Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Day

It's been snowing forever here...

Doesn't Smudge look like a mean old lady?

I love to run in the snow!

Silly Bella is laying on the ball so no one can play it with it. Momma says she's hatching it!

Aha! I got Smudge and Spenser to roll me around in the snow. Woo hoo! Snow Angels!!


Momma says we are supposed to get wiped down when we come in. Bella says, she will air dry!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Where does the time go!

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since I've posted about Roo. We've been busy working on our obedience skills and agility foundation work begins in earnest this week. We will not be on equipment for a while, but will be working on impulse control, turns on the flat and start line routines. He has gotten to be quite big and I'm sure he's jumping 26 inches!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bella Says....

Roo can stay :)

It's official, Roo is no longer a foster dog. He's found his forever home, right here. Bella has never played with a foster dog before.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Roo Vs. the Trash Can


Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Woo hooo! The Roo man actually got to play in Monday night class. He would become distracted by the dogs, but able to be redirected. The foundation work we've been doing is paying off. Of course it was the last class and there were games to play. All the other dogs did much better, since they actually participated in the class for the past 6 weeks. Roo did kick butt in loose leash walking, doing the cones faster than anyone else and with no defaults for a tight leash. So all is not lost.

We also had a minor breakthrough on the car riding as well. The treat n train is awesome, when it works. Sometimes the treats jam up AND sometimes he gets full, since our rate of reinfocement is still pretty high. So, in total frustration Monday night I put him in the front seat, and slipped the seatbelt through his harness so he couldn't get out of the seat. After the first two minutes he settled and laid down for treats. We went for a short ride today and he did well in the front seat, no barking AT ALL! Ok now, anyone got any ideas on how to transition this to riding in the crate? With 4 dogs, they all need to be crated when we take the crew.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rut ro

Ahh the glorious age of 5 months! What do we call that? Oh yeah, FEAR PERIOD! Poor Mr. Roo had an upset tummy last night (all the treats he got from everyone who thought he was so cute at the agility match?) and then had many traumatic experiences today. First, we went to our class at Petsmart and a big, scary, white dog barked at him. Then we bought some treats and the lady put them in those scary plastic bag things! They make a very scary noise when they crinkle. Finally, we went out the car to put some of the treats in there AND THERE WAS A FIRETRUCK IN THE PARKING LOT! Lots of scary noises.

He did recover and enjoy his training class, but it's tough being 5 months old.

I think we need a bigger crate :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tuesday Toenails

Well Amy yelled at me on Monday night about how long Roo's nails were. I explained how I was desensitizing him to the clippers and such and she threatened if they weren't clipped by next week, she was going to do. I picked him up and put him on his back, like Amy suggested and he was just fine. Beside almost sticking his tongue in the clippers, he handled it like a pro!

Oh and his tongue fits in his mouth now! No more sticking it out and looking silly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn Border Collies

Well Monday night class didn't go as well as Sundays :) Once again Roo was over excited by the dog's running agility, especially the NEBCR puppies momma Flicka! So we took out mat and went to the corner to work on some relaxation exericises and clicking and treating for looking without barking. I also brought a can of Easy Cheese to squirt in his mouth. Something I read in Control Unleashed (http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB943). In theory, the cheese (or squeeze peanut butter) keeps thier mouth gummed up a bit and they bark less and you can reward more frequently. I said in theory.
By the end of the class he was able to lay in my lap and watch the other dogs without barking for about 10 seconds. He was staring intently at them, ignoring my click, but would stick his tongue out for the cheese. Too funny. OH BTW, I titled this one Damn Border Collies because Amy laughs and says, "He's a Border Collie!" Can't I have a dog with drive who only shows it in agility?
Now he is diving head first into the trash can, which he is sure is a fun filled toy box. Silly Roo.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Roo's Training

Roo has been with us for just over two weeks and has already learned so much. First he learned how to have fun:

Roo has been lucky enough to go to two training classes per week! On Sundays we train with our friend Tara at Petsmart in Saratoga Springs, NY. There Roo is learning eye contact, to recognize his name, sit for pets, loose leash walking, down and take it and leave it. On Mondays we get to play with our friend Amy at High Goal Farm. The first week Roo was fabulous! Last week, he discovered the dogs doing agility in the building. OY! He was screaming at them and I didn't even exsist! So this week, no matter what we are doing in class, Roo and I will be working at subthreshold, which may mean we never make it into the building! I'd better dress warm, it's pretty cold out there today. We are so lucky to have these gifted trainers so close by.

At home, we are also working on drop as opposed to down. I am looking for a down from a stand, which would hopefully translate to an automatic down on the table. He is learning to target and to relax on his mat (see Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt). In addition, we are trying to teach Roo not to scream in the car! He barks in his crate when uncovered, when covered, when given a marrow bone and in between being tossed treats. He doesn't actually seem to be barking at other cars or people, because he will also bark when we are the only ones on the road :) It's more of a protest of having to be crated. We borrowed Kathy's Treat and Train (here's the new version, available from Premier)
We loaded it this morning to get Roo used to taking treats from it.
He was all over it! It works well with his kibble, so he will be
getting his dinner on the way to class this evening. Hopefully,
he will learn to be quiet in the car.
As an added bonus, I noticed it lights when you press the remote. This might be helpful in training my deaf guy, Spenser to do a prolonged down/stay!
Well, we will see how Roo does at class tonight and if we even make it in the building!

Happy Birthday Roo!

Roo turned 5 months old yesterday!

My name is Roo!

Roo was born on August 20th 2007.
On December 21st, 2007 a kind family saw him in a pet store. (Debby's Petland- read about them here:


The family saw an amazing little black and white dog. They took him home, happy to add this sweet boy to their family. Roo spent Christmas happily romping through the woods with doggie playmates.

When the family returned home, they started to see some odd behaviors from Roo. He was obsessed with shadows on the walls. He would pace back and forth, biting and clawing at the walls. The family got him more toys, paid more attention to him and took him to the vet.
Shortly, Roo began corralling and herding the small children in the family. He would get excited and jump up and nip at family.

Saddened, the family called New England Border Collie Rescue, Inc. (http://www.nebcr.org/) While they loved Roo, they knew they couldn't give him what he needed to be a happy, healthly Border Collie. On December 31st 2007, Roo arrived at Sugar Bush Farm (http://www.sugarbushfarm.net/). Thankfully, he was relinquished before his shadow chasing turned into full blown Canine Compulsive Disorder. Although it was a hard decision, his family did what was best for Roo. (Video by Kathy Chittenden of Sugar Bush Farm. )
Roo is going to be just fine!