Sunday, July 31, 2011

Young Coyote Teaches Vizsla

One hour into our walk this morning, Bailey and Chloe came across a hill loaded with ground squirrel dens.  The squirrels were running around as the dogs chased them back into their holes.

  I have come to notice that up in our wild spaces, where these "squirrel towns" exist, coyotes end up being close by.
This area was perfect for a coyote den:  water, cover, and a steady food supply.

This lone young coyote was interested in what Bailey and Chloe were doing around his "dinner table" and came out to see what was going on.
Bailey ignored the coyote and went on forward. He had tangled with them before and does not find it all that interesting.

 Chloe was interested and so I was glad that this young coyote taught Chloe an important life lesson.
As I watched, Chloe went running up to the coyote.  The coyote hunkered down.  When Chloe came within 5 feet, the coyote charged and snapped at her.  This all happened within 20 yards of me.

 She came running back to me with her tail firmly between her legs.  The reaction was what I wanted.  I hadn't set it up, but it worked perfectly.  No injury. She learned that coyotes do not want to play with her.

One on one, a coyote and a healthy Vizsla are fairly equal.

 But coyotes hunt in packs. That is where coyotes become dangerous.

Lesson learned. 

Leave coyotes alone.

Vizsla in Mid-Summer Fog

Last day of July, 2011. Early morning walk.

20 miles east, as the hawk flies, of the Golden Gate Bridge are the open spaces of Briones Regional Park.

 57 degrees with a wind of about 25mph along the ridges but very calm in the valleys.  The only things we came across today were, a hawk, two people, three dogs and a lone young coyote.  The small coyote helped with Chloe's training (post later today.)

Great two-hour morning walk.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday on the American River

90 miles to the east is the American River that runs through Sacramento.  Early Sunday morning we headed up just to let Bailey and Chloe enjoy the fresh rushing water coming from the Sierras down into the San Joaquin Valley.  Beautiful morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Notice to People Who Visit My Home

A Notice to People Who Visit My Home:
(a weak attempt at humor)
Altered from a post found on Vizslaforum
Two Vizslas live don't.

If you don't want Vizsla red hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.

Yes, they have some disgusting habits. So do I, and so do you. What's your point?

Of course they smell a little like dogs.

It's Bailey's nature to try to sniff your crotch. Please feel free to sniff his.

I like them a lot better than I like most people.

To you, Bailey and Chloe are dogs. To me they are an adopted son and daughter, who are red, short-haired, walk on all fours,
don't speak clearly, and don't care for cats.
 I have no problem with any of these things.

Vizslas don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train than kids, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about whether they have the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes,

 don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant you can sell the puppies !!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vizsla Hunt and Field Trial Seminar

Great morning on Hastings Island Hunting Preserve

Wheat colored Bailey in wheat colored field

Thirty Vizsla owners watching dog work in Randy's training field
9-week-old GSP and Randy working on the pups point

Randy working with a 14-week-old GWP

Dual Champion Tommy by Tommy showing steady to wing and shot
Today from 9am until 4pm, thirty Vizsla owners got together for a Demystifying Field Trials and Hunt Test seminar.

First off was two hours in the club room.  Randy Berry, professional trainer and handler, explains to Vizsla owners the "how-tos" of field trialing.  Good questions and discussions about the sport of field trialing.

Then it was out into his training field for how he starts out a very young pup; a little older pup; then Bailey was used to show green broke dog field work and finally finished dual champion Vizsla, Tommy by Tommy.

A good lunch was cooked up and then we all went back into the club house for a couple more hours on hunt test overview and more on field trialing by long time Vizsla owners and judges.
Just before Bailey's first ever run in a Master Hunt Test last Saturday

Great sharing of knowledge and stories of how to succeed in these sports.  Thanks to those that put this together.  Time very well spent!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vizsla Spay and Neuter Debate Continues

Excerpts from an article by Sunbeam Goldens (website link sunbeamgoldens)

"Many uninformed people and veterinarians would probably tell you that six months of age is the optimum time. But there is absolutely no research to support this.

Your veterinarian probably attended a vet school before this research was available, and they may have attended a school supported by HSUS (Humane Society of the United States).

HSUS* promotes early spay and neuter without regard for the health of the dogs, but even they no longer promote mandatory spay and neuter.

How did we get to this place where it is socially preferable to subject our dogs to invasive surgeries that leave them less healthy than just to be responsible for their behavior?

There are a tremendous number of people who get their dogs from shelters and unlike responsible hobby breeders, the shelters cannot screen who is allowed to take their dogs.

We know that in California 47% of the dogs adopted from shelters end up back in the shelters.

So in that case, it is appropriate to help society, even as it hurts the long-term health of the dogs, by making sure all shelter animals are altered before they are adopted.

In Sweden, spaying and neutering is against the law,
under the animal cruelty ordinances.

It is a very uncommon practice in Western Europe and yet there is no animal overpopulation problem in those countries. The reason is responsibility."

Sophie and Bailey's litter

* HSUS operates no shelters; in fact the HSUS President, Wayne Pacelle has said this about distinct breeds "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." He has also stated: "I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don't feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I'm kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals."

Link to Sunbeams Goldens article

Regarding early male neutering:

"Loss of testosterone as a result of desexing may result in immature development of masculine characteristics and a reduced body musculature:

The testicles are responsible for producing testosterone: the hormone that makes male animals look and act like male animals. It is the testicles that make male animals develop the kinds of masculine, testosterone-dependent body characteristics normally attributed to an entire animal. These include: increased muscle size and development; reduced body fat; mature penis development; mature prepuce development (mature penis sheath development); the ability to extrude the penis from the sheath (prepuce) and the suppression of development of feminine characteristics (mammary gland development, milk production etc.). Desexing, particularly early age desexing, may limit the development of mature masculine features such that they remain immature and juvenile looking and cause the neutered animal to have a reduced muscle mass and strength compared to an entire animal of the same size and breeding."

Bailey during mating dance with Sophie
Rethinking spay and neuter in 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Support "Hobby" Breeding

Resist the Greed:

 Backyard Breeders are bad for our breed. 

 Internet dog ads are often portals for back yard and commercial breeders.  The ads look like a idyllic setting, but the reality is, for the most part, quite different.

Look at the below link for a comparison of the two types of breeders.

All Vizlsa pups look great, but they are not all created equally. 

After going through the many steps it takes to create healthy and emotionally stable pups this spring, I now understand the difference.

I would not have had a clue of what the difference between a back yard breeder and a hobby breeder would have been three years ago.

  Do you know the difference? 

 Save our breed.  It is under attack not only by PETA, but also by those individuals who would weaken the Vizsla breed for some quick money. 
 A cute pup doesn't always grow up to be a healthy and happy adult Vizsla.

Earlier redbirddog post on commercial breeders

A quick view of Vizsla Health issues that good breeding addresses:

"In general, Vizslas are an extremely healthy breed and it is common for them to have a life span of over 14 years.
Some Vizslas are prone to skin and/or food allergies. They can be sensitive to anesthesia used during surgeries and it is recommended that owners consult their veterinarian regarding the use of a special anesthesia, such as isofluorine gas, during surgery. Vizslas may be sensitive to other drugs as well, consult your veterinarian for more information.

Vizslas are susceptible to hip dysplasia, although careful breeding has kept this problem to a minimum in the breed. All Vizslas that are going to be bred should be x-rayed and certified clear of hip dysplasia by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). X-rays must be taken after the age of 24 months, when a definitive diagnosis can be made. If you are purchasing a puppy, make sure that both parents have been OFA certified.
Less common genetic diseases in Vizslas include hemophilia, von Willebrand's Disease, tail defects, and epilepsy."

excerpt taken from:

January 24, 2012  News clip from a breeder raid.  You will see many Vizsla pups in the clip:

From the above breeders website:

 "We plan a breeding well in advance and at the most, once a year..."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don’t Let Your Dog Overheat

Posted by a fellow blogger, Varazs Vizslas, in Eastern Canada where the temperatures are brutal this week, like much of the United States. 

Great information about canine heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

Working up a good sweat in the hot summer months may be good for you, but it can lead to heat stroke in your dog and kill him in a matter of minutes. Heat stroke is a dangerous condition that takes the lives of many animals every year. Your dog's normal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it rises to 105 or 106 degrees, the dog is at risk for developing heat exhaustion. If the body temperature rises to 107 degrees, your dog has entered the dangerous zone of heat stroke. With heat stroke, irreversible damage and death can occur.

Here are some cold summer facts: The temperature in a parked car can reach 160 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with partially opened windows. And any dog exercising on a hot, humid day, even with plenty of water, can become overheated. Overheating often leads to heat stroke.

As a pet owner, you should know the dangers of overheating and what to do to prevent it.

You should also know the signs of heat stroke and what to do if your dog exhibits those signs.

When humans overheat we are able to sweat in order to cool down. However, your dog cannot sweat as easily; he must rely on panting to cool down. Dogs breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, directing the air over the mucous membranes of the tongue, throat and trachea to facilitate cooling by evaporation of fluid. Your dog also dissipates heat by dilation of the blood vessels in the surface of the skin in the face, ears and feet. When these mechanisms are overwhelmed, hyperthermia and heat stroke usually develop.

Dogs who have a thick coat, heart and lung problems or a short muzzle are at greater risk for heat stroke. Others at risk include

•Puppies up to 6 months of age
•Large dogs over 7 years of age and small dogs over 14 years
•Overweight dogs
•Dogs who are overexerted
•Ill dogs or those on medication
•Brachycephalic dogs (short, wide heads) like pugs, English bulldogs and Boston terriers
•Dogs with cardiovascular disease and/or poor circulation

What To Watch For

If your dog is overheating, he will appear sluggish and unresponsive. He may appear disorientated. The gums, tongue and conjunctiva of the eyes may be bright red and he will probably be panting hard. He may even start vomiting. Eventually he will collapse, seizure and may go into a coma.

If your dog exhibits any of these signs, treat it as an emergency and call your veterinarian immediately. On the way to your veterinary hospital, you can cool your pet with wet towels, spray with cool water from a hose or by providing ice chips for your dog to chew (providing he is conscious).

Veterinary Care

Heat related illness is typically diagnosed based on physical exam findings and a recent history that could result in overheating. Your veterinarian may perform various blood tests to assess the extent of vital organ dysfunction caused by overheating.

Intensity of treatment depends upon the cause and severity of the heat illness.

•Mildly increased temperature (less than 105°F) may only require rest, a fan to increase air circulation, fresh water to drink and careful observation.

•Markedly increased temperature (greater than 106°F) must be treated more aggressively. Cooling can be promoted externally by immersion in cool water or internally by administering a cool water enema.

•Underlying aggravating conditions, such as upper airway obstructive diseases, heart disease, lung disease and dehydration may be treated with appropriate medications, supplemental oxygen or fluid therapy.

Home Care

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Check your dog's temperature rectally if you suspect heat stroke. If it is over 105 degrees F, remove your dog from the heat source immediately and call your veterinarian.

Meanwhile, place a cool, wet towel over your dog or place him in a cool bath. Do not use ice because it may cause skin injury. Spraying with water from a garden hose also works well."

Suggestion by a friend in the UK on keeping your Vizsla cool.

A vest called the "Swamp Cooler"
"Help your dog beat the heat with this innovative cooling vest.
Just soak it in cold water, wring it out, and fasten around your dog. Evaporative cooling (like an actual swamp cooler) exchanges the dog's heat with the coolness of the stored water in the coat to keep him comfortable and ready to run that extra mile. Auto-lock buckles on each side of the jacket provide easy on/off."

Note:  Products listed on Redbirddog are not sponsors and I have no interest in anything that I try or suggest, other than sharing knowledge and information with fellow Vizsla owners.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vizsla Stars in a Western Comedy

Annabel is great actress. Her director (owner) Brian Hedenberg is very talented. The Annabel collection can be found at:

On the right side on their website go to the second video.
                     Annabel staring in a funny western.

  Bailey's got to have  "True Grit."
True Grit (Special Collector's Edition)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dealing with Thunderstorm Phobias

"Summer is here and in addition to sunshine and summer fun comes thunderstorms.

For many dogs, thunderstorm phobias are a big problem. Changes in the barometric pressure, the loud crack of thunder, the sounds of wind and hard rain, and flashes of lightening can all cause fearful reactions. Panting, pacing, drooling, quivering, and trying to hide are some of the signs your dog has developed a fear of storms. In some cases, dogs who have no issues with storms develop a fear later in life.

There are some things you can do if your dog is thunderstorm phobic.

  1.  Maintain a cool and level head yourself. Use a cheerful voice, don’t act afraid, and don’t baby the dog.
  2. Even though you may not like your dog drooling on you and shedding large amounts of hair from stress, don’t show any signs of being upset with your dog.
  3. Reduce the sound of the storm by turning on the television or radio and moving to a room that is quiet.
  4. Try an activity that can distract your dog such as ball play or another favorite indoor activity.
  5. For many dogs who are afraid of storms, offering a safe “den like” place is a great solution. Cover the dog’s crate with a sheet, or give your dog access to a room with no windows such as a bathroom. 
You can also use a CD of thunderstorm noises to desensitize your dog to storm sounds. Finally, in extreme cases where the dog can actually get hurt, it may be necessary to talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of medication." - AKC Newsletter July 2011

Think also of "Thundershirt" as a solution.  Have not got ours yet (on order with local outlet), but the concept is excellent.

Bachelors are all dogs - Vizslas to be precise

After you start video, double click on the video to make it full size.

For all the ABC TV Bachelor fans out there. This is the Vizsla version.

A little about the video from a friend of mine who lives in Marin, just north of San Francisco, California:

"The woman (she's Hungarian) lives in Sausalito.   I've run into a few times on the trails.  She's very proud of her dogs, because they are the "real deal".  They are much bigger than our AKC standards for Vizslas.  I must say, she has beautiful dogs and I always enjoy running into her on the trails." - Cindy

(Vizsla Bloggers:  If you want to cross reference redbirddog to your blog, I'd be happy to do the same.  Vizsla blogging is a worldwide community.  Drop me a note under the comment section. Happy trails and trials - Rod)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HSUS close to winning against "breeding" in California

Soap box warning!
Vizsla lovers around the U.S.  Please understand that the Vizsla, as a pure-bred dog, is under attack here in California. 

 "Mutts Rule" is the slogan most used by PETA and HSUS. 

I never want Redbirddog to be my political "soap box."  That is another aspect of my life that I try and keep separate from my love of Bailey and Chloe and the Vizsla world community.  

"Mutts do not rule in my world!"  Healthy breeding practices should be applauded and not held in ridicule by uninformed animal rights activist.

The way it is going, I will need to show pictures of a Vizsla to my grandchildren so they can know what a Vizsla looked like.  I'd rather have them grow up around these wonderful dogs. - Rod

The notice was sent to me by Gordon and Linda Strohmeier. San Franscisco Bay Area Vizsla lovers for over thirty years.
"Alert your friends, neighbors, and co-workers!"

SB 917 was slyly passed the Assembly last night  (July 11, 2011) and is on its way to the governor’s desk!  I am sure HSUS pushed Lieu very hard to do this quickly because they know people are very upset about this bill and that opposition to it is exploding throughout California and beyond. This is HSUS’ last ditch effort to save their bill.

I just received word from Diane Amble that she has been contacted by a major television news outlet about her recent article in “American Thinker”.

 The reporter will be exposing AB 1117 and SB 917!!  Stay tuned. More to follow as news breaks about this!!!

We are doing a great job everyone! We need to keep doing what we are doing. Please follow the instructions below.

We must all contact the following people and media immediately. To oppose SB 917, we must now melt down the phone lines and fax machines at the governor’s office.

 This is make or break time folks!!

Also, for now we need to contact on these media sources. The Sacramento Bee and Aroundthecapitol are go to news venues for Jerry Brown. They need to be informed about these horrid bills and why their passage will be terrible for California .

Here is the critical contact information:

You may contact Governor Jerry Brown by :
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Or write to the  Sacramento Bee
2100 Q St., Sacramento , CA 95816
P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento , CA 95852
(916) 321-1000

Go to this link and hammer it with our opposition hard!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rattlesnake Adversion Training

Rattlesnake avoidance training was $75 per dog.  Money very well spent. 

A safe Western rattlesnake used in training

 Bailey, Chloe and I do hundreds of miles of hiking in the hills of Northern California and other western states.  We come across rattlesnakes way too often to not having this training. 

 After the 20 minutes spent with each dog, I am MUCH MORE comfortable that Bailey and Chloe not only will avoid rattlesnakes, but warn me that one is around.

The training took place yesterday afternoon in Livermore, California in a corral at a private residence.

"We did snake aversion training with Patrick Cavanaugh (now deceased) two summers ago and it paid off immediately a few days later during a walk along the Sacramento River. I was checking my dog over for foxtails when he suddenly jumped five feet sideways...At the moment he jumped I heard a sound like rattling leaves and looked down to see a coiled rattler about five feet away.  Well worth the money!" - Janet Fullwood - editor Dogtrekker

Bailey and Chloe ready for their training run
We use a four step process that is more effective than any other form out there.

We are the only ones that use a variety of rattlesnake species, specific to the particular areas in which your dog lives. Every snake has a specific odor and pattern that your dog will recognize.
* I would also like to note that all dogs "choose" the level of intensity used with the collar during training. The level is slowly increased until the dog responds, and under most conditions will not be elevated beyond that intensity. Good timing is far more important than level of correction. We do not believe in "shutting dogs down," and believe in working within the dogs quirks and needs.

Very young snake with no rattle but a scent the dogs can pick up
Trainer getting Bailey ready for his run.  15' check cord and training collar.

Mouth banded so it can not be opened.
The first step focuses on the smell. Using a low level electronic correction collar, your dog will learn to associate the smells of the snake with a negative stimulus and thus begin the aversion process.

Rattlesnake skin on a stick that had been shed. 
This puppy below did not have a good nose like a Vizsla.  It had a very hard time picking up a scent of the snake.  Bailey and Chloe picked it up right off.
Trainer trying to get the dog to acknowledge that there is a snake there.  This pup did not have a nose!

This dog shows interest and the trainer uses the training collar for aversion training

The second step focuses on the sound of the rattle, in which the same process will be used to teach your dog about the danger associated with the sound.

This is a fake rock "cage" holding a rattlesnake that rattled as dog came close.
The third step puts it all together. Your dog will be introduced to a rattlesnake that has been safely muzzled. It is during this step you dog can use all three senses to fully recognize the danger associated with the snake.
There is a snake between the trainer and dog with the owner.  Does the dog avoiding the snake on the way to its owner?  This is a final test.

The fourth and final step is the introduction of a small juvenile rattlesnake, incapable of rattling. To further drive home the association of the danger involved with the snakes.

In April of this year, we were in the Mojave Desert and came across North America's most dangerous rattlesnake: the Mojave Green.