123 – Hiring a Professional Dog Handler: Dinah Baggenstos – Professional Handlers Association

Dinah Baggenstos Professional dog Handler

Hiring a Professional Dog Handler - Dinah Baggenstos and Laura Reeves

Hiring a professional show dog handler can sometimes feel like falling down the rabbit hole into a parallel universe complete with secret handshakes and special code words. We talk today with Dinah Baggenstos, president of the Professional Handlers Association, to help demystify the process.

When to Hire a Professional Handler

Making the decision to hire professional help in the show ring is one most exhibitors do not take lightly. After all, the center piece of the discussion is generally considered a four-legged family member not an “objet d’art.”

The intensely personal and emotional attachment to our pets makes sending them to “boot camp” or “on the road” a scary and daunting proposition. And it isn’t for everyone. But, for folks who simply don’t have the time, physical ability or inclination to show their dogs, talented professional handlers can make the experience at least painless, even enjoyable for everyone.

Choosing a Handler

Achieving that level of success requires trust and clear communication. Dinah strongly recommends observing the handler you are considering hiring, both in the ring and “behind the scenes.” Is the set up clean? Is it well organized and professional? Ask for references and tour kennel facilities and travel vehicles. Ask questions, read the contract and establish goals.

The AKC Registered Handler Program offers the following advice,

Before you hire a professional handler, talk to several, evaluate their rate schedules, visit their facilities and ask for references. Observe them both in and out of the ring. A professional handler is entrusted with your dog's care, so make sure you are entirely comfortable with the arrangement. Make a point of meeting the people who work for the handler because they will be providing the daily care for your dog -- under the guidance of the handler.

Handlers are expected to be hired for their knowledge and services they can provide. In turn the client is paying a fee for that handler's service and expertise. You and your handler should have the terms of your agreement in writing. Make sure if you have any questions that they are answered before you commit yourself to a contract. Read the contract carefully -- this will be a binding agreement between you and your handler.

American Kennel Club Criteria:

To be assured that your dog is being cared for by a true professional familiarize yourself with the following criteria as set forth by the American Kennel Club:

  • Safety, security, and well-being of the dogs is to be placed above all other business considerations.
  • Supervision of dogs by competent, conscientious personnel who are capable of responding appropriately, particularly in emergency situations.
  • Facilities of proper size and adequate ventilation to accommodate the breeds being cared for at home and at the shows.
  • Appropriate precautions taken to provide all the dogs in their care with proper temperatures for any and all conditions they may encounter.
  • Adequate and proper diet, clean dishes, fresh water and a sanitary environment.
  • Owner-provided or veterinary-prescribed medications to be administered in accordance with instructions.
  • Breed specific knowledge concerning the breeds they show -- such as: standard for the breed, special care, conditioning and presentation.
  • Business relationships conducted with clients in a fair and honest manner based on a published rate schedule and handler/client agreement.
  • Courteous verbal interchanges and a professional appearance are essential.
  • Sportsmanlike behavior with clients, judges, exhibitors, fellow handlers and assistants.
  • Willingness to communicate on a regular basis with clients concerning their dog's performance, behavior and general health.”

Potential Handler Client Conflicts

Two of the most common areas of conflict in the handler-client relationship are changing representation and priority of dogs.

Both PHA and the AKC RHP code of ethics are very clear that handlers are not to solicit another handler’s clients, nor are they to take on another handler’s client if money is owed to the prior handler.

Dinah Baggenstos' Recommendations

You have every right to go a different direction with your dog,” Dinah notes. “But make sure the bill is current with the existing handler. And understand if the dog is committed through a specific period of time it needs to stay with the handler for that time.”

Priorities and Expectations for the Client

Assigning priority of the dogs in a handler’s care in case of a ring conflict is one of the toughest parts of the job. While each handler manages these potential time crunches differently, part of the communication piece is to be sure clients understand up front where their dog fits in the handler’s priority. A good rule of thumb is that “specials” — champion dogs being campaigned for national ranking — will take priority over “class dogs” — non champion dogs earning points toward their championships.

As with any successful relationship, clearly understanding expectations and responsibilities between the parties is paramount. Although many incredible friendships are formed in long-time handler-client relations, it is first and foremost a business transaction.

“My expectation is that a client dog will be delivered to me in good condition, good health, clean teeth, nails and coat maintained,” Dinah notes. “The client should expect to have the dog returned in as good or better condition than when it arrived with the handler.”

“A handler needs to be honest with his or her clients as to the quality of dog being evaluated,” Dinah adds. “While clients owe respect to the handler for providing an honest and candid educated opinion.”

Importance of Clear Communication

On the topic of communication, once again, be sure the system whereby results are shared is established in advance.

Whether via text, phone call or whatever means, clients should keep in mind that the handler is taking care of their dogs. That does and should take priority over reporting results.

Listen to my talk with Dinah Baggenstos for more insights, suggestions and case studies.

Dinah Baggenstos Professional Handler

Dinah Baggenstos and Rick - Professional Handler

Tip of the Week from Allison Foley: This is MY dance space, This is YOUR dance space

Your body posture and body language are directly reflected in your dog’s, Allison says. She reminds us, “If you walk like Eyore, your dog does the same thing.”

What’s your “happy” word? Allison uses kitty! She says it’s impossible to say “kitty, kitty, kitty” and not sound happy.

When stacking your dog, think about Patrick Swayze’s line to Jennifer Grey in the famous ‘80s film “Dirty Dancing.” Get out of your dog’s “space.”

Too often exhibitors are doing a great job stacking their dogs, but the judge can’t see it because the handler is “huddled” around the dog. Step back from you dog so the judge can see it!


Visit Leading Edge Show Dog Academy for courses and use PUREDOGTALK25 at check out for a 25% discount.




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122 – Eddie Dziuk: OFA, CHIC and Why Breeders Should Health Test

Eddie Dziuk Ch. Shoreview’s Grace

Eddie Dziuk on OFA, CHIC and the Role of Health Testing

Eddie Dziuk is a behind the scenes kind of guy. But arguably no single individual is more responsible for providing the tools to improve the health of our purebred dogs. OFA and CHIC are invaluable resources which enable breeders to apply “selective genetic pressure *against* breeding abnormal results.”

Eddie Dziuk has led OFA for the last 16 years, including implementation and growth of the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) originally envisioned by the delegate body. CHIC’s “test and tell” protocol has enabled more than 100,000 dogs to earn a CHIC number.

This voluntary program is not an award program, Dziuk reminds people.

It is not a stamp of approval, it's not about ‘normalcy.’ The key piece is that owners must be willing to disclose information,” he adds, both normal and abnormal results.

It is this sharing of results that allows breeders to make more informed breeding decisions. “If you breed dogs long enough, you will produce animals with an inherited disease,” Dziuk notes. “It’s about what are you doing up front and after the fact to address that reality.”

Canine Health Foundation and CHIC

CHIC is co-sponsored by the Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and focuses on empowering national parent clubs for each breed to establish the health protocols and testing best suited for each breed.

Most of the dogs we breed go to pet homes,” Dziuk observed. “The most important thing for these folks is not the dog’s tail set or how much stop it has, they just want a happy, healthy, long-lived faithful companion.”

With that idea in mind, OFA is continuously looking at new testing protocols, developing new efforts that address far more than the orthopedic issues for which the organization was originally created nearly 50 years ago.

Background on Eddie Dzuik

Eddie Dziuk began his journey in purebred dogs in the mid-‘70s by joining the Hagerstown Kennel Club before he even had a dog. He finished his first Beagle, down from Michelle Billings’ Kings Creek breeding, and was hooked. He credits numerous mentors within the Beagle breed, as well as his work for professional handlers from Bob and Jane Forsyth to Tom and Andrea Glassford, for his long-term success in the sport and his breed.

Co-owner of not one, but two, Westminster Kennel Club BIS winners, Dziuk has more than held his own in the breeding and conformation arenas. Both Uno and Miss P, the modern Beagle winners at the Garden, find Dziuk’s breeding in their pedigrees. He talks about seeing both dogs at around six months and falling in love to the point that he’d “beg, borrow or steal” to be involved with their careers.

I believed in those dogs 100 percent,” Dziuk said. While Uno was an odds on favorite, Miss P was a complete surprise, he added. So much so that he missed her winning Tuesday night while on the road for work. “I turned on the tv in the hotel room in Vegas just in time to watch her win,” he observed with obvious dismay.

Encouragement for Owner Handlers

As a long time owner handler, Dziuk encourages owners to compete with their dogs. The top winning 13” Beagle of all time was a dog he showed himself on weekends only. He does note that times are different and the proliferation of dog shows means chasing records is much harder these days.

After 40 years of dogs, every dog show is still an opportunity to learn. It’s a journey,” Dziuk said, “Embrace it.” He also encourages sharing knowledge — whether through judging, belonging to a club, whatever it is.

Final Words

“If nobody is willing to do the work, there will be no dog shows."

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121- Randy Roberts Dog Show Photography Expert Tips and the Wet Towel Trick from Allison Foley

Randy Roberts Dog Show Photography

Dog Show Photography Tips from Randy Roberts

Randy Roberts gives us an advanced institute in successful show win photography.

Randy literally grew up in the sport. His grandparents started in purebred dogs in the ‘30s breeding Lhasa Apso, miniature Poodles and English Cocker Spaniels. His dad started dog show win photography in the Pacific Northwest in the late ‘40s after World War II. Randy himself shot his first show at 15 years old.

What’s your Best Side?

The exhibitor’s job is to properly position the dog for the photographer, to know where the camera is looking. Every dog has its best angle and each exhibitor needs to know what that is.

Case study: the long and the short of it

As an example, a beautiful headed dog on an animal that is perhaps a bit long-backed for the breed, use a three-quarter angle, bringing the front slightly toward the camera. Randy notes that the photographer should have read all standards and know the breeds. But equally important is for the exhibitors to have read their standards and to KNOW what’s good and bad about their animals.

Photography Time Limits

Be aware of a judge’s schedule and be courteous to the judge, photographer and other exhibitors by not spending an inordinate amount of time chatting about your dog. Dog shows don’t revolve around YOUR schedule. It is not recommended to ask for a win photo before the end of a “set” of dogs and then, only if the judge has time available before the next time slot is scheduled to begin.

Randy Roberts: The View from Shoulder Height

What the camera sees is very different from what exhibitor sees. The camera is at shoulder height to the dog, while the exhibitor is looking down. That difference in angle means the exhibitor doesn’t always have a grasp of what the photographer sees in the lens. Trust your photographer to give you guidance if you are unsure. Often a foot will be offset slightly in order to create depth to the image, and so on.

Get up, stand up!

Just like for people, posture is important for your dog! You can bring the body up by lifting the head so the dog isn’t slumping. Here it’s also important to use bait properly. Baiting is not just feeding the dog. You want to make the dog reach, make it come up over its front, reach up, then bring the bait down to get the arch of neck if that’s your goal.

Case study: “The camera is going to steal my soul”

Some dogs appear to think the camera is going to steal their soul. Whether the dog is shy, reactive or simply inexperienced, the camera is a big, scary piece of glass and the dogs can see light through the lens. This can be stressful for the dog. Get the dog to relax, change his focus to something other than the camera. Spend time just hanging out with the photographer — sit with the dog on the podium to desensitize him to the area. And remember, you the exhibitor may well be jacked up and the dog will react to your jangling nerves also.

Dog Show Photographer Pet Peeves and Innovations

Don’t stand across the room and tell me the shot wasn’t good, Randy says. “If you want to see the actual shot, by all means, stand next to me. I want you to get the shot you want. But if you can’t see what I see, don’t criticize.”

Online photos and digital images have been both a blessing and a challenge, Randy says. “We trained everybody for 50 years that you get two 8”x10” prints in the mail,” he adds. “Changing that culture is difficult, but digital is where we need to go.”

Parting words from Randy Roberts

“Don’t forget to smile,” Randy reminds us all. “The reason you see me is you just won. Smile, have a great time.”


Randy Roberts Photos

Randy Roberts Photos

Randy Roberts Biography

Randy Roberts grew up with a camera in hand. His experience with photography started in the dog show business shooting professional photographs by his father’s side. Randy credits his dad in guiding his career in photography by giving his his first professional assignment was at the age of 15 in Billings MT, and mentoring him in the business and art of professional photography. Developing thousands of prints in the dark room as a child helped give Randy a thorough understanding of presentation and developing a photograph. He spent seventeen years in the family business until it expanded out of photography. Then for the next 15 years he did photography for pleasure only.

Randy recently rekindled his passion in the photography world when digital photography emerged on the forefront of photography. Though originally he only shot with medium and large format cameras he finds that digital photography gives him a creative outlet that was not available to him with these traditional methods.

His initial goal was to reestablish himself as one of the top dog show photographers in the US. In the last two years his vision has expanded into fine art photography. He has poured new passion, energy and love into creating prints that are a dramatic and beautiful. His desire is to share his passion for these beautiful prints with others.

Randy does the complete package of taking, editing, and framing his pictures.. RandyRobertsPhotos.com

Randy Roberts Photos

Allison Foley: Wet Towel Trick Tip of the Week

5 - 10 minutes prior to entering the ring, stand your dog on a wet towel.

  • Traction - Wet pads help maintain traction indoors or outdoors.
  • Don't use anti-slip products that just pick up chalk and dirt, and prevent your dog's pads from cooling.
  • Mental preparation - Triggers the dog that it is time to focus and prepare to enter the ring.
  • Creates a no-go zone for you and your dog - a private space ringside.

More tips and courses available at Leading Edge Dog Show Academy.

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120 – Canine Vaccinations with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 4

Dr. Jean Dodds

Dr. Jean Dodds - All About Canine Vaccinations

In Pure Dog Talk Episode #120, we talk with Dr. Jean Dodds about the canine vaccination controversy and her recommendations to consider for your dog.

Hemopet and Canine Vaccinations

Protocols, Q & A, and further information on canine vaccinations from Jean Dodds can be found at Hemopet.org.

Hemopet Dr. Jean Dodds

Hemopet Dr. Jean Dodds

Pure Dog Talk Series with Dr. Jean Dodds

Here are the other episodes with Dr. Jean Dodds:

Episode 118 - Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs

Episode 116 - Wholistic Medicine

Episode 114 - Saving Dogs Lives: Canine Blood Bank

Author of the Week - Myra Savant Harris

Myra Savant Harris has released a new DVD series based upon her successful seminars.  Thanks to Dogwise.com for giving us another great product.

MYRA SAVANT HARRIS' Canine Reproduction, Whelping, and Puppy Intensive Care Seminar:  Techniques for a Successful Breeding and Healthy Puppies

Attend Myra’s Breeding Seminar Without Leaving Home!
Myra Savant Harris’ breeding seminar that she has given to clubs and breeders throughout the country is finally available as a comprehensive 8 hour recorded seminar. Myra applies scientific approaches to every aspect of breeding, dispelling a number of popular myths along the way.

She explains how to:
•Set up the ideal conditions for your stud dog to thrive
•Calculate when ovulation occurs, and the ideal time to breed
•Determine when a C-Section really needs to happen
•Know what the ‘green discharge’ actually is
•Use the accordion technique and a delee to resuscitate puppies
•Enhance milk production, encouraging the puppies to latch to the breast, and when to tube feed or use formula
•Deal with common conditions such as mastitis, pyometra, eclampsia, and canine herpes

Along with great anecdotes and stories from Myra’s own experiences and breeders who she has worked with.

Myra Savant Harris, R.N. is the author four books including Puppy Intensive Care and Canine Reproduction and Whelping. Myra combines her life-long interest in animals with her professional experience as a labor delivery nurse to bring breeders priceless information on reproduction and whelping. The hundreds of seminars Myra has given throughout the country has given breeders the skills, knowledge and confidence to have healthy and successful litters. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her husband Doug Harris and her dogs.

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119 – Heroic Newfoundland Dogs: Water Rescue with Lou Ann Lenner and Sue Raney

Newfoundland Dog - Katherine Payne Photography

Heroic Newfoundland Dogs - Saviors of Seafarer and Fishermen

Every Christmas season brings to memory the heroic rescue of the 90 passengers and crew of the S.S. Ethie by a stalwart Newfoundland...It was more than 50 years ago, during a blizzard, that the Ethie was wrecked off the coast of Bonne Bay, Newfoundland. No boat could be launched on that stony shore during such a raging storm. There were more than 100 souls utterly helpless within sight of land.

All of them would have been lost and many would have been mourning families that Christmas, had not a Newfoundland and its owner appeared on the nearby shore. The dog went to the rescue upon an order from its master. The Newfoundland swam out through a sea in which no man could possibly have survived. The powerful dog made it to the ship and carried a lifeline back to shore. With this a buoy was rigged and all hands saved. Among the rescued passengers from the Ethie was an infant in a mail bag."  From The New Complete Newfoundland, Margaret Booth Chern, 1975

Developed in the eponymous islands off the east coast of Canada, the Newfoundland is an outstanding water dog. The dogs worked on fishing boats in the rugged, icy, stormy seas around their home island. While exact details of the progenitors of the breed are lost to history, written descriptions and paintings date back to the 1700s. Famed poet Emily Dickinson owned a Newfoundland and, of course, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer painted the breed frequently. In fact, the black and white color of the dog is known as a “Landseer” Newfoundland. The Newfoundland Club of America website has an entire page devoted to his work, http://www.ncanewfs.org/history/pages/landseer2.html#.WdExibGZPR0

Newfoundland Dog - Katherine Payne Photography

Newfoundland Dog - Katherine Payne Photography

"Seamen" the Newfoundland Dog of Capt. Meriweather Lewis

Amongst the breed’s most well-known individuals is Seaman, Captain Meriweather Lewis’ dog, who accompanied President Thomas Jefferson’s exploration group during their rugged, three-year journey across what is now the United States in the early 1800s. Seaman was mentioned repeatedly in the journals of the Expedition, including saving the camp from a rampaging buffalo and retrieving game shot or wounded by the expedition’s hunters.

Today, the breed serves as a living embodiment of the culture of ships and fishing villages in Newfoundland. Proper coat and soundness are critical.

Lou Ann Lenner - Sun Valley Newfoundland Dogs

Our first guest Lou Ann Lenner, Sun Valley Newfoundlands, is a breeder of National and Regional specialty winners since 1977, with four generations of homebred ROM dogs.

According to Lou Ann, she always has bred to type, line breeding consistently, incorporating primarily Pouch Cove blood lines. Health can be a challenge as are the cycles in the quality of the breed. Long term breeders *recognize* when quality is slipping and “step up” to get the breed back on track.

Maintaining type while managing health issues in the breed, specifically orthopedic problems associated with giant breed dogs and cardiac concerns, is a primary concern. Lou Ann keeps only bitches in her kennel and reaches out for stud dogs to incorporate into the breeding program. Her top three qualities to when seeking a stud dog are balance, soundness and a complementary pedigree.

She observes that the best home for a Newfoundland is someone who is committed to grooming and familiar with breed. On a personal note, she only places puppies with owners who have someone to be home with the dog consistently.

Lou Ann strongly recommends learning about what’s behind your dog in terms of dogs in a pedigree, and honestly sharing what you know with new folks.

Sue Raney - Sweetbay Newfoundland Dogs and Water Rescue Work

Sue Raney, our second guest, is a Newfoundland fancier who has spent 25 years working dogs in water rescue work.

“The dogs have an amazing ability to be companions in water in a way no other breed does. They are just joyful to be around,” Sue said.

She notes that in a form follows function capacity, a dog’s effortless, fluid motion in the ring, translates to a powerful swimming stroke in the water. She also reminds people that the correct coat protects the dog in its native frigid water. The standard describes the coat as “flat, water-resistant, double coat that tends to fall back into place when rubbed against the nap. The outer coat is coarse, moderately long, and full, either straight or with a wave. The undercoat is soft and dense,…”

Titles with Meaning

The fascinating work the dogs do to earn titles through the national breed club include water rescue exercises that demonstrate the breed’s heritage…. saving people, and saving “things” that have fallen overboard.

Sue says she encourages owners to become involved with regional breed clubs. Her enthusiasm for the work these dogs do is infectious!

Grooming Tip Of the Week with Allison Foley

Right Tools for the Job - Brushes

  1. Brushes: Pin brushes are different lengths.  Think about what you are doing - longer the hair, the longer the pin.
  2. Take good care of your brushes - preserve the pins.  Bent or broken pins rip or break hair.  Keep brush in a box to protect it.
  3. Don't put them in the top of your tack box and close the lid!
  4. Keep clean hair and product brushes separate. Mark your brush so you don't put product residue onto clean coat.

Grooming and Handling Courses Available from Leading Edge Dog Academy with Top Handler Allison Foley.

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118 – Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs: Dr. Jean Dodds #3

Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs

Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs: What it is and Why it’s Important

My breed, the German Wirehaired Pointer, is currently ranked number 10 of all breeds for prevalence of this autoimmune disorder. And that’s progress! Ten to 15 years ago, it was ranked second. I learned about all of this the hard way at the beginning of awareness regarding OFA testing for autoimmune thyroiditis in the late ‘90s. My foundation bitch, originally tested clear in an in-house test of t3/t4 only, came back equivocal in the OFA test. In other words her thyroid hormone levels were out of whack, although fortunately she was negative for the TGAA (Thyrogobulin Auto Antibody) that would indicate that her body was attacking itself.

I have had to work twice as hard in my breeding program to weed out this disease occurrence than I would have, had I known then what I know now. A number of beautiful animals were washed out of the breeding program when they failed to come back clear for thyroid. I am so grateful to Dr. Dodds for her work in this area. It has enabled me to not “throw out the baby with the bath water” in my breeding goals.

But my early personal experience taught me the value of what Dr. Jean Dodds has to share in this podcast. Please, take 30 minutes out of your life and do your breed a favor. Listen to what Dr. Dodds has to say here.

The primary points of Dr. Dodds’ interview are as follows.

The thyroid gland is a “master gland.” It is regulated by the pituitary gland. Eighty percent of processing of thyroid hormone occurs in liver. Individual animals might have primary hypothyroidism in which the thyroid gland itself is not functioning properly or secondary hypothyroidism, in which the organs which process the hormone are not working.

We get a primer course in the basics of autoimmune disease. Essentially, the body attacks itself. This is a genetically inherited trait which frequently has environmental triggers.

In people and in dogs, what is heritable is the *propensity* for the body to attack itself, not the specific autoimmune disease. In other words, just because low thyroid is cheap to medicate and not “life threatening” in and of itself is NOT an acceptable reason to continue using those dogs in a breeding program. Other, more serious and often fatal, autoimmune diseases frequently occur in future generations. Dr. Dodds describes breeding affected hypothyroid dogs as a “ticking time bomb.”

Dr. Dodds describes hypothyroidism as consisting of four interlocking circles — inheritance… vaccines as triggers… stress… sex hormonal change … The triggers can cause disease to express itself that is hidden otherwise. Nutrition is at the center of that circle,

What are indications of thyroid disease in dogs?

Some early signs of thyroid disease are: “easy keeper,” changes in cognition/“growly owly,” changes in hair texture, chronic ear/skin infections, chewing the feet, leaky gut. Only when 70 percent of thyroid function is destroyed do we see classic symptoms of obesity, aggression, patterned hair loss, cold intolerance and more.

Dr. Dodds recommends establishing a baseline for our dogs in the breeding program at the onset of puberty. For bitches 12-16 weeks following the onset of the first heat cycle. For dogs between 10 and 14 months of age depending on the breed. Dogs, particularly from breeds with a family history of the disease, should be re-checked every year until six years of age.

She also suggests maintaining a minimal vaccine protocol, avoiding heartworm/fleas/ticks preventatives if possible and good nutrition. (For more information on nutrition, listen to the second installment of this series. Next week Dr. Dodds will discuss vaccine protocols.)

Finally, for dogs affected by hypothyroidism, Dr. Dodds indicates the most effective treatment is to divide the dose and give twice daily. And urges owners to not give the medication with any food containing calcium or soy, as this makes the medicine ineffective.


See the link here for an easy to follow slide show from Dr. Dodds with these reminders. We’ve also included here the most recent statistics from OFA regarding the rankings of breed affected by thyroid disease. Where does your breed rank?




Summary: Weight gain, hair loss and behavior changes are symptoms of thyroid problems. Learn how to recognize and get treatment for this under-diagnosed and misunderstood malady. Easy to read text with color photos and case studies to help you help your dog!

Author of the Week: Pat Miller

Pat Miller has been a dog trainer for over thirty years. She is the founder of Peaceable Paws Dog & Puppy Training Center and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She is a leading proponent of positive dog training techniques, and her columns on training are read by thousands in publications such as Whole Dog Journal. She is the author of Play With Your Dog; The Power of Positive Dog Training; Positive Perspectives, Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog; and Positive Perspectives 2, Know Your Dog, Train Your Dog.



Summary: Beware of the Dog offers a wide-ranging look at all types of aggression and the way these troublesome behaviors develop. It explains the latest protocols for evaluating and dealing with the problems of aggressive dogs from classical conditioning to operant conditioning, and prescribes management strategies that really work.

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117 – Desi Murphy: AKC Judge, Breeder Showcase and Grooming Tip of the Week with Allison Foley

Desi Murphy

AKC Judge Desi Murphy - 3rd Generation in Dogs

Desi Murphy was born into the sport of dogs.  His grandfather managed kennels in Scotland, his father managed a whippet and greyhound kennel in the U.S.

While surrounded in his youth with 125 sighthounds, Desi's found a love of terriers, bully breeds and Chows.

Bullies are different...

Desi, now a legend in the sport, is licensed to judge the sporting, terrier, and toy groups.

Santa Barbara Breeder Showcase

Desi Murphy  is co-chair for Breeder Showcase at Santa Barbara Kennel Club, and event in it's ninth year.

Now an in-demand event, the Breeder Showcase is extremely competitive.  Dogs are often brought out of retirement for the competition or young dogs held out just for their debut.


A perk for the exhibitors is dinner and wine at the event.

Desmond Murphy - The AKC Judge

Laura Reeves asks Desi what he first looks for in the breed ring.

Evaluate breeding stock...What was the dog bred to do?

For example, the three setters work in different terrains, so their structure must meet their function.  In bicycles, you have a mountain bike, road bike and beach cruiser - each are built to work in different terrains.

Some breeds are getting carried away, and showiest is not always the best.  Basset Hounds in Mexico, for example, are getting too big.  Remember, if a Basset Hound meets a fence on the trail, the hunter has to pick him up and place him on the other side of the fence.  You can't lift an 80 lb basset.

Condition is second...

Dogs need to be fit and in good health and condition.

Movement is a test of structure

The structure standing should be seen and confirmed in a dog moving.

Advice to Exhibitors

Have the best dog.  Often exhibitors ask what they can do to win with a dog... have the best dog.  Ask other breeders and professionals to evaluate your dog against the breed standard.  Know your standard.

Future of the Dog Sport?

As an international judge, Desi see younger exhibitors, and younger breeders in other countries than the U.S.

Russia is strong in most breeds, and Korea and China are close behind

Some handlers started showing at eight years of age, and have bred multiple litters by the time they are 21.  We need youth willing to be breeders.

Desi Murphy

Desi Murphy

AKC Biography of Desmond Murphy

Desmond Murphy, of Monroe, New York, is a third-generation dog man¿his grandfather, father, and two uncles all having been handlers. Born in Scotland, he was reared among Greyhounds, Whippets, and terriers at his family's Mardormere Kennels in upstate New York.

He began handling in 1958, working under his uncle John Murphy, a distinguished handler and judge. Mr. Murphy, known as Desi, points to his handling of seven different Best in Show Chow Chows as his proudest achievement.

Mr. Murphy has been an AKC judge since 1976 and is approved to judge 93 breeds. He last judged at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in 2003.

Mr. Murphy is a member of the Tuxedo Park Kennel Club, the Santa Barbara Kennel Club, and the Saw Mill River Kennel Club, and is treasurer of the Non-Sporting Group Club of the Garden State. He considers "learning the value of preserving breed type" to be the most valuable lesson he has learned in dogs.


Allison Foley's Tip of the Week:

How to Use Bath Products Properly

Shampoos and Conditioners need to be used properly to achieve results.  The best scissors, training and handling can't compensate for poor cleanliness or coat condition.

Listen to Episode # 107 How To Properly Bathe Your Dog for more on how to bathe properly.

  1. Use your shampoo according to directions. It's formulated for a reason so measure it out!
  2. Leave product on the dog long enough to work. 5 minutes for shampoo and 7-10 minutes for color or deep conditioner.

Allison's Conditioner Trick

Conditioners don't mix well with water.  Use a cheap immersion blender to mix thoroughly and smooth out all the globs.

Learn more at Leading Edge Academy!

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116 – Wholistic Medicine with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 2

Dr. Jean Dodds

In Part 2 of Pure Dog Talk's Dr. Jean Dodds series, Jean discusses Wholistic Medicine, food as medicine, and how to test your dog for food sensitivities.

Part 1 - Episode # 114

Wholistic Medicine - How traditional medicine works with conventional medicine

Dr. Dodds quotes Hippocrates:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - Hippocrates

Food As Medicine

Food should be dense, have variety, be readily available and safe.

Every animal's genomic structure is unique.  Historically, dog's were carnivorous.  As dogs followed man, they ate scraps and cereal or grain was added to their diet. The dog genome changed from the original wolf genome.  But basically dogs are still carnivorous and require whole meats - bones, organ, tripe, flesh, and muscle.

Diet Preferences: In order

  1. Raw is the first choice - either fresh, freeze dried, or frozen.
  2. Homemade Balanced Diet - Grain and Gluten-free, no wheat, corn or soy.
  3. Grain-free Premium Dry with Grain-free Premium canned food added.


Food Intolerances - Nutriscan Test

Dr. Jean Dodds created Nutriscan, to test for food intolerance and sensitivities for dogs and cats.  Based on unique results, appropriate diets can be recommended.

Nutriscan - Dr. Jean Dodds

Nutriscan - Dr. Jean Dodds

Food Sensitivities - How Do I Know?

Dr. Jean says that if your dog is itching, excessively biting or chewing on himself, or rubbing his face that food sensitivities should be tested.

Another sign is gas.  Listen to your dog's belly to hear if there is excessive gurgling.  We have all had upset stomach's so listen to your gut instinct.

Don't Miss Next Week!  Thyroid with Dr. Jean Dodds

Here is a teaser from Dr. Jean on her Dogwise Book - The Canine Thyroid Epidemic - Answers You Need for Your Dog.


Winner of the DWAA Maxwell Award for 2011, Best Care and Health Book and the Eukanuba Canine Health Award.

Problems with your dog? It may be his thyroid! If your dog is lethargic, losing his hair, gaining weight or suddenly becomes aggressive, perhaps the last thing you (or your vet!) would think about is his thyroid. Unfortunately, however, thyroid disorders can cause literally dozens of health and behavioral problems in dogs and frequently go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. And the real tragedy is that most thyroid problems are treatable with the right medical care and a well-informed owner can often minimize the chance of a thyroid disorder occurring in the first place.

Noted veterinarian Jean Dodds and co-author Diana Laverdure have done the dog owning public and their vets a great service by writingThe Canine Thyroid Epidemic. The book is written in such a way to inform both the average dog owner and animal health care professionals about the ways in which thyroid disorders occur, can be prevented and treated.

You will learn about:
• The role of the thyroid and why it is essential to a dog’s health.
• How to identify the clinical signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders.
• The lab tests needed to identify thyroid problems and how to administer the proper medicines.
• How an increasingly toxic environment can impact your dog’s health.

Another great book from Dogwise Publishing!

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115 – Commercial Kennels and Show Dog Breeders: On the Same Side with Craig Curry

Commercial Kennels

A Personal Note from Your Host: Laura Reeves

Commercial Kennels are a good thing? What the, what??

The awareness process that resulted in today's podcast has been a challenging one for me. Like most of you, I was raised in the heyday of PETA/HSUS/ALF “documentaries” on the horrors of “puppy mills.” Starving, beaten, neglected, bred to death animals. These images have informed my view of commercial kennels for well over two decades.

Mr. Bill Shelton

Imagine my surprise when, from the mouth of one of my idols, Mr. Bill Shelton, comes the notion that the purebred dog fancy *needs* commercial kennels… I almost choked on my pizza. What about ethical breeding? What about proper placement? What about preservation of a breed?

His response (in a nutshell): The pet owning public in the country is 85 *million* homes. Depending on whose numbers you like, 4-9 *million* new pets are acquired each year just in the US. So I start doing the math… 170 (+/-) AKC recognized dog breeds. Let’s use a nice round number like 5,000,000… That is a LOT of zeros. So let’s say EACH of those 170 recognized dog breeds produces 294,117 puppies each year. Um, except endangered breeds like Otterhounds and Dandie Dinmont Terriers and Sussex Spaniels produce MAYBE 100 puppies *worldwide* each year. So now our odds are skewed significantly higher for the top 10 most popular breeds.

One report I found from 2013, conducted by the Swedish canine organization, showed *worldwide* annual registration of 293 breeds with a *total* of 2,276,864 dogs registered in the reporting year. These figures include the US, UK, Canada and much of Europe. In other words, every single purebred dog in the *world* registered with their respective countries of origin would not meet the annual demand of the pet owning public in the US alone.

So Where Will The Dogs Come From?

So what I’m trying to tell you here is that hobby breeders, preservation breeders, those of us who devote blood, sweat and tears to producing the very highest caliber of purebred dogs for  discerning pet owners simply *canNOT* fill the demand for pet dogs in this country.

Where do the rest of the dogs come from? In some cases from the retail rescue market, including documented importation of hundreds of thousands of dogs from overseas. (Please listen to NAIA’s Patti Strand on this topic in episodes 43 and 104 if you haven’t already.)

In many, many cases, these dogs come from commercial kennels. Some of those facilities, remain, without doubt, far below our standards of expectation. But what this interview shares is the results of one person going above and beyond to help the commercial breeders learn, improve and step up in their role of meeting the public’s demand for healthy pets.

Commercial Kennels in Indiana

Commercial kennels in Indiana over the course of the last 10 years have replaced subpar facilities, implemented health testing, maintenance grooming, socialization and even rehoming plans for retired animals.

As you browse through these photos, step back for a minute and ask if your own facilities are this good.

Now, am I so naive as to believe this is a 100 percent compliance situation across the country? Of course not. But I *have* learned that I was naive enough to be manipulated by groups who would like ALL of us to lose the right to own and breed dogs in the manner we see fit.

Keep An Open Mind

I understand this interview may push your comfort zone. It clearly did mine. But I also believe that we should learn lessons from these folks. United we stand. Divided, we fall. Helping commercial breeders improve the quality — and quality of life — for pets they produce for members of the public who are not interested in waiting two years for an exceptionally well bred companion is a win-win. Making healthy pets from veterinary supervised and approved facilities available to new pet owners, instead of feeding the retail rescue industry as just happened in California, keeps all of our pets healthier in the long run. As Craig says in the interview, it’s about the *dogs*.

I hope you will listen with an open heart and an open mind.


Link to Swedish report:



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114 – Saving Dog’s Lives: Canine Blood Bank with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 1

Dr. Jean Dodds

Dr. Jean Dodd's - Part 1 - Canine Blood Bank

Welcome to Pure Dog Talk's 4 part series with Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM.  In this episode #114 Saving Dog's Lives: Canine Blood Bank, Dr. Dodds introduces us to how the first canine blood bank originated.

Jean packs an immense quantity of breeder information on blood types, herpes, plasma and more in this episode that I can't begin to summarize it all... you will just have to listen!

Hemopet - the Canine Blood Bank

Founded by Dr. Jean Dodds, Hemopet provides state-of-the-art blood components and supplies for transfusions to veterinary clinics nationwide.

Hemopet also is a diagnostic testing lab that specializes in thyroid testing which will be featured in Part 2, Episode # 116.

Resources from Hemopet:

Greyhound Adoption from Hemopet Blood Bank

Greyhounds are the primary blood donors for the blood bank.  Highly screened for infectious disease and tested prior to inclusion in the blood donor program, these gentle dogs give so other dogs may live.

4 -5  Greyhounds cycle out of the Hemopet program each week and are available for adoption.  Find out more at Hemopet.org.

Book Bonus: Canine Nutrigenomics by Dr. Jean Dodds

Listen to our book bonus near the end of episode #114, as Dr. Dodds talks about writing and publishing her two books.  We cover Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health today, and next week we cover The Canine Thyroid Epidemic.

Dogwise Books - All Things Dog

For our listeners that are unfamiliar with Dogwise Books, Larry and Charlene Woodward have been publishing books for the dog fancy since the 1980's.  Dogwise is a small company out of Washington state that deserves our support.  Many of our favorite books, especially breed specific and training books, would never be in print without Dogwise.

Just for Pure Dog Talk Listeners





Bio of Dr. Jean Dodds from Hemopet.org

Dr. Jean Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965, she accepted a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department. She began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. Eventually, her position culminated as Chief, Laboratory of Hematology, Wadsworth Center. In 1980, she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services.

This work continued full-time until 1986 when she moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals.

The diagnostic division of Hemopet, Hemolife, provides the most advanced comprehensive diagnostic profiles for identifying canine thyroid disease, performs titer testing, as well as a wide range of other diagnostic services. Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder of dogs. More than 80% of cases result from autoimmune thyroiditis, the heritable autoimmune disease that progressively destroys the thyroid gland. Classical clinical signs of hypothyroidism only appear once more than 70% of the gland is destroyed. Accurate diagnosis may be difficult because thyroid dysfunction produces a wide range of clinical signs, many of which are subtle and mimic those of other causes.

Dr. Dodds also assisted Antech Diagnostics to establish its IFA testing method (published in JAVMA 2000) and with its thyroid testing antibody profiles.

Dr. Dodds is very well-known for her minimum vaccine protocols and as Co-Trustee of The Rabies Challenge Fund. She provides an FAQ on the subject and has authored several articles such as "Changing Vaccine Protocols".

Dr. Dodds co-authored The Canine Thyroid Epidemic: Answers You Need for Your Dog, which was rewarded the Dog Writers Association of America, Best Care and Health Book for 2011 and the Eukanuba Maxwell Canine Health Award. Her second book, Nutrigenomics: Foods that heal your dog, was published in January 2015.

In 2011, Dr. Dodds released NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs. NutriScan tests for twenty of the most commonly ingested foods.

• Grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) and has over 150 research publications.
• Former President of the Scientist's Center for Animal Welfare
• Former Chairman of the Committee on Veterinary Medical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences
• Former Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Academy of Sciences
• Former member of the National Research Council/BANR Committee on National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science, which released its report in July 2005
• Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
• Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation

• 1974: Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, AVMA Annual Meeting
• 1977: Region I Award for Outstanding Service to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
• 1978 and 1990: received the Gaines Fido Award as Dogdom's Woman of the Year
• 1978: Recognition of Special Contributions to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
• 1984: Centennial Medal from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
• 1987: Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine
• 1994: Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

U.S. Patent 5,196,311   ELISA Test for von Willebrand Factor
U.S. Patent 5,202,264   ELISA Using Multi-Species Antibodies for Detection of von Willebrand Factor in Multiple Species
U.S. Patent 5,486,685   Oven with Food Presence Indicator
U.S. Patent 5,830,709   Detection Method for Homologous Portions of a Class of Substances
U.S. Patent 6,287,254   Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 6,537,213   Animal Health Care, Well-Being and Nutrition
U.S. Patent 6,730,023   Animal Genetic and Health Profile Database Management
U.S. Patent 7,029,441   Animal Health Care, Well-Being and Nutrition
U.S. Patent 7,134,995   Animal Genetic and Health Profile Database Management
U.S. Patent 7,548,839   System for Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 7,552,039   Method for Sample Processing and Integrated Reporting of Dog Health Diagnosis
U.S. Patent 7,794,954   Detection and Measurement of Thyroid Analyte Profile
U.S. Patent 7,797,145   Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 7,799,532   Detection and Measurement of Thyroid Hormone Autoantibodies
U.S. Patent 7,865,343   A Method of Analyzing Nutrition for a Canine or Feline Animal
U.S. Patent 7,867,720   Food Sensitivity Testing in Animals
U.S. Patent 7,873,482   Diagnostic System for Selecting Nutrition and Pharmacological Products for Animals
U.S. Patent 8,060, 354  System and Method for Determining a Nutritional Diet for a Canine or Feline Animal

20% Off Entire Dogwise Store - Coupon Code - PURE DOG TALK

Secrets to Feeding Dogs for Optimum Cellular Health and Longevity Revealed in Groundbreaking New Book
Vibrant health begins in the cells. Learn how to transform your dog’s cellular health with the power of nutrigenomics in this ground-breaking new book. Nutrigenomics (a combination of the words nutrition and genome) is the study of how the foods we and our pets eat “speak” to our cells to regulate gene expression, which in turn plays a huge role in determining whether a person or animal will live a life of vibrant health, or one plagued by illness.

Scientists now know that while we can’t change the genes we are born with, we can change how those genes behave, which is exactly what authors W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana Laverdure show us how to do in their newest book, Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health from Dogwise Publishing.

Read Canine Nutrigenomics and discover:
• How to tell which foods create optimum gene expression and vibrant health at the cellular level and which foods lead to chronic disease.
• The amazing healing power of functional foods.
• The “Three Keys” to easily creating a foundation diet for your dog based on the principles of nutrigenomics.
• How to use functional ingredients to treat, manage and even reverse a wide variety of chronic canine health conditions.
• The 10 “canine functional superfoods” and how they can supercharge your dog’s health by optimizing his gene expression.
• The signs of a food intolerance/sensitivity and how to stop it in its tracks.

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