The year is passing so quickly and once again the Game Fairs are upon us with the May Bank Holidays approaching fast! We had a wonderful time last year going around the country attending all the Living Heritage Game Fairs. However this year Netley and Essex Game Fairs have been dropped mainly due to the weather last year which was too hot at Netley and too wet and cold at Essex. So hoping this year will be better!
Calling any interested Heeler owners?
We are always looking out for Lancashire Heeler owners who would like to come and give a couple of hours or more of their time to talk to the public about our breed. It is surprising how many people have never heard of them – they are fascinated to meet the dogs, enjoy petting them and having a face washed at the same time! It is a surprise to many that they are not better known as a breed since they make small, attractive and lively companions.
If anyone is interested in coming along then please get in touch with us – see contact details below. We can organise free entry to the show and can offer refreshments throughout the day! We have a large pen for the dogs and we swap them around so they do not get too tired entertaining the public all day. There is usually a minor breeds parade during the day when the various dog breeds are taken into the arena and we introduce them to the audience, as well as lots of other doggie activities to take part in or watch. Chase the Bunny is the one our Heelers love and go beserk at – in fact Spot became a Chase the Bunny Champion at Netley last year!
Dates and locations of the Game Fairs for 2019 are:
Ann Jordan has kindly sent me a piece about her gorgeous liver and tan Heeler, Flora, and how she started to train her for herding. We meet her each year at Discover Dogs so she is a multi-talented little dog!
Wanting to “downsize” from Collies and Kelpies, I chose a Lancashire Heeler to help with sheep control in the future. Not really knowing anything about how a Heeler may work, I was taking a risk but having met one or two, I decided it was worth it.
Basic training was easy as Flora was very bright and eager to learn but there was a hilarious aspect to the ‘heeling’ instinct…. which made ‘herding’ more challenging! It had to be done at 200 mph! Flora definitely had the “gather” to a ‘T’ because the flock gathered themselves as soon as she entered the field. Then it was a red bullet shooting across in a dead straight line to the ‘heel’ position which obviously changed as the rear sheep galloped away! Gradually, with the help of a collie, which distracted Flora occasionally and helped gain control, she realised that I wanted the sheep near me rather than 25 miles away as the crow flies!
Since those early days, Flora has become quite useful for fetching the sheep and bringing them to me. And the brakes are better, too, with addition of a ‘stop’ command we can also put them into a pen, so job done!
Once again we helped out on the Discover Dogs stand at Crufts 2019 on Thursday and Friday. It was extremely busy both days and lots of interested people to talk to. We were even interviewed by a group of French students who were doing a school project on Dog Breeders, their English was very good as my French is virtually non-existent but their list of questions was two pages long!
It was fun that we were on the stand with Flora and Trevor, mother and son, who are beautiful liver and tan Heelers. Many people were interested to see the two contrasting colours as our dogs are the usual Black and Tan, and often the photos do not do the liver colour justice.
Trevor, at just five months’ old, attracted an awful lot of attention 🙂
It is an exhausting day for both dogs and owners but we all love doing it since we are happy to talk Heelers all day long!
For the past year we have been looking after a fourth Heeler though unfortunately we shall have to say farewell to her this week; Dora’s Crufts Trophy for Lancashire Heeler Best Bitch will be returning to Crufts to be passed on to the next winner of the title.
Dora, Madincrowd Bathsheba JW, won the beautiful wooden trophy which was presented last year by Foxthyme in memory of Jackie Cartledge, who we all sadly miss, especially around the show ring which is an emptier place without her. So we wish everyone attending the best of luck and enjoy your day in the ring – we all take the best dog home whatever happens!
We won’t be showing this year but will be on the Discover Dogs stand as usual so do hope to see some of you at Crufts 🙂
We are thrilled to announce that Katy, aka Madincrowd Mercy Chant, is Our Dogs’ newspaper Lancashire Heeler Top Puppy 2018!
Lynn has done an amazing job of showing her and she is a stunning looking puppy (along with her siblings!). She also follows in her big sister Dora‘s footsteps who was Lancashire Heeler Clup Top Puppy 2014!
It was a blisteringly hot couple of days at the Hampshire Country Show on 6-7 May 2018 – quite the opposite to Thame a month ago!
Everyone was feeling the heat and we had taken our cool coats for the dogs which they wore all day long. Many people were asking why our dogs were wearing coats in the heat and were surprised when touching them how cool and refreshing they were – we were also asked if there was a human version as there was very little shade on the showground! Maybe there is a marketing opportunity here? We were allowed to pack up slightly early on Bank Holiday Monday due to the heat for the sake of all the animals on display.
We were joined by Dave and his family – Dave was the puppy dog from our December 2017 litter and is now living in Calne. He was a natural and enjoyed entertaining his adoring public!
Spot, Dora’s brother from our first litter, came with owner Sandra for both days to help out. He also managed to find the energy to enter Chase the Bunny Competition on the Monday where he was competing against all sizes of dogs (apart from greyhounds and lurchers) and he performed brilliantly to win through and become Chase the Bunny Champion! He will now come to Bowood Game Fair for the Chase the Bunny Grand Final later in the year – a great day for Heelers all round 🙂 and our grateful thanks to our helpers and their dogs.
By the end of Sunday we retired to the caravan exhausted, the dogs had done so well and kept going in the relentless heat – Bilbo, whose batteries never seem to run down, eventually caved in and flaked out covered by his comfort blanket:
Today we attended our first proper FAB Agility Show at the Turnpike Showground in Motcombe. Just took Dora for practice and to fathom out how an agility show works – quite a lot of waiting around for your turn but everyone is very friendly and helpful to “Newbies”! Our trainer Tracy Ryan was there competing and pointed us in the right direction although in the excitement of running the course I completely lost my way but Dora was amazing and did the correct route regardless – we didn’t do the weaves as we haven’t got the hang of doing 12 yet!
It was lovely to have the company of Jean and Jazz who at 10 years’ old had not forgotten what agility was all about! And thanks to Jack for taking the video of our first run.
How to get fitter for agility – Couch to 5k with your dog!
Dora and I have started a 9 week course of Couch to 5k with Poole Joggers. Well, I have joined Poole Joggers and Dora accompanies us on the two practice runs in between! It is a course especially designed for beginners – based on the NHS Couch to 5k plan – and is ideal for anyone looking to take up running, meet new friends and get active!
You can download the NHS App from the above link and do it yourself or, as we do, use the app to help you on the two runs you have to do during the week. Dora kept up really well and has the company of her friend Podrick, a standard poodle, who runs rings around her while the rest of us are struggling to keep up the pace at the moment! I am sure it will get easier in time 🙂
I decided I would like a portrait of Dora in pastel for my birthday/Christmas present last year to go with the portraits we have of our other dogs. I wanted an artist who could capture her look and after some research found a local Dorset artist, Mark Hankinson, who had done some amazing dog portraits.
So, here is the finished portrait which has just gone off to be framed – we think it has caught Dora’s look exactly as she often sits like this in the sunshine, watching the world go by, but with an eye out for mischief and ready to shoot off at the drop of a hat – after a pigeon, squirrel or postman!