Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My youngest dog this year is Try.
My Try
Try is part of my continuing obsession with the Don X Gin line.  Try's Father, Wendy Schmaltz's Ky, is another one from that cross.  As I have mentioned before, Ky is the same way bred as my Mikey, Louanne Twa's Gus (2013 Western Canadian Nursery Champion) and Scott's Alice- the 2013 USBCHA Nursery Champion.  Their mother, Gin was the 2010 All Around Stockdog and their father, Don is the 2013 USBCHA National Champion and a son of 3 time USBCHA National Champion, Star.
Wendy Schmaltz's Ky(behind) and son,Try in front, watch a trial
 Try's mother is a bitch named Gem who goes back to Dave Claypool's Calgary Stampede winner, Glen - a son of Norm Close's CV Joe, the 2005 Canadian Champion.  She also goes back to Lola Chaffin's Import, Queen and Jim Chaffin's Import, Roy, who passed his ears down to Try and, it's hoped, what's between them too.
Jim Chaffin's Imp. Roy, Try's great grandfather who gifted Try with his ear genes!- photo by Michelle Prescott Guderian
Scott and I have an agreement that since I don't sell any of the dogs that become mine, I have to wait until they are 2 years old before I pick them so we can be sure they are good workers.  It doesn't seem to be happening that way though.  My plan had been for us to get Try as a pup and then, if he turned out, keep him for myself when he was two.  Without any prompting, (I swear!) Scott gifted Try to me when he was just 8 weeks old.  Not long after, knowing that what a pup does on sheep at that age means nothing, I took Try to them to see what would happen.  He never hesitated and went right to work!
Try's first time on sheep at 3 months old
This Winter, I started Try's training.  He's immature in mind (off stock he's a dork!) and body and although he's a large dog, he's still very round and squishy like a pup.  Nonetheless, I've taken his training slowly and didn't put alot of pressure on him at the first.  I've been rewarded for that by his confidence really coming along and he's pushing back on me now.
Try working this Spring
I'm going to run him this year but I have needed to continuously remind myself that he doesn't need to be good enough to win yet.  He's only 18 months old and has another nursery year next year.  It is important that I take his first trialing year as easy on him as his first Winter training has been.  That means I will need to walk away from the post alot (sometimes RUN) and I am fully expecting to not finish a course for a while. My original plan was to only run him in the Eastern Pro-Novice classes (150yrd outrun, fetch, one short leg drive and pen) but there seems to be a lack of those classes this year so I am going to run him in Nursery but take it easy on him and just make sure he stops, open flanks and doesn't grip!  However, on the more difficult Bluegrass field, I will only be running him in Pro-Novice.  He won't be ready mentally to go to the Nursery finals this year in Colorado so it doesn't matter if he gets any legs in his trials.
Try has been alot of fun to train this year and I hope his season of "intro to trialing" will be just as fun so that he can be a competitive nursery dog next year.  He is a hesitant outrunner, but a nice open flanking dog with a good amount of forward (that can sometimes break into chasing on the fetch! bad dog) and a good driving dog. When he gives his sheep some space, he reads them very well- a trait I often see on the Don x Gin side of his lines and I believe when he is broke he will do a good job babysitting me in a trial. He seems to have gotten his gripping tendencies under control but they can crop back up if he is uncertain how to react in a new situation.  Keeping him calm and his flanks open and his stops controlled will be the plan for this year.
His first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres, on her flat field with broke katahdins, in the nursery class.  It should be the perfect place to introduce him to trialing - in 10 days!

Friday, April 11, 2014

CWS Mike

My Open Ranch (Pro Novice in the West) dog this year is 3 year old Mike.
CWS Mike
Mikey is a son of Scott's Don (2013 USBCHA National Champion) who is a son of three time USBCHA National Champion, Star. Mikey's greyhound like body type and speed are attributes clearly passed on from Grandmother Star, and not from his shorter legged father, Don.
Mikey's grandmother, Star at the Plumb Lucky Trial in MO
Mike's mother is Wendy Schmaltz's Gin (2010 All Around Stockdog), a granddaughter of Scott's Dan.  Mike is out of the first breeding of Don and Gin and his full sister from the second cross is Scott's Alice, who won the 2013 USBCHA Nursery Championships before she was two years old.  Other notable dogs in that same cross are Wendy's Kye, Louanne Twa's Gus and Jeanne Boudrieau's Flint who is being run by Scott in the nursery classes this year - and, of course, our 4 month old Anne is the last to be born of those two dogs.
Magic Mike working this Spring at Alta-Pete Farm
Mike is 4 months too old for this year's nurseries and missed his nursery year last year due to injury.  When he was one year old, Mike was running in a field while we were traveling, and hit a stake in the ground, rupturing his cruciate ligament (knee).  Because Scott had seen Mike work enough as a youngster, and x-rays showed his hips to be good, we thought it was worth the time and money to fix his knee.  Unfortunately, the first surgery didn't work because every time he was taken off the antibiotics, he developed a high fever.  It was determined that he was having an allergic reaction to the bands holding his knee together and a second surgery was done two months after the first.  This one worked and Mikey spent last Winter rehabilitating and couldn't get enough training in to run in a trial.  He was originally Scott's dog, but I did all his nursing and rehab. Scott was concerned that Mike might not hold up to his rigorous training schedule, but felt he was a good enough dog that he didn't want to let him go out of our kennel, so he gave him to me. (and very grateful I am!)  This past Summer, Mikey battled a groin injury - (common after this type of surgery) to further slow his training, but it seems to be under control right now.  He often rocks the weight off that leg when standing, especially when he is tired, but when he's working sheep, you wouldn't know he'd been injured and he's the fastest dog in our kennel.  How well he will hold up to the larger open courses will be determined next year.
My Mikey
 Mikey is a very talented dog who is way above my pay grade and I hope I can do him justice this year.  I'm a slower trainer than Scott so my new dogs will be going to their first trials very green broke but Mike is an honest and stylish dog with alot of talent and I'm sure we will improve as we get our trial experience.  Mike's first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres in 2 weeks in the Pro Novice (Open Ranch in the East) class.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Scott Johnson's Tap is Scott's next nursery dog
Scott Johnson's Tap
Tap was bred by Stewart Harvard of Alabama.  Although Stewart does not trial anymore, he breeds dogs that are currently competing successfully in  high levels in both sheep and cattle trials.  Tap's father, Rye and several other dogs in his pedigree go back to Stewart's dogs and Tap's Mother, Finn does too.  Finn is a full sister to Debbie Bailey's Huck and Camp who were sired by her Ben.  Tap is actually double bred back to Ben, who was a top producer,  and was a descendant of Dale Montgomery's Huck and Tim and Dodie Green's ABCA hall of fame bitch, Soot.
Debbie Bailey's Ben, grandfather and great-grandfather of Tap - photo by Christine Koval
Tap has a great birth date in July of 2012 which makes him aged just right for next year's nurseries too.  Scott will be running him through May and will be returning him to Scott Johnson after Dr. Ben's trial in North Carolina. 
Off stock Tap is an easy going, polite dog but on stock he is all about confidence.  He has the right amount of eye that makes him stylish and precise and alot of fun to work. He also has the honesty to gear down to a handler that is not quite ready for his forward. (I worked him to take pictures today and Scott better hold on tight to him so I don't steal him!)
Tap working this Spring
Tap's first trial will be in the Nursery class at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres Trial at the end of April.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Scott's next nursery dog is Scott Kelso's Joe.
Scott Kelso's Joe
Scott will be running Joe through May and he will return to Scott Kelso after Dr. Ben's trial in North Carolina.
Joe was bred by Bev Lambert and is out of her Awel (Nell).  Nell was imported from Wales and goes back twice to Aled Owen's first Roy (1999 ISDS Champion).  On the other side, Joe's lines are so strong to Western Canadian dogs that one would think he'd finally come home when he came to Alberta for training this Winter.  His father is Bev's Joe, who's mother is Dennis Gellings's Jan the 2009 Canadian Champion.
Dennis Gellings and Jan (Joe's grandmother) winning the 2009 Canadian Championships
Jan was bred by Pam Boring and is from Pink Mountain, BC (that's WAY up there). Joe also goes back to Norm Sommer's Gyp and JoAnne Zoerb's Mik.
JoAnne Zoerb's Mik at Meeker -photo by TK inc
Joe K. is only 16 months old so most of his classes will be in the Pro-Novice with a few Nursery classes thrown in on the easier fields.  The idea is to build his confidence this year so that when Scott Kelso has him back, he can be ready for next year's nursery classes.

Joe Kelso working sheep this Winter
Joe is a biddable and keen worker with a great stop and nice open flanks.  His first trial will be at the end of April at the Stirling Acres Trial in BC.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Scott's fourth nursery dog is Cy Peterson's Erin.
Cy Peterson's Erin
Erin is a bitch that Scott started and ran a little bit last year.  He got a leg on her in nursery at the Bluegrass trial and she ran a 89 out of 90 in the pro-novice.  During the Summer, Erin went home for Cy to work and was sent back this year for some polishing and to introduce her to turn backs and shedding.
Erin was bred by Cy and is out of her Emma.  Cy runs Emma in open and last year, at their first National Finals, they were in the top 50. She goes back to Debbie Bailey's Jose and Bill Berhow's  ABCA Hall Of Fame dogs, Nick and Jen.
Emma, Erin's mother - photo by Maureen Robinson
  Erin's father is Matt Cook's Gunner, out of Jennifer Ewers' Sweep and Jesse.  Sweep and his line are the dogs I saw when I was first introduced to trialing in California.  His steady parents, Wilda Bahr's Val and Mirk are who I studied on the trial field as I was learning.  Mirk was a son of Terry Parrish's Rhys and Val was a daughter of Tommy Wilson's Roy.  Jesse was a granddaughter of Ken Willard's Imp Ben (Alasdair MacRae's USBCHA National Champion).
Erin working this Winter at Alta-Pete Farm
Erin is both biddable and independent at the same time.  She understands her job and we are hoping she and Cy will make a perfect team when she goes home this Summer.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

CWS Flint

Scott's third nursery dog is Jeanne Boudrieau's Flint.
Jeanne Boudrieau's CWS Flint
Flint's breeding is one I am very familiar with because it is one of my favorites.  I wish we could take credit for it but actually it goes to Wendy Schmaltz, who's bitch, Gin is the mother. Gin's pedigree reads like a who's who of the old Alberta lines.  She is a daughter of Denis Nagel's Finn and Ian Zoerb's Gyp and  is granddaughter of Scott's Dan.  She also goes back to Scott's Old Sweep, Milton Scott's Sue and Jack Regier's Tweed.  Gin was 4th in the 2010 USBCHA National finals and was the 2010 All Around Stockdog - that was the only year the All Around was won by a dog who made the double lift in both the sheepdog finals and the cattledog finals.
Wendy Schmaltz's Gin - mother to Flint
Flint's father is Scott's Don who is a son of three time USBCHA National Champion, Star.  Don was the Canadian and US Nursery Champion, the Canadian Champion, and in 2013, the Bluegrass Champion and the USBCHA National Finals Champion.
2013 USBCHA National Finals Champion Don - the father of Flint
This cross of Gin and Don has been done three times.  The first litter produced Wendy's Ky and my Mike (who I will blog on later), the second cross produced Louanne Twa's Gus, Scott's Alice (2013 USBCHA Nursery Champion) and Jeanne's Flint.  The final cross gave us only one puppy, Anne, who is only 4 months old right now.
Don with some of his Gin pups, L-R - Don, Mike, Flint and Alice
Flint got his start a little later than his littermates but is making up for it now.  He's a little more pushy than the others and although he wants to be a teammate,(and is a big squishy-softy off sheep) he keeps you on your toes when he's working.
Flint working this Winter
Flint's first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres trial in BC at the end of April.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Heppner Results - 2014

Open 1 - 52 dogs
1. Patrick Shannahan and Andi 68
2. Shauna Gourley and Keli 67
3. Donna Eliason and Ben 66
4. Scott Glen and Bliss 63
5. Shauna Gourley and Spy 62
6. Don Helsley and Tag 59
7. Jeanie Helsley and Taite 59
8. Sue Wessels and Gyp 56
9. Vickie Close and Gale 55
10. Jeanne Boudrieau and Moses 55

Open 2 - 52 dogs
1. Francis Chi and Chime 76
2. Scott Glen and Bliss 76
3. Laura Vishoot and Doc 75
4. Patrick Shannahan and Andi 72
5. Scott Glen and Don 71
6. Lora Withnell and Bella 71
7. Patrick Shannahan and Vangie 69
8. Karen Stanley and Clare 69
9. Shauna Gourley and Keli 69
10. Lynn Jonhston and Jesse 67

Overall : Patrick Shannahan and Andi