Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Health testing

I have had one or two people express surprise/concern about the fact that the dog that Dollar will be visiting is not hip/eye tested and suggesting that I should, perhaps, have not publicised this fact. I have always tried to be open and honest about my dogs and my plans for them so I feel that perhaps I need to expand on my reasons for doing so.

I am very much in favour of health testing when breeding, I have been hip scoring my dogs from the time I started breeding them (nearly 25 years) when VERY few std poodle breeders bothered with hip scores, I have eye tested for the last 10 years, SA tested occasionally for the last 6 years and am currently hoping to DNA test my stds (toys are DNA eye tested as well as the annual  BVA test) for various conditions over the next few months. I have also had 2 of my girls DLA Haplotyped, for which I am currently awaiting results.

But health testing is not the be all and end all when it comes to breeding, it is no good having a dog with fantastic hips if it is so nervous it never comes out from under the chair, or having a dog with clear eyes if it is so inbred it is unlikely to survive to an old age or quite simply just does not resemble the dog described in the KC breed standard. You need to look at the whole package, this is what I have tried to do in selecting the dog that I plan to use on Dollar. I have looked at his pedigree and, so far as I can tell, there are very few problems in his line. His pedigree ties in with Dollars without being too close, hopefully this will help to produce pups that are true to type but still have a low COI (inbreeding coefficient)
. I have also looked at the Wycliffe% on both dogs with an a view to keep it reasonably low. Physically the boy I plan to use is still sound at 8 years old (a good indication that his hips are ok), he is a smaller dog, another thing that to my mind compliments Dollars large and slightly rangy shape, his head and eye are lovely, as are Dollars. His colour will also give pups of the colour I am aiming for. His temperament is lovely, he is forward going without being over the top. He is not perfect, no dog is, but he is, in my view, a dog who has qualities worth passing on.

It has also been suggested that I repeat a previous mating from Dollar, several of these pups have been health tested now, all have good hips and clear eyes, so on the surface this sounds like a good suggestion, but this will do nothing to increase the very small genetic gene pool that we have for silver poodles in the UK. Time after time I see a dog that I like the look of, and time and time again, when I look up its pedigree it will be very closely related to Dollar or her previous offspring. Not only do I want to breed good quality pups, I want to help the breed, this is why I went to the trouble and considerable expense of importing my Swedish boy, Cash.

I will be keeping a puppy from this mating as I believe they will be worth it, if I thought there was a significant risk of problems from this union I would not be keeping one. Breeding will always carry a risk element, health testing, to a certain extent, helps stack the chips in your favour, but sometimes you have to take a calculated risk to try to make things better.  

Spirits proposed mate is health tested :-)

Thursday, 25 July 2013


It's starting to get lively round here, the girls have started to come into season :-) Yesterday it was Dime, today it is Dollar and no doubt Audrey and Spirit won't be far behind. I had hoped to repeat the mating that Dollar failed to conceive to last time, but as that particular dog has not sired any pup since our visit, I am not hopeful that we would be successful, therefore I have decided to try another boy.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know how hard I have found it to find an unrelated health tested dog that will complement Dollar, in fact none of her previous mates have been health tested, and unfortunately that is the case again. The dog I hope to use is a lovely looking boy, 8 years old, sound, and with a pedigree that links to Dollars Vulcan pedigree without being too close (something I am pleased about as Vulcan are no longer breeding Std Poodles), but not health tested :-(.
He is a cream coloured dog, but is genetically a blue or silver. If he is genetically blue, Dollar will produce a mix of silver and blue pups, if he is genetically silver, all the pups will be silver. She should not produce any cream pups.
Dollar and Dime

Spirit will be mated to the same sire as Audrey's last litter, Matti (Big Cheyenne's Amattus)from Germany. I was really pleased with Audrey's last litter, and as Matti is sired by a black and red phantom, he is a really exciting prospect for Spirit. This mating should statistically give me 50% reds/apricots, 25% blacks and 25% phantoms, of course these are statistics and the figures really only apply over the course of several litters, so I am hoping that she will give me all the phantoms in this 1st mating :-) (though of course she may give me all blacks!)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Thank You

I have just got back from the reunion, and am chuffed at how many people made the effort to join us, 21 dogs were in attendance and unlike most reunions, there were no dramas or disputes, in fact it was just blooming lovely :-) The dogs all behaved beautifully and in fact the only hiccup was when I panicked that Dollar had bloated, which fortunately turned out to be a false alarm (but was really glad to have 2 retired vets in attendance, thank you for checking her out Simon and Mary). We were a bit of a tourist attraction, several people stopped to take pictures.

I have put a couple of pictures on here but there are more on my flickr account. I will definitely repeat the reunion next year as I know there were others who would have liked to attend, but for various reasons weren't able. Once again thank you to all those who have stayed in contact over the years, it is always a pleasure receiving little updates/pictures, but even better to see you in the flesh

Friday, 19 July 2013

Looking forward to Sunday

When I suggested this reunion, my main concern was that we would get rained off. I don't think that is going to be the issue now. I would just like to state the obvious, it is going to be very hot so please bring plenty of water for all the dogs, although there is a river and plenty of woodland at Parke, I think the main meet up areas will have to be in a field, so we will try to find a shady corner. DO NOT leave your dogs in the car. I'm not sure how good the phone signal will be, but I will  have my phone with me, should you not be able to find us, 07966 300996

I have spent the past week catching up with grooming all my lot, in readiness for Sunday, not sure why I bothered as every walk has seen the dogs splashing about in the river, so consequently they look fairly bedraggled (though they have had great fun in achieving that look).
All the kittens are doing well, the older kittens are sleeping a lot due to the heat, some times you hardly know they are there, most unusual for Devon kittens! However, they still hare round once it starts to cool a little in the evening. Sybil is doing a grand job with her despicable litter, who are all little dumplings.

Friday, 12 July 2013

A long night

Sybil went into labour yesterday evening, so after sitting up with her all night, she finally produced her 1st kitten about 10 mins after my alarm would have normally gone off. Great timing Sybil!! But I can't complain, she has had a beautiful litter of kittens in an array of colours. She produced 6 kittens, but unfortunately one was stillborn. However the rest are chunky strong babies, all have fed and all are content, especially Sybil who just loves being a mum.

Graham has relented and said I can finally keep a kitten :-) so I have 3 girls to choose from. We have named them Gru, Vector, Agnes, Edith and Margo (from the film Despicable Me).

Thursday, 11 July 2013


She has to pop soon, Sybil's kittens were due yesterday (though cats frequently go a couple of days over 63) and I don't think she has ever been so big, which is saying something as Sybil is not known for being a slim girl. I will obviously update this page as soon as there is anything to report.

Both of Tibb's babies and Bobs little girl have all got homes waiting for them.

I had my friend Rosie down to stay last week, with 3 of her dogs, and a great time was had by all. You honestly wouldn't have known we had 14 dogs in the house, they are just all such well adjusted dogs that right from the start they just settled into the routine.
We had some great walks, though the Dartmoor walk proved a little stressful as there were sheep everywhere, which meant that Dollar and Spirit had to stay on the lead for most of the walk. Fortunately, Sioux, Cash and Purdie were much more trustworthy and were able to run free along with Rosie's dogs. My other girls and boys had to have a day of leisure as I couldn't have safely walked all of them (including some road work) for 8 1/2 miles.
Our trip to the beach was great, the dogs had a whale of a time, despite the constant drizzle.

Not long to our reunion now, lets hope the weather holds. Hope to see lots of you there :-)