Inside this issue:
Meet URC Member
A Good Beginning
For Your New Retriever By Betsy Bernock
Wings, Rings and Other Things
Meet Laura Michaels
Yeah she was ugly and had a rotten temperament, but she taught me so much. I joined the local obedience club and jumped into obedience with her. I took conformation classes from some of the resident handlers and learned how to show a dog. Though Satin definitely wasn’t conformation quality she was still a great dog to learn on. We learned about tracking and field events with Satin too. When she started seizuring at age 4 she unfortunately taught me a lot about epilepsy. I always say if she was the pick of the litter, I’d hate to see the other littermates. *laughs* She cost me $50 to buy and prolly another $7000 to keep her alive
for her 14 years but she was worth it.
In the fall of 1979 I was taking a tracking class along with a friend. I had been going to shows scouting out breeders for my next Lab which I wanted to show in conformation. I fell in love with a bitch by the name of Ambersand’s Electra and found out she was due to be bred. My friend and I went out to the breedre’s home so the breeder could meet me and put me on her waiting list.
The following October my puppy was born. She became Ambersand’s Tupelo Honey or Jessie to her friends. Jessie was an original couch potato. I loved her dearly but the last thing she wanted was to show, do obedience, field or anything else. She’s the only Lab I have owned that I wasn’t able to get a title on.
However, she gave me the perfect gift. That was my Kelly.
I met and married Terry in 1982. I’m not sure he knew what he was getting into. When we married I had 2 Labs, a Dalmatian and a Sheltie. He made me promise to get down to 2 dogs. At the moment I have 8 Labs here and co-own several more, so I’m a long way from just 2. However, he never said when I had to get down to 2 dogs so maybe by the time I’m 70.
After researching on what I wanted to improve on Jessie, I decided on a stud dog. This started my friendship with the stud dog’s owner that has continued for almost 20 years. Besides a friend, she became my mentor. That breeding gave me Kelly, my heartdog, Can. CH. U-CDX, Woodhaven Amber Silk, CD, WC, CGC, TDI, Can. CDX, WC. Kelly completed her Canadian Championship in 7 shows, earned 12 AKC
points, including a major before she went on an incredible run of 19 major Reserves. We never did get that last major, but in my heart I know she finished that Championship. Kelly was everything to me and it almost killed me when she died of kidney failure at the young age of 10. I have never recovered from her loss.
Kelly gave me Robin, Can. CH. U-CD, Woodhaven Silk-N-Silver, CD, WC, WCX, JH, CGC, Can. WC, CD. Robin was the sweetest dog ever born and one of the best natural bird dogs I’ve ever witnessed. All of my dogs go back to these dogs and we’ve managed to keep the athletic aspects of the breed to go along with the classic Labrador type and temperament. We’ve titled in conformation, obedience, tracking, field and agility. Dogs that I have bred, have earned 8 HRLRC All-Purpose Awards (titling in conformation, obedience/agility/tracking and field), a fact I’m very proud of. No other Lab breeder in this area has come close to that achievement.
In our spare time (is there such a thing?) Terry likes to golf. I am the webmaster/owner of approx. 12 different websites and enjoy creating webpages for others. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and you’ll rarely find me without some type of camera. I also enjoy reading. Writing about my Labs is another hobby of mine and some of my articles have been printed in the Labrador Quarterly.
One of my Labs, Shanny, is quite a character. Her nickname is the Shanny Monster. I wrote about some of her antics and put them on a website I created for her (shannymonster.com) . That led to creating stories where Shanny went all over the world and had fun escapades. She has driven around Europe, competed in the Iditarod, climbed Mt. Everest and won a surfing contest in Hawaii just to name a few of her adventures. Shanny receives email from other dogs and humans who love her stories. I was told more than once “you should write a book”. So I did. My first children’s book “Shanny gets her license – A Shanny Monster Adventure” is due out in mid- August. In it she learns to drive. The illustrations, by Sabine Wolff, are so Shanny. The artist hasn’t ever met Shanny, but had read my stories about her. She captured Shanny perfectly and really brought her to life. Maybe you’ll see Shanny and I on Oprah some day soon. I’ve met some wonderful people in dogs and one of the instructors at Satin’s first obedience class 30 years ago is still one of my good friends, even if she does own Dalmatians. *laugh* There is nothing like spending the day with dog friends and just talking dogs.
For Your New Retriever By Betsy Bernock
“At what age should I start introducing my new puppy to retrieving” is the most frequently asked question that we hear.
The answer? NOW. It is never too early to start; and the sooner you start working with your new puppy, the better. By the time you bring your new puppy home (ideally between 7-8 weeks of age), it has hopefully already been exposed to retrieving work. Once the puppies have been born, an experienced breeder will subject the litter to retrieving and hunting (objects, sounds, smells, etc.) within the first few weeks. This is done through the use of bird wings, puppy retrieving bumpers, and sounds consistent with hunt tests and actual hunting situations. Some pups will have the luxury of experiencing live birds prior to leaving the litter and joining your family. Now that you have brought home your new puppy, it’s time to continue the process. We always suggest the use of paint and trim rollers at the young puppy stage, because a roller is soft and easy for the pup to pick up. Each session should be playful and encouraging at this young stage, so that the pup learns that working is fun. This will help the pup look forward to each training session with you. Your working session should be minimal at the young puppy stage. It’s a good idea to end the training session when the pup still wants more, rather than working with the pup until it quits. Basic skills to work on at this age include: come when called, sit, marking, holding and retrieving. Each skill is a separate exercise. A Good Beginning for Your New Retriever by Betsy Kaiser Bernock
Page 4 You can even introduce your puppy to a simple double mark concept and directional handling skills at this young age in a playful setting, which will help lay the foundation for drills that your pup will experience in early adulthood training. By starting with your new pup as soon as possible, you have the best potential to form correct habits, rather than allowing bad habits to develop which are tougher to reverse. Happy training!
Betsy Kaiser Bernock, Thunder Myst Kennels, is an AKC licensed hunt test judge and lifetime trainer. She has developed the puppy training curriculum for the Training Place (30-year family training business) and has successfully taught hundreds of new puppy owners basic training skills. Contact Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions on puppy training.
© Thunder Myst Inc., 2004 Permission granted to members of URC to reproduce and distribute to new puppy owners.
Wings, Rings and Other Things
Our brags are all from this year's Premier shows. Due to a family illness, we
missed the Top Ten Competion, but made it in time for the United Retriever Specialty,
where Torchy went Reserve Champion. He repeated this same win on Friday
at the All Breed shows. Saturday, he finished his Grand Champion in style, by going breed over another Grand. Sunday, he was bumped up to Grands, where once again, he went breed over another Grand. He also earned his first leg on his U CD as well on Sunday, just missing the Total Dog award by one day. Due to my husband's illness, we could not stay for group on Sunday. We are hoping for some UKC shows in the fall that offer obedience, so that he may finish his UCD. Marsha BIS.MBPIS,MULTI CH, UKC GR CH Kylador's ZSeaforth Firetorch, CGC, (Torchy)Number 1 toller in UKC Top Ten for 2003
MULTI CH WESTERLEA SEAFORTH HIGHLANDER, CDX, CGC, (Smitty) He was a joy to know and love My dog U-CDX Hilltop's Taylor Made won the UKC All-Star Obedience Tournament Novice Level on June 11, 2004 in Kalamazoo MI with a score of 198. There were some great dogs - the top ranked dogs at the Novice Level were there. We won a 4' Rosette, a training bag, our Picture in Bloodlines and an embroidered All-Star Jacket. It was really a lot of fun.
Taylor also competeted at the Open Obedience Level and lost a runoff for Second Place. We placed third and got a rosette and a Sunscreen tarp. To qualify you have to earn points for scores over 190. A 191 is one point and 197 would be 7 points etc. The top 50 ranked dogs are invited to participate in the tournament. The points earned were for the calendar year 2003. This was held on Friday before Premier. It was really a lot of fun competing with people from all over and also seeing some different breeds. I hope more Retrievers are able to qualify and compete next year. Pat Franckowiak, Grand Rapids, MI
CH Thunder Myst Nautical Wheeler 'Luke'
2003 Top Ten Best of Breed winner at Premier '04
Best of Breed and Gun Dog Group 2 winner at Premier all breed show on Sunday, June 13
CH Thunder Myst Mossy Oak Mudslinger
Best of Breed at Premier all breed show on Saturday, June 12