Tacoma, Washington

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The Sun Shines on Mark Chaffin in Washington

We were warm but not too warm.  We had a crowd but not too many.  We needed more dogs but we made do.  We had helpers but not too many and we got good work done.  We had a well known and highly regarded Teaching Helper, Mark Chaffin, who made this event a high class, top notch and valuable training and classification event.  We had entries from four clubs and one independent.  All but one helper gave classification a try.  Two, A.J. Peper and Ryan Mansell from Cascade Schutzhund Verein showed very good work and certified easily.  Thankfully they shared their dogs with the other helpers. 

Thank you to Emily Lawrence from Snohomish Schutzhund Club for participating and sharing her dogs for the helper training while being a helper in the seminar.  Her participation and good humor during the event was really appreciated. 



Our club members, Tony McFee and Steve Backman and new member Ann Grimm rounded off the eager crowd making it such a great weekend along with that sunny weather.  They listened closely to everything that Mark had to offer.  All received valuable instruction as well as information about what the helper’s job is, what the helper’s attitude should be, and advice to know and follow the rules for trial.



In addition, to the trial work, Mark shared so much about training and the helper work needed for training.  Puppies, young adult dogs, and dogs getting ready for trial – he included it all sharing his knowledge, good humor, and firm reminders about what is needed in our sport. 


  Thank you so much Mark.  You made it a stellar event.


End of the Year Trial 2013

Twin County Schutzhund Club welcomed Ernest Hintz to Washington in September to judge our last event of the year, our schutzhund/IPO trial.  We thank Ernest for being the effective, straight forward official who provided by-the-book judging while being courteous and kind to all entries.  The IPO 1 entry traveled a long way to participate and we thank him for his entry.  The farm from last year barely got their mowing done in time.  The weather allowed green to appear on the field for tracking.  Our helper, Duke Stanley, got to do his first trial and the IPO 1 dog was the best dog for Duke’s first trial experience--fair and controlled through all the exercises.  Thank you Patrick and Bruiser.






And then came eleven BHs.  Guests and club members alike dug in and began running through the exercises, all a little nervous as they went through the new rules including the so-called pause for the sit and down in motion.  The real Super Woman of the day was Larrie with her three UD Boxers.  Larrie made three BHs in that day even with the struggle of remembering rules that are all new to her.  She is in schutzhund for the first time ever.  There was everything from really pretty work to some who need to go back to the training field and practice some more.  All put out a great effort however and nobody needed to feel bad about their performance.  It was a great learning experience.  All in all we had six different breeds entered.  Thank you everybody for being there. 










The weather was good – a surprise for that time of year.  Trophies, medallions and lots of appreciation made the day worth it for all of us.  We improved our “Group” training and they performed beautifully.  The field crew had the equipment set up and taken down in good order.  You say “well what’s so special about that?”  Try having a trial without the members being on the ball, timely and knowing what goes where and why.  We owe them all a big thank you. 

The kitchen crew had a huge challenge – ants had nested in the wall and when they smelled muffins it was an all out battle.  They had a picnic – we didn’t.  However everything else was prepared and served in good order.  Thanks to the kitchen crew. 

At the conclusion, there was a rush to finish the paperwork as Ernest had to leave early to get to the airport.  Teresa kept us all on our toes to meet that departure time.  She handled the judge with grace and kept him happy and on time through out.  Yea, Teresa!!


                           Larrie Moody                 Isabella        Boxer   BH

                           Mark Kaufmann            Willie            Lab       BH

                           Larrie Moody                 Rico             Boxer   BH

                           Erika Hall                       Deus            GSD      BH

                           Larrie Moody                 Stryker         Boxer   BH

State Loves James Laney

Twin County Schutzhund Club with the help of the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club hosted the 2013 Regional Trial Helper Seminar and Classification.  This event was supported and enjoyed by a large number of helpers and helpers-to-be who came from all different directions and distances.  Seventeen helpers with six successful classifications in the event made it a huge success. Visitors from Utah, Oregon, and Western Washington became a widespread network of helpers who want to help their local clubs and the dogs they love.  We had two women trying to learn, catch dogs safely.  The men stood out in their circles, brought dogs to work, and were attentive to James’ dialogue trying learn everything they could.  In addition to trial helper work, James included so much more about dogs, equipment, what the rules demand and how to be safe yet challenging to the dogs.  Like I said, so much more than the “put your little foot here” dance. 

James gives his all when teaching.  His goal is to inspire good work, encourage further education in the sport, and promote the clubs who need their helpers to continue in the sport.  The helpers all were happy to absorb all that James provided and felt they got so much more than expected.

Ultimately safety for the dogs is primary to the teaching.  We had a good example of dogs of all sizes – everything from Malinois to Cane Corso.  Sleeve presentation for trial work, footwork to avoid stepping on the dogs, upper body movement and strength were on the agenda.By the end of the second day, improvement was apparent and gratefully received.  The acquaintances and friendships found extend beyond this event, various organizations, and independents all blended.  For this weekend, no sides, no animosity and for this we once again thank Lynne Lewis and her club GSSC for the hospitality and good grace. 

The helpers were trained in areas that they appeared to need it.  Serious faces and smiles, a good mix among the helpers and eager questions. 


By the end of the second day, improvement was apparent and gratefully received.  The acquaintances and friendships found extend beyond this event, various organizations, and independents all blended.  For this weekend, no sides, no animosity and for this we once again thank Lynne Lewis and her club GSSC for the hospitality and good grace.

With perfect weather, excellent field, good friends, we had a great time and look forward to meeting again.



Mudding with the Sheep in 2013


Twin County Schutzhund Club (TCSC) came into 2013 excited about herding.  March 16 found us set up for herding and food and ready to go.  Our hosts and judges were ready with the introduction to herding and the host rules regarding people and dogs’ behavior.  From there a dog in was for demonstration and education for the crowd.  Then first dog up came to the gate.

We had many young adult dogs, some young puppies, and adult dogs of various experience.  The breeds were predominantly German Shepherds with all three varieties of Belgian breeds: Tervern, Malinois, finally a Dutch Shepherd for the demonstration.  We had the pleasure of seeing our herding first of the German Pinscher breed.  An Australian Cattle dog and a Rottweiler showed us the finer points of advanced herding on ducks.  A Boxer, English Shepherd and an Italian Greyhound closed out entries.  The first leg runs took up the whole morning and we watched some really good dogs work with the sheep according to their breed styles.  The score sheets each received contained written comments and checked herding behavior points.  Certificates were provided for the passing performances while waiting for the AHBA certificates to be received in the mail.

The weather, though overcast, was good for the dogs and the people.  But mud was already a fact.  We’re tough, we know about mud and dogs, and so let the mudding begin (and it did).  The sheep were in full wool as shearing was due the following weekend or so. 

Second leg runs began after lunch and most dogs tried for the second leg and finishing the AHBA HCT requirements for certification.  It was expected to show more control over the dogs as they showed more control of the sheep.  Gathering, moving the stock, a wait and a recall were required followed by returning the sheep to the holding pen. 

One of our member’s Malinois achieved the next step up in the instinct testing – the Junior Herding Dog.  The dog worked in the larger arena with his handler and moved the stock out of the holding pen, moved them around the outside of the large area, through various gates, back to a holding pen and waited as the sheep moved into the pen.   Great job and congratulations.

The herding instinct test is not only fun but a great demonstration of what our working dogs can do and how they can behave in public.  We had a great day.

When Uschi Came To Town


The idea of having Uschi Fuchs, international competitor and excellent dog trainer come to us and share her expertise was exciting.  When we made connections with her and she agreed to come, we could hardly wait.  Our members all lined up and filled the 12 limited working spots immediately.  We thought we were ready.  We needed her knowledge and we became 12+ sponges absorbing and appreciating.  A treasure of information.

From the first minute, it became clear that Uschi had a plan for us.  Shock and awe in the best possible meaning was about to be ours.  Her message:  power, presence, and positive communication between dog and handler.  Using reward of either food or toy accompanied by collar stimulation applied deliberately, purposefully and sharply, the training results appeared quickly.  Every dog handler experienced great results and the dogs were high, tails wagging and open mouth doggy smiles.  They gained an understanding of what the results were supposed to look like and it felt good.

Both days the morning work brought each dog and handler forward, up and appreciating everything Uschi delivered.

The protection phase was fast and challenging.  Uschi did much of the helper work herself though a very swollen knee had our other helpers stepping in to follow her direction.  Everything from basic young dog work to the adult dogs.  The dogs found themselves faced with a human dynamo and she developed them and brought them through a new challenge. 

We would have loved to have Uschi stay with us but in the end, a third day would have killed us and Uschi’s knee.  We all went home to collapse and absorb the weekend’s treasures. 


Thank you Uschi for everything.