Macy was my first Aussie. He was happy, energetic, eager to please, quick to learn, loved all people and all dogs. He was the perfect “first dog” – easy to train, fun to have around, a great hiking partner, and an incredible athlete who loved to put his own “Aussie flare” into every move! He knew the names of over 20 toys, many tricks, and was my start into agility. He was also the reason I got into professional dog training.
Macy instilled my love of Aussies and the joy of training dogs, and was the gateway to a career in dog training. He has left his paw print on the many, many dogs I have worked with.
My second Aussie. Maxx loved all people instantly and any attention they could give him. He especially loved working for kids – give them some treats, and he would perform all sorts of tricks, and even make some up on the fly. He did everything from ride a gondola in VT, camped on an island accessible only by boat, therapy dog work with kids and adults, ran along while I skied, mountain biked or snowshoed, was the star attraction at an 8 yr olds birthday party. We competed in Agility, dabbled in Rally O, participated in Kids Camp, and he passed his Birch Odor Recognition Test for K9 Nose Work(TM). He even tried out for the TV show Pet Star!
At 13, he retired from agility, skiing, biking, and some of his more strenuous tricks. He still enjoyed doing tricks, working for treats and being involved until the end.
Jinxx was distantly related to my first Aussie, Macy. Jinxx shared Macy’s spirit of being fun, outgoing, up for anything, afraid of nothing. She did not seek a lot of affection – give her a job, keep her busy, give her a treat – that’s what she wanted. Some of her jobs included sheep herding, competing in Agility, K9 Nose Work(TM), going to Kids Camp, doing tricks for anyone who can put up with her running commentary (barking!), chasing (and sometimes catching!) chipmunks, and digging holes for planting, pulling up roots and digging up rocks on command. She loved being called over to help me landscape! She took up Stand Up Paddleboarding at age 11, which she loved because she could jump off and swim at any time, and got to be right at my feet the rest of the time. She was a true representative of her breed – busy, bossy, velcro, happy to do anything and everything.
Isabelle (“Izzie”) was one of those unplanned adoptions, who fit in perfectly with the 2 resident Aussies (who she’d known since she was a puppy) She was no Aussie, but in many ways that was a nice change! She was calm and quiet in public, very tolerant of any type of dog no matter what their behavior, and was a gentle, sweet, peaceful dog. She was willing to do just about anything once – some things, like swimming and playing with toys, she chose NOT to do. She learned several tricks, and participated in Kids Camp, where she dabbled in agility (yes, agility!), Rally O, and practiced up on some Nose Work. Unlike the breed description, she enjoyed off leash time in the yard and on walks and hikes, and was much less aloof than typical Pyrs. But, true to the breed, she kept guard over the yard by barking off possible intruders, such as planes, falling leaves, distant motorcycles, as well as the stray coyote and bear.
My fourth Aussie, Muddyfeet All Wheel Drive “Quattro”. I was looking for another Aussie to do dog sports with – independent for nose work, but willing to take direction in agility. Be careful what you wish for, I keep reminding myself! Confident, sweet, independent and super friendly, he’s been a lot of fun to train! While he is my most independent Aussie when off leash, he is the most loving Aussie yet. A few herding dog quirks, like chasing the vacuum and garage doors opening / closing, are being directed to more productive activities. He is keeping me busy since HE needs to be busy, with activities like hiking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming, agility practice, tricks, training for Nose Work trials, play dates and meeting lots and lots of people and dogs. He loves it all!
Coach 11/19/16 – present
Sunny Acres Let Me Show You How It’s Done “Coach”. Ready for a friend for Quattro, I put out feelers, and connected with Coach. He was not as bold as Quattro, a bit more stand back and watch before diving in, friendly and cuddly, and not over the top. As he’s grown up, he’s gained confidence and drive – he’s super fast! He has the Aussie reserve around people and dogs – he’s friendly, but not a social butterfly. He’s doing well at Nose Work – he’s very motivated and focused! – and we’ve even started Treibball, which I think he’ll be good at. He loves to work and do stuff, and has developed into a fun little dog.