Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

River the Rough Collie and Jafar the foster Boxer

I've heard some people say that every little girl dreams about the wedding they will have when they grow up...I remember when I was little I used to imagine how cool it would be to have a Boxer and a Collie at the same time. 

I think one of the American Kennel Club books I had at the time showed a picture of a stamp with a Boxer and a Collie on it and I thought that was an awesome pairing that I would like to try in real life. Some people say beware what you wish for but so far having my wishes pay off hasn't been so bad.

Today is a Collie and Boxer posting day. First, I am very happy to be able to share a picture of a reader's Rough Collie - River.

I admire River's fashion sense - the otherwise orderly grooming while allowing a few wisps of hair on top to stick out. Very adorable look.

River's person Sarah Jones-Hughes sent me this lovely photo. I welcome reader dog-photos -- and information about the dog such as what they like to do for furn -- at cmoslund@gmail.com. I would enjoy featuring more dogs with some of their personal information in the future! So please, if you have some pics you think are worthy of sending, send them on :-)

Now for today's Boxer.

I have several sisters; middle sister and her family have lived for years with the most wonderful Boxer, Rae.

Rae recently passed away. Since my brother in law's job requires him to often be away, their family always feels more comfortable with a dog in the house. And after many happy Boxer years, they were interested in once again adopting a Boxer.

 As the family knew that Rae could pass any time in the past year, sister and I have been sort-of watching the humane societies and rescues in our areas (we live about seven hours drive from each other.) When sis was up visiting a few months ago we went to see a Labrador but that girl and sis just didn't connect. Also, I don't think sis was ready for another dog yet.
Molly the Labrador was destined to be some other lucky family's dog.

Recently though, a local man who had a family of Boxers became critically ill. Some of his dogs were taken in by extended family.

Others appear to have been left under-cared for until a family member from out of state arrived and surrendered the remaining dogs to our local shelter. That's where I met Jafar.

 No one but his critically ill former owner knows what Jafar's 'real' name was...with no known name he was given his new name 'Jafar" when he was brought into the shelter.

I went to meet and walk him, take pictures, and reported back to sis and kids. They thought about it and after several days decided that if Jafar was still available then he should come to live with them.

Which leads me to now -- I am temporarily fostering this lovely, very underfed, ready to bloom young Boxer. Jafar is very fond of other dogs, having always lived in a pack and he's also pretty happy to be back in a home.

 He's so thin and having to adjust to so many new things including different foods and schedules, that I decided to let him sleep on my bed last night, in part just so I'd wake up if he suddenly needed to go out (he did at about 2:00 a.m.) I can't describe how joyful he was at being allowed this simple luxury.

  If you know dog body language then you will understand what sniffing then dropping and rolling onto his back, legs kicking and wriggling as he groaned and smiled in happiness means. He was really relaxed and happy for the first time in a while.

Gracie "warming" Jafar
Jafar is a good example of why I don't foster more often. He could easily be a foster fail :-)  Practically speaking - and on rare occasions I do try and be practical - I'm not ready to be a four dog person. But knowing that Jafar is going to live with some very special people, it is fun to have him visit and hang out with us until he moves on - in probably less than a week.

As for having a Collie and a Boxer at the same time -- turns out that the one Boxer Jenny really likes is my parent's equally aged Boxer-boy, Bogart. Jenny and Jafar are completely tolerant of each other but Bogart is her bff. Maybe there's something to be said for having a friend who just occasionally visits and has his very own people to love on him....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Hungarian Komondor and Puli

Komondor (l), Puli (r)

 A few posts ago we featured the Hungarian Kuvaz. Today we feature the Kuvaz's most likely closest relative the Komondor, and the Komondor's smaller working partner the Puli. The Komondor is a white dog and while the most common Puli color is black they are also found in white, silver, cream, brown, and rust. (Okay, that sounds a lot like off-white and shades of faded black but still...more color range than the Komondor.)

The Komondor and Puli have similar looking corded coats developed to protect them in the working environment from the elements and predators they might have to fight.

Puli herding

Together they would watch over flocks of sheep and other livestock - the Puli would alert the larger Komondor to the presence of predators during the day while the Komondor stayed near the flock. At night the Komondor would patrol protecting the livestock while the Puli would stay near the animals. Puli could also be used to herd the flock.

Puli pups
 While the Komondor is still in use as a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD), the Puli is now more often a family companion than a working dog...although Puli do still show up at herding trials.

A Komondor is not a dog for everyone. They require firm, consistent training from a young age, are not particularly well suited to life in small spaces, and tend to be suspicious of strangers.


A Puli has less of an edge than a Komondor and has also been bred for a house-dog for more generations than the Komondor. The Puli started to fall out of favor as a herd dog around the time of WWII and while their numbers dropped, those that remained lived largely in homes with families. The Komondor still could be found out in the fields with livestock - which wandered less but still required protection from predators.

Komondor working agility course

Both Puli and Komondor are now seen in agility work; both breeds are perhaps better suited to an active role in life and not as quick to train for just obedience work.

These are breeds that continue to thrive with a job and with daily activity that allows them to move. A Puli is a very quick and agile dog under those chords of hair while the Komondor is a powerful, big breed that is used to being outside.

Komondor and pup

Just as other LGD are finding their way into homes, so will an increasing number of Komondor. If you are active, enjoy training, can be firm and consistent, and want a dog that will keep strangers out of your yard then a Komondor might be right for you.

Puli working agility course

 And if you want a smaller, more agile, and slightly more trainable dog that is less suspicious of people, but will still warn you of strangers, then the Puli might be a breed you would like.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Puppy Updates and Pictures

Ollie - Golden Retriever

A few weeks ago I mentioned that people I know were getting new pups and its time to update with some pictures. We also have a special guest -- Strider!

Strider - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Strider is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever who lives in my local area; he's a friend of a friend and since we recently featured Tollers on the blog it seemed appropriate to get a local Toller to show here. Unfortunately, we only have one Strider picture at this time...maybe more in the future?

Ollie and his show - Dancing with the Stars

 Strider will be a friend of one the new pups mentioned earlier - Ollie the Golden Retriever. There is some feeling that Ollie might be part polar bear. Okay, I'm the biggest proponent of this line of thought, but look at this quickly growing fellow (that's big brother Gus' head in the foreground.)

Jasmine and Seneca
Then there is our friend the Springer Spaniel, Seneca and her family. Here we have pics of her with her big sisters, Jasmine and Princess.

Seneca and Princess
Jack and Bess

We'll close this update with Bess the Airedale. She is learning how to patrol and play from her big brother Jack the Giant Schnauzer. Serious work for a still growing girl!

Bess learning about steam-rolling another dog

Patrolling is thirsty work!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Give the Beagles a Break: Adopt a buddy

Tammy - KS
I get very discouraged at this time of year when I start to see an increase in the number of former hunting Beagles who have become old enough to be dumped in local shelters.

Colby - FL
Most hunters do much better by their companions but a few decide that from about the age of seven up they could replace their dog with a younger, perhaps more agile dog.

Lizzy - MN
So much for the value of experience to some folks.

Bonnie - MI

As I was looking on Petfinder today, I saw that Beagles are in shelters EVERYWHERE. Some are there because their families can no longer care for them.

Mollie - NJ

Charlie and Sallie - UT

Some had senior owners who are now moving into nursing homes. Some are just abandoned.

Lily - AK

Chuck - (U.P.) MI

There are over 9,000 Beagles in North America looking for new homes as I write this.
Gomer - PA

The dog pictures I'm using today are of available Beagles listed on Petfinder waiting for someone to adopt them.
 By the time you read this some of them will have been adopted; others however, will still be watching the door to their shelter-pen, hoping that someone just like you will come  and take them home.

Seamus - WI
Sarge - TN
It is true - a Beagle can be a barker. That is due to the fact that some people seem to think that a Beagle can live outside alone. Not so. Beagles are pack animals and in most cases people have become their pack members.

 Not too many folks have a set up that allows them to keep a kennel of Beagles who get out and are exercised by the kennel master...the kind of life the breed was originally designed for.

Betty - SD

Rosie and Daisie - ME

We now keep Beagles as individuals or maybe in pairs and they rely on people to provide the social interaction and company that they crave.

Shelby - Alberta

Even former kennel dogs that have lived outside are pretty quick to house train - they want so much to please people. A couple of walks during the day, or a walk combined with some playing and a Beagle can settle right into a home and be a great companion...just don't leave them outside by themselves for long stretches of time because they will wander and they will bark.

Freckles - NY

 Beagles were originally bred to be hunting dogs. Some people still use them for rabbit hunting. A Beagle has a powerful sense of smell and a brain that is hardwired to follow the smell of animals.

Sylvie - CA

If you let a Beagle loose and it smells something like a rabbit, yes, it will take off running even while you call.

Junior - WA

The 75% of the brain that is wired to respond to smell outweighs the 25% of the brain that will listen to sound - every time. If you have to let a dog run while you walk it, then adopt a senior Beagle who is more interested in sticking closer to you then running any distance.

Patty - Ontario

I've written in praise of the Beagle before but as I see so many of them sitting in shelters waiting for new homes -- ranging in age from puppies to seniors -- I just have to remind people what a fantastic buddy the Beagle makes.
Lulu - TX

Passion and Lucille - NJ

 The added advantage of adopting an adult member of this breed is that they will train that much more quickly, you can see the size the dog will be, and they are ready to give a ton of unconditional love to the person who gives them an upgrade in their life.

And how can you look into those deep brown eyes and not realize what a great thing you've done by adding that sweet little dog to your life?

Gus - IL

Lola - WI
Charlie - MN