Saturday, 4 December 2010

Ardi and Reese's Geo Coin

Today is exactly 1 year since Ardi and I headed out on an adventure armed with the GPS receiver from the car. On December 4th last year I found my 1st geocache and today while out with my sister Judy and Ardi , I found cache number 390.

Ardi tries to budge Star55 into action

Geocaching is like a scavenger or treasure hunt using a GPS. Once you find the cache you can trade items or pick up collectibles or travelling game pieces.

The cache seeking provides the chance to get outdoors with friends and often Ardi or Reese come along. The hunt takes us to many places we may never have gone and the game gives us cause to document and log our trips.

Collecting and trading trackable game pieces is a whole other dimension of geocaching. Recently a fellow dog fancier and geocacher gave me a collectible called a Geo coin. It is a special coin called a Geo Dog coin.

Ardi & Reese's Geo Dog Coin

My plan is to take with me anytime I have Ardi or Reese with me and log every cache it visits with them. I will also take it to caching events and dog events so other cachers can discover it. Everytime I log a visit, the information is stored on the coins own web site ( and I will be able to track the mileage and places visited. Today Ardi travelled with me to 4 caches and we logged 26 kms. It will be interesting to see the log a year from now.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Ardi

Ardi celebrated her 10th Birthday today by going to a Rally O fun match and then coming home to have some Birthday cake with Reese.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Agility Grids - Blank course maps

Have you ever wanted or needed a grid to map a course in competition or at a seminar? The Agility Nerd has a web site where you can create blank course maps of any size, download them as PDFs, print them and share them with your friends.
Here is the web site.
It sounds like the page may have more capablilities in the future. The grids would also be useful for Rally O Courses.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Teaching the dog to "GO ON"

I was looking for an exercise to help Reese realize, when given permission, it is okay to move ahead and take what is in her path. I found an exercise in Bud Houston’s “Joker’s Notebook” , where he uses hoops set at an equal distance apart to do this.

We got 3 hula hoops and taped them to the jump standards. We took just 1 hula hoop and got the dog to go through it, throwing a toy along an established reward line. Then added hoop 2 about 5 feet away, with success we moved on to adding the 3rd, hoop. Once the dogs were doing all 3 hoops, we started increasing the distance between the hoops. We were working with 5 dogs. Three of the dogs were fairly young and inexperienced. By the time we completed a 5 minute session, they were travelling about 15 to 20 feet ahead of their handlers on the “GO” The two more experienced dogs were travelling 30 to 35 feet ahead of their handlers and the handlers were getting enough lateral distance to be able to layer a tunnel 10 ft from the jumps. It was a fun exercise for the dogs and you could see their confidence increase with each run. We will do this again.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Training group at Duckweed Pond

Retriever testing season for the group I train with is done and training is winding down. We had a very laid back night, where we took some pictures and did a few marks. Here is a picture of our training group, posed with our coveted pink bumpers. The picture was taken at a spot I call Duck weed Pond. This spring the area was nothing but splash water. With all the rain this summer this area is now a pond. It is green because it is covered in duck weed.

Missing from this picture are Heather with Haylee and Reg and Abby. Patti & Reese, Jill and Sonny, Lianne and TeeJay, Gail and Jack
This night was a great opportuniity to bring Ardi along. We shortened up the marks and gave her the whole nine yards of calls and guns. Ardi was the happiest I have seen in a long time. She even brought her signature move out of retirement, where she pounced on the bird from about 6 feet away. We left her out while everyone got pictures taken and she went from vehicle to vehicle grabbing dokkens and bumpers presenting them to anyone who would throw for her. She always liked to shake dokkens after picking them up, but after whacking herself a few times , she learned how to shake them gently, she pulled this move out as well . Ardi made us all laugh and hammed it up for more attention. Thanks Yo for the pictures.

Jack Reese
When it was all done we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Things don't always go as planned or Humble Pie?

The retriever training season, sadly is winding down. The Working Certificate test held by the Regina Retriever Club this past weekend was to be the finale to our Retriever training season

To be honest Reese had been doing everything needed to pass the WC in training. We have even pushed her a bit and she has done a few doubles in preparation for the next step, which is WCI. It seemed like the morning of the test Reese had other plans. She ran out to her 1st mark brilliantly, picked it up with out flaw. But the delivery to hand was where things broke down.
Reese has had a tendency to come up with many creative ways to delay getting the bird to hand. But test day was the most creative and somewhat disappointing of all. Despite the judge giving me every opportunity to have her bring the bird across the line, it was not going to happen. We didn’t even get to do the second mark, until the end where the Judge allowed us to come back and try it. Something told me not to try it, but I didn’t listen to my own reason. The performance was pretty much the same, but stung a little more then the 1st. Lesson learned.
Stay tuned, although I won’t have the opportunity to test again this year, training will continue. At least until the snow flies.

Monday, 2 August 2010

CBRCC National / Regional Specialty and Alberta Kennel Club Shows

We made the trip to the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club of Canada’s National and Regional Specialty. The shows were held at Spruce Meadows, the renowned Equestrian facility in Calgary, AB. The facility was amazing and the grounds and scenery were wonderful.

The entry was small in comparison to other breed specialties. But what it lacked in numbers was made up for by organizers effort to make it a 1st class and memorable event. Every competitor received a stainless steel water bucket full of many prizes. There were framed prints and beautiful carved duck trophy for Best of Breed and a lovely bronze depicting a Chesapeake bringing back the bird. Competitors came from Ontario, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Idaho. It was great to meet other Chesapeake breed enthusiasts. This was the 1st time I have seen more then 3 Chesapeakes in 1 place at a time.

National Specialty Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Winner Trophy's

Reese was entered in the National and Regional Specialty as well as the 2 Alberta Kennel Club shows. She was also entered in 2 Rally O trials. Bonnie handled Reese beautifully in the conformation ring and then rushed to the Rally O ring. When ribbons were handed out for the Novice B Class. Chesapeakes were 1st and 2nd in the class. Karen Dougglas with her boy George scored a 99 to take 1st place followed by Bonnie and Reese with a score of 93.

On day 2 of the AKC all breed show Reese took Best of Winners, for what we think was 2 points. Because she stayed and played in the conformation ring, she missed her call in the Novice B Ring.
We had a wonderful time and hope to put this event on our calendar again next year.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Decoy Days Pay off in Reese's Hunt Test Debut

On July 24th and 25th, 2010, Reese ran in her first CKC Hunt Tests. The tests were hosted bythe Brandon Retriever Club in Brandon Manitoba. We travelled with our training partner Lianne who is running her Golden, TeeJay in Senior and Aimee, a pup of her breeding in Junior.
The Brandon grounds are fantastic and the Brandon people very friendly and supportive.

The morning of the test it was warm and wet as a thunder storm moved through the night before and left a few puddles . The judges set up some very nice marks that were fairly simple compared to some Reese had seen in training. She came through land and water with only a few delivery glitches and qualified in her 1st Junior Hunt Test.

On Sunday our land marks were thrown around a snow goose spread. The Junior dogs had some fairly wide marks that had them run the perimeter of the spread. All though it seemed daunting to the handlers who had not seen them before, the marks were well outside of the spread and did not cause many problems with the dogs ability to find them. Water marks were a different story, both were very similar in that they both landed on land, but had the dog enter the water, go over a finger of land, re-enter the water and then find the bird on land. The water entry from the line had a row of duck decoys about 5 feet in front of the line, all facing the dog and handler.
Reese cracking the decoy's defensive line.

The decoys caused problems for half the dogs as they tried to skirt the decoys and enter further down the bank, this of course put them off the marks or caused them to shore run.
Two dogs completely shore ran to the mark. One other shore ran on the way back. Of the remaining 3, two of the dogs Reese and Trip entered right at the line and were not phased by the decoys. Both these dogs had the benifit of training at Decoy Days set up by two of the or club members Red Wilkinson and Wayne Nessett. So a big thank you to both of them for setting up decoy day and providing such a great training opportunity, Reese came away with her 2nd pass in this Junior Hunt Test.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Fishing for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This is just plain fun. I like the end of the video where he holds up his prize catch for photographs, then releases him back into the wild.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Live it and Love it.

A couple of weeks a go I was heading out to do some field work with Reese, I was only going to be gone about 3 or 4 hours, so Ardi was to stay home. She threw a complete fit, barged out the door and ran down the easement. This shocked me,as she is not a door crasher.

I brought her back in and finished loading the vehicle. The last trip was to pick up my sunglasses and water bottle, which I left on the step by the door. Both were gone. I looked around the corner to find Ardi standing over my glasses with the water bottle in her mouth. my heart melted and I asked if "she wanted to come"? She started slapping the floor and spinning circles. I had to rearrange the whole vehicle to fit her crate in, but come along she did. She even jumped into her crate on her own, which she has not done in over a year.

When I got to the retriever grounds, everyone was waiting, I opened the door to Ardi's crate and said "Hey everyone,look who's here" She ran around rooed and spun. Most of my training group had not seen her in a very long time. It seemed as if everyone got caught up in her excitement to be there, we all forgot about the young dogs in the crates waiting to be trained. I realized why I love this old dog so much, she makes me stop and enjoy life and remember it is meant to be lived and loved.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A little Bliss

Here is a video of Bliss on the last night of Canine Fun 201 class. She is playing with her handler Deb and is 1 year old. Rather cute, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Decoy Days 2010 & Picnic Trial

This year the Retriever Club held 2 great training events. On June 12th and 13th we held Decoy Days, with land marks being run on Saturday and water marks being run on Sunday.

The land marks consisted of 5 different marks run through different spreads of decoys. The organizers and volunteers were up early to set up the decoys. We had a Robo duck at the line and wind sock decoys, Texas rags, silhouette, goose shells, 3d goose decoys spread through out the field. We took the time to walk a few of the young dogs through the field before we sent them on marks. Most dogs were unfazed by the many decoys in the field and the majority blazed their ways through the decoys to the marks

Reese bring back the bird.

Friday, 16 April 2010

So much to do!

Today while walking Ardi at one of her favourite parks, I made a deal with her. The deal is: this spring, summer,fall and maybe winter, for the next 5 to 10 years. I am going to take her to all the places we trained and she is just going to walk, swim, sniff, dig, root and bird watch. She can retrieve if she wants, or she can spit the bird or bumper if she wants. I love my old girl, and we still have so much to do together.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Reese's Perfect Score

On April 11, 2010 Reese handled by Bonnie achieved a perfect score in the Novice B ring, to complete the requirement for a CARO Rally Novice (RN) title.

Here is a a picture of them accepting their ribbons and a copy of their course.

Bonnie,Reese and Judge Laurie Albright