Dino Earning his Open Draft Dog Title at Nine Years Young!
St. Bernard Club of the Pacific Coast
Cline Cellars Vineyard & Winery
March 22, 2015
Thanks to the St. Bernard Club of the Pacific Coast for putting on such a wonderful test. The test site was so beautiful and the weather was perfect with a combination of scattered clouds and sun. The homemade food and snacks were by far the best at any event I have attended.
The best thing was that all teams passed! I have not seen that before at a Draft Test. All teams worked hard and together in a demanding mile-plus long Freight Haul that snaked through the backside of a working vineyard with thick gravel, creeks, shade, sun, loose Border Collie puppies, running farm equipment, sheep and their Anatolian guardian keeping watch and darting rabbits! As an Open level dog, Dino was required to carry 25 pounds in his cart, which is the same as the Novice dog, and the Excellent dog was required to carry 50 pounds.
The Maneuvering Course, which has no weight in the cart, had its own challenges with bird coops, creeks, the public wandering through the working winery and luscious grass that Dino was just dying to roll around in.
The judges are Wendy Lee and Linda Hunter, two extremely talented and helpful and gracious people.
To the best of my knowledge, Dino is the only Mixed Breed in this country with Drafting/Carting titles. He has titles from a local Bernese Mountain Dog Club, two from the Rottweiler Club in Arizona and two from the local St. Bernard Club. We have plans to go to Oregon in May for Bouvier and Berner tests on the same day and same location!
I would love to see more Mixed Breeds and other breeds get involved. It is a super fun and challenging sport that dogs of all ages, breeds and levels of maturity can participate in. It is low impact, and yet still demanding for a dog that enjoys thinking and working. There remains, at least in California, the lack of regular tests, and sometimes it can be more than a year in between tests. If a person is able to travel outside the state, more tests are available. The clubs will take their own breed first in entries and then "other breeds" are allowed to take the remaining entries. At least in California, Berner tests tend to fill up quickly with their own breed, which can make entering their tests difficult, but other breed clubs usually have room for other dogs.