Friday, December 17, 2010

A Home For Snickers (We Hope)

I love dis heater. It is my favorite.

Well we might have a permanent home for Snickers which is amazing news! A couple up in Alexandria have put in an application for her. She'd be an only dog with no children, which I think is what she really deserves. Somewhere nice and relaxing. Relaxing like sleeping in front of the heater.

Well all they need is a home visit and they'll be good to go. So in the spirit of Happy Holiday tidings, here's a video of romping in the snow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gaius' Rockettes Audition

Stoney Point too was delayed due to a dead battery in my camera, but look for it in the future.
Here's a new trick We're working on.

It's not perfect yet, but certainly coming along. A VERY difficult video to shot though :)
He's licking his lips the whole time (calming signal) because I think that he's nervous that I'll step on him. But Cindy says he'll gain more confidence the more we do it. It also might come from a puppyhood filled with "DAMN IT GAUIS, DON'T GET UNDER FOOT. I'M GOING TO SQUISH YOU LIKE A BUG ONE DAY" Again, the more cookies he gets for it, the more comfortable he will get.

This is one in a long line of tricks that Cindy wants me to teach so we can do a "freestyle-esq" routine at the Richmond Pet Expo this year. I'll keep you all updated on what he's learning :)

If you don't know what free style is, here's a video of a woman (and her dachshund of course) doing a routine. Gauis' and I are no where near that, but we'll come up with something fun!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stony Point: Part I

One of my favorite places in Richmond to train is Stony Point Fashion Park, a local dog friendly mall.

Sorry for the fuzziness, I have the cheapest camera Target sells! Which means 10 blurry pictures to every one good picture.

I'd say about 75% of the stores allow dogs. Which is just an amazing training opportunity. Not only for obedience, but for socialization of new puppies. And for the training of service and therapy dogs. All you have to do is look for the little puppy sticker in the window.

I think the dog on the sign looks like a dachshund. Don't you? They also have stores that only allow small dogs, but that doesn't effect us here any.

The place even has all of these cute dog statues everywhere (You might remember them from Gauis' short movie Play?)

If I can't take a picture of a still dog that isn't blurry! What hope do I have with moving dogs?

Gauis and I head to Stony Point every Friday to work on Obedience training (more on that later). It's really a lovely mall, but defiantly a bit to pricey for me. Window shopping is the name of the game at Stony Point. College students and Saks Fifth Avenue just don't go hand and hand. The major shopping demographic at this mall is old rich ladies and trophy wives.

But today I was on another mission. No obedience training involved. I was on the get Snickers a forever home mission. So her and I trudged off to the mall with a pocket full of left over turkey and a handful of home made business cards that I made for her. And talked to folks.

I was hoping to really talk to costumers but my greatest success was with the store employees. They just loved her. She was a super good girl and let everyone pet her (It will be a cold day in hell before Gauis is that friendly with strangers. She shows me daily what a long way I have to go with him). She even let children pet her. I think she's very used to them. I was also planing on working on loss lead walking with her. She dose pull a bit. But in the end I sort of gave up and decided the meet and great was more important. I mean she's 10 and only 15 pounds (might be 14 now, she's lost a bunch of weight which pleases me.). She also not TERRIBLE on a leash, just not up to the standards I hold Gauis too (But I try not to let him pull EVER). I figure I'll just let her pull a bit on her harness, she's so well behaved on everything else. Maybe something to work on later.

She is by far the hardest dog to take a picture of, this was the best out of 20 pictures!

I got a bunch of people to take the cards at least. So we'll see if anything comes of this trip. Defiantly going to make the Thursday Stony Point excursion a habit with my foster dogs. The place is a gold mine :)

Snickers says "Leave him in there!"

Gauis however was not so happy with this little trip. Usually the evening jaunt is reserved for Gauis and mommy alone time. No foster dogs allowed (Snickers barks when kept in a crate during class, so she usually spends the time at home so I don't annoy everyone). Today when I put him in the room and put a leash on Snickers he threw a fit. This was his special quality time gosh darn it! I just leave the puppy gate up when I leave but when we got home he had slammed the door as well in protest (Serves me right for teaching him to close doors). We are currently not on speaking terms, but he'll get his weekly Stony Point trip tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zeus Update!

Zeus was adopted this week and is already in his new forever home!

Here's the email I got from the DRNA associate:

I will send lots of details later but the bottom line is that after a gazillion apps it was down to two, both families with children (because Z LOVES kids and not all dachshunds do) so the deciding factor was that the family we chose had a fenced in back yard. They live in New Jersey, have a terrific home and a huge fenced in back yard, have a 12 year old daughter Lara who is DESPERATELY IN LOVE with the Zeuster, and get this...they had their home visit yesterday (I talked to the rep in the car on my way back from Ohio where my husband's mom and sister live), they were approved to adopt, they hopped in their car and drove to Waynesboro last night, picked him up this morning and drove home on Thanksgiving Sunday. They are the real deal.

Will send you more info a little later ... Will send pics of Zeus and his forever family as soon as we get them. Told them that if they didn't send pics Jacque and I would drive to New Jersey and bring him back, LOL! BTW they also have two mini poodles and they had a dachshund who lived to be 18. Great folks.

You know when I get the pics I'll throw them up here for you all to see! How wonderful.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whicked Shredding Skills Man (In Progress)

So here's a peek at what we've been working on.

First off I'm not kicking him to get that third foot off (I know it looks like I am). I'm just putting my foot on the board and invading his space (without touching him) enough that he chooses to take his foot off. Also I inadvertently feed him a lot when all four feet are on the board don't I? Hmmm, well this is why we record things! I'll work on not doing that as much next session.

Also Guest appearance by Snickers! Who by the way is currently available for adoption HERE

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Introducing Snickers

This is our new (semi-permanent) foster dog Snickers! She is a 10 year old smooth red tweenie (maybe 15 pounds). She comes from large hectic family with six kids and she spent ten whole years of life with them. One day they up and decided that they didn't want her anymore. Can you believe that? How do you not fall in love with a dog you've had for ten years?

Apparently they were keeping her mainly in the garage and the backyard. But that's enough about where she came from. Now she's with us. :)

She is just absolutely sweet as can be. She's a little nervous when she first meets folks (proubably undersocalized as a puppy, but then again Gauis was socialized like crazy and he's not a fan of new people. So perhaps its just a dachshund DNA thing). She's still better with strangers than Gauis. She just wants to sit in your lap.

She pretty much ignores other dogs large and small. She's sniffed Gauis a few times but that's the largest interest she's shown. She also ignores the cat! So good news all along. Her only issue is that she is VERY sensitive to handling. She yelps at absolutely everything. I'm used to Gauis who is pretty rough and tumble so I have to remind my self to be extra gentle with her if I need to pick her up, or move her. My not sure if it's a medical thing, just old age, maybe arthritis and some back troubles that lots of doxies have in old age. But she seems to preemptively yelp. So it might be behavioral. Just a defense mechanism to having a bunch of little kids around. An early warning system if you will. Well we will put her on supplements for her joints and I'll see if clicker training will desenstive it a little bit. Other than that, she's crate trained (sorta), and housebroken. She also LOVES to sleep in.

Right now, we've haven't really done much training except for some it's your choice. She has NO idea what impulse control is.

My only other struggle with her is switching her off the kibbles and bits (first ingredient corn... yuck) onto the royal canine I feed Gauis (first ingredient chicken). She'd rather it the junk food, but we're working on it. She sure likes table scraps. (Shhh... don't tell her but we're trying to get her to lose a few pounds. Get her lady figure back)

She also needed a bath. PHEW!

Gauis got one too.

P.S. Snickers is an awful name isn't it? I was going to change it... to Beverly... we were going to call her Bev.... but when she got here I called "Snickers" and she turned right around. Which means she recognized it... which made me feel guilty about changing it... Which I know is all in my head. It's not like it would have traumatized her, or changed her identity. But I just couldn't do it. I totally could have changed Zeus' name. He had NO idea Zeus was his name.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dachshund Underground Railroad

Sean waiting to pick up our charges

So today we helped transport dachshunds from the South to the North to their new homes or foster homes. Much like the show Last Chance Highway. Only the all dachshund addition, and with less make-up and southern bell charm.

This is the pizza hut were we picked up the pups.

You see there are a lot more homeless dogs in the South than the North and because of that it's much easier to get animals adopted up there. That means someone has to haul their waging tails in a northwardly direction. So we all try to pitch in where we can.

This is CoCo, he whined the entire drive. Maybe it's because he's a boy
and someone named him CoCo! Come on, that's a girls name!

Actually this is our very first time doing transport. But it was only an hour and a half up and the same back. So three hours total wasn't bad. Then the pups were given to their next care taker for the next leg of their journey.

This is Jiggs, a totally beautiful piebald that PULLS on the leash.

Man these pups needed a bath though. My car smells like dog now. Which I guess is a funny thing to say since I have a dog. But he gets a bath like twice a month so he doesn't really have that...smell... you know what smell I'm talking about. I mean you get in close and it's there. But not stink up my car bad. These guys... smelled like they hadn't had baths in years.

This is Frankie, he's the only one that didn't come with a bunch of stuff because he was
right out of a shelter. He was scheduled to die today. He is also heart worm positive.

These dogs are headed to New York and New Jersey. In fact as I post this they are still on the road. It'll be a long day for them. I can't imagine how stressful this all must be. Under the circumstances they were all very well behaved.

This is Mr. Johnson. Seriously!?! Who names a wiener dog that. They aren't silly
enough without a name like that? Mr. Johnson also barked the whole ride up.

When we dropped these suckers off we were there on a second mission as well.

My van chalked full with crates. I looked like one of the 'hardcore' people at an
agility trial with my thirty dogs stuffed in a big van :)

A mission that will have a huge effect on the content of this blog for the next few months.

The next person we dropped them off to had a tiny little four door sedan and she still
managed to stick all four crates in there. I was super impressed hence the picture.

-Let's the suspense build-

bye bye little dachshunds, good luck in the North! Eat lots of real NY pizza for me!

We picked up our new permanent foster dog! (Well as permanent as foster dogs get). But more on her later ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Hey just because we got our trick titles doesn't mean we're done with tricks.
Here's a sneak peek of what we are working on.
More to come!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gauis Baltar JE

Congratulations to Sean and Gauis for not only earning their Junior Earth dog title,
but doing so in one weekend. While managing to qualify in Introduction to Quarry every time as well! Making this a 4 Q weekend. That was after a total bust of a trial in North Carolina last weekend.
On Sunday he even reached the rat in IQ in under 5 seconds (4.2)! Very impressive.

If you've never heard of Earthdog (especially if you have a dachsund) Check out this earlier post.

Gauis was his usual exuberant self at earth dog. And waited patiently and politely to take his turn as usual....right..... All those terrier breeders are going to ban us from going to those trials one day just because Gauis is so annoying.

Now it's on to Senior Earthdog! Where there will be a false den to contend with AND.......

Gauis will be expected to recall back to the front of the tunnel away from the rats.


This dog won't take food when he knows he's about to see a rat. I have no idea how we are going to train that.

But you all will be happy to know that Sean held up his end of the bargain and gave Gauis a whole steak for dinner for completing his title.

Sean's only concern this weekend was Gauis changing his working styles while engaging the quarry. You see dogs are allowed to scratch, dig, growl and bark at the rat as well as bite the bars that separate them from the quarry. All of these things are considered "working". The dog must work the FULL 60 seconds after he reaches the rat to qualify.

Now the first few trials Gauis went to he worked by barking. Non-stop barking. Which was nice because when your standing at the opening of the tunnel you can hear him. This trial he would alternate between barking, growling and biting. All acceptable but nerve wrecking because only the judge can hear them. This leaves the handler standing at the front of the tunnel wondering Oh, gosh did he stop? Did we NQ? What's happening in there? But the biting does increase the possibility of us walking away with a broken bar one of these days. A badge of honor on the earth dog circuit.

Well before I go I will leave you with a few more photos of Gauis and our buddy Zeus who I'm sure is happy in his new foster home. We'll miss you buddy :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Tempary Companion

Hey everyone,

I'd like to introduce you to Zeus.

Now I'm sure your asking yourself. Who is that? You only have one dog Liz? Well you would be correct. This is my SUPER temporary foster dog. You see about a month ago I contacted DRNA and applied to be a foster home. It was a pretty in depth procedure. I mean there were test questions and full recommendations and everything. It was like applying to college. So all of that got approved and then we needed a home visit. And there we sort of hit a brick wall.

You see Sean works at night and I work during the day. Which means Gauis is only alone at home maybe two-three hours. It also means we are difficult to caught in the house at the same time. Great for foster dog parents but sort of a scheduling nightmare for a home visit. So the home visit thing was going nowhere and I thought in no time we'd get rejected for simply being unavailable.

But then I got a urgent email about a dog emergency. "Can you just keep a dog at your house a few days while we get him in a real foster home?" Well of course we could. That was the whole point right? That we were in a position to take in a foster dog. That suddenly changed to, "Hey can you guys go pick the dog up from his original owners?" So we did that too hence our VERY temporary pal here. In fact I'm trucking him off to his new foster home this afternoon.

Here is what we've learned about Zeus so far. He is 1.5 years old. He is both large dog and small dog friendly. He was taken from a yard with two large boxers and went to agility class with us Thursday and got along with everyone. He's a love bug and hasn't meet a stranger as of yet. He is 100% cat safe, and ignored Gracie even when she hissed at him. The three of them slept on the bed together yesterday. He was apparently raised with three cats according to his original owner. And he has yet to mess in my house, so he seems reliably house trained. AMAZING! Not what I was expecting from a foster.

Gauis wasn't so sure about this foster thing at first. Some strange dog in his house eating his food, playing with his toys and talking to his people. But then he realized that he could play with the him! Like anytime he wanted to, not just on special occasions like at a dog park. Then it was all over. He was in love.

I thought giving back fosters would be really rough for Sean and I because we might get attached. I never thought about Gauis falling in love :P Such fun, can't wait to get our next foster.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Property Damage

You might not be aware of this but we recently moved out of our teeny one bedroom apartment into a new house.

It's huge compared with our last living accommodations and one of it's biggest selling points when we were looking was it's ginormous fully fenced wooded backyard.

Use Gauis to estimate size :)

One of it's few drawbacks was a single room with carpet. Now Gauis is pretty good about house training when supervised. When left to his own devises, not so much, especially not on carpet. He sort of demolished the carpet at my last place. But I had a plan. You see this house has an extra back bedroom that I was going to make all his.

Complete with a water bowl two doggy beds, kitty towers (for the cat) and chew toys. In essence this is more room than he had to run around in my old apartment! We are even going to put up his title certificates and ribbons and lovely pictures of him on the walls so it's homey! We were even going to make the kitty stay in there with him to keep him company as he loves his kitty. His own room, that's great right? And it sure beats having to stay in a crate.

I did not take this picture in this frame and do not "own it" so ssshhh no tattling on me.

So no proublem? Happy puppy, happy mommy, disgruntled yet resigned kitty right? Wrong.

Gauis would like everyone to know that he does not like being closed in one room. Not even for the measly 2-3 hours he is without human companionship during the day. Even if that room has MORE SPACE then he was used to inhabiting in total.

Extreme damage close up!

This was accomplished in about 3 days and I have no doubt that given a month he would be able to dig himself out. And having to sweep up large chunks of wood every night was not making me happy. He also managed to bang up his noes something awful.

I don't think this is separation anxiety as he never had that at the old place. I think this is just snotty, spoiled, bored behavior. For a while this meant crate time. As I will not give into this and see another carpet ruined. But now we are trying the baby gate.

He has managed to knock it down twice and escape (No accidents in my carpet room, thank the lord). And he hasn't jumped the baby gate yet (Something he has accomplished in the past. Serves me right for all the agility training.) So far so good.

SO I hope this dispels any perfect puppy myth Gauis might have had going for him. Anyone whose read this blog from the start I'm sure knows he's not perfect. But for the new folks. He can cause just as much trouble as any dog :)

P.S. I'm sure you noticed I found my camera's battery charger. Agility trial update tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trick Title Sucess! (And other things)

Hello everyone :)

There are some new faces here because of this little post on:

The Long and Short of it All: A Dachshund Dog News Magazine: Gauis Rocks: Expert Trick Dachshund - Amazing Vid...: "We told you this was coming, and we know you can't wait any longer! Congratulations goes out to our pal 'Gauis,' the first-ever Dachshund..."

Which is a great dachshund news blog, so check it out if you haven't heard of it already. But Gauis big news is that he got his expert trick title! Check out the video: (Now if you joined my blog from the long and short, you've already seen this. If not you've seen most of these tricks already. Think of this as a greatest hits video)

But we aren't stopping there! There are plenty of tricks left to learn and things I want to teach. Such as roll on a barrel:

We are currently working on distance. But it's getting there! So stay tuned, I have lots of fun stuff planned.

In other news, we have an agility trail in Woodbridge this weekend. (Just one more leg for NJWW title!) so wish us luck. I'm sure you'll see an update on that)

Also, posts have been lacking recently because I lost the charger for my camera's battiers. And I like having nice pictures with my post not just videos. But today it was found! So expect a more active future.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lost Video

So in the interest of full disclosure. And to not be accused of only putting my good runs up here. I have this video. Turns out I found the missing standard run from my second day at Belroi.

You know, the one where he was so pumped up he screamed at the starting line then almost broke his stay, then took the wrong end of the tunnel. When he finally seemed to pull himself together, I forgot the course and everything pretty much falls apart from there.

So this is what it looks like when everything goes wrong. But he ran fast, he had fun, and all of his barking was excited not upset. So what more can you ask for.

In other news! I have a new theory on our weave pole mishaps. I think I'm babysitting him to much at trails. If I take a deep breath and just trust him, he'll do them like he does in class. Georgie said that her and Popeye (Remember Popeye, the brown dachshund from the earthdog post?) had the same issue for a while. Only instead of running off to scream at gate stewards Popeye just missed his entries (Because he is better behaved in every way than Gaius). So that's my goal for wood bridge. Trust my dog. Yikes what a tall order.

As an extra, here's a video of our friend (And head trainer at the dog school I go to) Cindy Briggs' dog Jody and some of her tricks. Video by yours truly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Introducing Gauis Baltar NA!

These darn things are bigger than me.

Exciting news!

So we've been to two trials since you last heard from me. The first of which was Belroi and
the second of which was in Fredricksburg.

Geeze Belroi seems so long ago let's see what I can remember. Our first day at Belroi (Saturaday) we started with Jumpers with weaves... What can I say about this run. It was perfect (two tries at the weaves but what can you do?). He was fast and followed all of my positional cues. A perfect run. Next was standard, which he did very well in. Our only hairy moment was a strangely placed front cross on my end because I ran out too far with him to make sure he made the broad jump. Instead of waiting for me to exsicute said front cross he decied to simple blind cross me (a big Greg Derrett's handling system no no) and take the A-frame. Luckily the A-frame was the obstacle we were suppose to be headed for. Gaius suddenly behind me frazzled me enough to say "Hey! you blind crossed me" to him while he was at the top of the A-frame. The judge heard me and laughed. She then shouted "He knows where he's going as we headed to the table. The only other mishap in standard was Gaius deciding to run and visit his daddy instead of doing weave poles.

I've noticed Gaius always seems to do something funny at the weave poles. Like that's where he decides to bark, or go visit Sean or wonder off. I think it's because he finds them stressful. They are still tricky from him, which means he'll probably get them wrong and have to do them again. Which means they are less fun than other obstacles. So he gets there and goes "Aww man, not weave poles. Why don't I find something more reinforcing to do" and that's where I get my barking fits. There is another time I get barking fits, but that is another story I'll talk about in a minute.

Video of Day 1 at Belroi (A double Q!)

Belroi Agility Day 1 from Sean Van Damme on Vimeo.

Second Day at Belroi didn't go so well. In Standard he was a nut! Crazy fast but he didn't take any of the right obstacles. He was just crazy. Way to excited. I don't have video for this one for some reason. I'll go through the flip and try to find it again.... so expect an edit here with Gaius' manic crazy, there are bees in my brain run. The start of the jumpers run was much better. He was actually in control and taking the right things. Then we say the photographer and Gauis lost it. I don't think he's ever seen a camera that big. Well then we sort of had a barking meltdown. My main goal after that was just to get him back on track and finish the run happy and fast. Which he did, but by that point we'd missed an obstacle and made too many mistakes to Q.

Here's the first 25 seconds of his jumpers run monstrosity. The camera died mysteriously right when the run started to go south:

That leads us into Fredricksburg . Day one was Standard first out of the gate. It was a disaster Gaius' barking was so bad I had to pull him from the ring. Not because I was trying to teach him a lesson, just because we were going to get whistled off for taking to long. This totally bummed me out. And a spent my time until Jumpers wondering if Gauis and trialling was really something I wanted to keep doing if he was just going to bark. The Jumpers run still had barking but was much improved. It lifted my spirits enough to come back the next day and I'm sure lucky I did.

We have no footage of this day due to some wonky flip camera stuff. My poor dad. Though I'm kind of digging the mysterious lack of footage on all of our bad runs. All coincidence I assure you. No conspiracy here.

Saturday was awesome. There was still barking.... lord was there barking, but we managed to Q in both jumpers and standard. Which means Gauis got is Novice Agility Title! And he only has one more leg for his jumpers with weaves title!

Here is the Standard Run:

Again a weave pole meltdown. But I'm beginning to think that's more about weave poles and less about people. Other than that a lovely run. I did let him blow his dog walk contact. But there was a big GIANT guy with a hat on as a steward RIGHT next to the dog walk. And I figured if I kept him running he wouldn't notice. And it worked. So I was rewarded for bad behavior.

His Jumpers run saw another weave meltdown. See a pattern here? There was another meltdown after a jump. I have a theory there too. I think the other time he stresses then goes over threshold is when I make a handling error. I gave him a wonkey rear cross in the wrong place right before then and I think it threw him off. He also doesn't seem to be barking at anyone there.... he's just..... barking. But with only one refusal we still got our Q! See for yourself:

When I got off the course I wasn't sure if I had Qed. I asked the AKC representative and he said he had. Then he said "And he gets extra points for cursing at you."

I said "He's not cursing at me, he's cursing at the whole world"

The judge shock his head and replied firmly, "No, he's cursing at you."

And maybe he is. Maybe what he's saying is 'mom, we haven't practiced weaves enough and you make mistakes sometimes. When I get to weaves or you mess up, screw agility. I'm going to find another way to entertain myself. Like barking at that woman in the freaky sun hat.'

So new homework, weave poles and no more making mistakes (shesh!)
I don't really get the whole ribbon thing... but if you like them mom... whatever.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Ever taught/encouraged your dog to do something naughty?

Gracie was not the biggest fan of that training session.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Earthdog Practice in Palmyra with the Rivanna River Earthdog Club

Windswept ears at the Earthdog Practice Trial

Do you want to take your dachshund on fun competitive outings, but don't want the hastle of a weekly training class?

Do you want this activity to involve the dog doing all the work while the most you do is stand in one place and watch?

Do you want a sport that involves so little actual training, that even at its most advanced stages it only involves your dog to knowing the word "here" (And in the beginning your dog doesn't even need that)?

Dose your dachshund not have a fancy pedigree, but you still want spiffy ribbons to show to friends and family, and put on your refrigerator?

Well then Earth dog is for you!

This is Popeye. He goes to our training school and dose agility as well. He's much more advanced then Gauis and has a bunch of titles. He's also much better behaved. He's our dachshund hero :)

Wikipedia describes an Earthdog trial : An earthdog trial tests the working ability and instinct of the small, short-legged terriers [or dachshunds]. These dogs were bred to hunt vermin and other quarry which lived in underground dens. Earthdog den trials involve man-made underground tunnels that the dogs must negotiate, while scenting a rat, the "quarry." The dog must follow the scent to the quarry and then "work" the quarry. Depending on the sanctioning organization, “working” means barking, scratching, staring, pawing, digging; any active behavior. The quarry is protected at all times by wooden bars across the end of the tunnel. The hunting encounter is controlled, and neither dog nor the quarry, usually two rats, are in any danger.

And that's basically the jist of it. Let go of dog. Dog runs in hole. Dog barks at rat. You walk away with a sense of pride and a spiffy ribbon.

I know there are animal lovers of all kinds here so let me assuage one worry I had when starting earthdog. The rats don't a give a rat's.... well let's just say they are really un-bothered by the long precession of terriers screaming at them. They are so nonchalant about the whole ordeal that the first time Gauis ran into the hole the judge had to shake the cage to wake them up so they would move, to get Gaius to actually see they were there. This is after hours of dogs snarling right at their cage in their faces. When not at trials they happy little rat lives. So no animal abuse here, other than a bit of noise pollution.

Popeye went in the underground tunnel for the first time today! Go Popeye!

Gauis likes barking at rats. I mean he ignores treats when he smells a rat, and there is nothing he'd rather do than eat. That's why he barked the WHOLE TRIAL (give me an aspirin).

I don't really run Gauis in earthdog. It's really Sean's thing. So I'll let him tell you what happened at practice two weekends ago.

Patience is a virtue Gauis does not posses. He is wondering why I won't let him go get the rat.

If you just want to try Earthdog and see if your pup is interested there is an event called Introduction to Quarry. In Intro to Quarry the tunnel is much shorter and there really aren't any rules. Basically its a chance to see if your pup is into rats. Generally its 15-20 bucks to give it a shot. Don't be discouraged if your dog doesn't go in the hole the first time (Gauis didn't, but he sure dose now!). That can take a few times for your dog to understand what's going on. What you're looking for is any interest in the rat scent trail. If they are into sniffing the front of the tunnel, it's only a matter of time before they charge in. Also the judges are generally really nice and let your dog see the rat if it's your first time. And if your dog dose go in the tunnel you walk away with a spiffy ribbon!

Tuckered out Gauis after his second Earthdog Trial with a Spiffy Ribbon

Earth dog is a blast and a great introductory to dog sports. To find Earthdog events in your area (in the US) go to the AKC website search events and change Competition Type to earthdog trials.

P.S. Agility trial this weekend. Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Side Note

Up until now I've been pretty good about keeping the blog on topic. That topic being training and not really a chronicle of Gauis' life. So I thought I'd give readers a heads up right here. There is going to be no accounts of training in what is to follow. Just a simple account of a good day in the life of my pup. So if you aren't interested in that you can stop reading here. And I'll return you to your regularly scheduled training blog next post. :) This post is all good times and ice cream.

Baywatch dog. Look out David Hasselhoff.

I took Gauis to a swim party with his dog scout troop. He had a lot of fun.

Juneau is a swimming machine

All of his doggy friends were there...

This is Susie, she's in his obedience class

Here is Gauis' swimming video (Wouldn't be a blog post without a video)

Gauis shaped otter, or the genuine article? You deiced.

This is Dazzle. When we first met her she didn't know how to swim. Now she does dock diving!

Gauis jumped in and out of the pool until he got tried. Then he barked at toys in the pool but was to tired to go get them. Which he enjoyed but was a bit grading on the nerves after a while.

He also can't get out the pool by himself, Sean or I have to pull him out. So instead of swimming to us, signaling his need to leave the pool. He instead swims to the closest edge and just slams his head into it over and over again until someone rounds the pool to where he is to fish him out. He's defiantly lower maintenance when he swims in the River.

On the way home we stopped at an awesome place for dinner.

The weather was really nice so we ate outside.

Sean was really grumpy cause I made him go out of our way to get here. But he cheered up when the food came.

Gauis' got to eat with us which was nice. He was not a fan of our waitress though and barked at her.

Until she brought him a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and a milk bone in it. Then he decided she was all right.

Uuuummm... I'm still hungry.

He finished the whole thing before we were even half done with our food and he got it after us. Pig.

The End.