Thursday, 21 August 2014

Teach Your Boxer the Chacha

One trick I like to teach Boxers, because of their inherent ability to stand on their hind legs, is to “dance”. It’s so easy to do this with Boxers, and it comes so natural for them. Just lure her with her favorite treat into standing up (of course without her putting her front legs on you), give her the dance command (use “Cha-cha”, “Tango” or any of those classical dance names you like) and if she stands up for about one second (in the beginning) give her the treat. Make sure you use your left hand to lure her with the treat (I’ll explain later). Extend the time of her standing up before you give her the treat. Then start moving forward and backward (or start dancing the Cha-cha yourself), luring her up the whole time. She will keep her focus on the treat and trying to follow your movements.

You can then start teaching her to turn by twirling your treat-hand around and above her head. You can even add a command “Turn” for this. Make sure you give her the treat after the turn.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that you should hold the treat between your thumb and forefinger, like you are doing an OK sign, so you have more control of the amount and frequency of treats. Plus whenever you hold your fingers this way, she wouldn’t know if you’re holding a treat or not.
Once she’s holding the position and following your hand around, you can “assume the Cha-cha position” with your right hand near your tummy and your left hand up like you’re holding on to a partner. This new position of your left hand will bring her closer to you trying to follow the treat. When you’ve conditioned her properly, you can just give her the treats once in a while but keep your left fingers holding that OK sign.

Once she’s moving with you while you’re dancing the Cha-cha, you can start playing your adding the music. When the music starts, visualize yourself in a party, you hear your favorite music start, and you say, Cha-Chaaaa!” like “Oh yeah!” Then assume your dance position. She will excitedly stand up in front of you to dance. This will look hilarious and impressive at the same time.
Anyway, my dogs are Beagles and a GSD. So far, I have one Beagle that does the Cha-cha. I think my GSD prefers Tango, but I don’t know the steps

Thursday, 7 August 2014

History of the Club

A meeting was convened in the Old Arcade Hotel, Church Street, Cardiff on the 1st of November 1951, with 27 people present, to form the South Wales Boxer Club. The meeting elected as Chairman - Mr Kirkham, as Secretary - Mrs Aster and as Treasurer - Mr L.Thomas. The annual subscription fee was fixed at one guinea and joint membership at one and a half guinea.

The first Annual General Meeting was held on 10th March 1952 at the Pavillion, Cardiff Arms Park.

The Club held matches and film evenings, and sponsored classes at local shows. As a result of a turbulent meeting on 11th November 1952, there were several vacancies on the committee and a Special General Meeting was called for 4th December to fill them. An Open Show was suggested for the 21st February 1953, and these measures gave the club the impetus to proceed. Cups were donated (some of these are still on offer today) and Mrs Dibbie Somerfield was asked to judge, the show commencing at a stately 2.00 pm. It was a success and another Open Show was proposed for 14th or 21st November. (It is interesting to note that this is around the time we now hold our Championship Show).

Judges during the fifties were: Mrs M.Fairbrother, Mrs J.Dunkles, Mrs H.Gamble, Mrs Hullock, Mrs C.Wilson-Wiley, Mrs F.Price, Mr Mulhouse, Miss J.Grover and Mrs O.Kelly, most of them were to have a big influence on the breed in the fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond.

In those days there was a great choice of venues, but the shows ran at a loss. Matches were held regularly with the Gwent Boxer Club (now the Cotswold Boxer Club) with a shield provided by the SWBC. These were revived in the eighties but support from the South Wales Club was limited and so the teams were generally unbalanced.

At the April 1960 show there were 39 exhibits making 107 entries, but whether it made a profit or not is not recorded. The committee dug deep into their pockets for raffle prizes and prize money for each class. Draws were held on the Grand National, the Derby and the St.Leger for funds, and generally it was a tough time financially for the club. In July 1962 funds stood at £147.4.1d. and the committee decided to invest £100 in a Building Society.

The Club first applied for C.C. Status in 1966 for 1968, but at this time were not successful. By the end of the sixties the Club had settled into a regular pattern of two or three shows a year, and inter-matches with local clubs or breed clubs.

In 1970 the charges for catalogues were 4/-, entrance 3/- and OAP 1/6d.

In the early seventies an attempt to change the Club’s name to the Welsh Boxer Club was refused by the Kennel Club. In 1973, for the 21st anniversary, a film and slide show was suggested with a 21st birthday dinner.

In 1980 the committee decided that the cups were too valuable to be given out as several had been lost, and rosettes were to be given in lieu. Also in 1980 the Club was involved in the inaugural meeting of the Working and Pastoral Breeds of Wales.

In 1981 the Club held a special meeting at Llandaff to inform members about P.A. Dr Bruce Cattanach showed the P.A. film and answered members’ questions. This was a worrying time for most breeders. 1984 was a celebration year for the 100th show was held in November. Half-price entries, prize money, rosettes and a free catalogue for each exhibitor made it a bumper show. The judge was Dr Cattanach, with 142 dogs making 230 entries it was the best entry so far.

After the AGM in 1985 the committee decided that cups should once more be given to members winning at shows. Many new cups were donated and to date they are still on offer.

At last in1985, CC status was granted for 1987. Pontypool was chosen as the venue for the Championship Show because of its accessability from England. Also in 1985 the SWBC became involved in the docking issue writing to the Foreign Secretary, and in May 1986 it sent a representative to the proposed Council for Docked Breeds.

In September 1986 a new Club logo was designed, and a newsletter called “Pup Chat” was started and ran for several issues.

The first Championship Show was held on14th November 1987 and was judged by Mrs V.Tripe (dogs) and Mrs M.Best (bitches) there were 250 dogs entered, the entry fee for members being £4.50 and £5.50 non-members. Texaco generously donated a new set of cups for Best in Show etc., and several members have since donated cups for most classes. Prize money was on offer and the first of the Club’s series of collectable pottery plates was given to winners of each class.

At the Championship show in 1989 the committee decided to hold a parade of imported dogs. Permission to do this was granted by the K.C. although at the time the K.C. hadn’t realized that all imported Boxers at that time had cropped ears, but by then we had done it! It provided a showcase for dogs that many had never seen.

November 1993 saw the 40th Anniversary, and at the Championship show that year a special class with £40 prize money for the winner was included. The referee Mrs Mary Foan judged it after the main show was completed.

1994 saw the first of what was to become a series of very successful weekend Judging Seminars, the first one being held at Duffryn House, Nr Cardiff. These are now held bi-annually and are a major event in the boxer calendar attracting around 80 delegates from all over the country, currently they are held at Parkway Hotel & Conference Centre, Cwmbran. The next one is due to be held January 2002.

The Club currently has a good working committee and puts on three shows a year, a Limit in January (Members only) an Open Show in May both held at the Usk Memorial Hall and the Championship show in November at Pontypool Leisure Centre.

We have representatives at Boxer Breed Council, and try to promote the Boxer as a healthy family dog by following a Code of Conduct, and we are currently drawing up guidelines for Boxer breeders.