Bruce Kirkpatrick - Bruce Kirkpatrick /

Clearview's Jazz - Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) | Dog Training

Updated 3/30/2019 4:00 pm

After a full life of almost 13 years, Jazz passed away on Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at 1:30pm while we were with him here at home. After several weeks of reduced eating and reduced activity, he got so weak in the last few days that he would stop walking after a few steps and fall over or lay down. His heart was beating rapidly and he struggled to catch his breathe. We tried to help him eat better and do the normal routine, but his heart gave out. We tried to feed him and give him water just a few minutes before he died. He would only take a few bites the last few times we fed him, even though it was real meat.

My mom was laying with him on the floor when he died. His body tensed at the last moment and then there was nothing. I listened to his heart, and there was a dull rumble, but no heart beat. His body had stopped its function and he became peaceful and still. It happened so fast.

Jazz also lost a substantial amount of hearing in the last year, and had a lot more white in his face and really started to slow down. He had developed numerous growths on his body in the last few years. These growths made it hard for him to urinate about a year ago, and we had him neutered at that time since we thought his prostate would shrink by doing that. It did seem to help. He also had a lot of allergies and fleas in the last year, which seems especially hard to get rid of compared to any other time. I think his death was related to the growths/tumors and possibly a stroke. He had Vestibular Disease (similar to Vertigo or Stroke) over a year ago, and it seemed like similar symptoms of that again, but much worse before he died.

It is sad to experience the whole cycle of life and death and to reflect on it all. Jazz was a pure bred Shetland Sheepdog that came to me on an airplane from South Dakota from a family that breeds them sometimes. I paid full price $1400 for him, because I wanted to keep him neutered and aggressive and they don't allow that if you buy a rescue dog or the lesser price since breeding rights are worth more to people. I bought Jazz with the intention of doing dog agility training in 2006, not to rescue or just have a pet. I worked him very hard in the beginning and fed him real food and was very strict/consistent with him. I had him doing everything more consistently then other dogs when he was only 3 months old. I could eventually get him to obey at a distance of 100 feet without a leash most of the time, and do all kinds of agility obstacles in the yard.

For many years now, Jazz has been more like a regular family pet, but I trained him to obey certain things forever. Dogs constantly challenge you as a sort of game to see if you will be consistent or not. I wish I could have trained 100 dogs and not had to live with one dog for so long because it is fun to work with them, and to experience the new challenges. The drive of a dog and its ability to learn is very limited. Some things Jazz would never do reliably like playing fetch. Other dogs would have a different level of drive to do other kinds of work and work longer. It's harder to have multiple dogs get along especially if one is not neutered like Jazz. I had to keep Jazz away from other dogs eventually because of that, since he was attacked a few times, which was awful since I had to get the dogs to separate by choking them to release my dog. One of his lungs was permanently damaged from it, and it seemed to bother him ever after. It's probably better to neuter instead of enduring all the extra human/dog aggression but I wanted to experience the natural dog spirit/drive with Jazz because that made it more interesting to me.

A dog isn't very hard to take care of, but it does make you want to stay closer to home to be there for them. Dogs are always happy to greet you and they are your best friend. I learned so much about dogs. I still want to have a dog. Jazz's entire aging and growth process was predictable according to charts I found about the breed, and it turns out that even his lifespan was predictable. Maybe some kind of expensive treatment would have helped, but I felt like letting nature take its course was better.

Jazz was with us ever since he was 2 months old, and he will be missed.

Below is an archive of Jazz's puppy years.

Jazz in the Florida winter grass 12/31/2009
12/31/2009 - click to enlarge
Jazz quickly listens to a series of commands, and finally gets his milkbone, filmed 12/31/2009.

Clearview's Jazz - Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) 12/31/2009
Photo taken 12/31/2009 - click to enlarge

Clearview's Jazz - Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) 12/31/2009
Photo taken 12/31/2009 - click to enlarge

Clearview's Jazz - Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) 9/17/2008
Photo taken 9/17/2008 - click to enlarge

Clearview's Jazz - Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog)
Photo taken 8/8/2007 - click to enlarge
Jazz was born in June 2006 and died on 3/30/2019.
Sex: Male · Color: Sable · Height: 15" · Weight: 17 lbs · He's a fast furball with lots of love for people and dogs.
Jazz, came to me from South Dakota's Clearview Shetland Sheepdogs on 8/7/2006 at 8 weeks of age. Since he arrived, I've played with most of my free and given extensive training, exercise and socialization with other dogs and people. He's changing every day so come back and check for the latest photos, videos and text updates as he gets older and more beautiful.

Jazz's History

8/7/2006: Jazz, my new puppy, arrives at Orlando Airport ready to go to his new home. He weighs 4 pounds and is about 9 inches tall at 8 weeks. We play till 4am and get very little sleep.
Photo: 1

8/15/2006: 9 weeks old, 5 pounds, 9 inches tall. He understands sit, lie down, get up, come here, run, stop, heel, no, good boy, go potty, let go, jump voice commands when given various levels of praise, treats or corrections, I try to add new ones each day. He's been eating the blue buffalo lamb&rice brand and I fed him raw lamb, turkey necks, organic eggs and grass outside.
Photo: 1

8/26/2006: 11 weeks old, 6.2 pounds, 10 inches tall. He's starting to understand roll over and understands speak, go outside. He really doesn't obey certain commands in certain moods, so I don't think he's very obediant right now. His left ear was pricked (always up) for a week and then it went back to being tipped again. Had chicken legs, lamb, pork, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt and kibble this week.
Photo: 1 | Video Clips: Watch #1

Sheltie - Shetland Sheepdog Agility Training
Jazz jumping through a bicycle tire on command.
Photo taken on 9/17/2006
9/5/2006: 12 weeks old, 7.4 pounds (heavy with water / food at measure i suspect), 10.5 inches tall. He's doing much better obeying one on one. He's totally out of control with human or dog distractions especially off-leash. He's even more independent off-leash and becoming a much faster runner, noticeably stronger. He did his first jump through a bicycle tire off-leash today "tire" command. He understands the difference between "food" and "bone" when i feed him. He understand outside is where to go potty, but he won't hold it if i don't notice him clawing the door or barking about it. He understands "sit / stay" or "down / stay" for a few seconds, but not when I leave sight and not with distractions.

9/11/2006: 13 weeks old, 7.8 pounds , 11 inches tall. He's very good jumping through the tire now off leash. He seems a lot stronger. I let him sleep in my bed now. He doesn't try to leave it until 7am when he always gets up. He's getting better and better at "stay".

9/14/2006: 14 weeks old, 8.4 pounds, 11.2 inches tall. Getting stronger and faster. Having too much fun to take photos.

9/17/2006: 14 weeks old, 8.4 pounds, 11.2 inches tall. Meeting many different dogs at the parks. understands "drop it" and is working on "shake hands". Made a whole photo gallery for this update - see the link! My little guy is so tired with all the fun we're having.
Photos: Gallery 1

Jazz Height & Weight Over Time | Sheltie Size Charts
Jazz Height & Weight Over Time

Updated 3/29/2007

Source: Sheltie Size Charts

9/25/2006: 15 weeks old, 9 pounds, 11.7 inches tall. Understands "shake hands" perfectly now - working on "chase your tail". Got a video of him doing a few commands outside coming soon. He's so much fun. I got him several new toys and he loves the squeeking stuffed animal lamb. His coat is getting much thicker and he's a lot stronger now. Jumped onto the couch a few times, but doesn't always make it. Hurts his right hind leg sometimes, I think it was a minor sprain one day from landing sideways too hard, it seems strong again now.
Photos: 1 | 2 | Video Clips: Watch #1 | Watch #2

9/30/2006: 16 weeks old, 9.8 pounds, 12 inches tall. Understands "chase your tail", "beg" (stands up on hind legs with both paws in air), "ice" (he likes to chew ice), "water", "stop" (stop moving and stand still), "get down" (off furniture), "go inside", "home", "walk". I can take him for a walk off the leash now and he'll stay close until we meet certain people / dogs and then harder to control. His legs seem pretty strong. Working on "up here" as command to jump up on the couch. Very fast with all previous commands now off leash and many at a distance, almost always obeys first command.

10/6/2006: 17 weeks old, 10.8 pounds, 12.25 inches tall. We go for long walks without a leash now. He listens very well. He's doing better listening to me when other dogs of people get close to us. I raised the tire up to 11 inches and he'll jump through it but takes more motivation now. working on "2 feet" command where he stands on 2 legs for a few seconds vs beg where he grabs my hands while standing on 2 feet.
Video Clips: Watch #1

10/13/2006: 18 weeks old, 10.8 pounds, 12.5 inches tall. Getting stronger and faster. Had his final puppy shots this week.

10/20/2006: 19 weeks old, 11 pounds, 12.75 inches tall. Blue buffalo lamb & rice kibble finally ran out. I fed him Nutro free samples a couple days and he threw up yellow bile in the morning like many people mention all over the internet. Going to feed him raw or cooked human food only for a while and see how that goes. Mostly raw meat & eggs with small amounts of cottage cheese, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, rice right now. Check out the latest photos and videos below!
Photos: Gallery 1 | Video Clips: Watch #1

10/24/2006: 19 weeks old, 12.2 pounds, 13 inches tall. Seems to be growing fast after a couple weeks of the same weight.

10/29/2006: 20 weeks old, 11.4 pounds, 13 inches tall. Lost some weight after running around and eating less. His ribs weren't as easy to feel before, so maybe his weight is stabilizing now with the recent diet and exercise routine. Made the tire and jump hurdle outside 14 inches high and also made weave poles. He doesn't really want to do the weave yet, but with a chicken bone, he did it by himself a couple times. Needs lots of work on the weave. He'll jump anywhere on command though... We play lots of fetch outside now with frisbee or tennis ball. He runs extremely fast for the target, and usually returns with it in mouth. Someone thought he had been swimming at the beach since his coat is so shiny in the sun. He played at the beach for the first time this weekend. He chased the little birds and went all the way out into a wave and then quickly retreated. After that whenever a wave came, he began barking at it to ward it off. LOL

10/29/2006: 20 weeks old, 13 pounds, 13.25 inches tall. Still growing stronger. Just reinforcing the same commands.

11/18/2006: 23 weeks old, 14.8 pounds, 13.5 inches tall. Quite the whiner now. Mostly listens to me and no one else now. He runs way faster then I can now too so I always get a head start so i can get him tired faster. Not really training him anything new yet, just reinforcing everything. He still eats all human food and goes on walks with no leash.

11/25/2006: 24 weeks old, 14.4 pounds, ~14 inches tall. Nothing new...

12/01/2006: 25 weeks old, 15.8 pounds, 14 inches tall. Jazz is starting to like the weave poles and can slowly do them on his own with me guiding him along. He never liked doing it when I pulled his collar or leash, so I tried guiding him by pushing on his sides left & right and he caught on after 3 days. He's getting plenty of fur now. He picked up a dead toad the other day and started foaming at the mouth since they are poisonous and taste bad. Don't let you dog play with dead things (whoops!).
Photos: Gallery 1 | Video Clips: Watch #1

12/15/2006: 27 weeks old, 15.8 pounds, 14 inches tall. No growth in 2 weeks. It seems his growth is leveling out now.

1/1/2007: 29 weeks old, 16.4 pounds, 14.5 inches tall. He jumps through the tire, over the bar and through the weave poles pretty fast now. He jumps about 12" for agility stuff, but does about 28" on the furniture inside (we let him do it). He used to have very weak hind leg that would get hurt sometimes, but now he bounces on and off furniture on his own all the time. Need to get/make the other agility things still. I never stopped training him and I'm with him all day still. He knows how to heel without a leash and will obey voice commands with distractions like people and dogs even though he loves to meet both of course! I take him on a leash sometimes so he doesn't forget his manners, but he's so good on a leash, it seems pointless. We confront a lot of cars, dogs, and people on our walks, so it's been a challenge getting him to where he is, but he wouldn't have learned without the hundreds of mistakes! He even ran directly in front of a VERY SLOW car months ago and was completely run over without a scratch, so I'm sure he'll run the opposite way next time! I make it progressively harder for him on everything we do. He has way more distractions and ways to fail now then ever. I try to use lots of bad situations for training and rely on trusting him rather then protecting him. We have had plenty of close calls, but that makes it exciting too.

I'm having trouble with trying to train him to retrieve an object every time. I was too harsh and now he doesn't trust me to play fetch with him (he will with other people). So I'm stuck with a long process now of either all positive reinforcement to heal that or use another technique. Its not the first time I had issues with him accepting commands. The weave poles and heeling were tough - certainly trusting him not to run at cars or dogs is the hardest one. He only listens to me when the distraction level is high. I was trying to train him to hold the object because he did great running for it and coming back, but would get distracted or lose drive and leave the object a lot. I was able to throw stuff hundreds of feet and he'd come right back, but now he just stares at me most of the time. Even when he won't fetch, he'll do EVERY other command he knows very fast. He thinks anything I throw is off limits now pretty much. However, during his bursts of energy at dawn and dusk, he'll occasionally play some fetch a few times. His rib bones have some fat on them so perhaps he's lazy or less motivated because he's not very hungry.

We haven't had any problems with him in terms of potty training or destroying our stuff. He only goes for his toys even though I have tons of my electronics cables everywhere. I think his system doesn't handle turkey very well, but all the other food I give him seems to be ok (100% human fresh/raw foods). I know he holds back outside most of the time, because he's much more energetic on a cold day. I bet it's tough to compete in agility against northern dogs if you're training in the south.

All his adult teeth are in with a nice bite - he seems like ideal sheltie. Maybe he's a champion.

1/29/2007: 33 weeks old, 16.6 pounds, 14.75 inches tall. More fur, nothing else is new.

2/7/2007: 34 weeks old, 17 pounds, 14.75 inches tall. He started destroying some of our plastic cables. Like the phone cord, speaker cables. I haven't been taking him on walks as much, so he's getting bored and chews on new things. Always gets more independent when I give him slack.

3/29/2007: 42 weeks old, 16 pounds, 15 inches tall. He's taller, longer and skinnier now. After 2 months of feeding him about once a day, his extra fat has been burned off. He can easily outrun every other dog in the neighborhood and can keep up with my bicycle going about 15mph. He's a big whiner when I leave the house now. He loves to bark and I love to hear it. I play like I'm a dog with him all the time. I'm often too rough with him and I wish he wasn't so little sometimes. But at least he's not too big to be an burden. I keep him in the crate when I leave because he often gets bored when he's alone and destroys things. He does everything I ask him to when I'm around. He doesn't listen to anyone else the first time like me. I make sure he's obediant every day. He's got a lot more to learn to be a pro in the agility ring, but I know we could do it. He hasn't eaten dog food since he was 12 weeks and he's doing just fine. We don't feed him any grains, just meat, dairy and a sometimes fruit/veggies. He doesn't need very much food each day, just one raw chicken breast is enough. Might not update this page anymore since he's really not a puppy anymore and the changes month to month are very subtle now. I'll think about adding some new photos soon. His coat is really getting beautiful now. He's starting to shed a lot more and its all over my room and he tracks in that dirt smell from the grass all too often. Oh well, he's too much fun to care!

8/8/2007: 60 weeks old, 18 pounds, 15 inches tall. It's been a year and one day since Jazz came from South Dakota. I still love playing with him every day. He's so much fun. I let him wander around the house more now since he hasn't been chewing things anymore. Photos: Jazz Jumping | Cuter when wet | Video Clips: Watch #1 | Watch #2

12/31/2009: After over 3 years of living with Jazz, I'd have to say he's the best purchase I've ever made. He was never "fixed" so he's very aggressive and puppy-like still. He is extremely wild when I come back home after being away even 30 minutes. He runs in circles, likes to give those high pitch barks and just wants to lick your face. He'll whine and make funny noises to express how excited he is. When other dogs are around, he can be more aggressive now and they sometimes bite at each other violently now. It seems like they learn some kind of body language as they get older that gets other dogs angry more quickly. He is much better at catching frisbees now and that is his favorite game. We have a tire, multiple jumps and weave poles in the backyard and he still enjoys doing that. He'll push frisbees with his nose across the ground at amazing speeds in the street and eventually flip them over. It's very funny and frisbee is the perfect sport for this kind of dog who is very fast and it's less dangerous letting a small dog run free. So many big dogs don't get the exercise they need because of fear of them going after the neighbors or cars, but I let my sheltie run free most of the time and people don't seem to care. However, you have to be careful with babies and small children. My dog chases them down like they are prey. However, he is usually good about coming back when I yell at him. Every so often he sees a big hawk in the sky and runs across the whole neighborhood. He also made a cat jump 5 feet and cling to the side of a tree one day. If you are thinking about getting a sheltie, I hope my journal proves that this is the right dog for you.

The ever growing list of commands (38):

Voice Command Description  
stand up    
come here    
free Said when I remove the leash  
heel  big change in direction when following me  
good boy    
go potty    
let go  releases an object when i'm holding on to it  
roll over    
speak bark once or more  
go outside    
bone Raw meaty bones or just meat  
egg Likes to eat them  
stay  "ok" is the release word  
drop it  anything - toy, food, worms, dead animals, etc.  
fetch  a thrown object and bring it back to me  
leave it  continue following instead of smelling/playing/eating something  
shake hands    
chase your tail Doesn't want to do this one consistently yet   
beg  stands up on hind legs with both paws in air  
ice likes to chew it  
stop stop moving  
get down off furniture  
up here on furniture  
go inside    
go in your crate    
hey gets his attention, makes him slow down and wait for me like a gentler no - may sound too similiar to "stay" sometimes  
tire  jump through a hanging tire  
no bite    
weave word for performing the dog agility weave poles  

Shetland Sheepdog Resources

AKC: American Kennel Club
North American Dog Agility Council
Sheltie Pacetter

Dog Training, Obedience, Agility & More

Leerburg Dog Training - Dog Training Videos
JJ Dog: Dog Training equipment for Dog Obedience, Agility, Flyball, and more
Dog Toys, Dog Training Toys, Dog Treats, Dog Agility Books, Dog Agility Videos at Clean Run

General Resources including animal rights, care, safety and resources

ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Agility Equipment Links
Pet Travel Guides and City Guides for Dog/Pet Owners
PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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