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Monthly Archives: September 2016

First official Qs!


Voodoo did even better than I expected today at the AKC Rally and Obedience trials! He turned 6 months old today and impressed a LOT of people, including ME!! 🙂

The Rally class had 9 dogs in the B class and all of them qualified and none had a score under 90! The dogs in this area that are doing rally are very well trained and provide stiff competition! We got a 99 and 3rd place in Rally Novice and then had to wait around for several hours for the next class. I wasn’t sure if he would have any energy or focus left after several hours in the chaotic trial environment and no nap (his choice, not mine), but we got a 193 and 3rd place in Beginner Novice obedience!!! So proud of his very first official Qs and scores!

After the trial, I met up with friends and we did some land and water retrieves with real birds and then had a swim party! 9 Labs, 2 Poodles and 1 Golden all playing and swimming and retrieving. You’d think that would wear out a puppy, but when he got home he played for awhile with Dazzle 🙂

Rally Novice Video:

Beginner Novice Video:

Swim Party Video:

Play and busy weekend

Voodoo is still 3.5″ shorter than Dazzle, but since he is all legs, he can almost keep up with him at a run!

We have been going all the way to the training club every day this week to practice for the trial we are in this weekend, but yesterday during our practice session, a play date broke out 🙂

We have a busy weekend planned.  On Saturday we’re going to the Old West Fest to introduce him to some new things (I’ve never been there, but it sounds interesting). On Sunday, he officially turns 6 mo. old and he is entered in Beginner Novice obedience and Rally Novice at a local trial.

Tomorrow, I hope to do some field work training and then go to the C match at the club that is hosting the trial.  Voodoo has been in that building before (on the turf), but hasn’t done much training there, so we’ll see how it goes.  I’m more interested in giving him a positive experience with the trial environment this weekend than in getting a Q or 2, but those would be nice too 🙂

6 mo. birthday video

A 6 mo. birthday video for Voodoo. It’s being posted a bit early because I just finished it and I love how it turned out.

I figured I better do a video at 6 mo. because there will be too much for one video after a whole year 🙂 If you click on the link above instead of the thumbnail below, you can see it almost full screen on Vimeo.

Blue Grass Classic

On Sept. 4th we went to the Blue Grass Classic (for me to shop the vendors and for Voodoo to get practice with the atmosphere of a big dog event). At first, he was a bit overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds and smells in the big indoor arena. We sat off to the side and I let him watch everything and within a short time he was fine with it all.  We made several laps around the indoor rings to check out the vendors and get new treats.


Then we went to the Barn Hunt area (no photos) and talked with some friends there. Next stop was the “touristy” side of the Horse Park where we visited the Museum of the Horse and I took advantage of their photo op areas.

We also took a horse drawn carriage ride which he had no problem with and he got nose to nose with a horse in the kid’s barn. At first, he was intimidated, but then he went into “ignore mode” and was able to do a sit stay by the horse and show his Labradork face 🙂

He also got his photo with several of the beautiful sculptures around the park.

Overall, a very nice day that completely exhausted me. Voodoo, however, was ready to play after his 2 hour nap on the way home 🙂

Purina Farms

Over this past weekend, Voodoo accompanied me to Missouri to the Barn Hunt National at Purina Farms.  He did great with the long drive and hotel stays. He also did very well staying in a friends RV while I was busy and being walked by several different friends. It was really brought home how different a Labrador temperament is from a Malinois temperament 🙂 I couldn’t have handed Dazzle’s leash to someone he didn’t know and had them take him away to a place he had never been before and expect him to be chill about it. But Voodoo handled it in stride!

On the way to MO, we made some stops so I could stretch my legs. One of the stops was in Terre Haute, IN where I found the true “Crossroads of America” and a cool statue of Max Ehrmann. Voodoo wiggled his way up to the statue and was confused by the guy not moving to pet him! When I had him jump on the bench, he sniffed the guy’s face, gave him a little kiss and then had a “whatever dude” type attitude toward the guy who wouldn’t move and didn’t smell right. LOL


Sleeping loose

Voodoo has all of his adult teeth now. While they are still pushing up to full height, they are not bothering him and he’s not really chewing like he was when they were breaking through.  So I took a chance last night and let him sleep with the crate door open.

As soon as he realized I wasn’t going to close the door, he jumped up on the bed with me. He’s been enjoying sleeping on the bed at hotels until I’m ready to sleep and he likes jumping up to cuddle every morning before I get out of bed.  So I wasn’t surprised that was where he wanted to be.  At first, he flopped across my body and stretched, then flopped to a different position. Then he curled around my head for about 60 seconds, then he went down by my legs and got comfy and went to sleep.

Unlike Dazzle, he doesn’t care if I move around or roll over or accidentally bump him and he barely wakes up for that (Dazzle jumps off the bed if I move). He slept by my legs for about half the night as I tossed and turned due to higher pain than usual. I was awake when he jumped off the bed and left the room.  I thought he might be going for the dog door, but I didn’t hear it and he didn’t come back in. I fell asleep and found out later that he had gone to sleep with my husband. After my husband got up, Voodoo came back to sleep with me.

I’m happy he likes us both enough to share his sleeping time and that he did as well as I expected with being loose.

Relaxing at the hotel:




Voodoo lost both his bottom canines and the new canines are still just nubs (you can see one on the left side of the photo just in front of the bone). He says it’s hard to hold/retrieve when you don’t have the long teeth! His adult front teeth actually look huge, but his lips are covering them in this photo. He still has his puppy canines on the top, but I’m guessing they will be coming out very soon. So for the moment, his nickname is toothless 🙂

9-2-16 no teeth sm

Hunt retrieve practice

I finally got some video of a practice session!  I went to some public land near me that has some fishing lakes (after confirming with the DNR that they didn’t have blue-green algae). It is a gorgeous day today with low humidity (finally!) and under 80 degrees for a change, rather than the 90+ degrees with 99% humidity it has been all summer.

He was full of energy, so we did quite a few retrieves (and then he came home and ran with Dazzle who got some of his own). We started in the shade, but I moved into the sun after reviewing the video and seeing it was really hard to see him. But I wanted to include the one shade area throw where he navigated over a branch in the water on his return. Obstacles in the water can be a challenge for some dogs, but he just took it in stride.

Once on a sunny part of the shore, we worked on angled entries/exits from the water with a bird shaped toy called a dokken. I have 2 sizes. One that is about pidgeon sized that is comfortable for him and one that is duck sized that is quite a mouthful right now. I accidentally called that a goose size in the text on the video- oops!  He also did his first water retrieves of the bigger duck sized toy!  He did a longer retrieve of the smaller dokken and I even got in a distraction (stick in the water). He did an amazing job!

He wasn’t tired when we started heading to the vehicle, so I took advantage of the taller grass and weeds (cover) along the trail to the parking lot and had him do some retrieves on land. This is harder for him because he has to remember where he saw it land and can’t see it till he’s right on top of it.  Again, he did fantastic!  He really makes training easy and enjoyable! I know all the foundation stuff we have done up to this point has really helped as well.


Forgot to add the photo I took of him near the lake:9-1-16 Campbell Preserve sm

Fun videos

We have been working on Obedience/Rally and hunt test stuff.  I’m going to sign him up for a Beginner Novice obedience run and a Novice rally run on his 6 month birthday (Sept. 26th). He’s doing really excellent in Rally class!  And he has a Working Certificate test on Oct. 1st through the Labrador Club. His progress on the hunt test skills are coming along nicely too.

I haven’t gotten video of the training (too lazy to set up the camera and tri-pod for our impromptu sessions), but I did get some cute videos.

This is a short clip of the sounds e makes when he is really bored and no one will play with him. I had my phone pointed at him, but I was working on the computer and ignoring him.

And this is Voodoo vs. an ice cube. It’s not his first one, but he was acting like he had never seen one before and played with it as it melted before he finally ate it.  At the end of the clip, he moved to the couch to continue the play.  Excuse the dirty floor, I’m out of vacuum bags and haven’t had the time to get to the store that carries them.