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Some of you know that I have adopted Keeta from the shelter when she was about a year old. Guessing from some of the behaviours she exhibited at the time, I think she may have lived her entire life up to that point chained in an isolated area or small yard. She was friendly and sickly when I got her. As she got better and put on weight, she became friendly, overbearing, challenging, confrontational, out-of-control. I turned to obedience training with her in hopes of taming the beast, and the changes were nothing short of astounding. It was like someone had reached into her brain and flipped a switch! Interested in continuing the training, I joined our Schutzhund club, and have been having a lot of fun working with her. We do all three phases, and obedience is by far her best one. We do bite-work with her also, and though there is still a long way to go, she loves it, I love it, and Keeta keeps showing improvement at a steady rate.

This last weekend, our Schutzhund club had the pleasure to host one of Canada's top international level competitors for a three day seminar. He has been here before, and we always enjoy his training wisdom, dog knowledge and personalized help.

He said that he is amazed at what we have done with Keeta, how far she has come, how far we have brought her along in a year. Keeta will never be as strong in any of the phases as the Working Line GSDs, but for a dog of her ability, temperament, and mental make-up, we have brought her PAST her innate maximum potential in both obedience training and in protection work. He does not believe that anyone else that he knows, or any club that he is familiar with, would have been able to achieve this much with the type of dog that Keeta is (I take it he meant by "type" a pet quality dog, as opposed to a bona-fide, specialty-bred working dog). He repeated several times, to several people, that Keeta has passed and exceeded the level of training that she would reasonably be expected to be able to achieve.

And the club concensus always has been, and still is, that Keeta is the best darn heeler in the whole club! My friend keeps jokingly kicking herself over it "We have NOTHING but working line GSDs in the club, and when it comes to heeling, Keeta puts them all to shame!" Well, what can I say, I got a pretty special little girl.
 

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Kudos to you and kudos to Keeta! I think people underestimate mixes and non working line dogs. I think Keeta has unlimited potential and it sounds like you do too and so does she!

Congratulations on all of the wonderful work you've done together!
 

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Awesome! sounds like it was a GREAT weekend
Congrats to the both of you, what a team!
 

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How great is that!!

You should be very proud of Keeta and yourself.. It's always nice when others take notice!!

Keep up the good work!!!
 

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Quote:And the club concensus always has been, and still is, that Keeta is the best darn heeler in the whole club! My friend keeps jokingly kicking herself over it "We have NOTHING but working line GSDs in the club, and when it comes to heeling, Keeta puts them all to shame!" Well, what can I say, I got a pretty special little girl.
Congratulations!! I have to say that I think Keeta got a pretty special person to help her to reach (over-reach??) her potential. You have every right to be proud of Keeta and she deserves it .... but you deserve to be very proud of yourself - but I think that the fun and enjoyment you both are getting out of this, is the main focus for you. This makes the fact that others, including this man (one of Canada's top international level competitors), see what you have done with your lovely dog is truly worth notice. All the very, very best.
 

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Way to go. Now to keep it up and really impress everybody.
 

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Way to go both of you. You have so much to be proud of with a compliment like that. It's so nice to hear stories about rescued dogs (and mutts) that can go and perform with the best of them. Sounds like all the work you've put into Keeta has paid off and you have a wonderful dog by your side. Congratulations.
 

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That's our Keeta!! This difficult dogs are the one that make thebest trainer. You've been blessed with her because of all you had to learn in the process. Keeta will be forever your special girl, and not only for being the first but because of all the fences you had to jump along with her. I hope to hear from you in 20 more years, with you second or third or fourth dog in training. By then you'll be the best.

When will we have more pics of her training?
 

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Thank you all for all the nice comments. I think I have to go and buy a new hat because now my head is so swollen, my old hat doesn't fit anymore!

I've always said that I am grateful for having a "difficult" dog, because she forced me to be a better dog owner, a better dog trainer, and in the process, become a better person overall. Though I brag about all that I have accomplished with her, the miracle is how much she has taught me along the way.

Thank you Ruth for the encouragement! I know that Keeta (and all dogs for that matter, except perhaps Jean's "project" dogs
) have an unlimited potential to learn, but all dogs are limited by their amount of drive. Drive cannot be learnt, it is something innate that the dog is born with, and this is what will limit a dog's potential to succeed in such endeavors as herding, retrieving, or Schutzhund. You cannot put more drive into a dog than what they were born with, so there is some limitations in working ability in that respect. Does not diminish the heart and effort Keeta puts into her work. She may actually be giving us MORE heart, MORE effort, and MORE courage than all the other dogs, as they have it in abundance, while Keeta has to reach deep within herself and give 100% all the time.

Quote:That's our Keeta!!
Ha! I feel like she is becoming something of a celebrity here. Now, will the subtle pressure for her to prove herself worthy be her undoing? Stay tuned for more adventures!

Catalina, twenty years from now, I'll be . . . old. Too old! And the reason there aren't any training pics of Keeta is because usually I'm in them too, and I want to spare all of you the agony of having to see that! Actually, we haven't trained all winter - so no pics, and I hate bugging people for pics, and I'm usually out in the morning or the evening when the light is soft because I have a minor disability and I am very sensitive to bright light, so morning/evening light, overcast days = action pictures of poor quality.

One club member took a lot of pictures on the weekend. I have no idea if there are any good ones of us, or if he will even share them with us, but perhaps there might be something worth posting.

Jaimie, you are right on with your comment about rescues, and mutts. To think that the previous owners of these dogs saw no value in them! What total idiots! I keep thinking about Keeta's fate if I hadn't adopted her. The black dogs, the big dogs, the dogs that look like GSD or Rottweiler mixes don't get adopted, and are often euthanized before smallre, lighter, cuter dogs because they don't really stand a chance.

But that's me, always bucking the trend!

And thanks again everyone, I finally feel like a somebody!
 

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Originally Posted By: CastlemaidJaimie, you are right on with your comment about rescues, and mutts. To think that the previous owners of these dogs saw no value in them! What total idiots! I keep thinking about Keeta's fate if I hadn't adopted her. The black dogs, the big dogs, the dogs that look like GSD or Rottweiler mixes don't get adopted, and are often euthanized before smallre, lighter, cuter dogs because they don't really stand a chance.
Ain't that the truth! I always think of how most people would have given up on Risa long ago. You're 100% spot on about how much these 'difficult' dogs teach us. Possibly more than we teach them. You should be immensely proud of the work you do with Keeta.
 

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WTG!!! Keeta!!!

My Max is my difficult dog and I learned how to train with him. even tho I had previously trained and titled 2 GSD's in AKC obedience. He had a lot of behavioral issues and dog aggression and I learned to deal with those because of him. There are many times he frustrates the CRAP out of me but I will always be grateful for what he has taught me and continues to teach me about dealing with problems.


I think when we are compliented on our problem dogs we should be proud of them and ourselves. When we moved from Kentucky to Oregon I stopped into the vet to pick up the medical records for the wrecking crew and the vet came out to say goodbye and give us a hug. I bought Max with me just to take him out for a positive visit. Dr. Taylor hugged Max too and told him he was one lucky dog because anyone else would not have put that level of effort into him. I don't know if Jack was right or not but I still remember those words and I am proud of Max and myself. Who would think that the problem child would ever be able to earn titles?

So pat yourself on the back, buy a bigger hat, and give Keeta huge hugs form Max.
 

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Please don't let a lack of available light stop you from taking action shots. There are a few things you can do. 1. You can use the flash, even in the daytime. Most, if not all, semi-modern cameras have a feature that allow you to turn the flash on/off manually so you don't have to depend on the camera's autimatic features. 2. You can use a higher ISO. If you are shooting with a film camera, you simply buy a film with a higher ISO rating, maybe something along the 800-1600 range. If you are shooting with a digital camera, it may have a feature that will allow you to manually choose a higher ISO. The only problem is that the higher ISO you use the grainier the picture you may see. For most people, though, that isn't a problem and I'm sure everyone here would rather see a somewhat grainy picture of Keeta than no picture at all. I would probably start out at around ISO 400 and see how that worked. If you don't like the results, try 800 and then 1600 (which would definately be fast enough, but lower would be better if you can get by with it.) until you get the results you want. Maybe this will help you and I would love to see pictures of Keeta the Super Trooper soon.
 
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