Karen had some folks emailing asking questions about the dog yard and how it is set up etc. She asked me to write a little something to describe the dog yard. So here goes!
About the yard.....
I made a little sketch of the way the yard is set up,
The boxes are all pens that are used primarily used for bitches in season, puppies and the one on the left closest to the house belongs to Bet and Kara!
The girls live at the top end of the yard and the boys at the bottom.
See on the sketch where the line with the arrows is? That is about where the ready line is and all the hookups take place.
The ready line looking down the yard.
The middle area of the dog yard is where the A team lives.
The males at the bottom and the bitches at the top, there is no divider between them but they are not intermixed. At the top and bottom of the yard are the young ones and the older ones not yet ready for geriatric park and anyone else that isn't on the A team. At the beginning of the season the group of dogs that are considered for the A team is quite large and as the team gets smaller the grouping gets smaller of course!
this is the middle of the yard where the A teams lives, they love the flowers too!!
Some dogs get priority spots, like Crunchie who is right in the front (closest to the feeding table too)just below the ready line(in the picture of the ready line, see the dog house with the red bucket? that is Crunchie's.) Moses always had a prime spot in the middle of the yard next to the bitches and near the front but he was moved down the hill a little as he is running with the young ones mostly, Barq has taken over his spot in the middle.
Everyone can reach at least one other dog and they are moved around as the A team is formed and the better dogs get the more central locations. That way it is easier for hooking them up and not such a hike getting a very excited dog to the ready line. Plus having them all together makes it easier for their extra feedings too.
The older dogs are then put near the yearlings and other young dogs and there is lots of teaching that goes on!
This picture shows the bottom of the yard with Loki in the front and Utin and Roscoe beyond(this is an older picture).
See the ready chain on the left and then where the road splits with the pens above? That is the curved line that runs down the middle of the yard (in my diagram) and is the road that is driven on with the ATV or tractor. Karen heads out the right hand trail for her runs and then comes in the bottom of the yard. That way she can drive right on through sometimes if they need that extra trip running through their kennel.
Geriatric park houses the oldest dogs most of them over 12 years old. Currently there are two connecting pens with 4 dogs in each pen and they are all quite happy there and enjoying retirement.
In the diagram only a bit of Karen's house is shown because it runs off the dog yard across the yard and the garage is on the other side. Oh and the handlers cabin is on the other side of the garage!
I hope this gives you a little better idea of the yard and how it works.........