The Hovawart Club of Great Britain

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Breed Notes - 18 November 2010
Well, do you want the good news or the bad news? Bad news first, Whistle failed to qualify at Leamington D T Club UD Working Trial on Saturday (13th). All went well until the sendaway, and she looked back at me as if she had never heard the word before. The good news was I actually got to talk to Tony Lockyer (famously winner of the KC Championship Trial in both 2009 and 2010) and he actually brought up the subject of the Hovawart he had been asked to train way back in the early eighties. That made me sit up as you can imagine, and we had a nice chat about the breed, and Bonzo (Kim Seehof), the black German male he handled and trained. The dog was brought into this country through the usual six months quarantine and Tony worked with him for a while, getting the dog up to CD standard. He told us that it was hard to motivate the dog after such a long period of isolation, and although the dog was fit and willing, he was never quite as good as a purpose trained puppy, started at a few weeks old. I think he was quite taken by the breed, but as the dog had sired a litter, it was suggested that his hips should be tested (better late than never) which proved to be his undoing. He had a really appalling score, and Tony returned him to his owner smartly, not wanting to cause the dog suffering from continual jumping training. I believe there were 6 puppies in that litter, but none were used for breeding. The owner (and his dog) emigrated to New Zealand, where I believe the dog lived to make old bones, happily. His hip score, though, is single-handedly responsible for at least one extra points on our breed average! It would have been too good to be true if I had actually shown Tony that our Whistle could qualify, but it wasn’t to be, and we left quickly and quietly, thus avoiding an inquest into our disappointing performance.

Discover Dogs was very busy and Lloyd and Maggie Spencer did a great job setting the stand up again this year. Lloyd had made several new things to explain about the breed and its origin and management etc. Several folk came and helped on the Saturday, Janet Pearce with Obi, Paula Foakes with Merlot, Nick and Helen Boisseau with Freya, and not forgetting Maggie’s Isa. Several folk commented on the fact that three entire males were there all together with not so much as a grumble. Thank you all so much. Sunday, Rememberance Day, and John and I took over with DJ, Orchid, Whistle, and Acorn. We were helped by Margaret Adams, Pam and Lucy Campbell with Levi, Bertrand and Sarah Louveaux with Jules, and Bryan and Hilary Waterlow with Harry. The icing on the cake was the presentation of a huge book on “All Breeds of Dog” by the organizers/sponsors Royal Canin awarded to the Hovawart stand as winners of the working group stand presentation. So Lloyd’s mobiles, photos, leaflets etc., had obviously had the desired effect. Brilliant effort Lloyd, and when you think about it, several of the large numbered breeds had made little effort on presentation of their stand I think we can feel justly proud of our achievement. Looking around, we did notice that the people manning the Newfoundland stand were all dressed the same, which was not only smart to look at, but clearly identified who the public should approach for information…..next year, or even at Crufts, I think the waistcoats will be out of mothballs. The two minute silence was observed at 11.00 and even the dogs went quiet, it was wonderful, and Big Ben’s chimes reverberated around Earls Court as if it were empty. Folk arriving by tube said that the trains had stopped for two minutes as well. Isn’t it amazing how we can sometimes get everything so right…..what a very moving demonstration of fellow feelings and respect. With Chelsea playing at home and the match starting at 4.30p.m., we were anxious about getting away from Earls’ Court, but our fears were unfounded as it turned out, because we were able to get everything down and packed quickly and easily, due to the photographs all coming down together (another plaudit to Lloyd).I think Chelsea’s defeat also meant the football crowd dispersed over a longer time than expected. A jolly tiring day, but well worth the effort we all felt, and all the dogs were “stars” as usual, putting up with non-stop stroking and petting as though they really enjoyed the attention!! A big thank you to all the supporters, and of course their dogs.

Elaine Betts
01544 318705
elaine@pineshovawarts.co.uk

This article was posted on: 10-Nov-10