This is a personal weblog based on my life with Bernese Mountain Dogs. The opinions expressed here represent my own and and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any clubs, organizations or committees that I may be associated with. Please feel free to comment on any post, but profane, abusive or rude comments will not be tolerated - please be polite, even if you disagree.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Howl-een

Some people are very creative when it comes to dressing up their dogs for Halloween.  If you want to see some great dog costumes, click here and you will find some of the dressed up dogs at our Go! Dog Go! Halloween party.  Maggie and Bosley's costumes were not so creative.

Maggie dressed up as a Devil Dog.  I thought she looked very cute and since she is kinda bad, the costume is fitting.

Bosley dressed up as a Pumpkin Head.  He wasn't too impressed, but I thought he looked cute - as cute as a pumpkin.

Neither dog was very happy about having to wear their hat.

This piece of dry grass was much more interesting than posing for pictures.

Maggie had enough and knocked her hat off.

Bosley grabbed it and . . .

 . . . the fun began.

Maggie thought Bosley's hat should come off too.

Bosley took off with it - running around the yard.

"Catch me if you can!"

Maggie shows Bosley how it is done. "You must shake, shake, shake the hat".

"and shake it some more"

That about ended our Halloween picture taking session.  The Pumpkin Hat was destroyed with all the chasing and shaking.  

Friday, October 24, 2008

Get Yours Today !

Breaking News on the Fashion Scene:

Be the first to see the newest hot fashion that will soon be seen on runways everywhere.  Now presenting, the latest edition of:

Designs By Bosley

Bosley says crew necks are out this season so he re-designed this pajama top with a lovely V-neck.  Bosley also added just the right amount of dog slobber to give this design that personalized touch.

The V-neck puts extra emphasis on the two kissing puppies.  Although they are not Bernese puppies, Bosley still thinks that they should be the focal point of this piece.

As well as a keen eye for style, Bosley also has a flair for making sure his designs are comfortable.  A well designed elbow area, provides a little extra ventilation.

What is quickly becoming a Bosley trademark, the elbow hole also allows free range of motion of the arm, so that there are no excuses for not being able to reach across the bed and give your dog a good belly rub during the night.

Bosley is currently working on his next designer masterpiece - matching pajama bottoms.  We are all waiting in anticipation to see what he has up his paw for this next design.

Custom Designs Available By Request

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I find it interesting  just how different in personality Maggie and Bosley are.  Of course they both have typical Berner traits, but they really are very different.  For example, Maggie is very friendly with everyone and she thinks that everyone should pay attention to her. Maggie has a big personality and she gets very animated when we pass strangers on the street, in an effort to get some pets.  She loves kids and although she has not been around them very often - she is very gentle with them and doesn't mind them crawling on her or poking her.  Bosley, on the other hand, is more reserved with strangers.  He does not seek out attention from people that he does not know (unless they have treats).  He is not a shy dog, he is just not very outgoing when it comes to other people. 

That is their "public image".  At home, Maggie in not a cuddly dog.  She likes to play with us and is constantly trying to engage someone in a game of "tug-o-war" and she will sometimes ask for pets, but she is generally content to lay, by herself, in one of her favorite spots in the house.  Bosley however, is always right at my feet and follows me around constantly.  He always wants to cuddle and to sit in someone's lap.  He always needs to be close to someone and if he had his way would spend the whole day being cuddled and getting belly rubs.

Here is Bosley having some "cuddle time" with Amy.

Very cute!

Bosley sticking his tongue out at Amy.

Something must have been funny; they are both laughing.

Here Bosley has crawled into my lap.  He thinks that there is lots of room for both of us to sit in the chair.  He doesn't seem to realize that he weighs 100 pounds.

Monday, October 20, 2008

. . . and then there were two

I was looking through some pictures and I came across this one.  It is a picture of Bosley on his first day home - he is meeting Maggie for the first time.  Maggie was very interested in him and eager to become friends.  However, Bosley was scared of Maggie (her idea of making friends is bouncing around wildly and barking non-stop) and he would yelp and hide under the kitchen table anytime Maggie came near him.

But, it did not take long and Maggie and Bolsey became buddies.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Walk In The Park

What a beautiful autumn day we had today.  It was warm, but not too hot for the dogs and not a breath of wind.  I mention the wind, because Lethbridge is notorious for it's wind, especially in the spring and fall,  and for the past few days it has been blowing like crazy.  It is just miserable to go walking when the wind is howling.  Today was perfect!

The dogs and I met up with my friend Janet and her young Bernese boy Tucker. We all enjoyed a nice, long walk along the park trails.  Tucker is 9 months old and is starting to look like a grown-up Bernese.  All his fluffy puppy fur is gone and he is getting his beautiful adult coat and is looking very handsome.

                               Tucker                                Bosley                       Maggie

I love Tuckers "Swiss Cross".  It is often a desired Bernese trait to have a nice, white cross on the chest.  It is not a trait that is in the Bernese standard, rather it goes back to Swiss tradition.  The cross is most noticeable on young dogs, but as the long, heavy coat starts to grow in, the cross is less prominent. 

Can you see the resemblance between Tucker and Bosley?  If you do, it is because Bosley and Tucker are related.  Bosley's Dad and Tucker's Grandmother are littermates.

What a perfect day for a walk in the park with the Berners.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Putting the "Fun" Back in Obedience

Last night, Maggie got to tag along with Bosley and I when we went to Rally Obedience practice.  This was the first time that I have done any obedience with Maggie since our Saskatoon trial, which was about 6 weeks ago  (Maggie has been on an obedience "break" since then).  I gave her a break to try to get some enthusiasm back in her obedience work.  Ever since I put her in the Novice Obedience ring in August (where she had a total ring meltdown) she has not been interested in doing any obedience, even Rally, which she loves.

I love doing obedience with Maggie because she tries really hard and is technically quite good when she is "on".  Last night was a good night for her.  I did a very quick warm up with her and then a fun little Rally course(the rest of the time she had to watch me work with Bosley). I gave her lots of praise and cookies through the whole course and she did great.  She was back to her spunky, fun self.  I sure wish she could be like that in the ring.

This is one of my favorite pictures (taken by Sarah).  It is Maggie and I at our first ever Rally Obedience trial (APDT).  It was such a great day and even though we didn't qualify (I messed up, not Maggie) I was so proud of how Maggie did  our very first time in the ring.
I am going to take my time to try to get Maggie ring ready again.  She needs to know that obedience is fun, even when we are at a trial.  So for now we will do short,fun obedience exercises with lots of rewards and praise and hopefully she will be back to her usual goofy self in no time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bernese Shepherd Dogs

What is Maggie so interested in?

What is Bosley so interested in?

Sheep, of course!

This weekend we went out to Scott and Jenny Glen's farm for some herding lessons.  "Bernese herding!?!  Is that possible?", you may ask yourself.  Originally, Bernese were used as all purpose farm dogs in Switzerland.  They are most widely known for pulling the carts of milk to town, but they were also used to help get the cattle to market.  Bernese are known to be 'drovers' rather than 'herders'.  They keep the cattle moving and bring strays back to the group, but do not round up cattle or sheep like a Border Collie will.  Some Bernese have a strong herding instinct while others have very little.  I was curious to see if Maggie and Bosley had any of that instinct.

Maggie was the first to have a lesson.  I knew that she would be interested in the sheep because she has a fairly strong prey drive and will chase down anything that moves.  She was just a little excited to see the sheep.  She really wanted to chase them, but was kept on a leash for her first lesson.  The leash was to protect the sheep from a crazy, untrained dog and to keep Maggie from forming any bad habits.

Scott is carrying a rolled up feed bag.  It is used to get the dog's attention back when they are so focused on the sheep that they are not listening to commands.  Maggie got bonked on the head with the feed bag alot.  Normally, she would be terrified of getting hit on the head with that bag, but she was so focused on the sheep that she barely noticed.

You cannot tell from the pictures, but Maggie was whining and carrying on because she really wanted to get the sheep.

Control is a huge part of herding.  A 'down' gets the dog back under control and focused again.  Maggie acted like she had never heard the word "down" before.

Here is Maggie after getting bonked on the head with the feed bag.  The bag does not hurt the dogs at all - it is just a rolled up paper bag.

Maggie's sheep decided they did not like a big Bernese chasing them and they jumped over the fence to escape.  Maggie went wild when she saw they were running away.

She really wanted to go get those "stray" sheep.

After getting a new set of sheep, it was Bosley's turn.  I was not sure how much interest he would have in the sheep.  This is his first look at the sheep after they came out of the barn.  He was very excited and really wanted to chase them.  I think Scott was surprised at how strong Bosley is.

I know how strong Bosley can be, but it took all my strength to hold him back from taking off after the sheep.

It did not take Bosley long to realize that he could not just go charging after the sheep but rather, just stay behind them at a steady pace.

Here is Bosley going after the sheep that were in a corner.  Scott is not kicking Bosley, he is just trying to keep from tripping over the leash.

Bosley did not get as near as many bonks on the head as Maggie did.  This picture was taken right after Bosley got bonked. Bosley assumed his "Oh no, I did something wrong" position.

Bosley quickly got over it and trotted nicely beside Scott to go get some more sheep.

These sheep were looking at Amanda, who was taking the pictures, as if to say "Help us!  Get us away from these crazy, giant dogs."

I had a lot of fun at our first herding lesson, and I think that the dogs did too.