This gentleman is well known among the Evergreen Basenji Club, he has been looking for a stud for the last two years. His approach to breeding is more like an old farmer who wants to breed his trusty dog. He veiws dog breeding as simple process, and the puppies are sure to have great homes.
Please be considerate if contacted. Politely explain why breeding dogs is frowned upon, the over population, dogs in shelters needing homes, including basenjis. Explain that eithical dog breeding must have a greater purpose that to just produce puppies, and how his goals are not sufficient to justify having a litter when so many dogs need homes. He needs to understand this is not about money, but being socially responsible.
Fortunately, he is not willing to spend much money and I would hope that will deter him from simply purchasing a male.
Regrettably, one of these days he will likely find the stud he is looking for. If enough people emphasis the socially responsible aspect, it possible we can apply sufficient peer pressure to ensure the he places the puppies in good homes.
Trully a difficult situation, but rather than alienating him, be helpful while attempting to discourage him from his plans. I suspect it will not be long before we have to deal with the puppies he produces and the owners he places the puppies. Hopefully we can keep these puppies out of the shelters and in good non breeding homes.
Ok, here is a start. I'm going to address test breeding first, as it appears several people feel there should be a test breeding requirement in the petition process. I once thought the same 23 years ago when the Avongara were introduced when I was relativity new to dog breeding.
Test breedings are not required by the current petition process, though the process does require any offspring produce by the subject dog be documented and a photo submitted. I agree with the current requirements. With the limited time frame which the stud book is open, requiring test breedings creates huge problems. Logistics tends to promote the importing of puppies. It a take a minimum three years to produce one test breeding of the import dog, if imported as a puppy, and to produce offspring old enough to make an evaluation, and even this is poor determination of the subject dog, as it will only produce five or so offspring to draw conclusions. Under these conditions, the petitioner would simply choose a breeding which is apt to produce the most favorable results. It would be unreasonable to dictate in the petition process regarding what constitute a test breeding, as for what constitute a test breeding differ with each dog and how the petitioner wants to proceed with proving out whether the dog breeds true to the standard. Given the current five year opening of the stud book, it is not reasonable to require test breedings, and even if the program was extended another five years.
Only a perpetual open stud book would accommodate a test breeding requirement. The Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis is a good example how this is done. Desert bred salukis are accepted into the Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis much as the current basenji petition process, after three generations, they may apply for AKC registration. The Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis is one of few domestic, if not the only domestic registry AKC recognizes. Quality and health is maintained by popular acceptance. This a very involved program, and too challenging to implement for the basenji breed, given the few dogs imported. I do have to admire the ability to travel to Africa, purchase a working Salukis from the Bedouins and have an assured path to AKC registration.
Conformation breeding follows basic ideologies. We study pedigrees, evaluate parents, grandparents, and great grand parents, looking at the pedigrees both vertically and horizontally. Experience has taught us what traits are recessive and those dominate and we can plan a litter with some expectations of what the results will be. There many good books on the art of breeding for conformation.
When dealing with a dog that has no pedigree, no parents or grand parents to evaluate, predictability is more difficult. A test breeding program is more suitable to prove out these dogs. For test breedings, I follow more of a scientific methodology than conformation breeding ideologies to draw an accurate conclusion. Basically, forming a question, a theory, making a prediction, then setting up a test breeding, evaluate the results of the test breeding and draw a conclusion.
Tamra Green, discussing Dwarfism in Great Pyrenees phrase what a test breeding is quite well, "Test breeding by definition is the use of a known genetic carrier bred to a mate of unknown genetic status for the purpose of visually evaluating the progeny of the union. Test breeding has traditionally been the method breeders have used to control undesirable traits in their breeding stock. Using careful breeding techniques, it is possible to lessen the appearance of a trait through removal of carriers. This technique is especially true for an autosomal recessive trait. Since both parents need to be carriers of this single gene defect for the trait to appear, it is relatively straightforward to determine who is a carrier, with a degree of statistical certainty."
It was suggested that we should breed two of the Ntomba dogs together as a test breeding, Mosika and Lokolanga for example. I know absolutely nothing regarding parents or grand parents of these dogs. I suspect Mosika and Lokoso are littermates, and Lokolanga and Mbengi are littermate, however I have no proof. Making a prediction is possible. I can draw from conformation breeding experiences regarding phenotype and what traits maybe recessive and dominate. The breeding of Mosika and Lokolanga would likely produce a wide variation in the puppies. One prospective parent is large, the other is small. One has full tail curl, the other a sickle tail. Mosika's red coat would be diminished by Lokolanga light coat. Than there are the traits in common, short muzzle, moderate wrinkle, almond eye, upright ears. The litter would produce only a small sampling, 5 puppies or so. If the breeding produced a trait truly uncommon for the basenji breed such a wide set downed ear, or repetitive barking, you could not determine which parent the offending trait came from or if its a combination. This makes for a very poor test, based on a vague question, basic predictions, and no means to draw a concise conclusion.
I suspect what some people are referring to as a test breeding is the desire of a demonstration breeding between native imports from a region to demonstrate variation. With only using two dogs, such a breeding is unlikely to demonstrate the variation within that region, including traits truly uncommon for the basenji breed, the sampling, 5 or so puppies in not sufficient to draw conclusions. Phonotypically, using basic conformation breeding ideology, one can predict some of the puppies' traits. As a basenji breeder, I know the red color derived from the Agouti series is difficult to maintain, and easily lost. Lokolanga light coat will diminish Mosika's red coat. I can go through a whole list of traits, which I can give basic predictions. The breeding will not specifically prove the merits of either dog. Conducting any test breeding with Lokolanga is very changeling, as she will only be able to produce a small sampling of direct descendants. Sue Ann Bowling said it best, "For obvious reasons bitches were rarely test bred, especially in breeds with small litters - too much of her reproductive life would be lost in demonstrating that she was not a carrier." Each litter Lokolanga produces must provide sound conclusions; this can not be done breeding her to an unknown.
My test breeding utilizing the Ntomba dogs will be highly structured and involve domestic breed basenjis with predicable ability to produce basenji traits, testing will be over several generations to increase the additive relationship coefficient of Ntomba dogs. I want my endeavor to be solid; the goal to introduce foundation stock is not easy. Popular acceptance is very difficult. And there is possibility these dog may not breed true.
You will have to be patient with me. I'm not the best writer, and I always create drafts before I post on weighty subjects. Even then, I still make mistakes. I'm more than happy to share my views and address those questions regarding test breedings, health testing of the imports, and the petition process. I'll see if I can get something written during the weekend.
I have not posted to the Basenji Forums for sometime, and regret we just do not have the time to be involved with all the various social media venues.
Laurie and I truly want to thank the basenji fancy and BCOA membership for their support, choosing to approve our petition for registration. We are thrilled that you gave us the opportunity to work with the Ntomba dogs, Mosika and Lokoso. Without AKC registration, we would not pursue an import breeding program. The effort involved to determine if these dogs will breed true to the basenji standard is too great of an endeavor to undertake on the speculation of AKC registration at a later date. Often I wish the basenji breed had a program modeled after the Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis; however such a private domestic registration is a huge endeavor for the limited number of dogs being imported from Africa. Given the shear cost to bring dogs out of the Congo, this not likely to change.
The Basenji Native Stock Petition process works quite well. The process of obtaining professional evaluations put the dogs physically the hands highly qualified individuals. Mosika and Lokoso were evaluated separately by using different evaluators. A special thanks to our evaluators.
Judy Lange, Amun Basenjis, 1978 (Longtime Breeder)
Lesely Hiltz, Beagles since 1967, Licensed AKC Judge, Hounds, Toys,
Herding, Non-Sporting, Best in Show
2000 BCOA National Specialty Judge (Basenji Judge)
Kathy Britton, Khani's Basenjis, 1967, Licensed Basenji Judge, 2006, (Breeder / Basenji Judge)
Rita Webb, NO KA OI'S Basenjis, 1979 (Longtime Breeder)
Dale Simmons, Whippets since 1963 , Licensed AKC Judge, Sporting, Hounds, Herding,
Best in Show (Basenji Judge)
Marianne Klinkowski, Naharin basenjis, 1968, Licensed Basenji Judge, 1997,
2007 BCOA National Specialty Judge
BCOA Judges Education Chair (Breeder / Basenji Judge)
The evaluators have a pivotal role; they are the hands and eyes of the BCOA membership. Though we submit photos, as most know, not all photos do a dog justice and they also can be misleading. Often I find Mosika free stacked in the yard, gazed upon a squirrel and wish I had my camera in hand. The reality is, no camera can capture what truly defines a basenji, and you have to experience it first hand.
The only change I would recommend to the petition process is to give applicants the ability to provide a brief biography of the evaluators, possible at the top of the evaluation forms. BCOA Members do not necessary know the qualifications of evaluators the petitioners have selected.
Mosika and Lokoso petition was not without opposition. Comments flowed across the social media network. Many comments were speculations that the region which we acquired these dogs was not sufficiently isolated to rule out possible influences from outside introduced dogs. Some comments were factually erroneous, and a few comments were malicious exaggerations.
For the most part, I view the criticism positively, and would hope those so passionately opposed to these dogs will expend the same passion to the preservation of the breed's foundation.
Laurie and I were not involved with the breed when the Liberian dogs were introduce, though we know individuals who still do not consider dominate black color a true trait of the basenji. We were involved in the breed when Jon and Margaret Summer brought their Esenjo youngsters to the Seattle Kennel Club show in 1984, and the 1987-88 imports which resulted in the opening of the stud book and a change in the standard to accept brindle. All these events were controversial. We heard much of the same criticism with our petition. We expected no difference with the Ntomba Imports. I often wonder what Mrs. Burns thought of Veronica Tutor Williams imports from the Sudan, given the 1000 or more miles distance north across the Congo Basin from the source of Mrs. Burns imports.
Differential objective opinions are critical to the best interest of the breed. These options provide for diversity within the breed and establish unique lineages. However, I do expect breeders to be respectful of others options. The whole premises of organized competitive events such as conformation shows, field trials, are to provide a venue which breeders can present the results of their opinions in a sportsmanship like manor. Too often I see a lack of respect and sportsmanship, and it seriously harms the breed, not only from a social point of view, it extends to the very foundations of the breed.
There have been a few comments wondering if we will be doing a test breeding between Lokoso and Mosika. We are 95% sure these two dogs are litter-mates, and it is highly probable that the parents are also inbred. I have my doubt that a test breeding between Lokoso and Mosika will reveal anything more than what is already apparent. I suspect it will actually take 3 to 4 generations of careful breeding to prove out these dogs.
If the Ntomba?s fail to breed true, they are destine to be nothing more than a footnote, having no lasting impact on the breed.
Even if these dogs breed true, it unlikely they will make any significant contribution to the breed, unless they can produce traits the fancy desires. In late 80's, early 90's, fanconi and the desire for the brindled coat drove the contribution of the 1987-88 imports. These conditions do not exist today. Today's drive is focused on increasing the number of distinct individuals to form a broader foundation of the breed. It's a highly debated topic with breeders, and challenges to effectively add foundation stock are enormous.
Esenjo is a good example of the acceptance process. Jon and Margaret Summer did extensive breeding over several generations to determine if their Esenjo progeny would breed true. However, the dogs never gained popularity, and only a few Esenjo descendants remain in the hands of few breeders. The linage is on brink of being extinguished. This has occurred with several imports.
And, should Ntomba's produce desired traits, it is our belief the benefits to the breed can be substantial.
The basenji breed is fortunate not to have widespread popularity. Though the basenji breed have been plagued with some puppy mill and pet shop production, these lines have been self extinguishing over time, likewise with hoarders and the ?Backyard? breeders. Preservation of the breed is driven by the fancy and conformation breeders. This is not the case in many of the highly popular breeds. Conformation breeding is a blessing and a curse for the basenji. It provides for dedicated breeding by those truly are concern with outcome. However, much attrition has occurred as we selectively bred for desired traits and focus on reducing or eliminating health issues. Breeders really need to consider utilizing ancestry tables and additive relationship in their breeding programs to avoid this attrition.
Personally, I'm puzzled by the rationality of voting against any dog that has made it through the documentation and evaluation aspects of the current petition process. Importing these dogs is a huge endeavor. No breeder working with imported dogs wants their efforts viewed as detrimental to the breed. Essentially, these import breeding programs are "guinea pigs" and the reality is it takes 3 or more generations of breeding to prove out these dogs. One can expect 10 to 20 years of effort to establish even a measure of acceptance. And the chance of failure is always possible.
Breeders have a choice whether they use these dogs in their breeding program. If dog fail to produce desired traits, or produce undesired traits or health issues, they will not gain acceptance. That is the harsh nature of conformation breeding. Even a moderate measure of acceptance is doomed to nothing more than a fleeting moment in the modern basenji history.
To truly become foundation stock, the dogs must have wide spread acceptance, and it does not come easily.
We watched on the sidelines as many did, while others proved out the early Avongara. It was 10 years and the evaluation of many breedings before Laurie and I choose to incorporate these dogs. Even now, we still maintain two lines in our kennel, one without Avongara influence, and a line which is influenced by these import. Ntomba will represent a third.
Sincerely, Bryan and Laurie Gregory, Jumoke Basenjis
I have not posted on the Basenji Forums for some time since joining in 2006 and thought it would be best to re-introduce ourselves. I'm Bryan Gregory. I have been breeding basenjis under the kennel name of Jumoke since 1985. I'm a AKC Breeder of Merit, and recipient of AKC Gold and Silver Medallion for finishing 10 or more Conformation Champions out the Bred By Exhibitor class. My beginning with basenjis started as a teenager when my mom purchased a basenji, Lady, from Bob Mankey and Jack Shafer's Cambria Basenjis in 1977 for my dad. A life long dream of his after seeing Good By My Lady. I purchased my first basenji from Shelia Smith, Tennji Basenjis, in 1981, and consider her my mentor. Sheila purchased her first basenji from George Gilkey, Rhosenji Basenjis in 1950. Sheila's experiences with George, including some of the very first basenjis in the United States shaped Sheila's breeding practices and mine. And the rest snowballed.
My wife is Laurie Gregory and often we use the same social media account. We have been married nine years ago to this day. Laurie is also a AKC Breeder of Merit, and recipient of AKC Gold and Silver Medallion for finishing 10 or more Conformation Champions out the Bred By Exhibitor class. Laurie purchased her first basenji, from Susan Coe in 1981 and bred her first litter in 1985, establishing the kennel name of Quita. Laurie is a avid photographer, who is actively doing canine sport photography and a few basenji specialties. Her work can be found on the Jumoke Photo blog, breed publications, and Facebook.
Together, we have bred 50 to 60 conformation champion basenjis over the last 25 years or so. Which would squarely set us as conformation breeders. However, as part of our breeding practices, we believe in the ideology of the complete basenji. We are also very active in Lure Coursing, and dabble in Obedience. Many of the top Lure Coursing basenjis in the Northwest are descendants from our breeding. Laurie is now pursuing Rally and Agility. We focus on balance, which include issues as conformation, companionship quality, health, temperament. Several members on the Basenji Forums have dogs which we have bred. We also support rescue, all dogs deserve a good home.
Recently, we are noted for our trip to Africa. In March 2010, with James Johannes and Lisa Saban, we travel to Democratic Republic of the Congo and brought back 5 dogs. The older two of these dogs have been accepted into the AKC Basenji Stud Book Registry. James is preparing his petition for this year for one of these dogs. One of the puppies who tested as a fanconi carrier was placed as a pet with member Sharron Hurlbut. It was deemed that it would to difficult to work with this dog and her carrier status.
Currently the following basenjis live with us:
Maya, 14 yrs, Chekesha's Yodel'N For Grandma
(returned to us this year, due to her owners no longer being able care for the her)
Sprite, 11, yrs, Ch. Jumokebaru Mischievous Sprite
(Brood Bitch Honor Roll, 7 Champions)
Max, 6 yrs, Ch Jumoke's American Dream SC
Congo, 3 yrs, Ch Jumoke South House Congo
(Special, pursuing his grand Championship)
Melina, 3 yrs, GCh Ch Jumoke's Superfecta
(Planned breeding in 2012)
Betty, 3 yrs, Ch Jumoke's Trifecta
(Special, pursuing his grand Championship
- Planned breeding in 2011)
Mosika, 1 yr, FC Ntomba Mosika SC
(African Import, Lure Courser Extraordinaire)
Shaker, 8 mos, Jumoke's Twist and Shout
(young hopeful, Melina's first litter)
and our pending basenji,
Peanut, 1 yr, Ntomba Lokolonga
(African Import, possible petition in 2012)
Feeding time is much different in our house.
There is no leaving food out, AKA "At Liberty Feeding", we have several dogs which would take advantage of this and pork out a any opportunity. There is a great amount of competitiveness for food about our dogs. I generally attribute this to having groups of three or more.
There are very beneficial reasons to feed at a specific time. Pavlov’s Dog, which documented that dogs anticipate a specific feeding time and or conditions in which they salivate and produce digestive acid. Feeding on a regular schedule does aid in the digestive process. This also very beneficial to producing regularity for bowel movements, a big plus for puppy house breaking.
As for time of day, if your dog tends to be overweight, feed in the morning only. The dog will burn the Kcals thought out that day, and extra will be stored as fat, or if insufficient to meet that days needs, they will burn fat reserves. This allows better weight management for the dog which tends to be fat.
If your dog tends to be thin, feed twice a day. The dog will burn the Kcals given in the morning, and the evening feeding will assist in supplying additional Kcals and reduce the likelihood that they will pull from fat reserves. The additional Kcals from the evening feeding will be processed into fat reserves if the dog does not utilize them, such as during that nights sleep. This helps to keep weight on the dogs that tends to be thin.
Remember, a dog’s digestive system is very different from humans. In the wild, canines do not eat on a regular schedule, often going several days between meals. They gorge themselves when the do feed, and sleep shortly after, putting as much of the Kcal into fat reserves as possible. We humans do not have the metabolism to process calories into fat then burn that fat on a fest – famine demand. Our metabolism wants to slow down before burning those fat reserves when faced with famine.
Showing basenji puppies can be a humbling experience, not only do you want to condition Rose for this experience, there is you.
As Terry recommended, fun matches and handling classes are a great help. You may want to contact your local basenji club, or all breed club if a basenji club is not established in your area.
There is an art to showing a basenji which can not be put into written from. Help from your breeder or someone else who has been showing basenjis for a while is invaluable.
Success in the show ring requires timing. The Basenji Standard is written to describe a mature adult dog. Puppies go through development stages; there is a period of time they look like miniature adults, and they there are the uneven growth spurt which we refer to the puppy ganglies then onto the teenage ganglies. Laurie and I will show puppies during this gangly phase just to give the puppy some show experience, knowing very well that any judge in their right mind is not going to place the dog. It’s next to impossible to truly duplicate an actual conformation show atmosphere, and these practice entries are necessary for the pup to gain experience while the dog is young and more open to new situations.
So come October, go for it, ready or not. Have fun, bring a sense of humor. There is truly only one concern, that is to make sure your puppy is comfortable having strangers examine them on a table. This is very easy to accomplish, have many strange people give your dog treats while on the table. I do mean strange in the literal sense. Have them touch and feel the dog, including looking at the teeth. Do this in fun; don’t worry about the dog being still or even stacked.
After you show in October, and the breed judging has concluded. Do discuss your dog with other basenji exhibitor and breeders. Ask for a critique, and handling tips. Some will more than willing to give you a valid assessment, others may not. Your breeder is only one opinion, not everyone will share that opinion. Success in the show ring requires knowing your dog’s faults and virtues, and if they are competitive given the dogs currently being shown in a given area. It’s that timing thing again.
Why do I feed Purina Puppy Chow? Simply, the results. I have been using this feed for over fifteen years, and my dogs excel on it. We have had only a few dogs which had special needs which Purina Puppy Chow did not meet.
And the big plus, I pay only 42 cents a pound compared to the dollar or more some of the other foods cost. You can not equate quality with cost, spending more money does not necessary get you a better food. Much as spending $90 plus on a bottle of wine does not necessary make it a superior wine over two buck chuck.
Does this mean that I feel that everyone should feed their basenjis such? No
Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro Max and so on, all make very good foods. One must read the label to determine if the formula is right for your dog. Weighing kcal provided to the nutrients. You need to stay within the suggested feeding guideline. If it’s necessary reduce the quantity below the guidelines to keep you dog weight under control, than the food has too many Kcals per cup and your dog is most like not receiving the nutrients level it needs. If your feed above the guidelines, your dog is getting the nutrients intended in the formula, but you probly picking up a lot of crap in the yard. This dog would do better on a higher Kcal formula.
As for processed food verses home made. Home made, to the right recipe is the best. Processing does diminish the quality of the food. Laurie and I do not have the time to cook for seven dogs. Raw diet, no way. My dad raised chicken, 1000 plus bird farm; I know first hand all the bacteria and virus these birds can carry. I would never take a chance of subjecting my dog’s digestive systems to such.
Do I supplement my dog’s diets? Yes and no. If you find that your dog needs additional supplements beyond his normal diet on a daily bases, than you should change the diet to a more complete formula suitable for your dogs needs. I do give our dogs the occasional PetTab vitamin, and occasional table scraps of meat, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and so on. Table scraps and treats never exceed 10% of the dog’s diet. This practice ensure I do not alter the diet which the good folks over a Purina have so painstaking researched. It also adds some additional antioxidants and trace minerals to the diet and most of all keeps the diet from getting boring. It’s extremely important you do not over supplement any diet. For example, too much zinc interferes with the dog’s metabolism which results in the inability to absorb calcium / phosphorus. Think twice before you start dosing your dog heavy on these so call wonder supplements.
The truth is, if your dog does not have the genes for dark pigment, or the proper coat texture, or rich coat color. No diet or supplement is going to improve them, but a poor diet or imbalanced diet can diminish the quality of such. And it goes without saying, poor diet or imbalanced diet can lead to some very serious health problems. So have faith in the researchers that produce your favorite dog food.
Hence back to calcium / phosphorus level. My mentor, who bred basenjis beginning in the early fifties felt that the breed developed and maintained stronger pasterns and hocks, which are critical joints, comprised of small bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments when fed a diet rich with calcium / phosphorus. I continue to agree with this observation. An increase in calcium / phosphorus can not correct a poorly bred dog with weak pasterns and hocks, but it does help a basenji develop and maintain these joints in peak condition, very important in a performance breed. I have even had discussions with judges after breed competition regarding basenjis with down pasterns and how my dogs excelled in such. In order for a dog utilize calcium / phosphorus, it must be in the proper ratio and give with other nutrients. Giving your dog calcium pills or Tums is a waste of time and possibly harmful. PetCal or similar products are properly balanced for canine utilization.
So, should you change your dog’s diet to a puppy or performance formula? That depends greatly on your individual dog. Activity level, performance task, showing, and weather all greatly influence your dogs kcal needs.
Of the 7 dogs which we have
Our Scottie puppy, Ringo, receives 650 Kcals a day dived into two feedings. He’s only 4 ½ month old and very much a growing dog. The breed is heavy boned, with substantial muscle mass; adult should be only 10 inches at the shoulder but 20 pounds. His diet will be increased as he grows. It’s very important he receives the amino acids / proteins, fats, calcium / phosphorus for the energy and nutrition to develop this heavy structure, the rest depend on the genes.
Our two young basenjis, Max and Trance receive a whooping 1300 Kcals a day. Max and Trance will be two this fall, and are our current show and coursing dogs. They spend their days in our west yard, which is a fully fenced half acre. This allows them to run full out and play to their hearts content, which they take advantage of daily. They also have the company of the dogs on the outer side of the fence, which result in a game of fence sparing. Those of us who show and course their dogs know conditioning and stamina does make a difference. No flabby muscles on these dogs. Like Ringo, muscle development is a matter of having the genes, diet and physical activity.
We have only one brood bitch in our house at this time, Sprite, who will be seven this fall, receives 700 Kcals. She runs with Max and Trance, which helps keep her quite fit, but she does not have the energy level of two year old. It’s very important to keep a brood bitch in fit condition, neither thin nor over weight, with strong muscles. Pregnancy is very demanding of the body. It is recommended that dog’s which are pregnant are fed a Puppy formula diet, for the additional calcium / phosphorus to assist in the development of the puppies and production on milk.
We have two spayed girls, Gabrielle who is nine, and Cherry who will be 4 this fall, both receive 650 Kcals to maintain their weight. These are both very active dogs, lots of playing and fence sparing. Spay and neutering does decrease a dog’s metabolism. If it was not for activity level, these dogs would be candidate for lower Kcal maintenance formula.
Our oldest dogs, Tootsie, who will be ten this fall, also receive 650 Kcals to maintain her weight. She too is very active and runs with Ringo and Cherry in our east yard. We do plan to spay her this year, which will require a change in diet.
Laurie and I raise our dogs in a very active environment. Even our oldest, 14 – 16 years had a Kcal demand of 650 or above. Muscle wasting is a big problem with old age; it takes physical activity and good diet to avoid.
At what point would I switch to a maintenance diet, if I have a dog which had kcal need of 400 or less. When dogs become sedentary or overweight, and a reduction in Kcal is needed, there is a greater demand for more nutrients per Kcal, hence maintenance, senior or over weight formula diets.
Given that my advise regarding how I feed my dogs, and recommendation to their owners has been brought up. I felt it necessary to share the whole story behind my feeding practices. This is quite long, thus posted in parts
I always find this a very interesting topic, given all the hype in the pet food industry. This is a billon dollar market which the manufactures want you to spend more money on new and improved food and attempting to increase their market share. Labeling has now gone to natural, organic, antioxidants, join care and so on. The reality is, there is very little different between the brands, but the formulas do matter, based on you dogs needs.
There is only a small difference between a puppy diet and performance diet. This tends to be the calcium / phosphorus level. As far as protein and fat percentages, there is way too much hype by the pet food industries in the presentation that more of one or the other is better.
The most important factor to consider in a diet is Metabolizable Energy which should be determined by the use of feeding trials not by chemical analysis. This is expressed as ME and given in Kcals per pound, cup or Kg. Regardless of the source, this is the representation on how well a dog’s digestive system utilizes the ingredients of the feed. Kcal is derived from fats, proteins and carbohydrates, it very interesting to compare various manufactures source ratios of such. They all tend to stay close to the same formula.
For example, Purina Puppy Chow has 431 Kcals per cup and Purina Pro Plan Performance has 493 Kcals per cup. The lower Kcals in the Puppy Chow results in that I feed more, but not by much.
Next factor is the ingredients. I have always stayed away from diets heavy with wheat or wheat gluten. In the early days of Malabsorption, now called ISPID, (Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease) many of the breeders noted that inflicted dogs tend to have been on a wheat based diet. Though, I do not believe any link has ever been proven, but I have never had a dog inflicted with ISPID after twenty years of breeding basenjis and I will continue to avoid wheat.
Rice is probably the best grain for digestion, then corn. As far as soy is concern, I’m pessimistic. I have read many articles regarding the positive benefits and many discussing the negatives.
As far as which is more important, meat then grain or the other way around, or whether it’s meat by product verse meat. This is current trend of the pet food industry hype. The correct answer is balance. A good example is in rice and beans in a human diet, it takes a balance of both to make a complete protein, as any vegetarian will tell you. Regarding meat verses meat by product, the meat by product can be by far more nutritional depending what is processed. Chicken by product can be very nutritional and exceed the nutritional value of the flesh. But, if the chicken by product includes feathers, beak, etc which are protein, but not digestible, the quality of the chicken by product is compromised. It’s very important buy your pet food from a reputable company.
Next factor is vitamins, minerals and amino acids, the nutrients. I’m sure we have all heard how soda pop is noting but empty calories. All good canine pet foods are fortified. These are all those obscured ingredients such as L-Lysine monohydrochloride which is a solid substance that is very soluble in water. L-lysine has three pKa's: pKa1=2.20, pKa2=8.90 and pKa3=10.28. L-lysine is marketed as a nutritional substance, either as L-lysine monohydrochloride or as the free base, L-lysine. The molecular weight of L-lysine is 146.19 daltons, its molecular formula is C6H14N2O2. Information which was found on the web, suggest you do an internet search on all these obscure ingredients before dismissing them as nasty chemicals and preservatives.