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bc soul sista

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Posts posted by bc soul sista

  1. I second what everyone has to say about making sessions short...and fun!!!

     

    I train and compete in competitive obedience so I can let you know what I do...

     

    I am a HUGELY motivational trainer(although not all positive, I do implore some negative consequences and the occasional correction if needed)....The best obedience teams to me are the ones who are look like they are having FUN together!! And keeping a young dog having fun and motivated throughout his/her training is key!!!

     

    I'm a HUGE advocate for incorporating tricks into EVERYTHING!! And with pups and young dogs I do the same...what you are essentially teaching them is to WANT to train and work with you....you are teaching them how to learn...

     

    So...I use a crate while training(I'm a big advocate for "crate games")..teaching self control, encouraging leraning and learning that the crate is not a bad thing......I use crates also because I am working multiple dogs, and I can pop my pup/dog in and out of the crate to keep sessions fun and short....they can go in there crate and have a "time out"..process things and I'll pop em back out 10 minutes later and BOY are they eager and excited to work....gimme more they say!!! I know alot of positive trainers who will use the crate for this "time out" if they are working with there pup/young guy and they seem to loose interest...I know Denise Fenzi also uses the crate some in this manner....again, would go through "crate games" DVD first...Can't just start shoving a pup/dog in the crate and have them spaz attack...that will make things not fun real soon!!

     

    For teaching fast and fun recalls for obedience I use the "go get it" game"...my dogs LOVE this game and I willoften start out training sessions with my adult dogs doing this because it gets em all jazzed up!!! I have "rolly" treats..cheese balls or peanut butter captain crunch...show it to the pup or dog and chuck it(I do this in a ring..has to be a flat easily visible surface)...they take off after the rolling treat and right before they have it in there mouth I'll shout there name and a come command..they'll eat the treat and come tearing back in your direction..i'll throw another treat in the other direction...again repeating the come command and having them tear back at me....

     

    Eventually I will teach the pup/young dog to come through my legs..so I open my legs and throw the treat in-between my legs....so when they are tearing back at me upon hearing there name and come command I throw the treat inbetween my legs, turn around and do it again...I and the session with throwing a toy inbetween my legs and tug after....

     

    I add drop on recalls and fronts into this exercise as training progresses.....

     

    This whole exercise gets the dog driving...it's fun...I'm incorporating commands...and I'm keeping the dog guessing!!! I know some traininers who do this entirely with toys stuffed in there pants and not food...same idea....throw a toy...once they get it call them...throw one through you legs...turn..call them throw...etc.. end with tugging..

     

    I'm a big advocate for tugging also...keeps them engaged in you and it's FUN!! My dog love it and it's there ultimate reward...

     

    I teach spins...I use them while heeling to mix things up/ and keep them in position and engaged....so I'll heel a few steps with a young dog and lure them to spin head out then get back in position and keep heeling...I'll also do leg weaves while heeling...it's great for a dog who forges...I'' heel awhile then ask for a few leg weaves then go right back into heeling...

     

    I teach my dogs to back up...and this helps with training signals as I want no forward movement..so I'll have fun sessions of backing up..asking for a down thenback up ask for a sit....then reward by throwing a toy behind the dog..never forward....

     

    Rewarding at the right time is crucial...don't be afraid to ask more of your pup...if you set a goal they will work to meet it....don't reward for EVERYTHING if you are trying to get certain behaviors like speedier commands....I kinda have a reward tier system....treats that aren't super high value, super high value treats...jackpot for awesomeness and a toy is the ultimate reward...So if my dog doesn't give me a speedy response...in a fun voice I'll break him and tell him to "try again"...and keep working for what I want...then HUGE jackpot and tugging or toy when he gets it right....

  2. Hi Donald!!

     

    Yes I know there is no "Q" or "NQ" or title in USBCHA trialing...I guess I was trying to compare the fact that there is a standard though that is some what similar to the parameters in place for qualifying/non-qualifying rounds in other competitions...

     

    The dreaded RT(handler chooses to leave the post) or the DQ(judge gives ya the "thank you" you're done)...although not nearly as tough and sometimes silly(in AKC you get NQ'd in herding if you leave the arena without putting a leash on your dog)..they do have a basic level of competence that is expected..

     

    Also, when you get an RT/DQ in USBCHA you get no score and you do not get any kind of placement with theother competitors....you can look up the breakdown of your scores on your own but nobody does that for you and comes out with a list of ranking in the class with the RT/DQ's included...only teams that get some kind of score..

     

    It can actually be quite interesting...on tough sheep and in tough situations some dogs with pretty low actual scores win!! They got the job done when no one else could put a score on the board ;) LOVE IT!!

  3. I'm just trying to understand this, I've never competed in agility before...thinking about giving it a shot with one of my guys...so this is interesting. In agility(certain organizations)...even if you don't qualify for the the class you are in..you can still place??

     

    I've competed in a variety of venues for both herding and competitive obedience over the years(AKC, ASCA, USBCHA, AHBA, UKC)..and all of them have a basic standard which you must complete in order to "qualify"...this is just a basic level of work that is expected..if it's something that you are not reasonably able to manage at this level of training for you and your dog, then you shouldn't be competing.

     

    Examples of not readiness that I've seen(dogs that chase and take down sheep...or can't get there sheep at all or out of control..in obedience dogs who are sniffing all the time, can't do sit/down stays or are running around the ring while there owners do the heel pattern alone..etc, etc, etc) Either you as a trainer need to go back to the drawing board or the dog is super green and just needs time/consistency and ALOT of fun matches!!

     

    Non of these venues I've competed in would allow people who did not meet this basic standard to place also? The competitor whose dog chases down and bites sheep does not get a ribbon even if everyone else NQ's also...someones dog who has very little idea of what "heel" means and is running in and out of heel position during there run does not get a ribbon or placement even if the others NQ also?

     

    There must be a level of integrity at competitive events...or the people that are able to qualify with there dogs or even place highly in these events accomplishments are taken down a notch..

     

    I have noticed in the events I've competed in there is a split between more competitive point seekers/HIT winners/etc..vs not so competitive people who are thrilled to qualify and get a title with there dog...that is totally cool!! I have utmost respect for both sets...but they do have to attain that standard, there's something to strive and work for..

     

     

    Is there venues in agility where there are placements regardless? Maybe it's just so different from the others...

  4. Mmmmmm I make a pretty good effort to keep my guys healthy and fit... I believe the daily physical exercise keeps them healthy physicly and mentally....I know it sounds kinda silly but like a long hard day working the farm/field, I believe a good long walk at least once a day in varying locations helps calm the mind and gives them a feeling of going somewhere or accomplishing something :) Plus it's very calming for me also!!

     

    They get about an hour off-leash hike a day...I vary the locations for variety.. I usually warm them up for 5 minutes, and if I am going to do any cardio I do some fetching after the 5 minute warm ups...then do the rest of our hike after the more intense exercise....I found this to be way more beneficial than a loooonnngg hike and fetching at the end if there is any fetching..I'll vary a frisbee/bumper or tennis ball also to kind of mix it up :) Then I'll put the fetching toy away/back in the car whatever and finish our hike(they will relax and settle into there walk when the toy is away)...

     

    In the winter I mix it up with skijoring to get the heart rates up(human and canine ;)..throwing bigger ball toys/etc in deep snow....summmer we do ALOT of swimming/dock diving...and trail running....jogging and rollerblading in summer also...usually by a body of water so we can take a break and do some water retrieving/cool down...

     

    They get a good massage/look over about once a month...

     

    I've worked with a reputable rehab lady when my one guy pulled a groin muscle....and she urged(after rehab)..lots of hiking/off leash running...short spurts of cardio...and I ran hills with my dogs to strengthen there core and hind ends....I do those about twice a week...

     

    Most my sheepdogging friends let the weekly work on the farm/training on sheep do the conditioning for them and that seems to be fine for them...I do know if they are preparing for a big trial or a string of them..they usually take there dogs free-running or jogging next to a 4 wheeler for a couple miles a day to build endurance..

     

    I understand the mentality of hyper-focusing on things....I know plenty of agility people that invest in there stretching/conditioning who's dogs get injured, or the latest fad on getting an edge with your dogs competitive wise seems to be popping up all to often...but it's probably safe to say that like any finely tuned athlete one that's fit and mentally/physically fit enough to do the job will have a higher probability of doing that job and staying injury free...

     

    I don't mind putting the work in as I enjoy staying physically fit and active myself so it's a win win :) I might cross the line at making my dogs try Yoga though... ;)

  5. Jamie Spring in SD has some very nice dogs/pedigrees......I know of fantastic dogs coming out of some bloodlines in ND/SD but most people keep to themselves and don't advertise there litters.....Jamie has a nice website kept up to date and is very friendly..google Silver Spring border collies..

     

    I have been at the Slash J trials a couple years now, VERY awesome with the top handlers in the country giving the huge challenging field and tough sheep a try...best trial I've ever seen and some incredible dog/sheep work.....

  6. Root Beer, what are you basing your knowledge on?

     

    Own personaly experience and opinions?

     

    I'm just curious....

     

    I've recognized head turning/yawning/ etc during training sessions...noting it is a sign of stress but we work thorugh it....

     

    The way I described the situation with the ear licking, and the events that escelate do not appear to be the dogs attempting to decrease stress....there "intent" seems quite intense and they are interacting in a manner that escelates that tension....

  7. I have seen mounting as what could be displacement behavior in neutered males..or spayed females...I've seen dogs getting seemingly over stimulated during rough play and try to mount...

     

    I've seen fights break out and damage done with mounting behaviors also, mostly in "intact" animals...if you're able to read body language there intent is definatly NOT play...My young bc was mounted and then attacked by an older intact male...and as I mentioned my female sustained injury after being mounted by a male and then bit...

     

    A breeder/trainer friend of mine brought forward the fact that ear licking/mounting in intact animals can lead to and can end in agression..and that the dogs "intent" is different...didn't throw out the cliche "dominant" term but they are usually jockeying for position/etc..

     

    She also noted if a dog is neutered later in life he can still present some of these behaviors?

     

    I recommnended to this person with the two dogs that she seperate them when she sees the ear licking start but that would pretty much contradict the fact that the ear licking is a "calming" grooming ritual...both dogs look quite intense when it's going on and the fact that it escalates and turns into fighting I would be inclined to think that it does NOT have any sort of calming effect....the fact that ear licking has been observed in intact males before mounting and eventual agression would make me think it's more of a "dominance" thing...or the other dogs are being pushy or competing..

  8. Both neutered male dog start going back and forth between licking eachothers ears and..."other" parts...then one puts there head on the others back which leads to more tensions which eventually leads to fighting.....the ear licking starts it all off....so this chain of behaviors singals to me more "dominant" behvaior or the two are "jockeying" for position or whatever? They have been living together in the same household for a few months and were adopted as rescues about a month apart...

  9. If "licking the ears" is a calming behavior...why is it usually followed by a fight with the dogs in question?

     

    and in other observations why does ear licking in intact males precede mounting and then aggression??

     

    How do explain why most mounting behaviors I see are followed by agression/my one dog got puncutre wounds in her face after a dog tried to mount her and she spung around...

  10. What do you all have to say about ear licking?? Is this a dominant behavior?

     

    Most ear licking I've seen from one dog to another preceeds mounting then usually agression? So I would assume the licker/mounter is being "pushy" towards the other dog? Dominant?

     

    Also, someone told me a "behaviorist" told her mounting is a behavior brought on by stress?? Really?!

     

    Thoughts/advice and opinions welcome...

  11. Hey Ya'll......

     

    My younger bc(4 yrs old) has been doing this weird "reverse sneezing" thing off and on for the past yearor so.....It literally sounds like he can't breath/snorting..generally sounds awful!!! Sometimes can go on for 30 seconds or more until he seems to swallow...but then it can start again a minute later....

     

    I have scoured the internet and asked around, even the vet...the only thing anyone could come up with is this "reverse sneezing" crap that's normally common in bracheocephalic breeds....

     

    Well #1-now the other 2 dogs are doing it occasionally....ok, is it a coincidence that the other dogs are doing it aswell?? Could there be some kind of sickness present? All symptoms I see of upper respiratory infections in dogs have "coughing" or nasal discharge or SOME other symptom to which these dogs have none....

     

    #2 - it seems to be getting worse...especially at NIGHT when we are trying to sleep!!!! I started giving him a couple Benadryl at night...thinking it may be allergies? Sometimes it seems to help...but last night I was up about 4 times to the sound of him having a breathing/snorting FIT!!! I actually had to resort to holding him in bed..(he was panting from stress)..and petting him..this seemed to calm him and the breathing/snorting fits stopped completely for the night....

     

    I just feel terrible, he doesn't appear to have any other symptoms...I'm not sleeping, he's not sleeping...I would like to avoid medications beyond Benadryl..

     

    Has anyone had ANY experience with this? I am just at a loss?

  12. Alright, I'll bite...

     

    I'm sure there were a whole SLEW of reasons to cause that dog to become aggresive, not just a rpong collar....as it's been mentioned ANY tool not used as intended can cause damage...

     

    Anyone with 1/2 a brain can easily use a prong collar...and in fact, is a lifesaver for most pet people that cannot physicly handle there dogs...

     

    I have seen hundreds of happy owners walk in and out of our training doors using and helped by using a prong collar......and the few that it did not help, were not using the collars correctly...

  13. Here in MN, I know Susane Hoffman(who is Vice President of the WWSDA) is planning a spring/summer litter....her and her husband are both VERY invilved in USBCHA trials and have been training/handling for quite awhile...they breed once every 4 years or so only when they are ready to add another training partner for each of themselves. They put an extreme amount of time in choosing the sire and making sure both parents are health tested above and beyond!!! There pups are well cared for and socialized!

     

    The bitch they are using is running in open and is very nice....super sweet to boot!!

     

    Another breeder I know of possibly having a summer litter is Meg Johnson(Silver wind farm)...she is an up and coming talented open handler and has worked hard to produce some excellent dogs in her breeding program. She has alot of imported dogs, including Aled Owen lines and Serge Van derZweep?(murdered the spelling)...

     

    Lori Perry might also be having another good litter in the next year....

     

    That's all I got ;)

  14. Nobody here has really brought up the notion that sheep REACT to dogs of different colors DIFFERENTLY...

     

    I myslef, being a novice and not understanding why good dogs of color weren't more prevalent....heard for so long it was just a biased thing. That traditional herding people didn't like the "fancier" colors...or that there hadn't been many that had been real great!!

     

    It wasn't until recently at a couple clinics run by a few of the top big hats in the country (Ali being one of them)...that they explained that sheep react to dogs of color, differently.....and that although there had been a few good ones, whose talent level over rode there strange coloring in terms of the sheep...that sheep generally responded best to mostly dark colored dogs..mostly white being the most confusing to sheep..

     

    ESPECIALLY significant on the lift...when dog and sheep meet eachother for the first time on a trial field and the dance begins...

     

    Makes sense when you think about the delecate balance between the sheep/dog..and the predator vs prey factor that they would respond differently to different colors/patterns..

  15. Thanks for the reply AJM!!

     

    The sheep we usually work are pretty good, great mix between light but not TO light or dogged...If anything, I find it's easier for him to work heavier sheep as he seems to have something to push against...we have more issues when we work lighter sheep...as he can feel the draw and feel they might "get away"?? So when I need him to flank a little to turn them in a different direction he seems reluctant to want to release them a bit?? Or he wants to go all the way to the head to keep them under control...then I have to "argue" with him by flanking him BACK over to the spot I need him to be to move the sheep where I want them to go...and he seems to not want to walk up then...can't deal with the pressure? Or maybe I'm possibly putting to much pressure on him?

     

    I'm trying to get better about understanding where HE wants to be in relation to where the sheep want to go and the draw...so I can help him...but sometimes I need him to just go where I tell him because I have a bigger understanding of what we are trying to accomplish!!

     

    I work on alot of "freeing up" exercises in smaller areas, where we work on taking flanks immediatly, and switching flanks on the fly, stopping, wlaking up flanking...stopping..then going again...off balance flanks....this all usually goes really well in smaller/arena type area...move to more open area...doesn't seem to transfer over...

     

     

    Any exercises you could recommend??

  16. Need some opinions!!! Had this dog about a year...

     

    I'm using whistles on him but I am new to it, although been practicing for about 6-8 months...I'm having a difficult time getting consistent tones but will keep working on that part...

     

    Having most difficulty driving...he seems to lack confidence, looks at me some..is difficult to stop at times and VERY slow to get up and slow to drive the sheep....it's difficult to flank him at a turn..and then difficult to keep him from going to there heads and not bring them back to me...so..basicly he's hard to get going at times and hard to stop..

     

    Things I've been doing to try and fix things...LOTS of parallel driving...with me at a trot, just encouraging him on with my walk up whistle...i'll give a little flank to change directions slightly..I'll change my position..and we'll keep going until a change it a little again...

     

    We are ok with this, mostly....When we move to a square at tight quarters...we can do it pretty well...I keep sessions short...and full of energy..or try to..

     

    Anything with distance beyond this and it seems to go to ish....

     

    I've also been just trying to SSSHHUUSSH him up..jump a little to get him going...anything..when he completes a flank on a drive he will sometimes lie down and not want to get up...I always try to get him up immediatly...by shushing him..or putting a bit of pressure on..but it seems to be a consistent problem..

     

    I'm getting better at reading my sheep, and understanding where he wants to be to cover..I'm trying to live up to my responisbility by helping him not "loose" his sheep when driving...but I need help with how to help him and us be more succesful as a driving team

     

    Any advice for how to build distance and confidence for the drive?

     

    BTW...he's deaf in one ear..not sure how much of this is the problem

     

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  17. Hello AJM!!

     

    I am having some issues with driving...I bought this young trained dog after his last nursery year was up..so he is trained but not polished? Not ready for open at that time..

     

    I've had him about a year now? I'm a novice and bought him as my second dog hoping to take training/handling to the next level and beyond the novice/novice course :)

     

    I'm using whistles on him but I am new to it, although been practicing for about 6-8 months...I'm having a difficult time getting consistent tones but will keep working on that part...

     

    Having most difficulty driving...he seems to lack confidence, looks at me some..is difficult to stop at times and VERY slow to get up and slow to drive the sheep....it's difficult to flank him at a turn..and then difficult to keep him from going to there heads and not bring them back to me...so..basicly he's hard to get going at times and hard to stop..

     

    Things I've been doing to try and fix things...LOTS of parallel driving...with me at a trot, just encouraging him on with my walk up whistle...i'll give a little flank to change directions slightly..I'll change my position..and we'll keep going until a change it a little again...

     

    We are ok with this, mostly....When we move to a square at tight quarters...we can do it pretty well...I keep sessions short...and full of energy..or try to..

     

    Anything with distance beyond this and it seems to go to ish....

     

    I've also been just trying to SSSHHUUSSH him up..jump a little to get him going...anything..when he completes a flank on a drive he will sometimes lie down and not want to get up...I always try to get him up immediatly...by shushing him..or putting a bit of pressure on..but it seems to be a consistent problem..

     

    I'm getting better at reading my sheep, and understanding where he wants to be to cover..I'm trying to live up to my responisbility by helping him not "loose" his sheep when driving...but I need help with how to help him and us be more succesful as a driving team

     

    Any advice for how to build distance and confidence for the drive?

     

    BTW...he's deaf in one ear..not sure how much of this is the problem

  18. I know this sounds silly, but I am still learning so these are the things that are working for me....

     

    I carry TWO whistles, I know it sounds goofy, but if for whatever reason I stop getting sound(usually cause of spit, gross) I can pick the next one up and get clear sound....don't know why, it just helps me :D Sometimes a quick mental re-focus while switching whistles is helpful also..of course I'm not trying to get anything practical done with my dog..yet..

     

    I pratice in the car on my way to work...playing to the music..then I picked out a set of whistles I liked and could reasonably do..and practice in my car when I'm not with my dogs..

     

    The biggest step for me was actually working my dog with the whistles and I just had to make myself get out there and do it..

     

    So I am....started with a walk up and a stop and check...now I'm working on directions and incorporating in the stops and walk ups...I still wear my two whistles and switch back and forth if it gets full of spit of I randomly can't make sound :P

     

    It's definetly a journey.... :0

  19. Thanks for all the great replies!!!

     

    I guess I should have explained more...I am not a "bleeding novice" in terms of training/handling my dogs on stock....I have been at it a couple years and although am not trialing in open yet(hoping to get there soon)...have worked countless hours on all kinds of sheep, have worked in pens, helped with lambing/chores...done set out at trials/taking lessons/clinics with many a "big hat"...and currently running at the pro-novice/ranch level in USBCHA trials....

     

    I think I've sought after and gained a great deal of knowledge without actually owning my own sheep....

     

    The problem is not my lack of drive or knowledge to improve in my understanding of the great skill that is training and handling or sheepdogs, or the livestock we work...............it quite simply is access to good sheep to work.

     

    I have very close friends within 20 minutes of me with excellent sheep to work and they are my "mentors", good friends and VERY sheep knowledgable....but they are busy, they are often gone at clinics or trials, and don't want there sheep worked when they aren't there...it's very diificult to track down consistent time..

     

    And having to go weeks at a time sometimes without sheep work is just not helping us progress....I know people a couple hours away where we can go work on big outruns and distance work...but to be able to just get my dogs out a couple times a week, working on keeping things clean, a few drills and just practical work would do wonders for my dogs and I!! Then when we get the opportunity to get out to bigger areas..we are ready to work on those skills, without having to refresh on all the basics and not even getting to the difficult stuff..

     

    I'm sure there is MANY a story of some awesome newer handlers that were able to be really succesful going out once a week to work there dogs...but that's just not me. I need repetition and I need practice.

     

    Like I said, I do have a knowledable couple friends who are available within a phone calls notice of any help or questions...and who plan on helping me set up any fencing/shelter/etc requirments...

     

    But having there own farms they to, are unsure of what to expect or look for in a good "boarding" type situation..hence why I was hoping to get some insight from anyone who has been through it or might have some excellent suggestions :)

  20. HELLO!!!! Been trying to find solutions for this city girl trying to progress with stockdog training/trialing with limited access to sheep!!!

     

    Looked extensively into renting land for my own sheep to be on...but after much research it seems boarding sheep at another persons active farm seems to be the best bet...as there is someone regularly there to look after the animals. Probably a little more costly but worth it in my book....

     

    I have gotten the most response from Horse farms in the area, there are quite alot of them...some with rather large fields or open areas which would be ideal to take my sheep out on and practice....

     

    Other than the obvious need for more re-enforced sheep fencing in the area where mine might be staying.... can anybody help me with any other questions/concerns I should have when going to look at these places?

     

    I have never owned livestock before, so recommended resources would be great also!!!!

     

    I want to have a clear idea of what I want and am looking for when I go to these farms...and dodn't want to seem TO MUCH like a bleeding Novice, although I'm sure that will be hard to disguise ;)

     

     

    THANKS!!!!!

  21. Hello!!!

     

    Not sure if this is a good place for this question...but since it's related to sheepdog training thought I would start here!!!

     

    Practicing stockwork for me and my dogs consists of going to my two good friends farms, who also train/trial border collies in USBCHA trials....the two farms are maybe 15 acres of seperated pastures...which is ok most of the time for training...

     

    We are all kind of suffering the same problem of not having any BIG areas to practice long outruns!!!

     

    We solve the problem now by having to drive 2-4 hours one way to someone who has some larger areas...I recently made a 6 and 10 hour drive one way just to get to some bigger fields!!!

     

    I know that others have there ways of dealing with shortage of big land, usually they can find a near by farmer who doesn't mind them using there hay fields/etc...

     

    We unfortunatly DON'T know anyone who owns such land within a oneour drive....so we had the idea of making some kind of Want Ad...sending it out on vartious lists and posting it at local feed stores in hopes that someone wouldnt mind us trailering sheep to there pasture for a few hours here and there....we have course would compensate them..

     

    Any ideas on what to say that wouldnt over whelm people with this idea?? I asked a few people in person and they were like "what?!"

     

    Thanks for any suggestions!!!

  22. Well, our "winter obedience adventure" has come to a close with our last obedience trial for the season!!! On to sheepdog trials for the spring and summer!!!!

     

    I am SSSOOOO PPPRROOUUUDDD of my boy!!! He more than met my expectations for his 60 days of trialing in Open A!!! Ten trials...ten Q's..7 first places, 2 seconds, a 3rd and one HIT!! His average score was a 198!!! His consistency and drive to work for me was amazing, we couldnt have done it without our awesome partnership!!! Mt favorite compliments had to be the ones about what a GREAT relationship we had!! And how he was always so happy and focused in the ring!!

     

    It was a TON of fun!!! And I learned so much a newer trainer/handler!!!! Love ya big man, thanks for the fun ride so far :)

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