www.We're headed to a dog show this coming weekend …. it's going to be a big one in Atlanta, Georgia (with 37? pugs entered in conformation!!) KK is entered in Rally Obedience 2 days and Lilly in Bred By Exhibitor 3 days. USUALLY, (almost always!) the conformation pugs are scheduled at 8 AM (ugh) pretty much every day. For some reason, pugs are later this year so conformation is going to conflict with rally. At least "on paper". So, we're hoping that the rally runs late or …. a miracle happens … since we can't be in 2 places at once. In hopes that we can make it work (perhaps Jeff will show Lilly and I'll handle KK)
In preparation for rally, KK worked on her sit stays last night. This has always been SO challenging for her because she is SO motivated and wants to please. Her focus is amazing and she doesn't want to take her eyes off me for a second! We tried out this new game we learned on www.robertcabral.com and it is so fun. Since I had sidewalk chalk in my piano studio, I added an "actual" clock on the ground to make it more fun (for me at least). I think I'll utilize this technic for some smaller circles for "tighter" 270 and 360 turns etc.
The clock is a BIG circle which made it very challenging for KK … I was pretty far away from her. Usually, when we practice "sit/down walk around dog" I'm right beside her … so close that I can keep my "stay" finger in front of her face. As a former show dog, she's GREAT at focusing on "bait hand" pointer finger, so we cheated a bit. That's the least I can do for her as she sacrificed her 1st 4 years of life doing conformation stuff and having puppies :)
That's one reason I love rally so much …. free to "design" commands as well as encourage the dog verbally. It's pug … and trainer friendly. I've never been one to follow rules rigidly. When I cook, for example, I hardly ever follow a recipe 100%. Just something about me. So, it's fun to "design" commands. The problem, however, is that I need to be more consistent with my physical and verbal commands for the dogs' sake. That's why we'll probably never be the best team out there headed to nationals and all … but we have lots of fun AND sometimes win some blue ribbons just because we're having fun.
If we can swing the rally AND conformation at the same time … somehow find a clone in the next 5 days … AND if KK receives a qualifying score..... she'll get another title and advance to a new level in Rally!
I really hope we can finish sweet Lilly this weekend. Here is a photo of her a year ago ... headed home after a show in Florida (where she took 2nd place to Miss Dior, as she usually did). She's about 18 months old now and of course finally "grew into" her ears and filled out. She truly is divine so cross fingers that another judge will recognize how exceptional she is.
She has all her points she needs for a championship and one major, (thank you judge Randy Garren)…..just needs one more major win. She is a gorgeous pug and SO sweet and SO smart. A "thoughtful" pug as the temperament evaluator described her. Not shy, but "thoughtful". (Love these euphemisms). Did I mention she has pigment to die for? Yet she still has a light coat as well with a nice trace. She's just not a natural show girl and would rather be the chess player and philosopher in the corner versus the chick behind the karaoke mike (who would be Miss Dior).
The puppies (our "keepers" from the July, 2019 litter out of KK and Bazinga) are almost 6 months old now and happy, healthy, and thriving praise the Lord! They will be coming to Atlanta for "socialization" and to experience the loud, smelly, and sometimes a bit overwhelming venue of the Atlanta Expo Center. Just to "hangout" and be loved. A tip from Robert Cabral: feed them there! So, since we'll be staying in the camper right outside the show building, I'll plan on feeding them dinner ... one at a time ... in the show arena. As well as yummy treats and toys as usual. :) Here they are, January 2020, almost 6 months old.
Wow, what fun we had at the fabulous 5-day cluster in Mobile … the Gulf Coast Classic Dog Show was spectacular and Annie and Lilly both did so well. Annie won several Reserve Winners Bitches in her 12-18 month class, and Lilly won Winners Bitch at 5 different show as well as Best of Breed Owner Handler out of the Bred By Class. Thank you so much to the amazing judges who appreciated how special these girls are and for your kindness, thoroughness, and positive atmosphere your provided in the ring for dogs and handlers alike: Patricia Trotter, Charles Trotter, Polly Smith, Charles Olvis, and Dana Cline. Lilly just needs 2 more points now to finish her Championship, then we are going to pursue Scent work (as per her request lol! She loves it (conformation not so much but she tries for me because she loves me and wants to please!). She and her sister, Princess Buttercup, are enjoying their classes with Cindy at "Use Your Nose". Look what this fabulous sport can lead to! https://www.wbrc.com/story/38575497/cancer-detecting-dogs-sniff-for-clinical-partners/
Here are some scenes from last weekend's Mobile dog show!
Owner foolishly entered 3 dogs in a Rally Obedience trial the end of August. My dogs are smart! They can cram learn. Then, realized that KK should not enter if she is indeed pregnant and her breeding with Champion Hill Country's Bazinga "took", so that's wasted money. However, I'll make her train as if she's going, just to keep her active. Tonight was Macintosh's and Miss Dior's 1st session. (They've finished their championships in conformation, so trying to keep them active and add some more titles AFTER their names.) Macintosh has already received 2 qualifying scores for Tricks so he is working on the tricks titles, but he has not done Rally.
We're modeling our cram training sessions after KK's (another blog) and tonight was our first one ... the "Mac 'n Cheese Session". I tried a few new things I've learned since KK's training (such as making sure to have a goofy, delightful, huge smile on my face for the "watch me" ... a trick I learned from Jancinthe Bouchard last spring .... you want to provide a fabulous face that the dog enjoys delighting in!) Miss Dior had a blast but, surprisingly, Macintosh did not learn as quickly and did not enjoy tonight's training. I did it outside and dusk was approaching, so perhaps that scared him a bit. I'll train inside tomorrow with him. Here's some footage of Miss Dior .... she rocked it and I think she's going to be GREAT at Rally.
It was a HOT day to be in a float in Alabama but we came prepared with cooling pads, ice bags, fans, and lots of water and MAN did those girls look cute in their pink tutus! We had fun being a part of this great fundraiser for the Greather Birmingham Humane Society.
Wow, what a great time we had at the Tunbridge dog show. Lilly won BOS, WB, BW almost every day but the final day, Princess Buttercup won under Dana Cline. It was so wonderful meeting amazing pug breeders and pugs in a different part of the country. There were some incredible pugs and I was so glad to see some representations from some older lines such as the Cado pugs. Biggie (Hill Country's Puttin' on the Ritz) was there all 4 days, so of course no Best of Breed, but it was nice getting Best of Opposite Sex to Biggie!
Lilly and Princess Buttercup have been participating in the Birmingham Obedience Training Club's nose work class and Lilly absolutely ROCKS. I think we have found her special thing, but we'll also keep working on her conformation. I can't get over how much they love this sport!
At just 8 months with limited showing Miss Dior received her AKC championship in conformation. Many thanks to Judge Don Sutton for appreciating her and awarding the final major she needed. She has many points toward her grand championship as well, but we are taking a break from conformation to do some obedience training and earn some titles after her name as well as before :)!
In March, 2019 Miss Dior and Lilly went to NC and participated in their 2nd cluster of shows. Just like her mother KK, Miss Dior looked at the judge like such a little Diva. Both girls had fun visiting a farm en route home where they saw their 1st goats and pigs!