the sheltiechick blog


So I bought these hoodies for the dogs… Payton’s and Pepper’s were on MEGA clearance (five bucks each!) and Auggie’s was pretty cheap too. I just think they’re cute. It’s warm enough that I was out in just a hoodie today so they all got their hoodies too.

Payton was zooming around in his hoodie and I imagine he was pretending to be a hot rod.


It has little wings on the sleeves and everything <3 it's SO CUTE.
And of course Augs has a skull on his. <3
Typical Payton. He got nice and worn out chasing after balls and running after Pepper, he is currently recharging his batteries so he can annoy me in ohhhh probably twenty minutes.

“Tee hee I just peed in my sweatshirt!” Payton’s needs to be altered. *facepalm* Just a touch too long… he peed all over it.

Okay, so Pepper was feeling sassy. This is a series of photos of her yapping at me. Bark



This girly. <3
And meanwhile, Payton.

Okay, so I don’t know if anybody remembers, but Pepper likes to hop up and down. Vertical. She does this when she’s really excited (which means not often) but she was doing it today and I was trying to get a photo. Unfortunately she doesn’t stay very far away from me and I had the 50mm on so I wasn’t getting the photo I wanted and was kind of bummed.
Then I opened the photos to see what I got and I think these are even better.


The Pepper I know and love and I wish everybody else could know and love it too.

Since she was thinking about playing and kept running after Payton and his football, I went ahead and got the tennis ball because I know she will play ball if she’s in the right mood…

I love how I’m trying to take a photo of Pepper but Payton is the one who shows up non-blurry.

SHE HAS THE BALL. We played ball for a while then Auggie would spoil it by getting the ball then walking away with it, I’d have to go get the ball from him, throw it a few more times, Auggie spoils the game… repeat.

What? I would NEVER do that. I’m not a jerk.

My best girly. Be still my heart.

Pepper playing ball

Not monumental for most dogs, but Pepper is so goofy about playing it’s a pretty big deal!

And Payton is kind of annoying, sorry. Ignore him.

Pepper perch work

After “spin” wasn’t going well with Pepper, I decided to start perch work with her instead.

What’s funny is how many times she was offering me a left head check… I guess she WAS getting the spin shaping after all!

Trick Training: Spin

This week our trick training challenge is “spin.” Auggie and I worked on this one a few years ago but I never really put a cue on it or had it perfect, so cleaning it up will be Auggie’s challenge this week. I haven’t done this at all with Payton or Pepper.

Once again I just started shaping with Payton, clicking for back end swiveling. Payton already knows “pivot” of course, and starts offering that (it’s one of his favourite tricks to offer.) I decided to go ahead and reward that and see if we can’t turn that into spinning.
I tried to lure Pepper but she isn’t handling my arm going behind her back well, so I decided to just try and shape a head turn instead.

After this video I decided Pepper was just having a hard time and maybe she isn’t ready for something of this level yet. Having only just started clicker training with her a few weeks ago and so far only really doing some targeting work, this might just be too much. So I think Pepper will sit this week out in favour of me trying to shape her to do something else, like maybe climb into a box?

Final video! Just Auggie and Payton:

Both of them can only spin one direction reliably – teaching them to spin both directions is my next task!

Trick Training: “Sit Pretty”

The dog forum I belong to is having a trick training challenge. Each week we get a new trick to work on. This week we had “sit pretty” which is a trick I’ve been wanting to train anyway, so I worked on it with all three dogs. At first I just decided to lure with all three, but that wasn’t working very well for Payton who is quite good at shaping anyway, so I scrapped luring with Payton and switched to shaping. It worked out just fine with him. For both Auggie and Pepper, I lured, and then switched to targeting (which is also more or less luring, I know) my thumb. This will turn into my hand signal for the behaviour at a later point.

On with the videos!
This one has all three dogs in it:

Just Payton in this one:

All three dogs for the “final” version here! Of course we still have some cleaning up to do, but this was the end of the week so this is our final video rather than final version of the trick. Auggie is the one struggling the most with this, but I think physically it’s difficult for him. We’ll keep working on it though.

Auggie is seven

So I am a major idiot and completely forgot what day Auggie’s birthday ACTUALLY was. You would think it would be easy. Auggie 15th, Payton 16th, Pepper 17th. But NO… somehow I thought it was 11/11 instead of 11/15.
So these first few are from Sunday when we had Auggie’s party.

I gets cakey?

Yes you get cakey! These are based off a recipe I make for myself… just a mashed ripe banana, one egg, and some peanut butter, and I microwaved them until they were like a moist cake.

Birthday boy gets to sit at the table.

Okay, since I was originally planning on giving Auggie a caramel apple I got free at work and then I opened the caramel apple to discover it was moldy, I had to hurry up and make the cake in a rush. So I took them out and they were hot so I was blowing on it to cool it off, LOL. Auggie was like DON’T CARE WANT CAKEY.


Everybody else got theirs out of their bowls.

Pepper… took a bite and I’m not sure if she was surprised it was soft or that it was warm, because she then dropped it on the kitchen floor and ran off.

Don’t worry, Payton will clean it up. (Don’t feel bad he got two, Auggie got two also actually. I gave Auggie one, gave the other dogs one, then Auggie had another while I sat at the table with him and ate one too LOL.)


Happy birthday boy!

Then once I realized TODAY was actually Auggie’s birthday, I knew I needed something better. Payton and I shopped for a present at PetSmart but I didn’t see a toy I thought Auggie would like, so we agreed that a bully stick was the best Auggie Present.

Auggie also agrees.

He also got ALL OTHER DOGS shut out into other rooms while he had a blissful hour+ to just chew his bully stick. He was quite happy with this.

Happy birthday little old man. I hope you stick around for many many more birthdays.

Payton CGC

Wednesday I happened to be browsing around on a local club’s Facebook page and noticed they were having CGC tests the following night. $10 if you weren’t enrolled in a class (which I am not.) Hmm, $10 isn’t a whole lot… I’ll take Payton!

Immediately after I made that decision I started to panic. What am I doing?! This is the dog who sometimes spontaneously decides he hates random stuff that has always been present, like the bag hanging on the coat rack, or if we move something five inches he thinks it’s an intruder in the house and must be barked at. Or we’re out on a walk and WHAT IS THAT ROCK DOING THERE. or THAT PICNIC BENCH. Or THE FIRE HYDRANT.
And then of course sometimes I see stuff that I think “oh Payton is going to think this is bizarre and bark at it” and he completely ignores it.

But it’s just the CGC right? Right? No big deal… right?

Thursday after work I went through the house and found every weird thing I could come up with to play “Look At That” with him. This is a fairly regular game with him; I regularly patrol the Dollar Spot at Target or the Dollar Store and buy anything that looks bizarre or I think he will find weird so we can play. I found a wind-up t-rex that my parents put in my stocking years ago. This Payton did not like but worked through it quite easily. Next I found the old Bumbleball that I got Auggie when he was a puppy and turned it on – that was a piece of cake! Then I grabbed a plastic bag with tennis balls in it and shook that. Who cares! Threw a handful of cookies on the floor. Nope, you can’t fool me.
Okay, cool.

My next move was to load up Payton in the car and drive to PetSmart so we could practice in a different environment. This is a little bit of cheating because Pay has been to PetSmart a good handful of times, but still, sometimes he sees A Bad Thing at PetSmart and you never know what kind of people or dogs you’ll encounter there, so it’s worth the practice. We did see a man in a wheelchair while there, which he didn’t care about, so that was pretty cool. He did amazing in the store, I was feeling pretty good.
Put him back in the car and he started flipping out at a fire hydrant he saw on the side of the road as we were driving. *facepalm*

We got to the club and got out of the car to a line of people waiting for the doors to open, so I took Payton off in the grass and pottied him and started working. He was doing amazing again so we went closer to the line, where people had dogs freaking out and barking and lunging at other dogs. GREAT. Played more Look At That and he was awesome.

Then we had to get into the building when the doors opened, which meant we had to get actually IN LINE – with all those dogs who were spazzing at other dogs. And spazz dogs make Payton a spazz. I’m not making excuses for my dog, reacting to a reactive dog isn’t a free pass – Auggie doesn’t react to reactive dogs, for example – but “other dogs” aren’t Payton’s, trigger, it’s “other dogs wigging at me.”
My solution was to simply pick him up and hold him until we were in the building and we had more space. I wasn’t going to leave him in line with other dogs stressing around him, making him stressed out. He wasn’t completely calm in my arms but he was a good deal less stressed than if I had left him on the ground, and reducing his stress level to manage his threshold was my goal. Sometimes you have to manage a situation until you have trained through it, so management was my solution at that point in time.

Once we got inside and got my paperwork, I got us settled down in a chair in the corner where we were mostly away from other people and other dogs, and started working on getting him to calm back down. While I filled out my form, Payton had a I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT IS I DON’T LIKE IT moment – at the frickin’ CLIPBOARD I was using the fill out my paperwork on. Well this does not bode well. On the other hand, I was able to get him to eat cookies off the clipboard and was able to pick it up and carry it back to the registration desk without him flipping out at it, so we were able to work through it pretty easily.

We watched other people practice for a while and once the floor had cleared out a bit, it was Payton’s turn to practice.
Two things for me to come away from our practice with: One, my dog is not the most reactive dog in the building. Two, my dog may not have the tightest heel in the world, but he does have the most enthusiastic, attentive, happy heel – especially in comparison to some of the other dogs. And this was around OTHER DOGS going spazzo which normally would have him be flipping out. Yes, we were practicing with a handful of cookies (and later with cookies sitting on my chair across the ring) but thinking back to how he reacted at the rally trial in May when I couldn’t even get my dog’s attention back even with cookies right in front of his face, he has definitely made progress.
At this point, I sat down in my chair and thought “It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get his CGC tonight. This is a win. This is worth it.” I was so immensely proud and he hadn’t even really done anything yet.

Then it was our turn in the ring. Turns out the evaluator was the same evaluator who CGC’d Auggie! We didn’t have a perfect heel in the actual ring, he got more distracted once we were “in the ring.” But he did everything reasonably well – and he was AWESOME in the distraction test! I patted him and told him he was a good boy and he didn’t even really think about reacting to the distractions. The lady dropped a bag full of soda cans pretty much right in front of him, and he just looked offended, like “Why are you throwin’ stuff?” Hardly even looked at the guy hobbling around us on crutches.
The guy who took Payton for supervised separation came back and said “This is the most talkative dog in the world.” Um, uh oh, LOL. Apparently he took Payton in the room and shut the door, and Payton looked at him, muttered something, then turned back to the door and muttered at the door. And kept muttering back and forth. Like “C’mon. We should go back out there. This is boring!” That is apparently NOT a fail, but it was pretty hilarious. Yes, Payton does talk quite a bit. He’s rather obnoxious, I know.

So my Pay has his very first ribbon! I know it’s just the CGC, it’s not like we’ve done anything amazing… but I can’t help being proud when I was anticipating Mr. Horrible Meltdown to come out and play and send us home with me in tears.

Pro Christmas Pics 2012

Annual Christmas photos were yesterday… huge photo dump impending…

Georgie first! New prop this year, A SLED. OMG.

Serious Auggie is serious. Sigh.

My boy. <3
Aaaaand here we go with the annual “I love my dog a whole lot more than he loves me” photos!

THIS one I think is the winner… I like his face in this one.

Annual “Auggie hates me” photo LOL.

Payton. OMG. LOL.

My HAIR again. I almost cut my bangs before we left to prevent this from happening and I didn’t. Sigh.

Sometimes he is kinda sweet.

I like him a bit.

It’s a PAYTON!!

See, Auggie? PAYTON loves his mommy. PAYTON will give me a kiss on camera.

My little guy. He is sometimes proper…

and sometimes cute.

Slight bit of handsome devil.

I think this is my favourite. He looks naughty. He looks like Payton. XD

This is his “I just licked the floor and there was a bitch sitting here” expression. He was chattering. Stupid intact male dog.


“Call him, see if I can get him jumping out of the sled,” the photographer said. WELP. Future agility dog in the making LOL.

Peppy girl!

Remedial stays are still in progress. =|

I don’t even know…

SIGH this is what so many of my photos look like LOL. Bad girl.

Hey, THERE’S a cute photo!

Me ‘n my girl. <3
I love love love this photo because of how she’s looking at me. She is MY GIRL… no mistaking it.

And I kinda like her too.

The best of us I think.

Now time for ALL THREE DOGS. This was totally photoshopped together, not gonna lie, and it’s still not even perfect haha.

…oh dear.

“Quick quick, take the photo, I’m losing them!!”

This is my life guys.

I gotta admit it’s pretty hilarious LOL.

Watch me try to direct my dogs without even looking away from the camera. “Payton you come here…”

“…Pepper YOU should lay down too…”

Also shopped. Again, not gonna lie, LOL.

THEN… Auggie’s breeder was there with some of her crew so we tried a big family photo. Top row is Georgie, Pepper, Twizzle (Pepper’s sister, Georgie’s mom) and Twigley (Georgie’s sister.) Bottom row is Payton (Pep/Twizzle’s half-bro, for those who don’t remembered they are related), Raleigh (Auggie’s dad, Georgie’s grandpa), Georgie (Auggie’s grandma, Payton and Georgie’s great-grandma), Quigley (Auggie’s brother, Georgie’s dad), and of course Auggie.
I was behind the table, by the way, holding butts down. The front row was for “dogs who will stay.” I was very proud to be able to put Payton in the front row. Good boy little P.

LOL at the three young boys looking all excited.

OMG Quigley is SO bored of this!

Not sure what they’re looking at, haha.

Pepper will NOT stop sniffing her sister. STOP IT.

This one would probably be good except PEPPER is trying to plot her escape obviously. PEPPER.

I think this is the best one we got.

If only Pep and Twigley were looking at the camera! Georgia gets a pass because she’s mostly deaf and blind so she doesn’t have to look anywhere, she just has to wake up every morning.

THEN Payton decided he wanted to try and get away. He recalls somewhere on that floor a bitch was sitting and he would like to find that spot again please.
But wait, it gets better.

We got Payton to sit back up, then Georgie wanted to lay down.

Again, really close. I might be able to shop something together out of some of there haha.


Pepper was like “I BAIL BYE.”

Look at EVERY DOG’S EXPRESSION IN THIS PHOTO. I can’t stop laughing. By the way, Georgie decided since the big girly was bailing she was bailing too.

Payton is like “Crap she’s gonna land on my head! ABORT ABORT”

And poor Grandma doesn’t even know what’s happening LOL. (LOL at my arm in this one haha.)

The really funny part? Pepper jumps down so Georgie jumps down and then Twigley got down and everybody else was up and running around and we’re laughing and I’m like OF COURSE IT WAS PEPPER WHO RUINED IT ALL
And then I sit up and look down.
And there is Auggie.
Still sitting, still staying, right where I told him to sit and stay.


Payton “cop-cop” training – again!

It’s been a while since we worked on this trick, but I haven’t forgotten about it. I still think it’s a really cute trick so we came back to work on it some more.

Here’s two videos of us working on it:

Apologies for this one where you can’t even see my feet, I realize how completely unhelpful that is!