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Pure Dog Talk

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THE Voice of Purebred Dogs

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THE Voice of Purebred Dogs

iTunes Ratings

181 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great Info

By jordanmichelle89 - Mar 20 2019
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Love this podcast. So much knowledge is shared.

Really helpful podcast for all dog owners

By machineinthestudio - Nov 15 2018
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5 stars just for episode 73 about basic dog grooming!

iTunes Ratings

181 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great Info

By jordanmichelle89 - Mar 20 2019
Read more
Love this podcast. So much knowledge is shared.

Really helpful podcast for all dog owners

By machineinthestudio - Nov 15 2018
Read more
5 stars just for episode 73 about basic dog grooming!

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Pure Dog Talk

Pure Dog Talk

Updated 3 days ago

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THE Voice of Purebred Dogs

Rank #1: 217 – Crate Training, Jumping Up, Digging and Behavior Analysis | Pure Dog Talk

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Behavior analysis and positive reinforcement create success
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.”
Shaping Behaviors
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.

Check out our newest advertiser, Trupanion!

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 #2: 325 – Dog Judging, Rumors and Reality Checks | Pure Dog Talk

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Dog Judging, Rumors and Reality Checks
AKC judge Lee Whittier, founder of Dog Show Mentor and a former AKC Field Rep, and host Laura Reeves talk turkey about judging, judges, the process and the results.
Some of the key take-aways from the conversation:

Judges are not all created equal. Some ARE better than others.
Judges WANT and TRY to do a good job.
Judges spend a LOT of time, money and grief to earn the honor of presiding from the center of the ring. Check out the YouTube video of the PureDogTalk Friday Night Forum panel discussion. Current AKC Executive Field Representative Bryan Martin, and AKC judges Brian Meyer and Sylvie McGee share a TON of information about the process of becoming an AKC approved judge.
What a judge sees in the center of the ring is often WAY different than what you see outside the ring. When you see a dog week in and week out, the accumulated knowledge may, in some cases, create a different picture than what the judge has during his/her 2 minutes in the ring.
Judges are NOT hatched from an egg! I say this all the time at the panel discussions. I think exhibitors forget this part. All judges started at basically the same place you are today. They showed dogs, they bred dogs, they schlepped the gear and scooped the poop, they drove the miles and slept in the sketchy hotel rooms. Every single judge in the ring has been there, done that and most likely a whole lot more.
Lee and I agree that we risk accusations of being a bit Pollyanna and acknowledge that bad apples exist, but that we, the exhibitors, should not allow them to spoil the whole basket.
Exhibitors will get the most enjoyment from their dog show experiences if they choose a positive social group, do a little research about their judges and try not to get wrapped up in the rumor-mongering when it happens.

Make sure you download and listen to the episode for more “inside insights”…
Pure Dog Talk is sponsored by:

Sep 23 2019


Rank #3: 242 – Veterinary Voice: K9 Flu and Puppy Vaccination Protocols | Pure Dog Talk

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K9 Flu Is Serious Risk Because Dogs Have No Natural Immunity
Dr. Marty Greer takes us through the outbreaks of Canine Influenza (K9 Flu) in the United States. She also offers recommended vaccination protocols for adults and puppies.

Outbreaks of two different strains of Canine Influenza have left U.S. dog owners struggling with if and when to vaccinate against this virus. Greer advocates strongly for "yes" and "annually."
K9 Flu causes pneumonia
"No dogs have natural immunity to the disease," Greer said. "Unless vaccinated, dogs are at serious risk. I have my personal dogs on a three-year protocol, but even Dr. Ronald Schultz is advocating that owners vaccinate for influenza in ALL dogs."

Greer notes that the 2015 virus outbreak came with Korean meat dog "rescue" imports and spread rapidly. Dogs traveling for competition at the highest risk of contact.

Influenza in the dog causes pneumonia, Greer said. The symptoms look like kennel cough to start, but progress rapidly to pneumonia, including a hemorrhagic variant.

"Eight percent of infected dogs die," Greer said. "This really is a big deal."
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Treatment with two weeks of antibiotics, iv fluids, possibly even oxygen, is common Greer said. Follow up xrays to confirm the pneumonia is controlled are required. Even dogs less severely affected are infectious for up to 3 weeks.

Two vaccine companies offer products which cover both strains of the disease and are readily available, Greer said. The vaccinations require two injections, two-four weeks apart, with an annual booster. Since the vaccines have only been available since 2016, there isn't sufficient data to determine if they are effective longer than that.
Impacts on puppy vaccination protocols
Adding the K9 Flu vaccine into a puppy vaccination protocol can be a challenge, but Greer said the vaccine can be given as young as seven weeks of age. She recommends inoculating on a staggered schedule. She also strongly recommends the nomograph system of establishing vaccination timing for puppies. Her recommendation is to pull blood on the dam at the same appointment in which ultrasound confirms pregnancy. This blood is shipped off to a laboratory that measures the bitch's immunity levels to disease and pinpoints exactly what date the puppies should be vaccinated.
Canine Nomograph – What is it?
A nomograph is an estimate of the amount of antibody passed to a litter of pups from the mother via her colostrum. During the puppy’s first hours of life, its intestinal tract is able to allow colostral antibody to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This passive antibody helps to protect the newborn from all the diseases that the mother is protected from. As the puppy grows up, maternal antibody breaks down in approximately 2 week “half lives” until it is no longer present in the pup. While this antibody is at higher levels, it is able to neutralize viruses such as canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus. Because of this neutralization, puppy vaccine can be blocked. Maternal antibody interference is one of the most common causes of vaccine failure to immunize! The reason that puppies are given multiple doses of vaccine is because most of the time we don’t know what their maternal antibody titers are, and so don’t know when the vaccine will be effective. Nomograph testing helps us understand the best timing of vaccination to assure a litter will be effectively immunized. Because the nomograph is limited by the ability of the dam to make colostrum and for the pups to receive it, nomograph results should not be used as a definitive indication of protection from disease. If you are a breeder who is experiencing a disease outbreak, please contact us prior to submitting a nomograph.

(Reference: Baker, Robson, Gillespie, Burgher, and Doughty. A nomograph that predicts the age to vaccinate puppies against distemper. Cornell Veterinarian, Aug 1958,

Dec 06 2018


Rank #4: 251 – Trainer Suzanne Clothier on Relationship Building with Your Dog | Pure Dog Talk

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Suzanne Clothier Talks Relationship Building
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.
Relationship building
“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 #5: 208 – Dr. Carmen Battaglia – Breeding SUPER Dogs | Pure Dog Talk

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Carmen Battaglia's Recipe for Breeding SUPER Dogs
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.
Pedigree research
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: 235 – Finding Common Ground to Grow the Purebred Dog Fancy | Pure Dog Talk

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Common Ground Brings Everyone to the Table
Debra Hamilton helps clients work through high stakes, high intensity situations through the use of mediation.

Attorney Debra Hamilton finds common ground in the most challenging situations. Whether in interpersonal, transactional, public or even adversarial relationships, the solution, Hamilton suggests, is simple. Just listen!
Can’t we all just get along?
“We are so passionate as a sport that we sometimes can’t find common ground on which to speak with people who disagree with us,” Hamilton said. “How do we carry on a conversation that helps the greyhounds, for example?”
Stop, drop and roll
Hamilton has an excellent and easy to remember format for working through difficult conversations.

*Stop* talking and listen. Keep yourself grounded. Breathe a lot. No name calling. Pause before talking or typing.
*Drop* the need to be right. You are right, this is how you feel. Nobody can tell you you’re wrong. You’re just listening to someone else talking about what they think is right. If you listen, you might find something to support your point.
Let what they say *roll* off your back. Don’t wallow in the mud. When people are angry, if you engage with them, they aren’t going to give up the ghost. If you listen to understand, they may come back after thinking and acknowledge your points.
Listen to understand, not reply. Think about consequences of all sides of decision.

“It’s important that everyone has the opportunity to talk. If everyone feels as if they are heard, respected and understood, a solution is going to come out of it,” Hamilton said. In Colorado participants in a workshop “took legislation off table so they could have more conversation.”
Entrenched positions
In extreme situations, find a neutral party in the argument, Hamilton encouraged. Somebody with “no skin in the game.” Ensure a situation in which the parties are not simply for and against. The conversation needs facilitation in these instances.
“Animals bring out the most potent emotions in people,” Hamilton said. “They will go to the mat for their animals. Normal, sane people will take up the gauntlet and not listen to another point of view.”
For more information:

Check it out!!! Pure Dog Talk is getting some recognition, even in the real world!! TALK ON!

Nov 12 2018


Rank #7: 238 — The friendships and journeys of a successful owner-handler | Pure Dog Talk

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Sealyham Terrier owner-handler at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club
Olga Forlicz and Leslie Jaseph, Sealyham Terriers breeders, share stories about the international friendships and journeys of a successful breeder owner-handler.
Details matter
Jaseph shares her experience showing in the hyper competitive East Coast terrier groups, many of which are dominated by top professional handlers.

"You have to go in the ring with your dog trained and prepared like any other person in the ring," Jaseph said. "You have to understand preparation and trimming. You can’t make an excuse. You and your dog have to be prepared."
No excuses
Jaseph's highly successful bitch was entered at Westminster Kennel Club, but she didn't bring her because she wasn't quite back to top condition from her litter of puppies.

"You have to have high standards," Jaseph said. "Never bring your dog out unless you feel it can win."
US versus Europe
Forlicz, who lives in Poland and is the breeder of Jaseph's competitive bitch, compared European and American shows. She said that the general level of grooming and overall presentation is much higher here in the US.

"In Europe we have famous breeders, but not as many professional handlers," Forlicz said. "It is maybe easier for the average person to compete at a high level."

Forlicz added that while there are more shows in the US, Entries are typically much larger in Europe.
International partnership
Jaseph approached Forlicz to purchase a dog because she was “looking for something tightly bred, that phenotypically was a good match for anything in the US."

Breeders should "Get out your ruler and measure the dog," Jaseph said. "Compare it to standard, break it down." She also noted that within style variations, balance is the key in the breed.

Her general assessment of the breed, although it is numerically threatened world wide, is that overall coats and movement are good. Her observation is that breeders should pay attention to tailsets and length and strength of heads.

The full length video interview also is available at the Pure Dog Talk YouTube channel, here:

Nov 22 2018


Rank #8: 226 – Jane Killion Shares the Evolution of Puppy Culture | Pure Dog Talk

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Jane Killion on Puppy Culture for New and Experienced Breeders Alike
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 #9: 309 — Breeding for type, consistency while keeping a low COI | Pure Dog Talk

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Breeding for type, consistency while keeping a low COI
Dr. Victor Stora, veterinary medical geneticist, with some of his Shetland Sheepdogs.

Victor Stora, Shetland Sheepdog breeder, AKC/CHF Residency Recipient and Veterinary Geneticist at University of Pennsylvania, shares concrete information on breeding for type and consistency of style while keeping a low COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding).

Stora observed that many breeders fall in to one of two categories.
"People might fall in to health testing too much and losing type, or you have people ignoring health because they’re getting the type they want. The happy medium is where people should be," Stora said.
Health test all you want, Stora noted, but keep in mind it doesn’t mean the dogs are free of disease… just all the ones you can test for. What are the really bad diseases that affect a breed, he queried, adding that the more “lethal” diseases get higher priority.
Health testing and COI are tools
"Once you get to the point that you have the animals that you’ve screened, choose the ones that have the least problems health testing wise and are most like the type you desire," Stora recommended. "Health testing is a tool, not a meter to eliminate animals because they don’t pass the bar."
He also strongly recommends incorporating carriers of some diseases in a breeding program. "If you eliminate carriers, assuming the carrier has no disease, you’re removing dogs that are healthy. You can zoom in *too* much on health testing, and lose what you had in the beginning."
We don't have all the answers yet
Stora also noted that the primary diseases we want to know about, epilepsy, cancer etc, we don’t have an answer and that they are likely environmental, plus genetic.

When it comes to autoimmune disease, Stora said the breeder's goal is to have more genetic variation to combat it.
"Outcross to a point, line breed to a point. Watch what’s happening. If you don’t choose for fertility, you’re choosing against it. Fertility is a heritable trait," Stora said. "Nobody got into this because it’s easy. It's not."
Finally, Stora counseled to stop breeding affected dogs once the breed or line has started making headway against that disease.

"If the disease is rare within a breed, never breed affected because you don’t have to. If it is common within the breed, you have to use affected," Stora said.
Our goals as breeders, Stora noted, should be to breed with knowledge, move with testing, breed away from disease state, lower the frequency you see the disease causative allele. Move toward a goal of no disease.
Genetic Counseling link:

Jul 29 2019


Rank #10: 314 – Dog Shows Through the Eyes of Newbies | Pure Dog Talk

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Dog Shows Through the Eyes of Newbies
I was honored to visit with four brand "newbies" recently in a panel discussion format. These folks shared truly valuable information about what got them started, what they love and even what they don’t.

Dr. Clifton Jamil Kenon Jr

Huge thanks to listener Dr. Clifton Jamil Kenon Jr whose idea this was. The announcement on PureDogTalk’s FB page garnered 147 comments from folks who were so excited to share their experiences. I hope to make a continuing series of these types of conversations because the stories I received were so amazing.

Kenon, Kristin Eberly, Neil Trilokekar and Kayla Croteau represent a wide spectrum of the dog fancy. They share their fascinating journeys into the sport of purebred dogs, talk about mentors, what they love and what has been frustrating in each of their individual experiences.
"Meet people where they are," Kenon advises mentors and would be mentors. "Everyone comes to the table with their own goals. This is a sport that lends itself to diversity." Kenon's mentor, Susan Giles, visited with me on the podcast just recently.

Kristin Eberly

The best help Eberly found is from her handling class instructor, who she says offers "criticism wrapped in something positive."

Trilokekar said his mentors have encouraged him to study and think critically. "They share their knowledge without expecting me to be obedient," he noted.

Croteau said her mentor is always open to the silliest of questions and is always positive.

Kayla Croteau
Strongest encouragement

"Set your own goals," Kenon said. "Celebrate the wonderful people who help you get there. Ignore the people who want sink everybody’s ship. Don’t go broke doing it. Have fun."
"Don’t be afraid to ask for help," Eberly offered. "Long time people in the breed can be intimidating. Those people will help you if you just ask."
Neil Trilokekar

"Find your fascination," Trilokekar encouraged. "So many facets you can be engaged by. Learn about history, and heritage of your breed. Go do other things with people when you’re at a dog show. Build a relationship. Never stop learning."
"Coming in it was pretty terrifying," Croteau opined. "Remember we’re all here because we love the dogs. Set small goals. Don’t just come to the show, show and go home. Hang out. Have an open mind and big ears."

Aug 15 2019


Rank #11: 191 — Love the Breeds: German Shorthaired Pointer Roundtable | Pure Dog Talk

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German Engineered for Versatility
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.
Healthy dogs
“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. (

“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 #12: 268 – Veterinary Voice: Newborn Puppy Risk Factors | Pure Dog Talk

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Managing the Neonate – Early Detection and Management of Newborn Risk Factors
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.
2. Weight
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.

See formula.
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.
5. Hypoglycemia
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.
APGAR Parameter
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 #13: 277 – Hunting Poodles at Poodle Club of America: No, Really! | Pure Dog Talk

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Hunting Poodles at Poodle Club of America... No, Really!
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.”
Poodle History
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 #14: 262 — Will Alexander on Grooming, Handling and Heroes | Pure Dog Talk

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Will Alexander on Grooming, Handling and Heroes
Will Alexander winning BOB in Gordon Setters at Westminster Kennel Club this week.

Canadian dog handling legend, Will Alexander, shares his memories, his handling tips and grooming tools that have brought him significant success in the last 25 years.

“My heroes were people like George Alston,” Alexander said. “He basically taught me to trim Irish Setters over the phone.”

“I always wanted to be a handler, but before embarking on a handling career I worked for Garry MacDonald in Canada, and for Bobby Stebbins in the States,” Alexander said.
Carving the picture
Will Alexander grew up with Irish Setters and learned from George Alston, over the phone, how to trim them.

Grooming is not a recipe, Alexander noted. Every dog is different. Famous for his meticulous grooming of setters particularly, Alexander describes a process to “build a shell around the dog” when trimming the back coat. He works with a stripping knife, his fingers, a grooming stone and, the most important piece, a bristle brush to bring up the oils in the coat.
Attention to detail
“I hate it when I hear “Oh, they won because they are so and so… well, they didn’t just grow up and they were so and so… they had to work hard to become so and so,” Alexander said. “It’s hard work. For every 15 minutes of fame there are 23 hrs 45 minutes working on your dog. It’s not age, it’s mileage.”
Tips of the trade

Think in slow motion. In real time you’re doing exactly the right speed.

“When Miss P won the group at the Garden, George Alston called and yelled at me that I had gone too fast on the down and back. It was terrifying!”

Attention to detail.

“I like to sit and watch the ring, pretend I’m in there already, making my mistakes in my head so I don’t make them in the ring.”

“Old fashioned” isn’t bad

“I have a mind’s eye picture of the dogs. So much of type is in how they move, how they carry themselves,” Alexander said. “We need to be preserving the breeds not ‘improving’ them.”
Dream Best in Show Lineup

English Springer Spaniel Ch. Salilyn's Condor
Borzoi Ch. Kishniga's Desert Song
Doberman Pinscher Ch. Brunswig's Cryptonite
Wire Fox Terrer ch galsul excellence
Pekingese Ch. Wendessa Crown Prince
Standard Poodle Ch. Rimskittle Ruffian
German Shepherd Dog Ch Altana's Mystique

BIS to Robert the Springer

For more information, videos, the book and more, visit

Feb 14 2019


Rank #15: 297 – Standards: Reading, Interpreting and Understanding the Blueprint | Pure Dog Talk

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Standards: Reading, Interpreting and Understanding the Blueprint
Nannette Newbury, judges education coordinator for United States Australian Shepherd Association, breaks down breed standards.

Newbury’s presentation will help you understand: What are the parts of the standard, what’s a good and bad breed standard, what’s open to interpretation and what isn’t.

Breeders use the standard one way, judges have to use it another way, Newbury noted.

“That judge had to weigh a lot more than soundness,” Newbury said. “What good is it if a dog looks like a coyote and it’s sound. Judges can only go by what’s in the breed standard.”
How to apply the breed standard
Understanding the essence of the breed has to be a priority for judge or breeder, Newbury observed.

When dog shows began, folks had to come up with a way to compare and contrast dogs. The breed standard has to distinguish one breed from another.
“Our breeds came first and then we wrote standards,” Newbury said. “In order to read, interpret and apply a breed standard, you have to have a knowledge of canine anatomy, physiology, structure. It takes time to learn.”
Flaws, faults, implied faults
The breed standard is not a list of negative aspects, Newbury opined, rather it describes ideal.

Hallmarks of a breed are what make it distinct from all others and should be part of a good breed standard.
“If all dogs were perfect, judging would be easy. In the real world, deciding which quality or fault is more or less important and awarding accordingly is the quintessential job of the judge,” Newbury said. “As breeders, you pick your poison. Markings or fronts or whatever, you pick your poison. Judges do the same thing.”
Anything that deviates from the standard is a fault, Newbury noted, while the degree of deviation determines the severity of the fault.

“Go through (your breed) standard and list virtues and ideals. If the virtue affects original function of the dog, consider those more important,” Newbury said.
“Anybody can find a fault. The hardest thing to do when evaluating a dog is to look at a dog, even one that is of poor quality, and find something good to say about it. It is a gift to be able to find the virtues in a dog.”
There's always more to learn! Check out previous episodes...
10 Oct 2019
330 – Breeding Rules from John Buddie, Tartanside Collies | Pure Dog Talk
07 Oct 2019
329 – Dogs Saving Cats: Livestock Guardians and Cheetahs | Pure Dog Talk
03 Oct 2019
328 – Poopy Happens: Puppy Diarrhea Causes and Treatments | Pure Dog Talk
30 Sep 2019
327 – MORE on Preserving Our Breeds. What can WE do? | Pure Dog Talk
26 Sep 2019
326 – Preserving Our Breeds. What can WE do? Discussion pt. 1 | Pure Dog Talk
23 Sep 2019
325 – Dog Judging, Rumors and Reality Checks | Pure Dog Talk
19 Sep 2019
324 – Veterinary Voice: Allergies! Food, Inhalant, Fleas & More | Pure Dog Talk
16 Sep 2019
323 – Marketing Strategy Ensures Viability of Endangered Breed | Pure Dog Talk
12 Sep 2019
322 – The Winning Edge! Panel Discussion With the Masters | Pure Dog Talk
10 Sep 2019
321 — Tricks Are for Show Dogs! Improve Focus in the Ring | Pure Dog Talk
05 Sep 2019
320 – You ARE What You Eat and So is Your Dog | Pure Dog Talk
02 Sep 2019
319 — Cavalettis for Show Dogs with Vicki Ronchette | Pure Dog Talk

Jun 17 2019


Rank #16: 264 — Carlos Puig: All About Dachshunds and Getting in a Dog’s Head | Pure Dog Talk

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Carlos Puig: All About Dachshunds and Getting in a Dog’s Head
Handler Carlos Puig and Longhaired Dachshund, Burns, Hound group winner at the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club.

Anyone who watched the joy with which the Longhaired Dachshund, Burns, showed at Westminster Kennel Club last week, or loves Dachshunds in general, will appreciate this talk with handler Carlos Puig.

A Dachshund fancier, breeder and handler for 45 years, Puig brings out the pure spirit in each of his charges. How and why this “jazz pianist” of dog handlers does this is an amazing story. His encyclopedic knowledge of the Dachshund breed is equally impressive.

“(Dachshunds) are almost like an accordion,” Puig said. “They are very flexible because they had to be able to get in the badger den, maneuver underground and then back out.”
Dual Champion Does it All
In fact Burns, GCHP DC WALMAR-SOLO'S OMG SL JE, is believed to be the first dual champion of any breed to win a group at Westminster Kennel Club. Puig is proud that Burns has been successful in both field trials and earth dog events, proving that great show dogs can still do the work for which they were bred.

While Standard and Miniature Dachshunds have the same breed standard, Puig notes there are distinct differences between the varieties of coats and sizes. Smooths are the guard dogs, Longs are the snugglers and Wires will make you laugh, he said. And while Standards were bred for hunting badger, Minis are more about speed and were bred specifically for hunting rabbits and flushing deer.
“Back in the day (as the breed was developed in the 1800s) the best wires were standard longhairs bred to Dandie Dinmonts,” Puig said. “Which is why you still see lighter color hair on the heads of some Wire Dachshunds.”
Dog Handler as "Jazz Pianist"
Puig began his journey as a shy 11-year-old, house sitting for a neighbor who owned and showed Great Danes and later Dachshunds. He helped socialize puppies and groomed dogs for the owners while they were at shows because his parents were very protective and wouldn’t let him travel out of state.
“I learned to communicate with dogs before I learned to communicate with people,” Puig said. “I am grateful to the dogs…. they literally saved my life. I feed off the dog’s personality. You gotta get in their heads. I hate the robot dogs. There are never two dogs that are exactly alike. If you can’t pick up on that, you’ll get nowhere. I’m fortunate I started with Dachshunds, because I had to convince them they were doing what they wanted to do, not what I was making them do.”

Feb 21 2019


Rank #17: 278 — Pat Hastings Wants to Make YOU a Winner With New Book | Pure Dog Talk

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Pat Hastings Wants to Make YOU a Winner With New Book
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:

Apr 11 2019


Rank #18: 273 — Herding Dogs: “Eye,” Competition and Genetic Instinct | Pure Dog Talk

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Herding Dogs: “Eye,” Competition and Genetic Instinct
Tammy Van Deusen works with Shetland Sheepdogs in herding trials.

Herding dog trainer and Shetland Sheepdog breeder Tammy Van Deusen joins host Laura Reeves to share her knowledge.
"Give 'em the Eye"
We talk about “eye” contact, the way Border Collies and Kelpies control stock, versus “loose eye” breeds such as Shelties and the Belgian breeds, that control the stock with their movement. Van Deusen takes us through all of the testing options, what they are and how to train for them. And most importantly, she talks about the loss of genetic instinct in herding breeds.

Van Deusen’s first advice is to find a good instructor. Check out the facility before you sign up, she said. She works with clients who want to see if their dog has herding instinct. She’ll often give them three to four lessons with her “school sheep” to see if the dog will “turn on” to stock.

If the dog doesn’t have a lot of drive on stock, Van Deusen said, it can still be successful in other performance sports like agility and obedience.

A Sheltie working stock to bring them to the handler.

One of the characteristics Van Deusen is looking for in the dogs is whether they are just chasing versus herding the stock to turn and bring it to you. “Too much prey drive won’t make a good herding dog,” she noted.
Start proving natural instinct
Different breeds work stock differently, Van Deusen said. Certain breeds, like Rottweilers and Corgis, are considered “drovers” – driving the stock forward. Border Collies and Kelpies, with their intense “eye” and low bodies were developed for working huge fields of stock to gather and bring *toward* the handler. The basic farm dog breeds, like Shelties, Tervuren and others, were developed to serve a more multi-purpose function.
“Herding judging should be about the sheep,” Van Deusen said. “They’re looking at the path the sheep are taking, are the sheep calm, more so than the dog. How the stock is moving is what the dog is doing. A good herding run is like watching paint dry. Running stock is running meat off the animals and stressing them out. A dog that works too fast, too intense, loses the rancher money.”
Genetic loss of performance skills and inherited instinct
Shelties work are considered "loose eye, upright" herding breeds who work stock with their movement instead of intense eye contact.

Border Collies have been bred for one thing for thousands of years, Van Deusen noted. As such, the breed’s basic instinct remains strong.

“A lot of breeds, people don’t care anymore about the herding piece,” Van Deusen said. “In two generations, you can lose instinct. I don’t think people realize that.”

Mar 25 2019


Rank #19: 201 – Exhibitor Education Courses Come Online | Pure Dog Talk

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"Crowdsourcing" Knowledge for Exhibitor Education
Vicki Ronchette, author of “From Shy to Showy,” has created a new exhibitor education resource with online college-type classes available on a wide variety of topics.

New owners, exhibitors who want to improve their performance and experienced members of the fancy who want to hone their skills will all find a topic of interest.

“A lot of people don’t have access to training classes near them,” Ronchette said. “Or the classes are more socialization and don’t offer a lot of information for training the dog or the handler.”

Listeners who missed Ronchette’s previous podcasts, can check out some of her outstanding positive training tips here and here.
Variety of courses available
Show Dog Prep School Courses include everything from training nail trims, to using Tellington TTouch for better results, to Safe Travel with dogs.

Full disclosure, your host, Laura Reeves, is an instructor for SDPS. Her first offering is: Canine Structure 101 and Applying the Breed Standard.

Courses are available with coaching from instructor, as well as a mentoring program with Ronchette, webinars, forums and more. The school is designed to offer easy navigation and a user-friendly platform.
Learn on YOUR schedule
“In today’s society, people don’t have a lot of time,” Ronchette said. “Show Dog Prep School allows people to learn on their own schedule. Virtual education is really helpful for folks to learn and get up to speed when they are just getting started.”

Ronchette is dedicated to the positive reinforcement system of dog training. And she applies it to her students.

“Positive reinforcement for people is so important,” Ronchette said. “We are creating a community of helping and support.”

People AND animals deserve to have an education so they can go in to a dog show with confidence and actually enjoy the sport and stay with it, Ronchette noted.

“We can help you understand the reason a dog didn’t win. It could actually be that your dog didn’t look as good. Let’s work on that,” Ronchette said.

Don’t miss Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy. Allison brings us *boggling* information about how to do up a coated breed beautifully – without power! Seriously, water and a bristle brush. What? Check it out.

Jul 16 2018