1. Remember that the animals you select for breeding today will have an impact on the breed for many years to come. Keep that thought firmly in mind when you choose breeding stock.
2. You can choose only two individuals per generation. Choose only the best, because you will have to wait for another generation to improve what you start with. Breed only if you expect the progeny to be better than both parents.
3. You cannot expect statistical predictions to hold true in a small number of animals (as in one litter of puppies). Statistics only apply to large populations.
4. A pedigree is a tool to help you learn the good and bad attributes that your dog is likely to exhibit or reproduce. A pedigree is only as good as the dog it represents.
5. Breed for a total dog, not just one or two characteristics. Don't follow fads in your breed, because they are usually meant to emphasize one or two features of the dog at the expense of the soundness and function of the whole.
6. Quality does not mean quantity. Quality is produced by careful study, having a good mental picture of what you are trying to achieve, having patience to wait until the right breeding stock is available and to evaluate what you have already produced, and above all, having a breeding plan that is at least three generations ahead of the breeding you do today.
7. Remember that skeletal defects are the most difficult to change.
8. Don't bother with a good dog that cannot produce well. Enjoy him (or her) for the beauty that he represents but don't use him in a breeding program.
9. Use out-crosses very sparingly. For each desirable characteristic you acquire, you will get many bad traits that you will have to eliminate in succeeding generations.
10. Inbreeding is a valuable tool, being the fastest method to set good characteristics and type. It brings to light hidden traits that need to be eliminated from the breed.
11. Breeding does not "create" anything. What you get is what was there to begin with. It may have been hidden for many generations, but it was there.
12. Discard the old cliché about the littermate of that great producer being just as good to breed to. Littermates seldom have the same genetic make-up.
13. Be honest with yourself. There are no perfect dogs (or bitches) nor are there perfect producers. You cannot do a competent job of breeding if you cannot recognize the faults and virtues of the dogs you plan to breed.
14. Hereditary traits are inherited equally from both parents. Do not expect to solve all of your problems in one generation.
15. If the worst puppy in your last litter is no better than the worst puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.
16. If the best puppy in your last litter is no better than the best puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.
17. Do not choose a breeding animal by either the best or the worst that he (or she) has produced. Evaluate the total get by the attributes of the majority.
18. Keep in mind that quality is a combination of soundness and function. It is not merely the lack of faults, but the positive presence of virtues. It is the whole dog that counts.
19. Don't allow personal feelings to influence your choice of breeding stock. The right dog for your breeding program is the right dog, whoever owns it. Don't ever decry a good dog; they are too rare and wonderful to be demeaned by pettiness.
20. Don't be satisfied with anything but the best. The second best is never good enough.
• Don't make use of indiscriminate outcrosses. A judicious outcross can be of great value, an injudicious one can produce an aggregation of every imaginable fault in in the breed.
• Don't line breed just for the sake of line breeding. Line breeding with complimentary types can bring great rewards, with unsuitable ones it will lead to immediate disaster.
• Don't take advice from those who have always been unsuccessful breeders if their opinion were worth having they would have proved it by their successes.
• Don't believe the popular cliché about the brother or the sister of the great Champion beingas good to breed from, for every one that is, there are hundreds that are not. It depends on the animal concerned.
• Don't credit your own dogs with virtues they do not possess. Self deceit is a stepping stone to failure. In other words don't be kennel blind.
• Don't breed from mediocrities, the absence of a fault does not in any way signify the presence of its corresponding virtue.
• Don't try to line breed two dogs at the same time; you will end by line breeding to neither.
• Don't assess the worth of a stud dog by his inferior progeny. All stud dogs sire rubbish at times; what matters are how good their best efforts are.
• Don't allow personal feelings to influence your choice of a stud dog. The right dog for your bitch is the right dog whoever owns it.
• Don't allow admiration of a stud dog to blind you to his faults. If you do you will soon be the victim of autointoxication.
• Don't mate together animals which share the same faults. You are asking for trouble if you do.
• Don't forget that it is the whole dog that counts. If you forget one virtue while searching for another you will pay for it.
• Don't search for the perfect dog as a mate for your bitch. The perfect dog (or bitch) doesn't exist, never has or never will!
• Don't be frightened of breeding from animals that have obvious faults so long as they have compensating virtues. A lack of virtue is far the greatest fault of all.
• Don't mate together non-complementary types. An ability to recognize type at a glance is a breeder's greatest gift; ask the successful breeders to explain this subject - there is no other way of learning. (I would define non-complementary types as ones which have the same faults and lack the same virtues.)
• Don't forget the necessity to preserve head quality. It will vanish like a dream if you do.
• Don't forget that substance plus quality should be one of your aims. Any fool can breed one without the other.
• Don't forget that a great head plus soundness should be one of your aims. Many people can never breed either!
• Don't ever try to decry a great dog. A thing of beauty is not only a joy forever but also a great price and pleasure to all true lovers of the breed
This was a "High-Stakes" members-only-event put on by the Spokane Bird Dog Association. Sadly, we missed last year, but there was no way we were missing this year! The stakes are very high at Bingopalooza, it may be possible if you are caught not having fun you may have to wear a ridiculous hat, a tiara, a tutu or even possibly all. With pressure like that, you can imagine what this does to both dog and handler. A perfect opportunity for Nik to debut her mad handling skills.
Puppies are magnificent! Sadly they come equipped with milk-teeth, which are not. Adding to the situation, pups explore their world with their mouths. They will quite literally bite and chew on anything they can get even just partially into their mouths. This includes your hair, fingers, and the claw foot of the hundred-year-old table in your dining room.
I’ll start with mitigating puppy nipping, one of the biggest things you can do is to avoid making this a game by playfully squealing and pulling away rapidly (our normal sound and reaction). There are a few things you can do. One is a high-pitched puppy like squeal, one like your puppy does when he doesn’t like something or when something startles him, or he finds something uncomfortable. Additionally, you can make your fingers less attractive to chew on with these strategies. Keep a puppy Nyla bone handy with you always (you will need several of these, and the presence of mind to keep one or two with you). As soon a pup starts chewing on you, trade out your finger or toe with the Nyla bone, and praise as soon as pup transitions. This little redirect is subtle and works quite well. I’m a big fan of the puppy Nyla bone they work quite well since they put tons of flavor a smell in them, they don’t get nasty so keeping one on the arm of the sofa isn’t off-putting in sight or smell, and they offer an appropriate level of softness; to not hurt pup’s teeth and gums. The downside is an adult dog will gobble one of these babies down in seconds. You can also use this “swap” technique when pup is chewing the leg of your antique table or whatever else they are diligently working on e.g. your drywall, expensive hiking boot, etc.
Okay, so you have been caught without something to redirect with and/or pup is being very feisty. This is where you make your finger less desirable. This isn’t exactly nice, but done with some care you will not hurt pup, but your fingers will lose their magical allure. Start off with the puppy “pain squeak”, and if pup persists, instead of withdrawing your finger simply move it on in, and gently gag him. Yep, it’s not nice, but it works. Sometimes once is all you need. If you don’t like that, while pup is gnawing on you use you other fingers or hand to get his lip/jowl flesh between you and his teeth. He will then have to bite himself on the way to biting you – this also has a way of cooling off the party.
Puppies and young dogs are going to chew, Drents tend to not be destructive and if yours is odds are you aren’t exercising him enough. But they are dogs and they will chew. Antlers can be good for some chewers, as raw bones and a myriad of commercially available products can be good as well. However, when pup has loose teeth and sore gums a well-trained chewer can suddenly stop chewing on approved items and move to things on the unapproved list; wooden table and chair legs seem to be go to items. Why is this? Well, their mouths are tender, and the items they were used to chewing on are probably too hard. Fortunately, solving this can be done on the cheap! Take an old sock or two, tie a knot in them, wet thoroughly, place individually in zip lock baggies and freeze. The sock(s) will thaw and be soft enough, but offer some satisfying chewing and being frozen it will also be soothing to their gums. You can also freeze carrots, they can provide for great chewing and soothing comfort.
As the handful of you who frequent my little corner of the internet have likely figured out long ago, in addition to Dutch Dogs, and chasing birds, I really enjoy photography. Nik and I have had a Nikon D60 for the past nine years, and it has served us well. In fact about eighty-percent of the photos in my book where taken by that very camera, and much to the dismay of Craig, my publisher, none of the photos were shot "RAW" and many weren't even "fine JPG" either. I've lugged that camera around just about everywhere, even my buddy Dave had to use it to capture some photos for an article he was working on when he forgot his own rig. As my photography needs grew, it became apparent the D60's auto focus system wasn't fast or accurate enough, nor was it's frames per second adequate - 3fps, which we thought were blazing back in 2008. I've spent the past two years researching DSLR cameras and pounced on the new Nikon D7500 shortly after its release. This new body gives me much of what the D500 offers without the added expense: an amazing processor, a deep buffer, 8fps, yet still holds onto Point and Shoot capability for when that's all I want to do, and Snapbridge - which set up easily and has worked flawlessly for me. Pretty much all wins across the board for me - yay!
On the side, I've fooled around with various editors, most weren't that great either in their power or flexibility or cost. I've become a big fan of Google Photos over the years, and use it extensively - but still I wanted more, and I wanted it for free. Getting the new DSLR has put me to search, and I have gone with Tony Northrup's recommendation to use Photoscape X and Raw Therapee to meet my emergent needs. These programs don't adulterate the original file and are much, much more flexible and powerful than either MS Photos or Google Photos, and you don't have to fool around with adding an Andriod OS on your PC to use cool apps like Snapseed.
This photo was shot on the US-Mexico border, conditions were clear skies and bright sun light. Original un-edited from the camera on the left. a bit washed out, with deep shadows on Booker's face. MS Photos, was able to bring back back some more natural color, and manage a simple crop. Photoscape X helped bring up more natural color, and through masking I was able to ease (lighten) some of the deep shadows on the left side of his face and make his eye visible - pretty sweet.
Bird hunting is a surprisingly hazardous occupation for a bird dog, and it can be tough on people as well... without adding being careless to the mix. Don't worry, there is NOTHING graphic here, just some good ol' boys having fun.
A member of a forum I am a member of just recently posted this VIDEO of a group of gentlemen hunting one of my favorite game birds in areas I have hunted and by accounts, coveys I have hunted. Bird hunting can be much harder on dogs than most might think, in particular Southern Arizona where Mearns quail live. "Road hazards" abound, be it; barbed wire, hardscrabble, catclaw, cactus and the list goes on. We also need to add the hunter to that list, as a potential threat to the dog, and frankly to other hunters in the area. Sure there may be some camera angles at play here, but I'm willing to wager overzealous hunters coupled with a lack of full situational awareness is really what is mostly whats in play here. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the quail footage - please try to ignore the dog "work" and count your blessing you weren't hunting with these guys.
Despite being only two years of age, Powder is drawn to quail like fillings to a magnet. While I never was able to make the time to get hunt test results for her father, I've managed to successfully hunt him in eight states on most of North America's upland bird species, and her mom is one of the first Drents to earn NAVHDA credentials. She has finding birds and pointing in her blood. Her favorite game is clearly quail.
Through some of the twists and turns life throws at us, we managed to opt out of taking advantage of Powder's spring heat cycle. We have plans for a 2017 litter, and have full intent to make that happen. Until then enjoy these two best buds enjoying some time together. As always feel free to reach out to us, we are happy to field your questions. Until next time - take care.
They do a great job of capturing what chasing birds is all about - meaning the birds are really only the cherry on top. Enjoy courtesy of Project Upland.
Feel free to ignore the sales pitch for this guy's guiding services, and the corny, but nice Aussie girl that narrates. The video shows why the Mearns quail is my favorite bird to hunt, It doesn't hurt Arizona's AVA is just a few minutes to the north.
I really enjoy this video
I use both JASA collars and e-collars, but only after a very deliberate introduction. I'm using the JASA collar more and more these days, since the dog controls the pressure, I am better able to focus on my timing and posture. The e-collar works well as a reinforcing agent, but only after I know the dogs knows the command, and failed to observe the correct response by choice versus a judicious use of enforcing commands from the start. A great example of this is to watch George Hickox use an e-collar for teaching a dog to kennel. This is NOT a good example of productive training technique for a Drent, for 99 of 100 people training 98 of 100 Drents. That method is way too much pressure for a Drent, even for a Pro like George. A Drent is not a remote control car so training him like one, or to be one doesn’t suit the breed or its character.
Drents are great all-rounders, and I am confident there isn't much you can't train one to do, so as long as you have patience and a willingness to turn work into play odds are you will be successful. That is what they do – so when in Rome…
As the Drentsche Patrijshond Club of North America and kennel owner I field a good number of questions. One of the questions that I’ve been hit with several times over the years is Drent coat care. In general, most start off more or less the same:
“…I am reading about people saying you need to trim a Drent, and/or cut the hair on the ears to keep it from getting to long. Also how much effort do you put towards grooming/combing to help with shedding?”
So what I’ve done here is capture a typical response to this common question:
Drent hair, tends to be pretty fine, so regular brushing almost totally eliminates the need to bathe your Drent. Even if they get really muddy, just put them in their kennel to dry, one dried, take them out and brush (outdoors preferably). This works great unless the mud is super goopy, then you may want to get after that sooner rather than later with a hose and running water - you'll learn the tipping point.
Drents do not have an undercoat, unlike many other breeds like Labs, Golden Retrievers, huskies, etc. But since they have a decent amount of hair, they do okay in cold in environments. Maybe not as good as a Lab in cold water, but way better than a GSP, or English Pointer. I've hunted my Drents with both. Working in heat is very much up to the individual dog! I know an English pointer or two who are total rubbish in the heat…
Like most breeds, Drents shed twice a year. Managing the seasonal change is generally handled with a comb, followed by a pin brush, finished with a boar bristle brush. Use the comb to loosen and get the bulk of the hair which is ready to come out. Follow by the pin brush, it’ll do a nice job of sweeping up the rest. At this point you are likely to see dander, and so enters the Boar brush. The boar bristles will clean that up, and helps distribute the natural oils, and get the coat nice and shiny. If the bristles whiten, take the brush outdoors and pat/rub the bristles on a stone – that is all dander you don’t want in your house. This is also great for people allergic to dogs, like me. We are not allergic to the hair, hairs, or fur – but we are allergic to a dog’s dander. By reducing the dander on the dog it makes the dog easier and more pleasant to be around.
Usually a brief weekly grooming session handles everything pretty well, between shedding seasons, you might get to skip for a few weeks, if you Drent doesn't carry the brush to you for the attention. Normally, I trim nails every Wednesday, and each dog gets a quick brush down. Having four, you have to imagine it's a pretty quick job to get them “in and out”. During shedding season, I'll also brush them indoors while watching TV.
On trimming a Drent with scissors or shears. The only Drent that should "require" a trim would be one which has been "fixed". They tend to blow out their coat as they age, and it is magnified when they get fixed. If you need to trim your Drent because they are shaggy, with a full curl or more in the coat – please don’t breed your Drent, as it’s coat does not meet standards, the coat is “open”. My older female has been fixed, and she gets quite wooly in the winter, she gets shaved down for your annual trip to Arizona, due to the heat, and how much debris her open coat collects.
As for ear hair, yes, most Drents will develop some goofy looking tufts of fur on their ears, these tufts are also very susceptible to sun-bleaching, which further to alter the “correct” framing of the face, and Drent expression. Typically, these hairs are simply plucked out by moistening your fingertips, and plucking - at first your Drent may not appreciate it much, but they soon get over it. The end result is a "properly framed face". If you have let it get really out of hand, a stripping comb maybe handy, but be careful as you can take too much very quickly, and that look isn’t very sporty either.
Ever wonder why updates to our web page come in fits and spurts? Well, we'd like to take a moment to reveal our webmaster. For a dog, his spelling and grammar is pretty good, don't cha think?
We are proud supporters of what is likely to become the singularly most important health initiative ever to take place for the Drent in history. The Healthy Drent! Also known as the DNA Working group in its formative days, Two Gun kennels might even be able to take credit for providing the inspiration and impetus for the movement which already spans multiple nations, owners of all types, and any club or association which claims to care about the Drent! This group intends to raise the funds to find where PRA & Epilepsy "live" within the very DNA of the Drent. Once we know this, scuttlebutt, hearsay will have even less of a place than it does now. A clear path forward for the overarching health of the Drent can be forged and a way ahead plotted. Please pledge your support: http://www.gezondedrent.eu
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some odd years later this is what you get.