The last day of the year

The last few weeks have gone by quick, the holidays always leave little free time as there is always much to do.  I cherish the dogs so much during the holidays because they are always there for me and show unconditional love all day long.  Eme has been working her indication the last few weeks and while her frustration is grown at not being able to work long problems i have seen a huge difference in her drive and focus on her prize. Raina’s first real airscent search was at dusk on tuesday and she found her mom beautifully! You could hear and watch her airscent me and she followed her nose until she was half a foot away when she finally saw me!

Imprint we go

Saturday was a great training day at Rita’s in French Woods NY. The girls had so much fun playing and working. Raina got to see her  brother and mom after her first week without them. She also got her first imprint on Cadaver which she amazed me at. Not only is her focus amazing but her nose and work ability is already in place at 9 weeks old!!

My ears are up!!

Eme worked a problem with two subjects, it was short and sweet and we made sure her refind and alert occurred correctly and quickly. She was a little confused why there was two people but she worked through it and like a superb working dog cataloged what happened and will not hesitate again now!

Her perfect stay after working and playing

We also worked 3 HRD problems with scent pools that were close to each other. She did a great job finding all three and mom did an ok job rewarding her at the source while she was looking right at it. Hopefully the start of next year she will have her platz indication in place.

Raina gave me some natural behaviors and i will have to see what comes out for her cadaver indication.

OOOooo i think my nose knows!!!


A white Eme

Sunday was a nice relaxing training day for Eme. She is adjusting well to her new sister and loves to play and show her how pack life works here at Elite Instinct Canine training. Some friends came over and with the new snow fall they wanted to go get some pictures out and about. I knew Eme could use a solo hike where all attention could just be on her. Of course we never miss an opportunity to train and we worked on her recall, her find it command, and her giblaut (speak in german) Eme is trained in both english in german though only german commands are used while working. The main reason for this is so while working in public she will not be distracted by other people issuing commands.

Jeff and Jessica took some amazing photos of my girl up in the snow. As an all black shepherd (and the first all black shepherd i have ever had) she stands out in the snow!!!!

Eme in the snow

At 9 months eme is doing a little “terrible two’s” challenging right now.  Her commands where re practiced in less distractions to re build them back up and then we added the distractions again. It seems to have worked well and we get a response on the first command even under high distractions for her basic obedience commands.


My amazing eme surprises me everday with her talent in searching, her ability to read me and anticipate my moves and dedication to anything i ask of her. The last 7 months have been a learning experience for both of us.  We have achieved a great balance and working relationship and i know it gets stronger everyday.

Eme after her find

And so it Rainas or snowas at least

Well last night Ms Raina Uptown Girl Vom Französisch Wald came home to stay.

She is well, perfect. The pack loves her and Snoopy only drooled for a few minutes haha.  She settled down for the night and we were up bright and early this morning. We had company all day in and out and she did great meeting everyone. No accidents and a great healthy appetite showed the transition was just fine by her. She spent the afternoon inside with her daddy watching football.

Sleeping upside on her back in daddy's arms

The temperature makes it hard for us to take any hikes so we just did a few outside potty trips and a little tug. Then after dinner was over i taught her to fetch in well about 2 minutes. Smart huh?

i'm gonna get you you damn ball!

While raising another puppy is a lot of work, especially when you have 10 at home to care for and provide to its totally worth it. Raina is a once and a lifetime dog and she is going to be an amazing search dog.  It will be a different experience raising a working dog in the winter as i’ve always done it in the spring or summer months. I think we will have to wait a few more weeks till she gets bigger to hit the hills and woods but may  hit the local stores and work on obedience, desensitization, and socialization.

A face to die for

The Pack Mentality

Many people often give me incredulous stares when i indulge that I have 11 dogs. I guess i expect it, an odd number is never where to stop 🙂        The difference between me and anyone else i have met with a good number of canines (a good number being over 4 or 5) is that my dogs are all companions, they do not live in kennels, runs, outdoor buildings or anything of that sort. Everyone lives in the house with my husband, I, and the Molucaan Cockatoo (which is a whole other post)

The dogs are our family and are expected to live as a unified pack which gets along, shares, coexists, and respects each other. When you have dogs from 80 pounds to 6 pounds 6 female and 5 male this could be quite a challenge, but its not. All dogs respect me and look towards me as their leader. I did not achieve this by beating them, or alpha rolling them, or screaming at them till they coward at my feet. I taught them the FOUNDATION of our relationship and i made sure i could COMMUNICATE clearly to them. I kept it CONSISTENT day to day and canine to canine and in the end i was rewarded with mutual RESPECT.

Just owning dogs are great, i see families, couples, and single people “own” dogs all the time. What i want and what i help people provide is the ULTIMATE RELATIONSHIP where you and your dogs have the correct tools to help them lead a balanced life.

It isn’t just about living, its about living balanced. And every dog deserves that.

We will get more into what “balanced” is in the next post!

Eme asleep, yes asleep in my shoe.

First snow fall walk

Its wednesday, and nothing like a night walk in the woods after the first snow fall. Now we only had a dusting but up on our elevation it was enough to cover the ground. After a 12 hour shift at work my favorite thing to do is come home and walk the dogs and spend the evening in front of the fire on the couch reading a good book surrounded by soft fur and light panting of the dogs.

Walking my english bulldog Valentine is necessary daily to help build the muscle in her leg. The end of june brought her cruciate surgery and its been a long road to recovery from there. We try to do 1 to 3 miles a day and lately we have been taking Emeline with us. Its great for Val to get some canine interaction (shes leashed of course can’t have her stress her leg to much) and as usual my working shepherd is always ready for a hike in the woods.

Tonight was peaceful. The moon was hidden by clouds, the light from my flashlight reflected off the snow and emeline pranced around exploring the newly fallen snow. I took notice to the many trees that had fallen during the last two days wind storms and watched Valentine jump over them fairly easily. Its been a long 5 months.

I love my life, i wouldn’t have it any other way. All day i get to meet new owners and new dogs, learn new stories, rejoice at healing animals and cry when others must pass. Then i get to come home to the comfort of my pack, 10 dogs in all who love me, and I them. Sure its tough and a lot of work as each needs  his or her own time, plus our pack training time but i really couldn’t imagine life without them all. We each have a special relationship, a special connection and understanding.

As i type this each is in their most predictable spot in the house awaiting my next movement or command. Theirs eyes filled with love and hope and nothing but living in the moment. I am inspired everyday and vow to be just like my canines and live in the moment. Thank you