Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My thoughts on supplements

Hi guys, a lot of people talk about supplements and what your dog may or may not need. Technically, by the book, if you feed a quality kibble, a healthy, young dog does not NEED any supplements -- but supplements can definitely help prevent problems or reduce potential problems during stress or illness.

Arthritis & Joint Support
I feed all of my dogs over 8 years old a daily dose of Glyco-Flex 3, which is an excellent source of glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and other nutrients for joint and connective tissue support. Two good sources to buy Glyco-Flex 3 are from Amazon (link to Glyco-Flex on Amazon) or Drs Foster & Smith (link to Glyco-Flex on Foster & Smith). Many pet stores (online and brick & mortar) stock Glyco-Flex 3.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
I also supplement all of my dogs with omega 3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA, and EPA) for healthy skin and shiny coats, and many other health benefits, including immune system support. Specifically for dogs, omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce allergies (including flea bite allergies, inhalant/contact allergies, and food allergies), lessen dry skin and dander, can help cortisone and antibiotics work more effectively, boost the immune system (which is often weaker in aging dogs), and decrease inflammation. Inflammation can play a role in arthritis, kidney disease, brain disease, and heart disease.

Supplementing with omega 3 can also help suppress autoimmune responses and thus protect against autoimmune problems such as IMHA, which have been increasingly common in whippets.

Fatty acids also improve circulation throughout the body. One caution, because omega 3 fatty acids can increase blood flow and circulation, they can also decrease clotting, so if your dog is on an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as pain medication), check with your vet before supplementing with omega 3.

The easiest way to supplement with omega 3 is to use fish oil capsules. If your dog is not accustomed to eating fish oil capsules, you can nick the end of the capsule with kitchen scissors, squirt the oil into her food, then toss in the gelatin capsule. Eventually, you can just toss the whole capsule in and your dog will eat it.

You can purchase fish oil in any drugstore or grocery store, and you can often find them in a "buy one get one free" sale and use coupons (with some stores you can use two coupons on a BOGO offer). I prefer the Nature Made brand which is a good quality product and often on sale. Nature Made also has a "rewards" program where you can sign up online, then enter the codes on the bottles and accrue points towards coupons for $3 off or $7 off future purchases. With any brand of fish oil, check the bottle to make sure it has been purified to remove any mercury.

Another method of supplementing with omega 3 is to use ground flaxseed. I often use flaxseed, because I stock up on it to add to our (human) meals and it is convenient to store and use. My routine is to measure out one teaspoon of flaxseed per dog (6 in my case), mix thoroughly with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then mix with 1/3 can of a good quality canned food (I use Blue Buffalo or my own "dog food mash" which I make by cooking down meat and vegetables in the crock pot for many hours). Then I add warm water (not hot) to make a "gravy" which I divide equally among the bowls of food. The olive oil is also beneficial for the dogs' skin and coat.

I buy whole flaxseed and grind it myself in my coffee grinder, which is best for freshness. I store the flaxseed in an opaque container in the refrigerator. After grinding, I store the flaxseed in an empty fish oil bottle that is black and stores easily in the door of my fridge. I purchase the Bob's Red Mill brand whole organic flaxseed (link to Bob's Red Mill flaxseed on Amazon).

Probiotics for Digestion
Many vets and canine nutritionists are advising supplementing with probiotics for better digestion, gastrointestinal health, and to prevent disease. Keeping a healthy level of beneficial bacteria in the GI system is vital for your dog's health.

Probiotics are essential when changing food, after vaccinations, while giving antibiotics or steroids/cortisone, after surgery, during stress (travel, moving, household changes, etc.) and during/after boarding.

Supplementing with probiotics can be as simple as adding a tablespoon or so of fresh plain yogurt to your dog's meals. Yogurt is an excellent and inexpensive source of probiotics. Make sure you avoid flavored yogurt and absolutely no sweeteners, especially artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

You can also purchase probiotic medication and digestive enzymes made specifically for dogs. Two of these products I have used are Prozyme (link to Prozyme on Amazon) and FortiFlora (link to FortiFlora on Amazon). You can also purchase probiotic capsules from your vet in a specific dosage for your dog.

In summary, supplementing your dog's diet is purely your decision, and when using a well-balanced diet, no supplementation is critical. Supplements can and do help, however, and you can see measurable improvements in your dog's health over time -- just keep in mind that when using any supplement, give it 3 or 4 months to evaluate the effectiveness. You can jot some notes about your dog's health (coat condition, allergies, activity level) and check your notes in a couple of months to see if there are improvements. You might also want to only add one supplement at a time, evaluate its effectiveness, then make additional changes as needed. Feel free to ask questions or discuss what works for you. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Please help us find JD the missing whippet puppy!

JD is a 6 month old whippet puppy who has been missing in Annapolis, MD since October 29th. Please help us find him! His mother is a Timbreblue whippet so he is family!

From Bobbie Lutz, JD's breeder:

Here's the latest on Ashley's missing baby JD.  Sun., the 10th, we had a 2nd dog tracker out & she tracked his scent (& air tracked him part of the way) to a different side of the park where he was lost.  So there is still hope he's out there somewhere.   Although the search team has pulled out the humane traps, 4 feeding stations have been put down in the new area.

The MD "Whippet Playdate Group" who have members on it who're part of the WRAP Rapid Response Team for such things have been instrumental on trying to help get JD home to his owner Chris, who is a single guy.  Chris only had him a month & 1/2 before he slipped past him as he was unloading him from his car at a new dog park there in Annapolis.

Fran McHugh (from the Rapid Response Team) posted a message to the administrators of the Lost and Found Pets of Anne Arundel County web site (as well as a couple other related web sites) to ask for volunteers in that area to help post more fliers and to man the feeding stations.  She also created an email address findjdwhippet@gmail.com where folks who are interested in helping can send a note to sign up to help.

This is approximately what the FB posting will say:

"Help desperately needed!  We picked up JD's scent, but are having trouble getting people to man the feeding stations and put up fliers.  Please if you can man stations (takes only about 6 minutes each) please help.  Also, we would like to organize a community "flyer posting".  Our goal is to post 500 flyers.  If we simply get 20 volunteers to come out for just an hour or so to post 25 flyers each, we will meet our goal.  Please help bring this puppy home"!  Please if you are in the Broadneck Park area, please help us!"

We will need volunteers to perform duties associated with this effort.  If you can volunteer for #1 or #4 below  or to hang more fliers, let her know at that email address.

1. Supplies cache:
We need someone/somwhere to keep a stash of canned tripe and flour and to mix and replenish tripe spray.  This location will also keep a supply of fliers.  This needs to be nearby to the feeding stations (Broadneck Park area).  Instructions for maintaining the feed stations will be supplied.

2. Facebook Coordinator/Lead:
   Fran will do this & request volunteers to post more fliers in designated areas, and volunteers to check feeding stations once the FB Group is set up.  She lives in Glen Burnie, not Annapolis, so she needs someone nearer the scene to run the supply cache.

3. Fliers:
Fliers will be provided to volunteer in #1 once that person is identified.

4. Shelter Contact:
Fran will ask for a volunteer on FB to make a list of shelters to contact and make bi-weekly calls.

 Little JD turned 6 months old on Nov. 14 and we sure hope to get him back soon.  He's an outgoing Whippet with '"excessive greeting disorder" so I can't imagine him still wandering the woods alone.  Someone just has to have him & either hasn't seen the ads in the Annapolis Capital Gazette or the fliers posted, or they like him so much they don't want to give him back & we need to make them feel guilty about keeping him.

So if any of the Timbreblue Family (or others I've sent this note to) can help, please contact that new email address Fran McHugh has set up.   Encourage your friends in that area of Annapolis to help.  They don't have to own a Whippet or even be current dog owners, just a willingness & time to help.

Bobbie Lutz

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Don't waste that pumpkin!

Don't waste that pumpkin! Here are a few tips for using that holiday pumpkin for more than just a decoration on your front porch.

Pumpkin is great in recipes, and very useful to add to dog food for added fiber, especially if loose stools are a problem. Add a generous spoonful -- 1-2 tablespoons -- to each meal to help with diarrhea or just to keep dogs regular.

Pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted) are thought to help with internal parasites and to boost immune health in dogs and humans. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, protein, and antioxidants. Plus, they are a tasty snack. Don't let those pumpkin seeds go to waste when you carve pumpkins for your porch!

(only roast fresh pumpkins, not pumpkins that have been carved and sitting out)

Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds (see instructions for roasting seeds below). Place halves, cut side down, in a large baking pan lined with foil. Add about an inch of water and bake, uncovered, at 375F for 1.5-2 hours or until fork-tender (this is estimating a 7-lb pumpkin).

Cool, then scrape the "meat" from the shells and puree in a food processor or blender (add a little at a time). Line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth and drain the puree to remove the extra moisture before using in recipes or dog food.

Pumpkin seeds can be eaten by humans and dogs raw or roasted. Pumpkin seeds are thought to help naturally eliminate internal parasites in dogs, and boost immune health in dogs and people. Save the pumpkin seeds when you carve your pumpkins. Raw or roasted pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Boil seeds for 5 minutes in plenty of water. Drain well, sprinkle with salt, and spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet or flat baking tray.

Bake at 250F for 30 minutes, stir, then bake another 30 minutes to one hour, or until crunchy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You could say Siren sleeps around

With baby Sophie-Grace
With Juliet

With Rowan, the Cirneco dell'Etna

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trick is happy and settled in his new home

Thank you to all who replied to the blog post about Trick needing a home. Trick now has a wonderful new family, and he is living in New Jersey with a new "brother", a red brindle whippet named Chili.

Trick has been renamed "Enzo" and is able to accompany his owner and Chili to work every day. As you can see from the photo of the boys hanging out in their owner's office, Enzo and Chili are very lucky dogs!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trick is looking for a special home

Hi guys! Our beautiful young boy Trick is looking for the perfect home. We would have loved to keep him to breed, he is a sweet, affectionate and gorgeous boy, but he didn't end up with testicles, so he is neutered now.

Trick is one year old, a red brindle and white whippet with a dramatic white head. He's playful and fun, but also happy to curl up and cuddle on the couch watching TV. He loves to chase a tennis ball and could learn to chase a frisbee pretty quickly!

Trick would do fine in a multi-dog household, or would be happy being someone's one special dog. He'd love to take long walks or go to the dog park.

Let us know if you're looking for a special boy to add to your family.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jake's (Rally) Excellent Adventure

This is reprinted from a private note with the kind permission of the author, Jake's owner, Diana C. 

Rally competition is an obedience-type sport, much more relaxed than traditional obedience competition. In rally, the owner and dog go through a course designed by the judge reading signs along the way with various instructions. It's a great way to build rapport with your dog and learn about AKC events. Go to http://classic.akc.org/events/rally/getting_started.cfm for a more complete description. 

To earn the title Jake is working on, Rally Advanced Excellent, the dog and owner team must qualify (Q) in both the advanced and excellent classes at the same trial. Ten times.  Not easy considering the creativity many whippets like to demonstrate when asked to do anything remotely resembling obedience.


Our first entries for the RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent title) were Friday. It was a tough environment. The courses were set super close to the ring gates, it was very loud, they were preparing food for the judges not far on the one side. There was a hole in the roof...drips and a puddle between where you are and the dog runs to go over the jump. As we approached the sign in Excellent, I said sit. Jake went into a bow and stretched his little heart out. I said JAKE SIT and he went into a down. We had to redo. His heeling was really wide and his jump was about 20 yards long. He earned a 95 and 3rd place. 

In Advanced, his heeling was better.  We almost had an oops. The judge used the same jump with one sign in between them. She just eliminated the second jump and you moved to the next sign. Well, little Jake likes patterns and he was ready to take off for the second jump when I yelled (excited not mad tone) and it clicked in his liddle head. "Oh I supposed to be with you?" A couple of people actually cheered and the judge gave a sigh of relief!  He got a 99, 2nd place, and that gave him his first double Q.

Saturday AKC had a My Dog Can Do That ring with agility equipment. (Note: My Dog Can Do That is an AKC program offered at many shows, pet expos, etc, that allows the public to try agility and rally with the help of experienced trainers.)  So I took Jake in. we did a couple of jumps and weave poles. He had never been through a chute tunnel. LAUGH Your PANTS OFF!  A lady helped twice holding Jake while I held it open. Then he was zooming through and scooting around me with pure joy...he was the CUTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

He enjoyed going through the regular tunnel. I was slow getting to the end so he back tracked and caught up to me with a silly expression on his face. I thought the ladies at ringside were gonna fall off their chairs laughing.

Back to rally. I knew when we got to the ring entrance for Excellent there was gonna be a problem. We got to sign #5 It was a sit, stand, down  He did the sit and the stand very nicely. He went down for a milisecond and then lifted his butt and started crawling backwards. I know Jake so I decided not to take a redo...figured I'd lose major points either way. So we continued. He ended up with an 89 (thank you, Lord!). 

Next was Advanced. Who was the dog that came in with me and where did he come from? Be nice if he hung around for awhile. He earned a 100 and 4th place. In real life, he was the fastest dog in the rally ring, but also the slowest sitter. So that gave him his 2nd RAE leg. Only eight more to go...



Greyhound: Oneco Matate (Rocky) CD-H, NTD, RL1, RLV, AOE-V, W-HDFDX/MF, W-FD/MF, CGC, (retired) TDI

Greyhound: URO1 Oneco Isabella (Belle) CD-H, ATD, RL2 (AOE-L2),W-DDFD/HTM, W-DDFD/MF, W-CH.HDFD/MF,  W-FDM/MF,  W-FDX/HTM, W-TFD/MF-X2,  W-BFD/MF, W-BBFD/HTM, W-BBFD/MF, CGC,  (retired) TDI

Whippet: URO2 Timbreblue's Mysterious Dream Warrior (Jake): BN, CDX-C, RE, RL1, RL2, RL3, AOE-L1, L2, L3,  TDCH, DSA, W-D1DFD/MF, W-FDX/MF, W-FD/HTM, W-BB/MF,  CGC, POYC Therapy dog.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Why girlz rool (ghost-written for Rini)

On this blog there have been a number of posts about how awesome the whippet boys are, how sweet, how cuddly, and how they obey better. Well Rini wants the record set straight about whippet girls. Yes, they are manipulative and cunning ... but that is because they are SMART. Whippet girls can figure out English words and put together complex situations like "at around 7pm Mom looks at Dad and says 'Well...OK...' which means that it is dinner time and she is about to feed us" so the GIRL whippets go nuts! The boys are clueless.

Yes, the boys are cuddly, and they are more likely to curl up in your lap or follow you from room to room. But if your GIRL whippet believes that you may have a treat in store or something she might be interested in, she is not going to leave your side!

Girl whippets learn obedience lessons faster, and how to break the rules faster. They may learn faster, but they get bored faster, which keeps you on your toes -- a good thing, right??

Girl whippets will cuddle on your pillow all night with you. They will love you to the ends of the earth. Especially if it means you might share a midnight snack with them.

Who could resist this face?
I actually had to change up my evening routine because of Miss Rini. She learned that after dinner I was likely to hand out chewies if she came to me and oh-so-sweetly put her paw on my lap. It was sooooo cute! And I would respond by going to get chewies for everyone -- Rini first of course!

Once I realized I was being played like a harp, I started skipping a day or two of chewies, to keep her guessing. She soon figured out that I could go a day or two with no chewie-handout, but beyond that I was powerless to her charms. So she REALLY turns it on during day three. She climbs in my lap, gives me kisses, drapes herself on me, and she KNOWS that I will break down.

Boys may be awesome, but girl whippets know the secret code to your heart. Be warned. =)

Bully sticks at a great price on Amazon!

Wow! I don't usually share shopping scores, but I just got 50-ct bully sticks (6") for $50 including shipping on Amazon. They last a long time and my whips are nuts about them. Usually they are crazy expensive so I don't buy them. But in this case they are made in North & South America (no China) and I trust this company (Value Pet Supplies).

The pork twist chewies I used to buy were made in China and although I've NEVER had a problem with them, I wanted to make a change, given the recalls and reports of problems with Chinese-made chewies. Here's the link in case you want to check them out: Value Pet Bully Sticks 6" 50-ct (other quantities available).

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Whippet Picaso?

Okay, so we've never won Westminster. We've never even competed in the AKC/Eukanuba National Dog Show and we've never even been to Crufts. We don't have the top obedience whippet in the country. (Wait, is that an oxymoron?) We haven't put an addition on the house to hold the trophies. But I don't know any other breeder who can boast of a whippet who paints.

Actually I can't boast about it either. Yes, we bred Jake, but owner Diana has put the work and the joy into his training. Have fun watching this one!

Friday, March 29, 2013

An ordeal - or - Viola's litter!

As the puppies turn one week old, we finally have enough room to breathe, and to catch you up on the ordeal -- umm, blessing! -- of Viola's first litter. This litter has been very hands-on, to say the least. Viola is finally turning into a good mommy but we have been through:
  1. scary c-section with her under anesthesia for over three hours
  2. Vi ignoring puppies
  3. Vi not eating
  4. finally deciding puppies were okay but lying on them and ignoring their squeaks of protest (this meant she could really never be left alone for several days and very little sleep for me -- my temporary bed is next to her box and I wake up with every squeal)
  5. Vi having housebreaking issues -- turned out she was waiting as long as possible to ask to go out, then couldn't make it to the door
  6. Vi deciding to move the puppies out of the box into her self-made bed just next to it. We solved that one (we think) by putting a very, very thick fleece in the box and she has left them alone for the time being. Apparently the Queen Mum was not comfortable enough.
  7. Viola's milk not coming in. We are still coping with that one, having to supplement the smaller puppies several times a day and weigh them twice daily, deciding on an hourly basis which ones to supplement. They are doing well, just taking a lot of care. It is a balancing act to supplement them enough to keep them strong but not so much that we interfere with their nursing...if they don't nurse enough, mom's body goes into weaning mode and milk production shuts down.

Fortunately Viola is sweet and biddable, which makes all this much easier. Instinct has kicked in and she does love her puppies now (we were beginning to worry about that) and doesn't want to be away from them.

Boy, does this make me appreciate her mama Juliet, who hardly needed me at all. I was so sick with a cold during her last litter that I swear she was waking me up to say, "Hey, we have another one...all cleaned up for you. I'm going to take a nap too now, okay?" 

Viola, on the other hand, with her first contractions, went into OMG!!!! mode and stayed there, except when she was napping, which seemed like entirely too often for someone in labor! Finally after five were delivered, she decided that was all the puppies she needed and just quit on us. Thus, the c-section. We were expecting maybe one or two more, and there were FIVE more, Unfortunately we did lose one little girl, who had apparently died some time before delivery and was holding up the works. She is buried near her great-great Grandma Ivy and I am sure wherever they are, she is the BEST mannered little puppy you'd ever meet. Grandma Ivy takes no prisoners.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Star is Born...well, a few years ago

Congratulations to our Jake and owner Diana C., who finished second in the national ratings for Rally Excellent for 2012! And if that isn't enough, they received an invitation to the AKC national rally championships! However, we should not be surprised.

Stardom is not new to Jake the Wonder Whippet though (officially, Timbreblue's Mysterious Dream Warrior). He and Diana have won titles in competitions I'll bet you didn't know existed!

For example,in the "Do More With Your Dog" tricks program, he's earned:
NTD (Novice Trick Dog)
ITD (Intermediate Trick Dog)
ATD (Advanced Trick Dog)
ETD (Excellent Trick Dog)
TDCH (Champion Trick Dog)

You can see some of Jake's amazing tricks on Youtube: -- all definitely worth watching! These are short videos that will inspire you to teach your whippet tricks....or at least think about it.

Jake's Advanced Tricks

And if you think that's impressive...

Jake's Expert Tricks

Jake Backs up the Steps
He started young!

Jake's Ball of Fun

When Jake gets bored with tricks, he goes dancing, In WCFO freestyle he's earned

  W-FD/MF ( Beginners Musical Freestyle Dog Title)
  W-FDX/MF ( Novice Musical Freestyle Dog Title)
  W-FD/HTM ( Beginners Heelwork to Music Title)

Plus he passed the W-BB/MF  ( Bronze Bar Musical Freestyle Proficiency Test  Title)
(And I may be wrong, but I believe he was the first whippet to pass this!)

Combining all this, he earned his W-DDFD/MF ( Musical Freestyle Dancing Dog Title) which is earned after a freestyle title and a proficiency test in the same division,

With sister Piper. Who knew?
 But Jake isn't all about entertainment! He's also earned AKC titles:
RN (Rally Novice)
RA (Rally Advanced)
RE (Rally Excellent)
Obedience BN (Beginners Novice)
CGC (Canine Good Citizen)

And UKC titles:
URO1 (UKC Rally Level 1)
URO2 (UKC Rally Level 2)
and he has his first leg on a UKC obedience title (winning first place while he was at it!)

The Companion Dog Sports Program also offers titles and our well-rounded Jake picked up his novice obedience title (CD-C) from them and was ranked 11th in 2010 for Novice A obedience. He followed up with the next title, CDX-C, for open obedience.

I had no idea the Association of Pet Dog Trainers offered competitions, but Diana and Jake did! He's earned  his  RL1 (Rally Level 1) and bagged an Award of Excellence by scoring 190 or higher in his first three entries. He followed up with his RL2 (Rally Level 2) and the accompanying Award of Excellence for that level, and of course RL3 (Rally Level 3) and the Award of Excellence for that level.

Jake has two of three legs towards his first Cyber RallyO title, which is done by video.

Was he already planning a career?
He passed the Dogs Can Dance entry level (by the way, using Kevin Harris' music, thus keeping it all in the Timbreblue family. Dogs Can Dance is a video freestyle organization...you can compete with your dog in the privacy of your own home!

And between competitions, to keep themselves from getting bored, Jake and Diana earned Dog Scouts of America badges in dog scouting, therapy, retrieving, freestyle, and naked obedience (I didn't ask, but I'll assume this just means Jake performs without a leash and it has nothing to do with Diana's wardrobe...)

Jake even provides community service as a therapy dog certified by POYC (Pleasure of Your Company).

Now comes the fun part. When a dog earns a title, it becomes part of his official name, So, condensing all this, Jake is now URO2 Timbreblue's Mysterious Dream Warrior (Jake): BN, CDX-C, RE, RL3, AOE-L1,L2 & L3, TDCH, W-DDFD/MF, W-FDX/MF, W-FD/HTM, W-BB/MF, CGC, POYC Therapy dog, DSA.

Proud and happy doesn't begin to describe how we feel about Diana and Jake! We're proud of all our Timbreblue dogs and, as we have told our owners many times, all we want for our puppies is a loving home for each of them. But boy, when you get a pair like Diana and Jake, you just gotta brag on them a little!

Jake is from the 2009 Thanksgiving litter, Party and Nelson.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What Cooper (Winchester) has learned

Winchester (now Cooper) has been in his home in North Carolina with Hugh and Jean Bartlett now for a few weeks. Hugh and Jean own Cammie, from the Flower Children litter, and two other whippets, Geordie and Britt. Here is what we hear from him:

 This is what Cooper Winchester Bartlett has learned in these last two weeks, per Cooper.

You can only get on furniture that has cover on it.  If you err, Mom tells you to get down in a VERY LOUD voice and then shows you the correct place.

You can NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put your feet on ANY table.  I learned that pretty fast.

Don't bring toys or chewies onto the people bed.

Wait your turn for your dinner.  Geordie goes first, Britt goes next, I finally get mine, and I don't care who goes next.

Mom took me for a walk by myself once.  Then she took me again with Cammie.
Dad took me once by myself and once with Geordie.  We all went for walks with everybody.  There's rules there too but I'm not too clear on them. Both people say I walk very well, whatever that means.

The people tell me easy when I'm nervous and pet my back.  I like that a lot.

Dad puts his hand out and uses it for a target.  I put my nose on his hand and get a treat.  Pretty cool.

I have to sit for a treat.  Mom says I situationally sit but Dad thinks I really know the word.

Don't mess with Britt when she has a chewie.

Geordie is pretty cool and does some really interesting stuff in the yard.

Cammie is fun to play with but is sometimes a little scarey.  Mom makes her stop playing and lets me in the house so I'm not scared.

Mom is wondering if the honeymoon is over.  I have no idea what she's talking about.

Monday, January 21, 2013

More boy joy

Couldn't resist these latest pics of Beca Zaun's Ohio boys. Their mom is Moka, Ch Timbreblue Abraxas Mocha Martini. She says Gibson in particular would be an excellent obedience or rally dog...he's unusually attentive to her.  This is Gibbs.

Did you call me?

Gibson catching zzzzz's

Okay, all boys look a little dopey sometimes...

Mom, stop with the camera already! We're sleeping here!

And here's Jack!

Was that a rabbit?
Let's DO something!

Could he get any cuter?

Well, yeah, this is cuter...

And just because we are so darn proud of Beca and Moka, here's a picture of them taking Best of Winners at the Dayton Kennel Club show when Moka was only six months old!

Moka's boys are available to people who will give them all the love whippet boys deserve! Contact Beca at roebeck@buckeye-express.com.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Joys of Boys!

Gibson and Jack chowing down
We usually receive four or five inquiries a week from people looking for whippets. For the past two months we've noticed that all -- and I mean all with one exception --of the inquiries specify females, whether adults or puppies. I can only figure that somewhere on the internet must be a misguided bit of advice suggesting that girl dogs make better pets.

It's time someone put in a word for the boys. I cannot speak for all breeds, but in whippets it is generally accepted that males are more affectionate, less moody, more loyal, and just sweeter in general. In my personal opinion, the girls are smarter, but smarter does not necessarily mean a more obedient pet. Sometimes smart = conniving.

While it's not true of all females, I swear that several of ours have actually flipped me off when I've asked them to do something. And not something difficult -- something more like,  "Come here, Ju-ju Bean!" (Admittedly the flip off could be a response to the nicknames I use for them, but whatever the reason, they still won't come unless they happen to feel like it and have nothing else to do.)

When one of our girls is naughty and gets a "No!" or "Cut that out!", she is likely to respond with a stink-eye that clearly says, "You godda problem wit' me?" On the other hand, fuss at any one of our boys and he'll do anything to get back into your good graces.

Jack: It's really and truly empty, huh?
When boys fight, and they seldom do, it's settled then and there and life goes on. When the girls fight, it is never over. Think of the girl in high school who told you your shoes were ugly. If you're a woman, I'll bet you still remember her name and you might well hate her until the day you die. That's a whippet girl when she believes she has been wronged, slighted, or insulted. She never forgets. There's a reason we call them bitches.

Now these are generalizations and you might well find a female who never has a bad day and will snuggle with you as long as you'll let her. We've had some. And I suppose there are moody boy dogs out there too though I've never met one.

 But as a rule, if you want a whippet who will tell you daily that you are the smartest, funniest, and most beautiful person in the world, your odds are better with a boy. Most whippets are snugglers regardless of gender, but if someone is in a snit on the other side of the room, it's going to be the female.

We've asked a few people their reasons for preferring females. The two most common responses are that male dogs lift their legs on furniture and some of them "hump" inappropriately.  These are not common problems with whippets, and especially not neutered ones.

Males "mark" in the house to claim property rights (and actually, many females do the same!) but unless another dog has previously laid claim to Dad's recliner, it's unlikely your boy will feel the need to add his signature.  Most marking can be attributed to more than one intact male in the house and/or a female in season. The average pet whippet is just not going to feel the need to establish dominance this way.

Humping inappropriately? We have only one whippet who does this routinely, and she's a female. Really. Kara has a complicated relationship with her favorite teddy bear.

Gibson: A boy with a healthy appetite
As for humping legs or whatever, that is easily corrected the same way you would correct any unwanted behavior -- with a firm "NO" and redirecting the dog's interest elsewhere. I have never owned a male whippet who rode people's legs like some of the toy breeds do, though I'm sure if I say they never do, someone will tell me about the one he had who loved to hump Grandma's knee. But it is definitely not a common problem in whippets.

Humping other dogs, by the way, is seen at least as often in females as males. It's  a dominance thing, not a sex  thing, and again, a firm correction is called for, as well as redirecting the attention of both dogs so they can stop worrying about who's da boss.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my girls. But if I want pure, uncomplicated love, I'll take a male whippet any day.

If after reading this you think a little whippet boy might fit into your home, give us a call at 540-464-8046. We know of a number of boys just looking for someone to adore. Our lovely Moka (Ch Timbreblue Abraxis Mocha Martini) was bred and has two really nice brindle boys available in Ohio.  She belongs to Beca Zaun and you can reach Beca at roebeck@buckeye-express.com. Their photos are shown throughout this post.

If you want to skip the baby puppy phase, ask us  about Trick and Winchester. They are also brindle, around six months old, crate and leash-trained and very well started on housetraining. They are energetic, fun little guys who need to get settled in their "real" homes. And we know of a litter in Charlotte, North Carolina, with some boys available.

The boys and Mama Moka (and sister Brandi)