Julie Skuba of Winnipeg and her Belgian Shepherd Dog, Jordan, (Sky Acres Flying Made Easy), have just accomplished something that most of us have never thought about and wouldn’t have thought possible, if we had.
Jordan is a CKC double Grand Champion!! That means that he has earned the highest titles available in two different kinds of CKC dog competition: in the breed ring, Grand Champion Excellent, and in the obedience ring, Grand Master Obedience Trial Champion.
Jordan is not Julie’s first dog. That was a Keeshond acquired for her then 11-year-old daughter. Mother, however, sat through all the training classes and absorbed some of the teaching. The second dog was a Belgian Shepherd that proved too much for the child and Mother (formerly a cat person) stepped in and became a serious trainer.
Through her experiences with the first Belgian, Julie learned a lot about the breed. When it was time for another dog, she approached a kennel in Oregon, and was asked to complete a questionnaire about what she wanted in a dog. Her answer: one that can win Best in Show and High in Trial. The breeder shipped her a 10 week old puppy and Julie and Jordan met at the Winnipeg Airport.
Julie says that obedience training began the very next day.
Jordan completed his Canadian championship, going Best of Winners from the 12-18 month class at a National Specialty in June, 2008.
His obedience titles began in 2010, with a CD in February, a CDX in April and an OTCH in November. In February of 2012, in five trials on one weekend, Jordan earned both his OTCHX and his MOTCH titles, with 10 High in Class and 5 High in Trial awards. The GMOTCH came in October of the same year.
Then came a run for the necessary breed wins. The GCH was earned in late 2013 and the GCHX was completed in April of this year (2014).
His track record: two Bests in show, 10 Group 1sts, 54 High in Trial awards with three perfect scores of 200, one of these from the very difficult Utility B class. Other notable High in Trial wins include two National Specialties: the Belgian Shepherd Club of Canada, 2014, and the American Belgian Tervuren Club, 2012.
With all this glory, there are a myriad of wonderful memories. I asked Julie which was her most memorable moment.
Here is her answer: “It was shortly after completing his CDX when I realized that Jordan’s greatest drawback was his trainer/handler. He was capable of so much more and I was wholly inadequate as a coach for him. I needed to step up my game BIGTIME!”
Jordan was seven years old last February. He doesn’t know that, in dog terms, he’s a veteran. He’s still running from breed ring to obedience ring on weekends, winning group placements and Highs in Trial.
Hats off to Julie and Jordan, a most remarkable partnership!
Article courtesy of Gail Carroll—long-time obedience and rally judge and CKC Obedience Representative for Manitoba. Photographs courtesy of Winnipeg CKC member, Katherina Dueck.