The Boys

Well Quinn and Jet are working things out. Quinn is a little resource guarder already, wants the toys and the food so we are working on that. Probably he learned it from his litter mates since he was the smallest of the puppies.

Jet and Quinn
Jet and Quinn

Chase doesn’t get to be around Quinn yet. And strangely enough, Muffit doesn’t really like him very much either. I thought Muffit would be more accepting. Tatum is starting to play with him once in a while, but still she mostly growls. But she growls at all the boys so that’s no different.

Jet and Quinn
Jet and Quinn

On a good note Jet is doing awesome at agility. We got our 16th and 17th Double Qs last weekend, and we are up to 423 speed points! I’m very excited. He’s doing such a good job, my Mr. Jet.

Quinn
Quinn

So nothing much new around here, except a puppy, who I’m trying to each how to sit… but his but doesn’t want to go down when I put a treat above his nose. 🙂 But we’re working on it. Been a couple weeks and I haven’t had time to do as much with him as I’d like. But that’s always the case, it seems. He’s a good sweet little boy and I’m glad he’s come to live with us.

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Splitting Attention

So now that little Quinn has joined our family I have more dogs to train. Yesterday I said to my husband, I need to put together a list of everything Quinn needs to learn. Of course my husband says he just needs to have fun and learn how to be an eleven week old puppy. Well thats fine and good, but what they learn young sticks with them their whole lives. Just like in agility, the things they learn first are the things they resort back to under stress or high drive. So it’s very important to get it right the first time.

Quinn has only been with us for three days but I’m already seeing what he will need training wise. I think he is going to be higher drive than jet. Which may be a weird concept since Quinn is a collie and they are not known for high drive. However he comes from performance lines. Lots of agility and herding Collies behind him. Where Jet comes from conformation lines. And Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are a very new breed and their temperaments can vary significantly.

Me, I will admit it, I prefer a little lower drive. However that is more difficult in obedience where a higher drive can carry a dog through the routine better than lower drive. And I believe I have enough experience, and instinct, now to train any drive type. And maybe I am wrong and Quinn will end up lower drive than I think. But I don’t think I’m wrong.

So now I need to split my brain and figure out different training methods for Jet and Quinn. I am still training Chase too, but we already havea well working established pattern. Plus I’m just not as crazy about Chase so he’s kinda a side line and I apologize to everyone who really likes him, and I know there are quite a few people who do, but border collies are just not really my breed.

I think I have a fairly good handle on what Jet needs, and I’m seeing good progress. Now I have to split my attention for Quinn, too. And splitting is not my strength. It’s not at my job either. So I will news to find a happy in between place for both of these boys. But I have confidence in myself that I’ll be able to do this well and do what needs to be done for these boys.

And as I adjust to Quinn, he adusts to us, and the other dogs adjust to him, things will settle back down
There’s always a big dynamics change when a new dog joins the family!

I typed this all on my phone so I apologize for typos!

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Quinn the New Addition

After a whirl wind couple of months, Quinn the smooth blue merle collie puppy has joined our family!

Quinn!
Quinn!

Quinn is adorable. I’ve been so busy with agility in the last couple months, in May I had 3 weekends of trials out of four weekends. I could have done the fourth but opted not to. In June I also have done 3 weekends of agility. Last weekend was 3 days in Albuquerque before I picked up Quinn. The weekend before that was 4 days in Blackfoot, Idaho. So I’ve been traveling like a maniac and have hardly had any time at home. Ugh! I’m glad to be home again and may not go on another trip until the end of August.

So Quinn is a doll. He’s from Kayloma Collies in Taos, New Mexico. I will try to write more about him on his page that I’ve created. His lines come from performance dogs, agility, herding, obedience. He got fabulous scores on his temperament test. He’s very sweet and loving.

Sweet Quinn
Sweet Quinn

He also has some behaviors that I believe need some modification. 🙂 He is a foot and shoe chewer. Which, at first, is kinda cute, his little teeth hurt! So I think he’s going to get some sort of no for that behavior, to let him know it’s wrong. Though today when I tried he just kinda bounced around like it was all good fun.

Sweet Quinn
Sweet Quinn

Today we also worked on some toenail trimming. He did not like being held on his back in my lap, so I asked him where that good little puppy went that did so well on his temperament test? 🙂 I got one foot of toenails trimmed, so we’ll have to work on that. He’s going to be a big boy, and I’ll need to be able to trim his silly toes!

Sweet Quinn
Sweet Quinn

We also worked a little clicker charging, where I’d click and give him a treat, so he realizes that the click means a treat is coming. And he did seem to understand the hand touch with his nose. The breeder worked that a little with the puppies. So that’s very cool.

So puppy stuff is what we are doing, for little baby Quinn! He is very sweet, though none of the other dogs really like him much! He is goofy and silly and floppy and wants to play. But it’ll all work out, they will get used to each other. 🙂

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Quinn The Collie Puppy

Quinn Puppy!
Quinn Puppy!
Well, it’s official. We are getting a collie puppy. His name will be Quinn, and he’s a smooth blue boy. He was born April 12, 2012. He’s adorable and I’m very excited to bring him home! I’m leaving tomorrow with a friend to head down to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There is a three day agility trial down there this weekend, which Jet and Tatum are entered in. Then on the way home we’ll be swinging up through Taos, New Mexico, to pick him up.

I’m very excited, and very nervous. My days are gone where I’m stressed about having five dogs again… okay five is a lot, but having lost three collies in two years, all my smooth blues have left me, I’m feeling a very big loss in my heart and I miss them very much. So I found this wonderful breeder, Kayloma Collies, and off I go to pick up a puppy.

Lucy and Levi, I didn’t start training them until they were about four years old. And they were my first attempt at performance dogs. Lucy didn’t really like working, so she was retired early. Levi loved it, and was my first agility dog, first obedience dog, and we did some herding too. Of course working with him formed one of those bonds that I’ll never be able to explain to anyone who hasn’t done performance with their dogs. He’s been gone for over three months now, and I still miss him terribly.

So now Quinn will be the next generation of collies in our house. I hope I don’t cry too much when I meet him and the rest of the puppies. I’m sure I’ll adore him for his whole life. I’m nervous about all the training we have in store, but once he’s home, I’m sure it’ll all be fine.

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How Much In Life Should Be Free?

Plenty In Life Is Free by Kathy Sdao
My Review

So I’ve been reading this book the last couple of days. And my review is not, yet, totally complete, as I haven’t read the whole book yet. I bought it from Dog Wise, the Kindle version, and I’m about 32% finished now. So far I’m really enjoying it.

Any dog behavior books I read anymore, I read from an obedience perspective. Since obedience is my joy and my nemesis at the same time. I love training for obedience, and it’s been difficult to figure out how to motivate the dogs to work for extended periods without treats.

Anyway, in this book, Kathy Sdao basically analyzes the Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) dog training program that so many dog trainers promote today. I have never followed the NILIF plan. One reason is because I’m lazy, and it would take a strong consistency I lack in my home environment. But mostly I don’t follow NILIF because really I just enjoy being with my dogs and doling out random treats and loves just to make them happy. And to make me happy. I have heard, time and again, that perhaps my daily behavior with my dogs affects my obedience training negatively. But really, I don’t care enough to change. While I do want Jet to qualify someday in obedience, I still want a fun happy relationship with him in my every day life. And our agility is going really well, so I’m glad we have success in agility. Agility is my favorite anyway.

Of course I really like to read books that support my training perspective style, or lack thereof, since Kathy is arguing against the NILIF training method.

Kathy Sdao argues against NILIF because, at the beginning of the book, she basically says that an emotional bond between two creatures should be free with love and interaction, and not dependent upon one of them doing something for attention. As the NILIF program does say that for the dog to get any attention, food, or anything at all, he has to do something first. No hugs without a sit. And if no sit, then the person walks away and there are no hugs or attention. Kathy says this can really break down a relationship, both in humans with humans, and humans with dogs. She states that such a relationship is actually rather passive aggressive on the human’s part. She also says that one point of positive dog training is so the dog feels like he is in control of his environment, as that builds confidence and trust. His actions matter, and get him things he wants and needs. But with NILIF, if the dog asks for attention, and you don’t give it (or only with conditions), then that could be telling the dog that he, actually, has no control over his environment after all.

She gives lots of examples in the book, and she talks about having a good genuine bond with our dogs, which I enjoy very much. That is why I have dogs in the first place. I want the bond, the companionship. The training is secondary. Hopefully I’ll be able to get those obedience legs with the relationship I already have with my dogs. Hopefully, the relationship I have with my dogs actually will increase the probability of qualifying legs. I guess I’ll find out over the years.

Kathy Sdao also talks about how sometimes people hear ideas and just automatically adopt them, without really giving them much thought. She talks about ‘sticky’ ideas and why the permeate society more than others. I think it’s always good to think about what we are doing and why, instead of just subscribing to the training program of someone else automatically. I think, in the dog training world, there are a ton of practices that people follow ‘just because,’ and they do need to be examined by each person to see how they really fit our own training and our own lives.

So perhaps Plenty in Life Is Free, or should be free, to both dogs and humans. I sure hope so. I get way too much enjoyment out of seeing my dogs get excited and happy Just Because of things that are Free.

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