We’ve all seen them, the bumper stickers that say…
In our case, this might actually be true! Gumbo has an amazing memory and never forgets!
Gumbo, like most male dogs, likes to mark his territory. He often smells Ilsa’s potty spots immediately after she’s finished with business and then hikes his leg over that area. Ben and I discourage marking so we pull him off it with a strong “Leave it!” command. Sometimes, we even have to physically redirect his attention off the potty spot by grabbing his collar and removing him.
Greetings from Huron, Ohio! As Dr. Seuss wrote – Oh the places you’ll go! Just a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine traveling to the edge of Lake Erie for a dog competition, but here we are and loving every minute of it. The schedule has been busy, and we have seen so many amazing vizslas competing in conformation, agility, obedience, and rally. I just wanted to give you a quick mid-week update on the excitement.
Today Gumbo showed in the Open class and was handled beautifully by his co-breeder to a 4th placement out of 17 entered in his class!!!! It is such a huge honor to us for Gumbo to take a home a ribbon from Nationals among such an impressive group. He is sleeping well tonight after having to work hard in the ring today :-).
Another highlight of the day was Ilsa’s trip around the ring in the Parade of Titleholders to celebrate the completion of her recent Junior Hunter title.
Other highlights of the day included the Parade of Therapy Dogs (what an incredible group!) and Sweepstakes (puppies and veterans). Off to get some rest before cheering on our friends tomorrow!
This weekend, we will be packing up the car and making the trip to Ohio for the Vizsla Club of America’s national non-field events. Needless to say, we are pretty excited :-).
I’m proud to report that Gumbo completed his junior hunter title on Saturday! Conditions were ideal – the sun was out and temperatures were in the 40s/50s. MUCH better than the 90 degree temperatures we had to deal with a few weeks ago.
Gumbo’s bracemate was a no show, so he got bumped to the bottom of the running order to run with a bye dog. While waiting, we watched a number of dogs go birdless. I was a little concerned by this, but the course seemed pretty straightforward. It was basically just a grassy field. However, it was lacking in objectives. I did learn a trick from the long grass though – follow the 4 wheeler tracks :-).
Gumbo had a pretty nice honor in the back field. I wasn’t expecting it and although I have been calling him away from other dogs on point (since it is not a requirement in juniors), I let him work in the area because he made it pretty clear he wasn’t going to bust in on the point. The other handler was nice enough to work around a little bit and Gumbo ended up sharing the point. I wasn’t sure this would be enough to qualify though.
We took the lead entering the bird field, and Gumbo found a bird within the first two minutes. The judges yelled “got it”, and I knew we were home free. He found a second bird shortly after his first, and I slowed him down to work the untouched part of the bird field until time was called. He came across a third bird and hit an absolutely stunning point. He held it beautifully and let me flush it without trying to bust in at all. The judges called time immediately afterwards and congratulated me (knowing this was Gumbo’s last leg). It was a really fun way to end our junior hunter adventures.
This will be our last hunt test of the spring as Ilsa and Gumbo need quite a bit of work before they are ready to compete at the senior level. We will continue to work until the fall season and of course keep you updated along the way :-).
For the past few months, we have been regularly practicing “crate games” with Ilsa and Gumbo following the protocol designed by Susan Garrett. This training technique is amazing for teaching dogs to LOVE going in their crates – and more importantly, it teaches them to be calm once inside.
Ilsa continued to impress in the bird field in her second hunt test. This test was hosted by our local vizsla club, and we had a wonderful time with many of our friends along with some new faces.