This year has been an absolute whirlwind for everyone here at Aoiyama Shikoku. I had planned on writing more frequently about our accomplishments but I guess jamming it all into this entry will have to do.
SO. The year started off with the addition of two new pups coming to the kennel in February - Koji and Naoka. I am so incredibly thankful to their breeders because these guys have absolutely exceeded my expectations this year and I couldn't be more proud to have them.
I was so excited to dive into just about everything with these pups. They have such wonderfully balanced temperaments and are a joy to work with but it was important to me that I didn't burn them out too young by forcing them to do too much all at once. I limited shows to one per month and after they turned 6 months old, began adding some barn hunt trials to the schedule. We also started working toward their trick titles within the first few weeks that they came home. Trick training for us isn't just about earning the titles however. It helps me build a good working relationship with all of my dogs as well as creates a crucial foundation for every day obedience and a variety of sports and activities. By sticking to our one show a month + one sporting event a month, we managed to achieve a pretty solid balance between events, training, and spending time in the woods - which is easily their favorite of the three.
The dogs earned titles in conformation, barn hunt, trick dog, and have points/legs toward various coursing titles - the earning of which took us all over the east coast. We made some amazing new friends and got to adventure to incredible new places. Titles and bragging rights aside (lol) it's the memories made with these pups that make it all worth it. So while we do have plenty of goals for this coming year, like taking a stab at rally, scentwork, and getting serious about hunting, knowing that I have a whole new year worth of memories waiting to be made is what I'm most excited for. 2022 we're ready for you!