Archive for the ‘vallhunds’ Category

The Thinking Thing

Monday, September 14th, 2020

Nina was such an easy dog to breed that I started out breeding Vallhunds with the idea that they were super easy and it was a doddle.

Then came Zhora.

There are many things I did in terms of breeding Zhora that I regret and wish I could go back in time to do differently.

I wish I’d started earlier with her. That’s the single biggest regret I have. She produced spectacular puppies and was a great mother, and it’s looking likely that her one litter was the only one she’ll have. I’m still hedging my bets on this because I want to see how it goes with Alice but…

I wish I hadn’t used mibolerone. I was told by a high profile repro vet that it was advisable to use it in any intact bitch to preserve her uterus from unbred heats. I do think that this was in good faith at the time, but I also think that the thinking is different now. I don’t know that this had anything to do with her issues, but…

Her issues maybe weren’t as huge a deal as they are in my memory. She missed or resorbed on our first attempt but I am convinced that it’s most likely that we bred her too late. That was fresh chilled and I thing we were a couple of days too late for success thanks to a weekend getting in the way. That was a very stressful breeding!

I think the same thing happened when we tried to do a TCI when a natural didn’t happen the third time I tried. I also think we may have been a tiny bit late that time by the time we actually got the breeding done.

Both times she failed to have a litter were with AI when extender was used. I know “they” say that extender doesn’t cause a problem but…

I wish I’d just bred her last winter when she came in just in time for me to have to skip the Invitational, but I was so excited about going to the National Agility Championship in the spring….I wasn’t to know that COVID would cancel THOSE plans.

So I decided I was going to breed Alice for the first time at around the same age I bred Nina for the first time. Nina was 2 1/2, Alice is almost 3. This gives me much more time in her breeding life to plan and adjust as needed, and more wiggle room for how many litters she can have (2 or 3 instead of 1). I think she is a pretty amazing dog and an excellent example of the breed in many ways.

But the heartbreaks with Zhora have for sure given me “once bitten twice shy” syndrome. I keep analyzing the timing for this breeding we just did. I am reasonably certain that at least the Saturday breeding was within the window. Even if she ovulated late Tuesday, the eggs wouldn’t have been ripe until Thursday, and they live for at least 2-3 days, which puts Saturday within the window.

Plus it was my first AI attempt. So we will see. I booked her pregnancy check for October 6 (that’s day 28), and I will just have to bite my nails until then. I am glad that she is young and healthy and I was so impressed with how she handled the indignities of the AI (she is like that about everything though, she takes everything in her stride, plus cookies help).

I wish I’d just done an AI on Friday, and I wish we’d actually started Thursday. But it is what it is! Fingers and paws crossed.

The Deed Is Done!

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Ollie arrived Friday evening, we nearly had a tie but just couldn’t quite get it done. So Saturday Kat and I sat and watched several videos on how to collect and inseminate (thank goodness I took Renee the repro tech’s advice and picked up two AI kits on Friday!), and then we collected Ollie and inseminated Alice. We were pretty sure they could have managed a natural breeding yesterday but after three near misses we decided to just get it done one way or another.

I am fortunate that Ollie has been collected several times, so he knows what it’s about, and I was really impressed with myself that I managed it!

I think our timing should have been good (today is most likely the last day of the window). We got one AI done yesterday and another this morning. So hopefully we were well within the window, hopefully I did it right, and hopefully all goes well.

I am so grateful to Kat for driving here to make this happen. Fingers crossed for a healthy Alice and a pregnancy!

Ollie is such a lovely dog, so happy and friendly and easy-going, I am really excited to see how this cross turns out!

Dog breeding is not for the faint of heart, not many people can say that they spent their weekend learning how to collect and AI dogs…

Alice Progesterone

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

We started progesterone testing! Remember per Dr Gray “Identifying day of ovulation requires documenting a rise in progesterone beyond 4-8ng/ml with ideally at least a 2ng surge/jump over a 24 hour period.”

Day 5 Wednesday September 2: 0.3 ng/mL

Day 7 Friday September 4: 0.5 ng/mL

Day 8 Saturday September 5: 0.9 ng/mL (thank you for coming in on a weekend Linda, and thank you to another vet clinic that allowed me to drive the sample over to them to go out in their lab pickup!)

Going the right way for sure! And she has been just spectacular for her blood draws so far.

LOBO WRD!

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

A year ago, Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS UD PT FDC AX AXJ BCAT RATCH CGC TKA NDD) became the first Swedish Vallhund in history to earn the Water Dog title (this was in addition to his OTHER breed firsts, like being the first to earn the Open Barn Hunt title, and the first to earn drafting titles). This year, he became the first Swedish Vallhund in history to earn the Water Rescue Dog title.

Here’s what his owner Jan says:

“Lobo, WRD (Water Rescue Dog)

Thanks once again to the Colonial Newfoundland Club in accepting Lobo’s Senior level entry in their water test on August 15, 2020. Special thank you to John Caldwell and Carrie Joneckis for these pictures documenting Lobo’s title.

Lobo Watching Jan Get Set Up

The WRD Senior level exercises are . . .

DOUBLE RETRIEVE: A kayaker places a boat cushion & life jacket 50’ from shore and 50’ apart. The dog is required to go to the first article as directed by the judge, retrieve to hand, and then retrieve the second article to hand.

Double Retrieve (boat cushion)
Double Retrieve (life jacket)

RETRIEVE OFF A BOAT: Handler and dog board the boat and are rowed 75’ from shore. Handler throws the paddle at least 10’ from the boat and sends the dog to retrieve it to the handler on the boat.

Retrieve Off A Boat
Retrieve Off A Boat
Retrieve Off A Boat

TAKE A LIFE RING: Three people swim out 75’ from shore and 30’ apart. The dog is instructed to take a life ring to the distressed swimmer and tow swimmer to shore.

Take A Life Ring
Take A Life Ring
Take A Life Ring

UNDERWATER RETRIEVE: Handler and dog enter the water to elbow depth for the dog. Dog retrieves object thrown three feet and sinks immediately.

Underwater Retrieve
Underwater Retrieve

TAKE A LINE/TOW A BOAT: Dog takes a line to a boat that is 75’ from shore and close enough for the steward on the boat to grab the rope and then the dog tows the boat to shore.

Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Take A Line/Tow A Boat

RESCUE: Dog and handler board boat and are rowed 75’ from shore. Handle goes into the water and calls dog to come to the rescue. Dog then tows handler to shore.

Rescue
Rescue
Rescue
Rescue
Lobo WRD

(Lobo is from the Tempest x Nina litter, and is Zhora’s brother)

UPDATE: VIDEO!!!

Lobo waiting to get started:

1 Retrieve 1:

2 Retrieve 2:

3 Retrieve off a boat:

4 Take a life ring:

5 Underwater retrieve:

6 Take a line/tow a boat:

7 Rescue:

Alice Day 1

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Sad news about Lisa, then exciting news about Alice. I’d felt she was getting close to going into season and today turns out to be day 1!

I will start progesterone testing later this week, which will tell us when it’s time for Ollie to make his way here.

So exciting!

LOBO WRD!

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Just got word that Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS) earned his Water Rescue Dog title today. Jan Robles has done an incredible job with him and this is just the latest in a string of breed firsts. I so hope there is video! This is a water rescue test designed for Newfoundlands. Lobo…is a Swedish Vallhund. Congratulations Lobo and Jan, what a phenomenal achievement

Alice Training

Friday, August 7th, 2020

I’m really happy with her! You can tell we’ve been working the dogwalk a lot since it’s got a lot of value for her right now.

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PACH NINA!!!

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

Today, at the Olean Kennel Club trial at Countryside Agility in Erie, Nina became Can CH MACH PACH Vastgota Nina Ricci MXG MJC MXP2 MXPB MJP3 MJPB XF T2B3!!!

I have been so very fortunate to have this amazing little dog to play this game with. She brings 110% to the line every time, even when I don’t (and she lets me know if I mess up). Nina was made for agility, it is her very favorite thing, and I am so happy she is still able to run fast and happy and sassy at 13. It is an honor to have her as my best friend and a joy to have her as my teammate and I treasure every run with her, Q or NQ. She is such a special dog in so many ways.

It was so awesome to earn her PACH under our friend and favorite judge Sherry Jefferson! And at a suggestion from Glenn and Rebecca, we did a social distancing PACH picture:

The day I stole her from Ulla was one of the best days of my life. Because of Nina, I know so many people I wouldn’t know otherwise. Because of Nina, I’ve gone places and done things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. She is my Ninabean, and there will never be another Nina. Thank you for the privilege of your efforts my Tiny Bean, I love you. 

Nina Jumpers (part 1 of PACH):

Nina Standard (PACH NINA!):

PACH celebration (the video got stopped and then started again so we didn’t get the celebratory elbow bump with Sherry unfortunately, but we DID get the celebratory hip-bump with Sue!):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #131, second place, 19 points, 5 YPS):

Zhora Standard (QQ #131, first place, 30 points, 3.89 YPS):

Alice Open Standard (NQ but some really nice bits!):

Alice Open Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Training

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

Just some Alice videos. Video has been extremely useful for me, both in training and in trialing.

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Alice Dogwalk Training

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Alice is the first dog I’ve attempted to train a running dogwalk with. It’s a learning experience and I don’t yet know if I will regret it or not (I trained a stop with Zhora and then stopped asking for the stop, so she runs through the contact zone now but has never once been called on a dogwalk contact in her entire career).

Here are some videos of training:
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