Dog trains man

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Victims of a Hovawart Puppy Mill

This is Bamira. A young female Hovawart puppy from Poland. The future of Bamira looks pale. Will she churn out the next generations of profit for a puppy mill?

On the picture she is on her way to the notorious Danish Hovawart puppy mill known as "Hof-joy", "Hovawart-puppies.com" or just "Hovawart.dk".

Bamira was led to believe she would leave Poland and her family to join a loving Hovawart family in Denmark. But instead, she finds herself in the worst place possible a Hovawart in Denmark can be. A place where many Hovawarts have suffered before her and from where their misery is exported all over the world.

The Danish contact - let's call her "Jen" - that was involved in getting Bamira from Polen to Denmark was mislead. Now that she knows the truth behind Bamira's new "home", she tries everything in her power to get Bamira back. But Bamira has no rights. The law is not on her side, and sees her as a product with a buyer agreement. The outcome is not yet clear.

Together with the Hovawart male, the puppy mill acquired last year - also under false pretenses -, it is again an indication this puppy mill is making steps to come back in business. Business went bad, as many puppies died in the first weeks after arriving at their families and resulted in a lot of bad publicity. But even then, they have been selling. Also after they lost their membership of the Danish Kennel Club and the Danish Hovawart Club, as was confirmed by two people that bought Hovawarts with them during that period. They would like to stay anonymous so I will call them "Jenna" and "Jen", who we already introduced.

Jenna is from the US and did all she could to verify the "breeder". She asked a lot of questions concerning her upcoming dog and the parents. She also checked references. Jenna wanted to show her Hovawart and maybe breed so she needed FCI papers. But when the puppy arrived at the airport there were no papers. All her queries went unanswered, and she never received the papers.

What Jenna didn't know was that the "breeder" was ousted by the Kennel Club the year before, so FCI papers was a promise they couldn't deliver. Luckily, Jenna's Hovawart is besides an allergy problem healthy. Of course he is loved, and he is a part of the family now, although the future turned out differently then expected.

Jen from Denmark has a similar story. Unfortunately her Hovawart has mental issues, and she is getting help from good people from the Danish Hovawart Club to re-socialize him and build his confidence. And even worse is that Jen also was tricked in getting Bamira to Denmark by the owners of the puppy mill. You can understand how guilt feelings plague her, when Jen found out the place is actually a puppy mill.

Both Jen and Jenna want their stories told as a warning for future puppy buyers to avoid this "breeder". It also shows how buying a puppy overseas without actually meeting up face to face and getting access to local information is almost impossible. Phone, mail, internet and Facebook is their first and best weapon. The same goes for a breeder like Bamira's. Selling overseas is like giving up your pup, if you do not have a network in that country.Or do not chose to use it.

There are a lot of victims in this story. Bamira. Jenna and Jen. All for the profit of few.

***

Update January 16, 2013:
I had to rectify the original story where I wrote that the Polish breeder and the Polish contact were involved in trying to get Bamira out of the puppy mill. This is not the case. They have not taken any action whatsoever. The only person who is trying to get Bamira out, is "Jen", supported in her efforts of many Hovawart friends. Thanks to my Polish readers for bringing this to my attention.

***

For the latest and how you can help, visit the page Stop Danish Hovawart Puppy Mill.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Long Must We Sing This Song

Today was Bloody Tuesday.

Princess was executed in our local shelter in Copenhagen. Princess was rescued by authorities because she was abused by her owner. Doing the paperwork, rescuers were honest about Princess belonging to a banned breed. And Princess was killed today for that. By her rescuers. And they are devastated.

In Belfast, poor Lennox received his final death-sentence after 2 years of isolation. His family was denied a last visit by the judge.

Our animal cruelty really has no limits. Towards the animals, but also towards the people we appoint as their henchman and the friends they leave behind. This is the law apparently, but where is the justice?

It is so overwhelming. I can not reason, neither can I write.
There must be a way how we can stop this madness together.
But for now, all I can do is shout:
"I can't believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes
And make it go away
How long...
How long must we sing this song
How long, how long
..."



Rant out.
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Daily Excercise Prevents Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease to which also the Hovawart is prone. It was always believed due to the Hovawart's size and it's rapid growth from pup to adult, that this was one of the contributing factors why hip dysplasia could develop quicker with Hovawarts.

No Hovawart or other dog is born with hip dysplasia (HD), but genetic disposed dogs can develop HD during their life to a certain degree of severity. New research now shows that factors in the environment play a much larger role in this development of HD than expected.

Randi I. Kronveit, from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, came to this remarkable conclusion in her research. Randi followed the development of HD in 500 dogs from 4 different breeds, the Newfoundland, the Labrador, the Leonberger and the Irish Wolfhound.

Rapid growth does not increase the risk of HD

Findings from previous experiments and studies from other countries have indicated that rapid growth and a high body weight are factors that increase the likelihood of developing HD.

But Randi thinks this is not true:
"On the contrary, we found that the breed that had the slowest growth rate – the Newfoundland – had the highest incidence of HD (36%). The Irish Wolfhound had the lowest incidence of HD (10%), yet had the fastest rate of growth."

Daily exercise in the first 3 months prevents HD

Puppies born in spring or summer time, either on farms or with other ample opportunity to exercise during the first three months of their life, had a lower risk of developing HD. But moving up and down stairs is bad. Randi says:
"Overall, it would appear that daily exercise out in gently undulating terrain up until the age of three months gives a good prognosis when it comes to preventing HD."
Based on the findings of this doctoral research, preventive measures through exercise during the first 3 months have a huge impact on how HD will develop and how severe it will become. If HD in its most serious forms can be prevented, the quality of life for dogs with HD can be improved tremendously.

Randi I. Krontveit comes from Oslo. She studied mathematics at The University of Oslo and took her Cand.med.vet. degree at The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in 1998. She has held a post at NVH since 2001, where she also carried out her doctoral research.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

A Perfect Moment

Start rubbing your eyes because .... this is Viva swimming in the ocean, not Kenzo:


When you have seen our video Postcard from Kijkduin, it seemed like Kenzo was having all the beach fun, rumping around with his pals.

See how Viva is taking the opportunity to pretend she has no issues with her back, and it is merely a matter of re-discovering the "on" switch for full-throttle:


What is it that makes a beach magic for a Hovie, or any dog for that matter? Between runs, Viva found ample opportunity to harass wrestle a little with Kenzo in the freezing cool water:


We played a lot of fetch with her fav toy. Kenzo wouldn't dare to swim for that toy, it's Viva's:


And we had breaks, so Viva wouldn't overdo it, and have a sore-back-hangover the next day - which we unfortunately couldn't prevent completely:


Usually we don't take Viva with us to the beach due to all the off leash dogs. But I have to rectify the postcard. As evenings were getting longer while at the same time it was still cold, the beach was almost empty just before sundown at 9:30 pm. And since Viva is starting to behave better around dogs, I worry less if she will only meet one or two.

So there I sat. With both my wet Hovies on the beach at sundown. Their joy is contagious. What a pair they make. It made me glad Viva could join Kenzo's beach trips. It made me even more glad she joined in the way she did. A perfect moment.
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