Thursday 28 February 2013

Martha and Hallie

I really think that being a black dog with a brown father produces rather an attractive coat colour. Martha is on the right of the photo and Hallie on the left, both dogs look brown and yet Hallie is black. The girls had a good romp yesterday together, so they had a lovely walk

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Martha and house training

I may be odd getting my camera to take a photo of a dog wee, but this is no ordinary dog wee as it belongs to Martha who for several months has also been called 'Pennypisspants'. When we got Martha she seemed to understand very quickly to squat outside on command, it is always the first thing I teach pups or youngsters as it makes life so much easier and avoids those long minutes off standing outside in the garden in the rain waiting for a dog to pee. Anyway, although Martha squatted outside we were still getting accidents inside. Well, one day with a dry patio I was quite taken back that her squatting left a dry patio therefore I had to accept that I had trained her to squat, but not to wee which explained the accidents in the house. I had to have a major rethink as it was now clear that Martha and I were not quite on the same wavelength and potentially she was confused. Rule number one is don't get cross, so with a plastic smile I went back to basics of opening a door every 10 minutes and letting her out, a rather polite, ''good girl'' or ''well done'' when she went successfully and finally taking her away for the weekend to Belgium which meant any habit regarding favorite spots in the house were removed. She behaved perfectly when we were away, no accidents in the hotel. So why the photo? When I got home today, Martha greeted me in the wild way that I am getting more used to, and then rushed to the patio door and threw herself at the door handle, she was desperate and had waited. So I am proud of her........In hindsite I think I rushed her at the start, and I am quite impressed that she learnt to squat without weeing  

Betsy and Martha

Betsy, Martha, Jazz and Bobby
Finally our grass is starting to dry up, it makes life a little easier not to have so much mud. This photo makes me smile, as I hadn't realised that Marthas' collar is rather oversized.

Monday 25 February 2013

Novaforesta Duplo

I had a lovely visit today, from Duplo and family.Duplo met Martha and  I would say he was rather bemused by her, she desperately wanted a mad run around the garden and he was enjoying the smells in the garden (remember Betsy and Bepop in season!). Duplo is a very calm boy, wonderful to groom and bath and it was great to catch up with his owners. Duplo also has a crochet hook at the end of his tail, similar to a Briard, not many Barbets have this.  

Sunday 24 February 2013

Puppy time for Ebene

I am very pleased to write that Ebene, the lovely girl from Canada is laden with puppies and they are due in the middle of March. The Father is Eton, the productive boy who sired a litter of 14 in the UK last year. The GB site is being updated with the news and contact details for Annette who will be the trusted guardian of mother and pups.
Ebene and Eton are lovely Barbets, so this is a good combination to take the breed forward.
We will of course have many Barbets in the UK that are related but as only a few will go on to reproduce this is not a problem and it means most owners have dogs in common with each other; one big happy family.
 Related dogs in the UK, also means that anyone wanting to breed  in the future will have to travel or import new lines, and that is good news for the breed.
The choice of sires, is not a twinkle in the eye of a is normally hours of discussion.

When I imported my two girls in 2007 the plan was to breed them both to different lines so that the offspring could mate together. Novaforesta Dora (Bonnie) and Novaforesta Eton are the resulting pairing that produced 14 pups last year with a very good COI, and from that mating I have Hallie (Charamese Hernione)  who is the grand daughter of Betsy and Bepop, So the plan set out in 2007 became reality in 2012. 
Netis Hazzah aka Claude with Hallie
Annette (Netisspinione) is the owner of Novaforesta Dudley a.k.a. Ooli and who imported Ebene, from Canada as the perfect match for her boy. A beautiful litter was born last year, with one pup in particular making the headlines.There are not many white/brown Barbets in the world, and not only is he rather dashing but he is also training as a gundog.

Saturday 23 February 2013

A rare dinner treat for dogs

When we have a Roast Chicken, the next day the dogs have a real treat as I boil up the bones and strip off any left over meat. So one chicken can feed 6 people, and 5 dogs, I will add to this some leftover veg and some old fruit and whatever else is lying dormant in my fridge. What I know will happen after dinner, will be greasy beards so the hairy gang will be fed outside and left to their own devices for beard wiping as otherwise the curtains/settee or my legs will suffer!!! Remember if you only have one dog, then use the freezer....doggy ready meal!
The remains of the Chicken, so little wastage in our house.  

Barbet Hallie the recycling monster.

Some dogs get pleasure from a bone, some have a favourite toy, Hallie has the recycling bag!

Friday 22 February 2013

Happiness is....a Barbet with a window view

There might just maybe, possibly,hopefully, a remote chance, that Bepop will see a cat if she waits at a window. She loved the window in Belgium. It was the perfect Barbet window, and she soon learnt the routine of a bit of hanky panky outside, and  she was then rewarded with the window with a view, even the low table with biscuits on it didn't distract her.......Barbets do live happily with cats and other animals, and in fairness to Bepop when she does see a cat she just quivers so I do know by her body language that she has had success, so I am thankful that she doesn't become a manic dog, perhaps she secretly has a 'I Spy' book, and is in competition with Betsy!.

Taking a dog abroad

The channel tunnel has made life so much easier for those of us with dogs that have pet passports. Unlike a crossing with a ferry, the Channel Tunnel is a car train which means you don't leave your car or your dogs. If you look at the car closely, you will see Martha as Bepop still is fast asleep (she is an old hand at travelling), Martha still goes into a bit of a panic if one of us leaves the vehicle!.
As a rule it costs more than a ferry, but it is very flexible, you book a time online and when you check in, a machine confirms that you wish to travel on that train or it gives you the next departure that you can travel on for no further charge ( we often miss our booked train!) if you have time you can let your dogs have a stretch, if not  needed you can drive straight onto the train. It is not noisy for the dogs, it is just easy. To be honest I used to be nervous as I am not really a willing traveller due to a rather serious coach accident in France when I was sixteen, since then any mode of transport sets me on edge  but as we have now travelled so many times on the train my fear of death has reduced to the point I almost look forward to it.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Dogs and hotels

Bepop loves travelling so she is a pleasure to take anywhere. Our hotel had a very low mirror which was different to our mirror at home so when we first booked into our hotel room she greeted the dog in the mirror and was quite mystified by it.
Once bored with the mirror, she then realised we had a view !

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Bepop and her Barbet wedding

We are back and what a wonderful weekend we had even though it was a little stressy at times. The journey of only 8 hours was uneventful and Bepop and Martha travelled in silence as they slept, although we did find out that the waterbowl had tipped over and their bedding was soaked!. but in true barbet style they perhaps enjoyed the wet bedding! Julian and I were so spoiled by our hosts in Belguim, we had the most fantastic meals and alot of humour, and Bepop had the most romantic time possible so all went well. We did have a slight change of plan but more about that later. I adore Bepop, she has such character and I can honestly say that I know her very well, and she knows me. However Martha is a different dog, she is 6 months old and rather wild at times, her best expression is WTF which is what I said we should call her when we picked her up at 16 weeks, so nothing much has changed and I can honestly say that at dog training they have also seen the look, so it can be verified!!!! The weekend was very good for Martha, she coped well watching the adult dogs and their activities, and she learnt all about automatic doors, staying in the boot of the car when it was lifted, being wormed at a vets in Belgium ( although she did poo in the surgery) and she coped with erratic feeding and general chaos. At the end of the day, Bepop has been mated and all went well, our hosts were tired and we were tired and the dogs were completely knackered, but we will have wonderful memories of our adventure.
Dear Martha in the garden
On Sunday we were up at 4.30 English time as we wanted to mate the dogs before our 3 hour drive back to Calais, Bepop and Martha would have happily slept for longer but they had no choice but to get up and eat breakfast. I have to admit that I don't enjoy dog matings, and because of that I like it to be as natural as possible, so the dogs were allowed as much play as they wanted while us humans froze waiting for the event. 
Carol is the owner of Jedi and Deejee, I cannot express our gratitude enough as she was so amazing and nothing was too much trouble. Carol appreciated our journey to Belgium for a mating, she understood that it was for the breed and the genes for the future. Sensible matings will save the breed, those that breed for the showring or colour will not!
Martha,Jedi and Bepop

Thursday 14 February 2013

Bored of waiting

As I am sitting waiting for a vet to ring, I am getting bored and really I should be grooming the dogs but I know that as soon as I start the phone will go.....So another puppy photo for you. I am lucky as I have toys (now in the loft) but great for getting pups used to odd things that they may encounter  such as robots and of course I am interested in how the pups behave with new things.

Waiting for Bepop

Well we are packed ready to go, dog sitters ready to move in and children warned that they will be making their own dinners later. I can't help but think that the 14th Feb is a romantic day for a mating and by the way Bepop is behaving she is in total agreement.
Martha is now travelling with us, so after the event I will fill you all in over her adventures.
The photo is Bepops' last litter of 12, I am already thinking that perhaps a fleece would be nicer in a cardboard box rather than newspaper...funny when you look back, but that to me is why having litters is a wonderful time as you learn, and puppies are tough and no doubt they were only in the box for cleaning out the whelping box as puppies need their Mums more than anything else.

Sunday 10 February 2013


It is always frustrating to log onto The Kennel Club website, and search for our Barbets on their 'mate select'  page. The Barbet information is there, I have spoken to the Kennel Club numerous times, one day it works and yet another day, nothing can be found. The Kennel Club have all the hipscore records, or should I say the hip scoring done by the BVA, these are cross referenced with the DNA profiles that the Barbets have, also held by the Kennel Club. Anyway, I have taken the plunge and joined Champdogs, I really like the fact that they ask for copies of hip scores/eye tests before it goes online. They basically are checking out the breeders........that can only be a good thing in my opinion.
So Novaforesta is now on the site, and the only dog so far entered is Be- Poppy with her health tests (her recent eye test is being reviewed as I type) and that took me hours!!!.
I am not putting the Novaforesta link for Champdogs on this blog, see if you can find it?


Bepop is in season

Yes, finally Bepop is in season and we will be heading overseas to see her new man, the wonderful Deejee. Am I excited? yes of course I am and I have been filling my time looking at photos of her last litter in 2008. The kitchen is now being decorated, as we hope to get through all those jobs before puppies arrive and the chaos starts!. The only downside about puppies will be poor Betsy who is such a maternal dog that she will struggle with Bepop becoming a Mum again but hopefully lots of exhausting walks in the forest and she will be too tired to worry about those little squeaks and murmurs that they make :) failing that I could use earplugs on her, I will need to google doggy ear plugs..

Stolen dogs

We do what we can to help, so can you all keep looking as any information is helpful.  

Friday 8 February 2013

Epilepsy research

As I have new visitors to my blog every day, I thought I should remind all those that are owned by a  Barbet to remember that if their dog has any  tests or  surgery at the vets, to request a blood sample to send to Helsinki Uni as they have a research project running solely dealing with Barbets and epilepsy.
We do not have any epilepsy cases in the UK, but  epilepsy has been found in the breed overseas.
 Betsy and Bepop have contributed blood and have had their details updated as it is vital to contact the research team once the dogs reach 5 years old so that they can note that the dogs are still healthy.If anyone wants more details, then please send me an email and I can put you in touch with the contact in Finland.

Thursday 7 February 2013

Happy 7th Birthday

How time flies, here is a photo of Betsy at Nantes in France when we picked her up at 10 months old. A sad day for Nicole, but a happy day for us :). Betsy is 7 years old today, and she has produced some beautiful pups which have gone on to further the numbers of the breed not only in the UK but abroad.
So a big thank you to Nicole for trusting us with Betsy, and HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY:)

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Eye test results for Barbets

Yesterday Bepop went to our vets and had her vaccinations, she is normally rather quiet and a bit subdued at the vets. Well, this time we met a new vet and she loved him and he fell in love with the breed as he used to own a Hungarian Puli, it is always good when you can show off a new breed and they like what they see. Anyway Bepop passed her MOT with flying colours, she is the perfect weight and heart and lungs etc.....all good. As you may have realised, I am always looking at why dogs do certain things and I was trying to work out why she loved the vet so much, as all the vets make a fuss of her. Then it dawned on me that when we entered the vets, there were 2 cats in  baskets who were coming out of the examination room.....BINGO......the vet smelt of cats, so it just goes to show that there is always a reason why dogs behave as they do. I suspect the next time we go to the vets Bepop will be desperate to go into the examination room, she never forgets so i just hope she will not be disappointed and at least for me, I have a very willing dog at the vets.
Today we have been to the eye specialist to update her eye certificate, and as expected she has passed with flying colours. I am very pleased as we had made an appointment with Mr Mason, who is the Chief Panellist of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye scheme, although he was very busy he still had time to offer us advice over how often we should eye test the breed and what we should be doing as the dogs get older.