Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tail Dock Ban in Scotland: recent article

On Thursday, I posted The Doberman: Do Looks Make the Breed?, and discussed the merits of tail docking at three days versus the complications, healing time, and trauma of an adult dog's tail having to be amputated due to injury.

On, somebody posted an article about the tail dock ban in Scotland. Granted, the article discusses working breeds in the context of spaniels, terriers, and retrievers as working breeds, but arguably (in conformation shows, anyway!) the Doberman is officially labelled as a "Working" breed, as opposed to a "Sporting" breed, which is what I would consider spaniels and retrievers to be.

Anyway, if interested, the article is here: The Tail Wags Dog Welfare (I know they speak English in Scotland, so I'm not sure what the deal is with the title phrasing). There is a picture of an undocked, injured tail, so be warned.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Beware of Dog?

It's not uncommon to see a "Beware of Dog" sign. Some are more inventive than others in their wording, some are specific bodily threats to intruders, and some say that it's best to watch out for the owner.

I see a lot of discussion, though, on what signs like that mean for owner liability. You see articles of cases in which a burglar breaks into a house, hurts himself, and then successfully sues the family. You can imagine such a thing makes a dog owner nervous. "I broke into the house and was carrying out the TV when their dog bit me! I'm suing them for a million dollars, and so that the dog gets put down!" I read things like that and think "really?" It can happen though.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Doberman: Do the Looks Make the Breed?

I haven't talked about ear cropping and tail docking much. It's a look that I'm a fan of for the Doberman; in my mind, floppy ears do not fit the breed. In my head, I quail at the thought of Elka with a tail; her hind end awareness is sketchy at best; if she had the Doberman tail, she would have destroyed us all by now. Because the breed was cropped and docked for so long there is not, to my knowledge, yet a standard for the Doberman tail, so in European shows, we tend to see quite  a lot of variation, mostly in how curly (or not) the tail tends to be.

So, is a Doberman with ears and tail less of a Doberman? No, I wouldn't say that at all. Temperament and personality are sure to still be intact. But for that signature look, changes are made.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tast Tuesday March 27 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I had a Not So Tasty Tuesday, to make sure people who read and followed me knew about the chicken jerky dangers. As I mentioned, Chicken Jerky always seemed like a good, safe way to go. After all, the ingredients were simple: chicken. It was those pesky environmental hazards that seemed to get the best of a good thing.

So, what to use as a treat instead? If you're like me, you haven't made your own jerky  yet. You probably also have a dog that you like throwing a treat to once in awhile, if not having actual training sessions in which treats are currency.

Enter Pure Bites, which I found while looking for something to add in my Mr. Chewy order so that I got free shipping.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Statistics roundup Sunday

I'm not going to lie, I love looking at my statistics.

Where people click the link that brings them here, what search terms people use, how long they stay, where they are, etc. It's all really neat and interesting to me. Sometimes it even gives me post ideas! After all, it's good to give people what they want!

Most recently, "Mean Doberman" has brought them to this post: Mean Doberman and also How to Make a Doberman Mean. I cannot comment on whether I feel these readers have learned from these posts in the way I hoped they would; granted, I also cannot comment on their intentions.

"Angry Doberman" brings one to Breed Prejudices: They Always Surprise Me and also Subversive Sunday: Doberman Breed Acceptance. "Doberman Love" also brings one to Subversive Sunday.

Lately, "Canine members of the armed forces act" has brought people to Support S.2134 Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. And others have been searching "Kevin Reese and Grek", which brings them to Military Working Dogs, as the picture of the Lab and his handler are apparently Kevin Reese and Grek, from 2007. One wonders if Grek was retired and adopted by Reese, as recently Cpl. Megan Leavey was able to do with Sgt. Rex, or if there were other circumstances. With the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act going up, Military Working Dogs seem to be getting a lot of attention. Which is good.

To close on a lighter note, "no bake dog treats" brings visitors to Tasty Tuesday: No Bake Peanut Butter Dog Treats.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Title Talk

I've been thinking about title lately.

Ebook titles, not Titles to go after (or before!) Elka's name. I've got a few in mind I figured I'd run by you, my lovely readers. Tell me what you think about any one of these, and feel free to suggest ones I haven't listed! I do have a hard time coming up with titles.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fun: Elka the Talking Doberman

I don't have any video yet (I know, sorry), but one of the tricks we're working on with Elka is video-worthy: saying "Hello".

I've mentioned that Elka is very vocal, and that she says "out" when she needs to go outside to eliminate. I don't know how many talking tricks we're going to end up with (probably not as many as Mishka the husky on YouTube), but a few seems pretty cool, and viable.

The reason I even got the idea is because of this situation: A few months back, one of our college neighbors knocked on the door. It was her birthday, she said, and she was having a party. If they got too loud, she said please come tell them, and they would cool it. I was amazed and pleased; none of our college neighbors had ever done such a thing. She introduced herself (I forgot her name), I introduced myself, and Elka, who of course was standing next to me. She looked down and said "Well, hello Elka!" and Elka looked up at her and said "Hello." I was so floored I couldn't even think to reinforce her or anything, and we finished our conversation and went our separate ways. I turned to Jim, who was on the stairs, and said "did you hear that?" He had.

So, now with the lovely weather we've been having, we've had the screen in the front door again. Elka is re-acclimating to those sounds (people walking past, car doors, the screen jostling in the wind) and will alert us to each one of them. Awesome. Since they don't all need our attention, I've been working to redirect her. She hasn't yet said "Hello" cold, but will make reinforceable "Hello" noises once she starts going and then I say "Elka. Hello!"

She's a bit confused so far as to what I'm marking, but she's getting there. And she's "talking" more, which makes me think maybe we'll add more. I also don't want to muddy her "Out", which has gotten pretty reliable.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update on Sgt. Rex

Looks like he's going home, folks!

With Cpl. Megan Leavey, which is what we were rooting for in my previous post.

(photo lifted from ABC article. I assume it's them)

Tuesday, in my blogroll, Philosopher Mouse came through with the news, and I just had to share it here as well. To recap, for my own edification, it looks like the petition got 6334 signatures (fewer than I'd hoped for). The petition on Senator Charles E. Schumer's site, though? 21,928! Pretty rocking. 

Quoted from the Senator's site:

Corporal Megan Leavey and her military working dog, Sgt. Rex, served two tours of duty together in Iraq in some of the most dangerous conditions in the world. On a daily basis they searched for and identified roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were targeting our soldiers in Iraq. While millions of dog lovers across the country develop deep bonds with their 'best friends', the bond forged between Corporal Leavey and Sgt. Rex is one that few of us will ever know. That is why it was so important to me that they be reunited, particularly now that Sgt. Rex is ten years old and can no longer serve.
Thank you, those who signed. Thank you, as the Senator further says on his site, to all who shared and retweeted and all of that. Thanks to the Senator for making this an issue that he supported. Thanks to the Air Force for making this a go.

I'm not sure what the exact date Sgt. Rex will be in Cpl. Leavey's arms, but I'm sure she's counting the minutes. I know I would be!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tasty (Tennis ball) Tuesday: March 20 2012

So, remember how last year, I had the Tennis Ball posts and then ran out of different brands to try? I only got up to like, eleven I think. Twelve, if you do count the tennis ball bone. While I never made a post declaring the clear winner, I do think the Chuck It ball was way ahead of the curve in durability.

I did see another one, though. And I thought "Maybe. Maybe this is the one."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Some jobs, you simply must have a Border Collie for. 

Drink responsibly!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Recall Revisited

So, with a fiction project in the works and the ebook notion dancing in my head like a sugarplum, I've been re-reading my Command Clinics, trying to have a critical eye. It's hard, when you think you've done well!

For instance, Command Clinic: Recall. I wrote this entry in June of last year, before much of anybody was reading or following. Recall is a super important thing, though, and one of the questions that gets asked a lot in the Internet circles I travel through and lurk at. Just how people think a dog should magically listen to them just 'cause, people also magically think that of course dogs come when they're called. If a dog doesn't, that means the dog doesn't like them personally, right?

Well, no.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13 is K9 Veteran's Day

So, apparently today is a Twofer Tuesday!

I just discovered on Loving for a Living that today is K9 Veteran's Day. Depending on the state, it isn't in full swing, or even fully official, but in light of my recent posts (about Sgt. Rex, and about the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, for those of you keeping score at home), I figured I'd at the very least mention it!

Here's a helpful link to a petition, and also suggestions for letters that you can write, to get Congress to unilaterally acknowledge a day for K9 veterans.

Also in Sgt. Rex news, Senator Schumer has a petition his web site to bring Sgt. Rex to his forever home sooner and safer:

Tasty Tuesday, March 13 2012

I make macaroni and cheese from scratch every couple of weeks. It's kind of funny that I do; as a kid, I loved boxed mac 'n' cheese, and only from the box. I was frequently picky, so it wouldn't surprise me if I turned my nose up at the from scratch stuff. That, and the box is super cheap. I still like it, but I don't try to call it dinner.

This is Elka, practicing her "leave it". 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday Mischief, March 12 2012

I don't frequently read advice columns (funny, because I've obviously got no problem handing it out, right?) but my coworker called my attention to March 10th's "Dear Annie".

In it, a person wrote that her sister showed up with her two dogs, unannounced, said she was staying for a week. The writer does not have dogs, and did not want them in her house, and said that her sister has a truck that the dogs "stay in while she travels".

Uh, what?

Sgt. Rex, petition to bring him home

Yesterday, I posted about supporting the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Today, I'm posting about Sergeant Rex.

He's getting a lot of screen time. I learned about him first on Life with Arie. He's also on Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge, and Pippa Dog Blog.

(picture from petition page on

Sgt. Rex's story is one of the exact reasons I support the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. He's a 10 year old German Shepherd who has more than earned his retirement. He has a person, Meagan Leavey, retired marine, who's completed the paper work to adopt him, who loves him and has worked with him, and was injured with him in Iraq. My very own Senator, Charles E. Schumer, has already written a letter to Michael B. Donley, secretary of the Airforce (the Air Force is who trains Military Working Dogs, at Lackland Air Force Base), supporting Sgt. Rex's "rotation to a civilian lifestyle" (my words. I don't know what the letter said).

Edited to add: This is the petition that Senator Charles E. Schumer has on his web site: . I'd urge signing that one specifically, as the other one (on might not have as much weight.

Here is the petition, also to be sent to Michael B. Donley, that wants Sgt. Rex to go home with Cpl. Leavey: . Please sign it, and share the information. Every dog deserves a home!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Support S.2134 Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act

I saw this Act mentioned on Dogster, and also on a blog I happened across in the wake of the Crufts vet check "scandal" of 2012, Honest Dog.

See, I didn't know, not really, that dogs are stil considered "equipment" by the United States military. Never crossed my mind. Why would it? Dogs are alive. They aren't guns, they aren't boots. They're living creatures that people bond with and love. If a random Afghani street dog gets shipped back stateside, why wouldn't a military working dog like, say, Cairo?

(puppy Elka, with some Red, White, and Blue)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday relaxation

I messed around a bit with my camera settings today, as Elka napped next to me on the couch. She opened her eyes when the camera turned on, but that was it.

I have this problem where I tend not to read the manuals to the things that I'm operating. I just kind of figure it out. Cameras can be less than intuitive, so I'm going to need to do it sooner or later. But I know how to change the settings that the little wheel thing on the top controls, anyway.

Food wasn't involved, and I wasn't asking her to do anything, so Elka just kind of kept an eye on me. Sometimes food is involved with our picture taking. It's how I get her to cooperate with some shots, and as always, food is an excellent reward.

Ultimately, I didn't really learn anything. Not even to let sleeping dogs lie.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

(Not So) Tasty Tuesday March 6 2012

A lot of serious stuff lately....Heidi the Doberman, the fundraiser for the Doberman Assistance Network, and poor lost Blue in South Carolina. Today is another one: the FDA warning on chicken jerky treats.

This isn't a new warning, the chicken jerky thing, but somebody on Doberman Talk linked to an article on Dogs Naturally Magazine that included testimonials of "Waggin' Train Victims", and I thought it would be important enough to talk about. I used to buy Waggin' Train jerky for Elka, so this feels like a near miss for me. Not every dog gets sick from it, but it's still a serious deal. I stopped buying jerky products for Elka because I noticed that most of them are treated by irradiation, which kind of freaks me out. I'm sure it's technically safe, or that's what everybody wants us to think, and I'm not a scientist, just a paranoid consumer, and choose not to purchase such things.

Monday, March 5, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award (thanks Hawk [Brown Dog]!)

Wow, Hawk at gave me this award back on January 31...go me! The One Lovely Blog Award is a simple one, just to show appreciation to other bloggers, that you dig what they're doing, and want them to know. So, thanks again, Hawk, I appreciate the appreciation!

So, the 15. Why are these lists always so long? So many people already have these awards! It's amazing how many blogs I have to pick from, though. I hope nobody feels left out! People I'm passing it along to:

4. Dobermann Daze (pennypup)

Thanks again, Hawk! You're a buddy.

One Lovely Blog Award Rules:
1. Link back to the one who gave you this award.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Please Help! Blue Doberman Lost While Traveling Through South Carolina!

On February 26, a Doberman spooked at a rest stop in South Carolina and disappeared into the night. This was at the last rest area on the South Carolina-Georgia line on Interstate 95 (maybe around Walterboro, SC, on I-95?).

She is a blue Doberman, cropped ears and docked tail, trained in both Obedience and Agility. She was wearing a black studded leather collar and a choke chain. She will come to anybody who knows her name, which is Blue.

ANY information on her would be appreciated, and also any help. Please post and crosspost! If found, she does have an AVID microchip, and is registered to Lucy Jakubowski (the breeder), of Braveheart Dobermans. You can contact her at , or 716-557-2452

 Keep your eyes peeled! Being in New York, as Ms. Jakubowski is, I can't help any more than this. The breeder will drive down to pick her up if she is found!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doberman Assistance Network Flower Power Fundraiser (2012)

It's March, and that means spring is around the corner, right? 

(Though you wouldn't know it from the snow we've gotten in the past two days!)

Springtime means flowers, and if you plant flowers, you can help Dobermans!

(not my picture. From DAN web site)

The Doberman Assistance Network is again having a Flower Power Fundraiser. Fully half the cost of each purchase goes to helping Dobermans in need, across the country. This fundraiser is until April 27, with a goal amount of $1000. A small price to pay, for all the Dobermans this organization helps!

So, why help DAN instead of a local shelter, or a specific rescue? Well, by all means, donate to your local shelters and rescues. But, from their site, this is how DAN works:

"When we find a Doberman in need, we assign a "caseworker" to gather all the information about the Doberman(s) and make arrangements to mave the dog to safety as soon as possible. Then a trusted rescue or foster for the dog is located and transportation is arranged if necessary. A team 'of "transporters" is sometimes assembled for long moves.

We work with rescues in several states to include: FL, GA, SC, NC, PA, OH, IL, MI, MO, TX, LA, CO, and CA. We are constantly in awe of the amazing work the rescues do and work closely with them to ensure that the previous Dobermans who come to our attention get the help they need."

Looking at the Doberman Assistance Network Flower Power Fundraising catalog, I also notice that you can get strawberries! Even if you don't plant flowers (I don't), you can get strawberries and even start them in the house, to be heralds of spring for you (and have tast berries. And maybe make freezer jam. Or baked goods. I know a lot of you bake!)

So, check it out. Tell your friends. Crosspost and retweet and corner your coworkers. The Dobermans thank you!

The AKC Dog Registration Statistics: Doberman at #13

The AKC is, for better or worse, only a dog breed registry.

A lot of people take the phrase "AKC registered" to mean that the organization enacts some form of quality control. That is, unfortunately, not the case. AKC championship holds more water, though based on what your opinion of the functionality of a breed is (modern day US showline German Shepherds, I'm looking at you!) even that is suspect.

But, every year, the AKC updates its dog registration statistics, and ranks America's "Top Ten Dog Breeds". You can see a list of the top 50, if you're so inclined. I was. The Doberman, though not in the top 10, is number 13, up from last year's rank of 14. Their rank in 2006 was 21.

So, what does this kind of popularity mean for a breed?