My Little Pretties

I thought today I would share some of my favorite little pretties.

Cheyenne ~ Chesapeake Bay Retriever (4)1

This is one of my favorite photos of Cheyenne, there is just something so regal about her standing there. She was ten years old here.

Riva, Cheyenne,  Sierra & Reveler

This is Riva standing on the dock frame and Cheyenne, Searra and Reveler swimming in.

DSC_0012

My friend Michelle and I set up our first photo shoot with the dogs, I did three dogs and she did several. We learned a few things to make it better next time.

DSC_0015

DSC_0020

This is Bitsy, she is Maia and Titans sister.

DSC_0993 (2)

COBO BEST BRACE IN BREED 2010

Our show photo from 2010, the DKC show when the girls and I won Best Brace In Breed.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Cheyenne and Riva.

Same show after showing we were just chillin at our bench. Yes both dogs managed to get in my lap.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Riva and handler Hailee

This is my niece Hailee and her dog Riva as she informs me all the time. Hailee’s very first time showing a dog. Her and Riva did very well.

Schawn and Hailee 2013

Two of my most favorite people, my niece and nephew Hailee and Schawn.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Riva

I love how Riva is looking out over the water.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Maia January 16, 2015

This photo was taken by my friend Michelle. I love Maia’s intense look.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Titan January 16, 2015

BeFunky_ChesapeakeBayRetrieverTitan1

befunky sharpen

My first nephew and my first Chesapeake 1993.

Shamrock (5)

Shamrock, the horse I really learned to ride. She’s gone now but I will never forget her. She was a beautiful Appaloosa with a very sweet heart.

Cheyenne ~ Chesapeake Bay Retriever (25)

And the last one for today…Cheyenne charging!

Dog Shows…not a beauty pageant!

A few years ago I did a blog post on dog shows, so with the Westminster Show just around the corner I thought I would do another post.

Contrary to what a lot of people think Conformation Dog Shows are not a beauty pageant for dogs. These events are to present to a judge dogs who represent their breed as breeding stock capable of producing quality pure bred puppies.

The history of dog shows dates back to the mid 1800’s. The cream of the crop of dog shows and my favorite is the Westminster Show held at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs, given under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club, was staged in 1877 at Gilmore’s Garden (the forerunner of Madison Square Garden) in New York City, drawing an entry of 1,201 dogs.    (WestminsterKennelClub.org)

This year will mark the 140th year of for the Westminster Dog Show, February 15-16th. It is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby and is the largest all breed show. You can read more on the history of the show here and here. The Westminster show is one of the few that are televised so you can watch from the comfort of your home; I know I’ll be watching. So why don’t you make some popcorn and sit back and watch the show and see if you can pick the winners. You can find more information on the upcoming Westminster Dog Show here

The very first thing to do prior to entering the ring is make sure you know the basics of showing a dog, how to stack, move and the different patterns a judge may ask you to do. You can do this by attending conformation classes where an instructor will take you through step by step with your dog to teach you how to present a dog to the judge. If you don’t have classes near you reach out to your breeder for suggestions.

If your dog requires grooming you must complete this prior to entering the ring. My breed requires very little grooming so I usually will just wet my dogs down a day or two before the show and towel them off to remove the dust, clip nails, clean ears, check teeth and we are ready to go.

Then you must select the show collar and lead that suits your need, I use different collars and leads depending on the dog I am showing and what works best for them. For some I may use a serpentine choke with a short show lead and for others I may use a nylon choke collar with a longer lead but I try to make sure what ever I use it matches as closely to the color of my dog as possible. Why use a color that matches your dog? You want the whole focus on your dog so you don’t want to have anything that would be distracting to the judge, this also incudes your wardrobe. You should blend in to the background not your dog.

Now as the exhibitor or also known as the handler you are ready to present your dog to the judge.

The role of the Judge is to examine the dogs and place them in accordance to how close each dog compares with their mental image of the “perfect” dog as described in the breed’s official standard.

These standards describe the characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was originated and include qualifications for structure, coat, temperament and movement.

These official written standards are maintained by each breed’s national club and published in AKC’s The Complete Dog Book, you can also find them here for each breed.

The entry is broken down into different classes so when it is your turn you will walk in the ring with the other exhibitors for your class if there are any and stack your dog, always keeping your dog on your left between you and the judge. Stacking Misty Shores Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (15)2is setting your dogs legs and body in a particular position that best shows their structure and angles. This first part usually happens very quickly and then the judge typically has everyone go around the ring once together and return to where you started and stack your dog for exam.

The Judge will examine or “go over” each dog with their handsNewfoundland Leroy to see if the teeth are correct, muscles, bones and coat texture match the standard. They examine each dog in profile for general balance, substance and overall conformation.  It is important that your dog has been properly socialized and trained so they are comfortable with someone touching them in this manner. An extremely shy or aggressive dog can be excused from the ring.

Then the Judge will ask you to move your dog, typically in a down and back watching the dog move away and toward them and then around so they can watch the dogs side gaitChesapeake Bay Retriever to see how all of those features fit together in action. The judge is watching to see if the dog looks capable of doing the job/function it was originated/bred to do. For example in my breed if a dog does not have good reach and drive they may not be able to cover ground efficiently to retrieve birds.

The Judge spends approximately two minutes on each dog going over them, moving them down and back and then around. So you have to be on your toes and pay attention.

Once the Judge has gone over each dog he/she will have the whole group move around the ring again and at this point they usually make their picks. Not everyone can be a winner but then there is always another show.

Click here to watch the video of the Chesapeake’s at Westminster in 2015  judged by Mrs. Dyane Baldwin. This will give you a full picture of what goes on in the ring. Enjoy!

Canine Health Research

When we attended the National Specialty Show there was also a Health Clinic being conducted.

The ACC Board of Directors, The ACC Charitable Trust, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals CHIC DNA Repository and the ACC Canine Health Foundation are partnering to sponsor a blood collection from our dogs at the National Show Special and our National Field Trial Specialty.

The purpose of this clinic was to do a blood draw to collect and store DNA for future investigation of canine diseases of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  It not only will be for diseases we already know about but for diseases we find in the future.

Titan and Riva both donated blood for this valuable research. They did very well and were cooperative. I spoke with Dr. James Stewart, who organized the clinic, and he said they had more than 60 dogs donate. That is amazing!

This is the form that had to be completed for each dog.chic_dnabankapp_main_Page_1chic_dnabankapp_main_Page_2

We actually received a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for their DNA donation.

IMG_20160201_0941351

These are Maia and Titans certificates. It is noted on their OFA page that they have donated with their OFA number for the DNA Data Bank. You can view that here and here

Every dog carries two copies of a gene and when breeding the offspring receives one copy of a gene from each parent. This is random so there is no way to know what copy pups will receive. You can read more about that here

That is why canine health research is so important to the future of dog breeding. Great strides have been made with certain diseases and learning their mode of transportation but much more needs to be done. The more we know about different diseases/conditions the better equipped breeders are in making sound breeding decisions. Who knows maybe one day some of the diseases that plague different breeds will become eradicated or at the very least under control.

If you would like more information please visit

Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)

AKC Health Foundation

CHIC DNA Repository

ACC Charitable Trust

American Chesapeake Club Health Issues

Summer Fun

I am going back a couple years for this post.

In June of 2014 we participated/attended a fun weekend sponsored by the American Chesapeake Club (ACC). Some of these can be a lot of work but well worth it. It is a great way to socialize dogs, practice disciplines you may be interested in and socialize with other people in your breed as well as  other breeds.

It was a beautiful sunny weekend! We had an agility obstacle course set up, rally, we would have obedience and conformation time, field time and we would be offering the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.

The attendance was fantastic. Jennifer Marenich was our instructor, she did a great job. We ended up having 20 dogs pass their CGC test; Maia and Titan were two of those. I worked with them the day before with several other people and overall they seemed ready but was I?!? You know when you get nervous the dogs feel that so I was trying not to be anxious,  just relax and have fun. That paid off! They passed and earned their CGC title.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Titan takes it literally about having fun!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Titan CGC

The sit/stay. The dog is required to stay where you place them, then the owner walks to the end of a 20 f00t line turns and walks back. As you can see Titan did very well with this.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Maia CGC

Your dog must walk on a leash without pulling, Maia did great with this.

10433936_10203339807567172_782129134229992611_n

Here the dog has to sit with someone while the owner goes out of sight for 3 minutes. To pass they have to be calm, they can look for you but they can’t act out. Titan waited for me patiently.

ACC Fun Weekend 2014 (2)

The whole group that passed their CGC

This is a great way to proof your dog socially. With that being said it doesn’t mean you stop socializing once you gain your title in particular with Chesapeake’s. But I will save that for another post.

Most everyone practiced on the agility equipment. This was so much fun, I had always wanted to try some stuff out with the dogs.

Maia and I tried the jumps, she actually liked doing it. This was the low jump.

This jump was quite a bit higher but she cleared it.

Maia (44)

Uhh I’m not too sure about this…

Chesapeakes Bay Retriever (4)

Titan really enjoyed doing this, we did it several times and even did it off leash once.

Titan

Wait…you want me to what…

Several people checked out the rally, conformation and obedience. Quite a few dogs practiced in the field. We were able to get some water work in also.

Chesapeakes Bay Retriever (3)

A little land work.

Titan (1)

And some water work.

I know there were some tired dogs at the end of the day. So what do you do for fun with your dogs?

Well that was a BUST

I mentioned in my last post about Titan having a brain fart. Well here’s the story.

Last August I entered Titan in a hunt test, I am still not confident in myself for handling in this arena so my friend David Keehn would be handling him. This would be his third pass or so I thought. The land series went okay, Titan looked up in the gallery for me as he walked to the first holding blind but then he focused on the business at hand. He marked his first bird and straight lined right to it. The second bird he had to hunt a bit but he found it. I noticed for the second bird almost every dog had trouble with it, I think there was a low spot and there were huge trees casting a very large shadow that was throwing the dogs off.

He received his pass so we were called back for the water series…that’s when things fell apart!

I thought I would move down closer so I could get some nice shots of him…BIG MISTAKE!!!

He went to the line.

He was steady.

Bird down.

He was sent.

But Titan had other thoughts on his mind…ME!

He made an about turn and started to head for where I thought I was well hidden. I placed myself behind vehicles right next to the duck box but that was not enough to mask my scent. I heard Dave call him back to the line and he returned but when he tried to send him again he just sat there. Soooo no pass for him.

So when I entered him in the WD that would be held with the National Show Specialty (NSS). Dave had worked with us for several weeks prior to the stake so I knew we were ready. I was a still a bit nervous he would do the same thing again but he ended up working beautifully for me.  Although I am nervous to run him at a hunt test I do have a bit more confidence with having the WD under our collars.

These are photos from the morning land series

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Titan (2)

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Titan (3)

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Titan (4)

This is from the AKC Guidelines for Retriever Hunt Tests so those not familiar with hunt tests might have a better understanding of what the dog is expected to do.

Junior Hunting Tests. Dogs shall be tested on a minimum of four single marks, two on land and two on water. No more than two marks may be thrown in a series. Judges in keeping with simulation of realistic and natural hunting conditions must remember the use of numerous decoys, islands, points of land, rolling terrain, cover, ditch lines, wind direction, etc. are important factors to consider when designing test scenarios to evaluate Junior dogs as capable hunting companions.

Dogs shall be steady but may be brought to the line on leash with a flat buckle collar. The dog is under judgment when it leaves the holding blind. A Junior dog that is not under control when brought to the line (jumping, strongly tugging, etc) even though it is on a leash shall risk receiving a lower score in trainability including zero in extreme cases. Dogs may be restrained gently with a slipcord looped through the flat buckle collar, or held gently by the flat buckle collar until sent to retrieve.

I’m Baaackkk

It’s been a while…so where to start…

I don’t know if I became bored or overwhelmed with my blog or just at a loss as to what to write. Lately I have been going over and over in my head what I want from this blog and I think I just want a place to write down things going on in my life, adventures with the dogs and maybe a little educational info as I go. I am not going to set my expectations to high so I am planning on trying to get a post up at least once a week.

So let me start with some recent things that have gone on.

Last October was the National Specialty Show for Chesapeake’s and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.

So on October 7th with my van loaded I headed out for a long awaited road trip with Maia and Titan in tow to Wisconsin for the next 6 days. As much as I was dreading the long drive I was excited at the same time.

The trip took us about 8 hours because we had to make a pit stop along the way to meet up with someone and of course pit stops for the dogs but the biggest hold up was driving around in a circle in Wisconsin just miles from our motel due to construction. Once I figured it out we arrived at the motel with me being a bit frazzled the dogs none the wiser but we were safe.

I checked in and unloaded the van…amazing how much stuff one needs to bring when they have dogs! With dogs aired we headed over to the show site to meet up with friends.

This show is sponsored by the American Chesapeake Club every year and the Chair and all the committees did an amazing job on the Specialty. It takes a tremendous amount of time, commitment, team work and money to bring a show like this together. The show was held at the Olympia Resort, Spa and Conference Center in Oconomowoc WI The site was very nice, plenty of places to air the dogs and walk them. The hotel did a great job accommodating the show and exhibitors.

I participated in this show as the State Basket coordinator. I was able to coordinate more than 25 basket donations from all over the US and Canada. People were so generous which made for great baskets for auction.

Each day something different goes on at the National Show, Agility, Dog classes, Puppy classes, Sweepstakes, Obedience, Bitch classes (not necessarily in this order). Maia was entered in the Bred By Bitch class on Saturday. We didn’t make the cut but we had fun and I received some very nice compliments on her from long time breeders. We had a lot of fun and she did show well and I think we worked as a team. You can learn more about Conformation here.

In addition to the specialty there was a Working Dog Stake scheduled for Sunday October 11th and I entered Titan. This would be the first time I would handle him. In the past he has always been handled by my friend and trainer David Keehn but after talking it over we decided I would handle him at the WD since Titan had a little brain fart at the last hunt test, but that’s a story for another time.

We could not have asked for better weather, the sun was shining it was warm but not to hot. The WD committee did an outstanding job on putting this event together. The grounds were fabulous!

I was a little nervous, not that Titan would mess up but that I would but it went great! He ran beautiful for me. For the land portion the judges even complimented him on his marking ability as one of the birds landed a bit hidden but he nailed it! So a big thank you to my friend David Keehn for all the training you did with my boy so I could do this.

So we came home with a new WD dog!

One of the biggest highlights of the trip was finally meeting JoAnn Stancer from Sand Spring Chesapeakes. I also met the cute little Preacher, her beautiful momma Glory and the infamous Gambler.

I met many other Facebook friends and was able to talk with some of them. It is nice to meet people in person that you have only known on social media.

All in all the trip went great! I am looking forward to the next time we can attend a Specialty.

Here are just a few photos…

Misty Shores Maia and Titan

                                            Tired Dogs in our motel room after a long trip

Misty Shores Maia

                    Look close…what is wrong with this photo?

Misty Shores Titan 3

                                          Handsome Boy!

Misty Shores Titan 

                                            Proud of his ribbon (notice his Elvis grin)

 Misty Shores Titan 2

 And a few candid’s from the show, I kept it small because I have almost 500 photos from this show Winking smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas!

christmascard2013-11.jpg

Wordless Wednesday ~ Mud…what mud!

Titan & Maia Misty Shores Chesapeakes

This is a Blog Hop!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Wordless Wednesday ~ Goin’ Down Memory Lane

Trail ~ Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Schawn & Hailee

Schawn & Hailee 3

Scahwn & Hailee 4

This is a Blog Hop!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…