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The Spotted Devil

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About The Spotted Devil

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    Thornfield ESS

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    Thornfield English Springer Spaniels

    Animal Welfare Scientist/Cat and Dog Behaviourist.

    PhD in Human-Dog Relationships

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  1. Anal Glands

    Exactly @jemappelle! It’s much better for the dog than ending up with impacted anal glands - painful and can lead to abscess which is really awful.
  2. Anal Glands

    Psyllium husk is the key but you can also add edible bone (eg chicken frames) or even minced frames if you’d prefer. Both will firm the faeces. However one thing I’ve discovered that across 4 dogs - 3 related - that the nature of the discharge varies incredibly which can also alter whether they are discharged easily or not. I check my dogs regularly and gently express them only if needed. Disposable gloves, tissues and lots of treats afterwards and the response I get to “check your bum?” is waaaay too enthusiastic
  3. Is it any wonder.......

    You can’t save the world. You can only do your little bit. Applies to a lot in life.
  4. Temperature Testing

    It's invaluable in my opinion. I start about Day 61 (I prog test) and take my girl's temp around 4 times a day. You quickly see a pattern of rise and fall and then you see a drop that is below the diurnal pattern. It's really, really informative when things don't go to plan, for example, my last whelping was a c-section (2 pups trying to get out at once) and the temp drop gave my specialist repro vet great information about what was happening.
  5. Is it any wonder.......

    I breed every few years. Working Springers not show... Everyone wants one but they aren’t for everyone. I couldn’t live with anything else but I am an experienced committed trainer There is WAY more to them than smaller and less coat I work full time in a demanding role I haven’t taken a proper holiday in 5 years Last litter cost me $6K before I had a litter on the ground My Ginny could have died and broken my heart - unexpected c-section and then black mastitis. Both “bad luck” according to my specialist reproductive vet I do dog sports, so a litter means my girl is out for quite some time I support my puppy buyers forever I ALWAYS am available for advice Did I mention how EXPENSIVE it is? I’ve bred 2 litters from Em, had her spayed and just spent > $15K after she was diagnosed with tiny mammary tumors. My pups go to family homes. But not just any family home. Just because people WANT one of my pups doesn’t mean they get one. The last thing I want is pups I’ve bred bouncing between homes/rescue like this breed does in the UK.
  6. Help with excited behaviour please

    I have working Spaniels who are off the Richter scale when they spot a bird, duck or rabbit. And yet I can whistle stop them at 150 m away and recall them from a lot further!!
  7. Help with excited behaviour please

    I love that you’ve identified what you want. Four on the floor. Now you need to reinforce the daylights out of it every single day. When you are walking is NOT the time to be training this - your dog is waaay too over aroused. In that state he simply cannot think and process information. So take a step back and reinforce it in other environments around the house. Use food, pats, play, permissions, leash on, leash off etc. Add excitement as he gets the game. You also want a few failures so he can see he is a CHOICE and there is a consequence - ie THE FUN STOPS. Try not to lure or bribe. Reinforcement is not the same.
  8. Help with excited behaviour please

    What do you want your dog to DO? Stopping a behaviour is much more difficult than training an incompatible one. I love my dogs when they are high as a kite. I just channel that energy into something productive. Train the dog in front of you. There aren’t any shortcuts, sorry to say. Finally, positive is NOT permissive. And once is always. Reflect objectively and allow your dog to be your best trainer And enjoy the journey
  9. Do you do dna testing?

    I use Orivet simply because they do all the tests I need. The other Australian lab doesn’t do one test ESS should have.
  10. New Puppy - Transport - Fly or Drive?

    My litters grow up playing and sleeping in open crates, traveling in a crate to go outside and in the car etc. Noise and activity is normal for them and they fly no problems at all. Just another adventure.
  11. Help buying puppy interstate

    Personally every potential puppy buyer MUST meet me and my dogs. Interstate or not. And then, if we are all in agreement then I will organise flights but the owner pays. Lots of trust because I build relationships before I even think of selling a pup.
  12. The Cost of Puppies

    I’m not apologising but you did mention $650. I’m not responding to the market, but the basic costs of raising a litter. I could sell my pups 10 x over at more than the asking price (no exaggeration) but I choose not to. They are perfect for me but not for everyone. I compete in dog sports and health test where many do not and I am there for the life of the pup. I dremelled the nails of one of my 3 yo “pups” yesterday. Last weekend I introduced a baby to puppy agility skills and did his nails too. The heritage of the breed and welfare of my pups is everything. Vet said both incidences were completely bad luck. Extremely unusual as my girl is a super fit, beautifully put together Working Springer. First 2 litters (different bitch) were 4 surviving - again just bad luck - so not exactly potential for a gold mine. I work (in a demanding job) so I can afford to breed. A good repro vet, eye specialist, general vet and cancer specialist are expensive but priceless.
  13. The Cost of Puppies

    Back to the original question, last litter of 7....before I had a pup on the ground, I would have easily spent $2K on health testing, travel to meet several potential stud dogs, update puppy & whelping supplies etc and $2K stud fee, $2K on a caesarean (surprise to vet and myself - 2 pups trying to get out at the same time). 10 days later we had another bit of bad luck with Ginny coming down with gangrenous mastitis (day after a thorough vet check) which can be deadly - easily another $2K with multiple vet visits, extended multiple ABs and twice daily cleaning and bandaging. Not to mention time off work caring for her and the pups 24/7 - slept next to the whelping box for 4 weeks. Add in food, vaccinations, microchips, puppy packs and that’s another $2K. I kept one pup so that doesn’t leave much wriggle room in terms of expenses. That goes in no way to covering the time and effort I put into my dogs, puppies and puppy buyers. For life. I make no apologies for charging $2K/pup and will increase it next litter.