Saturday I took Velvet down to the Lexington Kennel Club Puppy Match to see if I could get her an evaluation. The journey down consisted of her trying to crawl beind me or into my lap while driving. She whined for a bit, then caught scent of the wind in the window. The rest of the trip she spent trying to get her head out of the window from behind my back, or across my lap even though I had the passenger side window open too. We made it safely to the park (a miracle in itself with a strong eager puppy trying to climb and claw her way across me), and I found a nice spot under a large pine with plenty of shade to park in.
Velvet was very good not having been on a show lead before and very limited leash exposure. She only fussed at the lead once, and I quickly backed off the pressure and called to her. She was more than eager to follow along, and was soon at a perfect heel without even being trained. I think maybe she was born to show. I had no intention of entering her in the match, but got talked in to it, so signed her up and took her to the hot dog stand to get her a snack and some bait food since I hadn't brought any. She was timid at first, but soon found the attention from people and other dogs to her liking. She acted like a pro. Every time we stood still, Velvet naturally stacked, impressing quite a few other people. Which is kind of funny since I only passingly taught her to stack and never really worked dilligently with her. Twelve weeks old and already she's a diva.
There were quite a few cute pups and some very nice looking adults of all breeds there, and I enjoyed making the rounds and seeing the other dogs while biding my time for the match. Siberians ended up being the last puppy group, and little Velvet stood very nicely for the judge, even let her do a bite check before squirming. She was pretty good overall though for never having set foot in any ring training or show before. Her gait was marvelous, and her spunk had smiles on the faces of all.
She was awarded best puppy in breed, then set against the pups in the working group. Here is where she shone! Having had a taste of what was expected, she was VERY good in the group match. She gaited at heel incredibly well, and her stack was excellent! She was awarded Best Puppy in Group. We only had about two minutes to rest though before going in for Best in Show, and poor little Velvet only got a big drink of cold water and no potty break. I could tell she was crossing her legs the whole time, poor pup, and couldn't stay still. There was a very well groomed Basenji pup that performed perfectly and beautifully that deservedly won Best in Show. Well done!
Overall, though I was incredibly pleased with Velvet's performance and conformation. I see good things for this little girl, and her lucky owner once we find her a good home.
Velvet is very willful, but also very eager to please, and we would like to match her up to an experienced owner who would preferrably show and/or train her to pull a sled/cart. She has good conformation, is very intelligent, very expressive verbally and physically, and as with most Siberians, an extraordinary escape artist. If you are interested in Velvet, please feel free to contact me at: atravis at blackbox dot com.