on our way!

September 27, 2022

This past Saturday, Fredi passed her BH. We have obviously trained past just her BH, but the BH is the start of the journey.

I was able to trial with 4 other club members also doing their BH's (we all passed!) and I was paired with my favourite photographer and good friend Sarah. We have been training together for over a dozen years! It's nice to share these things with friends.

Fredi did well, she needs work on her heeling and I made a big mistake on her long down that I've made before with Emmy. Hopefully I have learned my lesson?

Sunday she passed her FPr1 that I did just for "fun" - to support the club with an entry and to practice tracking in a trial atmosphere. Her corners need work but I was happy with her overall performance. After the track we did her 20km AD (with Sarah riding the bike). She will need her AD for an eventual breed survey.

Photos are Fredi, Sarah and her dog Ayk and the trial champion Munich

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great training

September 20, 2022

Spent 3 days working protection with Dominic Scarberry at OWDC. We have worked with Dominic twice before and love how we can progress yet not overlook the fundamentals.

As our club doesn't have a certified helper, protection training is sporadic and can feel as if you will never progress with the limited training we do. This weekend Fredi worked on almost every element of the IGP 1 routine. We didn't "master" them, but we are now working without a harness and sometimes without a leash. Sending Fredi into the blind etc..

Feels good!

Feels like we will get there!

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not today

September 12, 2022

Way, way back when I had my first litter (Sept 2014) I took some of the money and had PRP injections done in Emmy's lower back (it had been bothering her for a year. Long story short, we never worked on conditioning our dogs back then and constant hitting the sleeve takes it toll) and in her elbows. Her elbows x-rayed clear but at 5 were starting to show signs of arthritis according to the orthopaedic vet.

I did her elbows again after the second litter because again, the vet said it would be a good idea.

She developed a growth on her right elbow and had had it for years. It never seemed to bother her. I asked my vet to remove it when she was put under at 9 to be spayed, but she didn't want to keep her under any longer than necessary. I noticed in the last year that it was getting larger. Lately, it looked like it was bursting at the seems - but still didn't seem to bother her.

Wednesday night the growth started to bleed. I remember thinking that I knew one day it was going to do something, but I had no idea it would haemorrhage. I got the bleeding stopped and wrapped it. My vet came by and did a much better job and we discussed removing it the next week. Well 24 hours later it ruptured again and this time I couldn't stop the bleeding. My vet came by again (yes, I have the best vet!) and wrapped it and said it would have to come off tomorrow.

Vets are busy, clinics are backed up, but she fit the surgery in for me. I knew that it could very well be Emmy's last night with me but she was uncomfortable and I could do nothing but look at her and cry. Losing my dog like this was not how I pictured things. At 12.5+, surgery is very hard on a dog and I knew the odds were not in my favour.

I said my goodbyes as they took her away, went home and cried more. Then I got the call that she was awake.

The healing will not be easy as it's an elbow and it moves - but she is still with me (driving me nuts because she has no desire to just rest) and hopefully we will have a few more years together!

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dock diving

August 10, 2022

Ottawa Working Dog Club had a dock diving day yesterday. Ten dogs got to try out the dock diving pool at The Dog Ranch in North Gower.

I brought Kew out for the last one we had in 2020 and she has been off the dock at the marina many times but I forgot how good she was at this!

She has to be good at something LOL

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twelve and a half

August 2, 2022

Last Tuesday was Emmy's 12 and a half birthday. We celebrated BIG for this one! As her actual birthday is at the end of January, there isn't much I can do with her in a deep freeze so we pulled out all the stops for this one. I hope to have many more half birthdays with her, but I am realistic so every day counts.

We started the celebrations having a custom bed for the porch made for her, then with a photoshoot with Erika Anderson last Sunday (photos aren't available yet) and lastly we took her to her favourite beach on the Ottawa River for the day.

I love this dog!

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July 18, 2022

Spending a lot of time just sitting in the backyard watching my dogs lately. Mostly watching Fredi and Dot frolic. There is nothing cuter to me then watching two mismatched size dogs play. When Emmy had her first litter, I used to sit outside every morning watching Rico play with the puppies. It was the end of October / beginning of November and I would take my camera out and watch how incredibly gentle he was with the whole litter. I thought that he must love puppies but he didn't play with any of my litters after that.

Fredi is great with Dot and besides the odd "oops" moment, they get along so well. Emmy is extremely tolerant with Dot but doesn't want to play with her. Kew has been the most difficult. She really doesn't want anything to do with her at all. But I know she won't hurt her.

My Facebook and Instagram pages will be flooded with photos of Dot playing with Fredi - and hopefully the odd photo of Kew and Emmy warming up to the little one!

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on request

July 12, 2022

Just saw an ad for puppies..."Parents tested and clear for hips elbows and thyroid ( certificates available on request)"

Is it just me?? (and no, it's not the missing comma 😃 )

There are no registered names so why does a puppy buyer have to request the clearances?? If registered names were provided, they would be searchable in the OFA Database. Why can't you add a link or redacted documents to your post to PROVE certification? I think most puppy buyers don't know what to request and then wouldn't understand the documents anyway.

Someone asked for info and the answer (as it usually is) says "PM Sent". Another comment asked for the kennel name - no answer.

Maybe it's just me

Photos of Fredi & Kew in portrait mode. Makes them look like they only have heads!

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another website

July 5, 2022

Wanted to share my latest website creation. I post often about taking Emmy for her senior swim hydrotherapy session at Maple Hill Canine Centre and after becoming friends with the owner Kathy, I asked if I could do up a new site for her business.

I'm not a professional, I do my own website and I've made a couple of others for events.

Maple Hill Canine Centre is now live (I also did the logo, some rack and business cards too).

Check them out - family run boarding facility with a pool and canine conditioning and massage.

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big dogs and the small dog

July 4, 2022

Beautiful long weekend to take advantage of having the dogs out together. I am very fortunate (lucky?) to be able to have 3 generations of females that co-exist without rotation or crates. Adding a chihuahua to the mix - and a female at that - might prove to have been a bad idea, but for now it's working just fine.

We started with Fredi as I knew she'd be the most accepting but also the most boisterous. It pretty much went as expected. Fredi was very curious and learned quick that she needed to be careful. Emmy and Kew are less accepting but they have both had puppies so I think they are more cautious.

Emmy and Dot go out each morning together to potty and then back inside so Emmy can make sure Dot finishes every bit of her breakfast. We did this for over a week with no issues. We would also let Dot and Fredi play together for about 15-20 minutes every night.

This weekend Dot spent more time with Kew (who couldn't have cared less about her) and time with all 3 girls together.

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she can swim!

June 27, 2022

Yesterday was Dot's first time in the pool at The Maple Hill Canine Centre and she did great!

We put her in the pool with Emmy for a bit just to see how she would do. She swam and relaxed with Kathy - no panicking, no stress and no trauma.

And since she can't touch the bottom, she used Emmy as a platform - Emmy didn't seem to mind!

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just a working dawg

June 14, 2022

I showed Fredi at the 2022 Ontario Regional Show this past weekend. The reason for dog shows is to make sure we are breeding dogs that meet the standard. Being on the working side of the breed I think it is important to show my dog because we shouldn't be breeding hideous dog regardless if they can work. But this reasoning doesn't cross over to the show side of the breed.

As per every show I've ever seen, ALL the working line dogs were put to the back of the line and ALL were given a rating of G (except those in the working class who all had breed surveys).

Fredi was no exception. Although she "beat" the other two working dogs in her age group, she was still just a working dog.

Fredi now has a rating of G, placement 1 and this is enough for her survey one day. I may show her again, but I don't have time to ring train her so there isn't much point.

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there's no place like home

June 6, 2022

It might sound like an impulse buy, but I've been waiting for her for almost 2 years!

She is a long-haired Chihuahua from Happy Valley kennels in Pennsylvania. I met one of their dogs back in 2018 when I had Kew in Ohio to do her breed survey. I decided to expand my pack (that was probably an impulse decision!) when Fredi was a puppy after watching how well the breeder's dogs got on with her German Shepherds (she is also a GSD breeder). A couple of other friends of mine have these dogs and can't say enough wonderful things about them.

A BIG thank you to Kathy & Gertie Seabrook from Maple Hill Canine Centre for making the trek down to PA to pick her up (and spoil her rotten!).

Introducing Happy Valley's There's No Place Like Home - call name Dorothy (or Dot for short).

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no time for this sh*t

May 24, 2022

Had a call on the weekend from someone looking for help to breed their German Shepherd Dog to a King Shepherd. Before they could even get into the issues, I stopped them and told them I wasn't going to help them breed mutts.

I was then called rude, defensive and offensive (not sure how I was both of the last ones LOL). So I replied that I wasn't any of those things and hung up (ok, maybe it's rude to hang up on someone but seriously?) You call a reputable (I hope I am) breeder and ask for free advice on how to breed mutts (and they tried to say they had a purebred dog so I pointed out that maybe they did, but the other dog sure wasn't!) and expect me to what?? I didn't let them suck me into their world, I didn't waste their time letting them explain the whole situation (because I basically don't care!) and told them.....oh wait....what they didn't want to hear!

If you want free advice on how to breed mutts there are two options, ask on FB (that will be interesting because you will either get advice you don't want to hear, or advice from people who have no business giving you advice!) or go to your vet...oh, wait, that will cost you money!

DO NOT call a reputable breeder you don't know and ask them!

Photo of Emmy trying to convince Jamie she too likes ice cream bars.

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April 29, 2022

On Tuesday of this week Fredi went for her eye check up (she got something in it a year ago) and to have her eyes certified through the OFA's CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registration) program.

The good news is that the damage from whatever she did is almost completely healed. The bad news is that she has something called Corneal Dystrophy.

I haven't learned everything about this yet, but from what I have read so far it is hereditary (Fredi's mother, grandmother and grandfather have all been checked in the past and none had it so I assume it might have come from her father's side?). According to the ophthalmologist it isn't affecting her sight and won't unless it gets worse (and this is the part I'm looking into now). I also have a friend who's dog had this back in 1998 and never passed it on to any of her offspring.

As a breeder, I want my dogs to be absolutely perfect health wise - but no dog is and the more you look for something wrong, the more likely you will find something. So although this isn't the best outcome, I will not remove Fredi from the breeding pool because of it. I will however remain completely transparent.

Fredi's CAER OFA Results

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7th birthday

April 14, 2022

7 years ago today Emmy had her second litter. I had back to back litters because I found the first litter went by so fast that I felt like I missed it. It was all so new and I was trialing Rico and didn't have the time to put into them like I wanted. So 7 months later I repeated the litter.

I think the B Litter was the litter I photographed the most. By the time they were ready to go outside, the weather was great and I took so many photos of them.

Happy 7th Birthday to Benny, Sloan, Branson, Brew, Bella & Brooklyn!

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she's my favourite

April 13, 2022

Every day is a blessing to me when Emmy opens her eyes and is healthy. Every night is a blessing to me when Emmy climbs on the couch or begs for a treat.

She is my favourite and I tell her that every day.

One day she won't be around and all I will have left are photos and memories.

There can never be enough of either.

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isn't it simple?

April 7, 2022

Again my rant stems from my FB group where I am trying my very best to help people find a responsible breeder. Every time a breeder is recommended, I check to see they are doing the very minimum with their breeding dogs. Minimum, in my opinion, is registering their puppies with the CKC (AKC, SV...whichever FCI recognized registry) and screening their breeding dogs for hip and elbow dysplasia. My personal standards are much higher - I think there is so more to breeding than these two things, but I drew the line (low as it is!) and think most decent breeders are doing these things.

Well, turns out they are or they aren't....hard to tell because they "say" they are - but after some digging (as I mentioned in "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" they might not be). So unfortunately I have a full time job and dogs to look after and train so I don't have all the time in the world to figure out which breeders are and which are not. I also believe that buyers shouldn't have to figure it out either. It should be transparent.

So according to one "breeder" - I'm nuts. His argument wasn't very clear mostly because he didn't have any issue with breeders providing proof he just kept ranting on about working ability (which is above the line and I total agree with but that's another discussion) and thinks I am excluding great breeders who "don't provided stupid links" (or something like that). Everyone goes on about education on the part of puppy buyers - why not educate breeders? I think they've forgotten how difficult it is for the average puppy buyer to weed through websites and understand what everything means.

Then again, his website doesn't provide proof.

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litter plans

March 30, 2022

We have no current litter plans.

That means I haven't even started to think about breeding Fredi. She will be 22 months on April 10th - she is now fully health tested (just need to do her eyes at the end of April (and I am worried because she got something in her eye a year ago so she may not pass!) but she isn't titled and I will not breed her until she has met that requirement.

I plan to show her at the Ontario Regionals in June and then do her BH-VT in September but I do not think we will be doing her IGP 1 until next year.

So when will she be bred? No idea.

This seems to be an odd answer for most callers. Yes I am a GSD breeder, no I do not have puppies, no I do not know when I will have puppies....

I also have no plans to breed Kew again. She was a great mom, but physically she didn't deliver very easily and has had 2 c-sections - that's enough.

So unlike people who buy a puppy and start planning breedings before the dog is 4 months old, I haven't even given it much thought. Things change quickly and although I do look at males and see what's going on, I'm not seriously thinking about a breeding at this point.

There is no rush.

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pool fun

March 29, 2022

This past Saturday I took all three girls for a recreational swim at Maple Hill Canine Centre. Kathy had installed a new fun toy for the dogs to push themselves up and grab. It was fun to watch how fast all three caught onto the game. Emmy was by far the smartest, Kew the loudest (of course) and Fredi didn't "get it" for quite a while (I cut that part out).

They all have different reasons to be in the pool but it is just the best exercise for all three!

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March 21, 2022

Had someone fill out my contact form on the weekend with some very long questions. Not about my dogs or breeding program, but basically asking for my professional advice for free. Thankfully I didn't spend a minute replying as I usually wait until I'm behind a real keyboard to type anything longer than one sentence. Not sure how much longer after I received the first email I received a second email telling me to disregard the first as they didn't want advice from anyone who is against the "vax pass" (as it states on the home page of my website).

Yup, I'm against discrimination and segregation! Get your vaccine, don't get your vaccine - that is your choice, but I will not discriminated against anyone for their choice - period!

This person would have fit right into pre-WWII Germany.

The world is a sad place right now - glad I have my dogs and I didn't get sucked into his world.

In other weekend news - all three of my girls got to have a swim at Maple Hill Canine Center (they don't discriminate either!)

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liar, liar, pants on fire?

March 11, 2022

As I've mentioned, I have a FB group for Ontario GSD people. I do not allow breeders who do not do basic health testing to be recommended. Basic equals certified hips & elbows.

When I rejected a comment about a certain breeder, the poster pointed out that 2 other VERY well known breeders were allowed to be listed. They claimed that they were also not doing basic health testing. I happen to know both of these breeders and although I am not familiar with all of their dogs, I didn't expect to find what I did when I started to look closely.

The first breeder is a showline breeder and I just picked the first litter and looked at the dam. Their website says she has HD/ED = normal. There is no link to any database and no copies of certification documentation. So I started to dig.... I could not find the dog listed in the SV or the OFA database. It's not an import as it has their kennel name...so how is this possible?

The second breeder is a working line breeder and I started to go through their current litters and clicking on the mothers. The information on their website is desperately lacking... The female I focused on is again not listed on either the OFA or SV website - yet it says her elbows were evaluated as "clear/normal".

I was able to find out the CKC registration numbers for both of these dogs so I know for sure they are not listed in the OFA database. Getting their registration numbers is not always easy and I can't imagine a potential buyer being able to figure out any of this.

Are the breeders lying?

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she's so smart

March 10, 2022

Read an article about how to keep senior dogs happy and healthy. I have all of the points covered except for making Emmy use her brain. I brought her out to train while I had Fredi on some training rest and I could see she really enjoyed it, but doing this on a regular basis is difficult. Emmy is now almost completely deaf and we have limited indoor training time.

I decided to get her a dog puzzle and let her do that now and then. I borrowed a few from friends and after her swim on Saturday, gave her one to do. A friend had his niece over and she decided Emmy needed some help.

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new toy

March 8, 2022

A friend gave me a new toy for the dogs on Friday night.

I have been buying "GoDog" toys for my dogs for awhile now. They do not last forever, but I'm very happy with their quality. For the most part, they last a long time...until a dog decides its time is up and kills it. This is usually at least 6 months and sometimes it's not even one of my dogs who destroys it.

The GoDog toys are NOT cheap but again, for the money, and compared to other stuffed toys, they are worth the price.

The new toy was not a GoDog toy and it showed. It lasted 3 days.

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March 4, 2022

I mentioned in my news article called "cutting corners" that it is very simple to alter an OFA document.

I don't have any official hip/elbow certificates as I don't do OFA, but here is a copy of Fredi's preliminary results.

Which one is authentic? (this took me about 30 seconds)

Here is the actual link to her results.

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old fashioned

March 1, 2022

I was reading a breeder's description of their dogs on Kijiji this weekend and just had to screenshot it and write about it.

Their main focus points about their dogs were that they didn't breed for "angles" or "slopes" - that they bred "old fashioned" dogs. The next paragraph talks about how their dogs are very large and calm - but athletes! Every time I see someone describing the breed as 'old fashioned' yet oversize, I wonder if they actually know anything about the history of the breed?

I checked out their website and it's about 10 years out of date so very difficult to look at individual dogs. Without an updated website I can't tell if they x-ray their breeding stock. I searched the OFA database for their kennel name and found only ONE entry - so I assume they do not. Their dogs do not do Schutzhund and I don't think they are involved in CKC events either. But they describe their puppies as "obedient" - not sure how puppies are obedient but whatever... LOL

This breeder has been at it for over 25 years.

I did find negative reviews, a "rip-off report" and another place where they describe their puppies as "the perfect German Shepherd Dog"

I beg to differ....

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cutting corners

February 24, 2022

I have a GSD Facebook group and the simple rule regarding recommendations or posting puppies/studs etc... is that the kennel/dog MUST provide a pedigree link and the dogs must have minimum certified hips and elbows. This is WAY below my breeding standards, but IMO is the minimum done on breeding dogs.

So yesterday a difference of opinion came up from two breeders in the group. They think it's acceptable to breed with only OFA preliminary results. Hey, they can do whatever they want, but I won't allow it on my group. My group, my rules and I have plenty of reasons.

- OFA Preliminary submissions can be made as early as FOUR months (not my job to check and see how old the dog was when the x-rays were taken)

- OFA Preliminary results will not be listed in their database if the dog is under 12 months and unless the breeder checks off a box that allows ANY results to be shown (ie - the dog doesn't pass)

- OFA Preliminary submissions are just that - PRELIMINARY. The OFA has a process that doesn't allow for certification (ie the dog does not acquire an OFA #) unless the dog is over 24 months.

So while SV will certify a dog at 12 months, OFA has a 24 month minimum certification process. I am not a vet, I am not an expert, but I have studied these certification systems and I know how they work. According to my vet, the SV system is NOT the same as OFA. Saying that because the SV will certify at 12 months means it's ok to use a different system but take rules from another is not ok.

The SV does not have a "preliminary" process - that doesn't mean breeders like myself do not have their dogs x-rayed before 12 months to do the same thing that an OFA preliminary process accomplishes. The purpose is clearly stated on the OFA website "If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced." So you x-ray your dog to find out if you are putting time and money into a dog that is never going to be breeding quality. Then, at 24 months (for OFA) or at 12 months (for SV), you x-ray again to certify for breeding purposes. Neither the GSSCC or SV will accept OFA preliminary results for a breed survey.

Naturally the "reasons" to only breed with preliminary x-rays are laughable, it mostly boils down to time and money. Skipping OFA certification because you want a summer litter instead of a winter litter is not in the best interest of the breed. Skipping ANY certification because of what YOU want isn't in the best interest of the breed.

So after training last night I started to look into some of these breeders who are breeding on preliminary results. One has a litter with a dog that is over two and a half years old, yet still does not have official OFA results. The supposed preliminary results are not listed on the OFA database either. Why not? Why would a breeder not have the results published? Are they presenting a digital copy of a certificate without the OFA link? I'll just leave this here - It is very easy to digitally alter an OFA document... I had forgotten that I sent Fredi's x-rays for preliminary OFA evaluation to add information to an article I'm writing - her results, regardless, were posted with my blessing - nothing to hide here!

Another breeder I looked at does not have a website just a FB page - VERY difficult to see the whole picture from a FB page! But again, the bitch isn't listed on the OFA database. I tracked the female down through the CKC and found out she was born in 2016.... STILL no official OFA certification at 5??

Why does any of this matter? Why do I care? If you look at the articles I've written, I understand it's very difficult for a puppy buyer to figure out how things work when it comes to finding a good breeder. Using preliminary results that aren't even listed on the database of the system you chose to certify your breeding dog is completely unhelpful.

I look at Fredi, 20+ months old, in full standing heat today, hips/elbows certified and a bunch of other health testing done and there is NO rush to breed her. Not the weather, not that I NEED another dog to replace Rico...

But then again, I can never replace Rico!

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fixed it!

February 22, 2022

Last Sunday (the 13th) Fredi somehow hurt something. Dogs will run through deep snow, chase anything that moves and they don't care about ice.

Couldn't figure out what part of her was injured - back? leg? really hard to tell in a dog that doesn't show pain but I could sense that she wasn't 100% and she wasn't jumping into the car as she normally would.

I didn't run to the vet (so unlike me!) but put her on rest (no training) and then booked her for some hydrotherapy at Maple Hill Canine Center. Swimming is the best exercise and Kathy is a better evaluator than I am when it comes to figuring out where the problem is.

Fredi has had 2 sessions since then, hasn't trained for a week and had a nice long walk yesterday without the other dogs.

She seems completely back to her old self!

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when you just know...

February 14, 2022

I usually don't bother commenting on FB posts from bad breeders (that are not on my FB run groups) but I did last night. I asked what health testing the parents who produced the litter had. No, I'm not interested in buying one of them - but I like to ask so the breeder will have to share that info for those that are interested.

99% of the time there is none or very limited health testing. And 100% of the time the breeders will either not answer, be very vague or (my favourite) block you for asking.

Buyer beware? Nah, the buyers only ask "where are you and how much?"

Note: I was blocked LOL

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fake news?

January 28, 2022

Twice in the last few weeks, callers have told me that I am advertising things I am not. One told me that my Google Knowledge Panel said I board and train dogs and another this morning told me that although he doesn't use the internet, the internet says I have puppies. This is the same as the rant...I mean news article I wrote about November 22.

So naturally these calls lead me to first figure out what a Google Knowledge Panel is and second, to argue with the second caller.

Turns out the Google Knowledge Panel is just little panel that comes up on the right hand side of a Google search. The content of the panel comes from my website and from "Google My Business" - both of these things are under my complete control and although I am not that technically advanced that I know everything about all of this, I know that nowhere does it say that I board dogs or train them for others. My guess is that people 'googling' for dogs just click and click and click and can't remember whose website says what.

As for the second "the internet that I don't look at says you have puppies" was the usually "no it doesn't" conversation. Yes, I am a breeder, yes I breed German Shepherd Dogs and No, I don't actually have any (imagine that!).

I think I should take down my phone number but sometimes the calls just entertain me....and sometimes actual intelligent people call.

But not often!

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happy 12th birthday Emmy!

January 26, 2022

Another year goes by and she gets another year older. I'm happy she is 12, I am sad that I know she won't be here much longer. Her cousin just turned 14 so I have hope that I still have years with her but I am also a realist.

I just re-did the title pages for all the dogs and it was so nice to go back through all of her titles and remember doing them (and how young she once was). Emmy is a dog that can do anything (and has) - so much fun to train! We accomplished so much together and received so many compliments no matter where we trialed.

Emmy will be enjoying the day inside where it's warm (it's pretty cold outside today). Friday afternoon swim and hopefully some time on the weekend for just her and I to have a walk and talk about old time.

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two calls

January 12, 2022

I received two calls about dogs yesterday. Both entertaining for different reasons.

First call was the usual "I haven't even opened your website but I want you to answer my questions". As I work during the day, I asked if the person calling could look at my website and if he still had any questions he could call me back. Well, according to him that was rude of me. I think people assume that I have something I'm dying to sell and I should be at the public's beck and call! I asked him why I was rude since someone was paying me to work and as much as I'd like to spend an hour talking dogs with him, I have a job. So that wasn't good enough...he then asked if I had puppies (just reaffirming he hadn't even opened my site) - I told him all that info is on the website. (again...totally rude!)

Ok so that was that. Nope it wasn't. He then texted me to tell me how rude I was and that I wasn't going to sell puppies like that. It was difficult not to respond and tell him that I may be rude (which I wasn't, but that is the new word for telling people the facts in a way they don't like) but I'm not lazy and that I don't sell puppies to lazy people anyway....but I just deleted the text.

Second call was from someone who wanted to buy a puppy from a breeder I know of, but I think they were shopping around to see if there was a better deal somewhere? Their conversation was based around "straight backs" which I know right away is a backyard breeder term or a "general public who know very little about the breed but know about straight backs and King Shepherds" term. So I tried to direct them to my article on Types and that her puppies are Am lines and the other kennel they were looking at were German Show lines. Trying to explain working dogs and that if they wanted a dog with no drive or working ability then a Labrador is a great family dog. I mean why call me to ask about things like that if you don't want my opinion?

All of a sudden I hear the wife say "we are going to get a Lab" and then the phone went dead. So I called back because - well F-you if you think you are going to call me for advice and then hang up on me. The guy said it was his phone...I don't believe him. They didn't want to hear what I said. I know that this is the way people deal with things now - I don't want to hear it so I will hang up, delete or block you.

Neither call was any loss to me!

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January 10, 2022

I previously wrote about these websites that claim to help people find a good breeder. I received an email from one last week that had taken the liberty of adding my kennel under the heading of best breeders in Ontario. Naturally they wanted $ from me to boost my ad or something...not sure because I immediately asked them to take it down.

I went back to make sure I wasn't listed and found my "ad" - wow... it was even worse than I thought. I am sandwiched between a Labradoodle and Cockapoo breeder and everything about the write up is wrong. They have called my kennel "Ultimate" instead of Unlimited and from the wording and the emails I've received, this website does not originate from North America. Even the name of the website isn't right "I Love Dog World" - doesn't sound like someone who was English speaking thought up that name!

So no we are about a week later and my "ad" is still there. I did receive an email that they were going to take it down...

I always thought it was odd to Google yourself...now, not so much!

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she swims again!

January 3, 2022

The pool is up and running at The Maple Hill Canine Centre and Emmy was their very first customer!

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happy holidays 2021

December 23, 2021

Emmy, Kew and Fredi will be getting a stocking full of toys and treats. Emmy is especially adept at opening presents!

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happy birthday Gelly!

December 17, 2021

One year ago today our little singleton was born! Kew's entire pregnancy was horrible. Started with a very difficult breeding and ended with a c-section. I really didn't think even one puppy would survive but Gelly made it and is thriving!

The thought of having a singleton also really scared me. We did everything we could to make sure she had the best possible 8 week start to her life. Fredi helped a lot!

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it's all how you raise them

December 13, 2021

it's not.

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no photo proof

December 7, 2021

Today during my lunch I took Fredi down to the showroom to train as we always do. The owner was in with his off leash Border Collie. Fredi has met this dog a couple of times but not recently. She was not acting very nice when we got downstairs and I was a bit afraid she wasn't going to be very tolerant about it being near her. I got out her toy and started to train her, the other dog followed us. Eventually we were heeling around the showroom with the other dog following along wondering when the food was coming out!

I'm pretty proud of Fredi and even prouder of myself for not just staying in my office and avoiding the whole situation. No photos to prove any of this happened - but it did.

I've attached a photo of Fredi meeting another dog a year ago. We have trained her to ignore other dogs but she has occasionally met a dog or two. The owner's dog is never on leash (he owns the place!) so I have introduced them to make sure when they will meet it will go alright.

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goodbye Rico

November 26, 2021

Yesterday we lost our beloved Rico. It wasn't completely unexpected as he had a stroke last year and I knew his health would deteriorate. On November 14th he came inside with a severe limp after running around all day with the other dogs. It didn't improve after a couple of days so I had the vet look at it. His leg was swollen and he wouldn't put any weight on it at all. Rest and pain medication. After a few days I could tell that he was still in pain and was going downhill. I made the appointment and hoped he would improve.

It is the worst thing about having dogs. All I can feel good about is that Rico had a great life with me. We spent hours and hours training, traveling (we went to Florida and Georgia together) trialling and playing together. He was the best - we always called him "our least annoying dog" :-)

We will miss him dearly and when we see little bits of him in his daughter Kew or his grand daughter Fredi, we will smile and remember him with love.

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finding a good breeder

November 23, 2021

There are websites popping up that encourage breeders to join (for a fee of course) to have their kennel listed. These websites are supposed to weed out bad breeders to help puppy buyers purchase their next dog.

The thing about these website is that they don't actually screen breeders or have any standards. The one I received an email from this morning, World Dog Finder's only requirement is that the breeder is a member of the CKC (or AKC etc...). The website is based out of Croatia.

Hate to break it to them but even puppy mills register their dogs!

Another is called Good Dog - they do not register Canadian Breeders, but again, their standards are so lax that I don't see the point. They also list doodle breeders so there you go! Just another person out to make money and take advantage of puppy buyers.

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take down my website?

November 22, 2021

Had a call from someone on the weekend...the usual. He asked if I had available puppies - I told him I did not. He then told me that my website says I did.... I told him that my website was "up to the minute" up-to-date and he didn't understand. I told him that my website certainly does not say I have puppies. He said it did and that since it's wrong, I should take it down!

He was really on the ball because after he hung up on me (you know, because when someone doesn't agree with you, that's what you do!) he called me back again not knowing that he had just spoken to me. When I told him he just called me, he did what any normal human does...he hung up on me again. Yeah, that's the type of person I want to sell a dog to! LOL

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a plethora of bullsh*t

November 19, 2021

Just looking at a local dog trainer's website and reading about their dog's "titles" and how incredibly qualified they are to train you and your dog. Complete crap to put it nicely. I know I've written about this before, but every time I see it, I can't help but laugh.

For example, if you look at Emmy's list of titles, you will see an IPO 3. She has an IPO 3. I don't list the titles it took to GET the IPO 3 because that is a given. She had to pass a BH, SchH 1, IPO 2 and IPO 3 to get the IPO 3. She had to pass novice to get an advanced title etc... Listing each requirement is redundant and unnecessary.

I also don't count her certificates as titles. A BH is not a title, a CGC is not a title etc... Video sent in trick dog crap isn't a title - a fun thing to do with your dog, absolutely, but I sure wouldn't hire someone who thought they were all that because they taught their dog to "sit" (yes, that is an actual novice trick dog 'trick').

I also detail exactly what is involved in getting the title/certificate so that all those letters don't look like my dog has multiple degrees in physics!

Being an Omega Alpha or E-Collar Technologies distributor doesn't make me qualified to train dogs. Listing that I am a member of organizations that I don't actually belong to - does not qualify me to train your dog!

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your dog's accomplishments, but keep it in perspective!

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November 18, 2021

I took last Friday off work to drive to Bowmanville to pick up new crates that we had ordered in April! For years I've had wire crates in my car that worried me my dogs wouldn't be protected should I have an accident. Most everything I do is focused on the dogs. These are Ruffland crates in Malibu Blue.

Crates in the car keep us all safe - doesn't hurt that they look fabulous!

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cheap dogs

November 9, 2021

What does it cost to have your dog groomed? About $1500.00 actually!

In August I had Emmy and Kew groomed. Total was about $180.00. The very next day, Kew developed some sort of skin issue. Emmy was perfectly fine. I assumed Kew was having a reaction to the products used and started to treat her with Benadryl. I tried grooming her myself, then washing her again... more Benadryl and I think I tried Reactine too. Nothing was really helping and then it started to get worse. My vet looked at it and put her immediately on antibiotics and had me bathe her once a week with Duoxo Shampoo.

After a week of antibiotics there was a definite improvement - until there wasn't. After two weeks without antibiotics she was sliding so back on the antibiotics she went. After another week she was worse than she'd ever been.

Back to the vet for cultures and a round of Baytril. Baytril costs about $7.50 per pill and she needed 4 a day.

After a week of Baytril the cultures came back with THREE separate bacterial infections so she is on Baytril for another week (at just 2 per day).

Update - I've put Kew on another two weeks of Baytril as I've seen a few spots and I don't want her sliding backwards.

Post Grooming Furunculosis is the official diagnosis.

Post-grooming furunculosis is a deep skin infection that occurs rather quickly, usually on the back of dogs (where grooming products are commonly placed). The infection is often due to an organism, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that is associated with water environments. Because of this association, most affected dogs have a history of grooming, scrubbing, or towelling two days prior to symptoms (range 1-7 days). The precise source of the bacteria is not always clear as cultures from shampoo bottles are infrequently positive.

Fredi got something in her eye.... I think we are over $1,000.00 on that one too!

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third place

November 2, 2021

This past weekend was the end of our month long tracking competition with OWDC. For the 3rd consecutive year one of our members holds a tracking contest and whoever completes the most tracks in the month of October wins. Last year Fredi tied for 1st place, this year she came in 3rd. Not that we didn't track as much, but one member decided to track twice a day and we can't compete with that! LOL

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October 29, 2021

Looked into any CKC breeding rules or requirements this week and found that they have dropped even the smallest rules they did have at one point.

According to the CKC, I am perfectly allowed to breed my dog on her first heat to a male dog who is still probably a puppy and possibly even her brother and still register the puppies.

"The CKC Code of Practice for Member Breeders insists that they aim to breed dogs that are healthy and sound in both mind and body to ensure that the dogs are true to their heritage and that conform to the requirements as defined by the Rules of Eligibility (ROE) for each breed where available."

I check the ROE for a couple of other breeds and there are no rules regarding inbreeding and/or age. There are no ROE for the German Shepherd Breed, the CKC has left it to the discretion of "member breeders" (as there is no such thing as a CKC registered breeder, just members who are breeders...) to "follow the CKC code of ethics" (which again, has no rules regarding breeding)

This just reinforces my constant "the CKC is simply a registry" point and saddens me that buyers think "purebred" equals "well bred".

Picture of one of Fredi's last tracks of the year...

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nope nope nope

October 21, 2021

This GSD colour chart is going around Facebook and at first glance (and I mean GLANCE) it looks like something to have on hand.....until you look at it for another second and realize this must have been created by either someone with no knowledge of the breed or a total backyard breeder.

Panda, Piebald and Brindle are NOT colours of the German Shepherd Dog. Nada, Nope, No Way - absolutely NOT. No matter how many people tell you the story of Frankie (?) the first "panda" German Shepherd Dog. Nope, nope, nope - there is something in that pedigree that isn't pure.

This was my favourite response to it... "Just cause Embark says the dog is purebred doesn’t mean it is, we all know this.." DNA testing goes back THREE generations.... That can be as little as 6 years (or less) - When a breeder tells you their dog just spontaneously produced a colour never seen before in the breed - they didn't.

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protection training photos

October 19, 2021

Here are some of my favourites from Fredi's protection training. She is learning a bark & hold and how to stay relatively calm.

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16 months

October 12, 2021

On Sunday, Fredi turned 16 months old and we just happen to have a photoshoot that day. My friend Sarah Boni of Eurosport K9 Photography was able to get some wonderful shots of her all grown up. We did our best to try and stack her (first time) and get some new head shots. Hopefully some working shots are on the way soon.

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just because

September 16, 2021

I received Fredi's SV Hips/Elbows results and I wasn't over the moon with her "Fast Normal" elbow results. I looked at a chart of comparisons ratings and on one it had fast normal equal to borderline! Well, that made me even more upset so I decided to send her hip/elbow x-rays to OFA for their preliminary x-ray evaluation.

Hips came back good (IMO they should be Excellent - but whatever!) and her Elbows came back Normal....

I'm going to be writing an article comparing the 3 systems, but honestly I think it's all just subjective!

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so busy!

September 14, 2021

Next week starts the SECOND national championships I've had a big role in organizing.

I really didn't think it would happen. I figured, like last year, it would be canceled because of the plague, but here we are!

Some of my many jobs include: catalog, entry forms, advertising, show cards, all trial details, picking judges and so many other things I've forgotten.

It's almost over!

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facts vs opinion

August 19, 2021

Out tracking this morning when someone at the soccer field let their dog out loose. My friend yelled for them to call their dog....yelled again after they made zero effort to call their off leash dog. Then told them to put their dog on a $*@#& leash as this wasn't an off-leash park (there are signs posted).

Their response was that she should keep her OPINIONS to herself....


Reality is there will just be more of this with the plague puppy syndrome explosion!

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"chien-chien" 2021

August 17, 2021

Took yesterday off work and brought Emmy and Fredi to a place we call "Chien-Chien" on the Ottawa River. We have been taking our dogs there since we found the spot about 20 years ago.

The best part about the spot is the photos I get from it. The water is shallow and sandy so I'm able to get some great shots sitting out in the water and having the dogs run at me.

Here are some of yesterday's highlights:

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as tight as they get!

August 12, 2021

My entire F litter has fantastic hips! (yes I know there were only two puppies but that isn't the point! LOL)

Fredi and Five (Larry) have both been PennHip'd and both scored in the tightest 5% of the breed. Hip conformation IS genetic (Kew also has very tight hips) and doing PennHip evaluations is an incredible tool for breeding.

It isn't easy to find a male with PennHip so hopefully Five (Larry) will be in demand as a breeding dog one day.

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disappointed, confused and angry?

August 9, 2021

Had a few phone calls lately that made me chuckle.

When I'm at work, I will usually answer my phone because my employer doesn't have issues with that. I don't want to spend too much time discussing breeding with everyone who calls because, well, they really aren't paying me for that! So after the initial "do you have any puppies" - I usually reply with "all that information is on my website". This week that made someone pretty darn angry! He replied "I don't use the internet! I'm 75 for christ sakes!!" and then he hung up on me. I found that pretty amusing that he assumed I could tell that he was too old to use the internet but not too told to sell him a puppy that would hopefully live over a dozen years. Oh well...my bad!

The other call was like many that I receive. Although this one left a message (I was training Fredi at the time) and I called them back because I didn't know they hadn't bothered to check this site first. It was the usual "do you have any puppies?" and the disappointment turned to confusing when I said I didn't and no, I wasn't having any soon.

They need to try the two breeders (one in Ontario and one in Quebec) who have litter upon litter upon litter! I won't name them but I'm sure both of them would be more than happy to sell both of them a puppy ASAP!

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someone actually reads these!

July 30, 2021
Hey , this is just an appreciation msg for your no BS approach to what I’m sure is a never ending barrage of msgs and phone calls . I check your website’s news page every couple months and read through your posts and love your responses to people’s “oh i wanna breed my dog, oh it’s a king shepherd etc etc etc “ I’ve been on a few of the German shepherds forums / groups and seen your posts as well . They are always well informed and in my of course unprofessional opinion dead on point from what I have researched and read . If they don’t like your answers then tough lol ! Just wanted to say thank you for being so informative and transparent in your posts no matter what possible backlash you may face ! Your website is great and your health testing on your dogs … just WOW . Breeding done right !

Messages like this make my day!!

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but he has all his shots

July 20, 2021

Got a call last night from a guy who, at first, didn't know what he wanted. Finally realized that he had a male dog he wanted me to use for breeding.

You know right away that this isn't going to go well for him LOL

First, when a breeder is looking for a stud dog, they don't wait for a phone call from some random guy looking to breed his male - well, at least I certainly don't! I put so much time and money into my dogs that I can't even fathom breeding them to a male who is just someone's pet. Pets are wonderful but they are not enough to use for breeding purposes.

I asked him "so your male has all his health clearances and is titled?"

"oh yeah, he's up to date on all his shots"

"Those are not health clearances. Does he has certified hips, elbows etc.."


"What system did you use?"

"oh, I didn't, but I could get those"

"And titles? What titles does he have?"

"Like what? Ummmm no, he doesn't have anything but he's purebred"

So I said "There are thousands of purebred GSDs out there - no one I know would want to use your dog for breeding"

I didn't wait to be insulted for being picky and hung up.

On a good note, I'm moving up from "hey, want to use my King Shepherd for breeding?"

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July 16, 2021

Just read a great post about deposits. I haven't purchased a puppy in over a decade so I haven't given a breeder a deposit but I have taken them. Currently, my deposits are totally refundable. I don't think that is common in the dog breeding business. All breeders are different and many breed much more than I do - and some less. If I had a few litters on the go, deposits might be the norm - but even then, if someone cannot take a puppy or changes their mind, I don't think I want their money for something they didn't get or I cannot provide and moving their deposit to the next litter isn't realistic as I don't breed often.

I know many breeders would disagree - and I completely understand the other side. If keep a puppy for person X and don't sell the puppy to anyone else and then person X decides they don't want it I'm kinda screwed. I can't actually remember if that has ever happened (I don't remember it happening). It probably hasn't because I won't take deposits until the pups are on the ground and by then, most people are pretty excited that they are getting a new puppy in less than 8 weeks. But if something happened and they couldn't take the puppy, I think I'd feel guilty keeping their deposit.

I don't take deposits on a breeding that hasn't happened, or a female that isn't confirmed pregnant - but I can fully understand doing it. If I had a breeding that everyone wanted, I would have to weed out the tire kickers.

I think the biggest reason I refund deposits is because I don't want anyone taking a puppy they don't really want just so they don't lose their $500. I also want to be able to change my mind and refund their deposit if don't think I have a suitable puppy for them.

I have spoken to a few puppy buyers AFTER they have put down a deposit on a litter somewhere and when you tell them the breeding isn't great they all say the same thing "well, I already put down a deposit....." So they will take the puppy just because they don't want to lose their $300 (because the breeders specifically said the deposit was non-refundable) Even if they have no plans to ever breed again! It's just something they all think is an acceptable practice "non-refundable deposits".

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July 13, 2021

Most pet people think that socializing their new puppy means introducing them to a plethora of other dogs and people. I probably thought that too with Tighe. Now, with the internet and the ability to gather info on any topic out there, hopefully people are learning.

People in SchH get it. We start as young as possible to teach our dogs to ignore other dogs and/or people.

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believe it or not....

July 8, 2021

I have no F*^%& idea how much my dogs weigh!! Can you believe it??

I see so many people commenting about their dog's weights I wonder if they are constantly picking them up and putting them on a scale since I don't think you have been able to go into a vet clinic for a long time.... Even if you could, how often do you bring your dog to the vet? This is mostly while they are young and their weight increases weekly.

I never once weighed Fredi until she went to the vet at 8 weeks and then again at 12 months. Never. Not once. I'm not sure how I was able to feed her, talk about her or let her be a dog without knowing what she weighed LOL I didn't start every post with "I have a GSD that is X months old and weighs XX pounds". I must be a freak!

I can actually look at my dogs and say "she's too heavy".... it's a gift!

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I'm not picky!

June 18, 2021

Just had a call from someone who wanted a husky shepherd mix. I rolled my eyes as quietly as I could and told the caller that I breed purebred dogs. They then asked what kind and I told them German Shepherd Dogs.

Ok, that was great - he'd take 2!

I have to wonder if even shitty breeders sell this way? I think if I actually did breed husky shepherd mixes (and I'm sure they must have some cutesy name like shepherdskies??) I wouldn't want them going to just some guy on the phone that really didn't care what he got? And wanting 2 at a time?

I know I've said it before, but why are people so lazy?? There is only one place he got my phone number - Google - and I'm 99% sure the link to my website came up too. My guess is that he was on his phone and just clicked "call now" - without knowing anything about what I breed (obviously because that wasn't even important!). After I kinda cut him off and told him I had no puppies and wasn't interested in selling him anything, he called back 5 minutes later. Again, just a guess, but I'm betting he didn't even realize he was calling the same breeder.

When you put that much thought and effort into getting a puppy (or two?? LOL) - I just can't imagine what kind of dog owner (and I will never use the term 'pet parent'!) you will be. I do know you will never be buying one of my dogs!

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plan ahead

June 17, 2021

Last week when I had Fredi x-rayed, I also had her dentition submitted to OFA. That means she is certified as having all her adult teeth. Sounds like something so simple but as with everything 'dog' - we learn quickly not to take anything for granted. Usually we have their teeth looked at during a show by the judge. They check that they are all there and that their bite is correct.

Kew decided that her teeth were optional and knocked out most of her front teeth one Sunday afternoon when she dropped her ball and slammed into a cinder block to get it back. She didn't care one bit. By the time I showed her I had to get a letter from my vet and photos of her with all her teeth. This had to go to the GSSCC to be notarized. When we arrived at the show (a 7 hour drive to Ohio) she decided that her toe nails were also optional and pulled one out 5 minutes after exiting the car (chasing a ball again). I almost had to turn around and come home! A toothless dog with a limp isn't going to do very well!. Thankfully by the time she was shown, her limp had disappeared and my documents were accepted.

For Fredi, because of the plague, there will not be a regional show in Ontario (and maybe no national one either) this year, so I decided that I would have her dentition certified by my vet and OFA ASAP.

I'm not exactly sure how this will help should she knock out a tooth before I show her (or have a breed survey done) but you do what you can.

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happy birthday Fredi!

June 14, 2021

On Thursday June 10th, our F Litter turned 1 and that was a big day for our Fredi.

I brought her in to Cranberry Hill to have PennHip, SV a-stamp (Hips, Elbows, Spine and Shoulders), OFA Thyroid and OFA Dentition - as well as a general wellness check (lyme, heartworm, bloodwork, fecal).

She scored in the top 95% for PennHip! I will not have the SV results back for awhile but here are photos of some of her x-rays. We are pretty hopeful she has passed all requirements.

When the office results come in, they will be added to her page.

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nice websites

June 12, 2021

Just started to listen to a pod cast / FB YouTube video by a long time SchH person (no names) that was about buying a puppy. I was curious because it had the same name as one of my articles. I couldn't listen to much because the first part of the interview was about how only crappy breeders have nice websites!

Personally, I think my website is very nice. I've been told countless times how nice it is. I like it because it is complete, truthful, up-to-date and if I were a puppy buyer, I would want to see all the information possible. Now, I am fortunate because I am able to do my website myself, I'm a decent photographer and I have a good friend who is a professional photographer. Having great photos is a HUGE asset to a nice website.

Does my site look "flashy"? I don't know - I think it shows off my dogs well.  I have seen websites of people (breeders) I know that are simply lies (and when they were called on it had nothing to say). I'm not trying to pretend my dogs (or myself) are something they are not.

Most of the time, I have nothing to sell. My website is a reflection of my love of my dogs, the breed and a record of what they and I have accomplished (which isn't anything extraordinary!).

The interview made a point of saying that most breeders who have been around for a long time don't even have websites! Like that is something to aspire to? I can't imagine having to explain everything to anyone who was interested - maybe my website is because I'm lazy and don't really want to spend all my free time on the phone? Maybe it's because I like to have a site to look up my dog's trial scores, health results etc... I don't know. But I know one thing for sure...

I know that just because my website is nice, does not mean I am a bad breeder!

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jobs with benefits

June 7, 2021

Yesterday we took the dogs to the marina where I work to let them have some fun in the water. It's not the nicest water, but it's safe, has a dock for diving and a ramp for puppies.

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genetic testing

May 26, 2021

I recently received Fredi's genetic results back from Embark. No, I wasn't testing to make sure she was "full blooded" LOL I decided to check anything health related possible - just to see.

Embark tests for 11 different genetic markers for the German Shepherd Dog. On top of that, Fredi was tested for an additional 197 conditions (it was included). She is clear for all 208. I was very concerned about things like "Golden Retriever Progressive Retinal Atrophy 1" and "Adult-Onset Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (ATP13A2, Tibetan Terrier Variant)" amongst other non GSD conditions.... Not sure why they test non-GSDs for these things but I'm not a vet or geneticist so whatever!

Along with all the health issues, I got a full profile of my dog including what colour she is, how long her fur is and how long her snout is! As a breeder, I'm glad they could clarify all of this LOL

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protection training

May 20, 2021

Fredi has started protection training. This is the latest I've ever started a dog in this phase.

We probably started a couple of months ago just to get her to bark. First time, nothing....second time.....nothing. I wasn't the least bit worried because I knew she 'could' bark and the best part is that she wasn't screaming like Kew! Third try we got a bark out of her and then the next try there were 2. Then the light went on and the barking has never been an issue since.

Lately we have had the pleasure of working with a very nice helper (JP Mills) and when you do that, you get to see what is really in your dog because they can bring it out. It's also a bonus to have a talented photographer on hand to catch the moment!

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I don't know what I'm talking about.......but that isn't going to stop me!

May 17, 2021

Just happen to sit next to someone with a GSD on the weekend and naturally I asked about the dog. It was a small black female. I thought because of its size it was a puppy at first but then realized it wasn't. Anyway, I asked the owner how old she was and I got much more information than that. The dog was 3 year old long coat, bought with full breeding rights and was the runt of the litter!

After correcting the "long coat" (it was just a stock coat dog...and there is no such thing as a "plush" coat!), and thankfully missing the part that he was arranging a breeding, it reminded me of how many times people tell me things that are just not true.

The list is endless, but some of my favourites are that in Germany, they call black GSDs Alsatians and Spots on tongues mean the dog is purebred LOL

Sometimes when I repeat something someone tells me I think to myself "Hmmm...did I verify that information?" or "are they really a credible source?" Sometimes when you think you know something - maybe because you've "known it" for years and years, you should just check again to make sure it wasn't something you heard somewhere. Because when you repeat it to someone who does know...you look pretty silly.

So lets start with the word "runt" - I guess it can, by definition, mean the smallest in the litter - but it usually means a puppy that is significantly smaller than the rest. So technically there is a runt in very litter - Kew was the smallest at birth in my A litter. She was only 20 grams smaller than the next puppy and she didn't end up as the smallest in the litter. I've never referred to her as the runt. The puppy that ended up the smallest in the litter was actually the pup that was the largest at birth and who we called "fatty Mc Fat Fat".

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eleven months

May 10, 2021

Today is Fredi & (Larry) Five's 11 month birthday. Not a huge milestone, but it means it is only one more month until they are a year old.

Why is a year old important?

Usually I have my dogs x-rayed at 8 months when I do PennHip and have a look at their elbows. But this year my vet cut off the end of her finger and wasn't able to do the x-rays at that time so I've put it off until Fredi is 12 months. At that time, I can do her PennHip and her SV (a-stamp) at the same time. I have an article about why I do this called "Mercury's Hips". I believe this is the best way to look at the orthopaedics of a breeding dog. I use both systems because I like the different things they both contribute to the information I have for breeding and working my dogs.

This time, because I have my act together, I will have her dentition certified by OFA (Kew knocked out our front teeth before I had them certified and it was a lot more work to have her breed surveyed), Thyroid test and general wellness (blood, lyme, heartwork) done as well.

Can't wait to see the bill!

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gelly gelly gelly!

April 29, 2021

Gelly von Tighe Haus - now called Mia - is starting her Schutzhund journey!

Mia is working with the very talented John Bonello and hopefully will be joining the Scarborough Select SchH Club once the plague is over. She is just over 4 months and teething, so protection work is done without a lot of tugging, but she looks to be coming along great!

Very grateful to her owner and those helping her! It takes a village to SchH train a dog when you're new - hopefully Mia will be everything she was looking for in a dog!

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April 20, 2021

A great argument always puts me in the mood for a "news" post!

I have a FB group for GSD owners/breeders in Ontario. Someone asked for an opinion about a kennel. I quickly looked at their website and posted that it had no basic information "dog registration names, health testing results or any accomplishments" so I would personally avoid it (I think my actual word was "run").

This triggered someone who had a dog from the kennel and assured everyone that the dogs were health tested. So I pointed out that if this is true (and I don't believe it), the information should be on the website. I mean why have a website if you aren't going to put basic information on it? And if your dog passes a health test or earns a title....as a breeder, you are damn proud of that! Then they had someone else who owns a dog from them join to argue with me and accuse me of bashing said breeder. Seriously, it would have taken a "yeah, they should post basic info" and that would have been the end of that conversation!

But nope, I'm mistaken and if I had just taken the time to CALL the breeder I would be corrected (not sure how their assurance they do these things is enough...wouldn't be for me!).

I try very hard to be transparent, to be up to date, to include every single detail I can think of about my dogs so that someone can shop and compare. I must be nuts! LOL

And truthfully, I use my own website to look up things I forget (scores, dates etc...) - which is getting more often all the time!

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she swims!

March 29, 2021

This past Saturday after obedience and protection training, Fredi was invited to try some hydrotherap Neither Emmy nor Fredi need hydrotherapy, Emmy needs to keep in shape and because of her age, swimming is probably the best exercise she can get.

Fredi did a bit of swimming late last summer with Emmy when I would bring them both to work. Emmy would dive off the dock and Fredi would stalk her while she swam back up the boat launch and then pounce on her.

Although neither dog has an injury and needs hydrotherapy, It is great to know that a facility is close by to help.

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I'm not very nice...and I'm ok with it!

March 24, 2021

Got a call last night.... Started out with "Hi, I have a King Shepherd"

(can you hear my eyes rolling??)

I immediately corrected the caller that "King Shepherd" isn't a breed of dog. He seemed a bit confused because he had some paperwork... I explained that it's not a registered breed, not by the CKC or the AKC. He thought I was arguing semantics. He continued that his 5 year old KS wasn't neutered so he was thinking about breeding him. He wanted to "continue his lines".

I replied with the truth....You don't have "lines" - you have A dog, a dog that is not a registered purebred, who hasn't accomplished anything and no doubt, doesn't have the appropriate health testing for breeding but you can definitely find unethical people who will breed with your dog.

He didn't like that at all.... His reply was "I just 5 minutes ago thought about breeding my dog so I made this call and you obviously have no interest in answering my questions so goodbye!" and he hung up.

Another case of "don't tell me the truth because I don't want to hear it!"

Even funnier is that I once had a call from a doodle owner who thought I would want to use his male for breeding....I thought it was a prank call!

Happy Puppy Day!

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cancel culture

March 17, 2021

Just like everything else in the world, the sport of Schutzhund (IPO, IGP) is being cancelled in many countries. Bite sports, which have been around for over 100 years, are in danger of being outlawed because of animal rights activists and the ignorant public.

Ask anyone - everyone will tell you that "shock" collars and "prong" collars and "docking" tails, "cropping" ears, "corrections" - it's all cruel and should be against the law- regardless if they have ever even owned a dog. Over the last 20 years, I have run into so many people who think they know so much about things they actually know nothing about at all. Yet these same people are the ones who will demand laws to rid the world of horribly cruel bite sports and the tools we use to breed, train and title our dogs.

Dog trainers can never agree on everything, and there are plenty who think e-collars are not needed.....until they are. I myself have seen things done in training that I thought were unnecessary, over the top, cruel etc... and yes, I kept my mouth shut - why? because someone might see the same thing if they watched me train once. When you don't know everything (or at least a lot about what you are looking at) you should try to learn before opening your mouth.

Wouldn't that be nice if more people shut their mouths and learned instead of opening them and and spouting off about something they know nothing about?

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you have to take it now...

February 28, 2021

I've seen two different social media posts today that show very young puppies that have already left the breeder. One didn't look much over 5 weeks. The other was supposed to be 6.5 weeks. The first was a "breeder" who lied and said the dog was older and the second was from a breeder who had something come up and had to send the puppies home early.

Really?? There is no way I would send a puppy home before 8 weeks (yes sometimes mine go home a day or two before that because of what day of the week they were born) - but a week or two early?? No way. IF something were to happen to me, I would have a friend take the litter for the last couple of weeks to make sure the puppies got the best start possible.

I'm not sure about Canada, but many states have laws about puppies leaving before 8 weeks.

When puppies start to eat real food (around 4 weeks) and their mother no longer cleans up after them, they become a lot more work. The older they get, the more work they become. It doesn't surprise me that crappy breeders are getting rid of them as fast as they can. The scams keep coming!

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they're still coming....

February 18, 2021

The phone calls are still coming. A little less frequently (maybe one per day) - but they haven't changed at all.

I see many people on Facebook who will ask breed groups if they should start to shop now even if they don't want a puppy for a year or two. People answer and tell them that "yes" you should be shopping now and building up a rapport with a breeder.

A rapport definitely doesn't happen from NOT looking at their website, asking only if they have puppies now and if not, will you be having them shortly. There is always the same sound on the end of the call....a mix on confusion and "you suck" - like my customer service is so horrible because I won't tell them exactly when I will next have puppies (even though that information is on the website).

But yeah, I don't think these callers are trying to build a rapport with any breeder - they just want a puppy.....now (or maybe next week).

Below are some photos of Gelly who went to her new home last weekend!

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February 4, 2021

Our little singleton is advancing at the usual "I can't believe she is that big already" pace!

I combined some of the video I had of her so I though I'd share it here.

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eleven years

January 26, 2021

Today is Emmy's eleventh birthday!

Emmy is my golden child - she will be the standard that I measure every dog I ever own against. She is perfect, she is beautiful, she is smart, she is everything I think a GSD should be. Ok, she isn't perfect, but she is everything I will ever want in a dog.

I have done so much with this dog, gone so many places, learned so much from her and she has given me the opportunity to do all of that. On top of everything, she has given the world 19 of her offspring to hopefully help carry on her genes.

Her birthday is always bittersweet - I love to celebrate her long life, but I know that with every passing year it shortens the time I have left with her.

Tonight she will be treated to some steak and her weekly Fitpaws workout. Along with that, she was gifted a new orthopaedic bed and 10 weeks of swimming "lessons".

I love this dog!

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January 25, 2021

In May I wrote an article (rant) about someone on FB claiming they didn't post their dog's pedigrees on their website because they could be stolen. When I questioned it, I was conveniently removed from the conversation. It's very much like things are now-when you question things, you are censored.

So yesterday someone posted on FB in a "GSD breeders and buyers beware" group about how they had been scammed for $600. They had put a deposit on two female littermates. Besides the whole "you didn't get scammed because you didn't spend more than five seconds looking into the credibility of this breeder" the thing that struck me first was that NO reputable breeder would ever sell someone littermates.....especially two FEMALE lttermates!

Someone on the group disagreed. They said that selling two female littermates was perfectly acceptable. I replied that no reputable breeder I knew would do that and maybe my definition of reputable was not the same as theirs.

I was then removed from the group because I wasn't aware that she was part of the admin and I must have missed the rule that said you are not allowed to disagree with the admin!

I looked up her kennel this morning and sure enough, my definition of reputable is quite different. Her dogs are overwhelmingly not from her own breeding and many of them do not have hip/elbow certifications. Even worse, some say they have OFA H/E yet when I checked, they are not listed (so either they do not have certification OR they failed and are not listed). I searched the kennel name in OFA and found 11 dogs. The most recent was 2017 and the dog had hips only and was rated "Mild" (mildly dysplastic). She also has THREE litters due this month alone.

No titles (except on some she has purchased) - but in her own words on a message board from 2013 "titles don't mean shi*t"....

Sorry, this breeder is as far from reputable as they get. After I was removed, they posted the message below. I absolutely agree with the first line. Bashing breeders?....it seems like 'bashing' is now the new word for "pointing out facts" - and if you can't stand the heat....oh yeah, you just delete any opposing opinions.

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customer service

January 22, 2021

A little over a week ago I ordered a new collar for Fredi. She is getting to the age where she thinks she can do whatever she wants so it would be nice to have a collar on her more often. A very pretty collar with an $10.00 upgrade for a metal buckle was purchased from Woof Concept. Total was about $35.00.

I put the collar on her Tuesday at "FitPaws" night and did her training and also had the leash attached to the collar to hold her and cut her nails. She really isn't happy about nail cutting so there was definitely pressure on the collar. She slept with the collar on and when my husband let her out in the morning she still had it on. When I went to put her in the car to come to work after about an hour, the collar was no longer on her. My husband found it on the picnic table in two pieces.

My dogs are very talented and smart, but NONE of them can undo a metal buckle I assure you! Yes, Fredi has obviously chewed the collar in two, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't able to do that while it was on her neck. The buckle obviously came undone and after the collar came off, she chewed it in half.

I contacted the company right away and was told to contact Canada Post?? They didn't actual read my email very closely. I replied and explained that it didn't arrive this way but that the buckle had obviously come undone. Their reply "by the looks of the damage we wouldn't be unable to process this as warranty or be qualified for replacement. Our webbing can withstand a pull pressure of up to 600 lbs so I'm not sure how it may have ended up in that condition, but from the image that you sent we would not be able to process any warranty or replacement. "

I sent them a reply and pointed out again that the buckle undid... no reply

I am clearly disappointed with this company and the quality of their product.

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hypocritical breeders

January 15, 2021

Started reading another breeder's website and (I won't name them because I'm not here to breeder bash) found a page that excuses why their dogs are not CKC registered. Now probably all breeders will tell you they have had issues with the CKC - especially now. They are slow, they have a monopoly and they can be hard to deal with. First, the CKC is only a registry, they are not breed wardens and it is very well known that although they do have some breeding rules, they leave the details to the breed clubs. The CKC is also not run by dog people - I'm sure many of them do not breed dogs!

This breeder states that "it's not the registration, but the pedigree that matters". That is partly true - a great pedigree is more important than whether the dog is CKC/AKC or SV registered. But they are breeding dogs that are NOT registered with ANY registry. They also state that it's sad people think that only ethical breeders register their dogs with the CKC. It's not sad, it's true. According to our Canadian laws, if a dog is not registered with the CKC it isn't purebred and if it isn't purebred you are not an ethical breeder.

They go on to say that the ONLY reason you need CKC papers is to show or to title a dog. One big reason you do need papers is to show you have a purebred dog. Another is ownership and yet another is to BREED. One thing I do agree with is that CKC papers do not equal quality. But NO papers doesn't mean it either! CKC paperwork is not expensive but it is an added expense for breeders, but when you are charging thousands for a puppy it's negligible. The only reason to not have them is because you are too cheap, lazy or your dogs do not qualify (which they actually state on the page - they are importing dogs from none FCI countries).

They then go on about how difficult the CKC is to transfer papers from another country. First they complain that the CKC are too lax and now they are too stringent by making sure the dog you imported matches the paperwork by checking the microchip...

The next point is the best one! They point out the SV breeding regulations are much more strict but yet they don't breed by SV standards OR even CKC standards!

The last incorrect statement made is that a CKC registered breeder simply means all their dogs are CKC registered. First, there is no such thing a CKC registered breeder. The CKC registers our Kennel Names - that's it. This just means that someone else can't register their dogs with my kennel name.

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January 12, 2021

German Shepherd Dogs are not always the best with other dogs. This is why I will not sell to anyone who thinks going to the dog park is a good idea. But within their pack they do well - unless you have same sex aggression. This is quite real and can make living with these dogs inconvenient and expensive.

If I have a dog returned, I never introduce it back into my pack. I will introduce a female to Rico as he is very good with other dogs, but never back in with my females.

But within my pack of Emmy, Rico, Kew and Fredi, I am very blessed that my females get along. Fredi is still very young and this could absolutely change in the future, but for now, she not only gets along with her mother and grand-mother, Emmy constantly plays with her. It melts my heart to see my 11 year old play with her 7 month old grand-daughter!

Fredi and Kew have been apart quite a bit lately because of Kew's pregnancy and now with the new puppy around. Kew just got her stitches out so things will slowly get back to normal and hopefully my pack will all be able to be together.

Fredi has just recently met her sister Gelly and that is going even better than expected!

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happy holidays

December 23, 2020

Every year for the past 19 or 20 years I have sent out cards (mostly always handmade) with a Christmas photo of my dogs inside. Because of the plague, I haven't had time this year.

Here are some photos from the past...

Happy Holidays!

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puppy prices

December 21, 2020

I just read this post on a message board:

As many of you know, health testing is super important to me. What is blowing my mind currently is the huge influx of backyard breeders charging huge amounts for puppies - with no health testing of the parents, no titles, no nothing. And in many cases the breeding stock...well, it leaves something to be desired, let's just put it that way.

Yet somehow people get sucked into buying puppies at enormously inflated prices from these people. Meanwhile, actual reputable breeders charge much less for higher quality animals. I will just never understand it.

Of course I totally agree with it, except for one part.... "people get sucked into..."

Do they? Are they sucked into buying an inferior quality puppy? I haven't purchased a dog in 11 years, but as a breeder I can tell you that people are not getting sucked in, they don't actually care about what is important (until it is). Like I've said before, most of the inquiries I get are simply "do you have any puppies?" - or I may get someone asking about a specific colour. I NEVER get anyone asking about health testing or titles (and yes, it is all laid out on the website) but I know ALL the phone calls I get are from people who haven't bothered to even look at that. I would say that 99.9% of the questions I'm asked have nothing to do with the quality of the dogs I'm breeding.

I used to think bad breeders were the problem - they aren't. It's simple supply and demand. No one is getting suckered.

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g litter

December 18, 2020

I thought nothing could have been worse than having your dog skunked during whelping and then ending up with a c-section anyway - I was wrong.

Last Saturday Kew had some discharge so off to the vet we went. We did an ultrasound and it showed one puppy had detached and was dead but there was still at least one live puppy inside her. Progesterone testing showed her level had dropped so she was probably going to go into labour prematurely and lose any remaining puppies. I called numerous vet practices looking for progesterone with no luck. Finally we got her a prescription for human progesterone pills and, along with antibiotics and crate rest, we waited to see if she could hang on.

I watched her day and night anticipating the inevitable but she hung on and we did a c-section yesterday. There was one surviving puppy out of 3.

The stress of the week is almost over. After losing one of the F litter at 5 days for no apparent reason, I'm not counting my chickens just yet!

Welcome to the world Gelly von Tighe Haus (sable female). Gelly is named after my incredible vet Dr. Kelly Ferguson.

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the making of a BYB

December 11, 2020
I am trying to find out more about my dogs pedigree to understand more of her lineage and also for potential breeding (finding a Stud - we are planning it but still have a lot of questions before doing anything). Her name is blah blah Von blahblah. She is a Sable German Shepherd, just a little over 2 years old. Fantastic dog, and lives up to the German Shepherd heritage. She is really my 11 year old son's dog and he is an animal lover (one of our barn cats was having babies and he helped save one of them during labor). So I know he will do great with Blah if she has a litter (with some coaching). We got her from a local family that bred their 2 dogs and they were not "professional" breeders. I have been trying to research, but it is difficult and do not know the names in her lines makes it difficult. I cannot tell if she is East German, DDR, Czech, or a mix.

1. Blah's Pedigree is on here (put it here myself). Could you look at the pedigree and see if you can make out her general heritage (DDR, East German, etc) and what you would expect her to be like (I know what she is like, just want to know if she is following the rules...)? I looked at some examples and she might be more East German??? Her back does not slope as much as some of the other lines.

2. After seeing her pedigree, what would you suggest looking for in a stud dog? I mean lines that would work well with her. She is an excellent trail dog, she keeps right by us and if she does chase something she can be called back easily. She will run beside the horses from front to back constantly like she is counting and making sure all of us are still with her. We live in east Mainville, and will be trying to find a stud fairly close.

3. She is a sable, and a beautiful one. We have talked about trying to get a little more brown on her. I know that you don't get to choose the colors of the pups, but we also know that certain color mixes can GENERALLY give an idea of what the pups will look like. Any suggestion on what we should look for?

4. I am researching the testing we need to do. We haven't done any bone or hip testing or certification yet (and I don't think her parents had the testing done either), but after I understand it better we expect to do the testing. That is of course if it would be worth it. I can face it - if her lines are not that great, then it might not be worth the extra cost. As a side note, we picked a good dog from great people - even if they didn't do all of the normal testing). So, In your opinion, it is worth it to get all of the tests done? If so, what would you recommend (remember I am still researching)?

5. If there is anyone out there with a stud dog that would be a good fit with Blah, please contact me!

This is a post I saw on a popular message board. It is the very definition of how to become a Backyard Breeder! I don't think I've ever seen a post from someone that screams "I shouldn't be doing this!" more than this one!

  1. Has no idea about the pedigree of the dog they want to breed
  2. She "lives up to the German Shepherd heritage" - not sure how they know this? The dog is a pet and has never been tested for anything. And what do they know about the breed? They don't know anything genetically about their dog, but it lives up to the standard?
  3. The dog really belongs to their 11 year old! Eleven year olds should not be whelping puppies "with some coaching". How will this kid feel if his dog dies in front of him? I think one of the main "you're a byb" reasons is "my kids need to experience this!" Whelping a litter can take 24 hours! It's messy, it's stressful and it can be terribly heartbreaking....yeah, good plan for an 11 year old!
  4. They comment that their dog isn't from "Professional" breeders - professional actually mean "for money" - what kind of breeder do they think they bought their dog from? Exactly the type they are aspiring to be! I never understand why people classify breeders as registered (there is no such thing) or professional instead of "bad" or "good" LOL
  5. They can't tell what lines their dog is - because it isn't. The pedigree doesn't show a title or health test for 4 or 5 generations. So they basically have a BYB / pet dog they think needs to be reproduced.
  6. Thinks their dog is DDR because her back doesn't slope (insert face palm emoji here!) and they keep saying DDR or East German like they are two different things.
  7. They are looking for a stud dog based on her pedigree and not the dog in front of them. I think the whole reason for the post is to have someone jump up and down and say "use my dog!" - but maybe I'm wrong. Breeders don't but posts like this on message boards. They might ask if anyone knows of a stud that meets their requirements, but they already know what they are looking for - that is what breeding is!
  8. "She is sable, a beautiful one" - what shows has she been entered in? They want a little more brown on her?? Translated I think that means pigment - but they are putting colour second after pedigree - which is quite common with bad breeders.
  9. "Is it worth getting all the test done" - good grief! "I don't think her parents had the testing done either" - they have no idea what tests to do, they purchased a dog from a bad breeder who did no health testing (and probably generations of the same) yet the only thing they think is important is finding out what lines she is and how to produce different colours.

I'm sure people like this have good intentions but it's really sad for the breed. The replies were well thought out and polite and the original poster didn't have a fit (like most do) - I would bet they still breed the dog.

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these are german shepherds!

December 9, 2020

One of the questions on my questionnaire is "Why a German Shepherd Dog and not a Golden Retriever or a Boxer? (please be specific in regards to the traits found in the GSD and not in other breeds)". This is not a difficult question (I added the part in parentheses after I noticed the replies were not very specific.) but maybe I'm wrong.

The number one adjective I get is "loyal". Now, I've never owned another breed of dog but I have met a few and I have friends who own other breeds and I've yet to meet a dog that wasn't faithful to their owner.

I ask this question for a reason - a very important reason - because if you want a Golden Retriever that just LOOKS like a GSD, my dogs are not for you.

The other adjectives that are most commonly used are active, intelligent and protective. The first two apply to many breeds, the last is something that you train. When I scroll down to the "how much formal obedience are you planning to do" it is usually very vague. People think GSDs are naturally protective. This is a subject for debate but I know my dogs and they aren't going to protect my property because I've never trained them to and to me, they are much more important than my television. As per my FAQ page, they will definitely bark if someone knocks on the door!

The same people who want a dog that is protective will return it in a second if it ever growls at another dog or person.

Next time, buy a doodle!

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are people that desperate?

December 3, 2020

I was looking at the Kijiji advertisements for German Shepherd puppies and this is what I found.

  1. Mix puppies selling for $2700! Mother is "full king shepherd" and father is half lab half shepherd.... $2,700!! wow!
  2. $1500 or $3000 depending on what colour you want (for some reason the black puppies are DOUBLE the price! No mention of anything but price and colour.
  3. $2300 - unregistered
  4. Czech/DDR "lines" - no mention of titles or price
  5. $2000 - very fuzzy photos, no info and the male is $200 more
  6. $1950, no papers. The mother and father both love to ride in the car! The father is working on the first level of scent detection but the ad says the puppy comes from titled and health tested (no mention of what) dogs.
  7. $3500 Poland imports. I'm not sure you can register a dog with Polish paper with the CKC
  8. $1700 mix...mix of what? "awaiting DNA results" - serious inquiries only!
  9. $2500 - no papers
  10. $1500 - mixed with terrier...pit bull is not mentioned, but that is the mix
  11. $3500 - Import, no other info

I have no words!

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service dogs

December 1, 2020

I listened to a podcast on the weekend about fake service dogs and I've also seen many discussions about all the uses for dogs on Facebook. The podcast had some glaring mistakes in it (wondering why they were never corrected?) about service dogs and I think that goes right with the whole situation surrounding them.

There are 4 terms that get confused or cross over with the general public - Service dog, therapy dog, guide dog and ESA (Emotional Support Animal). These are 4 completely different types of dog "jobs". A guide dog is used to guide the visually impaired, a therapy dog provides therapy to ill persons (by being petted, read to ect..), an ESA dog provides emotional support to someone who has a mental health issue and a service dog provides a service for someone with a disability.

I am very weary about selling a puppy for any of these jobs and I will explain why. In my opinion, a guide dog is the most important of these jobs and if you look into the success rate of dogs in this field you will find out that it's not high. This is completely understandable because it is a very stressful job for a dog. Guide dog training is usually done through an organization and dogs are sent to a puppy raiser before starting to train. You need the right type of dog for this job and although I think my dogs are qualified in many ways for this type of work, I won't sell them to an organization. Guide dogs are allowed everywhere by law.

Therapy work is not hard to train for (Caper from my C litter passed this test - I don't think any others have even tried) but therapy work is not for high drive, high energy dogs. Therapy dogs are not allowed everywhere.

ESA - as per my FAQ page, I will not sell a dog for this purpose. Again, high energy, high drive dogs are not the type of animal to provide emotional support. I also think that 90% of the animals I hear doing this "job" are just basically pets that are being taken places for fun. ESA animals do not have access rights to public spaces.

This leaves Service Dogs. Again, I don't want to sell a puppy to be a service dog. The 'job' of service dog represents so many things - detecting an oncoming seizure, picking up objects, moving a person out of a situation that will cause a panic attack etc.. Are the dogs I produce able to do these things? Probably? But when you need a dog to live, guide dog or service dog, you shouldn't start out with a puppy that is a crap shoot. I have purchased two different dogs for the sport of Schutzhund that didn't work out. One didn't work out in the sport, the other's temperament was not conducive to my home life. The realization that these dogs were not going to fulfill my requirements was devastating. Both dogs were over a year old so all that time that I had put into them was wasted. The desire to compete in SchH is nothing compared to needing a dog to live. When I read FB pages it sometimes looks like the majority of the population needs a service dog! Service dogs are granted access to public spaces.

The fake service dog situation is not as apparent where I live. Then again, I haven't been anywhere in a long time so maybe it is on the rise. The podcast was basically about people just slapping "SERVICE DOG" patches on their dogs and then taking them everywhere. One of the big mistakes on the podcast was they said you were entitled to ask the service dog handler what their disability was. No, you are not ever allowed to do that! That is against our human rights. You are allowed to ask the handler IF they are disabled and what service the dog provides. Most of the podcast was about flying dog inside the cabin. I have flown with a dog many times, and the last place I want them is in the cabin with me. They are better off in their crate. They probably have more room than I do! The host of the podcast suggested airlines remove a row of seats to provide kennels for dogs in the cabin!! I found that part hilarious! He must not know what airlines charge for their seats  (because he wanted to charge about $200 for the dog) and I'm not sure exactly how this would keep the other passengers from having to listen to barking dogs or smelling them either. I think he mentioned putting up a curtain LOL

Below is a photo of Emmy in the Vancouver Airport. I took her to California years ago to breed (it didn't take) and we had a 5 hour layover in the airport. She was probably 4 at the time and made me so proud handling it all in stride. I took her on the escalator, into the washrooms and around thousands of people - no issues. The second photo is her in a hotel in Syracuse.

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here we go again

December 1, 2020

Kew had her ultrasound last night and is now confirmed pregnant. Small litter of maybe 3 or 4 (very hard to tell and that wasn't the focus of the ultrasound). We got to see the puppies actually barking in there!

The 'G' litter will arrive December 18th and be ready to go home around February 18, 2021.

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off switch

November 26, 2020

Many puppy buyers talk about an "off switch".

I recently posted a photo on my Facebook page of Fredi napping on my couch and a breeder commented that her dogs would never do that. Is this an off switch? My dogs have always curled up on the couch, on a dog bed or on the floor in their favourite spot. They do not need to be crated to switch off.

I just skimmed through the GSD bible 'The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture' and what I find from the breed creator is that the GSD should be given a place to rest, out of the way and taking into regard their desire to chew things. Most of us use crates now because they are safer, but a working dog should settle when the work is done for the day.

As you can see from the photos, they all seem to gravitate to the same spot.

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hate to tell you....

November 23, 2020

I saw an advertisement on Kijiji over the weekend...

"She is an 8 week old purebred German Shepherd puppy who carries the recessive white spotting gene, causing a discolouration making her a Piebald shepherd (also sometimes refereed to as a Panda Shepherd). the gene is rare making her a one of a kind puppy."

$3,600.00! There is absolutely no mention of the parent's health testing / titles, registered names...nothing....

I can just imagine the sucker that buys this incredibly rare puppy! For its whole life, he/she will be trying to convince people that the dog is a purebred GSD.

As you can tell from the photos (although I'm guessing someone won't be able to tell) - the dog is NOT a German Shepherd.

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finding littermates

November 16, 2020

I belong to a few Facebook groups that are - surprise.... all about German Shepherd Dogs!

I constantly see people posting their dog's photo accompanied by their date of birth and asking if anyone else has one from that litter.

These dogs are most likely from litters posted on Kijiji or maybe from a sign on a front lawn (or the back of a pick up in the Wal-Mart parking lot?). They most likely are not registered pure-bred dogs or it would be fairly easy to post a kennel name or look up siblings on an online pedigree database.

One thing I do for my puppy buyers is invite them to join a FB group solely for other von Tighe Haus buyers. You can see your puppy's siblings grow and talk to the other owners about milestones or issues. It also lets me see my dogs as they mature and alerts me to anything I should know about.

Pick your breeder wisely!

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new titles and accomplishments

November 14, 2020

Big breeder brag for me!

Cia von Tighe Haus (Checker vom Speedteam Bodensee x Phyre vom Patiala - our C Litter) achieved her IGP 1 with her handler Paul Novosad. Title earned at the New Tec Working Dog Club under judge Lisa Little 96-85-88. This is definitely the hardest title to achieve in the sport - very proud of them both!

Not such a huge accomplishment is to Fredi who won (3 way tie) the Ottawa Working Dog Club second annual fall tracking competition with 17 tracks in October. The best part is that they were all really nice tracks! (Second best part were the awesome prizes!!)

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pandemic puppies continue...

November 12, 2020

The phone calls keep coming, the emails, the "chat" messages.... Everyone wants a puppy!

Had a couple of favourites lately. First was someone who messaged me through the website and wanted to be put on the list for a black or chocolate Labrador! Now most of the time I think these inquiries are just my friends playing games with me, so I replied "LOLOL". The reply came back "oops, sorry, any colour german shepherd". No joke! I replied back that they were too picky!

Another favourite was the person who used the contact form on the website to ask me no less than THIRTY questions! Instead of answering any of them (because the answers can all be found on the website), I replied back "let me ask you a question....have you read ANY of the website?" They answered back apologetically that my website was not loading properly and they were having computer issues. I'm not sure why anyone would want to buy a puppy from a breeder they think is that stupid??

Luckily most of the phone calls are short and sweet. "Do you have any puppies, no? okay thanks"

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why our price went up

October 16, 2020

I notice most breeders do not post their prices. I do because it is the number two question I get so why not post it? I don't charge different amounts for any puppy out of a litter and I don't have multiple litters at the same time so posting a price is not hard to do.

So why has the price gone up? The only prices I can really find are on Kijiji and taking that into consideration I looked at my costs and increased my price.

For my last litter, after paying for progesterone testing, stud fee and a c-section - I was out of pocket. This upcoming litter I expect maybe 4 puppies (going from past litters) and I am doing an automatic c-section so there will be still be very little profit. I'm not out to make a profit, but I do like to cover my costs and invest some dollars into the next litter or my dogs in general. This week the price of my food increased 35%.

The dogs I'm breeding are both IPO 3 titled, thoroughly health certified and breed surveyed. Compare apples to apples.

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the best laid plans

October 14, 2020

If by chance you were watching the puppy page you will notice that the breeding I had planned has changed.

My plan was to breed Kew to a dog named Emerik who resides in Southern California. I met this dog a few years ago and really thought it was the right fit for Kew. I did try a breeding with him (using a process called TCI - transcervical insemination) in 2019 but the breeding didn't take. TCI is an expensive process where you use a very expensive scope to find the dog's cervix and inject the semen directly into it.

When Kew was ready to be bred last time, it was at the height of the pandemic and I couldn't cross the border to bring her to SoCal (which was my plan). I ended up breeding to Irck and keeping Fredi. Now I'm trying to breed to Emerik again but it's not going to work. I still cannot bring Kew to SoCal and after finding a reproductive specialist near Montreal and hoping we could do a TCI with her, it turns out her scope is in the shop for repairs and won't be fixed until the end of November! Even going to Montreal might not be easy if there is a "red zone" between here and there.

So after considering all the options, I decided to repeat the F Litter and breed Kew to Irck again. Fredi is a great puppy so far and is exactly the type of dog I want to produce.

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public tracking

October 8, 2020

Today we went tracking in a public park. The park itself is huge - the field we use is probably about the size of 6 soccer fields. We were preparing to lay a track for Fredi when a woman pulled up and proceeded to let her two flabradoors (Fat Labradors) loose. No acknowledgment to us at all. We watched as she walked around the large field with her dogs at least 100 yards behind her (no idea how she could have picked up after them because she wasn't paying them any attention).

I laid Fredi's track far from the edge of the field and when she came back around, her off leash out of control dogs ran all over it and ate some of the food I had put down.

My teammates asked her to call her dogs - she couldn't get them back and her excuse was that she'd been going there for SEVENTEEN years!

I will never understand how people can claim public land as their own. Yes we use public parks, we lay tracks, we run tracks, our dogs are on-leash and we always pick up after them. We don't leave tracking flags or articles or markers or anything else when we leave. We will leave if something else is going on, we will nicely ask people if they can keep their dogs away from our tracks, we won't run a track when a loose dog is out, we will happily converse with strangers about what we are doing and why we do it. It's a public space and we are just borrowing it - as is everyone else.

Unless it's a designated off leash dog park (which I would NEVER go to) - you must keep your dog leashed. I wouldn't even care if you have your dog under control and can keep it from getting in the way of what other people are doing. But using the excuse that you've always done it is ridiculous.

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are you kidding me??

September 30, 2020

Someone called me yesterday to ask about an ad on Kijiji for a GSD. They were apprehensive about buying the dog because of the attitude of the seller. They were correct, they shouldn't buy the dog and I think they are glad they talked to me about it first.

I looked at the advertisement and I noticed the other ads for German Shepherd puppies. I couldn't believe what people are charging! $3,000.00 for a puppy! Yes, that is the same as my next litter, but the puppies they were selling were not nearly the same quality as mine will be. Extensively health tested, titled, breed surveyed parents versus....pets... Pets are great and all dogs should be pets, but if you breed, you must jump through breeding hoops that are costly and time consuming. This is why you charge a decent price for the puppies you are producing.

If I stayed home every weekend, never trialed (hotel bills, gas, entry fees, club fees, training fees etc...), slept in every morning instead of tracking, and spent all the money I pay in health testing certifications.... THEN charged $2K + for a puppy I wouldn't sleep at night. But I guess some people have no problem doing that.

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happy 6th birthday

September 24, 2020

Six years ago today I was waiting to see Emmy go into labour with her first litter. I was excited, but I was very nervous and scared that I'd lose her. When I noticed some green discharge, straight to the vet she went. My great vet (Dr. Kelly Ferguson) did an ultrasound on the puppies to see if they were contracting and then she did a c-section on Emmy.

I was happy that Emmy was having the c-section since that meant she was in great hands and nothing could happen to her! I had my "mid-woof", my vet and lots of vet-techs around us and I felt so much more confident.

I think that was at about 5:30. The first puppy in the horn was dead and he was the cause of the green discharge and the reason for the section. The other 5 puppies were just fine and were soon all cozy in a box waiting for Emmy to wake up and feed them. Emmy didn't wake up. They kept telling me everything was fine and she'd wake up any minute and be on her feet ready to go home. We fed the puppies. She still didn't wake up. We flipped her over and fed the puppies again. She still didn't wake up. After the third feeding and everyone telling me she'd wake up soon I was starting to get anxious - but they all knew what they were talking about so I tried not to show it.

The good part - Emmy finally woke up around 8:30. The bad part - she wanted nothing to do with the puppies. I slept next to her and made her feed them every hour or so. She growled at them until about 5am and by 10am I was comfortable enough to leave her alone with them. I was prepared for her reaction and true to form, she was the best mother.

My vet told me she was really surprised to see how relaxed and calm I was when Emmy wouldn't wake up. I said "but you kept telling me there was nothing to worry about!"

She was worried!

Happy 6th Birthday to Axis, Axel, Askew, Athena & Anthem

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more of the same

September 15, 2020

Puppies make you busy, but I'm also someone who "sells puppies" and I know what it's like to buy one so I really try to get back to people who ask me a question.

Over the weekend someone filled out my questionnaire, they replied to the auto reply and sent me a message through my contact page. They didn't ask me anything specific, but it does say on the questionnaire that if my dogs are not what you're looking for, I will let you know. So I did.... LOL

I will admit that I mostly wait until I'm at my computer because it's much easier to type. I usually won't write out more than a sentence on my phone because it's difficult and I never have my glasses on.

My questionnaire comes with trick questions - if you read the FAQ page you would easily see them. I have no interest in selling puppies to go to the dog park and I will not sell them as ESA dogs (Emotional Support Animals). If someone replies and ticks off those boxes (especially if they tick off more than one) - I will let them know that my dogs are not suitable. I have my reasons (mentioned on the FAQ page) and really, I don't need to have a reason - they are my dogs and I can sell them to whoever I want just as anyone can buy from whoever they want.

So the point of this rant... I mean news - is that if you want one of my dogs to use as a personal protection dog, when you have ZERO experience with a working dog, you have young children and you also want that same dog as an ESA and to go to the dog park - chances are I'm not going to sell you a puppy because you haven't got a clue! I will nicely tell you that my dogs are not suitable...but it really isn't what I mean.

This same person repeatedly spelled shepherd; shepard and sheppard, but when I made a typo on my reply (see above about the phone and the glasses) and said "chicken" instead of "children" (how they wouldn't realize it was a type is beyond me!) I was pretty much yelled at.

I may start not even replying - or I could do what a rescue I've heard of does - charge $10 for every questionnaire! Then I will take the time to really tell you what I think ;-)

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