Monday, 6 June 2011

Early mornings

When you've got a Lappy that is nearly 3, who let's you sleep in till when you want, it is easy to forget quite how early little pups need/want to get up (5.15 this morning!), and the level of energy they have in the morning once they get up! At least we know from when we first got Inko that the early mornings gradually get later, which will be nice :)

I'm hoping my neighbours are deep sleepers because Kiitos has been in fine voice this morning making sure that every toy is properly told off! I reckon she'll probably soon be getting sleepy as it's nearly an hour and a half after she woke up, so I'll be making sure I get a nap on the sofa while she's snoozing, as will Inko, who looks a little surprised each morning when we've been getting her up at the same time as Kiitos :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Qualified for Crufts!

We were starting to panic slightly that we might not get Inko qualified for Crufts this year. Now the Finnish Lapphunds get Challenge Certificates (CCs), the chances to qualify are much smaller than they used to be, as only certain shows are now qualifying shows. Given that the number of opportunities are smaller, the number of dogs being shown at each qualifying show is also higher. At each of the possible shows we've attended so far this year, Inko hasn't placed high enough to qualify, and given that we couldn't make it to all qualifying shows this year due to date clashes, we were worried we wouldn't manage it.

Today was Southern Counties, which is always a popular show because we always get a Finnish Judge for your classes. We had entered Inko into Postgraduate Bitch, and when I saw the catalogue this morning, I could see that this was a big class. Despite a small number of absentees, there was still a decent number of entrants, so I just had to keep my fingers crossed for a top three finish for the Dink.

I needn't have worried, becuase she did me proud and was a really good girl, ending up being picked as 1st place!!! I couldn't believe it, and my heart was pounding while standing for the critique to be written. We didn't get anything in the Bitch Challenge later, but still a super result for our super dog...and now we can definitely go to Crufts next year :)

Socialisation, socialisation, socialisation

Because we want a nice bomb proof Kiitos, we are working hard to make sure she is getting well socialised. She has already had several visits from friends, family and neighbours, but Saturday night was an oppotunity for some major socialisation, when we took Kiitos to the SFLS Quiz, fish and chips night at the Newbury Showground. While Inko spent the evening in Jo and George's awning with her brother Tarkka, Kiitos stayed with Adam and I during the quiz and then for the drinks afterwards, and was passed between many people, all keen to have a cuddle of the cute puppy! She was such a good girl! She didn't seem phased by it at all. For most of the quiz she was curled up on Jo's lap and then snuggled up inside Jo's jumper when it got a bit chillier later in the evening.

She must have been a good luck charm, as our team won the quiz!! It was either her, or perhaps George's very impressive quiz knowledge (he nearly single handedly won us the quiz!).

Once the quiz was over, eighteen of us squeezed into Steve and Shelley's awning to have some drinks and to have a sing song with Terry playing guitar. He was accompanied by Philip playing drums using an upturned dog food box, and Adam played the bongos on an upturned water bowl - all very creative. Kiitos had much fun being passed around all eighteen people for a cuddle! She once again took it all in her stride, and didn't seem fussed by all the chatting, laughing, singing, guitar playing and 'drum' playing, and after the 'pass the puppy' just curled up on my lap and had a snooze!

One of the conditions of getting a cuddle with her, was that people had to have their photos taken with her :)

There's a selection of the pics of her cuddles with lots of people on our Flickr site.


Saturday, 4 June 2011

In other news…

There is also plenty to update on Inko since my previous post. Last time I wrote we had been training for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze award. Despite her best efforts to deafen the assessor and everyone else in the hall, she managed to pass, and now has a lovely certificate to prove it . I think we have a little way to go before we can get the silver, especially given her barking (as we were all very firmly told by the assessor that barking is a sign of the dog not being under control…in Inko’s case she barks when she’s excited, and being trained, or being in the show ring are very exciting, so it is fighting a losing battle to try and keep her quiet!).

Since that last post, we also had the trip to Crufts, for the first CCs to be awarded to lappies, judged by Kiitos’s breeder, Toni Jackson. It was a great day, catching up with friends (human and dog), and great to see lots of dogs having fun in the ring. When we saw the size of the postgraduate class that we had entered, we didn’t hold out too much hope because the class was huge, and Inko was in a very vocal mood! However, we were very pleased to get 4th place. Unfortunately not high enough to qualify automatically for next year, but we were extremely pleased to get so high, especially as she was a bit out of coat. Adam filmed the whole day, and there is a video of the winning dogs and bitches from each class on the SFLS website (http://www.sfls.org.uk/results/2011/crufts_video.htm).

For the Royal wedding weekend, we all went up to Malvern for a few days to stay with Jo, George and Tarkka, and to catch up with Andy & Karen, and Steve & Shelley who were camping at the Malvern showground down the road. It was a lovely few days, with good weather (mostly), so we had a great time. Unfortunately we had to leave slightly earlier than expected, and had to miss the WELKS show that was at the showground on the Sunday, because Inko decided to finally have her second season. We had noticed that Inko’s brother Tarkka had been quite interested in her, but they often try and hump each other when playing, so we didn’t think much of it. When we realised she had come into season, we were actually really impressed what a good boy he had been, as I’m sure she was starting to smell very tempting to a boy dog!

I think that’s everything! I am going to try and be good and keep on top of this blog writing for a bit, so that we can record how Kiitos is progressing, and how the friendship between Inko and her new shadow is developing – they seems to be becoming good friends already.


Living with lappies

Once again, I seem to have been a little slack with blog entries, so it is about time for an update.

On Wednesday this week, we picked up our new little edition...Elbereth Kiitos, and we are very excited to have her. Her mum is Elbereth Kaisa at Arktinen, and her dad is Multi Ch Fidelis Duuri (known as Usko), from Holland. She is 8 weeks old tomorrow, and is a very sweet black tri, and she seems to be settling in well. 'Kiitos' is Finnish for 'thank you', and we thank Toni Jackson, her breeder, and Pia Reynolds, Kaisa's hu-mum, for entrusting her to us...we'll look after her well, we promise!

After picking her up from Pia's house, she was a perfect passenger on the way home, and curled up quietly on my lap all the way home. When we got home, Adam took Inko out into the garden, and then I brought Kiitos out to meet her. Inko was a little unsure what this small thing was at first, but was soon wagging her tail and saying hello.

We were unsure how the first night would go, as many pups like to have a good old howl when put to bed, to express their annoyance at being left on their own, especially with as everything is new and unknown, but she was a star. Apart from a very small (maybe 5 seconds) whine, she settled straight down and went to sleep in her crate. When I woke up at 6.15, we hadn’t heard a peep from her all night. She’d had a little accident in her crate over night, but not unexpected really, as she’d had her routine of feeding changed slightly, and she was in a new place.

I had forgotten quite how much energy puppies have when they first wake up, and I’m not sure Inko knew what hit her in the first hour of the morning! She was such a good tolerant girl, letting Kiitos climb all over her, and she didn’t even grumble when Kiitos was pulling at her face and leg fur. We’re so lucky that Inko is so sweet natured, because we didn’t need to worry too much when they were playing. Occasionally Inko forgets how small Kiitos is, and tries to play a little rough, but a quick reminder from us to ‘be gentle’ and she backs off.

We’re now moving into day 3, and despite accidents in her crate each night, Kiitos is doing very well indeed. She is already getting to grips with ‘sit’ very nicely, and is also doing pretty well with ‘down’. Her ‘stand’ is taking a little more practice, as at the moment it is more of a lunge at the treat, but we’re definitely making progress. Looks like we have another very clever one, which is fab, because we love doing the training. I have even had Inko and Kiitos in synchronised ‘sit’ and ‘down’ training this morning. We had forgotten quite how tiring puppies can be, but we are enjoying the fun of having two lappies. I am just starting my two weeks of 'puppernity leave', and then Adam has his two weeks off. By the end of that month we should have Kiitos well settled into a routine. 

Here’s a few pictures that we’ve managed to get so far.



Ok, I might have set this picture up, by plonking a very sleepy Kiitos on a very sleepy Inko, but when they aren't sleepy it is hard to get a photo that isn't blurred!!







This was always Inko's fave spot as a puppy, but it is a somewhat tighter squeeze for Kiitos to fit under there! She is definitely a bit bigger, possibly because she was only one of 5, whereas Inko was one of 9!







Tuesday, 8 February 2011

working towards Bronze

Ok, my plan to write more regularly isn't going so well, seeing as it's over a month since the last post!

On 27th February, at the SFLS AGM, there is going to be the opportunity to be assessed by a qualified Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme assessor, so we've decided to finally try for Inko's Bronze award (and maybe her silver if we managed to pass the bronze and are feeling brave!!).

Inko has continued her training since her initial puppy classes, with a stint doing heelwork to music, an intermediate training class, and lots of training at home, but we have never quite got round to doing her bronze. Looking at the requirements on the Kennel Club website, I think we should be ok because it is all stuff she can do...the question is whether she will be bothered to do the tasks on the day of the assessment with other lappies around as a distraction!

To help with getting her a bit more polished on some of the tasks, we are starting a new training class tomorrow night. The class is specifically geared towards the bronze good citizen award, so hopefully it'll give us enough practice to pass on the day.

On the more fun side of things I have just bought a new dog training book called Brain Games for Dogs - I'll have to see what new tricks I can teach Inko over the next few weeks :)

Sunday, 2 January 2011

wow...two days in a row!

Over the past year we have continued working on Inko's tricks, but probably not as often as we should. My plan for this year is to try and do more with her, to make her performance on tricks more consistent, and to try and learn some new ones too. I also hope to try and finally get round to doing the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze award with her (and maybe even Silver) - I must get booked onto a training course soon, to learn the last couple of bits more solidly, and then we need to keep our fingers crossed that we both can get it right under assessment! I'm pretty sure she's nearly ready now, but it depends on her being in the mood on the assessment day!



I managed to get a quick video of us doing a bit of practice the yesterday. Whilst she knows quite a few tricks, she is a little haphazard in her performance at the moment, and often starts trying to 'offer' tricks in the hope of a treat, rather than waiting for the command!! This is especially the case for 'shy' and 'wave' - she starts flapping her front legs as soon as she sees me get a treat, so we need to work on getting some more control there. Hopefully it should be do-able with a bit of effort, seeing she does generally know the commands.




video



I did also take another better quality video on our new camera today, but I just uploaded it and it was 106MB! Ooops - seems I recorded it in HD! I'll try and work out how to reduce it in size so I can upload it on here...or I'll try recording a new one!


In the meantime, here's some more new pics



Inko showing off her long toe hair!!



A bit more singing!



Such a grown up girl now!