Welcome to The OBay Shelties blog! Our blog is an honest diary of our life with our dogs along with news from Obay shelties around the world.

Monday, April 28, 2008

How dedicated am I?

So the rumour going around this weekend is that they ARE goind to send a British team to the World Champs BUT....you have to pay your own way. I was not at the show where either then announced it or handed out schedules so I only heard this second-hand. I don't know how much yet; I have heard anything from 1000 pounds to 2500 pounds. How badly do I want to go if I qualify? I really loved going and I loved to compete there.But Hmmmm......I certainly don't get rich off agility! This will be quite a dilemma I think. Watch this space and hopefully I will get concrete info soon.

As for puppies; well they are darn cute. We have been having racing games around the garden and now I make all our visitors run around like fools around the back garden shaking a waterbottle filled with rocks and calling puppy puppy puppy. I guess it is a step up from making them sit on a cold tiled kitchen floor! hehe

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fat Head Puppy training 6.5 weeks

Fat Head missed out on the video training the other night because he was sleeping. So here he is from last night. He is more advanced on the skateboard than the others! :-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Remembering Bell

O'Bay Christmas Bell
4 May 1992-25 April 2008

Today my sister Terry and my nephew Patrick had to say good-bye to Bell. Bell was Joy's litter sister and one of four pups from my very first sheltie litter. Bell would have been 16 next week.

I know that Bell lived a charmed life; she was bright and healthy and loved. It still hurts and brings back my sadness over losing Joy last year. That was one special litter; each of them had so much personality. Even the one pup, Brandi, who went into a non-working home still had the attitude that made him stand out to all who met him. Now it is just Dasher left out of the litter of 4. I know that he also is being spoiled and loved and Eleanor is cherishing his short time left.

Bell was the smallest of that litter. She was such a cute puppy and her small size never held her back. She ruled the house and all who came into her kingdom. She had a rock solid temperment; a great drive to work and a noisy sheltie bark. My kind of sheltie! I have so many memories of Bell with Patrick and then with Terry. Terry took over her obedience training after Patrick found sports more interesting. Although Bell was a great obedience dog and worked lovely for Terry; once she returned home she only had eyes for Patrick. She was totally devoted to him and made him feel like a King whenever he returned home.

I wish I had my photos of Bell here in England; but they are all back home in NY. (pre-digital era). This is my only other photo that has Bell in it. Bell is the little one in the middle; with her brother Dash on her right and Joy on her left.

All my love to Terry, Brian, Patrick and Sean. There will certainly never be another Bell; she was one of those extra special ones.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Puppy training 6 weeks

I love to do little training sessions with the pups. Here is a little session that Dennis videoed last night. Mouse was tired as Terry called right in between her session and the videoed part was after the phone call during which she was curled asleep in my lap. Fat Head was sleeping by the time his turn came up so he deserves his own training video tomorrow. Enjoy but you may want to turn the volume down as Zen was barking in the next room saying ME ME ME!

Back to Training

It is time to get back to some "serious" training! :-) We are trying to concentrate on European-type courses to keep focused on the EO in July. Zen is besides herself happy to be out doing things again; I missed running her. I stole these courses from someone's blog (4 Dog Craziness) They were courses from a Sylvia Trkman training day and looked really interesting. I would love to have Sylvia come back to England as she came here around 5 years ago and I got so much out of it. Anyway all week we have been working on these courses which Lisa helped me set up. They are very interesting and have lots of variety to work on. It is so great that I can set up a course and leave it up all week to work on all the variations. I am so lucky!

Yesterday Nancy and Leah came over to run some courses and we convinced Leah to help us with push-thrus. Here is the video evidence!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Busy Pups

The difference in the pups now is amazing. Overnight they have become little hooligans. In the mornings they line up by the pen door and wait to be lifted out. I cannot lower the door at all or the three are immediately up and over the top; they don't hesitate at all. We take them outside immediately in the morning and are getting less and less poo in the pen. Yet I am still desperate for newspapers if anyone has anymore! After their little tear-around the garden they all follow us inside and line up to watch me prepare their breakfast. So far they have been really calm and quiet while this is happening!

They spend more time outside in the puppy pen if the weather is good. Yesterday while I did some lessons in the back garden they spend a few hours basking in the sun. I try and vary the toys that I put in the pen with them so that they keep seeing new things but I am running of out new things to show them. We try and give them lots of time just running around the garden stretching their legs. I usually need an extra pair of eyes when this is happening as they always seem to find the smallest hole or tiniest crack to get lost in and put me into a panic that I have lost a puppy! It is amazing how little Mouse can fit into the smallest spaces; I am glad I don't breed chihuahuas! The Mouse is doing well and keeping up with her littermates.

They all have had collars on now during the day when I can keep an eye on them. Thanks to Lian who loaned me a few puppy collars as for some reason I forgot to order them this time. I have been very unorganized with some things with this litter! Next week we will start putting little leashes on them when they are playing in the house. They will tug each other around and it helps to get them used to the collar and lead.

Puppy training sessions continue and it is interesting to see the difference in each pup. I try and spend 5 minutes 2x a day with each one alone in the kitchen. Clicker, squeeze cheese and toys! We are mainly doing little right and left circles. With this litter I am also trying to see if I can get them to go to the wobble board and interact with it on their own. I will also do the same with the skateboard. I keep intending to get videos of their little training sessions but time doesn't allow it yet. Hopefully this weekend with Dennis' help.

Plans for the next week include: baths and blow dry (always fun!); a car trip with Auntie Lisa to visit a new house and a visitor from Denmark! Johanna will come in the nick of time and I will let HER get up in the morning at puppy-o'clock to do pee and poo patrol. After all it is her dirty boy who created these poo-ing machines! HA!

Zen doesn't spend much time with the pups anymore but I try and let her play with them as much as possible. Actually she is much better with this litter than with the last one. At this point during the last litter she wanted NOTHING to do with the pups; growling at them when they tried to nurse. This litter she is more willing to let them occasionally nurse and does not growl at them as much. Unfortunately she is a little rough with them and although I am happy she is playing with them I do worry that she might hurt them. Zen has never been a dog that plays well with other dogs; she would much rather play with me and her agility equipment! You can see in these photos that she just wants to mouth them, hit them with her feet or knock them down. True was very much the same; which goes to show you how traits are passed on. Both Zen and True were easy whelpers, good mothers up until around 5 weeks, cranky with them after 5 weeks and then played too rough with the pups after that.

Jordan is the one dog that I trust completely with the pups. (other than Hob-b who is still holidaying in Denmark). When she is tired of the pups she just goes somewhere that they cannot reach her. Here she is lying on the couch last night; glad to be out of reach from them and wondering if they will ever fall asleep!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mouse at 6 weeks

I promise we don't spoil the Lil' Mouse! Nor is she the favorite of everyone! Ok yes I am lying! But the other 3 fatties get just as much love and attention!

I am going to do seperate blog posts on each pups at 6 weeks. First I will do the Mouse and I will try and do the other three tomorrow. It has been a busy weekend of puppy socialization and training. They got lots of new experiences this weekend and lots more planned.

I skipped out of going to the Wallingford Agility show today. When I got up with the alarm clock this morning it was grey and miserable and I just wanted to stay home with Dennis and the pups.

So here are some photos of the Mouse at 6 weeks.

She has the funniest jump and leap action. She usually is running at full speed but looks a little like a bunny rabbit!

The pups had a lovely visit from Hannah. Hannah was especially taken with Lil'Mouse.

We took the pups on Saturday night over to Tim and Marions place. It was the pups first experience at a new house. They had a chance to run around Tim and Marion's side garden and they had a lovely time eating their dinner and then poo-ing all over their kitchen floor! Mouse joined us for some dinner and wine. She liked the spaghetti and had the proper technique! Some good spanish rioja wine to follow! Yum Yum.

And all the pups got their first real grooming today. Feet and nails trimmed; not easy on squirmy 6 week old puppies! I think they will get their first baths this week sometime. Here is Mouse checking out the tools of torture!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Great Escape

The puppy pen has been changed to accomodate the growing crowd. The whelping box is now out and we have added a crate (with door off) and dog bed. This gives the pups a more defined sleeping area with a choice of the dog bed or the crate. All this helps with the eventual housebreaking.

I have been leaving the half-door down on the puppy pen so that Zen can pop back in if she wants. The pups are now 5 and a half weeks old and not nursing that often. They are now eating their Burns Puppy food 4-5x per day. I think that the half-door need to be put up when they are in the pen! Why??? Well see the evidence below!

Zest looking very angelic.


Now let me teach my brother!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hex is going to Germany!

And she is bringing me along! :-)

On Saturday Lisa and I (along with Chi and Hex) got up at some un-dogly hour and headed up to Daventry for the European Open Selection Day. The British Kennel Club has decided this year to support the EO Agility in Gemany rather than send a team to the World Champs in Finland. I think their reason was that the EO allows non-pedigree dogs to compete unlike the World Champs which only allows pedigrees. Since the GB Kennel Club allows non-pedigrees to compete in agility, they felt that some their best dogs were missing out. Also, the costs to Finland this year were going to be huge. So, anyway, no World champs for us this year so I was keen to get selected for the EO!

I was disappointed not to be able to take Zen to try-out. Her pups were just 5 weeks old on the day of the try-outs. So I had to have a serious conversation with myself and NOT take Zen. One: I knew she was out of shape and I did not want to risk her injuring herself. And two: I did not want to risk her bringing any illness back to her pups. And three: I was worried about taking her away from her pups for a whole day.

One and two still applied on the day. Reason three did not apply so much as she has decided that she is DONE with pups! She has handed them over to me and said Hi-Hi to the pups! (for you uninformed "hi-hi" is danish for "bye-bye" and probably not spelled that way at all!) It is a shame as I know she will be fit and ready by July but it is just not meant to be.

Anyway....back to the EO try-outs. The try-outs were outside on grass. The weather was quite varied on the day. I think we had extreme cold, sun, rain, hail and wind. It was so cold in the morning brrr. I brought my blankets so that I could sit ringside and watch and felt bad for Andy the judge who must have been cold as well as tired after such a long day. We started judging at 9am and was finished around 5pm with one short break in between.

I have stolen these courses from Leah's blog and I figure she got them directly from the big bad judge. The courses themselves were not bad (haha) but made more difficult by the smaller ring. The jumping course especially was very very tight.
I wish I had some video but Lisa and I decided not to video. We each had enough to concentrate on what we were doing with our dogs and wanted to focus 100% on the job. And no Dennis to help as he was home with the pups.

Jumping Round 1

Yikes Hex saved me on this one. The long jump to collapsed tunnel is the spot that got most dogs the BIG E as they either ran into the other tunnel or back jumped #10. On the actual course the long jump was really angled towards the off-course end of tunnel #11.This area got most of the small and medium dogs. Yet the large dogs had much less trouble on that spot. I think more large dogs had trouble with the weave pole entrance and #15-#16. (I think the other end of the #16 tunnel was actually more obvious on the actual course) Hex nearly took the other tunnel entrance; when she went over the long jump I felt her pulling to the backjump at 10 and slightly adjusted. Well I thought I slightly adjusted but she thought differently and shot towards the wrong tunnel. A frantic call got her back and bless her she just avoided a refusal. We ended up 2nd on this course I think.

Agility round 1

On the actual course #9 long jump and #20 jump were much closer to the dog walk. This caused many off-courses over the back of #20 (hi Lisa!) and trouble getting dogs over the long jump which was approached fairly blindly by the dogs. Also the see-saw was going down-hill and being approached at an angle which caused alot of dogs to either fly-off, slide off or just bail-off. This caught out alot of small dogs who just got part way up the see-saw and leaped off. I think Hex won this round; I forgot already!

Agility Round 3

Again on this course #20 was much closer and very obvious after the long jump. This caused many off-courses either over #20 or thru the gap and over the back of #12. The dog-walk tunnel suprisingly caught out many dogs; but I think this is just because we do not get many tunnel/dogwalk combinations in the UK and people are not used to them. The long jump was best handled off the handlers right side; so there were some off-courses from #9 to #7 as people tried to front cross before the see-saw. Hex was running beautifully but sadly knocked #19 bar as many dogs did.

Agility Final

The top 50% of each height got to run the final. The weave pole entrance caused many problems. The combination of #12-#16 was a bastard! It was made to look easy by some but I really struggled when deciding what to do! I was able to get into position after the collapsed tunnel only by leaving Hex in the weaves and getting ahead of her at the collapsed tunnel. Thank God she can weave on her own! And I finally decided on the push-thru (ahhhhh!) from #13-14 followed by a front cross in front of #14. I have no idea how it looked but it felt really scary! I get so disoriented doing those moves and added in Hex is so small and so tight around the wings and I have no idea where she is! Bless her she did it! She ended up winning this class and her time was very close to the large dogs times.

So there you are all the courses if you are interested. And sorry no video!

Hex ended up in 2nd place overall and had a guaranteed spot on the small team. Yeah! I am sad I cannot take Zen but so very happy that Lisa and Chi have also qualified with a wild-card spot in the mediums! A few small mistakes by Lisa put Chi in 5th place overall (only the top 3 in small and mediums and the top 10 in large had a definite spot)but she got the call on Sunday night that has made the team anyway! Hurrah!!!!

Now the training begins! I hit the gym again and Hex is doing weekly swims until July. More long walks and much more training on European type courses. Hmmmm I am getting tired already..... :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

5 week puppy fun

The pups are starting to take more of my time now. I have it really tough having to play with puppies all day! :-)

The pups had a great weekend with Dennis. I was away both saturday and sunday at agility shows(more about that later) and I am very blessed that Dennis is so supportive and so good with the pups. He tolerates me reminding him constantly before I leave about what he needs to do to keep the pups active and socialized. And then I grill him when I get back about every little move the puppies made! He takes lots of photos and video to keep me happy and not too sad about leaving them. Really it is good for me to leave them so that they can bond with Dennis (also known as a man!)

Dennis has given the pups a great socialization weekend. They had their first time in a crate, their first car ride and their first trip out of the house to the office. They went to the petrol station and the rubbish tip. (in both places they stayed in the car but he opened the boot so they could listen and see the goings-on.

Pups in the crate and the car crate.

Outdoor time.

A visit by Uncle Tim. We make all our guests sit on the floor; we are very good hosts! hahaha

A really special computer "mouse" pad.

Office fun.

We spend loads of money on puppy toys!

The sit-n-spin is the latest addition to my puppy training arsenal! Unfortunately it doesn't spin as easily as I thought; so mainly it is a climbing toy.

I will try and get proper individual photos of each pup this week but for now here are a few candid photos.



Fat Head: