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Archive for May, 2007

Housebreaking Your New Puppy

Monday, May 28th, 2007

The most immediate concern of new dog owners is that of housebreaking the pet. In order to accomplish this task, the essential principle that the owner must recognize is that it is always the desire of the dog to please its master. Nothing can give the dog greater pleasure than to know that its actions have met with approval; nothing can cause the dog greater displeasure than to know that its behavior has called forth disapproval.

When the dog performs its functions properly, it should be rewarded by a profusion of endearing words, by petting, or even with a tidbit.

It must also be remembered that these expressions of approval or disapproval must be made immediately after the animal performs or is about to perform. If there is a delay of even a moment, the animal simply will not associate the praise or punishment with its natural functions, and will be at a complete loss to understand the favorable or unfavorable outbursts on the part of the owner. In any case, the owner must be rigidly consistent in his/her rewards in the housebreaking routine.

For the speed with which housebreaking will be accomplished depends on the owner’s diligence in maintaining that consistency. It must further be borne in mind that a dog does not have a human mentality; so a reasonable amount of patience in training will be required.

Very young puppies, say between the ages of six weeks to two months, are usually first broken to paper indoors. This is commonly accomplished by lifting the animal and placing it on paper as soon as any “danger signals” are noticed.

When the animal becomes strong enough and if the weather is agreeable, the animal is broken to the outside. With older pups, or with pups acquired during the warm seasons, it will save time to break the animal directly to the outside.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Monday, May 28th, 2007

welsh springer spanielLike the English Springer, the Welsh Springer has only very recently come into existence officially, that is to say; but his admirers claim for him that he has existed as a separate breed for a long time, though not beyond the bounds of the Principality, where he is referred to as the Starter.

When his claims were first put forward they were vigorously contested by many who could claim to speak and write with authority upon the various breeds of Spaniels existing in these islands, and it was freely asserted that they were nothing but crossbreds between the ordinary Springer and probably a Clumber in order to account for the red or orange markings and the vine-leaf-shaped ears.

Even if they are a new breed, they are a most meritorious one, both in their appearance, which is eminently sporting and workmanlike, and for the excellence of their work in the field, which has been amply demonstrated by the record earned at the field trials by Mr. A. T.  Williams and others, but those who have seen them at work have nothing but good to say of them, and for working large rough tracts of country in teams their admirers say they are unequalled.

In appearance they are decidedly attractive, rather more lightly built than most Spaniels, small in size, indeed very little larger than Cockers, invariably white in colour, with red or orange markings, and possessing rather fine heads with small Clumber shaped ears. Their general appearance is that of extremely smart and active little dogs.

The Welsh Springer is described by the Sporting Spaniel Society as follows:

SKULL: Fairly long and fairly broad, slightly rounded with a stop at the eyes.

JAWS: Medium length, straight, fairly square, the nostrils well developed, and flesh coloured or dark. A short, chubby head is objectionable.

EYES: Hazel or dark, medium size, not prominent, not sunken, nor showing haw.

EARS: Comparatively small and gradually narrowing towards the tip, covered with feather not longer than the ear, set moderately low and hanging close to the cheeks.

NECK: Strong, muscular, clean in throat.

SHOULDERS: Long and sloping.

FORE-LEGS: Medium length, straight, good bone, moderately feathered.

BODY: Strong, fairly deep, not long, well-sprung ribs.  Length of body should be proportionate to length of leg.

LOIN: Muscular and strong, slightly arched, well coupled up and knit together.

HIND-QUARTERS AND HIND-LEGS: Strong; hocks well let down; stifles moderately bent (not twisted in or out), not feathered below the hock on the leg.

FEET: Round, with thick pads.

STERN: Low, never carried above the level of the back, feathered, and with a lively motion.

COAT: Straight or flat, and thick.

COLOUR: Red or orange and white.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Symmetrical, compact, strong, merry, active, not stilty, built for endurance and activity, and about 28 lb. and upwards in weight, but not exceeding 45 lb

English Springer Spaniel

Monday, May 28th, 2007

English Springer SpanielIt is only quite recently that the Kennel Club has officially recognised the variety known by the name at the head of this section. For a long time the old-fashioned liver and white, or black Spaniels, longer in the leg than either Sussex or Field Spaniels, had been known as Norfolk Spaniels, and under this title the Spaniel Club has published a description of them.

There had, however, been a considerable amount of discussion about the propriety of this name of “Norfolk,” and the weight of the evidence adduced went to show that as far as any territorial connection with the county of that name went, it was a misnomer, and that it probably arose from the breed having been kept by one of the Dukes of Norfolk, most likely that one quoted by Blaine in his Rural Sports, who was so jealous of his strain that it was only on the expressly stipulated condition that they were not to be allowed to breed in the direct line that he would allow one to leave his kennels.

But, when this old breed was taken up by the Sporting Spaniel Society, they decided to drop the name of “Norfolk,” and to revert to the old title of “Springer,” not, perhaps, a very happy choice, as all Spaniels are, properly speaking, Springers in contradistinction to Setters.

The complete official designation on the Kennel Club’s register is “English Springers other than Clumbers, Sussex, and Field,” a very clumsy name for a breed. There is no doubt that this variety of Spaniel retains more resemblance to the old strains which belonged to our forefathers, before the long and low idea found favour in the eyes of exhibitors, and it was certainly well worth preserving. 

The only way nowadays by which uniformity of type can be obtained is by somebody having authority drawing up a standard and scale of points for breeders to go by, and the Sporting Spaniel Society are to be commended for having done this for the breed under notice, the fruit of their action being already apparent in the larger and more uniform classes to be seen at shows.

As the officially recognised life of the breed has been such a short one, there are naturally not very many names of note among the prize-winners. The principal breeders and owners have so far been Mr. W. Arkwright, Mr. Harry Jones, Sir Hugo FitzHerbert, Mr. C. C.  Bethune Eversfield, and Mr. Winton Smith.

They are undoubtedly the right dogs for those who want Spaniels to travel faster and cover more ground than the more ponderous and short-legged Clumbers, Sussex, or Field Spaniels do, but their work is hardly equal in finish and precision to that of either of the two former breeds.

The following revised description of the English Springer has been issued by the Sporting Spaniel Society:

SKULL: Long and slightly arched on top, fairly broad, with a stop, and well-developed temples.

JAWS: Long and broad, not snipy, with plenty of thin lip.

EYES: Medium size, not too full, but bright and intelligent, of a rich brown.

EARS: Of fair length, low set, and lobular in shape.

NECK: Long, strong, and slightly arched. 

SHOULDERS: Long and sloping.

FORE-LEGS: Of a moderate length, straight, with flat strong bone.

BODY: Strong, with well-sprung ribs, good girth, and chest deep and fairly broad.

LOIN: Rather long, strong, and slightly arched.

HIND-QUARTERS AND HIND-LEGS: Very muscular, hocks well let down, stifles moderately bent, and not twisted inwards or outwards.

FEET: Strong and compact.

STERN: Low carried, not above the level of the back, and with a vibratory motion. 

COAT: Thick and smooth or very slightly wavy, it must not be too long. The feathering must be only moderate on the ears, and scanty on the legs, but continued down to the heels.

COLOUR:Liver and white and black and white (with or without tan), fawn and white, yellow and white, also roans and self colours of all these tints. The pied colours are preferable, however, as more easily seen in cover.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: An active compact dog, upstanding, but by no means stilty.His height at shoulder should about equal his length from the top of the withers to the root of the tail.