High Volume Breeding

The problem [with High Volume Breeding] is the accelerated loss of genetic diversity. When you have a high volume breeder using short generation times that loss stands the potential of having a dramatic impact on the breed as a whole – if you’ve seen ICB’s “extinction vortex”, the combination of high volume breeding at short … Read more

Vixen’s Litter Day 21 – Sounds from the Farm

Vixen’s Old-fashioned Black and Tan English Shepherd puppies began to spend daytime hours outside yesterday.  That was a big step, so we didn’t throw much more than that at them. Today, when we went back outside, we started exposing them to the rural sounds of the farm.  At first, these sounds are introduced from a … Read more

Whelping Box Day 18 – Masters of Their Universe

After about 4 sessions over a 24-hour period, our smart and determined puppies have learned to scale the barrier. The nuance of this seemingly small feat should not be overlooked. This is the biggest challenge these pups have ever faced. Every time they scale the barrier, they build coordination and confidence. Puppy enrichment is progressive, … Read more

Of English Shepherds and Landrace Conservation

In this brief essay, I will describe the genetic organization of a landrace breed, and I will compare it to the closed nucleus system used by most standardized breeds.  I will touch on the surface of four possible conservation strategies for a landrace breed, and finally, I will conclude with my personal experience in breeding … Read more

Introducing the Puppy Mobile

During these first few days and weeks, the puppies’ process of discovery and growth is fascinating to watch and understand.  You may remember a previous post in which I stated that a primary goal of puppy enrichment is to stimulate the brain’s neurological pathways.  We know that during neonatal development, a puppy is particularly receptive … Read more

Early Neurological Stimulation

I don’t see any reasons we can’t start ENS on schedule tomorrow.  Why do we do ENS?[1]Gazzano, A., Mariti, C., Notari, L., Sighieri, C., McBride, E.A., 2008. Effects of early gentling and early environment on emotional development of puppies. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 110, 294–304., … Continue reading[2]Battaglia, C.L., 2009. Periods of early development and the … Read more