ALL BREED BIS & BISS Ch. High Mount's Coup de Grace CD, HOF
L-Pictured at 18 months of age R-Pictured at 12 years of age
Nitro was my very first BSD and my first conformation dog. He was a little unusual for a BSD in personality. He was a difficult dog for the average owner. He never had problems with people; in fact he LOVED people. The difficulty was that he was an extremely powerful animal, dominant, and was totally devoid of body sensitivity; an odd combination for a Belgian. Having those qualities would have been disaster had he been shy or agressive but thankfully he was neither. He undoubtedly was the hardest dog I'd ever train. He could not sit still when excited and he loved going to dog shows and he thought everyone was there to cheer him on.
Training him was a challenge. He was a determined puller and no matter what techniques or training collars I used it was a battle I never completely won. When I got him, my dreams were of a Ch.& UDT. He got his Ch. easily by 18 mos. It was soon discovered he would make his mark in the conformation ring.
He loved his liver in the ring........but, I always looked like I was deformed because I had to carry up to a pound of liver in my pockets. If you ran out of liver, he quickly got bored and started looking around for something else to do.
As we both learned the dog show game he became a top winning Belgian. He began placing in the groups and won specialties. He won an award of merit at his 1st National Specialty and at his second National he earned a BOS! I never showed him but maybe 10 to 12 times a year, yet he won seven group 1's.
I still dreamed of putting an obedience title on him as he was a fast, highly accurate worker. Only problem was, he still couldn't sit or lie down long enough to do the "stay" exrcises in a predictable manner. I had more or less given up on that idea. I was getting ready to retire him as I had a new young male named Midas.
My husband, Bob, pushed me to get at least one obedience title on him before he retired. No way did I want to take that chance. I could just see him breaking his stays and getting into a fight with another big male or trying o breed a female or disrupting the whole class and I was just terrified at the thought. Well he was 9 years old by then so I made a deal with hubby that I'd try one obedience trial and if he stayed, I'd go on for the CD (companion dog) title. Well he stayed, but it wasn't pretty by any means. He'd shift on one hip then the other, one foot was always off the ground. He watched everything but me. He spent minutes sniffing the ground around him. He stared at the dogs next to him, ears perked forward, nose twitching; oh the agony! Well he came home that day with a first place and a score of 197 from a possible 200!
Many people observing would comment every time we went in on his age, enthusiasm, accuracy and then say, "How can you stand the stays?" Well we qualified at all three shows with a first and 197, a fourth and 196 and a second with a 194.5! He was immediatly retired from obedience competitions and I repaired my frayed nerves.
It was to be a week later when I would show him one last time at the show he started his conformation career at six months of age. He had competion that day but he won Best of Breed. He went into the group and then won the herding group. I was thrilled. What a way to end. When we walked into the BIS competition I never expected what later occurred. The judge pointed to him and said "You're BEST IN SHOW! The dream of every exhibitor.
I was very lucky to have this dog at that time of my life. It was an incredible career for my first show dog. He left a lasting impression on many people. He loved life and kept me on my toes. He was my beginning to a whole new way of life. Nitro was never to make a mark on the breed as he became sterile after only producing two litters. He sired 4 Champions. He had a long healthy life with the exception of a testicular cancer at 12 years and was then neutered. He lived to 14.5 years.