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  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018 4:30 PM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Even though your small breed dog might act like a big guy, he truly does have some unique nutritional needs.  Here are 5 tips to help you keep your smallest BFF healthy and happy!

    They eat small amounts:  Small dogs may have big personalities, but they don’t have big stomachs.  That means the food we feed them has to be positively packed with nutrition to get them all the vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates they need to maintain their busy schedules.  Since they need to consume large qualities in relation to their body weight, they require small meals, several times a day. 

    They need smaller pieces of food: Their mouths are obviouxsly smaller than their larger counterparts, so they need smaller bites to accommodate.  Look for a food that is customizable for their bite size or already comes in smaller bites for their little mouths. When you choose your dog food, keep an eye out for products specifically made for them. I like to use Freshpet Select grain free bite sized morsels – they are fresh real foods in the perfect size.

     They are prone to becoming overweight:  We love to carry around our little pups, so often they don’t get the exercise that they need to burn off the calories they’re consuming…especially when Mom and Dad give them treats all day just for being so darn cute!  So even though it may look like a tiny amount, make sure you’re feeding them just enough calories to maintain their optimal weight.  For a small breed dog, even one or two pounds can be devastating to their little joints and set them up for arthritis, heart disease and even a greater risk of cancer in the future.

    They grow up faster than larger breeds:  Small dogs grow faster than large breed dogs reaching maturity at a younger age, usually long before their first birthday.  They also have a faster metabolism compared to large breed dogs which mean that small breed dogs have a higher caloric requirement per pound of body weight than their larger cousins.  It also means that more protein and fats in the diet are necessary for optimal health.

    They are prone to dental disease:  Even if you feed a hard kibble to your small breed pup, you still need to engage in proper dental hygiene.  Talk with your veterinarian about which toothpaste and brush combo they recommend, and how often you should be brushing your pup’s teeth.  A minimum of three times weekly has been shown to prevent tartar buildup and ward off gingivitis. 

    Dr. Katy Nelson is the host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington, D.C.’s news channel 8. She is the medical director of Pet Health for Stop Aging Now, a leading nutrition and lifestyle company that relies on the latest clinical research to guide them in their efforts to help people and pets. She is also an Ambassador for Freshpet, fresh pet food company that can be found in your pet food aisle in its own refrigerator. She is a Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ) accredited by The American Society of Veterinary Journalists (ASVJ) and is passionate about health and fitness, striving to help dogs and cats to live the longest, fullest life that they can lead by staying fit and trim.

    About Freshpet
    Freshpet has a single-minded mission – to improve the lives of dogs and cats everywhere through the power of fresh, natural food. Packed with vitamins and proteins, Freshpet foods offer fresh meats, poultry and vegetables farmed locally. The Freshpet Kitchens then thoughtfully prepare these natural ingredients and everyday essentials, cooking them in small batches at lower temperatures to preserve key nutrients. That way, your pet gets the best. Freshpet refrigerated foods and treats are kept cool from the moment they are made until they arrive at Freshpet refrigerators in your local store.

  • Monday, March 05, 2018 2:30 PM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Scott Bay

    The report was released on 02/13/2018.

    Analysts at Your Local Security recently released a list of America’s Top Guard Dogs used by those wishing to build a safer home envrionment.  Here is the list, released February 13, 2018 indicating preferred breeds by state.  If you'd like to review the original study please visit  https://www.yourlocalsecurity.com/blog/2018/02/13/top-family-guard-dogs-by-state/ 


    With roots as guard dogs for Japanese royalty, the Akita breed has a strong and powerful stance with a large head and alert eyes, making it appear ready for anything. Affectionate with family members but aloof with newcomers, the Akita makes for a dependable companion and effective family guard dog.

    -> Most popular in: Arizona, Hawaii

    American Pit Bull Terrier

    While Pit Bulls have been given unfair side glances for years for being subjected to illegal training as fighters, this is not their natural disposition. Friendly, submissive, and cuddly with their “pack,” this athletic breed makes for fantastic family pets and guard dogs with their visibly strong jaws and deep, loud barks.

    -> Most popular in: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina

    American Staffordshire Terrier

    Like the Pit Bull, the American Staffordshire Terrier was once bred for dog fighting, but aggressive tendencies have since been bred away. Though friendly and affectionate to its people, this breed’s secure demeanor, muscular build, and buoyant stride still make it an imposing presence to an outsider.

    -> Most popular in: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia

    Belgian Tervuren

     These intelligent, attentive, curious herding dogs are full of energy and eager to work. Belgian Tervurens possess a confident personality and a dense fur coat, making them perfect for actively protecting homes with big yards in even the most frigid winter climates.

    -> Most popular in: Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington


     Originally bred as a property-guarding dog in South Africa, the Boerboel is a self confident, athletic, reliable breed with a brave disposition and intuitive protectiveness over what it regards as its territory. The Boerboel makes for a fantastic home protector.

    -> Most popular in: District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina


     This energetic, athletic breed is playful and lighthearted with family but can be a daunting presence to outsiders with its bounding gait and muscular frame. When given sufficient exercise and training, Boxers make for faithful, fun, and active guardians.

    -> Most popular in: Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

    Cane Corso

     Equipped with a large, muscular build, intent eyes, and sizable head and neck, this Italian property-guarding breed displays an assured, dominant air sure to garner alarm in a potential burglar. Their reserve toward outsiders combined with affection for their owners makes the Cane Corso well suited for the job of guarding your residence.

    -> Most popular in: Delaware, Ohio

    Caucasian Shepherd

     Don’t let the poofy fur fool you. This dog is bred to guard livestock, so it is ready to stand in the way of anything that threatens what it sees as its own to protect, including its family. A nimble mover and distrusting of visitors, the Caucasian Shepherd is a great pick to help keep an eye on your property.

    -> Most popular in: Wyoming

    Doberman Pinscher

     With the help of several Hollywood hits, this breed has reputation for not wavering in the face of danger. Dobermans don’t stop at just looking tough either—they can display a powerful force of attack when provoked, making them one of the most formidable options for a guard dog.

    -> Most popular in: Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas

    Fila Brasileiro

     Unlikely to approach gleefully when seeing an approaching person, the Fila Brasileiro breed is instinctively cautious with visitors. They need to know that a person is safe before forging a bond, giving them a natural aptitude for helping to keep a home safe. 

    -> Most popular in: Alaska

    German Shepherd

     It’s no coincidence that police forces across the nation often choose this naturally protective breed as their go-to canine compatriots. Fiercely loyal, hard-working, and highly trainable, German Shepherds are gentle around those they love with a healthy dose of caution around strangers.

    -> Most popular in: South Dakota, West Virginia

    Giant Schnauzer

     A working breed, the Giant Schnauzer is true to its name. This very large dog is alert, aware, muscular, and athletic. As long as it gets plenty of exercise, the Giant Schnauzer can make an excellent, protective addition to any family home.

    -> Most popular in: Oklahoma, Utah

    Great Dane

     This breed’s sheer size is sure to illicit intimidation even in those well acquainted with canines. Carrying a noble and dignified appearance, the Great Dane is as grand in size as it is in devotion. This blend of traits makes it a wonderful guard dog for families with young children.

    -> Most popular in: Wisconsin

    Great Pyrenees

     Naturally serene and even tempered, Great Pyrenees dogs have a statuesque appearance with a thick, soft white coat. Bred for guarding sheep and packing a large bark in their even larger frame, they are sure to cause a jolt of surprise in a potential burglar.

    -> Most popular in: North Dakota

    Great Swiss Mountain Dog

     Built for the towering mountains of Switzerland, this beautifully tri-colored breed is tough, strong, and agile. Relaxed in a home environment but enjoying good working exercise outside, the “Swissy” makes an excellent family guard dog.

    -> Most popular in: Montana, New Hampshire


     Born with unusual cord-like strands of fur that extend to the ground, the Komondor was bred to protect and blend in with sheep. The Komondor’s inclination to be wary of those it doesn’t know but friendly with its pack gives it an ideal guard dog temperament.

    -> Most popular in: Idaho, Iowa


     This independent, courageous breed will not shy away from employing offensive measures toward anything that threatens its property or loved ones, including potential criminals. Bred for hundreds of years to guard livestock, the Kuvasz is well suited to guard your family.

    -> Most popular in: Kansas, Minnesota

    Moscow Watchdog

     Created in Russia to help stave off crime, the Moscow Watchdog is a mix of breeds, including a Saint Bernard and Caucasian Shepherd. It instinctually  protects, herds, and serves while maintaining  a loving disposition toward family, making it an excellent option to be a guard dog over your home.

    -> Most popular in: California

    Rhodesian Ridgeback

     Distinguishable by a “ridge” of backward-facing fur along its back, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to hunt lions and is built to protect. This dog’s combination of being great with kids but reserved with outsiders makes it an ideal candidate for helping to theft-proof your home. 

    -> Most popular in: Colorado


     Not many burglars would stay long when confronted by a Rottweiler. This powerful, sturdy breed is not immediately trusting of strangers and has been known to bite when openly threatened. With proper love and training as a puppy, Rottweilers are affectionate with their families and receptive to instruction, perfect for helping to keep your home from becoming a target for criminals.

    -> Most popular in: New Mexico, New York

  • Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:12 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by: Rhonda Schechter

    Jake, my Novice A dog and the first dog I have every owned in my entire life, had a remarkable 2016 and capped it off by getting his UDX, OM1 and VCD4 in November.    He got his UD and VCD3 in February and VST and CT in April.   Jake is only the 13th Golden Retriever to  get the AKC VCD4 - there are only  a total of 36 dogs ever to achieve the AKC VCD4.   What is means is that he has a UDX, VST, MX/MXP, MJ/MJP.     His registered name is CT Jake of Rhonels VCD4 RE JH AX OAJ WC so you can see that we also have accomplishments in other venues.  To top it off he turned 9 on July 8, 2016.

    We did not start showing in OB and UB until June, 2016  so Jake completed his  UDX and 3 legs towards his UDX2 in 5 months  with scores respectable enough to get his OM1 and points towards his OM2.     During this time he was Mr. Consistent.  He NQed  a total of 5 times (3 in UB and 2 in OB) on the way to his UDX and two times was due to handler error.   His consistency has surprised me a bit because we were in the ring 11 times before completing our UD.

    What makes our 6 year journey from having only an AKC RE to where we are today is that Jake was not bred for performance and I didn’t even know what the AKC CGC program was let alone AKC Performance Events when he came home in September, 2007.   I work full time and travel so we have limited time for training and showing.

    He easily got his JH, passing 5 out of 6 tests  with little training, passing on natural ability.   Jake passed the GRCA WC on first try.    Jake has a Dock Dogs Junior Title because he saved most of his Senior distance jumps for practice.    Additionally, between 2009 and 2010  Jake achieved the  APDT (now World Cynosport) ARCH, RL1X, RL2X and RL3X.  

    While I am very proud of all of  Jake's accomplishments I am most proud of his connection to people and other animals.   The picture that represents him the most is the one with "Minnie Mouse" at a local charitable organization's Halloween event.   He was unusually attentive that day to "Minnie", although there were streams of children there whom he loves being with.    I found out months later that she had just found out about her cancer reoccurrence and Jake just knew she needed his attention more.   I can train and show  him in every known event but it's his innate abilities that makehim special.    And Minnie is in remission again and we hope it stays that way.

    Jake is far from perfect but he has been the perfect dog to introduce me to the breed and performance events.   He has changed my life forever and for the better.    His best title is "Heart Dog Extraordinaire".

    A big thank you to our obedience trainer and mentor, Bridget Carlsen.   Thank you also to Carla Ogert (tracking),  Annette Narel (agility) and Julie Dorsey-Oskerka who started us on this incredible journey in 2009.

  • Sunday, January 01, 2017 12:00 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Kaitlyn Johnson

    Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Johnson.  I am 13 years old and I love to do obedience with my dog Poirot!  Poirot is a rough collie also known as Travlers Orient Express.  He turned a year old in December.  Poirot was given to us by our friends Candy Ardizzone and Becky Tehon.  Poirot was bred by Karyn Louie Convertini and Candy Ardizzone.  He traveled all the way from California to live me in New York!  He was 4 months old when he came to live with us and I have been working with him since we got him.   I have been doing Junior conformation handling in AKC for 4 years with our smooth collies.  Poirot is my first performance dog. He has become a bigger champion every day.

    I belong to an amazing dog club in Orleans County New York called the 4H Heelers.  We practice with our dogs every Thursday for at least an hour, sometimes two. At the meetings we do obedience, rally, conformation and agility when the weather is nicer. There are 4 dog clubs in Orleans county and ours has 16 kids in it.  So our fair is very competitive!   This year at the Orleans County Fair we placed first in obedience and fourth in rally.  Poirot was only 7 months old and competing against much older dogs. I was very excited to qualify for the New York State Fair his first year competing!  We even won a Grand Champion in obedience!  So we decided to move on to bigger events…

    In November Poirot and I went to a United Kennel Club show.  There were 3 shows in 2 days and together we earned his Rally Obedience (RO1) title.  He placed 1st in two of the classes and 2nd in the third with scores of 94 and 93!! This weekend we also won 2 UKC Best Junior Handler awards and a Group 4 placing in the Open class. He also qualified for his Canine Good Citizen at this show.

    In December we competed at the AKC Cleveland Classic show in Ohio where he qualified for his last leg in obedience and took second in the class!  Poirot now has his Beginner Novice title and I am very proud of him for earning it in only 4 shows.

    I am so happy and thankful for how far I have gotten over the years.  I love talking to people ringside so I can pick up helpful ideas.  I also like listening to other handlers’ horror stories with their dogs in the ring! Everyone loves Poirot and is always routing us on. I can’t wait till Poirot is old enough to compete in agility!!  We have taken a few Beginner classes with Della Sliker and we have SO much fun!  We have also done a few classes at Harmony Dog Training.  We now have a dumbbell and he loves it!  Our funniest competition moment so far was when he passed his CGC test.  The distraction was a skull Halloween decoration that looked like a phone.  The eyes glowed red and it spoke with an evil voice.  Poirot just turned his head sideways and poked it with his nose.

    Poirot is not only my dog, he is my best friend!  When we're bored we sit on the trampoline in the back yard and watch the lights move across the sky from town.  When it’s time for bed he hogs my whole bed and sleeps with all four feet in the air! He is such a good dog that it’s hard to remember he is still a puppy!  That is until he plays with Kazi, his German Pincher dog friend, and they do zoomies around the hotel room.  I am so excited to see how far I can go with Poirot! 

    I would like to thank the following people for helping me along the way... 

    Jacky Gingerich for introducing us to the AKC world.  If she didn’t get us out traveling with her to the shows we wouldn’t have been brave enough to go!  I also want to thank my 4H leader Lindsey Frasier for making dog training fun!  Thank you to Karen Drumm and Esther Cassatt for fine tuning us for the competition ring. And a huge thank you to Travler Collies, Candy Ardizzone, Becky Tehon and Bree Ardizzone for sharing Poirot with me.  

  • Saturday, August 01, 2015 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written By Dee Dee Anderson

    The AKC held its second Rally National Championship on March 13, 2015 at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO.  What is the Rally National Championship and how do you qualify for it? The Rally National Championship (RNC) is held once a year and it is my understanding that it will move to various sites around the country.  It is held in conjunction with the National Obedience Championship (NOC).  The current format is that the RNC is held on a Friday and the NOC is held on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.  The RNC offers four different classes of competition which are all held on the same day. A dog may compete only in one class and must have qualified for that class in the preceding calendar year.  If a dog has qualified in more than one class, the dog must be entered at the highest class in which it qualified.  The four classes are:   Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA), Rally Excellent (RE) and Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE).  It is from the RAE class where the champion is crowned and earns the right to add “RNC” in front of the dog’s registered name.  

    To qualify in Novice, Advanced and Excellent, you must earn the confirmed title for that class with 3 scores of 90 or higher (100 is a perfect score in Rally) during the qualifying period (December 1st – November 30th).  For the RAE class, you must earn the RAE title any time before the end of the qualifying period.  In addition, you must have earned five double-qualifying scores from Rally Advanced B and Rally Excellent B, plus three scores of 95 or higher during the qualifying period.

     In Novice, Advanced and Excellent, each team was required to compete in 2 rings for a possible score of 200 from the two rings. In the RAE class, each team was required to compete in 4 rings for a possible score of 400.  The four RAE rings consisted of two “Advanced” courses and two “Excellent” courses.  All Rally runs are timed so that in the event of ties, the team with the faster time wins.

    At the RNC event, each team was assigned to a specific group and dogs and handlers stayed with that group throughout the competition as you rotated through the rings. There were start times posted for each ring and class which was very helpful – since you knew in advance when and where you needed to be so hopefully you wouldn’t miss your walk through.  For those of us who had more than one dog entered, the AKC staff did a great job in doing everything they could to avoid conflicts, but of course, there were still challenges.  I definitely want to emphasize that you do NOT want to miss your walk through, no matter what!  For me personally, I had two dogs entered -- one at the Novice level and one at the RAE level and I did end up with two conflicts when it came to either walking the course or running my dog. It is my observation that the judges at the RNC were simply terrific, and bent over backwards to accommodate requests so that everyone got the best chance to compete fairly.  

    I wasn’t the only exhibitor showing more than one dog, I did place in the top 10 with both my dogs in their classes. Tracy Hendrickson showed four dogs: two in the Advanced class and two in the Excellent class, all four placed in the top 10 of their classes!  Kelsey Corn showed three dogs in the Novice class and all three placed in the top 10! Kelsey missed out on the group picture as she was receiving her ribbons for her other two dog.

    For me, I was worn out showing two dogs.  I have no idea how handlers were able to show 3 and 4 dogs and manage the conflicts and ring choreography!  I salute them!

    At the RNC, the judges were:

    • Richard  DiMarco
    • Nancy Grimm
    • Cheryl Pratt
    • Sharon Redmer
    • Dr. Pamela Regan
    • Julie Rembrandt Seeley
    • Barb Wedekind Selton

    For 2015 RNC, 1600+ dogs qualified for the Novice level with 80 competing. 700+ dogs qualified for the Advanced level with 70 competing.  450+ dogs qualified for the Excellent level with 52 competing and 250 qualified for the RAE level with 115 competing.  The AKC awarded ten placements in each of the four classes.

    Pix’n Pages took over 30,000 photos of the RNC and NOC. Providing the group, winning and some action shots for this article. 


    Rite Of Honor Vom Kraftwerk BN RN
    Owner: Luann Vuckson

    Honor is just getting started in rally and obedience competition, earning his RN and BN titles in the fall of 2014.  I entered him in the novice class at the 2015 RNC as a learning opportunity for us both.  For me, it was my first tournament competition.  For Honor, it was a great opportunity to compete in a large venue early in his performance career.  

    Our experience at the 2015 RNC was such a thrill!  He gave me 110% focus and effort throughout both rounds of competition that day.  In the first round, he entered the ring with intense focus and maintained it throughout the entire course.  It felt awesome, and I was so excited to learn he had earned a perfect score!  Our second round was in the afternoon.  Again, he gave me excellent focus throughout the course and I felt we had another great run.  I could hardly believe it when I found out he had another perfect score!  Why was this so hard to believe?  Because prior to the RNC, he had not yet earned a perfect score in rally.  I had not even considered the possibility that Honor would win his class at this event!  I am so proud of his performances that day.  The teamwork and precision he demonstrated that day was exceptional – he far exceeded my expectations.  I am so thankful to have this amazing dog in my life, and for all he has and will continue to teach me as we continue on this journey of training and competition.          

    Complete results can be found here: http://www.akc.org/events/rally/national/past-events/

    Note: placement score/time to complete all courses

    Rally Novice Results

    1st Place - 200.0/163.8 Rite Of Honor Vom Kraftwerk BN RN (German Shepherd Dog) Owners: Luann Vuckson Handler: Luann Vuckson
    2nd Place - 199.0/177.5 Sunfire's Md Cotton Thunderbird CD BN RN (Labrador Retriever) Owners: Anita Eisthen/Robert Eisthen Handler: Anita Eisthen
    3rd Place - 198.0/142.1 Mirasol Westmarch Beeyond This Momint BN RN CGC (Golden Retriever) Owners: Paula B. Ellis/Judy Super Handler: Paula B. Ellis
    4th Place - 197.0/160.6 Roughstock Chillin' It At Checkitout CD RN (Border Collie) Owners: Kelsey Corn Handler: Kelsey Corn
    5th Place - 196.0/159.4  DD's Dancing In The Moonlight RN TDX (Golden Retriever) Owners: Dee Dee Anderson/Billy Anderson Handler: Dee Dee Anderson
    6th Place – 196.0/172.4 Checkitout Dirt Road Reckoning RN (Papillon) Owners: Kelsey A. Corn/Karyn L. Corn Handler: Kelsey A. Corn
    7th Place – Place - 196.0/186.7 OTCH PACH Himark's Gracey Chasing Abbie's Dream UDX4 OM7 BN PCD GN GO VER RN AX AXJ MXP4 MXPB MJP5 MJPS PAX NF CGC (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Leigh Anne Baughey Handler: Leigh Anne Baughey
    8th Place – 195.0/167.8  Polesitter's Walk This Way BN RN NA NAJ (English Springer Spaniel) Owners: Emily Falterman/Mike Bockhorn Handler: Emily Falterman
    9th Place - 195.0/184.9  CH Rockcreek Ewe Make Me Itch CDX RN (Border Collie) Owners: Kelsey Corn/Bradley Corn Handler: Kelsey Corn
    10th Place - 194.0/151.9 Goldenvintagetapestry Shamrocknroll RN CGC (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) Owners: Kathleen M. Galotti/Kimmie Galotti Handler: Kathleen M. Galotti

    First Place Rally Advanced

    Sunchase's Simply Lightning Strikes Twice UDX RA MX MXJ NF CA CGCA
    Owner: Tracy Hendrickson & Rhoda Brouillette

    Ravynne is a multiple all breed High In Trial obedience Boxer. She is a true all around working dog with advanced agility, herding, lure coursing and rally obedience titles.  This past March, she competed in the AKC Rally Nationals and won the Advanced class.  In the 2014 RNC, competing in Novice, she earned 2 perfect scores, tied for first, but placed 3rd on time.  This year she was American Boxer Club National’s High Combined winner in Rally and Top Obedience Boxer of the Year.   As a "blood donor hero", she has saved many fellow canine’s lives, including Garth Brooks dog during an emergency surgery. She leads the pack as a 6th generation Sunchase Boxer’s team member, and has always been ranked in the top competing obedience Boxers.

    Rally Advanced Results

    1st Place - 199.0/196.7  Sunchase's Simply Lightning Strikes Twice UDX RA MX MXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Brouillette Handler:
    2nd Place -  198.0/186.8 Scocars An Olympic Story RA (Rottweiler) Owners: Carmen Hurley/Scott Hurley Handler: Carmen Hurley
    3rd Place - 197.0/199.3 Emerald Wolf Ava Crowder BN RA (All American Dog) Owners: Brenda Lynn Wendt Handler: Brenda Wendt
    4th Place - 197.0/200.2 OTCH MACH Becksgold Jumping For Joy VCD2 UDX4 OM7 RA MXS MJS (Golden Retriever) Owners: Lynn K. Bauer Handler: Lynn K. Bauer
    5th Place - 196.0/181.7 Jusdandy Diamonds And Denim UD RE HSAds HIAd AX AXJ OF (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Janice A Miller/Michael G Miller Handler: Janice A Miller
    6th Place - 196.0/211.8 Sunchase's Simply Can Can Can Can UD RA AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Brouilette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    7th Place - 195.0/171.7 Sugarland's Pretty Little Souped Up 4wd CD RA (Border Collie) Owners: Rochelle Fugate Handler: Rochelle Fugate
    8th  Place - 194.0/220.9 Gann's Shamus RE (Border Collie) Owners: Rick Gann/Suzie Gann Handler: Suzie Gann
     9th Place - 194.0/239.2  Sundridge's Silver Bullet CD BN RA (Greyhound) Owners: Barbara Redecker Handler: Barbara Redecker
    10th Place - 192.0/189.0  Rhumbline's Count Zorro Seal The Deal CD BN RA (Labrador Retriever) 10th 189.0 Owners: Robert Fullum Handler: Robert Fullum

    First Place Rally Excellent

    Duq'wood's Brand New Start BN GO RE NJP
    Gail Brown

    Brandy came to me as a unwanted 7 mo. old Belgian Tervuren puppy through Belgian Tervuren Rescue to my house, not even having a name that she recognized much less anything that resembled socialization or training.  But there was something about her that just shouted potential and I was eager to try to find & develop it.  

    Rally is a great place to start & she took to it easily…moving quickly through the levels till she finished the RE.  Because she had multiple 100 pt. scores, a friend suggested (dared me) that I enter the 2015 Rally Nationals.  So, at the last minute, I did just that.

    I knew that Brandy knew her job and my biggest fear was that I might let her down by making a "stupid" handler error.  The hardest thing for me on the day of the competition, was not letting her realize that I was really a nervous wreck.  I must have hidden it well enough since we ended up winning the Excellent class with 199 pts out of 200 pts.  Although everyone kept telling me that I had won, I didn't really believe it until my name was actually called during the presentation...THEN it was real.   What a thrill.

    Rally Excellent Results

    1st Place - 199.0/187.8  Duq'wood's Brand New Start BN GO RE NJP (Belgian Tervuren) Owners: Gail Brown Handler: Gail Brown
    2nd Place  - 198.0/200.2 CH Overo Chamber Of Secrets CDX BN RE PT MX AXJ AXP AJP XF (Pembroke Welsh Crgi) Owners: Laura Gummelt/Jaime Bragg Handler: Laura Gummelt
    3rd Place - 197.0/165.3 CH Docmar Watch For Fowl Weather CDX RE JH (Golden Retriever) Owners: Marsha Fuzia/Jane Docter Handler: Marsha Fuzia
    4th Place - 197.0/177.8  Mcmatt's I Spy 4u @ Graffiti CD RE HSAds OA AXJ NF (Australian Shepherd) Owners: Diane L Bettis/Mark H Bettis Handler: Diane L Bettis
    5th Place - 197.0/186.3  Sunchases Running The Red UD BN RE AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Goselin-Brouillette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    6th Place - 195.0/199.5  Sunchases Little Pink Ribbon CDX BN RE AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Goselin-Brouillette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    7th Place - 195.0/200.4  Sparky's Hot Dogs & Bean BN PCD RE AX AXJ (Dalmatian) Owners: Diane Sparks Handler: Diane Sparks
    8th Place - 194.0/181.7  Renejade Velocity Vendetta RE MX MXJ XF (Doberman Pinscher) Owners: Mary Swindell/James Swindell Handler: Mary Swindell
    9th Place - 192.0/186.8  RINGEAUX AROUND THE BAYOU RE CGCA (English Springer Spaniel) Owners: Robert M. Carver Handler: Robert M. Carver
    10th Place - 191.0/194.8  Treesong's Moonlit Serenade RE (Australian Shepherd) Owners: Cathy Haverdink Handler: Cathy Haverdink

    Rally Advanced Excellent Results

    1st  Place -  400.0/323.7 OTCH DD's Slice Of Pie VCD3 UDX2 OM5 RAE TDX JH AJP NFP (Golden Retriever) Owners: Dee Dee Anderson/Billy Anderson Handler: Dee Dee Anderson
    2nd Place -  398.0/366.8  CH Brackenhill Priori Incantatem UDX2 OM3 GN RAE PT AX AXJ XF (Border Collie) Owners: Linda S Brennan Handler: Linda S Brennan
    3rd Place  - 398.0/368.8 Gaylan's Earth, Wind And Fire UD GN RAE SH (Golden Retriever) Owners: Laura Higdon Handler: Laura Higdon
    4th Place - 398.0/402.3 Blue Heavens Moonlight Ramble UD RAE MX MXB MXJ MJB (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Carolyn S Blasingame/Nancy A Curtis Handler: Nancy A Curtis
    5th Place -  397.0/342.7 OTCH Clitheroe R Commander N Chief UDX5 OM7 VER RAE16 (Golden Retriever) Owners: Charles P. MacMillan/Joan M MacMillan Handler: Charles P. MacMillan
     6th Place - 397.0/373.8  Medendorps Hoodoo By Barribeau CD RAE NA OAJ NF CAA (All American Dog) Owners: Billie Medendorp Handler: Billie Medendorp
    7th Place - 397.0/394.7  RNC Hamilton's Mystic Lord Of The Dance CD BN GN PCDX RAE4 AX AXJ NAP MXF CGCA (Border Collie) Owners: Lucy McCloskey Handler: Lucy McCloskey
    8th Place - 396.0/378.6 Sly Z Eurosportu CD BN PCDX RAE3 AX AXJ OF (German Shepherd Dog) Owners: Kimberly Thomas Handler: Kimberly Thomas
    9th Place - 396.0/383.7 Cosada's Gambling Man CDX BN GN GO RAE (Border Collie) Owners: Darrell Cormier/Sandy Cormier Handler: Darrell Cormier
    10th Place - 395.0/338.9 GCH CH OTCH Holther's Racin' Bye Ewe OM1 BN RAE PT OA OAJ (Border Collie) Owners: Lara Avery Handler: Lara Avery

    Continued ~ Please See The Road to the Rally National Championship ~ Sliver’s Story

  • Saturday, August 01, 2015 12:00 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Dee Dee Anderson

    RNC OTCH DD's Slice Of Pie 

    Owners: Dee Dee & Billy Anderson

    As Sliver’s proud owner and partner I never thought this would have ever been possible for this little Golden to win the title of RNC.  To say I have been on an adventure with my little Sliver – a singleton pup that was not supposed to live, let alone walk -- is an understatement.  But with the nurturing of her dam Dream – and the care and attention from many other people -- she would not only live and walk, but she would thrive and eventually enter the exciting world of competition Obedience & Rally.  

    Sliver’s story – and life challenge -- began during delivery.  When she was born, her right rear leg was black and swollen to twice the size of her left leg. She had no use of the injured leg and when she tried to crawl, it put such a strain on her left leg that she suffered ligament damage to that leg. By the time she was two weeks old, Sliver had no use of either hind leg.  Otherwise, she was a happy and curious puppy trying to investigate the world.  She would drag herself around using just her front legs. This only lasted a few days as Sliver developed swimmers pup syndrome because she couldn’t move around normally. Sliver’s rib cage had collapsed to the thinness of my hand. It was interesting that in the days before Sliver stopped moving around, Dream kept rolling Sliver over onto her back. Sliver would lay there kicking her front legs in the air. I would roll her back onto her stomach because I felt sorry that she could not roll over by herself. Much later I would learn that Dream had been doing the right thing – trying to keep Sliver’s weight off her chest. Here I was, with a two-week-old puppy that couldn’t move.  Many well-meaning vets said I should put her down, and I considered it every day in the first four weeks. But to take Dream’s only puppy away would be very hard for me to do.

    Before I gave up, I took Sliver to see another vet – but this time we headed to an orthopedic vet (Dr. Brown).  I can still see Dr. Brown holding this two-week-old puppy in the air.  Sliver was so young, her eyes were just opening. He explained how you could not do an x-ray on such a young pup and that it would be a waiting game to see if Sliver could survive and walk. But his exact words to me were “I would not give up on her yet.” 

    Since we had to wait for Sliver to get a little older before she could be x-rayed and treated, Dr. Brown gave me some physical therapy exercises to do with Sliver.  The exercises he recommended were to help Sliver overcome the swimmers pup syndrome and to keep blood flowing to her rear legs. Dr. Brown encouraged me to do the exercises with her throughout the day for a total of two hours – but if I could do more, so much the better.  This was Dream’s only puppy and all my focus was to help Sliver as much as possible. So I did the exercises with Sliver for six hours a day, every day for two weeks. Dream had naturally been doing the right thing by rolling Sliver onto her back from the very beginning. Dr. Brown said Sliver needed to lie only on her sides or back and I should not to let her lay on her stomach. Sliver spent a lot of time on my chest while I lay on the floor and did her therapy exercises. Dream smothered Sliver with love, and with her help, we taught Sliver how to walk. 

    Sliver would take her first step at four weeks old and at that time, it became apparent her damaged leg was growing crooked.  We went back to Dr. Brown and while I was worried about her crooked leg, Dr. Brown was beaming when he saw her.  He said, “You did it! You taught her how to walk!” 

    He carried Sliver around the office, stopping to show everyone how well she could walk. He then told me there was nothing else he could do until her growth plates stopped growing, which happens at about 8 months old. Until then, Sliver would only be allowed to walk on a leash or swim or track. It was so painful to watch her walk; it looked like her leg would break at any moment. When Sliver was 6-months old, I couldn’t stand it anymore and took her back to Dr. Brown to see if we could accelerate a treatment plan for her.  He took x-rays and said the good news was that she had stopped growing.  The bad news was that her right leg was so crooked, it was ¾” shorter than her left leg. He recommended surgery right away. He hoped he could straighten her leg at the point of the growth plate damage, and after recovery, that both her legs would be the same length. He was a bit concerned that such a young pup might not be able to tolerate the surgery and rehabilitation. 

    Dr. Brown’s plan was to cut the bone, straighten the leg, and insert a plate to hold the leg straight while it healed. He thought he might have to take bone from her hip if the leg was not long enough.  Lucky for Sliver – he didn’t have to do that. I just wanted Sliver to be able to run and play like a normal puppy.  But Dr. Brown said, “No, you don’t; you want her to be perfect. I will do my best to make her perfect so you can do any sport you want with her. But you will need to do a lot of work with her afterwards.”

    That meant eight weeks of restricting her movement -- not letting her walk, swim or track – and that was so hard on my 6-month-old puppy who wanted to be up and about. But Sliver and I would learn many tricks that you can play on the ground without a lot of movement.  The bad news is she learned that the best place to be was on top of me, biting my feet!  Sliver’s cast covered her whole leg, and it had to be changed twice a week because it kept shifting and turning and causing irritation to her foot.  We did so well following the instructions to keep her off her leg that at 6 weeks after surgery, Dr. Brown said we could take the cast off.  I was a nervous wreck and wanted to keep it on longer. But Dr. Brown assured me that her leg was healed and it was time for months of physical therapy. 

    After all the months of attention and playtime restricted to whatever I could do in a small area -- often in my lap – it was clear Sliver was, and is today, very attached to me, and I admit that she does have some separation anxiety when we are apart.  But what did I expect?  She was not supposed to live – and as a singleton pup, I became her littermate! Well, at least I believe that is what she thinks. As my husband says, “Dream loved you, but Sliver cannot live without you!” 

    I never expected I would be able to show Sliver in any event, but Dr. Brown said she would be able to run and play like a normal dog. To watch my 10-month old pup run for the first time was priceless!  Sliver had the time of her life when she was allowed out on the grass and free to play. Tracking would be physical therapy for her body and mind -- and for my mind too.  It didn’t take long for Sliver to earn her TD & TDX which seemed to come naturally and easily for her.  For obedience, we took our time as her leg needed to gain strength and of course, it is the right rear leg. That leg sticks out because of her surgery, and when Sliver sits, it makes her look like she’s sitting crooked. Sliver loves to work and some days she’s more excited than others. If it’s one of those days when she’s excited, she will tend to lean out when sitting on a halt -- and when she does that, her right leg sticks out noticeably. I love the way she works and hate to calm her excitement down, so we end up paying a price of ½ point off from some judges every time Sliver sits in heel position. 

    While I was still showing Sliver in Novice, I had one judge tell me that Sliver would never sit straight and I should not be showing her as she would never be the dog I wanted.  This judge knew nothing about my little Sliver, and certainly nothing about what Sliver had been through. It hurt a lot to think that a person would even say something like that to me or anyone else. That judge will never have the privilege of judging my Sliver again. As a judge myself, I am now even more aware of being careful of what to say to an exhibitor. I would never want to discourage a person from showing. Many judges have asked me what is wrong with Sliver and many have been very kind and encouraging. I would not be showing her if I thought I was hurting her in any way. For those who have seen Sliver and know her, they know how much Sliver enjoys working with me in any sport. She just loves to be with me!

    Competing with Sliver was never that important to me, but giving her a job to do and something to work on that she enjoyed doing was.  And she loves Obedience, as well as all the other sports she’s been able to participate in.  Sliver would earn her OTCH title, but because of her repaired leg sticking out, some judges took off a half point off every time she sat.  That was hard to take – knowing every time you went in the ring you would be down a ½ point or more on every exercise and there was nothing you could do about it – because a judge would see every sit as a ½ point off. This has been hard to accept over the years, particularly because I knew there was no way Sliver would be able to be competitive at a NOC, let alone qualify for one by OTCH points.  It was a big job just to get the 100 points for her OTCH. You can watch Sliver in a Utility ring: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=470447339676688&l=5100829317783102982

    Last year I decided to give Sliver a chance at Rally.  Sliver immediately took a liking to Rally and seemed to enjoy it so much.  In fact, the faster I moved through the exercises in the ring, the better she performed.  Her leg sticking out was never going to cost us a point off in Rally, and also, only whole points (no ½ point mistakes) are counted. When it was clear Sliver had qualified for the Rally National, the big decision was whether or not to go.   A four-day drive from California to Missouri was not something I really wanted to do.  But first I had to enter and see if I got in because the entries are limited.  With just days before the entries closed, I called a friend to see if she wanted to go too and we both entered.  We found out quickly that we had both gotten in, and now we felt we had to go!  I also entered Glimmer (Sliver’s 18-month old daughter) in Rally Novice at the championship. So we loaded up the minivan with three dogs and two people and headed east. 

    We had no idea what the competition was going to be like or how it would be run. The RAE entries were divided into four groups. Sliver was assigned to group 4 and we started in Ring 4 which was an Advanced course.  We then moved to Ring 3 (another Advanced course), then Ring 2 and finally Ring 1 (both those rings were Excellent courses).  Sliver went into each ring with lots of energy and earned a perfect score of 100 in the first 3 rings. I thought for sure there would be many perfect scores – and there were – and I expected there to be a number of dogs earning 100 in all four rings.  If that happened, the only thing to set them apart would be time.  Going into the fourth (and final) ring, we encountered two of our most difficult exercises -- the Figure 8 for me and the “back up 3 steps” for Sliver. For the Figure 8, you can only go through the middle 3 times.  If you do it more than that, it is considered an IP (incorrectly performed) and it costs you 10 points off.  And wouldn’t you know it?  There were two Figure 8’s in that ring!  The reason this is a difficult exercise for me is that once I get going, I tend to lose count!  For the “back up 3 steps”, Sliver either does it perfectly or not, it is just hard for Sliver to back up – and this was the very last exercise in the whole competition for us.  I got through the Figure 8’s OK and now it was up to Sliver.  I did my part and we backed up together -- one step at a time.  She did it as perfectly as she ever had and I wanted to reach down and hug her.  But before we could leave the ring, I had to leave her on a sit-stay (which is hard for Sliver) while I went to get her leash and return to heel position without her getting up. Sliver held her stay and we earned our 4th perfect score.

    At the Rally National competition, scores are posted on a score board outside the ring within minutes of each dog completing the course.  So at least you have an idea of where you rank within the group being scored.  But when you move to the next ring, the score boards are replaced and scores for the next group are posted.  That makes it nearly impossible to figure out where you rank in terms of the other groups.  

    At the trial secretary’s desk, a large projector screen had been set up and as the scores were brought in to be logged, they were displayed on the screen for all to see.  Unfortunately, the format of the display only showed about 40 dogs with their scores at a time.  The display would stay up for about 10 seconds, and then the next group of 40 would roll up.  It was a revolving display and a bit hard to read, and since the scores were being shown in the order of the groups, you might have to wait several minutes for all the group/class entries to be displayed before it started over again.  

    Since Novice finished earlier than RAE, I saw those results and was able to figure out that Glimmer was in the top 10 in Novice, but I didn’t know her exact placement because she was tied in points with two other dogs.  In the end, Glimmer won the 3-way tie because she was faster than the other two dogs.  But I didn’t find this out until the winners were announced.  

    In Sliver’s case, three of the RAE groups were showing up on the display, but not the one Sliver was in. I kept going back to check for what seemed like hours.  The last time I went back to look, I heard two women asking if anyone knew who had won.  Some other person in the crowd said there was only one dog with a perfect 400 score.  I knew that Sliver and I had gotten a perfect score in all 4 rings, but I couldn’t believe that there was only one dog. When I got up to the screen to look for myself – there it was.  Only one dog with a 400 – my little Sliver.  She had won the Rally National Championship.  While she wasn’t able to follow in her dam’s footsteps (when” Dream” NOC OTCH DD’s  Dreams Do Come True UDX26 OGM RE TDX JH VCD1 won the NOC in 2007), Sliver would win her own National competition and hold a special title too. You can see Sliver’s winning runs on YouTube below.

  • Wednesday, January 01, 2014 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Gerianne Darnell

    Rick is my fourth Border Collie. I got my first Border Collie in 1979 (OTCH Schuyler King TD, Can CD, 1979-1992). I had seen a little blurb in “Front and Finish” about a sheepdog trial at Living History Farms near Des Moines, Iowa, and my husband and I were completely enthralled watching the Border Collies herd that day. I couldn’t wait to get a Border Collie!  Skye was followed by Riva in 1999 (CH CT OTCH MACH HC VCCH UCD UAg1 Outburst Chasing Butterflies UDX RAE TDX VST HXAsd HIBd HSBs MXB NAP MJB OJP, STDsd, PDI, EAC EJC OGC TN-E WV-O TG-N ASCA RS-N, CL3-SFH) and Raymond (Rick’s sire) in 2001 (DC UROC URX UCDX ARCH Ettrick On Edge UDT BN RAE VCD1 HXAsd HXBd HIBs NA NAP NJP, RL3 RL1X RLVX).  

    Rick was born in 2004. I knew he was going to be special before he was born, as he was the son of my beloved Raymond. I am Rick’s co-breeder, and I was there the day he arrived. I remember as Rick came out I thought, “There he is!”  Rick’s puppy name was “Baby Ray”, as he looks a LOT like his dad.  That said, he has an entirely different personality than his dad.  He is much sweeter, much more easy-going as a pet, and he actually has a conscience, something Raymond never really developed!  I must say, early on I made many comparisons of father to son, and as a youngster, I didn’t think Rick measured up to Ray, as I wanted him to BE Ray.  I will always be grateful to my herding trainer Kent Herbel who straightened me out one day when I was whining “But he isn’t like Ray.”  Kent told me I had three options: get rid of him, send him off for training, or accept and embrace what RICK brought to the party.  It was the best training advice I think I ever received.  From that day on I trained RICK, not Raymond’s son, but RICK.  

    My first Border Collie Skye was only able to herd a few times in his life, as herding opportunities were few and far between back in the 1980’s. When I got Riva in 1999 I knew that I wanted to herd, but I had NO clue what was involved (it was a Border Collie, didn’t they just “do” it? HA!).  When Riva was about ten months old I was able to have a lesson with Kathy Knox, and then I began many years of private lessons and seminars with both Kathy Knox and Kent Herbel.  Raymond (bred by Kathy) came along only a year and a half after Riva, so I was a beginner trying to herd with two VERY different types of Border Collies.  Riva had a nice natural outrun, but she didn’t like to stop in the pressure.  Raymond had more natural “moves” than Riva, but he was SO much dog, really too much dog for a beginner. I’d so love to have him NOW as a young dog.  Rick was my third herding dog, and he would have been the perfect dog for a beginner, it’s a shame I didn’t get him first!  Rick was always very quiet and kind to his sheep, and he has a beautiful feel for sheep and pressure; he is a fabulous farm dog.  But sometimes Rick didn’t have enough push and bite for some sheep, although he really did suit me more than Raymond did.  I finished Herding Championships on all three dogs, and also got in to raising sheep.  

    Rick did all of his training in the various sports simultaneously.  But the only two Championships that we showed for at the same time were the OTCH (2012) and the MACH (2013). Rick had more than one weekend where he picked up OTCH points and a Double Q at the same time. As Rick got older, I rarely trained him in agility, but we trained in obedience a LOT (still do!).  He needed virtually no maintenance training in agility, which was a plus as far as keeping him sound.  Rick’s first Championship was in conformation in 2007, and he earned his Herding Championship in 2008. I started training Rick in tracking this past summer and he shows TREMENDOUS promise, he may be my best tracking dog yet!  I really do think tracking is my favorite dog sport.

    My greatest training obstacle with Rick is probably also his greatest asset:  his extreme desire to WORK WORK WORK.   Rick has been described as a “lot of dog” when it comes to obedience and agility, and sometimes all of that drive and desire does not translate in to a precise obedience performance!  Rick is the most consistent, qualifying obedience dog I have ever had; his qualifying rate is just amazing.  That said, I have never been able to get a consistent heeling performance from him.  If you looked up “forged heel position” in the dictionary it would say “See Rick” :-)  As Rick can usually front and finish quite well, there were many obedience runs where we would get a 197 ½ with two points off on heeling, sigh.  I also always found it interesting that the exact same performance could be scored a 192 ½ by one judge and a 197 ½ by another judge the next day!  Rick seems to frighten some judges ;-).  There would have been a whole lot more 199 performances if Rick and I had ever agreed on what “heel position” really meant! And, as he gets older and our time together becomes even more precious, I find I don’t care all that much; just being in the ring with him is the best reward.

    I think the most incredible week I had with Rick was at the 2010 Border Collie National Specialty.  Ever since I had heard of the Janet Larsen Versatility Award, offered every year to the most Versatile Border Collie at the National Specialty, I wanted to win it. I have always loved to crosstrain in lots of dog sports, and I thought a competition like that was right up my alley.  Rick had an AMAZING week at the National.  In the earlier part of the week he placed in Advanced A sheep, qualified in Advanced A ducks, had several Q’s and placements in Excellent agility, and he won the Advanced B Rally class. We also competed in the Top Twenty Agility Competition. As the week went on, Rick just got stronger.  Saturday at the National was also the first time I ever showed Rick in utility, and he darn near qualified, having a lovely run while only missing an article.  Rick was also entered in Open B, but I really had no expectations, as it was only his fifth time ever in the Open ring, and there were at least ten OTCH dogs in the class.  I thought I had had a pretty good run, but I was amazed and overwhelmed when Rick won the class with a 199, and then went on to win High in Trial.  Later in the day, Rick won the Herding Titled class in conformation, meaning he placed in every venue available that weekend. Rick went on to clinch the Janet Larsen Versatility award, and I will always remember that wonderful week.  

    Rick NEVER has a bad day.  Ever.  He lives to work with me, no matter what the venue.  He is completely and totally devoted to me.  And I’m quite devoted to him as well! Rick also loves to snuggle. He is just a wonderful, mellow, sweet dog in the house; I think anybody who watches him work would never guess that, as his performances can be so over the top. I am also now very much enjoying watching Rick’s eight kids excel in herding, obedience, rally, and agility.

    Rick just turned nine years old.  We are playing around in AKC preferred agility with no particular goals, just because he loves to show so much.  In AKC obedience, I hope to finish Rick’s Obedience Grand Master; he is currently working on his OM9, so I think that is realistic.  In UKC obedience we are working on both his obedience and rally championships, and I am also working on various WCRL rally titles.  And, our biggest plan is to continue to work on AKC tracking.  Could lightening strike twice as Rick follows in the paw prints of my Quintuple Champion Riva?  All I know is that I want to continue working with and showing Rick for as long as possible, as we both enjoy it SO much.  I never want it to end.

    I would like to thank Rick’s co-breeder Sheryl Day, as without Sheryl there would have never been a Rick.  I can not believe how fortunate I have been to have this incredible dog in my life.

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