Friday, March 1, 2013

Boys Or Girls

Many years ago I did an informal survey on one of the Dal Lists.  The question was "if you could have just one dog, would it be a male or a female?"  I asked this of people who had experience owning both sexes.  The response was that about 2/3 of them would own a male.

Max had his puppy class last night and we had so much fun.  He's a terrific little guy and I'm just crazy about him, but is it because he is from such a wonderful litter, or is that enhanced by the fact that I have always preferred male dogs?  Decided to do a Facebook question and ask the same question.  Lots of responses already, and again about 2/3 of them, if they could only have one dog, would choose a male.

However, just as in my previous survey, most of the respondents are women.  Does that make a difference? My ex-husband, as well as my current partner, have both been more strongly attached to the resident female dogs.  I guess if one was to do a serious survey, that would have to be taken into account!

The picture is my two girls, Josie and Fernly, both of whom I dearly love - but I still prefer the boys.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I recently did some emailing back and forth with a person who supposedly wanted a rawfed puppy for Agility and Tracking, but did not want dewclaws removed and did not want to neuter or microchip.  He wanted me to select a baby pup for him and not remove the dewclaws because he felt Agility and Tracking dogs needed dewclaws.  Did not want a microchipped pup because his Vet supposedly told him that chipping "caused cancer".  Did not want to have to neuter for the same reason.  Explained to him that I would not do that because I wouldn't know at 3 days of age which pup might be his.   Also gave him the email address of friends who do serious Tracking and Agility so they could explain to him that dogs do not need dewclaws for either.  I also questioned whether his Vet had actually told him those things.  I will back off on neutering IF I am comfortable with the buyer, but this was not a buyer I felt comfortable with.  His "requirements" were strange, and I found it hard to believe him.

Got an email this morning to tell me that he didn't need to contact my friends because he found a "breeder" who did not remove dewclaws and didn't require neutering.  Yes, I'm sure he did.  There are plenty of them out there.  They were perfectly happy to take his money and sell him a pup with no strings attached.  You do what you can to educate, but it's often not worth the effort.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Family Pack

We find our "family pack" endlessly entertaining.  The interaction among the dogs is so much fun to watch, and the pack dynamics are fascinating.  Because we have dogs of varying ages, and have other dogs that come and go (co-owned dogs we're showing) the structure is always evolving.  The idea of a Pack, with an "alpha style" leader has actually been replaced with the idea of a family of dogs living together, and that's really what we've observed over the years.

We've tried to breed dogs who live peacefully with one another.  I don't want a divided house with males who can't co-exist, or bitches who will try to kill one another.  Those situations exist in many households and are stressful for all concerned. And dangerous for both dogs and people. Some breeds are much more inclined that way, but a lot of it is how the dogs are raised.  There are some Dals who can not live peacefully with others of the same sex, and a few that can not live with other dogs at all, but most Dals can run with most Dals - there are some combinations that just don't work.  Our bitch line has always been wonderful that way, and they always get along with one another, and most of our boys have been amazingly tolerant.  Rob and Morris occasionally had bitches in for breeding at the same time, and there was never any anomosity between the two of them.  Even the Brazilian-bred (from two Paisley dogs) Vicor, who came to us as a two-year-old dog was able to co-exist with Murphy.

Argus was a good fit for us in that regard, and I knew that many of the boys in his pedigree were very good with other dogs.  He moved into a household with two senior males Morris and Sidney, and fit right in, He arrived when Morris, Sid, and Watson were in residence, and has always gotten along with everyone.  Morris and Sid are gone now, but Argus and Watson will even share a chair on occasion.  Now we have Max growing up.  His mother lives in a large family pack that includes several different breeds, and both of her parents are also very good with other dogs.  We anticipate that he will grow up to be a friendly adaptable dog with good social skills, and be able to live peacefully in a multi-dog household.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fun In The Snow

Fun in the snow.  What a lovely weekend for people and dogs.  A blanket of fresh snow, but with ice melting on the side streets, dry major roadways, sunshine and (relatively) warm temperatures.  The sun actually feels warm now and the birds are starting to sing of spring, while we dream of spring.  As the people in Missouri prepare for another foot of snow, we could actually use more of it, but at least we did not have a brown winter.

A fun weekend for the dogs as Sue picked up Josie for a run on Sunday and Watson is getting longer walks as his foot heals and his limp is becoming less obvious.  Fern went to PetCo on Saturday and then got an off leash run in Hidden Falls Park.  On Sunday Fern and Argus went to the Dog Park where we ran into old friend Cathy and her Dal Bella.  Argus and Bella have known one another since puppyhood, so they had a great time running with Fern while Cathy and I caught up on family things.  I've know Cathy for 40 or more, and although we don't see one another very often, she's the kind of friend where you just pick up where you left off the last time you talked.

Busy weekend for Max as he practiced his lead walking, worked on obedience and show training, and on Sunday got to visit his Grandma.  This was the first time my mom had seen any of the pups from the Coffee Litter, even though she was the one who suggested the theme.  Max was his brave and friendly self, covered my mother with kisses, explore her apartment, and coached beside her walker as we walked the long hallway.  Well not really, he would have gotten run over by the wheels, but he did have fun!  Mom and I did a drive through (excellent burgers at Dairy Queen), parked in the lot to chat and enjoy the sunshine.  Max was perfect in his crate and enjoyed a piece of cheeseburger.  Told him that if he was a winner, he'd get lots more of them.

What a fun pup.  Puppy class starts for him tonight, just the local PetCo class on Monday.  On Thursday we will attend a better class, but might not be able to make it every week - not an easy drive during rush hour.  Max is so smart and such fun to work with - I know we will both enjoy these classes!

No time for editing.  Hope this does not read like gibberish!