Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Microchips and Scanners

How confusing are they? Two days ago I hadn't given them much thought. Today I was scrambling to find out what kind of chip Bullet was implanted with and what kind of scanner would read it.

You see, I've entered Bullet in a trial for his SchH 2 May 8th. My rule is to never let anyone know I'm trialing until AFTER the trial is over. I figure it will help keep the nerves at bay, not sure if that actually helps or not! That strategy was blown after a freakout panic about rule changes and now an urgent need for a chip scanner.

So why the need for a Microchip Scanner?

When you enter a Schutzhund trial a few things are required. A copy of the dog's registration papers, info on the sire & dam, your German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada (GSSCC) membership number and your dog's identifying mark. I guess a lot of people still tattoo their puppies, but Bullet only has a microchip.

On the day of the trial, as part of the temperament test, your dog's tattoo or chip # is looked at and matched to the paperwork to provide a positive ID.

Most clubs have a chip reader for trials, but just to be safe I wrote to confirm that this club DID have a chip scanner. Turns out they don't. It's a good thing I asked!

According to the GSSCC rules it is my responsibility to bring a reader with me. With the trial only two weeks away you can see why I've started my scramble now.

Thankfully Pando from the Saugeen Schutzhund Club has offered to lend me his, and in the meantime I'm going to place an order for one of my own. It's something I can lend out to friends in the future, and when Frontier Working Dog Club has a trial we will have one on hand if it's needed.

The judge has to verify in the trial documents that the tattoo check was conducted. If the tattoo mark is not clearly discernible, in all cases the identifiable marks are to be recorded. The tattoo number must agree with the pedigree/scorebook submitted by the handler. In the case of difficulties in the appearance of the tattoo (illegibility of the numbers for example), the trial paperwork is to include an appropriate remark. Owners of dogs that are micro-chipped are responsible for providing the necessary equipment for the identity check.The dog handler is responsible to identify his dog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lexus – Swimming sessions 2, 3 & 4

Session #2

With two toys in hand, Bullet, Lexus and I visited the lake again for our second swimming lesson. I didn't take any pictures this time as I wanted to focus on Lexus. Throwing long for Bullet gave me the opportunity to do just that. I got her pumped for her frisbee and aimed it very close to the shore. She had to step into the water to get it but she wanted the toy bad enough so this was no big deal. Gradually she was running in to chest depth no problem. Occasionally I'd throw a little too far and I needed Bullet's help to get me her frisbee, she wasn't ready to take her feet off the bottom yet.

Session #3

Same toys, same dogs, same swimming hole.

We started close to shore and gradually extended the distance as I saw Lexus becoming more comfortable in the water.



Bottom-heavy splashing, but she's swimming!

Yeehaw! It's not pretty, but she's getting there.

Time to go home.

Session #4

This time Lexus was solo. No Bullet. When we entered the park she kept looking around and behind us, I think she was wondering where he was. Once we reached the water she quickly forgot about him and the first thing she did, on her own, was jump in and start swimming. A very good sign. I threw her toy and voila! We have a swimming, retrieving Shepherd puppy!

She was leveling out her body, there was no splashing and she was becoming much more efficient right before my eyes.

Rescued stick.

Another rescued stick.

Along the way she lost track of her frisbee and discovered some sticks that needed rescuing instead. I was worried that I had lost a toy since Bullet wasn't there to save the day, but with some well-aimed rocks I was able to direct her to the toy which she happily brought back to shore with her.