Douglas UPDATE! (River and Zelda Litter)

I love hearing from puppy owners.  Pamela has Douglas and they live down in San Antonio.  This lovely boy is from the last litter born here in our home… over 2 years ago!  My how times flies.


From Pamela:


Douglas wants you to know that he turned two years old on Jan. 18th.
One can certainly say he takes after his dad River and his loving
mother Zelda.  I love your blogs and study them time and time again.
Please continue your magnificent work.  Your studies are unparalleled
and your breeding practices are unequaled!  You are, quite simply, the best.
Such a sweet update.   She tells me his health is excellent.  One ear infection, which they nipped in the bud and all is well.   So far so good!  I need to ask her who her groomer is for those of you down that way.  That topknot is really nice!!


Lisa Garza - February 2, 2014 - 12:37 pm

What a gorgeous boy!

Ziva has been bred!

Success!!  Kelsey and Gloria braved the horrible icy weather to pick up Mr. Jordan on Saturday.  He is enjoying his time at Tintlet, there so many lovely ladies between the two homes of Gloria and Kelsey!  I imagine he is not happy about being limited to just one girly.  In any case, yesterday the happy couple were successful in their endeavors!!  All that is left is the waiting.   Puppies will be due the last week of March, ready for homes the 4th week in May.   I will be driving to North Carolina around the 18th of May to pick up all the pups not kept by Kelsey for their breeding program.  I’m excited, it has been over a year since my trip to their home.  The mountains are beautiful and you can’t beat the hospitality!!

For information on this litter, read this blog post: ZIVA IS IN SEASON, then contact me with any questions or to request an application.  I have a fair number of people interested in this litter, but it is much better to have your name in the hat than to miss out.  Often people decide the timing is not right and I have to move on down the list.

Kelsey and I were talking last night.  It is a good thing I am not there or I might want to keep Jordan.  She said he is my kind of dog, a pleasure to have visiting.

The Jazz and River babies are now all in their new homes!  Sonata left for Dallas on Saturday and I think his family is very pleased.  It is so quiet, with only two adult Standards and one Mini girl.  The furniture has all returned to it’s normal locations.  The whelping box and puppy bedding is packed away in the storage shed.  I feel like I have loads of time, which is why Jazz and I start a nosework class down at Austin Canine Central next week!  I’ll let everyone know what I think as we progress.


Marlane - January 28, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Congrats Ziva and Jordan….now the hard part – the waiting – begins.
Becky, I know you’re glad to have a break, however short, but then…you deserve it. Whelping puppies and readying them for new homes the way you do it is HARD WORK!
Thank you for all the blog updates….first thing I look for when I walk through the door :)

Jazz Lure Coursing Photos

There was a nice lady taking photos of the CAT this past weekend.  For a donation to the club, she would email you the photos she took.  I jumped all over the offer!  Here are a few of the best photos.


Sandy Tate - January 25, 2014 - 11:40 am

What a happy, happy dog! She loved doing that!

Jennifer - January 25, 2014 - 1:06 pm

Really cute pictures! Poodles have so much energy and it’s great to see them running around. Candy, my red toy poodle, likes nothing more than to spend several hours at a park running. When I first got her I expected her to get tired of running around so much. But after several hours she was still going strong, so now we go to the park almost every day.

Lisa Garza - January 26, 2014 - 9:26 pm

What a gorgeous dog! And excellent photography, too!

VIDEO: Puppy Class and Training

With all but one of the pups in their new homes, I felt it was time to make a post about puppy class.  You each you should be looking around for a suitable class for your new baby.  Not all puppy classes are created equal.  If you locate a training center near you, please drop in on a puppy class and see exactly what they do as far as training.  If they do not have a class going, speak to the instructor to get an idea of what you will learn in their class.  What should you be looking for in a puppy class?

The class should be structured, a basic obedience class with more breaks (breaks to pee, breaks to play with YOU, etc).  It should not be a free for all puppy play date.  You can arrange play dates with other family, friends, or people I suggest as ‘safe’, but do not go to class looking for an hour of puppy play time.   Class is the first step to having a well trained dog who understand how to focus on you and not the dogs and people around their environment.   If 6- 8 weeks is spent letting the puppy play with classmates, you will spend the next 6 months correcting the dog for not paying attention to you in class or on walks.  These next few months are the sweet spot for training.  You will never have a more eager to learn dog than these first few months.  USE IT!!  Teach them as much as you can think of while they are little sponges.   Before they hit teenager and blow you off.  Before they learn bad habits.  Your new puppy should be able to get SIT, DOWN, STAY, COME, HEEL within a few short days.  After that you can teach subtler things like WAIT and PLACE.  That is right… days.  If you are consistent and take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening every single day, you will have a star.  When you go to class, you can focus on getting your puppy to focus!  They will know the behaviors so you can use the class to show them “yes, you have to sit here, around all these dogs and people, and be quiet”.   There are some classes which are ‘half and half’ style, where you learn obedience and then have play time.  This can be a good training tool, depending on how the instructor uses the time.  Are they knowledgeable in dog behavior and body language?  Are the pups in their class having a good time or is one getting picked on?  Are the owners encouraged to let the pups play then leash up and go back to training to teach the puppies to refocus and know when play time is done?  It takes a real experienced trainer to allow ‘play time’ and not leave you with more baggage and bad habits than when you started class.   My dogs have never been to a ‘puppy play’ class and they are all good with other dogs.  I just socialize them with friends, family, neighbors and call it done.  When we are out in the world (local park, dog shows, pet supply stores, etc) they are not there to play with dogs, they are there to be with me, and they should be focusing on what we are doing, not what the Golden over the hill is doing with his family.

Below is a training video of Sonata.  This is his second training session.  He is 9 weeks old.  Let’s see what he can do in about 10 minutes of training.

So, you can see here why a ‘puppy play’ class would be a waste of your Poodle’s potential.  These pups are calm, focused, and can become amazing creatures with a small fraction of your time and energy.  You spent months researching what type of dog, and where to get it.  I have given your baby a great start.  Now keep up my work and put in the time to grow a family dog we all can be proud of.


  1. Find out what snack your puppy loves
  2. Teach your puppy to play with you.  Tug and Fetch are both great.  Do not expect your puppy to simply know how to interact with you.  You must teach him.
  3. Get your puppy doing both SIT and DOWN.  Anytime you see your puppy sitting or downing tell them what they are doing right  “GOOD SIT” and walk over to pet them for being so smart.
  4. You can teach this all on the tether first to keep a silly distracted puppy from wandering off.  I would rather you not hold the leash, but tie it to something.  I want you focusing on food rewards in one hand, guiding the puppy with the other.  Trying to hold a leash makes that complicated.  I do it off leash, but I am experienced.   Do not feel bad if you first teach these things to a tethered puppy.


Jill - January 21, 2014 - 7:22 pm

Great post! This is just what we need right now. We have been working on these things with Melody. She is so smart!

Heather Pressgrove - January 21, 2014 - 9:36 pm

Thanks for this post! We have been working on heel during our walks (he picked that up fast!), sit, down, and a little come. He’s learning fairly quickly even though I’m so inexperienced. :)

Rachel - January 22, 2014 - 12:07 pm

When we brought Hugo home (almost 2 years ago – Wow), he was sitting on command like a champion thanks to you. He made it through his classes very well. We still have to do refreshers to keep it going. One thing that came from being with you is that whenever he finds himself uncertain of what we want from him or in a new unfamiliar situation, he sits and looks at us like “okay, now what?”.


Heather Pressgrove - January 25, 2014 - 11:29 am

Have you done a video on “come”? I would love to see your method for teaching that important command.

Becky - January 25, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Heather, here is the video I did several years ago when Jazz was a pup. This is how I start “COME”

VIDEO: Jazz Coursing Ability title!!

It has been a busy week around here!!  All the puppies but little Sonata have left for their new homes.  I had several families coming on Saturday to get their new Poodle pups, however everyone ended up coming during the week, with the last two girls leaving on Friday.  Sonata will not leave until the 25th, so what does a dog person do when they have a weekend free?  Do something with their dogs of course!!  I remembered there was something going on this weekend, but I couldn’t recall exact what.  After digging around, I found there was a Coursing Ability Test down in Manor, TX, just outside of Austin.   This test a dogs willingness to chase down prey.  Originally, coursing was only open to sight hounds, but that has recently changed.  Now any breed or mix can be tested to see if they have the instinct needed to enjoy this sport.   No prior training is required, you simply show up and see if your dog will ‘chase the bunny’ (3 plastic trash bags tied to a pulled string).

The host club was the Alamo Area Whippet Club, who were offering 3 shows in one weekend.  Two on Saturday with two different judges, one on Sunday.   If you qualify at all three, you could walk away with a basic coursing title!  I can’t say enough nice things about these people.  Friendly, inviting, helpful, and encouraging.  They were excited to see anyone interested in what they do.   Keith was working a 24 hour shift at the hospital, so the kids and I packed up the dogs and heading down to Austin early Saturday morning.   Thankfully, the show was day of entry, so I could just show up early and enter my dogs at that time.  I spoke to the trial secretary and asked her my entry options.  You see, I know my dogs.  I brought both Jazz and River, but I had a sneaky suspicion River would not be the LEAST interested.   A cat could walk 2 feet from him carrying a dead bird and River would just glance at them in passing, absolutely uninterested.  He is a great retriever, but chasing a plastic bag was not likely to be something he would deem worthy of attention.  The show secretary suggested I enter both dogs in show one, see if either were keen for the chase, and then enter the rest of the weekend based on those results.

Once registration was complete, a soundness check was preformed to make sure neither dog was lame.  They also checked to make sure Jazz was not in season, which would cause a big distraction on the field for male dogs!  Both passed and we set up our home base (crates, chairs, etc) in front of the coursing field.  At first, I had both dogs out in crates facing the field.  However, it was apparent that was not going to work for Jazz.  She was going CRAZY watching the dogs run the field.  Thankfully the weather was cool, so back in the car crate she went.  I took River for a walk and attempted to get him interested in the excitement happening in front of him.  He honestly was more interested in my lap, hands, and the toy I brought for a reward.  Admitting defeat, we played a small game of fetch while waiting for the small dogs to finish their runs.  The only hope for River was to have him watch Jazz and possibly spur his interest.  Doubtful, but worth a shot.

Jazz was first up, and after a brief discussion on when and how to release my dog, we were ready to begin.  Jazz knew exactly what to do and ran her first lure course like a pro.  Not even a small hickup, kept the lure in sight and finished beautifully for her first Coursing Ability title qualification.  You need 3 qualifications under 2 different judges to gain a title, so we were 1/3 of the way done!   I couldn’t believe she could run as far as she did after being pregnant and whelping a massive litter just 9 weeks prior.   I checked her over closely for injury, gave her a toy to carry while we did a cool down walk, let her drink a little water, then crated her while I prepped River.   When I came to the line with River, I told the judge I wasn’t sure he would even attempt to chase a bag.  She shook the bag, tried to get him interested, but he was only looking at her, not at the bag.  They ran the bags up a bit and back, but River just looked at me.  Nope, he isn’t a hound, not even a little.  I tossed his toy as a reward, which he happily carried back to the car.  Retriever, yes.  Courser?  No.  At least he had a fun day with mom, a car ride, and some retrieving.

Back to the secretary I go to enter the second show for Saturday and the one show on Sunday.  The kids, dogs, and I decided to take a little walk in the beautiful park while we waited for the second judge to arrive.  This show as located at East Metro Park, which has miles of bike / walking trails and one incredible skate park.  The kids decided we had to come back tomorrow with skates and scooters for a day of fun after the show.  I had to admit, it looked like a ton of fun.

Show two:  She lost the lure once but got back on it quickly and with absolute keenness.  This isn’t about running perfect, it is about a willingness to chase and desire to keep going.   The judge asked me how many runs she had made, I told her only one that morning.  She said “OH, well she is a very green dog.  This is common in all hounds.  If they do not lose it, they will not learn to keep their eyes glued to the lure.  She will get it in time, she is very keen.  You must keep running this dog!”  Qualified!

Today was our last run of the weekend.  I made sure Jazz was sound and not sore from the running yesterday.  She seemed like her normal self, so once Keith arrived home from work this morning we hit the road.  The course was set up across from the skate park, and the kids wasted no time getting geared up for their fun.  I checked Jazz in, trotted her around to warm up her muscles, then stretched her out really good.  She passed inspection again.  We were clear to run.  I had Keith video her run.  I did not embed this video, because you need to watch it in a larger version to see anything.   She is a small dark speck on the video. :)


Note the barking the entire time around!!  She lost the lure in the EXACT same low spot as the day before,  but again she found it and continued on.  Three runs, three qualifications!  Jazz now has her Coursing Ability (CA) title with AKC!!!  I’m very proud of my girl.  She has found her calling!  Several of the hound people said “She runs like an afghan”, which seemed true.  I can’t wait to see how much faster she gets once back in condition.  Keith plans to take her running, he was excited about her interest and wants her to be able to play this game as safely as possible.  That means being in top running condition.  I plan to run her often this year with a goal of a CAA title by year’s end (10 qualifying runs).  If you live in TX, have a dog over one year of age, and want to come hang out with me and see if your dog will enjoy this fun sport, come on!!!  Today they allowed people to run some young dogs for practice.  I was kicking myself that I did not bring Lina.  I’m guessing Lina will also love the game.  Regardless, I want entries to these events to sore, I want more people involved.  We need to make it worth while for the hound folk to continue putting on test for us faker hounds! :)


Tara Anderson - January 19, 2014 - 4:59 pm

Me, Me! I immediately googled this sport (because I had never heard of it)when you mentioned it in your post a couple of days ago, but couldn’t find anything local. Please let me know when there is another one between SA and Waco. Selah LOVES to run. I wonder if she will be able to keep focused, but she definitely has the running down. She would rather be chased than to chase, but I’d like to see what she does.

Becky - January 19, 2014 - 7:36 pm

Absolutely, Tara!! There is a facebook group called Lure Coursing for the Non-Sighthound. That is where I found the listing. Join that group, but I will also keep you posted on anything else I hear about. They have them all the time in Austin area, at least 4 or more times a year.