Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I didn't take Christmas pictures this year so instead I'm sharing this most excellent one from Jay and Sherri (isn't it the best??).

Braebrook's Going to Jackson (Soter), Jinx (rescue), Ch Braebrook's Coco Chanel Holmrun (Coco) and Frejya (rescue)

From all of us here at Braebrook we wish you the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of Holidays and a 2014 that exceeds all your wildest dreams. We have big plans ourselves here for 2014 and I look forward to sharing them with you as the year progresses.

Don't forget to check out our new website (domain name will be moved over in the new year):

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Running dogs

Usually my Tuesday and Thursday mornings are dedicated to tracking training with Pelly but today I opted to load everyone up in my big van and take them for a run instead. The weather wasn't great…a steady stream of slushy rain was falling but what's that saying…."there's no bad weather, only the wrong clothes"? Outfitted in sturdy leather hiking boots and my trusty Filson coat I can stay out for a good long time.
I find that these "hound runs" as I call them are one of the best ways to assess your dogs and see where your breeding program is going and what your strengths and weaknesses are. I'm able to watch a living pedigree right in front of me as there are several generations out enjoying the fresh air and they are freely running and trotting all around me. I can see exactly how their bodies move from all sides, how quickly they tire and I really get to know their temperaments. It's also a great way to train solid recalls as the youngsters go out with the more steady adults and learn that as soon as they hear me whistle they must come running immediately. I carry lots of cookies to reward their efforts.

Not only are these runs great for breeding program assessment but they are also good for the dogs physical and mental condition as well as my own. It's just us out there, it's quiet, we are all getting exercise and fresh air and it makes me feel so happy inside watching their joyful exuberance. While I enjoy our training and competing days very much and think that if you have a breeding program you should always be testing and proving it through conformation and performance events the days I spend running the dogs is really the heart of it all. I truly love my dogs and love spending time with them and these runs make my heart feel full.

I hope you are getting to enjoy quiet outdoor time with your four footed friends too. It's one of the best feelings on earth.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tracking update

Thanks to some very generous friends who own a Doberman I used to show I have been able to use their field for my tracking training. The field is quite large, grass is about medium length and the best part is it is only about three minutes away from my house making it easy to fit in a training session while my little guy goes to preschool.

I am really enjoying the tracking so far and have been diligently scheduling three training sessions a week. Pelly is progressing very quickly and is showing a real aptitude for the work. I'm lucky to live in an area where you can train pretty much all year round and I love being outside so this sport is a great fit for me.

It's amazing how the weather can change from one day to the next. Look how beautiful it was on Tuesday…absolutely gorgeous day.

 This picture was taken this morning as the first snow fall of the season was starting. So far it hasn't gotten much deeper (although it's starting to pick up now!) and the light skiff is great for training as you can see exactly where you laid your track.

My tracks have steadily been increasing with each session as Pelly is progressing well and hasn't struggled at all. Last week rather than extend the track I opted to age it for a short time rather than immediately get started, only about 15-20 minutes but I didn't want to push it too much yet. In a CKC tracking test the track is aged at least 1/2 an hour and no more than 2 hours.

While looking for my son's winter jacket I finally found my tracking lead so didn't have to purchase a new one. Here's the equipment that I use for every session: green tracking lead, black nylon harness, bait of some kind (these are cut up hot dogs), tracking flags so I know where the track is laid and a bag to carry everything in. I picked up this particular bag when I was in Calgary for the Doberman National Specialty show a couple of years ago. The only thing missing from this photo are the leather articles I use.

For today's lesson I increased the length of the track a little bit and on the second track that I laid I introduced my first corner. I didn't do a complete 90 degree turn, more of a gentle arc that was well laid with food. Pelly had absolutely no trouble with this at all and easy followed the track to the leather article that was waiting for her. I didn't age the track at all.

As you can see from this photo, that little bit of snow really helps to see where you've laid your track, a great training tool!

Right now I am using bait at about every third or fourth step and once I've laid the track I walk back along it to the start, so it's "double laid". I think by the next lesson or two I will probably stop the double laying as Pelly is really doing well and I don't think she would have a problem with a single laid track.

That's it for this update, more to come soon. I'm off to my first bird dog training day this weekend with Libby and I'm really looking forward to it. The Vancouver Island Pointing Dog Club  is having a social/AGM/training day, should be lots of fun!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Adventures in tracking

I'll start this post off by saying how important I think it is for dogs to work, to do the job(s) they were bred to do, and nothing is more exciting than watching them do that. Even better is being a part of it. I think that having a breeding program means constantly testing and bettering your breeding stock and part of that is done through working them. All breeds of dogs were created to do a job, and I really believe it's important to stay in touch with that. 

Pelly (Braebrook's Pellegrino Marsala) and I have been working together in tracking and although we are only a few sessions in she is showing real promise. We are both relatively new to the sport, although I have started a few other dogs and so we are learning as we go…..books and the internet provide a wealth of information.

My husband Chris came along for today's training to snap a few pictures of us working together as I thought it might be fun to share our session with you.

Because Pelly is brand new we don't yet require a lot of space to work in so a soccer field from a closed down school makes a great spot to track on occasionally.

Here I am laying the first of two tracks, they are short, extremely well laid (I sort of shuffle along leaving lots of scent behind and drop bits of food - in this case it was small cut up pieces of Rollover ), and not aged at all.

Once I was done laying the track I went back to the van to collect my eager student. I bring her out with her tracking harness on along with a buckle collar which my lead is attached to. Normally I would be working her on a regular tracking line but I haven't been able to find mine so it's on the list of things to pick up. After today's session I really can't work her on a six foot lead anymore as she is beyond that and really getting what it is I want her to do. I like to bring her out on a buckle collar rather than a slip collar which I use day to day as this helps to encourage her to pull, something you want them to do in tracking which is also why they are typically tracked in a harness.

As I start to approach the scent pad marked by the first flag (the scent pad is an area about 2-3 feet in diameter that has been well stomped down by my feet leaving lots of scent) I switch the lead from her buckle collar to her tracking harness and bring her up holding on to the harness (as you can see she knows exactly what that means and has already gone to work).

Once I'm at the scent pad I encourage her to smell all over it and really fill her nostrils with the scent.

When I think she is ready I use the command "seek" to tell her to get started. This can take some patience the first couple of times as they are unsure exactly what you want them to do and just kind of sniff all over. The important thing is to remain patient, if they are using their nose they are working so don't interrupt. If they seem lost you can help them by pointing along the track and giving the command again to seek. There is food left along the way so they follow that (make sure they are hungry) and pick it up fairly quickly.

Pelly worked very well today, on the second track in particular as she pulled me along and kept her nose to the ground, I was very proud of her. Although I don't have any pictures of it she did find the article both times and while I have been having her pick it up (with much encouragement from me) I think I am actually going to train her to lie down on it instead like the schutzhund dogs typically do. I think it shows better that they have found it, less chance of not indicating which can fail you in a tracking test.

When we're done I attach the lead back on to her buckle collar and collect the flags, as you can see she is still wanting to work. I think leaving them wanting more is a good way to finish!

And a few pictures just because…. :)

I'm hoping to continue to blog regularly over the fall and winter as we prepare for spring trials in both tracking and obedience, and I'm hoping to get Libby started in bird work as well. Lots to do…it's a good thing I love it so much. ;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Braebrook's Cabernet Sauvignon "Savvy" is available to the right home. She just turned a year old and is from the Freddy x Phoebe litter. She is sweet and busy and while this litter has been slow maturing she is coming into her own and will grow up to be quite a lovely elegant girl. She is vWD clear.

If you are interested in Savvy you can email me for more information at 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Truth About Spaying and Neutering

This is an excellent video talking about spaying and neutering, and the advantages of keeping your dog intact if you are a RESPONSIBLE dog owner (as all Braebrook owners are of course). Please take the time to watch it:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Photo updates!

I'm sitting here with a nice hot cup of tea (decaf of course because it's 9pm and I just can't do the caffeine at night) and enjoying going over a few of the photos sent to me since my last blog post. Thank you so much to everyone for every photo....each one means so much, and I love being able to share them with all who read my blog. I know I say this every time but.......I'm so proud of the Braebrook family!

As I write this Pelly is running around like a crazy thing behind me playing with her Polly Pig (or couch cushion..whatever..gotta love teenagers). These Tuffy toys are really durable, and are great for dogs like Dobermans who destroy their stuffies in two seconds flat.

And speaking of Miss Pelly....who can resist that face??

All covered in dirt.....yep, it was a great Saturday morning hound run. This is my favourite picture taken that day though...

You can definitely tell when a child has been raised with dogs....a whole pack running at you is normal!

My very talented photographer husband snapped all the shots taken that day and I have to include a couple more of my favourites.

Miss Libby....doesn't she look like she's smiling? 

And Carri, the baby of the group at just four and a half months, she has no trouble keeping up. Extra points to the dog that can find an old work glove during the outing..

It was great to get an update on how Jax (Braebrook's Walk the Line) has been doing. He happily lives with his Doberman girl Harmony and together they keep owners David and Janie smiling. Janie tells me that Jax has turned into quite the hunter of small vermin.....something she rather wished he would give up!

Here's Carri's sister Ellie (Braebrook's The Devil Within) looking sweet..or devilish...I can't decide.

Love this photo of Rueben (Braebrook's The Devil at Supernova - littermate to Carri and Ellie) graduating from his puppy class. Doesn't he look studious?? 

Owen (Braebrook's The Man in Black- on the right) with his buddy Jaxx at "Yappy Hour"...sounds like fun to me!

I think that's it for now, and Pelly has finally settled down for a nap so I might even get a little quiet time in.

Keep those photos coming!

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Champion and more picture updates!

We are very happy to report that new Champion Braebrook's Pinot Noir finished her championship yesterday at just nine months of age. She is the first from the Freddy x Phoebe litter to finish and we are thrilled! She was handled to all of her wins by Penny Lewis and her team and will now be going home to grow up. Huge congratulations to owner Judy Bohnert of Equinox Kennels on her new Champion.

Here are a few photo updates of some of the Braebrook crew:

Here is Braebrook's Viognier "Phoenix", who is a littermate to Peri pictured above, doing her thing in the ring with owner Amber. She is close to finishing her championship as well.

And here is Reuben (Braebrook's Devil at Supernova) from the Spartan x Enya litter happy at home and growing like crazy. Look at all those toys! They are the key to keeping teething puppies happy. ;)

And here's Bart, also from the Spartan x Enya litter. He dropped by for a visit and he is still the same smart, bold and sweet boy that he always was. He is a great companion for owner Gary.

I sure love seeing the "kids" and always welcome the visits so if you happen to be in the area please be sure to stop by to say hello, even if you only have a short time to spare.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Doggie birthdays, show news and lots of picture updates

First things first....Braebrook has a new website. It's brand new, still a work in progress and hasn't yet been moved to the domain but have a peek and let me know what you think:

Now for some show news....

I don't have a picture but Braebrook's Pinot Noir "Peri" picked up a nice best of winners win on the Edmonton Doberman Specialty weekend for three points. You can visit Peri's home on the web here:

Our own lovely Libby (Legacyk LibertyReigns Braebrook) picked up six points, a second in group and best puppy in group during the Campbell River Dog Fanciers show weekend handled by myself.

And speaking of the Campbell River show, Ella made her debut in her first competitive juniors class (she has previously only been in peewees where everyone wins a ribbon and the real love of showing dogs often begins) and won it! I was, and continue to be a very proud Mom. 

There have been lots of Braebrook puppy birthdays happening lately and thank you so much to all you wonderful owners for sending me pictures! I love them so much. :)

The Mick x Coco litter turned two years old and they know how to party! Here is Rylie (Braebrook's Get Rhythm) and her friends:

And Owen (Braebrook's The Man in Black) with his custom made birthday cake (with an extra for buddy Yoshi):

And Soter (Braebrook's Going to Jackson) with Momma Coco on the right and friend Jinx on the left:

That just leaves Jax (Braebrook's Walk the Line) who didn't send me a picture....hint hint... ;)

Rush (Ch Braebrook's Black Russian) from the Rogan x Safi litter also turned two and look at the size of his birthday bone!

And here are a few fun picture updates.....

 Maverick (Braebrook's Daredevil) from the Spartan x Enya litter has made himself right at home with Steve and Trish:

And Carri (Braebrook's Devil May Care) also from the Spartan x Enya litter, and the puppy that we chose to keep is also claiming her space here at Braebrook. She is bold and confident, and pretty too.

Here she is stacked at 13 weeks. A little bum high at the moment but that will pass...puppies go through all kinds of funny growth stages as they mature....they like to make their breeders sweat. ;)

As always I love to receive and share pictures of the Braebrook "kids" so never hesitate to send them my way.

I can feel the summer holidays winding down and Ella will be back in school soon, which means the dogs will too. Time to dust off the obedience lead and get ready to do some performance training....and maybe even some bird work for Libby. Stay tuned.. ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Show updates

I have lots of show updates to post so bear with me and the multitude of photos that will accompany this post.

First off I am very pleased to announce Braebrook Kennels first Doberman American Champion. There have been a couple of German Shorthaired Pointer Am Ch's in the past but Pony has become the first Doberman. She is now Am/Can/Int Ch Holmrun's Chulo Pony Braebrook from the Dirk x London litter. She was shown to all her titles by owner Michelle Rowton which makes her finishing all the sweeter. She also added three major selects towards her Am Grand Champion title as a move up special. Nice work you two, we are SO proud!

Also from the Dirk x London litter Braebrook's Thakoon Holmrun "Thakoon" picked up two more points towards his championship putting him at seven. Thakoon is owner handled by Meghan Delmar.

The Freddy x Phoebe kids have just started hitting the show ring and four are already pointed towards their championships.

Starting with Braebrook's Viognier "Phoenix (previously Nina)" owned by Amber Olson (co owned by Braebrook) who in her first weekend out picked up six points, two best puppy in groups and a best puppy in show. A very promising start to this young lady's show career.

Braebrook's Bristol Cream "Bristol" picked up four points towards her championship. I don't have an updated show photo of her but this is a sweet picture of her and junior handler Kianna. Bristol is owned and handled by Caitlin Rathburn and co owned by Braebrook.

Braebrook's Cabernet Sauvignon "Savvy" picked up the first point towards her championship handled by owner Lyndsay Ferguson.

And last but definitely not least Braebrook's Pinot Noir "Peri" picked up three points towards her championship and was reserve winners bitch and best puppy in specialty at the Doberman Pinscher Club of Canada National Specialty. Peri is owned by Judy Bohnert of Equinox Kennels.

This litter only just turned eight months of age and their future is looking very bright.

A huge thank you to all the great owners of these Braebrook dogs, you are doing an outstanding job and you make me so proud. :)