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The Official Newsletter for the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club

News

photo by Kim Tollefson

Member News C is for CARTING Brags! Learn all about draft dog work.

From the Judges Perspective An in depth look at carting tests

Real Life Draft work How Shelley and her family use their draft dogs in day to day life

A Newbies Perspective Vicky and her dog Baron attended a draft dog clinic!

The Tail End A few words from Amanda

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Quote of the Month

Old guy Stryker soaking up some sun....photo by Pat Kopec

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

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

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

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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

April has been a very busy month for Seransil Standard Poodles.  We have 4 puppies who started their show careers this month!  Crosby (Seransil’s Taking the High Road) made his debut at the Battle River shows in Camrose in March taking Winner’s Dog all 3 days and also a Puppy Group. Cocoa our young silver beige puppy boy (Seransil’s Hint of Chocolate) won his first point at the Red Deer Show and then went on to the North Battleford Show winning another point and also a Puppy Group.  Truffle (Cocoa’s blue litter sister), Seransil’s Decadent Delight also got her first point at the North Battleford Shows.  Crosby gained 2 more points and now has 5 at the age of 6 months.  Sage and Ashton competed at the Great Falls Agility Trials at the end of March.  Sage qualified in all 4 runs.  Ashton qualified in 1.  Last weekend (April 20 – 23) we competed at the Lewiston Idaho shows with Royal and Promise.  Unfortunately no points but Royal came home with 3 Reserve wins to the major out of 4. And to top it all off, Ashton and Flirt are proud to announce the birth of their litter on Friday, April 27 – 6 BOYS! 5 silver/blue and 1 silver beige.  

Vicky has some brags to report for her young Boxer Baron: At the Red Deer dog show he went WD one day and BOW the other 2 days for 7 points in one weekend! Baron is Rikar's Turning Back Time and was handled to his wins in Red Deer by his breeder/co-owner Karen Deschambault.

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At the Reddeer dog show Amanda had great success with her dogs. Pixel, Cornerstones on Second Thought CD, RE, SHDCH, AGX, AGJN, MAD, MJDC, came home with her first CDX leg, and a High in Class! Brit, her young Border Collie went into the Rally ring for the first time and came out with a 4th place and her first Qualifing score!

Daryl reports that Betty earned her first Q in JWW in the Great Falls AKC trial Huge congratulations to Tea (Ch. Koping's Tea Party CGN, AGNS, AGNJS, RA, TD Am AOP, AOJP, NF, RA) on earning 3 NEW AGILITY TITLES at the Great Falls AKC trial!

Kort,  Ch Davenloch Storm Warning CD RA AGNS SHDCh HIC VC, has been busy this past month.  On April 6 we went to Red Deer where he completed his Scenthurdle Dog Championship. The next weekend, on April 14 , we travelled to Okotoks where Kort got his Herding Instinct Certificate, then the next day we headed for Medicine Hat & an Agility trail where Kort got a Starters Snooker Q, which moves him into Advanced, & his first Starters Jumpers Q !!

Our heartfelt condolences to Donnie and Daryl on the recent loss of their Molly. A very special dog who will be missed. I will always remember her joy on the scenthurdle lanes.

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C is for Carting
The third of a “Performance Dog” Series.

Thank you to all the people (members, and non members alike!) who submitted articles, stories and photos! This edition of ABC Performance has been super easy to put together! Next month will be H- for Herding! Get ready for a whole lot of sheep. :)

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A Bit About Draft Work.....a judge’s perspective
by Judith Snowdon

To begin with, I must say that I am impressed with the resurgence of interest in dogs and carts these days. And, although most dogs with stable temperaments and healthy, fit, bodies can be taught to pull a cart designed to accommodate their size, weight, and conformation style, not all dogs can pass the requirements for the Draft Dog test. The DD (Draft Dog) title is a recognized CKC title. Draft Dog tests used to be restricted to “draft” dog breeds, but the rules were changed in 1998 to allow all breeds of sufficient height and weight to compete in draft tests. Keep in mind that the dogs need to be able to pull , in addition to the cart, a load of approximately 18kgs./40lbs. over natural terrain including sloping land, hills, boulders, high grass and /or trees. And don’t forget snow, ice and mud, all part of the Great White North adventure.

CKC registered dogs, dogs with Performance Event Numbers, or those with Event Registration Numbers can gain the DD title if they are certified by 3 different CKC judges to have a “Qualifying score”, that is, to have passed each and every exercise in the draft dog test. Draft work is all about safety. So before the test date, check your equipment. Be certain your cart tires are inflated and pack a bicycle pump, a crescent wrench, bungy-cords, pliers, and duck-tape for emergency repairs. Before the test starts, the judges will check your harness and your cart/wagon to approve the safety and suitability of the harnesses and apparatus. Let it be known, that Judges can expel from competition any dog which they feel is unfit to compete. This option is for the safety and health of the dog. There are no rules about the fitness of the handlers, but if you intend to enter your dog in a draft test, you owe it to him to be fit enough to keep up a brisk, working pace yourself. Dogs that are somewhat lighter than the large draft breeds need to keep the cart moving in orderto be able to execute some of the moves over rough or hilly terrain. They will only move as fast as their handler.
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What to wear at a draft test is important. Dress in layers and wear waterproof boots with good ankle support, and bring sunscreen and insect repellent along with a hat, toque, (yes, toque) gloves, & a windproof/waterproof jacket. It doesn’t hurt to pack a coat or a cooler jacket for your dog, too. The tests last all day and the weather can change suddenly. The outfit you wear while you are sitting around awaiting your turn may not be the best to wear when you are on the move during the test. Be prepared. Packing everything in the vehicle is an art. First of all, be sure you have room for the dog, a crate, a lawn chair, and your cart and harness. Practice loading all these things in your vehicle well ahead of the test date to avoid the feeling that you are trying to fit square pegs in round holes at the last minute. Add to your list an umbrella, a lawn chair, and water for you and the dog. And, of course, the needed buckle or slip collar (without tags), a leash, bowls, food, toys, treats, medications, your receipt of entry, directions to the test, a watch, and your rulebook!!! Order one today. It will explain the DD test exercises in detail, making your training easier because it will be done “by the book.” There are three sets of exercises in the DD test and the dog must pass all three in order to gain a leg towards its title.

Control Exercises: these demonstrate the dog’s ability to be a safe and obedient companion and worker.
1. Heel off lead: dog remains on handler’s left side within arm’s reach of the handler at all times. 2. Stand/stay for 1 minute: dog remains in a stand position for one minute with handler facing it from 6 feet away. 3. Group down/stay for three minutes: Dog remains in a down next to other dogs for a period of three minutes with handler across the width of the ring.

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Carting exercises: These exercises demonstrate the dog’s usefulness as a draft animal in manoeuvring loads safely and quietly on a wheeled vehicle over a moderate distance and smooth terrain.
1. Harness and Hitching: Handler harnesses and hitches dog in ring. 2. Maneuvers: Lead judge will direct the handler to perform a series of maneuvers to test the ability of the dog to be a carting companion. 3. Figure 8: Handler will order dog to maneuver its cart through a figure 8. 4. Backup: The dog, while hitched, must be backed up 1.5 m (4 ft.). Both dog and vehicle must move backward.

Field Work Exercises: These demonstrate the dog’s ability to pull a suitable freight load over a moderate distance in cooperation with his handler.
1. Hitching/Loading: Dog will proceed from the starting point to a designated load (18 kg./40 lbs.) placed a minimum of 100 m./ 109 yds. from the starting point. Handler will load and fasten load to cart or to harness. 2. Hauling : Dog and handler will cover a variety of terrain and turn left and right and 180 degrees. They will proceed at a good working pace for 200 m/656 ft. back to the starting point. 3. Unloading/Unhitching: Dog will stand quietly to be unloaded and unhitched.

Draft tests are harder to pass than one thinks. One mistake in one part of any exercise can cost you a qualifying score. Because three Q’s are needed to gain the title, and because draft tests are few and far between, it is a good idea to train extensively in preparation. But there is no greater elation than that felt when a team puts in a beautiful, smooth performance!! It sets the bar for those who are just beginning and gives them the standard they want to reach with their dog. In addition to having a Draft Dog title, the owner of a dog that passes the DD test can honestly say that he has a dog that can go to work, packing rocks or moving fire wood on the farm, or pulling a decorated cart in parades or at fun days. It’s a wonderful feeling of cooperative effort and teamwork, well worth the training time.

Thanks to Judi for taking the time to write this article, and for the great photos!!!

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Real Life Draft Work
by

Shelley Klok

With the arrival of spring comes the inevitable task of yardwork on the acreage. Trees to prune, branches, tumbleweeds and garbage to collect, the remainder of last years garden and bedding plants to haul away. A trusty wheelbarrow is one of the traditional tools for the job, however in our household the canine members of our family replace that piece of equipment with a cart. With the busy lifestyle of a growing young family, we embrace every opportunity to integrate our dogs and training sessions into everyday life. My introduction to carting came about 10 years ago, as I was training, or rather learning to train, my first show dog, a silver Bouvier named Luca. She was my training wheels in both the conformation and obedience rings, and the target of my grandfathers latest venture at the time. Always busying himself with a project, Grandpa was continually designing and building creations for his various offspring. After producing various contraptions designed to transport his grandchildren behind horse, quad or tractor, he decided to construct a canine version, and Luca was the lucky recipient of that custom made project! Unfortunately, Luca was a very low energy dog, and while she tolerated my humble attempts at obedience training, she was not fond of the cart. Although she’d begrudgingly pull it along with a lot of encouragement, and posed pretty for pictures with the children, she’d take any opportunity to simply stop or flop down in the shade of a tree. Fast forward to life with a husband and some Bernese Mountain Dogs, and the ol’ cart definitely has a purpose in life now! All of the Berners have taken to the cart like a duck to water. Gambler was the first, at 1 year of age he’d done a lot of conformation, but obedience… not so much! The first time we harnessed him up, he did not even understand the word ‘sit’. Just looked at the ‘thing’ behind him, and started pulling. Stopped when I stopped, walked when I walked. It wasn’t long before we recognized the value of this wheelbarrow-replacing unit! Dirt, rocks, light fence posts, branches, and a host of other cargo is regularily carted around our yard.pily chip in. After an hour at the lake, a quick trot back home, and the entire family sleeps very well.
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But the most exciting cargo to cart has got to be children. The car is a low to the gound vehicle, moves relatively slowly, and easy to get in and out of, so kids love taking turns being pulled around. Again, for our family, it’s no longer just a novelty, it’s just part of how we function. Living a half mile from the lake, it’s a nice end to the day to jog over and relax by the water and playground. With more youngsters than we can easily transport with our own power, our fourlegged family members happily chip in. After an hour at the lake, a quick trot back home, and the entire family sleeps very well.

Wintertime, when snow blankets the fields and ice covers the lake, the Berners miss their regular outings with the cart. But there’s no need to cease until springtime, that’s when we harness them directly to the toboggan. Then the kids enjoy rides through the neighborhood via the fields and it’s a more intense workout for the dogs pulling through the snow. One of our puppies, Max, also has a job in the winter, as he is owned by an active avalanche researcher. Lucky for him, he accompanies his cross-country skiing mistress up on the mountains with her daily work. And lucky for her, there’s a critter with a ton of working drive who can help her pull the equipment up the mountains to the work site. As a family we like to incorporate drafting with our dogs into our everyday life. The rewards are enormous, it gives the dogs a real sense of purpose and responsibility, the kids are taught respect and appreciation for the canine members of the family, and it helps even the most mundane tasks for us becoming more enjoyable!

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Thank you Shelley for sharing you real life experiences with us, and for all the great photos!

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A Newbies Perspective!
by Vicky Bennett

On April 29, 2012 I took my 10 month old boxer, Baron, to a Draft Dog training day put on by SAWHDA (Southern Alberta Working Herding Dog Association). I had done a little research online about drafting but basically went in with very little knowledge and I was eager to soak up as much information as possible. Tubby Miller was the primary instructor of the day. He is a CKC and AKC draft dog judge and has earned over 50 draft dog titles on his dogs over the years. His knowledge and experience made for some great anecdotes throughout the day. We started the day with learning about carting (pulling a size-appropriate cart which any healthy sound dog can do) vs drafting (pulling a weighted cart over a variety of natural surfaces in a variety of conditions), who should or should not compete in draft work (breeds/dogs of an appropriate size who can safely perform the DD exercises), and reviewed the three parts of a DD test (control, carting, and field work). Compared to other CKC events, Draft Dog tests are relatively rare. On canuckdogs.com in western Canada there is currently only one weekend (2 tests) planned for Saskatchewan and one weekend (2 tests) planned in BC in 2012. Three judges are present and judge your test separately so it is possible to earn a title in one day as you can get three qualifying scores on one run through. However, because tests are so rare it is strongly advised to train your dog extensively under all kinds of conditions (tests are run outdoors with infinite potential for distractions, adverse weather conditions, and unfamiliar surfaces). If your dog doesn’t pass the test you may not have another opportunity to try again for months.
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We learned about some of the differences between CKC and AKC tests. The AKC allows the dogs to sit or lie down during certain portions of the draft test but Tubby warned us of the physical risk to the dogs if they are allowed to sit or lie down while hitched to a cart. That’s the kind of information you can’t find in the rule book so I appreciated hearing from his experiences. Then we talked about some of the different types of harnesses. From my online research I had learned about the Siwash style of harness but I had learned that the disadvantage of that style is that they are generally not adjustable or interchangeable between dogs. You really need to get a harness that is custom built for your dog when they are at their adult height/weight for a custom fit. These are very popular at AKC trials. At the seminar I learned about another style of harness called a CEO harness. These are seldom seen at AKC trials and are much more popular in Canada. The real advantage of this style of harness is that they are a little simpler to put on the dog (one buckle/attachment as opposed to three on the Siwash) and the fit is more adjustable so I can order one for Baron at 10 months old and it should still fit him when he is fully mature. We then took our knowledge and did some hands on work. We progressed as follows: 1. Harnessing a seasoned dog – so we could get comfortable with the procedure (thanks to Shar’s dog Ryder who was very patient with my fumbling the first time I put it on) 2. Harnessing our own dog – Baron wasn’t too sure at first as I put the harness over his head but as soon as it was on him and buckled up he got used to the weight immediately and was ready for the next step. 3. Walking with harness – at this point we weren’t giving the drafting commands but just allowing the dog to get used to the weight and feel of the harness. 4. Walking with harness with resistance on the traces – same as above but someone gently pulled on the traces (straps that attach to the cart) simulating the resistance that the dog would have to pull against when attached to a cart. 5. Walking with harness near a moving cart – the noise that a cart makes as it is moving is a new sound to most dogs so we walked around following a moving cart or moving near it so the dogs could get used to the noise. 6. Walking with handler pulling the cart – the dog walks around with a harness on and the cart is being dragged behind him. The dog isn’t hitched to the cart but the shafts are on either side of his body so it closely simulates pulling the cart. 7. Walking with handler pulling the cart with some resistance on harness – although the dog still isn’t hitched, the handler can add some resistance to the harness while walking around with the cart behind providing an experience close to pulling the cart.

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Tips I learned: * Specifically for Baron, training for draft work needs to be a quiet and calm experience. For a dog that is already calm this won’t be as much of an issue. But for a dog that is high energy and likes to leap and throw his body around, there is a risk of him hurting himself if he acts that way while hitched to a cart. * Use commands that are specific to your draft work. If you use your obedience “heel” command but then want the dog to work at a slight distance from you (for the cart equipment) and maybe from your right side and want him to remain standing at a halt then this will confuse the dog. Use a command only for work when hitched to the cart. * When you walk the course (much like you would in agility or rally prior to competing) look for obstacles and challenges that require a modified strategy. For example, if the course takes you up a short but steep hill you might want to speed up your dog before reaching the base of the hill to give them some momentum to help them up the slope. * Many skills can be taught before ever putting a harness on your dog. Backing up is an important skill not only for drafting but also for rally excellent. We were able to watch two dogs that have some drafting experience and are ready (or almost ready) to compete run through an entire mock test. They did very well and it was great to see the teamwork between dog and handler that is the result of some dedicated training. We ended the day by learning a little about the requirements of the more advanced DDX test. Tubby and Judi gave us some ideas of how to train giving the directional commands from behind your dog and strategies of how to approach the backpacking portion of the test. It was a great day and my thanks to Tubby, Judi, Shar, and Deb for putting on a great day for the handlers and dogs. And Shar’s sour cream cookies are worth driving out to Cowley any day :) Vicky Bennett and Baron (future DD dog :D)

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Vicky!! And good luck with your new endeavor!

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The Tail End
A few thoughts from the editor
I guess I don’t really need to say that because most of my dogs are under 12inches tall that carting is not something I have done with them. :) The closest they come is at a parade when they occasionally ride in a wagon, or next to a cart. And don’t they look happy about that? :) In the past I have done a smidgen of draft work- with my parents Rottweiler cross. I looked, and looked for a photo but can’t seem to find it anywhere. I taught him with the help of Judi Snowden and he happily trotted down main street parades pulling his little cart. He was a natural though, and didn’t really seem to need all that much training. We only did it for a few summers before I was kept busy with my own dogs, and the call of the agility field. It was fun, and he certainly enjoyed having a job! I find it interesting that in a sport where you would think instinct and natural ability should play a huge role- we are seeing more and more non-traditional breeds! I love that! I love seeing dogs with jobs, and I think that it is neat that so many different breeds can do this! I grew up seeing German Shepherds pulling carts, so I remember my shock at seeing a big Newfoundland Dog for the first time. I encourage anyone with interest in this sport to try it out. If you read Vicky’s article you will have seen just how easy it is to get started!

photo by Sarah Novak

photo by J,Snowden

Next Months newsletter will be all about Herding!!! 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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