By Lyn Etches
Hopefully you have seen and read the sv newsletter and enjoyed reading the stories from new 1st time vallhund families. I was moved by the story of how Jocelyn Norres - Wiles welcomed the special puppy from Domna Dodds litter at such an important time in their lives. Sympathies on the loss of your sister during such a hard year, how special for her to have chosen your pups name Babz, Babushka and for you all to see how amazingly sensitive vallhunds are in the way even as a young puppy Babz instinctively knew what your sister needed, she will support you too xx
A piece sent to me from Britt Borlinghaus about her puppy headed “Ada the Mantrailer"
It all began last year in early puppyhood that Ada showed the signs of loving to sniff things out (and eat them ) - first ,the wild strawberries growing in the cracks on our patio, then the treats hidden around the garden .She was a real star and it was such a fun game to play throughout the summer months - and it was also something that wouldn’t put too much strain on her growing bones as a young pup .Wendy Amon , Ada's breeder ,had told us about how much her mum Saga enjoyed Mantrailing. I had no idea what that was and also I hadn’t realized that any dog breed can be a great "sniffer dog " not just specially chosen ones for the police and rescue services .It sounded like a fun thing to do together with Ada, so when the covid situation allowed, we signed up for an introductory session
The Mantrailing sessions, put on by K9Lifestyles Mantrailing UK, are held in different locations around East Anglia by Dawn Seago ; this 1 took place at the Aviation Museum in Flixton near Bungay .They normally take around three hours and 5 or 6 handlers with their dogs can take part.
We arrived shortly before 10 o’clock on a perfect bright day with a temperature of 10 degrees, ideal for leaving the dogs in the cars safely with the boot open, as we were the only people around that day .After introductions, Dawn gave us a short lecture on how the day would progress and explained the main points of the process; the background (police and rescue work)
what a misper (missing person) is and what they do, what the handler does, and what the main "persons" i.e. the dogs job is .Then she showed us how to handle the long line and explained why it is so important that the dog has a special harness that is used only for mantrailing and should only be put on just before they set off on a trail. It was a lot to take in and I was glad that Dawn then demonstrated how to put all this into practice with her Dachshund Storm, who is clearly very experienced .There were three huge young German Shepherds, a Miniature Dachshund and Ada .I was glad we weren’t first - another chance to observe and learn.
One person was shown the route by Dawn and then they put a bag with an item of clothing to sniff out for the trailing dog. The dog has to sniff around the person (misper) and the bag .The person then hides in arranged locations and the dog is sent off to trail them .A super special reward is given each time the dog finds the misper .All dogs work individually and wait in the car until it’s there time to trail.
Then it was our turn. Ada was very excited and I had already forgotten the order of doing things, so I was glad that Dawn talked us through it step by step. “Just follow her -let her do the job" Probably the most important sentence of the day.
Ada thought that sniffing around a patch of grass and scratching the ground was what she was supposed to do -no sign of trail happening - oh dear! So Dawn quickly grabbed the line and sent me ahead a few meters, and got her going, then passed the line back and we were off! From that point in there was no stopping her. She happily sniffed out the different mispers on all of our three goes, and it was such a joy to be following this little dog around containers and under huge old planes doing such a fab job! Dawn said she was following in her mums footsteps - I couldn’t have been more proud of her. And that’s exactly what was so enjoyable about mantrailing; the fact the THE DOG is doing it, not the handler. Unlike all the other training, where the handler asks the dog to do certain things and is in control all the time, mantrailing hands over to the dog.
We loved it and are booked in for our next session in May .from Ada and Britt.
Thank you Britt so that is two activities with vallhunds during lockdown, Mantrailing and last week’s Hoopers with Gemma and Ernie both activities to encourage your dogs to use their own brains without a command. I know there are several other owners taking part in Mantrailing especially during the limited activities of the past year and of course Zoe Fitherns Dash works as part of search and rescue in the South west, she is working 3 of hers in different styles of searching I’m hoping to get her to write a piece about hers but I know she is busy with her new litter so we may have to wait. There must be plenty of stories out there of activities you are doing.
Welcome onto the Swedish vallhund committee Kerry Diamond and Sophie - Marie Linney.
Sorry to read our secretary has lost Stan, Ch Peakdreams Kinder Scout at Thorjakker at 15 yrs. He was Sharon’s special boy leaving behind his offspring and grandpups. Sharon please feel free to write a tribute to him for the breed notes if you like, run free on rainbow bridge Stan.
For those on here planning on showing this year please don’t forget the Sv club are holding their open show alongside East of England on the 11th July e of e judge is Maggie Bryant and the Sv Open show judge is Jackie Tune. Later in the year on the 4th September the club will be holding back to back Championship shows 2020 and 2021 shows The 2 judges are Sandra Drinkwater and Karen Kennedy, both are Breed Specialists so would be fab to have a good turnout of entries and will also be a great chance for people interested in meeting our lovely breed and breeders too.
Couple of things to think about, don’t keep your mask in the same pocket as your dog treats as you may have horrible tasting bits of treats stuck on the mask, i.e. liver fish etc. Also watch your hand sanitizer doesn’t leak either with all the alcohol in there lol.
I must start with the great news release that’s been campaigned for by several Charities for many years the Bill to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty is to change from 6 months to 5 years and has been passed through Parliament .Hopefully this law will now send out a message that cruelty will not be tolerated at all.
It’s also more great news from the police especially those surrounding London area at rescuing so many stolen dogs. It’s appalling how high the numbers of dog thefts are all over the country with the highest numbers appearing to be Gundogs and Small pretties, with lots of puppies too .Please be aware of where you dog is especially on walks, I’m sure I don’t need to say never leave your dog outside shops on their own or with young children .This has no doubt come about with dogs fetching such high prices through the Greeders during lockdown charging ridiculous prices. Results now from that are older puppies starting to be handed into rescues as owners start realizing they haven’t allowed for returning to work.
A double warning for those walking or camping in the South planning on walking in our beautiful New Forest with acres and acres to walk thousands walk there every day you can walk for hours without seeing anyone , just a heads up there has been a few snake bites . The other thing is from May 10th for 8 weeks The Stallions will be out running and covering (mating) their mares and even if you’re sure your dogs are good with horses , please don’t let them near them as they will object to dogs wandering around their mares and foals as their job is to also protect them .The reason the stallions are only running with the mares for 2 months is to insure the foals are only born in the Spring and early Summer .Please also follow the rules of the forest of not feeding them either .
This next piece is from Gemma Perry.
Following from my 1st enjoyable experience of an intro to Hoopers with Spyda, approx. 2 years ago at SITP. (Spitz in the Park) hosted by Southern Finnish Lapphund club. Ernie and I attended our 1st face to face Hoopers lesson .I was excited and apprehensive at the same time, we had done some online learning but nothing is the same as face to face with a fully qualified trainer to guide you .We started by loading the hoops, this involves waiting for the dog to choose to go through before offering a reward, rather than luring them, as you may with other training. We then moved onto the barrels ,you don’t need a tight turn like in agility , but they must go round the outside of the barrel and not cut underneath .WE also practiced a ring of hoopers ,going in both directions .In time you add the directions commands too .One main difference I have found with Hoopers is that the dog is encouraged to think for themselves rather than constant commands and directions from us as in other activities .Obviously this lends well towards our amazingly versatile breed and their eagerness to learn which makes it fun to watch Ernie developed this new skill , we can’t wait for our next lesson . I always like each of my dogs to have their 1 to 1 with myself doing different activities just for them. Thanks Gemma.
One big thing that has come out through Lockdown is now how many of you have all been taking part in more activities especially now several doing Manwork, Trailing,Tracking, Search and rescue, flyball, agility. I see Lynn Pallatina has a new guy training Loki for agility they have clearly bonded as Loki is going fab and he has certainly cracked the very fast weave too. No -one will be bothered about returning to showing now, it certainly will be a lot different on the showgrounds. I know a couple have said as no benching there will be no bench tents of course and exhibitors can take small tents for yourselves, but only around outside area where benching tents would of been just Not at ringside, and a gap in between them.
Please send me any news or antics about your vallhunds; it doesn’t have to be long just as long as you want