Club Corner: Personal Stories - Dog Handling

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Club Corner: Personal Stories

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Tuesday, February 10 2015


I have decided this year (2015) to start a daily blog about living with my four dogs. I suspect that not too many people live in a house with four cross bred dogs and share most of their property with their pets.

My oldest dog is Becki Boo who is a Foxi Huntaway cross. She only recently became the oldest dog as I had to put my 15 and a half year old Staffie cross to sleep with cancer, So Booey as she is fondly known, isn't that comfortable in her role as Matriarch. Midge the Staffie on the other hand was very comfortable in her leadership role and bossed everyone about, all the other animals and humans included. So we have Booey who of late has become a little rotund. She is ten years old and has decided that working for a living chasing bunnies and doing agility is really not for her and sleeping takes priority. This means that the food supply needs to be cut down accordingly. When she gets too hungry she jumps the fence into the farmyard and pigs out on chicken and duck food, the odd baby rabbit that is as yet too slow to get away and absolutely any revolting mess she can swallow. She has achieve FD with the Flygility Association, purely by longeivity of association I think. She has never liked Fly as it means she has to run alone. If ever people are bemoaning that their dog will never achieve a title, I use Booey as an example. After 10 years she has 48 points and is in grave danger of ending up in Advanced class and getting FDX as well. I enter her in competitions so that other people get a chance to win points. Sometimes her work in teams and pairs elevates her opportunities but it is almost a risk to put her in pairs anymore as she has taken to running half way and quitting and coming back. On the other hand over the years Boo has excelled in Agility. When she was remeasured and ended up being a mini not a medium dog it lifted her game. Then with the split of heights occurring at Ribbon Shows she managed to win herself through to Intermediate. She has had very little training. She has a left hand only weave, doesn't like to loop off and do things on her own and generally needs me to hold her paw and babysit her around a course. She seldom hits hurdles in fact I don't know that she ever has hit even one and stays on the contacts pretty well so she is a bit of a doddle to run.

Many years ago I used to belong to the Kennel Club and go to Agility Champ Shows, and I did modestly well with my mini Rosie a collie corgi mix from the SPCA, she achieved ADX, and Midge the abovementioned Staffie pig dog. With Rosie's demise and the Staffie doing a cruciate, I sort of put Champs on the back burner. But lately I have been training people to learn Agility and they all want to step up and compete at Champs level having experienced the Ribbon thing. So we have all joined up and they are eagerly awaiting their first Show, Probably Rerewhakaaitu as run inMay? March? can't remember by the Rotorua Dog Obedience Club. Now that they insist I join up I have to look at who I am going to run at these fancy Champs. Ten year old Booey comes to mind. So the weight has got to go. Over the last week she has become much more lively with a reduction in opportunity to stuff herself and a general cutback in the food available from the family fridge, so it might be possible to get her out there working. She has a good chance of getting around an AD course in the time allowed so thats a possibility. Becki Boo might be the oldest Starter Course dog in NZ but she is still fit and uninjured and very happy out of a course. A bit more urgency with the speed would help, maybe the waistline trimming will help with that as well. Her NALA work over the years has been steady and she has won top Agility Dog for Dog Sports Rotorua once or twice. So before she becomes too geriatric we will see how her year goes as a competitor - what a laugh.......

Wednesday, October 2 2013

CLUB CORNER - Life with Seven & One

By Nawa Ruckes

I “found” Seven (girl) & One (boy) on the internet in December 2010 when they were about 3 months old. They are brother & sister German Shepherds, and they were delivered to me just before Xmas. (Seven is left, One is right in all the pics)Seven.pngOne.png

In April 2011 I saw an ad for Raewyn’s Dog Obedience Club in the local paper and gave her a call. By this time One was starting to walk funny which Raewyn noticed as soon as she saw him.

After a visit to our local vet, xrays were taken and we went to see Steve McGill (orthopaedic vet extraordinaire) in Matamata. Steve advised us that we couldn’t operate on One to correct his hip dysplasia, but we could make sure he was pain-free and given the best chance at life that we could.seven___One.pngThis meant putting One on medication and taking him to see Kirsten Gollan, an animal physiotherapist in Cambridge. She gave me some simple exercises for him to do to help strengthen his rear leg muscles. I relayed this information to Raewyn and next thing I knew Raewyn was incorporating these exercises in with our weekly visits to her.

We’ve been visiting Raewyn for about 2 ½ years now. Seven & One enjoy the challenges that Raewyn provides and it’s a great opportunity to teach them some doggie manners around other dogs. In fact, One won the inaugural Dog Sports Rotorua Agility purple ribbon in June this year, with Seven coming in second.Picture4.png

They are a wonderful pair – and they hate being separated! If you come to my gate they’ll either ignore you, cry at you for attention, or growl at you. I haven’t yet figured out any “selection criteria” as to what action they take – but I’m sure they’ve got it all figured out in their heads.Picture5.png

They’ll celebrate their 3rd birthday on 1st October, and all I can hope for is lots more birthdays to share with them both.

Thursday, September 12 2013

CLUB CORNER - Not Your Usual Pitbull Owner

Hi my name is Alex Jones. I am a Field Officer with the SPCA in Rotorua. My qualifications are a Certificate of Agriculture and Auxillary Officer of the SPCA.

I am currently studying a Certificate of Equestrian and next year will Study for my SPCA Inspectors qualifications.

Shadroc my Pittie came to the SPCA at about 8 weeks of age. His name just came to me, there are no exciting explanations as to how. I had him neutered at four and a half months.Alex___Shadroc.JPG

I get a lot of positive comments about him. People really admire him and see him as a regular dog.

I just can't believe how loyal and loving he is as a pet. I haven't really had any difficulties with him, he is great around other animals. He has been a bit shy of people and likes to keep to himself, maybe a little unsure in strange surroundings. Since I started doing dog training we have been working to increase his confidence under new circumstances and it has made a difference.

I am training him at Dog Sports Rotorua with Raewyn as my coach. We started him off on his own to learn about the control class, then he joined straight into the Monday Play to Learn class. He is excelling at agility. We have only been going one term and he knows all the gear now and works steadily on beginners courses.

I would like to compete with him at regular Agility Sports and show people what amazing animals Pitbull Terriers can be. I believe I have a very special animal here and our animal/human communication works very well.

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