Posts Tagged ‘Laura Reeves’

248 – LIVE: Laura on Breed Specific Presentation Featuring Sighthounds | Pure Dog Talk

Commonalities and Differences in Sighthounds

LIVE seminar hosted by the Saluki Club of Greater San Francisco

Live from the Harvest Moon Cluster, your host Laura Reeves talks sighthounds. The seminar was sponsored by the Saluki Club of Greater San Francisco. Watch and listen to the entire seminar here.

Temperament and showmanship are part of breed type. Our job as handlers is to showcase our breed’s character and personality accurately, not make our Wolfhound show like a Doberman. For breeds with less “flash” that might be overlooked in group competition, it is incumbent on us as handlers to provide an engaging, effortless back drop.

Pretty Hands

Our hands tell a story in the show ring. How and where we place our hands on the dog is part of the presentation. Sighthounds specifically call for soft, quiet, elegant hands. Holding the collar, placing the feet, should be done gracefully. Quietly drawing the judge’s eye to our dog’s finest features while using our hands as a “frame,” we actually can “talk with our hands” and subtly communicate with the judge.

Dog handling in general is best done when we are judicious and smooth with our hands. The unique nature of sighthounds means than keeping your hands on the dog at all times will help steady the dog and allow him to be balanced on his own feet.

While showcasing our dogs involves a bit of “sleight of hand” in terms of maintaining emphasis on the good and not the faults, Laura shares her 1-2-3-4-5 hand stacking method as a refresher course. Hear more in depth discussion on this topic in episode 2, “How to Stack Your Dog” or in our new audio book, debuting in January.

Give Your Dog What it Needs: Confidence and Focus

All dogs take their cues from us as the handlers. Sighthounds are particularly in tune with their people and draw their confidence from us. Be sure you are relaxed and enjoying spending time with your dog for your best result.

Moving Gracefully – Float with Your Dog

Drive from the hip and a gradual and collected acceleration are keys to showing the judge your dog’s best movement. Don’t let your dog look like “an octopus on speed” by following these suggestions. More discussion in episode 3 and in the audio book.

Ears and Tails

Each of the sighthounds, and really all dogs, have a correct ear and tail carriage to “make the picture” for the judge. Learn how to work with your dog’s attitude to get the best results.

168 – Breeder Education Advocate Claudia Orlandi Shares Knowledge | Pure Dog Talk


Claudia Orlandi, Topsfield Basset Hounds, was the 2009 Breeder of the Year, but her contributions to purebred dogs are far greater than an award. She has spent years dedicated to developing, publishing and presenting live education resources for breeders. Her ABC’s of Dog Breeding and Practical Canine Anatomy books are tremendous resources for all breeders, exhibitors and judges. So much so, that AKC has incorporated them into their AKC Canine College education program.

Claudia is pictured above receiving the AKC 2009 Breeder of the Year Award.


Orlandi grew up with miniature and standard Poodles, but her first show dog was a Saint Bernard from Betty Roberts. When her family visited the breeder to pick a puppy, somehow the divider between the “show” dogs and the “pet” dogs had fallen down. With an “eye for a dog” at even an early age, the puppy her family chose led Orlandi into a life of dog shows. Eventually, shown by Bob Forsyth, that Saint Bernard became a Best in Show Winner.

“…structure and performance or, form following function, are the key characteristics of breed type and are what distinguish one breed from another.”

Horses and dogs were a passion she shared with her first husband, Dom. They acquired their first Basset Hound from a pack in Vermont. There they learned the functional aspect of their hound by following the pack on rabbit hunts. Orlandi now lives part-time in Spain, where she had just returned from a month of hunting with her hounds when we spoke for this interview.

Claudia & the late Dom Orlandi with CH Bone-A-Parts Cuervo Gold

“… I have to say that having had the experience of hunting with Emma (her first Basset) was a great starting point for really understanding the basset hound breed,” Orlandi said. “…structure and performance or, form following function, are the key characteristics of breed type and are what distinguish one breed from another.”

Orlandi attributes much of her knowledge of anatomy and animal husbandry to the 4-H program. In her shout out to the horse 4-H program she noted, “We had to pass difficult written and hands on tests on equine anatomy and movement, in addition to giving presentations and learning animal husbandry. All of this knowledge relating to horses, I was easily able to apply to breeding and showing dogs.”

But as she progressed in her breeding program, she came to understand that other breeders didn’t have the same good fortune.

“If we to learn about photography we can go to photography school,” Orlandi said. “If you want to become better cooks, we can take cooking classes. But at that time, we really didn’t have anything comparable if we wanted to learn to become better breeders.”

Knowledge is power, Orlandi noted, in everything that we do. So, she began to develop her education programs and books, including the fabulous Basset Hound University program she created and has shared with other Parent Clubs. She insists that breeders can be successful with some basic information to help them move forward.

Some of her best recommendations?

  • …the concept of preservation breeding is an extremely important topic that deserves our ongoing support and attention.
  • …one of the biggest myths is the belief that because breeding revolves around chance and randomness applying genetic principles won’t make a difference. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, it’s very unlikely that a breeder can consistently produce healthy, quality dogs in which every generation the dogs are better than they were in the previous generations, without understanding how traits are passed from one generation to the next.
  • …don’t purchase a bitch younger than 12 to 18 months. If you get a bitch much younger than this, they have not been able to do enough health tests and body structure might still be developing.
  • …I think it’s really difficult, in a way, to find a good person to work with in a breeding program or to find a mentor. Because in a way it’s kind of like a marriage. I think you have to be psychologically compatible and you have to have a lot of the same goals and the same beliefs in common.
  • … a few decades ago if people were honest about health problems they are absolutely shunned, many times, by their peers. Talking about health was considered taboo. Nowadays, we understand much more about controlling canine genetic disease and we know that if we’re honest about the health problems, about who the affected dogs are in our pedigrees we can control health problems in our breeding program very, very easily. But it all revolves around being honest.

Please enjoy my visit with this legendary advocate for breeder education in purebred dogs.

163 – Cannabis for Dogs?|Kari Taylor and Alternative Therapies|Pure Dog Talk

Cannabis for Dogs?


Cannabinoid compounds as alternative therapy for dogs is a growing area of interest. Kari Taylor talks with us today about exactly what medical marijuana and cannabinoids are, how they can help our dogs and answers the legal and safety questions many pet owners have.

The increasing use of medical marijuana and CBD compounds in human health has led naturally to potential uses in our pets. While anxiety and inflammation issues appear to be the primary uses to date, Taylor contends the therapy has many potential applications.

It is important to understand that CBD is derived from industrial hemp and therefore is legal in all states in the US. Medical marijuana, which may contain THC, the psychoactive component of the recreational drug, is legal in more than half the US.

Equally important to note, particularly in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, is that THC and the drug which makes a person “high” is dangerous, although generally not lethal, if ingested by dogs.


From Dogs Naturally Magazine’s article on the topic, “This article’s not about marijuana, but this is important information. With the legalization of marijuana in many places, poison control centers are hearing more and more about pets getting into their owners’ marijuana stash.

It may be hard to tell if your dog has the munchies (isn’t it a permanent condition in dogs?), but other side effects from marijuana can be quite severe, including lethargy, dilated pupils, drooling, being off balance, muscle twitching, vomiting, involuntary urination and even unconsciousness.

If this happens to your dog, take him to the vet immediately. He’ll need palliative support until the effects wear off.”


Taylor shares with our listeners excellent explanations and provides an understanding of how the cannabinoids work with the body to produce the reported results. She also reminds listeners to seek products that are sourced from plants grown without pesticides and to educate themselves as to the actual amount of active ingredient in the product they are purchasing.

“I have visited some of the top pet CBD sites and, in many cases, you can’t determine how many grams of CBD are in a treat or in the oil itself,” Taylor says. “In many cases they list the number of milligrams of hemp oil versus the number of milligrams of cannabinoids. Now, those are two different things. CBD is the actual compound that will trigger the receptors. Hemp oil is the synergistic blend of all constituents derived from the concentration of a hemp plant. So, when you’re using, say, hemp oil, you are getting a lot more of the original constituents that were with that plant, which is oftentimes very supportive in the absorption of the cannabinoids or the CBD itself. … All of our products are labeled by the number of cannabinoids that are present is what people are looking for. If you’re wanting to buy CBD oil, don’t you want to know how much CBD is in it?”


This is a cutting edge area of the pet health industry about which many of our listeners have expressed interest. Taylor’s useful information, case study examples and real world experience provide excellent applicable knowledge for all pet owners. We hope you enjoy today’s podcast!

List of links:





146 – Megan Leavey, K9 Rex and Bringing Home K9 Heroes|Pure Dog Talk

Megan Leavey and Laura Reeves

Megan Leavey and Marine K9 Rex

Megan Leavey was a Marine K9 handler whose life and battle to have her working dog, Rex, retire with her were the topic of a movie, Megan Leavey, released in 2017.

Megan Leavey and Rex

Megan and Rex

Leavey made a special and powerful connection with the military working dog who saved her own and thousands of other lives in Iraq. While respecting that the K9 is a warrior in his own right, Leavey knew her dog, Rex, wouldn’t understand why she left without him.

She grew up with dogs, a total animal lover. “I had no idea there even was a K9 program until I was in military police school,” Leavey said. “I had to finish at the top of my class and be selected to go to K9 school.”

“I was new marine when I got handed this dog. Rex had an attitude. When we are first assigned a dog, we spend two weeks just rapport training. You are the only one feeding the dog, brushing him. You go for walks and play. You work up to getting to know mannerisms. When they see you, they associate that with a positive. The basic training is already done, becoming a team is what’s important.”

Leavey and Rex Survive an IED

Leavey and Rex were shipped to Iraq twice. On the last deployment, they survived an IED explosion on the dusty roads of Ramadi and spent their recuperation and physical therapy recovery together.

Megan Leavey @ Eukanuba

Megan Leavey @ Eukanuba

“Rex was a one person dog,” Leavey said. “Nobody else could have done that (physical therapy) work.”

A dual purpose dog in military parlance, Rex was both a patrol and explosives detection dog. “Rex was super aggressive,” Leavey said. “Right in his vet record it said in giant letters not adoptable… There’s a process to adopt military working dogs and I understood that.”

Parting Ways with Rex

While Leavey’s military contract was up after her recovery, Rex’s wasn’t. He continued working stateside after she returned home to New York state.

“He went through 12 different handlers after me,” Leavey said. “I had such guilt leaving him behind. You can’t explain to a dog that these are the rules. It haunted me every day.”

Leavey kept in touch with her friends in the K9 unit for years. “They weren’t his biggest fans,” she noted wryly. “Nobody bonded with him like I did. I kept hoping every day they’d change his classification.”

The Battle to Save Rex

“I finally got a call from a marine at the K9 section. Rex, now 11 years old, was going to be retired. My friend told me, ‘If you’re going to try and adopt him, get on it.’ Any day Rex could be put down. He was old and sick.”

Leavey went straight to her Veteran’s representative, who took her story to New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The Senator released her plea to the press. The publicity greased the wheels of government and helped Leavey cut through the red tape to have Rex retired with her.

“When he arrived, I just wanted to spend time with him,” Leavey said. “Getting him back really helped me close wounds, work on myself, be at peace with a lot of things.”

For a tough, working K9, Rex settled right in to civilian life with Leavey.

“From the moment I brought him home, he jumped right on the couch. He left the cats alone after getting swatted on the nose. He got along with my other working dog. He got to swim in a pool. See snow. Sleep on a bed and have all the toys and treats he wanted. I had a great eight months with him. I was so grateful that the process was expedited. If I waited any longer, we wouldn’t have had that time.”

Listen Today on Pure Dog Talk

Listen to more of Laura and Megan, including Megan’s observations about her first dog show, on today’s podcast.

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143 – Laura Reeves Sings 12 Puppies of Christmas|Pure Dog Talk

Laura Reeves Sings 12 Puppies of Christmas

Laura Reeves Sings!

The last two weeks of the year are normally a quiet, restorative, hibernating time of year for folks. Even with celebrations, friends, family and feasting, the tempo gradually slows down as we take time to review the year past and contemplate the one ahead.

So Merry Christmas crew! As we each celebrate the holiday season in the fashion we choose, I just wanted to take a few minutes to say THANK YOU.

I mean, wow! The first Pure Dog Talk episode debuted Nov. 21, 2016… thirteen months later, we have created more than 140 episodes released on iTunes and just about every other available podcast delivery system. We built a huge, resource-rich website. And we’ve enabled well over 160,000 FREE downloads of knowledge and insight directly from the best in the sport to anyone who wants to listen and learn.

What an amazing gift you have given Mary and I. All of you…. Our listeners, our fans, and so many legends who generously shared your time, your memories and your wisdom. We literally would not be here without you.

Orlando 2016 to 2017

Last year at the AKC National Championship in Orlando, I walked a couple marathons worth of concrete floors, spreading the word about our brand spanking new venture.

This year we were thrilled to announce we’ve joined forces with Aramedia Group, publishers of ShowSight Magazine, to enable the show to reach an even larger audience. Mary and I are no longer a two-girl band!

With AJ Arapovic and his outstanding team behind the show, we have some really exciting plans on the horizon. Each one of which is designed to continue serving our thriving community of avid knowledge seekers in bigger and better ways.

Sign Up and Join Us

We hope you’ve already signed up to join us. If not, just stop by the or the Facebook page and click the “Don’t Miss an Episode” button. Your name and email address is all we need to keep you in the loop.

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

Let’s continue Celebrating the History of our sport and Creating a bold vision of our future!

Meanwhile, as we all know, I can’t miss out on a teaching moment so here goes.

Puppies make everything better. Gramma always swore it was a hot bath that cured everything from the common cold to a broken heart

Newsflash gramma, it’s puppies. Sweet puppy breath, fat puppy paws, silly puppy antics, gumby puppies sleeping, noisy puppies eating. Puppies encapsulate all that is good and pure in the world.

Of course, there’s also puppy poopie and peepee; puppy gruel; six loads of laundry a day; sleep deprivation; random and limited opportunities to bathe, eat or socialize; no time for Christmas decorating; and, the attendant brain fog descending due to all of the above.

Puppies embody that spirit of renewal and cleansing that make the New Year such a joyous celebration.

As we bid farewell (and for many, good riddance) to a turbulent and divisive year past, let’s raise a glass to the hope, the joy, the pureness of purpose represented in our puppies.

These little ones, if we choose them as our guides, harbor hate for no one. Their affection is not restricted based on race, gender, sexual orientation, creed or national origin. They are equal opportunity employers of beseeching looks, demanding caterwauls at feeding time and sock destruction.

In an uncertain world, we can find comfort, courage, kindness and focus in the unquestioning trust of a puppy’s steady gaze.

Laura Reeves Sings 12 Puppies of Christmas - OMG!

And, because I believe we all need a laugh, especially at what can be a challenging time of year, please join me in a sing along of the “12 puppies of Christmas”…. (A Laura Reeves original production!)

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a puppy in a sherpa bag…

(Caveat, never give a puppy for a Christmas present!)

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eight sensible shoes, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine doggies dancing, eight sensible shoes, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten tongues a wagging, nine doggies dancing, eight sensible shoes, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven puppies squalling, ten tongues a wagging, nine doggies dancing, eight sensible shoes, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…

And, on the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve friendly judges, eleven puppies squalling, ten tongues a wagging, nine doggies dancing, eight sensible shoes, seven shiny suits, six Sprinter tires, five cooooover ads… four show collars, three air fresh’ners, two towel rolls for my puppy in a sherpa bag…


Peace on earth, good will to mankind from all of us here at Pure Dog Talk.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night…

12 Steps for 2018

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139 – Dog Show Mentor with Laura Reeves|Pure Dog Talk

Laura Reeves Judging

Laura Reeves on Dog Show Mentor - Safe Travels

At Pure Dog Talk we are proud to support all of our friends providing educational resources to the purebred dog fancy. Lee Whittier, the Dog Show Mentor, recently invited Laura Reeves to talk with her members about travel and safety tips while attending dog events. Lee was gracious enough to return the favor and share the interview with our listeners!

Tips from Laura Reeves

Whether traveling by car, RV or airplane, long distance or short, we have tips and recommendations to help ease the trip.

  • PICK UP after your dog!!
  • DO NOT wash dogs in the hotel bath tub!!
  • Carry a leash and a gallon of water for every dog in the vehicle.
  • Pack for safe ingress/egress.
  • Carry shade cloth in summer and chains in winter.
  • Always be prepared.
  • Install a temperature monitor.
  • Nothing is more important than your animal’s safety and well-being.
  • The best guarantee of your animal’s safety is direct supervision.
  • RV maintenance — tires, generators, etc
  • Electricity — know what it can and cannot do.
  • Long-distance, cross country driving — get dogs out every 4 hours. Get food, fuel, potty dogs and people all in one stop. Plan ahead for shorter drives to accommodate this schedule.
  • Keep a light weight pen on top of the stack to set up for young dogs to contain.
  • Avoid feeding before driving to avoid car sickness
  • Air travel — Not all airlines are created equal — Alaska is amazing.
  • Know airline and their requirements.
  • Be prepared to provide a bigger crate if needed.
  • Fly your own wheels.
  • Freeze water buckets to hang in crate.
  • Put a small scissor or sharp object in an easily accessible pocket of checked baggage to cute zip ties on crates.
  • Easier to travel with a friend.

Personal Safety

As a final topic, Laura offers the Dog Show Mentor some awareness topics for personal safety while on the road.

Input from retired Law Enforcement Officers

  • Stay alert and aware.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Body posture, head up, shoulders back.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas.
  • Situational awareness.
  • Avoiding conflict is vastly better than fighting.
  • Keep keys and cell phone with you.
  • Bad guys don’t want to be the center of attention. Make a racket.
  • If you have to fight, cheat. Your goal is to win, stay alive.
  • Stay in touch with a friend or family member as regards expected travel.
  • Make use of non-lethal deterrents… Pepper spray etc
  • Dogs help deter, but don’t assume it will always work.


Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week: Dogs that Chew

Listen in to Allison’s best suggestion for dogs that chew their hair or beds... today on

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113 – Laura Reeves: On the Road Less Traveled – Stories of Dog Show Journeys

Laura Reeves

On the Road Less Traveled, Laura Reeves reminds us of takeaways from the dog show journeys themselves, and inherent dangers too.

Stories and Memories of Dog Show Journeys

The annual road trip to National Specialties is a must for any serious breeder.  At Pure Dog Talk we have covered this before.  But beyond seeing each stud dog for generations, the continuing education for breeders, the treasure trove of mentors, and the reunions of crazy friends that all have your breed as a common bond, dog show journeys offer something else... the road less traveled.


The Road Less Traveled

Traveling in the Western U.S. equates to hours across Louis L'Amour deserts and desolate places.  Tornado watches and a mindful eye to the sky are in the midwest as we drive miles of grassy plains.  Dark, winding roads, often slick or snow-covered in the Northeast where a momentary lack of attentiveness can be treacherous...

We all have stories, and most importantly, memories of our road trips.

We laugh about being stuck in the middle of nowhere, so remote that we can imagine "banjo music".

Make Good Memories on the Road

Good memories result from good outcomes.  So being safe on the road, preparing properly for your travels, and being aware of personal safety is something that we care enough to ask you to do.

Safety is not an accident!

This workplace sign goes for dog shows and road trips too!

So please enjoy some stories from Laura Reeves in epsiode #113, and listen and take heed to the "near miss" that could have ended in tragedy.


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