Two weeks ago I was telling my friend and co-worker, Erica, that my puppies needed to meet more people, so Erica invited me to a Bible study group. It is a small group of about 5 or 6 people who meet 1 mile from my house every Thursday. I told Erica that I thought having puppies at a Bible study would be too distracting, but she said that she had already called the hostess, Amanda, and told her I was coming.
It was great fun and wonderful for the puppies. That night they met 5 new people and got to go on a short car ride. Amanda has a friendly dog and so the puppies got to meet a friendly dog too.
The puppies were definitely a distraction and they were the subject of conversation the entire study time. Amanda asked if I was coming back next week with the puppies, and I must say, I did think they had been such a distraction that they would not be welcome back- but they were.
I went the following Thursday (last week) as well. As I was leaving, Amanda said, “well I needed some good puppy therapy. I had a head ache all day, but after holding these puppies, it is gone.”
On Saturday the puppies got to meet a 5 year old boy and 6 year old girl. They were great with the puppies and it is so good that they (the puppies) have gotten to meet friendly (gentle) children.
Jean sent this picture of "Jazz" herding. Before I report what Jean had to say, I want to comment that I was very impressed to see a young herding sheltie with his mouth closed (so he is not barking, or biting) and he is on the outside of this young goat (kid) so clearly he is getting this kid back to the flock of goats- who are standing calmly. Jazz has only had a few exposures to herding, but based on this picture, he has talent and is not upsetting to the stock.
I have been tagged by Cool Design Shelties in Denmark. Here are the instructions
This is what you should do:
Open a document or file folder,
Click on the fifth folder and then the fifth photo.
Post the photo and describe it.
Then tag 5 other bloggers.
So here I go!
These two photos are of Cameron. They were sent to me by Pat as print photos and I had scanned them together.
When Pat sent the pictures, she sent a letter that said, "Cameron is doing just fine and, as you can see, he is absolutely gorgeous. He has tons of toys but none come close to the love he has for his "lambie". He is using "lambie" for a pillow in one of the pictures and in the other one he is jumping up to catch it (notice his front legs are out grabbing onto his toy).
Our one Granddaughter (13) is so in love with Cameron that she wants to get a sheltie when she grows up. We gave her some important pointers for choosing a breeder which she will hopefully remember and then she said, "well how about I just use your breeder when I 'm ready to get one." (of course, that would be the ideal choice!!!)She is begging us for a weekend overnight stay again so she can get her "Cameron" dose."
Thank you Pat.
(and yes, Pat is the one who said the nice compliment in parenthesis)
So I am "tagging"
Gone to the Dogs
Istari Shelties & Eskies
nor will we waver in its defense”- President Obama in his inauguration speech as the 44th president of the United States of America.
But as you know, when I repeat his famous phrases, I am not just talking about our “American” way of life, I am talking about mine. My “way of life” revolves around raising animals- animals to nurture the human spirit, animals for companionship, and animals as food (lambs). I do not apologize for this, and I will not waver in its defense.
I voted for this man to be our next president. I find him inspirational. I applaud his call to responsibility, to hard work, to actions that increase community and civility. I love that he spells out values “But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism —“ I believe in those values. I love that he calls for an increase in humanity- but don’t get me wrong- Organizations such as HSUS or PETA are not about increasing humanity. These organizations are simply about removing animals from our lives and they are doing it in ways that at first we (yes, dog people too) bought into- ie. spay/neuter your pets. They have moved on to far larger agendas and they are about intolerance- not tolerance as our new president calls for.
I do not think that these next four years will be easy, and I do expect that I will be called upon to defend my way of life. But I will answer the call to action, so that future generations may also enjoy the wonderful way of life that I have chosen. I will answer the call in this midst of crisis and the “sapping of confidence” that leads to “a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable….”
While I know that President Obama was speaking of MUCH larger, more far reaching issues than I am currently speaking of, his requests is that we all do what we can. And I intend to- I hope you will join me in an effort to stop these extreme Animal Rights Organizations from limiting your choices about where your next pet comes from.
Acadia On My Mind "Canyon" has only sired 2 litters of puppies so far, but puppies from both litters have been instinct tested and here are the results:
Jean had this to say about Acadia Shock N'Awe (Jazz) "I also had him instinct tested for herding which he passed with flying colors. The trainer said he was a very unusual sheltie in the amount of focus he exhibited in the pen."
Morene had this to say about Acadia's Micoburst (Mike) "Sue and I finally got around to instinct testing Mike to today... AND, the boy has plenty of instinct!!! "
Jazz turned a year old Dec. 24 and Mike is only 6 1/2 months old.
Canyon himself has quite a bit of drive, desire, and instinct. The question now is going to be...... will Cadie train him?
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agriculture show in the country. It spans two weekends and it is quite impressive. In Pennsylvania, dogs are a part of the Department of Agriculture (Bureau of Dog Law) and so Sunday was the day they had multiple dog demonstrations.
The dog related demonstrations started with herding. I was invited to represent "shelties" and of course Rincon was the one who went with me. My friend Helen and her dog, Spice, represented the Samoyed. The event started and ended with a parade of all of the herding breeds. There was an AKC Herding Rep. MC'ing the event and she went down the line and spoke a little about each breed. Helen and I were very disappointed that she forgot to mention the unique thing about Samoyeds is that they herd reindeer!
After the parade, a few different breeds demonstrated different herding styles and stages of training.
After the herding, the Dog Demonstrations continued with a fun agility event. Bonnie Frank, who owns- Acadia One No Trump, NA, NAJ (Mike) was there with another one of her dogs, Cosi, to participate in agility. She and I got to catch up on things and it was really fun to see her and "talk dogs". The agility group set up two identical courses in a mirror image and then they had "races". It was fun, fast, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Bonnie's dog Cosi won his race. The race ended with the dogs doing a down on the table- when Bonnie released Cosi from his down, he ran to the weave poles and did all 12 again. It was really cute.
Bonnie's blog also has a post about being at the farm show- she even has a picture of the two of us and our dogs and a link to a video of her agility run.
The last Dog Demonstration was flyball. Helen and I didn't stay to watch that. I hope they had fun too.
This picture was taken by Helen while we were sitting in the loading dock area waiting for the draft horses to be done with the arena.
I have two "articles" on the blog Dog Laws At Large. The first one I wrote, Abandonment is Not Just a Dog and Cat Issue, as a result of the Nebraska "safe haven law" that gave parents the option of dropping children off at a hospital with out being prosecuted.
The second "article" was posted yesterday. It is called, An "Overpopulation" Problem? Maybe, but not with Dogs. I am a wildlife biologist by training and profession, and "over population" has a "real" meaning. I get very tired of hearing the AR groups state, "there is an overpopulation problem" when it comes to pets. So I did some research and wrote about it (this really is a tongue-in-cheek look at populations, but with numbers to back it up).
I thought that both of those were more appropriate for that blog, but I hope that you will check them out.
My Dogs In Review magazine arrived today and I am SO excited. I had submitted an "opinion piece" to them, and they published it.
This is the article as I sent it to DR: they did edit it a little (but really, not much at all or I wouldn't be putting this here.
AKC and the Mixed Breed
Catherine “Cadie “ Pruss, Acadia Shelties
As a breeder of AKC registered Shetland Sheepdogs who personally participates in multiple AKC sanctioned competitions, I have no problem with the idea that mixed breed dogs could compete in agility, obedience and rally. I own a 14 year old German Shepherd / Rottweiler mix who I love dearly and if this had been an option for him, he would have titles too. I do have a problem with the timing of this decision by the AKC given the current social and political climate.
My concern is that AKC is more than just looking for ways to increase revenue, but rather, they see the “writing on the wall” and recognize that currently proposed and passed legislation will make hobby breeders a thing of the past. We hobby breeders like to claim to be “the backbone” of the AKC, but in reality we just don’t breed enough dogs to sustain the organization. The United Kennel Club has long allowed mixed breed dogs to compete in obedience and agility. I used to think it was great to see “anyone” develop a personal relationship with their dog through training and competing, now I wonder if the new “backbone” of the AKC will be the “shelter adoptee”.
Hobby breeders understand that registrations are down. I don’t think it is because the demand for purebred dogs has decreased. I serve as the Pennsylvania breeder referral person for the American Shetland Sheepdog Association and I receive far more inquiries from people looking for puppies than breeders telling me they have puppies to sell. Many breeders don’t contact me because they get enough inquiries themselves to sell their own puppies. I think that most of us hobby breeders would acknowledge that the there are not enough “well bred” dogs for the demand. If that premise is true, and I think it is, then in theory it would be easy to breed more litters and sell more puppies.
In today’s society, it is not socially acceptable to breed more litters and sell more puppies. Even amongst us dog show enthusiasts and participants we degrade our competition by claiming, “so and so is a puppy mill”. The social pressures not to breed has even permeated our culture of purebred dogs and those who are “breeding with a purpose”. Hobby breeders are also facing increased regulations, inspections, penalties, fines, if they exceed a certain dog number/ litter number threshold- which is different for each inspecting organization, state, county, township, etc. Many people have decided that it is not worth it. Those who continue to breed dogs will most likely face increased paperwork documenting the care (feeding, watering, pen cleaning, sanitizing, breeding schedules), wellbeing (vaccination records, wormings, treatments, proof that certain practices were performed by a licensed veterinarian), and socializing (how long, what age, what surface, what experience) of those dogs- not to mention the inspection of your legality to breed including breeding permits and licenses.
Hobby Breeders are being regulated right out of breeding, while businesses (read: high volume, for-profit breeding facilities) will make the changes required by law and become our Nations’ primary source of purebreds. The AKC has taken a lot of criticism in the past for registering dogs from “puppy mills”. I see the decision to add mixed breed dogs to the ranks as a way of deflecting the inevitable. It is hard to claim “We’re more than champion dogs, we’re the dog’s champion.” if your organization is only supporting the “factory farming” of dogs. Timing is Everything. The timing of this decision by the AKC could not have been worse. I understand that the AKC is working to oppose poorly proposed legislation that would limit breeding, I just don’t want them covering all of their bases for the “worst case scenario” and that is what I feel is happening in 2008. I ask, “AKC- are you also the hobby breeder’s champion?” Please, I urge you, don’t make this decision now, demonstrate to your loyal supporters that you are our Champion too. When we have a healthy handle on our politicians, then issue numbers to mixed breeds.
© AKC and Mixed Breed Dogs, by Catherine “Cadie” Pruss Dogs In Review Annual Issue, January 2009 p. 278
First weekend of the new year brings exciting agility successes for Phyllis and Rally. Phyllis competed at the Calera Fun-raiser and on Jan. 2 Rally completed the Elite Triple Superior & Superior Elite Versatility agility titles. What a great start to the new Year! Congratulations Phyllis and Rally!
H&R Block thinks we need “people”. In their version- “people” help us do our taxes. Many times I have heard others reference their “team”- meaning their lawyer, accountant, tax preparer, financial assistant- and the list of experts we use in life goes on.
Dogs need a team of “people” too. No single person has all of the answers or provides all of the services a dog needs, so a team of people who collectively have the answers and provide services is important for them as well.
First- start with a good breeder. This “team member” should have breed knowledge, dog knowledge, and be a good resource. You should be able to ask them questions about nutrition, grooming, health issues, training, toys, teats, supplies and “other things dog”. Most breeders that I know love to talk about dogs and are always learning. Breeders should also encourage owners of the dogs they produce to “build a team”. Often times one question a breeder will ask is, “do you have a good Vet you are working with?” This question is important because a good local Vet is an important member of “the team”.
What are some of the things that make a Vet a “good” Vet? They listen to you. If they don’t know what is wrong, they don’t “fake it”- they figure it out. Vets should not be expected to know “everything”, but good Vets are interested in learning more and when a problem comes up they have not seen before, they take the opportunity to learn more about it- OR- they refer you to another Vet (also a good solution).
A good trainer would be a third team member. This member of the team is the most important for the first year of the dogs’ life. Good puppy classes are Very Important. I recommend going to a puppy class that is taught by an AKC or UKC affiliated club. As a generalization, trainers from clubs that are affiliated with these two registries keep up to date on the latest (currently positive) training methods. People who compete with their own dogs are always attempting to figure out the “best” training method and often modify training class curriculum to reflect what they have learned. Clubs are also good places to find a “new” trainer if the person who is currently teaching your class is not all you hoped for in an instructor.
I recommend finding a club near you even before you bring your puppy home. Go and watch a few classes. Watch the instructors. Talk to the instructors. Talk to a class participant. Ask what the general philosophy of the club is towards training. Ask what methods of training they use. A breeder (team member #1) will be so impressed by your “homework”. If you are having trouble finding a club, the breeder may be able to point you in the right direction. The breeder will also be able to discuss the training methods with you. Shelties can be a sensitive breed. Positive training methods (I use the clicker method) get the best results with shelties. Some think that shelties are “born trained”- but as I like to say, I feel that training strengthens the bonds of friendship in ways that truly allow them to become your "best friends."
A fourth team member is a good house sitter or a good boarding kennel. Personally, I much prefer house sitters. I think that keeping a dog in its home while you are away is much easier on the dog and the dog is much less likely to become ill as a result of your vacation. The trick is finding a responsible house sitter. This may be the teenager next door who loves dogs or an adult who is offering a “pet sitting” service. Of course boarding kennels are “predictable” and you can go see exactly how your dog will live while you are on vacation. Really, it is good to have both on the team. If you go away for a weekend, you may want a pet sitter, if you go away for a month, a boarding kennel may be your best option. It all depends on the members of your team!
A dog who has “people” is well looked after and loved.
© This article is protected by copyright- permission to cross post must be requested and if granted, citation is required.
Does Your Dog Have “People”, by Cadie Pruss http://www.acadiashelties.blogspot.com/ January 4, 2009
Genna's 2 puppies born on Christmas Eve.
Last year I was leasing a bitch named Sparkle and she was due to deliver around Christmas. My sister had invited me and Mike to come celebrate Christmas at their house. I asked, "may I bring Sparkle?" They said, "sure". Sparkle delivered 2 puppies- 1 boy and 1 girl on Christmas eve. I remember thinking of all the times I had asked (my parents) for a puppy for Christmas while I was growing up and I thought how sometimes you just had to wait 30+ years for the answer to be "yes". This year we were once again blessed with 2 lovely puppies- 1 boy and 1 girl on Christmas eve. I find it funny how things work out sometimes.