Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun at the Dog Club


We went to the dog club Sat. evening in a downpour to work the dogs a bit. We took Higgins, Ella, and Jetson. Fannie stayed home to sleep and get a little peace and quiet from the young ones. :)

We worked on controlled heeling. This is where you get the dog to "choose" to come to the heeling position and stay there. Higgins and Ella pretty much know how to do this, if they so choose. This was more for Jetson to have a mini lesson. Our friends: Valeri and her Golden Chase, Cindy and Border Collie Sweetie, and Kathy and her Golden Gus, came along to work with us and help.

Jetson has some trouble with focusing and BARKING loudly. He has to announce that he is there, everyone look at me, and why aren't you looking at me. We are hoping this might fade in time, it did with the others for the most part. He is still puppy, but I am not holding my breath.

Once we got to the heeling, he did pretty good. I understand why people like taller dogs...it's hard when you are tall and your dog is height challenged! (my boss asked me the other day if any of the dogs had actually grew legs yet. LOL ) He is getting better at the come command. He is pretty cute when he is at full speed and hair is flying everywhere.

So after the lesson, we decided to let the place "go to the dogs" so to speak and free play began. Chase decided not to get involved, but everyone else did. Gus is a rescue and doesn't have alot of dog manners yet. Higgins told him he was being rude! Higgins won't tell Jetson to leave him alone, but a dog bigger than he is he had no problem. Guess Jetson hasn't quite lost his puppy license yet, though I think he will soon.

Jetson took on the two big dogs and WON! He managed to get the toys away from them, put them in a pile, and then herded everyone away. There was a moment when Jetson had a toy and Gus was chasing him. Jetson looked like a receiver going for a touchdown, bobbing back and forth and out manuevering Gus the length of the room and back. Then Jetson herded Sweetie around. This was funny as Valeri's Goldens are always the ones Sweetie herds, but she couldn't herd Jetson.

That's it from the corgi gang for today. The picture above was from Dogfest this fall. I will post about Ella soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Higgins




Now for a little about Higgins. What a character. :) Higgins was the second of the corgis to join the gang. We had decided that we didn't want a pup, maybe a 2-3 year old dog would be a great age. We applied with Cardigan National rescue to get on the waiting list. Luckily, there aren't many Cardis in rescue, unlike Pems. We heard there was a blue merle pup that had came into rescue. mmmm....blue merle? Now, blue merle isn't rare, it's just not as common. So we talked to our contact and they thought the puppy would fit in fine. We still weren't sure, but had the name Higgins picked out before we even saw pictures of him. ;) We think it fits, don't you?

We were supposed to be able to get him around Valentine's weekend of 2003, but snowstorm after snowstorm prevented that. He was being fostering in Indiana and the problem was getting him from there to St. Louis so that we pick him up. Luckily our contact's vet had to attend a conference in Indiana, so she brought him back the first week of March and we headed to St. Louis that day she was coming back.

Poor Higgins, his ears have been unique ever since we first saw him. They were taped, but it didn't help. We found out that he was very sick when they pulled him from the shelter and his foster mom stayed up 3 nights with him trying to get him to eat and drink. The only thing he would take was wheat toast sprayed with water. So, I am sure the poor nutrition in the early part of his life has to do with his ears some. And his teeth are not the greatest and that can be caused by illness in puppyhood when the permanent teeth are in the developement stage.

He was (is) such a good boy about housetraining and not chewing on inappropriate items. It was our first foray into crate training and we were quite impressed with the way it works! Above is the funniest picture of him when he was a puppy eating at home for the first time. He looks so happy and content!

Fannie took to him quite well, better than we expected, considering she was almost 9 when he came along.

We soon realized after a time that Higgins needed some obedience work (especially after Ella came along 5 months later!). So we enrolled in a Parks dept. obedience class, but that wasn't the right setting for him and it really didn't help. So we found Joan Guertin and enrolled in her Levels program with both Higgins and Ella. They loved it and we were all sad when Joan left. Higgins and Ella both passed the CGC and TDI test before Joan left.

We had talked about agility, but hadn't really looked around. Then we found Valeri at Paws Express and started classes. Higgins LOVED it. He looked so darn cute. Althought cocky was a term thrown around about him also! I will post a video of his beginning classes at the bottom of this. He has ran in two different NADAC trials. No Q's, but he was having fun. This past fall he did complete an entire Chances run, but did not touch the contact correctly. (I swear he touched the yellow, but NADAC has to be more than a glancing blow!) He was the fastest though and it was a great run, considering we had some trouble on him focusing on what we wanted, not what he did.

His confidence has blossomed, which is good and bad! :) He thinks he is the "motion" police at times, but we work on it constantly and work on focus. He does get bored easily, but it's because he is a high drive dog. Repetition he HATES, but most corgis are like that and we work thru it.

He is a Pet Therapy of the Ozarks therapy dog and just started doing regular visits at a nursing home. He has also helped in the PTO evaluations as the station "walking passed a strange dog" He has come a long way and made us love the "other" Corgi breed. He still needs to know he is safe and special, but has came so far from where we started.

Here is a video of one of his beginning classes and I will try to get another of how far he has come once classes start again.

video

Sorry for delays in posting

Sorry, I haven't posted for awhile. I have been busy and the ice storm limited computer time.

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