Friday, April 30, 2010

Bryn Checks In

It’s Bryn again.
I have now attended two conformation classes. Overall, I’m not too thrilled with them. I have much more fun in the house and backyard. There are lots of really small bouncing and barking dogs that appear to be really excited about the outing. There were 2 puppies whose ears held up with something. I heard the word “cropped”. Poor guys. Everyone was really nice and free with the treats. That was good. I guess everything has a good side. I’ll probably become as excited as the other guys in the class. It must be fun. There are so many dogs there.
I’m not sure what “conformation “ is. Several people have looked for it and can’t seem to find it. I know I’m not intentionally hiding it, but the “instructors” seem to think that I am hiding it somewhere around my backside because I like to sit down. They keep feeling and looking for it. But, when I sit down, it can’t be found.
Running around the ring is fun, but then comes the “let me see your bite”. I’m polite and let them. I know this request has something to do with being a “show dog” and that is OK.
There is another phrase constantly used. I seem to be doing that good. However, I don’t understand it. It’s called “free stacking”. What does a “stacking” usually cost? Who pays for it? I’ll cooperate by “free stacking” and maybe they will stop trying to find my “conformation”
I’m only 16 months, so when I feel confident with my new friends, and myself, I will reveal my hidden and elusive “conformation’.
More later- after my first show.

The chair is either too small or I am too long!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Reunion

This past weekend was the Northern California Greyhound Specialty and for the first time since they were 8 weeks old all the puppies were reunited. From left to right is Darby,Tanner,Lyric,Bryn(and Marie),Echo and Becca.

For people interested in show results, they are as follows. For people interested in the dogs, pictures are as follows.

Darby showed well and was one of the four dogs to earn an Award of Merit.

Tanner won Best in Sweeps and his sister Echo won Best Opposite sex in Sweeps as well as Best Opposite sex in the show. A huge win for both of them.

Bryn was in her first show and made an excellent showing earning third place(her first ribbon) in a large Open bitch class.

Becca went Winners Bitch for another 4 points, Best of Winners, and earned an Award of Merit. She is now only 1 point shy of her breed championship.

After the show all puppy owners except Bryn and additional friends and their dogs were able to come back to the house for some play time.

The dogs played with each other until they were exhausted. The owners kicked back and drank appletinis and key lime martinis until they were exhausted. Then onto an Indian food feast. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Obedience Training

In addition to all the posts on agility I do obedience as well. I started back in 1983 with my first greyhound. Despite earning 7 CDs and 4 CDXs on greys I have never progressed to a UD. Training greyhounds in obedience can be very successful but challenging. What works with many "traditional" obedience breeds doesn't always work for greyhounds. I have learned over the years "less is more" with most of them.

Whisper is the exception and is the most work motivated greyhound I have ever owned. She thrives on repetition if it means more food. If any dog will convince me to go onto a UD it will be her. She is getting ready for Open and we were in our first match in the below video. Funny but the dumbbell retrieve followed by the high jump retrieve are two of her best exercises. Her nose got her in trouble that day. Below is her debut at the Open match.">

Lyric is a more traditional greyhound to train. She does it for me not because she loves to work. With Lyric definately "less is more". She gets trained less than 1/2 the time of the other dogs-Whisper and Echo. She is willing to work as long as I don't ask too much or too frequent. The dumbbell is her least favorite exercise. I finally clicker trained it. The dumbbell gave her trouble that day as well.">

Another few matches and we may be ready to compete.

Echo did a Rally Novice run through but unfortunately it wasn't videoed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A note from Pearl/Bryn

Hello Aragon Greyhound fans!

My name is Bryn (aka Pearl and aka Blueberry). I, too, am 16 months old.

Until early April, I was in Virginia with Poppy and JD, my longtime playmates and friends. But I am now in cold and wet California. I’m told it will warm up.

My new playmate and her son picked me up on Tuesday, April 6, at Fremont, Ca and we went for a ride to Arbuckle, California. Whoever heard of a place called Arbuckle?

Two guys who were very excited to see me greeted me at the door. We jumped and played all the way through the kitchen and living room and out to the back yard. Then I had a chance to prowl around and take a look-see.

Nice! Someone is feeding doves- lots of fun to be had there. The boys, who are 7 and 8, are a lot of fun. Gator looks like me- a blue brindle. He’s 7. The other is white with red brindle. I guess that’s parti-color like JD. His name is Soda Pop and is 8. He is more laid back than Gator. I had to beat him on the head with my Frisbee in order to get him to play with me.

It seems I am going to be in a show-whatever that is. So my human playmates took me to an agility show last Saturday. My sister was there and we played a little, but we didn’t want to distract the dogs that were working! There was a lot of activity and people running from one place to another. I was tired when I got back to the car and slept all the way home dreaming of running and jumping.

Tonight, I am going to school- a conformation class. Is that good or bad? Gator and Soda won’t tell me anything. I already know how to sit, lie down, eat, run, fetch, retrieve, shake toys, get on the bed and be an all round happy puppy. What else do I need? I’ve heard new words like “stand, stack, come, go back” So maybe that is what this is all about. I’ll find out tonight and let you know. Oh! I need to go out and chase some birds.

When I wake up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Agility Weekend

Last weekend Whisper was entered in an agility trial. Once again no video person so after the trial I bought a small hand held flip video,it is so easy to use anyone can make it work. So next trials mid May should have videos-by someone.
Trialing can be fun, on Saturday we earned another QQ and a second and third place for 28 more MACH points.

Trialing can be frustrating in the littlest mistake can cost you a leg. Sunday was no Qs. In jumpers I decided to try more serpentine moves to try to speed up time, it pulled her off a jump so of course NQ.

She has been iffy at the start line and breaking stays so I have been working hard at reinforcing her staying at the start line. Of course the standard run needed a three jump lead out with a pivot turn to be on the right side for dog walk and subsequent course. Although she had been holding all her start stays that weekend I didn't want to ruin what progress I had made so I only did a two jump lead out. She was so fast I couldn't get into the correct position so the rest of the run did not go well and we earned another NQ.

All together not a bad weekend though. She earned another QQ(very hard), held all her start stays, hit all her contacts(another difficult task for her) rather than leaping off, and is comfortable working at a distance from me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coat Color Questions

Some color patterns are easy to understand. Some are not so easy. With the Red Brindle gene, why are some dogs more heavily brindled than others? Is their brindle pattern a separate unknown modifier gene or is it simply random how the dogs color out? The dogs below are genetically identical red brindle-yet one is obviously much darker than the other. In show terms the dog on the left is called a Red Brindle and the dog on the right is called a Black Brindle.

Left-DC Aragon Autumn Storm CDX TDX RA SC VCX (Apollo)
Right- BISS DC Aragon Night Frost VCD1 CDX TDX RE OJP SC VCX (Spirit)

The same is true with the Blue Brindle(Dilution gene added to the Red Brindle). The dog on the far right has very little blue brindling and for some reason is called a reverse Blue Brindle. The dog in the center is the more typical Blue Brindle. The dog on the far left is the Red Brindle.

Left-Ch Aragon Black Ice
Middle-Aragon Mystic Pearl
Right-Ch Aragon Aroi Silver Lining

Another question that has always puzzled me is the amount of color expressed in a Parti color dog. All three dogs below are called Parti colored but the amount of color is dramatically different. Why? The first dog is almost all white with a spot of red on his ear. He is registered as a red and white parti and will throw the parti gene and the red gene.

Ch Jets The Boy Next Door

The next dog shows a typical amount of coloring for a Parti dog

Ch Aragon Lunar Eclipse VCD1 MX MXJ RE JC

And the last shows an extreme amount of coloring

Ch Aragon Silver Oak

All three partis will throw their base color(the above three dogs Red Black and Brindle) +/- dilution gene and the Parti gene

Thats all for color genetics in the greyhound. Next posts will be back to the dogs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coat Color in Greyhounds

When breeding a greyhound litter it is always exciting to see what colors the puppies are. With a few basic rules of genetics, the majority of the time colors can be predicted. Three basic colors are present in the breed.


BISS Ch Helios Sun King

Red Brindle


and Red

BISS Ch Aryal Aroi Stoney Ridge CD TD RE NAJ SC

Dogs receive a color gene from each parent meaning if they receive a black gene from one parent and a red gene from the other the dog will be black. If they receive a brindle gene and a red gene the dog will be brindle.

Next comes the modifier genes. The first one is the dilution color. It is recessive so a dog must receive a dilute gene from each parent. If they only have one dilution gene the dog will a nondilute color. So the dilution gene on a black dog gives a


U-Ch Chaparral Toblerone RN TT CGC

The dilution gene on a brindle creates a blue brindle

Ch Aragon Silver Cloud CDX TDX

The dilution gene on a red creates a blue fawn

Windrock Sin City Playboy RA JC

And last is the Parti gene. This gene allows only part of the base color to be expressed. Once again this modifier gene is recessive meaning the dog has to get the gene from both parents. If it only gets one it is a solid colored dog.


Ch Aragon Lunar Eclipse VCD1 MX MXJ RE JC

If the dilute gene is present it would be a blue and white parti color(no photo).

Brindle+Parti would be a red brindle(No photo)
if+Dilute would be a blue brindle parti

Ch Aragon Silver Oak

And lastly Red+Parti would be a red and white color

Ch Gaia Best Mate

if+Dilute would be Blue Fawn Parti

DC Windrock Luck Be A Lady

This covers about 99% of the coat colors, some rarer colors such as liver or chocolate or EE Red are not covered but infrequently seen.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Head Shots

Three of Lyric's puppies together from left to right
Aragon Mystic Pearl(Bryn/Pearl), Ch Aragon Aroi Silver Lining(Darby) and Ch Aragon Black Ice(Echo)

Color genetics in greyhounds is an interesting topic. Based on the color of Merlin and Lyric's puppies, Merlin was obviously homozygous for the brindle gene. Dilute or nondilute is easy to understand but the amount of brindling expressed is a mystery. For instance both Darby and Bryn/Pearl are genetically the same color-blue brindle. Darby shows much more brown than Bryn/Pearl and much less blue color ie he has less brindling. When and if bred though they both will pass on the identical color genes-Brindle and Dilute genes.

Echo is the same base color-brindle just the nondilute version.

In the next post I will go over basic color genetics in the greyhound.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Week

Last weekend was a good though tiring weekend for the Aragon dogs. Starting with Lyric winning Breed three days in a row and a Group 3.

Her daughter Becca earned her first major and played nonstop with her sister Echo. By the end of the weekend she was utterly exhausted.

Echo got to chaperon this weekend although is soon to come out as a special.

And of course Darby earning Winners Dog at the Southern Specialty and finishing his Breed Championship.

Now for a week of downtime before agility next weekend with Whisper.