Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rita Mae Brown

I recently started reading a series of books by the above author and have enjoyed them so much I just had to share. They main character is Jane "Sister" Arnold and she is MFH(Master of Foxhounds) of the Jefferson Hunt Club. The stories are essentially murder mysteries but they are so much more than that as well. I love reading about the beautiful countryside in Virginia and the care of and connections made with the foxhounds and horses. I have been having a hard time putting them down at night(which is about the only time I get to read) and am nearly through the fourth book in just a couple of weeks. If you get a chance I suggest you try a read. Here is a link to all the books in the series:
Things are going well here at home. All the dogs are in lovely condition and enjoying their runs outside, followed by a sleep on one of the many dog beds spread around the house.
Hope your Holidays are going well. Only seven more sleeps as my daughter would say! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michael Ellis

There are so many ways and methods to train dogs. Most types of training nowadays leans towards positive training thank goodness. Gone are the days of popping collars and jerking chains to get your point across. Granted, this method worked for many dogs but generally that was because they wanted to avoid another correction not because they wanted to work for you.
My very favourite trainer is Michael Ellis. Having been involved with training working dogs in the working dog sports(schutzhund, mondio ring, french ring etc..) he really understands how their minds work. He uses marker training(this is when you "mark" a correct behaviour..some people use a clicker to mark, others use a voice command), and mostly positive methods. There is some compulsion(correction) in his training but very little and I believe that dogs need this. It helps them to learn to handle a little bit of stress, as well as helps them learn more quickly.
If you are interested in learning more about Michael Ellis's methods here is a link to him giving a lecture at the beginning of one of his training seminars:
He has several DVDs(yes, I have them all) and they can be ordered here:
He has definitely brought my training to the next level.
Happy training everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I decided to post about my views on vaccines after having a conversation about this with one of my puppy people. It was a good and open conversation but it made me realize that perhaps I need to make my puppy people and potential puppy people a little more aware of my views on the subject.
With my own dogs I vaccinate minimally, usually doing two sets of puppy vaccines(the most important of which is for parvo and distemper) and then if they end up going across the border for any reason than I also do a rabies vaccine, but I try not to do this before they are one year of age. After that I don't vaccinate anymore and turn to titre testing if need be. This measures their immunity levels and if they are low than they can be boosted with a nosode, or they can even be revaccinated.
For those in the area there is a great seminar coming up in Nanaimo BC given by Jean Dodds DVM. Here is a link to more information if you are interested in attending:
And for more information on Jean Dodds herself as well as her vaccination protocol you can go to this link: and:
Hope everyone is getting out with their dogs to enjoy this beautiful sunny day today!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I have been so busy that I haven't gotten much time to really get the training in with the dogs that I like to. It becomes one of those things that you just have to make time for, or before you know it you have gotten lazy, or become an "armchair trainer". I read an article once on armchair know, the kind who sit in their armchair and read about training and have all these great aspirations but never actually get out and do it. I have been guilty of that from time to time..... It's time to get back at it though, and I have done just that. I have different dogs training for different things as it keeps things varied for me, and expands my skills as a trainer. I have some in tracking, some in obedience and some getting ready for the conformation ring. Things are not dull!
I really believe that dogs should be tested and worked and bred for what their original purpose was. Dobermans being a working/guarding breed are often worked in schutzhund, which is a great sport to showcase their talent and to keep breeders on the right track as far as temperament and working abilities. Schutzhund brings together three different disciplines: tracking, obedience and protection work. Watching a trial is always very exciting for me as watching my breed doing what they were bred to do always inspires and awes me. If you have never been I highly recommend it. The level of training is amazing.
I am working more and more all the time to try to bring in and maintain working abilities in my dogs. I really think this is so important. The showring is only half of the equation. The showring is a place to evaluate breeding stock, a place to get a judges opinion of your work, and a place to showcase your efforts to other breeders, but I really feel that it is just important to prove the working abilities of your dogs as well. Pretty is as pretty does!
So with that said I am back at it! No matter how busy life gets, you just have to make time. :)
See you in the ring!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cooper goes home.

The time is here, I can't believe it, it seemed to pass so quickly. The "boys" are off to start the next chapter of their lives.
Cooper left to go to his new home on Saturday. The report back was great, a smooth trip home with Cooper taking everything in stride, meeting some new friends on the ferry ride to the Mainland, and settling in quickly with his new Chinese Crested buddy. Thank you Nancy for giving our little boy a good home. :) I look forward to hearing how he progresses in his training to be both a show dog and competitive obedience dog.
Remy will be with us for a couple more weeks until his family is ready for him and Bravo will be staying here at Braebrook for now.
That's it for now, just a quick update. Our house goes on the market on Tuesday and I am hoping things move along quickly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another new Champion!

I had some lovely news this weekend that Ava (New Champion Braebrook's Dolce Holmrun) finished her championship with a Best of Winners win at the Fraser Valley Dog Fanciers show. That makes her the fifth champion from the Dirk x London litter to finish. I am just so proud of this litter. It takes good dogs and good owners to get to this point, so a big shout out to them. Thank you! :)
While Ava was finishing her Championship I was home getting the house prepped to go on the market, and I do believe it's not a moment too soon as we have found a good potential house for us. There would be lots of room for dogs and kids so keep your fingers crossed that all works out.
The puppies are doing so well and growing like crazy. Ears have been cropped and are almost fully healed so they will start to go to their new homes now. Cooper(green collar) will be leaving us first, going to his new home on Saturday. Having the babies go is always bitter sweet for me as they are my little charges and I have gotten to know each one so well, but at the same time you can't keep them all and I am excited for them to join their new families. Remy(purple collar) will be staying with us a little longer until his family is ready to take him and Bravo(red boy) will be staying at Braebrook to grow up and see how he comes along. If the right show home came along than I might let him go but for now he is staying. :)
Another thing I should mention is that the VCBC is asking for public input before a vote is made on banning cropping and docking. All letters/e-mails/faxes need to be in by Nov 1st so please take the time to write as this would be devastating to the breed. This is all about numbers so the more people that right in the better.
I am going to try to write in this blog a little more often. Life has been extra busy with getting the house ready and puppies and I just haven't gotten on here as much as I would like. I need to figure out how to jazz it up too, add pictures and links etc.... Must take some time out to do that.
Hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, there was much to be thankful for in this house. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Champion!

Just got the news this weekend from owner Michelle that Pony(Holmrun's Chulo Pony Braebrook) finished her Canadian Championship!! Very exciting! That makes her the fourth puppy from the Dirk x London litter to finish, and there are still two more who are pointed and well on their way.
Also got news from owner Melissa that Amadeus(Ch Braebrook's Hugo Boss Holmrun) passed his Canine Good Neighbor test! That is wonderful, and is a testament to his temperament.
It is very gratifying as a breeder to get this kind of news. I am so proud of this litter! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life is a whirlwind!

Life here at Braebrook is humming along at an unbelievable pace! We have been so busy with renovations to get the house ready to go on the market that has been taking every spare(ya right, not a lot of spare moments around here! ;) ) moment. Add to that two small children, big dogs, puppies and everything that goes along with it and there just hasn't been much time to get on the computer. This is a rare bit of time so I thought I would write a quick blog update.
The "boys" are doing so very well, and growing like crazy. They are running around everywhere they go, growling and biting at each other and generally just loving being under foot. Coco is slowly losing interest in feeding them so much, and has given up on cleaning up after them(that is my job now). She just jumps in with them for a quick feed and then moves on. Those new teeth they are growing can be a bit much. :)
I will be posting some new photos on the website in the next couple of days so be sure to check then out. The stacked photos will be starting in another week or so.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saying good-bye is never easy....

I just arrived back home from a memorial service for my friend Garry Holmes, husband of my very good friend and mentor Cherie Holmes, both of Holmrun Dobermans. They have had a great influence on my breeding program and provided me with three very beautiful bitches over the years. Starting with Lexi who was my introduction to the breed, but didn't turn out to the be the show/breeding dog that I had hoped. Instead she has been my good companion and obedience dog. London followed Lexi just a year later and was the most fun dog to show and has proven herself to be a great producer with three champions from her first litter and three others pointed. Finally, Safi who had come to stay with us here at Braebrook while Garry was sick but then just never left. I know that her contribution to the Braebrook breeding program will be a great one.
The service was both sad and happy, many good memories were shared with lots of laughs and of course lots of tears were shed too.
Garry was a very kind, gentle and all around nice guy. I am glad that I could call him a friend. He will be missed by many......

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big changes for Braebrook

There are lots of exciting things happening here at Braebrook, but the biggest change for us will be a move in the very near future. Chris has taken a job change which will see him working in Parksville(about an hour and a half north of where we are now). We have been busy getting the house ready to go on the market, and the drywall dust and paint has been flying. My dog room that was being remade over into exactly what I wanted will soon be someone else's rec room. A little bitter sweet but I am excited about the move none the less. Change is always exciting. :)
The "boys"(Freddy x Coco puppies) are growing at an amazing rate. Their eyes are fully open and they are up on their feet and walking around the whelping box(albeit somewhat shakily). Coco has been an outstanding mother and has endless amounts of patience for her young charges. I can hardly believe that two weeks have flown by already!
This is a short one as there is just so much to be done around here. Will post again soon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The puppies have arrived!

Coco decided to take her time but the babies are finally here! :) A dogs gestation is 63 days, so when Coco hit day 65 I started to get a little concerned. I took her in to see the vet this morning and we decided it would be best that she had a C section as she still hadn't gone into labour. Usually the onset of labour is preceded by a fairly sharp drop in temperature. In most cases this means puppies will be arriving within 24 hours. Coco's temperature dropped the morning of the 6th and when she still hadn't gone into labour by the next morning that was a pretty good indication that she wasn't going to. This is actually quite common with a very small or very large litter.
I brought Coco in to see the vet at 10:15 and she was prepped and surgery was begun at 12:00. Everything went really well, and we welcomed our three little boys into the world. Two blacks and one red. I was able to work closely with the veterinary staff and was there to watch the puppies being taken out and worked to get them stimulated and moving/crying with vigirous rubbing and a bit of oxygen. They soon let us know that they were HUNGRY! Coco came out of anesthetic quickly and we got the puppies latching on right away. Coco started licking and cleaning them and forming a good bond. This is very important as sometimes the mothers can be a bit disoriented after having a c section.
After Coco had recovered enough to walk I was able to take her and puppies home and she has been an excellent mother so far. I have started a page on the website for the puppies, and you can see them here:
I am sitting beside the whelping box right now and everyone is so content with the puppies occasionally making the most lovely little grunting and whining noises. :)
Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Freddy and Coco puppies

I took Coco in for an x-ray yesterday to see how many puppies she was carrying. I had a feeling it wasn't too many as she wasn't very big. Turns out I was right, only three. They all looked to be a good size though, and only four more days until I get to actually see them. :) Exciting stuff!
Coco has tons of energy and with such a small litter she is still very mobile. Her "playmate" outside is Lexi right now. Lexi is a very calm, stoic lady and won't try to entice Coco into wrestling which Coco would be only too happy to do, belly and all! The two of them just walk around and lay in the sun which is exactly what Coco needs to be doing during her last week of pregnancy.
Keep checking back for updates on puppies. Not long now! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


When I first got into dogs I fed what everyone else did...kibble, because that is what is best right? Everything is balanced with the perfect vitamins, minerals and protein and fat levels.......right? Well, I started to do some research on dog nutrition and found this wasn't really the case. I began to look more into the idea of feeding a raw diet, a much more natural diet for my dogs without the preservatives, fillers and all the nutrition cooked out of it.
My original breed was German Shorthaired Pointers and they got to be my guinea pigs. I couldn't believe the changes in them! One of the biggest differences was the amount of stool I was picking was literally half the amount, and about a quarter of the smell! The ate their meals with gusto, and the feel of their bodies changed a great deal. Kibble fed dogs tend to have a much softer feel while dogs on a raw diet have a lovely hard, fit and lean feel to them. Their teeth were also very dental visits for this crew!
Fast forward to the Doberman years...I started them on raw as well, again with the same wonderful results. I had a great, very economical meat source so everything was going along well. When I lost the meat source and started having to pay a great deal more for the food as well as had a few more dogs to feed I decided that I would try going back to the kibble. The dogs did ok on it, and it wasn't awful but nothing compares to a raw fed dog. I am now very happy to have found a good source for the raw, both economically and with lots of variation. The dogs are happily eating it with great gusto and the change in stool amount happens overnight. I still feed some kibble, usually when I am traveling as it is just so much easier than trying to pack raw food around with you, but for the most part my dogs are raw fed again and I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Running dogs...

I try to get the dogs out everyday for a good heart pounding run. This keeps them fit and strong physically, does great things for them mentally, and lets face it...makes them a joy to have at home. A tired dog is the best kind of dog. :)
I am lucky that where I live I have several options for off lead romps. I usually change it up every day which is nice for me(new scenery) and the dogs(new smells). I love to get out everyday for this run. Even if I don't really feel like going I know that the dogs are waiting and once I am out there I can't believe I even considered not going! The exercise makes me feel great, the quiet time by myself is a nice treat, and the pure joy of the dogs running puts a big grin on my face. So next time you think to yourself that you might like to stay sitting on the couch, take a look into your dogs eyes and that will be all the motivation you need. It's worth it!
There are exciting things happening at Braebrook. Coco arrives this weekend for her maternity stay. She is due on Aug 5th, so the countdown is on now with just over two weeks to go. Keep an eye out here for future posts as well as the website for photos of the new arrivals.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The crop/dock/dewclaw fight

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge supporter of the right to crop, dock and remove dewclaws. Not only do these procedures contribute to the beautiful look of many of our beloved breeds(174 different breeds registered in Canada are docked and/or cropped), but there are many health reasons for it too. I urge you to check out the K9 Alliance website for more information: .
There have been some recent posts on various dog e-mail lists that I am on that there may be a c/d/dc ban coming into affect in BC in the very near future. Some say as early as the fall of this year! Please do what you can to make your voice heard, e-mail or call your c/d/dc friendly vet and let them know that you support them and how important it is to keep the choice to perform these procedures. E-mail or call the BC Vet Medical Association and the Canadian Kennel Club to let them know your thoughts. We can make a difference. If we just stand back and think others will do the job for us it will be too late and we will lose the ability to c/d and remove dc forever. If that is the case be prepared to say good bye to many of your favourite breeds. In the case of the Doberman, countries that have lost the right for these procedures have seen registration go down so far(as much as 80-90%!!) that the breeds may never recover.
Now is the time, so PLEASE make your voice heard!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The idea of a blog....

After coming across more and more breeder website with blogs I decided it is something I just might have to try out. I love following along with people's doggie lives and thought maybe somebody might like to do this with me...? This will be a nice way for my puppy people to keep up to date with what is happening with the Braebrook clan, as well as keep up to date on future litters etc..
You will have to be patient with me, as two young children, the dogs and everything that goes with that does keep me pretty busy, but I will try to post here somewhat regularly. :)
Thank you to those who decide to follow along with me on this adventure!