Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Majors and x-rays and training, oh my!

Magnum and I had a terrific weekend in Macungie, PA. Gorgeous weather and great friends. The park made for a nice show site (though the parking was a little cramped), and there were way more vendors than I expected (shopping!!). Best of all, Magnum picked up his second major, as well as another major Reserve. I am psyched that he is doing so well from the 6-9 month class. His next set of shows will be in Springfield in October, where he will graduate from kindergarten and move up to the 9-12 month class, that weekend marking his 9-month birthday. Go, little blue man!!

Also in October, Elli and Magnum will be headed to Dr. Davis in Augusta, ME, for hip x-rays. Dr. Davis has been recommended to me by several breeders, and I am delighted to find that he does not anesthetize to do the films. Fingers crossed that all goes well and that I have four nice-looking hips.

Aaaaaaaand, pending those results, I may have spring litter plans to announce. Stay tuned!!

As for training, I need to set some goals for everyone. Ian is the easiest: he will be shown one more time in conformation this October, and then, regardless of the outcome, he will go in for the Big Snip. I love him to death, but I have no plans to breed him, and I don't want to chance a whoops between him and his sister. I will schedule that for this winter. In the meantime, I need to get him out and practice practice practice his Open obedience exercises. He earned one CDX leg last November (we won't talk about his score), and I would like to enter him at the Thanksgiving shows again this year to see if we can pick up another. I'd love it if he picked up both, but hey, let's not get crazy here. When and if he finishes his CDX, I hope to find someone local to help me start training him for tracking. I don't think he's going to have what it takes to make it through Utility, much as I would love to complete a UD on someone so that I can work toward the qualifications for becoming an AKC obedience judge.

Which leads into training plans for Elli. I really want to see her earn an AKC agility title. I know she has the ability, in spades. I'm not so sure that I have it, however. My trainer has offered to work with her and put the title on her when he starts attending AKC trials with his Aussie, so I may consider that if I don't feel my own skills have come up to snuff. I feel like the poor dog is "handler-capped." Either way, trialing will wait until after motherhood duties, assuming that I'm going to proceed with a breeding.

I also have high hopes for Elli in the obedience ring. We have not done much formal training since we've been focused on agility with her, but unlike her brother, Elli WANTS to work. Even in her basic puppy obedience class she showed much greater focus and precision that Ian. I think she has great potential if I don't screw her up, and she DOES have the ability to earn a UD. Time to start working on heeling and stays!

And Magnum: For now, the blue boy gets to play the "dumb breed dog" for a while, meaning we'll hold off on formal obedience training until after he finishes his championship. If the stars align and he finishes out of the puppy classes, then we'll start training after that, with an eye toward maybe a CD while he matures into what I hope will be a Specials dog down the line. With his outgoing and goofy personality, he has great potential to be Highly Entertaining in the obedience ring, so keep an eye out for his version of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, coming to a ring gate near you next summer or fall.


  1. Great expression "Handler-capped"! I think we've all been there at one point or another, regardless of which sport we choose!

  2. Except in tracking, all my dogs are handler-capped. However, they are smart, intuitive, willing, and complete various titles with little assistance from me. The greatest benefit of finishing a dog from the puppy classes (IMO) is that you can then do all the really fun stuff while he/she grows up. I've never found that basic obedience training is detrimental to showing in the breed ring anyway. The dog just learns some additional commands. So -- enjoy the willing happy worker, plod along with the "I can do it, but don't want to much" dog, and applause for the baby shooting star.

  3. Boo - my first comment got lost in the internet.

    Yay, Magnum! You have a lot coming up. I hope the x-rays are a positive experience!