Archive for November, 2011


The trainer is Roy Lupton, who was also the keeper who shot the three-legged fallow buck.

He’s something of a Renaissance man for animals.

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Excellent commentary about the scenting abilities of golden retrievers. (Skip to 5 mins 21 secs if the Youtube embed didn’t work.)

Goldens are great air scenting dogs.

They are also 20 times smarter than Labradors, but I’m a wee bit biased there.

I don’t have an empirical, peer-reviewed study that says that.

I don’t know what they mean that they aren’t very good at taking orders.

I’ve never met one that didn’t love to take orders and show off!

If you can’t get it to skip to 5 minutes and 21, there is a nice lurcher race at the beginning. Some of these lurchers look like golden retriever crosses. Golden retriever/greyhounds are the lurcher of choice in some areas.

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or “How to make a merle retriever.”

Breed a liver flat-coat bitch to a merle Australian shepherd.

The puppies look like merle flat-coats.

And when the puppies mature, some of them can become guide dogs.

As adults, the puppies look like merle flat-coats.

And seeing as unusually colored flat-coats once founded a separate breed, I’m sure that some people might be chomping at the bit to get this breed started.

I have to say no on this one. No– without any exceptions or reservations.

Merle is stunning, but attempts to create entire breeds that consist of only merles are doomed to failure.

Merle is a dominant trait, but when a dog is a homozygous merle, very real health issues can result. Blindness and deafness are par for the course among double merles. Many of these blind dogs have no eyes or very small ones that are of no use to the dog.

I have no problem with breeding this cross for assistance dogs, but when you start playing around with merle, we need to be concerned.

A blind guide dog is of no use to a blind person.

The merle trait also has to be monitored in the Australian shepherd/toller outcross, for cryptic merles are not unknown. I would be careful about breeding any merle to a red retriever. The e/e genotype can mask the merle, and one could be breeding any number of double merles form tollers that might result from this cross.

Flat-coats wouldn’t have that much trouble, but you would still be playing with double merle.

And this is one color that you just don’t need in a breed that doesn’t already have it.

The breeds that have it are having a very hard time managing it– and there are breeders who revel in producing double merles, regardless of the health and welfare consequences.  There is a lot of ignorance about this color.

If you’d like to learn more about merle, check out these posts on Border Wars.

I have no problem with an F-1 cross to produce these dogs as assistance dogs.

It’s when people decide to use this cross to produce a merle retriever breed that makes me concerned.





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I’m not sure in which state these photos were taken, but it’s obviously a large bobcat killing a mule deer fawn. Canada lynx don’t have obvious leopard-type spots.

Bobcats do kill deer. In my home state, a survey of bobcat stomach contents found that white-tailed deer were their most common food item.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t include these trailcam photos of a bobcat killing what appears to be an adult white-tailed doe.

See related post:


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Fenton on a leash. He can't chase deer, but you can bet he wants to!

From The Sun:

The runaway mutt sparked global laughter after he was filmed herding 40 deer in a park with his owner in frantic pursuit.

Almost two million people have watched net footage of the retriever forcing the animals into a road through Richmond Park, South West London, as a plummy voice screams his name.

And his owner, an architect named Max, did not risk any repeat as he walked his boisterous pet on Wimbledon Common.

He kept the 18-month-old hound [flat-coated retriever] firmly on a lead, but still couldn’t stop him jumping up excitedly at other dog owners.

Dad-of-two Max and his family were reluctant to speak out, with dog walkers warned of potential prosecution for failing to control pets in Royal Parks.

But a friend of the family, from Southfields, said: “Max is mortified. Fenton’s a lively dog, but he’d never done this before.

“Max won’t be taking him back to Richmond Park any time soon and is considering giving him a new name if the fuss goes on.”

The Sun can reveal Fenton was given up as “unsuitable” by Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Gardener Ali Goodyear, 37, whose son, 13, shot the clip on his phone, agreed a partnership deal with YouTube — earning a cut of the site’s ad revenue. He made £500 in the first 24 hours.

LOL. That money can pay the fine for worrying deer!

The original reports that I saw said he was a Labrador, but he’s actually a flat-coated retriever, a breed that is quite a bit naughtier and livelier than most Labradors.

In case you haven’t seen it– here is it is!  Jesus Christ!


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Jesus Christ!


Deer chasing dogs are everywhere.

I say send him to North Carolina, where they like dogs that do that sort of thing!

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Killing a wounded deer that will likely die a horrible death during the winter makes one a “cruel bastard.”

But it’s okay if you let your dogs maim the deer– which means the keepers– “the cruel bastards”– have to kill the ones the dogs wounded.

Makes perfect sense to me!

This problem could be solved if the policy was that all dogs on the property were required to either be on a leash or under control.

NB:  Stags are male red deer. Fallow deer and roe deer males are called bucks. This animal rights person doesn’t even know the proper nomenclature.

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Here is footage of me howling with Millie, a German short-haired pointer mix who belongs to my cousin Laura.  This footage was taken at my grandpa’s house. Cammie and Rhodie are in the background, and Cammie runs up on my lap to see what kind of nut I am.


I’m the one making the howl that sounds more like a wolf. Millie is joining in with a more coyote-like sound.

Millie started howling at me when she got out of the car, so I just joined in.

I later learned that she loves it when people howl with her.



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It’s not really a solid white fox. It has normal colored ears– almost like a wild marbled fox.

However, it also looks like its body is a pale cream color with some lovely Irish markings mixed in.

Again, this fox was not selected for tameness at all. It’s hard to do that when you’re shooting at them on a regular basis.

And yet it is sort of spotted.

These are traits that likely exist within the fox population as a whole, but they only occasionally show up in the wild.

They are not necessarily associated with breeding for tameness, as the Belyaev fox farm experiment suggested.


I laughed hysterically at that shirt they are advertising at the end.

The Emperor of Exmoor was a red deer stag that was legally shot last October. He was believed to have been the largest wild animal in Britain when he was killed.

His death became an animal rights cause célèbre.

As for my hunting exploits this week, I haven’t had a chance to shoot at the Monarch of Mt. Zion, but I did fire one off at the Viceroy. I didn’t get him.


Kent is also where the 26-pound fox was killed earlier this year.  For comparison, that’s about the size of a small bitch coyote.

 This part of England must have a lot of different foxes to have speckled ones, white ones, and giant ones.

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Here are the puppy photos!  These were taken in front of my grandpa’s sliding glass door.

Rhodie is on the left. She has a patch over her left eye. She has long legs and will probably be a broken coat. Cammie is short-legged, and she will be a smooth coat. Their full names are Cammie Louise Westfall and Rhododendron Elizabeth Westfall.

Rhodie has some legs on her. You can see the beginnings of her little beard. She will be living with Willie in North Carolina. She's a very good-natured dog. She loves to play with Miley-- even though Miley is ten times her size!

Cammie will be living with my cousin Catie in Blacksburg, Virginia for Virginia Tech's spring semester. Cammie took up part of the carpet this week. It's old cheap carpet anyway.

There were seven dogs in this house this week.

No one was hurt.

There were turds on the carpet a few times.

And Willie did quite a bit of growling. But he does that anyway- especially when the puppies interrupt his game of fetch. Both puppies retrieve, but Willie’s game cannot be interrupted by such rank amateurs.

The puppies are prone to charging around and play fighting like small gremlins. They also make gremlin sounds, and just to be careful, no one can feed them after midnight.

This is what one gets when puddin’ JRT’s are bred with long-legged JRT’s.  The short-legged dogs are dominant to the long-legged ones, but the short-legged dogs often will produce long-legged puppies. Rhodie is very long-legged. She is already taller than Willie at the shoulder, and she will probably be a slightly heavier dog than he is.  Her long legs make her quite fast, and seeing as she is only three months old, she can run pretty darn fast– which is really bad because she is prone to running off when you’re not looking.

Rhodie will also try to surf the web. If she is on a lap and a laptop is up, the cursor on the screen will have her transfixed. She has figured how that the cursor moves when a finger is placed over the sensor pad– so she is now putting her paw on the the pad to make the sensor move. This is not necessarily a good thing!

Cammie is going to be a total diva.  In just a few weeks’ time, she will be living with the ultimate dog spoiler.

She doesn’t much like other dogs around her, and she playfights much more roughly than Rhodie, who will sometimes run and ask to be picked up in order to avoid those teeth. Cammie likes to hide under the couches and ambush her longer-legged sister, who normally outruns her when they play fetch. If Cammie gets the toy first, she will try to take it under the couch the couch.

I’ve never seen anything as creative as two Jack Russell puppies. They figure out how to get into the weirdest situations, and they find the most banal objects amazing.

It was a big mistake to try to use a Cool Whip bowl as a water dish.

They drank out most of the water, and then Rhodie decided that it would make a fun toy. And the two of them tore it to pieces– after spending several days having very fierce sounding play-fights over it.

The only thing this week needed was for us to buy some lab rats and let the puppies kill them.

Then they’d be “sporting terriers.”










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