Category Archives: Winn

Nothin’ but Newf!

Have you ever wanted to see a Newfoundland Dog up close? How about 500?

Yes, you read that right, last week, almost 500 Newfoundlands and their owners gathered at the Newfoundland National Specialty in Frankenmuth, MI.

The National is a week-long celebration which is much more than a typical dog show. It includes working events such as carting, obedience and rally obedience. There are parades honoring living legends (Newfoundlands 10 years old and over) and rescues.  Special recognition is given the Top 20 conformation and Top 10 obedience dogs as well as to Versatile Newfoundlands, who have earned an AKC championship, an AKC obedience title, NCA water rescue dog title and NCA draft dog title. That’s just a few of the events on the weeklong agenda!

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Obedience and grooming were in the blue and white building, vendors were lined up in the big tent on the left and the main show ring was in front of the big white tent.

In short, it highlights the many different aspects that make the Newfoundland Dog so special.

This year I attended for the first time. Winn and I arrived Monday night and stayed through Thursday afternoon.  We were entered into two Rally Intermediate trials with the hope that she would get her title while we were there.  The requirements for the title are three qualifying legs under two different judges.  We earned the first two legs the previous weekend, so we just needed to do well in one of the two trials to accomplish our goal and we did! On Tuesday morning we scored a 93, got second place and earned the title.IMG_6746.jpgMy daughter met me up there to cheer me on and after getting our ribbons, she and I were able to wander around, enjoy many of the other activities and explore the cute town of Frankenmuth. The working events were scheduled at the beginning of the week and we watched friends in the obedience and rally rings and also observed the specialty carting event.IMG_3008IMG_3023We had a picnic lunch, went to Bronners the World’s Largest Christmas Store and got milkshakes and ice cream to celebrate our success in the ring.IMG_6773IMG_6818IMG_6809I don’t know a lot about conformation showing, but I really enjoyed watching the puppies in the ring.  Who doesn’t love watching puppies?

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6-9 mos. puppy dog Hotel California Tender Ebony
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6-9 month old puppy dogs
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6-9 mos. puppy dogs
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4-6 month old beginner puppy
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12-15 month old ThreePonds Boatswain
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9-12 month old Sugar-Mtn’s Pray For Peace

The planning and coordination that went into this big event was incredible and I was amazed by the spectacle of it all.  The amount of gear that gets hauled around for the show dogs is mind boggling.  When Winn and I go to a trial, I bring a soft crate, a chair and a bag with snacks, water and something to read.  That’s nothing compared to the crates, tables and grooming tools that accompany the conformation dogs.  There was a separate washing station set up near the hotel and then the dogs were moved into their reserved grooming spaces to be finished. Wire crates, which are very heavy, are used in the grooming area because they are more secure and frequently one owner is traveling with multiple dogs.  This ensures that they are safely secured while the attention may be on another dog.IMG_0688IMG_6880In between our trials, I walked around with Winn to chat with several of our friends who were there but I also found myself just watching it all in amazement.  I met some new people, stopped to watch some grooming in action and spent some time with this beautiful brown boy (who was at Westminster last year) and his owner.  There were very few brown Newfoundlands there and she sought us out and introduced herself.  She loved Winn and took us around the room to meet her friends and fellow brown Newfoundland lovers.

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GCH Royal Flush Davos of Bogmist nicknames Pupachoo, Chopsy  and Chop-Chop

I had such a good time on this trip and Winn was a terrific traveling companion.  She can still be a little shy when meeting new people so I passed treats to those who wanted to meet her and she figured out pretty quickly that meeting new people is tasty.  I made a funny observation while there: owners tended to offer the treats from their open hand under her chin; handlers held the treat between two fingers above her nose. The difference made me smile every time. IMG_6854 Winn was great in the hotel.  She figured out the elevator really quickly, knew right where our room was and loved to hang out on the balcony and watch everyone coming and going through the parking lot.  She ate well and slept hard. We did hear some barking from time to time, but she never made a peep.  She was the perfect hotel dog.IMG_3026IMG_3040On Thursday morning we met up with her breeder.  He and his wife arrived late the night before and this was the first time we had seen each other since pick up day when Winn was 10 weeks old. He was showing Winn’s big sister Bertie on Friday and he set up her crate next to Winn’s.  The two girls hung out together for a little while.  It was so nice to see him with Winn, she’s changed a lot over the past year!IMG_6879IMG_6900My only regret is that Annie wasn’t with us.  My primary interest in going to Newfoundland National was to march in the Rescue Parade with her and I figured if I was there with Annie, I might as well bring Winn along and we could participate in Rally.  I also knew that having Winn by her side would make Annie feel more comfortable.  It really hurt to be there without her, but I brought the honor flag I made at the Blogpaws conference and attached it to the bag that I carried around with us.  While Winn and I were competing, Annie was right there next to Winn’s crate.  It did bring a little comfort, feeling like she was there in spirit.  I never would have thought about going if it wasn’t for my desire to celebrate Annie and how special she was.IMG_3030.jpg

Tomorrow’s post is about Precious, the namesake of Annie’s rescue group. She was there, I spent a little time with her, and she marched in the Rescue Parade. She proudly represented the 43 other Newfoundlands that were rescued with her, many of whom are no longer with us.

 

 

What’s in your grooming tool kit?

Winn and I went to a grooming seminar last weekend.  It was hosted by the people who have taught us so many things about this breed I love.  They fostered Annie and gave her the first taste of what her life should be.  We met when we went to their home to welcome Annie into our family and we immediately knew that we had made some new friends.  They have had Newfoundlands for as long as I have, but until I met them, I didn’t know about local breed clubs, water and draught work, and how to find an ethical breeder.

I went to learn more about how to care for Maisie and Winn’s coats and how to keep them looking good.  My biggest takeaway is that every dog is different.  Their coats are different, their shape is different, their needs are different and what works for one, might not work for another.  This was a huge relief because of my four female Newfs that I’ve had, each one is unique.  Bailey and Annie were both black and their hair was more coarse.  Bailey had a very think undercoat and Annie did not.  Maisie and Winn’s brown fur is less coarse, but Maisie’s is curlier, whispier and not nearly as thick as Winn’s.  My big challenge with Winn is that it takes 2 to 3 times longer to get her dry as compared to Maisie and Annie. She is also a wiggle worm and very restless and would rather be doing anything else than getting groomed.B37F77CF-8F8E-40FC-8D54-B2F16F157617Everyone there had their own grooming kit and their favorite items.  The fun part for me was checking them all out, talking about all of the different choices and trying out some new tools.IMG_2146IMG_2210  This is the amazing set up our friends have put together:IMG_2142IMG_2145I keep my tools in a tote bag, but I may need to graduate to something bigger pretty soon!IMG_6119My favorite tool has always been a grooming rake.  I bought a cheap one 15 years ago and it worked beautifully on Bailey.  I would brush her at night while watching tv, and she would snore through the process.  Eventually, a couple of the pins bent and started to snag and I have bought multiple rakes since then trying to find one that worked as well as that one.  Even though I no longer use that one, I still have it, comparing it to others while my search continues.IMG_6271

The session was led by an experienced Newfoundland groomer.  She enthusiastically shared her wisdom and tips on washing and drying, brushing out and trimming both for a pet Newfoundland and the polished look of a show Newfoundland.  We talked at length about shampoos, conditioners, sprays, brushes, combs, rakes, and scissors, scissors, scissors.  She demonstrated trimming on one of our friend’s dogs. She would show us how to do an area and then walk around the room and help each of us individually before moving on to demonstrate another area.  There was a good mix of dogs there of different ages with different grooming needs and I learned so much, not only trimming Winn, but observing other owners working on their dogs as well.IMG_215829064461_1399729936840073_6507868451321644101_oIMG_2179I’m comfortable giving ear and paw trims to keep a neat appearance, but what I really needed help with was what to do with her lion’s mane and her leg feathers.  Winn’s adult coat is continuing to come in and I haven’t done anything other than bathing and brushing her regularly. The biggest change occurred with her neck trim.  Suddenly, she looked smaller and in better proportion without all of her crazy fluff around her head!

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All clean and brushed out before we left home.
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Her neck is more defined and her linebacker shoulders have been reduced. Now she can show off her beautiful face.

Overall, I didn’t take too much off of her and was able to give her a cleaner look.  Winn has limited patience so we took lots of breaks but she let me know when she had enough!IMG_6199I could certainly keep going with the blending shears, but she looks pretty and now I’m more confident about how to tackle those bigger areas.

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Before
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After: Her neck, chest and belly are still fluffy but less scraggly.  I love her tail plume and only shaped the tip a tiny bit.

When the session was over, several of us sat around the dinner table, drinking, eating and web surfing for scissors, rakes and products with credits cards ready to go! I ordered a new rake (I’ve got high hopes that this one might be THE one), a leave in conditioner which will hopefully add more moisture to Maisie’s coat, a detangling spray and another pair of shears.

I left feeling accomplished and with so much more knowledge.  I now know I need to clean my brushes more frequently and oil my scissors after each use. I can dry blow them outside to keep them clean in between baths and control the shedding.  Spayed girls have a different coat texture from non-spayed girls. Dogs, just like humans, come in all shapes and sizes and each have different grooming issues.  The rake that works well for Maisie doesn’t work well on Winn, and that’s OK!IMG_2324

 

Happy Birthday Baby Winn!

From the very beginning, Winn has loved to rummage around and bring me things. She proudly shows off her treasures and while it’s tricky,  I’ve tried to get a picture whenever possible.

What could be a better way to celebrate her growth over the past year than to take a look at her answers to my constant question “what’s in your mouth”?

She quickly discovered that the recycling bin held all kinds of fun items from containers:

to boxes:

She loves to chew on the food and water bowls and string them around the house. I’m trying to train her to round them up and bring them to me so that I can fill them. That isn’t going so well.

She likes to bring me socks:

and random s**t she finds around the house:IMG_3832

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My all time favorite was when she snuck upstairs, busted into the guest room, broke into the closet and pulled my sewing basket off the shelf.  She rummaged through all of the spilled contents until she found the perfect item and ran downstairs and posed by the treat cabinet ready to make an exchange. There was a long trail of ribbon behind her as she proudly waited for me.IMG_5186Last but not least, day 364, yesterday. She chewed on a huge box that I set outside to and then tried to hide the evidence in her jowl when I opened the door.IMG_5788She’s a character and has brought an unlimited amount of joy to our family.  Happy Birthday baby Winn, you are getting to be such a big girl but you are still such puppy at heart! Can I still call you my puppy and tiny baby now that your are one year old?IMG_1857

 

Rainy Day Swim

Thursday morning we woke up to pouring rain and a flooded yard. While the dogs like nothing better than wading through the standing mud puddles, I’m not a big fan when it’s time for them to come inside.

Instead of letting them frolic and play in the yard, I hurried them into the car and we set out for one of our favorite places, a pool set up just for dogs!

We all still got wet (even though I didn’t get in, it’s impossible to stay dry when they shake off), but at least they weren’t muddy as they worked off their excitement in the clean water!

We are really looking forward to beach weather, but until then, this pool is pretty darn good!

CGC for Winn!

Winn and I did it! She got her CGC!

CGC stands for Canine Good Citizen. She and I met with a CGC evaluator and we had to pass several requirements without the aid of treats.

This was our second attempt, the first time, well that didn’t go so well.

Winn and I enrolled in puppy school when she was about 12 weeks old.  She proved to be a quick learner.  She really loves treats and rewards, making her very responsive when learning new commands.  After we completed the course and she passed her AKC S.T.A.R. puppy test, we moved on to basic obedience classes.   We quickly progressed up through the levels and after about 8 weeks, found ourselves prepping for the CGC test.

We took  several practice tests, each time she did really well.  We were so ready for this test and I had no worries about passing!

That day, when we walked in, I was so confident of success but Winn had a different idea. There was so much distraction, and I wasn’t allowed to regain her attention with a treat.  Once she realized there were no treats, she completely checked out and was far more interested in watching and meeting all of the dogs that were being escorted in and out of day care. Mid-way through, after failing 3 of the first 5 tasks, I grabbed my treat bag and we continued on, using it as another training opportunity.

Did we over train? Did I push too hard too fast? Did I expect too much? I decided to let it go for a while. We enrolled in a rally class which allowed us to continue to bond as a team while we practiced and learned more obedience tricks.  We had fun together and she continued to impress me with her willingness to learn.  We entered a couple of rally trials and did really well, even getting her AKC Rally Novice title!IMG_4419Then, we went back to training and worked a little more.  This time, taking it more slowly, mixing in our rally class and keeping a sense of humor.  After 7 weeks, I scheduled another test.  Two days before our test she went into heat!  I checked with our trainer and she could test as long as she wore “feminine protection”.  I knew this might be distracting for her but I decided to go.  I figured  if we didn’t pass, we still had one more week on our training package, we could review and try again.  If we still didn’t get it, I’d just put it aside for while.

I left Winn in the car while I filled out the paperwork for the test.  I didn’t want to bring her in until our evaluator was ready for us. We were quickly whisked into the private training room, walking by the main training ring that was filled with a beginner obedience class.  Instantly there was a chorus of barking and howling dogs.  I caught the eye of the trainer in charge of that class and she had a look of surprise about what had just happened.  As the door was closed behind us, I burst out laughing.  It really is a thing, a girl in heat will drive the boys crazy!IMG_5321I was a little nervous but Winn was calm, cool and collected.  One by one, she performed each task perfectly.  I went in knowing we might fail, but she proved me wrong and made me so proud.

These are the some of the components of the CGC test (these pictures and videos were from our last class before we scheduled the test for the first time, about 4 months ago):

  •  Meet and greet a stranger: she has to sit and stay by my side while I meet someone and then do it again and let them pet her and touch her ears, mouth and feet.  This was generally pretty easy but a couple of times when she was tired she barked at the stranger.  She is still a puppy, even if she is a big one, so we kept working on it to make her more comfortable. After lots and lots of practice with strangers, we are both finally confident about this task.IMG_3662
  • One of the most challenging steps was approaching another dog and owner, sitting quietly while we talked and then walking away without lunging or approaching the other dog.  This was the hardest aspect of the test for Maisie, Winn did pretty well in practice but often times she tries to kiss the other dog. She passed this perfectly, meeting a dog we had never met before.  I was so proud.
  • Winn had to sit and stay (this can also be done with a down if that is easier for the dog) while I walked away and remain sitting while I walked back towards her and returned to her side.  I walked away again and then called her, she should come quickly, then she must stop and sit in front of me without mowing me down and finish with a sit on my left side.
  • One of the most important aspects is loose leash walking. With a dog of Winn’s size and strength, leash manners are a must.  We work together on and off leash, and she is such a good walker, in training sessions and around the neighborhood. For the test, we had to follow commands called out by the evaluator and also had to walk with a loose leash through a crowd.IMG_3671IMG_3674
  • The final component is supervised separation.  I needed to leave her and be out of sight for 3 minutes.  She can’t panic, bark, whine or pull away.  She had no problem with this and waited patiently for me to return.

IMG_3999So here we are with our CGC ribbon, another wonderful accomplishment for this amazing girl!IMG_5332