2015: Zeus’s Year in Review
As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted follow up my 2014 post I did this time last year and summarize Zeus’s various show and working accomplishments for the year. Not only will it be interesting for me to compare and contract this year’s accomplishments from last, it will be interesting to see which of the goals I set at the beginning of the year we accomplished, and which we did not.
January started for us as as it did the year prior with the first show of the year being the 2015 IABCA Buckeye Sieger. Of the various dog related organizations in which we participate, IABCA isn’t the most prestigious, but their shows are good practice and always enjoyable. Zeus did well at the show, and earned his IABCA International Champion title:
February we entered our first Sieger show of the year – the 2015 RKNA South Florida Rottweiler Klub Breed Show. This show was a two-day show (justifying at least in part the drive from Ohio to Florida) and Zeus did extremely well competing in the 18-24 month male class – V2 on Saturday under Olga Grin ( FCI Russia) and V1 on Sunday under ADRK judge Siegmund Trebschuh.
This was an absolutely critical win for us. In 2014 Zeus earned 2 points toward the RKNA Champion (CH) title. In my 2015 goals, I stated ” Zeus currently has two points toward his RKNA Championship title – it sure would be nice to add to that total at some point in 2015.” The V1 at this show gave us another point, and I began to seriously consider the possibility that Zeus MIGHT just be able to attain his RKNA CH in 2015.
In March Zeus and I drove 10 hour drive to Jacksonville, North Carolina to compete in the 2015 AIRK Nationals in the 18-24 month males class. If there was a theme for shows in 2015, it was rain – as we had done the month prior in Miami, Zeus and I ran around the ring in the rain. This show is AIRK’s biggest show of the year (of course the organization seems to only have 2-3 events a year at most) and Zeus went V3 in his class – an impressive showing in an extremely large and competitive class:
April was a big month with not just one, but two BIG shows – the first ever North America Rottweiler World Show, and the 2015 American Rottweiler Club Nationals Club Sieger. At the World Show, competing in the 18-24 month male class, Zeus took V4 in a HUGE class of 12 dogs. A bit of a disappointment, but Zeus still placed so I wasn’t terribly upset. And it didn’t rain at this show…one of the few.
The ARC Nationals is a special show for us for many reasons. Zeus went V2 in the 6-9 month male category in 2014, and we hoped to win his class in 2015. This would also be Zeus’s last showing in the 18-24 month male class so we really wanted it to be something special. Zeus NARROWLY lost the first place spot in this class and went V2 which we were extremely proud to do at such a prestigious event.
In May we traveled just four ours to the RKNA Smokey Mountain Working Rottweiler Klub (SMWRK) to do Zeus’s RKNA Standard Evaluation (SE). Zeus successfully ran the gantlet of trials involved and earned his RKNA SE title – another huge win for us which brought Zeus one point closer to earning his RKNA CH. Zeus did compete in the Open Male class at this show (his first time showing in this class) and received a V rating from the judge.
In June we traveled to Canada for the Central Ontario Rottweiler Klub’s (CORK) Breed Survey – our first international competition! Having not placed in TN we really didn’t know what to expect, but Zeus managed A V4 placement under ADRK legend Claudia Wolf-Meixner:
After a grueling spring show schedule, we got a nice “Summer break” from the Sieger ring, which gave us the opportunity to largely focus on IPO work, for our BH test in October.
Since I was doing so much obedience work anyway preparing for our BH test, I decided rather last minute to enter an AKC Rally Obedience Trial in July at the Dayton Dog Training Club. We entered Rally Obedience trials in the morning and afternoon. I only needed one more leg to complete Zeus’s AKC Rally Novice (RN) title but registered for both trials in case we totally blew the morning trial. As it turns out, it wasn’t necessary – Zeus placed 1st and fourth respectively in the two trials, and we received our AKC RN title! That was a goal for 2015 completed!
We returned to the Sieger ring in September for the 2015 Michigan Rottweiler Klub Fall Breed Show where Zeus took V3 in the Open Male class – his 3rd and best showing in this class to date!
October came, and so did the IPO trial that Zeus and I had been training for since January. Once again, we dealt with rain that day…freezing cold and rain:
But the practice paid off, and Zeus earned his BH!
With Zeus’s BH came the fifth and final point needed toward his RKNA CH:Earning Zeus’s RKNA CH rates as one of my proudest accomplishments of my life. It took a great deal of work, time, and was certainly expensive in terms of the travel costs, etc. – but all very worthwhile.
In November Zeus and I finally got around to doing a local UKC event put on by the Crossroads Canine Club and held at Gem City Dog Training Club. The event had both conformation and Rally Obedience trials, and we decided to compete in both. Zeus already had his UKC RO1 title, and two legs toward his RO2. In conformation, Zeus competed in the Champion class (as Zeus earned his UKC CH in 2014). In the morning session, Zeus didn’t place well – the judge put up a docked male that was very out of shape. It seemed clear this judge was an AKC judge that didn’t like tailed Rottweilers. However, in the afternoon session, Zeus won his class. In Rally Obedience, Zeus placed 1st in the morning session, and 2nd in the afternoon session, and earned his UKC RO2 (another completed 2015 goal)! In the UKC, if a dog wins in both conformation and a performance/working event, the dog earns a special UKC “Total Dog” award, which Zeus earned – the second time he earned such a distinction from UKC:
Finally, December brought the USRC IPO Championship & National Sieger Show. This would be our first time at a USRC event and while we did not enter for IPO, we did enter the Sieger show. Zeus went V3 in the Open Male class under ADRK judge Uwe Peterman – I was injured (back) during this show and couldn’t run well, which hurt us. Still, we placed – with this placement, Zeus has placed at top “National” level shows of all four Rottweiler organizations which are active in the US. In addition to the V3 at the USRC Nationals, Zeus has twice went V2 in the ARC Nationals, V2 at the 2014 RKNA Klub Sieger, and V3 at the 2015 AIRK Nationals.
Whew! 2015 was a big year! But let’s see how many of our 2015 goals were actually achieved:
UKC – Get the RO2 title. CHECK!
RKNA – “Add points toward his RKNA CH.” GOAL EXCEEDED! Zeus received his RKNA CH.
IPO – “Attend a seminar or two and get smarter about IPO.” GOAL EXCEEDED!! I attended a helper seminar, two trials, joined a club, and put a BH on Zeus. I plan to write a separate article about our IPO experience over the past 12 months.
AKC – ” We’re 2 legs shy of Zeus’s RN title, which we should have no problem getting.” CHECK! We put an RN on Zeus in 2015.
The only goal I had set for 2015 which we didn’t quite get to was getting involved in AKC/UKC Agility. The work we’re doing in IPO is great “prep work” for Agility. That may be something to pursue once we complete an IPO I title, but there just wasn’t enough time in 2015 to take any Agility classes or get involved. Is it a bad thing that we didn’t make this goal? Not at all! We’re just pushing this goal to the right a bit. When you make goals, and meet or exceed all of them, then you probably didn’t set the bar high enough. So I feel good about what we accomplished, and what we didn’t.
Zeus and I had a LOT of help this year that needs to be recognized. First, thanks go to my wife Karen Holbrook. Karen rode a LOT of miles with me, slept in a lot of CRAPPY hotels (your only choice when you travel with dogs…), and helped me run around a lot of show rings…not to mention the expenses. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks too go to Christy Hutchinson of Krafthaus Rottweilers – thanks not only for this fantastic example of the breed, but for your support in the last 12 months. Your help (particularly at the ARC Nationals) was critical and greatly appreciated. Finally, a special thanks to Tammy Molner and the entire Southwest Ohio Schutzhund Club. You all have been patient and gracious to take me in under your wing and show me the ropes in IPO. We could not have have gotten our SE and BH titles without you Tammy!
I absolutely feel blessed. Zeus is not only my best buddy, but he’s also one of the top rated and most titled Rottweilers in North America. He’s attained many accomplishments which can take a lifetime to reach – and he’s not even three years old yet! We have had an incredible 2015 and are looking forward to bigger and better things in 2016!
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.