“Hybrid” Dogs

This makes me furious! We spend endless hours making sure our breed is improved and protected, we spend more money than you want to consider, doing health clearances, so that we minimize or eliminate the chances a puppy will suffer in their lifetime, justifying a cost, and people without care, beyond that of the almighty dollar, bastardizes our established breeds.

Do you have a “hybrid” that you love? Good for you for loving your dog! You are not “the problem”. It’s breeder is!

Hybrid. Because hybrid sounds cool. Because hybrid doesn’t sound like mutt, or mongrel, or… just simply mixed-breed. Hybrids are typically produced through human manipulation to produce something uniquely different, like mules (horse and donkey combo), ligers (lions and tigers), or plant hybrids. True hybrids are often sterile, as they’re from differing species, and lack chromosomes that compliment each other. The animal shelters are filled with mix-breed dogs. Save yourself $2000 and get one, because typically, that’s what the shelters are filled with.

Please, bear with me and get through the following:

The Labrador Retriever has been the #1 popular breed in the U.S. for 26 years running for a reason – they’re smart (but not so smart as to out think you), athletic (without being athletic to the extreme) family and other animal friendly. The Lab is a versatile dog, who is as happy to be a couch potato, as they are working in the field. A Lab is strong (emphasis on strong), athletic and muscular. They’re usually larger boned, and weigh more than they look. Labradors have a coat with two layers to keep him warm, dry and comfortable, but it sheds a lot. They are known for destructive behavior such as chewing furniture and woodwork or digging up the yard. They are a gentleman’s dog. Content to be a pet at night, and hunt in the day. Health issues include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is canine elbow and shoulder dysplasia. They also occasionally suffer from distichiasis, exercise-induced collapse, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and entropion. Many of these are discoverable now through DNA testing, and affected dogs are never bred.

Pointers (for this example, the German Shorthaired Pointer) are very active dogs, who belong with an equally athletic owner who will take him running, biking, or hiking. Did I emphasize active enough? A walk around the block is not even a warm-up for a GSP. Some can be aggressive with strange dogs, and some are determined chasers of cats and other fleeing creatures, often with deadly intent. They are tautly-muscled, and *extremely* athletic. They’re finer boned than the Lab, and lithe. They are known for “separation anxiety” (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much. They are hunting machines, who can be one so fixed on the hunt that no recall can get their attention.

Their known health issues (which are bred against by reputable breeders include gastric torsion, hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD), entropion, and pannus, and major issues such as lymphedema, and occasionally cardiomyopathy, ectropion, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Again, their breeders do DNA testing, and affected dogs are never bred.

Imagine if you will, the finer bony structure of a Pointer, with the heavy musculature of a Labrador, causing bone and joint pounding. A bone/muscle mismatch. A dog with a downy undercoat, but the extremely short top coat of a Pointer, setting the dog up for freezing in cold water, and a knotted mess of endlessly shedding fur, on a dog who is very oral and full of anxiety over being left alone for the day, mixed with a dash of heavy-muscled hyperactivity that wants to be friends with other dogs , but has a sudden urge to fight, without the innate caution of a Pointer on the approach of another dog. Confused. Now add all of the breed genetic problem propensities, most doubled up, because no genetic testing is done by these “hybrid” breeders, and then add to that different medical problems known to those distinct breeds, which now combine into one poor dog.

Will all of the breed traits combine in every puppy to create a genetic nightmare from head to toe? No, but I promise that some will, and all will have some piece of it.

I love my breed. Reputable Pointer breeders love theirs. Each of us does the best we can to breed the best our breed has to offer, and know how to work with the more difficult traits each breed has. Specifically, we have the advantage of being able to best select homes for our puppies, so that owner and dog are happy.

Please don’t be duped into thinking that the breeders of these mixed dogs have done their due diligence, and have many years of application (in my case, 38 years).

You get what you pay for, and yes, there is a sucker born every minute!

BTW, the people who took this add out want $1800 for their mix-breed puppies. Go to the pound! There are lots of mix-bred dogs waiting for homes.

Sincerest Form of Flattery?

I often have people call and ask if they can link to our color inheritance chart. I created that page in 1998, because I wanted an easy chart to reference myself. It became a chart that many referenced, because it is easy to use. The AKC sends people to it!

Many have asked if they could link to it. Of course I don’t mind that! Others have asked if I would mind if they created their own. That’s cool. I don’t own the pundant squares used to determine color inheritance, but I ask that they not copy my chart.

So why would people do just that? A TOTAL copy! I’m not going to pitch a fit. But why would someone reinvent the wheel, unless they are trying to draw people away from the original? When people “borrow” my hard work, intellectual or otherwise, I just call attention to it.

I believe I recall these folks asking if they could use my chart to create their own. I thought they meant the color outcomes, not the entire idea!

Example

Geesh! Why not just *link* to someone’s hard work, rather than exactly copy it?

There are several coat color charts for Labs on the Web. The creators of those pages put some real original work into their pages! Bravo to them for coming up with unique ideas:

http://labbies.com/genetics.htm

http://beulahland.tripod.com/coatcolor.htm

Rose’s TPLO 13 weeks

The snow has melted, and we’re well into spring activities.  Rose is healing well.  She has had it with months of rest.  As a puppy, all she wants to do is play and run.  But, her exercise is quite limited and always monitored for another few weeks.  As you can see, she puts good weight on the knee.  We’re still dealing with a bit of tendonitis in that hock, but it should work out with time and more movement with exercise.

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Week 6

Today is the big day!  Rose had her 6 week checkup.  She had an x-ray, which her surgeon states looks good.  Her healing is normal.  I discussed with him the lateral wobble of her knee, and he believes it may be a little tendonitis.  She may now have three 15 minute walks/day.  As stated previously, she is increasingly difficult to entertain.  She is inventing ways to chew up anything that is stationary in her box.   She wants to play with her sister so very badly.  It will be a very long time until she is allowed to do that.

This is Rose waiting to see her vet.

Rose’s TPLO Recovery week 5

Rose continues to improve.  I am noticing a lateral rotation to her knee when she walks.  I suspect it has to do with muscle atrophy.  She is so tired of the inactivity.   It’s becoming increasingly difficult to entertain her.   Every so often I cheat and put her on the flexi leash to let her move out a bit without running or jumping (which she is not permitted to do).

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Week 4

We’re at the beginning of week four.  This has been the week that marks Rose’s breaking point.  She is so done with inactivity.  We’ve bought chew toys, chew bones, real bones, distraction toys… you name it.  Her attention span is almost nil.  She has decided to take her frustration out on the carpet she is on, chewing the corner nicely.  We take Rose everywhere we go, so as to give her new things to look at, people to see, and so that we can monitor her activities.  She has been increased to one 10 minute slow walk each day, which she loves.  She continues to put more weight on the affected leg.   This was taken on  a trip to set up 6000 Easter eggs stuffed with candy for local children.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Week 3

As Rose begins her third week of recovery, she continues to improve.  She saw her veterinarian and he was pleased with her recovery.  She may now walk five minutes/day on leash (slow walk).  She still must potty on leash to prevent her from running or jumping. This was her first walk.  Please forgive me holding the camera the wrong way!

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Week 2

As we begin the second week (of six where she is not permitted to walk except to potty) we do all we can to keep her entertained.  She managed to chew her inflatable collar and puncture it., but we believe her wound is healed enough now to tolerate the small amount of licking she does.  She is beginning to grow coat on her leg, and the growing fur must itch.  When we take her out to potty, she puts some weight on her foot, but not so much as to worry us.  The veterinarian stated that it was fine to put weight on the foot as she will tolerate it, but she is still on restriction.  She is not permitted to go on a walk or play with other dogs.  She is still on “bedrest”.

We take her on car rides with us, so that her scenery changes, and so that she always has company with her.  She enjoys her rides, and is usually exhausted once we come home:

Today (4/3/17) we had a nice sunny day (the snow has just melted), so I took her outside to just sit in the sun and suck up a bit of warm sunshine.  She enjoyed it a great deal.

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Day 7

Rose’s sutures are evidently starting to itch, and she is licking her knee.  That has earned her the “cone of shame” for awhile, to keep her off of the sutures, until she’s at the 10-14 day mark, when the wound is likely healed.

She continues to be obviously bored, and at times rocks back and forth on her back.  We know she’s tired of being in the same place, not allowed to walk about or play.   This is very hard for a 8 month old puppy.  It’s not natural for them to stay put for weeks on end.  Yet, she is on strict orders by her surgeon to have strict “crate rest”, and not be allowed to go out for any reason other than to go potty, and that must be on leash.  We’re trying to find ways to resolve her boredom.  I bring her up on the couch with me to snuggle, but she tires easily of that too.  Nothing holds her attention for very long.

Boredom:

Rose’s TPLO Recovery Day 4

Monday 3/27/17 – Tues. 3/28/17

We are Icing Rose’s knee a few times each day, as she has quite a bit of swelling distal to the knee.  It’s hard to elevate the leg of a young dog.  Pillows make for good eating!  So, we are just making sure to keep it cool to reduce swelling.

Rose seems to be in less pain, and because she has not had a B.M. since her surgery, we’re giving her pain medication less often.  She’s still on a anti-inflammatory, so that helps with pain, but narcotic medications increases constipation, and we don’t want that!   Pain is a natural part of healing, and as long as she is not distressed (crying or agitated), pain keeps her off that leg and quiet.

But, Rose is starting to show signs of boredom.  Since she was on crate rest for almost three weeks before her surgery, it makes sense that this poor 7 month old is going out of her mind with boredom.  If she is not in her crate, she has to be tethered, to prevent jumping or walking around on that knee.  But she’s starting to look a bit pitiful.

Yesterday we decided to buy her some interactive toys, and take her with us in the truck.  When the back seat lays down, it provides a perfect flat surface for her to travel on, and maybe seeing something other than our den will help liven her up:

Rose, want to go for a ride?

She looked at everything along the ride!

 

She came home exhausted, and slept for hours.  Oh, and when we came home, and she had her first B.M. since surgery.  Yay!

We bought a few interactive toys for her, and they should help entertain her a bit more.   She’s enjoying them today.(Tues 3/28/17)