Asher was born on 1st May 2006 on a farm in Llandovery, Wales. He is a shortish coated tri blue merle working sheepdog. I'd always intended to get a pedigree collie from working lines as my second dog but up until a week before I got him I still wasn't allowed to get another dog. I got the go ahead to get a puppy on the Tuesday and Asher came home on the Sunday. I kind of had to seize the moment before anyone had a chance to change there mind! As it was such short notice all the litters I had been looking at had been booked in advance and there wasn't alot else around so I decided to do a tour of Wales. I found 4 litters to look at and off we went! The first litter were lovely but were all black and white, I didn't really mind what colour but as I already had a b+w I wanted something different, they also looked like they might end up a bit small. The second litter only one pup was left, I really liked the mother and father but the pup was quiet and a bit too laid back for my liking (i was looking for a flyball dog!!). The 3rd litter included Asher, there was just something about him, he wanted to be with us and was so so friendly. We still went to see the last litter as I expected them to be the best pups as both the parents were ISDS reg. trial dogs but I didn't really like the father as he was too chunky and just not my sort or collie. I also just didn't click with the puppies so we drove all the way back up from Bridgend to Llandovery to collect Asher. I think I drove over 400miles that day and we didn't get home til after midnight.
He was a very active puppy (not your usual play then fall asleep kind), he was on the go all the time, he also didn't like being left at night and it took him about a month to stop screaming in his cage for the first hour when we went to bed. However, he was extremely clean and was completely housetrained within about 2-3wks, he also never nipped. He didn't do much chewing and he learnt things very quickly. He's such a nice dog to work with because he is incredibly loyal and all he wants to do is please me, he can be quite sensitive because of this so will swtich off if he thinks he's doing something wrong.
He is quite a tall dog and has very long legs, he took ages to get control of them! I used to think he would never be very fast because he was almost a year old before he could keep up with Tess, luckily something clicked and all that changed, now he is super fast!
I started putting in the groundwork for flyball as soon as I got him, he was retrieveing at 10weeks! I knew the most important thing was getting the drive bringing the ball back so I really worked on that. I also got him obsessed with a tuggy which is what he still runs back to on his flyball runs to this day. I've never had a problem with him dropping his ball on the way back because I proofed this very early by ensuring he always brought the ball right to me before he could play tuggy. He is still reluctant to play tuggy unless he has brought me something first! I also started teaching him to turn around my legs (both ways until he decided which way he was going to turn). At about 7months, it looked like he was going to turn right so I started his cone work and started him on the box at about 10months. He started full training at 12months and picked it up instantly, it was like he was born to do it, he started fast and has just got faster! His 1st starters competition was at Anglesey almost exactly a year ago with his team mate Sonny, George from the Dolphins and Taff from Hotshots. He ran start dog flawlessly all day, only from 20ft as I didn't want to mess up his box, we won are division with a time of 19.87secs, I was very pleased! He took part in one other starters tournament and his 1st open was Newark in November last year. Unfortunately, a week before Newark he decided he didn't want to turn right anymore and that he was infact a lefty, this completely ruined the months of work I put in. We are finally getting there with his left turns now but it has taken a while!
Since his first show (where he was a little star) he has gone from strength to strength, he is the fastest dog on our team and runs around 4.00-4.10 over 14inches. He ran for the first time over 11inches last weekend and was seen to run a 3.60, I didn't see it so I don't know if I believe it yet but I know he ran late 3.7s and 3.8s so I am thrilled, he is my special boy!
I always indended to do agility with him but wanted to wait until his flyball was completely solid first. We eventually started in May and are 10wks in to the beginner course. He is doing really well, he has no fear of any of the equipment and really seems to understand my body movements so I need to make sure I get it right! His contacts are looking good and he loves going on in to tunnels. Need to work on his directional commands and also weaves as he has trouble finding the entry when it gets too narrow, he's fine at about 8-9inches. I would really like to compete with him as I know I've got a very special dog and I want him to be as successful as possible.
I would also eventually like to do some obedience with him, I don't think it will ever be his speciality but I 've worked really hard with him and he can work really well so I would like to see if he can do well. His only fault is his behaviour with other dogs particularly in a confined space or when he's on the lead, he can be quite agressive so taking him to obedience classes isn't really very fun as I have to be very aware all the time. Out on walks and at flyball he's fine as long as he doesn't get harassed. Oh well, a small price to pay I suppose when you have the dog of a lifetime. He really is amazing and I can't wait to be with him through everything we achieve in the future.