Bethan and Danny Fitzgerald – back on the winning track!

Danny and Charlie Oct 2017

Bethan is a full time Veterinary Surgeon and Daniel is a full time Joiner
who both successfully race their Scandinavian sled dogs in their spare time. They have fed CSJ food, salmon oil and herbs for the last 5 years and have excelled in the
sport…

Bethan won the Silver medal at the Dryland World Championships with her 4 dog team and the Gold medal on the scooter at the European Championships.

Daniel has amazingly held the title of 4 dog Scottish champion and British champion for many years and has come close to podium finishes at European and World Championships over the last 5 years.

In July 2016 CSJ received the sad news that Danny and Beth would no longer be racing due to an old knee injury but with the usual determination, they were not quitting the sport which was what they thought was their only choice, but had just changed the discipline.

Sadly racing the big dog teams (4 dog/6 dog) would be no more due to injury but as Danny’s knee benefits from cycling he would be concentrating on the one dog bike-jor from now on. Bethan would also continue to compete in the mono-discipline, the one dog scooter.

In early 2017 Beth said, “The old dogs are retired and are enjoying their walks in the forest and on the beach and the odd Canicross club run.

This year we have had a litter of 10 beautiful puppies due to popular demand. Our first litter has been showing great potential so it was silly to not produce another British litter and I love to watch them all grow and excel in what they do.”

Then in October 2017 CSJ had this fabulous news from Beth ….

“Most people have complained about the lack of warm weather this year but we have been using the cold nights to our advantage as we have managed to start training early. All the dogs have been eating our favourite kibble – CP30 splashed with some Salmon Oil and they are looking amazing as usual – even the oldies!

This year Danny has been working hard losing 5 stone and concentrating on Bike-Jor as this is the only thing his bad knee can tolerate. Charlie is now 6 years old and is looking fit and healthy and very eager to run!

The first race was at the very popular Cani-fit Experience race at Boswell Coach House. The first race is always the big test if your training and care for your dog has been good enough and Danny passed with flying colours, he flew through to first place both Saturday and Sunday!

The Boswell race by Glasgow was en route to the European Championships in Italy. Charlie and Danny shared the long ride with a friend, Vickie Pullin and her dogs and both joined 100’s of people, all wondering how they’d fare against the whole of Europe. The trail was tough and the downhill was fast, Charlie ran his heart out and Danny peddled hard which placed them high up at 16th out of 45.

Charlie is 6 years old now and still runs like a 2 year old. He looks nice and lean and bulging with muscle bulk and a shiny coat.”

The next race is in a few weeks’ time, another long journey, this time to Poland for the World Championships. Hard training for both dog and human continues!”

Here’s the full story of Bethan and Danny’s journey with their dogs…

How it all started

Bethan and Danny spent most of their lives growing up in Wales and have lived and travelled all over the World but in 2005 they both decided to settle down and get a dog and this is when their lives took a big turn in a direction that was never predicted!

Danny decided to get a Malamute puppy and Bethan got a German Wire-haired Pointer puppy.  At puppy class they started talking to sled dog people and they become more and more interested in the sport, the Malamute was a natural but it took a while to get the pointer running!

In 2006 they moved to Edinburgh so that Bethan could follow her dream to become a vet. They wanted to continue with the sport so joined the Sled Dog Association of Scotland who accepts any capable breed, they were welcomed with open arms and learned so much from people like Keith Johnston, Steven Lyndsay and Shane Murray, who encouraged them to be the best and have a lot of fun doing it!

3 years later they had gained another German wire-haired pointer to make a 2 dog team for Beth and 4 Scandanavian Hounds to make a 4 dog team for Danny and by 2015 the pack had increased to 12, aged between 10 months to 11 years, all playing a very important role in the sport and the family.

From 2014 until injury stopped play in 2016:

Danny’s truly remarkable 2014-2015 season:

4 dog SDAS Champion

3 dog SDAS Champion

4 dog National Champion

Bike-jor National Champion

Silver 3 dog scooter National Championships

4th at the IFSS European Championships, Paris 6 dog class (fastest in the World) out of 35 competitors.

8th at the European Bike-jor Championships, South France out of 40 competitors

THEN … Bethan got Gold in the European Cani-cross Championships 2015

 

Here’s what Bethan told CSJ about the Championships…….

“The European Cani-cross championships in Scotland finally arrived, the dogs looking lean, shiny coated and full of muscle.

Danny entered the bike-jor and Bethan the scooter but which dog would they choose!

The trail was hilly and thanks to a few days of rain, had some good muddy areas, this was a test of strength and fitness for both dog and athlete!

Looking around in the start shoot, I couldn’t help but look at how athletic the other dogs were and how long legged the human athletes were! But not to worry, our dogs were looking just as good, they have been eating CP30, go-on herbs and storm canis.  The trail was hard with steep hills but our superstar, Charlie pulled like a train, he is known as the mud monster so I had to just let go of the brakes and go for it!!!!”

The whole weekend was “awesome” as we all put it! The British pulled together to put on a fabulous event and a huge big thanks to CSJ too for the sponsorship.

Charlie and I managed to storm way ahead of the competition and brought home Gold!!!! Danny chose our “big” Harry as his bike dog and managed a fantastic 7th place, the bike men’s class is the most popular and competitive of all.”

AND then… Fitzgeralds’ team effort gains Silver in World Championships 2015!!

Here’s what Bethan and Danny told CSJ:

“Team effort from the Fitzgerald family wins a Silver in the World Championships!!

Danny and Beth recently embarked on a mammoth trip, flying their dogs to Canada to compete at the dry-land World Championships. Alongside four other Team mates, they all managed to work together to complete the almost impossible task of getting dogs and equipment from A to B and keep them well hydrated, fed and supple!

The dogs took everything thing in their stride, after a few days of jet-lag and TLC, they performed better than they ever have done. Beth said “I had tears of pride for my dogs in my eyes for most of the time!!!”

They stayed on the same feeding regime and they kept their weights and condition well. One of the dogs ran 2 days with Danny on the bike and then in Beth’s 4 dog team with no sign of tiredness. Supplements like Storm Canis have a huge role in keeping the muscles fresh and go on herbs gets the maximum energy out of them.

Results:

Bethan won silver, the title of “second fastest 4 dog team in the World!” She says “I’m so proud of my dogs, I had two 7 year olds and two 5 year olds, one of which had already ran the previous two days, they averaged over 21mph, words can not describe the feeling of pride for my dogs”.

Daniel took 8th place on the bike, this was an fantastic result as this class had some amazing biking athletes and dogs who have the advantage of training full time.

Beth says “it’s all about what you do with your dogs months before the race, the right food, supplements and of course training. There is no other dog sport that asks a dog to work as hard as he/she can for just the fun of it”.

At home, Bethan and Danny’s two 10 week old puppies are looking amazing with their shiny coats, producing perfect poops and are very big and chunky! They were fed CP27 and then changed onto CP30. Danny says “They prefer it dry and finish the bowl every time. We are very excited to see how they turn out for our future races – next year, the European Championships will be held in England”.

Thanks to CSJ and Storm Canis for their support, without them, silver may have not been achievable.”

Finishing 2015 on a high!!

In their last race of 2015 in December Bethan and Danny both finished on a high!

  • Danny took home Gold with his 4 dog team, achieving the fastest time of the whole rally!
  • Beth also won Gold with her two dogs too, Bryn and Gimli!

Beth told CSJ, “The trails were muddy, hilly and fun. Half the trail was fast but the other half was a slow incline with so much mud so it was hard for the musher to get grip. It all came down to the dogs’ strength and fitness to get the Gold and they did us proud one more time.

Now it’s time for a little rest and back to full training for next month. The dogs are doing fantastic, getting CP30, Go On herbs, Storm and salmon oil. Salmon oil is great in the winter to keep their coats and skin in top condition for fending off the mud and keeping them warm.”

2016 starts with 5 races in 5 weeks……….

Bethan’s two dog team and Danny’s four dog team achieved:

Silver at the World Championships

Gold in the European Championships

Gold in the National Championships

2 Golds in the Scottish Championships

Danny won every one of his races and Bethan’s two dog team won every race except one due to an injury!

Then in July 2016 CSJ received that awful news that Danny and Beth would no longer be racing.

Now at October 2017 they’re back on track in Bike-Jor with the great news at the beginning of this tale

CSJ is delighted for them and wishing them both well for the trip to Poland for the World Championships – watch this space, their story continues…

Contact details: rafiki_beth@yahoo.co.uk

 

Mark Laker’s CSJ blog – The FCI Agility World Championships in Liberec

FCIThe FCI Agility World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic lived up to our expectations. The atmosphere amongst the supporters and competitors was fantastic. The standard of the agility courses was very high; they were technically challenging and yet exciting to watch. And of course the standard of competition was incredible. Much like the European Open the handling seen amongst the top teams was precise, fast and well practiced.

Agility at this level gets faster and more exciting each year. The top dogs are now regularly reaching speeds exceeding 6 metres per seconds (MPS). To put this in context when I first started looking at dog speeds we were aiming at 5.6 MPS for the same group of dogs. That’s a 12% increase in speed in four years. Obviously there are many factors that effect the speed including course design, the surface, jump heights etc.. however dogs and handlers continue to achieve faster times.

FCI arenaUnfortunately we didn’t win any medals this year. Which obviously we were disappointed about; I felt we were strong contenders for at least two medal positions. Our results didn’t reflected our performance. Many team members exceeded expectations, some pulled out a few surprises and others showed potential for the future.

Overall as a team I felt we were well prepared and knew what to expect. I think what caught us out was the raw power and speed of many of the dogs and handlers. This didn’t phase us, but it did make us push for every drop of energy and speed we could find.

So what next? Well the Coaching Team re-group later this month to plan our 2018 activities and how we are going to get our dogs quicker. Follow Mark Laker’s blog here: http://marklaker.blogspot.co.uk/

CSJ sponsors 35th Aviemore Sled Dog Rally

aviemore-sled-dog-rally (1)We are proud to announce that in 2018 we are the main sponsors of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Aviemore Sled Dog Rally.

To be held on 27th and 28th January, at Glenmore, the race will feature teams of between two and eight dogs pulling their musher on a sled around a four to seven mile trail. If there’s no snow at ground level for the event, the races will still go on with mushers using a three-wheeled rig that looks like a tricycle without a seat.

From an original of only 12 teams, the annual race is now the largest event of its kind in the UK, with over 1,000 sled dogs and 250 mushers taking part. CSJ’s founder Ceri Rundle said, “We have been involved in this exciting sport for many years with numerous successful mushers using our food so are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the biggest event in British sled dog racing.”

To see more about our involvement in all canine activities visit www.csjk9.com

Lancashire Game Fair Weekend

 

ByPilling Moss Gundog Club

On behalf of Pilling Moss Gundog Club I would like to say thank you for the sponsorship donation Vouchers you kindly gave the club for Lancashire  Game Fair weekend, Was a shame we had bad weather on both days but  I’m sure everyone who came and took part in the dog scurries would say they had an enjoyable time. Also may I take this opportunity and thank you  for your kind sponsorship throughout the year at all the tests that the club has held.

Please see our website for results and more information

6 ways to help your dog cope with the terror of fireworks

Scared-Dog-FB

As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, it’s time to think about how traumatic this time of year can be for dogs and other pets. Many animals find fireworks terrifying and approximately 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. Now is the time to start preparing to help your pet deal with fireworks.

The work you put in now, will help your dog cope with the noise. 

  1. Walk your dog in daylight now, to avoid being caught in the dark when fire fireworks are likely to be set off
  2. Close windows, blinds and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks
  3. Put on some music or tv to cover up the firework bangs, pops and whizzes
  4. Make sure your dog is happy and secure in a quiet space
  5. Create some hiding places
  6. Start to give your dog natural Calm Down! herbs now to help

 

Remember, remember. Keep your dog safe in November

In the lead up to Halloween and 5th November, two of the noisiest times of year, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners across the country to consider their dogs. Halloween costumes and the loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks are exciting for humans but frightening for dogs. It makes sense to plan ahead to keep your dog safe and avoid negative incidents, such as a dog running away or acting aggressively out of fear.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary advises, “In the run up to Bonfire Night, try playing a sound CD with firework noises or firework sound videos on Youtube at a low level to let your dog get used to the sound in the background. On Bonfire Night itself, it’s best to close the curtains and turn the television or radio up and try to behave as normally as possible to encourage your dog to do the same.

“It’s also important to remember that Halloween can be a very frightening time for dogs too. We would advise dog owners to walk their dog before trick or treaters start their rounds and keep a firm grip on the lead as many dogs are frightened by people in costumes and could potentially react aggressively through fear.

“Speaking to a dog behaviourist in your area about any potential behavioural issues that may arise around this time of year is recommended, as they are experts in the field and can offer invaluable advice which will help to safeguard the health and happiness of your dog. People can visit the Kennel Club website to find one of these in their area and can contact them ahead of time to make sure their dog’s experience of Halloween and Bonfire Night is as positive as possible.”

The Kennel Club has put together some advice to minimise a dog’s levels of stress:

Do’s

  • Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner.
  • Seek help from an experienced animal behaviourist. If your pet is severely noise phobic, sound CDs may make the situation worse. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour.
  • Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
  • Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
  • Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with dog treats or playing with toys of interest.
  • Check where and when firework displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
  • Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication before giving remedies to help him cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
  • Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
  • Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping.
  • Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
  • Your dog might choose to hide under the bed; if he or she comes to you for comfort, make sure that you give it to him/her. Ignoring your dog would only make things worse as he or she wouldn’t understand your withdrawal from them.
  • Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure your dog is microchipped too, as if he or she does escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible and is a legal requirement.

 Don’t:

  • Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
  • Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
  • Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
  • Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
  • Try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
  • Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
  • Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
  • Try and tempt him out if he does retreat, as this may cause more stress.
  • Tell your dog off. This will only make your pet more distressed. It is important to remember that it is natural for a dog to be scared of loud noises and unfamiliar sights and sounds.

Calm Down!

calmdown-4571_178_general‘Calm Down!’ has been developed specifically for dogs that have aggressive or nervous tendencies, suffer with car sickness, have an aversion to noise, or perhaps have anxiety complexes. The natural herbs are a mix of: Camomile, Lemon Balm, Vervain, Lime Flowers and Skullcap.

Camomile – valuable in helping support the nervous system. Commonly known as the most popular herbal tea for a “relaxing sleep”, Chamomile is often used as a ‘calming and digestive aid’. It can also help maintain healthy skin.
Lemon Balm – known for its ‘calming’ action. It was thought historically that Lemon Balm relieved melancholy or in our modern terms “stress”.
Vervain – main property is to help support the nervous system but is also a ‘calmer’ and can help give the dog a general ‘boost’.
Skullcap – can be beneficial for dogs showing signs of excitability and general restlessness.

Calm Down! comes in a 200gm resealable foil pouch

Take part in our Fireworks Survey

We think there should be more controls over where and when fireworks are allowed. Please take part in our survey to see if you agree: 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6PGPKCY

Where the law stands on fireworks

Fireworks: the law

You can’t buy ‘adult’ fireworks if you’re under 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions.
Adult fireworks are category 2 and 3 fireworks – they don’t include things like party poppers.

Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals.

The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for:

Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am
Check with your council to find out about any local rules for setting off fireworks.

Get information about firework safety from: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Health and Safety Executive.

Buying fireworks
You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:

15 October to 10 November
26 to 31 December
3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year
At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.

You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Find out more

Sources:

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/fireworks/

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/general/fireworks

https://www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law

 

Lottie – down in weight and down on the beach

 

By Rachel White

Lottie has just been down to the beach for some fresh air.  She absolutely loves the beach and her little tail doesn’t stop.

She continues to lose weight, and we are hoping she is close to the 20kg mark.  She is still toning up and she is bursting with energy bless her. Really proud of her, never moans or groans even though she must be so uncomfortable with her joints etc.

She is still on No Ake! as she is forever clicking. #lottietheoverweightspaniel

The Highland Field Sports Fair

Highland Field Sports Fair
The Highland Field Sports Fair took place in August and both the Novice and the Open Spaniel tests managed to get the best of the sunshine over the 2 days. It was quite a muddy game fair after days on rain in the run up to it and we probably had the best of it up in our corner of the ground.

It was great to have some new faces competing this year and our thanks must go to all of our competitors, Judges Duncan Sutherland & Davy Wilson who gave up their time for us, all those who helped to throw dummies on the day and of course to everyone else who helped to prepare the ground.
Highland Field Sports Fair. 2
The Spaniel tests this year were sponsored by CSJ Specialist canine feeds, Tain Pottery, D & FM Sporting and Heather Gibson Arts.

We are extremely grateful to them for their continued support this year, the prizes always go down well with our award winners. The Open test was a very close test with there only being 8 points between all of the competing dogs.
 
Awards were as follows:

Novice 

1st Kim Stewart – Delnamer Swinging on a Star at Taykimoor (c/b)
2nd Barry Lamb – Salrowbra Ruby’s Sunshine (ess/b)
3rd Alan Pett – Quickaway Neptune (c/d)

Open

1st Graham Clark – Broomfield Gnat (ess/b)
2nd Nicola Hannan – Skronedale Hansel of Druimmuir (ess/d)
3rd Kate Robertson – Jill Limekiln (ess/b)