This Forum is brought to you by The Mastiff Sweet Spot and Friends of the Forum.
Register Calendar
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #1 
When People search for this question then this thread will go up.
Puppy evaluations

The following information is courtesy of Ms. Pat Hastings, author of The Puppy Puzzle" and "Tricks of the Trade". And if you want to learn more, get the book and the video.

If you are here is because you are interested in learning, Yes! I said learn how to evaluate a puppy. So prepare yourself to start the journey  to a better way to breed.  Now read!

Mortality, by its very nature, suggests that all living things have in common a mix of strengths and weaknesses. It follows, then, that the primary objective shared by all conscien­tious dog breeders is to improve the quality of their respective breeds. The goal is to breed for a perfect blend of:

+    Type.

+    Genetic integrity.

+    Good temperament.

+    Structural soundness.

 

  Everything that you read and hear today about show dogs stresses type. Type is certainly the most important thing in the show ring; after all, type is what makes a specific breed. Type, however, must be taken within the context of the basics that comprise structural soundness. You have to have both type and structure to come up with a quality dog. Whether you are breeding or buying, it is of paramount importance to learn how to evaluate the structural quality of puppies.

Evaluating for temperament and structural soundness is a piece of the formula for success. You have to put it together with breed type, coat, colors, and the status of your breeding program. However, the formula is fundamentally flawed if it excludes the inborn composition of a dog’s tem­perament and physical structure.

In this endeavor, there is no such thing as a “pick of the litter.”

 Frankly, the pick of a poor-quality litter is still poor quality. Although “pick of the litter” is a common phrase among dog people, we’d be wise to elimi­nate it from our mind-set and our vocabulary. What 's  required is to evaluate each puppy in relation to a standard of structural excellence and the breed standard, rather than evaluating it in relation to its littermates.

To assess breed type in puppies, study your breed  standard carefully, bearing in mind what you need in your breeding program to improve type in your lines. To assess temperament and physical structure, the more advan­tages you have, the better—everything from a knowledge of canine anatomy and animal husbandry to an understanding of genetics and DNA testing. And, again, know your breed standard well.

We have used the process discussed in this chapter for several years. My husband and I evaluate an average of 250 litters per year, documenting each evaluation. As a result, we’ve been able to track the accuracy of our process, which continues to amaze even us. See what it can do for you and for your breeding program.

PROCESS PARAMETERS

As breeders, my husband and I made the same kinds  of mistakes over the years that every breeder makes. We’ve all kept puppies we shouldn’t have. We’ve all sold puppies we later wish we’d kept. And we’ve all placed some puppies with families whose lifestyles were incompatible with the puppies’ capabilities. Throughout our involvement in breeding programs, we kept asking ourselves: ‘What are we missing?

In our search for answers, we met with Dr. Hal Engle, head of the anatomy department at Oregon State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The exchange of ideas at that meeting started us on a journey plot­ted by more and more questions.

Our research led us from one vet school to another, from general practice vets to orthopedic surgeons, from research facilities to engineers. Each resource provided a piece of the puzzle; our challenge was to put that puzzle together.

________________________________________________

The process parameters we recommend are as follows:

1.  For structure, evaluate puppies only at eight weeks, give or take three days either way. This This is crucial. Before eight weeks, soft tissue is not sufficiently developed to hold the bone structure in place.

As all bones grow at different rates, itis important to realize that the proportion of bone growth is as similar to the adult structure at eight weeks as it’s ever going to be during the growth of the puppy. Therefore, what you see and, more importantly, what you feel at eight weeks is what the puppy will grow into as an adult dog.

This applies to all breeds across the board. The only exceptions we have found are premature puppies and puppies that have not had a good start. We’ve never had consistent results evaluating these two exceptions.

2. Evaluate the whole litter. Keep detailed records on  every puppy in every litter you evaluate. You can then make the best possible breeding choices later on. It makes no difference if you recognize breed disqualifica­tions or obvious pets among the puppies. Evaluate them all.

Understand that the real benefit of evaluating litters is  education. The more breeders learn, the more their breeds benefit.

3. Keep a written record of each evaluation. Always  record the results of each evaluation in writing. Then, when developing your breeding program, you will have not only pedigrees to consider but also the added advantage of written evaluation results. The more information you have, the better informed your breeding plans will be.

4.   Select an objective grading system. We use a point  system of 1 to 5: “5” being the best; “3” being an average dog of its breed that you see currently in the show ring; and “1” being the least desirable.

The reason for an objective grading system is to  maintain focus on quality. It’s so much easier to get where you want to be in dogs if you breed quality. Subjective grading encourages you to overlook structural weakness­es in favor of the puppy who captures your heart. Maybe its personality is just too cute, or maybe it possesses a single outstanding element you’d hoped the breeding would produce. But what about the puppy as a whole?

If you don’t work to eliminate structural weaknesses  from your breeding program, you will stand still and so will your breed. Produce quality dogs, then concentrate on type, coat, colors, and preferences.

The structural evaluation process is used to improve a breeding program, not to proclaim the arrival of the next record-breaking show dog. Bearing that in mind, our recommendation is: Any puppy that has any struc­tural piece evaluated lower than average should be excluded from your breeding program.

If you see no improvement in structural quality and type from what you already have, don’t keep any of that litter. If you want to be a top breed­er, trying to represent a mediocre dog as great is self-defeating. Try again, and keep your sights on quality.

5.   Evaluate puppies at a place completely unfamiliar to them. Puppies are too comfortable where they live. They need to be evaluated in a place where they’ve never been. Another room in your house doesn’t count, because it all smells the same to puppies.

6.   Have someone unfamiliar to the puppies handle them for the evaluation. The worst person to evaluate a litter for its structural quality is the breeder. It certainly can be done, but it’s just human nature to try to make our “favorite” puppies look the best. The breeder may find subjectivi­ty rules his or her evaluation findings. Basically, let someone working with a different breed evaluate your litters, and you evaluate theirs. That way, every­one learns. And it behooves us all to learn beyond our own breeds.

7. Evaluate puppies in a mirror.This is imperative to an objective review. Look at the picture in the mirror, not at the animal in your hands. A mirror provides distance; it gives you the opportunity to step away from the puppy, without ever having to step away from the puppy.

8.   Let your fingertips be your best set of eyes.Your fingertips relay a great deal more information to your brain than your hands or your eyes do. The most accurate view of a puppy’s bone structure and tissue strength comes through tactile contact. Feel for skeletal formation, muscle and motion as allowed by ligamentation. It’s important to remember to push past “the point of resistance” when feeling for motion.

Use “soft hands,” fingertips, and gentle motions. You will be amazed much you can see this way.

9. Be consistent in your evaluation steps. It is all too easy to let per-inclinations color the way we evaluate a litter. So in order to achieve the greatest possible accuracy, every puppy must be evaluated the same way, with as much objectivity as possible.

Attachments and preferences only hinder the benefits of the process. Handle each puppy the same way. Use the same procedure each time with each puppy. Concentrate on getting every puppy in as natural a position as Possible.

Evaluate the entire litter, one puppy at a time. Resist the temptation to discuss your findings as you go. Once you have finished your evaluations and have recorded all of the grading, plus specific comments on tempera­ment, testicles, mouths, balance, or whatever, determine and write down an overall score for each puppy.

THEN—and this is very important—go over the litter a second time to discuss each puppy. This time, take the puppies in reverse order, starting with the least-quality and working your way up to the best-quality puppy. This method will help you develop an eye for what is correct. To evaluate for grading, we suggest the following procedure:

First, check tempera­ment. To evaluate a puppy’s temperament, turn it gently over on its back and cradle it in your arms and against your body. You want to give the puppy every opportunity to feel it’s securely held, so that what you see is the puppy’s genetic temperament traits, not a fear of falling.

 

 

Correct hold for evaluating temperament

 

Correct hold for suspended position

Next, look at the whole puppy in a suspended position.

You need to position the puppy in such a way that it hangs free, with­out bearing any weight, and is completely relaxed. Pick a puppy up only on the bone structure of the skull, and between the rear legs—without touching the testi­cles, if it’s a male. In this way, you won’t influence anything the puppy’s body does naturally.

 Next, look at the whole puppy in a suspended position. You need to position the puppy in such a way that it hangs free, with­out bearing any weight, and is completely relaxed. Pick a puppy up only on the bone structure of the skull, and between the rear legs—without touching the testi­cles, if it’s a male. In this way, you won’t influence anything the puppy’s body does naturally.

Correct front hold for suspendingCorrect rear hold for suspending

Suspended position

Standing position

If you pick puppies up properly, they will relax and allow it. If you pick them up improperly, they either grab for your arm or fight you. Keep trying until you learn how to do this without stressing the puppy. A well-structured puppy will hang in a very nearly stacked position. That is what you’re looking for. If that isn’t what you see, there is a structural reason.

Next, look at the whole puppy in a standing position on the table. Just try to make the puppies stand in a comfortable position. If they fidget, pick them up in the same fashion as you would for a suspended position, and run their feet along the table surface a couple of times. Puppies dislike the feel of a surface moving beneath their feet. Once you scrape their feet lightly across the table, they’re usually so glad the table isn’t moving any­more that they hold still.

After the puppy is standing comfortably and balanced on all four legs, the first thing you look at is the overall balance. Resist the temptation to fix the puppy. Just stack it in as natural a position as possible. Remember, the shape of the puppy at eight weeks is the shape it will grow back into as an adult.

Check the puppy’s proportions, in accordance with your breed stan­dard. In other words, check the height in relation to the length, and the depth of the body in relation to the height of the leg. Make sure you are fol­lowing your breed standard, as some standards require the dog to be longer than it is tall, have a sloping top line, or so forth. (See under.)

Check height at shoulderIn relation to length of body

Check depth of body

In relation to height of leg

With the puppy comfortably stacked, look at the whole picture. Is there anything that stands out, such as a short neck, no front, or a lack of balance? Is the puppy correctly proportioned? If something doesn’t look right, search for the cause as you go over each piece.




__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #2 

We go over a puppy in the following order:

1. Testicles.

2.  Head

3.Neck.

4.Shoulders.

5.Upper arm

6. Elbows (for motion).

7.Front piece

8.Front assembly angulation.

9.Depth of chest.

10.Underline.

11.Length of the rib cage & loin.

12.Hock angle and height.

13.Rear assembly proportions.

14.Fit of the knees.

15.Placement of the feet.

16.Shape of the pelvis.

17.Balance of muscle mass on the legs.

18.Hock stability.

19.Topline (standing & for motion).

20.Croup.

21.Tailset.

22.Bite.

23.Occlusion.

Last, but most certainly not least, evaluate the nutritional effects on  structure. Position the puppy facing the mirror. Make sure the front legs are hanging free, without bearing any weight, and the puppy is completely relaxed. This shows you the true structure of the front legs. Gently lower the front feet back onto the table. If the front legs lose whatever soundness was seen while suspended, the problem usually is nutritional, not structural.

One thing we ask all breeders who bring us litters for evaluation is: What are you feeding the puppies? Almost all name-brand dog foods are top-quality products. However, we in the world of show dogs have a ten­dency to feed more than our puppies can utilize. Because of this, premium puppy foods that contain additional nutrients can allow the growth rate of bones to increase. Since there is no way to increase the growth rate of tissue, rapid bone growth can create structural problems.

Try to feed puppies according to their lifestyle. If they are confined to relatively small areas, they need only standard nutrients. The more activ­ity and freedom they have, the more they are capable of handling addition­al nutrients.

Structural problems caused by nutrition are usually correctable by changing to a quality adult maintenance food. However, the change must be made before the growth plates close. After that, nutritionally generated struc­ture problems are irreversible.

Finally, give all puppies the best possible chance at an objective eval­uation. Work to keep them calm during the procedure. Some people swing puppies in the air to calm them or act as though they were dropping them off the end of the table. However, both of these techniques generally produce the opposite results. We use cheese during an evaluation—not as bait, but simply as a way to keep puppies' minds off what we’re doing. Cheese is easy on their stom­achs and keeps their interest. You don’t want to use anything so enticing that you lose control. Remember they’re babies, not adult show dogs. You want to be as soft and gentle with them as possible.

EVALUATING FOR DECISIONS

In some respects, breeding dogs is a roll of the dice. Breed the best you have to the best you can, and you may still end up disappointed, hav­ing to let go of a whole litter and begin again. This is an inherent risk taken by even the most experienced dog breeders.

At the same time, making accurate decisions about each puppy’s future can be equally difficult, unless you’re measuring against a standard of excellence that includes a good temperament and structural soundness.

Temperament

When evaluating for temperament, you are looking for any one of four genetic temperament traits. Remember, this only works when the puppy is out of its familiar environment and being handled by a stranger.

1. Insecurity. A puppy that holds on is usually an insecure puppy. Insecurity manifests itself later as a dog more comfortable and at ease at home than elsewhere. For example, all of us have heard someone at one time or another say: “If the judge could come to my house, this dog would be fin­ished.” Such a dog is usually insecure.

2.   Feat A fearful puppy will open its eyes wide when you tip it down head first a bit in your arms. You will be able to see the whites of its eyes. You can actually see the fear. A fearful puppy may grow up with an exagger­ated startle response and a greater fear of things. Many times, they are also sound-sensitive.

3.  Aggression. An aggressive puppy will not let you hold it on its back, no matter how much you try to get it to relax.

4.  Detachment. A puppy that will not meet your eyes usually will not form good human bonding. A “detached” puppy usually is very inde­pendent and marches to a different drummer. It makes neither a great show dog nor a great obedience dog. After all, if it won’t form attachments with people, it certainly isn’t going to try to please them.

When you identify any of these traits, socializing and exposure to a variety of positive experiences can help mask them, but the genetic causes of such traits will remain intact. Therefore, write down the traits you identify, then you will be aware of them if you use a puppy with any of these traits in your breeding program later on.

A sound temperament will show itself in puppies that are relaxed and confident that nothing is going to happen to them. That is the kind of tem­perament you are looking for.

Head

Evaluating the head is a very confusing proposition. This is a job for the breeder. When you look at the head of an eight-week-old puppy, if it’s what you’re looking for in an adult, then you need to find out if it’s going to stay that way.

1.  Head shape. In determining how the head will develop, you first want to evaluate the ridge, or zygomatic arch (or cheekbone), that runs between the eye and the ear, as well as the areas below and above that ridge. If the surface of the ridge is flat, and the areas below and above the ridge are

fairly flush with it, then the back skull is most likely going to grow in pro­portion to what you are looking at. If the lateral surface is not flat, or the ridge is curved, the back skull will most likely broaden out of proportion.

The curvature of the ridge between the eye and the ear is made up of two bones. The strength of the muscle attachment on the head is what keeps those two bones from separating. The separation of those two bones allows the back skull to broaden. If there is a significant indentation above the ridge, the head will usually develop a dome shape.

If your evaluation indicates that the back skull will remain in pro­portion, ear placement and the shape and placement of the eye will remain proportionally the same as well. If the back skull broadens out of proportion, it can alter the shape and position of the eyes and the position of the ears.

2. Muzzle. In evaluating the head, the next feature to check for is a round, pellet-like formation on the skull bone, at the inside corner of the eye. It will feel like a small pearl. This round formation is part of the growth plate that controls the width of the muzzle as it grows. If that tiny ball is present, normally the muzzle will grow forward, in proportion to what you’re looking at. If it is absent, and you feel a small indentation instead of a tiny ball, the muzzle will prob­ably narrow.

 

3. Bite and occlusion. When looking at the mouth, the bite needs to be what your breed standard calls for, but don’t stop there. Check the placement of all four canines, and check for proper occlusion on the sides.
Simulated growth plate at inside corner of eyes.
The side teeth fit together like cogs of a wheel, or teeth on a pair of pinking shears. If they’re misaligned, the mouth can change well into adult­hood. This is one of the reasons why good mouths can go bad.

Proper occlusion

Improper occlusion

 

    If there appears to be a problem with the alignment of the canines, talk to a dental vet about interceptive orthodontics a perfectly legal option, when dealing with puppy teeth. According to one report, interceptive orthodontics is effective in 50 percent of all cases.

Neck

      In most breeds, the neck is of paramount importance in detecting front assembly problems. If you were to draw a line along the puppy’s top line, its head should be well above that line. If it isn’t, the puppy has a short neck, which almost always indicates something is not quite right with the front.

Good Neck Short neck

One possible cause of a short neck is a poorly placed front assembly, which is a very common problem in the dog world today. All dogs have seven vertebrae in their necks; however, an improper placement of the front assembly can cause an X-ray to show only five or six. This is because the shoulder blade itself is actually hiding one or more of the vertebrae.
One way to verify a poorly placed front assembly is by the elbows. Place your left hand under the chest and with your index finger and thumb on the elbows, squeeze them together just until you feel resistance. If the elbows come together, the placement of the front assembly is the problem.
In such a case, the reason you can move the elbows is because the upper arm is in front of the rib cage, instead of alongside the rib cage. This causes a sloppy upper arm movement instead of a good, strong forward action.
 

Good front assembly

Poor front assembly

Another cause of a short neck could be straight shoulders, which we’ll discuss in “Front Assembly.” What matters is that a dog with a short neck— whatever the cause—will almost always have less reach, because a dog usually can only reach to the end of its nose, so the shorter the neck, the shorter the reach.

Good reach

short reach

Good neck

Ewe neck

 If you can gently tip the puppy’s head all the way back to the shoulders, the puppy probably has a ewe neck. A dog with a ewe neck can compensate for this structural weakness by tucking its head into its body, thus giving the appearance of a short neck.


__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #3 
 Front Assembly
Bones have to be balanced to work in unison. Equidistance means the dog will be able to move its front assembly muscles properly. With this in mind, most breeds should have the appearance of approximately the same length from the notch near the point of the shoulder to the top of the blade as from the notch to the elbow.

 1.Shoulders. The shoulder blade should sit at the angle described in your breed standard, which, in most cases, is referred to as “well laid back”
or “45 degrees.”

     Although there is an enormous amount of controversy regarding the feasibility of 45-degree shoulder angles on dogs, do not allow this controversy to become an excuse for not breeding the best you can. Remember, the straighter the shoulder, the shorter the reach.
The shoulder blades should fit smoothly and blend onto the rib cage.
They should never be the highest point of the dog. In most breeds, you
should not be able to see them, and you should hardly be able to feel them.

Good shoulders

High shoulders

 If they “fit” properly, they will almost always have the proper space between the tips. If the tips are too far apart, the dog will move wide up front. If the tips are too close together, the dog’s ability to lower its head will be restricted. And if a dog cannot eat out of a pan on the floor without laying down, how is it going to do the job for which it was originally bred, such as retrieve, hunt, or track?

 2. Upper arm. Although you constantly hear in the show world about short upper arms, we see relatively few of them in our puppy evaluations. We see many more straight upper arms, with and without correct shoulders. Both straight and short upper arms can add to a soft topline.

3. Elbows. With your left hand over the puppy on its shoulder blades, push gently to the side. If this motion “pops” the elbow out, the dog will throw its elbows as an adult, which usually also causes the dog to toe in up front. This is the result of poor muscle attachment and/or loose ligaments.

 4. Prosternum. The puppy should have a prostemum that you can almost hold onto with your fingers. Since a good Prosternum surface is necessary for proper muscle attachment, which links the upper arm to the rib cage, a lack of prosternum may result in a very loose forward movement up front.

 Depth of Chest
      The depth of the chest at eight weeks should be what it is supposed to be as an adult. If the bottom of the chest is flat, the puppy will usually retain the depth. If it feels curved instead of flat, it will usually outgrow the depth you are feeling.
     Also, put your hand on the chest between the front legs. If your fingers reach an angle under the ribs, the dog usually will have a herring gut. The depth of the ribs should extend to the ninth rib. If it does not, the resulting problem can affect the amount of stamina the dog has as an adult.

Good depth of chest

Herring gut

 Length of Loin
    The puppy’s loin is measured from where the last rib comes off of the
spine. The distance from the last rib to the pelvis should be shorter than the
distance from the last rib to the shoulder.
     If the puppy’s loin is too long, the area between the last rib and the
pelvis has no support. Therefore, the dog is going to be more susceptible to
topline problems.
On the other hand, having too short of a loin is just as serious. All of the dog’s ability to bend sideways resides in the loin. Some Terriers have gotten so short-backed that they don’t have a loin left, so they are incapable of turning in or backing out of a hole. You have to get a shovel to dig them out after they get stuck.

Rear Assembly
     As stated earlier, bones have to be balanced to work in unison. Equidistance means the dog will be able to move its rear assembly muscles properly.

     Insofar as the rear assembly is concerned, the length between the point of the buttocks and the kneecap — or patella — should be approximately the same length as between the kneecap and the hock.

1. Rear angulation. Breed standards vary enormously, when it comes to rear angulation. From the Chow Chow, expected to have a stifle with little angulation and an almost straight hock joint, to the Dachshund, expected to have right angles, and everything in between.
    Just remember that at eight weeks, the stifle angle doesn’t always show. It generally follows, however, that the sharper the hock angle, the more stifle angle the puppy will have as an adult. Just be sure you evaluate this piece in relation to your breed standard.
         Rear assembly balance for most breeds is the same. Imagine dropping a plumb line down from the point of the buttocks to the ground. On a well-balanced, well-structured rear assembly, the plumb would drop right at the toes. This is the balance point required for proper movement.
       If the rear legs are too long, and the feet fall far behind the plumb line, the puppy has sickle hocks. As it moves its feet forward for balance, the hocks appear to bend in the form of a sickle. This will affect the dog’s movement, as it will have little or no range of motion behind.

Proper rear assembly

Sickle hocks

 2. Pelvis and musculature. All dogs from behind should be shaped like an inverted U. If the puppy you are evaluating is shaped like an inverted V, the puppy usually has a narrow pelvis and will move narrow behind.
    If the puppy is a bitch, think carefully about whether you want to keep her in your breeding program, because a narrow pelvis increases the chance that you’ll be paying for more caesarian sections, as well as potentially losing puppies due to prolonged deliveries and delays in electing to perform caesarian sections.
     Generally speaking, the majority of breeds—with the notable exception of bulldogs—should never be narrower at the rear than they are at the
shoulders.

U-shaped pelvis

V-shaped pelvis

3. Knees. In most breeds, the kneecap—or patella—should flow into  the body. If you evaluate a puppy whose knees point out, that puppy will be much more susceptible to injuries. Plus the abnormal weight bearing can result in added stress on the other joints in the rear assembly. Usually, a dog with knees angling out will move wide behind.
   Luxating patellas—or slipped kneecaps—are not something we check
for. You’re much better off leaving that determination to your vet.

4.Placement of feet. When you’re evaluating the rear, one of the things you look at is which way the rear feet point when you pick up the rear slightly and drop it. If the feet point out, the dog will stand and move as if it were cow-hocked, even if the dog is not cow-hocked.

Cow hocks from rear

Open hocks from rear

A spread-, barrel-, or open-hocked dog will toe in behind with hocks out. Both this and cow hocks can be caused by an imbalance of muscle mass on the inside or outside of the leg. All muscles need to be balanced, in order to minimize the dog’s susceptibility to injury.

5. Hocks. Hocks are the cornerstone of the rear assembly. The rear pastern should be perpendicular to the ground, and the hock joint itself should have no forward or side motion to it.
The shorter or more let down a hock is, the more endurance it will have. At eight weeks, the hock should be no more than one-third the total height of the dog’s rear.
       A potentially serious hock problem that is far too commonly seen is slipped hocks, also referred
to as “double-jointed” or “popping” hocks. In the evaluation, the puppy with slipped hocks generally will not hold its rear in a stacked position. It will constantly be moving a rear leg forward.

Good hocks from side

Slipped hocks from side

Topline
When you are looking at the topline of a puppy or dog, remember that where the bony projections on top of the vertebrae change direction, there is a slight dip. This is not a hole to be concerned about. A topline problem is very rarely created by the spine. It is usually a compensation issue. Therefore, to really understand the topline, we need to return to the front and rear assemblies.

1. Front assembly effect. If there is softness or there are holes in the topline, they usually stem from some problem in the front assembly. For example, if a puppy’s front is too far forward, there will usually be a hole directly behind the shoulder blades. If a dog has straight shoulders or straight upper arms, it will usually have a soft topline. Wrinkles over the shoulders usually indicate straight or wide shoulder blades.

2. Rear assembly effect. If there is a roach to the topline—where there shouldn’t be one—it usually stems from some problem in the rear assembly. Many dogs with slipped hocks will have roached toplines. In order to keep the pressure off their legs, they try to carry more weight in their

backs. You can see the same effect in older dogs that have developed arthntis in their rear assemblies.

Croup and Tailset
      If in your evaluation of a puppy you find that the croup and tailset are bad, you need to know that they’ll probably never get better. If they’re good, however, they can get worse over the next two years of the puppy’s life.
    The determining factors are the three vertebrae between the hip and
the tailset. These vertebrae fuse together, and they are the last bones in the
body to calcify.
    The croup and tailset are dependent not only on the attitude of the dog but also on the rear structure. The weaker the structure is behind or the less chance a dog has to run in wide-open spaces, the greater your chances of losing a proper croup and tailset.
   On an eight-week-old puppy, you want to see a tailset that’s appropriate, with respect to your breed standard. With a tail that is supposed to be held up, you want to see a “shelf’ or a protrusion of the buttocks behind the base of the tail. Exerting a slight forward pressure at the base of the tail should produce a 90-degree angle from the topline to the tailset.
    With a tail that isn’t suppose to be held up, you want the base of the
tail to be a straight line down the rear. Also, at the intersection of the topline
and the tail, you want a curve.
      If the tailset or the rear is too high, check the point of the buttocks. This bone should feel like it’s parallel with the ground. If it angles up, the puppy could have a tipped pelvis. In a bitch, this could contribute to whelping problems.

General Presentation
     We do not evaluate movement in eight-week-old puppies. They are going to move however their brains tell them to, and brains aren’t always in full communication with legs at eight weeks of age, especially in male puppies.
      It’s more important to watch puppies on the ground, because the way
puppies use and carry their bodies—in other words, the way they naturally
present themselves—generally stays with them throughout their lives.
     The puppy on the ground who seems to say, “Just look at me: I’m fabulous,” will almost always keep that kind of attitude. The one who walks around with its head tucked and shoulders slumped will usually grow up with that kind of attitude.
Also, the most difficult thing for any animal to do is to stand still. The same is true for people. In order for a dog to be comfortable standing still, it has to be well made and balanced. So the puppy that stands proud, without fidgeting, is probably the most well-structured puppy in the litter.
          The more structurally imbalanced a puppy is, the more it’s in motion. Additionally, the best-built puppies usually trot. The ones that bunny-hop usually have the greater number of structural weaknesses.

Substance
   The size and substance of an eight-week-old puppy mean very little. The smallest puppy in the litter can turn out to be the biggest dog, and vice versa. However, a puppy should weigh what you think it’s going to weigh. In other words, when picking a puppy up, you shouldn’t be surprised by the weight in your hands.
   This has to do with bone density, and if bone density is out of balance with the rest of the puppy, it can grow up either spindly or clunky. Remember, physical structure is all about compensation and balance.


CONCLUSION
The three most important reasons to evaluate litters of puppies you
have bred are:

   1. To determine whether there are structural problems. If there’s a structural problem, search out the cause. You can’t fix anything in a breeding program until you know specifically what needs to be fixed. It doesn’t do any good to look at a dog and say: “I don’t like that rear,” unless you know why you don’t like it and what is needed to improve it.

  2. To determine which puppies to keep in your breeding program. Use all elements of the formula for success. In other words, consider the results of your structural evaluations in conjunction with breed type, coat, colors, and preferences.

  3. To determine what kind of home is most suitable for each puppy that leaves you. It is up to you, as the breeder, to make a match between a prospective buyer’s lifestyle and the puppy whose structural qualities are most compatible.

     There is no substitute for careful, responsible breeding. The only thing more important is to put the welfare of the puppies you breed before all else when making your decisions about where and how they will spend the rest of their lives.

    Objective evaluations and careful record keeping can advance your breeding program, your breed, and possibly your show wins. But of course, there is more to winning than simply producing or buying a great puppy. Always remember: Whole package, whole package, whole package!

Well....Congratulations! Now, you are on your way!


__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #4 
From Erica:


I had the great good fortune to attend one of Pat Hastings seminars.  She evelauted many many dogs, as well as two litters of pups.  She is quite adament, 8 weeks is when evaluations should be made, maybe a day or tow on either side, but no more.   Pat has been evaluating puppies and litters for years.  She has worked with some of the best vets in the country, many of the best breeders, and people bring litters to her house to evaluate.  I forget what the numbers are, but she has looked at THOUSANDS of puppies.   THOUSANDS.  She evaluates structure. " Litter evaluations are more about which lifestyle is suitable for each puppy and which puppies belong in a breeding program than they are about picking show prospects."
She is fascinating to speak with, very very funny, knows dogs like I suspect few people do. Here is her bio, which in part includes
"Together, the Hastings garnered over 250 Best In Shows with dogs from all groups and bred over 28 different breeds from across all groups. In October 2001, they received the Doberman Pinscher Club of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Pat has been involved in the dog world since 1959. She began her career as an owner-handler, moved into breeding, then teamed up with her husband in professional handling.

She is currently an AKC judge of the Herding, Non-Sporting Groups and Working Groups; Junior Showmanship; and Best in Show.  She has articles published in a wide variety of dog magazines."


http://www.dogfolk.com/thehastings.htm

If anyone ever has an opportunity to attend her seminar, GO.  Better yet, hope you have a litter you can bring her.  You will learn tons.



__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #5 
Anyone else with helpful hints on what has helped them, is welcomed to share, doesn't have to have any science behind it but helpful hints you have used

__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
GinaG

POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 3,433
Reply with quote  #6 
Geez...I just went for the first one that few into my arms...LOL...back in 87...
I guess I'm much smarter and wiser now...ya rite..
G

__________________
gina anelli
SteveOifer

Avatar / Picture

POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 25,877
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Anyone else with helpful hints on what has helped them, is welcomed to share, doesn't have to have any science behind it but helpful hints you have used





If you place shaving cream on their topline, you can see if they are going to prefer Gillette, or Shick when they get to be 3 years old!

__________________
For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 4,137
Reply with quote  #8 

LOL Gina!! I know that feeling! It's so hard to not go with the favorite personality at times!! I used to believe in "wet picks" (still do for the most part, but then I had that one exception that changed my mind). I had a little fawn girl from my last litter that was born with the UGLIEST head I'd EVER seen on a Mastiff puppy. I swear she looked like she had a triple mohawk on her head! I talked so ugly about her!! Her head was long and narrow...well, the rest of that story is that momma dog had been in labor for quite awhile before we opted for the c-section so that one was in the birth canal for awhile. Three days later, she had a BEAUTIFUL head (and no mohawk). She ended up being my keeper.


__________________
http://www.oasismastiffs.com
http://www.mastiffchat.com
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #9 
Thank You Steve.  Also what to expect on 8 week old Mastiff pups in the way they look....eye color, amount of black and where........ interesting helpful things that YOU as the Breeder have to explain to people

__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
SteveOifer

Avatar / Picture

POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 25,877
Reply with quote  #10 

Explain all you want, but we both know there are no guarantees!


__________________
For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #11 
There is no science on this but passed down from Breeder to Breeder.  If you have two pups the tail can tell you a couple of things......you turn both pups around and look at the base of the tail.......the thicker tail base will be the thicker pup when grown.........the longer tail will be the taller pup when grown.........and if you are really lucky you see both of these little things on one pup

In the future I will swing a fried chicken leg over my head to satisfy Steve, but have not in the past due to the pups not holding still because of the smell.

__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
SteveOifer

Avatar / Picture

POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 25,877
Reply with quote  #12 

Colonel Pallone, I presume!


__________________
For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
SteveOifer

Avatar / Picture

POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 25,877
Reply with quote  #13 
If picking a pup is an easy affair, then the litter wasn't that good!

If you're racking your brains, because there isn't one that really stands out, then it's either all bad, or all good, but nothing exceptional!

If you get a very strong litter and find a stand-out, you are going in the right direction.

But at 8 weeks, you must still keep your fingers crossed, as there is no common denominator in Mastiffs.

To believe that an 8 week old 10-14 lb pup, is going to form into an exact replica of itself every time when it hits 3 years and 245 lbs, is truly a leap of faith!

But what do I know? I'm just a failed breeder, that's only bred 3 litters in 40 years. If Pat Hastings says otherwise about 8 week old Mastiffs, then who am I to question!!!

BTW, has anyone seen Galileo?





__________________
For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #14 
Steve what did you look for in your litters that made you want to keep one pup over another?

Did you have to explain why the eyes were not a dark brown at that age?  Why there was a black circle on the tail?

I would enjoy and know others would also, some of the things you ran across in questions from clients, if anyone was there to help you.......little tid bits


__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 4,137
Reply with quote  #15 

Well, first of all, if I had a puppy at 10-14 lbs at 8 weeks, I'd be really worried that I had bred a golden retriever instead of a Mastiff!


__________________
http://www.oasismastiffs.com
http://www.mastiffchat.com
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #16 
Interesting you should mention weight, I was reading where some breeds have figured out the formula on their Breed that they can double the weight at 4 months old and that will be the dogs weight at adulthood, but it was a small breed.  I wonder if there is an age on Mastiffs.  I know on children they say measure their height at 2 years old and double it and that will be their height as an adult.  It would be interesting to look back on the weight records of our pups and see.  I would guess 6 months would be the closest to a Mastiff's age to make the guesstamate on that one of doubling the weight..

__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
Blusdad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 558
Reply with quote  #17 
lots of good infor here but I will never remember all of it and I would have to do step by step with the process.

I think when I am ready I'll just ask Carrie and pay her handsomely.

Theresa

__________________
Blu's Dad
WindyHills

Registered:
Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks for posting this. That is a lot of helpful information.

As someone who is still fairly new to the breed and aspiring to breed one day, it is nice to see experienced breeders who are willing to help.

__________________
Daniel H.
pallone

Avatar / Picture

~ POWER POSTER ~
Registered:
Posts: 5,481
Reply with quote  #19 

Pat Hastings Seminar: “Structure In Action”

                                                       

On February 3, I drove down to Austin to attend the Pat Hastings seminar on “Structure In Action”. I’d read her book “Tricks of the Trade”, and I’d heard very good things about her “Puppy Puzzle”, so I was really looking forward to it, especially in light of the fact that I’m trying to prepare myself for finding Rakki’s little sister. Since the hypothetical sister will hopefully be my “real” performance dog, I plan to be as educated, aware and hard-line about selecting her as I possibly can.

Pat Hastings is an AKC judge, a longtime owner-handler and breeder (of many different breeds), and an author. She and her late husband developed a method for assessing puppies’ structure which has proven itself extremely accurate over many years of testing with thousands of dogs.
One thing I found very interesting was that Pat starts with assessing temperament (a subject very dear to my heart), and she does a single test which she feels gives her as much information as is needed to assess basic temperament (she holds the puppy gently and then slowly turns it over and cradles the puppy on its back in her arms to assess its reaction – fearful puppies will grab on for dear life and avoid eye contact, aggressive puppies with squirm and fight and sometimes even attack – what she likes to see is a puppy who relaxes and seeks eye contact, she says that’s the sign of a puppy who is confident and interested in working with people).

Here are some of my point-form notes (these will also appear in the newsletter at some point):

  • - you can only accurately evaluate puppies for structure at 8 weeks of age, within 3 days either side of the exactly 8 weeks mark. This is the only age at which the bones are closely similar in proportion to the way they will be in adulthood, and it is before the puppy has had enough time walking around to begin to develop musculature to compensate for its physical faults. As she says in her “Tricks of the Trade” book: you should evaluate a puppy at 8 weeks, and then basically not look at it critically again (for structure) until it is fully grown, or you will drive yourself crazy with second-guessing your initial assessment. You cannot evaluate bone, size or substance accurately at 8 weeks of age.
  • - you should never evaluate puppies where they live, they should be evaluated by someone who is a stranger to them (especially important for temperament, but also because people who are familiar with them may have become accustomed to them and not actually see the structure). Ideally, you should also have the puppies evaluated by someone outside the breed, because they will likely have fewer preconceived notions.
  • - you need to evaluate for breed type in addition to structure and temperament when evaluating for your breeding program. The soundest dog in the world in terms of structure and temperament is still not a good breeding candidate if it’s lacking breed type.
  • - eliminate the “pick of the litter” idea – don’t evaluate puppies against each other, evaluate them against the breed standard
  • - evaluating breed type:
    • - if any other breed comes to mind when you look at the dog, the dog is incorrect
    • - if all you can see is the dog’s head, you should be able to tell what breed it is
    • - if you can only see the dog’s silhouette, you should be able to tell what breed it is
  • - even in toy dogs and pets, structure is very important: injuries and discomfort from poor structure can have effects on temperament
  • - the only differences between breeds in terms of structure is the angles, proportions and size of the various bones, and regardless of breed (unless the standard says otherwise), 50% of the dog should be above the elbow and 50% below
  • - keep faults in perspective and evaluate them with regard to the breed’s purpose (e.g. high-set shoulders are a serious problem in a drafting/sledding breed, since it causes problems with the harness; shoulderblades too close together is a serious problem in a breed which needs to put its nose on the ground, like scenthounds, since a dog can only lower its head until its shoulderblades touch; ewe neck is a serious problem in a water retrieving breed, since a dog with a ewe neck cannot swim well if at all, and definitely cannot swim while carrying something)
  • - a dog should not be able to raise its head further back than five ticks off vertical (11:55 on a clock face) – if the dog’s neck bends further back than this, the dog is ewe necked.
  • - a truly cowhocked dog (as opposed to a dog who just stands cowhocked) has more muscle mass on this inside of the hind leg than the outside. A truly barrelhocked/spreadhocked/openhocked dog has more muscle on the outside of the hind leg than the inside.
  • - you can only have as much muscle as there is bone surface to attach it to – the straighter the shoulder/smaller the prosternum, the less muscle you can have. All the muscles which attach the upper arm to the ribcage attach at the prosternum (very important in dogs which need to jump, like agility dogs)
  • - all mammals have 7 vertebrae in their necks, and in dogs, all 7 should be in front of the shoulderblade
  • - Basic structural evaluation:
    • - The entire head should be above an imaginary line drawn along the dog’s topline.
    • - The entire neck and head should be in front of an imaginary line drawn through the center of the front leg.
    • - An imaginary line drawn straight down from the point of the buttock should touch the tips of the toes.
  • - Pat has a specific way of picking up puppies to evaluate them, you will need to watch her DVD or read her book to learn it
  • - knees should point toward the inside of the elbow – outward-pointing knees vastly increase the chances of a torn cruciate
  • - if you see a black ring around the outside edge of the eye’s iris, the eye colour will likely darken, if the eye colour is the same all the way to the edge of the iris, the eye colour will likely stay the way it is
  • - if a puppy’s legs look worse with weight on them than when the puppy is suspended (using Pat’s method), the “fault” is likely simply a problem with food, things like knuckling over and easty-westy fronts are almost always nutritional. Changing food can normally solve these problems in a week or so, but if the nutritional issue isn’t resolved before the growth plates close, the problem will be permanent. Pat pointed out that in a “natural” situation, a puppy would eat milk, then would get regurgitated food (i.e. food which has already lost some nutrients), then would get the leavings from a kill (i.e. the lower-calorie less-choice parts of the animal), and would only get the high-calorie/all-you-can-eat food when it was old enough to expend the energy actually hunting the food itself. So feeding a high-calorie premium puppy food is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. She says that almost all puppies thrive and grow properly on a high-quality adult diet. She also cautions against feeding raw until puppies are at least 4 months old, because it’s just too high in calories unless you are VERY diligent about it.
  • - any breeding program should be like a card table: it has four legs and all must be balanced. The “four legs” are: type, temperament, structure and health.

Ultimately, I strongly recommend Pat’s seminar to anyone who breeds, might breed one day, has performance dogs, or just wants to expand their dog knowledge. I also recommend Pat’s DVD, although it’s not as easy to understand without having attended the seminar.

                                                               

Tags: , ,


__________________
Deborah Pallone
Pallone Mastiffs
AngiS

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 146
Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks for posting! My mom will be getting a puppy (Golden Retriever) in probably August, and I am helping her find "the one". lol  My Dozer boy will finally have someone of similar size to play with.    Tried to talk her into a Mastiff due to their activity level being so much easier, but she says it's too much dog. lol  Personally, I think a 200# couch potato would be far easier to take care of versus a 60-80# energetic dog, but thats just me.  


__________________
Angi~


“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”
Blusdad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 558
Reply with quote  #21 
Pat Hastings also attended the Bas Bosch seminar in Canfield last year and I thoroughly (sp?) enjoyed "eavesdropping" on the conversation they had from a judges perspective in the questions and answer protion of the program.

I learned a lot from the seminar as a whole but it was really nice to learn from a different perspective too.

Theresa

__________________
Blu's Dad
moonlightfarm

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 477
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa

Well, first of all, if I had a puppy at 10-14 lbs at 8 weeks, I'd be really worried that I had bred a golden retriever instead of a Mastiff!



Hey! Noble was 15lbs at 8 weeks, and his 7 month weight was 119.5lbs. He had small gains early, then caught up at around 17 weeks. So weight really isn't dependable either.
dixierockstarr

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 955
Reply with quote  #23 
Bump!

This is an awesome thread Dave! Thanx for the link!

__________________
Christin
Member MCOA
Mom to Bravo son of
Intl Ch Dixie Rockstarr (RIP baby),
Fiona our pound puppy,
Chloe our kitty,
And 3 handsome gentlemen Brockton, Christopher and Jordan
LindaGreesonRice

Avatar / Picture

Board Owner
Registered:
Posts: 7,867
Reply with quote  #24 

__________________
Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
dirtpoor

Avatar / Picture

SUPER POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 4,102
Reply with quote  #25 
I think this thread should be a candidate for "pinning". I just happened upon it today and there is so much useful information! My #1 importance factor when picking out Elah was temperament, then came balance/proportion, and lastly bone. I don't show and am not a breeder just a pet owner, but, this information is valuable to anyone picking out a pup from a litter no matter what the plan is for the puppy. This information covers pretty much everything, temperament, structure, soundness, etc. I definitely would have utilized some of these techniques had I known they existed but I still would have come home with the same puppy
__________________
Kristie in Texas
Proud mom of Daisy and Gunnar who live in Heaven with God and my daddy, Grace my silly clown who makes me laugh when I cry and every opportunity she thinks she can, Oliver who beat the odds and survived the impossible, Chigger, he's an a$$ but he's my little A$$....

And my new boy Elah!!!!!!
LindaGreesonRice

Avatar / Picture

Board Owner
Registered:
Posts: 7,867
Reply with quote  #26 
I agree-- and am pinning it!
__________________
Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
dirtpoor

Avatar / Picture

SUPER POWER POSTER
Registered:
Posts: 4,102
Reply with quote  #27 
Thank you Linda!
__________________
Kristie in Texas
Proud mom of Daisy and Gunnar who live in Heaven with God and my daddy, Grace my silly clown who makes me laugh when I cry and every opportunity she thinks she can, Oliver who beat the odds and survived the impossible, Chigger, he's an a$$ but he's my little A$$....

And my new boy Elah!!!!!!
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.