Shelby – the Belgian Malinois
(Triple Champion Belgenbeau Dragon Heart UD, RM, AD, JDX, JDO, SPDM, GDX, SD)
I thought a long time, whether a Malinois would be the right dog for me. I had my doubts as to whether I wanted such a high drive dog – mainly because of managing the dog in the home environment. It turned out that I could not have hoped for a better dog to suit what I wanted to do. She is so easy to have at home, relaxed and affectionate, and switched on when she needs to be. These dogs are made for obedience and other dog sports and she proved why this breed has become the most popular sporting dog overseas. I was aware that a working dog like Shelby needed a committed and experienced handler. Shelby’s training started from the day she came to our home. Lessons learned early paved a smooth way to implementing and maintaining boundaries. Early socialising with other dogs and people proved crucial to allowing me to run her with other dogs but always coming when called. Shelby has a delightful temperament, always willing to work, affectionate and pleasant to take anywhere I want.
She also showed her potential as a young dog by achieving many notable results in obedience. She is the first dog to achieve a perfect score of 200 in CD, at the Cairns City Kennel Club. She is also the first dog to score a perfect combined score of 200 for the RE-B and RA-B double. In 2016 she gained 4 perfect scores in Open Obedience (CDX), a first in Queensland, and was awarded the ‘Vikings Muzzle Trophy’ for best Open Obedience Dog in the state. In 2017 we achieved a long term goal, becoming the State Champion in UD Obedience competing against the best in the country. Shelby came first in UD, 2nd in Open (CDX) and third in Masters Rally in the 2017 State Championships. What an awesome result from a regional competitor.
2016 saw Shelby soar to new heights, she started the first competition with a double perfect score in CDX and followed up with 2 more perfect scores, all under different judges. She gained her UD title, her Rally Masters title and also her Rally Obedience Championship and her Australian Championship Conformation title. Her outstanding achievements culminated in Shelby gaining the ‘Vikings Muzzle Award’ for best Open Obedience dog in Queensland 2016.
Shelby also competes in Agility and due to her speed this has been a challenge for me as her handler. When we work well, she is highly competitive locally and nationally. Shelby has achieved a number of titles in Agility, Jumping and Games with ANKC and ADAA.
Watch this space, because this girl is awesome.
Luna – the English Bull terrier
This eye catching bully girl is the love of my life (apart from my husband). She has the most beautiful soul and cheekiest attitude. She was outstanding from the word go – a show stealer everywhere. If that was in the show ring or in obedience and agility. Luna proved that bullterriers can work if you have the patience and determination to take on a challenge. And a challenge it was. Bull terriers are handler soft and do not respond to any kind of harsh handling. Positive clicker training with strict criteria worked best for her. Luna was able to compete successfully with me up to Open Obedience, Rally Excellent Obedience and in Agility. She is the only bull terrier in the country to achieve titles in both disciplines and I am very proud of her. She is one of a kind and it was sad to retire her from competition in 2016 after gaining her SPDX title at the ripe age of 11. These days Luna still accompanies us to competition as a chaperone. One thing is for sure, she has taught me so much and for that I will always be grateful.
Guinness – English Bullterrier
Guinness, the gentle giant, had the most beautiful temperament. He is Luna’s only son and unlike her, he is laid back and lazy to the extreme. He was the perfect dog to use for socialisation exercises with other anxious dogs, as he is bomb proof. He has been shown successfully and achieved his Australian Champion title within one year. We also worked in CCD Obedience where he achieved a 96 point score. In the end I had to accept, that he much more preferred the bed to the trial ring. He was my husband’s companion, who took him on his walks to the local gastronomy in Palm Cove. There he was the star attraction, where many folks want to say hello and give him a pat, of course he lapped up the attention in his own style. It was a heart breaking experience for both of us losing him in 2016 way too soon. He will always be remembered.
Rocky – English Bullterrier
Rocky was our first purebred Bullterrier. He was a gentle soul. He never much liked the show ring or working. He just loved lying in the sun. He went over the rainbow bridge in late 2014 being nearly 14 years old.
Bonny – A cross breed
Bonny was our first dog in Australia. She was a cattle dog bull terrier cross. She was delightful and loved the ocean, never scared of the waves and an expert body surfer. She was in her element in the water and a tireless retriever of sticks. Bonny went over the rainbow bridge nearly 15 years old.
Charis – the Doberman
My first pedigree working dog, this handsome dog was my loyal protector, it is what his natural instincts dictated. He was also a great dog to work with in Schutzhund, where I was able to compete and qualify in SCHH2 (IPO2). He taught me the challenges one will face with a high drive working dog. He also showed me that these types of dogs are not meant for first time dog owners. His reactions where lightning fast and to stay one step ahead requires the handler to be alert at all times. With this type of dog, the handler can never relax.
Nina – a Galgo cross breed
Nina was my first own dog. She was a rescue dog picked up from the streets of Spain, where stray dogs were the norm at the time. Often mistreated and regularly culled, this small puppy was by herself and it was my natural instinct to take care of her. Once in my arms, I never gave her up. She had the most beautiful temperament, she came with me when I moved out of the family home, and she accompanied me wherever I went. I started working with her at the local Schutzhund club in the late 1970’s, she was the only crossbred dog there. They must have felt sorry for me and worked with me to allow me to compete in a discipline that is so unsuited for this dog. She was gentle and loving, but she worked in Schutzhund (now IPO) just for me. Today, I wished I had her again today, as agility is what she would have loved to do. It broke my heart to leave her behind when I left Germany for Australia, when she was 10 years old. She lived out her life in a loving home with friends where she became the protector and companion of the young children in the household.