Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BISS/DC/AFC Dunkees Justa Hole N One CD MH UT

In the 5 yrs since I got Bump, I learned a lot about the breed, and even more about what is expected of a German Wirehaired Pointer. I'll expand on that another time. I wasn't a total novice anymore when it came to showing a dog, or running in field trials. Not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I had learned some hard lessons. This time I was going to do things right.

When Putter was old enough (6 mos. old) I began running him in puppy stakes at local trials. He liked birds, and hunted pretty well, but just wasn't quite enough dog to bring home the blue ribbons. Sometime around his 1st birthday, the light came on and he turned on! Putter started to place at the trials and he earned his puppy and his Derby points.

We began showing him around the same time, and he did ok. I wasn't a very good GWP groomer and didn't understand about stripping Wire coats. I'm afraid he probably looked like quite a mess in the ring most of the time. But the judges saw something they liked and he finshed his show CH before he was two yrs. old.

Enough folks had encouraged me to continue with Putters field training, so we sent him off to Denes Burjan, a pro trainer in Flemington NJ. Denes worked with both Putter and I, teaching us both about field trials and how to do well in them. Putter was a good student, an easy to teach dog who truly wanted to do things your way. He was cooperative, easy to live with, and truly was my best buddy.

My 1st Dual Champion
Ever since my first field trial, my goal was to have a Dual Champion. That is a dog who is a show CH and a Field CH. Not an easy goal, and there were darn few GWP Dual Ch's at that time. In March of 1989, Putter achieved that goal for me. He was now Dual Champion/ Amateur Field CH Dunkees Justa Hole N One! The icing on the cake was that he finished both his Open and Amateur Field Championship on the same day. The 26th GWP Dual Champion.

Putt continued to show he was a good all around GWP by completing his Master Hunter title in November 1989, his CD title in June 1990 and became only the 2nd DC of any breed to complete a NAVHDA UT title. (The first was DC Cascade Rogue, owned by Ray and Lynn Calkins of Portland OR. )

In 1991 Putter was named The Amateur Shooting Dog of the Year by the Association of Field Trial Clubs of New Jersey, the 1st GWP to ever receive that honor. All during this time we showed him as a Special here and there and he won a fair share of Best of Breed awards. The pinnacle of his show career came in 1991 when he won the Del Val GWP Specialty show and went on to a Group 2 award. Now Putter was the only Group placing GWP in history!

We continued to run Putter in the trials, and took him to the GWP National Championships. He was Runner Up in the GWPCA National Championship in 1992 held in Sunnyside WA. Not bad for a dog from PA! Neither Putter nor I had ever seen that type of country before, so it was an impressive feat for us both. After that he placed in almost every Championship he ran in.

Putter was a good, solid stud dog as well. Bred 9 times, he produced the following titles'
  • 10 Champions
  • 1 Dual Champion
  • 1 Field Champion
  • 2 Amateur Field Champions
  • 1 National Amateur Field Champion
  • 4 Master Hunters
  • 4 Senior Hunters
  • 8 Junior Hunters

Putter died at the ripe old age of 14 yrs old. To this day I miss having his head in my lap, but his kids have done us all proud. It's unfortunate that we didn't get any frozen semen on Putter all of his get were from live breedings.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Development of the German Wirehaired Pointer

Just what is a German Wirehaired Pointer made of?
The German Wirehaired Pointer (Deutsch-Drahthaar) was developed in Germany in the late 1800’s by sportsman looking to produce a breed that could do it all. At that time, there were many groups trying to develop this “supreme” hunting dog and as you will see when you read the history of our foundation breeds, most thought their particular breeds fit that bill.

The Goal
The goal of this particular group of breeders was to produce a dog that could find and point game, as well as retrieve the wounded and killed. It must work the thickets on command, track and trail as well as retrieve in water. The dogs, with appropriate training, must work equally well with game birds, rabbits, fox, deer and boar. They wanted a dog calm in disposition, but brave in the face of diversity. They had to be good family companions, but would guard the home and bounty of the family. They had to retrieve gently , but be willing to dispatch vermin if asked to. They had to have the drive necessary to independently search the marshes for a wounded goose, but work closely to the gun in the heavy forests.

This group decided to use whatever breeds they thought would contribute to the final product and their motto was,
At that time there were many “rough coated” breeds, and each filled a niche in the hunting dog world. Apparently this group knew their final product should be rough coated, since most of the breeds they used carried a wire coat. But they also used a smooth coated breed for it’s working abilities. The breeders kept records of the dogs used to produce each litter, and even today you will find references to the “motherlines” or what breed the parents lineage came from. The motherlines for both sires and dam are given in the VDD (Verin Deutsch Drahthaar, the German Breed Club) Stud Dog Catalog. A quick review for 1999 shows the following breakdown; DK (Shorthair) 30 / St (Stichelhaar) 23/ PP (Pudelpointer) 59/Unbekannt (unknown) 2.

A Little of This, a Little of That...
This practice of “cross breeding” continued well into the 20th Century and still affects the GWP today. There are lines that resemble Griffons, lines that resemble the Pudelpointer and lines that produce the smooth coat similar to the GSP. As breeders, we must remember the heritage of the GWP and not be surprised when some of these foundation breeds pop up in our litters. However, there is a difference in acknowledging that these breed will influence what is produced today and using this as an excuse to produce puppies that do not conform to the standard for the German Wirehaired Pointer.

The various breeds that were used, (and probably individuals within those breeds) were chosen for certain traits; coat, tracking ability, temperament, water love, braveness, pointing etc..
  • The Griffon was chosen for it calmness and water love
  • The Stichelhaar for bravery and tracking abilities.
  • The Pudelpointer for the abilities of the Pointer as well as the high degree of intelligence and sporting abilities of the Poodle.
  • The German Shorthaired Pointer (Deutsch Kurzhaar) to intensify the pointing instincts.
  • All of these breeds brought desirable coat characteristics.
As you read the history of the foundation breeds, you start to realize how many different breeds of dogs are included in the genetics of the GWP. And remember, many of these breeds were still being used well into the 50’s and 60’s and maybe even more recently.

The Goal is Reached
The fight for recognition of the Duetche Drahthaar in Germany was hard and long, and not until 1928, (after the breed had held the leading position in registrations for sporting dogs) did the Deutsch Drahthaar gain membership in the German Kartell for dogs. It was finally commonly recognized that the breed had reached its’ goal to develop a rough-coated sporting dog that answered the sportsman’s all -around demands.

The first Wirehairs were brought to this country in the early 1920’s. However, it was not until after World War II that the breed achieved any degree of popularity here. Many American servicemen had seen the dogs perform in the field in Europe. They were obviously pleased with what they had seen, for many of them made arrangements to have dogs brought to the United States. A breed club was formed by a group of 10 Chicagoans in 1950 and the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1959 as the German Wirehaired Pointer.

Today the German Wirehaired Pointers main job is still that of an “all around hunting dog”. The majority of the breed will never step foot into a show ring or compete in any organized field event. This is still the breed for the sportsman who wants a dog with abilities as varied as the game they may hunt. When observing a group of GWP’s one should keep in mind they jobs they are asked to perform - they must have strength in thier movement to allow them to cover uneven ground for hours on end; the skin should be tight to the body to resist tearing in thick woods and briars; their coat should be long, harsh and dense enough to shed water but not so long to catch burrs and sticks. The eye should not be saggy to allow seeds to accumulate. Their temperment should be brave and upstanding, unafraid, but not aggresive.

The GWP is a wonderful companion for those who have the time (and sense of humor) to train and entertain them. The breeds strong willed nature, high energy level and willingness and ability to think for itself makes it quite a challenge for the weak of heart or for those who cannot bring themselves to discipline a cute fuzzy faced puppy.

The Foundation Breeds

The Pudelpointer
The first cross of the Pudel and an English Pointer to establish the new breed took place in Germany in 1881. The sire was “Tell”, an English Pointer belonging to Kaiser Frederick III, the dam was a German Hunting Pudel bitch “Molly”, owned by Hegewald, a famous Teutonic author on the subject of hunting dogs.

The idea behind this breeding was to combine the outstanding natural working abilities of the two great specialists in one dog: The intelligence, water love, retrieving instinct, easy trainability and willingness to please, wrapped into the protective coat of the Pudel with the unending desire to hunt, birdiness, pointing instinct, field nose and endurance of the English Pointer.

Since the Pudel proved to be the stronger breed in passing its genes, many more Pointers were introduced into the breeding program to arrive at the breed, as it is known today. During the first 30 years, only 11 Pudels were used against well over 80 Pointers. From then on, only occasional re-introductions of Pointers were undertaken, especially after the two World Wars severely depleted the breeding stock.

The Pudelpointer in its home country Germany, has always ranked among the finest performers in tests and in the field, and is sought by those who enjoy and value a dog with desire and drive. The breed is medium sized, between 22 and 26 inches at the shoulder and weighs anywhere from 45 to 70 lbs. Pudelpointers are predominantly solid in color, from dark brown to the color of autumn leaves, and occasionally black. The ideal coat is harsh, wiry and dense.

The first Pudelpointers were brought into North America in 1956 and the Pudelpointer Club of North America was founded in in 1977 .A sound temperament, as well as a style pleasing to the eye, makes the Pudelpointer a great companion both in the field and the home. They take to training easily, despite their desire and drive.

The Stichelhaar

The Stichelhaar predates the German Wirehair (DD) by 30-50 years. The dog is similar in size but the coat is a bit longer and should be very hard in texture, more so than the DD. The breed was primarily used in the forest and water where it excels. Hr. Harms sees the major difference between the Stichelhaar and the DD being one of temperament, the Stichelhaar being much calmer. This said, the dogs should be very aggressive on wild game such as wild pig, fox, etc. Dogs used for hunting in the forest must be able to lay quietly while game comes and goes in close proximity to the hunter without whining, barking, etc.

The yearly production in Germany of this bred is 50-60. According to Hr. Harms, typically a stud dog may be used only once a year in an effort to keep any one breeding line for taking over the small genepool. The largest number of dogs may be in Czechoslovakia, where 500 puppies are produced each year.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Although notations to Griffon history can be found which date back to 1545, development of the current day Wirehaired Pointing Griffon began in earnest in the Netherlands in 1873 by young Dutch sportsman and avid hunter by thename of Eduard Karel Korthals (1851-1896). The son of a wealthy banker and cattle breeder in Schooten (near Haarlem, in The Netherlands), Korthals endeavored to create what he considered the ultimate walking hunter’s gun dog.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, or “Korthals’ Griffon” as it was then known, remains so named in many other parts of the world today. The Griff was developed as a hardy, all-terrain close-working hunting dog, working in the polders; the marshy low-lying ground of the Netherlands. Very little, if anything, has changed in the purebred Griffon since Dr. E.B. Ilyus, the first secretary of the G.C.A. wrote in 1917; “The chief characteristics in which the griffon excels, and is superior over setters and pointers, are his ready adaptability to all species of game, all climates, and all varieties of terrain, his exquisite nose, wonderful vitality and endurance, and the pronounced instinct which makes him the easiest of all dogs to train on game. As a retriever he has, in my opinion, no superior, and being very intelligent and affectionate, he makes an ideal man’s companion.”

Korthals purchased his foundation bitch for this project, “Mouche,” in 1874. She was an adult brown and gray “Griffon*” with an excellent nose, and a reputation forbeing an exceptionally good hunter in a variety of terrains. Shortly thereafter, Korthals purchased Janus, Satan, Banco, Hector, and Junon. It is said that Janus’ coat was woolly, Junon’s was fairly short, and the others had a rough, wire coat. Mouche was bred to Janus, which produced Trouvee; a bitch with a better coat than all of her predecessors. Trouvee was then bred to Banco, which produced Moustache I, Lina, and Querida. These dogs are considered to be the primary progenitors of today’s Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, and are referred to as the “Korthals Patriarchs.” In the book “Livre des Origines du Griffon a Poil Dur,” the ancestry of the true Griffons was traced to an ancient breed called the “Griffon Hound,” and referred to at least one cross with a “Pointer.” (different sources speculate either Braque Français or German Shorthaired Pointer.) Other sources feel that contributors to the background of the Korthals Patriarchs included the Spaniel, Otterhound, French Barbet (a water retriever) and a Setter. In truth, there have been several breeds referred to as “Griffons” or having “Griffon type” for several hundred years. The definitive answer may be lost in history.

Note that in historical Europe, many different breeds of dogs who had facialfurnishings and wire coats were referred to simply as “Griffons.” This is a description of “type” and not to be confused with one specific breed of dog. There are many breeds today which are still referred to as “Griffons;” Griffon d’arrêt à poil dur (Korthals, Französischer Rauhhaariger Vorstehhund, French Wire-haired Pointing Griffon, Grifón de muestra de pelo duro), Griffon à poil laineux, (Griffon Boulet, Französischer Wollhaariger Griffon, French Woolly-haired Pointing Griffon, Grifón de muestra de pelo lanoso, Francés, Spinone Italiano, Chien d’arrêt Italien à poil dur, Italienischer Rauhhaariger Vorstehhund, Italian Wire-haired Pointing Dog, Perro de muestra Italiano de pelo duro, Cesky Fousek (Barbu tchèque, Böhmisch Rauhbart, Bohemian Wire-haired Pointing Griffon, Grif¢n de muestra Bohemio de pelo duro) can ALL be correctly referred to as “Griffons” but are, in fact, separate breeds!

The Griffon is a very people oriented dog known for its trainability and high degree of cooperation.

The breed standard calls for the head to be square, with a round eye that is yellow to brown in color. Their coat color is “steel grey” (a mix of liver and white) has abundent undercoat which is lighter in color than the guard hairs. This undercoat gives the breed an unkept appearance and is longer and more standoffish than the GWP’s. The texture should be harsh and coarse, but probably is not as harsh as a good GWP coat. Size is 22-24 inches for dogs, 20-22 for bitches, in general a bit shorter than the GWP. However, if viewed side by side, the Griffon will appear bulkier and more compact.

The German Shorthaired Pointer (Deutsch Kurzhaar)
The German Shorthaired Pointer combines in field-dog requirements those qualities which have long popularized the various breeds of hunting dogs. So successfully have keen scenting powers, linked with high intelligence, been fused into the breed through judicious crossing of the descendants of the old Spanish Pointer, English Foxhound, and local German tracking hounds, and so varied are this dog’s field accomplishments, that its adaptability has earned it the reputation of being an all-purpose dog.

The origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer, as indeed with most breeds, cannot be described precisely. Prior to the establishment of the Klub Kurzhaar stud book in the 1870s, few records are available, though the German hunting fraternity had already spent many years in attempting to produce a truly versatile utility dog-of-all-work, using of necessity the stock that was locally available. The main source of basic foundation stock seems to have been the German Bird Dog, a not very admirable step down by inheritance from the old Spanish Pointer. Its utility was further improved by introducing local types of scent hounds—track and trail dogs, that were also dependable in water and that were used by the German foresters. These Schweisshunde (Schweiss —scent; Hunde —dogs) were of many and diverse types. They had originated principally down through the centuries from the hounds introduced from Eastern countries after the Crusades, and had been developed particularly in France, so that they became the forebears of practically all present-day scenting hounds.

The Germans still were not satisfied. Since obedience was of paramount importance,these early dogs were selectively bred for bidability. Steps were taken later to improve stance, style, and, above all, nose. Fine Pointers were brought from England and were used to lend elegance to the manner of working—die hohe nase (the high nose) being the major aim. This was accomplished, and the breeders then had only the problem of ridding their developing Kurzhaar of its unwanted Pointer characteristics— aversion to water and lack of aggressiveness toward predators. These objectives were achieved long before the turn of the century.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sticky Times with Wires

Demi- The German Sticky Haired Pointer!

Life with this breed is never boring. They can find more things to do, more trouble to get into than one could imagine. 

Last night we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm blow through our neck of the woods. I knew it was coming, so I closed up the kennel, turned on the air conditioner (it was dang hot here) and cranked up the radio to LOUD! I figured all of this would keep the dogs quiet and calm. 

My daily routine is to head out around 8 am every morning to start the day in the kennel. I was bit late this particular morning, and got out there around 8:30. The moment I got near the front door, I knew I was not going to be happy. Demi was there, front feet up and the door and looking out the window. Not a good sign of things to come. 

There she was all happy to see me, surrounded by 40 lbs of dog food scattered all over the floor, the kennel welcome table upside down, the cushion from the couch in a million pieces, stuffed toys scattered all over the place, and black sticky stuff everywhere! 

Apparently the booming thunder and blinding lightning the night before was more than she could handle and she wanted out of the kennel, and into the house. In her apparent unhappy state, Demi found her way into a storage area where we had a bag of asphalt waiting to patch the kennel floor. That bag of asphalt was now everywhere, except in that bag! If I hadn't been so dang mad, I would have thought to get the camera for some pictures of the carnage. Some day I would have found this all pretty funny. 

My morning routine was a bit out of whack now since I had to figure out how to clean this mess up. Picking up the big hunks of stuff wasn't bad, but have you ever tried to shovel, sweep or remove 20 lbs of asphalt from walls, floors, couches and blankets? Not easy.  Luckily, with a cool head I took Ms. Demi "gently" by the collar and put her back into her run. I think she was safer there, then anywhere near me! I didn't really look at her.......didn't want to look at her!

So for the next hour and a half, I swept, shoveled, picked up and scraped asphalt off of everything, threw away 6 couch blankets that were full of the stuff, and tried to salvage some of the 40 lbs. of very expensive dog food.  My shoes were also tossed into the trash by the time I finished. All back to normal. 

Later in the day I let all the dogs out for a romp in the yard and noticed Demi looked a bit, well, odd. Called her to me and found the dang dog was also covered with asphalt!!!!! Black, sticky, gooey asphalt! Oh great.  For the next hour we scrubbed, plucked, pulled, cut, brushed and combed chunks of goo out of her coat. 

I did learn that normal soap doesn't do anything for asphalt. The only thing I found that seemed to work was straight pine oil, poured directly onto the dog, rubbed in well, then rinsed, rinsed, rinsed and rinsed! She lived through it all.... but trust me, next time she may not!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grooming your German Wirehair Pointer

Grooming the GWP
One of the most common questions I receive concerns the grooming needs of a Wirehair. It can be a daunting task, or at least feel like it, but in reality, keeping your GWP looking good shouldn't be that difficult. There are some tricks and tips, some tools, and timing issues that make it all so much easier.

Every Wirehair needs a couple of things done on a regular basis to keep them in good shape.
  • Clean their ears- get some cotton swabs and wipe down the inside of the ear leather and check the ear canal to make sure they are clean. Any brown debris, redness or foul smell are signs of problems. If you notice your dog shaking his head, or scratching his ears you may have an infection starting. Probably time for a vet visit.
  • Clip or grind their nails- Wires have very strong nails, never allow them to get too long. Start them as young puppies and get them used to having their feet handled and nails trimmed. I find trimming much easier if I use a dremel grinder. This is quick, and easier than clippers. Just be careful not to grind too short, or keep the grinder on the nail for too long. Heat can build up and this will make your dog hate having his nails done.
  • Check between their pads for foreign objects- I've found some truly interesting things in between the toes of my guys. Seeds, weeds, grass, stickers and gum. An embedded foreign object can cause major problems, so check often.
  • Bathing- Most Wirehairs rarely need a full bath. The harshness of their coats tend to shed dirt rather easily. Most times even the muddiest dog will come fairly clean if you will let them dry and then give them a good brushing. For the really dirty, stinky dog (and face it, most Wirehairs can find the most disgusting things to roll in!) when you decide to bathe them, use a shampoo made for Wire coated breeds. It does make difference to the texture of the coat after a bath. Make sure you rinse well!!!

Help! My German Wirehairs hair is out of control!
All Wirehaired coats need to be removed from time to time, this is what we call "Stripping" or removing the dead coat so new coat can grow in. The old, dead coat is "stripped", or pulled from the body, making room for a new hair to grow back in.
Different coat types (shorter, longer, softer or harsher) will require stripping at different times and this will depend on several factors. Most GWP's will need a good stripping in the spring and again in the fall. This is the time of the year when they will lose their winter coats (or summer coats) and get ready for the new season. If you don't keep up with their coats throughout the year (which by the way is the easiest way to do it) you will need to get to work before they become a shaggy mess.

Photo above shows a blown coat, ready to for stripping.

You may notice your dog is becoming very shaggy looking, their hair will look "clumpy" and they will feel and look dirty. No matter how much you brush them, they still look very unkept. This is a good sign that they are in need of a good stripping. Or, you may notice your dogs lovely dark liver hairs are turning blonde or red, a sure sign that thier coat is on it's way out.

So, go get your grooming table, your tools and let's get at em!

Puppies, darn it aren't they cute!
All puppies come with puppy coats! In our breed that coat should feel harsh when they are very young, but it's still a puppy coat. This coat will begin to change when they are around 5-6 months old when they will begin to shed out that puppy hair and their adult coat will begin to come in. Most young Wires will have fairly harsh coats right down the middle of their backs and at the base of their tails and this will begin to spread over the rest of their bodies as they mature. If you begin to remove the puppy fuzzies as soon as he gets to his new home, you will be one step ahead of the grooming game.

Start this grooming process after they have had a good romp and are tired. If you can get them to lie quietly on your lap or on a grooming table, life will be much more pleasant for you both. Once you have the puppy quiet and relaxed, stretch his skin with one hand, rub backwards against his coat and look for long hairs or soft fluffy hairs standing up and away from the body. Grasp just a bit of this hair and pull it gently toward you. Just work all over the puppy pulling a bit here and there, don't get crazy at first, we just want him to get used to being worked on. If you will be diligent about this grooming on a weekly basis your puppy will not only look good, but will get used to having you touching him all over and will come to enjoy the attention.

When working around the head and mouth at this age, work gently and slowly. At this age puppies begin to lose their puppy teeth and their gums will be sore. Remember, we don't want to cause any discomfort, we want this to be enjoyable.

Advanced Coat Care (Or how to become a Stripper!)
Stripping isn't a difficult task to learn, but it does take some patience and does take some time. What exactly is stripping a coat? Let's talk just a bit about what makes a wire coat in the first place.

This breed has what we call a double coat. Close to their body they have a soft undercoat which insulates the skin from both heat and cold. Some have very thick, very fluffy undercoats and this must be removed so the outer coat can lie flat. We use a special tool for this, an undercoat knife. One brand is made by Hauptner and this works well. Just rake through the coat and the dead undercoat will come out. Be careful not to rake to roughly as you can cut the dog if you are not careful.

The outer coat consists of strong, straight, stiff hairs which are longer (or should be) than the short, soft undercoat. Wire coats don't shed like a Lab, Shepard or even a Pointer. The coarse outer hair will grow to it's genetic length and then simply die. Dead as a doornail it will be, and it won't fall out. It just stays there until it is removed. There are several ways for that dead hair to get removed- it can be pulled out when the dog is running through the field, or with a tool (knife,comb or brush) or it can be removed by stripping.

The Easy Coat
A dog with a truly great coat will need little in the way of grooming. This coat is naturally hard, stiff and flat lying. Generally the head and ears are covered with short, but harsh hairs. A good stiff bristle brush, a medium tooth steel comb and your fingers are all you will need to keep this dog looking neat and clean. This type of coat will probably shed more than a longer coat, but the upkeep is pretty easy. Give this dog a good brushing, comb thru the eyebrows and beard once a week or so, and presto....all done. Now and then, brush the coat against the grain and grasp the long hairs at their tips with your fingers, they should come out very easily. Always pull the hairs in the direction they grow!

The Longer Coat
If your GWP has a longer coat, but still good and harsh, you will need to learn the art of hand stripping. NEVER clip your GWP!! Doing so will turn a decent harsh coat into a soft matted mess in no time flat. Clipping a wire coat might seem the easy path now, but in the long run, you will regret your decision. The clippered coat will collect dirt, burrs and will mat and tangle very easily. A clippered coat will lose the texture and density needed to protect your dog from briars, and cold water. And once clipped, it can take years to get it back to it's harsh dense state. Take the time to learn how to strip your German Wirehair, it will be worth the effort.

To begin the stripping process, give them a good brushing all over, follow this with a through combing all over their body, head, legs, ear and beards. Now, brush the hair backwards with your comb or with your fingers. See those long hairs standing up? Grasp a couple between your fingers (by the tips only) and pull them out. Pull in the direction they grow naturally and they should come out very easily. It usually helps if you pull their skin in front of the section you are working on taut so you are pulling the hair, not their skin. Keep pulling those sticking up hairs all over their body. Keep moving and don't concentrate on only one section to begin with. And don't fret if you get a bit over zealous and pull out too much in one spot. It will grow back! It always grows back!!

How to find missing objects in your Wires beards!
Those who own Wirehairs know that those beards can hide not only a ton of toilet water, but last nights dinner as well. Keeping the beard free of soft dead coat helps solve some of that! Beards should be of strong stiffer hairs, not full of fluff.
Comb the beard and eyebrow foward and use your fingers to fluff up the coat. See all of those soft long hairs? They may even be blonde or red, not a pretty dark liver. Grasp those hairs, just a bit at a time, and pull them out. Use your fingertip and be gentle about it.

Make an imaginary line running from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth and pull any long hair behind that line on their cheeks. Then make another line from corner to corner of the mouth and pull down the underjaw and throat. The throat area is always the most difficult area for me to get at. Just work on it bit by bit, hair by hair and in no time the job will be complete.

For eyebrows, you want the outside corner shorter than the inside corner, so pull those hairs a bit more.

Tails, Butts, and Privates
Many dogs don't care for their tails being worked on, but unfortunately it's something we have to do. Most Wires, even ones with poor, soft coats, will have harsher hair on their tails. Don't know why, but it's true! Anyway, you should keep the hair on the tail in neat condition, just like their bodies. And never leave a flag of hair under the tail. It just looks messy and downright silly. If need be, this is one area where you can use scissors to neaten up the coat. But try to pull it from time to time.

Around the butt is another place that is very sensitive and most dogs don't care to have messed with. I normally try to pull as much as I can here, but will use thinning shears to make the job easier on both dog and me. Be careful here, sharp scissors can make a hole in dog pretty quickly.

Male dogs sometimes carry a lot of hair around their penis, and this area can be clipped with a #10 blade. This will keep it cleaner and keep those nasty little dreadlocks from forming. Much more sanitary, and just makes an all around nicer picture in ones mind.

Finally, trim the hair around the outside of the paw if needed, and trim long hair in between the pads. This will help keep your kitchen floor cleaner!

Once you get the hang of it the entire stripping process will become second nature to you. Just take your time, step back every now and then, run the brush over the entire coat and look for areas you have missed. Again, don't panic if you make a bald spot. It may look bad, but within a week or so, you will see that new coat beginning to grow in.

Along with a good bristle brush and metal comb you may wish to purchase a couple of other grooming tools.
Furminator - This is essentially a very tight clipper blade on a handle that helps remove dead undercoat and some outer coat. Some of my dogs need nothing more, others it does a great job on the undercoat, but won't pull much outer coat. But it's a tool I will always have in my grooming bag. It also does a great jobof finding fleas and removing ticks. Expensive, but worth it.

Stripping Knives- There are dozens of stripping knives on the market, each to remove coat on different areas of a dogs body. A knife will save your fingers and helps cut the stripping time. Most knives come coarse, medium and fine- each takes a differing amount of coat with each pull. I use a coarse knife for the first overall stripping, medium for more detailed areas, and a fine knife for the head, ears and throat.

The biggest thing to remember when using a stripping tool is to pull the hair, not cut it! When you grasp the hair between your finger and the blade, pull straight back, do not break your wrist. If you do, you will cut, not pull.

Bot Blocks- A bot block is a piece of volcanic rock that is very coarse and is marketed to horse owners to remove bot fly eggs from the coat of horses. It is very coarse and can be used on a wire coat to remove dead out coat. Just bust off a piece to fit your hand and run it over the top coat. If you use this every few weeks you will keep that dead coat down to a dull roar. A pumice stone will also do the same job, but usually it's not as coarse. Either product will work.

This all sounds like a lot of work!
True, coated breeds all need care of some sort. And Wire coats sometimes need even more! If you learn how to care for your dogs coat and begin when they are puppies, it all becomes a lot less work. Also, if you will groom them weekly, or every other week, you will keep them in coat and cut your grooming time down considerably. Wait till their coat is totally blown (dead all over their body) and you have a great task in front of you.

One last piece of advice. Invest in a good sturdy grooming table, or set up a workbench where you can tether your pooch. Keeping him up at your level, and off the floor, not only saves your back, but also give you the advantage of keeping him still. Dogs aren't comfortable up in the air, off the floor, so they tend to stand still more easily. But never ever leave your dog alone on the table. He could fall, and drag the table with him. Not a good way to gain confidence. Have fun!

Grooming time is also a wonderful time to check your Wirehair for bumps, cuts, or any other unusual things you may find. Enjoy this personal time with your dog, it's well worth the effort.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Our Dogs

Ch Ruffcuts Justa Southwind JH
Sire: NFC/NAFC Cascade Ike MH
Dam: Ch Wilsons Matilda of Ruffcut JH
Breeder: L&I Eagle
Owner: Bernee Brawn

Weasie was truly a once in a lifetime dog! she had a fun loving personality, and everyone that met her just fell in love.

In the field, Weasie liked to do things her way which made her a real challenge. But her "never say die" attitude brought her many friends and admirers. Weasie only needed one single point to finish her Dual Championship, sadly it was something we never completed with her.

At the GWP National Championships in Oregon, Weasie earned a Judges Award of Merit for her performance, remarkable mainly because this was a dog born, raised and trained on the east coast. Chuckar hills were something she had never seen before, but she went out and did her thing.

Weasie was also a pretty darn good fur dog... with over 40 groundhogs to her credit. She lived to be 14 yrs old, and we still miss her today.

Ch Ariel's Justa Too Tuff To Tame SH CD NAJ
Sire: BISS/DC/AFC Dunkees Justa Top Flite MH
Dam: Ch Ruffcut's Justa Southwind JH
Breeder: Bernee Brawn
Owner: Dr. MaryPat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn

Phoebe has herself to be a truly versatile dog! Not only is she a bird dog, but a show dog, an obedience dog and has obtained an Agility title!

Not only that, but she has been a great producer for us to boot. Her kids, out of 2 breedings have produced:
5 Champions
2 NAVHDA UT Prize 1's
6 NAVHDA NA Prize 1's
1 National Amateur Champion
3 SH's and numerous JH's

My thanks to her co-breeder and co-owner Dr. Mary Pat Ezzo for all of her work with Phoebe! She has been a great dog!

FC/AFC Justa Hot Wheels SH
Sire: BISS/FC/AFC Dunkees Justa Top Flite MH
Dam: Ch Ruffcut's Justa Southwind JH
Breeder: Bernee Brawn
Owner: Fran Sakiey & Bernee Brawn

Wheeler was entirely owner trained and handled to her Field Championships by Fran. She is retired now from competition and hunts NJ pheasants with Fran.
Wheeler has always been a very sweet dog with a ton of drive. She was always a pleasure to work with.

FC Ariel S'shot Justa One Hot Mamma
Sire: Ch Sure Shot's Rock On JH
Dam: Ch Ariels Justa Too Tuff To Tame SH CD NAJ
Breeder: Mary Pat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn
Owners: Fran Sakiey & Bernee Brawn

Stella has mutiple wins and placements in Open and Amateur Gun Dog stakes, and she is close to finishing her show Championship, thus her Dual Championship.
Stella lived with and was trained and handled by Fran Sakiey until his death. Stella now lives with Jim and Rhonda Haukoos.
Stella is a littermate to Louie.

NAFC/DC/AFC Ariel's Justa Gotta Go Now
OFA Good
Sire: Ch Sure Shot's Rock On
Dam: Ch Ariel's Justa Too Tuff To Tame SH CD NAJ

Louie was the winner of the 2008 GWPCA National Amateur Championship held in Lincoln Nebraska.

Louie is a very biddable dog, very strong, beautiful style and smart!
In 2008, Louie had the following Gun Dog placements:
9/2008 Garden State Weim OLGD 2nd
9/2008 Eastern Irish Setter AGD 3rd
10/2008 GWPCA Nat. Am Ch 1st
10/2008 N J Britt AGD 2nd
10/2008 NJ Vizsla OLGD 3rd
10/2008 NJ Vizsla AGD 2nd
11/2008 NJ Vizsla OGD 3rd

He is well on his way to his Dual Championship.
At stud to approved bitches
To read more about Louie, go here

Ch C'dbrk Justa Sole Man SH
Sire: DC/AFC Bounty's Justa Pegleg Pete
Dam: Ch Maestro's Justa LunaTic JH
Breeder: Bernee Brawn & Bruce Ross
Owner: Dennis Dec, Fran Sakiey & Bernee Brawn

Brody is used to guide hunts almost every weekend during the season. He has an incredible coat and a a very calm and easy going personality.
Brody is a closer working dog, a good retriever and Dennis's GoTo dog. Brody has several legs toward his MH title.

Brody is available at stud to approved bitches.

FC Jerelin's Justa Stacked Deck SH

Sire: DC/AFC Bounty's Justa Pegleg Pete
Dam: Ch. Jerelins Afternoon Delight MH NA
Breeder: Jerry & Linda Krepak
Owners: Bernee Brawn and Steve Finkel
Demi was 4th in the 2009 National Amateur Championship trained and handled by Bernee Brawn.
She is now living in St. Louis with Steve Finkel who has completed her SH title and has 4 legs toward her MH!

Ch Ariels Justa New Attitude CD JH NA
Sire: Ch Side by Sides Chatanuga Choo MH UT 1
Dam: Ch Ariels Justa Too Tuff To Tame CD SH NAJ
Breeder: Mary Pat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn
Owners: Mary Pat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn

Trudy is a neat little bitch with a great attitude!
This litter produced 3 Champions and 2 NAVHDA UT prize 1 titled dogs!

As always we breed for the whole dog.

Above: Ch Ariel's Justa Singular Sensation SH "Sassy"
with Ch Ariel's Justa 10K Tucker SH UT 1 "Tucker" backing

Sire: BIS/BISS/DC/AFC Jetsets Ragtop Day at Scotia CD
Dam: Ch Ariel's Justa New Attitude SH NA CD
Owners: Dennis Dec, MaryPat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn

Sassy is a beautiful bitch flowing movement and a wonderful, easy to work with temperment. She has several legs toward her MH title. Sassy was bred to Brody in 2009.

This breeding has produced some wonderful puppies! Havey's Justa Jeff was the #2 puppy/derby for 2011 and is on his way to competing as a Gun Dog in the fall of 2012.

Sire: Ch Side by Sides Chatanuga Choo MH UT1
Dam: Ch Ariel's Justa Too Tuff To Tame SH CD NAJ
Breeder: MaryPat Ezzo & Bernee Brawn
Owner: Charlie Kissinger

Tucker is a hard charging dog, big going and very strong. He and Charlie completed his Utility title in 2008 with a very nice prize 1 score. He has been hunted all over the US and Canada.

Ch. Heywire's Don't Look Now JH
NAVHDA NA 1 112 pts

Sire: GCh. Ripsnorter's Mt. View Lookout JH
Ch. Heywire N Cedrbrk Justa Pon A Time JH
Owners: Steve & Lisa Kreuser & Bernee Brawn
Breeders: Judy Cheshire & Bernee Brawn

Josh lives with Steve & Lisa in Cantebury CT. Josh was Best in Sweepstakes at the 2011 GWPCA National Specialty in MI.
Josh has a wonderful laid back temperment, a beautiful coat and a beautiful dog.
He is currently in training for his SH


Ch. Heywires Thru The Looking Glass at Kenshaw

Owner: Shawn Damon & Bernee Brawn

A littermate to Josh (above), Sookie lives with Shawn and her husband Butch in Poland Maine.


Ebbtide's Justa Gotta Believe
Sire: NAFC/DC/AFC Ariels Justa Gotta Go Now
Dam: GCH Ebbtides From the Ashes
Breeder: Garnett Persinger
Owners: Garnett Persinger, Rhonda Haukoos, Bernee Brawn

LuCee is a beautiful bitch who will make her mark one day! She has her puppy and derby points and is learning to be a broke gun dog now. We hope to see her in gun dog stakes fall of 2012.

Harvey's Justa Jeff

ofa good

Sire: Ch Cedarbrooks Justa Sole Man SH
Dam: Ch Ariels Justa Singular Sensation SH
Breeder: Bernee Brawn & Dr. MaryPat Ezzo DVM
Owner: Ted & Meridith Harvey

Ted owned Elvis, a littermate to our DC AFC Bounty's Justa Pegleg Pete. As Elvis was getting up in years, he wanted a dog to take his place as his trusty hunting companion.
When Jeff was about a year old, he brought him for me to see and evaluate. I knew this boy had something special going for him... he was fast, agile, and loved his birds!
Luckily I was able to talk Ted into sending Jeff off to Jim West for a bit, just to see if what I saw was right. And right I was!
Jeff finished up 2011 as the #2 puppy/derby with only half a season under his belt. Jeff won the 2011 Mid West Derby Classic at Branched Oaks, luckily Ted was able to be there to see it.
This boy will be one to deal with down the road! Our thanks to Ted and Meridith for allowing Jeff to go out and fulfill his legacy and become the best he can be!


Sire: Louie

Dam: Ch. Caramel 'N Heywire's Mocha Sorbet at Star-K JH

Breeder: Audrey Meinke

Owners: Audrey Meinke & Bernee Brawn

Nixie lives in CT with Audrey and Don Meinke. She has multiple points toward her show Ch and will be out in the field this coming fall.