Margaret on August 13th, 2015


 

Formula One’s Racing car celebrity, Lewis Hamilton, visited Barbados for Crop Over celebrations and festival in August this year. He was seen partying with his friend, our local singing superstar Rihanna, and other friends.

He was also seen having a relaxing and fun filled time in the sea.

Accompanying him were his two English Bulldogs.

Our new import regulations for dogs make it  easier  for celebrities and other persons to visit Barbados and bring their pets.

Importing dogs to Barbados

Lewis Hamilton can possibly travel with his pets by private jet but he,  like everyone else,  will still have to adhere to the Barbados regulations for bringing pets to the island.

I hope  his  English Bulldogs also enjoyed their swimming and had a great time here as well!

 

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Margaret on August 1st, 2015


An agility video worth watching

A lovely video, dogs with drive, some are 9 years old, so obviously very fit, well bred and having the correct structure and who have been running for years with experienced handlers.

To get to this level, a top dog would have been training in agility for years.  And have an experienced handler.

And the breeds which have the drive to work at agility to become top dogs are also very important.

Expect always to see Border Collies in this sport.

In Barbados, we just run around with our dogs for fun, with the dogs doing agility obstacles and jumps.  Good exercise for all as well.

They can get to run in agility after they have received basic obedience training.

There is no judging for agility titles here, just a fun sport.

And no matter how slow the dogs are, I am sure they  still enjoy the off leash exercises and social outings.

 

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Margaret on July 15th, 2015

Humour in Dog Training

There should be humour in everything, and that includes training dogs.

Dogs are very smart. Some of the very intelligent ones are so easy to train.

Dog humour

Dog humour

I guess if dogs could talk they would say they train their humans as well.

Easy, everyday things, dog owners give treats and other positive reinforcements that will reinforce the behaviour.  Sometimes humans give positive reinforcement without realising it with the smart dog.

dog smart enough to reward itself

dog smart enough to reward itself

But sometimes, dogs also need corrections, and the corrections do not have to be harsh.

Dogs remain happy then and get rewarded when they are doing the correct things, after the correction.

Never reward for behaviour you do not want to encourage.

And a dog needs to be shown what behaviour you want as its owner.

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Margaret on July 10th, 2015

Barbados Dog Obedience trials end for first half of 2015

Bouvier Des Flandres achieves the CD title

Ch. Chepam Valentina at Calliope achieves the C.D. title

There were 2 trials, one on June 25th and the other on July 8th.

On June 25th several dogs achieved various legs of the Novice (C.D.) Obedience.

Jenni Wilson with her Boxer Riley successfully completed the final leg and Riley now has the C.D. title.

At this trial Rosemary Coghlan with her Labrador Retriever, Tia, was first and high in trials with other participants passing legs of the CD.

The judge was Sarah Hamilton.

The Barbados Dog Training Club held trials again on July 8th. This is not usual to have trials so close together but most of the participants requested another trial and The Barbados Dog Training Club’s committee agreed to it.

Unfortunately for a few participants, their female dogs were in season and so they missed the trials.

But Isabelle had missed 2 trials because of her being in season, one last year and one earlier in the year, so I was glad of the opportunity to catch up.

Bouvier Des Flandres, Isabelle, was first with a score of 193.5 out of 200 and as this was her final C.D. leg, she also received the C.D. plaque and C.D. title as well as a small trophy for being high in trials and the ribbon for being first.

Bouvier Des Flandres and C.D. title

Bouvier Des Flandres Ch. Chepam Valentina at Calliope achieves the C.D. title

Isabelle is 18 months old.

I am pleased with Isabelle as this is 2 out of 3 Novice legs she passed that she has placed 1st and high in trials.

And the dogs that have been in the ring with her have mainly been German Shepherd dogs (from Working lines), Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. These are breeds that are known to do well with obedience trials.

Also achieving the C.D. title from these trials was Jennifer Fields with her Golden Retriever, Honey.

The judge was Jenni Wilson.

The trainer was Linda Pearson.

There is only so much training that can be done on a weekly one hour class, especially if it has a lot of dogs, and participants at this level help each other and work together outside of classes.

At the C.D.X. (open) level, Sue Blandford and her German Shepherd dog, Phantom, passed the final leg and so they have achieved the C.D.X. title. The judge was Jean Ray.

There were no formal CDX (open) classes.

Congrats. to all for their achievements, various legs and titles.

Dog training continues to be more interesting with the progress of going on to more advanced dog training and getting great results.

There is so much information that can be found on the internet, online courses, facebook resources or through books to improve the training of dogs as Barbados would not have the availability of the training resources available in large countries.

Again, I have found that the trainers/handlers who are interested in working with their dogs for titles such as the CD and CDX in Barbados are experienced trainers and handlers who enjoy competitive obedience training and are results oriented.

As they say, “see you next time”, as our next time will hopefully be the CDX trials as Isabelle easily does and enjoys those exercises.

Looking at her score sheet, she scored 44 out of 45 for off leash heeling and once she continues like this with heeling plus her ease in retrieving the dumb bell and her fast drops on the recall, she is certainly ready to progress and do very well in the CDX.

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Margaret on June 30th, 2015

Here is Ch. Chepam Valentina at Calliope. She is a 17 month, soon to be 18 month old, Bouvier Des Flandres.

Young Bouvier Des Flandres enjoying and doing well in training

Young Bouvier Des Flandres enjoying and doing well in training

She has achieved 2 (out of 2) Best Puppy in Show and 1 Reserve Working Group win. 3 Challenge Certificates out of 3 shows from UK judges Tom Mather, Geoffrey Corish and Derek Smith.

Below is what I sent her breeder, Cheryl Pierpoint, last week.

Young Bouvier des Flandres dog enjoys training

Young Bouvier des Flandres dog enjoys training

All of her documentation was acknowledged as received by The Barbados Kennel Club on March 21st but their official documentation was only received by me last week.

Isabelle has just 1 more leg to complete before she also achieves the C.D. title.

She already easily does the CDX (open) exercises so we plan to progress to that.

She enjoys training and I believe most dogs do.

She works for little treats but also works without anything as she loves training activities.

She also loves agility and she has a natural drive which will help her excel in this sport.

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Margaret on June 20th, 2015

Repeat visitors to Barbados, Jim and Belinda love dogs. This year when they visited they brought down a huge bag filled with mainly dog collars, a lot of which are really nice leather collars. Belinda explained that the dog gifts she brings in from the UK come from several dog lovers, from her area, and dog clubs. This must have filled a large suitcase.

Lots of dog gifts from UK visitors to RSPCA

Lots of dog gifts from UK visitors to RSPCA

We were welcomed by RSPCA staff member, Naresh Belgrave. Sounds as if that organisation currently houses about 65 dogs. He brought out Gracie to meet us. Gracie has been there for approximately 2 years. She was very friendly. There are lots of dogs there that the RSPCA desperately needs to find homes for. People looking to help by taking in these dogs would be advised if they are suitable around other dogs and cats. Gracie is one who would do well as a “one” dog, we were told.

Gracie, at the RSPCA, is still looking for a home

Gracie, at the RSPCA, is still looking for a home

From there we headed to the beauty of the East Coast in Barbados. We stopped at Bay Tavern, Martin’s Bay, and one of the owners explained that they were closed for their annual vacation. Bajans are usually very friendly people and the door to the bar was unlocked so we could get some cold Banks Beer and sit on a beach overlooking the sea. We ate at Sand Dunes Bar and Restaurant, Belleplaine where the service and food were also very good.

Bay Tavern at Martin's Bay, St. John

Bay Tavern at Martin’s Bay, St. John

Hope to see my friends, Belinda and Jim, again next year. And I am sure the RSPCA looks forward to their visit again as well.

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Margaret on June 16th, 2015

Basic obedience training is essential to dogs.

Competitive obedience is also great as it can be fun for the handlers as well as teaching the dog new exercises.

But not all dogs and handlers enjoy competitive obedience where they do the same repetitive exercises, like come, heel, sit, down, stand and stay. Yes, they get to a different environment to meet with other dogs in group classes, yes, the dogs get rewards but it can get boring for both dogs and handlers after a while.

And yes, the opportunity is there, in Barbados, to move from one obedience level to another.

With basic obedience training achieved, a dog, if the facilities are there, and the dog is old enough for its growth plates to have sealed to prevent damage to them through jumping, a fun dog activity in Barbados is agility.

It is also good exercise for both dog and handler.

As far as I know, only The Barbados Dog Training Club has the agility equipment and instructors trained to teach agility for dogs in Barbados. The main instructor is Jean Ray. The training here is also in enclosed grounds as in agility, the dogs run off leash.

Major agility trainers/competitors have visited us in Barbados over the years and have imparted knowledge. The two I remember are Kathrin Tasker (UK)of Millbrook Agility Dogs, a top agility trainer, competitor and agility judge and Elizabeth Evans,(USA) of Best Friends Fun Farm, also an agility trainer, competitor and agility judge. Both of these trainers spent agility training time with me and my Bouviers and other dogs and members of The Barbados Dog Training Club.

These trainers would have also have helped the Club’s agility instructors to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for agility training.

Bouvier Des Flandres Isabelle enjoying the view from the walk way

Bouvier Des Flandres Isabelle enjoying the view from the walk way

This year, Isabelle is enjoying agility, the obstacles she loves, especially the tunnels, and she enjoys the sequence jumping. She is happy racing around. I still give her small treats but I think she would do all the agility running around out of fun. We do agility training one evening a week.

agility in Barbados

Bouvier Des Flandres, Isabelle and agility tunnel

We missed 2 CD trials, six months apart, as she was in season for both trials so we still have to complete the CD (Novice) title before we go on to the CDX (open).

So besides agility, we are having fun with the dumb bell retrieve and other exercises in preparation for when we can go on to the CDX trials.

Isabelle holding the dumb bell

Isabelle holding the dumb bell

And I am looking forward to when Isabelle gets past the beginner’s agility level so I can try for little videos or photos of her racing around the ring.

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dog-daisy-150x150Have you got some bunting gathering dust at the back of your cupboard? Well get ready to dust it off and hang it out in the streets. Why? Well haven’t you heard? There’s some great news. The Daisy dog has finally reached… » The Daisy Dog – a Mongrel With a Pedigree | Dog Show News & Results

Source: The Daisy Dog – a Mongrel With a Pedigree | Best In Show Daily | 2015

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Margaret on May 13th, 2015

The dog rescue and shelter places in Barbados seem to be full. So many dogs are being abandoned and rescued but still breeders keep on breeding puppies without finding homes for them before they breed.

Not all breeders are like that. There are responsible breeders who have a waiting list for their puppies and who do vet the potential homes before the sales.

On a list in social media today is this ad. Yes, the puppies look cute but then again, don’t all puppies look cute.

Why advertise puppies as guard dogs? Most of us should know they are not and they might never grow into guard dog personalities either.

puppies advertised as guard dogs

An example of false advertising in Barbados

People who do not know dog breeds and dogs might actually be fooled by this misleading ad and buy one of these cute puppies expecting it to turn into a “great guard dog” and when it does not, it could end up at the Animal Control Centre or a shelter or even worse.

It is time people become more responsible with their marketing of puppies and dogs in Barbados.

I would prefer to see an ad where it states that the puppies’ sire and dam are great family pets and the puppies could have the potential to be great family pets also and maybe great guard dogs. In the event that the puppies never turn into great “guard dogs” as least then they were never marketed to be such!

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In between the March 25th dog obedience trials and the new obedience training classes starting end April, the B’dos. Dog Training Club slipped in another trial on April 22nd for Novice, Open and Utility.

I was not there as Isabelle, my Bouvier Des Flandres, was in season.

Congratulations to Zoe Marshall who achieved the CD title with the Labrador Retriever, “Tilly”, owned by Susan Leacock, and to Judith St. John who also achieved the CD title with her Labrador Retriever, “Callie”. Jenny Fields was high in trials with her Golden Retriever “Honey”.

Legs of the Utility and Novice were achieved by other participants.

There were no formal dog training classes leading up to these trials so participants worked on their own and with their friends.

Congratulations to those handlers/trainers as well who passed legs of the Novice and Utility.

high jumps for utility obedience trials

Some of the jumps used at utility obedience trials in Barbados

Full classes at the basic obedience level, and Novice will shortly resume at Waterford, along with the informal classes for the Open and Utility.

And, of course, agility classes will be restarting for dogs at all levels.

Tibetan Terrier doing agility obstacle

Tibetan Terrier Ch. Araki Miss Conduct at Calliope C.D. coming through an agility tunnel

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