We’re happy to present Advanced Obedience Skills – our new online class for those of you wanting to take the obedience skills from Foundation Class to the next level, while also working on some new behaviors (like sit up, scent discrimination and formal recall) and concepts like stimulus control, distraction training and sequencing.
An old friend of mine found this picture from Swedish Obedience Championships 2004. This was my first time there, a great memory with my fantastic border collie Twiggy. Tomorrow would have been her 17th birthday if she was still alive.
After nine months of rest, puppies and rehab, Squid ran her first full agility course on Saturday. We have been doing a little agility during the past months, but mostly just worked on rehab and strength. She’s far from her top condition, but I’m so glad to have her back! This was her first run of the year. She was 4th out of 91 (29 clean runs) large dogs. I’m very happy with that considering that we’re both out of shape.
Epic also competed on Saturday. He feels much stronger than Squid and had a lot of speed, but dropped some bars in every run. I think he needs some time to work his jumping out after so much time off from agility.
Already on Saturday, I started to feel pain in my achilles tendon, and on Sunday I couldn’t really run. I had two runs with Squid, but wasn’t able to handle well because I was so much slower than usual. It feels better now that I have rested, and I was able to run some sequences with Epic yesterday without pain. I really hope that this won’t persist now that my dogs are finally able to start running again!
Wow, time really flies now that I’m home. Thomas is away a lot (but we have a few days together right now), and there’s a lot to do here. We’re in the middle of lambing, I watched a first time mother give birth just an hour ago, and as I’m writing this she had a second one. Everything has gone well with lambing so far, and I hope it stays that way. We’ve mostly had wonderful spring weather since I got home, and it’s so much nicer to take care of sheep and lambs when you’re not freezing your fingers off. We’ve been able to do some agility training outdoors, which is very rare in the beginning of March. There will probably be more snow before spring is really here, but we have spring flowers, some new grass and, unfortunately, also vipers and ticks…
What a beautiful view in the beginning of March! Agility and herding in the sun.
My dogs had an appointment with their physiotherapist on Tuesday. It takes me 3,5 hours one way to get there, so it’s always a full day road trip for us. Things are going the right way, and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I find rehab progressing much slower than I originally thought it would, and at the same time I feel that I am pushing forward faster than what I maybe should. It’s so hard! Canine rehab is a jungle. The more you learn, the less you realize that you (and others…) know. You need to find professionals that you trust, but at the same time try to learn as much as you can so that you can make good decisions on your own. Epic is now well enough to really work on strength and to do some agility. I’m glad to see that both dogs seem to remember agility very well even after a long break from it.
This is Wilco, 5 weeks old. Just 2,5 weeks left before he joins his father and aunts here in Fjugesta.
We’re back in Sweden! It’s cold. We started by visiting Tyra and her puppies! They look very nice and now all I have to do is find a name and wait. Puppies are four weeks today and will be ready to leave in another four weeks. All puppies in Sweden have to be at least eight weeks before leaving their mother and siblings. For me, that is a good age. Having had a few border collie litters of my own, I think that eight weeks is a good age for them to go to their new homes. At that age, they start to act more as individuals and need individual attention and to expand their horizons. What are the rules/laws in your country? And at what age do you want to take your new puppy home?
We left the puppies and went to a forest on the way to my parents. Epic and Squid were very happy to stretch their legs and get out of the car. Sweden might be cold, but a great walk with the dogs in the forest is never far away…
We arrived at my parents house in the afternoon, and took a walk to the sea. Sweden also has beaches worth exploring! After a night here, we’re ready to head home. It’s been over five weeks since I left Fjugesta. I just wish that Thomas was home, but I won’t be seeing much of him for the next few weeks. He travels to Norway a lot, both teaching and working on his masters thesis.
I’m sorry for not blogging during the past two weeks. I’ve had a great time in Italy. First I spent a few days outside Rome training my own dogs, walking on the beach and enjoying the sun. Then I taught three days of obedience at the same location. Lots of great dogs and handlers, and good discussions. I also had time to train my own dogs in the afternoon. Squid was quite affected by being in heat (she stopped for two weeks, then came into the peak of her heat a month after the first drop of blood) for a few days. She was tired and had a pained look in her eyes. I was a bit worried, but I gave her time to rest and after a few days she was back to normal. After the seminar, I spent a few days at another agility school outside of Rome. I trained my dogs (Squid was happy to do some obedience, and Epic got to do some jump grids and contacts. He’s looking good!).
On Wednesday, I made my way back north to Malosco where we started our Italian adventure exactly one month before. Still snow there, but nice and sunny weather. We went for walks in the forest and trained agility indoors. On the weekend, I taught an agility foundations seminar for a great group of people. A few adult dogs, but mostly puppies. So much fun, and I think we covered a lot even though translating to both Italian and German took some time.
I started to drive home yesterday. Driving went well, until i realized something was wrong with the breaks. Tried to drive without breaking, and made it to Rostock where I finally found a hotel to check into just before midnight. Now, I’m waiting for my car to be repaired. Breaks on all four wheels are ruined and needs to be changed. Luckily, they had all the parts here so I hope to be on my way in a few hours. I set up an office at the repair shop. WiFi, coffee, dogs at my feet. Almost like being at home 😀 I hope to be in Sweden by evening, and back home on Thursday. I’m so grateful for friends helping me out with finding a good repair shop, offering me places to stay for the night and especially for having the best possible help with dogs and sheep at home so that I don’t have to worry about that (Thomas is in Norway).