Monday, January 14, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For...

Who Me???
This is evident every day with Sydney. I have a house full of boy dogs, sweet-natured, laid back, loyal with every fiber of their being. Kane ( is about as compliant a dog as ever existed. He was fantastic as my Novice A dog, and fairly easily earned his CD, CDX, and RE titles. This was my first step back into competitive obedience since I competed in fun matches and trained my first Springer back in the 80's.

So, this time around, I wanted, I waited, and I was so thrilled to get a bitch. Sydney was just about made to order. Not only is she much more correct in conformation than my other performance Cardigan, she is eager to learn, very driven, and highly trainable. In the show ring she has sass and attitude that commands attention. She's showing that she's got potential with sheep, and every outing to the agility center is a whirlwind of drive and execution from this little brindle dynamo. Oh, I wanted a bitch. I wanted a dog that was smart and driven. I'll say that maybe my girl is too smart some days! And she's definitely a "lot of dog" most days. I have to keep on my toes with her.

It should not surprise me that my girl also tends to be reactive. If she were as lackadaisical as Kane, easy-going and a stranger to no one, Syd would *not* be the driven performance dog that she is. That edgy, driven dog is also more sensitive to stimuli, and I think that this plays a big part in her initial over-reaction to the collie-stepped-on-my-tail episode that seemed to start the ball rolling toward reactivity.

The only real bummer about her program of working for her food is that she has to be back on kibble for the most part. I cook for my dogs, but not for myself! It's OK to give her some bits of chicken with her supper, but too messy to dole out mashed sweet potato, pureed carrot, yogurt, cottage cheese, salmon, etc. But that's OK, Syd is fine with kibble, and loves every minute of working for her food. :-)

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