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Dachtastic Obreedience Team – 3rd at Crufts 2017!

March 16, 2017

Sarah Bartlett wrote this for us:

Dachtastic Obreedience Team Makes it to the final of Crufts and gets a whopping 3rd!

Dachtastic is a small team of Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds and with their respective humans we all compete in a relatively new dog sport called Obreedience.

Obreedience 2 2017Obreedience 1 2017

Watch the video (from 3 minutes):

The following is taken from the KC website –

 ‘The purpose of Obreedience is to encourage more breeds to ‘have a go’ at some of the tests associated with competitive obedience but in a less formal competitive environment.

Obreedience is a team event and showcases the talents of each breed through a series of fun exercises and it is perfect for all ages and abilities.

It mixes the best aspects of obedience with the camaraderie found amongst breed enthusiasts, each Obreedience team must comprise of four handlers and four dogs of the same breed who take part in two rounds of competition including a round of heelwork performed together as a group and then four set exercises including a retrieve, a ‘send to bed’, commanding the dog to stop, and a scent exercise.’

We are also encouraged to have two reserve handlers and dogs, which take the total up to 6 per team.

After watching heats in 2015 and watching the final at Crufts in 2016 we managed to get a team together in the hope of qualifying for the finals at Crufts 2017.

Our team consists of myself as team captain handling my boy Moss  – Idirsholas Jazz’s Gift RL6. He has achieved Gold in the Good citizen dog scheme and was the first Dachshund to achieve his level 6 KC Rally Title. Moss has excelled in his ‘send to bed exercise.

Debbie Toby who has kindly and excellently handled one of my own dogs Ziggy – Future Legend of Idirsholas RL5. Ziggy is 11years of age, also has his GCDS Gold certificate and almost achieved his L6 title before retirement (just one qualification remaining). Ziggy did an excellent job with his ‘stop the dog’ exercise.

Wendy Schilling with Stanley – Idirsholas Rhythm of Jazz RL1. Wendy worked very hard with Stanley to train from scratch and then perfect the ‘scent’ exercise. This involves retrieving a familiar item amongst other items and presenting it to the handler in a formal manner, as would be expected in formal obedience. Stanley achieved his Rally Level 1 Title last year and isalso a GCDS Gold dog. Stanley is full litter brother to Moss. I could not be prouder as their breeder that they can excel in different dog sports, showing how versatile the Dachshund can be.

Joanne Stanley with Frankie (‘Frankiefurter’) – Silflay Wild Thyme RL1. Frankie also gained her Rally level 1 title last year with ease. Jo has competed in competitive obedience for many years with her German Shepherds, and also trained Frankie in the hope of Competing with her, but hasn’t yet. Frankie has a wonderfully trained formal retrieve with a dumbbell thanks to Jo (and Frankie’s fixation with Cheese!).

Reserves  –

Jane Sutherland with Florence (Flozzer) – Frankie’s Silver Frosted Florentine.  The youngest daughter of Frankie, a happy go lucky little silver dapple bitch who is owned, loved and trained by Jane. Jane has been a very committed member of the team despite not being called upon in any of the heats over the past year.

Pip (‘Pipperami’) owned by Jo, living with her mum Frankie, she was the only surviving pup out of Frankie’s first litter and is a lovely asset to the team. She enjoyed joining the team for the final parade at Crufts but like Jane and ‘Flozza’ hasn’t had the chance to truly shine in the ring…yet.

We had our first practice a month before our first heat last year and were very fortunate to have help from two experienced Competitors – Rachel Bradley (of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever team from the previous year) and Claire Price (Cavalier King Charles team who placed 4th at the finals at Crufts 2016). Rachel and Claire kindly shared their experience and wisdom and I believe really helped to set us on the path to success.

Looking back I think we averaged two one-hour practices in the run up to each heat and then weekly practices in the run up to Crufts.

Of the five heats we entered, we were delighted to place third at the first three of them! Qualification for the Crufts final is based on points gained at the heats, which are spread over the previous year. Heats are usually part of championship, rally or obedience shows, so its great for the dogs to gain experience of busy environments and crowds in readiness for Crufts. The higher the placing the more points gained (places and points from 1st to 10th)the ten highest scoring teams are invited to Crufts but no more than three teams from any breed group will be invited, and no more than one team per breed is selected for the final.

At the end of the final heat (which was at LKA) we were overjoyed to find that we were the top hound team, and 4th in the points table overall.  Despite this we didn’t get the final confirmation from the KC until mid January and then it was all go go go to get ready!

Other teams that made it to the final were Cairn Terriers, Jack Russels, Cavalier King Charles, German Shepards, Border Collies, Cirneco Del Etna, Giant Schnauzers, Pyrenean sheep dogs and Manchester Terriers.

Placings were 1-4, 1st GSDs, 2nd Jack Russells, 3rd Dachtastic & 4th Cairn terriers!

There was only ¼ of a point difference between us and the Jack Russells in 2nd place.

It was an absolute honour to be invited to show off how amazing the Dachshund is at Crufts and on hound and terrier day no less! We were all shocked and ecstatic to be placed so high and above some more common and considered ‘more trainable’ breeds.

My old Boy Ziggy retired at Crufts there and then at age 11, though I’m not sure he will approve of letting the others have such fun without him in future!

Our aim was to make it to Crufts and to show how you can train a Dachshund despite what the masses may think to the contrary! Getting placed so high was the cherry on the cake and I’m not sure any of us have come down from the ‘winning high’ yet!

The whole team would like to give a big thanks to all who came to cheer us on and support us on our big day! It was wonderful to have such cheers each time we entered the ring and it helped to calm our nerves as we all felt we were amongst friends! We had many supporters from the various Dachshund Facebook groups, we really appreciated it, and I feel that it made all the difference.

The plan is to compete again this year and although there will be some team member changes we plan to have just as much fun if not more showing off our wonderful breed!

Towards the end of last year we were delighted to see another Dachshund team form and compete – team Mini Mayhem (miniature smooths) that also plan to compete again this year. We wish them all the best, after all, the more Dachshunds out there competing (whatever the sport) the better!

If anyone is interested in competing in Obreedience there is a Facebook group ‘All things Obreedience’; we are all a friendly bunch and all the teams offer support for each other. It’s no easy feat getting so many like minded dogs and handlers together, often teams are from different corners of the country and only get to practice on the day of the heats. The buzz from competing and the camaraderie amongst teams make for a wonderful day out and a fabulous atmosphere.   All of the rules and regulations for the sport and the heat dates are on the Kennel Club website.

Sarah Bartlett KCAI CD R – Team Captain of Dachtastic Obreedience Team.

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Dachshund Registrations 2016

February 11, 2017

The latest KC Breed Records Supplement gives us the number of Dachshunds registered in 2016:

  • Smooth 285
  • Long 180
  • Wire 544
  • Mini Smooth 4576
  • Mini Long 899
  • Mini Wire 681

The inexorable rise in popularity of Mini Smooths saw a 33% increase in registrations over 2015. They are now the 11th most popular KC registered breed (up from 16th in 2015).

The charts below show the registration trends since 1999.

Over this period, in the Miniatures, the Mini Smooths have increased by about 400%. Mini Longs have declined by about 40% while the Mini Wires have remained roughly static (based on the linear trend line).

In the Standards, the Smooths and Longs have each declined in popularity by about 20% while the Wires have increased by about 50% (based on the linear trend line).

mini_registrations_99-2016std_registrations_99-2016

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2 new members join our Health Committee Pet Adviser team

February 4, 2017

In 2011, three people, Helga Klausgraber, Emma Newman and Gill Key were invited to join the DBC Health and Welfare sub-committee as Pet Advisers, with a remit that included helping to raise awareness of health and welfare within the pet community by supporting responsible buying and ownership, directing owners to the invaluable resources on the DBC website via social media, the internet and social events. The team also provide input from the pet owner perspective within the sub committee.

Since then, the breed has grown in popularity hugely, in no small part due to the high profile of dachshunds on TV and adverts, and at the same time, the Facebook community has expanded enormously. We now actively participate in the majority of the UK Facebook pet groups along with a number of U.S./multinational groups. Amongst the biggest UK groups are:

· Dachshunds Needing Homes (UK): 8402

· Miniature Dachshund UK : (6342)

· Dachshunds in the United Kingdom (5164)

· Dachshunds Anonymous (UK): ( 5038)

· Simply Sausage Dogs (3830)

· Happy Dachshunds (3445)

· Sausage Dog Walks South Wales UK (3346)

· Dachshunds UK (3285)

There are at least 20 groups with more than 400 members, including regional (e.g. Yorkshire Dachshund Group), variety or colour specific (e.g. Brindle Dachshunds) or with a specific purpose (e.g. Dachshunds for Sale UK – help and advice).

Helga has now emigrated to Australia, where she is doing sterling work on IVDD, and Emma has been increasingly busy with work commitments, meaning that the bulk of the work has been shouldered by Gill Key. For some time, we have been looking for two additional Pet Advisers to support the work, and we are now delighted to announce that two new members have accepted an invitation to join the subcommittee: Charlotte Baldwin and Aimée Thomas. Welcome Charlotte and Aimée, and thank you Helga and Emma for your invaluable contributions.

Charlotte Baldwin:

Although fairly new to the dachshund world, Charlotte has been invited to join due to her incredible organisational and fundraising skills, high social media profile and ongoing commitment to health.

Charlotte and her husband own two mini smooths, Barney and Rosie. A couple of of years ago, keen to socialise them with other dogs, they joined a local dog walking group. It soon became apparent that the excitement and mayhem of running with the big pack of dogs of massively varying sizes may have been putting them in danger.

After a few near misses, in late 2015 they set up a brand-new Facebook group: Sausage dog Walks South Wales UK and invited likeminded dachshund owners along for sociable, safe walks on some of the beautiful beaches in the area. However, it rapidly became so much more, taking all by surprise. Within weeks of announcing a Christmas walk at Porthcawl, over 500 dachshunds descended on Porthcawl for what may be the biggest dachshund walk ever in the UK. Since then the group has continued to grow and now has nearly 3500 members, and even attracted national and international press interest!

Sadly, it soon became apparent that many of the dachshunds were unable to join the walks as they were suffering with IVDD. In September 2016, Charlotte launched Dedicated to Dachshunds, with the aim of providing equipment (temporarily or permanently) and additional therapies for the dachshunds in need, whilst also raising IVDD awareness and the importance of getting an early diagnosis. Charlotte organised fundraising events alongside the walk, mobilising exceptional support from her group and beyond, with people donating their time, goods and donations to the cause.

In just 5 months over £7000 has been raised and D2D now qualifies for charity status. Some money has been passed to Dachshund Rescue and the rest is used to buy and loan out crates, strollers and other equipment as well as supporting complimentary treatment such as hydrotherapy to help wasted muscles and nerve regeneration.

Charlotte is passionate about health and welfare and is very keen to help with ongoing research initiatives and raising awareness of responsible buying and ownership. She is often referred to as the Dachshund Godmother by her Facebook group and hopes to continue to sprinkle this magic and hope across the UK and further, with the generous support and donations from the dachshund pet community.

Charlotte works for the Welsh Blood Service, collecting blood from donors across Wales and all her hobbies all revolve around dachshunds. She wouldn’t want it any other way.

Aimée Thomas

Since meeting a primary school teacher’s black and tan miniature long haired dachshund when she was 7, Aimee has been in love with dachshunds and set herself the goal of one day owning at least one of her own. She now has two miniature long haired dachshunds, a red called Poppy and a shaded cream puppy named Pumpkin, who joined the family at the start of 2017. She also has a 12 year old Black Labrador and a 5 year old Jack Russell terrier. Growing up, she always had the company of animals and her family owned dogs of various breeds including a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Flat Coated Retriever and Labrador, but none of these breeds never had as big of an effect on her than her dachshunds.

Aimee studied Animal Management and Welfare at Harper Adams University, including units on health, welfare, biology and physiology in the curriculum. Before that she had spent a year helping out on weekends at veterinary practices while at school. Since becoming a dachshund owner, she is now pursuing a career in canine behaviour, with the aim of setting up her own business.

For the last year, she has also one of the two main administrators on the Facebook group ‘Miniature Dachshund UK’, which is now the biggest dachshund group in the UK with over 7000 members, and growing by the day. She regularly responds to requests for information about dachshund health and welfare from other pet owners and has been complimented by members of the Dachshund Breed Council Health and Welfare Sub Committee for her sensible and articulate posts.

Aged 23, she is aware that her experience isn’t as extensive as the other members of the sub-committee, but has already found the information provided by the Dachshund Breed Council invaluable and every day she is learning more and more about this unique breed.

She is incredibly excited to now be part of the team.