Saturday, 20 November 2010

A chilly, damp and foggy day in autumn....

With too much studying to do Gary couldn't join our local shoot today, so instead what better way to spend a cold and damp autumn afternoon than snuggling-up in front of the woodburner with your wirey pal. So that's exactly what Gary and Lottie decided to do today... Now wires might live to hunt and love their food but they will also never say 'no' to a cuddle!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Winnie - Klancraig Artemis

We finally got five minutes to take a picture of Winnie in the yard today. She is nearly eighteen months of age and maturing into a beautiful young lady. She has the most delightful nature and is showing plenty of promise in the field. She has been shown sparingly this year but may appear in the showring more often in 2011 but more importantly, we plan to continue her training over the coming months in preparation for the Working Tests next year.

At last... its here

Well Gary has been chomping at the bit for weeks now waiting for the first day of our local shoot and today it has finally arrived and what a beautiful morning it is too - bright and warm. The dogs were all on their toes last night as Gary got his gear ready but sadly for them, they have been left behind this morning... all except Gary's trusty sidekick Fergus of course!
Eric (the gamekeeper) tells us that the shoot is covering new grounds this year and has more birds, so I look forward to catching up on all the news and listening to their exploits when I meet Gary down at the George and Dragon this afternoon.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Docked Breeds Campaign in the Dog World Newspaper

Wendy Oxman (Wendavia GWP's) has spearheaded a campaign in the Dog World publication, inviting owners of docked breeds to express their dissatisfaction at not being able to exhibit their legally docked dogs at Crufts.
We have funded an advert which will appear in Dog World in support of this campaign.
At Klancraig we intend to dock our puppies until the Government imposes an all out ban on docking. We may have only shown Winnie selectively this year but she has qualified for Crufts 2011 by winning Best Puppy in Breed at the National Dog Show in May. Ironic - and in our opinion unjust- that despite being legally docked, she cannot attend Crufts since the public pay a fee to enter the show.
Well done Wendy for starting this campaign - I believe she has already received enough support to fill seven pages in the paper, including an advert funded by the German Wirehaired Pointer Club.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Today is Fergus' eleventh birthday. He was our first wire and I can remember collecting him like it was yesterday. It was love at first sight and both Gary and I have doted on him ever since. He is a very gentle, biddable boy who despite the boredom he most obviously felt tolerated being shown because we asked him to co-operate but in the working arena he certainly came into his own. We were delighted when he gained his show champion title but words couldn't describe the pride we felt when he gained is full champion title.
Fergus long since retired from both the showring and competitive working circuit but since moving to Much Wenlock has been Gary's companion on our local shoot. Our shoot starts again in just over a weeks time and both Gary and Fergus are chomping-at-the-bit at the thought.
Aside from his successes in the showring and field, Fergus also sired the litter from which Ollie came. Whilst Ollie can't be described as being 'laid back' like his father, he certainly inherited his good looks and gentle nature.

Midland Counties Canine Society Championship Show 2010

Today Gary, Megan and I took Lottie to Midland Counties Champ Show which was held at the County Showground, Stafford. We have only made a few appearances in the show ring this year but were delighted to be placed second in the Open Bitch class under judge Mrs Rachel Thompson.
As usual Lottie had a great day out, showed her little socks off and never stopped wagging her tail. It was great too, to catch up with friends and see the dogs.
The results were as follows:
DCC - Karl O'Connor's Sh Ch Karlejay Gump You've Got Mail JW SHCM
RDCC - McCullough's Kimmax Anton
BCC and BOB - Sarah Morris' Sh Ch Bareve Buffy
RBCC - Norma Ellis' Normbar Lindsay
BP - Barbara and Sharon Pinkerton's Trollangens Runar At Bareve (Swe Imp)
Well done everyone.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

GWPC Special General Meeting

At the weekend the German Wirehaired Pointer Club held it's Open Show and this was followed by a Special General Meeting called by a number of paid-up members of the Club (including myself) who were concerned that the GWPC Rescue may not be making reasonable enquiries to identify and notify breeders where a dog or bitch of their breeding turned up in Rescue. This concern was first voiced at the AGM last year.
The GWPC have formed a sub committee to review and amend (where necessary) the guidelines and code of ethics relating to the Club Rescue but some members were concerned about what may happen in the interim period between this review and amendments being passed.
I am delighted to say that the vote went in favour of the proposal and in future and where possible, Breeders will be notified should a dog or bitch that they have bred be signed-over to Rescue.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Indie's New Home

Indie came back to live with us at Easter this year. She is litter sister to our own Lottie and daughter to Bronte. In no rush to rehome her, we have spent a happy summer getting to know Indie all over again. For Gary and I, one of the downsides to taking back a puppy or dog that we have bred is that once here, they quickly become a member of our family and we get very attached to them. Despite this, we felt that Indie deserved to go to a loving home of her own. We are delighted to say that Indie went to her new family a couple of weeks ago and has settled in well with Liz, Chris, their children and their spaniel Cookie. Getting used to their cats might take a little time but we have every confidence that Indie will get there in the end! Liz and Chris are experienced dog/GWP people and intend to train and work Indie. She shows every indication of being a very talented young lady and we will be watching her progress closely. Thank you Liz and Chris for giving this special girl the forever home that she so deserves.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Winnie's first birthday

Today we would like to wish Winnie (Klancraig Artemis) and her siblings Lottie2, Storm, Dora, Kato, Otto, Flint and Bruce a 'Happy First Birthday'. Winnie and her siblings are from our Tilly/Timo litter (refer to our website and we will be forever grateful to Maxine and Peter McCullough (Kimmax) for allowing us the privilege of using the handsome and talented Timo. Between them Tilly and Timo produced a litter of beautiful, healthy puppies all of whom have the most delightful temperaments.
Our thanks also to the families to whom these puppies went for giving them such wonderful homes and for the regular updates and photographs.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

National Dog Show

Yesterday was the National Dog Show held at Stafford Agricultural Show Ground where our judge was breed specialist Barbara Stamp (Tynsil).
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the show so Gary took Winnie (Klancraig Artemis) along since our friend Mandy Hayes (Germanus) had kindly offered to handle her for us. This was Winnie's third show ever and her last opportunity to enter the puppy bitch class, since she is a year old later this month but Winnie being Winnie, she took it all in her stride and behaved like a trooper for Mandy and in doing so won a very strong class.
Mandy had previously won puppy dog with her youngster Bruno (Germanus Guardian AI) which meant there was the dilema of who should handle Winnie for Best Puppy in Breed - needless to say Gary was thrown in at the deep end and ended up handling her himself which was the first time that he had handled a GWP at a show and I missed it!!
We were thrilled that Winnie won Best Puppy in Breed.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Ollie - Sh Ch Kimmax Kandy Storm By Klancraig

Today is Ollie's ninth birthday... not that you would think so going by his behaviour! He is still very much the 'clown' at home - a loveable rogue - his favourite trick with all our visitors is sidling between their legs (from behind) to say hello and then bringing them a gift - anything will do but it's usually a shoe or piece of bedding.
He thinks nothing to emptying the kitchen bin for a nighttime snack if we don't remember to move it at bedtime and is not above curling up on the mahogany dining table for a sleep on a lazy, sunny afternoon. Towards the end of the shooting season he also discovered that he had a taste for pheasant, having discovered several hanging in the barn whereupon he devoured two!
Still we wouldn't have him any other way - just grateful that he's the only joker in our household, I don't think we could cope with two Ollies!! Happy birthday xx

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Roman (Rieyonne Kommanchi For Klancraig)

Today was Roman's thirteen birthday - yes ANOTHER birthday in the Klancraig household - we told you that they were coming thick and fast and there is still one more to go this month and another early next!

Roman is still very much 'top dog' at home despite his age. Physically he is in great condition - lean and reasonably well muscled for his years. His coat and eye are clean and bright and his pigment remains dark. His teeth are in great condition too!!! Perhaps we should attribute some of this to the fact that he has been raw fed for nearly eight years.
Of course he has slowed down some and sleeps more than he did and is selectively deaf but he loves his walks, visits to our local pub and of course his food!
We are very proud of him and love him dearly and look forward to at least a few more years of his gentle company. Happy birthday Roman xx

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Phaedra (Bryedal Emmaslass For Klancraig) - 'Fayfee'

Phaedra was our beautiful, gentle liver and white dalmatian bitch and Roman's soulmate. Today 'Fayfee' would have been twelve years old. Still very much missed for her cheeky smile, God Bless sweet little girl xx

Sunday, 11 April 2010

GWPC Breed Seminar April 2010

Today we had the pleasure of attending the German Wirehaired Pointer Club Breed Seminar, having been invited to take Lottie along as one of the 'assessment dogs'. Bronte came along too and made a brief appearance to demonstrate correct 'reach and drive' during the talk which was given by Josie Baddeley (Lourdace) and Di Arrowsmith (Fleetapple).
Lottie was one of five dogs chosen to be assessed on their movement and conformation by fourteen up-and-coming judges. All five dogs were thoroughly well behaved during the assessments which took nearly four hours - standing, being looked-over by a succession of assessors and then moved repeatedly. Needless to say, Lottie and I are both shattered this evening.
Congratulations to Barbara Stamp (Tynsil) for arranging such a successful event on behalf of the GWPC and fingers crossed for all those who attended the seminar.
On a personal note it was lovely to see mum (Bronte), dad (Plumley) and daughter (Lottie) all together.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Happy birthday Tilly

Well the birthdays are coming thick and fast in the Klancraig household at the moment and today we would like to wish Tilly a happy 5th birthday.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Indie (Kimmax Sealed With a Kiss)

Introducing Indie who has just come back to live with us here at Klancraig. Indie has come from a loving home but due to a change in family circumstances her owners felt that it was in Indie's best interests for her to return to us.
So far she has settled in well considering that she has come to live in a busy family environment and now has to adjust to being one of a pack rather than an only dog. She is a very loving and playful little girl..
Although she is already in lovely condition, we have put her straight back onto a raw diet and she is happily tucking into chicken carcasses, an assortment of minces, offal, sardines and eggs.
We have started some very basic training with Indie and she is booked to attend a one-to-one training session with Gary and trainer Nigel Dear.
We have no plans to find Indie a new home at the moment but are enjoying her being here and getting to know her again.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday

Happy 3rd birthday to Lottie and all her litter brothers and sisters xx

Sunday, 28 March 2010

German Wirehaired Pointer Club AGM

Today was the GWPC AGM which was held at Stoneleigh near Coventry. Although I resigned from the Committee mid term last year and was not standing again this year, I went along to support our Club and show an interest in the matters which affect both it and the membership.
As meetings go, it was relatively straight forward and nice to see a number of new faces standing for Committee.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Bootle, Crosby & Sotuh Liverpool Canine Society - Judge Amandy Hayes (Germanus)

Today we took Winnie to Bootle, Crosby & South Liverpool Canine Society Open Show at St Helens where the judge was Amanda Hayes (Germanus). We were delighted to be awarded Best Puppy in Breed, unfortunately however Winnie did not go on to achieve anything in the Gundog Puppy Group, I think in part since she was slipping on the floor both moving around the ring and being stacked up. Not to worry, she enjoyed her day out making friends with lots of the other competitors and I got the chance to meet up with friends too.
Well done to Una Russell and her boy Kimmax Bourbon (Bisto) who took Best of Breed and went on to get G4, a well deserved win.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Border Collie Convention hosted by the Midlands Border Collie Club

Today I spent the day at The Border Collie Convention - the first of its kind - which was hosted by The Midlands Border Collie Club. My close friend and business partner Lisa Lister (Havocsmill) has owned, worked, shown and bred border collies for a number of years and as you can imagine, I therefore have an interest in the breed as she does german wirehaired pointers.
Together Lisa and I had a really enjoyable day. All credit to The Midlands Border Collie Club who were such good hosts - tea, coffee, wine and food were in no short supply. The day started with a breed specific talk on movement and construction by Ross Green (Fayken) who owns the breed record holder Sh Ch Tomkory Palerston at Fayken, followed by a selection of demonstrations/talks - preparation for the showring and showring handling by Jo Ratcliffe (Grandver) and Rachel Spencer (Tobermoray); breeding by Penny Forster-Cooper (Sheltysham) and Felix Cosme (Beagold) and judging by Kathy Burnell (Fieldbank) and Toni Jackson (Elbereth). Lisa and I chose to attend the show and breeding talks. Speakers were both knowledgeable and entertaining.
The talk which Ross gave was very informative and to accompany his speech he showed a selection of pictures and videos which clearly demonstrated the effect of construction on movement.
Penny Forster-Cooper discussed the different methods of breeding - inbreeding, linebreeding, and outcrossing - their advantages and disadvantages and Felix Cosme demonstrated the effects of his breeding programme for fixing a 'type' to his line.
I would have no hesitation in attending another such seminar and feel that much of what I leant today can be applied to my own breed - the GWP. Hopefully, as these events become more common place, our breed club will hold a similar event.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Crufts 2010 and docked dogs

This year we only entered Lottie at Crufts since we were unable to enter Winnie. Although Winnie is legally docked, the law currently stipulates that she cannot be shown at a show where the public pay an entry fee to watch and as such, she was not eligible to enter.
Despite the fact that Lottie was not in the cards this year, we had a lovely day meeting old friends and catching up with everyone's gossip. The atmosphere ringside was friendly and relaxed.
Crufts is something of an institution and the show that most dog show enthusiasts look forward to entering. It is also the show that most dog lovers are familiar with - whether they follow breeds, agility, flyball, obedience - they either visit Crufts or try to follow it on the tv. It is the Kennel Club's flag ship - the show at which the best of the best appear either to represent their breed or their given sport. Sad to think therefore, that because of the current legislation concerning docking and since the Kennel Club have chosen not to find a way to accommodate the docked breeds, many of our quality dogs were unable to attend. Certainly, the fact that young docked dogs were not eligible to be entered at Crufts impacted on entries, since the numbers of dogs and bitches being exhibited in the lower (and usually age related) classes was poor.
Like many other kennels that choose to dock their puppies, it is only a matter of time before we here at Klancraig have no young dogs that are eligible for entry at Crufts, not to mention some of the other Championship dog shows that insist on charging an entry fee for spectators.
Of course we could choose not to dock but why should we when we wish our kennel to represent the versatile, dual purpose GWP that is worthy of being shown AND worked? At Klancraig we choose to dock for the welfare of our puppies, especially those that go to working homes and we will not be deterred from this even if it means that we must forego showing our youngsters.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Cost of Feeding a Raw Diet

At Klancraig we 'raw feed' our dogs - that is to say we feed them a species appropriate diet of raw meaty bones, minces, offal, fish, eggs, fruit and veggies. (A more detailed description of how we feed our dogs can be found on our website, on the Dog Care page).
We are members of several forums dedicated to this subject and recently, on one of those forums the subject came up relating to the cost of feeding a raw diet. Obviously, cost will be dependant upon the size of the dog, how much he or she eats and how varied the raw diet is that is being fed. It has been sometime since I actually sat down and calculated this but given that we do feed a very varied diet to our dogs, I was pleasantly suprised to find that it costs approximately 70-80p per day, per dog according to what we actually feed.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Spring is in the Air...

Well, I am under no illusion that spring really isn't in the air yet and that there is plenty more bad weather to come but this morning was so lovely - clear skies and bright sunshire. It was my turn to visit Nigel Dear and because of Christmas and the snowy conditions, it was the first time that we had met since November time last year.
Bronte and I had a one-to-one training session with Nigel and I was delighted with how she hunted and retrieved. I am really looking forward to entering some working tests with her this summer.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Back to School

Today Gary went on his first one-to-one gundog training session with Nigel Dear of Llanforda HPR's. Gary already takes a big interest in our dogs but hitherto his involvement has been very much behind the scenes. However, having spent the last two seasons beating on our local shoot with Fergus, he has been bitten by the bug and now wishes to take a more pro-active involvement in training and working our dogs - who knows, we may even get him in the showring with one of them!
At nearly ten and a half years of age and with a wealth of experience behind him Fergus does not really need to go back to school since he has now retired from the competitive working arena but it does make him the perfect companion with whom Gary can learn the finer points of working an HPR for when he gets a GWP puppy of his own.
Gary enjoyed his afternoon (once he found where Nigel was) and Fergus is going to be kept very busy over the next couple of weeks doing 'homework' with Gary, ready for their next lesson.

Otto's Visit

Yesterday Gary and I spent a lovely afternoon with James and Claire and their youngster Otto, who is Winnie's litter brother. To look at them Otto and Winnie are like two peas in a pod and proved to be just as cheeky as each other too! We had a tasty pub lunch in the George & Dragon - James and I eating one handed whilst Otto and Winnie took it in turns to bat each other on the head with their paws and entertain the other diners with their antics and then we went for a walk along Wenlock Edge. The weather was very kind to us and we had warm, mellow sunshire and the dogs had a great time running down the bridle path and through the woods.
We are really pleased with Otto - he is maturing into quite a striking young man with a beautiful nature which we are delighted to say, seems to be apparent with all our Tilly and Timo offspring. Otto's basic obedience is excellent and James hopes to start gundog training classes with him later in the year.
Pictured here at Wenlock Edge - picture courtesy of James and Claire.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Last Weekend of the Shooting Season 2009/2010

Gary made the most of the last of the shooting season this weekend. Saturday saw 'Beaters Day' and Gary was invited to join Eric (the Gamekeeper) and the usual team of beaters to shoot, whilst 'the Guns' enjoyed a days beating. Don't be fooled - Gary didn't shoot all of these birds himself - pictured here, Gary and Eric with a number of birds shot on the day.
Today was the last shoot of the season and Gary took the day off work to resume his role as beater with his trusty side-kick Fergus. They had a fab day out and we were really proud of Fergus, who at nearly ten and a half years of age managed six and a half hours 'on the job'. Needless to say, tonight he has earned his place in front of the wood burner in the lounge resting his weary limbs.

No doubt both Gary and Fergus will now be wondering how they are going to fill their Saturdays. However, since working on our local shoot over the last two seasons, Gary has been really 'bitten by the bug' and will be attending one-to-one training sessions with Nigel Dear with a view to taking a more pro-active role in training and working the dogs in the future.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Winnie's First Show

Today was Manchester Dog Show and our judge was Mr Tony Taylor. This was a championship dog show although there were no tickets available for our breed and being local to us (at Stafford Agricultural Show Ground) it was an ideal opportunity to take Winnie along and get her accustomed to the hustle and bustle of a big show.
Despite the fact that she had only attended three ringcraft classes, Winnie showed no sign of being phased by the crowds, the dogs or the noise and she stood and moved in the ring beautifully. We were delighted to be placed fourth in the puppy bitch class.
To finish our day Gary and I took Winnie to our local dog friendly pub, The George and Dragon, where she enjoyed a nice bag of scratchings before curling up and going to sleep amongst all the feet.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Winnie's First Pheasant

Well living in the back of beyond most definitely has it's drawbacks (far more outweighed by the advantages though, I must admit) - one of them being the problems that we have encountered with our broadband.
Despite having had internet for the best part of a year now, we were unable to access our Blog and were on the verge of pulling it and designing a new one, when we decided to give it one last go on our new computer (which has Windows 7) and low-and-behold, the Blogg was accessible!

Today we took Winnie (our eight month old puppy from our Tilly to Timo litter) to join our local shoot for the last hour and only for the second time this season. We were delighted that she readily retrieved to hand one of the pheasants that had been shot. She really is a delightful little lady, who is so willing to please.
Fergus accompanied Gary, as he has done all season. Prior to moving to Newhouse Farm Gary whilst being very active with the dogs behind the scenes, has not been involved in showing, training or working them. However, since our move and being invited to join our local shoot, Gary has taken a more pro-active involvement with them. They have made quite a team and I think they will both miss their Saturday mornings out together!