Archive for November, 2011

Every responsible puppy buyer is eventually confronted with the decision when and whether to spay or neuter their new puppy. My puppy purchase contract does not require sexual alteration. It provides for a limited AKC registration which prevents the eventual registration of puppies from the dog or bitch. Prevention of accidental breedings is always the responsibility of pet owners. When and whether to ensure that prevention the simplest way, by de-sexing the puppy, is the buyer’s choice.

The public information on spaying and neutering, which comes primarily from shelter organizations and the animal rights activists, is biased toward de-sexing, even at very young ages. Both sides of the decision are not being fairly represented. Information about the negative aspects of de-sexing is not common knowledge and not readily available. And it seems now that the political climate is moving toward strong pressures to de-sex all dogs. There is mandatory spay and neuter legislation being considered in many states.

If one wants to observe ‘normal’ dog sexual behavior, a dog show is the place to do it. All the dogs at AKC conformation shows are intact. Bitches in season are shown. This means all the males are intact, and somewhere around one in seven bitches in the ring, are in season. So, intact males are in the ring with intact bitches in season. Standing at ring side, you would be unlikely to know which bitches were in season. Dogs are controllable. There are management challenges, particularly with both sexes living in the same house. I’m told that is the *most* common situation with accidental breedings. But control is not impossible and the ‘normal’ behavior of dogs and bitches at dog shows demonstrates that.

There are several behavioral ‘issues’ with intact males which may be reduced or possibly eliminated by neutering. Among those are roaming, marking, and dominance aggression. However, with respect to aggression, intact male Border Collies are typically better in groups than many other breeds. Historically they’ve been bred to work together well. Additionally, intact males can be expected to be more distracted. It can be more difficult to command their attention in situations when the situation is not in itself riveting (like it is in herding with Border Collies) But the roaming, marking, and aggression can be serious problems, serious enough that dogs have been euthanized for those problems. With one of our males, neutering (at five or six years old) made an overall behavioral improvement by making the male less edgy, less sharp, easier going, calm and content. But whereas he was on the thin side before neutering, his diet requires close watching now. It is possible however, that once some of these behaviors become entrenched, neutering will be a less effective treatment than if done proactively. I do recommend neutering males when any of these problems appear to be getting significant, when the dog’s situation makes control difficult, or even if the tolerance level of the owner for any of these problems is low.

There are behaviors in intact bitches, mostly associated with the estrus cycle, also to be considered. Bitches may be moody. They may be prohibited from some types of competition. They can have false pregnancies which cause even more extreme mood swings. So essentially, bitches in season may be ‘unusable’ and ‘un-trainable’ for some time periods.

But with the behavioral issues and challenges aside, the article below is a review of the actual health findings associated with spay/neuter, and early spay/neuter, dated 2007. The article begins with the statement ““The evidence shows that spay/neuter correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs. It also suggests how much we really do not yet understand about this subject. On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health problems. The number of health problems associated with neutering may exceed the associated health benefits in most cases. (…) For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.” The article goes on to list the positives and negatives for both males and females. Further the article states: “One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet owners, much of it has contributed to common misunderstandings about the health risks and benefits associated of spay/neuter in dogs.” Rather than trying to quote further out of this article, I give you the url here:


This article, below, talks more to the timing of the de-sexing of dogs. Among other things, the article talks about the closure of the growth plates which is triggered by sex hormones at puberty. Lack of the sex hormones and failure of growth plates to close timely, can result in significant alterations in body proportions which may predispose the dog to some unsoundness’s. She even attributes some behavior problems to spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. This vet’s current (2005) recommendation was spaying or neutering after 14 months of age.

Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete One Veterinarian’s Opinion © 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP


I hope you’ll get something out of these articles. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.


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new videos

Hi all… sorry about the black out…. but company is gone and there are new video uploads today! There are seven new ones up now at my YouTube Channel, here:


There is also one more still photo up in the Picasa album.

The puppies have been moved to Xpens in our kitchen. I’ve put an XL dog crate in with them and they’re learning to hang out inside some of the time. Also I’ve set up puppy potty pads. I clipped them onto plastic storage tub lids figuring the puppies are way too little to climb into the underbed storage boxes at this point.. There have been some nice clean *hits*… and some not 🙂 It is apparent now that the puppies generally know to go "away" to potty, but "where to" isn’t an established concept at this point (and where "away" is isn’t established really either … we’re working on it.)

They are becoming more and more coordinated and active (and entertaining!!!) The first two weeks it was much like waiting for water to boil!! 🙂 Today I have the "Spookless" CD playing a little louder. They don’t seem to mind but it is loud enough to get Tempie’s and my attention, for sure, in some parts. Tempie has to go up and inspect when the dogs barking come on.


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new videos

Well the puppies have all been named 🙂 Hope ya all like them…. lemon drop, strawberry shortcake, skittles, lime drop, and blue the bird!!! 🙂

This morning:







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Training videos

Potty Training:
This video does a pretty good job of itemizing the challenges of potty training dogs: http://youtu.be/IPQAazegMQg
I would even have to consider their product as a long term solution for dogs under 20 pounds or so. Little dogs are notorious for being difficult to potty train and for having very limited bladder control. Their product could eliminate the problems for challenging situations such as people who are gone during the day, or live upstairs, as they mention. But the same thing can be accomplished with a puppy potty pad put in a plastic underbed storage box with a puppy in an X pen for larger dogs (temporarily). They show in the video how reliable the behavior can be once established.

With Chance, I got up when I heard him, about 4 am? if I remember right, and took him outside. He pottied pretty promptly and it only took a little while to get past the "oh joy … chasing bunnies in the dark, let’s go out!", part of the routine. [If I'd leashed him that could have been eliminated.] About 4 am was how long he was physically able to wait at night at about 8 weeks. He didn’t have more than a couple accidents and was reliably potty trained by 12 or 16 weeks, as soon as he was physically mature enough to control it and hold it a little.

Tempie. while in the litter, had been confined in an xpen which had a doggie door onto a covered concrete patio to potty and she was more difficult to potty train. With her the most effective resolution would have been to have her reliably trained to potty on leash on command. Because we have such a big property, and never really are forced to use a leash, that learning came later and wasn’t there to be part of the solution. Plus, our ‘outside’ is *full* of distractions. And taking a puppy outside here, in the dark doesn’t mean putting them out alone. We have coyotes around. I strongly recommend that all dogs be trained to potty promptly *on leash, on command*, ASAP. She knows it now but it surely would have been useful if she’d learned it earlier. The most obstructive element in the potty training process is that dogs suspect than no one wants the potty near them, so they may ‘hold it’ when you take them out. Any correction for pottying that you witness, reinforces their reluctance to potty while you’re around. And we all know that corrections can’t be applied after the fact. What works is having them ‘go’ when it is convenient, and providing appropriate opportunities often enough. They can’t expect to comprehend that ‘where’ is the problem. Tempie is just the type to be more worried about ‘you’ when you take her out, than about her ‘job’. Having the dog learn that it pleases you for them to perform is paramount. Over the life of a dog, there will be plenty of situations when you’d like the dog to ‘take care of business’ promptly, and it has to be on leash.

Early Puppy Training:
Dr. Ian Dunbar is an academic and teaches the information which science has contributed to dog and puppy raising. Here’s the bottom line message: http://youtu.be/OpvkmARbs78 [I wouldn't go to him for the fine points about how to
obedience classes, but stuff about puppy raising YES!!] In fact, I taught an AKC "S.T.A.R. Puppy" class but followed Dr Dunbar’s format. Our class had a broad mixture of ages in it, but he recommends starting puppy socialization ASAP and views exposure-to-disease issues as minor compared with failing-to-get-those-early-experiences. He has many free educational videos you can watch… an overwhelming number of them in fact, 500+ on YouTube. You can sort them by most viewed or highest rated, or just look at the title to choose what you’d like to view. Here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DogStarDaily#g/u

I think you all will enjoy Ian Dunbar’s web site: http://www.dogstardaily.com/ He used to have a free eBook on that site for download but I can’t find it now. But he does have an eBook for download for $.01 Yes, a penny. Not sure why but maybe to cover the PayPal setup?


My Granddaughters are here now helping with socialization of the puppies!


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Granddaughter and Puppies

Well…. on your side watching, is better than having to stand on your head!!! Why did I think I could video with the camera on its’ side??? Surely I can improve on this next time!!!


The still shots are up on the Picasa album:


In the last two days the changes in the puppies are becoming remarkable. With their eyes open, they now interact with their littermates and with us, too!! They lick my face and sniff us. They suck on your fingers. They’re much more mobile. Blue boy pounces on the others. They growl and mouth each other. They sit up and look around. They are really starting to show personality.


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You are invited to view Kathleen Corum’s photo album: K9 – Puppies !!!

K9 – Puppies !!!
Nov 2, 2011
by Kathleen Corum
Puppies born on Nov 4-5 to Premiere MVP Temperance Brennan RN HSAs and HC HTCh Omegan’s Come By Chance RN CGC TT-217-BCO HSBsd HXAsd STDd OTDs HRDIIIs,g HTDIs,d HTADIIIs,g

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Message from Kathleen Corum:
New photos of my granddaughter with the puppies in her lap!

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Today’s Video

Puppies climbing out of the box …


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