Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Hunka Hunka Halloween!

 Memphis, Grayhart's Million Dollar Listing (Clay x Trixie) as Elvis
 Elvis and Elvis Jr.
I'm all shook up!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Savi, candid swim shot from the DelVal/GSWC Retrieving Ratings, taken by Michelle Ostrander.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mason's Specialty Major Win Photo

Mason, Grayhart's Daily Special, (Zeke x Trixie), going Winners Dog and Best of Winners for his 3rd 4-pt major at the Garden State Weimaraner Club's Independent Specialty Show under judge Charlene Trost.  Mason is always expertly handled by Pat O'Brien, owner/breeder of Zeke, Mason's sire.  Mason also went Best of Opposite in Sweeps at the Specialty, another terrific win.

DelVal/GSWC WCA Ratings Test - Part 2: Savi's NRD test

As I had reported earlier, Savi was entered in her first NRD (Novice Retrieving Dog) ratings test but didn't pass.  The WCA Retrieving Ratings have two parts, a land retrieve and then a water retrieve.  At the NRD level, all dogs are tested on the land first and the dogs must retrieve the dead bird from a specific distance, 20-40 yards for the NRD test, and bring the bird back to the handler, who must remain in a circle with a diameter of 6 six feet.  No food or training collars are allowed.  The dogs that pass the land retrieve move on to the water portion of the test.  Savi completed the land retrieve with flying colors so off to the lovely pond we go.

Savi is quite the little fish so I was not concerned about her swimming skills and typically, she'll retrieve anything from the water, especially her favorite accessory, a bird.  Well, my fault for not properly introducing her to ducks, which is what they used for the morning test.  Savi swam out the distance but then, wait she said, something isn't kosher here, I didn't order the duck...her pup-a-razzi caught some video of her in the act:

Basically, no bird, no pass.  We patiently watched the rest of the dogs take their turn, some were successful, some were not.  Then the morning test was over and it was time for lunch...never one to miss an opportunity, we grabbed one of the used ducks and a teased Savi with it...hmmm, she thought it was time to play and the duck was much more her style...into the water it went and Savi followed for the retrieve.  We did this a number of times, increasing the distance and success!  Maybe we didn't get the title, but she is still a winner and we have the tape to prove it:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trudy's major win photo

The official win photo for Trudy, Grayhart's Special Reserve, going Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for a 3-pt major at the Catonsville Kennel Club show.  She was handled to this terrific win by Pat O'Brien, owner/breeder of her sire, Zeke, CH OB's 38 Special. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

DelVal/GSWC WCA Shooting & Retrieving Ratings Test

Savi with her new title ribbon - Novice Shooting Dog (NSD) at 9 months of age!
 We had a perfect weather day for the combined Delaware Valley & Garden State Weimaraner Club's Shooting & Retrieving Ratings tests at Collier's Mills Wildlife Management Area in New Egypt, NJ.  The Ratings tests are Weimaraner Club of America hunting tests that have their own set of standards, similar but different than the AKC hunt tests, and at the lower levels, test a dogs natural ability in the field.  Since there are no AKC retrieving tests for Weimaraners, the WCA has its own retrieving ratings, as they are called, to test retrieving skills on both land and water.  All of the tests are judged against specific criteria that the dog must meet and done on a pass/fail basis.

We had a large entry for both the morning and afternoon tests and had to put people on a waiting list as we reached the maximum number of dogs that could be run in the available daylight.  We arrived first thing in morning, 6:45 a.m., since not only were we there to help run the test, but Jam was entered in the first brace at 7:30 a.m.  This is what it looked like when we arrived...dawn with the full moon watching over us.

There was much excitement in the air as each van or truck pulled up with Weims and their owners, club members and those entered or helping, looking forward to a fun day of running the dogs.  There was great camaraderie as everyone gathered to cheer each dog on and then we all enjoyed a terrific pot luck lunch. 

Jam and Savi were entered in the morning tests and I had the pleasure of judging the afternoon tests.  It was a wonderful experience to be in the field with fellow judge, Brian Hess, seeing all these Weims first hand.  There were many talented dogs and some that it was there first time in the field with novice handlers, both of which needed more training and exposure to birds.  Not only did we do our best to judge fairly, but also felt a great responsibility to make sure that the dogs and handlers were safe and also to make it a positive experience for all. 

Savi, nine months old, was entered in both the Novice Shooting Dog (NSD) and Novice Retrieving Dog (NRD) tests and we are pleased that she passed the NSD test to get her first WCA title.  She passed the land portion of the NRD but would not retrieve the duck from the water.  Her performance throughout both tests was impressive and I couldn't be prouder of her.  As for the water retrieve, more on that later...

Jam was entered in the Shooting Dog test and started out well, finding two birds and pointing them in the back course.  She showed boldness, independence and hunted with style. The conditions were difficult as the grass cover was very high and you couldn't see the dogs.  Unfortunately, she got too far ahead of me and took out the Chukkar the other dog was pointing, not a good thing, and retrieved it to me...back to the trainer we go!
 Savi, pointing a loose quail, as we waited at the start line for our NSD test.  She hunted well, had nice points and found a number of birds on course, even retrieved it to me.
 A very excited Savi, during the land portion of the retrieving ratings.  The handler must remain in the circle made out of hose and the dog has to bring the bird back in to the circle to the handler.
 Savi went out like a shot and brought the bird right back to me!
 One of our fellow club members commented that "Savi makes it look so easy!"
 Did someone say duck?  That was the bird they used for the water retrieves and unfortunately, Savi had never been exposed to ducks and even though she had a great swim out to it, refused to bring it back.  After the test, we had an opportunity to practice with the duck and within minutes, our little retrieving machine was bringing them back from the water as if she was an old pro at this....we'll have to wait until next year to get that NRD.
Savi - did someone see that quail?

And this is what the grounds looked like just as we were leaving...a beautiful sunset.  It was a very long day, from dawn to dusk, but well worth it.  Everyone chipped in to help make the event a success and our gunners, none of whom own Weims, actually English Setters, were amazing, not only in their shooting skills, but helped us run both the shooting and retrieving portions of the test. We couldn't have done it without them.

A special thanks to my friend, Kellyann, who took all these amazing pictures plus photographed all the dogs during the day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

DelVal/GSWC Ratings Test - Sneak Peak

Savi in the Novice Retrieving Dog test
A fun and successful day for many but utterly exhausting...stay tuned for all the news to be posted in tomorrow's blog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Super Saturday from Coast to Coast!

Trixie with her 1st place and new title ribbons.
Another busy and successful weekend for the Grayhart crew.  In the Northeast, we enjoyed a spectacular fall day at the Skyline Agility Club's trial at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights, NY.  Against peak fall foliage, both Jam and Trixie showed off their agility skill.  Trixie had a blazing fast, perfect run in Open Standard, earning her 1st place with a score of 100, and the 3rd qualifying leg needed to finish her Open Standard (OA) title.  Trixie was 25 seconds under the course time; she ran the course in 49 seconds!  All of Trixie's qualifying runs for this title were earned with placements at all-breed agility trials, 2-1st places and one 2nd place.
 Jam wasn't just another pretty face, she earned her second Novice Jumpers with Weaves leg going 2nd place in her class with a clean run.  Although she didn't qualify in her Novice Standard run, she was super fast running the course 20 seconds under course time.  Glad I invested in those North Face trail runners!
Jam with her 2nd place ribbon
Bravo in the Winner's Dog class, handled by Keith Pautz, 4th in line, as they line up in class order.
In California, at the Sacramento Valley Weimaraner Club Specialty show, Bravo, Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, went Best in Sweepstakes!  Then in the Specialty, under breeder judge, Cheryl Lent, Bravo won his 9-12 month class and went Reserve Winners Dog to the Specialty Major. This is the second reserve to a major Bravo has gotten during this show circuit weekend.
 And who popped over for a visit?  This is Clay, BIS CH Bzyfeet American Idol, who is Bravo's dad and sire of our Bravo litter.  Jay, Bravo's owner, was thrilled to be able to spend some close and personal time with him and raved about his wonderful temperament.  It was also nice for Clay's owner to see his son in the show ring, as the rest of the litter is located far away, on the East Coast or Alaska.

Sunday is a new day, with the Delaware Valley and Garden State Weimaraner Club ratings tests.  Jam, Savi and Mia are entered in the morning tests and I was honored to be asked to judge the afternoon tests.  Bravo has two more days of shows and has gotten the hang of being a show dog.  Hopefully, more exciting news to come...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jam's GSWC Specialty RWB Photo

From the Garden State Weimaraner Club Independent Specialty show on October 10th, here is the "official" professional picture of our beautiful girl, Jam, Grayhart's Purple Haze.  Jam won a large Open bitch class and then was awarded Reserve Winner's Bitch to the major.  Steve Lane of Hibourne Weimaraners and owner/breeder of her sire, Parker, CH Hibourne's It's All About Me, did a terrific job of handling her.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Agility Weims - 9 Lessons I've Learned

Check out my latest agility article on the JustWeimaraners website.  There are even pictures of Wotan, Zoe and Jam showing off their agility skills.

If you haven't visited this site, you are in for a pleasant is the everything Weimaraner site, with interesting, fun and educational articles on varied subjects:

Obedient girls

Savi and Jam at obedience class last week at Kathy Santo's Dog Training...practicing go to place, basically a send to the bed from a distance, and girls decided to share a bed, even if it was one of the smallest in the room. This shot was taken with my phone, not too shabby, I just had to brighten the color in Picassa since the lighting was poor.

Parker's Group Placement

Congratulations to Parker, CH Hibourne's It's All About Me, and owner/breeder/handler, Steve Lane for their Best of Breed win and then Sporting Group 3 placement at the Westbury Kennel Club show.  Handsome Parker is Jam's father and sire of Trixie's first litter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mason the Merck Mascot at the Philly AIDS Walk

The Philly Aids Walk was a lot of fun last Sunday!  Mason joined "Team Merck" with owners Jen and Matt on the 12K walk.  The weather was just perfect and of course, Mr. Mason, was a big hit!
 Team Merck

Sunday, October 17, 2010

AKC Breeder of Merit program welcomes Grayhart Weimaraners!

We received notification last week officially welcoming us into the AKC Breeder of Merit program. Breeders must apply to the program and meet specific requirements regarding their participation in AKC events and clubs, breeding practices including health testing, and titled get.
From the AKC site:
AKC's core breeders have the power to influence, guide, and teach future breeders, exhibitors, and all purebred dog owners.They are the true foundationof today's AKC.

The Breeder of Merit program honors breeders' hard work that continues to produce dogs that are healthy, capable, and beautiful; and which serve as the backbone of the sport.

We are honored to be one of the first Weimaraner breeders accepted into this new AKC program.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trudy wins her first Major!!!

Trudy & Pat at the GSWC Specialty
 We were so excited to get the news that Trudy, Grayhart's Special Reserve, (Zeke x Trixie), went Winner's Bitch and Best of Winner's for a 3-point major at the Catonsville Kennel Club show in West Friendship, MD.  She was handled by Pat O'Brien to this terrific win under judge Danny Seymour, who was extremely complimentary of Trudy.
Trudy on the move at the GSWC Specialty
Last Sunday, Trudy's littermate Mason, won the 4 pt major at the GSWC Specialty and Trudy, came in 2nd in the Open class right behind half-sister Jam.  I guess that show was her warm-up for her first major win.  Trudy now has 5 points, including one major, towards her AKC Championship title.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"A Legal Mind" & our Weims!

Gina Torres, Victor Garber, Jam & Trixie, on location
Trixie and daughter, Jam, put their acting hats on yesterday as they were hired to be in the pilot for a new show for USA Network called A Legal Mind.   They played the dogs owned by wealthy attorneys and got to frolick in the backyard for two of the scenes that featured two well known actors, both of whom I adored on Alias, Victor Garber and Gina Torres.

Victor Garber
Gina Torres
 Waiting between takes
 The breakfast scene, where Trixie decided to improvise and grab a cameo appearance by trying to steal a taste of the delectable food placed on the service cart. 
 Running ahead of their TV was important that the dogs ran from point A to point B at a specific time for the camera to frame the shot.
 Some down time between takes, the girls were terrific and hit their marks on cue!  The cast and crew loved them and we hope that the series will be picked up and the girls have a shot at a recurring role on the show.
At first glance, you may think that not much was involved for the girls to do this...that's how it should look, easy.  There is a lot training involved and the girls must stay off lead in a specific area with only hand signals as you cannot use voice commands during filming.  We needed to keep the girls moving and with lots of attitude with many distractions, including crew, equipment, squirrels and food.  Also, it is a long day, and important to make sure the dogs do not get stressed, overly excited and keep them safe.  We waited hours for the first scene and then had a two minute call to set.  All in a days work for my talented girls!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spectacular Sunday for Grayhart at GSWC Specialty & CA

 We had a fabulous day at the Garden State Weimaraner Club Independent Specialty Show held at North Branch Park in NJ.  Mason, Grayhart's Daily Special, (Zeke x Trixie), went Best of Opposite in Sweeps and then won his 3rd 4 point major today going Winner's Dog and Best of Winners! Special thanks and congratulations to Pat O'Brien, Zeke's breeder/owner, for doing an excellent job handling Mason to this prestigious win.
Mason on the move
Jam, posing for her official RWB photo
Jam, Grayhart's Purple Haze, JH,NSD,(Parker x Trixie), won the Open bitch class and then went Reserve Winner's Bitch to the major.  Steve Lane did a wonderful job showing her. This versatile girl earned her first Novice obedience leg the day before and made the seamless transition to show girl. 
 Trudy, Grayhart's Special Reserve, (Zeke x Trixie), shown by Pat, looked great, going 2nd place in her sweeps class and was 2nd in the Open bitch class right behind sister Jam.  Mia, Grayhart's American Woman, shown by her owner Michele, was also in the Open class and we enjoyed the family reunion.
 Daddy Parker, CH Hibourne's It's All About Me, received an award of Merit and Grand Champion Select.
Memphis on his down and back
 It was also a great opportunity to get the Clay x Trixie pups out for some training, and Memphis, Grayhart's Million Dollar Listing, above, really made me work for the ribbons.  He's a lovely puppy but has a very limited attention span at this age, we had fun but quite a challenge as he wouldn't stand still for a second.  Handling class here he comes!
 Savi, Grayhart's Shear Genius, above and below, is getting the hang of this show stuff and placed 3rd in Sweeps and 4th in her class.  She was a good girl but thought playing with the dogs outside the ring was more fun.
If the day in New Jersey wasn't exciting enough, we received a call from Jay, Bravo's owner in California.  Bravo, Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, (Clay x Trixie), had another winning day and not only went Winner's Dog and Best of Winners, but went Best of Breed from the puppy class over a special!  The major did not hold but he added another two points towards his championship, making that four so far.  A truly wonderful day for our Grayhart family and I'm so proud to be the breeder of these terrific dogs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Super Saturday - Jam's 1st Novice Obed leg & Bravo's Win

Jam with her qualifying rosette
A super Saturday from coast to coast: In New York, with Jam, Grayhart's Purple Haze,JH,NSD, (Parker x Trixie) earning her first Novice Obedience leg with a very respectable score of 189 out of 200!
Bravo on a weekend at the beach
And in California, with Bravo, Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, going Winner's Dog, Best of Winners and Best of Opposite over a special, for his first 2 points out of the 6-9 month class!  This was almost a major win but the major in bitches broke which happens but we are unbelievably proud of Bravo and handler Jennifer Underwood.  Bravo is also the first puppy of our Clay and Trixie litter to win conformation points.  This boy is on his way to his championship!  Congratulations to Bravo's owners, Jay Logan and Ron Goularte!