Fred Lanting

The Shiba’s Place in the Dog World

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 What is this breed called Shiba? What are its origins, similarities and differences compared with other breeds more familiar to Americans? The very beginning of the Shiba’s long trek to the present era is widely held to be somewhere in the vicinity of Mesopotamia, surrounded by what is known today as Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. In this, scholars agree with the Biblical account of the origin of the “first” dogs—i.e., the new beginning of the species after the Great Flood. Whether Noah had separate accommodations for wolves and dogs, or to put it another way, whether Canis familiaris, Canis lupus, and similar dog-wolves had diverged long before that, is of little concern...

The Art of Critiquing a Dog

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 In many breeds and most parts of the world, judges are expected to give a full explanation for the way they place the winners. Indeed, they often are required to rank and describe each dog down to the very end of each class. Why the AKC is out of step with the rest of the world is grist for an entire series of articles, but suffice it here to say that it is not a member of the FCI, the world federation of dog clubs. It doesn’t recognize pedigrees from certain countries, it doesn’t attempt to standardize breed standards, and goes its merry (?) way in many other areas...

Dogs in the Civil War

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 Mention “war dog” and you will evoke various mental images, depending on the age of the hearer. The younger military veterans will tell you of the German Shepherds used in Vietnam. Those of my generation will remember the War Department’s drive during the early 1940s to secure canine donations—many excellent dogs were “volunteered” for the war effort and served with distinction in both the European and Pacific theatres. In World War I the Germans perfected the ambulance dog, the courier dog, and other specially trained canine combatants and support troops...

Dogs in the Heavens

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 In the “olden days” (which to to­day’s generation probably means be­fore TV), when there were no street lamps or lighted guppy aquariums, and people used candles or torches to find their way at night, the sky could get very dark indeed. Especially when the moon was less full or on the other side of Earth, night was a time for many to look up and wonder at the immensity of the universe. Without “light pollution” in the sky...

Economy Tips For Breeder-Exibitors

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 A lady told me that she had spent thousands so far in raising a small litter (six pups to four months old) and the costs had not yet finished mounting, even though she paid no stud fee or shipping, since she owned the sire, too. This was her first attempt at breeding and will probably be her last, mostly because of the unforeseen expense...

Giardia and Suggestions for Treatment

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 Giardia is a single-cell organism in what we used to call “the animal kingdom” because early classification systems distinguished animals from plants by the ability of the former to move from place to place “of their own free will.” The Giardia cell does this by whipping its appendages, like a shark’s tail, or a sperm cell. This flagellant action propels it through much of the dog’s (or human’s) digestive system...

Hot Spots and Mange — Not Always Easy to Diagnose or Treat

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It seems that no matter why a dog is brought in, many quick-draw vets immediately fire their salvos of antibiotics and/or steroids. Most (or at least a great part) of the time, these are the wrong or ineffective approaches, but it’s a natural reaction, like smashing a snake even though the odds may be 50-to-one that it’s not a poisonous one. In my experience, simple cleaning does more than this automatic application of topical antibiotics or shots. If it is mange, keeping it dry and applying the right stuff is a better route. Even if it is not mange, the treatments used for demodex...

Dog Memories

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Memory and experience are personal—that is, they die with the person. But sometimes we are fortunate to find a repository of such memories written down, so that future dog aficionados can enjoy and be enlightened. I hope that wherever you are reading this now, it will be saved in case some grandchild who fancies dogs might want to know what it was like “in the old days.”

Jealousy and the Canine

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In the domesticated dog, the picture is often distorted a bit. John and Jane Doe have a puppy who grows up “thinking” he is number-three “person” in the family. Jane gets pregnant. Now what? Do they have cause to worry about the dog not accepting the baby?

Don’t Be Snookered!

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There is no place on earth where dogs and dog lovers have complete liberty to enjoy life and each other. At one end of the scale would be the Hawaiians of sixty or more years ago. One of those, a neighbor in 1958, told us that many natives loved dogs so much, that they nearly worshipped them...

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