, he spent most of the time in the water that evening, fetching stick :) He is definitely a daddy's boy <3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

another birthday!

Happy Birthday to my little ray of sunshine, FOUR today!

No crazy celebration, we have a nice peaceful walk in the morning, had a bath, then spent the whole afternoon chilling in the garden with lots of sunshine. 

 Sizzle loves rolling on the grass when we have a lovely weather like this

 he is camera shy, doesn't like his photo taken :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

some agility updates

I've entered Sizzle and Sipzie this weekend at NADS. The weather was absolutely perfect for Newbury. Normally, Newbury is very windy and cold but yesterday was brilliant. We woke up at 5am, fed the shelties and quick toilet trip and ready to set off at 6am. We got there nice and early and to my surprised there were so many day parkers already! We got to park quite a fair distance but it was close to the exercise area so which is good.

I've entered Sizzle on Saturday and Sizzle & Sipzie on Sunday but we didn't go today. I think we deserved a good day like this at home, enjoy the garden with the shelties. I like UKA shows, you can enter on the day which is perfect. I've decided to give Sipzie a chance, so I've entered her in ONE class only and I picked the Steeplechase with no weave and no contacts. I think she needs a confidence boost. I've also entered Saturn in one steeplechase class. Bless him, he will be 7 in June and he loves to work for me. Good thing about UKA is he can jump lower and we can take it easy. 

I have not done any training with Saturn since Crufts 2011, that was a year ago. I am glad we are not rusty and he still response to my command like he used to. He is a very good boy when we competed. He always tried so hard eventhough he has no contacts. He is a really good jumper dog. Sadly, the back injury has taken him off from the sports he likes.

this is Saturn in Senior Steeplechase 1:

I've trained Sipzie hard this week, nothing agility related but since we have a lot of "biting" issue, I think we should sort that out before anything else. I don't think she wants to "bite" me but she is extremely hyper and excitable dog. Many times, she nip me hard and it drew blood and it is not a nice experienced at all. Sometimes, I've just got frustrated about it. I was glad I've got to talk to an agility friend Chris last weekend at AJAX about it. She suggested that I threw her toy/treat if I knew she is coming to nip me. I am quite experienced and knew when exactly she is coming, so we have been practising this a lot during the week and I have to say, I am 90% jackpot!

I chose to do one class with her if I go to an UKA show, I am hoping to build up her confidence in the ring slowly. I don't think I can rush with her and I am going to take it really slowly. This is her only class, Novice Steeplechase 2. We've got 2 refusals but I got to practice my "european turn"! She is really good at this turn, maybe because she is Belgian :)

Sizzle was a good little boy, he won all his 5 classes. Compare to last weekend, we certainly has improved! I was very keen to get on with the snooker and Sizzle did me proud, we scored full mark (51) with 6 seconds to spare! That really build up my confidence for the WAO. I have done a few Gamblers, so I am getting better but this is the only Snooker I've done so far. I wish I can get to practise more before WAO.

Sizzle in Senior Snooker:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

big boys update

I am not very good in keeping up with news lately ... the weather has been amazingly glorious with lots of sunshine and spring breeze. I have been out with the dogs a lot; I now walk Sing, Saturn, Sizzle and Sonic in one trip and Seagull, Sipzie and Scara on a separate trip. I used to take all seven out together but the girls are pretty naughty, they like to collide into the boys, especially Saturn and Sizzle. Saturn and Sizzle were very sore on their back after a big collision last December on a separate occasion. They both been treated and are well now. I do not want to go down the road again with stressed and frustration, so walking 2 separate trips in this weather is not bad.

The boys got to swim a lot in the last few days, I am sure you are fed-up with Sing's diving photos :), so no more Sing's diving photos. Sonic is very good now with open water, he actually beginning to dive yesterday. I am not sure if that is a one-off but it is very good to see another diving sheltie apart from Sing. He is very keen to swim just like Sing which is good. 

such a gorgeous pair!

Sonic's agility training is coming along very well. We've done some training last week and I really enjoyed working him. He is always keen and eager to learn. He is probably my only sheltie that will work switching between toys and food without losing any enthusiasm. 

this is one of the exercise we did at the training at AJAX:

We were at AJAX UKA Show last weekend, I was competing Friday and Saturday. Friday was dry but the wind was bitterly cold, I nearly freeze to death. I took all the dogs with me as Colin is at work. I was rather stressed as walking back and forth to fetch dogs to run and then have to take the dogs out for walk. I didn't do well. Between Sizzle and Sipzie, we managed 10 eliminations!

I was so glad to have Colin with me on Saturday. Sizzle was a really good boy, he managed all 5 clear rounds and won 4 classes and came 2nd in one. Unfortunately, Sipzie wasn't up for it on Saturday, she was rather miserable to start with and got better at the end. It was a long wait in between runs. The weather was very poorly as well. It rain on and off, I had to run in the rain with Sizzle. I wasn't going to but Colin said it is a good practice for WAO if it rains, so I did but I was very worried that either Sizzle and I got slipped and injured so we went steady, that's the class we came 2nd as I constantly shouting at him ... STEADY in a steeplechase class. Believe it or not, my last 2 runs with Sizzle was at 6:30pm! I need a flood light to run! I was so wanted to go home but I know I need the points to go up to Champion Level and I've been waited for so long ... luckily, I've got to train Sonic in between. I think having to train in a ring in a competition environment is very good for him. He is advanced compare to other puppies but I am very pleased with him to be able to work in the ring.

This is Sizzle's Senior Gambler, we've got picked to do Games at WAO, so I need to practice to do more Games before WAO. I was a little lost after the 2nd tunnel as I thought the whistle should blow by then but it didn't so I was really lost and don't know what to do ...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy FIRST Birthday to ...

Mai handsome boy Sonic and his gorgeous sister Princess Brooke! I still cannot believe they are ONE today! I can still remembered clearly that Samber's temperature changed since Wednesday and she was unsettled for so many days; we then had to rush her to the emergency vet on Saturday at 3:30am to have the pups born by Caesarean. I've never forget the two beautiful pups, Charlie and Angel we've lost, I've treasured even more for these remaining twosome!

As you can see at Day 2, Brooke already is very active. She's always crawl to the top of the milk bar and suckle one by one ...

Sonic and Brooke met up at Sheltie Camp last May @ 10 weeks old

first long trip for the pups together to East Lothian last July @ 17 weeks old

and this is their greeting when they see each other 

Sonic & Brooke @ 11 months old

Sonic will have a good long playful walk today, follow by a training and some very nice treat and doggie birthday cake! Thanks to Aunty Rhoda and Uncle Matthew for his presents :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday to my one and only SING

Happy TENTH Birthday to my one and only Sing, dog in a million! He is a little dog with big attitude! He taught me so much in the last 10 years and I am nobody today without him. He is always closely by my side since the day he walked into my life. We learned everything together, we failed; we succeeded; I cry, he licked my tears away; I laugh, he barked with me to share my joy and laughter! I am so happy to have share my life with him. 

We were at AJAX UKA show today to run Sizzle and Sipzie. I thought it would be very nice if I can give him a run. I know he will love it. I've checked with the judge and she is happy to let Sing wears his little protection sock to run. WooHoo! Sing was so excited. He hasn't done agility for 2 years and he was so excited that he gets to run! I can't tell you how happy he was and we managed to captured his birthday run on the video. Thanks to Aunty Rhoda! Bonus = he won it!

Thank you, Thank you, 
Thank God for you, 
The wind beneath my wing! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

working wednesday #8

Now that App has gone, I can put my training shoe on again (is that an excuse? LOL)

I have been wanted to teach Sonic to turn after the Dog Walk but was a little afraid about it. I do not want to confuse him if I am not sure how to teach a perfect turn. I have been struggling about it. He is very different to Sizzle; he has much longer stride and powerful running across the plank. He isn't a year old yet, I try to avoid any sharp turn at this point, hence no weaving yet too (only channel where he is still running straight without wriggly his body).

Just a couple of weeks ago, after watching Silvia Trkman training the turn with her young Pyrenean Sheepdog Le, I was inspired by her and decided I am going to teach the turn now! 

Sonic has been brilliant with the straight on, at home, it is 100%. Anywhere else, it's 98%. We haven't got a lot of chance to do full DW at anywhere else. The two puppy classes we go to, one is not doing full height yet and one only do full height every now and then. At the puppy classes, they are concentrate on jumping only and occasionally do some low contacts or bottom of the contacts for those who do 2o/2o.

I spent a week, that is 7 days, everyday doing 5 minutes (I timed myself with an alarm watch, so I am not over doing it) on the basic turning. He is good on turning left but not right? I did exactly the same training on both side but I have not have a clue why he can't do right?

P/S: you can turn down the volume of the video as I have no time to edit them, it's very noisy :)
this is the clip of us doing basic turning Left:

this is the clip of us trying to run a sequence turning Left:

I can't find a video of us doing the basic learning turning Right when we first started but it's identical to the one I did on the Left. But this video was taken yesterday, we are now going back to the beginning, I think I have to stick to this for a long time as he has't "click" yet. I tried to remove the marker pole every now and then and funny enough, soon the marker pole has gone or making that smaller and not obvious, he will turn sooner which I would not accept that at this point. That is just in case he misses the contact all together when he gets confidence.

In this video, you can see the failure of him turning Right :(((((

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back to routine ... part 2, important Birthdays coming up ...

Since App's gone, Sonic is demanding his attention! I thought I could spend a little more time doing my own things but Sonic would not let me. Everytime I sit in front on the computer, he will come and tell him he wants to do some agility :) so I am constantly run in and out of the garden do a little session of training with him. I feel really exhausted!

Sing will 10th and Sonic will be ONE!

This week, we have TWO big Birthdays coming up ... on Friday, 16th is Sing's 10th Birthday. I can't believe he is 10 and he definitely don't act like 10 to me! Despite his poorly paw, he is still very active, very agile and very keen to do anything! He always want to make me happy and keen to please me! I will be very busy this week, training Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, UKA Friday & Saturday and Sheltie meeting on Sunday. Phew! Luckily, the weather was glorious on the weekend, so we got to take the dogs out for some nice walks in between Crufts Agility break. 

As the weather is getting better, Sing got to do what he loves the best ...
 nothing can make him happier apart from diving/swimming and tennis ball

I can't believe Sonic and Brooke is turning ONE next Monday, 19th. Time just flew by, too quickly! Both Sonic and Brooke are amazing pairs. We are very proud to have bred these two gorgeous puppies!

 Sonic is daddy's shadow

March is definitely a "Birthday month" here at The KNIGHTs Shelties. Later in the month, 27th, is Sizzle's 4th Birthday! At the moment, we are a bit muddled up with his diet "again"! As we are leaving to WAO in May for a week. I was trying to switch his diet from Natural Instinct to tin meat for easy transport. Unfortunately it didn't work. It upset his tummy terribly :(

We have been to twice Team training so far and I am happy with him. Although his speed hasn't come back but he knew his job. I am building up his fitness gradually, both of us, really. We both do a lot of balance work and walking/trotting ... he go swimming and I go to gym. Hopefully, we both are fit for WAO.

Back to routine ... part 1, App update

Now that App has joined his new family and Crufts is over, I have no excuse not to go back to our normal routine.

App is settling in very well with Mariska and Jazz after a long journey. He has been busy in the last few days meeting people and dogs, went on the train and go to school to say hello to the children. It is good to know that he is one brave little boy and have no fear of anything. He loves cuddle with the kids at school and have no problem challenge a big Border Collie DJ :)

 App in the sunny Netherlands

App playing with his Border Collie friend DJ

and here are a couple of App's videos from the weekend:
playing tuggy with Jazz

chasing Jazz in the garden :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Oh Appy Day!

App has left the nest to join his forever home today. It was an emotional goodbye, being a singleton, I grew to attach to him more, even Colin is so in love with him. He is my first puppy that goes abroad but I know he is in very good hand and he will be well loved and well take care of.

 taking a BIG leap to The Netherlands!

He was such an easy puppy. Since he and Skye came back at 3 weeks old, he never a trouble. He was brilliant in many ways, although he was a slow developer but he is very bright, confidence, bold and happy little boy. He loves people and dogs. I don't think he will have problem settling in. He also has cheeky character that makes you laugh all the time!

cheeky boy

I think Sonic and Scara will be missing him. They are the two that played with him most of the time and hopefully they also taught him some good behaviours. Being a singleton is always tricky as they have no siblings to learn the manners and mama Skye left at 6 weeks. He has to learn all by himself. I am very glad he is very independent and strong. I know he will learn some manners mixing with the big boys.

I always try my very best to give the puppies a good start of their life by socialising them as early as possible in different situation. They get to meet children, young and old and other animals if possible ...

I wish Mariska all the best with her new puppy and I can't wait to see him again soon ... in May? 

 and here is the boring video of App playing with Scara and Sonic: