A breeders thoughts...
I have had this idea for a long time, to "write off" the things that's on my mind. Lately there's just not enough room upthere anymore and this could be a good idea to create more space... maybe my memory will improve aswell....
* Finally I have my laptop back in order again! My plans were to update lots on my website, lots of pages are sadly not up to date. But... with only my old PC working, in a very, very slow fashion. The updates only became stressful waiting for the computer to figure out my commands. So my plans failed this time... I have been thinking about taking the Swedish pages away and only to keep the English ones, to reduce the workload, but I don't know... have to think that one through a bit...
* Helmer - Manaca's Fellow Feeling has proven to be a real natural in the woods, not only in trackingtests were he has several prizes, but also finding and retrieving birds. The only training he has is in tracking so all fieldwork and retrieving has come natural to this splendid boy, and this to very happy owner and hunters in the neighbourhood. Amazing, is'nt it when their natural insticts just comes out!? In one day they shot about 20 birds, birds that Helmer found and retrieved. In the end of the day the had to put him on a lead as he just wanted to keep on going! Also when it was time for Roedeer hunting Helmer proved his tracking trainingg was'nt in vain, and showed excellent tracking "for real". Huge thanks for photos and report to owner Carina Olsson!
* Cocker of the year in Finland seems to be a somewhat complicated story... were actually 2 different dogs can get the title. This has happened also this year. Cocker of the year according to the Spanielclub was Bender - Ch Fenbrook Ain't No Other, owned and bred by Taava at kennel Fenbrook. Benders mother is Freja - Ch Manaca's Xcuse My Conduct so we are proud over this involvement ;-) Cockerclubs winner was Indian - Ch Corralet Indian Savage who is owned by Nina at kennel Northworth. Here at home we have 2 offspring by him so we are proud by that, very small involvement too ;-) Huge congrats to both Taava and Nina!!
Cocker Brood bitch of the year in England!!!! was my Sonja - Ch Manaca's Undesingned Dream, totally unbeliavable!! This was achieved by her offspring in England, meaning Sandy and Hannahs Desi and LittleSonja. Apparently no other bitch has produced more successful offspring than Sonja. Desi has got 3 CC's and been made up to champion and LittleSonja 1 CC and several reserve CC's. Huge congrats to both Sandy and Hannah for this!!
Junior of the year in Denmark was the very successful Timmy - Ch Manaca's Rough and Ready. A huge congrats to Kristine and Steen!!
* Poppi - Manaca's Fool In Fashion was the first from Greta and Johnnys litter to leave home. I believe the time I have the pups at home just goes by quicker and quicker, can't believe that the pups are already turned 9 weeks and ready to leave home... and of course, the pups from the latest litter are always the most beautiful and charming, and that's the way it should be, is'nt it!? Poppi moved to Mona and Mimmi - Manaca's In ShipShape who will soon be 10 years old. Greta got a beautiful collar that Mona made herself. She will start make theese collars and some other stuff of own design, and have them for sale. Take a look at their website www.hottadoggar.com . I don't know if everything is on the website yet, but will be updated by and by. You can also see lots of nice photos from their adventures, and of course some of Monas artwork.
* Sad news... in the beginning of the year we got the very sad news that Kassu - FI VCH Manaca's Tempest In A Teapot has left us, deeply missed by his family in Finland. My deepest condoleances to them. Although Kassu only lived til he was 1½ year old he had time with lots of fun in the woods, field trials and showring. R.I.P...
2009-06-16: Home this weekend...
* I got to stay home this weekend instead of going to a show in Borås, due to a late cancel from the dogsitter... känns lite tråkigt då jag hade fått all ryggpäls av Patric och han skulle gått i juniorklass för första gången. Såg dessutom fram emot att få träffa en massa goa vänner där, men det får väl bli en annan gång... Det brukar bli ordentligt varmt på utställningsplatsen i Borås så kanske bäst att vara hemma ändå, och Vanja som var anmäld har helt plötsligt blivit ordentligt dräktig så hon hade inte kunnat följa med ialla fall. Så istället sitter jag nu i trädgården med laptopen och en kopp kaffe med hundarna utslagna av värmen runtom mig. Alla har just fått en tuggpinne och har hittat ett hörn i skuggan att avnjuta det på.
Det här med hundvakt är ett gissel för många hunduppfödare och det är svårt att hitta varaktigt folk som är duktiga på alla delar av kennelarbetet. Att jobba på kennel består ju till stor del av städning, men dom måste också ha bra hand med hundar och kunna ta egna initiativ där det behövs. Jag har tänkt på att man borde starta nån sorts avbytarservice, typ likadan som dom har på bondgårdar. Med dagens arbetslöshet borde det vara en utmärkt idé och det finns ju massor av människor som skulle vilja arbeta med hundar. Skulle det finnas en sån service att tillgå så skulle iallafall jag anlita folk därifrån! Jag började själv som kennelhjälp en gång i tiden och spenderade 4 somrar i rad på både hundpensionat och kennlar. Det var jätteskoj och otroligt lärorikt att få lära sig om hundars beteende, skötsel och hundavel!
Cockerns temperament verkar vara på tapeten igen. På nätet kan man läsa en spansk studie som visar att Cockern är världens elakaste hundras och i Cockertidningen fanns hela 3 artiklar som var temperamentsrelaterade. Jag har också märkt på dom trimhundar som kommer hit att ägarna har mycket frågor om beteende och temperament, några av dom har problem men just i deras fall är det små problem med unga hundar som, med lite handledning, säkert löser sig. Lite oroande har jag också fått några telefonsamtal från Cockerägare som inte har fått något stöd från sina hundars uppfödare och istället chansar och ringer andra Cockeruppfödare och ber om råd...
Jag vet att jag pratat om detta förut men det har under dom senaste åren "poppat" upp otroligt många nya uppfödare som skaffar sin första hund och blir uppfödare på en gång. Detta händer inte bara i Sverige utan verkar vara en trend i många länder just nu. Helt omöjligt att dessa kan värdera om temperamentet eller exteriör på deras hund passar i avel och med vilken hane deras hund passar bäst att paras med. Ofta paras denna tik bara med den hane som går bra i ringen för tillfället vilket inte säger något om vilket temperament dom har eller vad dom nedärver. Inte många av dessa nya uppfödare har någon mentor att bolla ideér med, arbetar inte med sina hundar eller mentaltestar dom. Om deras hund uppvisar några som helst tendenser till dåligt temperament eller konstiga beteénden så finns alltid ursäkter till varje en av dom. Det svåra med dåliga temperament är att en hund kan vara hur trevlig som helst på utställning mot både människor och andra hundar, eller hur duktig som helst på viltspår eller lydnad ex, men hemma med familjen uppvisa överdrivet vaktande mot saker eller familjemedlemmar, det är bara upp till uppfödaren att vara ärlig och stark nog att avgöra om den hunden är lämpad att gå i avel.
Cockern ska inte vara en svår ras att fostra men tendensen i dag verkar vara att många förmänskligar sin hund och inte låter den vara hund. Jag lär mig så otroligt mycket av att studera min flock med 20 hundar av båda kön, i åldrar från 5 månader till 11 år som alla går tillsammans hela dagarna. Alla har sin klara plats i flocken och ibland när någon av dom försvinner kan det ta ett par dagar innan ordningen är återställd, speciellt då är det intressant och lärorikt att studera flocken. Exempelvis märktes det inte så mycket när lilla Lisa på lite över 5 månader åkte till sin karantänsvistelse på 1 månad på Island (se foto, Lisa ser ut att trivas i karantän) eftersom hon låg lägst i rang, men när vår goa Magnus, som är ordningspolis här hemma bland ungdjuren, försvann så märktes det ordentligt. Vi hade några dagar med flamsiga ungdomar och lite förvirring om vem som skulle ta Magnus plats i flocken, det har löst sig nu när Björn har tagit på sig den rollen och är mäkta stolt över det! När ungdomarna leker lite för häftigt går han och ställer sig över dom utan att säga eller göra något, bara stelna till lite, när dom då ger sig, vilket dom alltid gör, tittar han alltid på mig och viftar på svansen som att säga, "visst var jag duktig nu!?"
Man kan tydligt se allas roller i flocken på småsaker, som tex när det kommer någon på vår grusväg och alla rusar skällande mot staketet. Ungdomarna längst fram gläfsande och springande runt bland alla, och försäkrar sig om att alla är med och förstår inte riktigt ännu exakt vad dom skäller på, bara följer med dom andra. Mellangänget som kommer efter och hela tiden tittar bakåt för att kolla att jag är med och har uppmärksammat vad som är på gång, och dom äldsta som inte ens springer med hela vägen utan stannar upp en bit bakom och alltid har sista ordet, när dom sen tystnat så tystnar hela gänget! Det krävs mycket mentalt av en hund att kunna fungera i en stor flock. Om en flock ska fungera harmoniskt ihop och inte ryka ihop i slagsmål så måste varje individ hela tiden veta sin plats. Har man väl en fungerande flock så har man mycket gratis i uppfostran av nya individer. Däremot är det hela tiden en pågående process som alltid kräver en stark flockledare som i slutändan alltid måste vara DU! Märk väl att man inte behöver en flock på 20 hundar för att vara en stark flockledare, utan även en ensamhund i en familj kräver detta för att bli en lycklig harmonisk hund.
* I was at Arlanda airport some week ago to deliver a puppy who was going to Italy with her new mum, who came over to take the puppy in the cabin. When I stod there waiting for them a TV team appoached me and totally fell for the little puppy who bravely had her head up from the puppybag to look at all the people rushing by. They wanted to film her and me for a programme starting on Swedish TV in september, and despite my messy hairdo due to a walk in rain just before I went to the airport I accepted! It just might be good commercial for the breed, little Prudence was so cute with her face full of freckles and big eyes looking around at everything. And the new owner, Liana showed pure and true happiness, with tears of joy over her new little "baby" who'm she just seen at photos til that time.
2009-04-15: Last words...
*Not last words forever, but hopefully about the Addison business and the hysteria that's been going on for the last week...
First a sincere appology to Mrs Kari Haave, the owner of Colins father, who had to find the news about Colins disease at someone elses website, just as I did. Kari has been one of my mentors during my starting years, and has allways shared her knowledge about the breed and breeding with me, wich I am extremly thankful for. So of course she should have been one of the first to get the information, but for days I just thought I'll do it later...
The week after my vacation has, besides all normal day to day work, has been spent on the phone or in front of the computer in order to, as quickly as possible, find all information about a disease I did'nt know much about, in order to inform and reassure worried owners to offspring by Colin. Besides that I have been busy defending myself against attacks from people that has no connection att all to my dogs or the lines by Colin, wich I have no understanding for what so ever.
There's been talk that I have known about Colins disease for 3-4 months, anonomous letters has been sent to the Cocker club committee about the way I keep my dogs, that I deliberately mate sick dogs, yada, yada, yada... all anonomous of course, wonder why? This whole story has gone over board and I wonder if the ones who talk, remember that in the bottom of the story there is still a sick dog?
Colin first got sick on january 23, when he was treated for a urininfection. Josofon, his littersister, was mated on february 4th, when Colin was still treated for his urininfection. Some weeks after that the first suspicions of Addison came up, and of course we started looking for info about the disease. I also called several vets to ask what I should do with Josofins pregnancy, wich could be terminated in an early stage, but all the vets said the same - ABSOLUTELY NOT!! On the contrary I got recommendations how to think if I wanted to go on breeding on Colins mother and sister. And according to experts in the matter, it is ok to go on breeding with offspring to a sick dog, and excuse me, I will rather listen to, and take advise from experts, instead of people who wants me to stop a breeder who has had some success in the showring for the last years. As I wrote earlier this disease was thought to be autosomal recessive and everything "around" the sick dog was recommended to be taken out of future breeding, now they know with certainty that is not the case!!! but as said, I have already written about this below...
The talk around here has been that you should go public with all information about all diseases for "the best for the breed", but I surely understand that most breeders choose to be selective with information shared, when it causes this kind of commotion that goes totally out of hand. I would'nt wish my worst enemy to through what I've been going through the last week!
And in all honesty, how did one "go public" with information about diseases before websites existed? That's right, one gave the concerned parties a call or wrote to them!! You did'nt shout it out to the world off the rooftops!
I have gotten lots of encouraging emails and phonecalls, one email that gave me tars in my eyes I would like to reproduce, "I have just read your thoughts and must again take my hat off, for your way to tackle problems. It's very sad to hear about Colins disease, but unfortunately that's problems we can all get in our breeding. Your honesty and your way to enlighten others should be a learningexample for other breeders". And another wrote: "Think if all this negative energy could be turned over to something good..." Well, then we might even solve the mysterys of all diseases!!
So once again, if any of you have any more questions in the matter, feel free to contact me, I am not going to deal in the matter in any other way than direct contact from now on.
2009-02-10: Back to reality...
*After a fantastic and relaxing week in a sunny and warm Thailand, my first non-dog related vacation in many years, where I really had the chance to relax and re-charge my batteries, I'm back to reality and day to day work again. I sat on the beach writing the text for this page but after coming home it had to be re-written a bit... The original text was about the fun parts and the rewarding feeling you get from breeding dogs and spending time around them. But dealing with live animals,no matter how much you try to do the right thing and keep yourself up to date with everything, there's always a risk of surprises.
Some weeks before I left for my holiday I was told that Colin - Manaca's Beat About the Bush was ill. To start with he was treated for a urine infection and received antibiotics for that. When the first medication didn’t help he was given a stronger one, which only made him worse. The owner was told to hang on, it was only side effects to the medication. When he didn’t improve at all he was seen by another vet who began to suspect Addisons disease. Blood tests were done and Addison’s disease was diagnosed, and Colin was given the "correct medication". He got better for a few days but then he was ill again.The vets then suspected a severe case of urine infection after all... new tests again... This was the information I had when I went off on my vacation. When I got home I was told to read a "sensation blog" and that's where I found the information that the final diagnosis was made!!??!!! Everyone makes their own decisions in life and acts accordingly, but that is not what I want to talk about here... besides to clarify the "facts" on that specific blog, where only names and thoughts about the breeder of the affected dog are published. Accusations that the breeder does not care and only tries to silence the matter. Talk like that does nothing for either breed nor person, but stirs up much anxiety for the people who have offspring to the affected dog. As stated on that blog I asked the owner to keep the information about Colins disease to herself until we got the correct diagnosis. Because Colin has sired many puppies, I knew that a lot of people would be worried that their sire has a disease that is very rare and that many have no knowledge of.
That is why I have gathered as much information about the disease as possible for you. This information is gathered from internet sites about Addison, and from talking to vets, amongst them Katarina Stenshamn who has researched Addisons for many years.
What is Addisons disease?
The reason that I explained the start to Colin’s illness is that Addisons disease is a very difficult one to diagnose. It is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency. It is a disease with symptoms that are common to many other ailments, making diagnosis difficult and sometimes a process of elimination.
There are three forms of Addison’s disease: primary, secondary and atypical. Primary and atypical Addison’s are usually the result of immune mediated damage to the glands. Secondary hypoadrenocorticism is from failure of the pituitary to stimulate the adrenals with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). It is important for you to know which type of Addison’s disease your dog is being treated for. Addison is an autoimmune disease which means the the dogs own immune system attacks itself. It is a disease with symptoms that are common to many other ailments, making diagnosis difficult and sometimes a process of elimination. But once Addison’s is correctly diagnosed, a properly treated dog can live a normal, active life. The disease can be mixed up with ailments like kidney failure, gout, inflammatory bowel disease, heartworm, leukemia, erlichiosis or poisoning. Many dogs never get the correct diagnosis but are treated with hormones only "because it works".
Most Addison dogs gets the disease between 4-7 years of age, but dogs of all ages can get it. Bitches are more often affected than dogs. Addison is a chronic disease and the affected dog has to be medicated for the rest of it's life. But once Addison’s is correctly diagnosed, a properly treated dog can live a normal, active life.
It's not scientifically proven, but there has been a suspicion that the disease is inherited. For years it was thought that it was an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, but now it is proven that it is not, and today they don't know how it's inherited. Of course a dog affected with Addison should not be bred from anymore. And they recommend that the same combination that produced the affected dog should not be done again.
It's also proven that Addison can be triggered by ceasing a cortisone treatment too quickly.Interestingly,it has been under discussion for many years now, in Sweden and many other countries,that over-vaccinating can cause serious side effects and can cause secondary Addison’s. Many vets have told me this after talking to them trying to find out more about Addison. There is also a very interesting article about this in the latest issue of "Hundsport", which of course is in Swedish, but it says that research in over-vaccinating and it's side effects has also been done in the states since the 1980's!
I truly hope that all those who have offspring of Colin’s can feel reassured after reading this, and that they will be able to use this information wisely in their future breeding plans. If you have any more questions or feel that you want to talk more about this, feel free to contact me, either by phone or email.
I have no understanding at all for blogs and sites that are written by people who goes berserk and tries to find someone to blame and "blackpaint" others. Witchhunt and leave anonymous, nightly messages in other peoples guestbooks does'nt do anything for the breed, other than stir peoples minds up. Every active breeder (and yes, I also count a studdogowner as abreeder, as they produce puppies too), knows that no-one deliberatly breeds dogs with diseases, where should the point in that be? To claim that you only breed dogs to make money would be so far from the throuth as you could get. Otherwise, if someone has the recipe for that, please let me in, I would like to know of course!!
Strange by the way, that you never see theese "breed enthusiasts" at Cocker seminars or conferences and so on,learning about the breed instead of attacking those who do want to learn and preserve the health of the breed...????
Cocker seminar and Cocker of Cockers 2009.
*Wich takes us to the annual Cocker seminar with galaevening wich was held in Sodertälje, south of Stockholm just as last year. The seminar was to held in English this year, and especially invited for this was Mr David Shields. All you who were'nt there this year really missed something, it was truly interesting and learning. David guided us through every part of the breedstandard with devotion and a sense of humour. New this year was that judges were invited aswell, and I thought it was a pity that more judges did'nt turn up. This forum must be the best place to discuss the breed, with us who breed the dogs wich will later be valuated by judges at shows. We also discussed the "observandum" that has been put on the breed. Judges has been presented with a paper with several breeds that has some points that needs to be examined closely at shows. The judges has to look closely at eyes (hanging, or eyelids rolled inside), ears (earset and thicknes of the ear) and coat!? I can understand eyes and ears as a healthmatter but that the coat must'nt be curly or wavy, how can that be a healthmatter? Everyone knows, as the breedexpert also clarified, that older dogs often gets a bit wavy coat, especially around the necka and shoulders, but that is'nt stated in the judgespaper. Thanks anyway to the Cockerclubs healthcommittee who once again arranged a very interesting day.
I had 4 dogs entered to Cocker of Cockers but in last minute I decided not to take Sonja who won last year. Besides, I had promised the club to have one of my dogs as a showingobject for the seminar, so I had 4 dogs to make nice anyway, wich was enough. The judge was as usual a secret until the show begun. This year it was Mrs Sue Telford, kennel Cortmaster who was invited to judge the dogs that were qualified. I had 2 dogs in the puppycup, who of course are'nt puppies anymore, but has qualified by winning BOB or BOS puppy the year before. Johnny - Charbonnel Manacas Design, won his first round but was beaten in his second. But little Maggie - Manaca's Pull No Punches (wich means: Hold nothing back!)won all her rounds and was crowned Cocker of Cockers puppy 2009!! The only adult this year was Vanja - Ch Manaca's It's All In the Name, halfsister to last years winner, Sonja. Vanja also won all her rounds all until the end when she was beaten by the stylish black Maxi Mates Flying Dutchman. Vanja can now add the title Runner Up Cocker of Cockers 2009 to her new championtitle wich was gained only the week before, we are so proud of this young girl! Winner of the veterans was the blue, still wellgoing Ch Backhill's Doris Day, Huge congrats to all winners and THANKS to the Cockerclub for yet another wellarranged gala evening!
* ...tto all puppybuyers and other breedercolluagues who sends storys and photos of Manaca's pups and offspring to my males, I value them all as much! Here are 3 examples:
First is Hilda - Manaca's Up to Upper Crust who is in trackingtraining, then we have new Folkebabies at kennel Candour in Denmark (see the likeness further down at Folkes first babies...;-) Last out is a new headshot of Gucci - Manaca's Music to My Ears, very beautiful, don't you think!!?
2009-01-02: Wishing everyone lots of joy and happiness for the new year 2009!!
As you can see Santa came to us this year, and he seems to enjoy himself so he's still here. Now his toes starts to get frostbites so we'll better send him on his way... as we just did'nt find the time to send christmas or newyearwishes or cards this year, we would like to wish everyone wishes of a happy 2009 with theese Santaphotos. Many thank for all christmascards and wishes!
Our move is over and done with and we are finally settled in alright. There was of course lots and lots to do the first weeks and it did'nt help that we had the worst weather imagined, with rain and rain and then some more rain...
I would like to thank once more the people who helped me with the move, your help and friendship is so much valued and appreciated!!
We have hardly not gotten any snow at our place, even though the ground is white. But if you look closely it's only cristals of frost that's been building up, it's very beautiful I took a photo of a branch, hope the photo can illustrate what I mean. We've had about -15 the last weeks and the Cocker spaniels loves to be outdoors, but the Dachsies spends most of their time in front of the fireplace, when there's been a fire burning. When they are outside they are wearing very nice, knitted sweaters that they got for their christmaspresent from kennel Oakbeach, the new home of our little Doris.
* Both our old gentlemen has left us... It's with a heavy heart I'm teeling that our pride and joy, Walter, passed away the week before christmas. Even though I'm happy to have spent 11 years together with this dog with such a great personality. When he passed away we had 3 litters at home and he was a part in every one of them, as grandfather, greatgrandfather and greatgreatgrandfather. So all theese pups with this became so very special to us. Thank you Walter, for letting me be a part of your life!
Our old Nemo, veteran since half a year back, has also left us, but he's only gone for awhile and is coming back! Yesterday he went to Russia where he will stay for some months to go to some shows and maybe meet som girlfriends. He is living with my good friend Eugene Mamoshuk at kennel Twinsmade. Good luck with him, Eugene!
* Now we have more of the English showleads in stock... now also in more colours, than black & white, than before. Red, light yellow, darkgreen, lightblue, lightgreen, lavender, pink, silvergrey. Price is still 280 sek for all colours. If you're interested I can send the leads by post, just email me and we'll make the arrangemnets.
* Not a word about our decision about the hipscoring... In March 2008 we had our annual meeting and voted with large majority to take the optional hipscoring away, so that it would be volontary instead. Since then there has not been one word to inform the members what is happening, wich would be easy to put on the clubs website. I think I will call the breedcouncil and check... rumours say that the motion has been stopped at the Spaniel and Retrieverclub, who are supposed to speak for us at the Kennelclub.... During this year more cases of diverted hipscoring has come up, in many different breeds. For ex a dog had C hips in Sweden was scored as A hips in Norway... and several more cases like that.
2008-08-14: We're following the trend...
* It's seems to be a trend to move this year... alot of people in my acquaintance are moving this year, of one reason or another, so we are following that trend of course! The move goes in the beginning of december so now all spare time goes to packing and organizing things. December is propably not the best time to move with a load of wet Cocker spaniels, but then timing is not one of my virtues... ;o) Even if it's alot of hard work to move, not only the home but also the dogs and the kennel, it's all also very exciting and offers a fun challenge! We're moving back to our old adress north of Stockholm, so I'll be spending alot of time going back and forth to get everything ready for the dogs in time. Even if the place has been "occupied" by a gang of Labradors (and of course their owner) while we've been away, there's still some things to get sortened. At this time I have also made the decision to re-home some of my dogs, see more at "For sale".
So after december first you're welcome to visit in Bro instead. Only 20 minutes from Arlanda airport!
* Now if have a new load of the English showleds in stock. I have black, white and nature (lightbrown) in stock. The leeds are handmade in the softest leather, and new this time is that I'm also taking orders for coloured ones! They come in alot of trendy colours... I really love theese leeds and I have a pink one for Vanja for ex (her luckylead) and a deepred for my black Sonja (so goodloking!). Now I have coloursamples for some of them. At the photo >>> you can see from the top: cleargreen, darkgreen, deepred, silvergrey, pink, babyblue, nature, black and white. They also come in the colours: darkblue, lilac, light yellow, very dark tan and dark brown. For the coloured ones I will take orders for delivery to the show in Stockholm (maybe the perfect christmas present??) So please if you're interested make your order in time. The price is 280 sek for black, white or nature and 300 sek for the coloured ones.
* Now just look at this... photos from this summer. Like father like son!! First I was in the kennel taking photos of tired pups and when I got out there was daddy Folke laying in the exact same pose, daddy can't lie himself out of that one, now can he!?
2008-06-21: Funny traditions...
* I was telling my good friend in England the other day about our Swedish midsummer feast. I think she believes we Sweeds are a bit crazy... "Most people leave town and go to the countryside were we meet and jump like frogs, with our hands waving behind our backs, around a pole covered with flowers while we are singing about little funny frogs. Then we have cow bingo! You buy tickets for a lottery and wait for 2 cows to poo in the area were your number is, if you get lucky you might win a dishwasher machine for instance. After all this, everyone goes home and drinks alcohol and eats raw fish, barbecues and finishes with strawberries and cream. Then before you go to bed you can put 7 different flowers under your pillow and the one you dream of, you will end up marriyng!!" When I was listening to myself telling her about this, I realized we must sound mad, all of us. But believe me, we do have fun!! And I truly, I believe that everybody should experience a Swedish midsummer sometime in life... For my sake, this year was rather quiet since it was my working weekend. So that's why I've got time to update the website.
* I have got new English showleads coming in for the world dog show, in the last shipment I got, all the black leads were sold in only a few hours so now I have ordered more blacks. The leads are handmade in the softest leather, and I have them in the colours black, light brown and white. I just love theese leads that are so easy to use and so soft to hold, even if you have a dog that's pulling. I will have them at the show in Stockholm so if you want one (or more...), just come over and let me know. I'm charging 280 sek for them, wich is a very good price.
* This seemes to be times when a lot of new breeders appear on the market, and this has been going on for awhile now, not only Cocker spanielbreeders but other breeds aswell see an uprise in new breeders. Some of theese of course has an burning interest for the breed and takes every chance to learn about their new hobby, but alot of theese new one's are in such a hurry! Many has applied for the kennelaffix before they even have their first dog, and they buy in several dogs at once so that they can start breed as soon as possible. There was for instance, a woman calling me, asking me if she could buy some of my brodbitches (that I did'nt need anymore...) and a puppy. The brodbitch of course to get on with breeding at once and the puppy to get to know the breed while raising that! Others that get in touch with me about asking about a studdog to their bitch don't know anything about ongoing healthprogrammes, what we call the colours or even that there's a risk of miscolouring if you mix parti and solids. Theese new breeders of course have websites from the beginning, and I even saw at one of them, explaining that the Cocker spaniel did'nt need to be trimmed and that they vaccinated all their pups against dhl (wich to knowledge is a Swedish transportcompany! I for one, vaccinate with dhppi ;.)) before leaving home. I think this development is scaring for the sake of the breed. I am convinced, that if you will succeed with breeding you have to have a passion for the breed. A passion to learn, get to know and to keep the breed as it is suppose to be according to standard. I have met, and found some new breeders that I've been fortunate to get to know as friends and collagues, and I get as much out of theese new accuintances as they do. I do believe that is is very important that we get in "new blood" in the breed, who comes with fresh ideas. But the most important work a breeder has is yet to restore the breed, and that can only be done by getting to know the breed from the beginning, and to know the breeds history and purpose. A great tool in this is the clubs BREED work that was finished last year, and this is totally free!! There's also alot of good books to read and also get in touch with breeders that has been breeding for awhile (if you dare... ;-)), many are just proud to share from their experiences. Of course the club also has a big responsibility in this, but I know i's difficult to offer knowledge to people who already thinks they know everything... the one's who are eager to learn gets their information in the ways I've mentioned above.
2008-05-07: This n´that...
* It's been awhile since I last wrote something so now it's high time, nothing special... just a little bit of this n'that. At home it's puppytimes and a lot of time is spent caring for them of course. Signe has her last litter and funny enough she became mother and grandmother at the same day as her daughter Stella got a litter at Honeywate's. She was mated to a halfbrother to Signes mate, and got the same colours in the litter, so it's been intersting comparing theese 2 litters.
This year I'm not going to as many shows as I've been the last years and it feels good to get time for other things. So time is spent renovating the kennels, mending the garden and just relaxing with the dogs, talk about quality time!! I chose to only go to the shows that are desently close by. The World winner show is only about 60 km's away so luckily we're going to that ;-)
* Quality time is also to get photos and reports about all Manaca'spups that are out in world...this nice photo was taken at the Nationals in England were all Manaca's dogs in England met. Their "new mum's" thought it would be nice to take a photo together and send over to "old mum" Much appreciated, thank you all!! All were by the way placed in their classes, wich I'm so very proud for, they are all doing so well over there. So thanks to all who sends photos and reports of my breedings, they are all very welcome.
* I really hope no-one has missed the partyinvitation? Everyone is really invited! I had interest shown from a lot of different countries so I believe this will really be a "once in a lifetime happening"! Don't be one of those who misses this!! Last entrydate is June 20:th.
2008-03-31: march 29 - Historic annual meeting topped with a Grande Finale!
* Over 80 members decided that this years meeting was interesting enough to attend. If it was because of the important issues to be voted for, or the planned festivities afterwards I dn't know, but surely this must have been the most aattended annual meetng ever!?But we never could see any rama, as could maybe have been expected... The meeting voted the chairmembers according to persons suggested and all motions were voted through with some smaller discussions around some of them. The 2 bigger motions were of course the new healthprogramme for eyes and the motion regarding hipscoring. The voting was for an optional programme for optigen results wich means that it will be volontary to do the test, but if you do, you'll have to follow the kennelclubs rules, who to mate your dog to (A + A matings-ok, A + B matings ok, C- dogs, or affected are NOT allowed to breed from). The majority of the meeting also voted FOR the motion to take away the compulsory programme for hipscoring in order to register offspring. Now it's all up to the club to work for to change theese programmes as soon as possible.
* COCKER of COCKERS 2008.
As an extra festivity, because of the Clubs 30-years celebrity the club had arranged Night of Gala with 3 course dinner and a show where all BOB pups, BOB veterans and BOB & BOS Cockers during 2007 were invited to fight for Cocker of Cockers. This show of all the most successful Cockers in Sweden was held in a hotel and it was all gold and glitter, both on handlers and surroundings. The judge for the vevent was secret until the beginning of the show and after hints on the clubs website the rumours were that the judge was from Finland and the hottest name was Mrs Anja Puumala, ALL WRONG! What no-one had thought of was that also Scotands flag is blue and white so the the judge proved to be from there! It was Mrs Sandra Fleming, kennel Palacecraig.
The show was arranged as a matchshow where 2 and 2 met and the winner went on to meet another winner. It started with the puppies, who most of them already grown up to juniors and youngsters. The final winner was Shakima's Let's Dance and Runner Up was Axel - Manaca's LIve Long and Prosper, owned by Manuela Johansson. The veteran winner was Arnie - Ch Quettadene Lancelot, handled by one of his owners, Desireé Widenor. I brought 4 dogs to the show and first out was Folke who won his first round. Unfortunately Sonja got to meet Otto in the first round, wich Sonja won and Otto was out. In the second round Sonja met her son Folke and beat him. Josofin won her first round but was beaten in the second. Then Sonja met with several componants and beat them all only to end up in the finals to meet with Colin - Ch Manaca's Beat About the Bush!! After some nervwrecking minutes Sonja - Ch Manaca's Undesingned Dream was chosen as the final winner and COCKER of COCKERS 2008!! Here's a photopage from the event
A huge thanks! To the Cockerclubs boardmembers for lovely arangements that hopefully could become tradition for many years to come, theese kind of things are exactly what we need and want! 2 big festivities are still on the agenda this year, the World winner show and the Clubshow. I wonder what the club is planning to top all this!!??
2008-03-17: clinical eye tests, to be or not to be, no longer optional...
* Now the Swedish Cockerclub has presented 2 different options of a new healthprogramme for eyes, one compulsory and one volontary programme for optigenresults. I became a bit confused after first reading the proposal and then reading at Ms Kari Haaves (kennel Travis) site. On the clubs site it said that after letting carriers that were earlier not to be bred from, at stud, if they were tested as carriers, we could not go back to the earlier programme with clinical eyetests. On Travis's site on the other hand it said that we should vote on our upcoming annual meeting for the clinical eyetests. So one of us must have misunderstod... the easiest way was to call her and ask (not to correct) of course. As we could'nt clarify this to satisfaction I instead called the clubs breed counsil. And our options are: to vote for a volontary OR an compulsory programe for optigenresults, neither of theese options include the clinical eyetest. The club will instead come up with recommendations for when the clinical eyetests should be done, we will no longer HAVE to do them to get our puppies registered. If we should have the option to go back to our old programme, all dogs that are registered as carriers on the SKK database should be banned from future breeding!
There are no doubts from my side that the only way to go from this is to vote for the volontary programme, and so does the majority of the people who was at the breedersconference held by the club in february. With this programme it's up to everyone to do the clinical eyetests as they please, but the results of them, when they are done, will still be registered in the SKK database.
As Kari states on her site I have sent in a motion that we could extend the periods for clinical eyetests to 2 years, as they have in Finland, instead of the 1 year we have right now. But of course, now with the new healthprogramme, my motion will be disregarded of course.
* As is also stated at Ms Kari Haaves site I have also sent in a motion to take away the optional hipscore programme we have today. Note that my motion is a suggestion to make it volontary, not compulsory for all studdogs, as we have today.
In Sweden there's been an uprise with 50% of B-hips and 100% of C-hips, since the new reading of hips started! Something must be terribly wrong here. Should'nt we have seen an cutback of hipdysplasia instead of such an increase, after so many years of controlled breeding? With theese figures in mind I can not accept that we should select our breedingmaterial only from theese results. Lets instead try to have a volontary programme for some years and aim for a breedindex in the future. That is of course if, and when the readings of hips gets more secure, that is in my mind the best way to make a fair picture of our breedingmaterial.
I'm sure some will claim that some Cockers suffer from HD in their old age, but are there facts and figures of this? Many Cockers I know of with very bad hipresults live their lives normally with no suffering at all. To this day I have never met anyone who told me about their dog suffering from from their hipdysplasia, but I do know of an older dog of my own breeding that has got problems with his hindlegs in his old age, and has been x-rayed with dysplasia. This dog was hipscored at 1½ years of age with A-hips!! Just as parantese in the question...
I for one, shall go on hipscoring my dogs, even if we should vote for a volontary programme, as I'm sure would all serious Cocker breeders. But I do think that this would take away the focus from HD, and we could put our aim to work with other and more serious diseases, and put the "hunt" for A and B dogs aside.
* Now something totally different... Sonja has come back home, finally!! I have been a bit worried over how she was going to react after coming back home, because of the times I've been visiting her at Sandy Platts in England, where she has been happy to see me but after saying hi, turned around to Sandy again;-( But I should'nt had to worry... Sonja ran into the kennel and should she been able to talk she would have said "Hi mates, I'm back! She let her self get examined by the gang for a few seconds and then she ran into the kennels kitchen and took back her place at back of the coutch, a place that has allways been reserved for her. This was increadible after beeing away for 6 months! Sonja came back wellfed and with a shining toptrimmed coat, that must mean that she has enjoyed her stay at kennel Charbonnel. And I did'nt only get Sonja back together with one of her sons from the litter she had over there, wich we hope shall bring some interesting lines into ours, I also got a new, true and very dear friend after all the "dealings" we had together during this time.
I also had the opportunity to have a bitch for loan for a period of time, when Freja - Ch Manaca's Xcuse My Conduct (who by the way is the only Manaca's dog that has merits in shows, field trial AND tracking, are we proud of her!?) stayed with us for a few months awhile back. She was a bit confused about the routines for the first days but soon came into our daily life, and seemed to enjoy her time with us just fine! She met her owner briefly at a show during her stay, and said hi quickly to her and then turned to me again. And when it was time for her to go home, she gladly went off with her owner again. Dogs are so increadiably adjustable.
And last... a cruft's report is coming up soon, so stay tuned...!!
2008-02-22 (afternoon): How low can people sink...???
* Now it's not only the litter below that's been hanged out to the public, now this breeder is gloating in other peoples misery... this information is only written in Swedish at her website, a website that otherwise writes everything in English, maybe this was too headstrong to publish so that everyone could understand how low she has sunken this time...??
The time during Camillas disappearence is a time I would'nt wish for my worst enemy, and the day she was found and I had to and identify her body and then carry her body home was horrendeous. Camilla run from a hole in the fence in the kennels, while I was out there. There were more dogs who got out through the same hole in the fence, but when they realized I was'nt with them and that we were'nt going for a walk in the fields, they quickly came back to the gate to be let in again.
Now I can read on this breedes website that I have been neglectant and put my dog out for risk by not attending to her!!! Here there's only one phrase that comes to mind: It takes one to know one. This breeders own, very valuable stud dog has been on the run at several occasions and the breeder has picked him up from various places (my Camilla was by the way a grandchild to the mentioned stud dog, so runninggenes aparently "runs" in the lines), all according to herself. Another of her dogs was hit and killed by a car a few years ago, so she is also putting her dogs at risk by not watching them, and this in an area with heavy traffic. Everybody knows that any dog or any animal can run away or meet other fatal accidents in just seconds, sometimes this is out of our control. For example one of my sold dogs, a 7 year old bitch, choked to death after swallowing a piece of cheese that fell from the table. Theese are all incrediable tragic accidents, wich all with any feelings at all would understand, that's why it's so hard to understand how a person can gloat in someone elses misery!? Maybe this breeders website counter has got lower ratings lately, or maybe this person is lobbying to get elected to the clubs breeds council.... ??? I can't understand how the mind of some people work, and maybe I should be grateful for that!
This breeder is sulking because she, as a member in the club, is'nt treated in the same way as other members are, in the breed club. Then maybe it's time to start acting with a little more humble attitude towards breeder colleagues and people over all!? Remember, integrity starts at home!
This is the last I'm going to write in this matter as I really think it belongs somewhere in kindergarden level.
By the way... the litter mentioned below is taken off the Cockerclubs website but is announced now at this breeders website instead, together with another litter of puppies taken from "Blocket" (Blocket= an internet site with animals for sale), so if you are interested in that combination just surf in at her site (I have'nt earlier, and I'm not about to start now, to put other breeders names or names of others dogs or websites at my site, so you'll have to surf around to find this site. I'm sure you'll find it quite quickly though ;-).
2008-02-22 (morning): Luckily not all breeders are as ignorant of our health rules...
* Last weekend the Swedish Cockerclub had their annual breeders conferense. I had planned to go of course but in the state of mind I was in with Camilla still missing I felt I did'nt have the strength to go....
Maybe some others should have been there instead to get information about the healthrules that are working in Sweden at the moment, even though this information is easily found on the clubs website aswell, maybe it's too hard to comprehend for some...because I have seen things published on a certain website, wich could only be out of ignorance, because otherwise it could only be out of lust for sensation...???
Here we have a new breeder that has done everything according to The Swedish Kennelclub rules when she is going to have her first litter out of her bitch. She has hip scored, she has examined her eyes and she has ptigentested her bitch with the Kennelclub document as recommended by the Kennelclub, the result was carrier. This means that the bitch must be mated to a dog that is tested A with the Kennelclub document in order to get the puppies registered with regular papers. IF she chooses to mate her bitch to a dog who is optigen A, but not tested with the Kennelclubs document, the puppies must be optigentested before registration or a breeding ban will be put on their papers until the test is done. Simple and clear, you still have a choice! Of course there's also the possibility that the temporary healthrules changes before the pups are to be registered, and all goes back to like before.
This is a breeder who has followed her own conviction of wich dog is the best suited for her bitch. She has'nt only studied photos, pedigrees and healthstatistics, she has also driven around to meet the dogs of interest, to get to know their personalities and temperament and also to get a "feel" for the dog, very serious work, I must say!
I felt I had to clarify this as the father to be is my Otto. Otto is'nt optigentested himself, but both his parents are normal/clear (A), and both parents are also registered as that in the Kennelclubs database. So as we all know for sure, Otto is normal/clear, I had no doubts at all letting Otto mate her bitch, a combination I find highly interesting, looking both at health AND exterior AND temperament!
2008-02-20: Camilla has been found...
With great sorrow in my heart I want to let you know that Camilla was found today, hit by the train and put down by a policeofficer who's been called to the scene. It was exactly 10 days after her gone missing, and about 5 km's from home.
At the same time it's agreat relief (if yet a horrible one...) that this story has got an ending and that Camilla is home again, she is burried by the hill beside the kennels.
Under her disappearence I have painted the most horrible scenes in my mind about her whereabouts and what has happened to her, allways of the worst kind of course... I wonder why the mind works that way...
Something strange though, about when when she was found. Her coat was in tiptopcondition! After 10 days in the woods one would imagine there would be at least some sticks and straws...? Of course I wonder what has happened to her while she's been gone, but for my own piece of mind I have to put all this behind me and get on with our lifes. Life goes on, even though one can't imagine that in the middle of the sorrow, and I have to try and remember all good times I had with her, and I promise, they were several! Camilla is resting in peace now.
I would like to send the biggest, warmest THANKS to all friends who's been there for me with tips or only by beeing there. Without you all I would never have gotten through this in one piece. Once again, a sincere thanks to you all!!
As we susected at a time that Camilla might have been stolen there's been a tremendous activity over the mail and phones, not only here in Sweden, but far out across other countries aswell! There's been so many people helping me checking out strange ads on the internet and in local papers. There's no chance that one can keep track of all those by one self. I've had tips about several great sites that puts ads out for lost dogs (link page will be updated shortly with theese)
To show the world that we "doggypeople" stick together and do help each other in times of need and keep a lookout for the "bad guys", is hoped that it will be a deterrent act, so that they will think not only once, before they decide to mess with our belowed dogs!!
I really hoped that I should have had something happier to write about, on the first thoughts of this year...
On sunday, february 10:th, Camilla and Folke run out from the kennel again. This has happened a few times before, and all times they have been running around for a few hours and then returned home safe, sound and happy. This time only Folke came back about 2 hours later, Camilla is still gone! We have looked and looked and of course she's been reported missing to the police. I've put up posters and told everyone to keep their eyes open for her but there's been no signs at all of her. Now I have been told that a dark blue/dark green pick up truck has been seen to try and pick dogs up from farms in the area, so I have realized that she can be long gone from this area, maybe also out of the country by now, so that's why I decided to put it on my website. Camilla, who is very friendly and outgoing, would gladely go with any strangers, wich Folke, on the other hand, would have not. He allways was behind Camilla and though of her as his bigsister as the are about the same age.
So I appeal to you all: If you have any information about Camilla please contact me. I realize the chances of me seeing Camilla again are minimal, but I'm really grasping at straws here.... It's the not knowing that is so unbareable.
my emailadress is firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile: +46(0)70 257 9017
* The day before newyearseve I finally hav some time over to sort out my thoughts again... It's great with my laptop that I can bring out to the dogs and sit with them and update the website. They really appreciate the company and soon fill upp the sofa that stands beside in the kennelkitchen >>>
Stora Stockholm is done for the year and it was, as allways, so nice to meet up with all friends that I mostly just email with. I do think it's a bit unconcentrating with judging in 2 different rings, but I guess it's something we must get use to with the high entrys we have in the Cocker rings nowadays. It was a bit disappointing aswell that all finals were judges by only one of the 2 invited judges. They could easily divided the veterans, groups and BOB amongst the two of them.
* With a lot of pups in the house I don't get much time over for other things... not that that much that it takes that long mending them but that I can get "stuck" over the puppybin just looking and admiring them. After almost 20 years as a breeder I'm still just as fascinated over theese little lives! When they are really small, and honestly not much to look at, I can still sit for ages and look at reaches of neck, angulations and colours/markings. And when they have grown some more and start moving around I look at moves, and after that it's interesting to see how their separate personalities develop. A couple of times it has happened that I have completely fallen for a special puppy in a litter, often already from birth. Not that it's allways the best puppy, often there has been an anatomically better pup, but because of a feeling for that pup, that is difficult to dress in words. Theese puppies I have never been able to part from, and in some cases I have had to cancel to someone that I have priliminary promised the puppy to. A bit embarassing I know... Anyway, in the former cases I have never in a second regretted my descisions. It's dogs like Walter - M. Yours Sincerely, Otto - M. On the Road, Sonja - M. Undesingned Dream och Folke - M. Get's Ideas Going. This time I have completely fallen for a malepuppy in a litter where I decided from start to keep a bitch, but I might have to reconsider....
* We have another hipscoring in Sweden changed again... What "luck" that the owner had the cool to wait for awhile and then do the x-ray again. So once again C-hips has been changed to B-hips, just like that!! What can one say...? I still don't thing it's admissible that we are forced to select our studmaterial out of theese unsertain results.
* I just have to share with you a photo of the cake that was offered to all at London Cocker who this year celebrated 75 years! (The Cockerclub in Sweden celebrates 30 years in 2008...) They had lots of special prizes to all winners and then cake and wine to all visitors and exhibitors>>> The cake was maybe not exactly in my taste but maybe the nicest I've seen and it's the thought that counts!
I was over in England this time to finally select the pup I'm taking home from Sonjas litter, and luckily there was a show to attend at the same weekend. The winners are presented at the news page.
* Well, I'm back with the hipscoring matter again... Unfortunately this artikel, written by a Norwegian veterianrian and published in the Danish Veterinary magazine is only in Danish, but here it is anyway.
It's content is that they strongly advice not to make to much focus on hiptests, because it only shows the fenotype of the examined dog, not what he actually may produce. The research shows that, even though breeders used only dogs free of hipdysplasia, the numbers of dysplasia has'nt changed much. So many other things is to be considered to the test result as for ex environment, what kind of food the dog has been given during it's growth, and how much/what kind of exercise the dog had.
Have we been throwing our money away for all theese years, and selected away several good dogs, that might have done some good for the breed? This is exactly the same result as the German research had regarding hipscoring, that the numbers of hipdysplasia still is as many even though careful selection of hipscored dogs.
The article is concluded by the veterinarian gathering some severe consequenses and finnishes of with the words: "Putting too much focus on readable tests or DNA tests, has a high risk of neglecting other more serious diseases that harms the soundness of the dog more."
I could'nt have said it better myself!!
As I stated before, I do think testing of this and that is a good complement to the common sense of breeding. What I object against is the restrictions made around them!
* We got some snow at home. In only one day we got 45 cm! The funny thing is that only 30 km's from here it's bare ground, so it's very local! Anyway, the day after we had sunshine and a few degrees below zero and I took the gang out on a long run in the fields, and with Otto in the lead, plowing a path, we all had a lovely time. So the day after I thought we'll do the same again, not thinking about that this day we had a few degrees warmer, wich you might know makes the snow stick, and build up... on some it did'nt stick that much but some, like Otto and Josofin for ex, had to be carried home, they were'nt able to take one more step! Some tried to wag themselves forward like seals! Well, I got some exercise anyway, wich maybe was a good thing in the end ;-) Photo shows Folke, who was one of the dogs that could make it home by himself.
* Well, the discussionforum at the Cockerclubs site has hardly been used at all. Maybe the members, as mentioned before, thought it was a bit late to get it out after the descisions were made... Anyway, I got an answer to my question why the members wish of more information (at our last annual meeting) before we went on with all this was disregarded. The answer was that unfortunately 2 descisions made on the annual meeting collided. So they decided to go on an questionaire that was made from our members long before the annual meeting, when the information about all the restrions was'nt available! Well.. now we are waiting for the club to present a suggestion for a new healthprogramme for the breed in Sweden, so we can go on from this temporary programme.
I had the pleasure to disguss with Karin Gerhard from Germany who was over to judge at the Stockholm Cockerclub show in october. She has been involved in healthmatters in Germany. In Germany today the optigentests are volontarily and they also use C-dogs (affected) in breeding, but only as long as they are optically tested free by vet, and they are only to be mated to A-dogs. But plans are now that they shall make new rules that in every combinaton made, one of the parents must be tested optigen clear.
Regarding the Hip question in Germany they have a similar system. They have done the hipscoring for as about as long time as us, but since some years back they have a rule that in every combination one of the parents has to have A-hips. The other can be A, B or C-hips. Even after this there has been no difference in the status, and now they have realized that there will allways "pop up" higher hipscores will appear from time to time, even from combinations with A-A hips. So now they have started to look at breeding index as a better tool for this (that's where the dogs breedingresult is checked, mora than it's own status).
A while back ago I was also convinced that this should be a perfect tools for us to use, and maybe it could be in the future, but with the uncertain hipscoring methods used in Sweden right now even those results should become accurat. No, until the methods have been looked over, I can't understand why we should rely completely in this and by this exclude valuable breeding material.
I had some great response to my thoughts on this site and many people also has the same kind of thinking. On some other Swedish sites you can also read about theese matters, sometime's with an ironic kind of humour, the one I like!
With such focus on theese tests, we all seem to forget that besides theese particular health matters, we breeders alaso have a big responsbility to the Cocker spaniels exterior, other healthproblems and historical breedqualities. Even if you don't have the time or interest to hunt with your dog you should allways keep in your mind that this dog is supposed to work and how, and has to be built to completa a mission in the woods. Unfortunately I don't have the time for hunting, so besides tracking we only train some at home at retrieving and waterwork. On a few dogs some of a Cockers breedqualities are still there without any training at all. My Clara for ex is super on getting up pheasants. She runs throught the bushes in a zigxag pattern and when a pheasant gets on it's wings she sits down, as on a silent command, even though I don't do anything! It's so marvellous to see, how this behaviour can still be there instinctivily. The other day she got a little bit of a problem wwhen the pheasant did'nt lift but instead started running. This was a bit more difficult, but she sorted it out in the end and let it run and the just went back to finish her job in the rest of the bushes!!
* I just have to share with you a photo of my beautiful Folke, who the other day found a hole in the fence and ran out on the fields together with Camilla. For an hour they ran around on the fields, in the woods and in muddy ditches. This is how nice a Cocker in full coat looks then! With me at home, out of my mind of worry (I allways paint the most horrible pictures in my head about what could happen when a dog is out on the run...). Anyway, they looked happy as larks when they got back so I'm sure they had a lot of fun. And this with only 3 days to a show with Folke! Camilla has lost all of her coat so a rinse with water was sufficient for her, but I spent a few more hours on Folke...
* And then some sadness... The backside of having dogs is that their lives are so much shorter than ours. To loose a dear friend is never something you can get use to and there's no helping at the time that you have more dogs at home, it's the loss of the special individual that's so hard... On october 19 Stanley - Ch SW Manaca's Peeping Tom left this earth, at almost 12 years of age... Inspite the fact that he had been staying with the Widenor family all since puppytime we had such strong connections to this, very special dog. He was this kennels first bigtime winner and helped building the name of Manaca's. He was with me at so many showtrips, both with Yvette and me only. Allways when the family was abroad on vacations he stayed at our place. As I also do Yvettes website I now had a tuff job, with tears running down my cheeks, taking his name out from present dogs, to "past" ... He will alllways remain in our hearts with lots of love, Thanks's for all Stanley!!
* About the temporary relief in our healthprogramme again... now there's a kind of discussionforum at the clubs website where the members can discuss this. A bit difficult to get into, but maybe I'm just beeing "blonde", and in my opinion a bit late perhaps... would'nt this had been better to have before the health programme was changed. The club had as a mission from the last annual meeting, to get information out on the website during the year. I have realized now that there's not going to be any changes until our next annual meeting and we have to deal with this programme until then, but maybe it's a good idea to register at the forum and discuss under constructive forms how we breeders want this to be in the future. But to remember, in the end all has to come to the annual meeting and vote, it's not enough to put the name on a paper.
* One of a breeders many joys are to follow small things inherited, wich follows in many lines, and some are so strongly inherited. One of those very charming things are to lay flat on the back, totally relaxed, with every bone in the body turned to gelly! The first who started this was Hedvig and she has passed it on to generations. Once they'r on their backs you can drag them around to where ever you want them (because the allways seem to be laying in the middle of the floor so that you'll trip over them). Yesterday I sat in the kennelkitchen and was lucky to have the camera handy. First came Folke (Hedvigs great grandson) and layed down and when the others saw that he got some attention both Hedvig and Greta (Hedvigs daughter) layed down aswell. I dragged them into position for a nice photo and suddenly baby Lilann, 4 months old, also came and layed her down in perfect position for another photo. This was the first time she showed that she can also do this ! They were sooo cute!!!
First there was only Folke...
then came Hedvig and Greta
and the also baby Liliann
*There were many reactions on my first thoughts, GREAT! Most of the reactions came as expected on the optigentests. It seems like the most of us are just as upset on the new rules.
The Swedish Cockerclub has come out with more information on the clubs website but there are still so many unclaritys. What happens for ex. if I mate an untested dog to a dog tested normal/clear in SKKs database (that's the dogs tested with the kennelclub document) ? Will that litter also be banned from breeding? It should, as the untested dog could be either normal/clear, carrier or affected. The information also leaves out that it this new programme is still volontary. You can still mate 2 dog optically free. And you can still optigentest without the kennelclubs document, only to know the status of your dogs for yourself and by that way breed in a serious way and also by that way, keeping out from this new programme.
Why don't we have a breeders conference together with other countries and together decide how theese new instruments should be used for the best interest of our lovely breed. We do have an extending exchange of each others bloodlines so we should all come together and make a joint effort to the breed instead of leaving it some few in a club and then complain about decisions made. And the most important thing... Please let the members vote before making this big changes in our healthprogramme, all this could easily have waited to our annual meeting in March 2008.
Another thing that is difficult to accept is that SKK only accepts testing to be done at optigen. There are a number of other lab's that also do the optigentests. but to a lower price. This is of some importance to breeders who suddenly would have to test all their dogs.
*As you might have seen on my newspage my darling Sonja had a huge litter of pups over in England, 10 of them!! Sonja is sharing her puppyroom with the blue bitch Lulu, who had her pups only a day before Sonja. Since she "only" got 5 pups, Sandy put 2 of Sonjas pups over to Lulu, after first having the first important milk from Sonja. Lulu accepted her new babies without questions just as Sonja accepted 2 were taken off her, are'nt they just marvellous!!
By the way... is'nt Sonjas hair nicely done!?
Here Sonja is with 8 of her pups...
and here's Lulu with her pups and 2 of her new adopted one's
*Yesterday morning the master of the house (that's Johan) was out hunting and was lucky to get a roedear. Barbro, the dachsie could show off an excellent tracking job. I have never seen her more proud than when she came home, walking next to the roedear when it was carried through the kennelyard to the slaughtery! And guess if the rest of the crowd went extatic, I had all 20 dogs out free so it was'nt easy for them to get through, with everyone trying to get a smell and a glint of it. On the photo you can see the gang climbing on each other to try to get to the huntingresult. Many of them have been exposed to the smell of roedear when they've been tracking and all who have done that were a bit more relaxed about this, but you should have seen the others! All the pups and the youngsters sat and watched the door for a long time after it was closed, they were soo cute!
*At first I'm a bit upset about the new "relief in our health programme"... RELIEF?? don't think so ...as you all might know we have a healthprogramme in Sweden, that says that all Cockers must be eye examined every year in order to be bred from. And if someone is found to be affected with PRA, the dog is banned from further breedin, aswell as all of it's offspring. Well, with the new optigentests we thought we could use this a excellent tool and have all offspring tested and that they could be used in breeding if they were only carriers. So we applied for this relief with the Kennelclub who accepted if the dogs were tested by a veterinarian and the test was made on the Kennelclubs own documents. What happened as it went on, I don't know, but now we have new rule saying that all dogs tested as carriers can only be mated to dogs tested normal/clear with the Kennelclubs document!! If the carrier is to be mated to a dog that is normal/clear, but without the document, all pups will be put with a breedingban if they are'nt optigen tested before they are registered!! This means that the breeder has to pay optigentests for a whole litter, even if they know that no puppy in the litter will be affected! We discussed this a lot on our last annual meeting and all breeders and members agreed that the optigentests is a very useful instrument, but not when it comes with more restrictions than we already have. Dogs that are not tested with the Kennelclubs document are not applied of theese rules, and can be mated to a any dog of the breeders choosing... what does that say about this rule!?
*I've also thought alot about the hipscoring we are doing. In Sweden all Cockers has to be hipscored before they are used in breeding. The kennelclub does'nt mind wich grading the dog has, in order to register the pups, but the Cocker spaniel club only recommends A and B hips to be bred from, and only theese litters can use the Cockerclub for selling puppies. So in Sweden, most dogs graded higher than A or B are not bred from.
Some years ago we got a new way of reading the x-rays, and we've also got new people reading them at the Kennelclub and since then there has been an increase of higher grades on the hips! I can't believe that suddenly the breeders done something so much different that it should affect the dogs in this way. Last year, when the Cockerclub made the breedproject (a massive research and documentation about the breeds health, history etc.), a research about the hips was also done. This showed some alarming facts that it has relevance of some very strange points: wich clinic does the x-ray!, what month you do the x-ray!, and wich person does the reading! So one dog can be x-rayed several times at different clinics, at different times of the year, and get various grades of it's hips!! One Labrador a few months ago got C-hips from one reader in the Kenneclub, and a few weeks later the same x-ray was read again by another reader as A-hips! So how accurate are our hipscoring theese days? And because of theese tests several dogs, wich might have had alot to offer the breed, are taken out of the breeding programme.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not against testing our dogs, but I am against restrictions made by higher authorities as we breeders are not qualified or responsible enough to use the testresults for the benefit of our breed. I think the most of us have the best of the breed at our first priority, and those who don't... well, I really think this shows in an early stage, and they are gone in a short period of time.
*I was by the way lucky this year when I let the dogs out in the fields the other day, and the wind was in the right direction. So I could scense that the neighbourfarmer had spred manour on the fields, last year was'nt just as lucky... then I let 15 dogs in full coat out, and I did'nt realize it until I came walking in it, a bit after the dogs... Guess if I had some bathing to do after that! Some have told me how I keep my dogs in such beautiful coats, maybe that's the secret weapon..!?
*The traingparty we had on september 29:th was really successful, so we are absolutely having a similar party on the friday before the world dog show, everyone's invited!! We'll have it in the same way we had this one... in western style with corny Swedish games, barbecue and a trubadour entertaing... On the photos you can see the trubadour and guys hanging in the bar (typical is'nt it!)
Copyright © Monica Forsander ~ Uppdated: 2010-05-20