20 December 2012

no trials

So apparently when I'm not trialing I just totally forget to post on here. I haven't trialed since the USDAA trial Dec 2nd, and I'm not entered till AKC on New Year's Eve. I have a lot of 3 to 6 week breaks between trials planned this year, as I try to make money without spending too much so that I can afford my planned trips this year (including the EO in Belgium!!!)

It is an interesting experience for me, as owner of a "stud dog" now... having to consider each bitch, her pedigree, her health, temperament, and then being trusting enough of the breeder to allow them to choose homes for the pups! Little Strafe babies? Seems crazy! But there are 2 fairly serious inquires for 2013 already.... I may limit it to that for the year. I do not want to be involved in having a super popular stud dog, and I like the idea of having 1 or 2 litters and then allowing them grow up a bit before deciding when/whether to breed him again. No guarantees on either litter for 2013 actually happening - depends on timing, etc. If a bitch comes in heat while I'm at AKC Nationals, then it won't happen, for example.

Speaking of which.. Strafe! At AKC Nationals! It's only 4 months away, which to me is quite near already since I am planning his conditioning and training in order to make sure he is peaking physically and mentally in mid-March. My goal is lofty, for a baby dog, and that is to make 26" Finals and run clean! Winning would be lovely, but honestly it is hard to even make Finals in the 26" class, and if we make it in put on a good show I will be thrilled. If we do well and don't make it, then that's OK too - he's a baby - but I know he CAN do it, we just have to be ready and confident.

Kiba's goal, of course, will be to add that elusive "NAC" to her name! A title I gave away last year by making a handling mistake. I don't begrudge the winner, he is a great handler and deserved it, but this year I won't be giving anything away by making a stupid mistake with Kiba. She's 8 years old now and quite likely only has 2 more AKC National events in her, so we are coming in super serious this year and giving away nothing.

I had increased our hiking up to 90min at a time, including hills, 4 to 6 times a week, but with traveling to teach privates and me feeling lazy, this past week we haven't been hiking at all. I am trying to increase the "field walking" time we do at home to 2 separate 20ish minute walks, with all 4 dogs off leash. And I'm concentrating on beefing up Kiba and Strafe's core work, especially rear end power, which is neither dog's strong suit. So we are spending time doing sit-up's, working on the disc, the egg, the Bosu, etc. Kiba loves it, because it involves cookies. Strafe thinks it's just OK. He only likes meat-flavored cookies ;)

Strafe, the amazing dog who can jump with his eyes closed!


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