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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal Dog Handbook/English Bull Terrier Info

Limited time Kindle sale

If you're on a budget and would like to check out our book, it is currently on a Kindle countdown sale.
(Don't know if this works outside the U.S.? Sorry if not.)

This book contains both stories about living with an English Bull Terrier as part of a family/dog pack (there is a Labrador and Collie who try and co-habitat in the same home as Gracie and I) and tips for traveling safely with a dog; kenneling/boarding dogs; and making estate plans that include your pets.
All with some humor whenever possible. If we don't laugh at ourselves, then it isn't fair to laugh at anyone else.

Customer service representatives are sitting by ready to take your orders.

Or chew up your paperwork - it just depends on the kind of day they're having.

In completely unrelated news - spring.
Photo by Laura Bulleit
My co-worker took  this picture today out her office window - yes today is March 28.
This is spring on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan - we are surrounded by Lake Superior and you can so often tell. Of course, two years ago we had grass and warm weather at this same time. You just never know.

Hope the rest of you are having an equally sunny but less snowy day!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cross-Breeding: Labrador + Poodle = Labradoodle



Although this cross-breeding has been taking place for some
time, the intentional breeding of Labradors and Poodles has become increasing popular.

Sometimes bred to try and achieve a lower shedding service dog the Labradoodle is also an increasingly popular mix for a family companion.

The goal with a Labradoodle is to achieve an intelligent, trainable dog that is steady natured while shedding less than the Labrador does. If you've ever lived with a Lab then you might understand the desire to have many of their good personality traits without the regular loss of hair in your home.

The main concern I have with the current Labradoodle mania is that the puppies are being sold for increasingly unreasonable prices ($1500 - $2500) while the incident of health concerns are also on the rise.  These are cute pups but they are not necessarily being produced for good reasons by reputable people. Some are, but many are not.

The same is true for any dog that can be bred and sold for a tidy sum of cash - people will be attracted to producing the dogs for money, including those who run puppy-mills.

If a person is determined to buy a Labradoodle  - just as in buying any dog - do research. I would suggest looking for a breeder who has actively working dogs (obedience, service, agility or similar); the breeder should have done health testing on any adults they're breeding - particularly hip, joint, and eye certification; they should offer at least a two year health guarantee on their pups against genetic defects.

The other thing to remember is that dogs shed. Some are very low shedding (like the Poodle and some Labradoodles). But just as people shed varying amounts of hair - all dogs loose some hair. If low-shedding is important to you in a canine companion then make sure the person you buy a Labradoodle from can tell you if the pup you're buying has inherited the lower shedding or higher shedding coat found among Labradoodles.

The breeder should also be able to supply testimonial from a number of satisfied customers and contact information so you can talk to several buyers yourself.  Do so. Find out if the breeder was accurate in telling other buyers how much their dog would shed. Ask if the buyer has encountered any health problems with their dog.

People who are allergic to dogs (which can be an allergy to dander, fur, or saliva) may still react to some or all Labradoodles. Spend time inside with the breed to see if you react to members of the breed, particularly the individual dog you intend to buy, if allergies are a concern.

 Labradoodles can have a fun, playful, and trainable nature. Unfortunately, they can also inherit health concerns from both sides of their heritage. Eye problems in particular are becoming common enough that those who are trying to responsibly breed Labradoodles are starting to participate in research of their own bloodlines. There are also Labradoodles in shelters and rescue groups in increasing numbers; if you want a Labradoodle consider starting your search with your local shelters.


Ironically after I had written this post and was looking for one last Labradoodle picture, I came upon a recent interview with the man credited with starting the Labradoodle craze - Wally Conron - retired from the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. I've read Conron interviews in the past and this is the first time I've found him sounding so unhappy with the outcome of his work:
Breeding blunder: Labradoodle creator laments designer dog craze.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ibizan Hound

I was thinking about dogs with Spanish roots the other night and thought - we need a post about the Ibizan Hound. Ibiza ( in Catalan - Eivissa) is a Spanish island, about 49 miles off the Spanish coast.

Ibizan hounds are athletic, intelligent, and what I'd call "hound-trainable", i.e. they have strong instinct but also have been bred to be biddable. In other words, don't leave them off-lead in an unsecured area because they aren't going to come back when you call them after they start to give chase. On the other hand, they're entirely willing to consider your opinion when it comes to training around the house.

This is also a breed that is very able to jump a typical fence, or work a simple latch on a gate. The ideal home for an Ibizan keeps them busy; they don't do well left alone for long periods of time or if not exercised.

If on the other hand, one is looking for an athletic partner with a sense of humor than this may be your dog.

This is also a great breed for those who enjoy lure coursing or who just enjoy watching an agile dog that can move with grace and speed. Typically they are good with children - well behaved children because this breed can also be sensitive. And stubborn. Remember, hounds have to be capable of working out front of people and making independent choices.

This was also a breed used often by farmers who would have an Ibizan that they used to hunt hares. While this indicates that the Ibizan will have prey drive for small, fast moving animals, it also indicates that overall they are compatible with other animals in the home. Ibizan tend to do well with other dogs.

They also have a reputation in North America at least, for considering themselves a person on four legs. As someone who is rather fond of dogs with a sense of self, I find this reputation attractive :-)

The Ibizan comes in 2 or 3 coat types depending on how one counts: there is a short coat, a wire coat, and either a straighter haired wire coat or a long coat.

This week we're joining the Barks and Bytes blog hop hosted by Two Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog - this is a very eclectic blog hop that any and all bloggers are welcome to join - which is why we like it :-)

2 Brown Dawgs

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sighthound: Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)

I'm guessing that at least a few readers who stop by here walk around, like I do, with a list of dogs in mind that they would happily live with. High up on my list would be the Borzoi.

A tall, elegant looking breed, the Borzoi has a quiet nature that is far less demanding than the average terrier. Sensitive and intelligent, these big dogs are very capable of quietly watching the world as long as they are given several good walks or runs a day.

 As with all sighthounds, Borzoi were originally breed to hunt game and run it to ground. As a result, this is a breed that does enjoy an opportunity to stretch their legs.

 At the same time, once they've had their exercise they settle down very nicely. As a sighthound though, be aware that when out - which should always be on-lead or in a fenced in area - they are prone to chasing quick movements. A dog that might be fine with the family cat inside, might respond differently if the cat were to run across the yard outside.

They can also be a bit independent - again a natural trait of a breed that was designed to work out in front, and well ahead of people; they couldn't be successful if they waited for a person to tell them what to do.

 A combination of strong instinct and an ability to think and react fast remain part of the breed. Some individuals are also rather comical, another trait we're rather fond of here at saved by dogs.

Overall, this is a gentle breed who despite their size do not make the best watch dogs - if that is, you expect a watch dog to bark. If you want a dog that is likely to just watch, however, then this is an ideal breed!

They're very observant without being terribly judgmental. They won't necessarily object to people wandering in and out of the house; which is good if you have a number of welcome visitors. If you want a dog to raise an alarm, however, you're better off doing what nobility often did and keeping some back-up terriers, who are always more than willing to bark.

They've also become rather accustomed to creature comforts.

If you want to live with dogs who have spent generations with royalty, then you need to be prepared to meet some of their simple needs - a chair or couch with a view being chief among these. They are after all sighthounds, and want to be able to see what is happening.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Visiting Bull Terrier: Winston Bogsley

I love it when readers take the time to share their pups with us. Today's visit had been facilitate by Rebecca, who reports that she always wanted a Bull Terrier - but had to wait until she was all grown up to get one :-)

This handsome gentleman is Winston Bogsley.

He is a one year old, Miniature Bull Terrier. He is a solid 30 pounds of dynamic love, as his pictures indicate.

Along with his four legged friends, Winston if very good buddies with a five year old boy. I can only imagine what those two get into!

This is Winston and his boy playing hide and seek with Rebecca - she said they're both missing some of the finer points of the game - as long as they can't see her, she isn't supposed to see them :-)

Thanks Rebecca for sharing your cheerful fellow with us!

(Remember readers, your pics are welcome at cmoslund@gmail[dot]com)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Inclement Weather fun?

Snow on January 1, 2014 - 2 months ago!

We've had a lot of snow this winter.
Even more than last winter, and of course, winter isn't over yet.

 I would show a picture of today but it's so cold out the camera doesn't want to work and standing outside makes me want to cry, just a little, as I think of all the glorious bulbs I've planted out there and that I won't see for a loooong time yet.

Gracie's nose has to be covered by a blanket

It's been very cold (- 27 to - 45 with windchill.) Snow by itself isn't too bad because we can still get out and walk a bit. When the temperature gets too low though, then dog paws start to freeze and unfortunately, we've yet to find a way to keep dog booties on for more than half a dozen steps. Gracie also believes that when the temps hit a certain low point, the only place she should be is under a blanket. She doesn't like the cold nipping at her nose.

Lil chewing a bone - she'd eat a cow a week if we let her

While there are a number of indoor options for us, including a range of toys and games, the current favorites are a) licking peanut butter out of hollow bones and b) practicing a little obedience in return for dog biscuits.

I thought it might be fun to share - what do the pups in your house like to do when the weather makes it difficult to spend much time outside?

Saturday, March 1, 2014