Archive for the ‘breeding’ Category


Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Zhora’s progesterone was at 0.6 yesterday (day 5). She ovulated on day 9 last time, but it’s important to remember that ovulation can change from cycle to cycle in the same bitch. Average is about day 14, but that can change.

Zhora was on mibolerone (formerly Cheque drops) for 6 months at Dr Hutchison’s suggestion (he’s the repro vet who did the frozen semen surgical artificial insemination that resulted in the B litter, of which Zhora is one!). He thought one of the reasons she reabsorbed last time could have been that her uterine lining was too thick, and the mibolerone will help thin things out (every unbred heat is damaging to a dog’s uterus). Average time to come into season after stopping this medication is 70 days, Zhora went 77.

Further bulletins as events warrant! Please keep fingers and paws crossed that things will work out this time!

Again, I have a waiting list but I do not do “first come first served”, I match puppies to homes. These puppies SHOULD be very nice performance prospects, as both parents are high drive dogs with lovely work ethic (and lovely off switches). I will be giving priority to performance homes, mainly because if the puppies take after their parents (as I hope they will), they will really thrive in homes where they have a job to do. Both parents are very nice dogs to live with, but they do need an outlet for their working drive.

Alaskan Malamute Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Nina was on 19 1/2 QQ”s today, but I overhandled a tunnel entrance in Standard and cost us the MACH. Oh well, it could be next weekend, it could be next year, but I am so happy to be here with her and running with her. Michele Fletcher’s courses were very technical and challenging but fun, you really felt like you’d accomplished something if you qualified on them! And Bert made his agility debut and did AMAZINGLY well! For a dog with just a few weeks of training (and not daily training either), he was wonderful, brave, focused, willing. What a good boy! He wore Tish’s pink Brilliant K9 harness all weekend and didn’t seem to mind, too!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because she slipped in the weaves, tried to keep going but had already slipped out. I had no idea how I was going to handle the opening, and then I did a blind cross which was not ANY of the different ways I walked it, worked nicely though!):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ thanks to handler error that sent her to an off course):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points, really tough weave entry and she drove ahead and nailed it!):

Bert Saturday Novice Standard (NQ, but what a great very first run, I was telling him all the way around what a good boy he was and what a great job he was doing, you can see on the table when I tell him how awesome he is and his tail starts wagging faster, what a sweetie):

Bert Saturday Novice Jumpers (NQ, but very nearly a Q! And he’s so focused on getting going at the start that he doesn’t want to sit):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 20 points, the first four dogs were within a second of each other, the handling error that caused the near-refusal cost us time, this was a tough course!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ # 54, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (not MACH….you can hear me call to videographer Zap “Did we Q?” at the end, after we destroy the course, the line after the non-wing jump after the aframe ate a number of teams alive, that…wasn’t where we had a problem, I called her even though she was headed to the right end of the tunnel after the dogwalk and earned a refusal):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #54, third place, 29 points):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Our second time at the Sportsplex and much better than last time. Zhora earned QQ # 52 on Saturday, and both girls set career-high points on Oksana Syrkin’s awesome Standard course on Saturday (the dogs could see the running lines perfectly and just ran flat out the whole way). It was hot and sticky and while Zhora managed to be the only 8″ dog to qualify on Mary Mullen’s challenging Sunday Standard course, stupid handler errors cost us in JWW with both dogs.

Nina Friday JWW (Q, first place, 23 points, 5.52 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #52, second place, career-high 37 points, 4.57 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, first place, career-high 39 points, 4.82 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #52, second place, 17 points, a bit distracted still in the JWW ring but getting better):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, only 8″ qualifier, 32 points, 4.068 YPS, quite a challenging course!):

Zhora Sunday JWW (NQ, she is very distracted by the crating by the ring and I needed to support the tunnel much more than I did, you can hear Nina barking, the crating is way too close to the ring here for my liking):

Nina Sunday JWW (NQ, nice run, I overhandled and got in her way and caused the bar down, you can hear Zhora barking, I only had 5 dogs between them and she had only just finished running and got chucked in the crate with a cookie and a promise for more when I got done running Nina!)):

2017 AKC National Agility Championship

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Well, our first NAC is in the books and I couldn’t be happier! I wanted to run well and qualify and instead Zhora qualified in all four runs (Premier Standard on Friday, and all three NAC rounds), and she finished in 21st place out of 135 dogs. She didn’t run her fastest (it was a very overwhelming environment), but she ran her heart out, I am so proud of her!

Zhora HATES having her picture taken!

Nina came along for moral support. Here we are outside ring 6.

Thank you so much Zhora for this awesome ride!

Rings 1 and 2

Rings 1 and 2


Our stall with Flat Sue (Sue couldn’t come because of injury, so we brought Flat Sue instead!)

Official videos to follow but:

Friday Premier Standard (Q):

Round 2 Standard (we ran round 2 first):

Round 1 Jumpers:

Round 3 Hybrid:

Tamarack Lake Agility Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Nina had her best weekend in I don’t know how long. One stupid handler error today kept her from a perfect weekend. She earned QQ # 17 (JUST THREE MORE TO GO!), and didn’t knock ONE bar all weekend! Zhora had a perfect weekend, earning QQ’s 46 & 47. Judge Lisa Rieves designed some fun RLH (that’s “run like hell) courses, which are our favorite kind. Quite technical, deceptively trappy, lots of fun. A double double Q weekend that was almost a double double double Q weekend!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 17, first place, 17 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 46, second place, 15 points):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 17, first place, 26 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 46, third place, 25 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 18 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 47, fourth place, 15 points):

Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (9 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, nice run, bad handler didn’t support the panel jump):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 47, second place, 27 points):

Olean Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Very fun weekend with judge John Defilippi (who is one of the judges at this year’s National Agility Championship). Roger O’Sullivan and Keebler earned their MACH 13, so nice to be able to be there to cheer them on! Nina ran beautifully, just handler errors Saturday and Sunday kept us from qualifying. Zhora earned double q’s #44 and 45 (she is now 1/4 of the way to MACH 3 already!) Saturday and Sunday. Friday was not my best day with either dog.

Zhora Friday Standard (NQ, I accidentally sent her to the off course tunnel after the double because I didn’t rotate fast enough on my front cross):

Nina Friday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Premier Jumpers (NQ because I overhandled the jump before the second white tunnel):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (Q, first place, 19 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 44, third place, 18 points):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #44, second place, 26 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, 8 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #45, first place, 17 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (I said “tunnel” when she was looking at the wrong end of the white tunnel, then training mode):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #45, second place, 28 points):

Nina Sunday Standard:

Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, 9 points):

Border Collie Society of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Super fun weekend under one of our favorite judges, Laura Kuterbach! Zhora had a perfect weekend, earning QQ’s # 41 and 42 towards MACH3, plus her Time 2 Beat 2 (T2B2) title. Nina continued to run really, really well, I cost us a double Q both days with handler errors, and she put up two beautiful Standard Q’s, including saving our butts by managing to get over a jump from a crazy bad angle, and a lovely Premier Jumpers Q.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, nice run, every time I walked it I told myself to go deeper past the weaves before I made my front cross, but did I? No, and it cost us a double Q):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 41, first place, 15 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, first place, 30 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #41, second place, 29 points):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points, Time 2 Beat 2 title):

Nina Sunday Premier Jumpers (Q!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #42, third place, 16 points):

Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points, she saved the Q by somehow getting over that jump near the end from a TERRIBLE angle):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #42, third place, 26 points):

Erie Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial – MACH2 Zhora and QQ #15 Nina!

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

MACH2 Alkemi Blade Runner LS MXS MJS NF T2B (Zhora)

Me and MACH2 Zhora saying thanks judge Jeff Ipser!

What a weekend! Zhora earned her MACH 2 (Master Agility Champion 2 – that’s 40 double Q’s and 1500 speed points), Nina FINALLY earned another double Q (#15, first since last April), and had her best weekend overall in a very, very long time, the weather was terrible, the judge got sick and we had to get a replacement judge (just like when Zhora earned her MACH, actually!), the judge’s ring measurements were incorrect so we had to change the courses (an AKC rep came to the trial Saturday and Sunday)…excitement, adventure and really wild things.

The lake hasn’t frozen yet, so we are still getting lake effect snow. With lots of warnings in the forecast for this weekend, Sue and I decided to caravan and drive up Thursday afternoon in the hopes of having to drive through a north-moving lake effect snow band as it passed over us, thus minimizing our exposure to it. Well…the band didn’t move as expected, which meant we, and a ton of other people, were trapped in our cars at the Lackawanna toll booths for nearly two hours after a truck jack knifed at the Blasdell exit on I-90. It was frightening, the snow was coming down very heavily (almost 5″ per hour at some points), building up around the car tires, and it was so cold that the wipers kept icing up, so we had to keep getting out to clear snow off our cars and deice our wipers. We eventually got moving and got off the Thruway, had dinner, and then Jim navigated from home to help us find a way out of Hamburg. There were driving bans all over the place, accidents everywhere, you couldn’t tell where the road was, it was very, very scary. We left my house at 3 PM and I eventually made it back home just before 10 PM. Friday morning we decided to try again once the plows had been out, and other than a very nasty few miles with whiteout conditions, the drive was uneventful.

We arrived at Countryside just as the last few dogs were running Standard. The judge (Kelli Verrelli) kindly agreed to let Sue and I run, and we walked the course a few times still wearing our winter boots. Well, lo and behold, BOTH my girls qualified on a very tricky standard course with a very low Q rate. And then they went on to BOTH qualify in Jumpers – a double double Q Friday, WELL worth the drive!

Nina ran just beautifully all weekend, really paying attention to her jumping and knocking very few bars, and qualifying in all three Jumpers runs plus standard on Friday for QQ # 15.

Not only did Zhora earn her MACH 2 just 8 months after her MACH, she ran fast and happy and very attentively. In our standard run today (for her MACH2), we were on the startline when they noticed a timer problem, so we left the ring while they fixed it. Zhora has shown herself to be very level-headed about things like that, I just knelt down on the ground with her and played with her and she was unflappable. She came out just as ready to run as she’d been the first time. And she was the ONLY 8″ dog to qualify on that course. The Q rates were quite low overall, especially for the big dogs.

So thankful to judge Jeff Ipser for making the drive to come and fill in Saturday and Sunday for Kelli after she got sick! We trial with Jeff all the time and it was very nice to earn a MACH under him!

Zhora Friday Jumpers (part 2 of QQ #39, second place, 14 points):

Nina Friday Jumpers (part 2 of QQ # 15, first place, 17 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, second place, 12 points):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 15 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ but nice run):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ but nice run, naughty table!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of MACH2, second place, 12 points, just ONE SECOND behind Nina!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 13 points):

Zhora Sunday Standard (MACH2!!! First place, 27 points, the ONLY 8″ dog to qualify):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ but really, really nice run, I needed to show more movement towards the table, I asked her to lie down at the start, she said “I don’t think I will”):

MACH2 Zhora – there was hugging!:

Jan And Lobo – Utility Dog Run

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Here’s an awesome video of Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS CDX PT RATM CGC) and his mom Jan trying for his second UD (Utility Dog) obedience leg. He didn’t pass this time (he has one UD leg already, he needs three for his UD title) but I have no doubt he will get it soon. This is a very tough title, the runs are long and involve a lot of different skills (he has to heel, perform skills at a distance, discriminate an article Jan has handled from a bunch of articles, and he has to do this with different materials). Jan is a wonderful (and very experienced!) trainer and she clearly has such an amazing bond with her Lobo, the bit where they look at each other while they wait for the judge to place the discrimination article, and there is so much love and trust obvious between them…that does my heart good both as a breeder and as a dog person, we should all have that kind of bond with our dogs!

Tamarack Lake Agility Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

This was our third time showing under judge Alex Davis. She is a lovely person, always wants people to do well. Her courses were tough! Zhora picked up QQ’s # 37 and 38, just two more to go to MACH 2! Nina had some lovely runs, picking up an awesome JWW Q and a Premier JWW Q. This was her last weekend to qualify for nationals, she just needed two QQ’s to go, but sadly it was not to be. I am adopting a new strategy to try and fix the bar knocking – after pretty thorough video review and discussion with friends who have watched her run for years, the problem seems to be that she sometimes just doesn’t bother to add a stride when she should (it’s faster to just take the long spot and knock the bar – this is NOT Early Takeoff Syndrome), and instead opts to just plow through. So I am taking a two-pronged approach, a Vallhund owning friend (Hattie, who owned the late and sadly-missed Vaasa, who was so much like Nina) said she started just pulling her dog with the same problem when she knocked bars, and it solved the problem. So I am doing this (unless, of course, I think the bar was my fault). I am also SAYING “jump” before every jump to remind her to jump – I have always been someone who prefers to run with as few verbal cues as possible, and I do generally believe that showing the dog which jump is next is my job, but actually JUMPING the jump is the dog’s. But at this point….after so many NQ’s for bars throughout her career, I am willing to try almost anything. It did seem to be helping, I did pull her several times this weekend, and she did seem to leave bars up when I told her to jump (it’s an adjustment for me and I do forget to actually say jump sometimes).

Nina Friday Standard (NQ but SUCH a nice run, and I love the “AWWWWW” from the crowd when we NQ):

Zhora Friday Standard (Part 1 of QQ # 37, third place, 28 points):

Nina Friday Premier Standard (egregious teeter NQ but gorgeous run):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (Part 2 of QQ # 37, third place, 16 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Part 1 of QQ # 38, fourth place, 16 points):

Nina Saturday Premier Standard (going well till the bar…):

Nina Saturday Standard (tough weave pole entry got us because I can’t leave her on the table, nice run otherwise):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Part 2 of QQ # 38, second place, 30 points):

Nina Sunday Premier Jumpers (second place):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (fourth place, 21 points, Jessie Westover and her CRAZY FAST Papillons were there today, which is how you get a fourth place in Erie with a whopping 21 points in JWW!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (16 points again! At least she’s consistent!):

Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (9 points):

Zhora Sunday Standard (LOL at her on the table!)