Monday, May 27, 2013

Herding Instinct Test Photos

The link to Erika A Photography

So I narrowed down the photos to these 11 but I have to choose only 5.  I think I have three final choices, they are the two just above and the one with Keltic peeking out under all the sheep but I'm having a hard time picking out just two more.

If you want to see more of Erika's herding day photos go to:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Oh So Close!

We had a trial this past weekend at Morning Star. I'd only been to their new location once before; it's at the Seahawk horse arena in Morton, Ontario.  When I first registered for the trial, Beckett still didn't have his Master Snooker title so we registered for the two Gamblers and the two Snookers; after he got his title, we e-mailed the trial secretary and changed one of our Snooker runs for a Standard. That ended up working out well as the Standard was earlier in the day and I was able to get home in time to go to my nephew's place for a BBQ.

First up was the two Gambles, when I saw the course maps, I knew the first one was entirely "doable" for Beckett.

The number 3 jump of the main Gamble was even a little more in line with the dog walk than shown on the map.  I didn't waste any time trying the mini, although a lot of dogs did successfully complete the mini gamble. I just took Beckett over the double with a post turn to get the 4 point jump twice, then up through the tunnels to the frame then to the weaves which we did twice, followed by the teeter. We were taking the single jump just past the teeter when the buzzer went, I got Beckett back up the main Gamble and sent him out to the tunnel. He gave me a heart attack by coming back out to me on the line and I thought "oh no, I'll never get him back to the dog walk"; I just thought he would bark and spin. But  I told him "walk-it" and off he went like a flash, up and over the dog walk. He did the last two jumps of the gamble like they were the only things on his mind.

So this was our third Masters Gamblers Q, just one more his Masters Gamblers title. The run was only good enough for 4th place as all the other 16" dogs who Q'd also did the mini so they had more points than Beckett.

The second run was also a Gamblers. A fourth Masters Gamblers Q will also give Beckett his Agility Trial Champion title so I had to find someone to video the next run. We've been working on get-out but I didn't think in a trial environment that he would do it. I knew the jump, teeter wouldn't be a problem and I was right, that part Beckett got. He jumped off from the side of the teeter and took the decoy jump, so no second Gamblers Q but there's always next time.

Next up was the Standard run, it was a nice run but Beckett jumped off the teeter so I put him back on it, three times before he would hold his contact. I don't ask for a two on two off but he is supposed to wait for the release word. Even with being put back on the teeter three times, Beckett still finished the course with time to spare.

Our last run of the day was a Masters Snooker, since we had the chance to practice the teeter in the Standard, I decided to do the teeter a few times, twice in the opening and once in the close.

It worked, we did the red near the start line followed by obstacle 7, then ran to the inside red at the back to the teeter, then the red between the teeter and dog walk, then started our close. Beckett ran nicely but then on the teeter gave me another heart attack. He jumped from the teeter and I was sure he missed the contact, we needed to complete obstacle 6 to Q. I waited a split second to hear the judge's whistle; it didn't come so we finished obstacle 7 before the 55 second running time was up.  Another Snooker Q and good enough for first place.  A friend told me as we came out of the ring that he had barely touched the yellow contact zone on the last teeter.

So all in all a great day. We played Frisbee in the paddocks. Keltic got to run around too, even ran away a couple times to meet and greet other people and dogs.  I leave his leash on so he is easy to catch, when he stops running that is.

I've been tracking Beckett's Q's once he gets his Agility Trial Champion title, he will also be close to the first post ATChC title which is Bronze Award of Merit.  For that title, you need 25 Games and 10 Standard Q's. Beckett has the 25 Games Q's already as all of his Steeplechase count for that so he will just need 5 more Standard Q's. We are also close to his Bronze Expert Jumpers, for that you need ten Q's and Beckett has 8. So we are oh so close to many of our goals for this year.

Go Beckett Go!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Pictures of Beckett at 4 1/2 weeks sent to me by a new FB friend who I just found out has his litter sister, the one sleeping on top of him in the first picture.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


At our last Euro-style agility class we were doing backwards threadles. It didn't always work out so well for me.

At the point where I took the fall, we are supposed to move (run) backwards, call the dog in to us then send them out over the jump that Beckett took coming towards me, then pull them through the two jumps and send them back out over the second jump. When it works it works beautifully but not this time.

Beckett did jump this course beautifully for the most part. It's really pretty amazing as in this class we were not allowed to use verbal cues only our body language and position tells the dog what to do. I can see in the video where Beckett knocked the bar that I hadn't given him any cue as to what he was supposed to do so he chose correctly to do the jump but wasn't really in a good position for the take-off.

Believe me, we ran this course again right after this and got through the whole thing. It felt awesome.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Keltic is a Sheepdog!

I took Keltic for a herding instinct test yesterday. He did really well, maybe even better than Beckett. But poor Beckett was distracted by the Border Collie that kept rushing in to move the flock; I think Beckett thought he was coming after him. Keltic had no such reservations and headed right to the flock.

We had a nice sunny day and I got a little more sun than I thought.  We were a small group so we each got to have two tries with the sheep. Keltic did better the first time around but I think he wore himself out barking to go back in after his first turn was over. There was also very little shade so he might have been rather warm by the time his second turn came around.

Smudge the bottle-fed sheep
Smudge was in the pen for our first turn. She knew to stay by the people and then the dogs wouldn't bother her as much. After the first group of sheep went back to the barn, she just hung around meeting people.

Keltic watching sheep
HIT Certificate

Evaluation Report

Ready to go again!
This time there was also a photographer that we could have take pictures of our dogs in action. I can't wait to see her photographs, she usually does some really nice work.  I'll post the link to her photos once she's put them on her web site. We get to choose five pictures and she sends them to us on a CD. I don't have any photos of Beckett doing his herding test just some video.

One of Erika's shots.

Erika Anderson Photography
It was a very nice day. Keltic had fun. I'm so happy that my Keltic pumpkin actually chased the sheep.

Monday, May 13, 2013


We had an agility trial at Dream Fields yesterday. We were there from the very first event right until the very last event; good thing the trial ran smoothly as we weren't as late getting home as the estimated times for the events would have predicted. I was home in time to see the finale of Survivor.

The morning didn't go so well. First up was two Gambles, in the first Beckett was quite wild and spinny, he didn't even get enough points to Q had he gotten the Gamble. He had enough points in the second Gamble but again couldn't get the main Gamble. Next up was a standard run, Beckett ran really nice until we got to a tunnel then he started spinning, so I stopped dead and told him tunnel and off he went. No faults there but at the next obstacle the teeter, he jumped off without touching the yellow so I put him back on. He did the teeter perfectly and we continued the course. The rest of the course ran beautifully, even with the spinning and doing the teeter twice, he was still more than 5 seconds under time.

Our next event was a Steeplechase. I like Steeplechase, no refusals so if Beckett spins we are only losing time.  Weaves are judged at Starters level so you can have a mistake and still get a qualifying score. And it's time plus faults so you can make up a missed contact or knocked bar. Beckett can usually make up 5 faults sometimes even 10 and still Q.

The standard course time (SCT) for this event was 48 seconds. Beckett ran it in 39.95 seconds without a single fault.  That's 4.31 yards per second. There is video of this run but on a friend's iPad so I have to wait until she uploads it to see it. This was Beckett's 13th Steeplechase Q.

Our next run was team with our friend Cathie and her Boston Terrier, Logan. We ran Team with them at the last trial where Beckett was totally wild, I was hoping he would do better in this run.

Becket and I ran side A, which started out much like the Steeplechase. Again Beckett did some spinning before the second tunnel so we got five faults for a refusal. Luckily Logan ran clean and our combined time was fast enough to still Q. In Team, if you only have 5 faults and your time plus faults is under the SCT then you Q.  The SCT was 74 seconds; we ran it in a combined time of 61.83 so with the faults added our time was 66.83. Our run was also good enough for second place overall and we won a flying tug toy.

Our next run of the day was Snooker.  For those that don't play this game, you have to successfully take a red jump before you can take one obstacle of another colour, that is obstacles numbered two through 7.  You have to do at least three pair, red and a colour, before you can close, that is run 2 through 7 in order. The number of the obstacle is the point value of the obstacle and you have to collect, in Masters, 40 points by the time the 55 second buzzer goes.

Beckett and I did red, weaves (the number 6 obstacle), red, weaves, red, weaves before running the close. We were on the dog walk the second part of number 7 when the buzzer went; no matter though as we had our points when we completed  obstacle 6, the weaves. The red jumps in this video are the blue jumps with the white lattice on the sides. The term red jump comes from the Snooker flags that some clubs use, the one point jumps are all marked with a red flag and the obstacles 2 through 7 each have their own coloured flag too.

 The YouTube link for the video of Beckett Masters Snooker

This Q was Beckett's 4th Masters Snooker so he got his title Masters Snooker Dog of Canada (MSDC). The run was good enough for first place and best run of all the Mini Regular dogs so he also won a stuffed lion on skates.  

Beckett - Masters Snooker Dog of Canada
Our last run was another Snooker. We got through our opening but Beckett popped his weaves when we started the close. My fault, it was a long day and since we had already gotten his title I wasn't handling well so he probably wasn't sure about what I wanted him to do.

Now we are only two Gamble Q's from his Agility Trial Champion title. I hope they don't prove too elusive for us. All in all a wonderful day!! And there even was a rainbow sent from Ceilidh and Tucker.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo - Gotcha Day

A year ago today, on a beautiful spring day, Beckett and I took a drive to Tweed, Ontario.  Tucker stayed at home, where he could relax and sleep. We were going to Tweed to pick up a little brother for Beckett and Tucker. I brought Beckett along so his breeder could see what a handsome boy he had grown up to be.

You guessed it that little brother was Keltic. Keltic was a chubby inquisitive little thing, should have known he would grow up to be a busy boy. Beckett didn't take too long to warm up to him, Tucker on the other hand, while not unfriendly was a bit reserved with his affections.

Butt shot

Already knew not to look at the flashy thing

The bigger the better!
With his big brothers

5 May 2012
5 May 2013

He's grown up into quite a handsome young man, but he's got a few little quirks.  He barks at me whenever I go to use my tablet. I guess he's figured out that when I'm using the tablet, that I'll always say "in a minute" to any offer to play. And he runs away when I get the nail clippers to do my nails. I did his puppy nails a few times with them but have't done his nails with them in over a year, so no doubt about his memory.

We started jumping him over 16" jumps today. I don't think he cared much for the higher jumps as he tried to cheat by going around them. We'll give him some time and do some grid work and other one jump drills to see how he comes along but I have a feeling that my little boy will be Special.  He doesn't look so little he has a very pouffie coat and he looks twice as wide as he actually is. He went to the vet last weekend for the blood test for heartworm and he weighed about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) less than Beckett.

There are exciting times ahead as we continue our agility training, getting ready for an agility debut in the fall.