Peta Clarke Scent Workshops & Seminar

Peta Clarke understands how animal think. She is an experienced and entertaining animal trainer. Working with animals has given her an abundance of amazing and hilarious stories. She has trained everything from a goldfish to an elephant and hundreds of different species in between.

She is based in Sydney & came to Brisbane to host a Scent works workshop & seminar. She explained that giving your dog an opportunity to hunt gives them a feel good buzz.

Our OIC Julia organised the most amazing weekend with Peta, filled with laughs and some amazing learning experiences. We had dogs with behavioral issues to dogs that wanted to just extend on their learnings. We had handlers that needed more confidence to tips to get that behaviour just right.

Peta Clarke is amazing. She has such charm that belies a very determined character that you cannot help but love. Her knowledge and understanding of animal behaviour is nothing short of astounding. But it is not her knowledge that endears her to you but her ability to understand what the reality is of what is happening.

Friday night saw Peta talk about all kinds of things from teaching sea lions to perform to seeing bra’s as birds nests.

Peta gave a fascinating, entertaining & thought provoking presentation about how behaviour works. She explained how to understand behaviour and how it shapes us and other species. She showed how positive reinforcement enables animals to enjoy being trained. We as trainers have to realise that there are so many things that affect how animals learn. Different breeds, age, health, emotional state, development, past experiences, time of day, if they are hungry/thirsty, and the immediate environment are things that we have to take into consideration when training our dogs. These are things that influence our training. Peta backs up her experience with the science behind it. She explained that if we are working with a dog or any other species if we understand the laws of learning & implement these we can predict the behaviour change.

For the rest of the weekend the days were broken up into 4 hr sessions, taking in behaviour modification, beginner scentworks, free shaping and advanced noseworks.

Free Shaping Workshop

Peta demonstrated to the trainers on how to build a behaviour by precise reinforcement. The clicker says ‘that is what I want’ and the food follows. She showed that she does not guide or prompt the behaviour, she selects the behaviour that is close to the end goal. As she raises the criteria, she withholds the click and waits for a movement closer to the goal.

Ruth did some free shaping with Biscuit holding a dumbbell and going to and staying on a mat.

28/9 Saturday afternoon Workshop Beginners Noseworks

Peta had the trainers and dogs starting off with empty cardboard boxes with a treat hidden inside one of them. The dogs were encouraged to go free and sniff around the boxes, when they found the treat, they got to eat it and were then rewarded at the spot with another treat. No wonder they loved this game.

Jan and Herbie had a great time outside with the boxes and Herbie enjoyed being off lead.

Brendan and Lassie did some empty box work also. Lassie being vision impaired really enjoys this game.

Vicki and Elsa showed us how it was done, Elsa is a natural when it comes to finding food.

Sonia and Jedda also made finding food hidden in boxes look easy.

Sunday afternoon : Advanced Noseworks Workshop

The session started off with a group of handlers asking their dogs to search and find an odour (we only used Birch) inside the room. It was quite confronting as it was a strange room that the dogs had never been in, it was crowded with a lot of people watching and the handlers did not know where the odour was hidden. Peta challenged the group by hiding the odour in a wrapped up mat which the dogs & handlers could not see. Other ‘hides’ were up high where the dog had to jump up to indicate. It was quite a challenging workshop.

Outside scent work

Peta hid some Birch odour on an outside building up high and another imbedded in the grass area. The handlers did not know where the ‘hides’ were located. It was difficult for the handlers and dogs as it was windy and it had been an area where other dogs had been walking/toileting. Also, most of the handlers had trouble with not realizing their dog’s “alert”, but they all managed to find the odour. The dogs loved it.

All in all it was a fantastic learning experience for everyone who went along. Huge thanks to Peta Clarke for fitting us in before the end of the year, to Julia for organising and hosting Peta, to Aveo for letting us use their facility and to everyone who came along.

Fire at the Flyball Nationals 2019

The 2019 Redlands Flyball Racing Teams

Flyball Nationals. Over 200 dogs, their handlers, box loaders, ball shaggers; stats recorders, support crews, junior handlers, photographers, interested members of the public, judges, stewards, commentator Paul, timekeepers and behind the scene organisers gathered together at Wacol to compete in arguably the most fun a dog and loving owner can have.

An immense congratulations and thanks must go to Awesome Pawsome for the massive effort they put into organising and running such a big event. Special thanks go too to the sponsors of this great event. Thanks go to all the teams from NSW, VIC, the ACT and QLD, who competed with a wonderful sense of camaraderie and enjoyment over the three days.

As for Redlands, thanks to all our team members who pulled together to support and cheer each other on over the course of the event. Congratulations to Turn’n’ Burn who placed second in their division with a time of 26.946 seconds; to Burn’n’Action for placing third in their division with a time of 24.765 ; Back’n’Action who placed third with a PB time of 17.941; and Burn’n’Bolt who also placed third with a time of 17.576. Congratulations goes to Nick with Meeka for achieving the coveted triple zero start on Sunday.

Also well done to Kym and Fenway for his debut at this event a big ask for a new dog he ran well with the best time of 5.30. with just, a couple of hick-ups will only get better.

Congratulations to the QLD clubs for winning their divisions
Airborne Special Ops Div 2 winners
Absolutely Awesome Div 6 Winners
Pine Rivers Devils Div 8 Winners

What a great three days for the sport of Flyball – the 21st Also Congratulations to all our interstate teams that won their divisions and for giving us some great racing over the 3 days .

You can check out some awesome shots from Blues Buddies Photography – Here

RDOC puts the Sizzle in at Bunnings.

The Bunnings Sausage Sizzle is an Aussie icon, it’s not about the food, it’s just a snag & onions on a piece of bread with some sauce, but it’s a tradition and Bunnings customers seem to love them. Bunnings have the recipe for success, it’s one of the most successful corporate-sponsored community events held all over Australia.

Some people buy a sausage on their way in to Bunnings, then another on their way out.

We had people asking for a sausage at 7am when we weren’t quite ready, we had people wanting them after 4pm when we had stopped serving, turned off the BBQ and the bread had been packed away, they didn’t mind, they still wanted a cold sausage.

Chewing the Fat

Preparation before the day involved

Ruth applying for the opportunity to do the sausage sizzle months in advance.

Karin, Jennie, Brendan & Ken went to the mid-week Bunnings induction.

Sallyanne, Jennie & Karin doing a few shopping trips & delivering sausages to Hogans cold room. The young guy at the Woolies register asked me if I was having a party, I said I might when this is over.

Karin organising a working roster so we had 4 people there at once and some overlap of shifts to train the next group people starting.

Jennie organised the float with Vicki

Vicki donated all the ice & loaned Hogan’s huge eskies & stored the sausages overnight.

Colleen & Brendan donated some bain marees which were perfect for the bbq, they really kept everything hot.

Julia donated the zig zag metal holder which made things so much easier. We could place the bread, sausage, onions wrapped in a napkin on this tray which held everything in place. Bunnings have a strict safety rule that onions have to be placed on the bread first with the sausage on top! The customers could then add their own sauce.

Recipe for Success

ON the day we had 11 RDOC members and 1 husband helping serve customers, cook on the bbq and handle the money.

We all wore our RDOC shirts and caps.

We had a few people asking for dog training advice.

Ken, not being a dog handler, jokingly advised people to get a cat instead.

The day started at 6am with a nice fine hot day.  Karin & Ken met Vicki at Hogans to pick up the 61kg of sausages 4 huge eskies of ice & loaded them all into Ken’s van. He then delivered these to bunnings capalaba along with all the cooking utensils, cans of soft drink, sauces etc.

Jennie, Aaron, Brendan & Sallyanne went straight to Bunnings at 6am to set up the BBQ & meet the delivery of 25kg of fresh onions. 

Thankfully we had Aaron & Ken to unload all the sausages and 340 cans of soft drink as this was heavy work.

Sallyanne & Brendan then went to go buy the 50 loaves of fresh bread when Woolies opended at 7am.

Aaron was first up on the bbq

He was kept busy as the crowds started pouring in around 11am and we came close to not having any sausages cooked.

Sallyanne, Jan, Tess, Sonia, Karen L, Carmen, Dawn, Karin and Vicki did all the serving and collecting money. Vicki was great at making sure all the customer’s orders were taken.

John & Ken then worked the BBQ & again we came close to not having any cooked sausages ready later in the day, it was difficult to predict the quantities. I think the rule we used was when you think we’ve got enough sausages ready, then you need to cook some more.

We stopped serving at 4pm & a few customers still wanted some sausages.

It started to cloud over and get really gusty, it looked like it was going to storm.

At the end of the day, Carmen, Karin, Ken, Dawn and Sonia cleaned the BBQ, swept & mopped the floors & packed up the BBQ

The windy conditions made it difficult, but luckily (for us) it didnt rain.

We finished about 5pm.

Got home & had a few bevies to celebrate as we had made a profit and had to store the left over bread & sausages in Karin’s freezer then drive to Jan’s at Vicky Point to store the rest of the bread in Jan’s freezer.

On the Monday, Karin returned the eskies & Jennie took the money to Hogan’s to count

Ken’s van was still loaded with left over drinks which he delivered back to the club along with the sauces, cooking utensils etc.

Then I had some more celebratory drinks when it was all done.

Everyone involved said they had a great time, it was fun working together and chatting to the customers. Well worth the time and energy and a great team effort.

A huge thanks to everyone that helped organise and participate on the day. Massive thanks to Karin who organised it all, Sallyanne for organising the food, Brendan for opening up and Vicki and Hogans for providing assistance with storage and coins. THANK YOU

Till next time.

Important Dates

Last Intake for 2019 – Wed 6th Nov

This will be the last opportunity for new members to join in 2019.

End of year Party for Members – 4th Dec from 6:30pm

The evening will consist of fun and games, prize giving, a free sausage sizzle, bring a plate and awards presentations.

This will also be the last week for club training. Classes will recommence in Jan 2020

First Training Session 2020 for current members – Week Beginning 20th Jan 2020

All classes will restart for current members in the week.

First Intake of 2020 – Feb 5th 2020

Details will posted on our Facebook Page and in our newsletter nearer the time.

Trophy Applications 2019

Jan Dixon, our Trial Secretary is managing the trophies and awards for the end of year Awards Night which will be on Wednesday 4th Dec 2019.

RDOC members have achieved a lot of Titles this year, so to make it easier to get the Awards ready, we have asked the coordinators of Obedience, Rally O, Flyball, Agility and Dances with Dogs to draw up a list of dogs who have gained a title in their discipline this year between 1/11/18 – 31/10/19. 

If you have achieved a title in this time period you will need to provide to your coordinator a copy of your Title Certificates and give them your plaque if you already have one, for engraving.

If this is the first time you have achieved a title, you will be provided with a club plaque.

If you have gained a Title in another dog sport recognised by DQ, please apply direct to Jan on: or in person at the Club.

Redfest Fun & Games

This year saw the club take on Redfest over both days, with the Obedience, Agility and DWD display teams taking the limelight on the Sat and Flyball teams, including four from Redlands Flyball Racing gathering the crowds on the Sunday.

Our Sat Demo team!

It was an early start on both days with numerous pieces of equipment to set up, peg down and plug in. Saturday proved to be very windy so careful layout out and pegging down was required.

Whilst the crowds weren’t huge, the efforts of all the participants were well appreciated. Across the day there were a multitude of displays and demonstrations.

Sonia and Winston showing the crowd a trick.

As usual Sharon and Holly captivated the crowd with their routines, but this year they were joined by, Anne, Paulo, Caroline and Soina in both a group routine with Strudle, Chicca and Winston, as well as Caroline and Adam doing their Ekka winning routine. It was amazing to see how far they had all come and how much they were all loving playing up to the crowd.

Tess and Layla

Not to be outdone, our Agility teams showed off their versatility and expertise with some great runs in tough, hot and windy conditions. Again we were placed next to the camels which proved a distraction to some more than others.

We had a variety of obedience displays, with all different levels showing their skills. It was great to see how far they had come and how well they worked in what was a hugely distracting environment.

All in all it was a great day, which was down to the hard work of all the participants, in both training for the event and setting it up!

Sunday saw the Redlands Flyball Racing Teams take to the Spring Sensations Competition. It has been a long season for our teams and with the Nationals fast approaching, the end of the season is in sight.

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Another hot and windy day meant interesting conditions for racing but there were a couple of individual bests, including, Kelly and Jorja for running a pb of 4.5sec and Donna and Pippa with their pb of 5.6 sec.

Burn n Bolt also ran a new Queensland record of 17.147 seconds. What an amazing result.

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Lilian with her Prizes.

Final Results on the day for Redlands were,

Red Plus 2nd in open Div

Burn n Action 2nd Div 4

Back n Action 3rd Div 1

Burn n Bolt 2nd Div 1

Not bad results after a long year and the big one still to come! Huge thanks to the sponsors who helped make it a great day, in particular Ivory Coat.

As you see this was a huge weekend for the club, so there are quite a few thanks to go around. In no particular order,

Craig and Edna for keeping on top of all the comps this year and continuing to organise everything with four teams.

Kate Hutchinson for her amazing packing and driving skills.

Karin Burns for getting the demo team ready.

Julia Fenton for just being everywhere.

Pauline Oldman for continuing to support all aspects of the flyball team.

And everyone else that helps out and keeps the club running. We really couldn’t attend these events without a huge amount of effort and support. So thank you everyone.

EKKA success for Redlands!

Redlands Dog Obedience Club was well represented and very successful in the Dog Sports at the Royal Queensland Show i.e. the ‘Ekka’ this year.

Sunday 18th August was the main dog sports day at the Ekka which holds competitions in Rally O, Agility and Dances with Dogs.

Sharon & Holly- part of the Ekka routine
 photo by Pawsnap

Sharon Clark and her Border Collie, Holly brought home 2 Qualifications and a load of great prizes in her sport of Dances with Dogs. They won both the Advanced Heelwork to Music and Advanced Freestyle DWD classes as well as achieving the overall highest score prize for DWD.

Sharon’s Border Collie
Cian doing his crossed paws moves
Photo by Pawsnap

Sharon’s other Border Collie, Cian who is now retired, did a demo in the non-titling rookie class which was a really lovely routine and well received by the crowd.

A very tired Adam with some of his prizes at home afterwards and with his masters prize at the Ekka.

Caroline Strainig and her Border Collie, Adam won Heelwork to Music Starters. Caro and Adam have only started learning DWD this year, basically since Adam retired from Agility. He excels at Obedience and loves to learn new tricks, so Heelwork to Music was his next challenge and Caro says he learns the tricks really quickly.

DWD is a fairly recent sport and is now a fast growing discipline in Queensland. If you love music and walking with your dog, then Heelwork to Music might be for you. In traditional Obedience, the dog heels on the handler’s left side, but in HTM the dog heels on either side, in front or behind the handler and may be going forwards or backwards. The dog and handler complete a routine to music where a minimum of 70% must be a heelwork position, and the remaining up to 30% can be freestyle or transition moves.

DWD also includes a freestyle section which involves the dog doing exercises like spins, weave through the handler’s legs, reversing up, chin-rests, bows and any other tricks you can teach your dog. The dog does not need to work close to the handler so can be sent in large circles around the handler or to a target further away. The routine is choreographed to music and the different levels of difficulty start at one minute for the Starter group going up to 4 minute routines for the Advanced level. However, it is not just a series of tricks – it’s a well-choreographed routine and has a variety of moves and flows smoothly.

Max & Sassi

Sassi and her winnings.

DWD is a fun sport to watch as well as to participate in. The dogs seem to love doing tricks and the Handler is able to talk to their dog while listening to their favourite music!

Max & Sassi  on the morning of the Ekka show

The Rally O competition was held undercover on real turf this year, however it did have some very well worn patches by the time Rally started. The conditions at the Ekka are very distracting for dogs. The grounds have lots of unusual and tempting smells after being used by hundreds of different dogs over the 10 day Ekka period. Also, there’s a person commenting over a loud speaker, the crowd clapping as well as people hanging over the fence dangling hot chips or Dagwood dogs and children trying out their latest toy army machine guns from the Army Action Show bag or throwing their Buzz Lightyear squishy up in the air! Even walking into the Ekka can be nerve racking for the dogs as they have to walk through the crowds with all the noise, food and tempting smells to get there. It’s a real challenge.

Caro and Adam competed in Rally O Masters and Excellent B and won both competitions. They have competed at the Ekka in previous years and although Adam is quite relaxed and an extremely reliable dog, Caro, understandably, still felt a touch of the nerves on the day.

Carol Ward also competed in Rally with her 2 Borders, Sassi and Max. Both dogs qualified in Novice Rally and came second and third respectively. Carol has recently started competing in Rally and this was only their third Rally O trial since they started in mid-June this year. Sassi has had the Ekka experience before, but it was in 2012 and this year was a completely different set up and new area. It was Max’s first time at the Ekka and he did well to handle that environment with all the waiting around all day, having fireworks go off twice during the Agility runs and bands going past!

On the same day, that afternoon, Carol also competed successfully in Agility with Sassi achieving a first in Masters Jumping 400, a second in Masters Agility 400 and a third in overall all heights in Masters Jumping and a qualification and 6th place in overall heights in ADO. These are fantastic results especially as this sport draws a big crowd and although the crowd noises of cheering and clapping spooked Sassi a little, she managed to keep focused.

It’s a big day for both the dogs and their handlers, so it’s no wonder someone, who shall remain nameless, had other things on their mind when they parked their car that morning and subsequently ‘allegedly’ forgot where it was in the King Street carpark that afternoon. Fortunately, they could ‘phone a friend’ who had also parked near them to help locate said car!

All the RDOC members who participated at the Show said it was such a great day and was so much fun.

Well done to these 3 ladies and their dogs for braving the demanding conditions of the Ekka and doing so well against some tough competition in their respective dog sports.

You don’t have to have a Border Collie to compete in these sports, but it looks like there is a theme happening here!

All Dog Sports Spectacular

Sunday 25th August 2019

Ruth at the RDOC stand ready to go

On Sunday 25th August, Dogs Queensland hosted its annual All Dog Sports Spectacular at its Durack showgrounds. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and colours attended. It is one of the biggest canine one day events of the year in Queensland. The All Dog Sports Spectacular highlights everything in dog sports for the pedigree as well as cross bred dogs.

Some of our new merchandise that can now be purchased at the shed at reduced prices for members. The licki mats were flying out the door at the ADSS.

Different dog breeds were originally specifically bred for different purposes, to work, to assist and serve human kind. Nowadays, a lot of their jobs are no longer required; therefore our modern dogs can now be trained for fun and sport. The All Dog Sports Spectacular celebrates all the wonderful activities you and your family can be involved in with your canine family member and it was all there in the one place. 

There were stalls selling dog equipment, dog treats, toys and dog food, as well as stalls giving out free show bags and samples and games and competitions. This year they had a fire truck display compete with delightful Dalmatians for photo opportunities.

Kate and Charli and Ice Cream
Ruth and Biscuit, visiting Vicki and Elsa at the agility tent!

We had Ruth, Wendy, Nicky, and Sally Anne manning the RDOC gazebo and selling dog leads, licki mats and bowls. The show grounds are huge so there was plenty of space for parking, and for each sport to be far enough away from each other. There was space for camping as well as an off lead dog park on the grounds, everything your canine desired

Elsa the flying Beagle

There were so many dog sports on offer, such as Agility, Fly ball, Obedience, Rally O, Dances with Dogs, Gun Dog Retrieving, Tracking, Lure Coursing, and Duck Herding, just to name a few.

Vicki, Shaaron and Sonia

One of the most popular, exciting and action packed dog sports is the Agility and Jumping. Redlands Dog Obedience Club had Shaaron and her brindle Boxers, Piper and Nelson doing well with Nelson achieving a qualification in JD. It was a tough course, with lots of distractions and the day was quite warm so unfortunately no more quallies for the day. Kate did come close to qualifying, but with the newer, tighter rules, unfortunately for Charli, any hesitation is counted as a refusal. Sonia and Winston also came close with a nice run but he was feeling the heat and just clipped one of the bars. Shaaron also ran her other Boxer, Piper who had a clear run in Master Jumping, but it was just over time, so didn’t qualify. Vicki said today Elsa just went “Beagle!”

At the far end of the grounds, where things were a bit quieter, were the Obedience and Rally O rings. We had club members Caroline and Julia competing in Rally O and Colleen competing in both Rally and Obedience. It was hot and dusty and a lot of the dogs were feeling the heat.

Caroline and her black and white Border Collie, Groot did well and gained First place in Rally O Advance which gave him his RA Title.

Some of our Flyballers getting ready to RUN!

Fly-ball is another increasingly popular dog sport that is fast and action packed. The noise was deafening and the excitement was palpable! We had two Redlands teams competing. Both teams delivered excellent performances winning their respective divisions despite the warm and dusty conditions making it slightly challenging for the dogs. This sport attracts a bit of a crowd and it was great to see so many members of the public come over to watch.

In the Dances with Dogs arena we had Sharon and her Border Collie Holly doing very well. They gained several first placings in DWD Advanced freestyle. Caroline and Adam also fitted in some time for some successful dancing. They had 2 firsts in DWD Starter Freestyle.

Sharon and Holly Dancing to New York

Overall  it was an entertaining day out and the dogs enjoyed all the interesting sights, sounds and smells. So if you are interested in trying out some fun dog sports with your dog it would be well worth a visit for next year. The venue is dog friendly and child friendly so it’s a great day out for the whole family. Your dog doesn’t have to be a pedigree or a specific breed to do these sports, although choosing the most suitable sport usually depends on the personality and natural drive of the individual dog.

Whatever you decide, you and your dog will no longer be satisfied with just going for a walk around the block when you see all the fun activities on offer!

Redlands RallyO Wrap

The last day in August saw Jan Dixon pull together yet another faultless trial. With a whopping 80+ entries and 4 judges over two trials, it was all over by 10pm with minimum fuss and lots of qualifications and even a few titles!

The evening was calm and a little on chilly side, but our judges Cyn. D Fisher, Desmond Strong, Olaf Moller and Bevan Stewart set up some interesting and challenging courses that kept all our entrants on their toes. Thank you to our judges for their time and expertise on the night.

We had not only a significant number of entrants but volunteers galore which meant our competitors could concentrate on competing. A massive thanks to all our stewards and canteen helpers, Colleen, Brendan, Sallyanne, Sue, Kiera, Carmen, Anne, and Dawn, as well as a few others. We really can’t run these events without your help.

The evening started off with the usual walk of the course, with Bevan taking his competitors around his ring going through all the elements in great detail. A number of the competitors mentioned how helpful this was, especially on what was a complex and challenging course.

Bevan showing the competitors around the Excellent A course
Jennie isn’t sure this course is for her!

Not only were the courses excellent, Redlands came home with a bucket load of qualifications!

Caro & Adam – 98 & 100 pts and 2 x 1st s  in Master

Caro on her perfect, 100 pt run out with Adam.

Caro & Groot – 86 pts and qualification in Excellent A

Alex & Flynn – 99 & 96 pts and 2 x 1st s in Novice and RN TITLE!!! Off to Advanced for Alex and Flynn, great work.

Not a bad effort from Alex and Flynn, one pesky mark away from a perfect score!

Carol is quickly showing us how it is done with more quallies and placings for both Max and Sassi.

Carol & Max – 93 & 83 pts and a 1st and 2nd  in Advanced A

Carol & Sassi – 89 & 89 pts and a 1st and 2nd  in Advanced A

After an aborted start Nicky and Ada got it together to bring home the bacon.

Nicky & Ada – 93pts in Novice and RN TITLE!!!

Nicky and Ada heading to Advanced next time out.

First timers Glennis & Ruby used the familirity of home ground to gain their first qualification in Novice with 82 pts! Well done, we are looking forward to see this pair going onwards.

A relieved Glennis at the end of their first ever run out.

Sonia and Jedda had a great day out and used the familiarity of home turf to great effect and awesome results.

Sonia & Jedda – 94 & 95pts and 2 x 1st s in Advanced A

Sonia & Jedda – 93 & 89pts and 2 x 1st s in Excellent A

Fantastic results from Sonia and Jedda

Jennie & Alfie continue to forge through the comps with more qualifications and placings, with 84 & 92 pts and a 2nd  in Excellent A.

As usual great focus from Alfie.
You get two extra chances in RallyO and here is Jennie having a second go at an exercise. These can make the difference between and qualification and not qualifying.

Finally another great exhibition of fun and focus in the ring from our OIC, Julia with her amazing Golden Annie. A bit of dutch courage earned her an extra two points in the first comp!

Julia & Annie – 93 & 91 pts for a 1st and 3rd in Excellent A

Smiles all round. Annie always has a spring in her step and her tail in the air!
Beautiful Heeling from Annie.
They may be obedient but that doesn’t stop a little bit of rebellion!

You can view more photos here

Virginia’s Victories!

Nathalie and Virginia at EKKA 2019

Virginia is your typical gentle Whippet, she’s a 5 year old quiet and dignified lady who loves to run fast chasing a ball. She is also just as content to lie around the house and chill most of the day along with her house mates Chi Chi, a Greyhound, Rupert, another Whippet and Rexington, a Whippet Border Collie cross.

Originally Virginia was a show dog. Show dogs compete in shows and are judged on conformation. Some Show dogs have to spend hours being groomed, trimmed, and blow dried, but luckily for Virginia her coat is short, smooth and close so grooming doesn’t take too long.

She was retired from Showing and rehomed to Nathalie approximately 2 years ago. Nathalie trains Rexington in Flyball and couldn’t resist giving it a try with Virginia. Whippets are known to be difficult to train so this was considered to be a fun challenge. It was a bit of a slow start learning flyball. One time at a competition Virginia decided she didn’t want to run as she was more interested in going to say hello to a complete stranger holding a cup of coffee. Nathalie had to take her out of the ring to go over and meet him. Having a friendly dog that likes to meet new people can be a distraction at competitions. But now after 18 months of training, Virginia has recently gained her Australian Flyball

Virginia in training

Champion Title. Virginia really enjoys Flyball. She enjoys running fast and being very food motivated, she really enjoys all the food rewards at the end of a run!

Nathalie is fairly new to Showing, but this year she entered Virginia in the Royal Queensland Show or as it is more commonly known, the “Ekka” and won BEST NEUTER WHIPPET, BEST NEUTER IN GROUP

And finally BEST NEUTER IN SHOW. The competition involved Virginia winning her breed class which was against other Whippets on Friday 9th August, then competing against all the other dogs in her breed Group. This Group 4 includes all Hounds such as Beagles, Bassets, Afghans, Borzois and many more. There were 14 other Neuter dog breeds that made it through to challenge Best in Group. Virginia won that also, which meant she went back on Saturday 17th August to compete against Neuters in all the Groups from 1-7. The Groups include all the dog types such as Toys, Terriers, Gun dogs, Working Dogs, Utility, Non Sporting dogs and Hounds. Virginia won this as well which made her Best Neuter in Show. Quite a complicated and lengthy process and a fantastic achievement, especially against so many different breeds of dogs!


Showing at the Ekka and even in competing in Flyball is a very distracting environment for dogs. There are lots of people, loud unusual noises and new and interesting smells everywhere. The loud speaker and blaring music can make Virginia a little nervous at times, but generally she goes really well at shows and takes it all in her stride.

It is great to see that a successful Show dog can also be a successful Flyball competition dog.

Well done to Nathalie and Virginia and congratulations on your very prestigious achievements!