2016 Wrap up – Beginnings and Endings

So 2016 is drawing to a close, and so are some hopes and plans.   Its been a rough year, and no fairy god mother, knight on a white steed, or lottery win has appeared.   So changes are going to have to be made, and there will be a number of young dogs available for sale or for lease. 

We finished up the year at the Elora Gorge Kennel Club show.   An ending of sorts, but a beginning too, as two of the babies made their ring debuts.


My ribbon is almost as big as **I** iz!!!


Guinness was entered in Baby Puppy (3-6 months) at 16 weeks of age. He looked like a midget, especially compared to the German Shepherds and other large herding dogs, but he held his own and although he didn’t show well with anyone else, he did great with me the last day earning a Best Baby Puppy in Group. Here is his profile in the Best Baby Puppy in Show ring. Lots to love about this boy.


And an entirely new chapter was written with the introduction of Annik.   It’s funny how many people in the show community now don’t remember that my first love was the wolfhounds.

me-and-ruari-st-martin-nb ruari-group-4-nbkc-2000

Long before the Dolly and Dragoon days – there was the Donovan and Ruari days!

But even though I can’t do that seven year heartache ever again, I needed a large dog in the house, and brought home Annik last summer.

She has gone through some wonky growth periods where I wasn’t ready to let the world see her, but Annik made her debut this weekend also.   Unfortunately as the ONLY Swissy she had no competition and no points, but it gave her lots of opportunity to go from goofball to “almost a show dog” over the weekend.  Thank you Dennis for your patience with her and her antics.   I have lots of high hopes for her in the future, and will need to get the website re-worked again to include her!

Here is her progress over the first show.

 So while it may not have been a “wildly” successful year, it was a good one.  Dragoon ended the year as #1 Cardigan Welsh Corgi in Canada, and #22 Herding dog.    Jolene won the Canadian National and will end up as #7 Cardigan, Hope as #11 and #2 puppy, and Susie will tie for #15.  Gryphon, Natasha and Sean are all close to championships.

In the U.S. there has been several major awards won by the youngsters, and titles earned in Europe also.

But breeding quality dogs is not easy, and without anyone to share it with, is no longer really feeding my soul.   Where at one time there was Chris, and there was a partner to share the joys and sorrows, its now all on me.   Joy is multiplied when shared, and burdens are eased when divided. 

So while there will be Yasashiikuma dogs out representing us, as things stand right at this second, you most likely will not see me. Good luck to all of you who are there to continue to carry the flag, I will be with you in spirit.  I hope all of your show days are successful ones.


How much does maturity change a dog?


7 weeks BDIC dolly
Same dog at 7 weeks and 3 years



As an owner//breeder of Cardigans for 26 years,  I think I have reached the point where I have a little bit of experience to share. As the owner of a 7 week old litter that just went through evaluation by a group of people who I would say have a combined total of about 250 years of dog experience and ended up confirming EXACTLY my opinions I think I have enough of an eye to have an opinion on how puppies grow.
When my puppies are born, and still wet, I make a quick critical mental evaluation of them before fat has a chance to cover their bones and before they develop the cuteness and personalities that work to sway opinions.
Although there are many things that cannot be evaluated at this age, surprisingly there are some things that don’t change.  Bone proportions and angles tend to stay relatively constant.    When I have seen puppies with equal length bones in the front and rear, those have remained into adulthood.   When I have puppies that have a great second thigh, those have devloped into good rears.   Yes, there have been exceptions to this rule. But for the most part these observations at birth have been fairly accurate.    For those who want to become serious about breeding good dogs, take a few seconds to shoot a picture of each newborn flat on its side in the palm of your hand, and compare those to your adults later in life.

So here is a little guy just a couple of hours old. What can we tell about him?    Well he has a nice wide muzzle and backskull, and good heavy bone, as well as a nice full belly.  I unfortunately wasn’t present at his birth so couldn’t make any observations on bone lengths etc.


The next photo I have of him is at 10 weeks old.  Unfortunately it isn’t standing so there is not a lot to see except that the head did develop as expected, and he still has good bone and short hocks and big fat feet.


Okay, now 10 weeks and pestering Grandpa.  Again unfortunately not a a very telling picture – but at least he’s on his feet!

There is unfortunately not a lot of pictures now until he is 9 months old.


Now we are 8.5 months.   Is he mature? No, not by a long shot, e is still very much a puppy.  But from this point you will see the bone lengths, and angles DO NOT CHANGE.  His body will widen, he will develop a crest on his neck, there will even be a change in depth, but his basic structure stays the same.

dragoonbpigsmallStill a puppy – 10 months old.   There is not a great deal of change between this and his previous photo.   The chest had dropped a tiny bit, but still very much a baby.

dragoonnclOkay two months later, and a day or two over a year old.   You can see the crest starting to develop on the back of his neck, and he even has a bit more of a mature look in his eyes.


Here is a picture at 17 months.   Now he is going through the teenage period and doesn’t even look as mature as he did a 12 months.


Here he is a few months later at 22 months – winning Best of Opposite Sex at the Canadian National Specialty.  He is obviously coming back together again after a bit of a growth spurt.


A couple of weeks later – a slightly different view more from the front

And a movement shot from this show – despite the heat and humidity you can see his correct angles allow him to have tremendous reach in the front and drive in the rear moving well beyond the vertical. Now at 2.5 years old he is fully mature – but not all that much has changed from the younger photos. The bone proportions, and angles all remained consistent. There is definitely more maturity in his demeanour, but all of the changes since puppyhood and going forward will be very subtle. Dragoon - Award of Merit Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

 And a couple of shots at 5-1/2 at the Cardigan National Specialty in 2014 – again showing how correct structure leads to correct movement.

DRAGOON GROUP 1 GUELPH 20150419 SMAnd one final pictue – 6-1/2 years old.   Definitely a fully mature dog but really underneath skeleton wise – the exact same dog you see in the 10 month old first photo.

Here another photo collection (this time a bitch)  to show the same.

7 weeks

7 weeks



13 months


2 years

2 years


Best in Show – 2 years


Dolly Show of Shows

2-1/2 years


3 years


3 years – Photo by Lisa Croft-Elliott


4 years


Dolly Runnerup Brindle bitch 2013

6 years

Basically in summary, it is a matter of what you see is what you get.    While maturity will add substance to a dog it will NOT fix incorrect structure faults – unbalance, incorrect bone lengths, bad toplines, light boned, etc.

What it may correct is uneven growth in puppies where puppies grow in the rear, then the front, then the rear, then the front – such as this puppy which at 5 months looks “butt high” – however the topline is level and will be correct when he finishes growing.


The “Dare Litter” – born February 24, 2016

The Mick and Dash kids have arrived.  

Mick crop
Am GCH/CDN Ch. Telltail Like A Rolling Stone
Dash July 2014
Am/Cdn Ch. Yasashiikuma Dare To Dream Big

IMG_2004[1]There are two boys – a sable, Sully (Yasashiikuma Dare to Fly) and a brindle, Murdock (Yasahiikuma Daredevil).  The other 4 are girls – a red Carly (Yasashiikuma Dare to Love), a brindle with a lot of white Susie (Yasashiikuma Dare 2B Different), and a dark brindle with a tiny white mark on her neck Hope (Yasashiikuma Dare to Believe) and a black brindle like Dash ad Dolly with minimal white Verity (Yasashiikuma Truth or Dare).

I am very excited to see how these puppies are developing, I think there are going to be a few future stars in this group!

Meet the Family – Rascal – Yasashiikuma Life is a Highway

Today’s meet the family is, I believe, the most distant from his orginal home – meet Rascal, the other half of the Highway litter, and his story as told by Rebecca.


Rascal Chan is definitely a gentle & playful and romantic cardigan corgi, I had him from Shelley, a great breeder, when I was in Canada for studying in 2006. When he was a puppy, he likes chewing everything, such as books, sandals, carpets and my table feet. Should I thank to him to reduce my many stuffs to be shipped to Hong Kong in 2007? Ha ha, yes! My husband and I decided to move back to Hong Kong for living and working in 2007, of course, Rascal Chan and his big brother dachshund LaLa Chan are must-have buddies to travel with us. I still feel very sorry because the examination plus the flight took almost 25 hours in total, my little guys were suffered from this long trip. Finally, we arrived in Hong Kong. Hooray!

 Rascal with geese

Our family were living in an apartment which dogs were strictly not allowed. Next year, we moved to another district, Yuen Long, that’s a good place, we do not need to worry about their barking and all neighbors are friendly and accept doggies.

 Rascal wedding

I took my pre-wedding photos with Rascal Chan as well in Feb 2010. That’s a sweet memory in my life. The photographer is well-known to take photos for the couples and their pets, additionally, she is a dog garment designer. On that day, she lent some clothes to my doggies. Wow, what wonderful groomsmen you are!

 Rascal with Lala

Several years later, my 4.5 yrs old little boy Charleson very enjoys playing ball and walking with you, Rascal. Your warm company for our family all the way through is very important. Your happy smile melts my heart everyday. What a happy Canadian Cardi living in Hong Kong, Asia!

 Rascal with Charleson