Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year and Best wishes from the Mawsonator!

While I was perusing the internet after stealing mum's laptop, I saw this reposted by a few of my mates. I think the minions would wish I would take inspirations from a few of those. Dad already does number 8 and 11 quite well and mum does 4 and 7 to perfection... (mwahaha)  

But I think I have a better New Year's resolution: doing more of this!

I don't think the minions and I will be able to stay up till the turn of the year at midnight. We are already sleeping!! Hopefully there won't be fireworks above the house as last time. I don't mind the pretty colours at a distance or even the sound, but at 2am right on top of us while we are all asleep, I don't like it. I got all spokededed :( 
On the up-side I got a long cuddle from mummy to calm me down (I made sure to lengthen it a bit longer than needed by faking to be still scared after a bit, because it was nice...)

Best woofy wishes for the New Year and biggest licks from Oz

Monday, 30 December 2013

Toothy happy grin

Sometimes all that needs to be said, is said by a big smile! I love it when my minions are home with me a lot :) don't want them to go back to work ever!!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Poor me!

Poor me, I'm melting! The minions are faffing about in the front of the house. Luckily they allowed me to come out with them instead of jailing me in the house... But I'm still too far and they put that lead on me...

And then they dragged me in the full hot sun! I'm melting!! Even with that silly cool coat they put on me, It's too hot!! That's abuse, report them to the rspcgsp... What is the police doing?!?!

It doesn't matter that they had placed my bed in a nice shaded cool place with water and some nibbles. If I stretch the lead entirely I'm melting in the sun and they don't care! Poor, poor, poor me. I could slowly die and they would not bat an eyelid.

I'd better huff and sigh very loudly to try and attract some pity from the minions... And whine to be let in the swimming pool...

Saturday, 28 December 2013


All it takes is a feathery thing to come begging for food to daddy during our Christmas break, and now the minions are all running around wanting chickens! Ok they might have talked about it earlier but still...
They are doing housing plans and reading stuff. I said I was going to help with the rearing, gnehehe... They seem to want to get them the birdies' house in the front garden, damn, I can't go in there... I'm going to keep an eye on that malarkey, these birds need to know who is the master of the house after all... Eeeeeek, I heard a noise! Oh no that's my nails on the tiles... 
Anyway, they say they want to get eggs and hatch baby chickens (?), is that to make me some bite size chicken nuggets? I guess they are going to use that as an excuse to torture me again. Oh no sorry, they call that "training"...
Scuse me sir, could I have that chip?
Oh! Or maybe those juicy big worms there!

In other Mawson express news:

- Went to rally-O trial training tonight, and I stepped in a poo (!) that wasn't even mine: YUCK

- Did a "jeep dog" to mum, with "cute guy in shorts": wasn't my daddy, mum hasn't got anything to do talking to him, bark bark bark, gnehehehe...

- Defended mum against a ferocious Christmas decoration (a dangerous red bow!) in the street, I growled and barked, and all I get from mum is a "you are a silly boy"! Not even a thanks!! Still she showed me that the thing was actually quite harmless but still, that's because I made it so!!

Friday, 27 December 2013

My Christmas present :)

That's ma Christmas pig! It's blue and it oinks!! I loooove it. Mum and nana thought it was going to be mince meat in a second, but I adore it and play with it endlessly. It makes so much noise that it deafens the minions (even better!). For some reason pig disappears sometimes, don't know where?!?
It's been love at first sight, I like to make it oink and then growl at it at the same time, and whine at it when it runs away under the sofa! We are BFF!

Mr piggy still with a smile on his face!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas on the road

Heya folks, sorry for the silence over the past two days but the minions abducted me! And they didn't take the computer... I've already got problems pawing the blogs on the laptop so there is no way I'll be able to paw it on mum's tiny little mobile!

We went to nana Shirley and pop Ron for Christmas. Dad went away earlier, and mum and me followed the next day. That's quite a fair drive away, and mum was driving so slowly that I got real bored. But I did have an opportunity to growl a bit at the coppers when they pulled mum over for an RBT. Mum always likes when I do that, yep, she pats me and holds my mouth shut mwahaha :P
I was trying to tell the cops to lock her up because she's scary on the road, but they didn't understand...

It was really hot in Sydney and the minions were a bit scared that it was going to be burning there but we've been lucky! It got cool and we even had a bit of rain. I like rain and anyway, I was ready as you can see...
No mum, don't know where your rain coat
went, let's go for the walk now...
We went for a lot of walks around town. There are plenty of things to sniff over there. I couldn't sniff fast enough. And I saw a lot of kangaroos, big ones, small ones, all sorts... I like kangaroos, I wanted to go and play with them, because I'm sure we would all be good friends. But the minions didn't think it was a good idea.

Kangaroos coming to drink and poke their tongue out at me
They were even coming round to where we were sleeping to say hello in the morning.

Kangaroos waking me up and
poking their tongue out at me
And they were waving their little paws at me on the walks, but no, nothing to do... The minions didn't let us play :(
Kangaroo across the road and
poking his tongue out at me...

hello there!
I was so tired at the end of the day because we went for a lot of walks and running around. I wanted to say hello to the cat and the chickens too, but the kill-joy minions said no again.. I tell you they were not in the Christmas spirit, were they? At least, they allowed me to look at the very nice sunset. The sky went all red and when mum took a picture of me and my dad, it looked like she had put a red filter... (if she only knew how to do that!)

pretty impressive hey?
I got a very cool present, I'll show you tomorrow and talk a bit more about what we did, but for now I'm shattered. I had to give all the indications to mum for the trip over there and again today, I had to give the directions to dad and keep an eye out for the coppers. It's hard work, so time for a big zzzzz.

Night night all, and I hope father Christmas was good to you!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Tough working day

I've been feeling a bit sickly this morning, and even more my daddy went away early this morning, so I'm stuck with mum... As I couldn't take a pic to show how much I was sick I thought I would put a sock on and look sad... Does that make me look very poorly?

working the sad face

But then I insisted to go for a few walks and also some swimming (because really I'm not that sick...).
There are a few "interesting" Christmas decorations around. The house below had plenty of big inflated things. The pic I asked mum to take was just a tiny portion of it. But that was the most dangerous! The little Christmas tree in front of the father Christmas, had a weird little person getting out of the top and hid back in. Certainly waiting for unsuspecting victims. I had to bark at it! Mum told me I was stupid though, she doesn't realised I saved her life, again!!

dangerous creatures

Sunday, 22 December 2013


Look at my lovely gentle little puppy. Doesn't he look cuddly! Who wants a pat and a kiss, go on...

go on give him a kiss...

Ok that's just a funny frame, he is not really trying to rip my arm off... Mawson has developed a great interest of catching water splashed at him. The funniest thing is, he hates the garden hose...

look at that concentration!

And as a mean mummy (obviously!) I try my best to really make big splashes on his face. The only problem is that he could play that game for hours, literally. And both Martin and I have (sometimes...) other things to do. So we get very disappointed and disgusted looks!

a big slightly weirdly formed tongue...
Make sure you all keep cool over the festive season, looks like it's going to be a hot one. Except for the northern hemisphere where you might want to keep warm...

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Hot saturday

Even though the agility club has stopped training for the summer, there are still a few hardcore crazies who meet up to keep going throughout the break. The training does start a bit earlier to avoid the heat and sun. Today was fairly hot quite quickly, and even though I was only a spectator I managed to get a bit more sun than I intended. Didn't take out sunscreen early enough, but to my (pretty weak) defence, it was covered when I left the house...
The session was great and the boys got very helpful tips and comments. I think that given the choice Mawson would swap a lot of the other training we do, for constant agility...

Coco and Jaxon showing their mums how it's done :)
Or maybe not entirely constant...

Mawson on strike in the tunnel!
After such an exertion in the heat, Martin and Mawson had a bit of a cooling down in the pool, which the sun heated to very comfortable temperatures. Then a quick snooze and a very much needed Rally-O trial training this evening. The training was needed more from my part, and Mawson really couldn't care less. Did a lot of good things outside the ring and as is now usual, decided that sniffing around was much better when observed... Ah well still got some really good tips to try and manage "the ring". To be continued...

piggy back in the pool

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Here is my business card

Oh hello there! You seem to be eating something breakfasty... May I offer my services to you? My skills involve hoovering, dish prewash and feet hydration... My fees are very low, I'll leave you a bit of your breaky.

Target acquired

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Cool customer!

It can be a bit hardcore at trials here in Oz. For day trials, the temperature can go quite high and many pups, like me, don't like to run around in full heat. And I'm not even talking about doing a complete jumping/agility course at full speed. The minions try to cool us down with water and other things, last time dad used one of the car cleaning towels!! I'm not a car!! Or maybe a Ferrari...? Anyway, as we are going to certainly spend a few more days in the heat along the way, the minions agreed to get me a nice coat that is especially made to keep me cool. It's made on measure so it fits well and it's nicely done. It's from a US company called Saratoga Horseworks so it took a little while to come. By the way, I'm not a horse either...

Don't I look dashing! I'm comfy, even though I am not usually fond of coats. I like this one, I don't want to take it off...
It's my new fancy coat to keep cool.
I'm not taking it off, cause I'm too hot!!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Trick and Treat Tuesday: the basket case

Some people tell their dog to put their toys in a box or a basket. We tell our dog to go in the basket...
That silly trick is inspired by a combination of sources. I was reading Bodhi's blog post on back feet awareness (link) which is important for agility training. A lot of dogs take care of where they put their front feet but forget their butt and end up knocking bars down. The second source was just that I was doing some washing and one of the washing basket was lying outside of the laundry door. Plus I was trying to find ideas to keep the Mawson entertained.

Well she could just have given me a pig's ear...

So I decided to get him to go in and out of the basket in an orderly manner. That's not a highly specialised trick, just a bit of fun, but it has its use. The best way to do it is actually to lure the pup in slowly. The front feet are the easiest. Get pup to place a foot in by either pointing in the basket or placing something in it, or if you have worked on "push" with the paw previously, by telling pup to push, pointing yourself in the basket with your hand. As soon as the paw gets in click/reward and treat. Then slowly work on getting not only one but two paws, always praising and rewarding. Mawson was pretty quick to catch on that one, unfortunately as I wanted to keep him busy for a bit...
I is smart! 
But it can be tricky for some pups who do not like to put their paws in all the silly places their crazy mum tells them (!), so be patient.

front feet, easy mum
The back legs can be a bit trickier, as most dogs will just either jump out or go around. When mister (or lady!) pup gets the front feet in, try and lure slowly the pup forward, with the only place for the back paws to go being the basket. Go slowly on the luring forward. As soon as a back paw gets up and even if not fully in praise and reward. Continue slowly until one and then two paws are in. 

ok, back feet, a bit more tricky
And then if you really want to make your pup look silly, get pup to go and stand in the basket entirely, the smaller the basket, the better...

You could have found a bigger basket to do this trick really mum... I'm not a chihuahua!

and.... tadaaaaaa
Now, to further this, you can work on the pup reversing in the basket, and also doing all this through command only at distance, and without luring of course.
As previously, start by little steps. For distance get first the front paws in as described above, include a cue word of choice for the behaviour when done consistently, then start putting some distance between you and pup using your cue word (don't fogey praise and reward, and small distance increments). Do the same with the back feet and the full pup.
The reversing is really tricky as pups will go sideways. Mawson was quite amazing with that, reversing straight with me until about 15cm distance, where the butt was suddenly swinging round the basket, all this while staring at me and without moving the head slightly out to see behind. Maybe he has a motion sensor integrated in his backside, like some of the new cars...

I have better vision than you mum! Not that it's hard to have better vision than a blind bat, gnehehe...

Oy, Mawson!

Ooops, she read that! 

Anyway... One way you can avoid this, or get around it, is to train this reversing trick in a corridor where the basket fills the majority of the space. Go slowly and praise reward any little step, even if that is just lifting the back paw up. Then do the same way as the "forward" training.

Very soon you will be able to arrange your pups nicely in their respective baskets!

She has gone a bit mental really, poor mum! Maybe I need to find a big box for her...

Monday, 16 December 2013

I'm here, hey daddy!!

Daddy was outside watering the front garden without me! I'm sure that if I squish my nose enough on the glass, he will take pity and let me out with him. I only have stingy mum with me here (she didn't give me any of her dinner...), I need rescuing! And anyway those windows look way too clean, need a bit of nose art...

Squished nose

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Saturday recap

Ok, so let's see. If you had a pup who was pretty much a little angel behaving close to perfection for 23h and 58 minutes of the day, you would be pretty happy no? That would seem silly to be a bit bummed about the 2 minutes missing, hey?

Now, let's get another situation. What about you were going in, let's say a Rally-Obedience trial, that lasts a bit around 2 minutes. You would think that it's just a quick in-out run around that would be a breeze, with your pup that can do such beautiful moves that even accomplished handler think perfect. You would, wouldn't you?

You can see where I'm going from there can't you... The issues of Mawson... Actually, that can be summarised in one main big issue: Mawson has got big Rally-O/Obedience ring nerves. Mister pup melts down, as soon as I take that first step in and the judge follows us.

Yesterday was such an example. We went for summer agility training, the official club training has stopped now but a little group of hardcore crazies are still continuing at an earlier time of the day to avoid the heat. Mawson did so well for the whole training, both Martin and I ran him without problem. I also had fun trying to run mister Jaxon the papillon, it's funny to run a smaller dog than Mawson (ok, not hard to find smaller than Mawson...), it is such a difference in the handling!
Then we all went for lunch at a flower shop and the monster was nicely quiet and settled, hoping for some crumbs to fall on the ground.

As we had a busy evening lined up we all had a bit of a snooze for a few minutes in the afternoon, but it was soon time to get ready for the big event. Mister pup's first Rally-Obedience trial. I had hopes that he likes Rally-O a lot more than obedience and he is usually pretty good at the monday evening training in full size ring types.
So after packing up the car, off we went to DogsNSW headquarters at Erskine Park. I was hoping to arrive early and be a guinea pig for the judge training that was taking place a few hours earlier, but mister pup was really a bit too high on wind and smells to concentrate, so I took the slow approach of doing a few rounds of the grounds (avoiding the high number of german shepherds), and some short warm ups of Rally-O. All went smoothly and amazingly well. We got all set, the monster started to settle well and was great on the exercises we were doing. I was really happy and hopeful we would not have to withdraw this time...

Our time to get in the ring arrived and I did my prep fantastically, we were ready, sooo ready. Then the judge arrived after talking to the previous competitor for ages. Asked for readiness, here we go... And then, puppy meltdown. Looking away, sitting askew, pulling on the lead, not healing, scratching. We even had the extreme luck of having a lady steward who had a crutch going round on the outside of our ring, clicking away on the concrete, while we were passing. Mawson doesn't do crutches... we are training but when he is already looking for every opportunities to find an excuse... We ambled through the course but nothing sparkly like he could do just a few minutes earlier.
So that was it... Another brilliant crash and burn. Ah well...

At least now I know what to work on with Mawson. It is not his ability to do the course. He basically can do the whole series of the Rally-O to the more demanding levels, even off lead, and not only at home... while outside the ring at just a few metres... He just has a massive reaction when he enters the ring and is followed by the judge at close proximity. I can see it happening in front of me. My attentive focussed pup just starts to shrink, the little head starts moving down and away and there is nothing anymore at the end of the lead.

So the challenge is from now on, to build his confidence in the ring slowly and practice mock trials at training or ask somebody to follow us. We will start slowly little bit by little bit and we will see where it leads. The most interesting thing is that the monster does not have any problem with agility trials. He loves that so much and it is so fast that I think he doesn't really have time to realise he is in a ring, and usually the judge is standing quite further away from him.
Except for that though, he was really good all evening, the perfect oversized pup.

Anyway, we'll get there, certainly not tomorrow but that's the challenge of working with a little scaredy wimpy pup!

not Mawson, from the internet but quite appropriate...

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Crazy cycads

Well, I've been on a bit of a gardening roll with the blog on these past few posts, so I thought I would relate another one of our interesting plant: cycads. As a european, that's always a pretty funky plant to see. I had seen one of our cycads sprouting leaves once last year.  


This year the cycads seem to have liked their treatment and they have all sprouted a lovely crown of leaves and one has given us a flower! Well it's not as pretty as one might imagine. It's looking like the plant is laying an egg.... upwards... but the final "flower" is still quite interesting.

the eye of the flower

looks like an emu egg!

big cycad with flower

Friday, 13 December 2013

Pretty callistemon

When we got the house, those bottle brushes in the front garden were looking rather scrawny with little leaves. A while later, following a bit of tlc and water... tadaaaa!

They sport an amazing amount of beautiful flowers this year and look quite handsome. Mawson keep a vigilant eyes for the pesky destructive birds!

Guard dog on duty!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A different kind of paws

Kangaroo paws!! We've had a few issues with some of the more fragile plants surrounding the pool area. When the monster Mawson gets out of the water, he tends to be a bit excited and has been known to run flat out, or roll onto things, such as my precious little struggling plants. We've sorted out this by adding a few barriers so he cannot get into the thick of the plantings. At first he was not very impressed by our idea, but he has since got used to it. And we now have some lively healthy flowering kangaroo paws, amongst others. Pretty!

awful pic of my pretty flowers

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Big foot's cousin

People always comment on the mahoosive size of Mawson's paws. And to be honest his mahoosive size overall. Mostly when compared to the refined and petite paws of lady GSPs...
But you see, for us, those paws have become rather smaller from when we first got the monster. Let's say that, when he was a pup, the paws were constituting 90% of Mawson's body...

It's not that he is overweight or anything, we usually try to run him a bit lean, he is just big boned!

big tootsies
look at the size of that trotter
Mawson has never had the risk of being blown away by a gust of wind

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Trick and Treat Tuesday: High five

Today is another one of my favourite with Mawson: the high five!
If you have already worked on the paw shake, it has a lot of similarities, and you can use a lot of the training done then for the high five. Again, I have found that it is easier to start with mister pup sitting in front of you. The trick can be separated in bite size movements, depending of the drive of the monster in training. Do not forget to use the right reward and treats during the exercises.

Hey there, who are you calling monster? Only little angels here, misunderstood angels...

The beginning step is to get your pup to push your hand with his paw and reward, click/treat. Again try to not add any cue words at the early stages.
- Start with your closed hand with a treat inside, pretty close in front of the pup. As for the paw shake, any pup will try to get to the treat by pawing your hand, which is the motion you want!
- Repeat the same type of movement with a paw push of your opened hand, palm up.
- Then move your hand about with pup targeting the palm of your hand, going higher up to the level of his head.
- When the movement becomes more automatic, add cue word slowly and then you can go around and HIGH FIVE at any opportune moment!
I usually do that when we are going to start an exercise or at the end if we did it correctly...

Hey guys! Here is your opportunity to give your minion a good slap across the face and then use the innocent puppy eyes... Plead misunderstanding of the new command, that works, I swear! But it is a short window of opportunity, so don't miss it!!!

yeah, got it, high five mum!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Do not be fooled!

I finally found back photographic proof that puppies are evil little things. You see most of the time, you get drawn by that little angelic face. So cute and innocent with the big round eyes...

Puppy Mawson

And then you get the vampire teeth trying to get you. Look at those needles and the crazed eyes!!

Spawn of the devil
Only a warning of the things to come!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Tour of the facility

Well, as I have been resting my puppy eyes quite a bit this weekend, after the minions took me out until the early hours of saturday morning, I thought that I would do a tour for you guys. You see I have set areas for snoozes, I also have quite a few beds, nothing fancy really, you know, just 3 or 4....

When I was a pup, I was veeeeery restricted. You shall even say I was in jail! I have proof!

See! During the night... jail....

During the day when the minions weren't there. At the beginning: small jail!

A bit later: a bit bigger but still jail!!

When the minions were home, I was allowed out on parole. But my jailers were still keeping a closed eye on me.

I was also allowed out from time to time... barely enough really, wondering how I didn't get vitamin D deficiencies....

Now that I'm pretty growed up, the minions have relaxed a bit, on the conditions I do not destroy their cushions. As if I had ever done that! Dad stop showing that one, that was just a mistake!
I am ever so good <insert angel hallow here! with very cute innocent puppy eyes...>
So here is a tour:

- night bed at home (metal crate so they can fill their jailers needs...)

- night bed on the road (comfy travel crate, and they rarely close it because they say I'm going to poke my nose through and break it... pffff....)

- big day bed inside (salon, for very hot days, when cool needed, zzzzz)

- or just the carpet when I feel like it! (don't know what all those toys are, that must be mum's, I am a big boy me...)

- day bed near the pool window (for the afternoon naps in the sun)

- day bed outside (in the sun or shade depending of temperature and only when the minions are home)

- or just even on the deck...

- or the grass... a bit less hard...

- evening bed in the front room (with fire on if it's cold like you know below 20˚C... gnehehe). Need to orientate well for cuddles.

- carpet in the front room (that's not a bed, that's just my protest when the minions are not quick enough to get my bed... and don't tell them but gosh it's comfy and fluffy....)

- evening bed in the salon (when it's real hot and we need the back door open, though I still like my blanky). Also good for cuddles, less things around.

- night bed, when I am sick or when mum or dad is sick, I'm very compassionate like that.

So that's it. I am sure I have forgotten a few good spots like the outside bench, or the side of the pool, or the back of the car, or under the table... euh sorry...

Well I am a poor little puppy really, and I hope I have fully demonstrated that the minions are really my jailers. I am building my case for my lawyers....(might remove a few of those pics for the case...).

Ok, got to warm up that the bed in the front room. It's cold, brrr might ask for the fire... What NO? See, they are mean....