a November 1st, 2008

  1. Testing 1-2-3

    November 1, 2008 by MyEye

    Since some (astute) people have suggested they might like to breed one of their girls to Chase, I had to get in gear and work on health clearances.  It’s always been my policy to discover any possible genetic problems so they can be taken into consideration when doing a breeding.  Genetic research has come a long way since the 70’s when I last bred any dogs.  So many more markers have been identified.  Poor little Chase — I’ve been subjecting him to major research.

    Hip x-rays (PennHip and preliminary OFA) and elbow x-ray (preliminary OFA), the coat length gene (fluff), the ee gene (color), PRA (eyes), DM (Degenerative Myelopathy), Cardiac check, Thyroid panel, patella soundness . . . the only check we have left to accomplish is CERF (another eye test).  What good does all this do?  It ensures that if Chase becomes a dad, he’ll be contributing soundness and good health to his offspring.  Whether they are hot shot show dogs or dearly loved couch potatoes, I think it’s pretty important.

  2. Halloween Games

    November 1, 2008 by MyEye

    As you saw in the last post, the dogs were costumed to go to the cardi party.  The training club always has a short business meeting, brags which often take as long as did the business meeting, and then, there is hospitality.  On Halloween, hospitality includes a costume contest and dog games.

    We now have enough corgis (of one kind or the other) to form “Team Corgi” for all the events.  Win or lose, we laugh ourselves silly.  Team Corgi won the balance relay.  Each handler must carry a spoon with a treat in it, in the same hand as the leash, and must heel around stanchions.  When one dog/person returns to the start line, the next dog/person goes.  All the corgis are well along in their training with CDs, CDXs, RNs, RAs, and REs so Team Corgi won that event hands down.

    Then we played musical stanchions.  Lots of stanchions are placed in a circle (one less than the number of handler teams).  The music plays, you heel around in a circle, when the music stops, you must be at a stanchion and the dog must sit.  I did it with Kip AND Inca at the same time.  We finished second because at the end, Inca slipped her collar and was following behind us.  Though I said “sit” when the music stopped she decided, “not this time” and didn’t bother.  What she did not realize was that winners get treats — Kip was very unhappy with her because she cost him food.

    It was the recall event that caused problems for Team Corgi (that is, of course, from the handlers’ and not from the dogs’ perspectives). The event requires laying a line of hot dog pieces from one end of the training room to the other. The handler puts the dog on “wait”, goes to the other end of the room and calls the dog. The dog is supposed to happily race to its handler, ignoring the hot dog pieces. I am proud to announce that our corgis did not leave behind a single piece of hot dog. They still did nice fronts at the end of the banquet line.  Chase did not even follow the rules.  I put him on “wait”, went to the end of the room, called him and he leapt to eat the first piece of hot dog, then the second, then the third.  At that point, a light bulb appeared above his head, he whirled, and threw himself on the woman who had put the hot dogs out — after all, she had an entire bag of hot dog pieces.  He brought down the house!

    So far, training the boy has been challenging, but it’s now clear to me that he is always looking for a better way to do things.  He is creative and pragmatic — and a little frustrating.