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Posts posted by woodrat

  1. Oh, another thing worth mentioning! I have absolutely noticed that my dogs require significantly more food in the wintertime. They burn a lot of calories keeping themselves warm during winter as we are outside a lot regardless of temperature. They generally start packing on weight in the spring when temps turn and that's when I know it's time to start gradually decreasing meal sizes to summer rations.

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  2. Here is a photo of one of mine from the top to show what I mean about the hourglass figure. Ribs and hips are the widest, waist is small and narrow. All 3 of my dogs show this figure when viewed from above, but Yonder (in this photo) has the narrowest rib cage (though that may be due to her young age).



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  3. How old is he? It is quite normal for dogs' metabolisms to slow down as they mature into a full fledged adult around 3-4 years of age and can very often start packing on pounds if fed the same amount as when they were younger. Being neutered will also have a similar effect. Working in the dog industry for the past decade has allowed me to see this happen again and again and again... dog is young, lean, healthy up until 1-2 yrs... gets neutered, immediately starts packing on lbs dramatically because the vet never told the owner to reduce food intake. Exercise will only get a dog so far, they really cannot lose lbs unless their food intake is decreased. I have seen many dogs that get a significant amount of exercise but are still holding a lot of extra weight (which is not good at all for an active dogs' joints and can cause them significant trouble as they age).


    A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot easily feel your dogs' ribs when you pet their sides then they are overweight. You don't want to feel significant indent between the ribs, but you do want to be able to feel the 'suggestion' of each rib. Even the fittest dogs do not have a thick layer of muscle over their ribs, so if those ribs are hidden it is guaranteed to be a layer of fat. This applies to all dogs regardless of breed. Some breeds do 'hold onto calories' and tend to get chunky more easily (think labs, cattle dogs) and these dogs do need less food to maintain a healthy weight.


    AIdogs have well sprung ribs (at least my 3 do) but narrow little waists so they should have a nice hourglass figure when viewed from above.


    My Tamarack is the heaviest boned AIdog I think I've seen and weighs 50lb. I keep my dogs very lean because they are so active but if he had the same amount of extra weight the average American pet dog has on his frame he would be 60+ lbs easily. He's got a fairly thick coat, but the harness in this photo outlines his shape. He does have a deeper chest than most.




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  4. No, that website is in no way associated with Kim's dogs. I think they may have used some of Kim's dogs initially in their breeding program, but the dogs they have now look little to nothing like Kim's dogs so I'm guessing they've crossed lots of different things in. I've seen quite a few photos of the European "indian dogs" and they very often have obvious wolf content. There are quite a few breeders out there producing those dogs now in Europe.


    This is the website for Kim's approved European breeder: https://www.indiandogs.ch/


    I have had conversations with Embark about Kim's dogs and Embark told me that their DNA panels are just not broad enough to be able to give accurate results for our dogs. It was an interesting conversation and Embark echoed everything Kim has already told us about DNA testing this group of dogs.

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  5. I use Wholistic Pet Organics supplements for my dogs. One of my boys is 8 and the other is younger but has arthritis issues so I consider a good joint supplement to be very important for their health. I have heard many people say that this company's 'Run Free' supplement has done wonders for their older arthritic dogs so this is what I use on my arthritic boy. I use their 'Canine Complete Joint Mobility' as well for all 3 dogs as it is a good all around supplement and probiotic that also has joint aid benefits. Both supplements are a powder sprinkled over their food and none of my 3 even seem to notice it in their meals. It's pricey stuff, but the ingredients are excellent and the health benefits are worth it.



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  6. This is a tricky situation, but I can very easily see how one could get here. Two of my dogs as puppies were relentless when there were other dogs and toys around - exactly as you describe; anytime an adult dog picked up a toy the young one would rush in and yank it out of their mouth and run off to hoard it. But it was obvious that it was never the toy that was important to the puppy, it was about making sure the big dog never got anything the puppy didn't also have. As you say, much like children. My personal opinion is that in order to maintain a structured environment for our packs to live harmoniously is that it IS beneficial to intervene. Just as a mother of a human child would not allow their child to run around grabbing every other child's toys, I stepped in and did not allow my puppies to grab toys out of the adults mouths'. If they tried to do so I corrected the behavior and gave the toy back to the adult dog. Some folks do prefer to let the dogs work it out among themselves, but from what I have seen is that it often creates the dynamic you are currently witnessing if one dog is significantly more passive. The pushier dog develops a habit of being pushy and starts taking it too far to almost an obsessive degree, and the more passive dog's defensive displays become more and more dramatic as they get pushed further and further to breaking point. It's not outside of the realm of possibility that breaking point may be an extremely dramatic and/or violent display of self defense that may or may not be effective at deterring Keechee's behavior in the future. Whether Keechee listens to Wyot's eventual breaking point display will depend on their personalities, but if Keechee is set enough in his mentality that he is the one to push Wyot around you may find that Keechee refuses to back down and you are left with an even stronger tension between the two.


    My personal choice for creating my pack's 'vibe' is for all the dogs to learn to defer to me. They can monkey around with each other in play, but as long as they're living in my house, I call the shots as far as how much they can push each other's buttons. Puppies are taught that they cannot steal from and attempt to control their elders and encouraged to use proper communication skills with the adults (if I see a puppy sitting back and waiting their turn for a toy I will not intervene and the puppy is allowed to have that toy when the adult dog is done). If one of the adults corrects the puppy and the puppy tries to talk back about it, I step in and remind the puppy that that is NOT appropriate. If I'm playing with one of the adults, the puppy is not allowed to run in and intervene. They are taught to wait their turn in all aspects of life. This method tends to create dogs with the kinds of manners that most people like to see in an animal that shares a house with humans. Obviously wild canids do things a little bit differently and while these kinds of tensions do exist in the wild, it is always an option for the more passive canine to simply disperse and find a new territory (which does often happen). Given that our animals are required to share a house, I feel that maintaining harmony is part of my responsibility as an effective leader.


    From your descriptions of their behaviors it sounds to me that Wyot is looking to you for assistance in this situation. It also sounds like Keechee is really 'ruling the roost' and has learned that he can get whatever he wants by acting out with controlling behaviors. I personally would not tolerate Keechee's behavior in my household and would be taking steps to remind him that his behavior is inappropriate and teaching him new behaviors to practice instead (sitting and waiting his turn to be pet, walking politely on leash until he can prove to you he can be off leash without harassing Wyot, etc). However, because Keechee is so used to doing these bratty behaviors, it's possible he will lash out at you or Wyot if you suddenly try to step in an intervene - so proceed with caution. If you do not feel confident that he will NOT do so or that you will be able to confidently manage his behavior to prevent him from ultimately getting his way if he tries, I would suggest seeking the help of a balanced trainer in your area to assist you.


    Hope this helps, and would be interested in hearing others' takes on this as well. I personally have never dealt with behaviors this severe within my own pack, but my youngest has definitely needed some guidance to stop some resource guarding/control freak behaviors that have begun to appear. She is currently doing well but I could easily see her progressing down the same path as Keechee if left to her own devices.

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  7. Well, I am finally getting around to this very long overdue update.


    It's been quite a summer for us here (and there, and everywhere!) and now as the cooler fall air is creeping back in we're finally starting to settle down into a new routine. It was a summer I will never forget, though, and one I already miss. This year was the year I was able to bring a long time dream of mine to fruition - to drive Tamarack and Rune from New Hampshire back 'home' to Oregon to visit Song Dog. It was one of those things you dream about and never expect to actually happen, and yet, somehow, everything fell right into place and it did!


    It started with my decision to get on the list for puppy #3. I've always known I wanted 3, and with Rune finally settled down into a more mature 4 year old dog I felt the timing was right. I wanted a younger sister for Rune, someone he could bond with and play with (Tamarack will play with him occasionally, but he's pretty rough and Rune often gets overwhelmed) and with only 2 female pups born at the kennel this summer there was some uncertainty as to whether or not this would be our year. While I waited, I planned. It occurred to me that if I was ever going to make that dream of mine come true, there was truly no better time than now. I had to do it. When Kim told me I was indeed able to get one of these pups I was over the moon and wasted no time setting my plan into motion. I truly couldn't have done it without the help of so many. My employers allowed me to take nearly a month off of work. My brother agreed to keep my cat while I was gone. My mom allowed me to use her mini van. My dad agreed to accompany me on the drive cross country so I wouldn't have to do it on my own. Kim allowed me to stay and set up a tent on the farm. Jack helped show me the ropes and what chores needed to be done at the kennel to make myself useful while I was there. Janessa (who has Willow, Tamarack's sister) agreed to go thousands of miles out of her way accompany me for the majority of the drive back east so I would have much needed help with the puppy. I am so grateful for everyone for helping me make my dream a reality, I truly feel like the luckiest person alive.

    So the last week of July my dad and I loaded up the van with as minimal luggage as we could manage to ensure the dogs had as much space as possible and set out.



    It's about 3,000 miles from one side of the country to the other and, though generally excellent travelers, I wasn't sure how the boys would manage. I needn't have worried - they really aced it.


    The trip itself was an experience in and of itself. Watching the scenery change slowly with every state line we crossed was as mesmerizing as it was boring at times (I'm looking at you, Nebraska).



    We made sure the boys got walked in the mornings and the evenings and as we got into the western states we slowed our pace down to explore a little. We practically melted ourselves trying to walk around in Wyoming (but saw a moose in the process!). We visited Shoshone Falls in Idaho which was beautiful, and Crater Lake in Oregon which was downright breathtaking.



    Through it all the boys were so patient. They handled the hotel rooms with ease (other than some anxiety from Rune towards the end of the trip, but for him that's pretty normal).



    Once we got to Oregon, however, the real fun began. Having the opportunity to get to know ALL the dogs by name, to spend time with Kim and Greg and learn even a tiny bit about the dogs and the complexities of what goes on behind the scenes, to meet long time friends I've only ever spoken to online as well as meet countless dogs that are directly related to my own (and seeing so many of their funny little quirks mirrored in their relatives), not to mention help socialize an entire litter of puppies. It was truly a phenomenal experience and I'm only sad I couldn't have stayed longer and done more to help out.


    View from my tent (it seems the only nice thing about fire season is that smokey sunrise)



    Evening walk with the boys and Arlo



    Tamarack and litter mate Willow (all the way from Florida) finally meet for the first time since puppyhood!



    Group of AIdogs we met in CA (L->R: Tamarack, Willow, Rune, Atticus, Zephyr, Rikki, Arlo; 2nd pic boys plus Zola)


    And of course, my pup. The single female from Goldie x Shep's litter. The whole time I was in Oregon I was enthralled by her personality: quiet, a little reserved, but very inquisitive. While her litter mates were busy tumbling around doing puppy things or snoozing, she was most often focused on what was going on beyond the walls of the puppy pen. She was the first into the pool when we gave them a kiddie pool, and the quickest to try to zoom and explore when we took them one by one out to experience the grass. And the last to approach a new person entering the pen (but, as an introvert myself, can I fault her for that?). I love her independence and am hoping it will make it a bit easier for me to keep her from picking up some of Rune's lingering problematic behaviors. (Kim, if you're reading this, I cannot thank you enough for this little girl!)




    It was hard to say goodbye, but we both had lives to get back to and so Janessa and I packed our 4 dogs up into the van and started out. The drive back was a little bit trickier, because 5 days in a car is a long time for a young puppy (couldn't have done it without you, Janessa)... but the set up we had worked well. The pup had her own little area sectioned off with an x pen and a crate so the adults had space away from her. I brought a litter box for the pup so we wouldn't have to worry about exposure at rest stops and was surprised to find that she just immediately used it, no training required. It was a huge help for hotel rooms as well so we didn't have to worry about rushing her out every hour, all I had to do was make sure she knew where the litter pan was and keep an eye on her to make sure she remembered when it was looking like she had to go. She fussed off and on in the car, but that was to be expected, and overall I think she handled it fairly well. She loved exploring each new hotel room we stayed at and the pitter patter of her little feet as she ran this way and that over the floor, pouncing on her toys and sliding under every item of furniture served as our nightly entertainment. The big dogs, meanwhile, stuck to the safety of the beds and collectively rolled their eyes at her shenanigans.




    After making our way cross country and dropping Janessa and Willow off at the airport in Pittsburg, the dogs and I were on our final leg of the journey. We spent our last evening on the road with our friends Jason and Nicky in NY (thanks, guys!) who have Shiloh and Ryder. Rune got his first taste of the big city and Yonder had a blast zooming all over their apartment with the boys (and stealing all their toys).




    The following morning we set out and after a few more hours (felt like nothing compared to the 10+hour days we'd been doing!) we were suddenly home. A strange feeling after nearly a month on the road! We were greeted enthusiastically by my excited family who fell in love with the little pup immediately.


    It's a bit sad now that it's all over and done, but I am so glad I had the unique opportunity to make this trip in the first place and so thankful to have come home with such a wonderful little pup.


    Oh, her name, you ask? Yonder, of course!



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  8. I haven't heard about it being used as a modern bug deterrent, but I have watched a documentary about the peoples that live in the Siberian taiga and remember a section that demonstrated how they make tar to save themselves (and their dogs) from the biting insects.


    I found it on Youtube, I will try to link it here. The section on the birch tar is short, but the documentary itself ('Happy People') is quite long and fascinating. Highly recommend it, particularly for the dog-human relationship aspect. Their working laikas remind me quite a bit of our AIdogs. They do mention that undiluted tar is dangerous though.


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  9. Time really flies, doesn't it? It's been 8 years (and 9.5 weeks) since I pulled this scraggly scrappy little pup out of his crate at the airport (all hopes of a fairy tale beginning soon dashed when he immediately ignored me in favor of the blowing leaves around my feet).


    His puppy days were sweet but fleeting, for even at a young age his soul felt a thousand years old.


    He is, without a doubt, the absolute best dog I have had or will ever have. He is the one I lean on when I myself need strength, impossibly calm in every situation. He is a benevolent leader of dogs - he neither submits nor dominates, but all respect him. His energy was crucial in helping me raise Rune to be the dog he is today.


    His face is getting whiter, but all signs of aging stop right about there.


    So Happy Birthday to Tamarack and his sister Willow (and any others from that litter that may be out there), may you have another 8 more in store - at least!









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  10. thank you...did your vet offer to laser them off because they were inside the mouth? I am keeping Khya away from all other dogs until this is gone!

    No they didn't, but this was nearly 8 years ago now. They did go away on their own and I don't think they were painful (or if they were it was not apparent), it was just really, really gross.



    Oh my gosh, I have not heard of this. It has not been a problem in the kennels. Do you go to dog parks?

    Yes with the kennels being pretty isolated it would have to be introduced from an outside source somehow. I've only heard of them affecting puppies and older dogs with weak immune systems (common name around here is 'puppy warts'). They are harmless in young dogs with normal immune systems aside from simply being unsightly! They are not uncommon in dog parks and are spread by skin to skin contact with the wart, which of course easily happens during play, and shared water buckets with warty dogs.

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  11. Both my boys had one each when they were young - both took a little over a month to go away. Wasn't an issue aside from having to keep them away from other dogs during that time.


    My old dog at the time, however, did get them from Tamarack and he ended up with a whole mouthful of them that bled every time he ate because they got between his teeth. It was gross!

  12. Ah yes, Rune is the king of the devilish grin. He's a good looking dog and he knows it!




    Ever since he was a pup...



    Tamarack is a little harder to catch on camera as he is quite stoic and serious, but his smile is equally as charming and all the more special because it's more rare.

    demboysgreenery.jpg tbeachsmile.jpg


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