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  1. “Find me some lines”. I have the impression that it’s not as easy to find distinct lines within breeds as it once was. I think there are fewer reputable kennels of sufficient size to develop distinct lines without going down an inbreeding rabbit-hole. Also, “line-breeding” has lost credibility and, judging by pedigrees I’ve seen, even large kennels seem much more likely to seek out unrelated sires than they would have a few decades ago. I’d love to hear commentary on this from more knowledgeable people.
  2. That surprises me. I’m told that one of the challenges with training many standard poodles is their tendency to think twice before they do anything. If poodles are too bouncy then you’re correct to rule out most gun dogs… and probably most herding dogs too. I’m not sure that a border collie would suit you. I love the breed and have a fairly high tolerance for dogs’ annoying traits, but I doubt if I’ll have another one. Sadly, I’ve seen increasing reactivity in the breed. Also, they can be noisy and they often have exceedingly piercing barks. Another risk with border collies in a multi-dog household is that some individuals have such a strong herding instinct that they will develop an obsession with herding the other dogs. I know less about kelpies and koolies, but I suspect these traits are common across all three breeds.
  3. I saw a lovely Elkhound service dog training for Rally just before COVID. It was so attentive to its owner/handler and I don’t think it had as much coat as some show dogs. Am I “preaching to the choir” on that one? Are Elkhounds a breed you’ve had in the past?
  4. You need to resolve this problem for her safety as it may trigger another dog to attack her, but you won’t do so if you continue to exercise her in the dog park while other people are throwing balls. At 22 months, training class would provide more appropriate socialisation, teaching her to respond to you in the presence of other dogs. At home, work on her training (heeling, stays and coming when called) with a ball lying nearby. Start with very short training sessions of a few minutes and the ball some distance away. Perhaps carry a second ball and finish each training session by tossing that ball as a reward. Over a period of weeks, increase the duration of training and decrease the distance from the ball until she can walk right over it and still pay attention to you. Then start nudging the ball with your foot to make it roll, but still insisting she focus her attention on you.
  5. Is there a recessive gene for kinked tail? If so, the gene could be present in the breed at a low level, passed down undetected for many generations and only expressed when two dogs carrying the gene are bred together. Prior to DNA testing, it was almost impossible to entirely eliminate recessive genes from a breed - hence the continued occurrence of white GSDs and fluffy Pembroke Corgis. This is an interesting research article on the frequency of recessive genes in various dog breeds. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223995#pone.0223995.s005 Looking at the supplementary tables, it’s surprising how many breeds (e.g. bull terriers) include individuals carrying the gene for taillessness.
  6. I think a Limited Register pedigree does have value. When I look for a puppy, I decide on a breed based on the traits that suit my lifestyle and, even more importantly, those that wouldn’t suit my lifestyle. An ANKC pedigree, Main or Limited Register, tells me that the breeder (and previous generations on breeders) have signed legally meaningful documents that this litter of puppies has been bred from a specified pair of dogs of the breed I want. Wen I look at non-ANKC puppies advertised on the internet, I often see obvious crossbreds advertised as purebreds. Many will be lovely puppies that grow into lovely dogs, but some of them may have inherited the traits that I’m trying to avoid from the unidentified parent. Another advantage of a pedigree is that it gives me the opportunity to google parents, grandparents and breeders of the puppy and see any successes. I remember my delight when I discovered that the litter sister of my German Shepherd’s grandsire was a successful alpine search and rescue dog in Switzerland. I also follow the show careers of my Brittany’s relatives in the US with interest. (Westminster, yay!) Finally, I can often check hip scores of the relatives of a puppy on ORCHID. Good hip scores in related dogs aren’t a guarantee of good hips, but they do shift the odds.
  7. “Fair price” is incalculable for puppies because they don’t come off a production line. Some years ago, I knew two breeders who bred two litters each from related bitches. One breeder’s bitches had 12 or 13 puppies each. The other breeder’s bitches both required emergency caesareans. One required an emergency hysterectomy. The other bitch developed health problems perinatally and required daily medication for the rest of her life. Only one puppy survived from the two litters. The first breeder could have sold the puppies for $500 each and still covered her costs. The second breeder would not have covered her costs even if she’d sold that one puppy for $10000. And there is no fair price for her dogs’ pain and distress or her grief. Although there is no such thing as a fair price, there is what I might have to pay to get the puppy I want in 2022. That seems to be between $3000 and $5000. Would I pay that much for the right puppy?. If I can afford it and want that puppy, yes. On the other hand, I see a lot of puppies advertised for more than that which I wouldn’t accept even as a gift. Many are walking vet-bills-in-waiting or have had been bred only for profit. Price is no indication of health, temperament, quality or suitability as a pet.
  8. The last I read was that the police believed that the puppy had been killed to get rid of the evidence. The accused woman pled guilty and was fined $1000 but didn’t have a conviction recorded.
  9. My first Border Collie went profoundly deaf and my 10-year old Border Collie can only hear very loud noises. My little poodle rescue was blind and deaf for several years, and coped amazingly well. My dogs have all been taught the traditional Obedience signals, including “star-jump arms” as a recall signal. I’ve found they can see signals like that at a distance, if they’re looking. However, my first Border Collie became very skilled at looking away from signals he didn’t want to see. To avoid that, I suggest rewarding Stussy each time he looks back at you, so that he gets in the habit of doing so. I find it sometimes helps to think in terms of using cues rather than signals to trigger the behaviour you want because that includes environmental and situational cues, which opens up more training options. For example, if you rewarded him with a treat each time he returned inside, you might be able to turn standing outside into a cue for returning inside. You might need to set him up for success at first by walking past him then back inside so that he’ll follow you, but you want to make the cue independent of you as quickly as you can. I find barking is a habit that can easily become self-reinforcing, so I would work hard to interrupt the behaviour chain before the barking starts. It may also be useful to teach Stassy to recognise a flashing torch as a recall signal.
  10. It may be helpful to join the WA Toy Dog Specialist Club https://www.facebook.com/groups/154958747893226/ There’s also a FaceBook group called ANKC hopefuls, mentors and support crew, which aims to help new enthusiasts find support and mentoring. Edited to add... It looks as if Albany All Breeds Dog Club is active in both conformation and Obedience. Joining and volunteering may be a way to meet people in the “dog world”.
  11. Where did you get that statistic? Is it a current statistic for Australia? It’s over half the number for the whole of the USA. My understanding is that euthanasia rates have dropped dramatically. Tweed Shire Council, for example, reports a drop in euthanasia rates from 196 in 2010/11 to 28 in 2019/20. The RSPCA also reports a drop in both dogs coming into care and the proportion euthanased. They state that they euthanased 3466 dogs in the 2019/20 financial year. I wish the number was lower, but I doubt if it could ever humanely be zero. I’ve been looking for a dog for an elderly relative, with no success. Almost all the dogs that I’ve seen are boisterous, young large-breed dogs that are not suitable for every home.
  12. If possible, get a dog from a breeder who is currently competing successfully in the show ring. Tell the breeder what your goals are; he/she may be willing to sell you a show-quality pup and mentor you through the process. Competing in both conformation and other disciplines (“dog sports”) is a lot of fun. I’ve competed in Obedience and Rally with the traditional breeds but I’ve actually enjoyed it more with my non-traditional breeds. I’m not aware of many Havanese competing in dog sports in Australia but I can think of no reason why they wouldn’t excel at it. Here are are links to two US-based dog sports Facebook pages for Havanese owners. https://www.facebook.com/groups/6789076422409 https://www.facebook.com/AgilityHavanese/
  13. This is not a new story but very sad, and I saw on a Brittany page that the accused has appeared in court but refuses to say where the puppy is. Maybe someone here has seen something. https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/moreton/2021/08/30/dog-stealing-arrest-moreton/ Dog stealing arrest, Moreton Senior Constable Jo Arthur on Aug 30, 2021 @ 4:03pm On August 20 between 8am and 11am a six month old Brittany Spaniel dog by the name of Blue Bell (Blue) went missing from her residence at Wade Road, Bellmere. Blue is the assistance dog of a seven year old Bellmere boy, Xavier. She is his beloved new friend who has been working to help him to help with his anxiety. She was to start her intensive training in September. In the short few months that Blue had been in his life she had already worked out how to make him smile. Police from Caboolture executed a search warrant at a Wade Road, Bellmere address earlier today. A 62-year-old Bellmere woman has been charged with stealing. She will appear in the Caboolture Magistrates Court on September 28. Unfortunately Blue was not located at the address and is still not found. Xavier’s mum would like to offer the following to the public, “We would like to thank all the members of the public who have taken time to share the posts and pass Blue’s details around. We would ask that people continue to share her details until we learn anything of her whereabouts and well being, to bring her home in any capacity. Please help us bring Blue home to where she belongs.” Police are appealing to the public to come forward if they believe they may know the whereabouts of Blue.
  14. I googled and found the Intensity dilution, which affects some sighthound breeds. Maybe this? https://vgl.ucdavis.edu/test/intensity-dog He’s beautiful, regardless.
  15. Yes. Thoughtful breeders are an even more endangered “species” than well bred dogs. I think splitting dog breeding enthusiasts into more and more separate and often opposing interest groups will do greater harm than good. Also, although I don’t think the pedigree show dog fraternity has all the answers, I don’t see the benefit of creating new “breeds”. There’s a lot of propaganda about poodle crosses and I doubt if many cooperatives would have sufficient knowledge and resources to stabilise type or temperament and also avoid creating new inbred populations with their own lists of genetic susceptibility to disease.
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