Mallei - Ag. Ch. Silvanwood Commanche ADM JDM ADO JDO SPDM SD GDX HT

DOB: 6/1/2004
Red-tri Australian Shepherd.
S: Silvanwood Southern Storm
D: Can't remember right now

Mallei was my first dog- I got him when I was 18. He is a sweet, sooky, lovable boy who would do whatever I asked because I asked him to (or more likely because I had food at the time). 
It's amazing that we did so well in agility considering he had no foundation to speak of, and a completely novice trainer who had no idea what she was doing, and who was finishing highschool during his puppyhood. Mallei and I competed in the State championships 3 times, our best effort was to come 2nd in Jumping. The first year we got in, he ate a kilo or so of rabbit food the night before and blew up to the size of a balloon. The next year something else ridiculous happened but we got through it. We competed in the Advance Team for Victoria in a trial in SA, and once in the Victorian Team at the National Competition, held in Melbourne. Mallei was the 2nd dog in Victoria to obtain the Agility Champion title under the rules at the time, and the 1st Australian Shepherd to obtain it in Australia. 
This is all quite remarkable given that Mal was never a sprinter dog (except on the home-straight) and that we never followed any handling method except my own, and that, by the end, I regularly forgot courses. I think that speaks a lot for doing what works best for your dog. At the time, we were competing when good speed and consistency were key.
I went back to Uni in 2009, Mal had just turned 6, and I stopped working. I found that even when we did a very speedy, good run for us, we were consistently coming 5th - there were much faster dogs than us competing, and financially, I couldn't justify 5th places any more. So I retired Mr. Mal and he became our cuddly house-dog. 

It's funny because Kate from Rozate often says that these dogs will do whatever you ask of them, and do it well, but their true love is in herding. For Mal, his true joy was agility. Sure, he'll herd for me, even if he's far too close to the sheep and just wants them to run so he can chase them, but give him a set of jumps and a tunnel, and he lights up. 
I have him to thank for sucking me into the sport.

Possibly, if I keep him fit and well, when I start trialling Lu, maybe I'll sneak him into a masters jumping course every now and then, just for fun.

I like the way he'd tuck his front feet together.

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