|Call Name: Gwen
Breeders: Beth Rutherford, Line Robichaud & Mara Flood
Owners: Katherine Dunn & Beth Rutherford
Handler: Katherine Dunn
Favourite Treat: She likes food!
Favourite Toy: Milker tugs
Best Friend: She is a people dog, she loves her family
Interview with Katherine Dunn
How would you describe Rally to someone who has never seen the sport before? I really love Rally, it is a mix of heeling and tricks. Rally involves several signs at a varying difficulty that you need to learn how to perform with your dog, some are quite simple like sitting in heel position, some are more challenging like you and your dog both circling right side by side together. A Rally course is then just a series of these signs and you heel from sign to sign, completing each sign when you reach it. My dogs all really love it.
How did you get involved in Rally? I got involved in Rally with my first Smooth Collie, Shadow, looking for things to do with him. With Gwen, I started the foundations of Rally early, as she really loves to work and do things with me. I also found that Rally is a great foundation for many other things as it teaches focus and attention in a fun way.
How did Gwen come into your life? I wanted to do more dog sports and was looking for a dog that was up to the challenge and Gwen has been she loves it all, we have done Conformation, Rally, Herding, and Scent work, although Agility is her favourite.
When did cue/command training begin with Gwen? Was Gwen a star from the start? Training with Gwen started right from the day we got her, of course, it didn’t look like formal training at the beginning but more like fun and games which makes it all the more fun for you and them. Gwen was a rock star right from the start, she learned things very quickly, was always engaged, which really is one of the most important things, and was and still is always ready to give her all.
What drew you to the Smooth Collie? It’s my husband’s fault! He saw a Smooth Collie and fell in love, we did some research on the breed and we were fortunate to have a great Smooth Collie breeder, Beth Rutherford, right here in the Maritimes. We now have four of them!
What was the biggest challenge of competing in Rally in 2021? We were quite fortunate here in the
Maritimes, as COVID was kept pretty well controlled, so we were able to have quite a few competitions in 2021. That said, spectators were not allowed, and so my husband and daughter who usually like to tag along to events were not allowed to come so I missed having them there with me. And of course, competing with masks was not fun, but we all learned.
What is your fondest memory of competing with Gwen in 2021? There was no one memory that I can think of, I truly do enjoy every time we go into the ring together as she is so much fun to work with and she has so much enthusiasm for just doing things with me.
What’s next for Gwen? I hope to finish Gwen’s Rally Championship and RMX in 2022 as she is super close. We are working on some Trick Dog titles, may try some CKC Scent Work, and we are going to do some Obedience. Gwen is ready for the Obedience ring I just have to make sure I am.