Why structure matters for working spaniels

A lot of people, especially in the working spaniel world, look down on dog shows – they’re seen as being about appearance and, as such, an unnecessary vanity. It’s all about PERFORMANCE for working cockers, so appearance doesn’t matter! The implicit subtext is that this focus on performance is somehow morally and ethically superior – and in all honesty, once upon a time, I embraced this attitude as well.

Some thoughts on joint health and dog development

I had a conversation with someone* a few months ago about dog joints, structure, movement and breeding spaniels, and during the conversation we had a hypothesis about why there are more joint problems today. Hypothesis 1: In the past hunting spaniels like cockers and springers (in the UK) would have been removed from the geneContinue reading “Some thoughts on joint health and dog development”

The existential worry of living with and loving dogs

These are pictures taken of Nell a month before she first got sick – she looks like she is in great shape and health, or at least I had thought I had every reason to assume she was. The Saturday before her vet appointment on a Wednesday she’d done an energetic 2h walk including lotsContinue reading “The existential worry of living with and loving dogs”

Our double standards for dogs when it comes to anxiety

I never knew there was an easy option to make super stressful things less anxiety inducing for a dog – if I had, I’d taken advantage of it much earlier. Towards the end of her chemo appointments Nell was given two kinds of anxiety meds to be taken before an appointment because she needed toContinue reading “Our double standards for dogs when it comes to anxiety”

Do dogs have a right to refuse food?

There was a question on our Polish Hunting Spaniel owner group recently about what to do in a situation where a puppy/young dog is not eating their food very enthusiastically, and the owner has already tried a lot of things. I replied to the question and realised maybe the answer would be interesting for otherContinue reading “Do dogs have a right to refuse food?”

Health insights: 10 most important things to know about canine hip dysplasia

A technical but very useful article from The Institute of Canine Biology 👇 1. All puppies are born with perfectly normal hips2. The genes that cause hip dysplasia remain a mystery3. Environmental factors are also important4. Joint laxity is the primary cause of hip dysplasia5. Controlling joint stability is key6. Body weight is a MAJORContinue reading “Health insights: 10 most important things to know about canine hip dysplasia”

Reads: Interesting article on canine osteoarthritis

Interesting article looking at two sides of the story when it comes to canine osteoarthritis: owners and vets. In short, lots of assumptions on both sides which leads to miscommunication and not always the best outcome for the dog. Also, apparently a lot of times owners don’t want to accept the diagnosis and think theirContinue reading “Reads: Interesting article on canine osteoarthritis”

The complex issue of neutering dogs: a research review

Ever since we got Grace, I have been grappling with the decision of neutering. For now, we are keeping her intact but at some point in the next 2 years we need to think about it seriously so I started collecting evidence. I still haven’t read everything in detail because there is so much toContinue reading “The complex issue of neutering dogs: a research review”

Not all ball throwing is bad

Some people are really against balls for dogs and I can totally see why. Some dogs, including mine, get obsessed, a little possessive, and running after a ball can also cause injuries – something we’ve also experienced. So why do I not ban them entirely? Because they are incredibly useful for me to keep myContinue reading “Not all ball throwing is bad”