FDA Warns of Possible Link Between Grain-Free Dog Foods and Heart Disease
When we came across M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR research it got us thinking and I firmly believe that dewclaws serve a purpose. Throughout the evolution and domestication of dogs; ears, size, coat, color etc. The dewclaw is still a part of the domestic dog. There is a reason for it. Just look at the anatomy diagram of the front leg and what the dewclaw ties together.
From my experience and my research front dewclaws are not a fault in the ring.
What is the best age to adopt puppy?
Puppies develop in stages as do we and not all breeds or individuals develope at the same age. This is one of those questions where google hits can often be misleading as to when that proper or best age to adopt/bring home your puppy is. The answer is not black and white because each puppy is different. Often times small breed puppies are not ready at eight weeks of age and some large breed puppies are ready before eight weeks of age. Most states even have laws regarding the earliest puppies can be released to new homes.
In puppy development the most crutial time for learning is 10-16wks of age for most. This is when puppies develop the ability to learn. Each week is crutial but these few weeks are the ideal time for this developemental stage and training must be positive. It is best not to adopt your puppy prior to eight weeks of age. Puppies learn how to socialize, play and respond with others in their species from age seven to eight weeks. Often pups leaving the litter before seven weeks of age have seperation problems and/or problems with other dogs.
We often are asked about older puppies. Adopting an older puppy can have it's advantages. The advantages that I am talking about would be in the situation with a breeder/trainer who will take the initiative to continue the puppies education and socialization as long as the puppies are in their care. Dont shy away from a discounted pup thinking that the lower price means that there is something wrong. Some breeders will discount older pups to place them faster. Use your best judgement. If a pup is acting agressively or extremely shy, then it may not have had the socialization and training that it should have received. Note that agressive and protective are two completely different behaviors.
- Older pups tend to be calmer and more focused and ready for formal training.
- Older pups have the bladder/bowl control to make potty training to be much shorter than a younger pup. An older pup is most likely already potty trained.
- Older pups will most likely have had their additional shots and wormings which will be less for a new owner.
- Older pups tend to adjust to new homes faster because they have already had the experience.
- Older pups tend to be better with young children because they are less energetic and excitable around them.
Research has shown that babies who grow up with a dog are less likely to develop certain allergies and usually have a more resilient immune system. https://www.pediatrics.wisc.edu/featured-stories/allergies. http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/09/study-why-dogs-and-cats-make-babies-healthier/
Male vs Female
So you have decided you want a dog, but what to get, male or female? Some people actually believe that one sex is better than the other sex. The decision of whether to get a male or a female puppy is entirely dependent on the preference of the owner-to-be. Males and females are all different within their gender and it’s more important to match the right temperament and energy for its home than it is to choose based on gender alone.
Behavior—we will not go into behaviors of intact dogs as hormones play a large part on behavior.
The behavior of a dog will depend on how it is raised and trained as a puppy. Now, the behavior of a dog may depend on its training, but the sex of a dog can dictate its ability to learn from that training. A female dog may reach maturity faster. Its early maturity may give it an advantage when it comes to training. This does not mean that the female dog is more intelligent than the male dog. It only means that the female dog may be easier to train than a male dog of the same age because it is more mature. But a female often times requires a more sensitive training while a male is a lot more forgiving in it's training. Male dogs are just as intelligent as female dogs but their lack of focus and extra energy as a pup may put them at a disadvantage in the class room. But on the flip side a male tends to handle change, stress and pressure more than a female- one of the reasons males tend to excel more in competition than females. Some will say that male dogs are more demanding of attention. I do not agree. In my experience, the demand for attention is not gender specific but my females tend to compete for affection more so than my males do while my males are more relaxed in that area. Females more than males require the breed described leadership and a larger range in socialization than males. This does not mean that males don't require the socialization.
Almost any dog can be a loving companion for a child. And I don’t believe one gender should be preferred over the other. It is much more important to be placing the right temperament and energy with children, especially young children. It is also very important to teach children how to behave and respect their canine companion.
Attention CBR Enthusiasts
These two diseases are on the rise in our breed but it is not yet known how many dogs/lines are affected. Screening is the only way to prevent this.
We have seen these diseases first hand and they are truly heartbreaking to watch our animals go through it.
PRCD-PRA in the Chesapeake:
Progressive rod cone disease (prcd) is a type of PRA that affects both the rods and cones in the eye. Frequently a chessi is middle aged before the first signs of this disease are known. Overtime the tissue on the retina deteriorates with night blindness being the first sign and then eventuallyleading to complete blindness. This is preventable disease. A cbr has to have two copies (one from each parent) of this bad gene to develop it. The parent dogs do not have to have the disease to pass it along to the offspring. These parents are known as carriers. An entire bloodline could be a carrier and the gene may never be known until it is bred to another carrier or affected dog. Because this breed develops this disease later in life it is impossible to eliminate it from a bloodline without testing for it. It is important to test all breeding dogs to keep this disease recessive in our breed.
Degenerative Myelopathy in the Chesapeake:
Degenerative Myelopathy (dm) is a progressive neurological disease that destroys the protective membrane around the spinal cord (myelin sheath). Once this membrane deteriorates, the nerves are at risk of degeneration. DM starts slowly and first signs often go unnoticed. It affects the rear legs at first but eventually leading to complete paralysis. Necropsy after death will confirm DM. This is preventable disease. A cbr has to have two copies (one from each parent) of this bad gene to develop it. The parent dogs do not have to have the disease to pass it along to the offspring. These parents are known as carriers. An entire bloodline could be a carrier and the gene may never be known until it is bred to another carrier or affected dog. Because this breed develops this disease later in life it is impossible to eliminate it from a bloodline without testing for it. It is important to test all breeding dogs to keep this disease recessive in our breed.
Please watch Tiger's video to see what this disease can do. http://www.teamchesapeake.com/degenerative-myelopathy.htm
For centuries, people such as farmers, horticulturists and breeders have learned that by breeding or pollinating one type or breed to another, will result in a healthier, hardier and in most cases a more beautiful creature. I have experienced this first hand growing up on the farm. We always had better meat from our hogs and better producing cows when we crossbred. The outcome is about the same with dogs (not for meat or milk). You may the best of both breeds, but most importantly it increases health and integrity. A larger gene pool makes it less likely for genetic health problems, hardier; more resistant to illness and diseases like allergies and cancer. Often these crossbreeds learn more quickly and are smarter than the parent dog.
Crossbreeding is not just putting dog A with dob B. It is as exact of a science as with creating the next champion dog. Our crossbreeds are carefully planned breedings. They are based on a close study of health, temperament and standard of each potential parent animal and subsequent offspring for several generations. To us crossbreeding requires the study and knowledge of the pure breeds being used and close record keeping of the puppies produced from each breeding. Any breeder who is not breeding for these purposes is not responsible.
Hybrid Vigor- how wonderful it would be if the simple act of just cross-breeding any two pure-bred dogs could automatically ensure hybrid vigor. Hybrid Vigor is a misleading and incorrect term. A Hybrid is the crossing of two different species, ie horse + donkey = mule, lion + tiger = liger, domestic dog + wolf= wolf hybrid etc. ...
Heterosis Effect is the correct term for intential crossbreeding.
Purebreds and inbreeds often carry genetic disease. Heterosis is a theory, where the phenomenon of crossing two inbred lines can produce descendants with superior genetic foundation. In addition to the absence of inbreeding depressing, present in inbreed and purebred dogs in general, there is some remote inbreeding in any breed. Heterosis is also produced by over dominance, i.e. better combined function of two diverse genes (alleles) on a gene site (locus), compared to two identical (but harmless) ones. This increased health and vigor does not create a superior breed, but the advantages obtained from it are what produce hybrid vigor. This goal in this scenario is not to create a new breed, but to create a happy and healthy pet.Heterosis effect results in a healthier, more vigorous dog with a reduced chance of genetic disease. It is well known in all domestic animal breeding, hybrids, 50%-50% mixes of two different breeds, will raise the chances of having less genetic diseases because all doubling of detrimental effects will stop in the first generation. The genetic term for this is HETEROSIS EFFECT. This effect often gives non-related individuals stronger descendants than inbreeds.
But crossbreeding cannot be done just based on the heterosis effect alone....
Carefully planned breedings should be based on a meticulous study of health and personality histories for several generations. Cross-breeding requires in depth knowledge of the pure breeds being used and a constant study of the resulting puppies. Anything less is not responsible.
And after our pedigree research is satisfatory we have to be sure the match is right. That our dogs not only have close personalities but that our dogs compliment each other to create a better next generation dog. By matching our dogs based on the above factors we can get a good idea as to what the offspring will be like. We are seeing a rise in so called breeders crossing any breed to any breed based soley on the heterosis effect. The purebred parents must compliment each other to create the 'better, happier & healthy' pet.
Aren't crossbreeds just muts? A mut is defined by a dog with unknown parent history and could possibly have multiple breeds within it's history making it dificult to determine size, coat and charater of the dog.
As much as we love having visitors it does raise the stress level on our moms which does impact them and our pups. Visits also greatly increase the risk of sickness and diseases being brought in.
We understand the reservations of placing a deposit on a pup that cannot be seen Our happy medium is 2 visits only. One to bring your deposit out and meet the crew and one to pick up your pup/dog. Sickness and disease can be brought in from any type of environment dogs frequent. Please keep this in mind with clothing and shoes in preparation of your visit.
Please refrain from bringing more guests than absolutely necessary. Loud and exited children will also add unnecessary stress in our nursery and our puppies practicing self control have trouble keeping their calm if your children are not.
Please refrain from bringing other pets along for visits. And please for the safety of all dogs involved DO NOT take a day and visit multiple dog facilities.
Docked Tail or Natural Tail?
When it comes to breeds that are traditionally docked, this one little question can lead to quite the argument. Who would of thought that a 'look' would bring such a huge debate.
Our decision to go to a natural dog is based on facts and improving the breed. Of all years I have had dogs (natural or docked) I have not yet found solid facts on how cutting off a tail improves the breed. There are many documented papers regarding the pain a newborn pup will go through for a tail dock and papers regarding docked dogs being at a disadvantage when it comes to balance and communication with us and their species. These papers are from scientists and researchers and not posts of personal opinion.
This british article is quite interesting.
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Documents/dogs_tail_docking_bgnd.pdf. In this study it is said that 500 dogs will have to have a tail docked to save one damaged tail.
I wont try to persuade you one way or another. I do ask that you do your research and ask yourself Who does tail docking benefit?
I am hopeful that one day the USA will join the majority of the countries and making this practice illegal.
Long Tails Versus Short Tails and Canine Communication.
Banfield (nation’s largest network of pet hospitals) bans tail docking, ear cropping and devolcalization on dogs.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-07-30-dog-tails_N.htm
See list of countries that have already banned this practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docking_(dog)