Archive for March, 2012

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This Sussex isn’t as exaggerated in build as many of its breed.

I like the untrimmed topknot.

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Warning:  This video will get any dogs in the room riled up, especially if they’ve heard this sound before and know what it is. (Miley started whining at the computer when I started playing it! Miley is not an easy dog to rile, so if your dog is more reactive, this is guaranteed to get their attention.)



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The barking is toward the end of the video:


Gray “foxes” are as distantly related an animal can be to a domestic dog and still be in the dog family.

Yet they do bark.

Granted, it is used almost solely as an alarm call, whereas domestic dogs use it for a wide variety of purposes.

This sound is a bit disconcerting when one hears it in the woods in the middle of the night.

It’s a deep, raspy sort of bark that one might not recognize as a bark.

But it is one.

These particular foxes were filmed in Upstate New York. In the Eastern United States, there are only two kinds of wild dog that are of this size. One is the red fox, which actually is a fox, and the other is the gray fox, which honestly needs a better name. Inali is the Cherokee word for the species.

But good luck getting that name established in the English language!


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I think this Clumber has ectropion. It comes from The Illustrated Book of the Dog (1881) by Vero Shaw and Gordon Stables.

The Sussex spaniel is pretty moderate looking compared to the modern version, but the Clumber very much looks like it has ectropion.

This trait has likely existed in this dog ever since they were show dogs. Indeed, there were always likely a few dogs with the condition, even in working kennels.

Does that mean that this trait should be lauded in the breed?

Absolutely not!

This is a health condition, not a fancy point that should be rewarded in the ring.

Lots of dogs have historically had conformation issues that are bad for their health and welfare.

Field spaniels were bred to have such short legs and long backs that they were often crippled by herniated spinal discs.  Herniation of the spinal discs is much more likely in dogs with this conformation, and as a result, the field spaniel became quite rare.

Today, the field spaniel is bred with longer legs and a more proportional back.  It has fewer problems with its body.

It’s still not very common, but these days, no one is going out of the way to breed field spaniels with dinky little legs and a long back.

That’s what has to happen with Clumber spaniel eyelids.

If not, this breed will become nothing more than a giant version of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.  A spaniel, yes, but one that might not be considered a true sporting spaniel anymore.


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This is from a seventeenth century painting. Today’s  representatives of this breed are quite different from this dog.

The Answer.

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I discovered a wart on the back of leg this weekend. I must be turning into a troll.

And then I did this to the Team Jenneh Facebook page!

No responses yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

See related post:


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Stolen from Dave on Facebook.

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From KeysNet.com:

When Janet and Larry Porath and their visiting daughter and grandchildren returned to their Key Largo home from a late lunch at Gilbert’s Resort Thursday afternoon, they had no idea the horror that awaited.

As they relaxed in the backyard of their house in the Twin Lakes subdivision at mile marker 103, their mixed-breed dog Roxie went about her usual routine of standing on the canal-front dock and staring at the manatees and small fish swimming in the water. Manicured mangrove bushes separate the backyard from the dock, so the Poraths couldn’t see Roxie as they talked.

But they were startled from their conversation when they heard Roxie bark, followed by a loud splash. For many dog owners in the Keys, the sound of their dog swimming in the canal is no cause for alarm, but Roxie wasn’t a water dog.

“She doesn’t want to go in the boat, and she doesn’t want to go in the water,” Janet Porath said.

What they heard was Roxie being pulled into the water by a large American crocodile.

Witnesses, including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, estimate the saltwater croc to be at least 10 feet long. It sprang at least four feet out of the water to snatch Roxie, who was about 65 pounds, headfirst off the seawall.

The Poraths rushed to the dock to find Roxie, but they couldn’t see her. Neighbors across the canal spotted the crocodile swimming a few feet from the Poraths’ house. Roxie was in the reptile’s mouth.

Crocodiles typically take a while to consume a meal, especially when it’s a large mammal like Roxie. They drown their prey before going about their business of consuming it, said FWC biologist Lindsey Hord.

Deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrived almost immediately after being called by the Poraths. The deputies called the FWC, and Officer Jason Rafter responded. Rafter knew Roxie was dead, but said in his report that he thinks it would be best for the family to retrieve her body.

“I decided to try and recover the dog from the croc so the owner wouldn’t have to listen, see or know that [her] pet was being devoured all evening right behind the house,” Rafter wrote.

A neighbor drove Rafter in his skiff in the canal, and the men tried to force the crocodile to release Roxie.

The crocodile tried to submerge beneath the water, but Roxie’s body was too buoyant. Rafter kept slapping the water with a stick to startle the animal, but it swam into the mangroves. As Rafter and the neighbor gave chase in the small boat and got closer to the croc, it finally let go of Roxie and swam away.

It took several attempts for Rafter to retrieve the dog’s body from the mangrove thicket. The Poraths are grateful to Rafter for his efforts. They had Roxie cremated Friday morning.

American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) usually don’t cause problems with people.

There are no verified reports of one attacking a person in the United States, and attacks on people in other parts of their range are relatively uncommon.

I can’t find any analysis of how often they attack dogs, but other crocodiles do like to take dogs if given the opportunity.

American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) often live on stray dogs, but I haven’t heard of American crocodiles regularly targeting dogs anywhere.

Maybe they do, and we just don’t hear about it.

Their range is so limited in the United States that we really don’t get a full picture of their behavior in other parts of their range.

It is thought that their range is forever limited to extreme southern Florida because they cannot compete with the alligators that dominate the territory just to the north.

Alligators and crocodiles are more distantly related to each other than dogs and cats are, so their behaviors and ecology are quite different. American crocodiles like salt water and esturine environments, while American alligators stay almost exclusively in fresh water.

Alligators have attacked people in the United States. It is very well-documented.

However, neither species has the attack record on people that Indo-Pacific and Nile crocodiles have.

It was a very sad thing that happened to this dog, but it is somewhat unusual.





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Old post of a taxidermy of a boxer from Munich.

Natural History

I wish the photo I took at the German Hunting and Fishing Museum in Munich had come out a little better, but this is a taxidermied boxer dog from the early days of the breed.

The boxer originates in Munich from crossing the indigenous Barenbeisser and Bullenbeisser types with the English bulldog. At the German Hunting and Fishing  Museum, there are paintings of Barenbeiszers being used to hunt European brown bears.

I was impressed with how much this boxer resembled a bulldog with cropped ears and a docked tail. The closest approximating I can make is that it looked something like a black pit bull terrier. It was significantly shorter in stature than a modern boxer.

The fact that it was black shows that boxers originally came in a wider range of colors than the modern breed, which comes in only brindle and fawn with a black mask and the…

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