Breakfast Lessons

I think that I understand why people get Border Collies. This boy Kory is sharp as can be. At 14 weeks my breakfast lesson is a simple sit and stay. I sit him in front of me, tell him to stay, then I turn around and take two steps to a table upon which his bowl of food is sitting. I take a small handful then return to him. If he breaks the stay or gets up I make a big deal about putting the food back in the bowl… and I put him back in his sitting position. But if he stays neatly I give him warm praise and let him eat out of my hand.

This morning he broke his position maybe three times. The clever boy pretty much figured out the nature of the game early on and got the majority of his meal without so much as flinching as I turned and stepped away from him.

At the moment it seems inconceivable to me that this boy will eat a single meal without doing some kind of training work for it. I’d very much like to teach him not to jump up on people. That’s an improbably mealtime lesson though because he quickly defaults to a sit or a down when his bowl has been charged with food.

Camp Starts

Yesterday was busy day for me. I have a private camp underway. A group of folks from the Cincinnati area have come up and are occupying both of the cottages and training with me through the week. Most of them have trained with me before and so are on to advanced studies even though I have to introduce handling fundamentals to those who haven’t. I don’t have any problem balancing time on the floor between mixed objectives.

In the evening we had a build-your-own taco dinner. I had to break away for a semi-private lesson with three of my regular students. Vickie and Jackie had gone to Cincinnati for their debut in the TDAA; and I was dying to know how they had done. Of course they had an absolute blast (which is about the opposite of how they typically feel coming back from an AKC trial). Beth, my third on the evening, had gone to the AKC trial in Hamilton (right north of Cincinnati) to the trial that had killed entry in the TDAA trial.

By the time I got to writing my blog last night I was a bit tired. I hope I didn’t sound overly grumpy because I surely wasn’t. It was a very fun day.

Multi-Flora Rose

At lunch time I had to run out and try out an idea that’s been burning at the back of my head… killing a monster multi-flora rose bush. The problem with the multi-flora rose is that the stems are covered with sharp little prongs that will slice and bleed you like pricks from a razor, and hurt where they’ve stabbed or raked you the way a catfish fin will.

But you know… I have this telescoping trimmer that is used to reach up and clip off high branches in a tree. D’oh! It took me about a half an hour to take apart this monster bush pretty much at ground level.

There was one little woven bird’s nest up in there, an artistic woven thing and I realized is I pulled it out that the bird that was scolding me probably lived there. Well, she just picked the wrong plant to put up her house. I hope she tries again. Anyhow, I have a couple dozen of these monster multi-floras on my property. I’m going to try to go kill one every day or two. They propagate little ones (by the hundreds) that are easier to kill. Yet it would be nice not to have them.

By the way, I don’t spray poison on my property. However I have a system. I took a small vial of concentrated herbicide and daubed a Q-tip of it on the cut trunk and branches that were left at ground-level. You could just see them suck the poison out of the Q-tip. This method sends far more poison directly into the roots and has the benefit of not killing everything else in the vicinity.

You’ll note that when you cut a multi-flora rose it leaves a bramble of razor thorns that will be dangerous for years. I will collect these and burn them in a bonfire and have them away from my property.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at


5 Responses to “Breakfast Lessons”

  1. Nora Says:

    Bud, since not every dog can play, how does an AKC trial kill the entry at a TDAA trial?

    There was an unusally large 8″ and 12″ entry at Hamilton, mostly because many of the small-dog entries were Papillons on the way to their specialty. Which was an AKC show, so it’s logical they would want to show in AKC agility the weekend before.

    • budhouston Says:

      How does an AKC trial kill the entry at a TDAA trial? Well, it means they send their money to the AKC host club rather than the TDAA host club for the trial on the same weekend. It wasn’t an editorial comment, it was just an observation.

      Yah, I knew about the Papillon nationals. It was too bad we couldn’t entice them in the direction of the TDAA. They would have had more fun.


  2. Nora Says:

    Ah, Bud, you’re being disingenuous.

    a) “killed” certainly sounds like an editorial comment.

    b) the 20″ and 24″ entries and a good portion of the 16″ entries at an AKC trial wouldn’t be eligible for TDAA, so they certainly had nothing to do with “killing” a TDAA entry. Heck, your BC is unlikely to be eligible to show in TDAA.

    c) how do YOU know they would have had more fun? Fun is certainly subjective. I have a lot of fun watching “Squidbillies” or “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” but those shows would make a lot of people want to rip their eyes out. As it happens, I had a lot of fun at the Hamilton trial showing under one of my favorite judges and earning one dog’s 17th QQ. I probably would have had fun at a TDAA trial too. One does not necessarily rule out the other.

    • budhouston Says:


      What you should really understand is that I didn’t actually call for us all to go over to Hamilton and beat the crap out of them for having their AKC trial on the same weekend as a TDAA trial 30 miles away (I really like that bunch at Hamilton. They’re salt of the earth). That’s the world we live in. It is what it is. And I don’t think there is anything evil or inimical in trial conflicts. It was just an observation on my part that when something is “dead” I will call it “killed”. Frankly I don’t even give a damn. I wasn’t at either trial. And you can stop taking it as a criticism of the trial at which you got your 17th QQ. Contratulations.


  3. Nora Says:

    Nah, wasn’t taking it as criticism of the trial, though I am always mildly insulted when I choose to do one thing and someone tells me I would have had more fun doing something else. My only point was that the overlap of competitors for the two trials is relatively small, considering that a large number of them weren’t eligible to enter the TDAA trial in the first place. That’s all.

    Thanks for the congratulations!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: