Well, its not really all that much. But its been an adventure! I really never saw myself as someone who would ever be excited about putting letters at the end of a dogs name – but I’ve been bit by the herding bug and its a lot of fun!!
In early July (July 4th weekend, to be exact) we participated in our first herding trial as entrants. Oh the nerves! I havent been that anxious and nervous about dog events in a LONG time! Gable was entered in HT both days (the Herding Tested class – which requires the dog to have a controlled pause at the beginning, to change the sheeps direction twice – essentially, the easy way is to do figure 8’s, which is what we did – and to stop and recall at the end.) and unfortunately, the trial had the same judge both days, so while he qualified both days, only one leg counted towards his HT title (need two, under two judges, for the HT title)
So in August, we went to our second trial as participants. I think I was more anxious and nervous at this trial! Needless to say, Gable did AWESOME on Saturday, qualified on his HT run, and pending AKC approval can now add the letters HT at the end of his registered name. So now he will be Ch Allegro Grandiose Frankly My Dear, HT. On Sunday, I was brave and moved him up to the next level – Pre-Trial Tested, or PT. I said at the beginning of summer that HT was my goal and anything beyond that would be gravy…..and Gable said he liked gravy a lot, because he had an amazing PT run and qualified for his first PT leg! PT requires 2 legs under 2 judges, so he needs one more leg under another judge to finish his PT title. There is another trial in a few weeks, so we will see if the herding gods will smile on us one more time at least to finish that up. I couldnt be more proud of Gable. We’ve learned a lot this summer. Makes me wonder what else Mr Handsome might be capable of accomplishing!
Our Wicked litter is growing up quickly it seems.
Miss KJ (Yellow collar puppy – officially known as “Grandiose NABs A Wicked Stacked Deck”) is off on her grand adventures doing obedience and has even won Best Baby Puppy in Show at a UKC show a few months ago. So proud of her and look forward to hearing more awesome things from her in the future.
Miss Gizmo, who stayed here (was the pink collar puppy – officially known as “Grandiose Only Wicked After Midnight”) has been herding all summer and even found time to visit a few shows. She has 4 points towards her AKC championship as of this point, as well as a Puppy Group 4 and a Bred By Exhibitor Group 4. We are planning to enter her in the herding trials in the fall to try for her HT.
This spring has been an adventure – we starting taking herding classes with Gable and Gizmo. Gable herds sheep, while Gizmo much prefers the ducks!
Our goal is for both of them to earn their Herding Tested titles this summer/fall….trying not to aspire any higher than that for the moment – herding is a workout both mentally and physically!
I see posts all over the internet, all the time – “I’m looking for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi Puppy, how do I find one?”
Step One – realize that puppies are not sitting on shelves somewhere waiting to be dusted off and sent to their new home. These are living, breathing, emotion filled animals and breeding them (generally) takes planning and patience. Females generally come in season twice a year, and if bred, require 63 days gestation. Puppies, if the breeding takes, need to stay with the litter for 8 to 12 weeks before going to their new homes. Which means that if you are lucky enough to contact a breeder as soon as they breed a litter, it will still be about 4 to 5 months before you get to take a puppy home. Puppies are generally not available “the last week in may” or “the week of [insert obscure date that vacation time is already scheduled for]”. Trust me, breeders understand the desire to want to bring a puppy home when you have the most time for it, kids are off school, etc. and on and on. However, nature does not work that way. So being patient, and realizing that the only time you may actually get a puppy is a week or two before the kids go back to school, will get you a lot further than contacting every breeder you can find with a finite date you must have a puppy by.
Step Two – Communication is key. And this goes both ways. Shooting off half a million emails to every breeder you can find saying “I want a Cardigan Puppy. When will you have one ready and how much” or something along those lines is not going to make you very popular, and not going to get you many responses. Its generally suggested that you write up a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do in life (are you active? Couch potatoes? Going a million different directions taking kids to activities every day? Be honest here.) and what you expect from a dog. DONT say you want a “show dog” if you have no intention or interest in showing. It will only be frustrating and break everyones hearts down the road. The only real difference between a “show puppy” and a “pet puppy” from most breeders is a spot of color in a different spot or small minuscule differences that the average person would NEVER notice in a million years. Also please dont say you go hiking every weekend and are super active when in reality, your favorite thing to do on the weekends is chill on the couch and marathon netflix. Breeders try hard to match puppy personalities with family personalities, and if you say you are a super active family, we are going to send you a puppy that can keep up. If you say you are super active and your idea of a marathon is spending the weekend watching every episode of “House” or “Scandal” or whatever other season is the flavor of the moment, the puppy you will get sent will drive you insane. So be honest. And do not lead breeders on – if you are on waiting lists from John and Suzie and Margie, say so. Because if you lead all of them on saying you are still interested in a puppy and when it comes time to send the puppy to you and suddenly you already have a puppy from a different breeder, suddenly bad things get said, because John thought you were the perfect one for his little boy puppy and Suzie was ready to go to the airport tomorrow with the puppy for you, and all the while you’ve been telling Margie you really like the little girl from her litter, but got a puppy yesterday from Julie. Breeders talk. The reputable breeder community in most breeds is pretty small, and while we may not always agree on things, we do agree that it is incredibly rude to be on multiple breeders waiting lists and not be honest and up front about it. If we cant get you a puppy, we will put you in touch with breeders who can. There is no need to be on multiple breeders lists. We understand Cardigans can be hard to find, trust us, we’ve all been there before!
Step Three – Know where to look. A great place to start your search for a Cardigan is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America Breeders Directory. (Which can be found here: http://cardigancorgis.com/BreederDirectory.asp) Any member of the CWCCA who has been a member in good standing for 3 years and would like to be included is listed. While not every Cardigan breeder is a CWCCA member, and not every Cardigan breeder has been a member long enough to be listed, it is a great place to start, and if you contact the breeders in your area and they dont have any puppies planned or available, they can often refer you to other breeders who do have puppies planned or available.
Once you’ve identified some breeders in your area (or surrounding states, etc) send them an email, or pick up the phone and call (and leave a message if you dont get through) and tell them a little about yourself, what you are looking for, etc. Doesnt have to be long, but please please please be longer than “I’m looking for a Cardigan puppy. How much?” Please note that many reputable breeders are put off by people who ask “how much” in the first communication. It tends to be translated into a sign that money is more important than the quality of the dog, and if you care that much about the price, what will happen if the dog gets sick or hurt or needs surgery? So while we understand its something you need to know, let us get to know you a bit first before asking that question.
Thats all for today, and should get you started on the right track to finding a Cardigan puppy and communicating with breeders…