Predictions Before Groups

A super line-up of dogs so far - very happy for my friend Jas Hanigan as her girl VIVIAN took best of Breed in Aussies today.  A lovely representative of the breed and when your friend owns it even better.  My picks are doing well.  Swagger the Old English won Breed.  Judge Sharon Newcombe tries to make it look like she was open minded but Swagger is amazing (and his white is VERY WHITE) and it really was not a contest.

The number 1 Border Collie and German Shepherd won, my handler Jamie Clute was Best of Opposite Sex in Border Collies with Halo.  And in the Xolo's Armani won breed.  So I am doing good in my predictions.

I am hoping for Armani in Non Sporting (this is a Group where the dogs that do not fit in any category show in so it is a bit disjointed) the Judge was changed and I find the new judge hard to follow in her picks so who knows.  Go Armani.

For Herding Group I think it is all Swagger, Walter Sommerfelt is a good judge I think it will go like this

Group 1 - Old English Sheepdog

Group 2 - German Shepherd

Group 3 - Aussie

Group 4 - Border Collie

If Swager does not win it will be a huge upset and he is the crowd favorite like FiFi was last year, expect a riot if the greay and white fuzzball does not win.  Tomorrow is Sporting, Working and Terrier.  Fun fun fun!

Here Comes THE Show

So THE show is about to start, the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, World Series...Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden (and the Piers but we di not talk about them) or better know by dog people as The Garden.

I had planned to go as Sugar was going to be entered but her owner decided not to show so I will be watching via laptop and television.  So many dogs will be there that I love and like every year there are many favorites.  I am purposelly staying away from commenting on the Aussies as I have friends showing and so I cannot be very unbiased.

So my number one favorite is....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swagger - the Old English Sheepdog.  He has the Herding Group locked down.  No way he will lose.  Last Year's overnight sensation (Reserve Best in Show) is a Top 10 All Breed dog with a backer to prove it.  His Breeder/Owner/Handler is one of the class acts in the business and this dog is as sweet as he is pretty.  Nothing phases him.  GO SWAGGER

I had planned to have Jewel the American Foxhound in my list but she retired so instead I will add my pick for the working group.  The fabulous MATISSE!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Portuguese Water Dog upset last year's People's Choice Dog FiFi the Doberman and won the Group.  Since then he has been on a tear winning everything in sight.  He will be one to look for.

My other favorites are Bat the Cairn Terrier, coming out of retirement for one last shot, Armani the Xolo...don't be surpirsed if you see Armani win the Non-Sporting.  He is an amazing dog.  I have known and loved him since a pup and he is owned by a friend of mine Stephen Blanco so I would love to see Armani up there.

My undersogs are the Tollers (Nova Scotia Duck Tollers) BOOTS (squeal!!!  I am one of his original fans since he was a class dog AND he is BFFs with Stinger) and Wrangler.  The chances of a Toller winning the Sporting Group would be a huge upset but these sweet funny dogs are so sweet.

Tomorrow half the groups show including the Aussies where I have SO MANY friends showing.  In a few years Stinger will be there too! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dirty Little Secret

I am going to let you in on something lots of people do not know.  Kind of behind the curtain of Oz stuff - are you ready?  Here it is....

Dog breeders all know each other.

Yep, secret is out.  We all know each other, and the responsible ones are usually friends.  And guess what friends talk to each other.  Especially when we have litters at te same time.

What people do not realize is it is not a competition, I like seeing what my friends are breeding, what they are crossing with what.  And we also chat about buyers, usually ones who just seem a little odd.  Oh yeah we sure do.

So there is this person who contacted me about a puppy.  Honestly my list was full so I sent him to my co-breeder Shirley.  Depending on the number of pups Gemma was having I may have had room but it was iffy so I told him to talk to Shirley.

In the mean time he and I chatted and unlike the other puppy buyers (seriously I have the BEST puppy peeps evah!) I had this weird feeling, like I was being fed a story.  The buyer was going to contact Shirley and meet her dogs and she told me SHE was having the same weird feeling - something was not adding up.

I happened to be chatting with another friend.  She started telling me about this puppy buyer who she thought was not on the up and up.  Oh yeah it was THE puppy buyer. 

Because I wanted to give the buyer the benefit of the doubt I sent him an email - are you committed to a pup from us (me and Shirley?) or were you still looking?  And if you are still looking THAT IS FINE no rush just trying to see.

Almost immediately I get an email back OH NO, we are committed just want to meet the dogs.  As I sat their trying to let the information sink in I see over my Facebook news feed that he commented on my friend's photo of her litter.

The comment said "Are any puppies available."  Game, Set Match.  I picked up the phone and called my friend and we both began laughing, then I texted Shirley and we had a laugh.  We were all getting played by a tire-kicking, fence riding, person who was more interested in his reindeer games then getting a puppy.

Well guess what he is not getting a puppy from me, Shirley or my friend.  What he is getting is a reputation in the Aussie Breeder Network (oh yeah because responsible breeders talk to each other).  The moral of the story is if you are not ready to commit just say so - it is a huge undertaking and we all understand.  But please do not waste people's time.

And the second moral is that those of you reading this who are on my Puppy List are the BEST PUPPY PEOPLE EVER!!!  Go US!

Puppy Videos

I did a TON of videos of the last litter so I put them on a page so people can check them out Bummy x Lance Puppy Videos.  The early ones had the original puppy names:

Queen Bee aka Queenie aka first born is now Sugar

Red is now Stinger

Honey Bee aka Honey Badger is now Lola

Blue is now Memphis

Full Registration

A conversation from a few years ago weighs heavily on my mind.  This friend is someone who I would call successful in the breed, she has a bloodline that you can pick out at a show and her dogs are known for their health and their athletic ability.  I don't think she is a Hall of Fame kennel but my guess is she will be soon.

She was lamenting that she sold a puppy to a lady who said all the right things and she decided to trust her and the lady who had visions of showing and doing performance and all the testing ended up breeding her bitch because "she was just so busy" she had not time to do all the things she had promised.  Just one litter.

Until the next, and the next and the next....

Never gone to a show, never had any health testing, never did much of anything but put dogs together and make babies.  Oh and market off of the breeder's accomplishments - BLATANTLY.

We have one around here too...never comes to shows (except the one time he did and his dogs got dead last) but will market off of the work of others.  Thats why when good breeders hear the words "Champion pedigree" it drives them insane because what that really means is "I bought a dog from someone and somebody did something with one of the dogs so I will take credit."

I do not feel that every dog needs to have a pedigree full of champions, but what I do think is that any dog purposely made should be made with a purpose in mind. (Hey I like that!) The purpose should not be to make money or to make puppies but to add to the breed.  Make the breed better by making healthy, good tempered structurally correct dogs.

A dog is not a dog.  There is no generic dog with a different pelt.  An Aussie is not a fluffy version of a Lab.  Each breed has characteristics and when you make the conscious decision to breed it should be to add to your breed.  Not to upsell a puppy (when I see people offer papers for extra money it boils me.)

So this meandering post is kind of just that...I never ever want to see my dogs in that situation.  I do not want them sitting in a yard making litter after litter.  I want them in a house being part of the family, going on vacation, hiking a mountain, living life, being an ambassador for this great breed.

I have no doubt in the beginning that puppy buyer had ALL of the best intentions but then she realized it is hard.  Going to handling class is hard.  Going to shows is hard, it costs money, it takes time.  Rally classes, CGC classes, matches....Driving two hours to herding each way is a pain especially on the way home when they are all muddy.  All of it takes time and costs money but what it also does is ensure that there is purpose, that I can say my dogs are healthy and structurally correct and adhere to the standard.

If I am going to ask my puppy buyers to spend money then they darn sure should expect ME to do my part.  So that is why you will never see full breeding rights for sale on a puppy of mine.  Are there steps to allowing one to be bred, yes.  Are they fair, I think so, some people will say probably not LOL.  But that is how I can sleep at night.