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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Zoe and Minnie herding in Oregon

I won't re post the videos but I urge you to go to their own blog site to view them herding up a storm! I'm so glad that Missy and Glenn contacted me just about two years ago about a puppy from Zoe. They are also the best home for Zoe too and I'm so glad that it has worked out so well for both placements!

Zo-Zo looks so happy. I'm so glad she and Minnie are both spoiled rotten!

Here is the link:
http://blog.spyrockcardigans.com/2011/07/girls-went-herding.html

Fun hey?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When photos make you smile

So much to love about him.....I kinda miss the big goober. He'll be back soon enough :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Good Weekend

This weekend I finished my first dog from the bred-by class. Ava earned her last three single points to become a Champion! I even kept her in on Sunday to hold the point for the class dog, and to make sure she did indeed get all her points :)

She is my 4th champion, my 3rd cardigan champion and my 1st breeder/owner handled exclusively in the bred-by class!! This is my 4th champion in less than 2 years!

There were also health clinics for Cardiac, Thyroid, Patella and CERF.Ava and Ballantyne were done for Patella, as they had already passed the other tests. The gal doing the patella clinic told me how important it is in a herding and actively working breed such as a Cardigan to have good knees. She also said dogs that do agility should be examined.

I also heard this from the CERF, Cardiac and Thyroid vets/doctors. The cardiac doctor said the cases of bad hearts was nearly 50% of all dogs tested just 20 or less years ago and that breeders have made giant strides in their breeding programs and have made those cases now that have problems less that 10 %!! CERF doctor stressed the importance of the eye exams and that many of the genetic/heredity diseases can be bred away from. yet so many people don't do them.

There was a B Match Saturday night that Shelley and I stayed for. It sounded like a grand idea but after 13 hours of being at the show I was D.O.N.E. Margot earned a Group 4 and did extremely well on the leash and for the stand for exam. We need to work on everything but mostly with the 'showing the bite'. She did awesome at the show site with the sounds, smells, people and dogs. I also took two of Daisy's pups with as there was a potential home coming up from Milwaukee to see them. They did awesome for being away from their mom and the rest of the litter. I'm so proud of the boys :)

I also found out today that Brewer earned his first point going BOW at the show he was entered in!! That makes him the fourth puppy in the litter to be pointed. I never think any litter is good enough to have every puppy be a show puppy and finish, but glad to see that her litter had some puppies worth growing on and showing.

I wanted to thank Shelley Powers for all her help this weekend. I'm still not in a fit condition to do much and when I was getting fatigued she was there to help, even when I objected. Its much appreciated :) Also a huge thank you to Barb and Steve Peterson for allowing my dogs and myself to invade your home and eat your food and sleep in your house. I love the Duluth show because there is so much time to spend talking to friends and getting to know new ones! I'm drained each day and sometimes overwhelmed by it all but if anyone has an inkling of going to Duluth for the 4 day cluster, I highly recommend it! Plus you are literally one block away from Canal Park and dozens of GREAT restaurants and things to see and do!

Thanks everyone for a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I've officially gone crazy....

What on earth is THAT? Yup. Its a black natural eared Briard bitch puppy named Margot.  :) Her daddy is from the Czech republic and her momma is a relative of Mitcham's. She was born in March and I got her at the Fargo show. Life has been slightly hectic since then and I'm trying to catch up on all things that are worth telling.

She'll be in the Duluth puppy match this weekend. Lord help us. I think she's part monkey. She can almost climb on to the kitchen counters. Mitcham, having just turned 3 on wednesday (i'm a bad dad I know), still does not jump up on the counter or counter surf or whatever you want to call it. He's so polite in comparison. She's a wild child! Let's hope her coat is easier to groom. Note the natural ears too. I didn't want to fight with the gluing for 3 years.....

Bolin's results

Bolin is a fluff carrier N/A, she does NOT carry pink either (E/E) and she is clear (N/N) for DM! YAY!!

This means my only dog that carries pink is Daisy. And every dog of mine is a fluff carrier (but I can live with that!).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

For those not on Facebook....

Ballantyne's Sweeps photo finally came in the mail! We usually wait 4+ weeks for our show photos. Unlike in the PNW where they get them the end of the same week! Ballantyne is stacked a bit nicer here, than her major win under Emily Fish, but I still like both photos :) Thank you to both breeder judges for seeing her merit.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ell rocked it!

Since Oliver was my very best sheep herding before he went down in the back, there have been some big shoes to fill. Ell has proven time and time again she has the ability, the skill and the knowledge to fill them, without being overly hard on the sheep.

Big props to my girl Ell. She was amazing to see work today! And for those interested I did NOT get on the 4-wheeler and I let the Cardigan work the sheep (the grass was MUCH shorter in these paddocks! :P )

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Decisions any breeder must make

The goal of any breeding program, whether with livestock, dogs, flowers or anything else is to improve upon the generation before. If you don't improve you try again, perhaps from a different angle. If something works, you have moved ahead. Then comes the task of deciding :Should I move forward with the offspring and that offspring in turn is replaced by its offspring? This would be the quickest way, in a perfect world, to move ahead with any goal or breeding program.

What if the dam is a real producer and you like the offspring, they are better than the dam, but want to take her a different route? Is it ok to do so? What if you don't get better offspring then? I think about this quite often now. All three litters I've had...the pups are better than their dams. Do I need to breed them again if I already have improvements on them? What if I want to go to a different line to bring in something different?

In my cattle I have one cow that I kept and bred for 9 calves. Each year I bred her to a different bull line, hoping to bring in VERY specific things from each line to blend with my cow genetics of this particular line. I had no problem repeating a breeding in the cow one year as you only get one calf per year, and I always want heifers as I can use frozen semen on bulls that are from all over the world.

In dogs I feel its a bit different. If I retain two puppies from a litter, I can go different directions with the pups, or I can go the same direction as each pup has different things I like about them. Do I move forward with the pups and hope I get something useful out the pups 'in a perfect world'? Or do I breed the dam again and breed her to a different line, bringing in something very specific that I didn't get in this breeding (or I want more of)?

Its just food for thought. I know everyone in the same situation would do it differently and that's ok. Just trying to think out loud. 4 is easier to manage than 6, but I'd hate to lose the opportunity to use the dams again if I was really pleased with the outcome.

This being on the mend stinks! Too much free time to think about other stuff! >:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Normal dogs

Ava and Ballantyne got their OFA certificates in the mail today for their NORMAL Thyroid, Cardiac and CERFs. I'm not surprised but since i did Zoe and Ell's Thyroids two years ago, there have only been 12 more Cardigans tested for thyroid and sent in to OFA. If thyroid is not an issue in cardigans I would think more people would test knowing that they are 'ok' and post the normal results.

At any rate, I know my girls are normal for these conditions and I'm happy knowing that I give my puppy buyers babies that have a lesser chance of getting health issues down the road.

My dogs' health is of the utmost importance to me. I'm happy that I can say they are normal for these things. Well.....as normal as my dogs can get ;P haha

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Brewer

Ungroomed, unbathed... 15 months of age.