My blog has had lots of hits in the last week or so from “people” looking for information on the parties involved in a current cardigan controversy. Because of my collaboration and former co-owerships my dogs and blog show up in the search. I am not my brother’s keeper and my choices are not always the same as those I have partner with. Opinions and counsel are shared but each person has their own set of standards and values and must choose where to stand. It is easy to go down a slippery slope is you don’t choose where to stand. My silence regarding the controversy does not equal my support in the choices that were made in the current venture. I did not and still don’t support the collaboration. And even though I do not support the choices that were made I still believe that the original goal was to help someone new to cardigans and to form a new partnership and that there was care and concern for the dog’s happiness and well being. It was not to just make a buck as has been alleged. That was the goal but I also believe the reality of the situation is different and should have been handled differently. Again that is my opinion and it was not a choice I would have made based on information that was available.
As for my own philosophies, dog breeding isn’t a hard thing to do, put dogs together and you get puppies. Breeding dogs is hard, those of us who breed purpose bred dogs i.e. purebred dogs have a responsibility to preserve, protect and promote our chosen breed, whatever those breeds may be.
Preservation – To breed towards the standard and to maintain the essence and characteristics that made the breed desirable in the first place. To make sure we are not changing the breed because of fashion and to remember that form follows function and to not to stray too far away from the breed intent.
Protection – To protect the integrity of the breed by proper breeding using both the art and science of breeding principles and not relying on either so heavily that we lose what makes the breed unique by sacrificing everything for clear health tests or to ignore what can be tested and putting the breed in danger by not using them to protect the health of the breed. Also to protect our breeds by proper screening and expectation setting with potential puppy buyers so they know what to expect. To protect our breed we must also mentor and guide those that are coming behind us as the next generation of breeders.
Promote – We need to fairly and realistically set the expectations of what to expect from our breed. We can do that by getting out in public with our dogs. Shows, trials, picnics, meet the breed booths, therapy visits or just walks in the parks are ways to get out in public. The education and mentoring of potential owners will do more for us that any sort of social media. It will also serve not just one breed but all of us who are fighting for the purpose bred dog.
That is where I personally stand, if you want more information about my kennel policies you can can contact me or check out the kennel policy page on my blog to see what expectations are set for both myself and anyone interested in the Solstice Cardigans. If you are interested in information or gossip about the parties involved in the current discussion, go ask them, I have said everything I have to say on the matter.
Solstice had a great titling weekend! The girls went ratting and Charlie went to Obedience and we brought home some swag!
We entered our second Barn Hunting trial this weekend and the girls did a great job. Bailey continued to show off her rat finding skills with a 42 second run to earn her 3rd leg in Novice Barn Hunting to complete her title. I moved her to the Open class for the rest of the weekend. She worked hard but we ran out of time each run before the 2nd rat was located. She knows what she is doing she just needs to learn to work above her head. She is vertically challenged after all.
Little Sienna (who is the boss of all 5 Solstice Cardigans) passed her instinct test and then earned 2 Novice legs to also complete her Novice title so both Bailey and Sienna are now RATI and RATN dogs.
I also entered Lindy at the last minute. She tried really hard and knew that she was looking for something but didn’t quite make the time finding the rat. So we have more things to practice as the girls go into open and Lindy learns the game.
I am loving Barn Hunting so much, so much that I am looking into the qualification to judge these events so that I can start working towards that goal.
Across town at the Atlanta Obedience Club trial, Cody and Charlie were once again in the Obedience adding more letters to Charlies name by taking 1st place in the Graduate Novice class. Pending AKC approval he is Charlie, Solstice Flying Ace, GN, CD, RAE, CGC. Yay Team Charlie!!!!
Part of the joy of having a dog is just watching them have a good time. No matter if it is a roll on the carpet or a romp in the yard, watching them have fun is just fun. I have dogs because I like spending time with them, I like interacting with them and having fun with them so we are always trying to find new and interesting activities for fun.
One the the new activities we are having fun with is the sport of Barn Hunting. If you haven’t seen or heard of it you can check the rules at www.barnhunt.com but here is what we have learned in a nutshell:
It makes sense to most dogs so it is a fun activity. The hardest part is staying out of your the dogs way while they are doing what they naturally know how to do. In other words the handler doesn’t have a big role to play.
Any dog can partcipate, the only restriction would be if you have a Very VERY large dog who could not navigate the tunnels it might be an issue.
Dogs have fun!
For novice runs each dog has 2 minutes to find a live rat hidden in a special PVC tube. The tube is hidden somewhere in the straw bale either on the ground or one bale high. In addition to the tube with the rat there are also 2 additional tubes hidden, one with rat bedding or litter and one that is clean. This is to make sure the dog is hunting a rat and not just the tube. In addition to finding the rat the dog has to complete a climb (jumping or climbing up on a bale) and has to go through the tunnel made of bales. As the levels go up so does the difficulty and the number of rats/tubes involved. We aren’t there yet but we are learning.
I took this short video with my GoPro Camera of Lindy (Ch Arylan Flying Start) doing her 1st ever barn hunt run. As you can see she found the rat with no problem.
How cute is Miss Bailey Bug! When we went the AKC National Championship in Orlando in December, the AKC was working on their breed photo library and invited us to a photo shoot. This is the photo they sent me as a thank you for adding to their Cardigan photos. This is so Bailey, serious but goofy!
Look at that face! Bailey Bug was all over those rascally rats this past Saturday as we participated in our 1st ever Barn Hunt trial. We had a very fun good time, Bailey successfully passed her instinct test to achieve her RATI title and she placed 3rd over all in both Novice trials giving her 2 of the 3 legs she needs for her RATN title. Bailey’s best buddy, Sienna our Brussels Griffon also earned one leg for her RATN. Little Sienna had a bit of a hard time with finding her 2nd rat, it was hidden above her head and she just missed it but she was working for it and she will get it next time! I thought the dogs had a great time. It made sense to the them as to what we wanted them to do and Bailey was very workman like in her efforts to find the rat. The biggest issue is staying out of her way.
For information on all things barn hunting check out http://www.barnhunt.com
I was over visiting the Grand Pups at http://highridgehighlights.blogspot.com/ and I just had to steal this photo from Sharrie’s blog.
The two grandpups Zippy and Lady are the two by the tall collie dog Scooter and their buddy Beaver is off to the side. Notice it is the desert bred dog Lady who is laying in the snow. Sharrie posted photos on her blog of the snow paths that little Miss Lady plows in her yard.
Love you guys but keep your snow!