Here are just some group pictures. You can find more information here.
Here are just some group pictures. You can find more information here.
It is quite common in several countries that the puppies of a breeder are in alphabetical order. The names of the puppies of the first litter start with an A, second litter with B, third with C, …
There is another system in France. Here, all puppies of one year start with the same letter. For 2022, this is “T”.
We personally like it as well if the names of one litter have a theme. And as Australian Shepherds are an American breed, a connection to the US is also nice. Therefore, we decided the following theme for the upcoming litter:
american rivers that start with T.
Here you can find a list with potential names and anyone on our reservation list can start to think about possible names 😉
Here are a few videos showing WORKIN’ MIND Ogima (Five) during obedience training 🙂
Nida has entered her second agility competition in the beginning of November. It was also her first indoor competition.
Here you can see the jumping. She made the first place with her run without faults 🙂
We are looking forward to the coming competition season!
After waiting for a long time and thanks to some very kind people, my dream of a mating between Nelly and Rush finally came true.
We are looking forward for the pregnancy. Nelly cannot wait to eat huge portions of meat in a few weeks 😛
You can find more info here.
After an eternity, we could finally participate at an FCI agility competition. This time with Nida 🙂
The atmosphere was as always very good and we had a great weekend with a lot of sun.
Due to Corona and some other things (I’ll post more about that later :P), we started the training only a few weeks ago. I’m very happy with Nida, even though we didn’t have any clear runs.
Here are a few great pictures that I received from some new friends from Belgium 🙂
And some videos
Time flies by!
Now it’s already 3 years ago that Wyatt, Nida, Kie, Dante, Linus and Five were born.
We wish them many more healthy and happy years to come!
Thanks to all families who are taking such great care of them and sending us pictures of these wonderful and beautiful dogs!
At the end of August and beginning of September, Nelly and I competed at ASCA agility and rally trials.
In Weilheim, Germany, we had some very nice agility runs. Especially considering that we only had 2x 30 min training since Christmas and the ground was really wet towards the end.
Nelly has completed her GS-E, RS-O and RS-E titles. And one Q for the JS-O 🙂
We were really happy to participate, meet familiar and new faces, had so much fun and are anxiously looking forward to the next trial!
Here is a picture of all her ribbons and some videos.
The weekend after, we started at an ASCA rally trial in Viersen. Nelly was very motivated and did a perfect run on Saturday. Unfortunately, I was a little bit confused and turned in the wrong direction one time. But we still made the first place (winning the class) and received a Q. On Sunday, we started a second time and “only” reached second place, but with more points than Saturday and received a X-Q. Nelly has now the title RA (rally advanced).
I wish I could show you a video when I was hanging up the ribbons. She was dancing in front of me, really eager to get her picture taken. They understand so much more than we think 🙂
Wyatt (WORKIN’ MIND Ohiteka) has done his x-rays last week and received the perfect result: HD A, ED 0 and OCD free 🙂
So now he can go all out with his agility and obedience training, herding and accompany his owners during jogging rounds.
The following picture was taken nearly exactly 2 years ago. It was as hot as now, and Nelly was very happy to finally get rid of her giantic stomach 🙂
Now the puppies are starting to grow into wonderful dogs, each prettier than the other. We wish all of them a long, wonderful, happy, healthy and active life! Thank you to all families for taking such great care of our babies 🙂
We had not trained agility since Christmas due to our moving, then bad weather and after that Covid. But finally yesterday, I rented the agility hall from Village Canin for a training session with Nelly and Nida. Unfortunately, it is quite far away but we decided to start training there regularly anyway. The equipment was in a good shape and the rubber floor was soft and flat. I think we will really enjoy having good light, dry ground and a roof during the winter months. 🙂
I was very impressed by Nelly and especially Nida as they didn’t seem to have forgotten anything. Although Nida only learned the see-saw and slalom shortly before Christmas, she still remembered both. Unfortunately, we don’t have a video from the see-saw as Nils helped us in the beginning and then he was too slow starting the recording, or Nida and I started too soon 😉 We will show it next time!
Especially for people used to FCI agility, my handling with Nelly might seem a bit awkward. I’m trying to handle Nelly from far away with only my voice to prepare her for the gambler at ASCA competitions. Towards the end of the gambler, you need to handle your dog several meters away over a couple of obstacles. This is not always easy, especially with a very fast dog 😛
After waiting several months, I finally can let you know that Nelly is also registered in the ASCA registry now. As a part of the registration we also had her DNA tested.
With this finished I could directly register the litter from summer 2018 and hope that I can soon tell you that also the puppies are ASCA registered.
As Rush is both registered in the ASCA and FCI registry (as Nelly is now 🙂 ), the puppies from the litter planned for winter 2020/2021 will get both ASCA and FCI pedigrees!
The owners of Wyatt (WORKIN’ MIND Ohiteka) sent me some pictures during the last weeks. Of course I want to show them to you, as he is such a beautiful boy 🙂
Yesterday, I received the wonderful news that Five (WORKIN’ MIND Ogima) has done his x-rays and received a perfect result. He has HD A, ED 0 and OCR free.
He participated in a dog show already last year and received the evaluation “good”. Now he is one step closer to becoming a stud dog.
As you can see that he is a very handsome dog, having a lot of features of his mother 🙂
Five and his grandmoter Jojo
daughter, father Charlie, son Five
Our Indian Runner ducks and chicken layed quite some eggs. Both a duck and a chicken were broody, but the ducks disappeared before the duck eggs had hatched. We could though rescue some by putting them in an incubator. Now they are growing up together with their surrogate mother and their chicken siblings.
If you have carefully read the first page, you have probably seen that we moved. After living nearly five year in beautiful Alsace, we moved shortly before the Corona crisis to the north of France. Again, we are living in a small village, very close to a small forest and directly by a small river.
I actually wanted to write this blog post already during the last weekend. But on Saturday morning, we found a hole in the pen of the birds and outside of it tracks of a fox. We have searched for the ducks for several hours along the river together with our very helpful neighbors, as there was a fair chance that they jumped into the river and swam away. But they haven’t returned yet.
One of the ducks was broody and luckily we were able to move some eggs into an incubator. However we wanted that the ducklings would grow up with a real mother.
At least the ducks had some very good last weeks of their life, as you can see on the videos that I uploaded here. They were super happy to be able to swim in a pond. 🙂
We unfortunately had some problems with the spam filter of our email account. Therefore, we haven’t seen all emails from the contact form of the homepage.
In case you wrote us an email during the last weeks and you did not get a reply until now, please send it again. We will get back to you as soon as possible!
We will write a longer post this weekend, as we have had some changes recently 😉
This autumn, Nelly and I have participated at several agility competitions. We had a few really great runs without faults and now we are only missing 2 agility runs to qualify for the next class (3).
Unfortunately, I do not have any videos of the competitions, but I have also participated at two seminars.
Once we were in the agility center in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, where Nick Chettle gave a sminar. Nelly really made an effort and the following run was great! The little confusion is totally my fault, I called her to avoid that she jumps too far. I was unfortunately a little bit too early 😛
Shortly before christmas, we participated at a seminar with Alpèr Zürrer from the agility center in Albbruck. Here you can see a short video where we learn the “reverse wrap” 🙂
Karolina sent me some great pictures of Dante (WORKIN’ MIND Ohiyesa). You can see how much fun he has with his owners and his “brother” Newton 🙂
Karolina and Oskar, thank you so much for giving Dante such a great home!
We have organized a weekend reunion for our puppies of the litter from August 2018. Dante, Linus, Nida, and Wyatt visited together with their owners and “siblings”.
On Saturday, we met at the dog club for some obedience, agility and frisbee with the dogs. We were really astonished what they already have learnt!
On Sunday, we met at our place to herd the ducks a little bit. Although none of the dogs had been herding ducks before (Dante and Wyatt have once met sheep), it was clearly visible that they were very interested in the ducks and had some great herding instincts.
Afterwards, we went to Ferrette into a very nice forest and did a small military (walk with some fun exercises in between). The dogs of this litter are really intelligent and teachable. They learn super fast, love to work with the handler and can concentrate very well onto their exercise. One or the other found it a little bit difficult to be together with so many other dogs, but after they all got to know each other, they got along very well and had a great time. At the end we could even give a little show as the last exercises of the military were next to a playground.
We were really lucky with the weather so that we could picnic with French cheese and baguette outdoors in the forest.
It was really great to meet the puppies as young adults and to see how they had developed physically and mentally. We are really looking foward to the next reunion!
Three weeks ago, Nida participated in her first military. This is a longer walk, often organized by dog clubs, where your dog and you do some exercises together. Nida was very motivated and we had a lot of fun. She reached 172 points of 200 and came onto rank 40 of 80 teams. There was also a small agility course in the goal where she came 21 of 42.
Lately, Nelly and I had some agility competitions. We participated at the selection for the Grand Prix France. Unfortunately, the jumping contained a lot of very straight lines which made it impossible for me to show Nelly the correct course. I’m just too slow, or Nelly too fast, depending on the point of view… Therefore, she took some other obstacles and disqualified us. The agility run was not easy but a very good lines. We had no mistakes and came 2nd of 22 dogs. The overall ranking was though not so good due to the disqualified run in the jumping.
The last two regular competitions were also really good. In Ile Napoleon, we came on rank 1 and 2 of 11 dogs (jumping: 0 faults, standard: 2 faults).
We had a really good day in Erstein and two runs without faults (rank 2 and 3 of each 27 dogs). Unfortunately again in the jumping and the standard, as we need runs without faults in the A2 run to be able to come into the next class 3. Just before the run, a friend told me that the line out of a tunnel looked really strange to her. Nelly must have heard that as she improved the line by taking another jump. 🙂 The courses were demanding but great to run. And Nelly just gave her best 🙂
Nida, Dante, Wyatt, Five, Kie and Linus are turning 1 year today! It is hard to believe that it is already 12 months ago that Nelly has given birth to them. We wish all puppies a wonderful birthday and of course many more healthy and cuddly years with a lot of fun with their humans.
We are very happy that all puppies live in great, active homes where they are stimulated. Thanks a lot for your great pictures and updates!
This year, we went for a road trip through Germany, Denmark and Sweden for our summer holiday.
A highlight for the dogs was the visit of Nelly’s breeder where both Nida and Nelly were herding. We even met Lotte, Nelly’s mother and Nida’s grandmother, again. She is now already 14 years old, but still in a quite good shape. Nelly resembles her a lot 🙂
It was of course also a lot of fun to play with Manya (Saluki), Qanuk (Samojed) and Linus (Nida’s brother).
I have read a few books of Per Jensen, a Swedish professor in dog ethology, for example “Hunden som skäms – Myt eller sanning?” (Dogs are ashamed – myth or truth?) and “Hur smart är din hund? Praktiska övningar att göra hemma” (How intelligent is your dog? Practical exercises at home). I also like to listen to his podcast etologinytt (unfortunately in Swedish, although there are sometimes some parts in English).
I am super happy that I got admitted to the course “dog ethology 1” at the university of Linköping this year. I’m excited to gain more knowledge in this area and learn about new research in this field. I think it is very interesting to learn more about the behavior of dogs to each other, to other animals (especially when herding, but also in everyday life) and to humans.
I will write about especially interesting topics in this blog!
After training agility for 5 years, Nelly has finally achieved her first FCI title. The competition started already at 6:30 in the morning, as it was incredible warm. The competition area was in the middle of a forrest so one could park the car completely in the shadow. They also had several pools for the dogs. Nelly gave everything and we finally had an agility run without mistakes with a first place. That means that Nelly is now in class 2 🙂
Somebody from the club took some amazing pictures which I want to show you!
With temperatures over 35 °C, neither the humans nor the dogs feel like long walks or extensive training. Therefore, I found some time to update the homepage.
You might have seen, that I created a new category in the menu. Since more than one year, we have dwarf chicken. A few weeks ago, we added five new Alsace chicks to the flock. And just very recently, we bought six Indian runner ducks. They are only one month yet, so we still have to wait until they are old enough to be herd. Until then, they are very happy about some kitchen scraps and help us in the garden by eating slugs.
Last weekend, Nelly and I participated at a FCI agility competition. We had some very nice runs with good rankings (2x second place and 1x first place), but unfortunately always one small mistake. In the first run, I did some weird movement, not Nelly’s fault at all 😛 In all runs, we were by far the fastest. We reached 5.8 m/s in the jumping 🙂
Here you can see for yourself.
Here are a few family pictures of Nelly, Nida, Five and Charlie.
The black bi’s mum and son.
The red bi/tri’s dad and daughter.
Two of the kids.
And again dad, mum and daughter. (The son did’nt feel like taking pictures anymore :P).
At the end of May and beginning of June we went to Austria and Vienna to meet Bettina, Charlie, and Five again. Five has grown up to a very nice boy and already shows a lot of potential during duck and sheep herding. As soon as we arrived and came into Bettina’s garden, Five and Nida started playing.
While we were in Austria, Nelly and I also participated at our first ASCA trial, starting in Rally obedience and agility. Nelly was doing rally obedience already back in Sweden and even won two titles with only 13 months! After that however I had to concentrate on writing my PhD thesis and then we moved far south as I had found a job in Switzerland.
Hence, after 5 years and a little bit of last minute repetition we made our rally obedience come back at these trials. The judges Heidi Iverson and Günter Geisel prepared some great courses and even if the weather was not very pleasant (it was pouring rain the whole first day), we had a lot of fun. Nelly was just amazing and had 3 times 200 points (out of 200) and once 197 (This time Nelly really wanted to say hello to Heidi just as we started…) which overall resulted in a RNX title and one QX for the RAX title. You can find the explanation of the titles here.
For the second half of the trials of course we also enrolled for some agility runs. Susan Graham designed several really great but partly very challenging courses. But they always had very good lines for the dog to run, which I really appreciate! On the first day, Nelly managed 6 out of 6 runs without mistakes and achieved her JS-N, GS-N and RS-N titles. Boosted by these great results I felt very motivated and we registered for 6 additional runs on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday. The weather on the weekend turned out to be really hot and humid, so both Nelly and I started to feel tired after all the hard work in the the 3 previous days of trials. Therefore I don’t feel I can complain that Nelly knocked down some bars and in one of the Gambler runs I ran over the line and got us disqualified in an otherwise really nice run. Unfortunately we managed to distribute those mistakes over many different starts but on the Saturday we still could collect 2.5 Qs and on Sunday 1 more Q. Hence, Nelly even achieved the GS-O title.
I’m so proud of my little black girl, she was just amazing.
Everybody at the trial was very helpful and the atmosphere was super friendly so we had a really wonderful time and look forward to meet everyone again at the next trial.
After the puppies moved out, we have slowly started to train agility again. Even if Nelly had a break of several months, she did not forget anything and is as motivated as before.
We have even participated at two competitions, one before Christmas and one last weekend. I went to the one before Christmas on my own, so unfortunately, I do not have a video of it. We had some really nice runs, and one even without a mistake 🙂
Last weekend, we had another competition. It was also a nice run, but Nelly unfortunately missed the last pole of the slalom. But we came second place and were two times as fast as the first place, even if we had to repeat the slalom! :O
As I had some company who could take a video, you can see the competition.
Nida has also started with some pre agility (tunnels and bars on the ground). She is highly motivated and also very, very fast.
I guess I have to improve my running skills to be able to better show them the course 😛
The milk teeth are gone, the proper fur has grown out and the puppies have become youngsters.
Most of them have already tried their future “work” a little by meeting cows and sheep, or tried out some suitable agility obstacles. They are very enthusiastic and fast learners. I am in contact with all puppies and their new families are very happy and excited about them.
We travelled to Germany, Denmark and Sweden this Christmas and for New year’s eve. Nelly and Nida joined our very long car drives without any problem at all and were very happy to visit family and friends (especially the dogs living with our family and friends). 😛
Orenda (called Kie) was picked up by her new owner Linda last weekend and is now living close to Örnsköldsvik in Sweden, where also Henrik, Kies aunt Feng, her half brother Kaiju and her Grandfather Jin, the more distantly related Athos and four cats (not at all related to Kie) all live on a wonderful farm. Linda and Feng are working at a diary farm with 600 cows where also Kie will help out when she gets older. She is already looking forward to her new task and it will be a perfect life for this small confident girl. 🙂
Ohiteka (called Wyatt) has moved to Kerstin and Ruud in Gouda, Netherlands, where also the Aussies Juicy (13) and Nuran (11) live. Nuran’s father is very closely related to Nelly’s mother. We had the pleasure to meet both Nuran and Juicy and could see a lot of similarities between them. 🙂 Smart Wyatt will later be competing in agility and obedience as well as do herding.
Ohiyesa (called Dante) has moved to Karolina and Oskar who live with the Aussie Newton in Wroclaw, Poland. We also met Newton, who is a very gentle and playful boy that really cares about his “smaller brother”. Newton and Dante have lots of fun playing with each other. Dante will later play and compete in frisbee and will also try herding.
Ogima (called Five) moved already a few weeks ago to live with Bettina, Alejandro and his father, Charlie (and of course cousin Finnick and Baghira) in Vienna, Austria. He will soon be working with ducks and later also sheep and cattle, while also doing some agility and obedience. The cuddly boy loves living in a pack and has already charmed everyone. 😉
Odakota (called Linus) has moved to Annette and Dietmar in Bonn, Germany. He is often participating in the puppy training where he already is a bit of a star, and is also helping out a lot in the household. His later work is not completely decided yet but since he likes new people and kids, he might enjoy something in that direction.
Onida (called Nida) will stay with us. We will compete in agility and do some “THS” and obedience. Nils is also looking forward to do some herding with her. 🙂
Another blog entry has been due for quite a while now but we have spent lots of time with the puppies and have simply not been able to also keep the homepage fully up to date.
The puppies are going into the garden several times a day. They are also being taken on small excursions (5-15 min) onto the sidewalks of the village main street to meet adults, kids, cars, bikes, MCs, trucks, tractors, buses, and much more since they are 7 weeks old. We are spending time outdoors in both daylight and darkness, and of course also with harness and leash. Sometimes we even pack all of them in the car to have some walks in unfamiliar places. The puppies are very curious, check out everything and are happily trotting along on the walks. They have also been meeting our chickens ever since they started spending time in the garden. They have made two visits to a stable and met some horses and the kindest imaginable German shepherd girl. Even though the horses were of gigantic proportions to a small dog, they kept their cool pretty well.
The puppies have also joined for some bike trips, where they learned to sit in a bike wagon during the travel.
In order to meet and socialize with other kind dogs, the puppies got to accompany Nelly to her dog sport practice and are also participating in a „puppy school“. Last weekend was time for a short tram ride including some training of sit and down commands on the platform with a tram moving about. They found it not too difficult! =)
We also made a visit to the airport to see some visitors off, where the puppies of course joined. All people there were unfortunately very busy and nobody had time to say hi to the puppies even though the puppies really wanted.
We are listening on youtube firework videos every few days to get used to also this kind of noise and it seems in this video that they find it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Last week was time for the booster vaccination as well as the rabies shot. We are very happy that all puppies have been reserved and will grow up in wonderful families with dog experience.
On Tuesday, we have been at the vet and the puppies were examined, vaccinated, chipped and received an EU-passport and a health certificate. Both at the vet and on the ride to the clinic (alltogether about 1:15), the puppies were very calm and relaxed. I have not heard one sound form them during the whole trip! They were very curious and cheerful at the vet. Everything was great and the puppies are as fit as a fiddle. They tolerated the vaccination, as well as the ealier dewormings, without any side effects.
The puppies are already over 7 weeks old now and you can really see the character and the personality of them. Therefore, they received their names now.
Puppy 1 (red bi female) is called Onida. This means “the one, that is searched for, the one longing for”.
Puppy 2 (black bi male) is called Ohiyesa. This means “winner”.
Puppy 3 (black tri male) is called Ohiteka. This means “brave, courageous”.
Puppy 4 (black bi male) is called Ogima. This means “chief”.
Puppy 5 (red tri female) is called Orenda. This means “magic power”.
Puppy 6 (black tri male) is called Odakota. This means “friendship”.
It was time for some cuddling on our sofa and some individual pictures.
Guess who also wanted her picture taken 🙂
In many countries (e.g. Germany and Austria), the puppies are named after the litter, so all the puppies of the first litter of a breeder start with A, the second with B, … In France, this is different and all puppies of the same year, regardless of the race or the breeder, start with the same letter. In 2017 this was “N” and this year it is “O”.
In Sweden, most breeders decide a theme for each litter and name their puppies after this theme. Nelly’s litter were for example all called after different sorts of tea. We liked this idea and therefore we searched after a theme with many (well sounding and beautiful) names that start with “O”. They also should be in English. After several reflections, we came to the conclusion that native American names would fit very well for our litter, as also Nelly’s father Jin has a native American name.
As native American names have meanings and we want the meaning to fit to the character of the puppy, they will only get their name when we can see the character of the puppies. 🙂
The puppies are still growing fast; the biggest is already above 1.5 kg even if they are only breast-fed from Nelly! The puppies have additionally to their whelping box also a small area with a nonslip floor and a “toilet area”. I cannot believe it, but they are already understanding the concept of being housebroken. But their mother also only needed a few days to be housebroken! Also the tiny and sharp milk teeth are starting to appear. Here are some videos were they are playing!
As promised, I took some individual pictures when the puppies opened their eyes. I have uploaded them onto the puppy page.
Additionally, here are two group pictures 🙂
The puppies are already one week old!!!
They are growing a lot and most of them have doubled their weight (the other ones are very close). According to literature, most puppies have doubled their weight after 9-10 days. It is most probably due to Nelly’s wonderful care and her good milk that they have reached this goal already now. In the video, you can see how tasty the milk is.
This week, Nelly ate rabbitcarcasse, venison, rumen of sheep, intestines of cow, salmon, quark, vegetables from our garden and a little bit of dry food. According to a Swedish study, a balanced and versatile diet of the nursing mother with a natural bacterial flora leads to stimulation of the immune system of the puppies and therefore the abundance of allergies are reduced.
As also the nails of the puppies were growing, the puppies were scratching themselves and Nelly so we cut and filed the nails. This was a quite delicate job, but we could already clearly see some difference in the character between the puppies 🙂
Today, the puppies are already 4 days old. They are gaining weight (about 12 % per day) and started to walk with their back legs today.
We also took some individual pictures and uploaded them onto the puppy page.
Enjoy looking at them 🙂
Just as calculated, Nelly gave birth to 6 wonderful puppies on Sunday evening/night. They are 2 red girls and 4 black boys.
Everybody is doing well, the puppies are mostly sleeping and drinking. And they are gaining good weight!
More information and individual pictures are coming soon on the puppy page.
Nelly is getting bigger and lazier; most probably also due to the heat wave we are having right now. Therefore, she likes to cool down in her new pool 🙂
Or she is lying in our garden.
Or in her whelping box.
It is difficult to see on the picture that her belly is enormous. You can see that she still had a waist on day 49, which is completely gone on day 58. Alltogether, she has gained 4.5 kg and 21 cm at the waist. Now, you can really feel the puppies moving. How many will it be? Which colors do they have? How many females and males? Soon, we will have answers to our questions 🙂
Last week we bought 110 kg of meat for Nelly. Now we are well equppied for Nelly’s huge hunger (and soon even the one of the puppies).
Lately, Nelly started to be even more hungry and cuddly than usual. We were very eager for the day we could perform an ultrasound examination.
Finally, we did the ultrasound examination and are glad to report that Nelly is pregnant 🙂 The puppies were already very active, as their mother, and it was not so easy to determine how many they are. The vet said though that there are at least 3-4 puppies.
You can find more information under puppies.
We have recently been in Vienna to visit Bettina and Charlie. As you can see on the pictures, Charlie and Nelly got along really well also this time. They played much and with a lot of subtle communication. This time, even the actual mating worked out and we eagerly wait to be able to do an ultrasound examination to see if she is pregnant. They were both in so much love that they even cried when we separated them between the matings. 😉
We had a great week and thank Bettina and Alejandro for the pleasant evenings and the cool tips what to see in Vienna.
Unfortunately, we have problems with our internet connection and since the beginning of May no functional internet at home. Additionally, I have been a lot on the road the last weeks.
But now it is time to update the homepage and to let you know what has happened during the last few weeks.
Nelly has injured herself during training at the end of April. She broke her claw and had to walk with a bandage and a shoe for two weeks. Just as the claw was healed, she stepped on glass with the other front paw and had to wear the shoe on the other paw.
Shortly after, we had a team agility competition in Dole, France. The cut in the paw was getting better, but was not completely healed. Therefore, I taped her paw to protect the wound and let it heal better. Nelly was not at all bothered by the tape, and the injury still looked fine afterwards.
Unfortunately, our team was not very lucky and we did not earn a lot of points. But I’m still very happy with our runs. The parcours were, especially for us, not very easy.
This is the agility run.
And the jumping.
Last week, we sadly had to let our Anna go to sleep. We were at my parents’ place due to a family gathering a couple of weeks ago and then she was very happy to meet everyone. She even ran a little bit together with Nelly during a walk 🙂
However, during the last couple of months she had waves of dizziness every now and then and was not feeling very well when they happened. Until now, the dizziness attacks were rare and during the long time in between, she was fine. Since the family gathering though, the interval between them got shorter and shorter. Additionally, she had heavy diarrhea. As she could not enjoy her life anymore, she was allowed to peacefully go to sleep at the impressive age of 15 years and 7 months.
Anna was originally a stray dog in the US and ran up to me as a puppy. After persuading my parents, she was allowed to come with me back to Germany. During her long life, she has experienced a lot of things, was allowed to follow us on numerous hikes, biking tours, sightseeings, vacations, …. and she has also introduced me to the world of dog sports. She was an extremely social dog, who got along with everything and everybody. Even people that were afraid of dogs could pet Anna after some time.
We miss you very much!
Now it is already some time ago that we came home from our Easter vacation, but the weather the last two weeks was so fantastic that we rather spent it outside. We were in Sweden to visit family and friends and also met Frida and Tinja (Nelly’s half sister). We had a great time, even though the weather felt more like winter than spring. We went for some walks in the forest and Nelly enjoyed to meet and play with Tinja. You could clearly see the kinship in the way they moved and behaved. I hope we will be able to meet again, and even see some other relatives to Nelly (again).
Last Sunday, we participated at an agility competition in the indoor hall in Kaiseraugst. Patrick Bucher designed three great parcours. Nelly’s speed was a little bit too high at the slalom entrance in both the jumping and the open class run…
I’m really satisfied with the runs, especially considering how many bars were knocked down just a couple of months ago. We are making progess 🙂
This weekend, we participated at a seminar with Nick Chettle. It took place in the indoor agility arena in Kaiseraugst in Switzerland.
The first time we did the course, we managed to get the entrance of the slalom right. Afterwards, Nelly knew the course and took a shortcut to the second or third pole. I had no chance to show her the entrance… Hence, I learnt that we have to work on an independant entrance of the slalom!
But the entrance of the tunnel and also the turning away from me was much better in the last round 🙂
In the afternoon, it was quite difficult for Nelly to take the jump before the slalom from behind. Therefore, I was so astonished in the last round when she took it correctly, that I forgot the course… But otherwise a really nice run 🙂
A few weeks ago, Nelly and I participated in an agility seminar. It was held by Grégory Bielle-Bidalot who has participated in the world cup several times. Last year, he was one of the coaches for the French national team.
Grégory built a jumping parcour that we trained in sections. He gave each participant very individuel tips that lead to improvements already after a few repetitions. Nelly and I had to run some sections with slalom that I never would have thought we could manage. We learned a lot and next time he does a seminar in the area, we would very much like to participate again.
We also started in an agility competition in Germany before Christmas: The Santa Claus Cup in Köndringen held by the HSZ Emmendingen. As Nelly is “large” in Germany, she had to jump 60 cm. The A1 run was good, despite two bars falling down and somehow she also managed to get out of the slalom before it was finished. I guess I was already thinking about the next obstacle…
We came at place 15 out of 24 starters. Here is the video:
Nelly was quite creative in the jumping and unfortunately she passed by an obsticle near the end. But it was actually her first competition run with 60 cm jumps where all bars stayed at that height!
Since a few months, I am a member of a French dogsports club. The class division according to the size of the dogs is slightly different than in the international agility rules. Dogs between 43 and 47 cm can either compete in class B (medium) or in class C (large). As Nelly with her 46 cm relatively often knocks down some bars, I registered her for class B for the French licence.
In France, you need to pass an exam involving exercises to evaluate the social behavior and obedience of the dog . You also need to pass an agility exam (PASS agility) to show that the dog knows how to take all obstacles. The administration of the agility section in France was very kind and approved my German exam (Begleithundeprüfung) and also my participation at German agility competitions as PASS agility.
Thus we turned out very lucky, as we were still on the waiting list until Saturday, and could participate at a competition in Saverne. In general, French competitions have three runs. We started in agility 1 and the agility standard and jumping standard classes are combined level 1 and 2. The agility 1 run is easiest and have least participants. This time there were only 4 other starters but unfortunately we were disqualified. However we did really really well in the other two runs and won both! We were the fastest with 5.47 m/s in the jumping class, which altogether had 18 participants. In the standard run though, there was one other dog that was faster, but he also had 10 points penalty.
As Saverne is quite far away and I only was allowed to participate in the last minute, I had nobody there to film us. Therefore, unfortunately, there is no video to upload. Instead I have uploaded a couple of pictures from a few weeks ago when we spent some vacation in the beautiful south of France. 🙂
We participated in a “shorty” and a “Hindernislauf”, even though I had a cold. The “shorty” is done in a team, that has to run over obstacles, placed in two lanes next to each other. The first participant runs his part (the dog takes the obstacles and the human runs next to him), an assistant whistles and then the other participant can start. We participated in team with a girl from our club together with her labrador and made 4th place.
We gave everything in the “Hindernislauf” and managed two runs without mistakes. This was enough to reach first place and Nelly is now regional champion of the “Hindernislauf” 2017! 🙂
As you can see on the pictures, Nelly is slightly faster than me 😛
In the last weeks, we have participated in two station circuits. I could not really find a good word for this activity, but maybe “station circuit” fits. This activity is an organized walk with 8-10 stations at which you do some exercises or solves problems together with your dog. You can do it alone with your dog, but it is much more fun together with friends or family.
The exercises can be very different and the different senses of your dog are needed to solve them. We, for example, had to find some sausages in boxes in straw; transport an egg on a spoon with your dog on a leash while going through a slalom that was bristled with treats; the dog should lie on a towel while you threw a ball over the dog; jump into boxes that were filled with different kind of materials; walking over an aluminium emergency foil; lying on the side and being covered with a blanket; retrieving something from one tray to another; … Unfortunately, we had so much fun that we forgot to take pictures.
I can really recommend to participate in a station circuit and I think that especially intelligent dogs like Aussies have a lot of fun with them. They just love to explore new stuff. In Switzerland station circuits are very popular and called “Military”, you can find them here. Sometimes you can register beforehand, but you never need a license, an entrance exam or similar to be able to take part. Anybody can participate and the main thing is that everybody has fun. In Germany they are also organized by dog clubs or animal shelters. Unfortunately, I do not know if there is something similar in other countries and if there exist any homepages where you can find upcoming events. If you know about a station circuit, you are welcome to send me an e-mail, then I can post it on my homepage so that more people know about it and more dogs can participate.
A few days ago, I heard about a dog that died after eating a cake that was sweetened by xylitol. I had not heard before that dogs cannot tolerate xylitol and therefore I searched the scientific literature to get an overview about food items that can be very toxic for dogs but not for humans.
As there are huge differences between size, breeds and even in between individuals, it is possible that one dog can eat quite a lot of a specific food item without showing any symptoms while another could die already from a much smaller amount. Therefore, one should not feed the following food items to dogs and also store them out of reach for the dogs. It is also important to remember that the amount plays a very important role when talking about toxic food items; small amounts of one food item can be well tolerated while the same amount of another can already lead to serious damages.
It is possible that the list below is not complete, but I will monitor the research about this topic and update the list if I find any new results. I would be happy if you send me an email to email@example.com if you hear about new studies about food items that are toxic for dogs.
This plant family contains onions, garlic, leek and chive. They contain sulfur compounds that damage the red blood cells and are not destroyed by drying or cooking the food. 15-30 g onions per kg body weight are enough to cause damage, although some breeds are much more sensible (eg. Akita, Shiba, Jindo). Aussies are very fond of food, but I have yet to meet a dog that would voluntarily eat raw onion or leek. As already described in the beginning, it is very important to consider the amount that is eaten by your dog. I would not give onion soup or a dish made of only leek, but if a sauce contains a small amount of onion or garlic, it should not cause any problems.
Ethanol (in everyday language also alcohol) is of course present in alcoholic beverages, but can also be in paints, medication, perfume, mouthwash, thermometers, antifreeze and disinfectants. Alcohol is also formed when fruits rotten (for example apples) and in uncooked yeast dough. It is unknown exactly how alcohol is harming dogs, but believed that receptors in the brain are blocked.
Grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants (raw, but also cooked/baked) can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Also here it is unknown how the kidneys are damaged. There are big individual differences in the sensitivity to grapes and raisins. There have been cases reported where dogs ate up to 1 kg of raisins and showed no symptoms and others that died after eating only a handful. Earlier, I sometimes gave a grape or a raisin to my dogs because I did not know that already very small amounts can be toxic for some dogs. After reading these two articles, I will however not do this anymore. You never know if your own dog might be extremely sensitive. Unfortunately, I have not found any information about different breeds and if Aussies are especially sensitive to grapes.
Hops is needed for the brewing of beer and both fresh and spent hops seem to lead to malignant hyperthermia in dogs (excessive heat production). Some breeds are especially affected: Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, Saint Bernard, Pointer, Doberman, Border Collie, English Springer Spaniel und nordic breeds. Unfortunately, I have not found information how sensitive Aussies are.
Most commercially available macadamia nuts only contain a small amount of the toxic substances, but some cases have been reported from Australia, where macadamia trees grow. Until now, it is not sure how many macadamia nuts are needed and how the symptoms arise in dogs. Until now, no cases are known where dogs died after eating macadamia nuts.
Caffeine, theobromine and theophylline:
You can find these plant-derived substances in different food products, beverages and medications. Coffee, tea, guarana and many soft drinks (Coke, Red bull, …) contain caffeine. Theobromine is in cacao seeds and chocolate. Theophylline is in tea together with caffeine. These three substances all lead to an increased muscular contractility in dogs, a stimulation of the central nervous system and the cardiac muscle, relaxation of the smooth muscle and diuresis.
The darker the chocolate (especially baking chocolate and cacao powder), the more theobromine it contains and the more dangerous it is for dogs.
Even though many dog owners know that chocolate is toxic for dogs, most poisoning cases in households are still caused by chocolate (likely stolen) consumption! One really should store chocolate and other products that contain cacao somewhere where dogs cannot reach it.
It is now time for the food item that inspired me to write this blog article. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, mostly present in chewing gum but also in candy, cookies, bread and similar. It is also known as Polysweet, Xylosweet, Xyla, birch sugar and E967. Xylitol has antibacterial properties and is well tolerated by humans. Therefore, many dental products contain xylitol. In the article, they even mentioned that some mouthwash for dogs contained xylitol. If you use these kind of products, make sure that it does NOT contain xylitol!
Xylitol is already toxic in very small amounts and as little as 0.03 g xylitol per kg body weight can lead to the increase of insulin so that the blood sugar level decreases dramatically. Additionally, liver failures can occur. When you have xylitol in your house, please be careful that your dogs cannot reach or eat it by accident.
Unfortunately there are a lot misunderstandings among dog owners about feeding bones to dogs. I will therefore also write a short paragraph on this topic. Dogs of course love to eat meat and it is a very nice, natural activity to chew on a bone. It is however very important that the bone is RAW. The structure of the bone is changed by the heat in cooking, frying or barbecuing. First, they are much more difficult to digest and second, they easily splinter into very sharp fragments. It is no problem to give raw chicken bones and many dogs really appreciate them. But after cooking, they can be very dangerous when they splinter. It is preferable to take bones with quite a lot of meat on them as they are easier to digest and taste better.
When dogs are not used to eat bones, it is best to give only a little bit (10-15 minutes chewing) until the dog is used to it and can digest the bone. Otherwise it may lead to diarrhea or throwing up. I never give bones without supervision, to be able to react quickly in case the dog would swallow the bone and it gets stuck in the airways. However, the risk for this to happen is, in my experience, extremely low as long as you adopt the size of the bone to the size of your dog.
Last week, we spent some days in Vorarlberg in Austria and met Bettina and Charlie. Nelly and Charlie got along really well and played wonderfully together. Unfortunately, they did not breed, so we have to wait for Nelly’s next heat. But we got to know Charlie very well in different situations and we are certain that the dogs fit very well together and the future puppies will be playful dogs who love to work, cuddle, and be with their humans.
Here are a few pictures from our “date”.
Today we competed at the 19. Winterling Mehrländerwettkampf in Emmendingen. We had two nice runs, unfortunately a few poles fell.
Here is the video of the agility run. We were 11th out of 48.
We came 21st of 48 in the game/jumping.
Today we participated at a small agility competition in Titisee-Neustadt. The competition area was located in a forest, which was perfect for warm-up walks before the runs. Very unfortunately we had a small misunderstanding in the agility run, otherwise it was a very nice run.
The game/jumping was quite challenging for us, but we did well and came 8 of 21. Even if we took a few extra turns, we had the fastest time with 4.47 m/sec. 🙂
When studying pedigrees and health data, it attracted my attention that there are sometimes dogs with quite bad hips despite both of their parents having very good hips (A). How can this be? Why are there still dogs with bad hips despite the effort of responsible breeders to only mate dogs with good hips?
I found a very interesting website about this topic. I share the link here as I would like to contribute to increase knowledge about the different influences on the development of hip dysplasia so that this horrible disease can be decreased. Below I am summarizing the information in a short list and invite you to click on the link above to learn more.
See under Puppies.