Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big Brags for a Big Cousin

Whisper is a third generation Aragon greyhound living with me-the breeder. She is a first cousin once removed from the puppies in Lyric's litter. See if anyone can figure that one out! Her grandmother and the puppies’ father were littermates. Her pedigree and those of Merlin and Lyric are posted on Greyhound and if you want to see exactly how they are related. Whisper comes from three generations of performance and show dogs.

She is probably the most performance oriented greyhound I have ever owned. She has a superb work ethic and thoroughly enjoys training and competing. This is evident in these videos from previous agility and obedience trials. I have high expectations for her! In a future blog I will post the story of how Whisper came into being and how lucky I am to own her.

Training lapsed for quite some time after Lyric's puppies. Once they left for their new homes it was time to get back into dog training/competing again. I decided to jump in with both feet and start entering trials with Whisper in agility. We had done a little training during the puppies but less than once a week. Whisper was up to Excellent Jumpers and had two Open Standard legs when the puppies were conceived and later born. As I had never earned a leg in Open Standard with my other dogs I considered it my "weak" area. Spirit my first agility dog started very late in her life competing in agility. She did it to please me but obviously it was not her first love or even her second or third. She easily earned her Novice Jumpers and Open Jumpers but Standard was difficult. Her rear end was starting to go so the dog walk and A frame got to be too much for her. She was an easy dog to handle as she was quite methodical,we often didn't make time.

Whisper is just the opposite-her enthusiasm for agility almost knows no bounds. So back to our agility weekend and Open Standard. She had a good run on Saturday but popped off the down contact of the dog walk. She never does that in training but oh well. Then to Excellent Jumpers. Again no qualifing score-she couldn't make the weavepole entrance but was able to handle the course otherwise. The next day Sunday we started with Open Standard and she had an excellent time and qualified-15 seconds under course time. She is so fast she is like trying to handle a bullet when she gets going. She checks in and pays attention but you have to think so fast about what to do next. She earned her Open Standard title!!!

Then onto Excellent Standard. In Excellent Jumpers she was SO enthusiastic she shocked everyone by jumping over the tunnel-oh well she had fun and when called back and told to do the tunnel-you could see the wheels spinning-"oh yeah so that's what you want me to do" and quickly ran in. Again weavepole entrances were a killer but my instructor has given us some handling advice and exercises to practice so we will see how that works. We are in an agility trial in two weeks and now in Excellent Jumpers AND Standard. We have to get our weave pole entrances. All in all a fun and instructive weekend. I will see if I can figure out how to post some videos of her current runs. Meanwhile, you can follow this link to a video of one of her first agility runs.

Last weekend was dog shows. Whisper needed 5 points and one more major to finish her breed championship-and we earned another major and 3 more points on Saturday. Now only 2 single points and she is done!!! Lyric also showed this weekend-her first time out since her toe ligament surgery and puppies. She showed quite well and won Best of Breed over the Number one greyhound in the country. It was a great weekend. Non show people don't realize how much work goes into training a dog to show. Not only do they have to look great but they need attitude to do well. To cultivate attitude and good showmanship takes alot of work-especially in greyhounds who are not normally a showy breed.

Over the next several weeks we have more agility trials,breed shows-our specialty the Greyhound Club of Northern California, Rally and obedience to work on with both dogs. All in all a very busy next few months.


Anonymous said...

Excellent write up!!!!!! I'm so glad you included the board photo with Whisp's 4 feet in the air. Congrats to both she and Lyric on last weekend--well done. They deserve both deserve a filet mignon. :) Donna

BrittBeah said...

Love the video. I like to see big greys doing agility. Gives me hope for my clumsy boy and me. How big is she?

Aragon greyhounds said...

She really doesn't seem that big-I am just little!! I weighed her this week and she came in at 69 pounds.

BrittBeah said...

She looks so much longer and leggier then that. Wow

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

AWESOME Weekend! What to go Whisper with an Open title and a major in conformation! And Lyric, how awesome to beat the #1 GH in conformation.

Love that pic of Whisper with no feet touching the dogwalk :-).


Ridlon Tails said...

Awesome!! Kudos to you and your hounds! :)

Zan said...

Wow!! Congrats on your awesome weekend. I love the pic of Whisper on the dog walk. The timing was perfect.