Sunday 27 February 2011

Never saw one of those before

I came across this terrier today. I had never heard about this breed before so I looked it up. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is amongst the rarest and most endangered of all pure breeds/pedigree dogs. The UK Kennel Club lists the Dandie as one of the UK's Vulnerable Native Dog Breeds and there is a very real chance of the breed becoming extinct.
This short legged terrier was developed in the 17th century as an otter and badger specialist in the Cheviot and Teviotdale Hills in the border country of Scotland and England. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is named after Dandie Dinmont, a jovial farmer in Sir Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering. Scott also gave the names to the breed's colours, pepper and mustard, which were adopted from the names of Dandie Dinmont's dogs. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed to be named after a character in fiction.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club was formed in 1875 and is one of the oldest pedigree breed clubs in the world. The breed is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1888 and with the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1918.
A Dandie Dinmont called Dodo features in Gerald Durrell's book: My Family and Other Animals Chapter 16.
circa 1915
Very interesting, I think.

Wednesday 23 February 2011


 If you are training your dog remember that using treats is the easiest and fastest way to teach a dog what you want him to learn. They should never be given away for free; they should be earned. All the dog wants to do is to please you so it is a win win situation. After a while dogs will respond even when they hear the rustle of the bag where threats are kept.
A variety of treats should be used to make it interesting and worthwhile for the dog. Tidbits of food such as chicken, fillet steak, turkey, fish are ideal. The variety makes it interesting and keeps the dog guessing. When teaching a dog something new or training him in the midst of distractions such as other dogs or children playing or cyclists or joggers or birds or horses, I use something special like chicken liver bits and cheese. That’s the gold medal! The object of the exercise is to keep the dog focused on you so that he does not get bored or switch off or gets distracted. Keep the dog guessing.
I always couple treats with a nice encouraging tone of voice. I speak to Ozzy in French and I sometimes call him Belle or “ma chérie or ma Belle” but it does not matter. All Ozzy hears is the pleasing tone.
I wear a jacket which has multiple pockets so that I can dispense treats instantly and easily.
Also treats should be small and soft and easy to chew.  Something the dog cannot spit out.  I think paté would be ideal but that's a bit messy to carry around and how do you give it to the dog?  I'll have to experiment.
Remember dogs are carnivores so no bread, digestive biscuits, Xmas cake.  Chocolate is a definite no no and is dangerous for dogs.  I also do not give porc or lamb which are too fatty.
Yesterday we had chicken for dinner so today’s treats were in the special gold medal box. Tonight we are eating monkfish so tomorrow I shall use a left over portion for our boot camp exercises.

Bacon strips and little dog biscuits for routine work

Chicken: today's gold medal

"Look, I know the command SIT and I do like chicken"

Monday 21 February 2011

Essential gear

Ozzy and I walk in the forest come rain or high water.  Essentials are wellies, a hat and a waterproof jacket.
The jacket has been waxed and re-waxed and repaired and is still going strong after more than 25 years, by the way!

Saturday 19 February 2011

Coat and eyes

It is one of the few breeds which has such a different variety of coat colours and eye colours.
Aussies's coat colours include blue merle, black, red merle (liver), solid red with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points, with no order of preference. Their eye colours include brown, blue, amber or any variation or combination including flecks and marbling.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Where do I come from?

Although there are many theories about the origin of the Australian Shepherd or the Aussie, the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States where it was bred for sheep herding.  It probably originated in the Basque region of the Pyrenees, but was dubbed the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800's with boatloads of Australian sheep.

Saturday 12 February 2011

In the forest

Ozzy's first training session in the forest and mastering the "sit" command. 
I've had enough.

Wednesday 9 February 2011


Appalled Canadian authorities are investigating the slaughter of up to 100 huskies used to pull tourist sleds. An employee at a British Columbia company says he was ordered to kill scores of healthy dogs when business dropped off after the 2010 Winter Olympics. The killings came to light after he was compensated for post-traumatic stress disorder. "It wasn't always a clean, one-shot kill. Inevitably, he ended up seeing and having to put the end to some horrific scenes," said the worker's lawyer.
Animal welfare groups say the dogs were killed in a brutal manner and dumped in a mass grave. "Any dog sledder who culls dogs at the end of a season should be culled himself, as far as we’re concerned,” the head dog sledding guide for an Ontario company told the Globe and Mail. “You don’t go out and cull dogs," he said. "We’re part of the largest dog sled operation in the world with 40 dogs, and we never cull dogs. We retire them, they’re adopted. There are a lot of alternatives.”

Expensive muse

La Lecture fetched 30 million €.
Wish I had a Picasso hiding in the attic!

Tuesday 8 February 2011

The young muse

Tonight Sotheby's in London is auctioning Picasso's La Lecture. It is estimated to fetch between 14 million and 21 million €.
His muse for the painting was Marie-Thérèse Walter. They met outside Galeries Lafayette where she had been buying clothes. He was stunned by her beauty and asked her if he could paint her portret. She was just 17. He was 42 and the chouchou of the Parisian beau monde. She had never heard of him. Here she is with her mother's dog.
The headline in a Flemish paper this morning had this caption: "Sooner or later all Picasso's women ended up on museum walls."

Monday 7 February 2011


Bear with me, folks.  I have not had time to write. 
Ozzy and I have been getting to know each other.  Bonding, I believe it's called.  Together and we are rediscovering the huge forest which surrounds Brussels. 

Thursday 3 February 2011


This is Ozzy, the new member of the Eurodog household.  He is an Australian Shepherd hence his name.  He arrived yesterday and I shall be writing about him at length so watch this space.  All I can tell you is that he is very sweet and cuddly.