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Archive for the ‘amazing mutts’ Category

I’ve just read about this initiative and think it really helps humans AND (unwanted) dogs. Would be great if something similar could be arranged in the UK.

(Source: see website)
Our Mission

Freedom Service Dogs, Inc. rescues dogs from shelters and trains each dog to assist people with disabilities. Our custom trained service dogs assist their partners in day-to-day activities providing their human companions with a greater degree of independence and an overall higher quality of life.

Our History
FSD was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization by Mike and P.J. Roche. Both Mike and P.J. were active with Assistance Dogs International (ADI) when the assistance dog industry was in its infancy. The Roche’s worked diligently to transform FSD from a two person “mom and pop shop” to an organization that stands on its own merits. Since its inception, FSD has successfully paired more than 100 client-service dog teams in Colorado.

The FSD Difference

  • Rescues dogs – FSD rescues and trains only unwanted and abandoned dogs, helping solve the pet overpopulation problem. There is no puppy-raising program. We turn “throw-aways” into superstars!
  • Custom trains – FSD matches dogs to their new partner and custom trains the dog to do the specific tasks required by each individual.
  • Provides hands-on support – FSD visits our clients in their homes, offices, and schools to introduce the service dog and to help maintain a successful team.
  • Maximizes your donation – FSD ensures 85¢ of every dollar spent goes directly toward program expenses.
  • Teaches dogs to work with a wag – FSD uses positive reinforcement – treats, praise, petting – to shape play behaviors (retrieve, tug, paw, touch) into

Five of 16 professional service dogs graduating in 2008. Congratulations!

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Pig does agility

Hi folks,

I want a pig! They seem to be a real competition for us K9s, and they are smart, cute and clean!

now here’s the latest: the BBC reports about a pig able to perform agility tricks. Pig Sue (a boy, mind you!) is a bit slow, but he knows what to do, if he gets a treat.

Have a look yourself…

A farm owner in Herefordshire has attracted comparisons with the film Babe after teaching her pig to perform agility tasks like a dog.

Unlike the character in Babe, Sue the boar can not round-up sheep, but he can respond to commands like a well trained border collie, his owner said.

Wendy Scudamore, of Barton Hill Animal Centre in Hereford said Sue began copying her dog in agility training.

She said he would “never be a sheep-pig” but hoped he entertained people.

Mocking name

Mrs Scudamore said Sue was reared to be a breeding pig but was named after the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue” owing to an unfortunate incident at the vets aged two months when he was accidentally castrated.

She said: “I don’t usually name my pigs until they grow a bit older and develop a character but I thought it would be funny to call him Sue after that.”

Mrs Scudamore breeds New Zealand Kuni Kuni pigs and said she hoped Sue would be an amusing attraction to draw people to her stand at country shows.

She trains him for up to 15 minutes at a time in the back garden and rewards him with little pieces of apple and occasionally, his favourite treats, custard creams.”

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We are such an amazing breed! Today I found the following article in our local newspaper.  I’m not sure that my sniffing qualities are as good, but then I am just a humble gundog…

The dog who can sniff out a diabetic attack

A helping paw - Elizabeth Wilkinson with her alert dog which can sniff out a diabetic attack
A helping paw – Elizabeth Wilkinson with her alert dog which can sniff out a diabetic attack

RICHARD PARR

19 March 2009 05:12

Devoted dog Chushla potentially saves her owner’s life every week – by smelling the onset of a diabetic attack.

The Bedlington-whippet cross detects a scent when Elizabeth Wilkinson’s blood sugar levels drop dangerously low – up to three times a week – and nibbles her hand to alert her.

Elizabeth, 54, of Southery, near Downham Market, a Type-1 diabetic for over 40 years, has one of just six registered hypoalert dogs in Britain which can smell an oncoming hypoglycaemic attack.

When Chushla showed that she was able to sense and alert Elizabeth to an oncoming hypo attack she contacted the charity Cancer & Bio detection Dogs which specialises in training diabetic assistance dogs.

With support of the charity’s co-founder, Claire Guest, who was able to fine-tune Chushla’s alerting procedure, the pet is now a fully-fledged hypo alert dog .

She now accompanies Elizabeth everywhere she goes as her “guardian angel”.

Chushla first showed off her talent when she was just 10-weeks-old. One night when Elizabeth was asleep, Chushla jumped on her bed and started frantically nibbling at her neck to wake her up.

Elizabeth realised that her dog had alerted her to a oncoming hypo attack.

Two days later Chushla repeated this nibbling behaviour during the day and when Elizabeth checked her blood sugar levels she found they had dropped massively.

She said : “When I first got Chushla I had a very bad hypo attack during which I felt the need for live comfort and I cuddled up with her until I felt better. This was only a few days before she first alerted me to a hypo. May be it was something she picked up on as not being good and it set her mothering instinct in motion.”

Elizabeth started to reward Chushla each time she gave an alert and so her dog was trained to be a reliable hypo alert dog.

Because Elizabeth has suffered from diabetes for so long, she has become desensitised to the warning signs of hypos which is why Churchla is so important to her. It means she now has the courage to lead a normal independent life.

“She has given me my freedom to go out when I wish and Chushla wears her working jacket with pride,” she said.

Elizabeth explained that her dog has been reliably alerting her for 18 months for hypos (low blood sugar) and 12 months for hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), in effect acting as an assistance dog.

Churchla gives Elizabeth about 10 to 15 minutes warning of an attack which gives her enough time to eat something to raise her blood sugar levels.

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So what’s going to happen dogwise in the White House? Mali and me have been discussing this for a while. Apparently, they are going to get a Portuguese Water Dog, although they favoured before a Labradoodle.

wportuguesewaterdog

“In an exclusive interview with People magazine hitting stands Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about her marriage, life in the White House and, most importantly, the upcoming arrival of the First Dog. Obama said she favors Portuguese Water Dogs, although, as of last month, a Labradoodle was still considered a possibility. The pup’s target arrival date is April, after the family’s spring break trip, Obama said.” (source: US News)

I found this about the breed:

“The Portuguese Water Dog was originally a hunting dog introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by Moors from North Africa; it is as a fishermens dog that he excels.  Loving water, and accomplished diver, he would accompany them on voyages, retrieving nets or tackle that had fallen overboard and taking messages from ship to shore by carrying them in waterproof cylinders.

The Portuguese Water Dog is described in the Breed Standard as being “self-willed” and as a puppy he needs to be challenged to reduce his tendency to stubbornness.  Very intelligent and energetic he is obedient to his owner but needs the opportunity to use his energy constructively.

Medium sized at up at 22½” and weighing about 25kg, his coat is, unusually of two types.  It is either long, loosely waved with a slight sheen, or short, harsh and dense with compact curls.  Both types of coat are clipped over the hindquarters, leaving a long plume on the tail. He can be black, white, shades of brown or black with white and brown with white.  Not a numerically large breed in the UK, he needs ample exercise and a fair bit of attention to grooming if he is to look typical.  It is thought that the Portuguese Water Dog could have played a part in the development of the Kerry Blue when Portuguese ships were wrecked off the coast of Southern Ireland.”

Mamma Mia! We Labradors sound like pussycats, compared to this piece of hard work… No, I’m not jealous! And I wouldn’t certainly like my bottom part and tail been shaved like a spaghetti!

portuguese_water_dog

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I wonder if you have already heard about this new breed of Labradoodles? Sounds like a joke, I know, but it’s dead serious.
They look very woolly and sheep-like, compared to me, and appear to be bread for people who are allergic against our coat hair and “SMELL”!! (I wonder who dares calling my natural odeur like this!?).

Anyway – this is what I found on Wikipedia:

Labradoodle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A brown Labradoodle with a fleece type coat. The appearance of Labradoodles may vary.

A Labradoodle is a crossbred or hybrid dog created by crossing the Labrador Retriever and the Standard or Miniature Poodle.

History

The Labradoodle was first deliberately bred in 1989, when Australian breeder Wally Conron first crossed the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle for Guide Dogs Victoria. His aim was to combine the low-shedding coat of the Poodle with the gentleness and trainability of the Labrador, and to provide a Guide Dog suitable for people with allergies to fur and dander. Guide Dogs Victoria continue to breed Labradoodles today and Labradoodles are now often used around the world as Guide, Assistance, and Therapy Dogs as well as being popular family dogs.

Appearance and temperament

The Labradoodle as a dog breed is still developing, and does not yet “breed true,” i.e., puppies do not have consistently predictable characteristics. While many Labradoodles display desired traits, their appearance and behavioral characteristics remain, from an overall breed standpoint, unpredictable.

As such, Labradoodles’ hair can be anywhere from wiry to soft, and may be straight, wavy, or curly. Some Labradoodles do shed, although the coat usually sheds less and has less dog odor than that of a Labrador Retriever.

Like most Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, Labradoodles are generally friendly, energetic and good with families and children (although as with any dog the temperament may vary between individuals). Labradoodles also often display an affinity for water and the strong swimming ability present in both their parent breeds.

Like their parent breeds, both of which are amongst the world’s most intelligent dog breeds,Labradoodles are very intelligent and quite trainable. Labradoodles can be taught to obey verbal or sign language commands, or both, and remain commonly used as guide dogs for disabled or handicapped persons around the world.

Types of Labradoodle

A group of Labradoodle Assistance Dogs.

A three-month old Labradoodle

There is no universal consensus as to whether breeders should aim to have Labradoodles recognized as a breed . Some breeders prefer to restrict breeding to early generation dogs (i.e. bred from a Poodle and Labrador rather than from two Labradoodles) to maximise genetic diversity, in order to avoid the inherited health problems that have plagued some dog breeds.

Others are breeding Labradoodle to Labradoodle over successive generations, and trying to establish a new dog breed. These dogs are usually referred to as Multigenerational (abr. Multigen) or Australian Labradoodles. Australian Labradoodles also differ from early generation and Multigenerational Labradoodles in that they may also have other breeds in their ancestry. English and American Cocker Spaniel/Poodle crosses (ie Cockapoos), Two Irish Water Spaniels and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have variously been used in some Australian Labradoodle lines. The Curly Coated Retriever were used too, but these lines did not work out and they were discontinued.

Labradoodle coats are generally divided into 3 categories: Wool (with tight curls, and similar in appearance to that of a Poodle, but with a softer texture); Fleece (soft and free-flowing, with a kinked or wavy appearance); or Hair (which can be curly, straight or wavy, but is more similar in texture to a Labrador’s coat) . Labradoodles come in a wide variety of colours, including chocolate, cafe, parchment, cream, gold, apricot, red, black, silver, chalk, parti colours, and generally all the colours that can be found in Poodles. They also can be different sizes, depending on the size of poodle (i.e. toy, miniature or standard) used.

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There are quite a few artists around who, recognising our unique canine beauty, dedicate their talent to create doggie artwork.

One of my favourites is Rebecca of Art Paw. She creates the most amazing portraits of K9s from photographs. Here some examples:

boxerdog_blog1

mr-big-paws

dachs

Aren’t they beautiful?? I hope one day my Alphas will give me my Rebecca- portrait for my birthday!

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The stamps above are all in honor orf working dogs

Endal’s story continues, because Allen, his owner, has been in contact with us and sent lots of great photos. The photo below shows one of Endal’s amazing talents by posting a letter. He’s such a star! Many more photos are posted on Endal’s and Allen’s website.

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