Monday, September 29, 2008

New C-course Opportunites in Western Washington!

On Sunday I had the opportunity to observe two seasoned handlers work their German Shepherds in the boundary/tending style, while working out the details for a new AKC regulation C-course. Briards are used in boundary/tending situations, and are quick learners of this technique. In France, patrolling is part of the farm dog's training if the dog will be working the narrow graze strips between crops. This was a trait selected by French shepherds, thus the ease of Briards to learn this maneuver. The AKC C-Course reflects a tending shepherd’s day and, as such, is the preferred course for many Briarders wishing to compete in herding trials. Until now, however, the opportunity to train and trial in the boundary/tending style, has been limited.

On the C-course, sheep must be allowed to graze peacefully, contained within specified unfenced areas, and safely guided on the roads between those areas. The dog patrols to guard against sheep trespassing onto the adjoining field, while the sheep graze and are moved along roads. The shepherd and dog are responsible for the safety and good health of the sheep, in addition to protection of all adjoining lands from the sheep. Only through a harmonious effort among the shepherd, the flock and the dog can optimal success be attained in this type of grazing flock management.

Only sheep are used on Course C. Although the minimum number of sheep allowed are 20, larger flocks give the best opportunity for success. The handler walks with the flock to lead or guide them along the roads and into graze areas. The Judge and Secretary also walk the course at a discreet distance from the handler, dog and stock. Spectators are not allowed on the course during the competition. Course C covers a minimum distance of 440 linear yards and a maximum distance of 880 linear yards, depending on the level of competition. The entry-level, or started course contains "exit from the pen", "narrow road", "bridge", "pause/traffic", "wide graze" and "pen".

The All Breed Herding Club of Western Washington is considering offering a C-course herding workshop next spring, geared for folks just getting started and the entry level competitor. The workshop would be held at PackLeader Farm in Gig Harbor Washington. If you would be interested in such a workshop, please email Gabrielle with the dates in March or April that would be best for you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gig Harbor Kennel Club Trials

Deja Vu Back Seat Driver, CGC, RN, PT, JHD - Nash - earned two legs toward his Rally Advanced (RA) obedience title at the Gig Harbor Kennel Club Trials in Shelton WA. Read more...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Elle Meets Sheep for the 1st Time!

Briardale's Camille Lebec - "Elle", Judy and Dallas Meggitt's 15-month-old Briard, met sheep for the 1st time at PackLeader Farm in Gig Harbor WA. Here Elle is gaining confidence with the sheep in the 50' round pen. Later that afternoon she graduated to the 100' arena. Trainer Barbara Davenport, who is handling Elle in this video, remarked that Elle is a very nice working dog and that she works with equal comfort on the "go by" (clockwise) and on the "away to me" (counterclockwise).

Judy remarked that she had never seen Elle carry her tail that way. Judy and Dallas' grand-daughter Marrissa can be heard giggling in the backgorund. A good time was had by all!

To see photos of Elle in the 100' arena and other Briards currently herding in the northwest - Andre, Emmy, Tessa and Nash - scroll to the slideshow at the bottom of the page.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Herding Title!

by Gail ONeal
Emmy (Radieux's And The Winner Is PT) got a leg with second place on August 30 and a leg with third place on Sept. 1 in the started sheep classes (8 entries) at the Spokane Labor Day Herding Trials. She now has her herding started title on A course in sheep. She received a rousing cheer from the crowd both days as one of the few "token" breeds (2 corgis, 2 belgians, 1 aussie) in a mostly collie-sheltie-border collie trial that had 40 entries each day. Of course, her "enthusiasm" helped propel the sheep around the course at a rather quick rate!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alaska Herding Group Trial, Wasilla

On Saturday September 6, 2008 Carol Wolfram judged A-course trials, herding tested and pre-trial tested on sheep and ducks. No Briards were entered.
Photo courtesy of Gabrielle LaRoche

The trial was held at Sunset Acres Farm, 50 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Although Carol did not meet the GOP candidate for Vice-president, she was excited to be only a few miles from the historic Iditarod sled dog trail.

Carol has been judging AKC herding trials and tests since 1998. In her more than 25 assignments she has traveled from Washington to Oregon, Ohio, California, Nevada and Texas, but this was her 1st assignment in Alaska.

Carol will be judging the tests and trials sponsored by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America in Ferris Texas, November 2 & 3, 2008. These trials will be on sheep and will include A, B and C courses.

Carol did find time for a glacier tour in Prince William Sound. She reports "What a blast that was!"
Slideshow photos courtesy of Carol Wolfram