We were discussing our different approach to tipping after a grooming session. Here's a light-hearted response to a day at the grooming when all goes wrong.
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:04:25 -0800
From: Joseph Greenleaf <jagreenleaf@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Re Tipping the light fantastic
I just got back from the groomer, and no, I didn't
tip. Well, I ALMOST tipped--over--but no gratuity.
They must have anticipated that, since they jacked up
This is a vet with a grooming business on the side. Or
maybe it is a grooming business with a vet on the
Murphy had been to a big chain in September,
Pet-not-so-smart, and they charged $30 and cut him.
So, when he went to another groomer, they couldn't
handle him as he wanted to eat them.
Murph was gunshy, or at least, clipper-shy, so I
called the grooming vet, as he had seen him for some
I told the girl he was a Kerry, that I wanted a Kerry
cut, could they do that? 'T'be sure, in her best
Dublin (Ohio) accent. Que costa? in my best
I'm-not-from-here accent. $35.
OK, OK. $5 kick up from Petso. Cheaper than he's had
it done in Ireland, but they didn't slash him (an
extra charge for that, I'm confident).
Dropped him off, furnishing them with a nice folder
with colour printouts of the grooming technique from
the website. Fine, fine, we have books, etc. (I later
suspected they were books on Scandinavian
bread-twisting, not grooming).
An hour later, Cindy or Debbie or whomever called and
said he was being a handful. I reminded him of his
Purple Heart from Petso.
Soon another call; can he be sedated? A mild one,
administered by the vet. Only way it can be done, as
the have some lady wrestlers there who can't hold him.
With trepidation, I agreed.
Another call. Can they do a blood test to check his
liver function, and my wallet function? OK, I gasped.
Anything for O'Murphy.
They called again. Liver and wallet OK. Thanks.
Yet another call; vet wants to do a cell test since
he's sedated. OK, OK. Wants to know if wallet is
calfskin. No, it is from the hide of the Nauga.
Passage of time. No calls; what's up? The bill,
apparently, but I didn't know that.
Phone rings; Himself can be picked up at 5:45.
The $35 cut went to $65, as it was 'labour intensive,'
they charged an extra $18 for the lady wrestlers, and
$15 for Grade-3 matting. (He's not even 2, so I don't
think he's in Grade-3 yet [the 'matting' was on his
buttski as he just had a case of the you-know-what's;
I had washed it, but it still made the grade).
Add in the sedative, boat payment, donation to the Old
Dog's Home, the let's look at the ceiling and see if
we can find something else to charge for charge, and I
was out $285 in Yankee Greenbacks.
I was hyperventilating, so I forgot to tip. I will
make a point of going over there tomorrow to tip them
each a nice $20 bill. I promise.
I pointed out to Debbie that no one, in the 47 calls,
mentioned I would need a bank loan. 'Doctor added
those charges.' 'Yes, and...?' (I always like it when
they drop the 'the' doctor). The lady wrestlers were
looming over me, cracking their knuckles and making
the sailing ships tattooed on their biceps go into
full sail, so I adjourned to the fastness of my motor
vehicle, Murphy in tow.
They didn't trim between the pads of his feet; I guess
they grew bored, and felt they weren't making enough
at the $42 a hour they were charging.
Joe and Murphy,
both of whom were clipped today.
Late of Malin Head, Ireland, sojourning in the US of A,
lighter in both the loafers and in the shiny beads.
Joeseph Greenleaf is an Irish author and publisher. His books can be purchased at:
A list member commented that, although she wants to own a Kerry Blue "someday", after assessing herself she believes that having no previous dog experience makes starting with a Kerry too daunting. This post tells how another lover of our Breed took the jump and found what it takes to be a successful Kerry owner with a happy home.
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 08:19:27 -0700
From: Jennifer Grapentine <jgrapentine@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Soft Coated
Over a year and a half ago I went in the search for a perfect dog for our
active family. I really wanted a wheaton and through my research I ran into
the Kerry Blues. We fell head over heals in love with the breed. I too was
a bit concerned with the training requirements and grooming. The good far
outweighs the bad if you have the time to make training a part of your daily
life with these dogs you will be fine. The things I've learned in a year
owning a Kerry Blue Terrier:
1. In public or around people, always keep your eyes on your dog and on a
lead. It's your responsibility to keep a) your dog safe b) other dogs safe
... you can't rely on other people to keep their dogs out of your dogs
face. With this breed no matter who started the conflict... it will always
be your fault. (I think this is pretty true with any terrier though). Not
keeping your eye on your dog could set him/her and you up for failure.
2. Training is a way of life. The training is a much larger ongoing task
than the grooming! Consistency being the biggest key to that. Make it
clear to your Kerry from day 1 what you expect from him/her and he/she will
relax and be the perfect lady/gentleman. I learned early on if I am not
consistent it will make Murphy nervous and he gets confused as to what is
expected of him. He thrives on routine and consistency much like small
3. Socialization. After you have a clear bond and your KBT trusts you to
let him know what you expect of him... make sure and use the same correction
everytime for the same offense. For Murphy if he gets too excited on lead
(usually out of wanting to play) One jerk on the lead (usually with a
martingale collar on) and a firm "stop it" settles him right down and he
ignores the other dog. As soon as he settles he gets a "good boy" and lots
of praise. Also we've been working on passive training as well which is
I firmly believe that the training aspect of having a Kerry is much larger
than the grooming aspect! I love Murphy. I think owning a Kerry is almost
a way of life in itself. They are much different than any other dog I've
owned. Someday I might own a wheaton but my heart is permanently stuck to
Kerry Blues at present. They give more love, loyalty, joy and laughter to
my family than I ever dreamed!
As a stay at home mom to a 4 1/2 yr old daughter he's the best dog we could
We all gain when general rules of etiquette are followed, and the area of petiquette (good term!) definitely needs some broadcasting. This post pertains to those attending dog shows with unentered dogs but is full of advice we can all use.
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 13:43:19 -0600
From: Lisa Frankland <lisaf42@COMCAST.NET>
[...], a very valid point was made concerning people bringing unentered dogs
to dog shows. At Montgomery, especially, this is an ongoing and
potentially dangerous problem, as the show attracts a huge number of
spectators, including many that believe that it is perfectly
acceptable to bring the family dog along! I have been to four
Montgomery weekends, both as a competitor and a spectator, and a
couple of thousand terriers in one place tends to make for tight
quarters, short tempers, and close calls! The need for shuttle buses
the past couple of years has make the situation even worse, as
handlers and spectators alike have had to crowd onto buses with dogs
under widely varying states of training and control! Obviously, any
extra dogs, i.e. those that are not entered (especially young
puppies) or not under control, are not going to be welcome.
Most, if not all shows request that people not bring unentered dogs
to shows, and I believe AKC rules specifically prohibit bringing
"dogs that are not eligible for entry." I think they word it this
way because it is not always easy to discern which dogs are entered,
but it is usually very obvious which dogs cannot possibly be entered
(young puppies and certain breeds/mixed breeds that cannot be shown).
And I believe the prohibition against young puppies is there for two
reasons--most importantly, for safety (to keep the overall numbers
down and because puppies are especially vulnerable to diseases and
attacks from other dogs), and also to make it harder for people to
sell puppies at a dog show (not allowed under AKC rules).
I do understand that there are situations where people have little
choice but to bring their unentered dogs to a show, especially when
they are traveling and can't leave the dogs unsupervised in the
hotel room or car. I've had to do this myself! And many owners make
arrangements with their dogs' breeders or others to meet at a show
for grooming or other assistance. I personally don't have a problem
with this, and know of few other people who might object under those
circumstances. My issue is with rude, careless, and potentially
dangerous behavior, which unfortunately seems much more common among
casual spectators than with those who are showing. Therefore, the
following petiquette rules for attending a dog show:
1. Unless you have a specific need to bring your dog with
you, leave him at home! This is especially important if your dog is
aggressive or fearful with other dogs or strangers.
2. Keep your dog on a short leash and under control.
Long-lines and flexi-leads are dangerous in the crowded and chaotic
conditions of a dog show and have no place there. Sure, your dog may
be friendly, but the dog whose face he gets into may not be. If your
dog is lunging, barking, snapping at other dogs, or otherwise out of
control, please leave before something bad happens.
3. Make sure your dog's leash and collar are secure, and the
collar isn't so loose that he could slip out of it. The cry of
"loose dog" is one that sends chills down every person's spine at a
dog show because of the potential for a lost or injured dog.
However, keep in mind that AKC rules prohibit anything other than
buckle or slip collars (i.e., no prong, no-bark, or invisible fence
4. Do not allow your dog to go up to any other dog or person
unless you have been specifically told it is okay. Likewise, do not
approach or pet anyone else's dog without permission.
5. Avoid standing near ring entrances and crating/grooming
areas with your dog. Also keep your dog far enough back from
ringside that he won't distract dogs in the ring.
6. Please don't allow your small child to walk your dog
around the grounds! Children under the age of ten or so have neither
the strength nor experience to read a situation or prevent a problem
7. CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG! If you didn't bring a baggie,
anybody there will be happy to either give you one or point you
towards the nearest pooper scooper. And please watch your male dog,
especially, to make sure he doesn't lift his leg on vendor's wares,
crates, somebody's leg, a sports coat laying across a chair, etc.
8. If your dog is a young puppy and has not yet completed his
shots, either keep him in a crate or carry him--do not let him sniff
at the ground or go near other dogs. In addition to the danger of
disease (e.g., parvo and distemper), there is a risk that your pup
could be injured or at least traumatized by an older dog.
9. Your dog should be clean, groomed (not necessarily a show
trim, but at least neat and brushed out), free of parasites, and
HEALTHY! This should go without saying, but I have seen a few dogs
brought to shows in less-than-wonderful condition, including some
with badly infected eyes, and one that appeared to be suffering from
10. Finally, be aware of your dog and your surroundings at
all times. Too many people get to talking, watching the show, or
shopping, and seem to forget that they've still got a dog at the
other end of the lead. And it only takes a moment of distraction for
trouble to happen. If you can, consider bringing a crate along with
you, or arranging for someone to let you use one of their extras at
the show, so you can spend some time enjoying the show without
worrying about what your dog is doing every second.
Hopefully with the new venue and adequate parking next year, the
Montgomery show will be a more pleasant and safer experience for
everyone (though I will still miss the familiarity and tradition
behind the Temple U site).
and Hairy Blue Terrors Lav (Casey's Lavish Mishchief UDX, NA) and
Katie Rae (Ch. Casey's Rae of Sunshine CD, NA)
Janet Joers directed Blackjack's rescue and wrote about it in The Incredible Story of Blackjack.
Various list members shared their memories about meeting this special Kerry who was diagnosed with PNA. One member had an opportunity to be a part of his rescue and shared the sadness of his life and the sweet dignity he projects despite it all.
From: Cindy Radamaker <cidrad@ATT.NET>
Subject: The Story of Blackjack
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 04:49:10 +0000
I had the opportunity to meet Blackjack at the local vet's office where I
was asked to videotape the pup's condition. He broke my heart.
A more friendly, inquisitive dog I have never met. Blackjack seemed to
accept his condition with a grace and dignity you can only hope for in
yourself. I spent about an hour with the young dog, but in that short time,
I learned a quiet acceptance of things you can not change. I also saw great
compassion in each of the vet technicians that assisted me in my quest to
videotape the young dog's movements that would either confirm or deny the
PNA diagnosis that had been tentatively given. I was quite impressed with
each of these vet technicians and assistants. I'm sure each day these
individuals experience situations of grave ramifications, and have seen
dogs, cats and other creatures come into this world and leave. Yet each
person I dealt with had nothing but a kind or encouraging word for this
young dog that would only spend a short time in their care. And yes, they
cared. Very much. It wasn't just another animal that may or may not get
better. They seemed to know this dog and care for him, as an individual. I
only hope when my time comes I can find doctors and nurses that share the
compassion these vets, vet assistants and technicians had for this dog that
came in an out of their lives so quickly.
I watched Blackjack scamper around on they lawn outside of the vet'sooffice.
I watched him struggle to keep his feet under him, slip, fall and leap back
up with a joy that only he knew and could experience. Did he know his time
was short, and so he had to live each and every moment for what it could
bring? I know this is probably anthropomorphizing, but it certainly brings
a certain comfort to me. He licked my hands, my face, and seemed so
genuinely happy to be let out of his crate to run for awhile. In the sun.
I know my videotape was shaky at best. I hope that what was learned from
Blackjack will be beneficial for generations of dogs to come. I hope that
Blackjack leaves a legacy. He deserves that. He was an old soul in a
young, defective body but he was here. I hope others to come remember and
give thanks to him.
I don't know if I could ever carry out an assignment like this again.
Blackjack broke my heart.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
The Kerry Blue Terrier Birding Clan
( ( \
With this post comes the announcement by Janet Beeby of her Kerry, Gabby, being the first in our breed to attain the highest ranking title in agility known as MACH - Master Agility Champion. Wow - are we proud of you both!
From: Blue Dog Gear <bluedoggear@COMCAST.NET>
Subject: MACH Gabby
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2004 21:04:18 -0700
Well, we did it!
I can't believe it, but boy, am I happy about it!!
"Keriland's Talk About Town" aka - Gabby, the barking, blue, beauty, made history today by collecting the last six points (and not a single point more!) towards her MACH - Master's Agility Champion. She is the first Kerry Blue Terrier to achieve this level.
When I walked the course this morning, I have to admit that I almost cried - it was such a difficult layout and just full of wingless jumps at crazy angles - totally the stuff that trips us up. Anyway, somehow we pulled it off. I was extremely conservative with the run - taking us within a fraction of a second of our needed points. It was a sit on the table - which is never a big deal, but Gabby sat right on the edge of the table with her furry, blue butt hanging off the corner and one foot levitating somehow - she miraculously held her sit - I didn't dare breathe during the count for fear that she might adjust herself and fall off!
Anyway, she was great - I wasn't bad either and we both crossed the finish line to beautiful Blue Ribbons and Champaign - courtesy of the Gig Harbor Kennel Club (Thank you Candi Marzano for the bubbly).
My Husband, Chad and three year old daughter, Grace, were there to cheer me on and they presented Gabby with a specially made trophy for the occasion. Grace said, "See Mamma, I told you, you could do it"!
There was a Cake with Gabby's Picture on it and lot's of pictures taken and my MACH pole (The last pole you jump to get your MACH is yours to keep) was signed by many wonderful friends - it was a great day!
Thank you to Penny Hanson of Keriland Kennels in Strathmore, Alberta, for breeding such a sound and perfectly amazing Kerry Blue. Gabby, as I've said before is a pillar of strength and everything brave and honorable that a Kerry should be - maybe the barking part could have been a little less strong, but I'll deal with the package!!;)
Thank you to Sharon Burnett, whose friendship, doggie bed and breakfast and doggie styling has been invaluable!
A big THANK YOU to all of you who have written to me with your words of encouragement both lately and throughout our journey - I look forward to meeting many of you at Montgomery. (Can't wait to see you again Eve!)
Well, with the sun going down and another agility trial day tomorrow - (on a Monday no less!) Gabby and I become just another team - looking for our next "Q". Gabby's smiling at me with her big furry face - she say's "You can call me MACH Gabby". What a girl!
All the Best...
Run Fast, Run Clean, Run Blue!
Janet Beeby with MACH Gabby & Jake
As most groups do, we often talk about our problems, including aggressive or biting dogs. Then there is Grant. While at his day job (yes, a job!), he wanders out of the house (not his fault!) and then gets invited in to play with the neighbor kids (how cool is that?). In an ordinary way, a Kerry named Grant shows why we love this breed.
From: "Eileen Andrade" <my3kerries@COMCAST.NET>
Sent: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 23:22:32 +0000
Subject: [KBL] Kerry and Kids
My 12 year old kerry, Grant, spends weekdays at the home of my mother babysitting her spitz mix dog who has severe separation anxiety. Suzy does better if Grant is with her so we have developed a routine where I drop him off at my mom's on my way to work. Suzy is also a runner and not to be trusted if the door is open. Grant on the otherhand responds well to the "Wait" command and is no problem. Today my brother was doing some work at the house for my mom which necessitated his going in and out of the house so my mom put Suzy on a tie-down to avoid any incidents and went about her business. Grant is so good and generally so quiet that she forgot about where he was, as did my brother who left the front door open - counting on Suzy being confined by the tie-down. My mom suddenly realized that she didn't know where Grant was and went searching. He was nowhere to be found in the house or the yard, so in a panic everyone took to the streets calling and looking for Grant. Luckily it wasn't long until he was found. Down at the exact opposite end of the block the residents responded to the calls for Grant. He had evidently gone to their door and barked - so the kids let him in and were playing with him. Trust him in a neighborhood of mainly retirees and empty nesters to find the house that had kids! He was having such a good time that my mom tells me he was reluctant to come home!! My guess is that he will sleep well tonight.
Eileen with Grant, Trudy, Tristan and Kitty Northern California
A list member from Australia shares a lovely story of a Kerry named Mara who entered her life when a wonderful family came for a visit.
From: "Coral & Dan - Lingalonga Boarding Kennels" <emailus@Q-NET.NET.AU>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 8:15 AM
Subject: [KBL] Temporary guardians - long
I don't post often but I try to read each message to keep in touch with
what everyone is experiencing with their kerries.
I would like to tell you about Mara - She came into our lives when she
was 8 weeks old, but did not start to live with us till she was 3
months. I was approached by my neighbours if I could groom a Kerry - I
advised them that I hadn't done one before but that I had loved and
admired the breed for many many years and that if they were willing to
work with me I was certain that I could do justice to the dog. It was
then that they said that also arriving with the adult was 2 of his
offspring and that there was a 3rd pup available to a show home. I
asked if they minded if I made enquiries to acquire the 3rd pup and they
were more than happy for me to pursue it. So after a few phone calls
the deal was made and arrangements were made to fly the 3 pups from one
side of the country to the other.
I joined this group and learnt my grooming skills from your excellent
web site. I had to try extremely hard not to groom Mara to look like
one of my mini schnauzers, boy was I tempted to cut that fall just
because it wouldn't lie proper <bg>. Mara and Tom (her dad) were very
forgiving with the extra long time that I had them on the grooming
table. just one more bit to scissor. just a little bit longer..
Well I must of have done something right - during the time that I
groomed Tom he was awarded a Group 1 and several Class wins as well as
Best of Breed awards. Mara was a joy to handle - I truly believe she
thought herself to be a mini schnauzer - she lived played and ate with
my 6 mini's and not once did we have any trouble. She has the softest
temperament and was quite happy to be at the bottom of the pack.
We did quite well in the show ring - the most memorable win being the
time that Rick Glendinning judged here and awarded Mara Best of Breed at
9 months of age over her 3year old dad. She was titled at 18 months, I
decided that we would have a break from the show ring and let everyone
have time out. I was gearing myself up to start grooming again this
weekend, But the strangest thing happened last Thursday evening, I took
a telephone call from a lady enquiring about a Mini Schnauzer puppy and
I informed her that I had non available but starting to go through the
list of questions as to why she wanted a mini.. when she informed me
that 12 months ago this week her family had to say goodbye to their
Kerry and that the time was right to add to their family. Well I was
lost for words for a moment or two then went on to say that we also have
a Kerry. Now having a Kerry in this part of Australia is like finding
that needle in the haystack <g> Talk about a mini schnauzers was
forgotten as this perfect stranger and I got talking like old friends
about Kerries. By the end of the conversation I had invited her and
her family over for a visit on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday came and I went around doing the normal Saturday morning chores
and around 11 am went down to bath Mara - I wanted her to look her best
for our visitors. The time came and Diana & her family arrived - the
connection between Mara and Diana and her family was instant, it was at
that moment I knew that we had been Mara's temporary guardians and that
she and this family were meant to be together. The boys played soccer
with her, Craig made a fuss over her, while Diana & I just stood and
watched as her family bonded with our "Black witch" we talked, we
understood and we agreed that Mara had been waiting for them.
I am sorry that this is long and that I have probably rambled on some
what but I do believe that things happen for a reason, I Have no regrets
about the past 18 months - Mara was brought into our lives for a reason
- for us to be temporary guardians until Diana and her family were ready
to be her forever family.
I received this message from Diana on Sunday evening - "Mara has
settled in beautifully, almost like we have had her for years. We went
for a long walk today and she was very nice on the lead. She is eating
well and of course playing great, all the kids in the neighborhood love
her and thinks she is gorgeous."
Thank you for letting me share
And to Mara - Thank you
Perth, Western Australia
A cry for help from a list member in Denmark wanting to terminate the life of her Kerry who just bit the 5th person received valuable advice to responsibly handle him and prevent further trouble. Yes, he can become a good dog when handled properly.
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 01:07:49 -0700
To: Mail list for Kerry Blue Terrier Fanciers <KERRYBLUES-L@APPLE.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Janet Joers
Subject: Re: S.O.S. Kerry from Denmark (Birgit)
[A list subscriber] wrote:
>My kerry has too much temperament. If someone is coming to our door he
>will bite them if we do not take very much care...
>To day he has bite a ten years old boy in the hand.
>This was the 5. time he bite anyone. I do not know what to do.
>I think I have to go to the wet and have him killed.
In my experience, very few Kerries are candidates for euthanasia (being
killed) because of temperament. The vast majority of problem dogs just
need proper training. No dog should be killed because the owner failed
to provide the training necessary. Here's how to take responsibility:
1. Never give the dog another opportunity to bite again. Muzzles
work. A muzzle may not keep a dog from wanting to bite (though it can
have a calming effect), but it keeps people safe. It needs to be
fitted correctly and introduced properly, which you can learn from a
dog trainer. Use the muzzle whenever a visitor is in the house, when
out on walks, or when situations arise that may trigger your dog to
2. See a dog trainer right away, preferably one that has experience
with "naughty dogs" with aggression problems. A trainer with
experience with terriers is good, and one that uses positive training
techniques (praise rather than harsh correction) is ideal. Make some
calls, interview some trainers, and pick the best one.
3. Make an appointment at your vet's for a complete physical exam of
your dog. There are over 50 medical causes for aggression in dogs, so
it makes sense to rule out a physical cause as soon as possible.
4. Contact your breeder immediately. Many breeders have years of
experience and could offer you some help and advice. If you are unable
or unwilling to muzzle and get some training, then a responsible
breeder will take back the dog, work with it, and place it in a
suitable home--one that will continue the training and do right by the
Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Bridgit's Kerry was euthanized on June 1.
A question about incontinence brought a response from a lister currenting dealing with an older Kerry female. Judith's reply clearly shows there are simple ways to manage something many of us will eventually encounter with our older Kerries.
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 22:19:49 -0700
To: Mail list for Kerry Blue Terrier Fanciers <KERRYBLUES-L@APPLE.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Judith Bruno <jbruno@RALDEN.COM>
Subject: Re: Incontinence Problem Comments
Step 1: Do a cysto (drawing urine from the bladder) and Culture and Sensitivity. I assume you have had a full medical exam and blood panel?
The cysto is absolutely no big deal, they do not feel a thing, and it's over in a second. Scamp had one a month for 18 months with no ill effects. Depending on how sophisticated your vet clininc is they can do an ultrasound guided cysto, but it is very straightforward. A culture is more expensive than a UA, and the only other problem is that it takes 4-5 days to get results back and in this world of instant gratifivation that seems a forever. However it will give you the only accurate information.
Step 2: I would try homeopathic/herbal remedies. Many people have had good success going this route. Marina Zacherias has supplied me with a program, however there I know of several vets in the SF BayArea putting patients on a different herbal program with good success.
Step 3: If that failed I would try PPA. It must however be the time released PPA and be given 2xdaily to remain in the system long enough to be effective. PPA is effective in 85 to 90% of cases, regardless of the root of the problem. PPA has less side effects that estrogen. When they took it off the human market it became more expensive and more difficult to get ahold of, but I get it through UCDavis with no problems. Heddy and Scamp have been on PPA for years with no ill effects. At times, like the coming of hot weather, Scamp will have leaking and I put her on other remedies I get from Marina.
My UCDavis vets only recommend Estrogen after all else has failed.
Managing incontinence with two dogs has not been a problem at all. Sometimes when Scamp is sick with a stomach problem, she'll have some leaking problems. We have a supply of kiddie pullups we can use it we are experienceing a problem, but those times are few and far between.
Palm Desert, CA
A list member with experience in rescue and placement of Kerries reminds us that dogs learn biting as puppies with their mother and siblings. It is not an acceptable behavior.
From: "Lisa Frankland" <lisaf42@COMCAST.NET>
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2004 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: [KBL] Biting Behavior (long)
I'll agree with Nancie that this is certainly turning into a great
thread! I'll just add a few more comments, and try not to make them
First, thank you to Janet for bringing up Ian Dunbar and his writings
on biting behavior. Back in the good old days before the AKC Gazette
turned into "Gazette Lite," Dr. Dunbar used to write a wonderful
canine behavior column that I looked forward to reading every month.
The one column in particular that impressed me concerned "bite
inhibition;" that is, the learned ability of dogs to control their
bites. Dunbar stressed that bite inhibition is learned by puppies
when playing with their littermates, primarily between, I believe,
the ages of 8 and 11 weeks (a very important reason to allow pups to
remain with their litters during this time). Basically, it's
playground politics--the pups learn during normal interactions with
Mom and littermates that not only do bites hurt, but that if they
don't control their own biting nobody will play with them! Dog-savvy
owners continue this education by never allowing pups to mouth hair,
clothing, etc., but reacting with a loud exclamation of pain whenever
the critter bears down on flesh (and discontinuing play or putting
little Rover in a temporary time-out to calm down if he doesn't get
As to the comments about education: I agree that there are lots of
people out there that will never "get it" when it comes to being
instructed in how to behave around dogs, but many, many more,
particularly children, can and do get the message! However,
concerning the dog bite case cited by Connie, I would have to say
that the owner of the dog was still primarily at fault for their dog
biting the clueless neighbor in the face. After all, this was not a
previously well-mannered dog, but one that already had a track record
of biting, and that apparently had dominance issues so severe that he
could only be "safely" approached if the person was crouching
submissively and avoiding any eye contact. What would have been
next--requiring people to roll on their backs and pee? Yes, the
neighbor did something extremely stupid (definitely a candidate for a
Darwin honorable mention), but it sounds like the dog was destroyed
at least a couple of bites too late.
Are Kerries good with children? Although there are exceptions to
every rule, I have to say YES THEY ARE! I firmly believe that very
young children and puppies are a lousy combination, but the size,
activity level, and fun-loving personality of a Kerry Blue Terrier
should make it a good choice for many families. I have two Kerries
of my own, one of which (Lav, the 14 year old) I got when I was
pregnant with my older child, and the other (Katie, 5 years old) who
joined our household when the kids were 6 and 8 years old. Over the
ast ten years I have also fostered several rescue Kerries, of all
ages and circumstances, in my home and played host to a number of
others owned by friends and acquaintances. With a single exception
(an fear-aggressive 4 month old pup),they have all done great with my
children, with their reactions ranging from actively seeking out the
kids' company to benign tolerance. Lav usually falls into the latter
category. When I was showing him in open and utility I would pack up
Lav and my children two or three times a week and head to an area
park to train. I would set up next to a playground so my kids would
have something to do, and was often stunned to see what some parents
would allow their children do or try to do to my dog as well as
amazed and grateful for what he would put up with. I am not just
referring to the usual childish behaviors like petting him without
permission or grabbing at his fall or tail; there were a number of
times when I had to rush back to Lav to stop children who were
pouring sand on him, climbing on his back, hitting/kicking at him,
and removing toys, treats or other objects from "his" training bag.
Katie's patience has not been tested nearly as severely, but I expect
she would behave equally well. Although I believe that a large part
of Lav's tolerance was the result of him trusting that I would handle
the situation, you have to expect that any dog that is ever around
small children is likely to be exposed to things like this.
To Connie's cry of EDUCATE!, I add SOCIALIZE, TRAIN, SUPERVISE, and,
if the dog is not being shown, NEUTER! Desensitize your dogs to the
most commonly experienced aggression triggers, such as gentle pulling
on falls, ears, and tails, being stared at, being hugged or having
people lean over them, having food or toys taken away from them, and
the sounds of children playing and screaming. Unfortunately, no
matter what the circumstances are, if a bite occurs, it is almost
always the dog who ends being blamed and paying the price.
As a final anecdote, I'll relate an incident that happened several
years ago at our home in California. An acquaintance had come to
compete at some local obedience trials and she and her three dogs (a
Ch/OTCh PWD and two Rottweilers, all intact males) were staying with
us. Emmy was very considerate and careful about keeping her dogs
crated and supervising their outings in the backyard, but during one
outing with her CDX Rott my daughter (who was three or four at the
time) and I were also outside, and as Emmy and I stood talking the
dog noticed Meghan playing nearby and trotted towards her. Although
I called to her to stand still, Meghan did the worst possible thing
for the situation--she let out a high-pitched scream and tried to run
away. The dog's trot became a gallop and he overtook Meghan, who
fell down and continued to scream. Emmy and I of course feared the
worst, but when we reached them it turned out that the Rott was busy
gently licking away Meghan's tears. Now THAT'S A GOOD DOG!
We were discussing how to select a breeder and a list member felt that it was expecting a lot from a breeder to take their dogs back and saw this as an easy out for the buyer. Jan's post clarifies the role that the breeder has in placements and the real purpose of breed rescue.
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 8:16:24 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Re: [KBL] How to select a breeder?
Susan <suzywheaten@HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Don't you think that is expecting a lot from breeders to take their
> dog back just because it's become inconvenient for the owners?
Most of us would probably agree that responsibility for a dog's welfare
lies first and foremost with its owner. Properly raising a puppy,
caring for if, socializing, and training it are the owner's
responsibility. But in real life, owners fail their dogs, and they
give them up.
So who is responsible then? The breeder who selected the owner, who
made the decision to breed, and collected the puppy fee? The breeder
who made the choice to breed their stud, and who collected the stud
fee? Or some third-party organization who had nothing whatsoever to do
with any of these decisions and received not a cent from them? The
answer seems clear to me, and probably to most breeders as well. Those
who choose to bring puppies into the world are the ones ultimately
responsible for them.
> I'm sure if breeders agreed to this they have a LOT of dogs being
> dropped off on their doorstep.
Only those breeders who didn't properly screen their puppy buyers in
the first place, or didn't provide appropriate breed education,
support, advice, resources, and mentoring would have "a LOT" of dogs
returned to them. If the breeder made a poor choice in a home for a
puppy, he or she is directly responsible for it. Even if the breeder
made a good choice in the home, but the home otherwise failed later for
whatever reason, the breeder is still responsible. Bad things happen
to good people, but good people take responsibility.
There is also the element of human decency in this equation. No
responsible breeder would ever turn her back on a dog of her breeding
who had no place to go. It doesn't matter whether the owner neutered
their show prospect puppy, provided no training or socialization or
grooming or decent food. If the owner decides to give up the dog after
it is out of control, sick, mangy, or old, the dog's care and
well-being is still the breeder's responsibility.
> That is why there are different breed specific rescue programs
> available for people needing to rehome their pets
Breed rescue groups exist only for the dogs that have nobody--those
that were bred in the mills, imported by brokers, sold through pet
stores, or ended up in animal shelters, unclaimed by their owners with
no trace of history. It is not the responsibility or the purpose of
breed rescue to solve breeders' problems. Indeed, if breed rescue were
to assume responsibility--and the liability and costs--for every
breeder's poor placement decision, what incentive would there be for
the breeder to do a better job screening homes? The assumption that
breed rescue is some sort of free service offered to breeders and their
puppy buyers is wrong.
Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director
List members gave various opinions regarding "high volume breeders" aka "puppy mills", but the simplicity of common sense in this post puts a period at the end of this topic.
From: "Nancie Echeverria" <Nancieee@AOL.COM>
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [KBL] High Volume Breeders Equate to Puppy Mills
The problem I have with any high volume breeding program is that one might
screen the homes that these dogs go to and take back any dogs that need to be returned for any reason, but what about these dogs producing more puppies??
Unless each of these dogs that are produced by the high volume breeder is spayed
or neutered, there is always the chance that they will be bred, and always the
chance that the offspring of these dogs will end up in the shelters or on the
My thought is: in this day and age when so many dogs and cats end up having
to lose their lives because there aren't enough homes (much less quality
homes), should anyone be producing a large number of animals?
Lake Havasu City, AZ