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My husband and I live in Western Washington with our children. Our recent activities have lead us to several years in 4-H with our middle son and most recently with our youngest son and daughter showing dogs in 4-H. I have fallen in love with the sport and participate right along with my children as well. I am now a co-leader in 4-H along with dabbling in AKC showing.
We started out with Tex (our male Border Collie) for my son but soon followed with our 2 girls. As our younger children became involved we turned more to Shelties and there is where our passion has landed. Today we have 7 Shelties, Twizzler, Twinkie, Rolo, Jujube, Tootsie Pop, Cadbury and Goobers. Cadbury and Goobers is handled by our 15 year old son. Within 4-H he has qualified to go to State Fair the past 3 years consecutively with his old timer Sabrina that passed away on May 24, 2019. He has placed 3rd over all in the state one year and 4th over all in the state the following in Showmanship. In Agility one year he took Grand Champion with Sabrina at State Fair in Jumpers Agility. I was able to show her and attained her Novice and Advanced Rally Titles and her first 2 legs of her Novice Obedience Title. Rolo’s turn in the ring for Rally is fast approaching as well, however he is primarily handled by our 12 year old daughter in 4-H. Suede was added to the menagerie as we look forward to developing a beautiful line of dogs for our breeding program. We decided to keep a puppy from our first Sheltie litter and now Twizzler is handled and trained by our son Gabriel. Twinkie came to us from my friend’s performance dog and Suede is her father as well. I also have a pup of my own (since I keep giving them to the kiddos) and finally, once again own a Tri-color named Jujube. Jujube is very fond of her tricks training classes and doing remarkably well despite her young age. She too is destined for the Rally Ring.
A few years ago our teenage son built several pieces of Agility equipment that he entered into our local fairs. He won some premium money which was nice but we sure enjoy having the equipment right in our front yard to “play on” whenever we wish.
Care of our Dogs:
We feed a high grade of dog food which after much research and label reading, I feel confident meets their nutritional needs well. For treats we use a variety of goodies from string cheese and Natural Balance (in the tube) to hot dogs and chicken hearts etc. To our females diet we add a salmon based grain free food while they are pregnant or nursing for the added protein and other nutrients. Our dogs also receive a fish oil supplement to help keep their coats in top condition.
For pest control we use Advantage II and worm on a regular schedule as well as keeping vaccines current.
All pups will have dew claws removed, be wormed on a regular schedule and will have their first shot (given between 7 & 8 weeks of age) before they leave. A vet will check them out at about 5-6 weeks as well to make sure they are all healthy little critters. In addition, I pay the AKC registration for you! Crate training I try begin at around the age of 5 weeks. I place a crate into their whelping area for them to sleep in with siblings so that they are well exposed. They also ride in the crate when they make that trip to the vet for a well check up. This minimizes the stress of new experiences when they go to their new homes. Also, I encourage my new owners to bring a towel with them when they pick up their puppy. By rubbing the towel on the Mom, they take her scent home to comfort the puppy for the first few days.