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Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.

Dos competes at the National Cattledog Finals

Dos competed in his first National Cattledog Finals in Steamboat Springs, Colo., during the week of June 10. This was a competition that we’ve been working to qualifying for over the past year. Over 120 dogs and their handlers competed at the event from over 18 states and Canada. In addition, there was quite an audience that came from near and far to watch the event.  

At the trial, the four divisions that cattledogs competed in included the following classes:

  • Open (professionals)
  • Nursery (young dogs)
  • Intermediate (the step between novice and open)
  • Open Horseback (Open teams but the people are on a horse rather than foot). 

There were two preliminary rounds in each division. The combined top scoring teams of the preliminary rounds qualified to make it to a final round where the courses were more challenging and the total course points were equal to the two previous scores. There is a time limit to complete each course, so the team with the most points and the quickest time in the end is the top team.

On day one of competition for Dos, we had one of the only two perfect scores in our division of 26 teams, earning us a second place finish for the day. On day two of competition, we had to run first and we laid down another perfect run. More teams were able to complete the course on the second day, but because we had another complete scoring run, we entered into the finals in second place.

Unfortunately the final round did not go very well for us. Dos had been battling a front paw injury and things did not come together as we planned. We finished the competition with a 10thplace overall. The champion in our division was the dog that had been in the lead the entire duration of the finals and they did a really nice job in each of the three rounds.

Overall, the competition was very exciting to watch with some of the best working cattledogs in North America putting on a great show of their abilities. Competition was intense as the stakes were high in the final rounds and there were some upsets in the various divisions. 

We are very proud to have competed at such a level with so many talented teams. We had a great time, but we are happy to be back home on the ranch where we do not have a time limit and scores to worry about.


Posted on 6/21/2013 by Stephanie Jaeger-Whipps  |  Category: Dog
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Meet Dos – the Hubbard Life Cowdog

“Dos” is our 6-year-old Australian Kelpie that is our family’s number one ranch dog. Not only does he have a special place in our hearts as a beloved pet, but he is an integral part of our cattle operation. 

When someone slides his or her boots on in the morning, Dos is ready to go to work, and he loves every minute of it. Working cattle and on the ranch is what he is bred to do. Every day on our ranch in southwest Nebraska can be an adventure and we don’t go anywhere without one of our dogs.

When our cows go visiting greener pastures, Dos the cow dog is there ready to go at a moment’s notice. His main job is to assist in moving cattle from one location to another, but I like to think of him as a wonder dog as he does so much more than that. His daily activities include putting stray calves back in, helping to load trailers, gathering cattle on pasture to bring them home and helping to save the day when the sheriff or neighbor calls about our cattle being in the wrong place. He can change the mind of an angry bull, help get a cow into the barn in calving distress, or even aid in warming a chilled newborn calf in a snowstorm. There isn’t a day that goes by that he’s not doing a job he was made to do.

In addition to working hard at the ranch, in his spare time Dos competes in cattledog trials with me as his handler. This past season we were able to qualify to compete in the National Cattledog Association 2013 National Finals ( in Steamboat Springs, CO, June 12-16. We will be competing in the Intermediate division and are very proud to have earned a spot.

In a cattledog trial, the dog and handler team must get a small group of cattle through a series of obstacles that simulates different ranch situations. The dog mostly does the work, with the handler giving the dog commands at a distance. The course must be run in a predetermined sequence and the team accumulates points as the course is completed under a time limit. The team that can accumulate the most points in the fastest time is the winner. It is an awesome sight to watch a good working stockdog handle livestock and the NCA Finals this week will feature around 120 top cattledogs in the nation. These dogs are bred to work livestock and it is what they love to do. 

There are hundreds of different breeds of dog in this world and many of them were bred for a specific purpose, meaning they have some pretty neat talents. It is really fun to see a dog’s instincts at work or play. There are many activities you can do with your dog from things as simple as playing fetch to hunting or swimming and even herding.

What kind of dog is your Hubbard® Life dog and what activities do you like to do together?



Posted on 6/13/2013 by Stephanie Jaeger-Whipps  |  Category: Dog
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Spring Training Tips for Puppies

You know what they say about April showers bringing May flowers. Spring brings the grass and fields alive and is also a great time to bring home your newest canine companion.  

The first step to choosing a new puppy pet is to make sure you do your homework in finding a responsible breeder for your breed of choice. This is extremely important in ensuring that you get both a healthy puppy and one that’s most likely to exhibit the behavioral traits that best meet your needs.

Once you’ve selected your pup the most important part of your role begins. This is where you handle your primary role as a responsible pet parent. Primary requirements of pet ownership include providing a clean, safe and secure environment as well as the basic care needed to raise your new family member to reach his or her full genetic potential.

Secondary requirements beyond basic care include making the necessary efforts to ensure your pup is properly trained in basic obedience as well as any additional training needed to reach your goals for the puppy’s development in desired performance areas.

The first 6 months of a puppy’s life is the critical time period for teaching them the basic structure and training commands to meet your expectations. These include the basic obedience commands that will give you the freedom to take your dog almost anywhere and make you proud to show them off. Much like children, puppies generally have the ability to follow a steeper learning curve than what they seem willing to follow. This means you can probably push your pup a little faster than you might think, provided you take advantage of all the available opportunities.

One of the cornerstones of puppy socialization is consistently exposing your new puppy to the training and working environment they’ll be exposed to as adults. This should be done early and often in moderate blocks of time to help your pup adjust gradually and continue to develop the social skills their mother started as she raised the litter. For any training exercise, short and positive training sessions provide better results until their attention span matures. A good place to start is with 10-minute sessions twice daily and working up to 20 minutes by the time they reach 6 months of age.

Training should always be positive and with the understanding that your puppy doesn’t understand specific words and they certainly aren’t mind readers. Once you’ve communicated your expectations with verbal and visual commands to get the response you need, praise your puppy and reward them for their actions. Consistent reward and reinforcement of the desired actions will help develop lifelong behavior to meet your expectations.

You’ll establish yourself as the leader of their pack by providing structure and rules to keep them safe and out of trouble. If your puppy doesn’t find a leader in their new household, they’ll strive to become the leader. This can create issues that are much harder to overcome if you don’t start them on the correct path early in life.    

One final note of importance is to work closely with your veterinarian of choice to provide an immunization program to ensure ongoing health. Then the final piece of the puzzle is to help your puppy to grow and develop bones and muscles with a solid nutrition program including a Hubbard® Life pet food for a long, healthy life.

Posted on 6/3/2013 by Steve Ries  |  Category: Dog
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