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About DogsAndTheMob

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  1. Limited Slip Padded Collars

    I bought one of these from the Wolf’s Den outlet at a breed show. They look quite similar. https://thewolfsden.com.au/?s=Collars&post_type=product
  2. Getting a new puppy

    Brittanies are Utility Gundogs, or hunter/pointer/retrievers, bred to find game, indicate it for the hunter and then retrieve it. Some American lines in particular are bred to travel up to 60 miles a day, working with hunters on horseback. They’re one of the few breeds without much separation between working and conformation lines. It’s said that there are more dual Conformation/Retrieving Champion Brittanies in the U.S than any other breed. Their working background means they need to be managed well in a pet home. My Brittany needs to run, but has no instinct to stay close to me. Luckily I have fenced paddocks, but even there I need to supervise her very closely, which was a shock after my border collies and German shepherds. On the plus side, she has an excellent off switch and is quite trustworthy with cats and poultry. I know other Brittanies which stay close to their owners without much training, but could never be trusted with cats or poultry. My girl is a wonderful dog to train - cleverer than a border collie - but she’s a social butterfly and I think she’d be unhappy if she was left alone all day. There is a very active Facebook group - Australian Brittany (L’Epagneul Breton) Owners Breeders and Enthusiasts- which is a great place to find out more about the breed.
  3. Online Dog Titles / non-ANKC titles

    Have fun! My nervous GSD learned by finding family members, so by the time she was working unknown-person tracks she was accustomed to the routine. But she was only apprehensive of strangers (particularly men), rather frightened by a broader variety of triggers.
  4. Online Dog Titles / non-ANKC titles

    Have you considered ANKC tracking? It’s many years since I competed in tracking, but the judges and stewards used to keep well back from handlers and their dogs, so they didn’t impose the same “pressure” as obedience judges do when they watch a dog. My first GSD was quite timid but she loved tracking. I also like the fact that it’s a sport which puts the dog “in the driver’s seat” rather than the handler.
  5. Yes, she could be a purebred GSD. The ANKC GSD breed standard states “Unobtrusive small white markings on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible, but not desirable.” Your puppy’s white marking stands out only because she is black. If she was black and tan, you mightn’t even know the marking was there.
  6. White factored Border collie eye/ear issues?

    Deafness in white-factored dogs is caused by a lack of pigment cells (melanocytes) in the inner ear - specifically the stria vascularis. Black patches on the ears probably increase the chance that there are pigment cells in the inner ear. However, there seem to be other genetic factors in play, and I’ve known a few border collies with white ears (and owned one), none of which have been deaf. This form of deafness isn’t thought to worsen with age, and by the time the puppies are old enough to take home, you should be able to identify any that are deaf in both ears from their response to sounds. BAER testing would identify puppies that are deaf in one ear. Puppies that are deaf in one ear cope very well and , according to some research, twenty to thirty percent of dalmations are deaf in one ear. (Failure to hear commands may partly explain their reputation for stubbornness.) From what I’ve read, blindness is usually associated with the double-Merle genotype, rather than the piebald gene which these puppies probably show (as mum looks to be black and white, not Merle.) I’ve never heard of vision problems in white-factored border collies. If “Dad” might be a border collie or border collie cross, and particularly if he might be related to the mother, I’d be more concerned about three known nasty genetic diseases in the breed. The big advantage of getting a well-bred border collie is that the parents should have been DNA tested and at least one should not be a carrier for each disease. (Both parents need to be carriers for puppies to be affected.) In this case, where dad is unknown and mum (I’m guessing?) hasn’t been DNA tested, there is a risk that the puppies could be affected.
  7. The Mitchell library has two paintings of kangaroo dogs on display. They are well worth seeing if you’re interested in the history of Dogs. There are also several other paintings with dogs in them, including one with a splendid tri-colour border collie. As well as the paintings, the library has a catalogue of the digital images, which you can use to zoom in to examine details. Here is one of the kangaroo dogs: http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=IE9482784&_ga=2.263282319.261166646.1554492719-1292079201.1554492719
  8. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    Unfortunately, it’s not possible for me to determine the precise composition and protein sources of the various foods, and I’m finding it difficult to compare them. I’m putting together a spreadsheet summarising the information provided by manufacturers of various dog foods, which I’ll post in the next few weeks.
  9. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    Thanks sandgrubber; that’s very interesting. In particular, I was interested to read that DCM without taurine deficiency has also been diagnosed in dogs fed on grain-free dog foods.
  10. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    I’m not sure what study you’re referring to, Kayla. In the study I quoted: 40 dogs were considered for inclusion; 16 were excluded due to inadequate imaging for DCM diagnosis (7 dogs) , no evidence of DCM (8 dogs) or normal taurine (1 dog). The remaining 24 dogs met the study criteria for Dilated Cardiomyopathy at baseline. The 24 dogs were fed 9 brands of dog food in 13 varieties, as summarised in table 2. As indicated by the second last column in table 2, all dog food brands and varieties were grain-free (G). However, the text contradicts this, saying 12 of 13 diets were grain free. Quoting directly from the study: “Twenty-three of 24 dogs had significant improvement in their echocardiographic parameters and normalization of taurine concentrations following diet change and taurine supplementation. Nine of 11 dogs diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) had resolution of their congestion at follow-up with five no longer requiring diuretic therapy and four tolerating diuretic dose reduction by >50%.” “Twenty-one of 24 dogs were switched to a new diet following a diagnosis of taurine deficiency and DCM. For 3 dogs follow-up data including diet information was not available. No dog was switched to a diet that was reported in the baseline diet histories for the group. Seventeen of 21 switched to a grain-inclusive diet while 4 switched to a different grain-free diet. Only one dog was found to have a persistently low whole blood taurine concentration, despite diet change and supplementation. Of interest, this dog was switched to a unique but still grain-free variety of food with legumes within the top 5 ingredients and with a complete and balanced claim substantiated by the formulation method rather than feeding trials”
  11. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI This study investigated 24 golden retrievers with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). All 24 dogs had been fed a grain free commercial dog food and in 22 cases the food had legumes in the top five ingredients. Twenty three of the dogs experienced reversal of their taurine deficiency and DCM when they were switched to another (non grain-free) dog food. One dog, which was switched to another grain-free food, did not show improvement. This is the most compelling evidence I’ve yet seen on this topic. It seems as if golden retrievers are particularly at risk, presumably because of some genetic impairment of their ability to manufacture taurine. However, Golden Retrievers may be more likely to be screened for heart problems than some other breeds in the US, because the breeders’ code of ethics for golden retrievers requires it. My dogs aren’t golden retrievers, but I’m not going to gamble their health on the probability that they’re not at risk; I don’t think enough is known about the problem. I’ve decided to switch them from their grain-free food to foods that don’t have legumes as a top ingredient. (Plant based proteins such as those from legumes don’t have taurine in them.) I’m struggling to find foods that I’m happy with, because quite a few of the foods with grain also have legumes as a top ingredient - presumably to increase the protein content. I’m not sure whether a high protein food with plant-based proteins is preferable to a lower protein food without. I think I’ll select several foods that meet my criteria, and then mix and swap foods, in order to increase the variety in their diet. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI
  12. Comparison of raw, dry, and fresh cooked

    Yet another perspective on this study - this time claiming benefits for fresh and raw foods: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-fresh-raw-diets-dogs-health.html#nRlv
  13. I hope so, too. From what I've read, the Guide Dog associations stringently screen clients as well as dogs. Aside from the humanitarian considerations, they have a lot of money invested in the dogs, and reputation invested in their programs.
  14. That's true, RuralPug. It's also possible that some parents choose not to have pets because they're worried about their child's health, and are therefore more likely to observe and report allergic symptoms - although similar results were found in a questionnaire based study and a birth-cohort study based on clinical diagnosis. Here's the link to the journal article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208472
  15. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-12-20/pets-allergies-asthma-dogs-cats-immune-system-microbes/10630174 Excerpt from the news story by Belinda Smith: A Swedish study found the more pets in a household in early life, the less likely a child will go on to develop conditions like asthma, eczema and hay fever. For instance, kids aged 7-9 years that shared a house with four pets when they were a baby were half as likely to have a recent allergy compared to their pet-free counterparts: 17 per cent compared to 33 per cent respectively.