Hi, just wanted to say a big thank you for sending the samples for Fergus to try.
All 3 went down well, one so quickly that it instantly came back up! In the end we decided on the CP27 puppy as it had the added glucosamine (he’s had problems with lameness after a run).
At nearly 9 months old, Fergus has gone from being a dog who turned his nose up at breakfast and grazed all day, sometimes not finishing his dinner until 10pm to a dog who actively looks for his breakfast and polishes it off in one go. He also sits in front of the cupboard from about 3pm looking for his dinner.
Just a quick message to say a huge thank you for sponsoring our team of rescue sled dogs last season, we were over the moon to have this opportunity from you. The suggestion of using CSJ Xtra too has also ensured that Nero held weight fantastically all season and we have recommended this to several other mushers.
Although covid scuppered a few plans we still managed to do incredibly well and held our own against the Eurohounds and racing line Nordic breeds too. Below are some of our highlights from the season:
2019/2020 1st Place Champion at Newnham Bark for bikejor – This was with Nero our rescue Welsh Sheepdog
2019/2020 1st Place Champion at NATB for 2 dog bikejor – Kai and Nero
Tri Dog (Annual Dog Triathlon) 3rd Place – Kai
NATB 4 Dog Open (although we only ran 3 dogs) 2nd Place – Kai, Nero and our new rescue Nala
As well as some other podium placings…
This was Nala’s first season running so hopefully more to come from her this year. In addition to this was Kai’s first season racing again after 12 months off having knee surgery. The key is that all our rescue dogs train at their own pace and build confidence so they can enjoy the sport. Therefore, we hope that all 3 of our team will continue to develop and be even more competitive in 2020/2021 and earning a UK ranking this year with BSSF.
We also have some long distance canicross events planned including a half marathon next month, TDM a multi day race in the French Alps and a 4 day ultra event in the Brecon Beacons in 2021.
We have had race tops, coats, and a logo on our van representing your company (although just purchased a new van so would need to get a new van decal). You can also check out our story highlights on Instagram where we have saved our CSJ featured stories as well as regular mentions on our team Facebook too.
The intention for this month’s blog was to write about how the competitive nature of people can influence their attitude to risk. Many agility competitors believe they are not competitive by nature, the truth is that humans are intrinsically competitive which is why we as a species are always striving for better. What that better means overall is a wide debate that will go on and on – but not in this blog.
So back to competition and agility
It is good to see that agility groups and clubs up and down the country are now running training within Covid-19 guidelines, however the usual KC competitions are not scheduled for any time soon. For some (myself included) this completely changes the dynamics of training.
To help people maintain some kind of focus I’ve run a Summer league which was appreciated. Due to that success I am also running a winter league which has drawn a few more clients out of their self-imposed isolation. We will take a look at that further next month.
More pressing matters arose for us today
Our old dog Torro had a vestibular last night. Most dog owners who have had old dogs will have encountered this at one time or another. Years ago it was talked about as being similar to us having a stroke and the effects are the same. The outcome is also varied with some dogs making a great recovery. Fingers crossed that is the case for Torro. He has a strong heart and determined mind.
The difference Covid-19 made to what is already a distressing experience was emotionally draining. The thought of not being able to go into the vets with our dog or be with him in worst case scenario was indescribable. On top of that, it was at the on-call vets instead of our own familiar vet. However, the vet nurses and vets were amazing. Although we had to let them take him in, we were completely reassured by their behaviour and compassion that he was in the best care.
Luckily, he is home with us and we’ll be giving him extra care for the next 24 hours or so.
I’m sure there are so many stories like this and worse all over the world with people not being with their loved ones in their greatest need. It is an awful virus to take that away from us.
Hats off to those in the caring professions who have to deal with this daily
Thank you all for your dedication and mostly thank you for stepping up and adapting your processes whilst maintaining all your caring skills. Once again evidence that human nature will strive to do the best.
Ffermio – S4C’s weekly flagship farming and rural affairs programme is bringing to you a new short series celebrating the unique bond between shepherd and sheepdog and the art of sheepdog trialling.
‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ is a Telesgop production for S4C.
There are 3 special programmes which will begin this evening – Monday August 24th at 9.00pm on S4C and then weekly in the same slot up to, and including Monday September 7th.
As there are sadly no official sheepdog trial events being held this year, Ffermio has brought together 6 of Wales’ most talented youngsters to showcase the art of sheepdog trialling on a special course designed by Meirion Owen:
Following all Welsh government Covid-19 guidelines, Ffermio has created 3 programmes which see the youngsters go head to head on Meirion’s course, in a way which not only shows their skills, but highlights the special bond with their dogs as well as their love of sheepdog trialling.
The programmes will also feature the stories of some of Wales’ biggest names in the world of sheepdog breeding, training and trialling including Aled Owen and Gwynfor Owen, and the competition will have insightful commentary from Wales’ captain for next year’s World Trials – Dewi Jenkins.
‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ is an exciting new competition brought to you by the team behind S4C’s flagship farming and countryside programme ‘Ffermio’. Over the course of three episodes, 6 of Wales’ most talented young sheepdog handlers will take part in a challenging sheepdog trial with a course unlike anything you’ve seen before!
The programmes will also explore the special bond between a shepherd and his dog as well as asking some of the country’s top breeders: ‘What makes a good sheepdog?’. There will be the opportunity to get to know other breeds working on Welsh farms and to meet other working dogs, like those fighting crime on the front line with Dyfed Powys Police.
‘Ffermio’ presenter Alun Elidyr is thrilled to be fronting the programme: “As a hill farmer, sheepdogs are an important part of my life, I simply couldn’t farm where I live without them. It’s great therefore to be celebrating these incredible dogs and their handlers by putting them through their paces on a sheepdog trial course that’s going to really test their skills.”
Commentating on the trials alongside Alun will be world renowned sheepdog breeder Dewi Jenkins from Talybont near Aberystwyth: “We’re incredibly lucky in Wales not only to be breeding some of the best sheepdogs there are, but also to have some the best young talent when it comes to sheepdog trials. I’m incredibly excited to be part of ‘Ffermio; Treialon y Cwn’ and can’t wait to see how the 6 contestants tackle a course that’s very different to what we usually see.”
The course has been designed and built by Meirion Owen, famous as the owner of the ‘Quack Pack’ display team. Meirion usually spends his time visiting shows across the country and running corporate events with his team of collies and Indian Runner ducks. With all the events he had planned to attend this summer having been cancelled, he was delighted not only to work with the ‘Ffermio’ team to arrange the trials, but also to host the competition on his land in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire.
Explaining a little about the course he said: “It has some of the elements of traditional sheepdog trials but there will also be obstacles that neither the sheepdog handlers nor the sheep will be expecting! We’re introducing things like a bridge and a water obstacle and it’s going to be interesting to see what these young but experienced handlers make of it all. It’s certainly going to be compulsive viewing.”
‘Ffermio’ is one of S4C’s longest running series having been broadcast since 1997 and the programmes particular focus on farming and rural affairs consistently draws some of the channel’s biggest audiences. ‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ will combine the series producer’s expertise on bringing you the stories that celebrate Wales’ farming and rural communities, with an electrifying competition, that is ‘must watch’ TV.
Tune into ‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ on S4C every Monday at 9.00pm from August the 24th through until Monday September the 7th.
Although in Welsh, the programmes will have English subtitles and S4C is available outside Wales on Freesat 120 and Sky 134 as well as BBC iPlayer.
There is a very high standard of competition over a different style course than the usual.
So, although most races are still postponed, Maddi has just spent the week with Vicki Pullin at her amazing summer camp. Learning new skills, like bikejor technique, caring for the dogs, fitness tests and water activities.
She has had the most amazing time and can’t wait for the season to start, she’s so hooked on bikejor she’s also going to enter for the junior school age bikejor at the British Championship.
Arctic Quest and training with Vickie Pullin
Vicki Pullin’s summer camp is an amazing opportunity for kids to come and stay for 5 days working and living the sled dog life with multi-time British Champion and International sled dog racer Vickie Pullin and her amazing team of dogs, along with some fantastic Staff.
This jam packed week of adventures included running dogs, caring for dogs, cuddles with dogs – all things sled dogs! Arctic Quest work with kids that one day dream of becoming world champions in the sport and other kids who just love to hug a Husky, we have something for everyone – to top of the dog activities we also include a lot of land based activities, team building and water sports.
Like many other agility competitors our dogs have been brought up to love training and competing.
As lockdown eases, we are carefully able to resume weekly training and training days etc. Some COVID friendly competitions have even been run and I’ve done a Summer League with my own customers just to keep up training with an end purpose.
Personally, I have used this down time to also take a look at other dog sports for new challenges.
All the different activities I have researched have one thing in common – awards and/or titles. This is the focus we use to motivate us and give us something to aim for.
So, what about a COVID K9 programme incorporating all the skills our dogs have had to develop recently?
Aim – to enjoy daily moments of living with your canine.
Pictures of dog sleeping,
Dog posing for yet another photo
Dog being taken for yet another walk with each member of the house as they go outside for a break/ daily exercise.
Aim – to show how adaptable your dog is.
Dog settled for several hours in order to watch another box set/classic film.
No barking when someone comes to the door as nobody ever comes in,
Dog playing with hose whilst you are finding something in the garden shed (which tbh you didn’t even know existed),
Dog not bothered by furniture being moved around/decorating etc.
Lockdown Agility Dog
Aim – to show how obsessive we can be.
Dog enjoying ‘going back to basics’ on all training as they have time and they will now be able to get it perfect with handler sat down and using verbal commands only.
Dogs completing a 20-obstacle course in the garden avoiding the shed (which is now filled with garden agility equipment and actual gardening stuff), the new wildlife pond and bee attracting flower bed and still nailing that weave entry.
Outside the House Dog
Aim – to display any old dogs can learn new tricks.
Dog can at last walk on a loose lead (after all no rings to pull to, no exciting training to get to and no room for off lead zoomies), lead is obviously only 2m maximum.
Without instruction the dog automatically sits by your side when they see someone new, a new dog, someone on a bike or someone on a horse.
*New Outside the House Dog July 2020 – dog does not freak out when it sees you with a face mask on.
Easing of Lockdown Dog
Aim – no idea frankly as rules get a bit hazy.
Dog does not bark once whilst, yet another driver takes a photo of you receiving home improvement/ gardening/ bike accessories deliveries or dog barks continuously for the whole 10 minutes.
Dog wags tail furiously from a suitable social distance and does not leap all over their trainer that they had always leapt on since puppy class.
Dog can recall off other dogs, bikes and horses most of which have gone back to pre-lockdown activities never to be seen again.
Good Pub Dog – evidenced by dog relaxing in pub.
Character Pub Dog – evidenced by dog winning over all staff and being given any leftovers.
Think about what great skill/character trait your dog has displayed this year that they should be honoured with.
Whatever your dog would win an award for, there is no doubt that their unfailing companionship is priceless in these times.
“This is some of my team that have been shepherding in a number of Lake District valleys for shearing feed on CSJ ‘Hike on!’ and CSJ ‘Complete Tripe!’ I’m seeing good results from CSJ and wouldn’t feed anything else now.”
As lockdown gradually eases in most parts of the UK, people are adapting to the new ways of living and working with Covid-19. I’ve recently changed roles in my daily work life and having a vertual interview, meeting my new colleagues and team all online virtually, has been an interesting experience. Going into an office is an unlikely prospect for me until sometime in 2021.
Talking about new roles, my successor as Agility Team GB Manager, Greg Derrett is now in place. I’ve been in touch with Greg a few times and offered my support as he gets up to speed in the role… although I don’t think it’ll take him too long. Greg has a wealth of experience and a lot of passion for our sport – I’m sure he’ll do a great job.
It’s strange times for many sports
Some activities are still very much stopped, others are easing their way back and the more innovative ones are finding new ways to play. I’ve spoken to people who are taking stock of their interests… dare I say life, and considering their future direction in this new Covid-19 world. Many people have already adapted to a different way to life over the last four months and are enjoying spending more time with their families, appreciating the natural world more, taking more exercise and making different use of their time.
As someone interested in psychology, the ability of humans to adapt and change according to our environment both fascinates and worries me. I’m shocked how people can be so destructive to one another and our world, but also amazed by how creative and resourceful we can be too.
One things for sure, those of us reading this article will always gravitate and find solace in our dogs.
Back in March/April I contacted Ceri for advice on Bella our Spaniel. We’ve always struggled with her weight, she has spent most of her 2 years looking too thin. It’s a constant battle with a high energy dog who spends little time sat still!
Ceri arranged for the lovely Nicki (nutritional advisor) to contact us. We spoke about her exercise levels, days she is working, rest days, food amounts. 2.5 months later and after I implemented Nicki’s advice, she is looking in amazing condition, her weight is now ideal, her coat is shining and her flakey skin has gone!
“This is the best brand of dog food I have ever tried. I have my 19 month old dog on Herbie Ringsand Billy No Mates! Everyone comments on how amazing her coat is. She gets 1 cup per day and keeps the weight on.
She isn’t a big eater, so won’t eat any more, but this is the only company with dog food that works for her. This is a brand, I will never be switching. I have told everyone at dog training and Jessies followers on tiktok.
She was 16kg and now 20kg but still looking lean. She does agility classes and training, so she is always getting watched since changing our food. We have always have good comments.