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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Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Agility 'Q'

Yesterday was Maggie's 5th birthday! She got to celebrate by dropping to the Veterans class in agility at a Calgary trial. I have been waiting a long time to drop her to Veterans - the 22" jumps were just too hard on her.
I only entered her in 2 runs - Masters Snooker and Advanced Standard. Her Snooker run was a bit choppy in places but we finished to the end of #6 in the closing for 40 points and a 'Q'. This is Maggie's first Masters 'Q' too, so that was exciting. I was also very happy with Maggie's Standard run. She had some speed, didn't argue with me about the table and got all her contacts! She wouldn't go near the weaves however. At this particular arena, there is something in the back area that many dogs do not like - Maggie included. We have had problems at previous trials too, where she has refused to do obstacles that are in the back of this arena. So, we had a non-completion on the weaves, but the rest of the run was great. I was very happy and Maggie was loving the lower height jumps. She can really get some speed going now that she doesn't need to struggle over the jumps.

Here is a video of Maggie's Snooker run:

Bosley did not run in the trial this weekend. Wednesday he was a bit lame on his rear leg so I pulled him from the trial. I think he slipped on the icy deck and pulled a muscle. He was still limping a teeny bit on the weekend, but seems to be good today.

Monday, February 8, 2010


C-BARQ, (which stands for Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire) is an online dog behavior test that assesses your dog and lets you know where any behavioral problems may lie. Now, most people should already know if their dog has behavior problems, but I thought this test would be interesting to do as it is developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Center For the Interaction of Animals and Society Department.
The test compares your dog to other dogs of the same breed as well as all other breeds. The test questions are based largely on fear, aggression, energy, attachment and trainability.

Maggie's Results:
Maggie got 1 red flag in the main test (a red flag is a less favorable score than at least 75% of the dogs in the comparison sample). She got a red flag for Chasing (89th percentile) compared to other Bernese. Compared to all the dogs her chasing was in the 64th percentile - so not that bad.
Maggie also got 3 red flags in the miscellaneous categories (less reliable scores and subjective categories). She had a red flag for Coprophagia - bad Maggie likes horse and deer poop. She also had a red flag for Food Stealing (counter surfing when no one watches). A final red flag for Barking - she likes to hear herself bark.

Bosley's Results:
Bosley had 3 red flags in the main test area! He was in the 79th percentile for Familiar Dog Aggression in the Bernese comparison. I am not too sure about this one - it was because he growls at Maggie when she approaches him when he is eating his meal or a yummy treat. In the all breed comparison there was no red flag as he was in the 55th percentile - so an average dog.
His second red flag is for Attachment/Attention Seeking. He was in the 89th Bernese percentile and 84th all breed percentile because he is very attached to me and follows me from room to room.
His 3rd red flag was for Energy. He scored in the 12th percentile for both same breed and all breed comparisons. OK, Bosley is a fairly calm dog, but is not really that low energy. He is good at conserving energy but I don't think that he should have scored that low.
Bosley also had 2 red flags in the Miscellaneous items. One was for Coprophagia (stupid horse poo) and one was for Begging (yup). We are working on the begging - really we are.

Are you up for the test? It is quick to do - just sign up and answer 101 questions and you get your results immediately.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Agility Seminar

The dogs and I have spent the past 2 days at a Terry Simons Seminar. This is the second seminar I have done with Terry, and I again came away with lots of good, useful information.
Yesterday we worked 270s and Serpentines - so basically cueing our dogs to take the back side of a jump. I thought I was decent at handling serps, but I learned a lot this weekend about how to make them more efficient and exactly where to put the serp cue. Don't stop moving, run the line and don't ever walk backwards.
Today we did lots of serpentine work - including finding serps that may not be obvious. We also worked threadles and push throughs. The threadle footwork we learned was great - it totally made sense to me and I wasn't tripping over my own feet like I usually am when I am doing a threadle. I will need to practice it a lot more to be able to do it without thinking about every step and it is a slightly different body cue for my dogs, so they will need to get used to it too.
We also did some tough weave entrances today including serping into the weaves. Very challenging and fun. Bosley rocked the tough entrances - even the serp entrance. I ran Maggie sparingly this weekend - she has been feeling really good and I didn't want to push it with her. She was fast and responsive when I did run her, which was great! She is loving jumping 16".

Well, the dogs just ate their supper and are passed out at my feet - they are tired from all the thinking they had to do this weekend.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Flickr Project - Week 4

This is my Week 4 submission for Flickr's 52 Weeks For Dogs. It was hard to get nice lighting with the bright snow reflecting in the window but I liked how this shot turned out.