Testing the abilities of Finnish retrievers (part 1)

The more I’ve studied retrievers (mainly flatcoats and goldens) around the world, the more confused I’ve become by the various terms that are used to describe tests, trials, and such. Since we blog about our dogs bilingually and have a large amount of foreign readers, I’ve decided to write a description of how Finnish retrievers’ hunting abilities are tested.

The following description is based on the rules governing the different types of testing that are still in a trial period (the trial period ends by the end of 2008). The rules are created by the Finland’s Retriever Association and approved by the Finnish Kennel Club.

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Just a clarification

To those visitors coming from the Photonovice results, this is my primary blog with written content.

The statistics were gathered from the Life of Jalo, which is our dogs photoblog. The pictures are taken by myself or Anna.

My own photoblog with pictures of whatever (including the occasional dog ;) is at shutterclicks.

Photoblog statistics

Running two blogs and two photoblogs means that I’ve got enough options to choose from. For the purpose of this project I’ll look at the Life of Jalo. After all, it’s the only blog that has regular posts (daily pictures for three and a half years straight).

During the last almost year that I’ve been collecting Google Analytics stats from it the number of daily visitors has risen from a bit under thirty a day to about fifty a day. Visitor loyalty is quite good since less than 25% of visits are new.

The most popular posts during the time frame have been the front page (~24% of pageviews), the image of 08.10.2007 (1.35%), and the first ever post (1.21%).

Quite clearly, visitors mainly visit the site quite regularly. The spike of October 8 last year is explained by the huge spike of visitors caused by a link on a popular pet forum by a friend. I have no idea how many of the visitors in the spike continued to follow the photoblog.

As such, LoJ isn’t exactly primetime material since it is a photoblog that follows the lives of our dogs, currently four retrievers. Based on the comments, the most active visitors are friends and other retriever owners. Including shots of dogs training for hunting and hunting probably doesn’t increase general appeal. And quite puppy pictures appear only when there’s a puppy in the house.

Most of the visitors are from Finland, but slowly LoJ has been gaining an international readerbase. It has been bilingual (Finnish and English) from the start. Finland still dominates the statistics, but the US has lately passed other European countries for a clear second place.

Those are my statistics for the project on blog statistics. It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of stats others have.