31 December 2008

I finally got round to putting up the A frame today for the first time since we moved. I think the dogs were pleased because as soon as I put the sides on the floor they all descended on to it and started running up and down and doing contacts. I had to shut them all in the house in the end as it is not possible to bolt an A frame together while 3 malinois are standing on it.

There is space to leave the A frame up her which is good as it means I can use it more often, but I had to work out a system of barricades since Saffy soon discovered she could race down the garden, bounce off the step, land halfway up the a frame and then stand on the top and bark at people going past, then jump off the top once they had gone! This had to be stopped very quickly as I can't afford more vets fees at the moment and I don't want her to form bad habits.


30 December 2008

Today was Larkholme Obedience show. I had entered Ruby and Saffy and Daisy came a long for a bit of socialisation.

when I got there the beginner class had been split as there were over 60 dogs entered. This was really good as it meant that I could take both dogs into stays on their own. Neither of them are reliable enough to take them into the ring together. Ruby's stays are usually fairly good at home but she hasn't done stays at a show for a long time as I tended to concentrate on Dora and Saffy and Saffy has only done stays at a show once before.

Saffy worked first as we were drawn second. With both dogs I planned to work the rounds to see where we are up to. Saffy's heel on lead was very good, she was very attentive and did her turns well. She lost 3 marks. then we did her recall and retrieve. She got full marks for the recall and only lost 1/2 for her retrieve. Her heel off leed was ot quoite as good as she was distracted by someone playing with hteir dog just outside the ring and I struggled to get her attention back after that but overall I was very pleased with her.

Ruby's round was not marked by her judge but we still did the round pretty much as it was set. Her heelwork was much better than I expected it to be. Her position is a bit wide but is very consistent even on the turns. The judge said that there wasn't really much to mark at all. She did a lovely recall and retrieve then we finished with a bit of heel off lead. Whilst I stood talking to the judge Ruby kept going up to the steward to be stroked. Her performance was miles better than last time I had her in the ring working, and she is much more confdent around the judge and steward than she used to be. During her heelwork she kept her attention on me and didn't even glance back at the judge. People walking behind her really used to worry her.

I trained the stays for both dogs. The judges let me set them up by the entrance to the ring and I only went a step away from them and both dogs did the stays correctly so we are definitely making progress.

Daisy took the show in her stride. She loved meeting all the people and of course being so small got plenty of attention. Several people said I should try doing obedience with her too. She is certainly very toy motivated and learns very quickly so maybe I will. She played quite happily in the middle of the show whereas I struggle to get the Malinois to play in strange situations.


29 December 2008

Saffy's hip score came back today. It was 4:6. which is about the breed average. Saffy's face is much better now. She had the stitches out the other day and the swelling has gone now. She is back to her normal playful self now.


28 December 2008

Today was the Agility Addicts Christmas show. Ruby was entered and ran beautifully in all her classes getting a clear round in each one. Although I have to admit the only time she hasn't got a clear round in any of her classes is when I have got lost and gone the wrong way.

The final class was a pairs competion which I entered but hadn't got a partner. Luckily Di from our club offered to enter with me, We were both a bit unsure what we were doing but everything seemed to go right and we got a clear round. We came eight so we were both very pleased as we hadn't expected to come anywhere


25 december 2008

Christmas morning.The dogs had new squeaky toys and spent far too long wandering round squeaking them

Catherine came round bringing Pete and William. William loved his new toy and sat in it for ages. Daisy seemed to like it to as she kept running round his feet which made William laugh. She kept running out everytime I tried to video it.


24 December 2008

Christmas eve. and underneath the Christmas tree a little brown dog anxiously waits for father Christmas to arrive.
Ruby loves the little cave formed by the table top I put over her cage. I didn't think a Christmas tree would survive for more than a few minutes on the floor with daisy and Saffy racing about

17 December 2008

Saffy is feeling much better. Her face is still very sore and swollen but she is definitely on the mend.


16 December 2008

It was the Agility Club Christmas party tonight and as usual I forgot to take my camera. Robin came along with Daisy too.
As Saffy is still feeling a bit rough and her nose is very sore so I just brought Ruby along. We spent the evening having races over different jump courses. The jumps were set low so all the dogs could manage them and it was great fun.
the first race was a knockout relay race. there was a circle of jumps and two dogs started at opposite sides jumping in a circle and the last one to complete the circle was out. then the winners ran against each other until we found a winner. Amazingly Ruby came second, she was not as fast as some of the dogs but doesn't knock poles down and went exactly where I asked her to.

there were a few other races we didn't do so well in and then the final race was a pairs relay race and amazingly We won that paired up with Andrea and her groenendael.
We had a lovely time and Daisy did too. She loved meeting all the new people.


12 December 2008

We had a major disaster today. Dora and Saffy have had a couple of disagreements over the last few days. Not much but enough to worry me. This afternoon they had a really big fight, and obviously meant business. Dora had hold of Saffy by the face and wouldn't let go and then as I tried to get Saffy out of the room dora grabbed Saffy's leg and again wouldn't let go. I did eventually get Dora off Saffy and into the conservatory. it was really frightening to see them fighting. There was blood every where.

Once they were separated I could check to see how badly hurt they were. Dora had a lot of blood on her but I couldn't find any bites. She was limping though.
Saffy had a large cut across the bridge of her nose and another very deep cut on her lip and both cuts were bleeding badly.

I loaded both dogs int the van and went straight to the vets who thankfully could see me straight away.
Dora is obviously bruised and has strained her front leg but was otherwise unhurt. Saffy had to have an anesthetic and have her bites cleaned and stitched. She has 10 stitches in her face. Her leg has some deep puncture wounds but they don't need stitching.

The vets have done an excellent job of stitching her up. They have used very small sitiches and closed the wounds very well so the deep cut on her lips hardly shows. Although her face is very swollen, with the cuts closed she does look a lot better.

After the disagreements last week I had spoken to my daughter about the dogs and she offered to have Dora if we decided they wouldn't get on. Claire has wanted a dog for a while and Dora would be ideal for her. Dora has therefore gone to live with Claire as I couldn't risk them having any more fights.

I am really surprised that it was Dora who did all the damage to Saffy and so is everyone else i have spoken to. I thought that if the dogs had a fight then Dora would be the one to come off the worst.


10 December 2008

A friend gave me a small dog bed today as she thought it would be suitable for Daisy. Of course Daisy didn't want to go into it, but Casey thought it was just right.


07 December 2008

Claire came for a visit today. She brought an apple with her in case she felt like a snack. now she is pregnant she is trying to eat healthily. Unfortunately she dropped the apple and Daisy immediately grabbed it thinking it was a ball, and then of course she had to show Saffy her new toy.


06 December 2008

I went along to British Utility Breeds show today to look at the Boston Terriers. I met the owner of Daisy's father there and she asked me to send her some photos of Daisy so thought I would get some proper photos. I put her new show lead on and put her on the table for the first time. She wasn't keen to be up there and definitely didn't want to stand still, but we did get some good photos in the end.

Then as Saffy kept trying to get in on the act we took some pictures of her too.

Don't stick your tongue out when I am trying to take your picture.

Thats better.


04 December 2008

Daisy And Saffy Playing!

Jan said Saffy was a pure bred Malinois but I think there is some Werewolf in there too!

Friends again!


03 December 2008

They say things happen in threes and that is definitely true in our house today. All three Malinois have hurt their feet. Saffy has a cut on the bottom of her foot, Ruby has a split between her dewclaw and Casey has s a cut that has gone septic on his hock.

This morning I decided that it would be a good idea to cover the wounds before going for their walk so gathered up tape plastic bags, old socks and set to it. All three were not sure what I was doing but put up with it with good grace and I thought the end result looked pretty good.

Unfortunately they started shedding socks within few yards of home and by the end of the road there were no socks left on their feet and my pocket was full of muddy socks. Still I tried. Thankfully none of their cuts are too serious so I just washed of their feet when we got home and hopefully they will soon heal.


30 November 2008

There was a hip and eye clinic run at a local vets today so I booked Saffy and Daisy in for eye tests and also booked Saffy to have her hips scored.
Both Daisy and Saffy's eye tests were clear ad SAffys hips look good. The BVA are taking up to 6 weeks to score the hips so will probably not get the result until after Christmas. There should be no problem with her being able to do agility which is the main reason I wanted them scored.
I was able to stay with Saffy all the time while the xray was done. She was quite funny after she had had the sedative. First of all her hind legs started to go and he rear end got closer and closer to the floor until she was sitting. I tried to get her to lie down but she wouldn't, just sat there with her tongue out and her eyes half closed. Then the front legs started to go, sliding out at right angles to each other, until at last her chin was resting on the floor, and with her front legs spread-eagled, she looked just like a tiger skin rug!
Afterwards the vet showed me the xrays and explained what the BVA look at. he said Saffys hips look pretty good and thought they would be about 5:4
Saffy feeling well enough to watch her favourite program. Dog Borstal


29 November 2008

We went to another Agility Addicts show today. I took Both Ruby and Dora again. It was bitterly cold all day and the fog didn't clear all day. In spite of the bad weather we had a very enjoyable day. Dora ran first in the Odds and Bods agility class. This is a class where the dogs can do lower jumps. this time I put Dora in over the small height jumps and she managed them much better. She does love agility but as she has arthritis I don't like her jumping very much. Unfortunately we got eliminated as I went the wrong way.
Next it was Ruby's turn. The same course but with full height jumps. This time I went the right way and Ruby ran very well. She ended up placed 8th. Next we did the jumping class and this time I ran well with Dora and for the first time we didn't get eliminated, unfortunately I then got lost running Ruby. I will need to wok on memorising courses I think.


27 November 2008

Saffy and Daisy settling down for a snooze

Not comfortable yet, the floor is a bit hard..

Thats better

Just get a bit more comfortable

These Malinois are quite useful to have around sometimes!


26 November 2008

A frosty morning walk. first across the golf course

then through the woods. What lives down this big hole?

then down the bank and across the fields

a quick dip and then home


25 November 2008

Malinois are sometimes called Maligators. Maybe this video shows why.
Saffy standing with her back legs on the settee snapping her jaws at every one. the noise is her teeth snapping together. She is not trying to bite she just clacking her jaws, but she does remind me of the monster from Alien!


23 November 2008

We took Daisy over to mums again today and I remembered to take my camera with me this time. Daisy had a great time playing with the big dogs. Shes not scared of them at all.


22 November 2008

I took Ruby and Saffy on an Agility training day organised by the Working Belgian Shepherd Dog Society. The trainers were Andy and Helen Brown.

It was a very interesting day and I picked up lots of handling tips. Saffy met a lovely Groenendael called Dipti who just wanted to play with her and they had a lovely time bouncing about.

Saffy was very well behaved in the morning with Andy doing jumps and tunnels , but when I brought her in to do the Agility training in the afternoon with Helen she got rather over excited and when I left her in a wait at the start she ran off over the dogwalk, then through the tunnel and back over the dog walk then dashed to the top of the A frame and stayed up there surveying the scene.

After this she did calm down a bit and worked very well. It would have been better if I had been able to remember which jumps we were supposed to be doing. There was a lot to take in and I kept forgetting which way we were supposed to go.

I was very pleased with how Ruby managed the contact equipment as it was a lot slippier than she is used to. at first she was a bit unsure on the A frame but soon learned to manage it. Ruby had a major phobia about the dog walk in the past and was very worried about slipping on contact equipment but she managed this strange dog walk very well. Helen encouraged my to talk to Ruby while she is doing the dog walk. i didn't realise it but I don't speak to her while she is doing it, but Helen said she is much happier if I talk to her in a happy voice.


17 November 2008

Daisy has settled in very well. Last week I was a bit worried about Saffy's reaction to having a tiny dog running around the house as she seemed convinced that Daisy was a cat, or rabbit. Something to chase. Saffy was really fixed on Daisy to the extent that she didn't even notice food or toys, she just wanted to chase the puppy. Things thankfully have changed very quickly and now Saffy and Daisy are the best of friends. They would play all day long. Saffy is very gentle with Daisy, lying down so Daisy can climb all over her.
Sometimes Saffy has trodden on Daisy by accident and then Daisy really tells her off. She is quite a tough little dog.


16 November 2008

Today was the inter club competition between Danesford, Lichfield, Rugby and Coventry dog training clubs. I was competing with Dora in the beginners for Danesford. We went first in our class. Dora did some smashing heelwork both on and off lead but unfortunately for some reason dropped the dumbell on the retrieve. this cost us 3 points. We would have won if we had done the retrieve, but as it was we came second. After all the classes we had a very nice lunch and then a quiz. It was a very enjoyable day. Unfortunately Danesford did not do too well in some of the other classes so we came fourth overall but we still had a good day
Saffy came with me too just for the day out and she had a lovely time playing with some of the other dogs.


10 November 2008

Daisy does not like being shut apart from the big dogs but while she is so small it is safer.

Can someone give me a leg up? its cold out here!

Ruby is having a phantom pregnancy and has dug herself a nest in the garden. She is not however interested in mothering that strange black and white puppy


09 November 2008

We took Daisy to mums to introduce her to the Pyreneans this morning. She waked into mums as if she owned the place. Foxy raced up to Daisy which did startle Daisy a bit but she soon recovered. Daisy decided that Foxy looked like fun to play with and proceeded to chase her around the house, Foxy is nearly full grown now and it was quite funny to see her being chased by such a tiny puppy.

Daisy then went to say hello to Grandad. He was very taken with her. He always had small dogs.

08 November 2008

We have a new member of the family. We have been joined by Daisy the Boston Terrier. I just happened to see a litter advertised near me so rang up to ask about them. There was just one bitch left so we went to take a look at her. The breeder handed my the pedigree to look at, and her registered name was Crazy Daisy. Years ago when I first thought about doing obedience with my crossbreed dog I registered her with the kennel Club as Crazy Daisy. When I saw the name I knew she had to come home with me. She has settled in very well. She is not scared of anything.
Daisy only weighs 2 lb at the moment so I have to watch to make sure the Malinois don't tread on her, but she is not worried about these huge dogs at all.


01 November 2008

We went to Agility addicts Halloween agility show today. I entered Ruby an the elementary class and Dora in the odds and bods class. This is class for dogs who can't jump the normal heights and has lower jumps.

Ruby ran in the elementary agility first and went clear.
Then Dora ran in her class but missed one jump so we got eliminated. Dora really enjoyed it though. it is the first time I have taken her to an agility show as she has arthritis in her elbows and shoulders so I don't ask her to jump much but she was fine over the lower height.

We did a special class called a Catherine Wheel next. Dora went clear in her class but I totally got lost running Ruby so we got eliminated. Ruby jumped exactly where I asked her to but I pointed to the wrong jump.

After this some of the presentations were done and much to my amazement Ruby was eighth in her agilty class. Her first ever place in an agility show.

Finally we did the elementary jumping and again Ruby jumped another clear round but didn't get a place in this one. Dora once again managed to miss a jump, but she had a great time so that was the important thing.


26 October 2008

At last, a dog related update We went to Lune Valley Obedience show today. The first show we have been to for ages. i missed a couple due to the move and then before that the girls were in season.

I was drawn first with Dora in Beginners. The break had obviously done her good as she worked very well. She was pleased to be back in the ring and bounced along happily. She only lost 4 marks, 1.5 HOL, 2 HF. .5 Recall and none for her Retrieve.

Next I took Saffy into the ring. I decided I would start off competing and if she lost concentration would turn it into a training round. this is the first time I have tried to actually compete with saffy apart from in companion shows. Saffy worked brilliantly. Even ignoring the little bichon in the next ring. Her heelwork was beautiful both on and off lead. We need a little more work on her left turns but they were still pretty good. In the end we lost 5.5 marks. 2 HOl, 3 HF .5 Retrieve and full marks for her recall. I was so pleased with her.

Unfortunately to get a place we also had to do stays and Saffy has never actually been in the stay ring at a show and I have not spent as much time as I should training stays with all the otehr things we do, but I decided to take her in the ring ans see what happened. She lasted for 30 seconds in each stay then came to me to see why I was just standing there and to see if there was any food in the offing. thankfully Dora stayed where she was even though Saffy moved.

In the end Dora was placed Fifth. Saffy would have been sixth if she had done the stays. Not bad in a class of over 40 dogs. I think I must do a bit more training.
The Picture shows hanging about on the settee. She often stands like this. She is a very strange dog sometimes!