Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lucky shot - Perfect synchronization

Gunther von Moosbach-Zuzelek and Joeri vom Nonnenschlag in perfect synchronization

Monday, May 25, 2009

Keena's puppies take the plunge (at 8 weeks)

It is a gorgeous day here today. John is busy with getting his presentations ready for the NATC workshop so I decided to take Keena's puppies to the pond by myself. The pups are 8 weeks old today.

The only drawback of that many pups in a litter is that I have to count them all the time to make sure that everybody is following the pack.

This time pups were much more curious about the pond. The water was very warm so I gently took each pup individually and wetted it. They really did not mind.

They were not intimidated by all the fish swimming so close by either.

I think we need to reduce the fish population as there are so many of them!

I did not really plan to get into water as I was holding my camera, but I slipped and fell (camera stayed dry). And since I was already wet, I took several steps into the pond. Some pups followed. I did not expect that they would be ready to swim so far.

Some of them got submerged but nobody panicked. I guess they might react differently in a week when they get into the "fear imprinting period".
But today they were really brave and ready for adventure!

Good opportunity for socializing young dogs - the Town of Berne Memorial Day Parade

Today was a good opportunity to socialize young dogs. For those not familiar with our area, we live in the Hilltowns surrounded by the Helderberg Mountains. Out town (Berne, NY) had a Memorial Day Parade, which we watched with Joeri, Tommy and Ola. Actually, at the bottom of our long driveway there was a staging area for the band from our local school.

Joeri and Tommy did not mind the nose and crowd, but Ola was not too impressed. She calmed down after a while, and altogether it was a good experience for her.
After the parade was over, the dogs went to visit our neighbors across the road. Ola really enjoyed the attention and petting.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keena and her eight-week-old puppies

Keena's puppies will be eight week old tomorrow. As the picture shows, they have grown a lot.

Keena still spends some time with her pups daily. If they get out of hand, she quickly puts them in their place.

They compete for her attention!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Problems with coats in wirehaired dachshunds

I received some questions about wirehaired coats from Chris S., who is picking up his puppy in few weeks. Chris writes: "You wrote that there are more softer coats than the ideal wire coats. What makes one type of coat more desirable over another? Can you tell from the pictures or is it in the feel? I have heard that the smooth, smire coats, seem to be preferred by a lot of hunters now a days. What makes them more popular? Is it because the coat is less maintenance over the longer wire coats?"

Chris, because of the time constraint my answer will have to be relatively short, but I'll try to do my best. The AKC standard for the breed gives a good description of the wirehaired coat:

"With the exception of jaw, eyebrows, and ears, the whole body is covered with a uniform tight, short, thick, rough, hard, outer coat but with finer, somewhat softer, shorter hairs (undercoat) everywhere distributed between the coarser hairs. The absence of an undercoat is a fault. The distinctive facial furnishings include a beard and eyebrows. On the ears the hair is shorter than on the body, almost smooth. The general arrangement of the hair is such that the wirehaired Dachshund, when viewed from a distance, resembles the smooth. Any sort of soft hair in the outercoat, wherever found on the body, especially on the top of the head, is a fault. The same is true of long, curly, or wavy hair, or hair that sticks out irregularly in all directions. Tail-Robust, thickly haired, gradually tapering to a point. A flag tail is a fault."

The FCI dachshund standard (description of the ideal) states: With exception of muzzle, eyebrows and ears, perfectly even close fitting, dense wiry topcoat with undercoat. The muzzle has a clearly defined beard. Eyebrows are bushy. On the ears, the coat is shorter than on the body, almost smooth. Faults include:
• Soft coat, whether long or short.
• Long coat, standing away from body in all directions.
• Curly or wavy coat.
• Soft coat on head.
• Flag on tail.
• Lack of beard.
• Lack of undercoat.
• Short coat.

Joeri would be a good example of ideal wirehaired coat - a nice bushy beard, yet tight wiry, harsh body coat, no hair on his ears. Wirehaired dachshunds need to be groomed, and Joeri is not an exception. This will be a topic for another post, but I just would like to mention that Joeri looks good when his coat is stripped 2-3 times a year.

Ideal wirehaired coats do not breed true, and this is a big problem when it comes to breeding wirehaired dachshunds for the field. Even when both parents have ideal coats, most likely their pups will have a whole range of coats. Those who have been following this blog, probably remember that Joeri and Emma's four pups included smooth Olive, Ollie with a very good coat, and Olana and Oak with softer coats.

When it comes to hunting dachshunds, who do you think will have a more functional coat - Bernie or Angie?

Above - Bernie came out of parents with ideal coats. He has a double coat typical for wires (true smooth dachshunds have a one-layer-coat), but his topcoat is very short, and he does not have a beard, eyebrows or leg furnishings. Technically he is a smooth dachshund.

Angie has a soft and fluffy coat, which has not been groomed. If she went like this into a thick cover, her coat would be a complete mess. If she were to be used for field work, her coat would have to be clipped and kept very short.

Both Bernie and Angie have faulty coats, but Bernie's coat is much more functional than Angie's. His coat is double layered and provides good protection; there is no grooming required. Angie's coat does not provide protection and would be a liability in the field. However, some people love the look of wirehaired dachshund with a beard, and would choose Angie over Bernie, if they were basing their decision exclusively on the coat type.

Different registries and breed clubs treat the smooth coat coming out of wires differently. In the USA there is only one breed - the dachshund - and a registration certificate does not even state the coat type. If Bernie were to go to a show ring - he would be shown as a smooth dachshund. In the FCI countries, where crossing various coats of dachshunds is forbidden, individuals like Bernie are disqualified from breeding. In other countries, like Canada, he would be re-registered as a smooth. The problem of smooth and soft coats does not exist only in wirehaired dachshunds but it is encountered in other wirehaired breeds such as Deutsch Drahthaar or Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. A good discussion of problems with coats in the latter breed is at

In Germany, since smooths out of wires are penalized and disqualified from breeding, many breeders try to avoid them and tend to breed softer, fuller coats that are not very functional in the field. By the way, "smires" is just a made up term used by enthusiasts of this type of coat.

Poppy's hunter's crest

Poppy, Keena's daughter, has an usual look - she sports a mini-mohawk (which is called "hunter's crest") along the top of her muzzle. It is a form of cowlick - hair that grows in a different direction from the rest of the hair and usually will not lie flat. I have never seen it in any of our puppies before. This trait has no significance; it just gives her a very different look.

A busy day for Gilda's puppies

Yesterday "G" puppies had a busy day. First they went for the first time to the pond. We decided that it would be easier to have Gilda with us so puppies could follow her. you could see, it is easier said than done.

Gilda loves to swim! When we let her off the leash she jumped into the pond and swam for several minutes. Then she went to search for a rabbit. When she got back, she swam more.

Puppies were fascinated by water. We decided not to stay long at the pond as this spring the water level is down and for some reason we have a lot of algae there (which can be poisonous to dogs).

In the afternoon the pups went for a walk to our fenced 12 acre field. They ran, play, investigated, and were using their noses well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Puppies attack...a new toy!

Yesterday we received a surprise package from a good friend of ours, Patt Nance from Ohio. Actually, the package was addressed to Jeanneney Puppers! It was a Coleman Supersized Bear Trophy Dog Toy.

I love Coleman toys for dogs. We already have a fox, which looks and feels almost like a real thing.

Puppies did not waste any time and attacked the bear in full force. The most ferocious was Gwen, who went for the snout and would not let go.

Thank you Patt for the bear! This is a high quality toy that pups are going to enjoy a lot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Puppies socialize with other dogs

Just like we have done it with other litters, we are working on socializing puppies with other dogs. It has to be done away from pups' mothers as they are quite protective (especially Gilda) and are not willing yet to share their pups with the rest of our dogs.

Today we had two sessions of Joeri playing with both litters (separately). The pictures show "G" pups.

Exposure like this is very beneficial for the pups as they are learning how to behave around other dogs. They also learn self control.
It is also very useful for us to watch how pups interact with older dogs:
- do they approach them with ease,
- are they afraid, cautious or pushy,
- how do they take correction from an adult dog; do they bounce quickly back or they go away and sulk?
All these observations are important when it comes to matching pups with their future owners.

Joeri was very good with pups. He played with them, rolled on his back, and never was too rough. Altogether it was an excellent experience for the puppies and for Joeri.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Trip to the pond

Today Keena's pups went for a walk to our pond. This was their first introduction to the water. They sure enjoyed it, and some of the pups were willing to wet their feet. Pictures show the huge catfish we have in the pond.

Gilda's pups at 6.5 weeks

Today Gilda's pups are 6.5 weeks old. We named them so it is going to be easier to refer to them. Names and colors of their collars are on the pictures. It looks like two females, Gwen and Greta, are going to be smooth with double coat.

Breeding wirehaired dachshunds is highly unpredictable as far as the coat is concerned. In previous litters of Billy and Gilda we had a higher proportion of ideal wire coats. In this litter we have more softer coats than we usually get.

Next weekend, on May 31, I am going to take the puppies to New Jersey, where the NATC is having a Zuchtschau. I will show Tommy and Joeri at the Zuchtschau, and later in the day Anke Master, NATC Breed Warden, is going to inspect and tattoo these puppies. Today we vaccinated them for the first time with Merial rDAPP vaccine. When we were done with pictures and vaccination (we give our own shots), pups were so tired that they fell asleep. It was a good opportunity to cut their nails and then put them in crates.