Gifted’s USDAA Debut April/May 2010
Haute Tracs USDAA show marked the start of Gifted’s USDAA career. He was entered in everything for 3 days!!!
At times a little distracted notably Team Std – which I hope is the hardest I ever have to work at not getting an E!! Anyway as the days progressed he got better and came away with a Team Q (thanks to his teammates Jen and Taser and Mary Ellen and Maizy) – and several Starters Q’s. Overall I was thrilled with him but needed to work on his weaves and his focus at times! Mary Ellen suggested that perhaps the ‘anointed one’ needed to have his “trust fund baby” lifestyle curbed a little and find the value in needing to work!!!
The following week off we went to SMART for 2 days and he found himself out of Starters and with a GP Q:) The 3rd Std Q came on Saturday so the following day I left the ring to reward Gifted after the weave poles in a few classes. I was really happy with his progress over the course of a week and continued on the training and lifestyle adjustment at home.
Last weekend we set off again for Bay Team. I had entered Gifted in 2 starters classes each day plus GP and Steeplechase. So when I moved him up he was not in the full number of Advanced classes. Still he came away with an Advanced Std and Jumpers and a Steeplechase and GP Q!!!
At 19 months old he is a joy to run and a fantastic dog to live with. To others especially my friends I’m sure I am a little nauseating as I go on about him but I don’t care, I’m just so excited to have him.
This is his GP run from the Bay Team show. He sneezes on the teeter but he still gets himself into a 2o2o.
Gifted GP Bay Team May 2010
Gifted GP Bay Team May 2010
Gifted’s First Trial – January 2010
Gifted (Photo courtesy of Erika Maurer)
I decided to enter Gifted for two days at a 3 day AKC trial in Santa Rosa, California. I liked both the Judges and thought they would put up good courses for a young novice dog. At 16 months old I wasn’t really sure what he would do but was hoping that he would look young, inexperienced but with trained skills:) I couldn’t have been happier with him! He qualified 4 out of 4 times – made 2 errors that were 100% me. I was a little disappointed in my errors – but I can learn:)
The morning I left for the show I realized that he hadn’t done any sequences without a toy! oooops. So off we went to the field – I dropped the toy on the ground and led out and turned to see him looking over his shoulder like an owl staring at his toy! He managed to focus forward and work, went over the A-frame and promptly took off to reward himself for the perfect A-frame he had done!!! Anyway we worked a little more before my client arrived for her lesson and I decided that this would be a future work in progress:) and off we went.
I have never had a dog close to being ready to compete this young. Even Whist was 19 months old and did not have the skills and understanding that Gifted has – 1995 was a very different era! Until very recently he has been doing individual contacts and weaves, and very short 3-6 obstacle sequences with jumps and tunnels. In December I took him out to work with Stuie and he could do all her drills but I broke them up a little to reward him. In January I took him with me to PA when I taught for Mary Ellen Barry – he did the drills I set up for the intermediate and masters level dogs. I was thrilled at his confidence, focus and maturity – something that is just him, that stuff cannot be trained!
He is a very cool dog to live with, train and now compete with. I can’t thank Tammy enough for leasing Wyn to me to breed to Spinner.
He won’t compete again until March so back to more training.
Gifted’s First Trial – January 2010
Like Father Like Son October/November 2009
Photo courtesy of Erika Maurer
Gifted’s agility training is coming along nicely. Gifted learns like his father. He is confident, quick to learn and so far if he makes an error he is easily put back on track. He recently had another jumping lesson with Susan Salo and there were very few if any “oh my’s” He has kept his superb temperament even as he matures and is pushed around by his father, who at nearly 18 is not ready to step aside to anyone!!!!
Gifted’s herding is also progressing and hopefully he will trial next year. Just like his other training he has never got stuck at any one stage of learning. We only get to work sheep once a week (probably for the best so I don’t mess things up) but he improves from week to week and “gets things” from his first run to his second in a lesson.
This may not be that impressive for some but after working with and through issues I am very happy to have it a little easier.
Gifted’s training is progressing well….he continues to be a fun dog to work with…..toy envy is still there but grabbing and stealing has lessened…..but if Stuie continues to give up the toys I will only intervene for so long…..
A month or so ago I put Gifted on sheep just to see….if I say so myself he was fairly impressive… I took him a second time and although I have very limited knowledge of herding I know enough to recognize raw talent when I see it:) I decided to seek out some professional help and now Gifted has herding lessons every week.
I strongly believe that the reason why Border Collies are so multi-talented physically and mentally is due to the herding dogs they were bred from. As we start to breed for specific sports, Agility, Flyball, etc we need to inject back some of what has made this breed so versatile. If Gifted is a talented sheepdog he should be encouraged to use this innate gift…he has a great temperament and hopefully if he gets a clean bill of health when he is old enough he may get to be the father of my next puppy! Right now there is nothing about him I don’t like….
A side benefit from the herding is that his recall, down stay and overall impulse control has improved greatly.
As far as agility goes he has had a couple of baby jumping lessons with Susan Salo….and I am laying the foundation for his contacts. I need to start a new trick and make sure that I am doing all I can at this age. I know when he gets old enough to jump, learn weaves etc. some of the more tedious training may take a back seat … so better get it done now!!!
Gifted continues to learn although I only get to train him in spurts….getting distracted with life, lessons and the RV!!!
Gifted will be 9 months old on the day I leave for PA and I am hoping to be able to get some consistent daily training in with him for the 9-10 weeks I am gone… Stuie, Fable and Better could all do with some too!!!
Gifted’s weekly herding lessons with Laurie Batson are going great…..I am really enjoying the lessons and especially enjoying working with him….I am enjoying the learning process of something new….getting my timing down, when to correct, when to let things go etc etc…I think he is good enough to trial. It’s wonderful to have a pup with great instinct for the job the breed was originally bred for, who also appears to have great agility potential….
I love the idea of training these dogs for other sports—not just agility—I believe it helps them with balance both mental and physical, impulse control and as far as herding is concerned you often see a completely different dog than the one you sit with on the couch….just ask Stuie!!! All these things help with building a partnership and give you insight into how your dog learns etc….
His temperament is the best and even though he is obviously turning into quite the male….he defers to older, stronger adults and continues to love puppies and take most things in his stride….
At just under 9 months he is working on his Dog Walk, Teeter and I have just started his box training for the A-Frame. He has done some baby jump grids and some work on the table….along with his recall, his stays, his herding and general training—you know the stuff…what to pee on and what not to pee on….not grabbing everything I am holding….not diving onto the couch when I am eating….
After owning Fable I don’t think I could have 2 dogs who bark and jump around when they see/hear other dogs working—Fable was hard wired to do this from the day I got her and with working away from home all day it was difficult to separate her from this environment. I now work from home and I was very diligent with Gifted in getting him to be quiet when I work another dog…..I used both Stuie and Better and worked in tiny increments to get Gifted to settle when I was interacting with another dog….first just playing, then one jump, then a tunnel etc etc….I rewarded him frequently with treats and praise and it took a month +/- but now I can take him out to the field with the others and he patiently waits his turn.
March 6, 2009
Gifted aka Perfect Boy is coming along just fine…..he turned 6 months last week.
Gifted’s training is going great…he is a pleasure to train, quick to learn, confident and likes to work. Although he has his father’s eyes I can’t say if he is more like his mother or father as both Wyn and Spinner are similar in temperament and character.
Our biggest issue is his toy envy—in particular anything Stuie is carrying…..Stuie really has cooked her goose with this as she continues to drop her toys when he comes running in—and although I try and stop him—she really isn’t helping the situation.
Recently he watched with great intensity a show on Wolves in Yellowstone and at one point I thought he was going to jump into the TV…..
He is the first puppy raised here in Atascadero and as a result his recall is not as good as it should be. All my other dogs had to be exercised at the local park and as they were all off leash I was constantly working on their recalls. It is too easy to go for a walk here at home and forget to do any recalls with him. So I am making an effort to work on that on every walk.
December 7, 2008
Time flies ….. and I realized there have been no new photos or updates…as soon as Gifted started to do things I found I spent much of my time playing and working with him.
Gifted is great and although I wonder if I had had more than one puppy to choose from whether I would have picked him…. something tells me that I probably would have….
At 6 weeks he spent a couple of days at a Jo Sermon seminar at Barbara Lombards….he had a blast and we had a blast playing with him…..I found he has a love of anything alcoholic (and still does)
At 8 weeks he went to USDAA Cynosport Games in AZ and was just great. It was his first time in a hotel and he took everything in his stride. Including when the poor little guy grabbed some sort of cactus and Jen Pinder and I had to pluck all the inch long needles out of his face and mouth…..Every evening he got to play with his buddy Guilty and was sufficiently tired so that most nights he slept through in his crate.
He is everything I could want in a 13 week old puppy, confident, fearless and quick to learn….although he is a little mouthy and has the nickname “Piranha Boy”.
He is great with all people, children and other dogs…..despite being a singleton he is appropriate with all dogs.
Gifted is happily learning a bunch of tricks…..from the basics to walking on my feet. However, after trying to take the Christmas card photos I wish I had worked a little more on his sit stay!!! When he runs around he has great coordination as he jumps over logs and rocks and runs full speed down our hill.
Gifted and Better play together the most, followed closely by Stuie…..Fable and Whist mostly ignore him and Trump and Spinner think he’s a bit of a pain……He loves Michael and loves to leap onto his head and chew his ears…and glasses….and hair……:)
October, 8, 2008
Gifted 24-31 days old
Well it’s been a busy 2 weeks….and going to get busier!
Gifted is downstairs during the day in the living room and comes out several times a day to meet people and interact with all the other dogs…..I still put him in his whelping box upstairs with Wyn able to get in and out during the night….I’ll stop doing this in another week or so….
He is playful, bold and curious…..
I took him (and all the rest) up to my friends Tammy and Greg on Tuesday 10/7/08 to meet her puppies….she is keeping one for herself and one for a few more weeks until he can go with his new owners…..Gifted strolled in like he had lived there all his life…..there was much humping going on from the other 2 puppies especially the blue merle who was always the more bullish with the others in his litter…..
Anyway Gifted was awesome….we assisted in keeping things even – so he didn’t get overwhelmed as the other puppies are 3 weeks older than him.
I brought home the blue merle male for the week in part so Tammy’s pup could have some more littermate free time, also it’s good for the other puppy to leave the nest and as a bonus Gifted has a playmate……
My kitchen and living room is now separated with ex-pens and Gifted has his big area and the other puppy has the kitchen area….they get together on and off during the day when I have time to supervise…..
It’s going to be a busy but great week for both of them with lots of new experiences and lessons to learn….
Gifted Video: Week 4, Gifted with Tammy’s pup, 31 days
Gifted Video: Week 4, Gifted with blue merle pup
September, 24, 2008
18 Days Old
Every day Gifted becomes more active and adventurous ….today he climbed out of his whelping box and I found him on the floor of his room with Wyn lying snoozing on the bed…..
He has been wagging his tail and licking at my hand for several days now. This morning Wyn started to gently play with him. I will need to make a decision when to get him around other puppies. I take him to a new room every day so he can explore and experience different surfaces etc.
Tonight he played with me and his toys for a half hour – much longer than any other time….he also licked at some water for a few seconds before stepping on the plastic lid and getting it all over himself….he didn’t seem to care and promptly came back for more…..
He has met all the other dogs (one at a time) – Stuie thinks he is lovely, Better gets very excited (even though she was a good mommy I question how much self control she has if he really starts to squeak!!), Whist is curious, she was a good Mommy, Fable, Trump and Spinner are mostly disinterested.
Gifted Video: 18 days old.
September 19, 2008
Gifted eyes are open and he tried to play with one of his toys tonight……very cool……
September, 17, 2008
Gifted is doing great in both health and SIZE….I watched him the other night moving from one nipple to the next like he was on a “pub crawl” !!!
Wyn has been willing to leave him for a few hours and I’m happy to have him not eat all day…….She also came out with Fable and Stuie for a little light training this week…..mostly the Dog Walk end position…..she seemed happy to be doing something…..
Gifted Video: Week 2, September 15, 2008
September 11, 2008
Compass is doing great…..in fact he’s perfect….Wyn is a little bored but being a great mommy…I’ve been teaching her some tricks to help alleviate the boredom….she goes for short walks with the rest of the dogs and it’s a good thing she leaves him for a little bit—he might explode with all the milk he gets…
He has a rough coat and smooth coat sibling (sort of) in the whelping box with him….something for him to cuddle up to and I bounce them across him while he’s eating to simulate the activity of other puppies moving around him and pushing him off when he’s eating etc.
His birth weight was just under 12 ounces, he now weighs 1 pound 5 ounces…….yep he’s a big fat black and white tick…
He loves to rest his head up on things, Wyn’s neck, her feet, his siblings….
September 6, 2008
The newest addition to the household was delivered by C-Section this morning. Mother Wyn is doing great—she’s such a cool dog (I can assure you that had this been Fable things wouldn’t have been so calm!!!!) and the puppy, who’s nickname right now is “Compass”—as he needed one to find his way out—was found traveling the wrong way up a one way street!!!!
They are both doing great thanks to Wyn and my vet….