Bella and Teddy in the yard behind Daisy and David’s house and Clear Mind Agility Hall.
Over the weekend Bella and I prepared for International Team Tryouts by running some thought-provoking courses and sequences from EO judges at Daisy Peel’s Clear Mind Agility Hall. The workout provided us with good challenges and comradery. Teddy and Aria kept us company in the Scamp on our 2 nights away and added new environments, people, and dogs to their bank of experiences.
We also got to play in a UKI trial on Monday after the weekend workout. With a relaxed atmosphere, an international twist to the course design, and only short wait times between the 5 runs we got to do that morning it was my favorite type of agility trial. Bella was the overall tournament class winner so now has a bye to UKI nationals later this year!
Aria in front of the house at Clear Mind
Shirley and Cricket, Tammy and Zu, and Karen and Bella at the 2012 AKC National Agility Championships
When I acquired my first Pumi in 2007, I knew of 2 Pumik competing in USDAA in Texas. By mid-2008, with acceptance into AKC Foundation Stock and performance events a small handful of Pumik were also competing in AKC – Bella and I in Washington, Chuy and Stacy Lehman in Texas, and others on the East Coast. Bella and I were a novelty at local agility trials and I seriously thought about getting a shirt made up that said on the front “My dog is a PUMI” and on the back “It’s a pure-bred Hungarian herding dog not a Poodle mix.” Being preoccupied with the other dogs I was running at the time I felt no need to rush my training or serious competition with my Pumi and waited to see how things would unfold. By mid-2009 I had actually decided on my contact criteria and started to enter Standard runs. I thought “Hooray. Now let’s just get into Excellent B and we can go to the Invitational.” It was a refreshing change of pace from my other breeds where top 5 points totals and expectations were getting sky high.
Fast forward nearly 4 years and the landscape has changed completely. Now there are around 25 Pumik with AKC agility titles, 7 of those with Master Agility Champion titles, and 3 with multiple Master Agility Champion titles. Given the relatively small number of Pumik in this country that’s phenomenal growth. We’ve had Pumik in finals at the AKC Agility Invitational, finals at the AKC Agility National Championships, short-listed for AKC World Team, and even representing the U.S. at international events. And we haven’t even mentioned the titles amassed by 10 Pumik in USDAA agility or other venues.
Recently as yet another Pumi MACH was announced I thought I would check my Invitational standings for this year. I’ve been feeling good about our AKC performances lately although we’re averaging just less than 1 weekend a month trialing. There have been quite a few firsts and other placements and a sizzling average of nearly 6.1 YPS over the last year in jumpers. As I saw the points totals it was a bittersweet moment realizing that I was not even close to getting into the top 5 Pumik in AKC agility this year. It made happy tears well up in my eyes realizing how much other handlers are competing and enjoying working with their Pumik in this great sport. As many of the dogs competing now are still so young and I see the promise in the eyes of the next generation of Pumi youngsters in training, I know we’ve come a long way in a very short time but the best is yet to come!
Shirley and Cricket, Greg and Hedwig, Karen and Bella
We were able to round up 3 of the 5 puppies today to get weights and heights and received data for a fourth pup in Connecticut. This is the age when teeth are falling out and ears are sometimes going in strange directions but everyone is on track for what I expect in size – Aria was the smallest at 14″ tall and Kreiger the tallest at 15.5″ (the full data is below the pictures). I also got Knixa’s height at 10 months as 15.5.”
Trying to round up the puppies for a picture
From left to right Ewok, Knixa, Kreiger, and Aria pose after getting their heights and weights.
Kreiger (male aka Navy)
14 lb 12 oz
15.5 inches tall
Ewok (male aka Green)
16 lb 7.5 oz
15.25 inches tall
Aria (female aka White)
13 lb 5 oz
14 inches tall
Dakota (female aka Pink)
16 lbs 7 oz
15 inches tall
Kudos to the Seattle Kennel Club that they did an article this year highlighting breeds in the Miscellaneous Class including Pumik and our own Miss Knixa. Take a look at the article as the reporter had some great questions about the breed: http://www.seattledogshow.org/they-may-be-miscellaneous-breeds-but-these-five-have-certainly-captured-your-attention/