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The Official Newsletter for the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club

News

photo by Andy Hurley

Member News Brags!

Member Spotlight Learn all about Judy Hunt

B is for BIRDS!!! The second in a performance dog series

Bird Dog Basics Common Questions answered

The Tail End A few words from Amanda

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Thought of the Month

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. ~Ambrose Bierce

Favorite Links
• For information on CKC Events, Breed Standings, and to find a show near you- check out Canuck Dogs. http://canuckdogs.com • Check out our own website!! http://www.ldkc.net

Upcoming Events
• For information on CKC Events, Breed Standings, and to find a show near you- check out Canuck Dogs. http://canuckdogs.com

Photo by Julia Wilson 2

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What our members have been up to...
Members are encouraged to submit brags and photos for the newsletter. Email manymuddypaws@hotmail.ca

In the Conformation Ring
Keitha reports that CH. Akadan’s Risky Business, aka Cruiser had a great weekend Cruiser came home with a Group 2nd in the hound group under breeder Judge Ed Wild.   Keitha’s young dog Brat also had a successful weekend. Saturday she went WB/ BOS to her father Cruiser for her last points. She is now known as CH. AKADAN’S WHO MEE. Sunday she was moved up to Specials and she went BOS and BP.  All of these wins while she is a senior puppy. Seransil Standard Poodles congratulates Joe (IslandTime Ohnoitsjoe) upon completing his championship at the CKOC shows in Calgary March 2,3,4 with 3 Best of Winners wins.  Joe is a son of Ashton and Sage’s litter sister, Xanthe.  Joe’s breeder/owner is Erin Greene of Duncan, B.C. and was shown to his title by Evelyn Sera.   Crosby (Seransil’s Taking The High Road) made his debut in the ring at the age of 6 months and 3 days at the Camrose Show, March 23,24,25.  Crosby won WD all 3 days and Puppy Group on Sunday .  His mother, Sahara (Ch Seransil Skyewell Desert Rose) is proud of her first pointed offspring.

In the Rally Ring
A belated congrats to Vicky and her little dog Claire. Claire qualified 6/6 at the rally trials at AKC, earning 3 more legs towards her RAE2.  This briefly made her #2 rally dog all breeds in Canada :) Julia’s Tea got her Rally Advanced title on the weekend in Camrose finishing with a Third in Class!     

On the Agility Field Toni reports that Walker earned an Advanced Gamble Leg and Jumpers Leg.  He was fast and he was HAPPY!!  His tables were wonderful but I don’t know what happened to his Teeter and Weaves.  I guess there will always be something to work on.   Kelsee, the Leprechauns must have been out and put their scent on the weave poles.  She had to stop and sniff each of the first 5 poles.  She  had a wonderful time, especially when she flew off the teeter.  Andrea has a big brag for Andre - they went to the Training Troop trial and he earned 3 Q's, one each in Adv Std., Adv Jumpers, and AdvGamble, He

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Member Spotlight with Judy Hunt
An interview with a member of the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club. Each month I will put names in a hat to decide who is next. :).

5) What drew you to your current breed? If you had to choose another what would it be and why?

9) What are your hobbies/interests outside of dogs? I dont have much time for other hobbies. I do enjoy cooking and baking.

Pretty soon after we got our Golden I realised life would be way more fun with 2 dogs. I was looking at other breeds, then stumbled across some info about Flat Coated Retrievers and became obsessed by the breed. Luckily I was able 1) How did you first get involved to meet Liz who had a puppy named in purebred dogs? Piper. Eventually we ended up with our very own Flatcoat named Jazmin.  I had always had dogs....mutts, small I have looked at other breeds, mainly to dogs, large dogs. We decided to get a Retriever. It just so happened that the girl get  a smaller dog. Pyr Sheps really intrigue me but I am not ready to change I contacted had Goldens and they were breeds yet. registered. I fell in love with the parents and the litter so there was no need to look elsewhere. 6) What do you love most about the dog show scene? 2) Tell us about your first I am an old fashioned girl. I love the registered dog.  obedience Her name was Baylee and she was a Golden. She was so wild....and so clever. I went to classes to tame her down then I 7) What would you like to see went to classes because she was fun to changed about the dog show work with and I met great people who scene? liked to work with dogs as well. I would love to see either a critique for the dogs who win in Conformation or 3) What do you think has been the some sort of point system for the judge to most valuable advice you have fill out for the judges pick. been given? 8) Tell us about your very first dog The most valuable advice I have been show experience.  given is "trust your dog" as well as the mantra to be calm and assertive. My first Conformation experience was awful. I thought you just had to run the dog around the ring. My first obedience 4) If you are a breeder, what made experience was better. The judge was a little old lady who thought my dog was you decide to do so?  wonderful and passed me...I figured that was easy....except I had a lot more N/A experiences after that.

10)Any advice for a newbie just starting in dogs? My advice to a newbie starting out is a newbie should attend some shows to see what they like to do...then take a whole lot of training too succeed...and after every session find something positive your dog did that day, and tell them how clever they were to do it

Thanks to Judy for taking the time to answer my questions! I hope readers enjoyed it! This is the last submission I have for the membership interviews. If you wish to participate please email me at manymuddypaws@hotmail.ca -Amanda

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highlights and favorites

photo by Amanda Labadie

photos by Sarah Novak (except otherwise marked) 5

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B is for Birds
The second of a “Performance Dog” Series. Written by Liz Saunders of Blazingstar Flat-coated Retrievers

photo by L. Saunders

As the skies fill with migratory waterfowl this spring, our flat-coated retrievers watch them longingly, remembering the excitement of last fall’s hunts. While we can’t hunt in the spring, we can get started on retriever training in preparation for summer tests and fall hunting.

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CKC Tests The most basic CKC test is the Working Certificate (WC). It aims to test a retriever’s natural abilities, although there is a fair amount of training that needs to be done in order to pass. The test consists of two retrieves on land in moderate cover (e.g. tall grass or low shrubs) and two retrieves in water. Dead ducks or pheasants are thrown by a “gunner” at a distance of up to 75 yards. A gun is fired as the bird is thrown and the gunner is camouflaged, but still somewhat visible to the dog. Dogs are expected to sit and watch the bird fall, run directly to the bird, pick it up and return promptly to the handler without damaging the bird and preferably without dropping it en route. They “should” deliver to hand, and they must get it over a line marked just in front of the handler. A nice delivery is one where the dog sits neatly at heel position and holds the bird until it is told to release it. In the WC, the dog can be brought to the line on leash and the leash held around the dog’s neck while the bird is being thrown and until it is released for the bird. The next level is the Working Certificate Intermediate (WCI), which requires the dog to be “steady”, meaning that the entire test is conducted off leash and the dog must not go for a bird until sent by its handler. In this test, the land and water retrieves are “doubles”, meaning that 2 birds are thrown by two gunners, one after another, but separated by distance. The dog must sit and watch both birds fall and then the handler directs the dog to the first bird (“go bird”) and when that has been retrieved, the dog is sent for the second bird (“memory bird”). There is also an “honour” at this level, where the dog must sit quietly by its handler’s side while another dog retrieves. Decoys are used on the water and the dogs must ignore them!

Kaleb demonstrating a nice delivery. !

!

photo by Liz Saunders

At the Working Certificate Excellent level, in addition to doubles, there are “blind retrieves”, where the handler has to direct the dog to a bird on the ground and in water using hand and whistle signals. The dog has no idea where the bird is, but the handlers are shown where it is. At all of these levels, the dog just needs to pass once to gain the title.
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Hunt Tests are another CKC event that assesses the abilities of retrievers. Hunt tests are more complex than Working Certificate tests and they aim to simulate real hunting situations. The scenarios you encounter in a hunt test are less predictable than what you will find in a WC test. You might find yourself sitting in a boat with your dog and sending your dog for the bird while crouching down in the boat and holding a shotgun…. A gun might be fired by one of the judges from behind you, while the bird is thrown from a hidden blind 100 yards in front of you…. Even at the Junior Hunter (JH) level the handlers carry a gun (often a fake gun) and use a duck call. You can probably imagine how this ramps up the excitement for the dogs! We find that our experienced hunting dogs can handle a JH test quite well and they are lots of fun for us and the dogs. A young or inexperienced dog can find them rather challenging and we prefer to wait to enter our young dogs until they have more seasons of real hunting under their collars. Senior Hunter (SH) tests and Master Hunter (MH) tests require dogs that can handle (i.e. take direction to birds that they have not seen fall) confidently on land and in water and consist of several complex doubles, triples at the Master level, as well as honouring and quartering on land (similar to an upland bird hunt). Dogs at the SH and MH levels must be steady, as all work is done off-leash. A JH title is obtained with three passes and five passes are required for the SH and MH titles. In Alberta there is usually only one weekend of hunt tests every summer and often only one WC/I/X tests, which can make it challenging to get field titles without a lot of travelling. Retriever tests are open to all retriever breeds, Irish water spaniels and poodles.

photos by Liz Saunders 8

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photos by Liz Saunders

The Real Thing Training for hunt tests and working tests helps to create a dog that can do a useful day’s work hunting upland birds or waterfowl. Around Lethbridge we hunt waterfowl such as Canada Geese, Snow Geese and a variety of ducks with our dogs. Waterfowl hunting requires considerable patience for both the hunters and for the dogs – something that is not tested in the CKC tests! It is not uncommon to spend several hours hunkered down in the cattails, waiting for birds to come in to a set of decoys at the waters’ edge. We like our dogs to be able to sit or lie down calmly and quietly while waiting. And when a bird is shot, they should not go until we send them to retrieve it. Often we hunt with several of our dogs and they are sent to retrieve when their name is called. It is not uncommon for a bird to be injured, so the dogs must have the perseverance to follow the trail of a bird through rough terrain or water in order to find and subdue the bird. It takes a lot of guts to tackle an injured goose We also do some upland bird hunting for pheasants and sharp-tailed grouse. Upland hunting tends to be more active than waterfowl hunting – with the dog moving out ahead of the hunters, quartering through thick cover, using their nose to search for birds. The dog is expected to flush the birds and then retrieve anything that is shot. It can be very physically demanding for both the hunters and the dogs, so it is very important that hunting dogs have sound structure and tight, strong feet.

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Bird Dog Basics
Start them young! It is very important that puppies are introduced to birds as youngsters. Most retriever puppies will happily pick up a bird or wing and “birdiness” is usually part of puppy evaluations for the retriever breeds.

While most retrievers will naturally pick up and carry just about anything, it’s still very important to teach a solid “fetch” and “hold” command so that the dog knows

Retriever training requires a considerable commitment in terms of time, training land, equipment and freezer space! While it is not too difficult to find suitable dry land for training in the Lethbridge area, finding good training ponds is always a challenge. Plus we are limited to only having open water warm enough for training for about 4-5 months of the year.

photos by Liz Saunders 10

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Holding blinds are used in most tests. Sometimes handlers have to wait in a series of 2-5 blinds on their way to the “line” for the start of the test. This can be a very exciting time for the dog and it’s important to train a retriever to sit quietly in the blind.

photo by Sarah Novak

It’s not practical to use birds with every training session, so canvas or plastic bumpers are used instead. Dokken ducks are pricier than bumpers, but they have the same weight distribution as a duck, so they can be useful for training.

photo by Liz Saunders

Written by Liz Saunders of Blazingstar Flat-coated Retrievers
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The Tail End
A few thoughts from the editor
I’ve never owned a sporting dog before, my house is full of herding breeds- dogs that would rather chase and bite than fetch a bird. But I am friends with many Retriever lovers so have participated in “birds” in a variety of ways. I have been a thrower (which is okay, only if I have gloves), and I have also just gone to watch. I love watching instinct kick in. It’s pretty interesting. Despite the fact that I have herding breeds, one of my dogs has done a little field stuff. Just for fun, and just because she could. Wicca is a go-get-em sort of gal and is up for anything. So while training with the Flatcoats I have thrown a few pretend birds, and bumpers for Wicca. She will fetch anything! I’ve never tried a real bird because I imagine she will either roll on it or try and pluck it... She once participated in a Scurry at an actual field test. A scurry is a timed event- essentially fastest to the bumper wins. I was so excited to try- I mean, Wicca is a pretty fast little dog and would be faster than the galloping Flatcoats right? We did win a prize- but for the most interesting retrieve. Wicca decided that it would be a good time to have a bathroom break, and then went out and brought me the bumper. Dogs sure know how to keep us humble....

Next Months newsletter will be all about Carting!!! So if you have anything you’d like to submit please do so!!!!

Want to join the LDKC?
We are always on the lookout for responsible dog lovers to join the club! Contact Andrea at andidog@telus.net for more information!

Comments/ Suggestions/ Submissions
Editor: Amanda Labadie: manymuddypaws@hotmail.ca

P.S Don’t be afraid to pass on the newsletter to your friends! Maybe it would be incentive to join so they can show off their wins and brags too! :)

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