Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The World Dog Show

An entry of 54 Barbet? I had to see it for myself. Isabel and I made the trip to Paris for the World Dog Show in early July. Although neither of us speak French, we had little difficulty navigating our way around the public transit system to take the RER to Parc d'Exposition to see an incredible dog show.  With an entry of nearly 40,000 dogs, the show is 8 times larger than the biggest shows in the United States.

Barbet were scheduled for 2:30 in the afternoon, a time frame perfect for our jet-lagged selves. Vendors and rings were set up all over the huge expo center and by the time we arrived at noon, there were no more catalogs available. What? How was I going to enjoy this huge entry when I don't recognize the dogs or exhibitors? How will I learn more about individual lines? Very disappointing.

Unlike a US show with strictly defined grooming areas, the WDS exhibitors set up around or near the ring where they will compete.  Soft sided crates and chairs for the exhibitors were most commonly seen.  Some exhibitors brought an x-pen and put all dogs together. It was very different than the rows of crates and grooming tables that we use in North America. We spent time chatting with Barbet friends we knew and meeting breeders and exhibitors from around the world. How great to finally meet so many people who I only know online.

When the judging began, Isabel and I sat ringside and watched all of the Barbet show in their classes. I have always loved watching a large entry of any breed, but seeing so many Barbet together was very special. I found that my daughter has a very good eye for a dog! We had fun placing the classes and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of individual dogs. Presentation ranged from ultra casual to very prepared grooming.

I found that watching the entire entry without a catalog gave me an interesting and unique perspective. I had no preconceived ideas of who each dog was or what it should be based on the bloodlines. After a class was placed I would borrow a catalog to learn who the dogs were in each class. It was really a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot about where the breed currently is and where it is headed.  I am so glad that we were able to attend. Congratulations to all of the very deserving winners!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Claire's Name Part 2 - Claire Returns to Canada

When I bought Claire from Florence Erwin, she was already named Ermagarde.  Fun though it would be to have a dog named Erma, I don't think my mother would appreciate sharing her name with my dog. So, she became Claire. When Claire was 1.5 years old, I entered her at some small shows in Ontario that were held just after Christmas.  Claire won Winners Bitch at two shows, giving her 3 of the 10 points that Canada requires for a championship.  I was hoping to find a larger entry and we waited for the Purina National, one of Canada's most prestigious shows, to make the trip again. Claire wowed the judges in Ontario's largest entry to date.  Claire won Winners Bitch at all three Purina National shows, was Best of Winners at two of them, and was Best of Breed over Specials the first day.  Only two weekends to finish her Canadian championship!  Claire's show career has been a lot of fun.  She loves the ring and enjoys her special time to shine! Claire is now the first American Barbet bitch to earn a Canadian championship.

Claire's Name

When a dog earns kennel club titles, the titles officially become part of the dog's name. Claire is a Canadian and United Kennel Club champion in the conformation ring. In fact, she made history with both of these titles!

Currently, Barbet cannot be shown in the breed ring of AKC shows. They are listed in the AKC's Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which allows them to be shown in companion events like obedience, agility, and rally, but not my true interest, conformation. Both the Canadian Kennel Club and the UKC fully recognize the Barbet and award championships to dogs who have earned the required points.

I entered Claire in two UKC shows last August to prepare her for her Canadian debut. As the only Barbet entered, she automatically won Best of Breed, but she also placed in the Gun Dog Group, competing with Labradors, Goldens, Poodles, and other Sporting breeds. UKC gives points for these "competition wins" over other dogs, so after two shows we were almost half way to her title.

Her next three shows were over the Labor Day weekend. Claire had an amazing weekend, winning the Gun Dog Group at all three shows and finishing her championship. She made history by winning Best In Show at the final show. Claire became the first Barbet to ever win a UKC championship and the first Barbet to win a UKC Best In Show. Claire's UKC career was short and sweet and showed me that she was ready to go to Canada to pursue her Canadian title.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Claire is now 2 years old

Can/UKC Ch. Neigenuveaux's Ermagarde, Claire, has just turned two years old.  As we continue to evaluate her as a breeding prospect, her hips will be xrayed for OFA radiologists tomorrow.  Both of her parents are OFA Good and we hope that Claire will fare as well.  Fingers crossed!

Calla's 4 month pictures

Calla is almost 4 months old and we are really happy with how she is growing.  She is now registered with AKC, and is our first dog to utilize the 50 character name...she is named Bo Bett O'Calla Lily of Hickory Tavern Farm, a long name for a little girl.  The story of her registered name: Bo-Bett is the farm where she was born, her mother's name is Lily, she is from Ocala, Florida, and now she lives at Hickory Tavern Farm.

The Beginning of the Blog

A blog about my dogs is a difficult thing to start. If I start at the beginning, I would be a horse and dog obsessed child whose only dream was to own a horse farm and raise Collies. Through my teenage years I was lucky enough to have my parents haul me all over the country showing my horses. I got my first show dog, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named High Flyer The Lamborghini, in 1984. While I was at a corgi specialty show I met my first Whippet, and I was completely smitten. In 1985, I purchased my first Whippet, Bo-Bett Pretty Prima Donna, from Quarter Horse legend Carol Harris of Ocala, FL. Many whippets have come and gone, but our current dogs still come from Carol.

In 2009 we brought a completely different and rare breed into the mix. French Water Dogs, known as Barbet, are gaining in popularity due to their enormous amount of joie de vivre and great appearance. We were lucky enough to get one of the top pick puppies from Neigenuveaux's first litter in Canada. Our foundation bitch, Can/UKC Ch Neigenuveaux's Ermagarde (Claire) has been a sensational addition to our family and we really enjoy the international aspect of the breed.

As I update the blog with more information, I will post on Claire's show career, our recent trip to the World Dog Show in Paris, France; the Whippet National in Lexington, KY; and the Barbet Club of America.  Let's get blogging!