NEWSLETTER NUMBER 16
EDITORIAL by Ann Gatenby
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: THE DATA PROTECTION ACT by Vickie Robinson
CHRISTMAS PARTY - 3rd DECEMBER 1995 by Ben Kemp
FROM THE RESCUE by Kate Reed
BONE OF CONTENTION: MISSING STAFFORDS by Alan Funnell
WHELPING HANDS by Ann Gatenby
IDENTITY CRISIS by Ben Kemp
HANDLING MATCH RESULTS by Jamie Mace
COMPETITION by Jamie Mace
TOP DOGS AND BITCHES OF 1995 by Jamie Mace, Kathy Palmer, Vickie Robinson and Ben Kemp
Dear Members and Friends
First of all let me wish you all a very happy Christmas and a successful 1996, and I look forward to seeing you all around the shows (especially the Downlands!).
Now I have to tell you that it is getting increasingly difficult to find interesting items to put into the Newsletters, and if we don't get some regular items we may have to reduce it to an ordinary news sheet. Two or three people regularly contribute, and to them I am most grateful, but we need a variety of items, and anything you think may be of interest to Stafford lovers will be gratefully received.
Going around the shows this year I have been quite interested in watching some of the movement in Staffords, and I have to say, one or two (if not more) are beginning to look like other terriers, which they should not do. I remember years ago, when Nap Cairns was still with us, he was quite adamant about the fact that the Stafford movement is quite unlike other terriers in as much as where terriers such as Fox Terriers adopt a rather hackney-like movement, the Stafford is more of a "plodder", with a much heavier movement. Perhaps the reason for this is that some specimens are tending to look rather more terrier than bull. This is just an observation of mine. Many might think differently. Do write and tell us what you think.
The hot summer certainly had an adverse effect on my dogs. They definitely decided that the cool floor in the kitchen was the place to be, rather than the hot garden. However I must say that exhibitors at shows seemed to take care that their dogs did not suffer too much, and cold wet towels were the order of the day.
My grateful thanks to Vickie Robinson and Ben Kemp for all the hard work they put in on the Newsletter. I think members will agree it has improved immensely over the last year.
Don't forget your dogs at Christmas. They enjoy the festivities too, but too much cake, pudding etc. will be just as bad for them as it is for us.
Anyway, I hope you and your dogs all have a super time.
The Western Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club have challenged our club to a match, to be held next April 28th at a venue in their area. If you would like to take part in this match PLEASE ring Jamie Mace on 01243 542159. The more the merrier! I'm sure it will be a most enjoyable day.
Disappointingly, The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club has had its application to award Challenge Certificates in 1997 turned down by the Kennel Club. Anyone interested in showing their dog or bitch will be well aware that a winner of three such Challenge Certificates gains the right to have their kennel name prefixed with "Champion (Ch.)"
Undaunted, the committee has already applied for the right to award CC's in 1998, and it is hoped that the pressure being brought to bear on the Kennel Club by the Breed Council (see later this page) will increase the chances of the Downlands being able to award tickets and hold Championship shows. Once more the Newsletter will endeavour to keep the membership up to date with the latest developments.
The revised rulebooks (mentioned in Newsletter no. 14) are nearing completion. There has been a change in plan with regard to these and they will not now be in A6 format, but the rather more familiar A5 (i.e. Schedules and Newsletter-sized). At the moment it is thought likely that these will be going out with the Annual General Meeting notifications in early 1996.
Members of the club will be pleased to hear that the committee has successfully re-applied to hold the third show, which will be Summer 1996. The precise date and venue are Sunday 9th June, at Liphook. All members are reminded that it is only by having a good attendance that we can continue to hold three shows, so we look forward to seeing you all there.
The Breed Council has been active in many different areas, including the co-ordination of information between clubs, organising inter-club events, and aiding other clubs in starting up. The Breed Council has taken up the issue of the reduction of shows with the Kennel Club and may have had some influence in the decision to restore the third show to several clubs.
There is currently some uncertainty concerning the future allocation of Challenge Certificates, and the Breed Council has advised the Kennel Club that if any CCs are to be lost at all, it would be preferable to see them removed from those General Canine Society shows with lower attendance rather than from Breed Clubs which have always enjoyed healthy entries. In addition to this they have requested that Breed Clubs are given preferential treatment when CCs are allocated. In this respect the Breed Council has the full support of the Downlands.
The Breed Council is also actively campaigning for amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the only specific breed represented on the DDA Reform Group, which includes all the UK's major animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, the NCDL, Blue Cross, PRO-dogs, etc.
More money has been raised for the Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue. At the recent Downlands show at Hayward's Heath, club chairman Dave Harris auctioned a book on Staffords, a bottle of wine, a Stafford Model and a collection of old Southern Counties Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society newsletters. The book, "The Staffordshire Bull Terrier" by Count Hollander was donated by Vic Pounds and raised £65 from Paddy Christey. The bottle of wine was donated by Mrs. Ann Gatenby, bought by Miss Gwen Morris and raised £10. The Stafford Model was donated by Alan Hedges, bought by Mrs. Eunice Pocknell and raised £40. The Southern Counties Newsletters were donated by Dave Harris and sold to Mrs. Kathy Palmer for £20. Including a very generous donation of £50 from Mrs. Lesley McFadyen, all in all, the very pleasing sum of £185 was raised.
Some of you may remember the advert for the NCDL
sponsored walk on 1st October at Hamstead Marshall that appeared in the last
Newsletter. There was a very poor showing from Downlands members, only four out
of the total membership turned up. So well done to Ann Gatenby, Margaret Nunn,
Ben Kemp and Vickie Robinson, and what happened to the rest of you? The weather
was fine (if a little damp underfoot) and the three-mile course was quite easy,
taking around fifty minutes to complete. The NCDL doesn't put dogs down, so is
in need of funds as if it has a non-rehomable dog it cares for it for the
remainder of its life. Although it's difficult to get an exact figure it is
thought that our four intrepid representatives raised over £220 between them -
not bad for a morning's work.
Rumours of discontent about the team selected for this match (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) are apparently "doing the rounds" in the club at the moment. This match, that took place on 24th September at Burgh Heath, in Surrey, was advertised on page five of the last Newsletter. This means that everyone who received a Newsletter should have known about it, and if they didn't, have only themselves to blame for not reading it properly! The Match Secretary couldn't possibly telephone the entire membership on the off chance, so if you want to take part in future PLEASE call the Match Secretary and let him know! Now why do I have the feeling that this has been a waste of ink?
Some members of the club and other attendees at our shows are putting the venues at risk through their selfishness. Despite prominent "No Smoking" signs these people continue to light their cigarettes and smoke. All three of the venues that the Downlands uses regularly, the Bohunt Centre at Liphook, the Oathall Community College at Hayward's Heath, and Rake Village Hall are non-smoking venues. All this means is that, should the club be determined to be abusing the facilities, we will lose the use of these excellent venues. So smokers, think about what you're doing, if we lose the halls then you'll not only have spoilt it for yourselves, but for the other members of the club as well.
The collection of used stamps for the Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust continues. As you know, the club Treasurer, Kathy Palmer, acts as a liaison point for the trust and sends used stamps on. With Christmas approaching, subscription reminders etc. in the post, all members will doubtlessly have a veritable multitude of used stamps. Why not, then, send them to:
Kathy Palmer, 2 London Avenue, Portsmouth, Hants, PO2 9BU
All donations for this very worthy cause will be gratefully received by Kathy, so come on, pop them in the post!
The rare and unusual stamps that were sent away for valuation have been returned with the very disappointing news that they were only worth about £5. Tony Veal, from the ACT, said that stamp albums do not raise the large amounts that many people expect them to. The ACT did, however, express their gratitude at our continuing support for their appeal.
Janastaff Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Downlands member Jamie Mace) also recently received a honorary mention in the ACT newsletter for its stamps and donation.
By now all club members (apart from those exempt under rule 9) will have received their renewal reminders. Remember that all renewals fall due on the first of January 1996, and must be paid by 31st January in order for your membership of the club to continue. Failure to do so will mean that you have to re-apply to the club for membership, and go through the approval process all over again. To avoid any misunderstandings or delays please ensure that your renewal form and payment go direct to the Membership Secretary, Vickie Robinson, at the address below in order that your payment can be recorded on your membership record. Please allow 28 days for your receipt to be dispatched. Any longer than this and the chances are something has gone awry (lost in post etc.) so please telephone Vickie (you may call any time of day as she has an answerphone) who will do her best to sort out any problems. If you have any other queries with your membership ONLY then Vickie will be pleased to help you. Vickie is the only member of the committee who has total access to all the membership information as it is naturally confidential.
Also, anyone who changes their address should notify the Membership Secretary in writing, preferably before the actual move with an effective date. Write to:
Vickie Robinson, 10 Smithy Close, Holybourne, Alton, Hants, GU34 4EE
Vickie will naturally pass on all the stamps she receives as a result to Kathy for the ACT.
The Downlands Staffordshire Bull
Terrier Club Newsletter Sub-committee wishes all members of the club a very
happy Christmas and a prosperous and successful new year. The best of luck to
you and your Staffords in 1996.
The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club
holds its membership address list on a computer file, stored on a computer disc,
which is not accessible from any computer network. This database holds the name,
address, telephone number and details of subscriptions paid for each member of
the club. It is used purely to create labels for letters, schedules and
newsletters and in the routine administration of the club membership. It is also
used to create lists for the Kennel Club - this is a mandatory requirement for
all Breed Clubs affiliated to the Kennel Club and so would happen whether
computerised or not.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984, The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, as a constituted member's club, is entitled to claim exemption from registration with the Data Protection Registrar, which would require an annual payment.
The proviso of this exemption is on condition that the club members are informed of the data that is held and that they are asked if they object to their membership details being stored in this way.
Since January 1995 the application form to join the club has
contained a section that must be completed asking if the applicant agrees to his
or her information being held in this way. The 1995 subscription renewal forms
also contained a similar section for completion. It is hoped that all members of
the club were reached in this way, however to prevent any possibility of
misunderstanding arising and to protect the club from a legal standpoint, for
anyone who for whatever reason was not asked, please treat this article as
formal notification that as from 1st January 1996 all membership records will
be held on the Membership Secretary's Personal Computer.
Traditionally, it seems that it always either rains or threatens to on the day of the Downlands Christmas Party, and this year was no exception. Rake Village Hall, however, was a hive of activity and celebration as the Downlands met for its last event of the year.
The attendance was down slightly on last year, a little over fifty people gathered to take part in what was billed last year as the "Climactic canine Christmas celebration". The atmosphere was, though, if anything far more festive, and far more people seemed to join in with the games.
The event began at the usual time of 11:00 am. Veterinary Surgeon Doctor Peter Larkin hosted a question and answer session covering such diverse queries as whether calcium should be added to a whelping bitches diet (the answer was no, in his opinion), pyometra, and metritus, and what is and what isn't a balanced diet. The floor was open to anyone who had a question, and a couple of people had looks of revelation on their faces when Dr. Larkin had finished.
After this there was the customary break for lunch. The excellent canteen did a roaring trade, and during this the entries were taken for the free knock-out match. There were sixteen entries in all. Best in Match was Ann Gatenby's Kerrisdale Fiery Angel (expertly handled by Peter Hopgood). Reserve Best in Match, and Best Puppy was Tracy Parson's Philshons First Choice.
After the match the raffles were drawn, and match judge Lisa Hopper took the entrance raffle first prize, a Christmas Hamper containing a plenitude of food and Christmas fare. Jeanette Slater took the second prize dog food hamper, so someone's dogs will be living the highlife for a couple of weeks.
The ever-popular party games then commenced with the old standby, Galloping Liver, making a triumphant re-appearance as it proved more popular last year than Galloping Sausages.
Well done to Cliff Smart who won the musical mats, and to the winner of the musical chairs (sorry, no-one remembers who won this - write in and tell us if it was you). Compere Dave Harris was heard to remark that enthusiasm was getting the better of people and that it was becoming quite dangerous! Luckily there were no casualties as common sense prevailed, so all had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Barbara Smart took the honours and the Christmas cake in the very close-fought Quiz with 32 points, Margaret Nunn and Elaine Bruton coming joint second with 31 points. Well done to them on these extremely good scores.
The party finished at 4pm. Thanks to everyone who put such effort into organising it. Once again it was a pleasure to be there and take part. See you all again next year.
As ever, The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club Newsletter welcomes any ideas and contributions from members with ideas to improve the content or format of the Newsletter . After all, the Downlands is your club so this is your Newsletter. It can be absolutely anything - an amusing or sad anecdote, your opinion on something, an experience that you think should be shared, a crossword, a joke, a quiz, a question, a poem, a drawing - almost anything. Don't worry if your spelling isn't up to much, you should see some of the things we write before they go through the spell checker on the word processor! All that we ask is that nothing malicious or libellous is sent in as we'll have to send it straight back, and that anything you send in is original and not sent elsewhere at the same time.
We are pleased to accept either hand-written articles or typed articles (although typed is obviously easier for us to read!) We will also accept 3.5 inch MS-DOS Computer discs with articles on them in ASCII format, and undertake to return them within two weeks. If you do send one in though, please make sure that it is well-cushioned. We also hope to be able to accept faxes and/or E-mail in the near future but watch this space for details.
Remember that if you have a photograph of your dog or bitch that is suitable for the front cover to send it along. Make sure that there's a stiff piece of cardboard or something to keep it rigid, and a return address in the same envelope. We are having a little trouble with our scanning equipment at the moment (i.e. it needs replacing with stuff that works!) and are as a consequence getting variable results. We suggest that you stick to black and white photographs, which don't appear to be too dark. The return of photographs is by necessity a lengthier process so please allow a while - in fact up to a year - to get them back. Hopefully we will be able to remedy this situation in the next year or so.
Please submit anything you think suitable for publication to:
Ann Gatenby, DSBTNL, Nettle Cottage, 36 Merepond Lane, Privett, Alton, Hants, GU34 3PF.
All contributions very gratefully received. At the time of going to press, we hope to publish Number 17 around mid-May time. Thank you.
Remember this? Probably not. We were going to publish any responses to our "Bone of Contention" article in this section. In this case Mr. Tug Riley sent in a rather controversial piece entitled "Standard, Gameness and Type" which we printed wanting to have the views of the membership. Unfortunately it seems that out of the nearly 300 of you no-one was moved enough to write in with an opinion. So, "Hot Under the Collar" may be back in the next newsletter - if, of course, anybody by any chance contributes.
The Rescue has received the following letter from Ray Holmes, of New Addington, Croydon:
Downlands SBT rescue would like to congratulate Ray Holmes for his tremendous achievement in running and completing the 1995 London Marathon on the 2nd April and we wish to thank him for the £300 cheque that he collected from his sponsors, which he has donated to Downlands Rescue.
Also, many thanks to members and friends of the Downlands Breed Club that supported and sponsored Ray, from them the Rescue collected £219.
The total amount raised was £519 . Thank you all for your generous support and Ray's great effort for our cause.
I hope we all join with Kate in extending our thanks to Ray and all his sponsors on this truly marvellous feat. Following this is the latest report from Kate on the Rescue.
Since our last report in the Newsletter No. 15 the Rescue has been going along very well, but we had a big fright when "Butch", a five and a half year-old rescue Dog that had been rehomed with the Arnold Family in Mitcham, Surrey was taken by Police, under section five of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
He got into a fight with a Shar Pei - both were on leads but the Shar Pei was on an extended lead (please beware of using these leads as one has little immediate control).
Obviously, not being present, I cannot say exactly what happened, but the other Dog's owners reported Butch to the police and he was taken. Soon afterwards, whilst in Kennels, he became seriously ill and was transferred to a Veterinary Hospital and when he was well enough, released back to his adoptive owners but he is still, months later, quite poorly - having suffered damage to his back quarters but the Arnolds love and will continue to care for him. During the time of Butch's plight I was having trouble with a neck problem, but Pat Pritchard, the Downlands SBT Rescue co-ordinator gave all her time and effort in getting Butch released. Many people helped to achieve this, and Pat and the Arnolds would like to express their gratitude to all those who assisted and gave support.
We know that most of you feel as we do, that the Dangerous Dogs Act has gone from bad to worse, dogs having a go at each other or chasing cats will always happen and unfortunately the dogs and their owners will continue to suffer until there is a total reform of such an ill-considered act.
Good news - Ray Holmes, a member of the Kent SBT Handling Club , ran in the 1995 London Marathon for us and £519 was raised for funds. I did submit an item for Newsletter 15 but it was too late for inclusion, so it can be found in this current issue (see earlier this section).
Peter Ruth, the President of the Kent Club, challenged Downlands members to a match which was held on Sunday 24th September. It was a very enjoyable day, and the rescue received all proceeds of £127.39, so a big "Thank You" to the Kent Club members from us for their generosity in 1995.
At the February, June and October Downlands shows, auctions have continued to be held to raise funds. In February, a Stafford Card of Champions and a Bottle of Wine were auctioned, £50 was raised. In June £27.50 was raised from a Stafford Plate and at the recent October show £135 was raised from a Stafford Statue, a selection of Newsletters from 1967/74, a Stafford Book and another bottle of wine (there's a rumour going around that Stafford owners appreciate their wine - Cheers!) Kindest regards to all that bid and especially those that bestow the highest amount, we really are grateful to you. Also at the October show a cheque for £50 was presented to us from Lesley McFayden, she had raffled a bottle of wine (there you go) and she very kindly gave half the proceeds to the Downlands SBT Rescue.
In July we held our first Exemption Show which went quite well and £82.56 profit was made. Our thanks to John Frankham (Ladstaff) ,our judge and well done to Rendorn Right Reply (Rennie) our Best in Show and her owner Mr. Joe Campbell. Thank you also to all who came along for their support and help and those that have entered their Staffords - all shown beautifully! Our outgoings have again been very small, as we do not sell our rescued Staffords - adoptive new owners often suggest that they pay part or all of the cost of spaying or castration operations, and we have found this arrangement beneficial to the Rescue as it accomplishes one of our main concerns when re-homing. A donation of £40 was sent to Mrs. Drake of the Protection of Animal Life Society (PALS), you may recall that we sent a donation to her in 1994 and have done so again to help her continue helping Staffords in distress. We also purchased three cages at a cost of £210, these we desperately needed as Pat was using her oldish cages in the transportation and housing of rescue Staffords, we now have our Downlands SBT Rescue Sweatshirts for sale - we bought 36, all good quality in various colours and sizes - and will make a nice warm Christmas present for someone, all profit of course to the Rescue. Referring to Christmas - may you all enjoy a happy one and a peaceful New Year - Good wishes to you in all you do.
In the second of our "Bone of Contention" articles we present a story that, whilst ostensibly a happy one, poses serious questions on the state of what passes these days for British Justice.
As reported in Newsletter No.15, in my article "The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament", my two bitches were recently stolen. As it transpires they had been seen by the Police even before I had found out that they were missing. The person concerned had been locked in his house by his parents because of his known habit of burgling at night. So, he climbed out of the kitchen window and went off to rob some unsuspecting house owners that were tucked up in bed.
After visiting my house and departing with my dogs, their show collars and their leads, he went off down the road and back home. He then had to get the dogs back into his house, so he lifted them up to the kitchen window, and pushed them through onto the sink unit. They then had to leap down onto the kitchen floor. The dogs ran up the stairs, into the main bedroom and onto his parents bed - with them still asleep in it and not being dog lovers. It doesn't take much imagination, in fact, it's almost a laugh - there are my two dogs, standing on these people, licking their faces - the noise in the house was so loud that the next door neighbour called the police because he thought there was a murder going on! When the police arrived, they were allowed in and saw that the problem was caused by the dogs. He was asked how long he had owned them and replied he had owned them for about four months. His parents corroborated his story, and he said as the dogs were the cause of the problem, he would sort it out, so the police left again.
Some time later I reported the theft of my two dogs to the police. A call was put out over police radio giving a description of them and the collars. Shortly afterward, the police called me to say - excuse the pun - that they thought they had a good lead on my stolen dogs. Soon after that the police rang again to say that they were sending a patrol car to my house, and would I accompany them to identify two dogs that they thought might be mine.
So I did just that, and there they were. All in all, the time I reported the theft to the time I had the dogs back, was just about two hours, so well done to the police!
The thief was then arrested and taken to the police station. A long time passed before I was sent a magistrate's court letter, a witness order which informed me that I was "hereby ordered to attend Crown Court and give evidence at the trial of --------------" (yes, I would like to put the name, but a note with the letter said a person who disobeys the conditions of a witness order without just cause may be punished with imprisonment or a fine), I was to attend before the Crown Court at ----------------- on a date and time to be notified to me. I then waited to be told when I would be required to attend.
One evening, on returning home from work, I found that there had been a call from the police saying that I was to attend the next day at 10:30 am. I was part way through a job, that no-one could take over from me, so I rang them to tell them that it was insufficient notice for me to appear. I was then informed that if I did not attend, I would be punished either with a fine or imprisonment, so regardless of whether if I then lost the job or caused other people problems by holding them up, I had to go.
After reporting to the required place at the appointed time to await my appearance in court, I was given coffee and made to feel like a very important witness at a murder trial, but after waiting for over three hours was told the shocking news that the judge had been told by the defendant's solicitor that the defendant had been out walking along the road and saw the two dogs with their collars and leads on, out on the street, all on their own. So he took them home with him. There was no mention of him having told the police that he had owned them for four months, on the day that they were stolen. As the police couldn't prove he had been in my house, we were all dismissed and sent home.
So, all you dogs owners out there, beware! If a person can get hold of your dogs, with or without their collars, away from your car or your property, and then be caught red-handed with them, they can and possibly will get away with it. But if I had not turned up at the court, at the risk of losing my job, I would have been fined or imprisoned whilst the criminal walked away scot free. I don't know what you call this, but it certainly isn't justice.
Alan K Funnell
The following article was originally published
in the November 1979 Issue of "The Welsh Stafford" under the title
"Ann Gatenby writes..." Over sixteen years on, much of what it says
still rings true. Here we present a newly-revised and updated version.
Make sure that he is a good stud. By that I don't mean one that rushes in and knocks the bitch over in his anxiety to do the job. A maiden bitch will very quickly be put off by this course of action. Let him flirt with her a bit and do his little bit of courting. Believe me there are very few bitches (if they are spot on the right day) who will object to a dog at this time. I would like to say at this point - if you love your bitch then don't force-mate her. Nine times out of ten she will not be a good mother to the pups even if she has any, and there will be other opportunities for you. A bitch's life is not long, so let's make it as happy as we can in those few years she is with us. Bitches do vary with their right day for mating, but I have generally found that people are in too much of a hurry, and if the book says twelfth day, then it's then or never. My bitches will flirt with a dog from about the eighth or ninth day but are generally ready to be mated from the thirteenth or fourteenth day. However, as I say, bitches vary tremendously. When you are doing the mating, only have present anyone who is strictly necessary to the operation. Don't let all the family race about and turn it into an orgy. The dogs are entitled to a little privacy. After all, you wouldn't like all your neighbours gazing upon your sex life, would you?
Having got your bitch mated, let her spend the next few weeks getting ready for the big event. Feed her with a normal diet but try to introduce a slightly higher protein content into it. Don't let her get too fat and until the last week or so give her her usual exercise. Personally I don't introduce extra calcium until about the last week or so, as it is my personal opinion that if puppies get too much bone before birth this makes for a more difficult whelping. You can always push it into them through the mother's diet after they are born.
When the time comes for her to have her little family, let her be surrounded by the people she knows. Don't make her go into a strange room with a strange bed at the last minute. My puppies are all born in the kitchen where the bitch usually sleeps, and I try to give her as much freedom as possible as to where she is going to have them. You can always transfer them to your beautiful new whelping box in an hour or two after she has got over her strenuous exercise, and if you love her you won't mind clearing up the little mess she leaves behind. Let her eat the afterbirths. They are very high in nourishment value. Don't fuss her too much. Let her get on with the job in her own time, but be around to keep an eye on the proceedings. When she goes into the first stage of labour there is really nothing much for you to do, but after the waters break and she starts straining keep a careful eye on her. Don't let her disappear into the trees at the bottom of the garden at this time as they seem to be determined to revert to the wild at this stage and have the puppies in the most remote corner of the garden. I remember the time when we spent a good hour searching the garden, quite convinced that a French Bulldog bitch had produced a puppy in the hedge, and this was at three o'clock in the morning! If she strains longer that three hours and seems to be getting nowhere, contact your vet (whom you should have notified previously of the forthcoming whelping). Never be afraid of calling the vet at whatever time of day or night. You are paying the piper and you can most certainly call the tune. Be most insistent about this. I once lost several puppies because of an inadequate vet. If you have veterinary advice and he says "a Caesar" then have it - in fact, insist on it if you can see the bitch is in dire trouble. If you don't, you could lose your bitch as well as your puppies. I would say at this point, if you are not satisfied with your vet, then change him. A bad vet is worse than useless.
Once your bitch has got her puppies, leave her in peace with them. Make sure that the box she is in is the right size, not too big or too small, and with a pig-rail on at least three sides. Keep her on a light diet for the first two or three days until her milk is in and then give her plenty of nourishing food, rich in protein and calcium and with plenty of water for her to drink. Don't on any account let hoards of visitors in to see the puppies for the first week, and then only to look - not to touch. My bitches like to have the family around them and for things to go on around them much as normal. They don't like being stuck out in a kennel all on their own.
Once the puppies start to grow and get on their feet, give them plenty of human contact and let them hear human voices. If they have plenty of this environment they will be more sociable beings and adapt more easily to their new family when they leave the nest.
Puppies need feeding little and often at first, so make it two milk and two meat meals after they're fully weaned (they love rice pudding, egg custards and scrambled eggs) and remember that glucose or honey is better to use than ordinary sugar.
Also, do be sure to worm them from three weeks on. I do mine at three, five and seven weeks to make absolutely sure, with the liquid worming medicine that is very safe for tiny puppies.
When the time comes to sell, please do be sure to vet the new owners very thoroughly, and even ask for references if necessary. Genuine buyers will not mind, and the suspect buyer will be warned off. When the puppies go, give the new owners the pedigree of the puppy and also a diet sheet saying what the puppy is having at the time of leaving home. If you have his Kennel Club registration then provide that too, together with a form for his transfer of ownership.
When all the pups have gone, get down to
building up your bitch again and making sure she stays in fit condition because
if this litter has been successful you will no doubt want to do it all again in
a year or so.
As a last minute thought..... I would like to say please don't hoodwink the new owners into "showing" if the puppy is obviously only a pet puppy. It will prove very costly to them and disappointing when the puppy fails to win. Better to have a happy pet owner than a frustrated Show failure.
The best of luck to you all.
Whilst on holiday in Cornwall last summer I was talking with a chap from the Forest of Dean. As the evening went on and more drinks were consumed we began talking about pets, and dogs in particular. At one point during the conversation the bloke sagely informed me that there was no longer such a county as Staffordshire, and that "it is all now known as the West Midlands."
He assured me that this change had been in place since the government re-organised county boundaries in the seventies (i.e. at the same time that counties such as Westmorland and The West Riding disappeared).
I was a little surprised as I have been labouring under the impression that Staffordshire is still in existence, and all the road atlases I have seen agree with me. Perhaps some Downlands member from or near to the area could shed some light on the subject?
After the business a few years back when Alsatians suddenly changed into German Shepherds I don't care too much for the name "West Midlands Bull Terrier" for our breed.
This would also give one of our fellow breed clubs the name "East Midlands West Midlands Bull Terrier Club" which seems (to me) a tiny bit repetitive and/or confusing.........
The Kent Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club
vs The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club
Judge: Mr Dean Cund (Chelmstaff)I would like to thank the Kent Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club for inviting us to a handling match challenge, the day was very well organised and all those who took part had a very enjoyable day, and all Dean's decisions (regardless of who won) were applauded in a friendly and sportsmanlike manner, which, sadly, you don't see a lot of at today's shows.
I would also like to thank Mick Clarke, Pat Pritchard, Kate Reed and Jimmy McEwan for standing in at the last minute, as we found ourselves four short on the day.
The result was very close, with the Kent SBT Club winning by a
hare's whisker 12 - 4, next time they won't be so lucky!
Best Handler: Jim McGrath with Bonnie
Reserve Best Handler: Darren Wood with Thai
Best First Round Loser: Norman Benham with Levi
Jamie Mace (Match Secretary)
Here's your chance to test the mettle of your knowledge against the Downland's Quizmaster, Jamie Mace, and win yourself a crisp fiver in the process. Send in the answers to Downlands Newsletter No. 16 Quiz, 10 Rosvara Avenue, Westergate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 6RB, to arrive no later than 31st March 1996. Come on all you brainboxes out there, that's plenty of time to find out the answers. First out of the hat gets the cash.....
As always, the winner and answers will be printed in the next issue.
There was no winner of the last Competition, and some felt
that the questions were a little difficult, so our Quizmaster has set a somewhat
easier collection of teasers this time around. For those of you interested, here
are the answers:
The 1995 winners of the Perleen Shield (for the member's Dog or Bitch gaining most points at Downlands Shows for the year) and the Oakshire Salver (for the member's Bitch gaining most points at Downlands Shows for the year) are Lisa Hopper and Paul Drummond with Paulisa Going For Gold.
Jamie Mace/Kathy Palmer/Vickie Robinson/Ben Kemp
Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Championship Show
Club Prize Maiden Bitch Graduate Dog
Novice Newsletter Committee Collar Lead Chain
Kennel Fawn Brindle Breed Walk Junior
Liphook Haywards Heath Judge Rosette Veteran Limit
Reserve Puppy Topline Bark Bone