Monday, 21 September 2009

Darlington & Acremead...another long haul weekend

Last busy weekend of the year with a 520mile road trip to take in Darlington Champ Show, being held at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire on Saturday followed by flyball at Abingdon in Oxfordshire on Sunday (despite there being a flyball tournament on in Darlington too!! lol)

Dogs were bathed on Friday night in between watching ‘Strictly’ and catching up on my e-mails/facebook etc. This was the scene underneath my desk...

the two lone feet are Ethans' since he was right in front of my chair and under my legs then my old WSD Spud (aka Nanny Spud lol) with Travis draped over him and little Wes curled up on his feet. Wesley is our newest addition who arrived from Scotland earlier this week. He is from the same breeder as Squirrel, my friend Paul Fitzsimmons (Glendream), and they are actually cousins.

Eventually we got everything packed and prepared for the weekend but it ended up being a rather late one to bed (for a change!) followed by a fairly early start, although I didn’t have anyone in the ring ‘til Limit dog and judging wasn’t starting ‘til 9.30am I wanted to get there in good time so I could have Spark out around the rings and get him settled before his class, so we didn’t have a repeat of last weeks’ performance! We arrived just before 10am and got set up and sorted. It was another hot day so I got Spark prepped and then walked him round the rings and sat in the shade by the James Wellbeloved stand and watched the judging. He’s still dropping coat so a lot had come out after bathing and more again on grooming in the morning, I do think Spark is one of those dogs that often looks better for losing a bit of coat (like his dad) and was happy with how he ‘scrubbed up’. The judge was from Denmark and this was his first UK appointment so I wasn’t sure what he’d do, I do wonder how these foreign judges cope with the big entries here though, they’re around 5 times bigger than the biggest entries on the continent so that’s a lot more dogs to assess!
Limit dog was the largest class of the day with 18 entries and some nice dogs in there so I wasn’t sure how we were going to get on but Spark redeemed himself and I was really pleased with the way he went. No repeat of last weeks’ giddy shenanigans (good boy) and he didn’t even seem to mind being picked up by his tail while being gone over (!! See the video). I was really pleased when he was pulled out for the shortlist and more so when he placed 3rd, he’s really starting to mature and look the part now and I’m happy that he’s holding his own in these large strong classes, I think it’ll be another year before he’s really at his best though, we’ll see.

Mouse, well…what can I say…she is one very ‘foody’ little dog and had not forgotten about last weeks’ tasty delights from the boxer ring, the result being that she just wanted to move round the ring with her nose glued to the floor the whole time…arghhhhh!!! It’s very frustrating because when she did get her head up and move properly she actually moved really well. She got binned anyway.

Dottie was in Limit bitch again so wasn’t in ‘til late afternoon, this was a relatively big class but she went really well, received a lot of nice comments ringside but got binned, just not flashy enough for this judge I don’t think…hmph…just look at the way she moved in the vid this dog :)

We left the show around 4.30pm and headed straight down to stay with Joy and Becca (again!), we had another lovely meal and evening with them (thanks guys) but were very sensibly all in bed for midmight! Joy and Becca left for Trent Park agility early doors and we left later to drive the 30 mins or so down to the flyball at Acremead kennels. We had a lovely day at the Mad Mutts show, it was so small and friendly and relaxed. There was only me and Drew running a team that consisted entirely of my own dogs, having 7 competing at the moment I had to draw straws and decide who to run and we ended up with Mac, Faith, Lexie and Teal and stuck to those four. My old friend Pete who used to run with us a few years back before emigrating to Spain was in the country and came over to see us and lend a hand which was great, it was lovely to see him and great to have an extra pair of hands. Sharon and Richard from the High Flyers also came over and helped us out too even though they didn’t have a team entered (aren’t flyballers just the best people?!) and we had Nat from Bristol on the line and keeping us in order. It was a fun day and we came 2nd in Div 3 with a fastest time of 19.54 which had actually broken us out…oops! I’d entered the Demon Racers on a submitted time of 20.05 to ensure we got to run on Sunday but knew it would be close (if you submit a time you cannot run more than 0.5sec faster or you break out and automatically lose that leg, break out 3 times and you become ineligible to compete). We managed to ‘hang lose’ and not break out again but lost a crucial race against the Bassetts on lights (doh!) so missed out on that first place…ah well…c’est la vie!

Squirrel ran in the Mutts Intermediate team and did really well, they ran best of 5 legs in a 7 team division (the most running she’s ever done) with wings instead of full netting and she was great, running with lots of dogs she’d never met before and running either start dog or in a later position with no problems…clever parson! There was a photographer on site who got some lovely pics of her, I’ll see if I can find them and post the link.

Made it home for around 10pm and promptly fell asleep exhausted…what an exhausting but fun weekend!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Wow…what a weekend!

I had planned to head down to stay with Joy and Becca in Oxfordshire on Friday evening to then travel on to Richmond the following morning. Drew was off work so bathed the 3 entered dogs (Spark, Dottie and Mouse) during the day and got stuff ready but I was just feeling that way out having had a pretty awful week with one thing and another and Friday morning I was dubious about going at all, in these hard financial times I was wondering about the sense in driving such a long way down to a dog show (why I hadn’t thought of this when I entered I don’t know?)…Richmond Champ show is about 360 miles from us down in Surrey! However a couple of friends called in the morning to see how I was (since I was being so miserable) and I was soon cheered up and motivated enough to decide that yes, we were going after all! Lol This really isn’t like me at all!

I got home from work and we packed the van and fed the dogs and left home about 8.30pm and managed to miss most of the Friday night traffic but my god…the roadworks…you wouldn’t believe!! We arrived down at Joys’ for 11pm and cracked open a bottle of wine and took the time to chill and natter…’til 3.30am!! ahem (always the same when we get together!). Fortunately we didn’t need to be at the show early doors since Spark was first in in Limit Dog which I knew would be late morning. It was a glorious day, warm and sunny, we sorted all the dogs before leaving around 9am and arrived at Loseley Hall around 10.30am just time to get all the stuff in and get Spark up on the table for his last minute brush/trim before his class. I wish I hadn’t bothered…he was such an idiot! I can only think having all these bitches in season at home is driving him nuts because he’s usually so easy to handle but he just would not settle! Every time we moved he wanted to gallop round the ring and when I checked him he went into serious sulk mode!! We got binned…I’m not surprised!

There was a quite a gap before Mouse was in Minor Puppy bitch with a 45 min lunch break after the dog challenge and veteran bitch class. This gave me time to get her out and let her have a good look at everything; although she’s been to lots of flyball comps etc there are very different sights/sounds at a large all breeds Champ Show such as this one so I wanted to make sure she wasn’t over faced by everything. At just 6 months old she’s not very big and she’s still a real baby so I wasn’t sure how she’d do but just wanted her to be happy in the ring. I was pleased with how she behaved, she’s such a quiet and placid little pup that she doesn’t find standing still all that difficult (vbg); I knelt alongside her and stacked her so as to avoid her looking even smaller alongside me! She moved well…how a 6 month old puppy at it’s first show would…some nice bits with some giddy bits thrown in…I was MOST displeased however with the bloody boxer exhibitors in the next ring who kept chucking bits of cooked steak, chicken and dried liver around which kept landing in our ring! Mouse wouldn’t take her nose off the floor in that corner of the ring and managed to grab a large piece on our last run round making it almost impossible for me to stack her afterwards (she’s very foody!!). I retrieved a large handful of different tit bits as I left the ring and I’d already seen the boxer judge do the same in an earlier class! Anyway…Mouse made the shortlist and was placed 4th (reserve)…only one place outside of qualifying but I wasn’t bothered. She’d gone well and received lots of nice comments from those watching outside the ring and I was happy with our place.

Mouse at 6 months old
Bryning Believe in Me

We had another good gap before Dottie was in Limit bitch which gave me plenty of time to get her trimmed up and get her coat flattened (she does tend to go rather wavy after a bath…a bit like me! lol); I’ve discovered that the best way to sort this is not to bother with any fancy products but simply spray the coat with water, give it a good rub through with a towel, brush it flat and put a toweling coat over the top for 20 mins or so. I was pleased with how she looked, we went and sat by the ring, I put her in the shade by a chair and was watched the Post Grad class, this finished with a lovely line up of bitches but I must admit, I was starting to wonder whether I’d entered the right bitch and whether Faith might have appealed to this judge more than Dottie. It appeared to me that she wasn’t bothered about flashy or glamorous or lots of bone/coat just good honest soundly constructed dogs that could move well. I know that Dottie would fall into this category I just worried that there may be a little too much of her since she is well boned and coated and probably not quite as feminine and ‘pretty’ as Fi. Anyway, there were 16 entered in Limit Bitch and only 1 absent so a nice entry and some really nice bitches. By this time the sun had really come out and it had got rather warm (my jacket had come off and my treats were all in my jean pockets). As usual Dottie presented herself well, in the line up and being gone over and she moved in her usual free flowing and effortless way; she also never even broke into a pant while a few of the others in the class were starting to flag, testament perhaps to her flyball career….a quick jaunt around a showring wasn’t going to bother her in the slightest! We made the cut and I had a really good feeling about how she’d gone and was really quite hopeful that she would place top 3 and get her stud book number (and lifetime Crufts qualification) which is what I was hoping for…she got a bit fidgety but I managed to settle her and I was pleased as punch when we got pulled out first! Yippee…stud book number and a place in the challenge! There were only 9 in Open bitch so I knew we didn’t have too long ‘til the challenge so I found her some shade and gave her a drink and kept brushing that coat down, we headed back to the ring and the shaded chair and waited for the Open bitch class, this was won by a super little champion bitch, I went into the challenge with a totally open mind, I had no idea what would happen…the Post Grad winner and veteran winner were both very nice bitches that were going to challenge hard for the prizes so I just concentrated on my dog and she didn’t let me down. As I had thought the CC went to the Open winner, Sh CH Altricia Fancy Free of Tudorhurst, a well deserved win since she moved like a dream but I was absolutely over the moon when the judge came straight back to us with the Reserve. My little girl has won her first reserve ticket!!

I can’t tell you how chuffed I am because I really rate this little dog and I’m so pleased that the judge also recognized and rewarded this. I know she’s not particularly flashy or glamorous, she’s not got those flashy markings or that ultra feminine head and semi erect ears that seem to be so fashionable these days but there’s so much more to a dog than its' head and markings! She DOES have a lovely lay of shoulder and reach of neck and beautiful rear angulation and a lovely straight driving action from behind that allows her to cover the ground so effortlessly but so much more than that, she’s a lovely dog…so open and honest and friendly, always keen and happy to oblige, full of fun and just a joy to live with. I await the judges’ critique with interest.

Dottie after winning the Res CC
Locheil Crazy Chic at Bryning

Full Richmond results HERE

I think we grinned the whole way back from Richmond to Joys’ house where we enjoyed a lovely meal and celebratory drink although I have to say, we weren’t so late to bed…everyone was knackered!

Sunday morning we had a bit of a lie in before sorting the dogs out and heading over to Up and Over dog training club at Heyford, Joy was teaching the Good Citizen Silver class which I joined with Mac who was a bit of an over excitable idiot bless him…he did do a lovely recall and some nice stays though. Becca was teaching the agility class so I joined this with Faith who was also a bit of an over excitable idiot! At least she remembered to stop on all her contacts, pity she couldn’t concentrate for longer than a nano second and when she did I was always in the wrong place! Lol

After the classes were over one of the instructors got her flyball equipment out for a few people to have a go on so we did a rather impromptu demonstration getting Mac, Faith, Dottie and Ethan out and running them together as a team, they had fun and so did we. We then did a bit of training with a couple of young dogs from the club who did really well and picked it up very quickly. It was nearly 4pm by the time we got back…we were all starving!

We messed about with the pups for a while…this is Beccas’ pup Chewey (aka Aviary Atlantis). Chewey is sired by Bond (Locheil Time Moves On) so is a half sister to Dottie, Dazzle, Teal etc and her mum is Wren (Bryning Goldfinch); she and Mouse are nearly the same age and very similarly bred but you never met two more different puppies!! Mouse is a very quiet, steady and sensible little dog and Chewey is…well…mental!! She is an awful lot of fun though!
Chewey approaching 6 months old
Aviary Atlantis

We finally left for home around 6pm and got back at 8.30pm…tired but happy, I was so glad we’d made the effort and gone, we had a really good weekend.

We're off over to Darlington Champ show this weekend and then down to Oxford again for flyball at the Mad Mutts show....not sure how we'll top this one though!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Ending on a High...

So…this weekend was our last outdoor comp of the season as a team and we headed over to Norfolk Heritage Park in Sheffield for the Steelers Flyball team debut tournament. We were running both teams on the Saturday since Gemma was working Sunday so it was another busy day for me being involved in all 4 divisions. Squirrel
and Radley ran in a combined starter team – Norfolk Mix and Match, 2 Demonz, 2 Steelers and 2 Water Orton dogs, this was a really nice mixed breed team with a collie, parson, cross breed, lab and 2 working cockers (the other cocker in the team turned out to be a cousin of Radley)…they ran brilliantly…I was SO proud of my babies and they won the division with a fastest time of 19.95 :) We each got a lovely rosette and memorial shield.

Next up were the Speed Demonz running in Division One, Brigg were top seeds with a time of 17.94, we were second seeds on 18.13 but since Brigg had to pull out at the last minute we were now the favourites by about half a second. Sometimes this sort of pressure is not good and we were still running the experimental team from Stoneleigh with Teal in as the height dog so I wasn’t sure how we were going to get on. I needn’t have worried , we ran the fastest time of the season in our first race with a 17.90 with Dylan, Bailey, Faith, Teal and then went on to run 17.91 with Dylan, Bailey, Lexie, Teal. Drew ran both Faith and Lexie and did a good job swapping between them both, although they seemed to be running similar times they do run quite differently with Lexie faster on the way in and Faith faster on the way out, this obviously affected both his changeover behind Bailey and mine in with Teal but we seemed to settle into the spot quickly and the team just seemed to ‘gel’. Teal really seems to have found her feet and is running better than she ever has, all the boxwork we’ve done over the summer, getting her to drive off faster is paying off and is making all the difference to her times…now we just need to work on her hurdling consistently! (she often puts an extra stride in between hurdles when he stride isn’t quite right, this is quite common for short legged dogs). It all went a bit ‘Pete Tong’ in the third race where, for some unknown reason, Teal was hitting the box and driving back off so fast that she completely forgot to catch the ball!! This is one of the dangers with teaching drive off the box, you are effectively moving the dogs’ main point of focus…i.e the reward isn’t in getting the ball but in getting back faster. You often find that the fastest flyball dogs are ball ‘spitters’ and it’s a common misconception that a good flyball dog has to be ball obsessed, I have actually found this to be the opposite. The ball really needs to be secondary to whatever the reward at the end of the runback is to get them to run as fast as they can. If you watch the REALLY fast American teams their dogs are all trained to a tuggy. Anyway, I digress…we took Teal out and ran all 4 collies, this wasn’t the fastest team you’re ever likely to see because they suddenly went from 8 to 13” and it did throw them all somewhat (especially Faith who struggles over this height) so the changeovers were atrocious but we did manage to win the following 3 legs and win the race. We went on to win both races in the afternoon too and Teal ran fine (thankfully) so obviously won the division…a lovely way to end the season and another collection of rosettes and shields  I am confident there is another 0.5 second in this combination of dogs so we will spend the winter training this combination and see what they can do! (although Teal is due to carry out maternal duties some time over this winter too!)

The Pawz ran next in Division 3, we had Mac, Pip, Drake and Ethan. They all ran ok and this was a very tight division so we ended up on a 3 way tie for 2nd and came 4th…bummer! Lol I think we ran around 19.70 which was better than last weekend but still not great. I think maybe some of the dogs are ready for a break.

I was judging the last div of the day, Div 5 which was ANOTHER 7 team division!! My back and legs were aching so much from being on my feet all day by the end of it! This was a really nice division and was won by Minster Monsters from York who were running a lurcher, GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTERS and munsterlanders…lovely dogs to watch running!

It was a lovely show, fantastic venue, good ground and plenty of space with a cafĂ© on site and a lovely friendly and relaxed atmosphere throughout, I really enjoyed it. Despite the forecast and the previous few days we didn’t have a drop of rain and in fact the sun came out! Everyone knows…the sun goes where the Demonz go! Lol We have been so fortunate this year to see very very little bad weather. Presentation was a really small and intimate gathering and it was really nice to receive Dotties’ gold award and Macs’ Platinum from Howard along with Paul getting Pips’ Gold too.

Lola is coming along nicely, I decided to make the most of the lovely venue and good weather to snap some pics of her….

Here’s one of Travis too, looking very serious!!

And one of him at home…pooped after his exhausting day out…

Other news this week…Viggo has mated Dazzle, I have hopes that he will be a great little stud dog on his performance because there was no messing around and he got on with it like an old pro! lol (granted, Dazzle is not a difficult bitch to mate). We should hopefully have blue/white and slate merle pups due around the 8th November…can’t wait!! (you can read more about planned/expected collie litters here btw)

I also heard from Kerena that the Dream Team qualified for the flyball at Crufts at the qualifier at Prestbury Park over the weekend which means that their young working cocker Magic, Bryning Makin’ Magic (a Drake-Teal son) will now be competing in both the YKC Agility Dog of the Year AND the flyball. I am so pleased with this litter and can’t wait to see Maizys’ pups growing up!

Monday, 7 September 2009

A hectic end to the ‘summer’

(I did actually write this on Friday but never got round to posting it so it's even more behind!! I'll post a report on this weekend just gone later!! lol)

Very behind in my blogging again, another busy couple of weeks…

We spent a nice weekend over at the Phoenix Club in Brinsworth at a tournament hosted by our friends at Tyne flyball teams. Our starters ran brilliantly, Squirrel and Radley really seem to have got this game sussed now and were superb; they were ably assisted by Ben and Hazell’s young rescue blue merle girl Nell and John’s fabulous young Mexican hairless Wesley and ran consistent 22 sec times which, for a thrown together multibreed team, isn’t bad going! We only had Bailey for the two morning races in Div 1 so always knew we were going to struggle, we decided to go for a time against Brigg since we were running 1sec faster than them but ended up giving it away on lights and still not getting a time…ah well c’est la vie! Somehow or other though we did win two other races and ended up coming 3rd in that division. The Pawz ran well in Div 3 but we were a dog down since Dottie was in season and stayed at home (and we had to have 5 dogs in the Demonz) which meant we had to run both cockers, in the same team, at the same time, this is never a good idea because they both always want me and it’s hard work keeping them both happy and motivated. We decided to try Drake start dog and he ran a few really good 4.7 legs but he was very inconsistent throughout the day, down to the fact I was running Teal in the same team I’m sure…they are such babies! We did ok with a fastest time of 19.81 but didn’t run consistently enough and ended up 5th.

Spark went home with Ben and Hazell who took him back up to Morpeth where he went to stay with ‘Auntie Julia’, she and Heather were kindly taking him to SKC Champ Show for me the following weekend since I would be flyballing down at Stoneleigh so he was part of the ‘Locheil gang’ for the weekend.

During the week Dottie was also mated to Seamus (Starside Paddy) so all being well we should have black/blue/tri/sable puppies due around the beginning of November.

Friday we headed down to Stoneleigh for the bank holiday weekend country show. It was late when we arrived and Gem and I had to put up our little tent in the dark, torch light supplied by Paul and Alison thankfully! The camping was quite tight and there wasn’t a great exercise area but there was a great community spirit amongst the flyballers at the show and the Nunnies were the usual perfect hosts so we had a good time. We were joined by ‘the Allcorns’ on Friday evening for ‘a few’ drinks and ended up nattering away ‘til 4.30am!! Whoops….poor Sharon was judging first thing Sat morning while we had the day to ourselves and enjoyed a nice long lie-in and leisurely potter around the show. The news came through from SKC, the Locheils had a really good day with lots of class wins, a RCC, best puppy and a puppy pastoral group placing! Best of all though (for me) Spark placed 3rd in Limit Dog, his first limit class and he’s gained his stud book number! This means he is now qualified for Crufts for life. His son (Locheil Blue Moon) was awarded best puppy dog and his daughter (Locheil Tell me a Story) also qualified for Crufts at her first show.

I think my age must be catching up with me, I was in bed for 11pm on Sat night…absolutely shattered! Sunday we had a very busy day, well I did anyway. Only 3 divisions of racing but I was involved in all 3, judging the first div on (another 7 team division!!) and running in the other two. Unfortunately this meant I couldn’t run either of my girls in the agility competition that we’d entered. We decided to try something different this weekend and ran Teal as a height dog in the Speed Demonz so we ran Dylan-Bailey-Lexie/Faith-Teal. Now, this actually worked quite well but Dylan was way off his usual pace and we suffered because of it. I’m not sure whether he was suffering from an upset tummy from the roast bone he’d had the day before or whether he was struggling over the 8” hurdle height. While a lot of dogs run much faster over the smaller hurdles it can hinder dogs that aren’t used to the smaller jumps. Teal however ran like a little Demon all day, she LOVES running with the big guns in the top team!! lol This team ended up 6th out of 7 with a fastest time of 18.17. I think we may try this combination again next weekend and see what happens.

The Pawz ran ok but were a little disappointing time-wise, a lot of teams were saying that the ground wasn’t running very fast so maybe this played a part but we did have Mac, Dottie, Pip, Drake and Ethan in this team so they should really have been running low 19’s and they only actually managed a 19.94….hmph…we ran faster last week with both the cockers in! They did come 2nd though!

I also got the news that Nancy Hudson and ‘Naughty Niamh’ (Bryning Red Rascal) had won Grade 6 agility over at Dordale, this is their 3rd win towards grade 7, they’ve had such a consistent season this year! Fingers crossed for that final win needed to take them to Grade 7 and Champ!

We went to presentation and I got the van packed up ready for my trek up the M1 to Drax where I was supposed to be staying with Drew and running Squirrel in the Multibreed with the Geordie Racers. Best laid plans and all that….the van wouldn’t start! Now, I’ve been with the AA for a few years and have had A LOT of experience with them since my last van was a mobile disaster! However, I cancelled my AA membership when it was due for renewal at the beginning of August because my van insurance includes free breakdown cover. The guy at the AA tried to convince me that any level of service I would receive from this free service would not be as good as theirs. I pointed out I’d never actually had very good service from them and recounted several instances…he gave up! Lol Anyway, I was a little nervous about what to expect from ‘Angel Assistance’ but was very pleasantly surprised to have an RAC patrol arrive within 30 mins, the guy spent nearly 2 hours bent over the engine locating and fixing some worn wires that had been causing an electrical short…he was very thorough and I ended up with a fixed van! It was pretty late by this point though, I was wet and tired and I had a van full of tired dogs so decided to head straight home. Lola went home with Gemma for some ‘one on one’ time, to learn some more manners! lol

It was nearly midnight by the time we got back and after settling all the dogs down to bed I finally fell into bed myself and slept like a log! I have to say, I did very little on Monday and just pottered around the house and it was lovely. I rather wished I was down in Mansfield though since Maizy decided to whelp four days early and quickly delivered 5 beautiful cocker puppies (in less than 2 hours) so we have 1 blue roan/tan boy, 1 blue/roan tan girl, 2 black/tan girls and 1 black/tan girl with a white bib. I really can’t wait to see them but hope to have some individual photos soon.

This morning saw Viggo at Moy Farm Vets having his hip and elbow x-rays, he proved very popular with the vets and nursing staff who all wanted to take him home (he is such a loveable young boy) and best of all Mark was very pleased with his x-rays – perfect elbows and very nice hips, predicted scores of 0:0 and 5:3 accordingly so we shall wait and see what the BVA come back with although we have always found Marks’ predictions to be very accurate.

It’s all happening today!! Got the news through from Nancy that Niamh has got her final win towards Grade 7 at Letchworth…fantastic news! Didn’t have to keep our fingers crossed that long did we?! Also heard from Joy down at Stoneleigh, Becca and Teal (Bryning Time to Shine) finished 2nd in the Olympia Semi qualifiers so will be off to Olympia in December!

Tomorrow we are competing in Sheffield at the Steelers debut show at Norfolk Heritage Park. Radley and Squirrel are running starters first thing, The Speed Demonz and Demon Pawz are both entered but I haven’t decided on team combinations yet!

It’s getting to the end of the flyball season now and we are all starting to feel ready for the break, August has been a very hectic month for us taking in 6 tournaments over 5 weekends and I think we may be suffering from flyball fatigue! Lol Although this will be the last competition we are doing together as a team for a while Drew and I do have a couple more busy weekends ahead with Richmond and Darlington Champ shows and Acremead flyball tournament which involves a trip down to stay with Joy and Becca which will be really nice as I’ve hardly seen them both over the summer (apart from a very brief flying visit on the way to Reading in July!). With a couple more bitches to be mated over the next couple of weeks we will soon be taking a few months off for puppies over winter. I’m really starting to feel quite broody for puppies again.