Belgian Malinois
Picture of Ronja, a female Belgian Malinois

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Home:North Country, NY  [I have a diary!]  
Age: 12 Years   Sex: Female   Weight: 51-100 lbs

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   Leave a bone for Ronja


Sun Sign:
Quick Bio:
-purebred-pound dog

Gotcha Date:
March 14th 2009

March 14th 2004

Ronja is absolutely fanatical about her toys. Her favorite training toys are ball-on-string and jute tugs. Her favorite "play" toys are stuffing-free Skinneeez and Kongs.

Not being allowed to chase the cats.

Favorite Toy:
Her green Cuz.

Favorite Food:
Anything at all - Ronja is not a picky dog.

Favorite Walk:
We live on 74 acres, so we do a lot of off-leash walking through the woods and over the fields.

Best Tricks:
Ronja is learning "tricks" to add to her repertoire of obedience and working commands. Our current favorite is her weaving through my legs.

Arrival Story:
After we got our German Shepherd, Abby, my husband and I had no plans to bring another dog into our home for some time, largely due to the fact that we are a military family and therefore move frequently - something not made any easier by the fact that we have a German Shepherd and two cats! However, after Abby's arthritis forced us to retire her from sheep herding, we started missing participating in dog sports and began looking for another "sport" dog. We looked at several Malinois in our area but none of them really "clicked" with us. We learned through Animal Control that there was a female Malinois at the local shelter who would be a good working candidate due to her background, but we were unsure of whether we wanted a second female (which can be a recipe for disaster) or whether we would rather have a male. In the end, we decided that if she did not work out in our home, we'd certainly be able to find her a good working home, and decided to take the chance.

Much later, we learned more about Ronja's background, previous training, and history through the nice folks at Animal Control who'd let us know about her being at the shelter in the first place. Ronja had previously been a police dog and was injured, then retired. After spending some time "retired", her handler got another dog assigned to him and the two did not get along, so he decided to rehome her with someone he thought would take good care of him, a dog trainer. This person, however, did not take good care of her - he bred her and eventually she was seized from him by Animal Control for neglect. It wasn't until some time after we adopted her that we learned more about her entire background, and there still are some holes we are hoping to fill eventually. In summer 2010, I registered her through the AKC ILP/PAL program using the name we gave her when we adopted her, so I can eventually compete her in rally and obedience. We've started doing some smaller fun matches and have been having a good time, so maybe it's time to get more serious about pursuing competition.

Forums Motto:
I\'m not too big to be a lap dog!

What's in a Name?:
Ronja Rövardotter, called Ronja for short, is named after the children's book by the same name, written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

To read more about the book, author, and character, check out its Wikipedia site.

The name is pronounced Ron-ya.

I've Been On Dogster Since:
March 16th 2009 More than 7 years!

Rosette, Star and Special Gift History

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Ronja's New Life

Ronja - CGC TDI

April 21st 2009 10:41 pm
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Two weeks after Mom and Dad brought me home from the shelter, Mom told Dad that I was such a good girl and already knew my obedience so well, she wanted to try and bond a little more and then sign me up for a big test so that I could work as a therapy dog like my big sister Abby does.

Mom emailed the lady who tested her and Abby for their TDI (Therapy Dogs International) title, and the lady told her there was a test coming up at the end of April. So Mom and I worked hard on our obedience and meeting lots of different people to be ready for the test.

On the test date, April 21, Dad came home early from work and him, Mom, and I drove to Langley Air Force Base. Trips there are very special for me because there are big, fenced in baseball fields, and I have a special toy I only get to use in completely fenced-in places: a big soccer ball! I love to push it around with my nose, and I'm learning to "dribble" it back to Mom or Dad that way when they call me. It's really very much fun.

Mom and Dad let me play with the soccer ball for a good while, and then Mom brought the bite sleeve to work on some of my bite work and bark-and-hold work because this works my head as well as my body. After a little while of that, Mom felt I'd gotten enough exercise and we drove to a place I've never been before, called Merrimac Dog Training Club. It's a big warehouse with rubber-mat flooring and several obedience rings. It was very cool. There were lots of other dogs, too.

Mom made me wait while she filled in some paperwork, and then she took me into one of the rings and worked on some basic obedience with me. She used my red Kong (my favorite!) to keep my focus and I did really well. Other people were warming up in other rings. A lady with a Poodle came and worked in the same ring as us.

Then the evaluator lady came in and had everyone come into the largest ring and sit down. She explained the test and how it was going to go, what people were allowed to do (like praise and talk to their pups) and what people were not allowed to do (like give treats) while they were being tested. I thought that part was rather boring and flopped down on the ground, asleep.

Then we did the test. It was a lot of fun.

We got to walk around past other dogs. Mom and I met a bunch of different people, too. We met a man with a dog. We met a lady in a wheelchair. We met a lady with a walker. And we met a lady with a cane and one with crutches, too. All of the people we met petted me, and that was a lot of fun.

I also got to go into another room with a nice lady and hang out with her for a few minutes. I stuck my head into her lap so she wouldn't forget to pet me. She liked that a lot. She told Mom that I was very sweet with her and that I definitely passed the "supervised separation" with flying colors. I didn't know what the supervised separation was, but it was nice being snuggled for a few minutes.

I also had to sit, down, and stay while Mom walked away from me and back, and then I had to stay until Mom called me to her. That was very easy.

Some of the dogs didn't pass the test because they were just way too excited to be there. A yellow Lab, who was sitting next to me, just got all bouncy and licky when the evaluator lady came to brush him and examine him. She had to excuse him from the test because of how he behaved. And one of the Poodles just didn't listen at all. She didn't pass, either.

I passed, though, and earned both my CGC and my TDI.

Everyone thought it was really amazing I passed because Mom had only had me for just over a month. They were very surprised at how bonded I am to my Mom.

After the test was over, Dad went outside and got the bite sleeve and I got to show off some of my bite work. That was just what I needed, too, as a reward for all that hard work I did!

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