www.askpolly.com -> dogs

Photo Albums 

Dogs Playing

2002 BTCR Fun Event

Pups at 4 weeks

Pups at 7 weeks

Coda's First Day at Home

Lure Coursing 7-12-2003


Dog Resources

Show Career

At long last, we got a dog, a border terrier named Coda (short for "Coda di Carota," or carrot tail) born on June 6, 2002. We wanted a dog with spunk, but not so much that she won't get along with the other dogs at HighWire. We picked her up from Sue West, president of the Border Terrier Club of the Redwoods.

Coda lying in wait -- 15 weeks old Coda sleeping -- 15 weeks

What's a border terrier, you ask? Isn't that like a border collie? Nope. They're small, lively, happy dogs, who love to eat and chase rats (or any other type of small prey). They're a tad smaller than a Parson Jack Russell and a little mellower. Here are some pictures from the 2002 Border Terrier fun event so you can see how cute they are, and their favorite activity (besides eating): earthdog!

Here were the first looks at the puppies at 4 weeks of age, some at 7 weeks of age, and Coda on her first day at home (see how quickly she adapts?).

Here she is on her first day at work (when she was 9 1/2 weeks old):

Coda's first day -- courtesy of Erin Rose

Coda's now 13 months old (as of July 2003). She's a graduate of puppy kindergarten, and now has her Canine Good Citizenship and her conformation championship, skills built up completely through clicker training. She's now training for competitive obedience, agility, and earthdog. You can follow her career from here.

Her best friends at work are Augie and Rocky. Click on the picture of Rocky below, to see a very cute video of Rocky & Coda playing (Quicktime video -- 6 Mb). (Pictures of Augie courtesy of Jesse Gathering. Pictures of Rocky courtesy Ryan Krebs.)

Augie and Coda (Jesse Gathering, photographer)

Rocky On Coda (Ryan Krebs, photographer)




As of 1/20/2003 I'm adding content to this part of the site. It's still incomplete, however. Sections on good doggie web sites, books, and more as I can think of them!

Good dog web sites:

American Kennel Club: gives information on all types of breeds

Purina: Lots of useful dog info + a breed selector to help you decide

InfoDog: Interested in finding out where the next dog show is? Who won the last one? This is the place for dogs (and owners) who like to compete.

Karen Pryor's Clicker Training Site: Resources for learning how to clicker train your dog, find trainers in the area, etc.

Melissa Alexander's Clicker Solutions Site: Great site with tons of tips on specific aspects of clicker training.


The books below are a sample of books I've read or own, along with recommendations both good and bad. (If a book doesn't have any explanation by it, I probably would recommend it. Books that I didn't like but chose to include, I've pointed out so you won't make the same mistake I did by buying it!

Dog Behavior & Training

The Truth About Dogs, Steve Budiansky -- A lot of people say this book is cynical, but I think it gives an excellent perspective on dog behavior and why they do what they do.

The Intelligence of Dogs

Don't Shoot the Dog, Karen Pryor -- Excellent, excellent book. A must read.

Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson -- Another excellent, excellent book. A must read.

The Other End of the Leash, Patricia McConnell -- Another excellent, excellent book. A must read.

Agility Training


  • Click to Win, Karen Pryor -- Lots of excellent tips on clicker training your dog to show well (versus baiting to show well). I trained Coda from this to focus on my finger instead of bait; this worked well because food made her too crazy when she first started showing.

  • The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Showing your Dog, Cheryl Smith -- Good guide to the ins and outs of showing a dog, training a dog to show, point schedules, etc. Very comprehensive.


  • Earthdog Ins and Outs -- Very comprehensive guide to earthdogging, and a really good guide to all the earthdog breeds (for those who want to get a terrier or a dachshund).

Obedience Training

  • Clicker Training for Obedience, Morgan Spector -- Excellent, excellent book for training your dogs on the basics of obedience. Although half of the book is dedicated to competition obedience, the first three chapters review operant conditioning (skip it if you've read other C/T books) and fluencies (basics like the long sit, down, stand, etc.) using the clicker. Lots of great suggestions on how to approach things, and how to deal with common problems. Several later chapters are dedicated to training your dog the skills necessary to get various obedience titles.

  • Avoid anything by Carol Lea Benjamin. Her methods are outdated, and she is an advocate of punishment when redirection or ignoring behaviors would work better.
  • Be ware of anything by Monks of New Skete -- Some interesting things about dog behavior (some controversial), but they are also too harsh for my tastes (beware the alpha roll!).


Border Terrier

  • Border Terriers Today, Anne Roslin-Williams -- This is my favorite border terrier book. It's a really comprehensive look at the BT breed standards, and how to take care of your BT by a top expert in the area. It's well written, concise, comprehensive, and it has great photos. Plus, some of Coda's grandparents are in it. :)