How we must change as breeders – and why.

A football field of dogs. OK, sports fans, imagine standing on the 50-yard line and looking at an entire football field full of Cardigan Corgis.  Thousands of dogs, representing the entire worldwide population of the breed. It is your job to get the breed from this football field to the next field, the field twenty years from now. You can use any of the thousands of dogs in this field, and success will be measured by whether …

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We’re breeders – why are we anti-breeding?

Good breeders never breed back to back. I’ve been in the breed fifteen years and have bred only three litters. Did you see that Harriet had FIVE litters this year? I guess she’s our new puppy mill, huh? Ladies, check out Gloria’s new litter – and you know she’s still got those four-month-olds from the last one! I’m glad to see puppy registrations decline; we should all be breeding less. Spend more than five minutes …

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How to develop a new dog breed

Whenever we start talking about the fact that there’s a right way and a wrong way to breed dogs, there’s an immediate rebuttal: All breeds were originally developed by crossing existing dogs, so why is the option suddenly a bad one now? The answer, though some dog fanciers will argue with me, is that it’s NOT a bad option. Dogs are happiest when they are working and doing a job. If there are new jobs …

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The myth of kennel blindness

Hang out with show breeders for any length of time, and you’ll hear it. “She’s so kennel-blind,” or “Classic kennel blindness.” What this is supposed to mean is that people fall in love with their own dogs so much that they can’t see what’s wrong with them in terms of conformation. They therefore continue down a path of mediocrity and will never produce the quality that they should. It’s usually said with great superiority and …

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Cardigan puppy socialization

If you look at the Cardigan breed across the entire world, let’s be honest with ourselves. They’re a spooky, shy mess. They can’t stand still on the table, they flinch when you reach for them, they hide in corners when you walk in the room. They get a panicked note in their barking when they see strangers. I believe, ONE HUNDRED MILLION PERCENT, that this is NOT genetic. I believe it’s because most Cardigan breeders …

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How short for dog toenails?

I asked this on Facebook, but I am going to ask here as well because I would love to get opinions. I usually tell puppy buyers to keep puppy nails “hidden in the hair,” meaning that no part of the nail shows when the dog is standing normally. Cardigans are so vulnerable to their feet getting flattened and turned out (and nails are a big part of that) that I am super careful about length. …

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Is the dog fancy at a tipping point?

Is the dog fancy at a tipping point?

This blog post is making the rounds, and is being passed along from person to person on Facebook and so on. It makes some good points, and has some decent advice, but I think the attitude is totally wrong. COMPLETELY. Because it’s one more post talking about how fantastic we all are and how we’re being victimized by the evil animal rights movement that doesn’t understand us and they’ve turned the public against us. Dude, …

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Happy 2013

Happy 2013

Hello, my friends! I know the blog has been woeful for 2012, but that’s honestly fine with me. 2012 can BITE ME ON THE WEEN. It was an incredibly sucktastic year and I am not sorry to see it go. Let’s do a roundup-slash-Christmas-letter, and then I am going to leave aught-twelve behind like a bad habit. Doug is still looking for work (he was laid off at the end of October, after 14 years …

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Privacy and happiness, hopefully coinciding.

Today, I heard something about myself. This was news to me, because last time I checked (about five minutes ago) it wasn’t true. This person knew it, though, because three and a half months ago I talked on Facebook about something totally different. The assumptions involved were TOTALLY WRONG. But, more to the point, it’s an example of how genuinely freakazoid the online dog world has become. Over the past few months, I’ve watched people …

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Never be afraid to tell the truth.

I am sitting at my desk, stealing a few minutes from my workday to eat a yogurt. On the side of my container, a prominent circle announces that the milk used to make it is from cows not treated with rBST. That’s the power of telling the truth. rBST is great for people, terrible for cows. The simple insistence on paying attention to this fact has given a spanking to an entire industry (animal pharmaceuticals …

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I am happy

I am happy. This is a statement I haven’t been able to make in months – it’s always been I am worried. I am overwhelmed. I am guilty. I am hiding. In April – right as Daisy Poppy’s puppies were leaving – we got some bad jobs news. There was nothing to do but put our heads down and try to deal with it, and try to make ends meet. Everything else fell by the …

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Instead of complaining, look at naked babies!

I have not been posting because I’ve been in a big old funk. I mean nothing going right, don’t have any money, the world hates me, my kids are all sick, I don’t fit into my bathing suit, we’re out of coffee, drinking-orange-juice-after-brushing-your-teeth FUNK. I was so funked out that I was not going to come on here and drag anybody into the funkterland under the Sea of Funklania down where the Funk-finned Funksharks live. …

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How to think of service dogs

Yesterday we had a blitz day with Godric, who worked a total of six hours and was being trained for two of those. It made me think, as it often does, of how we got here. Many of you know that Ginny decided to be Honour’s service dog before we even knew there could be such a thing for kids with emotional disabilities. Ginny was really the catalyst for almost everything – the fact that …

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Milo, the love of my life

Milo is the best puppy EVER. I am so totally infatuated with him that I stopped “looking” at him a long time ago – as a show/breeder, that is. I just get all smooshy and kiss him a lot. He’s the sweetest, happiest kiddo I’ve ever had. He is completely sure he’s in charge of everything, but he’s quite a benevolent dictator! Also, my own personal rule is that any sightings of an Eames lounge …

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Puppy party!

This last weekend, Sarah packed up the Magnum-Eva puppies, threw Gus in the car, and drove up to where I bundled Milo in – and then we drove up to heaven. Sterling, my great friend and Dane breeder (the one who bred Lucy, my most beloved of all Danes), has a litter of Dane puppies who were almost six weeks old. Her own mother has a litter of Ridgeback puppies who were just a week …

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