So another Christmas has been and gone. Loads of expense, a lot of it unnecessary, too much to drink and eat and a few bizarre presents which will be left in a box or sold on Ebay!! Also a wonderful time with family and friends, and a bit of time to actually enjoy each others company, and spend loads of time with the dogs.
We had my Mums eldest dog to stay, and then out of the blue, due to bad organisation we had her 13 year old collie arrive on 2nd Jan so 10 dogs and a lot of juggling for the first week in 2012! It was ok, but it was mad in our 2 bedroom cottage, and I have never hoovered and dusted so often in my life!!
Now calm and some sort of normality has been restored, I am excited about the new season ahead, but also that next lot of madness, trying to decided which shows to do, which ones you have to be watching the PC for 24 hrs a day to get camping, and working out which qualifiers to go for. It is just over 2 months until our first show, so I have decided to focus on 1 dog per Blog for the next few weeks. I wont leave the others out completely obviously, but I am looking at our goals and think it would be nice to watch each dogs progress, so this one is for George.
Georgie Pants (as he is affectionately known) is nearing 11 months old, and has developed into a very lovely shape, athletic, light collie. He is so neat and very flexible, so different to my 2 collie girls. His character was what had me from day 1, but it has developed even more, and he has turned into one of the nicest sweetest, funniest characters and we do have so much fun together.
He "talks" all the time. Not barks but makes lovely quiet almost purring type noise, which build into real joyful sounds of oooooos and aaaaahhhs and you can almost hold a conversation with him! Guaranteed at least once a day, he will talk at the exact moment Rog Fern or I have said something really serious, or mundane, maybe talking about world events, and every time we collapse in fits of giggles.
Towards the end of last year we attended a few eve classes, doing a lot of foundation work in groups, and he did very well. He was extremely chasey as a puppy, and I thought it may be a problem, so I have worked hard at building our relationship as a team, and it has paid off. Not once in a group has he embarrassed me or himself by chasing one of his exciting class mates. He still watches, and occasionally it takes all his self control, but he wants to work with me. I am thrilled with that. We started this year with a real young dog sequencing day with Anthony Clarke, and I was so excited.
My puppy is growing up, and the thought of starting to put together sequences was scary!! I have done a lot of basics at home, and a lot more flatwork than I have done with my older dogs, and it shows. He was such fun, and showed such natural drive & enthusiasm, it was a brilliant start to his proper agility training. I was very proud of him :-) He was very bouncy and puppy like to start with, clearing the small jumps by quite a height, but within a short time he was lowering and producing a lovely shape over them. He is still a baby in my eyes, and a lot of people rush ahead, not allowing puppies to be puppies, so I am thrilled he enjoyed it so much and was a happy boy. He has plenty of time to develop his style and get used to how all 4 legs work!! He is such a focused boy though and the easiest dog I have ever trained. For a Mad Merle, he has been a dream so far. I keep thinking his naughty phase will start, but so far no.
Our training diary is pretty full over the next few months and I am really looking forward to every workshop with George :-)
So, I have a couple of goals for Georgie for this year. I would like him to learn to weave well and have fast independent weaves. I would like him to continue to show his amazing understanding of 2 on 2 off contacts, developing this over the contact equipment in the next few months, and finally I would like to run him at a competition and keep that focus in such an exciting environment. He will be eligible to compete from the end of August but I will not attempt it if I dont feel he is 100% prepared.
Exciting times ahead for certain, and I have a funny feeling Feroda George Looney could be a star one day. He already is in our eyes. :-)
Next week will be Twiggys Blog.