I start by wishing you all a Very Happy and Healthy 2020 including all you animals of course. I always jokingly say I am still waiting for the Millennium, there was so much hype about it and now we are 20 years down the line, not really sure how that happened!
There are now so many different canine activities that you can do with your dogs, two relatively new ones are ‘Hoopers’ and ‘Barn Hunt’, and I understand there are some Buhunds who will be taking part in these in the New Year.
Hoopers is a fun free flowing sport, some canine sports need a lot of athleticism not just from the dogs but also from the handlers, but with Hoopers it is low impact and the courses are free flowing so the dogs can run smoothly. The tunnels are large so any breed or crossbred dog can take part and there are no weaves or jumps, so the tiniest and biggest dog can compete. The courses consist of ground level hoops and tunnels for the dogs to run through, and barrels for them to go round. There are 7 different class types and four progression routes, Hoopers,Barrellers, Tunnellers,Touch & Go Pairs Teams and Specials. Progression is points based irrelevant of wins and placings, and extra points can be earned for completing handling challenges. For competitions dogs are grouped according to their level and their height. The dogs are measured using the length of their ulna rather than at the withers, as this will stay the same whether the dog is awake or asleep, stood up or sat down, fluffy or smooth coated. At the moment the awards are split for large and small dogs and veteran. It is expected that there will be more categories as more and more dogs start to compete. There are five levels to progress through, with the dogs accumulating qualifying points not class wins. The points are gained when the dogs has a clear round and emphasis is on free flowing not speed, so a slower dog can progress at the same rate as a fast dog, with training and handling needed not just athletic ability, which also helps many handlers! At Starter level the courses are straightforward but in the higher classes, there are Challenge lines, Bonus Boxes and Distance Handling Boxes, designed to test the partnership of dog and handler. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold awards plus a foundation level for puppies.
Barn Hunt is a quite different sport to Hoopers and is very popular in the US and has now been introduced to the UK. The dogs are encouraged to use their natural instinct and incredible snse of smell to find rats. The competitions are held in a simulated barn environment, the dogs have to be athletic as they have to go through a maze of straw bale tunnels, and also scale the straw bales to find the empty tubes and the one with rat bedding in it. Then when the hide is found they must communicate it to the handler before the time runs out. Any size of dog can compete; Terriers may have the strongest ratting instinct but most dogs pick it up quickly and find it great fun. The dogs work one at a time so even a nervous dog can take part. There are six levels of competition from Instinct to Champion. To progress from each level the dog must achieve a certain number of qualifying rounds, by completing each course without any faults. A couple of Buhund owners are booked on workshops next year, so I will be interested to learn more about it.
Good news from Tony and Brenda Bethell in Eire that their home bred Ir Ch Minforst Galadriel CW19, by Ir /Int Ch Zodiac’s Featuring Fredrik At Taevas Jun Ir Ch CW19 x Ir /Lux/Int Ch Arnscroft Glad Di Ola at Minforst has had a clear eye test for HC.
I hope you all saw the advert for Swansea and District Canine Club 1925-1920 in OD on 13th Dec and realised that there is a Norwegian Buhund class judged by Lee Cox (Vanitonia) and stakes classes. Postal entries close 13th Jan online 20th Jan. We don’t have many open shows with breed classes so I do hope you will enter if you can.
Margaret Deuchar email@example.com
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.