My Golden Retrievers
My Border Collie
My Min Pin
I have spent over 24 years with Bouviers and have loved every minute. Bouviers were my introduction into the heart and mind of dogs. They were my first and best teachers - Barb Gordon
My first Bouvier was a dog we named Marley after Bob Marley. The previous owners had failed to groom him and at five month old he was in dread locks. He was a farm dog for his first four years, then a great rural companion to our current home, for his remaining eight years. I knew very little about the breed. All I knew is there was something about them that called to me, something that made me stand up and take notice.
Zappa came next. He was the first Bouvier I spent any amount of time obedience training for competition. Unfortunately he was dog aggressive and after several dog fights with his father, I placed him with a man who only wanted one dog. I learned later how to manage a pack of dogs but at the time did not posses the knowledge necessary to keep him. He was the perfect dog for this man, having had two years of formal training. It was very hard parting with a dog I had spent every day working with, but I knew it was best for all of us. He had a good long life being an only dog. His owner said he was the best dog he ever had.
Nadine came next.She was a very dominant, high energy dog. She taught me how to be a good pack leader. She taught me about the way of the pack and how to be consistent. She was the first dog I got an official obedience title with. She got the High In Trial Bouvier for the regional and national Canadian Clubs in 1990 in Edmonton Canada. Until then no one there had ever seen a Bouvier heel with attention. She lived fourteen years and was the hardest dog I ever had to say goodbye to. She had an AKC, ASCA, and CKC CDX. She also had a perfect 200 in Open at a sanctioned match.
Tess was Nadene's daughter. She was a very balanced dog and was more than happy to work for me. She was my first all breed High In Trial dog. She followed up with many more and was a Top Dog in Canada. She was a number 1 Novice and Open Bouvier in the US. She attended the Gaines Western Regional in both Novice and Open. We made it all the way to an AKC Utility title. At 11 years old she took first place at the Bouvier National 2000 in the Veteran obedience Class with a 199.5. She was some dog. She lived to be 12.
Bracken is three years old and is just getting ready to go into the ring.
She is Nadene all over again. I have a chance to do a better job. Hope Nadene is watching. From Nadene on down I have taught all my Bouviers agility. In the early years AKC did not have agility, so even though the dogs knew it well, I never competed. It was simply too difficult to get to the trials. Now there is one close by several times each year. Bracken will be my first agility Bouvier in competition.
Storm was a different dog for me. She was noise sensitive and a bit fearful. She taught me that being a good strong leader was just the security a shy dog needed. She taught me all about problem solving. We soared together to some very impressive all breed High In Trials. She retired with an AKC and CKC CDX. She lived to be 11. Cancer took both her and Tess, before their time.
Easy lived up to her name. Her very first Novice trial was a UKC event. She had a 199. She was my first Bouvier to get both an AKC and UKC Utility titles. She finished both with four tries each. All but one were first placements. She was the High In Trial Bouvier in Open with a 196.5 at the 2000 Bouvier National. I did a obedience brace with her and Tess and they had a 197.5 score. She was the first Bouvier I tried some formal herding with. She was great at it. I wasn't. She is now 11 and retired to romp around the place tracking down mice.
Ember. I have been known to call her the Wretched Golden, but it is always with fondness and love .- Barb Gordon
Ember, one of my Golden Retrievers. She was a gift from my first and only human teacher, Sandy Reeves. Sandy helped me learn how to be a good teacher and dog trainer. I think she is one of the best teachers out there, and her students are lucky to have her. I know she wanted the best for me and thought that having a Golden would put my talents to better use. It's not that she didn't like the Bouviers, she just thought that it took a lot to train them and that they would let me down more often than not. I cannot argue that they we have had our ups and downs but I have no complaints.
It was because of my experience with my Bouviers that I was so successful with Ember. She presented me with quite a few challenges, that had she been my one and only dog might have been daunting. One of the best things she taught me is that no dog comes trained. If you want to get to the top you have to work on it. Ember is my first OTCh dog. She is also an OTCh Canadian dog, and is working on her UKC UD. She is my first competitive agility dog and has her AX. I had done a bit of field training with her and she has her WC in Canada.
After Ember reached retirement age, I decided we needed another field dog in our lives. Many of my friends and trainers have Goldens. It is nice to go to trials and train together for similar goals.
When I went to pick out "The Pup", there she was offering me a rope toy, while the other pups ran off to play with each other. She wanted to be where the people were. I thought she showed a lot of "promise". She will retrieve and bring me just about anything from TV remotes to tweezers.
Just like all of my dogs, Promise will be doing obedience and agility. I am also training her to do field work.
I have gotten ribbed quite a bit by friends and fellow trainers about having a Border Collie. - Barb Gordon
I was at an agility trial when I saw my Border Collies father, Cowboy. He is owned by Sandy Reeves. I liked the look in his eye. We talked a bit and when the right litter came along I bought Focus.
Once again it is my experience that dogs are not born good, or born trained, and Focus is a constant reminder of that. She comes with her own challenges and I am enjoying facing them, learning about them, and dealing with them. Everyday is a new learning experience that I look forward to. It will be fun to see what comes of it all.
Unique - Little Dog Big Attitude
Unique is a Miniature Pincher. She is a game little dog and loves to retrieve a tennis ball she can barely get in her mouth. She’s very quick on her feet and “Come,” was the first command she learned, due to her ability to walk through the holes in the fences, and evade capture. She lives among my other large dogs and has no idea that she is smaller than the rest. We call her a “Mighty dog.”
We have always had small dogs in our lives, along with the big ones. We had a mixed breed dog named Flea and another named Flower. We have had two Japanese Chins, Skoshi and Magic. Magic was one of several rescue dogs that have come into our lives and made themselves right at home. When we lost Magic, we decided to get a Minature Pincher from a friend who breeds them.
My husband Jack was disabled after being shot in the head, robbed, and left for dead, while driving cab for Spokane Cab Company. He survived, but it was a long road to recovery. We felt a small companion would be good medicine for him, while he recovered. She has certainly been that and more. She goes everywhere him, but is found most often curled up in his arms. She is great therapy for him, and a very welcome addition to our pack.
I often say that Unique is the dog my husband owns and I train. She is learning competition obedience and agility when she’s not taking care of Jack.
Unique at work and play. Exercise and training are important to a dog’s all round health and education in a human world. And it’s a lot of fun.
We have a lot of fun with Unique and clothes, but we never forget that she is a dog and needs to be well behaved and obedient, just like any dog. She rides in a crate in the car for safety, is always on leash in public, and is excellent with children and dogs. Nothing says cute like a well behaved little dog.
Unique is an ambassador for what a great little companion dog a Min Pin can be.