Committed to the improvement of the breed by breeding for health, temperament and better structure in dogs that have the ability to herd.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am officially crazy

I have entered Ell in Foundation Agility at the Lucky Dog training/boarding/grooming building in Detroit Lakes, MN. They also do gundog events, herding events, obedience, rally, conformation and do CGC tests, CERF clinics etc. A great place to be had and only 30 miles from my house! That is about a THIRD of the distance that the FMKC is. Ell would be on a lengthy waiting list in Fargo and would have had to of been on a different day than Sadie's. Something I cannot afford to do two nights a week in a row to Fargo. So DL should be much closer and will give me a different approach to training....Ell is ready....but am I? :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wenesday

temperament....genetic vs. environmental

Now I am no expert on this and do not have factual evidence at my side like Joanna at RufflySpeaking does (i love those posts by the makes it harder to argue the opposite case when you write so much and so educational...even if i don't agree! )

Anyway...while at the National we had 9 dogs in our room. Yes nine. My 5 and Joanne and Ferris' 4. We weren't the only ones with more than 4 mind you :)

We had three males, two neutered males and an intact 6 month old puppy. 5 of the bitches are intact and we had one female in standing heat. Most had never seen each other until the second they met face to face in the doorway of the hotel room. The people were more nervous than the dogs and we all settled down to a fun romp with 9 long bodied dogs.

why do I write about this? I witnessed not 1, or 2 or 3 dogs but FOUR intact males having issues with other males that were well over 10 feet away and not even LOOKING in their direction. The dogs in question were not eager to 'greet' them but wanted to rip their heads off and eat them for supper. The dogs that were supposedly the 'intruders' were merely standing next to their owners, or walking by without harassing or 'egging' them on. There was a mixed reaction with owners of the 'aggressive' dogs. One was completely oblivious to what was going on and continued talking to their friend. Another tried to get their attention elsewhere but evenutally just laughed it off and said 'silly boy'. A third picked the dog up in their arms coddling them and saying 'its ok its ok' and telling the other person with the dog that was oblivious to the impending battle that they needed to move THEIR dog away. The fourth just made a comment about 'oh that's just him with other males'. Really?

Why make excuses. Your dog is aggressive. Its not my fault and I don't feel like I should have to cower in the corners when you walk by or pick my dog up and run by just because your dog has issues. I don't care how they got them or why but just watching the antics of each of the 4 dogs leads me to believe that it is mostly environmental.

I believe it was Joanna that had made mention of the importance of taking young male dogs (puppies) between the age of 8 weeks and 16 weeks in for socialization and puppy kindergarten. It goes on to say that the fun loving pup in your house all of a sudden is a monster when you go out in public barking and causing a fuss towards other dogs.

Case in point. My Oliver came over from Finland around 12 weeks of age. The gal picking him up said he and his littermate bounded out of the crate to greet them all waging their tails and happy as all get out. He then went to live with her for a week before going to live elswhere for a month. During that time I was told he was not taken out of the household and was not introduced to other dogs, but kept seperate. I went to get him at a show and when i drove into the yard he ran and coward in the kennel and the entire weekend was like that....chasing him in the xpen to catch him. It didn't end lasted MONTHS....lots of week trips or weekend trips to friends places of work, lots of Puppy K, Puppy dynamics etc. To top it off he decided he didn't like men so it took me that much longer to have him trust me. now he is always by my side or on my lap. And he has gotten better. In January we received our Canine Good Citizen award, in 2007 we received our Rally Novice and there were MALE judges doing it and he hardly noticed. We greet people in the show site or sidewalk and he barely makes an effort to look at them. I'm quite proud of the feat we've accomplished....albeit 4 years into it.

Now Mitcham did not have Puppy K. We did not socialize him like we did Sadie and Oliver and Mac. And yet Mitcham still hasn't met a stranger. He is so friendly and welcoming. Granted he DOES bark and cause a fuss when someone knocks on the door, but that is expected of him....well...and the corgis bark like crazy too! So what makes him so different?

Early puppy socialization!!

The breeder who had them from 4 weeks until 10 weeks of age put new toys and objects in their xpens every day that made new sounds and felt different. She took them places and held them certain ways many times a day. When I have a litter of puppies this is the method I am doing. What amazing dogs. She said its partly from her training and partly from the genetic history of her line of dogs...they all have good temperaments.

What about Justice? He is just as happy as Ell and very friendly. We did not get a chance to do puppy K with him either and it shows. He barks at every dog out there but the more shows and more kennel club visits that we do, the better he is getting. Day 1 of the National he barked at every the end of the week....hardly a peep. I think it helped he got to play rough with Darby the Vallhund and Carly the Cardigan :)

Time will tell how he is. He's never met a human stranger and will never be like Oliver as we did got to trips to town, visited friends, and he played and met many different dogs....just not at the KC or dog shows.

So what's my point?

You are responsible for your own dogs behaviors. Yes it can be genetic but you can ruin a good personality by keeping them cooped up or coddling them or being too rough with them. And you can make a bad personality worse.

Its not my fault your dog has issues, my dogs are fine and are ignoring your dog, so stop making excuses and take responsibilty for your own dog:)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Zoe's very normal and fair day

I finally got back Zoe's results for her hips and elbows :) I broke down and spent the money right after her birthday.

Mitcham Monday

Sorry Sarah and new photos of him (hey i've been BUSY!)

Here is one of him from Christmas Eve night. My how he has GROWN since then!

Here is a photo of the BOB Briard at the St Paul show in January...just think..someday that will be him and I...only I won't be in a skirt ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Three Trails Supported Entry

The day following the National was the Three Trails Supported Entry and I had Justice, Zoe and Ell all entered. Unfortunately for a still growing on the smaller side female, Ell had to go in the "Open" class with bitches that were 10+ pounds bigger than her. She couldn't go in bred-by as I didn't breed her, and she can't go in American-bred as she was born in Canada...see the dilemma? The judge prefers larger girls regardless of the movement and structure so she was shown the gate in her class.

Justice was 3rd of 3. Justice was in the 6-9 puppy class and he is JUST over 6 months old, while the other two dogs in there were almost 9 months old and again 10+ pounds heavier than he. The important thing was he was having a fun time in the ring and that is what is important with a new puppy. I've seen people drag their puppies around the ring, be overly firm with them on the table or while stacking on the ground......things that puppies remember and things I would never do. Why wreck a dog and have them hate showing?

Zoe was in American bred and was 2 of 3. Zoe was given some compliments at the show and that was nice, especially since she has filled out since last year when we last showed her.

After some sad goodbyes and a quick lunch at Chipolte I was headed home, loaded to the gills! Ten hours later the dogs were happily running around our house and glad to be home. I was too :)

National Recap Day 7

Saturday was Best of Breed competition. Since I didn't have any dogs in the the specials classes Shelley asked me if I would show Hunter for her. Sure!

I was able to show Hunter in Best of Veterans for Shelley. I have a hunter daughter now named Daisy so it was fun to see him in person and in the ring with me :) Hunter's daughter Dolly was WB and was being shown by Shelley. Emily got some neat photos of Dolly and Hunter before we went into the ring.

Below are several photos of the final cut where the Awards of Merit, Best of Winners and Best of Breed/Best In Show where decided.

This photo below show the Best Veteran/Best of Breed on the left...named Faith Hill. Best of Winners was Dolly and Best of Opposite was Paula O'Donnell's red boy Mick. First AOM went to Alice and then Dickens. I was told later the call name of the blue bitch in the photo was Halo.
The full results are HERE

The annual banquet was at 7pm but prior to that there was wine tasting which was a hoot as there was a load of cheese and meat to munch on and it was my first opportunity to try a few of the 'red' wines. I was also able to talk to the judge, Mr Jonathan Jeffrey Kimes about his judging, both during the wine tasting and after the banquet.

There was then the 'meeting of the minds' after that and there was a lot of great questions asked by us 'newer' people and answered by great experienced breeders. Amazing time!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

National Recap Day 4 and 5 and 6

Days 4, 5 and 6 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) were a blur!

Day 4 was Sweepstakes for puppy and veteran. I was NOT showing my puppy in the ring as in St Paul Ferris decided she would take him in for me. The judge for whatever reason has decided to NOT like me since the last time I saw her back in September. Not sure why, but life does go on. We agreed it would be unfair for Justice to be shown by me if I was on the upper end of the lead. I was really proud of the way Ferris showed him for his very first time in the ring. He didn't get anything but he was sure happy out there wagging his tail and laying down for Ferris to rub his belly :)

I had nothing else to do that day so spent most of my time with my mentors JoAnne Beashau and Barb Hoffman. I didn't like where the table was set up as no one could really see the fronts from that angle, so we sat on the diagonal and tried to figure out who we best liked and see how far off we were from the judges.

Day 5 were the regular classes for dogs. I showed Justice myself to Barb Hoffman's co breeder/kennel partner. He had never seen this litter so I was curious to see what he thought of him and his littermate Riley, who Ferris was showing that day in the same class. I haven't even asked Jon what he thought of him yet, but he didn't make any cuts either that day. His brother did I think. This night was also the CERF clinic and I had Zoe, Sadie and Ell's eyes CERF'ed. All were NORMAL! :)

The Annual Meeting was this night and I believe we had the raffle that night as well? I wanted this print but didn't get it. Polly got it. I guess someone who herds deserves it as much as I do..who owns the breed they had depicted ? :)

Day 6 was the regular classes for bitches. I had nothing to show so it was a day to relax and kick back. I decided to not show Zoe or Ell......mostly because Jon had seen Ell before and didn't want him to have to judge her and I didn't show Zoe as I knew Jon doesn't like her :) He's told me so :)

this day was the day Justice was able to play in the xpen with Darby and Carly. You can find photso of this outting on Sarah's blog and Laura's blog on my links.

I also forgot to mention that most every night there was rum and/or wine drinking involved with my mentors. Usually pouring over old USA handbooks, UK Champion books, the judging from the day or previous days or years. Lots of great information was shared to me and I just wish I could voice record everything so I could take notes later.

Day 6 was also the night of the DM seminar. After being more informed on the subject I'm truly glad my three intact animals are DM carriers and not affected or 'at risk'. I do however want to test Sadie and Oliver just to see if they will indeed be 'at risk' for it when they get older. Watchign the video of the dogs who had DM was just sickening. Its a painless disease in the dogs but they are unable to move or walk and loose muscle condition and evenutally are unable to swallow or breathe. Not a way I would want to go...slowly.....ick.

Breeders/Judges Education was also this night. What a great opportunity it was to have the specifics of the standard spoken again (this time by Cindy Bossi, who did a great job!) with reference to photos and then eventually to real dogs (the winners of the megan and WD and WB were all there so we could watch them move and feel them on the table). Going to the National should be about learning and relearning. Evaluating yourself, your own dogs and learning how to make them better. Why go to a National if you don't go to these priceless seminars to learn more? I saw many long time breeders in attendance so it isn't just for the 'newbies' but great for refreshing what you think you may or may not know. Unfortunately there was probably only 30 or 40 people there.....which was only a fraction of the people who I thought should be there or hoped would be there. Its hard to learn something when you think you already know it all! I was glad I was in attendance and even happier to be sitting next to my mentors :)

A national should be all about the breed and trying to learn more, evaluate more, meet more dogs, go over more dogs and learn learn learn! If not here, then where will you? I've had pigeons for 16 years and am still learning from them. I would think that with dogs it would be the same?

Honest Scrap Award!

Honest Scrap Award

We were given the Honest Scrap Award from Magic at Days at Daybreak. So we need to be honest about 10 things. Sadie assumed it was her award so I let her do the list!

1. I was the cutest puppy in the litter (sorry Magic..I was the runt)

2. I am a wonderful mouser...I learned how to do it from the late farm dog Buddy.

3. I am queen of the house (and grandma's house too) and I get away with a lot over at Grandma's.

4. My favorite treat is Ice cream. If I like something a lot my dad calls them my 'ice cream eyes' as they nearly bug out of my head

5. I really love to run agility but HATE obedience. Rally is pushing it but I allow my dad to think I enjoy it :)

6. I used to drag our barn cats around by their heads. I figure if they are that dumb they deserve to be drug around the farm like that. I sure miss them.

7. I have never sat in the proper heel position unless I am forced to do so against the wall or cupboards.

8. I expect to sleep every night in bed with dad.

9. I love children and my new cousin Chase (my dad's nephew) is the best thing to lick and lay down next to

10. I am a very friendly girl who loves all dogs...unless we are at Petco and then I feel that I need to be alpha girl

So now we need to pass the award on to 7 others-
Carolyn at C-Myste
Sarah with Darby (hawk the swedish vallhund)
Sarah with Syd (diary of sydney)
Rayna with Nisa (northstar shetlands)
Cindy at Foggybottom
Sherilyn at Winjammin
Laura at My favorite people are dogs

Enjoy all!

National Recap Day 2 and Day 3

Day 2 and 3 (monday and tuesday) were "performance" days. Agility, Rally and Obedience were held during these days and I was a busy guy! I had entered Sadie in Novice Standard, Open Jumpers and Rally Novice. Oliver was also in Rally Advanced.

As you know from our other blog post on the blog Sadie did not Qualify in Novice Standard or Open Jumpers on monday, but she did get her first Rally Novice leg her first day out with no training! She earned a 95 point out of 100 and a 2nd place ribbon!

Below are videos of sadie and i attempting to do the agility. She just did NOT want to teeter and I look a fool :) You'd think with three years of training we'd be better...... LAST night we did three jumpers courses under time and with clean runs at practice..where was my video camera THEN!

And then came time for the jumpers.....she did wonderfully up until a certain jump where she came around and back over the jump the wrong way. that's "OFF COURSE" and is a NQ (non qualifying) score. Bummer. Watch below:

After agility I had to quickly potty dogs and prepare Oliver for Rally Advanced. I didn't ever think we'd Qualify, but wanted him to come with and have something to do with his Dad. I thought perhaps it would be fun bonding times between us. WRONG!!! We got into the ring and he took off sniffing and wagging that tail and happily running off course, around me and then he'd be like "oh crap! Heel! Right!" and then i could see his nose get the better of him and away he went again. We suffered through it on Monday and of course got an NQ.

Sadie did get her first RN leg and I was very happy about that

Tuesday morning JoAnne did NOT see me run my Novice Standard and therefore did not video tape it. She was too busy looking for a stir stick for her coffee. Priorities. We got a 2nd place finish with a score of 95 out of 100 for Sadie's second NA leg. I was very happy she did the teeter that time! She went off course again on Jumpers was basically giving me the middle finger when I tried to front cross her and she totally ignored me and ran BEHIND me and over the wrong jump. We suffered from there as I was so mad and frustrated with her and she knew it. Weaves were terrible...after just having done them in Novice standard beautifully. UGH.

Oliver again went to Rally Advance after JoAnne forbid me to scratch him and after he refused to down or sit I asked the judge if I could just be excused. He agreed and I think too quickly :) LOL

Sadie went in and I was ready for the judge to be awed by her expertise (I"m kidding) and she qualified placing but a green ribbon is a green ribbon! And a big one at that! :)

Tuesday evening was the Competition of Champion only dogs and bitches, called the Megan. There are three judges and the classes are dividied into 4 color classes and then split by sex, for a total of 8 classes (red/sable, blue, brindle, black in both dog and bitch classes). We had three judges from three different continents and it was apparent by their choices in dogs :) the eventual winner was Lisa Phillips with her brindle bitch! Congrats again Lisa!

I did have a few blurry photos of the Megan competition but there are better ones out there on other people's blogs (aka Emily) :)

Two very long, very fun, event packed days!!

The National Recap, Day 1 Sunday April 12th.

Let's see.....finally taking the time to blog about the national..and only about a week late! :)

I left a week ago saturday and loaded up my 5 cardigans and all of their stuff. I just happened to be so lucky to fit my suitcase in amongst their belongings ;)

I ended up driving all the way to Kansas City, MO where I stayed with friends and spent the night out on the town! An early morning came fast and I met up with JoAnne and Ferris Beashau and we headed to Topeka, KS to where our National was. I found Hal Poe ( a super nice guy who along with his wife got Justice's mother now in their home in Lafayette, LA) and he showed me where he taped off some grooming area. JoAnne, Ferris and I unloaded our stuff and set up camp.
Like the flag? Nikki Otto who is a friend from Fargo, ND that has Zoe's Auntie gave me that flag as a gift. She got it off of Ebay.

My grooming set up. Note the black bitch in the lower left is Not my girl, but is JoAnne's girl Roshambo. They just like to use my crates ;)

As a landscaper I was amazing they had Tulips already! We dont' get ours' up until usually Memorial Day!
Our host hotel. I didn't get a shot of the fountain on my camera so will have to glean it from facebook and add it here later :)

Finally unpacked at the hotel....and the brindle babies seem quite pleased with themselves
Zoe has found the 'easy' chair and is taking in all her surroundings (and royal subjects)

Justice is investigating the yummy grease smells coming from the roof top next to our window

Zoe is helping JoAnne and Ferris on their bed. You both can shoot me later ;)
Justice needed a bath so I gave him one I believe on Sunday night. Mr. Handsome :)


I've decided that is much needed to create my very own dog blog as many of my dog friends are not sheep people :) And I don't want to bore them with lamb photos everyday! No worry! I will have a link on the side of my blog so you can still view the lambs when you feel the need