Monday 31 January 2011

Walks in the Forest

Today we met the herd of Woolly cows, I have to admit as cows go, these are cute and the calves are just beautiful, this one was watching Bepop who is just out of shot.

Nice day today, so the forest was busy, we met so many other dogs. We walked 5 dogs, Bepop,Bobby, Molly the border collie,Fudge the lab, and little Fudge a border terrier x. Luckily all 5 dogs are very sociable. 
Betsy was having a rest day as she ran 10 miles with Julian yesterday, and Jazz my poodle is not 100% at the moment.
I never want to own too many dogs, 4 is quite enough at one time. If I had land I may feel differently, but making sure that my 4 go out and have free running is vital for their health and well being. 

The deer are still loitering.

Hip Score results

Fantastic news, Novaforesta Diamond Black has been scored at 3/2 making a total of 5, European grading A.

All the pups so far that have been hipscored from Betsy and Bepop have all come in with low scores. A very promising start for the breed in the UK

To see a list go to:

Sunday 30 January 2011

Rare breeds and working

On Friday I was invited to take part on a new shoot for their 'beaters day', this is so good for Bepop and I as its new ground, new people and new dogs. To me it felt like the first day at a new job, but once again everyone was extremely welcoming and made us both feel at home. Bepop knows its going be a good day as soon as she sees my working trousers and my beating stick.Since the Shooting times article, I have realised that working folk are sympathetic to the difficulties of working a rare breed, they are interested to see how a different dog works. Bepop was good on Friday, she did turn deaf a couple of times, but she worked well flushing. My downfall is I issue too many commands, so I know we have a long way to go together.I am also lucky that I have the chance to see Remy (Novaforesta Drew) at work, he is a fine flushing dog, and not forgetting DiDi (Novaforesta Diamond Black) who have been present on other shoots. At least this year at the game fairs we attend, I will have a greater understanding of the shooting world in the UK, and more importantly how the barbet can fit into that world.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Dogs and Treadmills

Another New Year Resolution was to get fit, so when the opportunity to buy a canine/human treadmill came about, how could I resist. The good news is that its being used by all 6 humans and all 4 dogs, and the only injuries have been the human dismounts. Betsy featured above is coming round to the idea it might be fun, she hates anything new. I don't consider it a substitute for a walk, although it will come in handy when the girls are in season, and for Bobby who is never tired, he loves it, in fact we cannot keep him off it. At the moment its in my kitchen, so a redesign of our house is on the cards!   

Dogs on the trailer (wagon)

On the shoot I attend with Graham and Remy I notice that both Bepop and Remy ofton lie down in the wagon between drives. The barbet is not a small dog, and neither of them seem perturbed that tails are trodden on, and people and dogs step over them. The dogs on the wagon have little space, the labs seem content to rest their chins on the nearest thigh, others balance, some sit. There is never room for a dog to assume terriotory.
The fantastic day out with Mark ( gundog training under weblinks) was a very different day for Bepop, luckily she has the charactor and temperment of a working dog, she has to face new situations and react accordingly.An unbalanced dog would not cope.
Its hard to see, but yes Bepop is in the photo below, and thats where she rested whilst we had lunch.
My confidence in Bepop grows the more I do with her, although I am still keeping everything crossed she behaves well tomorrow on the shoot!

Shoots and barbets

Sadly no photos from yesterdays shoot, but as normal a good day out. Remy (Novaforesta Drew) was congratulated by one of the guns for a good retrieve on a pricked bird, not quite the norm for Remy as he is a valid member of the beating team, but nice to know it was appreciated. Bepop was a rather lively lass yesterday, which is a bit of a worry as we have a new shoot to attend tomorrow, I think a word in her ear is needed.
Bepop,DiDi and Remy (L-R)
The photo above is a picture I am proud of, three barbets on a shoot taken about a month ago.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Dogs,horses,cows and deer

Cold but dry a walk in the forest with Bepop and Bobby, we were with a lab and terrier but they were out of shot. I walk in the New Forest, and the dogs on just this walk have to share the open forest with livestock as seen in the photos below. All my dogs are careful with cattle, horses and pigs, mutual respect is how it works best.

Hard to see the deer above, and as you can see they are not disburbed by us!!.
When we meet the pigs, I hope I have my just the horses,deer and the rather ugly white cows. 

Monday 24 January 2011

Novaforesta Demsey and Haircuts

8 weeks old
I am lucky as Novaforesta Demsey aka Mr Bentley lives near me, he was an adorable pup and has turned into the perfect pet for the family he lives with. Mr Bentley is shaved about every 6 months, and all I leave are his eyebrows and a bit of hair on his muzzle. For forest life its the best thing, ticks in the summer are a nuisance and can be clearly seen on a 'nude' barbet,and no concerns about overheating in the summer. In the winter his coat has grown and he spends much of his time lying in the garden regardless of the cold.

Bentley with three months hair growth.

He is a very docile male, and is one of the first litter born in the UK from Betsy so is just coming up to 3 years old. I borrowed Bentley for our TAN (basic working test) day, he had never had the opportunity to swim before as the forest where he walks has streams rather than lakes. He passed everything easily except the retrieve, he swam without thought and without ripples, but ignored the dummy so sadly he was a fail on the day. His owners were thrilled that he could swim, and not surprised about retrieving as Bentleys life is more about kids chasing after him with items of clothing in his mouth taken off the radiator!!!!!
Mr Bentley is about 59 in height and weighs about 30-32kg, he is a powerful dog but very gentle.
Mr Bentley with his summer trim, still wet from his bath, his eyebrows still needing a little tidying but I am sure you get an understanding of the trim.
I know I am lucky, to see Mr Bentley as ofton as I do, and to still be part of his life.   

Sunday 23 January 2011

Haircuts and Bobby my rescue dog


NO, its not one of  my barbets but Bobby my rescue crossbreed last summer
sporting a revised terrier trim. As we are not quite sure what is in Bobby, its an open book for trimming. The outcome was it was too severe and didn't suit his charactor so since then he has been puppy trimmed. When I have shaved barbets, the heads are always the hardest if the owner wants them left longer as the dogs look out of proportion. I have tried the 'terrier look' but with curls and the rounder heads of barbets it looks half finished.
I will find photos of one of my pups shaved to show the difference.


Saturday 22 January 2011

Understanding an HPR

This gives a brilliant explanation to the gundog breeds known as HPR (hunt,point and retrieve)

HPR what does it mean

Where does the barbet fit in, there is no doubt as owners in this Country will tell you it can hunt (without training), I have witnessed a son of Bepop pointing and several owners again have told me that their barbets do point so its not beyond the breeds capabilities to strengthed this feature. As for retrieving, well, 11 barbets in the Uk have passed their basic aptitude test for the breed called the TAN which included retrieving in water, so that one is easy to include.
I have just read a book all about training a young pointer to point, so much work goes into training even with dogs that have natural ability, although it seems that alot is about your relationship with the dog and how you work as a team.

Hunting with minor breeds

This is worth a read if you are considering getting a breed that is rare in the field

Hunting with the 'off brands'

The American Water Spaniel is another breed of dog that is very low in numbers

Friday 21 January 2011

Butter wouldn't melt?

Life would not be the same without 'Bobby', its a name in our household that is repeated more than any of the other dogs, he is always up to something.
Today I cleared a space on the table to do paperwork. I do have to say that a dog on my table is not normal, but he didn't seem to think it was not acceptable.
Bobby was mis-sold as a barbet, but he is rather small and only weighs 14kg, so its very unlikely.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Novaforesta Diamond Black

Yet another photo but I have been lucky enough to have had the pleasure of this dog staying with me for several weeks. She came to the shoot twice and the photo above is the result. She is about 57 in height and weighs 22kg, when you see the size of the bird it does make you realise what strengths a working dog needs in the UK. She is also trained to find truffles, which in this country means she has to sit or lie down and indicate where a truffle may be, certainly not retrieve it. Interesting to me as working on a shoot is a totally different job and yet she just seemed to know what to do. She has also achieved her TAN in the UK with ease, and also achieved her silver Kennel Club Good Citizens award. She has a lovely curly coat, very black and quite harsh in texture.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Beautiful Eyes

Its a crime to hide that wonderful expression, and she is still a barbet. Hard to believe its the same dog as the photo yesterday. Novaforesta Diamond Black.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Another Barbet girl

Diamond Black, aged 2 years and 2 months.
Today I have groomed her, after this photo I trimmed her eyes so she can see the world again.
More to follow as she has been busy recently,so lots to tell. 

Monday 17 January 2011

Eton and grooming

Eton is only 14 months,
Eton as a pup.
He was the largest pup,weighing in at 530g when born, in fact he is the pup that fails to climb up on the bed in the youtube video, when you were as large as he was everything was too much effort, he liked food and sleep! He now is about 59/60 in height and weighs about 23kg, and is Mr Lively, loves everyone, tail never stops wagging and just makes you smile. However Eton has proved his calmness by passing his TAN in the UK, he currently attends gundog training and will shortly be taking his grade 1 gundog test, he also achieved his silver KC good citizen award and believe he is working towards his gold. Eton has a clear eye certificate too. All in All, a good allrounder.

barbet visitor

Lovely surprise on Saturday to catch up with the owners of one of the pups from Betsys' first litter.Dylan has grown into a much calmer adult male dog, not with the easiest of coats to manage but he has kept a lovely brown colour. Dylan is an amazing swimmer, loves the sea and has stamina beyond normality!, a very keen waterdog. Dylan yells beyond belief as he gets near our house, dogs never forget some things, with such a doggy house and his keen nose, he loves being here. Dylan has not taken the TAN in the UK, as you can see by the photo he is a beauty in the water but due to an incident with fireworks he has become noise sensitive, a terrible shame as its hard work for his owners, fireworks are so readily available. Once a dog has become noise sensitive they ofton over react to all noises that are sudden. There will be more news on Dylan as I hope to groom him soon.
Dylan is about 55 in height and weighs about 21kg, his owners say he can  swim a mile in open sea, and still not be tired, that takes real stamina.

Friday 14 January 2011

Barbets in 1853

A nice reference to show we had barbets in the UK many years ago, this variety was ' The English Water Spaniel now extinct'  always good to find an English author, 1853 a long time ago. 
A fine variety of the Barbet group is the English Water- Spaniel, popularly so called. The fur of this dog is short, curly, and usually of a deep brown colour, and his general aspect is mild and graceful. He is docile and sagacious, valued by the sportsman as a retriever, and capable of receiving any kind of instruction. The race has now become rare. It was probably produced by a mixture of the blood of the Barbet with that of the Old English Setter.

Meet the gang

From left to right: Betsy,Bobby,Bepop and Jazz.
Its always a good day for me when my dogs have all been out, its rare that all 4 go out together as Betsy, Bobby and Bepop will happily scent for deer and although individually I can stop them, as a pack I don't take the risk, if I were distracted for a second I am sure they would take advantage. Its better to avoid a situation than suffer the consequence. I am lucky that my husband takes two or three out running, he usually covers 5-8 miles which the dogs handle very easily, even my old poodle at nearly 11 years.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Bepop has fame at last, she is in the Shooting Times.

This weeks shooting times magazine (dated 12th January) has an article by David Tomlinson about 'Beating with a Barbet'

I love this photo

Tuesday 11 January 2011

To be Shaved!

Jazz had a short back and sides at the weekend, its not a tradional poodle trim and in all his 11 years he has never had his feet shaved (why would you!) I have only ever shaved his hair on his head once, boy are poodles ugly nude, they may have an elegant gait, but the trims on them do disguise the small heads and long legs, the good news is that his lumps and bumps remain the same size, shaving an older dog is like an MOT for them. Betsy had a bath and groom, so thats her sorted for the next 4-6 weeks. My aim is normally to get one dog clean and tidy a week, ears , nails and a good groom out, that way with 5 dogs at present, its a bit like a rota. Bepop is short at the moment, trimmed like a spaniel as she is sometimes out on a shoot, some call her the 'hearth rug' but on a positive note she has never yet suffered an injury, dogs are ofton scratched or get caught on barbed wire or even tough old brambles. I have not ever shaved my barbets nude, some people do and there is a mixed opinion whether it is right or wrong. A Barbet is a dog, so those who think it wrong must be anti any shaving of dogs, those who think its right or ok are on my wavelength, does it really matter! its up to the owner of the dog what they prefer. I do hold the breeders responsible for making pet owners feel like failures however, poor quality coats on dogs are usually the ones that end up as pets and yet still the owners are told that the dog should be groomed in the manner expected in a show ring.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Bepop and Betsy broke my New Years resolution

2011 and I decided I needed some normality to my life, less cleaning, more fun, so first rule, no dogs on chairs. Both dogs feigned sleep, followed by chronic deafness. Am I bothered? No not really, when I get my new chairs I will enforce my rule. Today I shall groom, with 5 hairy dogs its quite a chore to keep them all matt free, so  my old poodle Jazz can have his first 2011 make over.