Dog treats

dog-treatsI have previously posted on this site about the value of good nutrition and dog food for hunting dogs, but that seems to have gotten lost among all the dog breed profiles I have made.

If you train your hunting dog to point, chase, kill or retrieve ANIMALS, you may get a sense that MEAT is the most ideal ingredient for your dog to eat.

So riddle me this _ WHY on god’s green earth are you feeding your dogs any grain?  You may not be, and good for you, but as 95% plus of the population feed their dogs commercial dog food you might be one of those people feeding your dog 20% meat.

I am pretty sure that the animals your dogs are trying to catch are 100% meat or meat connected product.  There is very little grain in them except for some that your dog might accidentally consume in the preys stomach.

So again if this is so, why do dog food makers make dog food with VERY cheap grain.  The answer is in the capitalized word in the last sentence.  But if you love and value your dog and its hunting ability, you know in your heart of hearts that it will do better on meat.  Why don’t you feed your dog meat as its major meal?

Well for the average dog owner, they have been brainwashed that raw meat is bad for your dog (a commercial company lie) and that grain is as good as meat.  The truth is that grain can supply some of the protein and its essential amino acids  BUT they are not as easy for your dog to digest and use – meaning that your dog works overtime trying to digest its daily meals.

People find it very convenient to feed their dog grain based pellets.  You buy it in bulk, you get it from the supermarket, if it spills on the floor there is very little mess.  Its all about making your job easy and maximizing profits for the company selling you the cheap food, at a higher price.

Why meat dog treats

So this is where I make a pitch for you giving your dog MEAT dog treats.

While meat based dog food is VERY expensive or non-existent, you can find meat based dog treats around. Not necessarily in your supermarket, but online and at good dog stores.

Inherently you know dogs have chased prey ever since they were wolves.  You know that they are geared to perform best on meat, but its hard to break habits of buying dog food in pellet form.

I get that and that is why I advocate hunters in particular hunt down meat based dog treats. Meat, offal and bones, all the stuff that animals are composted of.  If you hunt regularly and kill your own meat, and dry it safely and store it then you are well ahead of the curve. You won’t need to be buying dog treats regularly.  But I know many hunters are seasonal or just can’t get away from their day job that regularly. You can easily find local australian pet treats stores online.

If you don’t believe any of this, then use google to look for meat and dogs and nutrition. Avoid the snow job of the main dog food companies, and understand that they use splitting to make it look like there is more meat in their packs than there really is.  Look for raw feeding articles and make your own mind up ..   because hunting dogs deserve the best in dog nutrition either in dog food or via dog treats !




What is a bull arab and why hunt with them?

bull-arabYou might wonder why an American is talking about the bull arab breed built in Australia.  but if you love all the mixed breeds dogs we have talked about previously.  And you love the feist and coon dogs we in America have invented, then perhaps you will also love talking and thinking about the hunting prowess of this special purpose aussie hunter.

The one thing you will firstly find out is that there is very little American information about it, and its not a recognized AKC breed.

While this freaks some people out, you may know that many of the breeds we have today took a long time before the AKC were happy enough with breeding standards of a new breed before they were accepted.

The other thing is that the Bull arab is still breed with so many different permutations in Australia, just to get the job done, that they might have a long way to go before they become a full regular breed.

The original breed spec is believed to be attributed to “Mike Hodgens” (circa 1970s).

It was a dog  created by crossing a Bull Terrier with a German Short-haired Pointer (GSP) and a Greyhound. Later, the Bloodhound & English Pointer were added as well as a Mastiff.

Of course you will note that all of these breeds are great hunters in their own cases.  But you can also see with the original intent of the Bull arab an GSP and greyhound what they were going after.  Originally the bull terrier was used almost exclusively in Australia for pig hunting.  But some of these would go so feral with blood lust that they wrecked the pigs and endangered the hunters.  The GSP was supposed to add some size and stability, but the greyhound was an innovation.  the greyhound addition meant that you know have a dog with great eyes, that also adds speed over rough terrain to pin a pig or other big feral vermin animal down.

Greyhounds by themselves are very old breed dogs, but don’t have the weight or the robust physic to not get majorly injured when as pig tries to gore them.

You would think that the three main breeds together would form a formidable hunting dog in outback Australia but as it says adding a bloodhound for better nose in dense bush was required, The English pointer always seems like overkill to me, since it already had the GSP in it.  And again adding a mastiff while give the breed size, but will also slow it down a lot and is counter to the reason for adding a greyhound for speed.

As you can see it looks like there are many variations for the bull arab dog that have been created and will depend on the specific terrain and type of hunting that the breed is used for.  Do you want more of a pointer, a fast dog like a greyhound or a big mass like the mastiff ?

The problem for urban Australians is that during this gold rush period of experimentation, many bull arabs have been abandoned and dropped off in the southern states of Australia (far from the northern breeding grounds of the original dogs.   Like the failed experiment of wolf dogs, bull arabs come in many different sizes and temperament levels   They are not for the average urban pert enthusiast with no understanding of hunting dogs and sometimes very high prey drive.

This is a shame as many of the bull arabs are sweet dogs, that in fact have been given up because of lack of temperament for aggressive pig hunting ..  however some have gone the other way and are un-trainable.

Its a shame that in all countries around the world that dog experiments with new breeds are not more tightly regulated, resulting in better hunting dogs, and less abandoned experiments.

AustralianSilky_terrier dog

Australian Terrier dog hunting breed

AustralianSilky_terrier dogAs the name suggests, this is a dog that originated in Australia. Its pedigree goes back to 1868 Melbourne, Australia. However it was not recognized as an official breed until 1933. It is believed that the breed may be the result of up to five or more terrier breeds, however of course its lineage and breeding relationships have been closely monitored for the eighty years since recognition.

While the Australian Terriers are one of the smallest breeds of Terriers, they are also a great watchdog and can perform well in tracking animals and agility tasks at shows.

One of the more novel characteristics of the Aussie terriers coat is that it is quite rough and weatherproof. It usually hangs 5 to 10 cm from the body and comes in the colours of red, sandy, dark / silvery blue.

Like most terriers, the Australian terrier is energetic and playful, often considered as a big dog in a small dog’s body. Tenaciousness and affection in equal quantities, and easily trained (more than almost any other terrier) and good at learning tricks. However they need solid discipline due to their self reliant nature, and hunting origins.

Australian Terrier sizes: 23-28 cm, weight 4-6 Kg.

Australian Terrier Grooming: The non shedding stiff long coat is very low maintenance and does not require clipping. Because it is waterproof, there is a tough wiry outer coat, and a much softer undercoat. Brushing twice a week keeps this coat in good condition, just be wary of tangles in the undercoat that if left untended may need to be cut out.

Judges and people in general usually consider a good looking coat to be a result of how strong its luster is. While brushing increases the natural oils in the Aussie Terrier’s coat, washing more than once a month can strip these and make the coat dull. Be sure to brush the coat while it dries to avoid tangles. Feeding your dog the required dose of Omega 3, or fish can help in maintaining a shiny healthy coat.

It is also suggested that you trim hair from around the face as required by either scissors or an electric trimmer and you may consider plucking the coat to thin it out every three months or so.

While this is a low shedding, friendly low maintenance dog, it still has high exercise requirements.  If not walked daily and socialized, its propensity to chase other dogs can turn into higher aggression levels that considered polite in the dog park.

american hairless dog

American Hairless Terrier hunting dog

american hairless dogIs one of the newest dog breeds out there. They originated from a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972 by a couple of American breeders the ‘Scotts’ from Louisiana, America. This first hairless rat terrier gave subsequent birth to two other pups and so on, Hence the general body shape and behavior are very similar to the medium-sized Rat Terriers, but of course sans hair. American Hairless Terriers have pink skin with spots in a variety of colors

These dogs are known to be smart, playful and affectionate dogs. This behaviour extends to the whole family including children. The unique thing about the American hairless terrier is that it is one of the few dogs that actually sweat when scared or over heated. Their origin also means that they can fall into guarding characteristics which is great as a watch dog, but not so good around food and toys, if not trained correctly.

Good watchdogs, bad swimmers (ie can drown if not supervised). Being originally a ratter, their nature is alert and persistent, particularly when hunting. However due to the lack of hair, this breed can sustain injuries more than other dogs.

American Hairless Terrier size: This courageous dog is only 18-41 cm tall and 2.5 to 7 kg in weight.

It should be noted that the regular protection afforded to all hairless dogs should be used. That is sunscreen, or dog coats (in summer and winter) to stop either exposure to the sun and cold.

American Hairless Terrier Grooming: The lack of hair of course makes these dogs very good for people with allergies, however there is the chance that the terriers will have rashes or cuts from playing.

One unusual grooming requirement is that they should be bathed two to three times a week. While dogs with good coats are often bathed infrequently so as not to strip oils from their hair, these dogs sweat and need to keep their skin clean to stop rashes or infections. Cuts should be attended to immediately with hydrogen peroxide or antiseptic liquid. They also have fast growing nails (common to the rat terriers) than unless the dogs are walked very regularly on abrasive material, while need nail clipping every week or fortnight.

While they do not have hair, they do drop skin cells every three weeks or so, which means a small amount of dander to contend with.

So for allergy suffers, this may appear as the ideal dog. And as long as you are able to protect their skin you will have a small, happy courageous family dog.

affenpinscher dog

affenpinscher as a hunting dog

affenpinscher dogThis dog isnt well known as a hunting dog, because it is cute and small.  In fact most people buy this dog because it is non shedding .  But it is very advisable to pick a dog with a suitable temperament for your circumstances. The following information is only a guide, but remember all dogs require walking, grooming, discipline and affection.

Many people pick dogs purely on their look but that may get you a highly inappropriate dog for your circumstances. It is highly recommended that temperament, overall size and the grooming regime required are strongly considered in any selection. Non shedding dogs often involve a higher grooming requirement, even if your dog is  just going to be a companion dog.

The affenpinscher shows hunting terrier dog like behavior

The affenpinscher means “monkey terrier” in German, because its face does have a slight monkey resemblance. It also has long hair on its face compared to its body hair which gives a distinctive, if not comical look. It is a considerably rugged dog that is terrier like in behavior. While they have a playful streak, they can be stubborn and very assertive. So they can switch between fun mode and highly protective modes with ease making them a good small watch-dog.

This means that the affenpinscher needs regular training and you will need to assert yourself as the pack leader, otherwise recall and other dominance issues can become an issue. So unless you consider yourself to be an expert trainer, and can spend considerable time training these little guys, you may not want to keep them near little children.

While a considerably friendly dog, a lack of discipline can lead to the affenpinscher food and toy guarding, and challenging much larger dogs and causing further problems around the home. Again, this is not its normal nature, but one that can occur without correct discipline and boundary setting.

Affenpinscher size: The height range is 25-38 cm and weight from 3-3.5 Kg. So as you can imagine with these statistics they tend to be quite a small but stocky animal.

Affenpinscher Grooming:  NEVER, ever clip the coat short, as it can take several years to fully recover. That said, grooming is comparatively simple as the harsh dense wiry coat only needs a weekly comb and/ or plucking. Their coats come in the following colours: black, tan, black & tan, red, silver, and gray. You may need to tidy up the hair around the dog’s eyes/ mouth and years to stop skin irritation.

So while grooming is comparatively easy compared to many other non shedding dogs, being aware of their courageous and sometimes misguided protection capabilities should always be kept in mind before a purchase decision is made.


Border terrier hunting dog that is close to its roots

border_terrierThe border terrier was one of the more common terriers but now is often quite rare in many countries.

Border terrier

This is one of the largest small breed dogs. Its history dates back to the border town of Cheviot Hills between Scotland and England where it drove foxes out of dens for farmers to eradicate. The AKC only recognized the breed in 1930.

The Border terrier’s size made them able to follow foxes into dens but also run long distances on the farms. Besides  foxes the border terrier were trained for hunting otters, marten, badger, mice and rats.

So it should be noted that while these dogs make great companion animals, they can have a very large exercise requirement, and a strong hunting instinct.

Its history makes this dog very alert ,agile and bold. They also play well with children and are affectionate and easy to train.

They make an excellent  watch dog and will bark but are now generally not aggressive. Daily socialization off lead with other dogs is the key to keeping these dogs friendly. These dogs are good at digging so you will need to fortify your fences.

If raised with cats, they can get along well with them, but anything smaller is considered fair game.

Border terrier sizes: 31-41 cm tall, 6-7 kg weight.

Border terrier grooming: Considered low maintenance, this low shedding wiry coat only needs brushing once or twice a week  with clipping twice a year. Bathing should be only on an as needed basis to maintain coat oils.

Conclusion. As with all working dogs, these dogs should be owned only by dedicated trainers. They can learn great tricks and are very active but training should never stop. It can be difficult to suppress their natural hunting instinct and lack of exercise and socialization can make them a dominant, digging dog.



Bolognese hunting dog relative to the bichon Frise and Havanese

dogBolognese  ( Bichon Bolognese)

These dogs are stocky compact, white and fluffy, like the Bichon Frise. They are a healthy breed with no major medical issues and in fact are related to the bichon Frise and the Havanese dog breeds.

Unlike the bichon frise relative, the bichon Bolognese are VERY serious in nature but low energy, docile dogs. This means that they can also initially be more shy with strangers.

They are known to be outgoing (when they feel protected), playful and happy dogs. This will of course depend on how well they are socialised when they are small and how regularly they are walked off lead and allowed to play with other dogs.

While potentially a great family dog, poor training skills of the general public suggests that this dog will do better in an environment without very young children.

Bichon Bolognese size: 25 – 30 cm tall and 2.5kg to 4 kg weight.

Bichon Bolognese grooming: While the coat is not complex, it needs to have daily brushings to avoid tangles.

The key tings to success with these low shedding dogs is daily extended off lead walks, and discipline. They can do OK in small apartments as long as they get regularly off lead social times with other dogs.

Without proper socialization and training, their docile temperament and heavy owner devotion can turn into barks and howls.

Bichon Frise once a fierce hunting dog

bichon friseThis article looks at the a small companion dog often just thought of as a lap dog.  Always remember that temperament and grooming regime are very important for the health of long haired dogs like the bichon !

Bichon Frise

The bichon frise (meaning ‘curly lap dog’ in French) has a very old origin as far back as the 13th century. It is the culmination of a Poodle and a Barbet Water Spaniel. While it has a long and colorful history, in modern times it is considered a companion dog and show dog. Its looks are often mistaken for a Maltese terrier.

While its appearance (cuteness factor) means that is often selected by woman as a companion dog, its history suggests that it has a much greater potential. It is known to be intelligent, independent and affectionate. But rather than being a couch dog, given the chance the breed is bold and quite alert.

It is also known to be one of the happiest dogs around, but craves human companionship, which can lead to separation anxiety if not trained correctly. It makes a perfect family dog, and will expect to be taken on all social outgoings – which is fine as it gets along with all manner of people and dogs.

Bichon Frise size: These little fellows only grow to 23-30 cm and weigh only 3-5 kg.

Bichon Frise Grooming. Mostly owners either let the dog grow its coat into a natural round fluffy appearance or give it a traditional poodle cut.

It is recommended that its coat is groomed regularly 4-6 weeks for cuts, and bathed monthly to maintain coat oils. The bichon frise is also quite susceptible to flea bites, so maintaining a preventative parasite schedule is vital.

Maintain hair clearance around the eyes and ears as required. Clean eyes regularly to reduce the chance of infection. It has very low shedding.

It must be remembered that while it is a small fluffy friendly dog, that like all other dogs, regular walking, discipline and then affection are what will keep it friendly and happy. If its needs are not met, it can be known to whine, cry and bark.

chacy ranior

Chacy Ranior or schichon not so much a hunter any more

chacy raniorChacy Ranior (schichon)

The Chacy Ranior was known as the schichon up until 2005.

It is developed from many breeds: Bichon FriseHavanese, Lhasa ApsoMaltesePoodle, Shih-TzuYorkshire TerrierMiniature Schnauzer.

As you can see it is usually considered a cute fluffy dog. Its personality traits are that it is stable, playful, alert, smart and curious. As long as they are trained and exercised they make an excellent family pet. Like many small dogs, they will soon try an take over the leadership role in the house if not trained, and will end up with small dog syndrome (dominance, barking, food guarding etc).

There speed and agility has made them rank high in agility trials.

Its intelligence and other aspects means that they only respond to positive reward training – not negative or physical abuse. If handled harshly they can become aggressive or withdrawn. Without proper training they can also become nuisance barkers, which is originally intended to alert owners to threats of property.

They love to play and are very active requiring considerable exercise.

Chacy Ranior sizes: Height 23-31 cm, weight 7-9 Kg

Chacy Ranior grooming: The Chacy Ranior (schichon) has a soft dense outer coat and an insulating undercoat. They come in one of the most extensive range of dog colours: tan, , black and tan, liver, liver & white, apricot, white, black, brindle.

Like many non shedding dogs, the Chancy Ranior requires regular grooming. If you are not showing the dog, it is recommended to clip them short for easier maintenance of their coat that can easily become matted. They shed very little hair and are hypo allergenic.

cairn terrier ulitimate ratter

Cairn Terrier an old dog with strong hunting instincts

cairn terrier ulitimate ratterCairn Terrier  Hunting Dog

Originally from Scotland highlands as far back as the 16th century has a very similar look to the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. In fact these two breeds plus the skye terrier (all non shedding dogs) are all likely to have contributed to the gene pool of the Cairn Terrier. Only by the 1900’s was the Cairn Terrier officially recognized as a unique breed. They are named after piles of small stones that were used to mark graves and Scottish farm borders. The reason being that they were tasked with the job of keeping these stones vermin free.

In appearance the Cairn Terrier looks like a hardy wiry dog with a fox like face.  It has a compact body with strong bones. It has similar characteristics to many terriers: loyalty, hardiness, curious and friendly. Also like other terriers they are great with children, as long as their owners train and discipline them correctly. Because of the hunting nature of these dogs, daily exercise is mandatory to get the best health and socialization from them. Cairn Terriers can also quickly gain weight, so a strict diet and exercise regime makes sense.

If bored these ratters can do plenty of destructive digging and barking – so it is wise to re-direct their boundless energy into performing tricks and playing with other energetic dogs. You will have to be particularly strong around any areas where they may find the scent of rabbits or other vermin as their chase orientation often overrides any training you may have applied.

Cairn Terrier sizes: 25- 33 cm, 6-8 Kg

 Cairn Terrier Grooming: These dogs have a strong shaggy wiry coat that needs several brushes minimum per week to avoid tangles. If you regularly brush, it will be much easier to de-tangle the soft undercoat.

The Cairn Terrier’s thick double coat consists of a shaggy outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat that maintains body temperature in cold climates. The coat can be colored: brindle, black, sand, or grey.

To maintain oils, bathing is recommended only once a month, followed immediately with brushing before the coat dries. Maintaining shorter hair around the eyes and ears is recommended as is monthly nail trimming.