Tasks of Level 1 World Treibball League

Following up to my previous post on the Tasks of Chibi’s Level 2 Title from World Treibball League, this post provides clips to the tasks of Chibi’s Level 1 / GLOBAL GIZMO Title. Level 1 / GLOBAL GIZMO has 3 Tasks.  There are 4 Balls on the playing field.  Goal / Handler’s Area is 10′ wide.  No food or toys allowed during play. 1 minute per Task.  Senior/Small Dog exemption = 1.5 minutes for Tasks 2 and 3. TASK 1 Level 1 – With dog off-leash, Team heels around the balls “weaving through, around and by the balls, diagonally, in Continue Reading →

Chibi Pushodigy/L2 Treibball Title!

Congratulations to Chibi for pushing his way into a PUSHODIGY / Level 2 (PL2) Title from World Treibball League! There are 4 Tasks in Level 2, a clip of each is below.  Time limit: 2 minutes per Task. TASK 1: 5 balls PARALLEL to goal line, 1st ball 5 second WAIT.   TASK 2:  5 balls PARALLEL, 1st-4th balls 3 sec WAIT, REDIRECT, 3 sec WAIT, PUSH.   TASK 3: 5 balls DIAGONAL to goal line, 1st ball 5 second WAIT.   TASK 4: 5 balls PERPENDICULAR to goal line, 5th ball 10 second WAIT. 16 years young and non-herding Continue Reading →

Special Days with Rocky

For the second time this year the Posse and I provide hospice care for a dear friend and family member.  First was GingerPeach who passed away May 11.  And now, sweet Rocky.  His mobility increasingly limited as his spondylosis progresses. Came across a beautiful quote by Cicely Saunders, nurse, physician, writer, and founder of the modern hospice movement.   Sharing it here, along with a few glimpses of the love and life that fill these special days with Rocky. “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only Continue Reading →

Lou Gehrig’s, a Second Time

  11 years ago last month, my Mother was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Her first noticeable symptom affected her balance and mobility and appeared at least 10 months earlier.  Thus began a long, difficult journey to proper diagnosis during which her symptoms increased in number and severity.  The road to an ALS diagnosis is a lengthy, stressful process of elimination comprising numerous tests, exams and procedures. ALS received much attention in the media recently thanks to the ice bucket challenges.  Those challenges not only helped raise awareness of ALS but also over Continue Reading →

Why I Train

My training (personal and professional) is based entirely on my desire to build healthy relationships and lifestyles for humans and canines.  How?  By reducing stress and increasing wellness for both ends of the leash.  How?  By building trust and confidence at both ends of the leash.  By eliminating force, pain, fear, aggression, intimidation.  By empowering human and canine with skills for controlling impulse and arousal levels.  By establishing a flow of learning and clear communication between both ends of the leash.  By nourishing body and mind of human and canine. Cute or Fancy “Tricks”.  Dog Sports.  Those are just some Continue Reading →

GP’s K9 Cart in action

Following up to my post on GingerPeach’s Rear Support Wheelchair ordered from K9 Carts, the Pet Mobility Experts since 1961, I’ve uploaded several videos of GP and her Cart in action. The videos are embedded below and also listed in our youtube playlist called GP’s K9 Cart.  Playlist will be updates if/when I upload more videos. First, a video of the cart itself: Day 1 her rear legs were not much help, she wasn’t used to lifting them, her rear paws knuckled under *frequently* and her steps were weak, short and choppy.  Not only was she learning to move in Continue Reading →

GingerPeach has Wheels!

  GingerPeach is rockin’ & ROLLIN’!  She now has wheels!  A Rear Support Wheelchair by K9 Carts, the Pet Mobility Experts since 1961.  We’ve had it for 13 days now and we love it. This lightweight, beautiful, superbly-designed wheelchair (“cart”) supports her hind end 100%, which is exactly what she needs.   She was exerting far too much energy “dealing” with her very weak and unstable hind end.  Just trying to maintain balance while standing was zapping her energy and strength – leaving little energy for walking, exercise, enjoying her life. Without the cart, her hind end often sways when she Continue Reading →

GingerPeach Gets a Grip

Another in the series of ongoing modifications to help the senior Posse dogs stay in the SMART Zone… GingerPeach has lost a lot of strength in her hind end.   She has experienced ataxia for many years due to epileptic seizures and anti-seizure meds but her hind end was still strong and she moved around quite well.  That’s all changed now due to the addition of hip and joint issues of arthritis & aging (her age is approximately 12-13 years), and weakness & muscle loss due to current medical issues. As a result, she is now experiencing loss of traction on Continue Reading →

“stay” + distraction of Baby Rabbit

As posted many times in pics on SMART DOGS facebook page, “wait” and “stay” are skills the Posse and I use multiple times a day.  I couldn’t imagine our lives without these skills.  Skills essential for a happy, safe, harmonious family – regardless of the number of dogs in said family. Last evening in the field, I heard a high pitched cry and recognized it as a baby rabbit.  Piglet had found one.  A few minutes earlier in the same general area, Penelope had excitedly jumped at a rabbit outside the fence as he raced off to a safer place. Continue Reading →

Letting Dogs be Dogs

          I think many of us have heard or used a phrase like “letting a dog be a dog.”  I myself have used the phrase “dogs being dogs” in reference to pics and clips of the Posse enjoying miscellaneous activities of daily life (running in the yard and/or our field, digging for moles, picking apples off our tree, playing with each other, tracking rabbits/deer/critters, etc.).  Students sometimes ask questions relating to “when should I let my dog be a dog?” The last few times I’ve heard this phrase it struck me in a different way… What Continue Reading →

GingerPeach earns CRO-I

Congratulations to the Posse’s GingerPeach!  GP earned her Level 1 Cyber Rally O Title (CRO-I) on Aug 02, 2013.  Very proud of this sweet and amazing Girl. GP’s qualifying runs, shown below and filmed in June and July, are part of the “healing heeling” the Posse and I find ourselves doing as we grieve our loss of Geronimo.  Performing these courses with GP, and also the ones shared with Geronimo (CRO-I) and Piglet (P-CRO-II and P-CRO-III), have brought some peace at a painful and difficult time. *My Thanks to the amazing Jude Azaren, founder of Cyber Rally O.  She gives Continue Reading →

Meet the Plumwood Posse

Meet the Plumwood Posse, my dogs who bring inspiration, delight, laughter, friendship, lessons and knowledge to each and every day!  Shown L to R in the photo below are: Chibi-chan RN, Penelope, GingerPeach CRO-I CGC retired Therapy Dog, Geronimo CRO-I CGC, Rocky CD RA and Piglet P-CRO-III. I coined the name “Plumwood Posse” over a decade ago, the group shown below is version 7.0.  As for their ages and breeds: Chibi-chan is a senior gentleman and a mix of toy breeds, Penelope a ~3 year old rat terrier, GingerPeach and Rocky are ~10-11 year old Golden Retrievers (perhaps with a Continue Reading →

Welcome to our blog!

Hello and Welcome to SMART DOGS‘ blog, where Dogs are beloved Friends, Family Members and Teachers! Whether you already know us from SMART DOGS facebook page, our Plumwood Posse youtube channel, taking Classes at SMART DOGS Training Center, or are meeting us for the first time, we hope our blog helps you Think, Learn, and Grow.  We also hope it helps you understand and use positive reinforcement and two-way communication to build strong, healthy relationships. Our blog emphasizes Learning, Behavior and Health – learning about yourself as you learn about your dog, with your dog, and from your dog; understanding Continue Reading →

Healing Heeling: P-CRO-II

I love heeling with my dogs.  I love that it builds from and reflects the connection we feel and share.  I love looking down and seeing my dog’s HAPPY face looking up at me as we move through space as one.  For me and my dogs, heeling is great fun!  It’s just another game.  I try to turn all my students on to the fun game of heeling.  That it’s excellent training and foundation for several Dog Sports are simply added bonuses. While playing heeling games, I’m always amused by the feeling of “I can’t shake my dog – unless Continue Reading →

Geronimo posthumous CRO-I

                On June 06, 2013, three days after he passed away, Geronimo was awarded his Level 1 Cyber Rally O Title (CRO-I). Following a splenectomy and diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, Geronimo lived one month.  The splenectomy improved his quality of life, we had a beautiful month, he felt better than he had in many months since his symptoms appeared.  Alas, it did not improve the quantity of his life and he left us far too soon, 11.5 years young. Geronimo’s qualifying runs are shown below and were filmed during his final week.  They were Continue Reading →

Waiting your Turn

In the photo above, Geronimo and Rocky wait in the background while Piglet practices a tunnel. Being able to calmly, pleasantly, patiently “wait” is a crucial skill for Life in the SMART Zone where health, safety, harmony, and low stress levels prevail.  This skill is important not only for your health & stress level but also your dog’s health & stress level. Whether you share your home with 1 dog, or 2 or more dogs, there are numerous situations in your everyday life where a wait is useful.  The dog’s position while waiting might be a stand, a sit or Continue Reading →