Tag Archives: dachshund

Marking Harry Maclary’s 40th anniversary

For Dame Lynley Dodd, a sketch of a dog on note paper started it all – 40 years ago.

Harry Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy was first published in 1983. The book features Harry, a mixed breed dog who looks a lot like a Skye or Scottish Terrier (Dodd has said that he is a terrier mix) alongside his canine friends:

  • Hercules Morse, As Big as a Horse, a Mastiff
  • Bottomley Potts, All Covered in Spots, a Dalmatian
  • Muffin McLay, Like a Bundle of Hay, an Old English Sheepdog
  • Bitzer Maloney, All Skinny and Boney, a mixed breed dog that is clearly part Greyhound     


  • Schnitzel Von Krumm, With a Very Low Tum, a Dachshund

Every Kiwi child knows this story! (with a further 19 books that followed the first).

NZ Post will release a series of commemorative stamps on 1st March to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this now classic children’s book. Can you guess which character is Sox’s favourite?

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dachshund gait research has broader implications for rehab medicine

The trademark wiggle of a dachshund’s stride could point to more than just life with little legs.

Over the summer, a team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine set out to characterize what the breed’s normal gait looks like in order to better detect abnormalities like back injuries.


Veterinary student Rachel McCann takes Juniper down a pressure walkway. The research project focused on how dachshunds walk and found they put more weight on their front limbs than other breeds. Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Supervised by Drs. Romany Pinto, Danielle Zwueste and Kira Penney, veterinary student Rachel McCann trotted 30 dachshunds through the Veterinary Medical Centre’s canine rehabilitation centre and looked at how they moved.

Ultimately, the findings will go toward a second project looking at rehabilitating dogs of various breeds with spinal injuries. Because it’s expected that many of the subjects involved in that project will be dachshunds, it made sense to establish a norm to work from, McCann said.

The research, already completed on a handful of breeds like labradors and beagles, is the first to focus on dachshunds.

“There hasn’t been any papers published on them and what the normal parameters for them are,” she said. “They’re a breed that suffers from intervertebral disc disease, and that comes in so often for rehab medicine. So it would be really useful to the veterinary community to know what’s normal in them.”

The subjects, volunteered by owners in Saskatoon, walked across a computerized pressure walkway connected to an interface that measured various aspects of their gait, like pressure distribution and length of stride.

“One thing that we focused on, because we found it was different in dachshunds from other breeds that have been studied before, is how much weight they place in their front limbs compared to their hind limbs,” McCann said.

The project found that dachshunds have a higher thoracic to pelvic force ratio than other breeds, meaning they put more weight on their front limbs.

McCann said she was initially drawn to the field of veterinary rehabilitation while working with her own dog when she suffered from a torn ligament.

“I brought her in for the treatments and it was really a fun time. They gave me a treatment plan where I had to go home and work with her on rehabilitating her,” she said.

“What I like about veterinary rehabilitation is that it really harbours the human-animal bond. This summer has been one of the best experiences of my life.”

Source: Saskatoon Star Phoenix, 25 September 2019

Hear bark or C-Barq?

I’ve just signed Izzy up so we can complete a C-Barq questionnaire for her.

I know what you are thinking:  you don’t ‘see’ barks, you hear them.  Well actually, C-Barq stands for ‘Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire’ and it’s another example of citizen – or participatory – science.

Created by Dr. James Serpell who is a behaviorist at the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS) in Pennsylvania, the questionnaire is designed to provide dog owners and professionals with standardized evaluations of temperament and behavior.    The Center is based within the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn University medicine

Tested extensively for reliability and validity on large samples of dogs of many breeds,  the current version consists of 101 questions describing the different ways in which dogs typically respond to common events, situations, and stimuli in their environment. It should take about 15 minutes to complete (I haven’t done this yet).

Please pay attention, however, to the sign-in page where questions are asked about your dog’s breed, background, and behavior.  This helps in coding the answers for analysis.

So far, over 80,000 dogs have been included in the study. Dr Serpell says, “There is no other breed or species of animal with such a wide variety of appearance and behavior.”

Between 10 percent and 15 percent of dogs can show very high levels of aggression, Serpell says, while 20 or 30 percent show no aggression.

Pit bulls and Akitas, popular breeds for fighting and guard dog duty, show serious aggression toward other dogs. But the title for most aggressive overall actually goes to tiny dachshunds, which display heightened aggression toward dogs, strangers and even their owners.

Source:  Science Friday on pri.org

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand


Wordless Wednesday, part 5

Dog with teddy bear

Vino Fido – the world of wine and dogs

Dogs feature in a range of wines and vineyards across the world.  As we are starting off a new year, I’m toasting the innovative ways wine makers have chosen to feature dogs.

I’ve been interested in wine labels portraying dogs since 2007, when I launched Canine Catering.  The launch was combined with a birthday party for Daisy and I bought some red wine from the local supermarket called ‘Dog Box Red.’  It had a cute picture of a dog on the label and was very appropriate to the occasion.  It was also a good bottle of wine.  Sadly,  I’ve never seen this wine again in the shops.  It was probably one of those short runs of wine we get here that are remainders from export shipments.  In fact, I can’t even find the wine on the internet – so it was probably a one-off.

Anyway, at the party we had a friend who asked for bottle of the wine to add to her ‘dog wine’ collection.  Since then, I’ve managed to buy her several other brands of wine to add to it.  I still get looks when I walk into wine shops and ask ‘Do you have any wines with dogs on the label?’ 

Since New Zealand is known for its wine exports, I’ll start here and then look abroad for wines with dogs.

First, there’s Huntaway Reserve.  This wine launched in 1996 and features varieties from the Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay regions.

Huntaway is produced by the Lion Nathan Group

Huntaway is produced by the Lion Nathan Group

Hunters Wines from Marlborough feature a crest that has the image of a dog on the label.  According to the company website, the crest is that of the Hunter clan of Scotland, however some visitors to the vineyard associated the logo with Commodore, a St Bernard and then a Clumber Spaniel named Paddy who were owned by the Hunter family.  Here’s a photo of the Hunter crest:

Hunters logo

Then, there is the Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough.  There’s no dog on the label but the website tells the story behind the name – that Dog Point is an area named by the pioneer shepherds in the area because of the dogs who became lost or wandered off there:

The name Dog Point dates back to the earliest European settlement of Marlborough and the introduction of sheep to the district.  These were the days where, due to a lack of fences, boundary riders used boundary keeping dogs to protect the local flocks of sheep.

Shepherds’ dogs sometimes became lost or wandered off, eventually breeding to form a marauding pack that attacked the same flocks they were meant to be protecting.

Eventually settlers were forced to cull the dogs and the area was named Dog Point.

These dogs lived on the tussock and scrub covered southern hills of Dog Point Vineyards.  This landscape was, and still is, characterised by the iconic New Zealand native plant the  Ti Kouka ‘cabbage’ tree which is also an established feature of the Dog Point property.

In Central Otago, there is the wine produced by Roger Donaldson called Sleeping Dogs.  Mr Donaldson directed a movie with this title and named his wine after it.  He produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris  and  Sauvignon Blanc under this brand.

The Sleeping Dogs label

The Sleeping Dogs label


Okay, leaving New Zealand, there’s Longue-Dog produced in Languedoc in the South of France.  This is a wine I’ve been able to buy here and add to my friend’s collection.  It features a Dachshund on the label.

A bottle of Longue-Dog Syrah

A bottle of Longue-Dog Syrah

Let’s head to Healdsburg, California to the Mutt Lynch Winery next.  I’d really like to go there because the tasting room is dog-friendly!

Dogs are welcome at the Mutt Lynch Winery

Dogs are welcome at the Mutt Lynch Winery

The vineyard donates a portion of proceeds from every bottle of wine they sell to local animal shelters and rescue groups.  This vineyard produces a wide range of wines all with a unique doggy label.  Here’s just a few:

Mutt Lynch wines

I can understand why Mutt Lynch’s website says Welcome to a wonderful world where wine and “all things dog” collide into something truly special.

Okay, next on my list is Cru Vin Dogs. This company is based in Colorado and is another socially-responsible business.  It also produces wines with a unique dog on every label.   Each label features an original, limited -edition illustration by artist Jay P. Snellgrove, who is one of the partners in the business  According to the company,  each label honors a real dog that has a special story-a reminder of how empty this world would be without the unconditional love and devotion of “man’s best friend.”

Here’s an example of some of Cru Vin’s wines:

Cru Vin wines

Our next stop is Washington State, the home of Sleeping Dog Wines.  Because the owner always had a dog companion on his life’s journey, he decided to pay tribute to them by featuring a sleeping dog on the label (unfortunately, I couldn’t source a photo of it to show you).

In Paso Robles California is Écluse, a small family owned vineyard.  One part of their range is Blind Dog Wines, where proceeds are donated to Dogs for the Deaf. This vineyard is home to two blind dogs and they have produced this range of wines to commemorate their role in establishing and maintaining the vineyard.  I would have loved to share a photo of their wines, but one wasn’t available.

In the Willamette Valley of Salem, Oregon, Dog Gone Wine is also selling wine that benefits a dog organisation in their area.  (I wish their website would tell us which ones they support!)  But I like the names of their wines.  There’s Poodle Pinot, Basset Hound Blackberry Wine, Pug Bear Wine, and Pomeranian Pomegranate Wine.   All have really adorable labels:

This is Basset Hound Blackberry Wine by Dog Gone Wine.

This is Basset Hound Blackberry Wine by Dog Gone Wine.

We’re going to the East Coast of the USA next to Floyd, Virginia which is home of Chateau Morrisette. Their wines also feature dogs on the label but I wish their website would tell us the connection!

Chateau Morrisette wines

Chateau Morrisette wines

So when you are next in your local wine shop, look for dog labelled wine and let me know if there are others out there to try.  And remember:  wine is for humans not for dogs!

Spinal cord research benefits dogs

Last week, the University of California San Francisco issued a press release about the promising research of Dr Linda J Noble-Haeusslein and her collaborators at Texas A&M  University.

The US Department of Defense has granted $750,000 over three years to develop a drug that helps to mitigate the secondary damage associated with spinal cord injury.  When an injury occurs, there is a cascading chemical reaction that damages nearby cells and that means – essentially – that more damage happens than that caused by the immediate injury.

It is thought that the drug, a protein-blocking agent, will successfully interfere with that cascading process and preserve sensitive neurological pathways.

Other neurological researchers have shown that movement in the spine can be preserved if as little as 18-20 percent of nerve fibre tracts remain intact.

Dogs such as Dachshunds, Corgis and Beagles (dogs with a long torso) are known to be susceptible to disc ruptures.   When a dog presents with a disc rupture at the Small Animal Hospital at Texas A&M University, their owner will be asked to consent to the experimental treatment.

And why is the funding coming from the Department of Defence?  Well, sadly, there are many wounded soldiers returning from overseas war zones with spinal injuries.

Source:  University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) (2012, January 18). Saving dogs with spinal cord injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/01/120118155338.htm