Listening to the Nature of a Dog

Something I think is important to say about performance events with dogs is that it is okay to have individualized goals. In fact, we should have individualized goals because we are different people with different dogs and different circumstances.

Harper is a perfectly acceptable obedience dog but she is not a high scoring, precise obedience dog — it is not in her nature.

Harper on a wait.jpg

And I am a fan of listening to the nature of a dog, appreciating and honoring what she brings to the table.

LOVE this photo.

LOVE this photo.

Therefore, Harper will finish up a git ‘er done CD (the novice level obedience title) and be done with obedience. Her Super Power is tracking.

On the other hand, the Specialty revealed that Claire’s Super Power actually is obedience.

No hair, No problem.

No hair, No problem.

Assessment skills are a pretty important part of Life with Dogs. But an unprepared dog who did not actually know to sit on the finish (minus 2.5 points) and still scored a 196 (out of 200), placing second in a class of 50+ dogs is not exactly a subtle indication of potential.

Note extra cute collar, which is easier to see given that Claire had no coat to cover it up.

Note extra cute collar, which is easier to see given that Claire had no coat to cover it up.

In order to maximize that potential, Claire will not show in obedience again until Spring 2020. Different dog, different goals.

Claire with attention.jpg

Instead, we will train and train and in the process, have an awful lot of fun together.

Claire jumping obedience.jpg

Because if it isn’t fun — for both of us — why do it?

Specialty Draft Photos

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the Specialty draft test photographer.

Harper B for Be Going That Way

Harper B for Be Going That Way

harper draft.jpg
If you knew the work and time it took to get to this point — wowza. Harper’s NDD is one of my proudest dog accomplishments.

If you knew the work and time it took to get to this point — wowza. Harper’s NDD is one of my proudest dog accomplishments.

And her tail wagged the whole time. #win

And her tail wagged the whole time. #win

Isn’t Claire’s harness so fun?!

Isn’t Claire’s harness so fun?!

Without attention, you cannot do well with a dog.

Without attention, you cannot do well with a dog.

No Hair Claire through the narrows.

No Hair Claire through the narrows.

Monday Round-up and Specialty Stuff

Let’s start off by congratulating Team Kiri (Sparklers) for a great weekend — Select one day and Best of Opposite the next. Kiri will be in Best of Breed at the Specialty — she will represent the family well.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Sparkle’s potential pregnancy has changed our Specialty plans — that and Dear Husband’s aversion to ticks.

Sparkle will stay home with Dear Husband, who gallantly agreed to avoid ticks by staying with her. Since it will just be me traveling to Minnesota, Daisy will also stay at home — she was only entered in one event and I do not want her sitting in the cabin by herself while I am out and about with the other two dogs.

And so I will be bringing just Harper and Claire — but they will be busy girls. In order to maximize our remaining training and conditioning time, I made a schedule…

Schedule.jpg

Note that in addition to my own dogs, I have included Sundance on the schedule — that is Suzanne’s lovely Tag son who got a Reserve Best in Show over the weekend! This is Suzanne’s first foray into tracking and Sundance drew a track at the Specialty — I am so excited for them and am committed to helping them be as ready as possible for that day.

Schedules help me stay focused and clear about what needs to be done — and I love checking boxes.

Have a great Monday! I have to get started on my day so I can check off all of the little boxes (actually, they are tiny clipboards) for today.