As a long standing and current representative of the Drentsche Patrijshond Club of North America and a Preservationist Breeder of the Drent I field a good number of questions on a very regular basis. One of the questions that I’ve get hit with several times every year 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 ear and/or body hair to keep it from getting to long. Also, since I have you how much effort do you put towards grooming/combing to help with seasonal shedding?”
So what I’ve done here is to try and capture what a person really needs to know about Drent coat care: body & ears:
Drent hair, tends to be pretty fine, but surprisingly dense, so regular combing and brushing almost totally eliminates the need to bathe your Drent. Even if they get really dirty or a little bit muddy, just put them in their kennel to dry. Once dried, take them out and brush (outdoors preferably). This works great unless the mud is super goopy, and your Drent ends up with dreadlock-like looking mud mats in their fur. Then you will want to get after that with a hose or some other running water with some pressure behind it before it all dries hard. Otherwise a nice comb and a pin brush are what is needed most of the time to keep your Drent looking smart!
Drents do not have a true undercoat, unlike breeds like Labs, Golden Retrievers, huskies, etc. But they do have a decent amount of hair, and they do pretty good in cold in environments, in particular if they have been given a chance to acclimatize (they will grow a denser coat). The Drent may not as good as a Lab in icy cold water, as they do not have the sebaceous oiliness common to the retriever breeds, but way better than a GSP, or English Pointer, based on my experience. I've managed to hunt over both breeds with my Drents. Working in heat is very much up to the individual dog and how well they have been acclimated to the heat…
Like most breeds, Drents tend to 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. At the height of a Drents shed, we recommend using an undercoat rake with a set of double-row pins. I have pictured a rake with a single row, which is fine, but the double is...well twice as good. Start with the undercoat rake to loosen and get the bulk of the hair which is ready to come out. Start cleaning your Drent up with your combs, working from coarse to fine. Then when you are about to wrap the grooming session up break out your pin brush, the dog will love, they feel amazing, and it’ll do a nice job of sweeping up much of the stragglers. At this point you may see some dander, and so enters the Boar brush. The boar bristles will clean all that up and help to distribute the natural oils, making the coat nice and shiny. If the bristles whiten, take the brush outdoors and pat/rub the bristles on a stone or brick – that is all dander you don’t want in your house. This is also great for people allergic to dogs, like me. As a side note: humans are not allergic to the hair, hairs, or fur – but we are allergic to a dog’s dander (and saliva - so there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, it all BS and marketing). 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, and between shedding seasons, you might get to skip for a few weeks. That is if your Drent doesn't carry the brush to you for the extra attention. Normally, we trim nails every Wednesday, and each dog gets a quick brush down. Having four they all line up for their turn - it's a nice trick.
Full disclosure, I have poached the basis of this blog post from another Preservation Breeder, who is allowing the article to be shared. Sadly, I failed to save her information so that I could attribute her inspiration for this post – I am sorry for that. But if you are out there, and recognize the ‘bones’ of your original post, please let me know so I can make the necessary adjustment. Until then, thank you for putting together a collection of well-articulated thoughts on the topic.
Purposefully bred purebred dogs brought to you by preservation breeders. We are so proud of what we do for the next generation of happy, healthy Drentsche Patrijshonden.
As they say perception is reality and for many the word breeder is a dirty word. What is the difference between me being a responsible breeder and a commercial/profit breeder, a backyard breeder, or the horrific puppy mill breeder? Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are not a “dog person” and you are just trying to find a nice puppy for your family. So, what are we in reality?
Here at Two Gun Kennels, we are a Preservation Breeder, as such it is our job to preserve and protect the legacy of the Drentsche Patrijshond and to work at moving the breed forward.
Let’s face it Preservation Breeders like us are never, ever going to produce enough dogs to satisfy the dog loving general public. There are lots of puppy buyers out there that might be wonderful homes but do not meet the criteria that we set out for our placements. In reality, we feel commercial/profit breeders are likely to take the place of what many think of as “responsible breeders” and they will be selling dogs that may have some health testing etc., since that is what much of the public now expects. So how do we the “responsible breeders” of today educate the public on the difference?
Education, anyone can talk about breeding dogs. Why should someone listen to what we have to say? Why? Because we are a legacy breeder, that is why. Our job is to protect and support the breed and as such we are compelled to mentor anyone interested in the breed. Does mentoring mean we are going to sell you a puppy? No, not at all. But it does mean we are going to give you the best information we can and give you the tools you will need to make an informed decision on how best to choose a dog for your lifestyle. We only hope that you recognize the heartfelt sincerity in this effort and not take it personally.
So, who made us a Preservation Breeder? To be frank, we made ourselves a Preservation breeder and did it by lots, and lots of hard work fueled by a constant need to learn and do more. First, we know that we have Drentsche Patrijshonden, that meet the breed standard. How do we know that? We have taken them to 3rd party experts for evaluation. That’s right we took them to Dog Shows, and when practicality didn’t allow for it, we involved our mentors for evaluations and feedback! In the case of Esp. Ch. Joksan NABAR the Gloucester, there was enough consensus that was such a good representative of the breed he was awarded a Championship title. Okay, so our Drents look like Drents, but do they that act like Drents? Well, yes they do and we know this because we have them in working events and out in public where their temperaments are tested so we know they are intelligent, loyal, biddable and act like the way one should expect a Drent to. In fact, one of our Drents is my Medical Alert Service Dog, in addition to being a great hunting dog, and first class family companion.
Ok, so now as a breeder, we know we have dogs who look and act like Drents but are they healthy? Many breeders do health testing but using the test to produce superior puppies that look and act like Drents are what should be expected from a Preservation breeder. Genetics, environment and plain old luck can make a difference in the health but as a Preservation breeder I am doing what I can to make sure the dogs that I am using in my breeding program are producing healthy puppies. We don’t just look into the past, we study it by pouring over database records by the dozen ferreting out all the pertinent details of the Drents we involve in our program.
Now as a self-proclaimed Preservation breeder whose job it is to protect and promote the breed, we have put in a lot of hard work to protect the breed. We’ve bred to the standard; we’ve made sure our dogs are temperamentally sound and Drent-like. We have done our health testing and made it publicly available. What else should we be doing to protect and promote the breed? We should be educating and mentoring people who are just discovering our breed. This includes telling potential puppy buyers that the Drent might not be the right breed for them. Helping new people at dog events, any new person, not just the people who got puppies from me or my friends. People who get a Two Gun puppy will know because we are a Preservation Breeder and that they can always count on us to assist them with their dog and we will be supportive of their success and failures.
We should also be serving the breed by working with other Preservation breeders and the parent club to promote and protect the breed – in which case are and do. By educating we should be helping the public understand the difference between a Preservation breeder and others who breed for profit. We should educate not preach, but sometimes it can sound remarkably the same…(sorry for that)
So as a self-proclaimed Preservation Breeder have, we fulfilled the requirements for what we believe separates us from profit breeders? How do we ‘get off’ calling ourselves so?
1. We’ve bred to the standard and have had 3rd party experts judge my dogs and confirm that they look like Drents. √
2. We’ve trained our dogs so that they can perform tasks in a public setting and have been rewarded with titles to show we were successful. √
3. We’ve performed health checks on my dogs and made the information available. √
4. We’ve not only joined our parent club but work with the membership to promote and protect our breed. Jenna is currently the President of the DPCNA, and Brian is the Vice President/Breeding Commissioner for the DPCNA. In fact, Brian founded the DPCNA, a two-term former President, and he authored the by-laws & Code of Ethics. √
5. We have had our program evaluated by third parties and been accepted or certified by them. We are a Good Dog breeder and have been accredited by Breeder & Rescue Certification. We are working toward becoming an AKC Breeder of Merit. Some may argue that “that isn’t saying much” but to us it means we have opened our doors to the scrutiny or experts and passed. Additionally, we have agreed to abide by their code of ethics and conduct in addition to that of the DPCNA. We have promised to provide adequate health testing for my breed, we have promised to register and place my puppies wisely and it shows that we have bred dogs who meet their standard and have been rewarded for other working activities. √
6. We use this blog and social media as an outlet for education about the breed and dogs in general. Open lines of communication and a commitment to work with other Preservation/Legacy Breeders on the health and welfare of our beloved breed. As an added bonus in the education department, Brian authored The Drentsche Patrijshond for the North American Fancier, and is currently working on a second edition of the book. √
Yes, we think we have met all the criteria generally accepted to be labeled a Preservation Breeder, do you agree? Do you think having a title or description would assist those of us who have always been termed “Responsible Breeders” but go a lot further for our chosen breed be distinguished from those commercial/profit breeders who meet minimum responsibility requirements?
Listen to world-renowned leading canine behaviorist and co-creator of C-BARQ, Dr. James Serpell, and veterinary specialist, Vet of the Year, Dr. Chris Zink, DVM, for a discussion on how breeders can use C-BARQ to breed for behavior and recent research on the effects of early spay/neuter.
Dr. James Serpell's, BSc, PhD: Director at PennVet’s Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, co-creator of C-BARQ (vetapps.vet.upenn.edu/cbarq/), author of The Domestic Dog, founder of the International Society for Anthrozoology, committed to the scientific study of human-animal interactions, Professor of Animal Ethics & Welfare at UPenn, and has published many studies and articles on canine behavior, health, and welfare.
Dr. Chris Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVP DACVSMR CCRT CVSMT CVA:
Vet of the Year, award-winning author, has put over 125 titles, Co-Founder of Avidog-Zink Ventures, and expert in canine sports medicine and rehab (instrumental in establishing this as the newest specialty in veterinary medicine).
Good Dog Team Panelists:
- Cat Matloub, Esq.
- Judi Stella, PhD
- Monica DeBosscher, Esq.
We usually send this by email sometime late in October to our clients for the next year. Yes, we know, it's nearly a year before a new Two Gun pup will cross the threshold into your home. Which means, right now is a great time to start looking into different training options and methods, as there is little pressure. You can read, ask questions, seek out advice, find a local trainer: observe training sessions, etc. and really see what is going to work for you. Making these kinds of decisions once you have the puppy is a whole lot like attempting to fix an airplane while it is in flight...generally not advisable.
Since I regularly get requests for books I like, I figure it's time to give the list a place on the blog.
So here it is, I have dusted off the Recommended Reading list yet once again and getting it published in time for the holidays - so you have time to add one or more to your wish list and see what Santa has to say and see if anything makes it to your stocking.
What do these books have in common? Generally speaking, they are in tune with modern canine behavioral science vs. the old school ways I was taught when I was a young man which were quite barbaric by today's standards. They relied on force and were much less effective. So without further adieu:
The Puppy Primer, by Patricia B. McConnell
- for that matter any Patricia B. McConnell book on training/dog behavior
How to raise a puppy you can live with, by Clarice Rutherford
How to help gun dogs train themselves, taking advantage of early conditioned learning, by Joan Baily. **(this is a favorite)**
When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs, by Jane Killion, founder/creator of Puppy Culture. This book picks up where we left off with the Puppy Culture protocols we used with our puppies and isn't just for "impossible" dogs! However that being said, those who are intending to develop your Drent for field work please disregard pages 80-84 her ball & tug games run contrary to your aim.
Dog Sense, by John Bradshaw
The Genius of Dogs, by Brian Hare
Bird Dog, the Instinctive Training Method, by Ben O. Williams
Absolutely Positively Gundog Training, by Robert Milner. To learn the mechanics of "Positive Training" and developing a natural retrieve.
The Drentsche Patrijshond for the North American Fancier, by B. P. O'Connor
Since we have you here in the mindset to learn and read. Here is some reading we believe will also be worth your time and why we build our guarantee around a spay/neuter in early adulthood, if you feel compelled to do it. In short, the early spay/neuter is being strongly implicated/tied to joint irregularities, tendon injury, and even increased the risk of many cancers, please take some time to review these scientific articles:
There are also some great training resources on YouTube:
HigginsGunDogs: Brad's methods emphasize a dog's natural cooperation. He uses his experience and background in training falcons on pointing dogs. We will train 1-on-1 with Brad later this year and we are very excited!
Stonnie Dennis: A client turned me on to Stonnie. He uses a gentile technique and is a talented handler. The downside, now I have been accused of being long winded but really can't hold a candle to Stonnie... If you have patience and time his videos can be highly informative.
McCann Dog Training: As I have delved more and more deeply into the use of LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) training techniques I have also become a huge fan of McCann as they offer a wide range well put together videos covering all manor of training challenges, and even offer online courses here.
With that all being said, what does it mean to you having a puppy or dog with a limited Registration? If you have no intent to show your dog in an AKC show ring or breed him/her, then it means very little as all performance events are open to you and there isn’t a negative impact with NAVHDA, or UKC participation.
But what if you would like to keep those options open? And what happens if you want to begin showing your Drent before his/her health clearances can be performed? It is up to your breeder to sign off on the paperwork to revoke the limited status of the registration. First off, your breeder should take an honest look at the dog and evaluate its conformation, possibly even ask a fellow breeder to offer an opinion. In the end, if it is decided your Drent could have a possible show career, then the breeder may endorse the paperwork. But don’t be surprised if your breeder requires to be made a co-owner, at least for the short term. Making the breeder a co-owner still allows the breeder to comply with the Code of Ethics, and retain control over breeding, as all of the future litter registration paperwork will also require the co-owners signature in order to be valid and have the offspring registered with the AKC. Another option that might be offered by your breeder is to have preliminary hip and elbow screening done through OFA. Though these results are not final and cannot be used to satisfy the requirements for breeding per the bylaws, they can be used to identify any developing issues early on.
When it comes to making your Drent available for the DPCNA’s breeding program, this too is something you will want to discuss with your breeder. Easy and inexpensive markers to knock out in the early stages are having a DPCNA e-Conformation conducted, obtaining an AKC CGC title, and maybe leaning forward and having his eyes run through the OFA CAER process. At this point, if the markers are looking good, you may be encouraged to press forward with having an OFA exam of the dog’s hips and elbows completed. Lifting the Limited Registration becomes an appropriate course of action when the documents with passing scores are shared with your breeder.
What is Puppy Culture?
Puppy Culture is a program developed by Jane Killion, professional dog trainer and breeder. It is a comprehensive, organized program for breeders to follow during the first weeks of a puppy’s life.
The first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life are incredibly important. This is an almost magical time when a breeder has the power to change the outcome of a puppy’s life by what we choose to teach him. By doing just the right things at just the right time, we can give your puppy the best start possible.
Making sure that your puppy’s genetic material is excellent is only the beginning. The physical and emotional health of the mother will affect the health of her puppies. Since research has shown that puppies born to mothers that receive prenatal massage are more docile and enjoy being touched, we spoil our mothers with lots of affection and belly massages. A puppy’s predisposition to form deep and meaningful relationships begins even before they are born.
Neonatal Period: 0-14 days
Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) begins on day 3 and continues through day 16. Research shows that tiny struggles and stresses in appropriate small doses are actually good for puppies and will help them grow into strong, healthy well-adjusted adults. Benefits include greater tolerance to stress, greater resistance to disease, faster adrenal system, stronger heart rate and stronger heartbeat. This is a gift that a breeder can only give their puppies once during the window of 3-16 days.
Transitional Period: 14-21 days
Behavioral markers are used to identify the beginning and end of each developmental period because every puppy is different and these timelines are simply guidelines. The transitional period begins when the puppy’s eyes open and ends when they first startle upon hearing sounds.
Critical Socialization Period: 3-12 weeks
Most people think of socialization as exposing their puppies to as many new experiences as possible while the puppy is young. While this is part of the process, it’s not enough. Our goal is to raise dogs that have the emotional intelligence to connect with you. Emotional intelligence can be taught to young puppies and one of the goals of the Puppy Culture Program is to teach breeders how to do this. There are 7 key things that will nurture the emotional intelligence of a puppy.
1: Communication – giving a puppy his own voice: Communication Trinity – power up clicker, box game, manding, attention/distraction protocols
2: Emotional stability – the ability to recover easily from fear as well as stress (startle recovery, barrier challenges, Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test at day 49
3: Habituation – familiarity with the maximum number of things: Puppy Parties, sound protocols, habituation soundtracks and noises, meeting different people, dogs, other animals
4: Enrichment – the view that novelty and challenges are opportunities for enrichment rather than things to be feared or avoided: novelty items, Adventure Box, off premises socialization
5: Health – physical wellness and motor skills that will allow the puppy to develop in a neurologically and physically sound way: daily weight checks, grooming, vaccinations, deworming, proper nutrition, vet health checks
6: Skills – learned behaviors which allow him to function in human society: recall, manding, simple commands, litterbox training, crate training, leash walking, resource guarding, bite inhibition
7: Love – the desire to seek out the company of both dogs and humans as emotionally positive experiences: shaping emotional responses, Happy and Calm CER (Conditioned Emotional Responses), daily cuddles with humans and mom
This is definitely an incredible amount of work, but it is 100% ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!!!!!! When you adopt your puppy, you will be just as thankful as we are for this program!
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Fifty some years later this is what you get.