New Year’s Revolution!

| January 20, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Yellow Labrador Running Agility -

A Yellow Labrador Retriever having a blast running agility.

Follow my progress on our New Year’s Revolution goals on our weekly Blog

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Feature Story, Revolution Blog

Living The Retriever Life

Most of us bring in the new year watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and our family is no exception. This year rather than wasting my time with a bunch of New Year’s resolutions I decided to spearhead a New Year’s Revolution! I want this revolution to be all about our retrievers. These dogs give us their hearts and souls and ask nothing in return for their devotion. Living the Retriever Life is all about getting involved with our dogs and taking the human-animal bond to its peak. So join the Retriever Life pack in this New Year’s Revolution!

My New Year’s Revolution

When we first got involved with conformation, we relied on professional handlers. We had some of the top handlers in the business doing some big time winning with our dogs. While it was fun to watch our Labradors do their thing in the show ring, I wanted to be the one making that connection so took the lead (literally) and discovered it’s not as easy as they make it look on TV! After a long search and attending many different conformation handling classes I finally stumbled upon the absolute best handling coach in the business – Tonya Struble of Rush Hill Golden Retrievers. While she is a professional handler and amazing Golden Retriever breeder, she is a dog lover first and she is passionate about sharing her expertise in the ring with her students. Tonya has gotten me to the level of feeling like I can win with my dogs every time I enter the ring. I even finished our first “home-bred” champion Sugar Kane as a result of Tonya’s training. Now I get the thrill and challenge of training and showing all of our dogs in the ring.

CH Nipntuck Jumpstart JH, CGC aka Bica

CH Nipntuck Jumpstart JH, RN, CGC (Bica)

For 2012 I want you to go out and embrace the Retriever Life and try some new challenge with your retriever! Well, it would hardly be fair for me to ask you to do something new with your retriever if I wasn’t willing do some great things with my dogs, too. One of my Labradors, “Bica“, continues to amaze us with her capacity and eagerness for learning. I think she would be a wonderful therapy dog as she is very perceptive and giving so I just enrolled us in the Delta Society’s Therapy Animal Skills And Pet Partner Workshop. Our goal upon completion of this course is to be able to participate in programs like Reading With Rover as reading has always been a passion of mine and having Bica help others gain this gift is extremely important to me.

Misty Mountain Stomp The Yard

Misty Mountain Stomp The Yard (DJ)

Another new challenge I’m excited about is hunt training. I was raised in a duck hunting family but was always on the fringes, not really wanting to get up at 4 am to slog around in the cold. But having seen our dogs train and participate in hunt tests with our trainer/handler, Chuck Hilton, and seeing the absolute joy these dogs experience when working in the field, I want to take one of our puppies down the hunt test road. I have some excellent mentors at my disposal and will start with our newest addition “DJ“. She is just 9 weeks old at the time of this writing and has a long way to go, but we are already starting with fun retrieves. Our first goal is the Labrador Retriever Club’s Working Certificate. I am committed to my retrievers’ New Year’s Revolution and will blog about our progress on a weekly basis. Man, this is going to be fun!

Your New Year’s Revolution Challenge!

So what are you going to do for your retriever’s New Year’s Revolution? Will it be agility, conformation, hunting, obedience, tracking, or some other cool retriever activity like search and rescue? There are so many things to do with our retrievers that not only expand their abilities, but also bring balance to their lives and ours. My challenge to you is to make a commitment to your retriever’s well-being and try a new activity. It is, after all, the least that we can do for these wonderful companions.

I have opened a new section in our forum called 2012 New Year’s Revolution Challenge where you can give us updates on your retrievers progress in their new activity. You can also use this section to ask questions about hurdles you may be encountering and I promise to get known experts to give their opinions on possible resolutions. So take the Retriever Life New Year’s Revolution Challenge and make this the “Year of the Retriever”! Good luck and have fun!

Category : 2012 New Year's Revolution, Feature Story

About the Author ()

I am one of the founders and editor of Retriever Life. My passion is Labradors of all sizes and shapes but I am a big fan of all the retriever breeds.

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