Rank #1: 191 — Love the Breeds: German Shorthaired Pointer Roundtable | Pure Dog Talk
GSP on point at a Wounded Warrior hunt at Camp Lejeune. Photo By: Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright
German Shorthaired Pointers are “energetic and athletic,” “full of vim and vigor” and “need a little room to burn off energy *every* day,” according to the experts.
PureDogTalk caught up with three long time GSP breeders at their national specialty show in Boise, Idaho in May. Char Rutar, AKC Conformation judge, Bob Straight, AKC Field Trial judge and David Nauer, AKC Agility judge, whose wife, Karen, judged the national specialty.
Living with German Shorthaired Pointers
You’re not buying a maniac, the breeders said, but the breed is built to work for a long time with tremendous endurance. They are high drive and high energy. Biddability, the dog’s willingness to work for its owner, is a key quality for which breeders strive.
Bob Straight, AKC Field Trial judge and GSP breeder
“People need to be aware of how they will enjoy life with this breed,” Straight said. Nauer added that owners can choose a variety of venues to vent the breed’s energy. Jogs, hiking, hunting, agility, dock diving, scent work, tracking are all games these dogs like to play.
All three of our experts agreed that a dog’s structure is the key for its longevity in active sports. “Your pick conformation dog is my pick agility dog also,” Nauer said.
“They are extremely people oriented,” Rutar noted. “While there are differences in bloodlines, they aren’t as needy as some hunting breeds.”
Hunting with GSP
“If I had half the energy these dogs have in the field, I’d control the world,” Straight said. “Talk to the breeder,” Rutar added. “Find out what makes the breeder tick and you will find out what is important to them in their dogs.” Straight, agreed, noting that buyers should ask the right questions of the breeder to get the right match with the type of hunting dog they want.
Char Rutar, AKC conformation judge and GSP breeder.
From “All Age” field trial dogs, those that show the maximum independence when the handler is on horseback, to “meat dogs” that work close to a walking handler, Shorthairs offer a working style for every hunter.
“It’s important to deal with a breeder who will guarantee the health of dog,” Straight noted. “The breeder should warrant that the dogs have met the (GSPCA) health testing requirements.”
The national club recommends that breeders test for health hips, hearts, eyes, elbows, and a genetic disease called CD. (http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/Genetic_Disease/CD.asp)
“Shorthairs are relatively healthy,” Rutar said. “We’ve seen some epilepsy. Some cancers pop up. A few heart problems. These are all there at a pretty manageable level. Breeders have religiously been screening hips for at least 30 years.”
A note from your host: The human race is the least inbred mammalian species in the world. WE have all these diseases. Breeders can mitigate the incidence with ethics and responsibility.
David Nauer, AKC agility judge and GSP breeder.
The BEST thing about GSP?
Enthusiasm at whatever they do.
Versatile hunter, versatile companion.
They exude joy.
Parent Club Website:
Notable moments in GSP Conformation history:
Allison Foley’s Leading Edge Dog Show Academy Tip of the Week
Grooming the dog so it’s comfortable for you, might make the dog uncomfortable. Allison gives us her tips on how to avoid battles on the grooming table.
Jun 11 2018
Rank #2: 251 – Trainer Suzanne Clothier on Relationship Building with Your Dog | Pure Dog Talk
Suzanne Clothier has developed a training and assessment system built entirely around relationship building with our dogs.
“Animals have been my whole life,” Clother said. “It’s a lifelong passion, that has informed a fascinating journey.”
Clothier’s seminal book, Bones Would Rain from the Sky, was published in 1998. Her warm, down to earth, compassionate nature shines through as she shares her journey and what she’s learned.
“If you have a trusting relationship,” Clothier said, “it’s then about what you enjoy doing together.”
Training show dogs is a skill like any other, Clothier noted. She added that not all dogs have “the Sandra Dee gene” that makes them enjoy being the center of attention.
“We’re like crazy stage moms,” Clothier said, “asking our dogs to be on stage.” For dogs who train well at home but don’t give us the performance we’re expecting at a show, “It’s like singing in the shower,” she noted, “It’s not the same as auditioning for The Voice.”
Clothier’s goal is to evaluate all interactions with a dog through the prism of “How does this affect the relationship with me and the animal.”
Tools for the job
Her training goals are to stay humane, fair, loving and respectful, Clothier said. She has developed tools for trainers to help diagnose both handlers and dogs.
Her Relationship Assessment Tool helps clarify “which end of the leash is contributing to the problem,” Clothier said. “What do I need to fix. And where’s the good stuff. What can we build on.”
She’s also created an ap, to be released this month, that enables owners, handlers and caretakers to literally track exactly how a dog is feeling on a given day. This Functional Assessment Tracking program provides feedback using the dog’s behavior, activity, food intake etc to determine, literally, “how are you today.”
For more information, visit:
Jan 07 2019
Rank #3: 217 – Crate Training, Jumping Up, Digging and Behavior Analysis | Pure Dog Talk
Animal behaviorist Lara Joseph shares her expert knowledge on understanding our dog’s behavior, how to read signals from the dog and use behavior analysis to shape a new future.
Joseph knows for a fact that positive reinforcement training works. She uses it extensively with zoo animals and exotics, as well as companion dogs.
Lara Joseph using a "target stick" to shape behavior in a giraffe.
“You can’t use force or aversives on exotics,” Joseph said. “You know you can make your dog sit by pushing its butt down... try doing that with a giraffe!”
Joseph discusses redirecting behaviors by correctly identifying the reinforcers. In other words, what, exactly, does the dog want and how is the behavior he is exhibiting fulfilling that desire.
The “Terrible twos” are a tremendous opportunity to train a dog, Joseph said. The dog is at an age where it is constantly manipulating its environment to get the consequences it desires.
“The animal is learning contingencies and consequences in its environment,” Joseph noted. “If the animal can see, hear, smell or feel you, you are training it, whether you realize it or not. The key question is, what are you training it to do.”
Crate training, digging and jumping up are all “behaviors” that can be shaped, Joseph said. Redirecting the dog’s behavior requires correctly identifying the “reinforcer” – in other words what the dog wants – and then providing that reinforcer for an acceptable behavior.
She cautions against moving too quickly through a training plan. Start small and reinforce big.
“If you take too big of steps in your shaping plan,” Joseph said, “it can turn what you’re trying to train in to an aversive, something the dog doesn’t like.”
Joseph said that what dogs understand is contingencies – “if I do this, this happens…. If I do THIS, this doesn’t happen…”
Another important option is called a “Conditioned Reinforcer.” In other words, every time the dog goes in the crate, it gets a treat that it is available no other time.
Listen to your dog
Joseph also addressed the topic of aggression in dogs.
“Aggression serves a purpose for the dog,” Joseph observed. “It gets them what they want. If the growl didn’t work, he’ll try a lunge. If you pull your hand back, and the dog wanted you to retreat, it’s now learned what works.”
Hear what the dog is trying to tell you, Joseph said. Reinforce the good behavior. Pay attention to the dog. All dogs really want is attention. Be consistent. Create duration.
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Don't miss Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy: Overweight dogs and green beans!
Lara Joseph is the owner of The Animal Behavior Center, an international, educational center focusing on teaching people how to work with animals using positive reinforcement and approaches in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a professional animal behavior consultant and trainer. Lara travels internationally giving workshops, lectures, and provides online, live-streaming memberships on animal behavior, training and enrichment. Lara’s focus is on the companion animal community, zoos, shelters and wildlife ambassadors. Her daily work focuses on teaching people through her live-streaming services on animal training, behavior modification, and enrichment to people all over the world via her Projects and Memberships. She sits on the advisory board for All Species Consulting, The Indonesian Parrot Project, and is director of animal training for Nature’s Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Whitehouse, Ohio. She is also the founder of several animal organizations for animal welfare. She has been asked to co-author and is currently working on international manuals of animal behavior and training. Lara is a professional member of The Animal Behavior Management Alliance,
Sep 10 2018
Rank #4: 268 – Veterinary Voice: Newborn Puppy Risk Factors | Pure Dog Talk
By Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, JD
Breeders, experienced and inexperienced, will benefit from monitoring their newborn pups for the following parameters. This information is modified from recent research gleaned from Neocare in France.
Having specific numbers to assess and monitor can be very helpful in early intervention with newborn pups, to avoid and prevent loss of these fragile new pups. Simply peeking into the whelping box does not give adequate information for either the breeder or the veterinarian asked to help with intervention.
Once you have collected this information, you can open a productive dialogue with your veterinary team. You can only manage what you can measure.
With this data, we can assess, intervene and provide specific treatments early enough in the first few days of life. This will significantly reduce neonatal loss, sometimes reported to be as high as 40 percent of newborn pups.
Managing the Risk
1. APGAR score Appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration
A Problem APGAR score of <7 is associated with a 22x risk of death in the 1st 8 hours after birth.
Pups with an APGAR of 4-7 can achieve a 90% survival rate with appropriate intervention.
Repeat or continue resuscitation efforts of suctioning, oxygen, epinephrine, caffeine, ventilation and veterinary care as indicated.
Pups with an APGAR score of 0 – 3 need intensive resuscitation efforts.
Low birth weight pups have an 81% chance of death in the 1st 48 hours. Pups in the lightest 25% of its breed has an increased risk of mortality during the 1st 2 days of life.
Weight loss - >4% weight loss associated with 8x risk of death.
Digital Scale – essential – grams preferred.
Toy breeds – 100 – 200 gm
Medium breeds 200-400 gm
Large breeds 400 – 600 gm
Giant breeds – 600 to 800 gm
3. Litter size
Large litters have a 4x increased risk of neonatal death associated with low birth weight.
Nutritional support with bottle or tube feeding. Nuby medi-nurser bottle recommended.
Plasma if colostrum is limited.
4. 3 H syndrome
Hypothermia à ileus of gut. à dehydration à hypoglycemia.
Room temperature - 75o F.
Surface temperature – 90 to 95oF.
Rectal temperature 94 – 96oF 1st 24 hours.
Rectal temp 96-98o F 1st week.
Hypothermic pups – 4x increased risk of death.
Humidity should be 55% +/- 10%.
Monitor hydration with MM moisture and urine color.
Plasma (IV, IO, SQ or oral) or colostrum orally along with appropriate antibiotic therapy should be prescribed.
Rectal thermometer and Weather station to monitor temperature and humidity.
Pups cannot regulate their body temperature until they are 3 weeks old.
PuppyWarmer incubator and oxygen concentrator recommended.
Increase surface temperature.
Avoid use of heat lamp due to risk of dehydration, overheating and starting a fire.
T.E. Scott Whelping nest recommended.
Avoid feeding until pup has appropriate rectal temperature for 1 hour. Pups should be warmed slowly.
Glucose of 90 mg/dl or higher at 24 to 48 hours of age– normal.
Glucose < 90 gm/dl = 4x increased risk of death.
Glucometer & foot pad stick.
Karo syrup or 5% dextrose.
Tube or bottle feeding.
PetTest glucometer and sticks recommended.
A = Mucus membrane color
P = Pulse, Heart rate
G = Grimace, Irritability reflex
A = Activity, Mobility
R = Respirations
The following are the 5 P’s of safely tube feeding newborn pups.
Do NOT sponge or eyedropper feed due to risk of aspiration. If pups are too weak to adequately suckle on a bottle, tube feeding may be safer.
1. Premeasure tube – enter to rib,
2. Pinch à vocalize before feeding,
Mar 07 2019
Rank #5: 208 – Dr. Carmen Battaglia – Breeding SUPER Dogs | Pure Dog Talk
Dr. Carmen Battaglia, AKC Board member, judge and author joined Pure Dog Talk host Laura Reeves for a LIVE seminar sponsored by Del Monte Kennel Club. Battaglia shared information about his SUPER dog breeding program featuring pedigree research, supplements, early stimulation and socialization.
“I can’t teach everything you need to know on this subject in an hour,” Battaglia chuckled. “Do your homework!” His deep and resource-rich website, Breeding Better Dogs, is an impressive place to start.
Battaglia’s SUPER dog program is designed to produce dogs which are mentally and physiologically superior to their competitors, with great stress tolerance and disease resistance.
“Anybody who’s willing to do the work can breed these dogs,” Battaglia said.
Breeding these outstanding dogs starts with selecting the right sire and dam. The 28 ancestors shown on a typical three generation pedigree tell us nothing heritable, Battaglia observed.
“You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses in a pedigree,” Battaglia said. “The conformation, health and behavior traits we want don’t show up in names, titles and certifications.”
He recommended incorporating the stick dog and symbols pedigree systems in order to identify conformation, health and specific behavioral traits to make an ideal pairing. The symbols pedigree, Battaglia said, is designed to enable breeders to manage the “dreaded diseases” – those that kill, cripple, cause early death or blindness.
Breeding systems such as line-breeding, formula breeding and “breeding up” are all useful tools for producing superior dogs, Battaglia said.
Once the pedigree plan is established and the breeder is ready to move forward, Battaglia offers an extended program to build on the pedigree.
Supplement, stimulate, socialize
He recommends supplementing the dam with DHA from the first day she is bred to the day she weans the puppies. And supplementing the puppies from the day they are weaned until 14 weeks old. DHA supplement enhances the brain of the fetus, he added, noting that by 14 weeks old the puppy’s brain is 90 percent developed. Research shows these puppies will test 50 percent smarter than puppies fed a lower amount or not supplemented at all.
The next step in the SUPER dog program is early neurological stimulation. This program involves touching the puppies toes, rotating their body positions and placing them on a cold surface daily from the third to the 16th days of life. This system produces notable improvement in cardiovascular development, but Battaglia strongly cautions that too much of a good thing is a fatal error.
As the puppies grow in these carefully designed and developed litters, other important steps include allowing the puppy to watch its dam perform a specific desired task; socializing them to new places, sounds and smells; and, “enrichment” exercises to teach the dog to focus in a new environment.
The SUPER dogs program is being used to help breeders in the US produce the explosives detection dogs at home that are in demand for protecting our military and civilian installations. AKC is hosting a conference to bring together stakeholders, Battaglia said, to advance this important project.
Enjoy this tremendous opportunity from one of the legends in our purebred dog community.
Aug 09 2018
Rank #6: 226 – Jane Killion Shares the Evolution of Puppy Culture | Pure Dog Talk
Jane Killion, Mark Lindquist and Bull Terriers.
One of my most frequently requested interview subjects, Jane Killion, author and breeder, joins me today to talk about how Puppy Culture got started and why even experienced breeders should check it out.
Killion is a Bull Terrier breeder since 1997. She wanted to do some performance sports with her famously not very tractable breed. So, she wrote a book called When Pigs Fly to help folks train their non-biddable dogs in agility.
When that took off, Killion left her corporate job with the intention of making a video about the book. Meanwhile she had a litter due and said, to herself, “Wouldn’t it be fun to video development periods in Pat Hastings Puppy Puzzle book.”
Explosion of demand
“Four years later, we have a five-hour DVD and an entire series of protocols per development period,” Killion noted. “I thought it would be a 20 minute video!” That idea changed and developed as Killion saw how deep the topic was. So she reached out to scientists, experts, dog trainers to add information.
“Puppy culture isn’t really anything new,” Killion said. “It’s the gift of wisdom passed to me by my mentors and augmented with science. It’s what we all do, but more organized.”
Like many of us who have breeding dogs for an extended period, Killion said she did most of the things noted in the book. She noted, though, that “doing things as you go along is ok, but not optimal. You start observing puppies and really getting in heads. Breeders start to look at puppies like a behaviorist vs a breeder.”
Puppy Culture is “what I wish someone could have put into my hands when I had my first litter,” Killion said.
Protocols based on behavioral markers
One of the primary pieces of the program, Killion added, is to peg socialization and experience protocols to a puppy’s individual behavioral timeline, not a temporal timeline.
“For example, our puppies at 6 weeks enter the Curiosity period ,” Killion said, “– the highest approach and lowest retreat time – which is a great time to do heavy in home socialization. Other breeds, that period arrives at drastically different ages."
The days of breeders with everything in their heads who are willing to share are gone, Killion noted.
“We’re trying to step into that void. Puppy Culture, we call it a mentor in a box,” Killion said. “Like you, we’re people who have a passion, with the overarching goal of infecting the next generation with our enthusiasm."
Oct 11 2018
Rank #7: 195 – “Brace Yourself” for a Peek at the Masters | Pure Dog Talk
Brace (center) moderating a panel with Michael Canalizo, Mary Dukes, Peter Green and a young handler from Europe.
In the second installment of my interview with international dogman Andrew Brace, he shares his personal memories of masters in the sport. His observations and interactions with Anne Rogers Clark, Pat Trotter, Jason Lynn, Frank Sabella, Michael Canalizo, Mary Dukes and more are legend unto themselves.
Brace wrote for top dog magazines from an early age. He had a weekly column in the UK’s Dog World for more than 30 years and later a column in DogNews. He was co-author with Clark of the International Encyclopedia of Dogs, authored several books on his own, hosted television programs and has interviewed world-renowned legends in the sport.
Anne Rogers Clark with one of her many, many "finds".... 6 month old Cruiser, who would become BIS/BISS DC/AFC JetSet's RagTop Day at Scotia, JH, CD... handled by Laura Reeves. Bred by Jane (Reeves) Bonaccorso. Owned by Tom & Jodi Quesnell.
Memories of legends
He offers a particularly intimate portrait of his work with Mrs. Clark, interviewing her and writing the Enclyopedia.
“She was extremely frank about all her doubts and fears,” Brace said. “She explained that it was her husband Jim who really created the image everyone got to see. Jim built her up to be a much more self-confident woman who stood tall and proud and eventually got to the stage that everyone wanted to be Annie’s gang. Annie was without doubt the most complex person I’ve ever met. A total one-off.”
In his many media gigs, Brace interviewed top members of the sport, including Mrs. Trotter.
“Pat is such a charismatic lady with infinite knowledge,” Brace said. “One of those people who can just articulate her thoughts so perfectly. Pearls of wisdom just drop from her lips one after the other.”
Brace leading the Master Class with Jason Lynn and Frank Sabella
He also moderated a series of Master Classes, including one with Mr. Lynn and Mr. Sabella.
“Jason was always kind of the quiet guy in the background,” Brace noted. “I was totally amazed. People were just spellbound.”
“When I was a teenager, my friends had posters of pop stars or footballers on their bedroom walls,” Brace recalled. “I, of course, had the famous photo of Frank (Sabella) in a tight white vest on Malibu Beach with Command Performance the white standard poodle in midair. At that time, little did I think I would ever meet this legend, much less become one of his closest friends.”
Brace with his early idol and later friend, Frank Sabella.
Currently on a hiatus from judging while taking care of his aging mother, Brace said he misses the chance to “find” a great dog, often as a youngster. He partially makes up for it with the occasional litter evaluation.
“I just adore looking at puppies. I like to see them at 8 weeks as they tend to be in proportion. I want to see them just stroll around yard. In this way, you can see overall shape, how the puppy carries itself, where it puts its feet down. You can see how it interacts with its littermates. So really those qualities we look for in a show dog are there from the start. Every once a while you see something strutting around the yard that just has that extra something, you think yeah…. And then you watch it blossom. That is the future.”
Join us Thursday for our final installment in this wonderful series. I’ve included links to a few of Brace’s books below. You can also check out the YouTube video teaser for the DVD of the Master Class series with Jason Lynn and Frank Sabella. And don’t forget to listen to my interview with Jason here on PureDogTalk if you haven’t already!
Be sure to listen to the end of the show for Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy about “making your own brand with your trimming.”
Jun 25 2018
Rank #8: 232 – Veterinary Voice: Nutritionally Mediated Dilated Cardiomyopathy | Pure Dog Talk
Dog Food and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
The UC Davis Cardiology Service has developed this document in response to the alerts from the FDA. These alerts identify an associated risk for some grain-free diets containing certain ingredients (legumes like peas, pea components, lentils; white potatoes, sweet potatoes) and a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Taurine Test Results Are IN – and It’s Frightful
FDA Alerts found here:
What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)?
DCM is a heart muscle disorder that results in a weak pump function and heart chamber enlargement. In the early stages of this disease pets may appear totally healthy with no apparent clinical signs. Later in the course of this disease, dogs may have a heart murmur, an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), collapse episodes, weakness or tiredness with exercise, and even trouble breathing from congestive heart failure. While there are some breeds of dogs (like Dobermans) that have a genetic predisposition to development of DCM, there are also nutritional factors that may result in this disease.
What should I do?
If you are feeding a diet of concern based upon the FDA alert we recommend that you consult with us or a veterinary cardiologist. UC Davis provides 4 general points for guidance below:
An initial step is to consider whether you are willing or interested in performing additional testing to assess whether your pet is affected with DCM. If you believe your dog is at risk, showing any of the aforementioned clinical signs or would prefer to simply rule out any heart disease, we recommend that you first have your pet’s taurine levels tested as well as seek an echocardiogram by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Low taurine levels are associated with development of DCM in dogs and are sometimes a component of this current issue. Test results from dogs in our practice range from 181-347 nMol/ml. The low end is close enough to “at risk” to have us start taking action – changing diets and adding taurine.
Information on taurine testing can be found here: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/labs/amino-acid-laboratory
At this time, diet change is recommended when possible and should be considered regardless of the results obtained from any testing. You can consult with us in selecting a new diet that avoids the ingredients of concern listed by the FDA. When selecting this diet, we recommend that you choose a diet that is manufactured with rigorous quality control measures and research behind the formulation. A way to ensure that your diet meets these recommendations is to follow the following guidelines that were generated by a large number of the world’s leading experts in veterinary nutrition. We recommend Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin/Iams and Purina. These companies have been producing dog food since the 1940s and do feeding trials on their food. Many newer companies only do AAFCO testing and don’t have a track record of successfully feeding dogs and cats for 70 years.
Food selection guidelines found here:
If your pet is identified through testing to have a low blood taurine level or evidence of DCM by echocardiogram, we urge you to report this information to the FDA.
FDA reporting guidelines found here: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm
Work with us to determine the best course of action and medical treatments if indicated. In the case of a DCM diagnosis, diet change alone may not be sufficient and additional medications may be prescribed. The current recommendation is to add GNC’s Taurine 500 mg tablets –...
Nov 01 2018
Rank #9: 333 – Pyrenean Shepherd: Small, Smart, Rare | Pure Dog Talk
Joni McKeown with Pyrenean Shepherds
Pyrenean Shepherd fancier Joni McKeown shares details of this endangered herding breed from the Pyrenees mountains of France.
The small herding breed accompanied the Great Pyrenees guarding the flocks that moved between the isolated and remote regions of the mountains and valleys.
“When people come to shows, everyone thinks they are cute. They have a mischievous, funny sense of humor, and a really cute little head, but this is a working dog. It should not just be a pretty face,” McKeown said.
A brindle PyrShep showing cording on the back half of the dog as is correct.
From the AKC website: These tough, lean, and lively herders, famous for their vigorous and free-flowing movement, come in two coat varieties: rough-faced and smooth-faced. Roughs have profuse, “windswept” hair above the muzzle and a generally harsh coat; smooths have short facial hair, a finer-textured coat, and a slightly longer, pointier muzzle. Both varieties of this sinewy, rectangular breed come in many colors and patterns. Pyr Sheps see the world through dark almond-shaped eyes conveying an alert and cunning expression.
Pyrenean Shepherd puppy
PyrSheps are a prime example of why pet owners should learn the history of a breed in order to better understand its temperament and behavior.
“Because of their job, the breed is just hardwired to see the world as friend or foe. There's not a lot of grey area for them. Preserving that heritage is so important. French judges fuss at us for how friendly our dogs are. We kind of live in a world where we need the dogs to be friendlier. But we’re losing genetics if we start turning a Pyrenean Shepherd into a Golden Retriever (temperament). You can’t expect to have that across the board,” McKeown said.
Faces rough or smooth
Differences between the two “types” are notable. Head and body structure are different and both types are born in the same litter. Traits definitely pass together, McKeown observed.
The rough face develops a characteristic “windblown look” of hair on its face, she added.
"This is the only breed that only cords on the back half of the body. In France all the adult dogs are corded. Different dogs have different types of cords. In the US you don’t see that many people cording the dogs. It's a very rustic look. But you can keep them brushed out," McKeown said.
The standard offers no preference for corded or not in the show ring.
PyrShep on the move.
The coat is described as half way between sheep and goat hair. It has a very coarse texture. Exhibitors are encouraged to not do a lot of bathing or blow drying as it changes the coat texture. The standard also includes strong penalties for trimming anything but the pads of the feet.
PyrSheps can live 17 to 20 years. They need a dedicated owner who will give them lots of activity, McKeown noted.
"These dogs really, really need a job. The breed is brilliant. Almost frightening sometimes the things they figure out. They're not always the best breed for a novice dog owner. More intense even than other herding breeds because they're closer to the roots," McKeown said.
For More Information: http://www.pyrshepclub.org/breed-info/history/
Pure Dog Talk is sponsored by
Oct 21 2019
Rank #10: 221 – Testing the Genetics and Biological Markers of Fear in Dogs | Pure Dog Talk
Candace Croney is one happy researcher. Her team has received a grant for a ground-breaking study on the genetics and biological markers of fear in dogs.
“This study is going to give us information nobody has,” Croney said.
The $2 million grant will continue Croney’s work with commercial kennels and is designed to investigate how to best identify dogs which can be successfully rehomed as adult dogs.
Part of the Canine Care Certified program is making sure the dogs are treated humanely after their breeding career is done, Croney noted. Her hope is that she will be able to look at which dogs are more or less likely to run into trouble when transitioning from kennel to home
But all of the research is giving Croney invaluable information about how to measure fearfulness in dogs. The research is looking at both phenotypical manifestation of fear (spinning, pacing, freezing) and actual biological markers such as cortisol levels, immune system function and more.
Amongst the most fascinating part of the equation, is Croney’s examination of fearful dams and fearful puppies. She’s investigating both the genetic and environmental components of this equation. The results of the work have the potential to be useful to hobby breeders, shelters and companion owners as well as the commercial breeders.
“This research benefits all breeders because it’s basic information we don’t have,” Croney said. “Scott & Fuller did great work on this in the ‘60s, but we’ve done little to follow up on it.”
Croney’s research goal is to produce answers to the questions:
What tests give valid metrics of how fearful or comfortable dogs are around people, objects
What are biological markers that identify fear – cortisol levels, immune function of dog
Do stress fearful moms have puppies that are different
Don’t miss Allison Foley’s advice on teaching tricks to focus your dog in the ring.
Sep 24 2018
Rank #11: 278 — Pat Hastings Wants to Make YOU a Winner With New Book | Pure Dog Talk
Pat Hastings awarding Best of Breed at one of four Doberman Pinscher Club of America national specialties she has judged.
Author, breeder, handler, judge. Pat Hastings has worn an array of hats in the dog world. Her new book “Let’s Make You a Winner: A Judge’s Perspective on Showing Dogs” is the most recent offering in what she calls a sort of accidental journey.
"Puppy Puzzle," Hastings first and most well-known project, started with structural engineers. Separating hearts from minds enables people to see the structure. It isn’t difficult to understand, Hastings said, but dog people have failed to see the obvious. “Whether it’s dog breeding or bridges, if you don’t build them for the purpose you use them, they break.”
The more we learn, the more our dogs benefit
Pat Hastings' new book, "Let's Make You a Winner" is available for purchase at her website.
Hastings noted that one critical “engineering” concept that made an impact on her was that a majority of breeds have three natural balance points.
“The head must be above the topline, the neck must be in front of front legs, and the rear slightly behind,” Hastings said. “The better made the dog is, the easier for it to stand still.”
Another “blinding flash of the obvious” Hastings describes learning regards front assemblies.
“Everybody talks about short upper arms. It’s really easy when you realize that the prosternum is always in a direct line with the point of shoulder,” Hastings noted.
“I have never done a seminar in my life that I didn’t learn something,” Hastings added.
Frustration prompted new book
“As a judge it is frustrating to not be able to put up a nice owner handled dog because they haven’t done anything right. They haven’t raised it, trained it or conditioned it to win. They could be doing so much more winning if they would learn how to do all of it.
“It’s really frustrating to hear people complaining about handlers winning. The handler isn’t what’s beating them. The whole package is winning,” Hastings noted. “There are a lot of really good dogs out there that should be doing more winning, but somebody needs to teach them.”
All of Hastings books, DVDs and more are available at her website: https://www.dogfolk.com/
Apr 11 2019
Rank #12: 240 – Human-animal bond will *literally* save your life | Pure Dog Talk
Steve Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI, with his dog.
The human-animal bond developed over the course of 30,000 years in which people and dogs co-evolved, according to Steve Feldman, executive director of HABRI.
The Pet Effect Campaign, led by HABRI-founder Zoetis, is a multi-pronged campaign aimed to introduce pet owners to the health benefits of the human-animal bond, and to understand how important their veterinarians are for happy, healthy pets.
HABRI has assembled scientific evidence that demonstrates how pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder.
From therapy dogs for autistic children to service dogs for PTSD veterans, research is proving that dogs lower people’s bad neurochemicals and increase their good ones, Feldman added.
Pets are the fountain of youth
Dog people have always known dogs are the fountain of youth, but Feldman cited a study from Sweden that looked at three million people over the course of 12 years. It showed that people who own pets live longer. To the point that doctors are beginning to actually *prescribe* getting a pet to improve a patient’s health.
“Breeders are responsible for healthy dogs, but they are also responsible for healthy people, families and even a healthier society,” Feldman said.
One of HABRI’s current studies is examining the potential role of pets in preventing teen suicide. As Feldman said, what the dog community knows anecdotally, they are working on proving empirically.
HABRI, which was founded by Zoetis, has created a promotional campaign to talk about this called The Pet Effect. The shareable videos and graphics are powerful outreach to the public about the importance of our pets.
Nov 29 2018
Rank #13: 284 – Veterinary Ethics and Building a Relationship with Your Vet | Pure Dog Talk
Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, JD, president of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics visits with Host Laura Reeves about how breeders and veterinarians can work together for a positive outcome.
“Vets are not held in as high esteem as they have been in the past," Greer said. "And that’s concerning to me. As veterinarians, we touch so many people in a positive way. It’s truly a calling. It’s not just a job that you get in your car and drive there. It has to be a passion, people don’t get rich doing this.”
Too much Dr. Google
"Communication is a really important piece," Greer said. "Many vets and staff are introverts by nature. Honest open frank communication is the best way to handle any situation."
Greer recommends that if owners have a particular opinion on diet, vaccines, etc they need to interview vets to find someone they enjoy working with, even if it means driving further.
"Bring ideas but listen to what vet has to say," Greer said. "Start a conversation that is a give and take."
Greer noted that up to 30 percent of dogs going to an emergency clinic don’t have good outcomes. She adds that while a client may not have the relationship with the doctor at an emergency or specialty clinic, but these hospitals can do amazing things with new medical procedures.
"Develop a relationship with your vet, even the staff at a local emergency clinic, before you have a crisis," Greer recommended.
Fear Free Medicine
Greer also suggested that clients check in to some of the methods to condition dogs to quietly accept treatment and handling for a better outcome in any situation, emergent or standard practice.
Telemedicine is a huge, up and coming service, Greer said. While it inherently has some draw backs, she noted that this is the next frontier of veterinary medicine.
"There are multiple services where vets can do real-time, long-distance consultation," Greer said. "Seismic changes will be happening in the next couple years, with the AVMA releasing new policies recently."
Other resources referenced in this podcast:
Debra Hamilton's mediation services: https://puredogtalk.com/finding-common-ground-to-grow-the-purebred-dog-fancy-pure-dog-talk/
Dr. Karen Overall: https://puredogtalk.com/dr-karen-overall-temperament-vs-geneticspure-dog-talk/
May 02 2019
Rank #14: 306 – Bill Shelton on Positive Messaging in Purebred Dogs | Pure Dog Talk
This three part series was recorded at Woofstock, where Bill Shelton judged a Best in Show.
Bill Shelton imparts his wisdom in part one of a three-part series from a wide-ranging conversation about positive messaging in purebred dogs.
People respond to positive messages, Shelton said, which will allow us to change perceptions within the general public. Words like preservation and purpose bred dogs change the paradigm of purebred that can have negative connotation.
“Look what shelters have done,” Shelton said. “They used to be known as the dog pound and mongrels. Look at it today, shelter, rescue, adoption. What fabulous words they use. We still use all these draconian words like kennel, breeders and purebred. They are accurate, but we need to move past them. Even the boarding industry has recognized the anthropomorphized words and have day care and stylists instead of kennel runs and groomers."
We as breeders and exhibitors have the responsibility to take back the conversation and can’t rely exclusively on the American Kennel Club to do the work for us, Shelton noted.
“I don’t use the word responsible any more because 30 people have a different understanding of what that means,” Shelton said. “Purpose bred means that not only are the dogs bred for intellect and the way they look and predictability, they are bred intentionally by people who care about them.”
The term preservation breeder opens up the opportunity for conversation in the community, Shelton said.
“The paradigm has to change,” Shelton said. “We’ve focused so much on dog shows, that we began to believe that is the most important thing. What’s really important is that you and I as dog breeders supply the demand of happy, healthy family companions.”
“As breeders we are taking accountability,” Shelton said. “We are the ones taking responsibility from cradle to grave. Rescue started in the halls of the AKC and parent clubs. This is one of the reasons we find only five percent identifiable purebreds in shelters.”
We have to assimilate different perspectives rather than pushing against them, Shelton said. We need not to demean people but rather encourage them to understand what preservation breeders are doing, including producing a quantitative predictability of health.
Learn more: 23 – Our Breeds are Endangered: Preservation Breeding-Bill Shelton
Jul 18 2019
Rank #15: 219 – Positive Solutions for Canine Aggression Issues | Pure Dog Talk
Lisa Moore, canine behavior counselor, with three of her dogs at a recent dog show.
Lisa Moore is a canine behavior counselor who works regularly for clients dealing with aggression issues in their dogs. She uses positive reinforcement and counter-conditioning methods to bring these dogs to a point at which they can be safely managed.
“One of my Belgian Tervuren had aggression issues,” Moore said. “The old techniques I had used were not going to be effective without somebody getting hurt. This was my primary motivation for making the switch to positive reinforcement and clicker training.”
A successful obedience competitor prior to her introduction to clicker training, Moore noted that, dog training is an unregulated profession. “Anybody can hang up a shingle and call themselves a dog trainer,” she said.
Moore strongly recommends working with a trainer certified by the Karen Pryor Academy and/or the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
Common aggression issues
Moore shared advice on three very common types of aggression, how to identify the behavior and how to condition dogs correctly to be able to manage them:
“Management will always play some sort of role when you have a reactive dog,” Moore noted.
Some general principles to keep in mind, according to Moore, when dealing with aggression issues.
There is no room for corrections. Punishing any type of aggressive behavior will make it worse.
There are no quick fixes. Corrections will suppress the behavior, but that is not a fix.
Dogs will always have “tells” that will give you an early warning that trouble is brewing.
Understand and listen to your dog.
Fear aggression, Moore said, is the easiest to fix. “You get the fear to go away, the aggression goes with it,” she added.
Leash reactivity is a situation in which Moore said, more often than not, she has to train the owner not the dog. “The owner tenses up, the dog reads that behavior and says ‘Mom’s worried, something must be wrong,’” she observed.
Resource guarding is a very common, solvable behavior, Moore said. Much more so when it is caught early, before it becomes entrenched. She added that dogs who become habituated to resource guarding can be particularly dangerous.
Learn more about applied behavior analysis in last week's episode with Lara Joseph.
Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy regards mentorship and how to find it, and give it!
Sep 17 2018
Rank #16: 307 – Bill Shelton, part 2: Breeding for Genetic Diversity | Pure Dog Talk
Bill Shelton: breeder, judge, activist.
In part two of our series, Bill Shelton, leading advocate for preservation dog breeders, and host Laura Reeves have a spirited conversation about how to improve the health of our breeds while maintaining genetic diversity.
"Leading theriogenologists say breeders are suppressing genetic diversity," Shelton said. "Only testing phenotype not genotype in hip x-rays for example, removes dogs from the gene pool without understanding the genotype. When we eliminate genes for one thing we don’t know what genes we’re removing that are positive."
Lethal genes must be removed, but until we have a DNA genetic marker we don’t really know, Shelton noted. We need to breed carriers and potentially affected as well in order to preserve a variety of genes for the future.
Weaving genes to make a healthier dog
"We are asking more of our dog breeding programs than we are for our own humanity," Shelton said. "We're actually holding dogs to a higher standard than ourselves and the future of humans."
Taking the conversation full circle, Shelton noted that legislators are listening to extremists rather than experts in animal husbandry.
"We need to get our message out there," Shelton said. "We need to have more advocacy for purebred dogs. We need to step outside this circle of dog shows."
In an outside the box idea, Shelton suggested that AKC needs to consider rebranding as an option, to call themselves a conservancy of heritage breeds.
"How we talk about what we do is what’s important," Shelton said.
In the "other great ideas department," Shelton asked rhetorically, "Where is the breeder’s committee in the delegates? Where is the VP of breeders at AKC?"
"We need to take the focus away from showing and put our focus on breeding dogs," Shelton said. "We are at the point that an amateur delegate body is running what has become a professional industry. Everyone makes money. Who doesn’t make money? Dog breeders."
If you missed part 1, listen here.
Jul 22 2019
Rank #17: 277 – Hunting Poodles at Poodle Club of America: No, Really! | Pure Dog Talk
Jaci Bowman hunting with two standard poodles
Jaci Bowman, owner, trainer and handler of hunting Poodles, joins host Laura Reeves to talk about retrieving, upland bird hunting and the history of poodle participation in hunt tests.
Bowman began hunting with her poodles in the 1990s. She said that Poodle Club of America originally created a working certificate for the breed, but later poodles were accepted to compete in AKC licensed retriever hunt tests. Three years ago, poodles were also approved to participate in AKC’s hunting tests for spaniels.
From the PCA website: “Upland hunting traditionally consists of walking through the fields, locating birds, flushing them out of cover, and shooting and retrieving them. Upland hunting varies widely from the sparse vegetation of the high desert, to the high cover of corn fields, to the dense cover of fence rows, to woodlands. The type of bird varies, based on the habitat. Game birds include pheasant, chukar, partridge, woodcock, doves, various kinds of quail and grouse, and pigeons. With all of them, a good dog makes a valued hunting partner, a role that poodles have been filling for a long, long time.”
The breed was developed to hunt in marshes, with ancestry tracing to the Irish Water Spaniel, Bowman noted. As a result, they aren’t what she thinks of as “non-slip” retrievers like Labradors and Chesapeakes that were developed exclusively for retrieving downed waterfowl.
Not Just Show Dogs
Jaci Bowman competing in the hunting class at PCA in 2018. Her dog shows the "modified" trim that is acceptable for AKC shows and makes it easier for dogs to go from field to show ring.
PCA national events feature a working certificate test, a retriever test and a spaniel test, along with an opportunity to introduce new dogs and owners to the sport.
Bowman said even though the field events are held before the dog show, newly popular “modified” trims enable dogs to transition from one to the other easily. Many of the dogs competing in the field tests are also show champions and compete in other performance venues like agility and obedience as well.
Apr 08 2019
Rank #18: 276 – Trafficking in Deadly Diseases from Foreign “Rescues” | Pure Dog Talk
Our guest blog post today is from Nancy Melone, with additional information about the deadly diseases arriving with foreign "rescues." Thank you for this outstanding research Nancy!
Protecting North American Dogs from Imported Disease Pathogens: The Cases of Dog Flu and Distemper*
By Nancy Melone, PhD, ThornCreek Bernese, Reg’d. and Eendenkoi Kooikerhondjes
Abstract: Protecting dogs and people from imported disease pathogens is a difficult and never-ending task requiring international cooperation and continued vigilance. The recent cases of dog flu and distemper offer vivid examples of the costs, both financial and emotional, of failure to responsibly import animals. This article describes the obstacles to such protection and the process of tracking and identifying unknown pathogens using dog flu and distemper as examples.
Protecting companion animals in the US from infectious organisms brought in by imported companion animals is not easy. Unlike the importation of food animals (e.g., cattle, sheep) which is overseen by the US Department of Agriculture, there is no federal oversight over the importation of companion animals. The only requirement for dogs entering the US or Canada is a rabies certificate. As became terrifyingly clear when several dogs imported from India, Iran, and Egypt were found to be rabid despite being “vaccinated,” fake rabies certificates are easy to obtain in some countries. Absent federal oversight, Professor Edward Dubovi, Director of the Virology Laboratory at Cornell University’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center, says, “It’s a 50-state free-for-all with regard to [importing] companion animals. It’s a very unsatisfactory situation if you’re trying to control infectious diseases in our domestic cats and dogs.”
The advent and popularity of international dog rescue and increased international and interstate trafficking of dogs has ushered in a new set of animal and human health concerns among infectious disease specialists, veterinarians, physicians, and epidemiologists as well as pet owners and breeders. Companion animals, in particular the family dog, are often seen as sentinels for known and unknown diseases in humans. They are the proverbial canary in the mineshaft. When dogs are imported from around the globe, they can become vectors of diseases that have never been seen in North America. Even diseases that have been eradicated and not seen in the US for decades may pose problems because of drug resistance. Many imported animals, particularly those rescued from underdeveloped or poor nations, enter North America with inadequate veterinary screening, veterinary care, or the benefit of basic vaccination protocols typical of dogs living in the US or Canada. In countries where dogs are raised for meat and regulation of antibiotics is poor, the risk of importing antibiotic-resistant pathogens is very high. Other factors further amplify disease risk, including, but not limited to, international rescue organizations who fail to develop and follow proper quarantine, disinfection and vaccination protocols. However well-intentioned, these rescue efforts put North American dogs at risk of foreign strains of potentially drug-resistant or unknown disease. Diagnosis of sick dogs becomes even more complicated in the case of unknown diseases, because if you have never seen or do not know what you are looking for, it is often hard to find it and when you do, it is often too late. To the extent imported dogs bring in unknown pathogens that are communicable to humans breeders, dog owners, rescuers, veterinarians, and adopters and their extended families are at potential risk.
The Case of Dog Flu
As many dog owners may recall, a primary focus in the last decade was the containment of two strains (H3N8 and H3N2) of the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). So-called “dog flu” was unknown in the US until a mysterious illness struck racing greyhounds in Flo...
Apr 04 2019
Rank #19: 296 – Pat Trotter, Dorothy Macdonald and Kim Meredith Speak at Forum | Pure Dog Talk
Today’s episode is part one of a Pure Dog Talk Friday Night Forum at Del Monte Kennel Club in 2017. The panel features Pat Trotter, Dorothy Macdonald and Kim Meredith addressing the topic of the “Judge-Exhibitor Relationship.” Learn about the background and priorities of these legends in the sport.
This Forum was originally available as a livestream video. We’re now bringing everyone all of the information in a three-part series on the podcast.
Topics in this section of the forum include background of the judges, what the judges want to see in the ring, how to ask judges about a dog, the judges’ opinions of the National Owner Handled Series and withholding ribbons.
Learn From the Source
In a current moment that features social media commentary pages on which exhibitors “report” on the judges, often with great vitriol, the value of hearing directly from the judges and what matters to them cannot be overstated.
A highlight of the conversation is Dorothy Macdonald’s description of coming to the US with her family in 1941 and bringing the dogs they could with them, including a Kerry Blue Terrier rescued from Dunkirk.
Macdonald is noted as one of a handful of judges who judge both conformation and field trials.
“I judged field trials as many years as dog shows,” Macdonald said. “I put up the first English setter running in the field that was a show champion.”
“As long as you’re more interested in the dogs than the people, there will never be a split (between exhibitors and judges),” Macdonald said. "I want an exhibitor to be happy in the ring. I’m interested in the dog, not the exhibitor’s ability. Just need them to control the dog. It’s the dog I want to see.”
Pat Trotter by Congleton Photography
“We all had a first time in the ring,” Trotter said. “I do want them to have a dog that’s somewhat prepared for the event. I want to have a dog we can go through the process … see the bite, see the dog move.”
“I’m always happy to talk about the dogs I’ve judged,” Meredith said. “Attitude and how the question is approached are everything.”
Jun 13 2019
Rank #20: 207 — Short-Legged Dogs Bred for a Purpose | Pure Dog Talk
Theresa Nesbitt is a retired ob-gyn physician with a focus on skeletal abnormalities. Her hobby is breeding and exhibiting Glen of Imaal Terriers and Dachshunds. The combination of these two passions led her to extensive study of the conformation of purpose bred, short-legged dogs and wrap-around fronts.
“It’s an interesting puzzle,” Nesbitt said. “There is a lot of overlap between the breeds that have this conformation.”
Genetics and expression of dwarfism
Researchers have just recently identified the genes responsible for this function, Nesbitt said.
“It’s a very, very old gene,” Nesbitt observed. “And a very interesting kind of gene. Literally it made a second copy, snuck back into the nucleus and puts itself on the recipe book. Two copies of the gene and the second one doesn’t have instructions. We call it a retro gene.”
Understanding how and why genes turn on and off is going to help the medical field understand cancers and more in the future, Nesbitt noted
What’s your job description
Through history, people in widely varied areas of the world found purposes for short-legged dogs.
“They found the gene in the gray wolf. It wasn’t expressed, but it was there to be inherited,” Nesbitt said. “It popped up in many places and became a purpose-bred gene because, depending on the task you wanted to do, a short-legged dog can do a lot of different jobs.”
Vermin hunting and going to ground were amongst the most common purposes for which people developed and perfected the genetic inheritance for short-legged dogs.
Badger hunting was the most dangerous job and required the most experienced dogs. A badger “sett” is like a series of tubes and chambers, Nesbitt said.
Other short-legged breeds include corgis, who were low enough to duck under the kicking heels of cattle, Basset Hounds, Glen of Imaal Terriers who were used, amongst other jobs, to run on a “turnspit.”
Glen of Imaal Terriers were bred with short legs so they could run on a turnspit and fit under the spoke of the wheel.
“A turnspit is like a hamster wheel,” Nesbitt said. “It’s a labor-saving device to turn meat over the fire etc. The dogs have to fit under the middle spoke. They have to have short legs.”
It’s what’s up front that counts
In most of the short-legged breeds, the front construction is designed in such a way that the front “wraps” around the rib cage, particularly those breeds in which the chest is below the level of the elbows.
The deep chests, pronounced prosternum and extensive keel (sternum) on these breeds again serves a purpose. Dogs that dig underground rest on their keel as they dig with their front legs, throwing dirt to the side much like a badger does. Taller terriers throw dirt between their back legs as most of us are used to seeing.
The overall front assembly and shoulder construction of short-legged dogs, whether the legs are underneath dog or placed out on the side, also is affected by the job they were designed to do.
When the front wraps around the ribcage, in some cases it leaves the dogs with slightly out-turned feet, to a greater or lesser degree based on the job and overall substance of the dog.
“A fiddle front is always undesirable,” Nesbitt said. “When the forelegs come very far in and point very far out. There is no sense that any job would require that construction.”
Join us next week as Theresa and I talk about when achondroplasia goes wrong.
And stick around for Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy and what to do about dogs blowing coat.
Aug 06 2018