Thursday, March 31, 2011

Training with distractions - your friends?

Here is Shadow learning to hold a Sit/Stay - even when his friends are just inches away! Shadow is wondering"Hey...are you using my dog friends to teach me emotional self-control?" Why yes, Shadow we are:)

This was definately a 'Poodle Picture Perfect Pose" don't you think? Caruso was delighted to show Shadow how to do the perfect 'Poodle Pose'!

Hum....dogs really do learn from watching other dogs as this "Picture Perfect Poodle Photoshoot" was Shadow's 1st time ever doing such a thing.

" Uh.....I'm busy playing with my beloved red ball right now....." says Sugar in the newest favorite spot at Margot's Private Park - the Catawba Corner.

Looks like another great dog day at Applewoods!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sometimes it's the siliest things...

that make a day special. Case in point...Sugar, Mulch Mountain, and Sugar's beloved red ball! he loves to chase, bury, carry, and keep 'his ball' to himself so he can keep on playing with it. Keep in mind there was no one else in the yard but Sugar and I when this video was taken.

Too funny, Sugar Bear!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Training Therapy

Winter is a really hard time for me. By the end of December I usually run out of steam overpowered by cold and darkness. I continue struggling through the next few months drowning in work, laundry, kids homework, tests, gymnastics, gymnastics competitions, flu, strep, guilt that the dogs hadn't been worked. I am starting to come up with more and more excuses why I cannot get up at 5:30 to work the dogs, why I cannot get up off the sofa and do some retrieve or scent discrimination exercises that only require few minutes of my time.
I keep on telling myself that if I just sit here staring at the TV for an hour or so, I will feel better tomorrow and get back on track, but of course tomorrow there are more reason why I cannot do this or that. I blame time change that forced me back into the darkness in the morning after I saw the daylight around 6a.m., I blame the rain the cold anything else that fits the bill.
This evening I had a pleasant surprise - both kids were occupied with different activities that didn't involve me, until 8 in the evening. I came home and realized with the surprise that it's still light and even pleasant outside. After quick calculations I figured out that I still have about 40 min of the daylight. I grubbed the dogs and headed to the nearby school to do some work.
I started the usual race against the time, pressed by the view of the sinking sun, when suddenly everything stopped. By the time I started working with the second dog I forgot about the time, the rush and the sun. There was just me and the dog. Nothing else mattered. When we were done and I looked at the watch I discovered that it's later than I expected and the most importantly I felt centered again and ready for the kids, dinner, bedtime stories or what ever else the rest of the day was ready to throw at me.

Change of scenery at Margot's Private Park

Yesterday was a gloomy, sad, gray day which matched EXACTLY the mood Margot was in.

"Why?" you must be asking yourself. Well, yesterday, oh...sigh...Margot's beloved 120+ year-old Catawba tree had to come down. Margot has been told this for 11 years and for 11 years, she's begged for 'just one more year' and last years winter ice storms finished off this trees ability to live. Officially, the verdict by 'the tree guy' was this lovely, old, stately, magestic tree wouldn't even survive the weight of the soon-to-be emerging leaves.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mulch Mountain


Our "Tree Guy" stopped by yesterday with a few things for the Applewoods dogs. His gift's came by the truckload, and smelt a little bit like Christmas.

If you have ever visited the Applewoods yard, you have seen our mulch pile. Its the designated digging spot (Demolition is overseen by Brisbane :-p). The picture to the left is from this past summer and features Duke, who was dutifully following Brisbane's instruction for a whole right in the middle of the pile.

Of course the mulch pile is great for other things too, like sunbathing, climbing, running continuously around, or dropping the balls at the top and letting them roll down just to start the process all over again. The possibilities are endless.

Those are just some of the reasons the Applewoods dogs were so happy when the Tree Guy brought not one, not two, but THREE trucks full of mulch to add to the pile yesterday. I spent some time getting the puppies to jump from pile to pile with me before thinking about getting the camera. By the time I came back, they had perfected their mulch pile hopping skills. Take a look...









Training at home & Dead Mouse as Training Distraction?

How do you train 3 dogs at home without a formal ring? Make one up!

A dead mouse and stinky tripe - we use food as training distractions here at Applewoods! Watch how suspicious Sugar is off the food - and how he refuses it and goes back to work doing his scent discrimination.

One never know what we will do next here at Applewoods Dog Training!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another day at Applewoods

Some days it's just a doggone day at Applewoods! What is this? A Down/Stay combined with a Hold? Huh?

Even the tinest dog, Shadow who weighs 3.5 lbs STILL must learn to obey. "Shadow, Heel."

Then there's the Place command - on tree stumps of all things - and we have to stay here until released by name? When do we get to play?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Had to laugh yesterday as I was too busy working other dogs like Holly on her Retrieve homework, her Place and Down/Stay commands, Red on her Heeling/automatic Sits, Hold, Jump, Over and Down/Stay commands and wee wittle Shadow (toy poodle of only 3.5 lbs) on his Longe Line work and have any extra time to play the beloved Applewoods pack game of "The Ball Game".

Both Sugar and Pete were a tad disgusted with me as they repetitevly brought and offered me choice, mud encrusted, slobbery balls, but alas! I refused to play as I was too busy with other dogs. In dismay....they had to go find their own entertainment which was the THE MANLY TUG'O'WAR GAME with the tire.... and NO girl dogs allowed!

What a hoot it was watching them, growling, spinning, pulling, and holding on for dear life as they played their BOYS ONLY GAME! After nearly 9 minutes, both were utterly exhausted, their flanks were heaving, the spit/drool was dripping off the tire (yuck!) and their growls were reduced to low groans. over! Pete 1, Sugar 0. Oh well...tomorrow's another day...perhaps it will be Sugar who prevails over Pete in this BIG BOYS ONLY MANLY GAME OF TUG'o'WAR.

Too funny!