OXBERGET – EKERÖ – VÄSTGÖTASPETS
(I hope you will overlook the linguistic errors – trying my best
My name is Britta Hammarström, I live in Närlunda, Ekerö. Ekerö is a set of islands situated just outside Stockholm. Close to my home is a small mountain, called Oxberget (Ox mountain), a suitable kennel prefix for a cattle herding breed – the Västgötaspets (Swedish Vallhund.
The picture in the banner is taken on Ox mountain.
Today I have two VS, the dog in the middle of above picture is Grålötens Clara Cluck. Clara would have been 14 in Feb. 2007, bud sadly enough, she left us a couple of weeks ago. The dog on the right in the picture is Grålötens Ylva Yllesocka (Stina), 6 years old, and the one on the left is Stinas’ daughter, Oxbergets Birka (Bitte), 2 years in Feb. 2007. So far just two puppies have my kennel prefix and Bitte is one of them.
Ever since I was a child I have loved everything about dogs. I grew up with Airedale terrier and GSD. Had a “dogless” period for some years. When our children were 4 years respectively 10 months,I felt we just had to have an animal – Frida the cat, lived with us for 14 years, good as gold and very much loved.
My longing for a dog grew stronger. 1980 Golden Retriever Honey came into the family. I very soon got involved in Mälarö Brukshundklubb (a working dogs club), attended several courses and also competed some with Honey – with very modest results….
Eventually I became instructor, teacher for instructors, competition steward and test leader for mental tests.
My second Goldenbitch Rakel, was born in 1988, Rakel and I had better luck in competition – I had gained more experience – Honey really did put up with my ”beginners awkwardness” without loosing her spirit in any way. Rakel became obedience champion and we also competed in elite class searching (searching for people).
Daughter Elisabeth got very interested in ”the dog business” – she did some training with Honey in the youth section of the working dogs club, but we soon realized that one dog was not enough for two interested people. Elisabeth bought Anton,the first Västgötaspets in the family. Anton was a lovely grey VS, had loads of charm , intelligence, sense of humour (yes, VS do have a sense of humour :0)
Anton had difficulties in getting on with other male dogs – apart from that he was the kindest, most cuddly dog you could imagine.The Västgötaspets breed very soon got deeply rooted in the hearts of our family. I knew my next dog would be a VS and in 1993 I brought Grålötens Clara Cluck home with me. A fantastic bitch! I decided to train and compete in a – for a VS – a bit unusual discipline – I felt that this breed had an enormous working capacity – and if you don´t have access to cows or sheep, well, then you have to find other ways to activate your VS.
Clara became both obedience champion, show champion, was moved up one class in searching, competed in blood tracking and last, but not least – she became the only army patrol dog in Sweden of this breed. We took part in many military training sessions and competitions, Clara did a marvellous job! Clara was also mental tested (gun proof – if that is the expression? Not afraid of shots), did to two herding tests and was exterior evaluated.
Next VS was Grålötens Ylva Yllesocka -(Stina to her friends :0), a very cute little lady, with some brown colour in her coat. Stina is show champion, moved up one class in searching and we compete in obedience class 3. Stina is also mental tested (gun proof), exterior evaluated, herding tested x 2 and she has also given birth to two excellent puppies.
So, my youngest VS is Oxbergets Birka (Bitte), 2 years in Feb.2007.Bitte has 2 certificates in the show ring, needs one more after the age of 2, to become a show champion, is mental tested (gun proof) ,exterior evaluated, herding tested (with modest result, lots of fun to run with the steer, but she did not put the same pressure on them as her mom Stina and Clara did) and we have competed once, in tracking (human tracks). we were not moved up one class but I was very pleased with her debut , she took the whole track and also did quite a good obedience program.
Of course we plan for more competitions next year – just a little winter break – but the training goes on! Tracking (both human tracks and blood tracks) and obedience and maybe we will also try searching next year – my absolute favourite discipline!
But I have also other plans for Bitte – if everything works out ok – she will have puppies next spring. If she does not get pregnant – no worries! Bitte is young and we can wait until next suitable opportunity.