My princesses

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Sava Sara Brakada, AKA Xsara was born on 06-27-2004. She was raised in Kennel Brakada spending the first two months of her life on beautiful countryside Gorenjska (Slovenia) with her siblings and parents. As soon as she came to Ljubljana we started a puppy class, followed by an obedience class. She passed her B-bh exam with 96 points (instructor Agility EO winner Polona Bonač). We now continue with Rally-Obedience under Polona's supervision. Our biggest passion however is Agility. We started our first Agility class in October 2005 (club Agility Ilirija, instructor Silvia Trkman, two times agility world champion). When Silvia stopped teaching agility classes, we switched to Daša Zakotnik. We regularly participate in Agility trials in Slovenia and sometimes abroad. Xsara also loves to learn new dog tricks, you can see some of them in our videos. Her other passions include long walks, big meals and playing with dogs, specially her pyr shep sister Tani, her crazy agility pals and her sister Sena.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's Snow

We finally got our first REAL snow in Ljubljana, some of it actually stayed on the ground. It started snowing right on Christmas day, which was pretty. But the first agility-training-in-the-snow this year was even nicer! Since we can't film the skating video in the snow, I'm posting one of our runs today - and to prove you that we can run a little faster :) It was very slippery so I couldn't run as fast as Xsara, but I did my best.

We are going to the seaside for the New Year and we will stay there for a week. I will make the skating video there since they have no snow there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A New Challenge

Coming up soon: learning how to sk8 :)

I bought a skateboard today and we'll see how it goes, but I think she'll love it - she saw it for the first time and she just stepped on it like a pro! This time I decided to film every step of our progress and make a short video about teaching this trick. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Trial in Postojna - Video

I'm posting a video of our first run on Saturday. She was very slow, that's always the case when she's in heat. Also the carpets were really bad, it was hard to run on them. But we managed to get through this run without faults. The second run however ... also had many turns and it was just too difficult for us. As I said in the previous post, many other dogs had course problems as well: I checked out the results and apparently only 45 dogs qualified out of 180 competitors! I've never seen so few dogs qualify, it's kind of funny. Anyway - thanks to Petrca for the video!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Trial in Postojna

Yesterday's trial was kind of amusing since the courses were very difficult. There were many competitors but only a few dogs qualified. In our cathegory only two dogs qualified in the first run (Xsara was one of them) but both had off-courses in the second run. So in the end - nobody qualified. Other cathegories had similar problems, only a few teams managed to get through both courses. But it was fun to see all of our friends again and spend a day with them. It even started snowing again. We only have a sample of snow for now, but Xsara loves it anyway. It's great to see her having so much fun!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Right Legs Up!

We did it! Inspired by Silvia's two legged tricks we started learning them as well. It took us a couple of weeks to learn "right legs up", but we did it!

We can move on to the last one now, which is "diagonal legs up". We want to do it before the winter is over :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Big Decision

After three years of research, pro-con lists and discussions I finally decided to have Xsara spayed. Yesterday I talked to our vet and seems like January is the month (she's in heat now so we have to wait). It's one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make but I came to the conclusion it's best for her. If any of you have experiences in this field, it would be great if you would share them with us. Preferably happy stories but all information is welcome!

Another thing I wanted to say: as most of you know, the new DWB calendar is out! All DWB calendars are awesome, but I think this year they really outdid themselves. It includes many different dogs, most of them are our dear friends (and they were very sweet to think of us as well). To view the pages and order it simply click the following image:

It's for a good cause since ALL of the profit goes to doggy rescue!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Training Hounds

Can hounds be trained? You obviously know what my opinion is :) But many people believe they are too stubborn. I get a lot of mail from people all over the world who want to train their beagles but are told by trainers that it can't be done. It makes me very mad. Sure they can be trained, have patience! Since Xsara is my first dog I can't compare working with a beagle to other breeds but now that we know each other it's easy to work with her. It used to be hard in the beginning but we had talented people who helped us. We still had to do all of the actual work ourselves, but it was easier. So, my opinion is:
they can be trained, they are amazingly smart animals, you just need a different approach.
They won't work unless they want to so you need to convince them this is what they want. You need to reward them a lot and it's better if you don't do a lot of repetition because they get bored.

Otherwise not many news to report. Xsara is in heat again, she is unusually lazy during this period and doesn't have as much appetite as otherwise. I try to maintain the same level of activity with her but it's hard because she needs to be on leash on our walks. And she wants to cuddle all the time, which is really sweet.