Friday, 13 September 2013

A new Champion

Last weekend we headed off to the annual Grahamstown shows. Rush was entered in breed and to avoid too much running around between rings, I got a handler for Rush and entered him in 2 Dog Jumping rounds. Brandi was entered in all Agility and Dog Jumping rounds of the weekend. My goals were just to have fun and enjoy the rounds with my dogs. Saturday first round of the day was Dog Jumping. Hmm so that threw my plan out of the window, as breed was on at the same time. The dog jumping course was quite nice, definately a running course. Brandi had a lovely clear round but then eliminated in the jump off. In the breed, Rush managed a RCC and I ran off to grab him for his DJ round. Again it was a nice but challenging course. Rush went clear and had a clear round in the jump off and was placed second, missing a qualification by 1 second. I was extremely happy with both his and Brandis rounds.

 Next was agility and we started with non contact. I must say the entire weekends courses were quite nice and I really enjoyed running them. In this course there was a pull through ( our weakness ) and I knew we could do this course, as long as we get the pull through right. Well we did....and we won that round earning Brandi her 2nd we were 1 away from that Champion title. The contact round didnt go as planned, but I have lots of training to do with contact rounds and I think the main thing I am working on is confidence...both with Brandi and myself. So day 1 done and we headed off to our accommodation to relax and have a brandY.

Sunday morning started off earlier and Dog Jumping was our first round, table B. Now whether table A or B I run to the best of my ability. I want nice awsum rounds, so will never run carefully just to get into a jump off, although not sure my dogs know how to run carefully. Brandi managed to win our DJ round which gave us our 1st DJ QC. I was extremely chuffed. This weekend was proving to be a good one. Rush won the DJ round giving him another DJ qualification.

But what happend next was the cherry on the cake. Ok maybe the cherry,the icing and a sparkler. Brandi won her non contact round to give us our last needed Brandi was a CHAMPION. I couldnt have been prouder and Grahamstown will definately remain a special place for me. All in all a superb weekend....and we went home with huge smiles on our faces. Brandi and Rush worked extremely well and I couldnt have been prouder that weekend.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Bounce update

Bounce is now 14 weeks old, missing a few baby teeth, weighs 5.6kg and measures at 33cm. Apart from this she is a bundle of energy, loves her new brother and sisters and lives up to her name. OH and her voice is absolutely piercing. BUT with all this said she is an absolute joy and she works like a little demon. Just what I want!! We are doing lots of baby / puppy stuff. Go arounds, wing wraps and the tunnel. She absolutely loves the tunnel :)

Here are some videos of our training

Some Go-arounds


Learning the "wait"

The target

Jumps and tunnel

Friday, 26 July 2013

11 weeks

Today Bounce is 11 weeks old. We are thoroughly enjoying our puppy training. She is such a pleasure to work and has amazing toy and food drive.

Here are some recent photos of her taken at our training grounds

Thank you Nadine Shortland for the lovely photos

Thursday, 18 July 2013


For a while now I have been considering a small or medium sized dog, and I've been torn between breeds...Which breed suits me? After all, we have years of working and living with the dog, and I needed something that would suit my lifestyle, personality and also have the go to work.

The Miniature American Shepherd really caught my eye. The few that I have seen working around the country have awsum drive and you can see they love to work. I spoke to a breeder regarding adding me to the list, for a puppy in the future. I was so suprised when I heard that there was 2 litters in the pipeline in the next couple of months and that I would be added to the lists. I had already decided I would not be choosing sex or colour, but preferably wanted one that really showed some spunk and nice working drive.

In the first week of May, 8 pups ( 4 from each litter ) were born. There was a little girl with lots of white on her face and I really didnt take to her. A friend asked me, if this is the puppy for you would you take her. My answer was, I really dont like her. Well as time went on the pups grew, markings changed and their personalities developed. It turned out this little girl was a little terror. She was busy, busy, busy , just what I wanted

After hearing about personalities and what they were getting up too, I started falling in love with her. I had left the decision up to the breeder as to which puppy would suit me, but deep down I was hoping she was the one.

To cut a long story short, she WAS the one.

Bounce arrived in Port Elizabeth on 7th June 2013. She has settled in nicely and is a really special little girl

Keep checking back to see her progress and follow her journey through life and training

Thank you Nadine Shortland for capturing these special moments

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

SADAA Weetern Province trials

So last weekend, car packed, dogs in and we headed off to Cape Town for the Sadaa regional trials. I was looking forward to the weekend and especially as it was Rush's first agility show.

Friday we had 2 rounds of snooker and gamblers. Brandi ran well and we missed qualifications in all 4 rounds by the skin of our teeth. The first gamblers we accumulated enough points and she did the gamble perfectly, except I stood on the rope....1st qualification gone! Then our first snooker of the weekend went well, she gathered maximum points in the opening sequence and then knocked a bar in the closing sequence, we missed a qualification by 2 points. Disappointed but happy with how she was working. Our next gamblers we again accumulated enough points but we were stuck on the dogwalk when the whistle went and didnt complete the gamble in time. And then our last snooker round, also accumulated enough points but we attempted the A frame twice as Brandi was adamant she wanted to go into the tunnel instead. So we ran out of time and again missed a qualification by 2 points...I was happy with how she was working and couldnt wait to start with the trials.

Saturday we ran 2 agility and 2 jumping trials. Brandi ran well, 2 rounds we had some faults with me not giving good enough queues. We got 1 jumping and 1 agility qualification. Very happy with how she was working

Then it was my boy's first round. Nervous as expected but I knew that no matter what we were gonna have fun. His first round started off well, knocked some bars and then ran right passed the weaves, I know I didnt give him the correct line. Shame poor boy has to cope with me doing odd things. Rest of the day went well. I was happy with his contacts, bit slow but I know the speed will come with confidence. No clear rounds but very happy with his first shows

Sunday we had 1 agility and 1 jumping round. Brandi went clear in both moving her up into contact 2 and needing 1 more jumping qualification to move up. Again very happy with how she was working, I can see her confidence is much better. Rush had 2 lovely rounds, again some knocked bars but overall very chuffed with my big baby boy.

I really enjoyed the weekend, dogs worked well and inbetween rounds they had some fun playing frisbee.

We also had a small reunion with 7 Mackland dogs been at the grounds :) Nice for them to all see each other again.

Next up is Graaff Reinet regional trials in 3 weeks time, looking forward to some nice rounds with Brandi and Rush

Here is Rush's videos of the weekend

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Open shows

This past weekend we had our open shows. 2 Ag and 2 Dj on one we prepared ourselves for a long and tiring day. The day started off miserable, it rained and didnt look good. That was shortlived as within an hour the sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a scorcher.

We had quite a good day, 4 here is how the dogs did!


Brandi's confidence seems to have taken a knock and she was not her usual speedy zippy self. But she has happy on the course and I think she did really well. We managed 2 contact qualifications, a NC qualification and a clear 1st place in DJ. I was unable to fully test her contacts due to her speed on the course, but I have a "plan" in building up her confidence and I am sure she will back to her usual self pretty soon. We were presented with a DJ grade 3 course which seemed to get everyone moaning. It wasnt something plain and simple, but isnt that what been in a higher grade is about...our skills been tested? I walked the course and just decided to give it my best. We either got it wrong and knew what we needed to work on or we got it right....SO quit moaning and get on with it. Well I am pleased to say that Brandi and I got it RIGHT. The rest of the round was good and then due to my poor signalling Brandi pulled off the tunnel. Mission accomplished, I wanted to get the start right and we did.
We have now moved up in contact and non contact so lots of work ahead of us.


Saturday was Roxy's first DJ show. I knew that we were using these rounds to proof her weaves and proof her focus and will to stay on the course. She is a social butterfly, so not greeting the closest person is hard for her. BUT her first round was superb, she gave it her all and we just fluffed up the weaves a bit, but I was overall happy with her performance.


Well what can I say about this boy. He just surprises me everyday.
Our first DJ round of the day he started off well but popped out of the weaves at the second last pole, I mean really there was a tunnel staring him in the face, why wouldnt he want to go through the he didnt go through the tunnel but I never took him to the start of the weaves correctly to redo and he weaved back we were eliminated, but he finished the weaves and the rest of the course really well. Our second DJ course was really nice for the grade 2's. We started with a tunnel and had a easy but fast entry to the weaves. Rush had a lovely round, winning the round with a qualification. He is listening well to my cues and is very responsive which is making running him really enjoyable. Rush gives me his everything and I am very happy with where we are at the moment. We are still proofing weaves and he will be competing in his first agility show at the end of the month.

Here is a video of some of the weekends rounds

Friday, 22 February 2013

Wednesday weaves

Ok so I am missing a very important post...Rush's first dog jumping show. Once I have put the video together I will blog about that weekend.

So Wednesday we set up weaves, first 6+6 and then we moved to 12. We worked crossing behind, crossing in front, moving get it we tried every option we could think of.

I was very happy with how Rush went. Our weaves are coming along nicely and I am quite confident with his progress.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Weave'ng wednesday

Wednesday was an exciting day, a new wendy house delivered to the grounds which needed to be repacked. We decided to just work some weaves, repack the equipment and then chill.

Roxy's weaves were good, still working on the entries but for the rest of it I was happy.

Rush's weaves were nice, thought he wasnt as speedy but he was accurate. Worked starting ahead of him, worked different angles and crossing behind him. He didnt seem phased by any of that and worked extremely well.

Brandi's weaves are coming along superbly. She is more confident in the weaves and her "nasty" angle has improved. I also worked angles, starting ahead and crossing behind. She seemed to be aware of me crossing behind her but didnt come out, so thats one thing we will work on a bit more.

All in all a nice session.

Here is a clip of Roxy and Rush, unfortunately I didnt get Brandi on film last night

Monday, 21 January 2013

Night league

On Friday we had our first rounds of night league. We are allowed to run with toys / food, provided we dont give it to the dog during the round. I enjoy this as it is good to use as training. All grades run the same course, although I did find the first course especially, a little diffcult for the lower grades.

This was Rush's first full round and I was quite excited at being able to run a full course with him. I must say I was super happy with how he worked. Our first round was an elimination and the second round we messed up terribly with the weaves. BUT all in all he had a good attitude, we worked well together and the two of us had a great time.

Brandi was superb!! She ran her heart out, we had some wide turns but her weaves were great and her attitude was super. We won the first round and came second in the second round by a sec.

Here is a video of Brandi and Rush's rounds from Friday night

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Roxy is my sweet, social little butterfly. I did start training her a bit a while back but with her social drive so strong I was battling. As much as she wants to be with me, other people around her are just as exciting, so we stopped training. I would take her to the field with the others and just let her be herself and have fun. She then seemed to be more focused on me and kept bringing whatever was being thrown back to me. So we started off simple again, 1 jump, learning directionals and I got back into training her weaves. Now we didnt spend too much time on entries and I admit I should have. So we will be working on that seperately, for now Roxy has 6+6 weaves. You willl see in the video that I am rewarding with food, I think this is more rewarding to her at the moment.

So Roxy and I will continue our training and taking it slowly, as fast as she is keen to go. The main aim with Roxy is too have fun, so thats what we are set out to do.

Here is Roxy's weave training from last night

Saturday training

On Saturday we went down to one of our clubs grounds and set up a exercise with weaves and the dogwalk.

Rush's weaves were good, he got all his entries but did pop out a few times at the last set so we will need to work on this. His dogwalk was great, I was happy with his speed and that he definately knows what is expected of him

Brandi had some lovely rounds and I am really looking forward to working with her this year.

Here is a video of Saturdays training

Friday, 11 January 2013

Tuesday training

On Tuesday we went to one of our training grounds where we haven't trained in months. It felt good being at a different venue. We concentrated on weaves in a bigger exercise.

Rush's weaves were not bad, few errors but pretty happy with how he went.

Brandi was great, few handling errors from my side but all in all happy with her attitude and how she went.

Here is the exercise we set up


Here is Brandi's video

Here is a snippet of Rush's training

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Monday weaves

So all back to normal and getting back into training mode. Monday we put out the weaves and went back a step to get back into the swing of things.

Rush's weaves were not too bad considering he had just gone onto 12 before the holiday and we really didnt do much over the festive season.

Still work to do but happy with where he is at the moment

Here is his video from Mondays training

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The new year

So the New year is apon us and we need to get back into training mode. My dogs and I have had a well deserved break, with a little bit of training still taking place.

We have kept up with our fitness and I am looking forward to the year ahead of us, competing with my dogs.

Our first "training" for the year started last week with a small exercise in the yard. We had 2 contacts, some jumps and weaves. Rush's contacts were better than what I had expected but he was a bit rusty with his weaves. So lots of training ahead of us.

Here is the exercise we did