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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Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Nonscents

No Nonscents is the name of the Scent Hurdle team that a group of us are trying to get off the ground. Amanda at manymuddypaws has been talking about forming a Scent Hurdle team for a couple years now. She got a few of us interested too and today we had our second practice. The first few times Amanda mentioned Scent Hurdle to me, I just kind of brushed it off, thinking that my dogs could not do "that". But it is a lot of fun and it is fun working as a part of a team.
Scent Hurdle is similar to Flyball (Scent Hurdle actually is a much older sport than Flyball) but instead of a flyball box at the end, there is a box with dumbbells. The dog must pick their own dumbbell out of the box (by scent) and race back over the hurdles so the next team member can go.
Today we started with scent discrimination work and all the dogs are doing great. I thought it would be really hard to teach the scent stuff, but all the dogs are catching on so quick - it is really amazing to watch.
I am training Bosley to be on the team. Poor Maggie just gets to watch from the sidelines. Maggie's idea of retrieving is to get the dumbbell and run away trying to get someone to chase her. I am sure during an actually race, she would be trying to entice all the other dogs to engage her in a game of keep-a-away. Bosley takes things, like retrieving, a little more serious.
Maggie can be our team cheerleader (that is more her style anyway)!

Here is Maggie at practice today, hanging out on the couch with Gyp. Maggie looks pretty content with her job as "cheerleader", don't you think?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back In The Saddle - umm . . . I Mean Cart!

The ground has finally dried up enough that we can get out in the cart again without having the wheels caked in mud. Bosley says that we need to practice hard over the next couple months to get ready for our next draft test.

I was playing around with the editing options in photoshop and turned one of my photos into this:
I thought it looked like one of the old pictures you see of the traditional working dogs in Switzerland.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maggie In Rally Class

The other night was the last night of our latest session of Rally Obedience. Amanda set up a tough Novice course and we had a mock trial. I was super happy with Maggie - she was upbeat with no signs of stress.

She has been doing so well in class and is finally happy doing obedience again. I would love to take her back in the ring again. She only needs one more leg for her Rally Advanced title and 2 more legs for her CD, but I am worried that if I take her in the "real ring" she will shut down again. I worked hard to get her happy to do obedience again and would hate to ruin all that work. I will try to do a few more fun matches at new places and see how it goes and decide from there.

Monday, March 8, 2010

An "Excellent" Weekend

This weekend I had Bosley entered in a CKC Agility trial near Edmonton. The drive was long (6 hours) but the hotel was decent (yay) and the trial was fun although it seemed to move slow. Overall, I was pleased with Bosley this weekend. He was a bit gawky on Saturday, but never left to sniff anything. This weekend was the first time he ever saw the 24" spacing on the weave poles. His weaving is much smoother with the wider poles although he popped the last pole on 3 runs - not sure if this had anything to do with the different rhythm in the poles or if it was because of something else. He usually doesn't pop poles.
I was generally happy with my handling this weekend. I pulled Bosley off a couple jumps because I started moving laterally away before he was fully committed to the jump, so I will need to be more aware of that. I also popped him out of the weave poles because my hair was in my face and when I moved my hand to get the hair out of my eyes, Bosley popped. I pulled my hair back under a hat for the rest of the weekend. There were 3 courses that had a turn away into a tunnel off the A-frame. Bosley nailed the first 2 (perfect) but on the third one, I was too late with my "turn" cue and he was already looking towards the next obstacle and missed the turn.

Now to the videos:
This is Bosley's first run of the weekend. He started to sniff and when I called him back he was too close to the double jump and he knocked a bar. Too bad - otherwise it was a nice run. This was also the first time he saw the wider weave poles spacing.

This video is Bosley's Excellent Jumper With Weaves run on Saturday. You can't tell in the video, but I was planning on doing a lead out pivot, but Bad Boy Bosley broke his start line so I just had to start running. It worked out in the end - Bosley got a 'Q'.

This next run Bosley got stuck coming out of the first tunnel and was a bit slow going into the weaves. This run was a bit slow and Bosley missed my turn cue into the tunnel but he ran fault free for an Excellent Standard 'Q'.

This next JWW was a fun course. Bosley had been popping the last pole, so I gave him a little extra support on this run. Too bad he dropped a bar.

This next video was our last run of the weekend. You can tell Bosley was getting a bit tired. He managed to earn a 'Q' though (1 second over time for 3 faults) and I even did some rear crosses on this run. This run also finished Bosley's Excellent Jumpers With Weaves Title!

Overall it was a good weekend. I have decided I really need to get a GPS for my car. I got lost a couple times and if it wasn't for Amanda navigating and reading the map, I might still be trying to find my way to the trial :) Amanda was also my offical videographer for the weekend - so I kept her busy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I recently found out that Bosley's sire, SwissKiss Fabulous Baker Boy aka "Baker", passed away a couple weeks ago. I never had the opportunity to meet Baker, as he is from a breeder on Vancouver Island, but from everything I have heard he was a wonderful dog and a great representative of the Bernese breed. He had some wonderful accomplishments in his life including a BIS win and National Specialty Awards of Merits. Sadly, he left this world too soon at the age of 9.5 years, diagnosed with the aggressive cancer Malignant Histiocytosis.

My condolences go out to his owners Madeline and Geoff.