Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
While visiting my sister a few months ago I noticed that her Cardigan Welsh Corgi was having horrible coat issues. After questioning her I STRONGLY suspect food as a culprit. What was she feeding Merlin? Purina Beneful and Beggin Strips! Poor dog is getting no nutrition from his food, only poor quality protein, sugar and corn.
Beware of the use of food coloring in making horrible quality ingredients look healthy! Just because soy bean hulls are colored green that DOES NOT make them a vegetable! Yes, soy bean hulls are a major ingredient in Beneful.
Do your best friend a valuable favor and take the time to research the different dog food ratings and dog food reviews. When collecting information for your dog food comparison, know that a quality dog food will never be masked by cheap ingredients such as corn.
When gathering your dog food comparison and comparing dog food ratings, Again, many large dog food companies like the ones you see in supermarkets or the large pet store chains, entice innocent pet owners with cute television commercials, magazine ads and colorful packaging all displaying a nice balance of meat, grain and veggies. Yet, many of these foods are anything but nutritionally sound. There primary source of protein is often corn or corn gluten. Unlike humans, dogs lack the necessary digestive enzymes needed to break down and digest grains. This is why many dogs suffer with chronic ear, skin and other health problems. CORN is a major allergin cause for dogs and should be suspect in reoccurring yeast infections including ear infections, scratching, red spots, dry and flaking coats.
The best way to determine the quality of your pet food is to carefully read and understand the label. While reading the label, ask the following questions: Does the food use high quality ingredients? Is there a quality meat source as one of the first two ingredients? The primary ingredient and protein source in any quality dog food should be meat, not meat by-products, not grain, but MEAT. If the source is beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc., that first ingredient must be the source of where the meat comes from. Better yet, are the ingredients human-grade? An example would be: chicken or chicken meal; not chicken by-products which could contain parts that a dog in the wild "would not eat". Not corn meal, flour or corn gluten meal; the name of the MEAT should be first.
A Dog Food Comparison Is Well Worth The Time
You want a puppy so bad. You miss puppy breath, clumsy paws and snuggling up with a warm puppy. So, you've decided to get a dog. You're prepared to feed, exercise, train, clean up after, work through problems with, and love a dog every day for the next 12 to 15 years.
With the ease of the Internet, many people shop around for puppies from different breeders. While we hope you will consider one of our puppies, we realize there are other quality breeders whose litters you might also be considering. Take the time now to find the right breeder and you'll thank yourself for the rest of your dog's life. Here are a few recommendations when selecting where to get your puppy.
How do you go about finding a good, ethical breeder?
Good breeders don't sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from breeders (or neighbors) who breed their dog to make a little money or simply because they have a dog "with papers". The result of such practices includes puppies with poor health or temperament problems that may not be discovered until years later. Unfortunately, these new pet families often end up heartbroken, with dogs who have genetic health problems or who develop significant behavior issues and result in grief and heartache as well.
Remember, a reputable breeder will never sell her dogs in any way that does not allow her to thoroughly meet with and interview you to ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home.
So to avoid these pitfalls and choose a good breeder, look for one who at a minimum:
- Keeps dogs in the home as part of the family---not outside in kennel runs
- Has dogs who appear happy and healthy, are excited to meet new people, and don’t shy away from visitors
- Shows you where the dogs spend most of their time---in a clean, well maintained area
- Encourages you to spend time with the puppy’s parents---at a minimum, the pup’s mother---when you visit
- Is knowledgeable about what are called “breed standards” (the desired characteristics of the breed, such as size, proportion, coat, color, and temperament)
- Has a strong relationship with a local veterinarian and shows you records of veterinary visits for the puppies and explains the puppies’ medical history and what vaccinations your new puppy will need
- Explains in detail the potential genetic problems inherent in the breed (every breed has specific genetic predispositions) and provides documentation---through organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)---that the puppy’s parents and grandparents have been tested to ensure that they are free of these genetic problems
- Offers guidance for caring for and training your puppy and is available for assistance after you take your puppy home Provides references from other families who have purchased puppiesDoesn’t always have puppies available but rather will keep a list of interested people for the next available litter. Minimal advertising for the litters available; they don’t advertise widely, because they don’t have to.
- One breed of dog offered. If you see a number of different breeds in the same kennel, leave immediately.
- Is actively involved with local, state, and national clubs that specialize in the specific breed; good breeders may also compete the dogs in conformation trials, obedience trials, or tracking and agility trials
- Encourages visits and wants your entire family to meet the puppy. Provides answers to your questions readily and efficiently; addresses any concerns and offers to help you in the future.
- Provides you with a written contract and health guarantee and allows plenty of time for you to read it thoroughly.
- Explain why you want a dog
- Explain who in your family will be responsible for the pup’s daily care, who will attend training classes, where the dog will spend most of his or her time, and what “rules” have been decided upon for the puppy---for example, whether or not the dog will be allowed on furniture
- Sign a contract that you will spay or neuter the dog unless you will be actively involved in showing him or her (which applies to show-quality dogs only). The contract will also state that you will return the dog to the breeder should you be unable to keep the dog at any point in the dog’s life
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Carina is shown at the Dalmatian Club of Greater Washington’s Road Trial last October. It was a beautiful site, located on an old Civil War battlefield. I rented my horse, a Tennessee Walker named Maverick. He was a very good boy and worked well with Carina. Carina did the Road Trial 12.5 miles test. The Road Trial Excellent test is for a distance of 25 miles .
I started working Carina with my own horse Roxie in the summer and made the trip to Virginia in October. Carina already knew basic obedience, she just had to learn to listen when I was on the horse and in a variety of distractions. On our local trails we got to practice past things like snowmobile bridges, barking neighbor dogs, deer, turkey, ATV’s and just the general sights and smell out on the road. She learned that treats came when she was at my side, and I WOULD get off and get her if she did not come when told. Carina’s weak point is sitting under any circumstance, so doing so when I was way up there on the horse was really difficult. She didn’t score as well on the test because of that, but still managed a beautiful performance and a new title.
From the Dalmatian Club of America website:
A Dalmatian Road Trial is a performance event designed to evaluate the Dalmatian's ability to "coach", or follow the horses. Exhibitors compete as handler on horseback or in a horse-drawn cart or carriage, with dog(s) off leash. The Dalmatian Standard of the American Kennel Club states that the Dalmatian "should be capable of great endurance, combined with a fair amount of speed", qualities essential to his successful use as a horse/rider and horse/coach escort. The purpose of a Road Trial is to demonstrate the use of purebred Dalmatians as a companion of man in the role that they have been bred to perform.
In the RD and RDX classes, a qualifying score shall be required to earn a title. A Qualifying Score shall be comprised of Pass Ratings (51 - 100) on each of the exercises (Recall, Hock, Hock With Distraction, Long Sit or Down, Speed); PLUS a Pass Rating by the veterinarians/Vet Tech at each of the course's start, mid-point, and final vet-check, PLUS the dog's having completed the endurance portion of the Trial within the designated time limit. In the Coaching Certificate Test, no scores shall be recorded, but a Pass Rating must be received from the judge in each of the exercises for the dog to be awarded the CC title.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This is done in a way that increases emotional well being, promotes healing, and improves the quality of life for the people being visited and the staff that cares for these people.
Therapy Dogs International, Inc. (TDI) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.
What are the requirements for joining TDI?
To belong to Therapy Dog International, Inc., all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one (1) year of age and have a sound temperament. Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.).Before getting started, you should know what we are looking for in a TDI Dog.
A Therapy Dog is born, not made. Yes, one can teach a dog mannerly behavior, but one cannot change a dog's inherent temperament. When a dog is put under stress, poor or marginal temperament will surface. Therefore: What are we looking for?
A Therapy Dog must have an outstanding temperament. This means that the dog should be outgoing and friendly to all people; men, women, and children. The dog should be tolerant of other dogs (of both genders) and non-aggressive toward other pets. Before you consider having your dog evaluated, you should ask yourself if your dog has these qualities.
The dogs bring sparkle to a sterile day, provide a lively subject for conversation and rekindle old memories of previously owned pets.
For more information visit the Therapy Dog International website, or contact Robin Crocker at Telling Tales Dog Training in Fryeburg ME.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Maeve is getting larger by the day. Soon she won’t be able to sneak into her favorite hiding spot under the bench. She is now getting feed 4 small meals a day. As the puppies grow they take up so much room that there’s not much left for food! Laying down and getting comfortable become more difficult, too. The puppies are moving around and you can see and feel when they seem to actually kick out at the sides.
Maeve is ALWAYS telling Linda how hungry she is and Linda is doing the fine balancing act of making sure she is getting the proper amounts of food with the right nutritional needs without having her get fat. To make the whelping process easier Maeve needs to be in good weight and good muscle condition. The muscle condition comes from several walks around the property a week and ensuring lots of yard time for free exercise.
This will be the weekend to set up the whelping area. Although puppies aren’t due for over a week, that week will fly by. And it always seems like you need to add one more thing – to make sure there are plenty of necessary supplies on hand. Breeders use a variety of whelping boxes, large cardboard boxes, plastic swimming pools, pre-fabricated boxes are just a few. Many years ago Richard made Linda a wonderful wooden box, and painted it white with spots – of course! This box will be set up in a corner of the living rooms, surrounded by wire pens and draped with blankets for privacy.
Ch PatchMt C Pepper N Paisley (with all her performance titles!)Carina is small, only about 40 pounds at her idea fit and trim weight. She loves all dogs and people, and loves to play with everyone she meets. And because she gives off such good signals, all dogs seem to like her, too! It took Sara and Carina a while to develop their communication and team work, but then they started earning many performance titles. On the agility course Carina seems to know where to go with little obvious effort, although when the mood hits she may still decided to pick her own obstacles.
Last year Carina and Sara traveled to Northern Virginia to competed in the Dalmatian Club of Greater Washington’s Annual Road Trial. Carina added the RD title to her name. Her titles also now can included the CPC (Champion Performance Certificate and PAC (Performance Accomplishment Certificates) letters, as special recognition from the Dalmatian Club of America. Carina was only bred once, and had 11 puppies, 5 of which became champions and 4 of those also have performance titles. Her daughter Daisy has an all breed Best in Show win and several Dalmatian speciality wins.
Carina will continue to compete in many events, including VST (Urban tracking) and more agility trials. She is not done adding letters to her name yet!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The letters ROMX stand for Register of Merit Excellent. The purpose of the Registry of Merit (ROM) program is to honor these top producers. By awarding a ROM title to deserving producers, it gives the club a permanent record of Dalmatian history and will serve as a learning tool in pedigree study and research. The eligible number of champion offspring for a ROMX is 20 for sires and 8 for dams.
Linda purchased Maeve's mother, Gracie (Paisley PatchMt Amazing Grace CD NA RN RD) from Sue MacMillan in Minnesota. Gracie is one of those rare dogs who never would dream of being naughty. Once she had the house breaking down, she has slept on Linda's bed, always tucking into a nice ball at her feet, never crowding and asking for more. In performance competition she was rarely out of the ribbons, even being High Scoring Road Trial one year. Road Trials, horses and Dalmatians will be a subject for a later article - stay tuned!
Acting on Sue's advice Linda bred Grace to CH Aberdeen's Sawyer Brown. He was a lovely liver dog who lived in Chicago with John and Kris Benoit. Although he doesn't have any performance titles, he was a wonderfully temperamented dog and a great ambassador for the breed. He was also a ROMX, having sired xxx number of champions.
Many of Maeve's cute antics can be traced back to Sawyer, with heartwarming, similar tales from other people who have been privileged to enjoy Sawyer kids. We hope that fun loving personality continues on down through the pedigree.
Maeve's official AKC name is CH PatchMt About Time CD RE NA NAJ TD VCD1
The CH in front of her name means that she has been judged to conform to the Dalmatian Club of America standard of what the ideal dalmatian should look like. She actually completed her requirements in very good style, winning well at regional Dalmatian only dog shows.
CD (Companion Dog) To earn this title Maeve had to heel (walk on a VERY loose leash) at Linda's side, and then off leash in the same manner, stay in place until called to come and sit in front, and then do a 1 minute sit and 3 minute down in a line of 10 to 12 dogs while the owners are 20 feet away. She had to successfully do this on 3 different occasions.
RE (Rally Excellent) In Rally Excellent a dog has to perform about 15 "stations" off leash, again on 3 different occasions. These stations can consist of things like downing at the handlers side, circling left and right, going over jumps and returning to heel position, standing while the owner walks around the dog, etc.
NA (Novice Agility Standard) was explained in the previous post for Corey
NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers With Weaves) This is agility that is about speed. There are no dog walks, A frames or teeters. As the name sounds, jumps, weaves and maybe tunnels make up this course. Speed and control determines who passes this class.
TD (Tracking Dog) Here the track is 450 to 500 yards, usually in an open field and the track layer has left only 2 articles on the field. At the test in southern Maine Maeve made this look easy!
VCD1 (Versatile Companion Dog 1) This is a SPECIAL AKC recognition to dogs who have earned their basic titles in at least 3 events. In Maeve's case that is obedience (CD), tracking (TD), and agility (NA). Not an easy accomplishment and one to be very proud of!
Other titles you may see in the pedigree will be explained at a later date.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
When a puppy is registered with the AKC, the breeder and owner decided what it’s official AKC name will be. There is no requirement that the puppy’s call name be similar to its registered name. Most breeders use their kennel name, or some abbreviation of it, as part of the name, but the rest is the hard part!
After the dog starts to accumulate AKC or other organizations titles, initials start to be added to the dog’s official AKC name.
Am/Can CH Blackthorn Coreopis of PatchMt TDX RN NA Can TDX
“Corey” has been awarded his Championship title in both the US and Canada. This title is based on dog shows and how he conforms to the breed standard. After his name the letters designate performance titles. Any AKC registered dog is eligible to compete in performance events.
TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent) To earn this title a dog must successfully followed a track “scent” left by a stranger walking approximately 800 yards through fields, over walls, across road, etc, and find 4 items dropped at random by that person. This track is at least 3 hours old.
RN (Rally Novice) This event is a demonstration of basic obedience, done on leash, doing such things as downing at the owner’s side, coming to sit in front, and walking nicely on leash. This title is a fun way to show how you have trained and worked with your dog. Now days many obedience classes work towards preparing dogs for their Canine Good Citizen test and Rally Novice title.
NA (Novice Agility Standard). Here the dog must negotiate a course of jumps, tunnels, dog walk and other obstacles in a course established by the judge on that day. This is done off leash and can take quite a bit of training to have your dog work dependably in an area full of many distractions, including other dogs anxious to do the same thing! Agility is a GREAT game to learn to play with your dogs.
What do they all REALLY mean? Our dogs are such a part of our families that we enjoy doing a variety of things with them. We want to show the public how well trained, socialized and bred our Dalmatians are. And it is a wonderful way demonstrate what great work ethic and temperaments they have. They can and do so much more than just stand there and be pretty.
“A well balanced dog has a title at both ends”
Tomorrow we will explain Maeve’s titles. Her titles are slightly different, with their own types of challenges
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Maeve's puppies are now fully developed and look like little miniature dogs, complete with whiskers and toenails. Her abdomen is getting bigger and you can feel the puppies move when she is lying quietly on the bed. She is very affectionate now and loves sitting quiety beside you so she can be petted. Her activity level is slowing down although she loves going for walks in the yard. No jumping or strenuous activity for her. In fact, she gets time off from tracking, agility, obedience, and rally during her pregnancy. Her appetite has increased and she is getting 4 smaller meals a day. She is ALWAYS hunger and never turns down a snack.
Monday, May 18, 2009
In short, CHIC is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the OFA and the AKC Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.
For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in their breeding programs. Breeders can analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type and performance strengths and weaknesses.
For buyers, the CHIC program provides accurate information about the results of a breeder's health testing. For diseases that are limited to prototypical evaluations, there are no guarantees. However, the probability that an animal will develop an inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal. Further, as more DNA tests become available and the results are entered into CHIC, the CHIC database will be able to establish whether progeny will be clear, carriers of affected.
For further information, go to www.offa.org. If you search the data base you will find both Corey and Maeve listed.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
This is one of my favorite pictures of Carina, called "Getting Dressed". She is about 4 months old and I am putting her tracking harness on her. In AKC tracking events the dog following the smell "track" left by a stranger in a field, similar to Search and Rescue work. Carina, Corey, and Maeve have competed in AKC competitions and have earned various titles. They are indicated in their registered names by the letters TD and TDX. We will be starting the puppies in this litter while they are still with their mother. What a fun experience that will be. Maybe some future tracking stars in this litter!