Saturday, 31 March 2007

Great Outdoor Expo

Today Ardi and I went to the Great Outdoor Expo in Moose Jaw to man the booth and represent the Retriever Club for a couple of hours. It was fun and it really made me realize how rich Saskatchewan is in resources.
Some of the displays included Archery , Boat Safety, Predator Calling, Falconry, Ducks Unlimited, Stone Sculptors, Knife Makers, Saskatchewan Environment, Saskatchewan Assoc. of Conservation Officers and the list goes on.Ardi did well despite being mistaken for a Weimaraner a few times everyone thought she was a beautiful dog.

Ardi spent most of her time watching the Falcons who were across the isle and down from us about 3 booths. When not doing that she was checking out the bow hunters booth next to us where someone had been eating french fries. All in all it was 2 hours well spent and I think Ardi was a good ambassador for the club and her breed.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Obedience - What to do at the Trial

By Sue Cone
and the Katmai Chesapeakes CH/OTCH Getty UDX, and Hannah CD

CH Am/Can OTCH Abby WD, OTCH Libby UDX2 JH & OTCH Sam UDX3 WD -- you'll always walk with me.

You got up early, had everything you need with you, and here you are at the trial, hopefully at least an hour before you are due in the ring.

The first thing is to know your dog. She may need a walk around the show grounds to get acclimated. She may do best crated in your car, or crated under a tent, or on a rug next to your chair. What won’t work is dragging her around the show for hours – she’ll be mentally tired when you hit the ring.

Knowing your dog includes knowing what warm-up is best. One good way to handle this is to do a bit of warm-up when you arrive, and then a little bit more right before you go into the ring. Warm-up your fronts and finishes, and pivots and signals if you are in Utility. Remember – all warm-ups must be done on lead with no corrections. And please do them far enough from the ring that you can’t possibly distract a working dog.

Unless you are first in the ring, watch some runs carefully. Know where the first exercise starts. Plan how you will move from exercise to exercise. Does your dog set-up best if you turn left into her, which is a reminder for her to tuck her rear in? Or to the right to remind her to hurry? Check your ring card for your handling reminders.

A few minutes before your turn , get your dog up and attentive to you. This is not the time to chat with your friends – if you want your dog’s attention, you must give her total attention in return. You could do some quiet play, or little heeling “doodles” (like tiny Rally moves) or a bunch of short fronts. You are aiming for a dog with ears up, eyes bright, and completely focused on you. When invited into the ring, move confidently to the starting place, praise your dog, and keep your attention on her. I suggest not conversing with the judge, which, while polite, will take your attention off your dog.

And off you go. Be sure to keep your dog’s focus between exercises and keep her moving attentively with you. Don’t just walk off to the next set-up place and leave your dog floundering behind you. (Hint – practice moving from set-up to set-up as part of your training.) If you have taught some ring tricks, like having the dog jump up to touch your hand, use them as you move to the next exercise to keep your dog happy and focused.

Never forget that it is extremely important for your dog to have a good time in the ring. Should disaster befall, and you blow an exercise, never, ever get down on your dog. A frown, a disgusted look, your body language will be read by your dog. All you can do in the ring is to work on the dog;s attitude for the next time you trial. Our Chesapeakes can be very sensitive, and if you get down on them in the ring, they are going to remember it the next time you show them. If you have a good time, smiling and happy, then so will they.

And always remember, win or lose, leg or not, you go home from the trial with the best dog there – yours!

LongMeadow Susquehann CD

Sue's, "Hannah"on stay who ALWAYS crosses her paws, and always the right over the left.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Jane October 1996- March 29, 2007

Ch. Kaweah’s Head Over Heels CD, FG40K, AGN, NJC,NGC, NAD,ADC
Today Jane is playing flyball and all the other things she loved at the Rainbow Bridge.
Jane was the first Blue Merle Australian Shepherd I ever saw, and if her icy blue eyes didn't stop you in your tracks and make you take a second look, her zest for doing eveything with speed and enthusiasm did.
When she gets to the rainbow bridge, she will run down the center of the bridge and her flyball buddies waiting will know it is her, step aside and there will be some grand flyball racing.
Please feel free to leave a comment about Jane, hopefully Sherry and Alex can read them in the future.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Official Weather Watcher

Poor weather is keeping us from getting out side. Rain, wind and snow.

Sometimes we just get out and play in the park even though everyone ends up needing a bath.

I've been doing some retrieving with both Ardi and Kitt and shadow handling with Kitt the pup.

I'm trying to teach Kitt to wrap around me and sit on my right as well as my left. So far I can't think of any way to do it except luring for now, I'll keep thinking though.