Archive for November, 2011


The trainer is Roy Lupton, who was also the keeper who shot the three-legged fallow buck.

He’s something of a Renaissance man for animals.

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Excellent commentary about the scenting abilities of golden retrievers. (Skip to 5 mins 21 secs if the Youtube embed didn’t work.)

Goldens are great air scenting dogs.

They are also 20 times smarter than Labradors, but I’m a wee bit biased there.

I don’t have an empirical, peer-reviewed study that says that.

I don’t know what they mean that they aren’t very good at taking orders.

I’ve never met one that didn’t love to take orders and show off!

If you can’t get it to skip to 5 minutes and 21, there is a nice lurcher race at the beginning. Some of these lurchers look like golden retriever crosses. Golden retriever/greyhounds are the lurcher of choice in some areas.

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or “How to make a merle retriever.”

Breed a liver flat-coat bitch to a merle Australian shepherd.

The puppies look like merle flat-coats.

And when the puppies mature, some of them can become guide dogs.

As adults, the puppies look like merle flat-coats.

And seeing as unusually colored flat-coats once founded a separate breed, I’m sure that some people might be chomping at the bit to get this breed started.

I have to say no on this one. No– without any exceptions or reservations.

Merle is stunning, but attempts to create entire breeds that consist of only merles are doomed to failure.

Merle is a dominant trait, but when a dog is a homozygous merle, very real health issues can result. Blindness and deafness are par for the course among double merles. Many of these blind dogs have no eyes or very small ones that are of no use to the dog.

I have no problem with breeding this cross for assistance dogs, but when you start playing around with merle, we need to be concerned.

A blind guide dog is of no use to a blind person.

The merle trait also has to be monitored in the Australian shepherd/toller outcross, for cryptic merles are not unknown. I would be careful about breeding any merle to a red retriever. The e/e genotype can mask the merle, and one could be breeding any number of double merles form tollers that might result from this cross.

Flat-coats wouldn’t have that much trouble, but you would still be playing with double merle.

And this is one color that you just don’t need in a breed that doesn’t already have it.

The breeds that have it are having a very hard time managing it– and there are breeders who revel in producing double merles, regardless of the health and welfare consequences.  There is a lot of ignorance about this color.

If you’d like to learn more about merle, check out these posts on Border Wars.

I have no problem with an F-1 cross to produce these dogs as assistance dogs.

It’s when people decide to use this cross to produce a merle retriever breed that makes me concerned.





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I’m not sure in which state these photos were taken, but it’s obviously a large bobcat killing a mule deer fawn. Canada lynx don’t have obvious leopard-type spots.

Bobcats do kill deer. In my home state, a survey of bobcat stomach contents found that white-tailed deer were their most common food item.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t include these trailcam photos of a bobcat killing what appears to be an adult white-tailed doe.

See related post:


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Fenton on a leash. He can't chase deer, but you can bet he wants to!

From The Sun:

The runaway mutt sparked global laughter after he was filmed herding 40 deer in a park with his owner in frantic pursuit.

Almost two million people have watched net footage of the retriever forcing the animals into a road through Richmond Park, South West London, as a plummy voice screams his name.

And his owner, an architect named Max, did not risk any repeat as he walked his boisterous pet on Wimbledon Common.

He kept the 18-month-old hound [flat-coated retriever] firmly on a lead, but still couldn’t stop him jumping up excitedly at other dog owners.

Dad-of-two Max and his family were reluctant to speak out, with dog walkers warned of potential prosecution for failing to control pets in Royal Parks.

But a friend of the family, from Southfields, said: “Max is mortified. Fenton’s a lively dog, but he’d never done this before.

“Max won’t be taking him back to Richmond Park any time soon and is considering giving him a new name if the fuss goes on.”

The Sun can reveal Fenton was given up as “unsuitable” by Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Gardener Ali Goodyear, 37, whose son, 13, shot the clip on his phone, agreed a partnership deal with YouTube — earning a cut of the site’s ad revenue. He made £500 in the first 24 hours.

LOL. That money can pay the fine for worrying deer!

The original reports that I saw said he was a Labrador, but he’s actually a flat-coated retriever, a breed that is quite a bit naughtier and livelier than most Labradors.

In case you haven’t seen it– here is it is!  Jesus Christ!


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Jesus Christ!


Deer chasing dogs are everywhere.

I say send him to North Carolina, where they like dogs that do that sort of thing!

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Killing a wounded deer that will likely die a horrible death during the winter makes one a “cruel bastard.”

But it’s okay if you let your dogs maim the deer– which means the keepers– “the cruel bastards”– have to kill the ones the dogs wounded.

Makes perfect sense to me!

This problem could be solved if the policy was that all dogs on the property were required to either be on a leash or under control.

NB:  Stags are male red deer. Fallow deer and roe deer males are called bucks. This animal rights person doesn’t even know the proper nomenclature.

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