Monday, December 19, 2011

Teen Toller

I had the opportunity to spend some time with Tobago this month. While he did not fare very well in the breed ring against his more mature looking contemporaries, I think he looks as he should for an 18th month old "teen" Toller.

He has nice movement from the side as well as coming and going. He's definitely still very leggy compared to most other Tollers showing right now, but I remain confident he will grow into his leg as he matures. He has lot of filling out to do over the next few years.


He is fortunate to live with talented and dedicated trainers who are already beginning to bring out the best of what he has to offer in just about every venue imaginable. Tobago is currently active in disc dog events, and in training for rally, obedience, agility and field.  

He is a super social dog, though currently to the detriment of his one Rally Novice performance. Best of all he is a real lover of a dog, and quite content to be held like a baby in anyone's lap, just like his cousin Lark. Of course, as he's larger than Lark it's a bit more than a lap full for me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The king of reserve gets his first major!

Finn (Zephyr's Fine By Me) was the top conformation pick in my Dux ex Tilia litter from 2010. He resides with a wonderful family and is quite a spoiled and happy guy. He has people walking and cat herding duties to keep him busy. Finn is a sweet charmer of a dog with rich red coat and flashy white markings. He is also a bold and unapologetic counter surfer and outright stealer of food of the unwary but it's hard to stay mad at him when he wags his tail and flashes his golden eyes at you after an exploit.

Before last weekend, Finn had been in the ring a total of nine times. Six of those times he went Reserve, and at least two of those reserves were to majors. He earned his first point at the Rockford-Freeport Kennel Club shows on Oct. 1st, going WD, BOW and BOS. Last weekend he surpassed my expectations by going WD and BOW for a 5pt major at the Skokie Valley show in Rosemont, IL on December 10th. There was a large entry of almost 20 Tollers, half of which were class dogs. I was simply hopeful he would place in the Open Dog class since he just turned 18 months at the beginning of this month.

I'm doubly amazed when I consider his shenanigans last fall during his first conformation class with me. About 20 minutes into the class he threw a full blown puppy temper tantrum, throwing himself to the floor and screaming the Toller scream - as if I was beating him instead of asking him to stand and gait nicely on a leash while feeding him tasty treats. We've come a long way since then and I rather think he's starting to enjoy the show ring a bit. He still has some maturing to do, both physically and mentally, but we are in no hurry and I am enjoying my time in the ring with him.