Category Archives: Articles

Margaret Wallace

It is with sadness that we advise that Margaret Greer Wallace, wife of the late Sammy Wallace, passed away yesterday on Wednesday 8 February 2017 at B S Leon.  A memorial service will be held at Highlands Presbyterian Church, 112 Enterprise Road, Harare on Wednesday 15 February 2017 at 2.30pm.  Tea will be served on the Church verandah afterwards – friends please kindly bring a plate of eats to assist if possible.

Kennel club Training on a Sunday

Please note that amendments have been made to the structure of the Obedience classes held on Sunday mornings at the Kennel Club of Harare.  Please see the following details and if there are any queries, please speak to either Cherry Blake on 0772 326922 or your normal trainer on Sunday morning.

Trainer – Dave Lamb – 9am
Puppy class  – puppies up to 9 months.

Trainer – Cherry Blake – 9am
All new comers with dogs older than 9 months.

Trainer – Geraldine McLaughlan – 9am
Small dogs.

Trainer – Ursula McKinlay – 9am
Dogs coming out of Dave’s and Cherry’s class.

Trainer – Pam Brennan  – 8am
Trainers class and dogs in Obedience Class A, B and C.

Trainer – Pam Brennan  – 9am
Show Beginners and Novice classes.

IMG_3052 copyOn a busy day Dave Lamb’s class has a lot of new dogs. Dave is always coming every Sunday to take his special class. Dogs get obedience training and special socialising with each other with different breeds. Important for all.

IMG_3050 copy IMG_3049 copy

The working Breeds club of Mashonaland AGM

The working Breeds club of Mashonaland held their  AGM on 21 February 2016 at the Kennel Club of Harare. The new committee was elected, the following members will remain on the committee : Mrs S Lamb, Ms G McLaughlan.
The following members offered themselves for re-election and were duly voted in: Mr R Ellis, Mrs U McKinlay and Mr D Lamb.

Presented were the trophies for the ‘Working Dog of the Year, the Dog Jumping Dog of the year, Agility Dog of the year, Obedience Dog of the year and Overal Working Dog of the year.

The club held 3 Championship Shows in 2015 as well as a championship breed show.

Roy Ellis and Geraldine McLaughlan showing the various trophies which were presented to the winners.

Roy Ellis and Geraldine McLaughlan showing the various trophies which were presented to the winners.

Members of the Working Breeds club of Mashonaland attending the AGM

Members of the Working Breeds club of Mashonaland attending the AGM

News Flash from Australia.

Time flies and we often don’t hear any news about our German Shepherd owners who left and now live far away. One of our members was Daphne McDowall.

I can’t remember all her dogs, but do know about her keen trading and entering her dog Jutta.
She got Jutta in 1987 who was a pup from Tanah Merah Diana  and Gero com Trei Madelhaus [Imported form Belgium].
Daphne entered Jutta many times and was so dedicated. In 2006 she got Wuckey, named her Nicky? who was form Bakhari of Barchaelo [imported from S Africa] and Tanah Merah Rambutan.

Daphne with Wuckey

Daphne in 2006 with Wuckey

Fairly soon Daphne immigrated to Australia to live with her son on the East coast, Nicky then came to live with Daphne’s daughter Susan.
A few weeks back Daphne got bad flu which turned into bad pneumonia. Because of this she had a vey bad cough which caused to get her a strangulated hernia, poor girl. Had to have the hernia operated on and had a heart attack. She was in ICU for over a week.
Susan managed to get a flight to Australia to be with her and thank goodness all went well and she is now home again recuperating. Still weak and frail, but I believe all is going slowly better.

We all remember her from those days and whish her all the best and some good times to come.

 

On the home front

Susan New PupsA lovely new arrival in Zimbabwe. Wucky passed away and Susan now has a wonderful new addition to her other Shepherd. How great that we have still so many true lovers of our breed. Enjoy her Susan and have a good time with her as soon as you get back from your Mum

Helen Brown passed way on 28 March 2015.

Helen was 85 years and after many years in Zimbabwe, she and her family moved back to Scotland. We have had so many years remembering her taking obedience class training, judging obedience classes  at shows and training her own dogs.
I can still see her with her German Shepherd and later the Border Collies she trained. She always entered them in the many obedience shows we had over the years.
I do not have a good picture of her, but here she is at an AGM meeting of the Kennel CLub in 2007.
Our thoughts and wishes are with Doug and their son.

Helen Brown AGM  2007

Helen Brown AGM 2007

Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland AGM 22 Feb 2015

The Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland held their AGM on 22 February 2015. While the weather was dry and overcast, quite a lot of their members did attend. Geraldine McLaughlan does a sterling job and they hld quite a few shows over the past year.

Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland AGM 22 Feb 2015

Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland AGM 22 Feb 2015

Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland AGM 22 Feb 2015

Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland AGM 22 Feb 2015

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

I would like to welcome you to the Working Breeds Club of Mashonaland’s 39th.  Annual General Meeting and thank you all for your support over the year.

We held 3 Championship Shows in 2014.  The first show was on 27, 28 and 29 June and consisted of Obedience, Dog Jumping and Agility shows plus a Working Trials training.  We were very lucky to have Mrs. Claire Patterson-Abrolat to come up and do the judging for the Agility and Obedience plus give some training tips on Working Trials, Tracker Trials, Obedience and Agility.  She is a member of the South African Agility Team, competes and judges in “C” Test Obedience and does a lot of competing and judging in Working Trials and Tracker Trials.  Claire was a very good judge and very approachable.  The Kennel Club of Harare obviously felt the same and have invited her to judge in 2015!

The attendance at the Working Trials training was embarrassingly small.  Thank you to Cherry and Bruce for hosting the event and giving lunch to the judge.  I was unlucky enough to break my finger there when my dog leapt forward and a loop of the lead broke the finger.  A lesson to be learnt.

Unfortunately there were no qualifications in Obedience.  Beginners was won by Debbie Christie’s Goldie, Tammy; Novice by Les Covarr’ Goldie, Josh; “A” Test by Dave Lamb’s Kirby; “B” Test by Cherry Blake’s Border Collie, Jed and “C” Test was won by Sam Fernandes’ GSD, Ciara.  Sam Fernandes and her Australian Shepherd Myra were the only qualifiers in Dog Jumping with a win in Grade II.  Bruce Freebairn and his GSD, Tilke won Grade I; Sue Carter’s Yorkie, Sammy, won Grade III and Gill Houghton’s Yorkie won Grade IV.

Cherry Blake was the only qualifier in Agility with her Border Collie Jed. The other winners were Cherry and her Border Terrier, Kimble; Sue Carter’s Yorkie, Sammy and Paolo Cernuschi’s Border Collie, Chip.

We had a Championship Breed show in August in conjunction with ZKC, KCH and the Midland Shows.  Our judge was Mr.  Graham Thompson from South Africa, who stepped in at virtually the last moment when another judge let us down.  The Best in Show was won by Gordon Grierson’s GSD Rio vom Schloss der Hunde; Reserve Best in Show was won by Ursula McKinlay’s Border Collie Ch. Aitchie Tara; Third Best in Show was my Dobermann Ch. Hysand Quaesta von Colnetal and Fourth was Mrs. Todd’s Giant Schnauzer Lanstone Russel’s Boy.

The second Obedience and Dog Jumping Championship Show was at the end of September.  We had a few more qualifications: Debby Christie with her Goldie Tammy won Beginners with a qualification.  Les Covarr and her Goldie, Josh won Novice and qualified with Ursula McKinlay’s Roxy coming second with a qualification; Bruce Freebairn and his GSD, Tilke, won “A” Test; Cherry Blake and her Border Collie Jed came first in “B” Test.

Unfortunately due to the small number of entrants in the small dog classes, although some dogs jumped clear rounds, they couldn’t qualify.  Cherry Blake and her Border Collie Jed won and qualified in Grade II Dog Jumping; Bruce Freebairn and his GSD, Tilke won Grade I; Sue Carter’s Sammy won Grade III and Lyn Pozzo’s Pedro won Grade IV.

Thank you to all those who entered – it was much appreciated!  Our congratulations to the various winners in all the shows.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the competitors, Judges, Stewards and other helpers for making the various shows a great success.  Our main sponsors for the three shows were an anonymous donor, who gave loads of food.  Thank you Anonymous Donor – your support was much appreciated!! Other main sponsors were the Jennings clan, Crystal Candy, Spinweave, Lokalize Investments and myself. The prizes certainly added to the shows!

A big thanks must be given to the Working Breeds committee, namely Roy, Ursula, Sue and Dave, who have put a lot of effort into making the shows go off so well.  The Corgi Club did their normal excellent job of manning the Show Office as did the KCH Catering section.

This is the section of my speech when I mention any one who has passed on during the year.  Please could we have a few moments to remember Derek Bowling-Scott who suffered for many years.

I would now like to hand you over to the Treasurer, Mr. Roy Ellis, who will explain the Balance Sheets and answer any queries.

Finally, I would like to announce the various trophies.  Unfortunately with a hiccup in delivery, the dog food has been delayed.  The dog food will be delivered to the various people within the next week or two.

The Working Dog of the Year goes to Gordon Grierson’s GSD Rio vom Schloss der Hunde with 70 points; Reserve was my Dobermann Ch. Hysand Quaesta con Colnetal with 30 points; Tie Third was Ursula McKinlay’s Border Collie Ch. Aitchie Tara and my Dobermann Ch. Haverhill Harko von Colnetal with 17 points.  Fifth was Mrs. Todd’s Giant Schnauzer Lanstone Russel’s Boy with 11 points .

Gordon – please could you come and accept the Rosette and Trophy?

The winner of the Obedience Dog of the Year is Ursula McKinlay’s Border Collie Roxie with 5 points. There were 6 dogs tied on 3 points each.  I have graded them as to the Class they qualified in – obviously a dog who qualified in “B” Test would be rated higher than a dog who qualified in a more junior class like Beginners.

So second was Cherry Blake’s Border Collie, Jed; third was Irene Kilpert’s GSD Maggie; Tie fourth was Erica Cunma’s Goldie Keisha and Lesley Covarr’s Goldie Josh.    Tie sixth was Debbie Christie’s Goldie Tammy and Collette Beechey’s Jack Russell Milo.  Obviously Border Collies and Goldies have shown the other breeds up!

Ursula – please come forward and accept the trophy and Rosette.

There were virtually no qualifications in Dog Jumping, which was very disappointing. Although the Mini Dogs jumped some clear rounds, because there were not enough dogs in their class, they didn’t qualify.  There needed to be three dogs competing in a class for a qualification to count. This has been proposed to be changed to two dogs in a class.

There were two dogs tied on two points each.   So the winners of the Dog Jumping Dog of the Year are Cherry Blake’s Border Collie, Jed, and Sam Fernandes’ Australian Shepherd, Myra.

Well done Cherry and Sam!  Cherry – please come forward and collect the Trophy and Rosette.  You will have the trophy for the first 6 months and Sam can have it afterwards. But don’t sit down.

There is a new trophy for Combined Contact and Non-Contact Agility Dog of the Year – this has been won by Cherry Blake’s Border Collie, Jed.

I usually mention forthcoming shows here – we have a Championship Obedience and Dog Jumping show with local judges on 17 May 2015 and a proposed Championship Obedience and Dog Jumping show with local judges on 27 September 2015.  On Friday I heard that a sponsor will donate a ticket for a judge for our Breed show.  So with such short notice I can’t say much as I still have to discuss things with my Committee and the sponsor.

Hopefully with the money from these shows, Working Breeds can import a South African Obedience judge in 2016.

Many thanks for attending.

Derek

Dear KCH Members

It is with great sadness that we advise that Athena Bowling-Scott’s husband, Derek, passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.

The cremation will be private but there is to be a Memorial Service on Saturday 4 October at 1330 hours at the MSC Clubhouse in Eastlea, behind Haddon Motors which is on Samora Machel Avenue. Tea will be provided following the short service.

Best regards

Linda Lamb

Old time and remembrance of Working Trials with Tony and Jane Sisley

I started entering Working Trials in 1980 and so met both Sisley’s since then. Entered with Freya, Antoinette, Gero, Kali and finally with Saxon, so it has been a long and fantastic time with these dogs being judged by both Jane and Tony [who passed away on 4 December 1990].

On 14 August 2014 Janet Jones – Sisley passed away after being diagnosed with terminal abdominal cancer

Janet wrote back to me:

I was undergoing treatment in the possible time of prolonging the worst prognosis of 3 months to who knows, a year maybe three if I am very lucky.

Please don’t be sad. I am at peace with the idea of dying and have been since I was in my fifties. I have had a full, productive life, pushed the boundaries and achieved. This year alone I have had a most enjoyable holiday in Australia with Anthony, Sue and Kim. What a lovely country. Makes me wish I had tried much harder to persuade Tony to go in 1980. I returned to England to the joyous news of the birth of the latest Sisley: James Anthony, born on 27 March to Matthew and Leanne in Dublin.

Suddenly my life is easy and I know what is important and what I can discard. I consider myself lucky to have a little time to enjoy what is left and get my life in order.

I thought the best way to bring us up to date, as you said you were wondering where we were, was to give you a potted history since we left Zimbabwe in April 2005.

By 2003, both my eldest son, Anthony, and his family had left for the UK followed shortly afterwards by Jonathan, my middle son. They settled in Maidstone, Kent, where their father was born, and invited me to come over for Christmas 2003. Things were getting pretty tough for older people in Zimbabwe if you didn’t have plenty of money and whilst I was here I decided that I would sell up and that we would come back to England which we finally managed at the end of April 2005. Peter’s mother lived in Rustington, East Sussex and he was educated in the country so we initially stayed with her until Peter got a job in Portslade, next to Brighton and Hove, East Sussex. I fell in love with Hove in spite of never having been here before and we initially had a very quirky basement flat with glass doors, an enormous mirror in the bedroom and cushion flooring in black and white squares. The architecture all around is magnificent, Georgian and Victorian and when you walk on the promenade by the sea you can almost imagine the ladies with their parasols from bygone days strolling beside you. Brighton is very vibrant, full of night life, and at the moment with the World Cup on and it being summer, is full of holiday makers and rocking 24/7.

Unfortunately, Peter was made redundant and our landlord decided to move back to Hove, but we were fortunate to find a very nice fourth-floor, purpose built seventies flat a block down the road. It is light, airy and has a splendid view. We are very close to the sea and on quiet nights I can hear it when I am in bed.

Peter did manage to get a couple more temporary jobs and applied for numerous others without result. Being in your later fifties you don’t have much chance, which is a pity as I think older people have such a wealth of experience to impart. Now we are both pensioners with the attendant perks and live a reasonably comfortable life.

Matthew, my youngest came over in 2006, found Ireland friendlier than England and settled in Dublin where he works in computers. He married his fiancee, Leanne, four years ago and in March this year their son, James Anthony, was born. The new Sisley to carry the name into the future.

Anthony, in the meantime, finally achieved his dream and was offered a job in Australia. They are now at the stage of getting permanent residence and I very much hope that they are successful as life there is better than it is here. I spent three lovely weeks there in March and it gives the impression of a country that cares about itself. The people are very friendly and the shop assistants actually want to help you which isn’t always the case here.

Jonathan is still in Maidstone with his fiancee, Lucy, a mature woman in her 50’s. He works in engineering and seems happy. As they are about an hour’s travel away we see them fairly regularly which is nice.

So far Jane’s history, which I thought would be nice to read for all who knew her and Tony and later Peter.

I wonder if her love for Labradors, they bred mostly the black and chocolate colours still have any progeny left in Zimbabwe?

Seresto Collars

I would think these might only be available in S Africa for our pets. Prescription needed from your Veterinarian.

I know of one dog who became very agitated at day 2 and when collars as taken of she settled again, so do remember that they could be allergic to them, but otherwise very economical and it lasts for 8 months.

Today, most flea and tick treatments require monthly applications. With such busy personal and professional lives, it’s not surprising that many people find it difficult to remember when re-treatment is required. Seresto® now offers an easy solution to this problem by offering up to 8 months of protection with a single application. It’s a simple way to ensure you’re doing the right thing for your cat or dog, while helping you keep fleas and ticks successfully under control. Collars in available in 2 sizes – Small (Dogs less than 8kg) and Large (Dogs over 8kg).

Rabies cases

RABIES – VAWZ Inspectors have dealt with three confirmed Rabies cases in the last two weeks. The dogs came from the Glen Lorne, Chisipite and Meyrick Park areas. Please ensure that your dogs and cats vaccinations are up to date – we strongly recommend that animals be vaccinated every year. Children must be warned not to go near strange animals, but should contact occur, medical assistance must be sought immediately. Remember Rabies is 100% fatal. Sightings of suspected animals can be reported to VAWZ on cell numbers 0778431528 / 0773476009 / 0775722449. vawz@yoafrica.com

Signs and Symptoms of Rabies

Once infection occurs, the rabies virus grows in muscle tissue and may go undetected for several days or months. During this incubation (or latent) period, the animal appears healthy and shows no sign of infection.

Usually within 1 to 3 months, the virus migrates to the nerves near the site of the infection and spreads to the spinal cord and brain (i.e., the central nervous system). It usually takes from 12 to 180 days to spread through the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system. At this point, the disease progresses rapidly, and the animal begins to show the classic behavioral signs of rabies. The virus spreads to the saliva, tears, breast milk and urine. The animal usually dies in 4 or 5 days.

Rabies causes typical symptoms. The infection progresses in a predictable manner, from the initial prodormal phase to the excitative, or furious, phase to the final paralytic phase.

The first sign usually is a change in behaviour. Pet owners should be aware that behavioral changes can occur as a result of many conditions, from digestive disorders to poisoning.

Rabid animals usually stop eating and drinking, and may appear to want to be left alone. After the initial onset of symptoms, the animal may become vicious or begin to show signs of paralysis. Some rabid animals bite at the slightest provocation and others may be somnolent and difficult to arouse. Once the animal shows signs of paralysis, the disease progresses very quickly and the animal dies.

Prodromal Phase: First Symptoms of Rabies

The early symptoms of rabies tend to be subtle, last 2 to 3 days, and include the following:

  •  Change in tone of the dog’s bark
  •  Chewing at the bite site
  •  Fever
  •  Loss of appetite
  •  Subtle changes in behavior

Furious Phase: “Mad Dog Syndrome”

The second phase of infection usually lasts 2 to 4 days and not all rabid animals experience it. Animals that enter immediately into the final paralytic phase are sometimes said to have dumb or paralytic rabies. Animals that spend most of their diseased state in the furious phase are sometimes said to have furious rabies. An infected dog may viciously attack any moving object, person, or animal; a caged rabid dog will chew the wire, break their teeth, and try to bite a hand moving in front of the cage. Rabid cats will attack suddenly, biting and scratching. Foxes will invade yards and attack dogs, cows, and porcupines.

They may show the following signs:

  • Craving to eat anything, including inedible objects
  • Constant growling and barking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Erratic behavior
  • Episodes of aggression
  • Facial expression showing anxiety and hyper-alertness
  • Irritability
  • No fear of natural enemies (e.g., wild animals may not be afraid of people)
  • Restlessness
  • Roaming
  • Seizures
  • Trembling and muscle inco-ordination

Paralytic Phase

The third and final phase of infection usually lasts for 2 to 4 days. Initial symptoms include the following:

  • Appearance of choking
  • Dropping of the lower jaw (in dogs)
  • Inability to swallow, leading to drooling and foaming of saliva (i.e., “foaming at the mouth”)
  • Paralysis of jaw, throat, and chewing muscles

Paralysis then spreads to other parts of the body, the animal becomes depressed, rapidly enters a coma and dies.

Dangerous Dog Poop

Dog poop is a problem we deal with on a daily basis. But is it dangerous? How much do you know? Is pet waste a health hazard? I did some research to get you some real facts and give you a little quiz. (hey, it’s Saturday – why not kick the weekend off right?)You might even consider yourself somewhat of an “expert” on the subject.

Answer these “True” or “False” questions and find out how much you know about dog waste and the real scoop on poop. True or False?

  1. Dog poop makes good fertilizer.
  2. Dog waste is just as dangerous to the environment as toxic chemicals and oil spills.
  3. If you don’t live near a waterway, dog poop in your yard does not pollute the water.
  4. Unscooped dog poop can infect anyone who comes into contact with the soil it touches … even years later.
  5. Dog poop causes E. Coli in humans.
  6. Dog poop can cause blindness in humans.Now, let’s see how you did.

Answers:

  1. False. Dog poop is NOT good fertilizer. It’s toxic to your lawn! The high nutrient concentration in dog poop will burn and discolor the grass, creating “hot spots”.
  2. True. Nearly two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.
  3. False. You may not live near water, but unscooped poop from your yard is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers and ground water.
  4. True. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually “disappear”, but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs … even years after the poop is gone.
  5. True. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans. (There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!)
  6. True. Dog poop often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.

So, how did you do? Did you have any idea dog poop could be this dangerous? Dog poop doesn’t just “wash away” or disappear. So if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog and your water supply at risk. So make a New Year’s resolution. Always scoop your dog’s poop.One last thing – I found a safe and simple way to clean up your yard. It’s an ingenious little invention called the Doggie Doo Drain. What a great idea! It lets you put your dog’s waste directly into your sewer line, where it can do no harm. It’s simple to use. Check it out. Go to: www.petproductadvisor.com/DoggieDooDrain

Obedience Seminar by Geraldine, Roy and Gladys.

Roy spoke about what to do and what not, see his article. Gladys showed how to start training with your puppy and Geraldine handed out judging sheets for people to learn how that has to be done. All very informative and a pity not many of the new competitors did not come to listen and learn.

WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO IN THE OBEDIENCE RING – PREPARATION

Before you leave home, make sure you have your Record Card, lead, retrieve article and of course, your Dog.

Leave home in plenty of time to get to the venue, exercise your dog, settle down and be at the ringside with your Record Card, your Dog and your Retrieve Article when your Class is called.

After the Draw is made do not stray too far from the ringside. Watch the Heel Course demonstration. The Judge is running round the ring for your benefit, not his. Make sure you are ready to go in the ring as the previous dog comes out. Preferably sit by the ringside watching the other competitors and their mistakes and listen to the Judge’s critique of the handlers before you. You can learn a lot.

First and foremost – TRY TO RELAX IN THE RING

Usually in the Junior Classes the Judge will start with Heel Work. Train to walk in the ring a couple of paces before the mark, indicated by the Steward, in the direction the Heel Course will go and tell your dog to sit on the mark. This will help you relax. He should sit straight. Avoid standing on the mark and pulling your Dog into what you think is straight. I have penalised many dogs, over the past couple of years, for not sitting straight at the start of the exercise. This also applies in the Recall and the Retrieve. Walk your dog in. If it sits straight when heeling then it will start straight with little fuss.

Loose lead. Hold your lead with as big a loop on as possible without tripping over it. I the dog goes wide, say on a turn, you will loose less than if the lead becomes tight. DO NOT JERK THE LEAD IN THE RING. This is not a training session and you will be penalised heavily if you do.

When heeling, DO NOT NAG your dog. You are allowed to talk during the Junior Classes. This should be quiet praise when the dog is working well, not scolding if the dog makes a mistake. Encouragment is a must. Punishment will be penalised. Step off on your left foot. That is the one closest to the dog.

Walk straight. Look up. Walk towards a marker, such as a tree, and rely on the dog to keep close. If you favour the dog, veering off to the left, you will still be penalised for the dog working wide.

When coming to a Halt, stop on your right foot and bring your left foot up alongside. Then you will not be penalised for “Stepping Into” your dog. If you practice this the dog will follow your left foot and still be straight.

Make your turns as sharp as possible. The Command is “Right TURN” not right wheel. This particularly aplies to turns at the Halt. You are allowed some lateral movement, but keep it to the minimum. You will be in C Test one day, hopefully.

Now, Recalls. Having set your dog up straight as I explained before, step off with your RIGHT foot. The left foot is associated with Heeling. When you are ordered to ‘About Turn’ turn LEFT. You are then lined up directly in front of your dog. You might be 10-20 metres away but every little helps.

Stop with your feet comfortably apart. You are allowed to move your body to encourage your dog to come in straight, but if your feet are together, you are likely to move them, and lose marks or fall over and make a complete ass of yourself. This also applies to the Retrieve, when the dog is, hopefully, bringing the article back to you.

Now the Stays. The same warning as in (9) above applies. Do not stand with your feet together and then realise after 2 minutes in the Novice ‘Down’ Stay you are uncomfortable and spread your feet. That is equivalent to the dog moving and you will lose the appropriate marks. Either put your hands behind you or in front of you and keep them there the whole time during the stay. If a bee lands on you nose – tough. It will fly away of its own accord. If you try to brush it away, Marks will fly away. What is a swollen nose compared to qualifying for ‘A’ Test

I have tried to cover most of the faults I see in the Ring made unwittingly by handlers. I draw your attention to Section 3.1 of the “Regulations for Obedience Classes – Schedule 5A promulgated 1 January 2012,” which says “All handlers are expected to have a thorough knowledge of the Regulations covering the class entered”

My comments have been directed at Beginners and Novice Classes because by the time a Competitor gets Class ‘A’ they should have learned the ringcraft necessary to get them there. If anyone can bring any other points to mind, I will be only too pleased to incorporate them into this document which I hope to circulate to help future “Champions”

Roy Ellis February 2013