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
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!