Maizey, 2013 #1 Australian Cattle Dog!
My girl Maizey started out as a feisty, independent puppy who would bite me purposely so that I would leave her alone. It has been quite a journey but I have to say that with relationship-based training and positive reinforcement, taking time to really develop skills and not rush her training process, and making play a priority in our sessions, Maizey has become a super family member and agility partner.
Maizey became the first dog I have earned a MACH title with, the Master Agility Champion title in AKC agility. We have run together in the 2012 AKC Nationals, the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, and twice at the AKC Agility Invitational in Florida. This year we focused our trialing time and energy in AKC Agility, and Maizey has completed her MACHs 2, 3, & 4 in the last year, and is two double-Q’s away from MACH 5. She has earned 3,175 points this year as well.
For her efforts, Maizey has become the #1 Australian Cattle Dog in AKC Agility for 2013!! I am so proud of her, she is such a good girl, always trying for me every time I ask. This is the first time I have had the #1 ranked dog in the country, another special first for my good girl.
Kylie, 2013 #3 Australian Cattle Dog
This time last year, I was conditioning Kylie to return to agility after surgery to repair her torn cruciate ligament in her right knee. Kylie was so sad to sit on the sidelines and watch me work with Maizey, but we had to take our time and make sure her healing was complete. This involved doing special walks, trips to Hydropaws for physical therapy and underwater treadmill sessions, walking in the sand on the beach and up hills to strengthen her body again. Kylie was such a trooper through it all, and I could tell that what she really wanted was to run on the beach with us and play her favorite sport again. Cautiously we began agility in very small increments, making sure Kylie was ready for each little step before progressing to the next one. Kylie was trying to show me she was more than ready, but it took quite some time to convince me of the same thing. Once we were given the green light, I started showing Kylie in Jumpers classes only, and then we would add in a Time to Beat here and there. Since all of that went well, we added in Standard too – and Kylie got her crazy agility grin back and was barking up a storm on course again.
Because we had taken over a year off from agility, Kylie missed many months of qualifying in AKC. She seemed to catch right up, and earned her MACH 2 title in August and is very close to MACH 3. Kylie was also the #1 ACD in Agility at our national breed specialty event this past October. In checking the statistics, Miss Kylie is the #3 ranked Australian Cattle Dog in AKC Agility for 2013, good girl!! She thinks it should be higher, but I tell her that with what she has been through, she is pretty awesome.