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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. English setters ETA- And English Pointers?

    The working lines of both breeds differ significantly - similar to my working ESS vs show type. Less coat, a bit smaller, less exaggerated features and lovely work ethic. I’d have a working English Pointer from a particular breeder in an instant if I had the time. Soft, sweet temperaments. He offered me one for nothing because he wanted to see me train it but having just had a litter I’ve got a Springer keeper on my hands Good luck!
  2. Megaesophagus

    I had a pup from my last litter with megaoesophagus. I knew as soon as I started weaning him. It was awful. He also had other issues (including a stricture and overshot jaw) and clearly just didn’t develop quite right in utero. Hardest but kindest thing I did was to give him his wings at 5 weeks. Thank goodness my repro vets were 100% supportive as it was heartbreaking. I wish you all the best.
  3. Brewers Yeast & vitamin C for dogs

    I honestly don’t know. But I don’t feed them. On the advice of a US dog sports vet I supplement with a probiotic, joint guard and Omega 3s.
  4. Working (gundog) help me narrow down my breed search

    I am wondering what you want to hunt? And do you want a companion or a dog that will work? So many people want a working dog because they want an intelligent dog. You’ll get that. In spades. But you’ll need to channel that drive and intensity into good not evil If you want an intense, persistent, joyful hunting dog then a working Cocker or Springer could suit. I have two ESS snuggled up with the cats and me right now so don’t doubt they have an off switch. But they are not a dog you can leave outside all day - they are bred to WORK and are extremely persistent. So they can get obsessed with lights and shadows if left to their own devices. My girls are very full on but are an absolute delight to live with. I work long hours but train/exercise everyone when I get home. They spend their days on the lounge or the bed. They have two speeds. Flat out running or flat out sleeping. Otherwise you can look at show lines or breeds where there is no split between work and show. Don’t ever doubt there is a difference between them though. I know folk will say their show dogs retrieve but a good working dog will not give up. Ever. Mine have delivered to hand with teeth literally chattering and then gone back in the water for more.

    100% agree. To insure 3 dogs and 2 cats would cost me the same as it does to insure my house. And don’t get me started on the exclusions. I have continually squirrelled away savings so I can just pay up front. And yes, I’ve had some thumping bills but I wouldn’t change a thing.
  6. Pup still EXTREMELY unsettled

    A baby puppy used to sleeping with litter mates. Simple. We have genetically focussed on breeding COMPANION DOGS. And then we wonder why they cry when we lock them away from us. My pups are in a crate next to my bed until they demonstrate impulse control. Playing with the cat on the bed (or another dog) at night and they are straight back into the crate. Penalty yards. When I am home they can access me any time - unless they are in season. If they have pups I have a lounge chair in the whelping pen. When I leave for the day they’re very much “Meh”. Relaxed, chilled and time to catch up on sleep.
  7. Obsessive barking

    So I’m going to throw something out there. My Dally is 12, entire, agility champion and oh my does he love sniffing. Anything female. And you know what? Normal. Desexed or not. Your dog does NOT understand “leave it”. If he did he would. What actually happens is that you cause an association between the “command” and the behaviour. Thus making the behaviour STRONGER. So think about an alternative behaviour that is incompatible with sniffing. Drop? Lie on a bed? And reinforce the living daylights out of it.
  8. RSPCA post ....anyone want to post a rebuttal ?

    As someone intimately involved in world first virtual fencing for livestock, the numbers/description in the POCTA Regs don’t tell the whole story. It’s much more complex and is about energy delivered to the skin. Those regs, I suspect, are sourced from manufacturers rather than being defined by the department.
  9. Osteosarcoma - what to do?

    For anyone in Victoria I cannot recommend Dr Maureen at http://maccvet.com.au/ more highly. She is extraordinarily professional, knowledgeable and empathetic. You do require a referral from your vet. The initial consultation is not expensive in my opinion and is so worth the peace of mind.
  10. Osteosarcoma - what to do?

    Sorry to hear this. Can I ask where you are based and which specialist you’ve seen? There is absolutely nothing wrong with opting for palliative care so please don’t beat yourself up about it. Cancer diagnosis and treatment in our pets is bloody expensive (remembering it’s not subsidised like human treatment is) and not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford it. Quality of life is more important than anything. Things I consider when facing end of life decisions is appetite, activity, pain and enjoyment. You can have one hour of awake time that is enjoyable and relatively pain free for an old dog for example and that is ok. My final decision always rests with: better a week too soon than a day too late. Take care.
  11. Lab proof dog beds

    I do like the Snooza D1000 BUT whenever my dogs shred beds I see it as a response to needing more mental stimulation....boxes to shred, food enrichment, more training etc.
  12. Chicken Frames

    I feed frames twice a week - one, two whatever works and depends on the size. My dogs are working fit so very trim. I change their meal quantities nightly so I have no "rule".
  13. Hips

    I had Ginny's x-rays done yesterday and yes, they will be going to Roger Lavelle. He did her Mama's and were exactly in line with my vet's prediction. I have spoken to a specialist at Monash Vets and Penn Hip is good for some breeds. USA Field Bred Labs, for example. However I don't know of any Field Bred ESS breeders who test so it's not very useful. If anything Penn Hip would compare my girls with show lines. So I will be sticking with ANKC for the time being. When I can justify the expense I will do both so I can get a handle on Penn Hip.
  14. Plastic chewies

    I’m not big on plastic chews. I give them goat horns instead. My Springers adore them.
  15. Nipping around butt area

    Anal glands sound like a possibility. If you aren’t confident in diagnosis I suggest popping in to see your vet.