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New Year's Sleigh Rides

Hitching Horse to Cutter Since we were up North at Mom & Dad's for a long New Year's weekend (it was our "Christmas" so the whole fam damily was there) we decided to head out to the barn. My mom has her mare, Joon, boarded and since she's been taught to drive, we thought we'd hook her up to the sleigh. Joon, not Mom :)

Buckskin Morgan While Mom & Max were hooking Joon up, Clint and I were amused by the antics of a young buckskin Morgan in a nearby pen...since I needed to get shots of him anyway (for Mom's blog) I thought I'd throw him in here, too. Just because he's SO CUTE!

Young Buckskin Morgan Mom put the brass "jingle" bells on Joon and after a test drive to make sure everything was working, we had fun taking turns riding in a one-horse open sleigh. I even got to drive! Which, by the way, is harder than it appears at first glance. Max was giving me instruction but she did forget to tell me you CAN actually tip the cutter! She told me that as we were actually tipping but I got everything righted.

Half-Arab Mare Pulling One-Horse Sleigh It was Clint's first time in a sleigh, so after I'd gotten the hang of driving we took off for a spin together. By the time we'd been out for 30 minutes, my feet were cold and my fingers were FROZEN. It was fun, tho'!


Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your site when i was trying to find reviews for Kozies shepherds. I saw from your older post you had some issues with his shepherds.

I am now on his waiting list for Ringo and Josie's puppies. Can you please email me at ?.

I'd like to know more info about your issue. How is the dog doing now? i too have little kids in the family.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your site when i was trying to find reviews for Kozies shepherds. I saw from your older post you had some issues with his shepherds.

I am now on his waiting list for a Ringo and Josie's puppies. Can you please email me?

I'd like to know more info about your issue. How is the dog doing now? i too have little kids in the family.

Sarah said...


I've spawned quite the "following" regarding the posts about my dog...

Part of my problem with the way Mark markets his dogs is he says they're socialized to all sorts of people (different ages), animals, sounds, etc. Which, they are...but only up until they're 8 weeks old. (At least, mine was that way.)

When I first drove down to look at Mallory vom Kozies she was 3 months old and rock-solid, even though she was the last of the litter and was segregated from the rest of his dogs (he kept her in the whelping kennel).

I purchased her, but due to family circumstances, couldn't pick her up for another month. This meant she was 16 weeks old when I came to get her. Upon arrival, Mark told me that she'd "started a new behavior" when introduced to new dogs. She would bark ferociously, with all her hair raised, at any new dog that approached her.

I asked him what he'd done to correct this - I had no clue what to do with that, and since she's my first working-line GSD, I wanted to know what to do! He said something to the effect of "she'll work out of it". Well, she's now almost 2 1/2 years old, and we're STILL working on introducing her to new dogs. Ask any dog trainer - any good one :) - and they'll tell you what I didn't know at the time. Puppies go through 3 or 4 "stages" where they need to be properly introduced to new things...situations, dogs, people, etc. They go through fear stages, "juvenile" stage, etc etc. I didn't know this - I trusted Mark.

My situation is unique - I HOPE - because I didn't purchase my pup until she was entering into another "fear stage" time of her life (3-4 months) and he didn't keep socializing her or correct the behavior when it started. In fact, he segregated her from her own "kind" and every single encounter was scary for her. (This is conjecture, judging by her then-and-now fear of new dogs.)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this dog...I just can't trust her around children. She's extremely insecure. Since she's afraid of other dogs, she goes on the offensive immediately - rushing in headlong, hair and tail raised. If the other dog is older, calm, and confident, she makes a new friend. If, however, the dog is scared of her and runs, I have to try to check her immediately - before she can give chase and bear the other dog to the ground. This is better than she used to be - I couldn't get her attention before I started bringing her to dog obedience classes (positive reinforcement).

Is it my fault she's insecure? Partially. What did I know about ensuring puppies - through ALL their stages - get the proper reinforcement and encouragement? Is it partially Mark's fault, too? Absolutely. He said nothing about not continuing her socialization while she was in his care (although technically mine since I'd paid him). Had I known how she'd turn out, I'd have taken her right then - regardless of the circumstances which kept me from originally leaving with her...even though I didn't really know much about it, she wouldn't have had to endure strange dogs rushing up to her enclosure every day.

This translated to kids because I think she views children as she does other dogs...something to be "conquered". I've had at least 1 niece since I've had this dog, and I tried to get over to my sister's house as much as possible to get her used to small kids. My fiancée has 2 nephews which are a bit older...same thing.

Doesn't really matter - if she sees a kid running, she wants to give chase. The girl she pounced on when she was ~1 year old was 8, tall, but always moving...they'd been playing together for almost 2 days, and I think my dog just got it into her head this was a "playmate" and she wanted to be in charge. So she stalked her, ran at her, pounced on and bit her. Just like she does with other dogs.

She's very "dominant" - always trying to mount other dogs to "prove" herself, and she'll sometimes "mark" other dogs' urine with a raised leg. Again, this is my first time with an insecure shepherd...the two I remember from growing up were rock-solid, good with kids & other dogs, etc etc etc.

Anyway. I could go on and on.

If you're going to purchase a dog from Kozies, be sure you get him/her right at 8 weeks. I'm pretty sure he works with them up until they're that old. Beyond that, I don't could end up with one like mine. Especially if you're looking for a female - I think they don't sell as quickly as males do.

Another word to the wise: if you're into positive reinforcement training - which is a method that REALLY works! - don't go back to Mark for "dog training". He carries hot dogs in his mouth at all times so the dog "looks him in the eye," when really all he is to the dog is a big Pez dispenser. Watch how his dogs are ALWAYS jumping up on people...they're NICE, sure, but I got a few bruises from his dogs jumping all over me. Also, if he does a "demo" for you, notice how he constantly has to tell his dogs over and over and over "Foos, foos, foos, foos" in order to get them to heel, or whichever "command" it is...with positive reinforcement (operant conditioning) methods done correctly, there's only ever a need to say the cue ONCE.

He also told me outright he beat a dog he had in for training because it growled at him while he was feeding it. Would you want him beating your dog??? True dog training via operant conditioning - which he says he practices (positive reinforcement) - does NOT use positive punishment as a means of training. "Positive" meaning the addition of, in this case, his fists.

My opinion, take it as you like...I appreciate you asking.