Category Archives: Puppies

Back in the Saddle Again – October 2017

I’m not sure if anyone is still following my web site but just in case there are a few determined souls out there I thought I’d give an update on the craziness at Spectrum House.  Between my (paying) job and a variety of significant but not dangerous human health issues there has been  little time to post basset news.

So, in one fell swoop I’ll bring things up to date:

  • Libby & Puppies.  No success, again.  I bred Libby (GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery CD BN RA NJP CGC) using surgical implantation to Wheaties (CH Topsfield-Sanchu Wheaties) but there were no puppies.  I am very sad and disheartened.  The sperm was good so Libby must not be able to either produce viable ova or retain fertilized ones.  She’s approaching 7 years old so she’ll retire from the whelping box and spend full time on obedience and rally from now on.  She may even make an appearance in the Veteran Class at some conformation specialty shows.
  • Pippin.  Pippin (CH Spectrum Topsfield Pippin of Sanchu BN RN) has been training hard in agility, obedience and rally with very good results.  Due to a shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff) that eventually required summer surgery I have not been able to run Pippin at full speed.  His agility instructor, Karen Hocker, has been graciously running him in class and then competed with him at the Wachusett Kennel Club agility trials in September.  Pip earned Novice Preferred FAST and Novice Preferred Jumpers with Weaves legs with Karen!  At the Basset Hound Club of America National Specialty Shows & Trials I was able to compete with Pippin in Rally and Obedience.  He earned 2 Beginner Novice Obedience legs to complete his BN title!  He also earned 2 Rally Novice legs to complete his RN title with an extra leg!  Next up for Pippin is taking the TDI qualifying test.  If he passes we will look for an organization to start therapy visits later this fall.
  • Beatrice.  Bea (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice) continued with conformation training but due to injuries she has not been in any conformation competitions since February.  I hope to be released from restricted running at my next post-op visit and then start Bea in conformation again this fall.  She just needs a few non-major points to finish her championship.  Either way, we will breed Bea when she next comes into season and hopefully have some puppies this winter.
  • Noodles.  Noodles (MBIS MBISS CH Topsfield Vision SilverNoodles CD BN RA NJP NAP CGC TDI) continues to enjoy retirement.  She turned 14 years old in August and all things considered is doing well.  She has been battling a yeast infection and may have lymphoma (biopsy inconclusive) but she doesn’t know it and is as mischievous as ever, opening gates and peeling back Velcro from the dog food bins so she can have an unscheduled snack.  To keep her from getting bored I have started teaching her Scent Work.  She is amused but still willing to work for treats.

So what’s next for the Bassets of Spectrum?  We’ll try to finish Beatrice’s AKC Championship and then breed her.  Libby will complete her AKC Open obedience training and begin competing.  Pippin will compete in agility and hopefully complete his AKC Novice Standard, Jumpers and FAST titles. Noodles will continue to enjoy life and maybe try a scent trial or two.

More news next month.

Anne

News from the Pack

A New Champion!
Another one of the Divine Comedy litter became an AKC Champion recently.  Dante, handled by professional Candy Carswell, finished his title on February 25, 2017.  He is now know as: CH Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso.  Dante is a sweet boy but we have decided to neuter and place him in his forever home.  On April 9 he’ll join the Puntillo family in Shrewsbury, MA as their new basset boy.  Until then he’ll be at home recovering from surgery and keeping us entertained with his silliness.

Therapy Dog in Training
Pippin is taking Therapy Dog training at DogStar Activity Center in Acton, MA.  As you can imagine, the hardest tests for Pipping (and most bassets) are the “leave the food on the floor”  and the “don’t jump on the lap” tests.   However, he is making progress and we hope to pass the Therapy Dog International test in May.

Puppies?
If Libby cooperates we are still working towards our new schedule for a fall 2017 litter.  Stay tuned for progress.

No Plan Survives First Contact

Well, for those who were waiting for news about the next Spectrum litter you won’t be happy with what I have to write.

I am very frustrated!

Libby came into season on March 6, 2017 – early by her old schedule but consistent with the five month interval she has been experiencing recently.  Assuming she would be ready to breed 7-14 days into her season and knowing that puppies are born 63 days from ovulation, we would expect puppies roughly 10-11 weeks after the start of her season. That would be the end of May.

Hannah & Patrick!

I knew that this would be the earliest possible time for puppies, assuming Libby went with her new schedule.  And that would have been ok – I had no travel or events planned for mid-May 2017 through mid-June 2017.  We need to go to a wedding in Baltimore at the end of June but could have managed that with the help of friends and our pet sitter, assuming puppies were 3-5 weeks old at the time.

Irma Zetterlund, 1923 – 2017

Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away in late February.  This was not unexpected, as she had been fading slowly for several years, but the issue is that we must travel to Sweden for her funeral and internment.  The date for the internment has been set for the end of May and I must go to support Bjorn.  So, I could not breed a litter of puppies of which I could not take proper care.  So, I did not breed Libby and there will be no potential for summer puppies.

I could really use some luck!

If Libby stays on schedule she will come into season next in mid-August.  I will definitely breed her at that time.  If we are lucky, pups would be born in mid-November.  Keep your fingers crossed that nothing else comes up!

 

On Your Mark … the Puppy Plan

Most people don’t understand the care, thought and money that goes into the careful breeding of dogs by responsible hobby breeders.  As I begin the journey again I thought I would journal the steps I use to give you an idea of what is involved.

“Libby” – GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery CD BN RA NJP CGC

If you have read my site you would know that I bred Libby back in the winter of 2014.   She had one litter in February 2015 and was an excellent mother.

She produced four healthy and happy puppies, three of whom had or are having good show careers.  The fourth is having an excellent career as a canine companion in a loving home in Bedford, MA.  Based on the success of this litter I decided after careful consultation with my co-owners to try again.

[If you are wondering how a black-masked, open tricolored dam produced four red-and-white puppies, chalk it up to the vagaries of color genetics in bassets.  Libby’s dam was red-and-white and her sire was tricolor, and the sire of the litter was red-and-white, so we were pretty certain to get most or all red-and-whites.  The sire of the next litter is a classic black-saddle tricolor dog so I hope we get some tri-colors!]

As a team we reviewed pedigrees, discussed conformation strengths and weaknesses and reviewed the detailed pros and cons of each puppy from the first litter and first sire.  After going back and forth for a while we decided to do artificial insemination using frozen semen from a dog I had always admired for his intelligence, personality, and conformation; he also had the correct pedigree to bring in characteristics that would hopefully produce even more beautiful as well as happy and healthy pups.

However, Libby had other plans, coming into season six weeks early while we were over 1000 miles from home attending the BHCA Nationals in St Louis, Missouri.  By the time we got home Libby’s progesterone levels were at the high end of target for breeding.  I decided to give it a try anyway but it didn’t work out and there were no puppies.

In order to have the maximum probability of success this time I took Libby to Dr. Ann Huntington, our reproduction veterinarian, for a full battery of tests in January, well ahead of Libby’s next cycle.  We tested for any medical conditions or underlying illnesses that might prevent pregnancy from occurring:  broad spectrum tick borne diseases (Idexx), detailed thyroid levels (U Michigan), reproductive system infections (Cornell U).

We found a minor vaginal infection that we are treating now so that Libby will be 100% ready when she comes into season.

So now we wait.  Normally Libby is on a roughly six month schedule of seasons meaning late March or early April would be her next cycle.  However, since she was over a month early the last time, I am preparing for her to start as early as the end of February.  I continue to feed her a high quality food (Purina ProPlan Grain Free) and high quality supplements (VetriScience Glycoflex III, Wholistic Pet Canine Complete, Wholistic Pet Salmon Oil), make sure she gets plenty of mental and physical exercise through play and formal training, and hope we have luck on our side this time.

BHCA Nationals 2016 – Now with Pictures!

We had a wonderful time at the Basset Hound Club of America Nationals last week in the Greater St. Louis, MO area.  It was great to see old friends and to make some new ones, too!

Libby, Beatrice and Pippin made the journey with us in our fully loaded (think Beverly Hillbillies) 2004 GMC Yukon XL across the US.  Bjorn drove the entire 1200 miles, allowing me to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

I’ll eventually post pictures and videos but here are some highlights:

Monday

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IMG_0218  IMG_0215

  • Libby earned a bumper-leg qualifying score (“Q”) in Novice B obedience; it wasn’t her best effort but she did earn 4th place with a score of 177.5.
  • Libby earned a bumper-leg Q in Advanced B rally with a score of 86.  Again, not her best effort but good enough for 4th place.
  • Pippin earned his first Q in Beginner Novice B with a score of 193.5 and then won the run off for first place!
  • Pippin then earned is first Q in Novice B rally with a score of 96, good enough for 4th place.

Tuesday

IMG_0229

  • Libby decided to come into season (more about that in a minute) so she was pulled from all companion event competitions.
  • Pippin did not qualify (NQ’d) in Beginner Novice B obedience when he stood up during the walkaround-sit.  Too bad as he was working on a 197 and would have won the class again!
  • Pippin Q’d a second time in Novice B rally with a score of 97 but this was not good enough for a placement.
  • In agility, Pippin did extremely well but took bars down in Novice FAST and Novice Jumpers.  He did keep all of the bars up in Novice Standard but had a refusal and run-out for a score of 90; he was still 15 seconds under SCT!  This was good enough for 1st place (the only entry) in the 12″ class.
  • Finally, Beatrice competed in the Maturity stakes, Bitch Class I.  Sue Frischmann showed her to a class win in this large class and then I showed her to Best of Opposite Sex overall!  Thank you to judge Jill Brooker from New Zealand for the honor.

Wednesday

  • Libby continued to sit on the sidelines and missed the agility competition.
  • Pippin did not Q in either Novice Jumpers or Novice Standard; he was very fast but took down 1-3 bars in each class.

Thursday

IMG_0395  IMG_0398

  • It was Beatrice’s time to shine.  I showed her to 1st place over 13 other entrants in the prestigious Bred By Exhibitor Bitch class.  Thank you judge Robert Opeka for the honor.  We did not get any further wins but I was very happy with Beatrice and her performance.
  • Libby then was named 1st place in the Brood Bitch class, with Beatrice and her brother Pedro as her produce.  Thank you again, judge Opeka!
  • BHCA also ran a demonstration of the AKC Coursing Ability Test.  The St Louis Association of Sight Hounds (SLASH) assembled a 300 yard course for the bassets to try.  Bjorn ran Pippin and he was a superstar!  He accurately chased the plastic bag and completed the course in 48 seconds.

Friday

  • Libby was the only one competing in the Best of Breed class.  Since she was in season she didn’t want me touching her tail and I wasn’t happy with how she showed.   That said, she made it through 2 cuts by judge Carol Makowski and her 1/2 sister Poppy made it into the final group.

Overall it was a great Nationals for the Spectrum Bassets.

After we returned home we decided to breed Libby.  She’s been bred to Wheaties (CH Topsfield Sanchu Wheaties) and if all goes well we’ll see puppies in mid-December 2016.

Upcoming Calendar

For those who may be reading my website to learn about Spectrum Basset Hound upcoming plans, here you go:

July 2016

  • Dog show:  Wampanoag Kennel Club, Sunday, July 3, 2016, Crackerbarrel Fairgrounds, Wrentham, MA (not far from the outlets!).  Dante (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso) will be showing in the Bred By Exhibitor Dog class.  Judging program is here.  Bassets will show in Ring 8 sometime after 1:30pm, probably closer to 2:00pm.  There is a 3-point major at stake for the boys, if all competitors show.

first

  • Rally trial:  Holyoke Kennel Club, Saturday, July 9, 2016, Better Living Center Building, Big E, West Springfield, MA.  Libby (GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery BN RN NJP CGC) will compete in Rally, Advanced B class.  Judging program is not yet posted but the premium list is here.  There are 15 competitors in the class.  If Libby earns a qualifying score she will complete her Rally Advanced (RA) title!

qualifying

  • Obedience trial:  Holyoke Kennel Club, Sunday, July 10, 2016, Better Living Center Building, Big E, West Springfield, MA.  Libby (GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery BN RN NJP CGC) will compete in Obedience, Novice B class.  Judging program is not yet posted but the premium list is here (same as the rally trial).  There are 10 competitors in the class.  If Libby earns a qualifying score she will complete her Companion Dog (CD) title!

d710-tea-plastic-dumbbell-p

August 2016

  • We may enter Dante and/or Beatrice (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice) in some early August shows. Stay tuned!
  • Specialty dog show:  Pilgrim Basset Hound Club, Friday, August 19, 2016, Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlborough, MA (1/2 mile on Rt 20 West of I-495).  I don’t know yet who will show and in what class but look for Dante, Beatrice and Libby to be present.  All local basset hound fanciers are welcome to attend – no admission fee!
  • Dog shows:  Wachusett Kennel Club, Saturday and Sunday, August 20-21, 2016, Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlborough, MA.  We won’t have any dogs showing as Anne is chairman of the Saturday show.  On Sunday she is judging the Bred By Exhibitor Terrier Group.  Come by and say hello – Anne will be at the club table all weekend.  Admission fee:  $5 per adult; seniors and children under 12 are $3.

September 2016

  • We may enter Dante and/or Beatrice (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice) in some early September shows. Stay tuned!
  • Agility trials:  Wachusett Kennel Club, Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 2016, American K-9 Country, Amherst, NH.  Libby and Pippin (CH Spectrum Topsfield Pippin of Sanchu) will compete in several classes.  Libby will likely be entered in Open Jumpers with Weaves Preferred and Pippin will be entered in Novice Standard Preferred and Novice Jumpers with Weaves Preferred.

agility

  • BHCA Nationals:  September 30 – October 7, 2016, Purina Event Center, Grey Summit, MO and environs.  See the 2016 BHCA Nationals web site for details.  It’s not clear who will go but Libby will likely compete in rally, obedience, agility and conformation, Pippin will likely compete in rally, obedience and agility, and Beatrice will compete in Maturity and conformation.  If Dante travels he’ll also be competing in Maturity and conformation.  Noodles will watch the house.

Later in 2016

  • Breeding!  We plan to breed Libby at her next season (late November/early December).  Selection of the sire is still being finalized.

Libby-Pups-03-03-2015

It’s Show Time!

I haven’t been to a dog show as a competitor since October 2014 due to my recent crazy work travel schedule. I’d like to work on Brownie’s championship so I entered him and Libby in the upcoming Pioneer Valley Kennel Club and Cheshire Kennel Club shows on August 1 and 2, respectively.  Several of my basset friends are also entering these shows so I’m hoping for a fun weekend.

Then I really took the plunge and entered the two adults plus puppies Dante and Beatrice at the Pilgrim Basset Hound Club specialty show on August 14 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough. That should be an amusing evening. The puppies have not yet figure out how to walk straight on a leash so my main goal will be remaining upright all evening.

By the way, I finally gave the puppies from the Libby x Douglas litter their final AKC registration names.   The four kids are now known officially as:

  • Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice (Beatrice)
  • Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso (Dante)
  • Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Purgatorio
  • Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Inferno

Beatrice & Dante live with me while the other two boys live with Sue Frischmann at Topsfield Kennel.

Puppies are home … well, two of them are

I picked up two of Libby’s four puppies from my good friend Sue Frischmann. I’ll add some pictures to this post but the crazy beasts are home and behaving very well in their new environment.

I’ve decided to name this litter (after I clear it with Claudia Orlandi, my co-breeder) after characters from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. The official names are pending but three boys will be named something like:

  • Dante (Alighieri)
  • Virgil
  • Paolo (da Rimini)

And the girl will be:

  • Beatrice (Portinari)

What do you think?

Puppies!

I’ve been waiting to make sure we don’t have any early issues but …

Libby gave birth to 4 red-and-white puppies on February 6, 2015: 3 boys and 1 girl. The litter was safely put on the ground by expert basset whelper Sue Frischmann of Topsfield Kennel of Vermont.

Here is one picture; stay tuned for more as we keep our fingers crossed for continued good health of the puppies. They are still fragile at this age but we’ll give the best possible care and hope for the best!

Libby-Pups-03-03-2015

Happy New Year! Will 2015 bring Spectrum puppies?

Back in late November Libby came into season.  Under the care of the reproduction specialists at Suffield Veterinary Hospital (Connecticut) she was bred three times to “Dougie” (Daddy Douglas v Grunsven) a Dutch dog of 1/2 American breeding, imported by Claudia Orlandi.  Libby is scheduled for an ultrasound on January 7, 2015 and we should if and when we’ll have puppies!