Posts by Laura Reeves
583 – Book Teaches Children How to Train and Socialize a Puppy
Book Teaches Children How to Train and Socialize a Puppy
Authors Giselle Nevada and Jennie Chen join host Laura Reeves to share the story of their new book, “The Puppy Adventures of Porter and Midge – Out and About,” a book about two puppies who go on adventures, written by dog people to share with the general public.
“As dog people, these dogs are our lives,” Chen said. “Our entire lives revolve around them. So our way of communication is certainly at a different level because we’ve got the depth of knowledge that the general public doesn’t necessarily have. They might have a couple of pets throughout their lifetimes, where we’ve got dogs that we train, show, live with us, live with somebody else, and those sorts of things.
“So being able to communicate to someone who can only take a tiny snippet of what we understand in the dog world is so difficult. And then trying to translate that to a child who may not have all of the communication skills and mobility skills. How do we communicate these ideas to kids, to this different audience, so that as they grow, these are the things that are really important? What does a puppy see when they’re out in public? So yeah, we’re very passionate about this.”
The dog “characters” in the book are a Mastiff and a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the breeds Nevada and Chen own. The two friends met while living in Austin, TX, and developed this project from their combined passions.
“You will see a lot of people who are in the dog world also drawn in,” Chen added. “They may not be the characters, but they may be the people you know walking around on the street, the veterinarian, other people, and other dogs that you may already know from the show world. So we try to incorporate a lot of that. We also want to incorporate a lot of the breeds that aren’t as well known, like we have a Bouvier in there.
“We really wanted to speak to a different audience. Because it’s not just, ‘Oh, this is what I’m to do with an adult.’ This is what we need to do as a puppy. And now you layer on a kid, How do you get a kid to understand that? Because they don’t understand the same things we understand. They’re not able to pick up the visual cues, the body language that dogs have. How do we introduce them to this idea of socialization?”
Listen to the entire episode for more details or watch on YouTube.
582 – New Children’s Book Devoted to the History of our Best Friends
New Children’s Book Devoted to the History of our Best Friends
Host Laura Reeves is joined by world famous children’s book author and illustrator Lita Judge to discuss her newest release, “Dogs: A History of Our Best Friends.” Spoiler alert, Laura and Lita share a friendship dating back almost 40 years!
The book is the result of the pandemic providing Judge the time and mental space to focus on a topic she’d wanted to write about for years, she said.
“I think the reason I hadn’t written it sooner was because it was just a massive amount of research. It covers 40,000 years of the history of dogs,” Judge said. “And there’s so much information about: how did we domesticate them, did they self-domesticate, you know, stacks of books to read. And I felt like I had the quiet space to just really dive into this because I knew that this project was going to be a total labor of love.
“It’s my second longest book that I’ve done. And I just wanted to do it. Well, when I was going to do it, you know, I got to research medieval times and prehistoric times and what was our relationship to dogs in 1st century China and how did dogs serve in war and what do therapy dogs do? And you know, all this vast amount of information, I knew this really needed a nice chunk of time to devote to it. So the time was right.
A life-long dog lover raised by two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and an Alaskan Malamute, Judge said “the thing I was the most curious about was how did we get from wolf to dog. And that was just so mind blowing. Like, how does that transition happen? And it was so interesting because I had to talk to different scientists and you know, I used to be a geologist and I worked on dinosaur digs. So I knew everybody has an opinion on these questions. The consensus seems to be more and more they self-domesticated and that they have the social skills because they work as pack animals and they understand working together that they were able to make that leap in working with us.
“So I think that was the thing I was really fascinated by. The other thing I was blown away with is that dogs were prescribed as treatment as early as the Middle Ages. If you had a stomach-ache, hold a dog. We didn’t understand why (then). Now we know it lowers your cortisone, lowers your blood pressure, releases oxytocin. I mean, we know why now, but we didn’t understand that why then. And yet we knew it worked. You know, we knew that that relationship with our dogs was that incredible that it’s actually healing, and luckily healing for the dog as well.”
Listen in to the full episode or watch the interview on our YouTube channel for more insight and special takeaways that apply to the dog world from Lita’s journey from shy, withdrawn teenager to world traveler, doing book tours and speaking engagements for thousands and even how she met her husband on a cross-country bicycle trip.
581 – AKC’s Breeder Symposiums Aim to Level the Playing Field
AKC’s Breeder Symposiums Aim to Level the Playing Field
Host Laura Reeves is joined by Vanessa Skou, AKC’s Executive Director of Breeder Development and Erin Myers, project analyst for AKC’s Internal Consulting Group discussing the advent and development of the Breeder Symposium events.
Skou and Myers are both third generation dog breeders and former professional handlers. They describe themselves as still very much “in the trenches” of the fundamentals of breeding dogs.
“I know I have two litters on the ground,” Skou said. “And so we have personal experiences that we were like, ‘oh, wouldn’t it be great to have a class on this.’ Because those are the questions I have as well. So, if I’m having them, I’m sure somebody else is having them and that’s kind of where we bring our personal experiences into the play.”
“We want to be able to offer beginner and advanced tracks for people.” Myers said. “So if you’ve never bred a litter, you’re absolutely welcome to come. If you’ve bred 100 liters, we’re gonna have stuff for you.
“Education is that one thing, that kind of it puts us all on the same playing field,” Skou added. “We all can learn. Education is kind of that common denominator that we have. That we can all gain the insight from.”
“Without breeders, AKC doesn’t exist,” Skou observed. “AKC sports don’t exist and so encouragement of new breeders to even dip their toe in the water or those breeders that are having a hard time and getting downtrodden and feel like they’re fighting against the tide? Like anything we can do to encourage all of them.
“Because at the end of the day those puppy buyers are what really is what matters, right? They’re the ones that love that dog for its lifetime and make our hearts feel warm and fuzzy. We get to have our dogs to, you know, play with and show or performance, whatever it may be. But at the end of the day, we make so many people happy with that puppy. And so if we can do a such a good job to make everybody have a good experience to me, that’s that’s my job. And that’s why I take seriously.”
Sign up HERE for the Houston Breedeer Symposium in July!!
Visit YouTube for the video version of this interview HERE!
580 – Tara Martin Rowell on Drop Coats and Competitive Spirit
Tara Martin Rowell on Drop Coats and Competitive Spirit
Tara Martin Rowell, breeder, handler and second generation dog woman, joins host Laura Reeves with recommendations on maintaining drop coats, the genetics of her competitive spirit and pro tips for succeeding at the highest level in the sport.
“Basically, I was born into Maltese,” Tara said. “My mom (AKC judge Vicki Abbott) and dad had me right after my mom had kind of gotten involved in the breed. In my younger life, it was all about the Maltese and my mom was very successful. (She) had the top winning toy dog of all time, a Maltese that she actually handled. That’s how I got introduced into dog shows as a young child.
“Something that I always say when people ask me, I think it’s very important, especially today for our younger generation, to at least get some sort of a business degree. You want to handle dogs, you got to know how to do the business side of it too, because it’s not just the glamour and the walking in the ring and the winning. I mean, that’s very small portion of it.
“I started my life picking up a lot of poop. A lot of dogs that I never walked in the ring with doing a lot of holding of dogs, doing a lot of keeping my mouth shut. I mean, there’s a lot of work that goes into that process of success, you know?
Favorite Dog Book
“I think Dog Steps would be the one everybody has to read. I think that you should reread it as you get older, especially if you’re aspiring to judge, even if you’ve been judging. I still think structure and anatomy is so important in a breeding program. In a breed like my main breed Maltese, I think people get away from the structure and the anatomy because they think the hair is so important. Hair’s very important, but it’s one piece of the puzzle that makes the whole puzzle work, and you can’t have one without the other.
Listen to the full episode for Tara’s recommendations on grooming routines, favorite products and secrets for success.
579 – Dr. Marty Greer on Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Dr. Marty Greer on Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, this year’s Westminster Kennel Club and Trupanion Vet of the Year, joins host Laura Reeves to discuss Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia in dogs.
“Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is, as it sounds, an immune mediated disease,” Greer said. “But what it doesn’t exactly describe is that in this particular disease, the target cells for the immune response are the circulating red blood cells. So in a patient that has autoimmune hemolytic anemia… people have it, dogs have it. Not as often in cats…. basically the body attacks its own red blood cells.
“The dog goes from being pretty clinically normal, to being really profoundly sick, weak, out of breath, really, really sick. Sometimes with a fever, sometimes not, within a matter of hours to days. And when this happens, it requires an immediate diagnosis and immediate initiation of treatment. Sometimes requiring blood transfusions, 24 hour stays in the hospital, all kinds of stuff. So, it is a bad disease.
“As soon as you flip the lip and you see that really pale mucus membrane color, like their gums are white or close to white. Sometimes jaundiced, just depends on how rapidly the red blood cells are being broken down and how those are being managed. The dog will look something like a dog with a splenic rupture. Or hemangiosarcoma of the spleen where they’re bleeding into the abdomen. It’s that same really profound anemia. Now, this tends to be most common, like I said, in middle age, to older female dogs, especially spaniels.
“That being said. I’ve seen it probably in every breed. So, I don’t think you can say, well you know, I have a corgi so it couldn’t be that. I don’t really think that’s the case.
“The other part of this is to try and determine if there’s an underlying cause. It can happen spontaneously in the middle-aged and older female. It can happen after a number of vaccinations are administered at the same time, but we see a lot of it related to tick borne diseases.
“(These) are thought to be triggers for this because something makes your body, say that red blood cell that’s in your circulation, no, that’s not my cell, that’s not my protein. My immune system is going to attack it just like it would have bacteria, a virus or other foreign tissue.”
Listen in to the entire episode for Dr. Greer’s diagnostic and treatment recommendations. And click over to the Veterinary Voice ALBUM for a compilation of every one of Laura’s in depth and practical conversations with Dr. Greer.
578 — Temple Grandin to Headline NAIA Conference in Portland
Temple Grandin to headline NAIA Conference in Portland
Patti Strand, founder of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) joins host Laura Reeves to discuss the lineup of speakers at the conference scheduled for May 26-28 in Portland, OR.
The annual NAIA conference kicks off under the banner “Preserving Our Breeds: Preparing for the looming dog shortage.” Strand shared her excitement about the keynote speaker, Temple Grandin, who has been actively involved in animal welfare for decades.
Strand said that Grandin’s most recent book “really speaks to me. It’s called ‘Visual Thinking, the hidden gifts of people who think in pictures, patterns and abstractions.’ And if you get into this book, she talks about different categories of work that people get into who have these gifts, and animal people are among them.”
Additional topics are focused on preserving our breeds, breeding healthy dogs and raising well-socialized puppies. Dr. Marty Greer, Carmen Battaglia and Dr. Claire Wiley will join the star-studded speakers panel.
“I could say the looming purebred dog shortage or the looming shortage of dogs that are deliberately bred rather than random bred or bred in countries that don’t have the same standards that we have,” Strand noted. “There always will be dogs available as long as there are street dogs in developing countries. We’re going to focus more on the deliberately bred dogs and talk about how we preserve them.
“The big part of the conference is dedicated to helping people breed better dogs, raise their dogs better. You know, the socialization pieces are all about that. The DNA piece, Marty coming in and talking about different aspects of reproduction.
“But again, in order to preserve their breed, a big part of that is breeding dogs. There are so many breeds today where you have a hundred or less dogs in the entire country. Not just 100 dogs that are intact, but just a hundred dogs of that particular breed. We need to encourage people to breed in a way that supports every aspect of animal welfare and so on, but breed dogs. It’s part of this preservation piece, you can’t preserve from if you don’t breed them.”
Remember to check out the NEW PDT Albums today!!
577 — Margery Good on the Deep Character of “Sillyham” Terriers
Margery Good on the Deep Character of Sealyham Terriers
Margery Good joins host Laura Reeves to share her deep love of her beloved Sealyham Terriers, breeding, grooming and the importance of learning.
Good started in obedience with a German Shepherd Dog.
“I entered in obedience, but then I spent my day at the dog show stalking the handlers that were sharing their conformation dogs and trying to learn as much as I possibly could, without getting in their way. Peter Green, Bob and Jane Forsyth. Bill Trainor. People that were at the very top of their careers in those days, and I would spend as many hours as I could watching and trying to learn.
“Well, I watched a lot of their grooming at their setups and how they handled each dog on the tables and putting them on and off the table. how they brushed them, what direction they use or what tools they picked up. Except for the Forsyths, the handlers were only showing like 6-7 dogs in the show and they’d do some trimming the shows.
“So I’d watch how they tweak the trim before they take them in the ring. And then with like the Afghan hounds and Poodles I watched, how did they brush the hair? How did they pick up the hair they weren’t brushing so that they could get from their skin to the tip of the hair. So I picked up a lot of learning from observing how they prepared the dogs. And then I’d go and watch them actually showing the dog. I actually spent more time behind the scenes than by the rings.
Speaking to the challenge of trimming Sealys, Good said “I do try very hard to breed dogs with coats that normal groomers and average dog owners, if they apply themselves, they can work and have their successful finish to them. I also spend a lot of time helping people at shows or at my place or wherever I am to help them tidy up their trims and show them a new technique that they haven’t tried or encourage them to keep going until they get it right.
“Now that we have things like cell phones, I say take pictures, send me pictures, I will critique your trim. I work with people, they’re 12-15 hours away. If they send me pictures, I will help. And it works.
Sealyham Terriers – Generous, Big Dogs in Small Package
“They’re so generous. And all you need to do is ask and they will say what can I do for you. They’re very strong, sturdy, compact little dogs. They are big dogs just in a small package. They have very strong personalities. Their characters are very deep, as opposed to some of the other terrier breeds, whose characters are rather shallow. Which some people like. But it’s not for me. I like the depth of the character that I see in Sealyhams.
Classic Breeding Advice
“(Starting out) I was able to breed forward and not have a lot of faults that I had to breed away from. I had very good virtues to start with. In a breeding program, you need to concentrate virtues and minimize faults when you breed. So, you need to be able to see what a stud dog can give in virtues and what faults you might get and not double on what you have in your female. See what her strengths are and not double on the faults that they have. So, generation after generation, you do that. To the point of Stash, (GCHG CH Goodspice Efbe Money Stache, Terrier Group winner at the 2022 AKCNC) who’s the culmination of 50 years of my breeding.”
Listen to the entire conversation full of passion, insight and charm.
576 – Kent Boyles and Liz Oster on Breeding Plans and Growing the Sport
Kent Boyles and Liz Oster on Breeding Plans and Growing the Sport
Kent Boyles and Liz Oster of Kenlyn and Marquis German Shepherd Dogs join host Laura Reeves from the International Kennel Club of Chicago shows to share their thoughts on breeding decisions and how to grow the sport of purebred dogs.
Boyles and Oster, 2018 AKC Breeders of the Year, are the owners and handlers of Rumor, GCH Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn, BIS at Westminster Kennel Club in 2017, #1 dog all breeds in 2016 and winner of 104 All Breed Best in Show awards.
Boyles piloted GCH CH Kaleef’s Mercedes to win the AKC National Championship Herding group in 2022.
Boyles started working for German Shepherd breeders at 16, as soon as he could get his driver’s license. Oster was born into the breed and raised with them as her parents participated in obedience and later developed their breeding program.
“I think (dog shows) need to be more of a family deal,” Oster said.. Like my mom would drag all five of us kids to the dog show. My brothers weren’t really into the dog show, but my sister and I were. And so we would show the dogs. They’d go and play and do whatever at the park or wherever we were. And I mean, everybody helped at home and stuff.
“And I think exhibitors need to be more open and friendly to spectators at the dog shows. I mean, even this weekend, exhibitors are kind of like, ‘oh, I can’t get through.’ Well, if we didn’t have these people coming here, they would not buy a purebred German shepherd…”
“I think that’s key,” Boyles added. “You see somebody with a little bit of interest, Jesus, I mean help them.”
“Some of these German shepherd clubs, just the way things have evolved, they’ve kind of gotten away from the obedience end of things,” Boyles observed. “And some of the working aspects of the breed. With our breed, German Shepherds, the reason almost all new people come and buy a German Shepherd, believe me, is not to go to a dog show and watch it go around in a circle at an AKC dog show.
“They wanna get it because of the reputation that the dog has for being a good, sound family guardian. They want it to look over their home, take care of things … it’s got the lure of the police dog type stuff … as far as it being a working dog. So a lot of times people get carried away with … the only criteria that you would have to select and keep a dog is just because of its anatomical features and not what’s going on inside that dog’s head, and the paying attention to the health and the strength and the fundamentals of what’s in that dog’s mind, … it gets to be a little bit problematic.
“I think sometimes people use the word aloofness as a little bit of an excuse to have (the dogs) be a little edgy and not so accepting, so to speak. I mean, to me, like aloof means it doesn’t need to just indiscriminately like everybody, you know? It’s just like I can take you or leave, , but it’s still supposed to be sound minded and comfortable and confident in the surroundings that it’s in.
“…One of the things that we always try to keep in mind is we’re not going to do this breeding today just to try to get a show winner. You’ve got a concept in mind as to what that animal is supposed to ultimately be like, how you’re going to get there, but then what step you’re going to take three generations down the road. Where are you gonna go with that? You have to continue on.”
575 – Ears: Yeast, Bacteria and Dr. Greer’s Mind-Blowing Tip for Hair Removal
Ears: Yeast, Bacteria and Dr. Greer’s Mind-Blowing Tip for Hair Removal
Dr. Marty Greer, DVM joins host Laura Reeves for important information on maintaining healthy ears in our dogs, diagnosing and treating ear infections and her *mind-blowing* tip for hair removal from the ear canal.
“Ears are complicated,” Greer said. “It’s not just go pick up a tube of Panalog and you’re going to fix the whole problem. It is not that simple. I wish it were. Everybody wishes it were. Clients don’t understand why we have these chronic, recurrent, never-ending problems.
“Ears can be as simple as … the puppy got some water in its ears. It was out in the rain, playing around, rolled in the snow, had a good time, came in, got a little water in the ear, got an ear infection. However, a lot of dogs have these chronic, recurrent, never-ending ear infections. They can be bacterial, they can be yeast, they can be a combination, they can be allergic and some dogs just have itchy ears.
“Our dogs should not have ear wax in their ears. Cats should not have ear wax in their ears. Children should. Ferrets should. Dogs and cats should not have ear wax. So anytime you see discharge in the ears, if you put a Q-tip or a Kleenex in and you wipe out something that’s yellow, brown, icky. If you get stuff out, your dog needs to go see the vet. There’s a problem.
“Don’t mess with a healthy ear. If your dog doesn’t have a problem with its ears, don’t start cleaning it. Don’t start putting stuff in the ear canal if there’s nothing wrong with it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it because you’ve now taken an environment that was healthy and you’ve changed it, so don’t put something in the ear unless you need to.
“You can pluck hair on the ears (to help keep a drier environment). I think it sets up inflammatory changes …You’re ripping hair out of the hair follicles. A lot of people don’t know, and I learned this at a meeting. So, this is not Marty Greer going off the rails. This is actually from a dermatologist. You can put Nair in the ear canal and get rid of the hair. You wanna make sure that the ear drum’s intact of course. And I usually use the one with aloe.
“I’m careful when I do it. I usually put it down with a Q-tip. I don’t wanna push a big squirt out of the bottle and into the ear and then have the dog shake its head. Because if you lose an eyebrow as your dog shook its head and then Nair flew out in your face, I am not responsible for this.
“All the hair doesn’t come out on the first treatment. It takes a couple of times to do it. I put it down in the ear canal. I give it about 10 minutes and then I’ll go in with the Q-tip and just kind of spin the Q-tip and the hair starts to just lift out. It’s really cool.”
Listen to the full episode for more excellent information on healthy ears for our dogs.
574 – Kelly Shupp on Campaigns, Rare Breeds and Generational Change
Kelly Shupp on Campaigns, Rare Breeds and Generational Change
Kelly Shupp, Professional Handler, joins host Laura Reeves for a deeply insightful conversation about running a show campaign, the challenges of competing with rare breeds and the generational change happening in her circle.
Shupp grew up with purebred dogs owned by her mom, AKC judge Claire Wisch Abraham. Starting with Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and transitioning early to German Wirehaired Pointers, the mother-daughter team competed in shows, field events and obedience.
In 2012, Phil Booth showed their homebred GWP Oakley, GCH CH Mt. View’s Ripsnortersilvercharm, owned by Victor Malzoni, to #1 All Breeds.
Shupp was mentored by top professional handlers in the US and Brazil, including Booth, Damara Bolte, Angela Lloyd and Jane Myers, before launching her full-time handling career. In 2022, she showed the Spinone Italiano Josie, GCHG CH Collina D’Oro Solo Un Bacio, to a record- breaking career, capped with winning the Sporting Group at the AKC National Championship.
“It is a special thing to run a rare breed,” Shupp said. “They’re not always in the placements. There’s judges that will point to rare breeds and judges that won’t. It’s a game. We learn certain chess pieces that fit and ones that don’t. With a rare breed they’re very specific (pieces) for sure.”
Generational change is taking over in the handling ranks, Shupp noted.
“This year we had so many young people in the group ranking competitions,” Shupp said. “Blake and Arial in the terrier group, me and Joanne in the sporting group.”
Planning a campaign includes evaluating a budget, competition and geographical location.
“The conversation I typically have with a client the start of the year is you go hard through March, see how it goes. Are you placing a lot in groups? Winning 75% of your breeds? You see if you can start placing more.
“You never go into a year saying I’m going to be #1 sporting dog. You see how it goes. Those are things you don’t really say. Those high-end top dog races just kind of happen.”
Flashback episode on planning a campaign.
More pro tips:
- Ask the right questions to find the right handler for you.
- Have those sounding boards to talk about judges and shows with experience-based knowledge.
- You can’t be better if the people around you don’t want to help you be better.
- Know your standard. Know about the breed you’re presenting. It’s such an important part of our job. To be an ambassador for the breed. To honor the breed.
- Flip flops are deadly….
- Everything happens for a reason.
- The greats never stop learning.