Morene Brown called to let me know that this weekend WIT completed the Herding Excellent title (A course on sheep). Last February I reported that WIT had gotten two legs towards his HX title at his VERY FIRST herding trial. Morene and her trainer, Sue, had decided that because there is only 1 AKC herding trail a year in Arizona, they were just going to skip the lower level titles and go right for the Herding Excellent title. Well, he has not been to a herding trial since last February and this weekend he got to compete again and he completed the title.
He has gotten to compete in some American Herding Breed Association (AHBA) trials and he is also competing at the upper levels in that venue. WIT got his frist leg on the Ranch Dog III- and a score of 91 which gave him championship points for the AHBA. WIT is one amazing herding dog. Thank you Morene and Sue for your dedication to this really neat dog. You guys make me proud.
Whenever people talk to me about puppies, they always ask, "don't you find it hard to give them up?" I always say, "No. I love sharing my puppies with new families. I find it fun to add joy and excitement to a family, and when I do, I become part of that family too."
Puppies are easy- it is the adults that are hard. I think the hardest realization a breeder must come to is that eventually you arrive at a place where you have as many dogs as you can love and care for as individuals. If you go over that number, they become "dogs" and at that point it is all care and work, and not enough love and attention. It is there that you have to make a decision. I always attempt to do what is best for the individual dog. I always ask myself, will this dog be happier with some other family, or happier in my family?
The time to ask that question has come for one of our adult females. She is a sable & white, 5 year old. She has WONDERFUL house manners and LOVES attention. She likes to play with toys, but is not a fan of children. A fully fenced yard is a MUST. Please email me if you think you would be interested.
My friend, Bonnie Frank, had a good reminder about dogs riding in crates on her blog and I thought I would take the opportunity add a second voice to her plea.
I feel very strongly that dogs should always ride in a crate in the car*. None of us ever expect to get into a car accident. My friend Bonnie was reminded of this important safety tip because someone she knew actually had gotten in to an accident and the crate saved the dog.
I have a list of my own stories of accidents and dogs that were saved. Crates serve as “seat belts”- but are far, far better than the strap “seat belts” you can buy in dog catalogs or pet stores. Crates actually protect the dog and should the nature of the accident require that the crate (with dog in it) be moved to the side of the road during rescue efforts, you can rest assure that the dog is contained. Another advantage a crate has over safety belts is that if your dog needs to be transported by a stranger, that person will not fear being bitten by your crated dog, and the dog won’t feel as if this stranger is “attacking them”. The rescue crew will be more comfortable with the dog, and the dog will be less traumatized by an otherwise traumatic event.
Ideally you will secure the crate to the car using some method. I use bungee cords. If you just get into a fender-bender, the crate won’t go flying around in the car.
Those safety straps that are designed as seat belts are not as good because your dog could still experience the same whip lash effect that you might experience from your seat belt. It will save your life, but you might have a broken clavicle too. Common seat belt injuries are broken bones and possible neck injury. Not to mention the fact that once you have unbuckled the dog from the seat belt buckle, you need a leash to hold on to the dog.
People often ask me, “what type of crate should I get?”. If you are only going to get 1 crate, then a molded plastic, #200 vari-kennel (or medium size) is my choice. This kennel has a handle on the top and is easy to move into and out of the car and home. I also think it is the best for car travel. I would not want to think what a wire crate would do in an accident. Broken wire could impale the dog- and that would defeat the purpose of the safety of a crate.
I have both wire crates and molded plastic crates in my home, and the dogs often choose the molded plastic as their “private space”. If you are going to get a crate for the home and one for travel, then just make sure that the travel crate is the molded plastic one.
It is law that children have to ride in car seats, I think dogs should ride in crates for the same reasons.
* I do make one small exception- I will allow a puppy traveling to his new home for the first time to be held. However, if the new “puppy” is older, or an adult- they must ride in a crate.