YDS Summer Camp with the Poodles

June 24, 2016  •  3 Comments

No this wasn't a poodles only camp but honestly we kind of invaded the place!   LOL   Back last fall I had this wild idea to invite as many of my friends (not just poodle friends either) to join my boys and I at a summer camp.   Elaine at Yellowstone Dog Sports hosts 3-4 summer camps each year and after seeing how much fun others had last year when we were down there dock diving - I wanted to try it out.   It is basically 3 full days of dog people doing fun things with their dogs.   Not limited in any way to dog breeds, purebreds or competition dogs but just for EVERYONE that loves their dog and wants to play for 3 days in an amazingly beautiful location.   Elaine and her staff and trainers/camp counselors are just well, AMAZING!    

About 1/2 of the folks that decided to drive over from WA stayed in Helena on Saturday night and we had a caravan of vehicles driving to Red Lodge on Sunday.   The others met us there.   Sunday night we were treated to gift bags of goodies, met the other campers, counselors, staff and were treated to a spread of hors d'oeuvres.   We also then signed up for what activities we wanted to do over the next 3 days - with the warning not to sign up for everything and to pace ourselves!   That night we all gathered at the RVs (some had rooms in the facility and 2 of us were camping) and talked till late in the night.

What a fun group of people!!   Just in our little group we had Bob (photographer and poodle Dad) & Robyn with Lacey.  Vikki with Eureka, TinTin & Nickel.  Claudia with Jesse and Allie.   Carol with Clooney.   Lindy with Houdini (honorary poodle for this trip) and Boudreaux.  Me with Epic and Sterling. Here is a photo of most of the campers and staff/counselors taken the last day.   Even though it looks like a lot of people and dogs, honestly it didn't feel that way and most activities had around 6-8 participants.

ALL THE PHOTOS IN THIS POST HERE ARE BY  Suzette Morettini AND ARE COPYRIGHTED TO HER!  I've noted the photos/videos that are actually mine.

I am sure I will not remember all the camp activities you could participate in (or you could sit them out if you wanted) and there were also some spouses there that went off and did their own thing (biking, hiking, fishing, etc.) while we played with dogs.   We were EXTREMELY well fed with 3 meals a day included in our camp fees and the girls did a great job working to accommodate special dietary needs when they could.  Each day at lunch and after dinner we had either a speaker, demo or activity as well.   Oh yeah we were busy from 8 in the morning till 8 at night!   If anyone ever balked at the cost of camp, they certainly know now they got their moneys worth and then some.

Speakers included a holistic vet, a talk on the building of the Beartooth Highway, an animal communicator and I am sure some I've forgotten in my vacation brain.  We also had a night of "sip and paint" where there wasn't a lot of wine sipping but I can say there was a TON of laughter and fun and a late night.   We also were treated to a disc dog demo from 2 of the talented camp counselors.   All that was "extracurricular".

I'm going to list just some of the camp activities and I know I'm going to forget a bunch of them.   Each camp is a little different depending on what trainers/counselors Elaine gets to come.   Regardless there is an amazing variety and we all commented that we just couldn't decide what to choose and this is why we all need to come back next year and do the ones we didn't have time for.   I will admit though that by day 3 much of the choosing was based on the energy left in dogs and humans!

  • Herding (multiple levels)
  • Dock Diving
  • Swimming Lessons (dogs not people - LOL)
  • Freestyle
  • Fit Paws
  • Canine Massage
  • Training Basics
  • Cross Training
  • Disc Dog
  • Agility (multiple sessions and focuses)
  • Lure Coursing
  • Nose Work (multiple levels)
  • Tracking
  • Treiball
  • Dog Crafts (for the humans to do while dogs rested that last day)
  • Last Day relay Race (water retrieve, lure coursing, recall, egg on a spoon walk (in leash hand with dog on the leash), agility & nosework.
  • Other things I cannot even remember!

Did I mention just wandering around the 90 acre property and oh maybe some napping?

So here are some of the great shots Suzzette took of poodles doing well, freaking everything!  Since I was busy participating I didn't do photos (I believe Lacey's dad Bob did though) and she then gave us a disk with all the poodle pics (yes there were many other dogs there too I just don't have those photos).   I am happy to report that the poodle relay team barely squeaked by the last day to win the relay race which was a hoot and a half.  I believe we had 5 or 6 teams total in the races that day and Epic rocked his recall (fastest I've ever seen him c.o.m.e.).

This photo is one I took of Lindy and Houdini (honorary poodle) working on treiball skills.

These are from Suzette...


Lacey and her Dad!   The love and energy between the dogs and their humans was fantastic! Clooney and Carol in treiball class.

Clooney and Carol herding (Melissa was the trainer).

Clooney & Carol, TinTin (who is 12) & Vikki in massage class (should be renamed "canine bliss").

Boudreaux herding.

Ally & Claudia doing dock diving.

Epic and me trying to work on some vertical dock jumping.  He struggled with this but we do have some land based things we are going to do to try to convince him it isn't scary.  He is so used to running after a moving target that this was a hard concept for him.  Paul and Melissa were fabulous allowing us to try this out and Judy (in the background there) was a great cheering section!

Boudreaux learning dock diving.   Just because they love to swim doesn't mean they will love to jump off the dock!

Epic dock diving (in class).   One of the reasons he doesn't make as much distance I think, well I know, is his Mom's throws (still figuring that out) but also looking at the photos (so nice to have) is that he doesn't seem to have the butt lift he needs. Love his tail in this one....

Love the intensity both of these two have.   Lacey and her Dad, Bob.

Mom giving it a try with Lacey.

Ally, stopping mid-air to make sure she lands on TOP of her fetch toy!

Epic and his litter mate Boudreaux learning freestyle "bow"!

Lacey and her Mom, Robyn (who can seriously throw a frisbee better than she thinks) in disc dog class.

Clooney & Carol, Houdini & Lindy in Fit Paws class.

Melissa giving the dock diving class (see told you it wasn't all just poodles!). Ally trying to grab the bag and run over Adele in lure coursing!

Jesse (who I believe is 11) & Claudia

Nickel cuddling with Vikki.

Nickel and Vikki working sheep. Nickel is 10 years old and look at that cornering!   She is seriously fast and light on her feet.
Ally & Claudia, Eureka & Vikki, Lindy and Boudreaux and Lacey photobombing. Sterling watching the sheep herding while I did video.   He did get to play (sorry no photos) but with his injury/rehab was limited to what he could do.  He did however manage most outstanding Fit Paws dog!  :) Epic got to do his first try ever at lure coursing and he L.O.V.E.D. it!   I so love seeing dogs that can get out and really run and I was really impressed at his speed and structure!
Yeah no intensity there at all! Auntie Adele didn't hit the gas quite quick enough and he got the "bunny" (a plastic bag).  If you ever have a doubt about whether they will chase a plastic bag, this will end that!
Whoa baby!   They changed the direction (the second run he had it all memorized so the counselors started changing up on those crazy poodles).   The idea is that they don't "cut corners" but follow the path as fast as possible.
This shot and the one with the bag above are probably 2 of my favorites! Clooney lure coursing. Ally also rocked the lure coursing and yes she too - got the bag once.   Doesn't she look proud of herself?
Since we have so many photos in this post I'm going to save the videos (okay so I don't have them edited yet) for another post.   Hope you enjoyed a taste of the things we did at camp - and yes, this wasn't the half of it!


Wow you sure had a fun time and the dogs too. Epic looks fantastic.
Far Side(non-registered)
Wow that looks like a wonderful weekend!! What fun for you and your boys! :)
Looks like you guys were having waaayyy too much fun:) The pictures are awesome and it is so cool to see the action. I think Connor would like to try dock diving as he throws himself into the pond every day. He launches from shore and still manages to get quite a bit of lift. One of these day, I am going to build a dock. It is on the "list".
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