Always Training. Always Learning.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


On Monday Phlox went in for his ear crop. I loved his adorable, goofy, out of control ears but they have no place in the show ring. I have never gotten a dog's ears cropped before so this is a completely new experience.

I took the two hour drive and dropped him off at 8:30 in the morning. By 10:00 the clinic had already called and said he was finished and doing well. He looked awfully pathetic when I picked him up. His head was wrapped and he was wearing a floppy e collar.



This morning I was told to unwrap his head. I gently cut away the wrap and as his head started to shake blood started to spurt....and it kept spurting. I put him in the bathtub just to try and contain some of the blood. By that time he had already covered myself and my house in wall to wall blood. I called both vets, mine and the surgeon, to ask what to do. The surgeon said it was normal and my vet said I could bring him with me to work. I guess that was the "a little blood" they told me to expect.

To top the day off he managed to knock out one of the supports in his ear. I phoned the vet again and they told me I needed to bring him in. In other words take yet another 2 hour drive with a screaming toddler and a cranky puppy not to mention losing a day of work.

I really hope the crop looks good in the end. So far this experience has not been a good one and I think I will adopt dogs with already cropped ears from now on lol 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Show and Go

Saturday is training day in my family. Every Saturday morning I load up my car with 2-4 dogs and a cranky toddler and we head to pup scouts for various classes.

This morning I made it to pup scouts just in time for Phlox's puppy class. After a good class of playing and obedience I went to get my foster, Bling, for her basic obedience class. After searching the crate room I came to the realization that I had left her at home.

After all the classes I rushed over to a local obedience club for a show and go.

Violet did fairly well considering we have not trained in a while.
Scent articles were right on and her glove retrieve was perfect. Go outs still need a lot of work and it seemed like she was moving in slow motion during the heel, even though she stayed in position.
All in all I saw a lot of improvement and a lot of areas that need work.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Phlox's Big Weekend

On Friday night my sisters and I took an impromptu trip to the beach. Phlox came along to train and socialize in a new place. We worked a little on obedience, met some new people, practiced stacking on new surfaces and of course played.




On Sunday Phlox accompanied me to a dog show to drop off a dog. We stayed for a while to get him use to the sights and sounds. We also took a little time to work on some puppy obedience.

As we walked around people would stop us to pet him. Every one had wonderful things to say about him. Conformation people commented on his looks and attitude. People there to watch commented on how well behaved he is. A few asked me for advice on their own puppies.

I took a few short videos. The first one is a short clip of us working on attention. There was a large plate of food on the table and treats on my lap but he had to look at my face in order to get a reward.
The second one is just us playing around with some commands.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Very Beginning

Welcome to my blog.  I have set this blog up to show case my American Staffordshire Terriers. In other words brag and whine about our triumphs and failures.

 I own Two Amstaffs and one mixed breed. My mixed breed, Charlie has earned his CGC and RN and will be entering the obedience ring this year.

Rally win small
Violet, 9 year old Amstaff, has trialed in Rally and Obedience. After passing her CGC test I entered her in a large local obedience trial on a whim. We trained for about a month two or three times a week. Amazingly she finished her CD in one weekend with two thirds and a tie for fourth.
Obedience win small
A few months later we headed into the rally ring. We had a blast and she breezed through her RN, RA and RE with 98's, 99's and 100's. We plan on continuing with Rally until we get our RAE because we enjoy our time in the rally ring so much.

I attempted to get a CDX on her with very little training. I think the ease of the other titles had gone to my head. I got a very clear wake up call in the form of V giving me the doggy equivalent of the middle finger in the middle of the heel exercise.
I few months and fun matches later we were back in the ring. This time earning our CDX with two firsts and a second.

We are now slowly but surely headed for the Utility ring. She is such a reliable dog but tends to be slow in the learning phase. With her the old saying "Slow and steady wins the race" is very true.


On March 1st I brought home my new Amstaff puppy, Phlox. I have been waiting for a puppy for two years even putting down a deposit with a wonderful breeder. However, Phlox was a bit of a surprise...or maybe just fate.

Phlox has started puppy class and is doing very well. He will be in the conformation ring this summer and will begin showing in rally and obedience in a year or so. I have such high hopes for this little guy and he has no desire to let me down. His focus and drive are beautiful and he is always up for a challenge. 

This last weekend Phlox accompanied me to a hockey game our training facility had a booth at. He was wonderful demonstrating his sits, downs, stands, loose leash walking and greeting people politely with all four paws on the floor.



I will be posting trial results, pictures and videos in the future.