Where Did This Come From?

So I know I stated I was going to start some puppy blogs, but there has been a temporary stop to that. I’ve just become overwhelmingly busy with work, my own dogs, KPA, and collar making. I feel like even when I get down time my mind is still going  100 miles per hour. So I hope after next weekend (first KPA workshop) I can settle down for a bit and blog some. But for now, I’ll leave you with the funky chicken.

We just love Delta's chicken!!!

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy.

You can always find Doc on his back somewhere. Crazy pup!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Then Where Do I Find One?

It was brought to my attention that I should also speak about WHERE to find a reputable breeder.

It is usually recommended to start with a local breed club. Sometimes this can be in your town, sometimes this can be five towns over. Even if the club isn’t exactly ‘local’ they should always be willing to help you and lead you in the right direction. Here is an example of a local breed club. This is the club I am a member of. Breed clubs sanctioned by the AKC will throw puppy matches and breed specialties. There will be lots of members that are involved in lots of different dog sports. There are also the national breed clubs. So your local breed clubs are kind of like the city, the national breed clubs like the state, and the AKC like Washington DC. Now, there are ethical breeders that do UKC, and some breeds are not recognized by the AKC, and you will have to do the same amount of work to find a reputable breeder through them also.

Doc stacking with his breeder

Usually the breed clubs will recommend you check out a dog show. I think these are great places to meet and learn about the breed you’re interested in! It can seem very intimidating walking into a place with people and dogs running around, but really, you’re just another person there to watch. As long as you don’t interrupt someone while they’re preparing to go in the ring, they’re generally very kind! Who doesn’t love to talk about their favorite breed. You can see the dog’s behavior both in and out of the ring. People can give you advice and answer any questions you have. A lot of people there are also breeders and so they can give you their websites or business cards and you can go snooping to see if they are really a good breeder by your new standards.

I think for most reputable breeders, you will find out about them through word of mouth or stumbling across their websites. They don’t advertise their puppies on craigslist, kijiji, etc. They don’t post their puppies on puppy sale websites. They don’t hang fliers on the corner of the most busy street of the city. A good reputable breeder has good puppies and people want them. They don’t need to beg with signs or posts for people to buy their puppies because half the time most of them are already on a waiting list before they’re born.

Take the time to look for a good breeder and to get to know them before you take one of their puppies. You want to be confident you’re going home with a good, healthy, even tempered dog.

If anyone else wants to add on to where to find a reputable breeder, please feel free to comment below!

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Puppy Buyer Beware: All Breeders are NOT Equal!

Delta while still in her breeder's care

You read that right! All breeder’s are not created equal, and finding a good one takes a lot of research and time. Buying a puppy should never be done on impulse, and a good breeder would never let you buy on an impulse. I feel this is a really important subject near and dear to my heart because there used to be so many problems with the dalmatian breed, and it’s because of breeder’s who are doing it for the wrong reason or just generally don’t do the research before they decide to breed. Below I have listed a few things you should look for in a breeder before deciding to buy one of their puppies.

1. Health testing on the parents: I cannot stress enough how important this is. A lot of your puppy is genetic, and for your puppy to start off on the right foot, the parents need to be healthy also. There are different tests for each breed. If your puppy’s parents have their CHIC number, that’s awesome because you know they have taken the time to test their dog’s for the breed’s most common problems. Here is the example for the dalmatian and what they need for their CHIC number. Once the dog’s tests have been done, the results are sent to CHIC and they get a number specific to that dog. This makes it easy for potential buyers to look up that parent’s information.

Doc and his two brothers being wrangled by their breeder. :) Doc is on the left.

With health testing, should come a knowledge about the breed this breeder has picked. They should know the ups and downs of the breed, and common breed problems. Knowing the problems can help the breeder to breed away from those problems, or know there is a chance it may show up in their lines. They should have knowledge on genetics so they know, when you bring a and b, you’ll get c. They should be able to tell you why they chose the sire for the dam and what they hope each parent brings to the puppies. (I.E. Mom has a gorgeous head but doesn’t have an AMAZING rear head, however dad has an AMAZING rear end so the breeder hopes the father can bring the rear end into their line.)

2. Titles on the parents:Be it conformation or performance. This shows me that the breeders are active with their dogs and really care about how they perform and their body structure. Sure, you say, “But I don’t want a show dog, just a family dog.” But you know what, you want a family dog that’s going to last, right? A dog that titles in conformation tells me that it meets breed standard and should have a body that is ready to work and should carry that dog through the rest of it’s long life. Performance titles show me that it CAN work and has a good enough body structure that should carry the dog through the rest of it’s long life.

Doc's BEAUTIFUL mother who has her CH in conformation

Particularly, obedience titles/rally titles show me that the dog has a good head on its shoulders and is willing to put in the effort to have good teamwork with it’s owner. Other sports such as agility, schutzhund, flyball, tracking, lure coursing, etc. shows me the dogs are good at what they are bred for and have the structure to excel at it. So while you may never aspire to do any of these things with your dogs, it really is good to see in the parents because you know they can work and they are of sound body and mind.

Oh, and to add, you really want to see these titles on the PARENTS. Anything past grandma and grandpa really doesn’t directly connect to how your puppy may end up. Saying you have champion blood lines doesn’t mean a thing to me unless the parents are also champions. A lot can happen in one generation to a dog’s conformation. And not always for the best.

3. Health Guarantee: A three year health guarantee on a puppy does me no good. I want to see a lifetime health guarantee on genetic problems. If this problem is from the parent’s lineage, I want that breeder to take responsibility. A puppy will hardly ever show genetic problems before age three.

Doc at four weeks old

4. Taking the Puppy Back:A reputable breeder will always take the puppy back if you can no longer care for it. It hurts them just as much as the rescuers to see all of the dogs in rescue that are of their breed. A reputable breeder never wants to add to that problem. Now don’t expect your money back if you need to get rid of the dog, but at least you know they will have a good home and a good chance at being rehomed.

Delta at two months old

5. Visiting the Home: When you go to visit your puppy, they should always allow you to see all of the puppies and the mother. Sometimes the semen is shipped in or the sire is owned by someone else so he may not always be there. But they should always be willing to share the sire’s information.

Two months old, what a pretty girl!

6. You Pay for What you Get:Sure, this breeder’s pups may be way more expensive than the breeder down the street, but you pay for what you get. If the breeder is reputable, you know at least most, if not all, the money you are paying was put into raising this litter. Reputable breeders hardly make any money off their litters, and sometimes they even lose it. This is where research comes in. Research many different breeders (reputable) and see where the price range usually lies. You’ll find out what the average is for your breed so you can know what you are expected to pay for a good puppy.

Doc, three weeks old

7. The Interview:Yes, a good breeder will interview you. Yes, they expect you to know something of the breed you are about to buy. They will tell you both the good and the bad about the dog you are about to bring home. You wouldn’t let just anyone come watch your children, and they won’t let just anyone take their puppies away from them. Those puppies will always be a representation of that breeder.

1 week puppies!

8. Spay/Neuter Contract:I would expect all puppies to be sold on a spay/neuter contract unless you show true eagerness to show, in which case they will take you under their wing and help you become a great representation of them and their line of dogs. At which age the spay/neuter should happen is up to the breeder, and I have my own opinions as to when it should be… but at least it is there so they know no unwanted pregnancies can occur in their line. These puppies are their line, and not all dogs are good enough to breed. This should be left up to a professional (breeder) and should not be your average pet owner’s decision.

Getting bigger! 3 months!

9. Care of the Puppies:Obviously the breeder should be willing to tell you what they do with the puppies, what they feed, etc. You should generally agree with everything they do with the puppies. This is where I can add in, research the food they are feeding!!! And find a good food for you to feed your puppy at the same time. Not all foods are equal, and generally, grocery store bought foods equals BAD BAD BAD. Read the ingredients!

Generally puppies are not able to leave mother until at least 8 weeks, many people don’t release until 9 or 10 weeks. This is not selfish, and while it may be hard to wait, PLEASE DO!!!! These weeks are so vital for the puppies to still be together. It will help them in the long run with bite inhibition and how to play appropriately with other dogs. These weeks are sooo important. Just because they are on solid foods does not mean they are ready to leave. Quite the contrary!

Doc, 2 months, already in love with sissy :)

10. Little Bits and Pieces:Here are some other random things I felt don’t need their own bullet point, but are still very important. They NEVER sell to pet stores… they keep their puppies until they are gone. Doc’s breeder held onto his brother until he was 9 months old. Will hopefully want to start a relationship with you. Breeders love to hear how their puppies are doing after they are gone. They want to stay connected with you. They can give you references from vets and previous puppy buyers.

I loved my breeder so much, I trusted her with my second spot. :)

Yes, buying a puppy is a lot of work. AS IT SHOULD BE! If you take the time to find a good breeder and a healthy puppy, you will be so happy in the long run. There is less chance that you will have health problems in the long run, including behavioral problems (of course this also deals with socialization of the puppy before 16 weeks and training). You will always have a friend in your breeder because they love to hear about their puppies.

This post has really got me in the puppy fever, so I think I’m going to start a small series about Frequent Problems with Puppies. I hope this blog reaches at least one person thinking about buying a puppy and leads them in the right direction.

A beautiful representation of their breed

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Busy Busy Busy, No Time for Blog?

Ahh, my life went from 0 to 60 in 2.5  seconds I swear! I haven’t had downtime in quite awhile!

My beautiful 11 month old! Sometimes he still looks puppyish :)

Delta double q-ed on her second trial day. She got first in both STD and JWW Nov. so I was super proud of her. She’s really learning to calm down on the side lines. I was able to sit next to the ring with her a couple dogs before our turn. She offered a lay on her side and happily licked at the peanut butter I had. This was big for a dog who doesn’t enjoy being down at any time. Her STD run was BEAUTIFUL! No missing jumps (she had a tendency to run around a few, come back, and then jump them.) I’ve been trying to see if maybe I’m pressing her too much towards the jump, causing her to go around. So now she only needs one more STD run for her title and two JWW. Qualifying scores of course!

Doc Doc is not shy!

Doc has been chilling with me. He takeshis CGC in two weeks. He’s had bad experiences at the place we’re taking it so I don’t know if we’ll pass, but that’s okay. Good practice. He has shown limited reactivity in the fact that he can occasionally overcorrect a dog for meeting face to face on leash or when he gets tired and has had enough of anything. (Being humped after he’s done playing) So my homework for the week was to get him around as many dogs as possible and I’d say we did a good job. Two days ago I went to my trainer friend, Laurie’s CGC class. Buchele’s K9 Service. The day we went was their dog greeting class, so we practiced the CGC approach, sit, hello, and walk away. Doc did great with that. He did very well on his supervised separation also.

Shayne, Rio, and Doc existing peacefully.

Yesterday we went down to Boardman, OH to meet my friend Tena Parker of Success Just Clicks to work on some BAT and LAT. Doc did amazingly well and with some tweaks from Tena, we were working really well together. I was super impressed with my little man. Also with her Shayne who used to have a lot of problems when she first got her. We went on some trail walks and Rio immediately decided they were to be friends. Lol Doc was a little uncertain of the pushy Rio for a few minutes and then  just realized he’s a super friendly dog and they became friends. They even had some wrestle time until Rio would bark, and then all done. Lol A few dogs passed up and we worked on our look at that game. It was so much fun, I didn’t even notice the time and ended up missing Delta’s agility class. Lol I decided to see if anyone was at the dog park, and no one was, so we stopped so Doc could have some off leash time. A Catahoula showed up, and I was getting ready to leave, but she came in too fast, and Doc didn’t even mind. They were pretty similar in age and played extremely well together. A few other dogs trickled in and Doc didn’t have a problem. I decided to leave before anything happened. Overall I was very happy with how everything turned out. I hope I can get him to the CGC place and calmed down before our test so he won’t be so on edge.

Rio and Doc love

Okay, sometimes not so peacefully

KPA is going really well. We’re starting to get into the training portion of the class so it’s going to be a lot of fun. My first workshop is Aug. 28th, I’m super excited!

The collar business is doing much better than I expected! They’re coming out really cute and I’ve seen them in action, so I know they can handle a pully dog. (My friend’s dog wore his while dock diving) I just got an order for a tiny tiny collar, so if it works out, I’ll be offering those too. *Cough Dee Cough* Lol

For a boxer that belongs to a family in Zac's unit. One of Zac's best friends actually.

Being busy is good though, my husband’s date to leave is September 14th, exactly one month after Delta’s birthday and a couple days after Doc’s. We will miss him.

1.5 inch green zebra collar

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

SPOTless Designs

I’m happy to finally be able to say I have finally came up with a name for my what you’d call business of sorts. Lol ^^^ Yeah, it’s up there. :-D I think it’s cute and it grows on me with time. Of course after I came up with this, a friend suggested Rock the Doc Collars, which is super cute too. But I think I’ll stick with SPOTless Designs. Lol The facebook portal on the side >>> over there, is for my facebook page. You should all like it if you have a facebook. My favorite part about collar makers is the frequent giveaways they have for their collars, so of course I won’t be short on those!!!

Anyways, here is the small picture I made for my name… I currently don’t have my photoshop on this computer, so this picture will have to do. :) Got Spots? Shall Enjoy!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

So Much To Update On!

Well, I have lots of things to update. Like collar making, Delta’s agility, and the spotty swim time.

I’ll start with Delta’s Agility. This weekend was her second trial. We just attended Sunday as mom had to work on Saturday. Well we started with Jumpers and missed a Q by ONE SECOND! But she did very well with her start line stay and did her weaves. Delta was one of the last dogs to run on Sunday in the Standard course. Mostly everyone was gone and I was more calm because I was tired from the all day event and we hadn’t Qed our Jumpers course. (By the way, a jumpers course only uses jumps, weaves, and tunnels while the standard uses the contacts also.) Well, Delta was tired by the end too and did her start line stay with no spotted border collie crouch, and so we were off. The first thing after the jump was the dog walk, which she nailed her contact wonderfully (two on two off). Then the weaves, which we messed up on, but with Delta being sensitive I didn’t want to push her, so we continued to the teeter. Another wonderful contact behavior. She gave another good contact on the A frame and the table and we ended up with OUR FIRST Q! And better yet, she took FIRST PLACE!!! I was so happy! It’s nice to have that first one out of the way. Maybe I won’t feel as stressed anymore. The pictures will be up tomorrow or the next day so I’ll remember to post them.

The collar making is going wonderfully. I have my first few orders which I’m super excited to do. I made my friend a few for her dogs and cat for their birthdays. Here are a few pictures of some collars I have made.

3/4 inch to 2 inch

Delta in her yellow/black ribbon quick release. I love this one.

2 inch marti for Delta. I LOVE this fabric.

1 inch for my In Laws beagle, Remy. I LOVE the coloring on this one.

Doc's ACU 2 inch marti. LOVE it. Zac helped me make it. My friend wants a 1.5 inch with a yellow ribbon down the center. HOW CUTE! I will be making Delta one too and we might start a separate business to sell these to military families.

So the collar making is going great. Once I got a hang of it, I’ve really enjoyed it and I love seeing the end results.

Awhile ago the dogs finally started jumping from the deck into the pool without the steps. They love it… Doc ended up with a bad ear infection so we can’t go swimming for a bit… but they can’t wait to do it again. I’ll need to put some cotton in Doc’s ear or something and make sure to really use the ear drying powder well. I believe the water is what caused this infection.

Delta was jumping from the top of the deck without stepping down before, but of course I didn’t get it on video. Lol

All in all, we’ve been having a blast together and taking classes. Doc is currently in his CGC class and Delta is doing agility and we are helping out a fellow friend (trainer) Laurie, start up her CLASS class. She became an official evaluator for APDT’s new CLASS program. You can check it out at http://www.mydoghasclass.com It’s like the CGC except I think it really shows the relationship between you and your dog and how you two work together as a team in real life situations.

I’m currently reading Control Unleashed and then will watch the seminar videos for CU courtesy of a fellow blogger, Donna! She was so kind to send them to me to let me watch them. I hope this will help build my relationship with my dogs and help with Doc’s small reactivity he has when he meets a dog face to face.

Oh yeah! :-D I also began my studies in the Karen Pryor Academy. So far I’m having a blast and can’t wait to get into the thick of it. :)

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My First Attempt Wasn’t Bad!

So since quite a few months ago I’ve wanted to start making my own collars so bad! But I didn’t have a sewing machine! Well, my lovely aunt bought me one for my graduation/birthday! :) So I tried to do my first attempt at a collar today and it turned out pretty darn well!

This one was for Doc and it is a 1.5 inch ribbon overlay. My first line of thread I did was a little too far away so I had to play with how I wanted to feed it through to get close enough to the edge. The second time was much better! Now I just have to work on staying steady and even the whole time. This is when smaller necks will be nice! LOL! Anyways, here are a few pictures of the collar, with Doc modeling in some of them. :)

Whole Collar

Doc modeling collar showing hardware from Strapworks.com

Doc modeling collar showing off fabric

Got Spots? Shall Enjoy.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments