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.
Some of the inquiries we get might surprise you. As you might guess in this day and age, many lack basic common courtesy – the worse of which we simply don’t even acknowledge. The better of which will we provide at least a reasonable, if not short, but professional response. However, recently we fielded an inquiry about how to bring a new puppy home. The answer for this question is best provided by the breeder you have acquired your pup from, or even Google vs some random breeder or person. After all it's not a short answer. A rather odd request from someone who you have not had nor plan to have any future interaction with. I provided some basic info, then reviewed our own puppy related materials and realized it wouldn’t hurt to add to what we have started. So, for that, thank you random person for your questions. This also this helped to make good on a client’s request on putting all this stuff in one place – I didn’t really know how to do it, but this is what I came up with.
Part 1: What is the best way to acclimate a new puppy into the home?
A great place to get setup for success is to review each of the articles highlighted by the hyperlinks throughout this article to include reviewing our Recommended Reading for new puppy owners. Getting Set up for Success is where we talk about all sorts of things ranging from general physical concerns and needs for a rapidly growing puppy's joints & bones, as well as puppy proofing your home & yard. Oh and not to forget, how do you plan to manage the messes that will happen, during your potty training adventures? Additionally, have you nailed down a teething management strategy,? Some pups will chew like a beaver, and others hardly any, but knowing what to do in advance can help shape all of their desires. Have you considered coat care, and the tools and time required? For Drents it’s pretty easy, but still it’s something you should have thought about.
Extending this thought process, you will want to be sure you have a veterinarian selected, if you don’t have one already, well in advance to bringing pup home. Also, what do you plan to feed pup? You don’t need to feed the ultra-expensive stuff to have a happy, healthy dog, but if you are considering to feed Old Roy, you should consider putting yourself on a diet of corn and rice hulls seasoned with charcoal, and for a big night out you guessed it – Top Ramen.
Next, you will also want to have a socialization and training plan thought through in advance. The more comprehensive, the better. At the minimum we strongly encourage everyone to update what they know, or think they know about dog training. A lot has changed with the advent of the scientific study of Canine Behavior: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3. The old concept of Alpha/Dominant v. Submissive is quaint. The old techniques of traditional obedience training are at best boring and repetitive. These methods tend to be unkind, bordering on inhumane. Not even thinking about the old ways of bird dog training which if we are to be frank can be quite barbaric. We can and should do better, by looking towards trainers like Brad Higgins, McCann Dog Training, and Stonnie Dennis, for example. You should seriously consider enrolling pup in a certified AKC S.T.A.R. puppy course and shooting for achieving an AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.
Part 2: How do you Introduce pup to your other dogs?
So, if have been caught be the Drent virus, you are likely adding to your clan. Or if you are recently afflicted, you may still have another dog as part of your clan. Either way, you need to integrate. If you don’t already have a dog, my initial reaction is to pass this up…but my better sensibility says take a moment to read, and let it marinate for a later time – after all, you have the Drent virus, and there is no known cure.
Alright, okay, enough shenanigans – I’ll get to it…well, not to be special, but you are here on my blog so endure. You need to introduce pupski to an established adult dog. So, let us consider the established dog for a moment. Is he a model canine citizen? Let’s be honest, you know him far better than anyone so there is no need to tell any stories or make excuses. Does Fido-1 have separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructiveness, house training issues, aggressiveness/shyness towards other animals/people? If so, you should really work on getting those issues remedied – puppy will not help any at all. What you can expect pupper to do is to pick up some, if not all, of these less than desirable traits unless YOU have a clear and decisive plan, which is likely to involve external onsite assistance. Because the only thing worse that one canine terrorist, is two (or more, God forbid).
Okay, so your current dog is more or less well-adjusted and well behaved. Finding balance is likely the path to success. This doesn’t mean if your dog is a total couch potato you should add Hellfire the Tasmanian Spaziod to the equation - what is or will be complimentary? What temperament and personality will compliment, coexist, or coincide with what you currently have? With some deliberate thought you can create some amazing canine partnerships.
Alright, so The Pup is en route - what to do? Each dog should ideally have its’ own handler – this really can make it or break it if things were to slide sideways. Both dogs should be restrained by a leash initially. Allow them to sniff one another. Expect pup to maybe be a little bit timid or restrained. If so, it may be appropriate to allow the pup off leash to make its own introductions on its’ own terms. In this case restraining the adult dog can be important as they can get over excited and without meaning cause harm to the pup, in particular if much larger and stronger. With a little care, some calmness and patience, introducing pup should be fairly quick and painless. However, pup and Fido-1’s interactions will need to be supervised for the next few days. Play sessions will likely need to be supervised for the next several months, remember avoiding serious injury to pup is paramount – when in doubt call a timeout.
With that in mind, here are a few other tips for success: Be aware and don’t leave yours dogs alone and unsupervised. Avoid free feeding and encourage waiting when it is feeding time. When you offer special treats e.g. chews and/or raw hides, ensure there is enough for all, supervise, and pick them up long before they are fully consumed. Please be sure to have an ample supply of toys and beds. If one toy becomes a point of contention, retire it. Monitor play time be aware of body language and if/when needed redirect and give timeouts as appropriate. To the greatest extent possible give each dog a little bit of its own time.
We believe through daily, structured walks; your dogs will respect you as the boss and look towards you for guidance and direction. Daily, structured walking is a great way to establish your leadership.
After a month of careful supervision, correcting misbehavior, structured walking, and supervised feedings, your dogs will know you are the boss and the new/old dog is not a threat. Once your dogs begin to feel safe with one another, their true personalities will come out and you will have two wonderful pack members to entertain you and love you for the rest of their lives.
Part 3: Crate training - what is that all about?
Some people want to think a dog crate is a punishment tool, when in reality a properly sized crate is your dog’s home inside of your home. This, as you might imagine, has a few benefits like helping to potty train pup, keep pup safe when you can’t supervise him adequately, to name just a few. It is important to have the crate properly sized and built to be safe and secure.
A dog’s crate should be a happy place. The training process can go quite rapidly, or it may take a couple of weeks. Always have in mind, the crate is the dog’s house, and it should be a pleasant place for him. Generally, this can be accomplished without too much ado by breaking the process down into a few steps, just be mindful not to rush.
Introduce pup to the crate. Do so calmly and be sure the door can’t slam around or close. Put some of pup’s favorite things into the kennel along with a few treats. Drop a few treats near the kennel, then just inside the door, then toss a few treats in. Let pup take his time to go in. We familiarize our pups with kennels in the whelping box – so this should be super easy. However, at first, this will be new in his new home, so a little bit of patience will serve you well. Once pup is going in the crate well on his own, be sure to feed him at least once a day, or possibly all his meals for a little while in the crate. At first with the door open, then gradually work towards shutting then even latching the door for short periods. Work up to 10 minutes or so after eating. Here is where things can get tricky, and you will need some will power to get through this. If pup whines in the crate, you did too much too fast and here is the catch, you can’t let pup out while he is whining or crying. You can sit by the door, even place a finger in for pup to smell and help calm him. Once the whining has stopped, and this could be a while in some cases, you may then open the door. If you open the door while the pup is crying it very well may make the association and begin doing much more crying and whining – just what we want to avoid. You may need to have pup close by in his crate at first, and just like ‘playing with the door’ you can adjust proximity. Evening TV time, or some other calm time is perfect for working on building familiarity and comfort.
Also McCann has an entire crate training series which you may find helpful.
Crating pup overnight:
Alrighty, now it is really time to start to work with longer crating periods. We have found doing this while you are at home really is best as you as easily start adding some structure to an already familiar event. Here are your marks:
Yes, this can appear to run a bit contrary to to the whole training process, and frankly can be the most difficult part of crate and potty training – the night shift. Leaving pup out all night is surely going to result in a mess, damage to something, pup getting into things which might harm him, or for a real banner night all or a combo. Crating at night is a must until pup has proven himself reliable in all ways.
Generally, it’s a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom if space permits or nearby in a hallway. Young puppies will need to go potty during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy BEFORE they whine to be let outside. Put pup in the crate using your regular command and a treat, know what pup’s potty schedule is (going potty just before bedtime is an absolute must), so that you can set a gentle alarm to take him out just before his normally scheduled time. Expect to get up at least 2 times each night for the first few nights. As his day schedule lengthens his night schedule should as well. One bit of advice here is to pick up the water bowl about 2-2.5 hours before bedtime. Soon your dog will be sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Whining - If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they actually need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.
If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, calmly take the pup out of the crate and carry outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. Give your “go potty” command and give pup a few minutes to get the job done. If he goes potty, give a calm “good boy” and carry back to the crate without a fuss. If he does not potty, then without drama take pup back to his crate. Potty or no potty ends with the same outcome - trips in the middle of the night are for necessity only, and the crate is a requirement until it’s time to start the day. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Separation anxiety - Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help.
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.
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Fifty some years later this is what you get.