Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day

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.

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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.

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This is Bitsy, she is Maia and Titans sister.

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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

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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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Uhh I’m not too sure about this…

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

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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.

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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.