January 27, 2011


While I love the wheel and still have him use it from time to time, I was concerned with his position on it.  He wasn't moving normally (more like a hunched weight pull position) which I don't think is good for long duration.  So when I saw an ad for a used dog treadmill at a price that was too good to pass up, I couldn't pass it up.

We started slow and for several short duration sessions, but during the past week he has really relaxed on it, especially in the trot.  I put together a video montage of a session today so you can see the warm-up, slow motion of his trot and cool down.

VIDEO: Treadmill Workout

Bear and Coyote have been on it, but only for treats.  Bear walks to get the treat, then stops and rides it to the end, then trots up for the treat and stops his feet while he eats.  Kind of cute.  Coyote can't see where he's going and he knows there's a drop off on the end, so he's walking very carefully, expecting to fall off the end any minute.  I think with practice he would get it, but he doesn't really need the exercise and doesn't seem to enjoy being on it.  Buster got on it today, but I didn't turn it on for him.  Just let him walk the belt and then helped him off the end.  Dazzle seems to enjoy it just for the joy of the exercise and as you can see at the end of the video, he doesn't want to get off of it!

January 21, 2011

Low Flying Malinois

I created this design based on a sign I saw on Facebook...


Thankfully it wasn't the 7+ inches they were predicting, only "officially" 4.5 inches, but the drifting made it deeper in places.  God bless our neighbor who used his little tractor to plow our driveway :-)

Some photos of snow play:

The yard:

Bouncing through the snow...

Bear is NOT amused

Look what I found!!

Happy Dog (he goes out to lay in the snow quite often)

Toss and catch as he runs

Whaaa Hooo!

The other dogs only came out long enough to do what they had to do and went right back inside. Dazzle has been alternating between playing outside by himself and rushing in to my office covered in snow to beg me to come out to play :-)

January 19, 2011

Not much going on

Haven't posted in awhile because there's not much going on.  We don't have any shows coming up for a bit, so I've only been doodling with Dazzle's training.  I'm working on polishing his heeling for future obedience competition.  The weather has been bitterly cold with off and on snow, so we've mostly been training in the basement.  I put up some new lights, so if I want to get video of a training session it will be easier to see.

Still trying to get over the cold I caught over the holidays and trying to get caught up on everything the piled up during my visiting with family.  Mostly caught up though- finally!

Supposed to get up to 7" of snow tomorrow, so we will likely be snowed in for awhile.  But maybe I'll get video of the dogs in the snow. 

In the mean time, here's some very short (less than 1 min.) videos I took recently just for fun:

VIDEO Bear hiding
I have no idea why he did this, but he seemed so comfortable there :-)

VIDEO Buster and Dazzle Play
They play nearly every day (until Coyote comes running to break it up).  Buster will be 14 if he makes it to March.  He has a lump in his neck and an infected toenail he's on antibiotcs for that might need to get surgically removed.  Sorry this video is so green.  When I hit the "auto color correction" that's what it did and I couldn't figure out a way to make it less green.

January 06, 2011

Dazzle on his new wheel

Dazzle has a new form of exercise for nasty weather days!  If you've been following the blog, you know that he broke the automatic ball thrower.  So I went looking for a way to create an exercise wheel from the big wheel my dad had made as a muscle building and balance tool for Dazzle.  He enjoyed rolling the wheel all over the basement, but speed was limited by me because I had to be able to keep up with it to prevent him from running it into a wall! 

I found a place that had some rollers in stock and Tom at CBT was nice enough to donate them to my project.  I then went to Home Depot to brain storm a way to build the frame and attach the rollers.  I spoke with several helpful employees who were so intrigued by the challenge, they offered to pick-up the wheel, build the base and then bring it all back to my house!  I LOVE HOME DEPOT!  I took Dazzle in the store to try out the first design, but it needed a bit of "tweaking".  The finished design was completed and delivered just a few hours before I left for an out of town trip over the holidays. 

It was tempting me to rush back home, but a cold and sinus infection delayed my trip home.  We finially got back home a few days ago and I have been doing practice sessions with Dazzle and tweaking what works best.  I orginally had him on top using his balance and body weight to get the wheel to spin on the base.  But the "window" of balance is really narrow and it was hard for him to maintain the momentum and balance.  So I decided to create an attachment point, similar to ones I had seen on dog powered treadmills on-line.  The first time with this new set-up and he was "off to the races" without any problem!

The attachment point allows him to put his body past the center point and dig in with his feet to get the wheel moving. Once it's moving, it's easy for him to maintain his balance against the harness.  If he wants to stop, he simply slows his feet and shifts his weight back toward the center of the wheel and it stops pretty quick.  I have him stop in the video so you can see it.  I had to encourage him to stop by aplying pressure with my foot, but you'll have to trust me that he can and does stop on his own if he chooses. :-)

I use my foot on the inside edge of the wheel to keep him from going too fast, which he wants to do.  As he and I get more comfortable with it, I'm sure he'll be flying along up there without the resistance from my foot :-)

And now, the much awaited video:

January 05, 2011

camera phone photos

I'm back home and trying to recover from a cold and sinus infection.  I took some photos with my phone while I was visiting family and I finally figured out how to get my photos off my phone and onto the computer.  So here are a few from the past year.

 Dazzle playing with his girlfriend at camp this past summer (yes, her head is in his mouth):

Trying to get as sandy as possible:

Sleeping with his ball (he does this all the time):

Two of the wonderful folks at Home Depot that built the base for Dazzle's new exercise wheel (I'll get video of Dazzle on it very soon. I just got home a few hours ago)

Where do I sleep? Dazzle is a bed hog

My Niece put the arm rest cover on Bear's head.  He really loves her, but wasn't so sure about his new headwear. :-)

And some from my camera:

How to drive a ball obsessed Malinois crazy- a ball inside a ball inside a ball. He worked on this puzzle for a LONG time!

I took pity on him and removed one of the inside balls and he was happy to get the orange ball on the inside:
 Didn't matter that it was still inside the other ball :-)

Another photo of Bear. He was so adorable I had to get my camera:
Bear found a good place to take a nap:
 Bear, are you comfy?
"I was till you woke me up"