Archive for the ‘Books’ Categoryby Northernmost on May 14, 2014 in Books, HEALTH with No Comments
Need something to keep the kids busy during the summer holiday? The Alaskan Malamute Coloring Book available from the AMCA Health Committee contains fourteen hand-drawn pages depicting the daily life of a Malamute puppy. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to benefit health education and research on health issues in the Alaskan Malamute. What a great idea!!
You can buy this lovely book for USD $6.00 or buy two for $11.00 + shipping. Shipping fees outside the U.S.A. to be calculated and added onto purchase. Please contact Sandi Shrager at AMCAhealth@gmail.com to arrange an international purchase.
Payment can be made via PayPal to: AMCAhealth@gmail.com (please select option to “pay money to family and friends”, and pay transaction fees), or, via payment by check payable to AMCA (Alaskan Malamute Club of America) sent to: Mary Jane Holabach, 2055 Statesman Drive, Woodland, WA 98674, U.S.A.
We are very excited to follow New Zealand artist Jewel Mathieson as she is currently working on a portrait of Hilary and Thunder for her new book “Indomitable Spirit” which is due to be published in late 2014. Jewel shares updates from her work on Facebook and it’s very exciting to watch her amazing portraits come to life, step by step. We’re hoping to buy the drawing of Hilary and Thunder when it’s completed and we are of course going to order a copy of the book too! You can see more examples of Jewel’s beautiful work on Pet Portraits by Jewel Mathieson
The drawing is still in an early stage but we can already see that Jewel has captured Hilary’s soft and sweet nature and Thunder’s gentle “old soul”. Amazing!
Jewel works in coloured pencil and the many layers of fur are made up of hundreds and hundreds of tiny pencil strokes.
After eight more hours of work, Thunder’s coat has so much detail and depth that you could almost touch it. Wow!!
The book “Indomitable Spirit” focuses on the early working breeds of the Arctic as well as on today’s descendants of these dogs. Among the 57 drawings that will be included in the book are Joe Henderson’s freighting team in Alaska and Malamutes from Nordiclight and Tsawake, as well as Karen Ramstead’s North Wapiti Siberian Huskies who are competing in the Iditarod this year. Our boy Thunder turns 10 years old this summer so Jewel’s portrait will be a lovely and very timely tribute to a wonderful member of our family ♥
To beat the autumn blues we make sure to keep busy eight days a week! Yesterday evening we took Wilder and Titan to the dog club for some indoor rally training. As it turns out, our dogs are not the only Malamutes at the club; yesterday a sweet 7-year-old girl called Nala joined the class too. Fun! Our own training didn’t go super yesterday, the focus wasn’t there and the execution was more than just a bit sloppy. As we continue training we need to increase the reward criteria gradually and wean our dogs off the treats. But for now the main thing is that we’re having fun and that they feel confident in their work. For a 4-year-old dog that has never done any type of formal training (apart from the obedience training we integrate in our harness work) Titan did well and his tail was wagging non-stop!
Good boy Titan!
As you can see, I’m holding the leash in my left hand. This is not ideal for rally training but a bad habit that I have. By taking photos during training I notice my mistakes and can correct them. Here, for example, I should have started out with my left leg, not the right, as I wanted Titan to follow me.
Titan surprised us by nailing the station “Down and walk around your dog” at his first attempt.
The weave cones were harder, probably because he is a large dog and my handling was pretty poor.
An important part of training is learning how to wait patiently while the other dogs are having fun.
Wilder kept a constant eye on me during the “Down, and walk around” exercise.
He’s making good progress at the static exercises (sit, down and stand) but struggles with his heelwork. In fact, I think all our dogs struggle with heelwork and since Rally-O is all about moving smoothly on a loose leash, this is something that we really have to work on.
Oh no, the leash is in the left hand again!
Wilder at the start of the class…
…and after two hours 😉 Nothing beats Rally Obedience in making a Mal tired!
Every time I struggle with training I return to Ruth Kellogg’s excellent work “Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders” published in 2012. This CD-book is made up of 900 pages jam-packed with detailed and practical advice on everything from daily Malamute care and pack management, to building the foundations for formal training. In the three accompanying DVDs, Ruth and her Inharmony Malamutes (ages ranging from young puppies to adult dogs) demonstrate in videos how to introduce and train all the foundation skills needed for sports like rally, obedience and agility. I find her work very inspiring, not the least because she is a Malamute trainer and most other authors of dog training books are not. Before we re-start our heel training, I’m going to re-read the chapter about Precision Heeling and watch the accompanying video on Disc #2. I’m certain it will put me right back on track!
Here’s an opportunity to learn what every dog owner and breeder should know about canine reproduction, anatomy and reproductive physiology, including the pros and cons of having your dog spayed or castrated. On May 3rd, 2013, the University of Minnesota is starting up a 6-week long online course called Canine Theriogenology for Dog Enthusiasts through Coursera for anyone who is interested. You can sign up from any country and it’s completely free!
The course is led by Dr. Margaret V. Root, DVM, PhD, Dact, a licensed theriogenologist (animal reproductive specialist) and Vice-chair of the department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Minnesota.
Much of the material for the course will be taken from her book The Dog Breeder’s Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management (ISBN:1-4160-3139-1). It’s also recommended that students look up Canine Reproduction: The Breeder’s Guide by Phyllis Holt (ISBN 978-1-57779-114-0), a book that is often referred to as the “dog breeder’s bible”.
According to Coursera you do not need to do anything special to prepare for the course but participants should have a basic grasp of biology and general familiarity with dog anatomy and normal dog behavior. For a more detailed presentation of the course, visit Coursera’s website.
Coursera (//) is an educational technology company that works with universities to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and other areas. In April 2013, Coursera co-founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller were named 2 of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
Among the gems in my collection of second hand books is a children’s book called “The Smallest Puppy” written by daughter-mother team Margaret S. Johnson and Helen Lossing Johnson and published in 1940 by Harcourt, Brace and Company in New York. A handwritten dedication on the flyleaf reveals that the book was a Christmas gift to Donna Jean from her uncle Kenneth in 1945. That was 67 years ago…
The main character in “The Smallest Puppy” is a Malamute puppy called “Bena” who wants to be a sled dog but is told that he is too small to work on the team. The story itself is very sweet but the main attractions of this book are the illustrations, as they were inspired by real life Malamutes. In the acknowledgment page the authors thank Mrs. Milton Seeley of Chinook Kennels, New Hampshire, for her courtesy in allowing them to use her Alaskan Malamutes as models for the drawings in this book.
For a “Malanut” like myself, it’s fascinating to know that the Seeleys’ historic Kotzebue Mals inspired these illustrations. When the book was published in 1940, the Alaskan Malamute had only been recognized by the AKC for five years.
Margaret Sweet Johnson (1893-1964) and her mother, Helen Lossing Johnson (1865-1946), are well known for their children’s books about dogs and other animals. They often chose to feature breeds that were relatively unknown to the public and their books remain popular because of the realistic breed portrayals and beautiful drawings which clearly present the characteristics of each breed. In “The Smallest Puppy” I particularly notice the Malamutes’ big feet, their strong and well-muscled rear legs and broad heads with correct ear sets. Some of the dogs seem to lack stop, not sure if that was characteristic of the Malamutes of Chinook Kennels or if this detail of the Malamute head was particularly difficult to reproduce. The moral of the story is that the Alaskan Malamute is a sled dog of the north that is not suited for life as a house pet. I wonder if the book inspired Donna Jean to become a Malamute owner later in life, and if she remembers receiving this book for Christmas, back in December 1945.
It’s been rather quiet on this blog during the last couple of months and one reason is that I have been totally immersed in a 900-page book about Malamutes, dog care and canine education and can’t stop reading! Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders is an impressive tome written by Canadian breeder and canine instructor Ruth I. Kellogg. Published as an e-book on CD it contains more than 1300 photos and illustrations and, as a wonderful surprise for me personally, our own Malamute family is represented in the book through Hilary’s handsome and accomplished sire Jake. In addition to the written book the disc set contains three DVDs with instructional videos featuring Malamutes of different ages displaying their skills. Well, you can imagine I have been busy! While I have not yet finished reading the entire book, I can say with confidence that this work is different from anything you have seen before.
Ruth Kellogg has been involved with Alaskan Malamutes since the 1970’s and has written numerous articles for different dog magazines, as well as published two books about different aspects of canine education; Happy Dog! Canine Behavior and Basic Training in 1989 and Educating the Happy Dog in 1994. She has also been writing a column for the Alaskan Malamute Club of Canada’s newsletter, Malamute Review, for many years. Based in British Columbia, Ruth breeds Alaskan Malamutes under the prefix Inharmony. Some of you may have read her insightful articles in The Malamute Quarterly and The Alaskan Malamute Annual, many of which are based around her experiences of maintaining a group of ten Alaskan Malamutes “in harmony” together.
The new book, Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders: Understanding dogs, their care, and Canine Education, came out this fall and is based on 35 years of experience of breeding, educating and living with Alaskan Malamutes. It is aimed at both the novice dog owner (of any breed, but particularly Malamutes) and the more “seasoned” Mal owner who is looking for a better understanding of the canine psyche and nature, life passages, pack life, language, health and development. At the core of this work is the principle of benevolent leadership. Ruth wants us to develop a deeper and happier relationship with our dogs, through a better understanding of their needs and nature, and through better training techniques.
“The philosophy behind all my writing and teaching is: As a dog’s owner becomes more knowledgeable and understands him more, the better the chances are for the dog to become and remain a Happy Dog”.
Ruth I. Kellogg
The largest section of the book is dedicated to Canine Education and covers all aspects of educating a dog, including a detailed step-by-step educational program starting from the new born puppy and ending with the skills that a two-year-old dog should be able to master.
I will post more comments about this very unique and inspirational work when I have finished reading it. Right now we’re having fun trying to teach our dogs some of the fun tricks that are included in the Inharmony Alaskan Malamutes’ Foundational Skills List. Realizing the scope and level of skills that Malamutes can be taught, Fredrik and I are starting to wonder what we have been doing with our time??
If you want to explore this book yourself and begin 2013 with a whole new set of ideas for training and educating your dogs, Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders is currently available for purchase on Ruth’s website www.inharmonymalamutes.com
Last weekend we took part in an interesting and inspiring BAT workshop organized by our local dog walking & training group. BAT stands for Behavior Adjustment Training and is a method developed by American dog trainer Grisha Stewart who is the owner and founder of Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle.
In her book Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs (2011) Grisha Stewart provides dog owners with useful tools for training fearful/and or reactive dogs. The BAT method encourages you to learn about the canine language in order to be able to identify your dog’s calming signals and utilize these in training. When training your dog using the BAT method, you work with your dog and give your dog a chance to learn to control his environment through peaceful means.
If you are already used to clicker training and/or positive reinforcement, the BAT method provides the next set of tools that will take your training and relationship with your dog one step further. The BAT method is very easy to learn and we especially recommend it to Malamute owners who are dealing with fear issues, frustrated greeters or aggression. And it does not have to be a dog-to-dog aggression problem that you are dealing with, as this method works equally well for training a dog that has a fear of an object, or is uncomfortable around strange people or kids, or as a gentle technique for socializing puppies. You can learn more about BAT by visiting the BAT website or BAT for Dog Reactivity on Facebook.
Two good books: Köttbullelydnad by Maria Ahola (2008) and Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs by Grisha Stewart (2011).
The workshop we participated in last weekend was led by Maria Ahola from Furface Hundskola in Enköping in Sweden. Maria is the author of the popular book Köttbullelydnad (2008) (In English: Meatball Obedience Training) and was introduced to BAT when she attended Grisha Stewart’s seminar in Sweden earlier this year. We really enjoyed listening to, and learning from Maria, and recommend her training classes to anyone who is interested in using dog-friendly training methods that help dogs gain confidence and social skills.
A happy dog meeting at the training class. Our dog training group began as a socialization group mainly for Bernese Mountain Dogs but has grown to include not only our Alaskan Malamutes, but also a Cocker Spaniel and some terriers of different breeds. What all dog owners have in common is a desire to train our dogs using positive methods only.
Maria Ahola is one of the initiators of the Swedish campaign Yellow Dog which has gone viral and quickly spread around the world. Maybe you have seen this symbol already on the internet or have come across a dog in the street with a yellow ribbon on the leash? If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on the leash, please do not approach this dog, as the ribbon indicates that this dog needs space.
A dog can wear a Yellow Ribbon because:
- The dog has health issues or is in training.
- The dog is a rescue dog being rehabilitated.
- The dog has had a previous bad experience with another dog or simply does not like close contact with other dogs, even if they are friendly.
- This is a bitch in season and thanks to the yellow ribbon owners of male dogs can find out without having to get too close.
The choice of yellow as the signalling colour can be compared to how yellow is used in traffic lights. Unlike the colour red, which would indicate “stop, don’t come near my dog!”, yellow means; “please stop and ask me if it is OK before walking up to my dog with your dog/kids/treats.” We think the campaign Yellow Dog is a great idea and are hoping the concept will soon be widely known and respected.
As a nice Friday surprise, a copy of the new edition of Barbara A. Brooks and Sherry E. Wallis’ The Alaskan Malamute Yesterday and Today arrived in the post today. I bought the first edition of this book ten years ago but just had to order this second edition too, because guess who is featured on the back cover?! Our Hilary – Mtn Home’s Northernmost Hiking Hilary!!
In addition, the front cover features a photo of Hilary and Titan’s grandfather Ch. MACh, U-CDX Arcticdawn’s Guardian Spirit UDX, WTD, WLD, WWPDX, “Atka”, who is the first Dual AKC Champion Alaskan Malamute. Congratulations to breeders Sue and Roy Fuller and Raissa Hinman for having their dogs selected for this comprehensive book on the breed.
The Alaskan Malamute Yesterday and Today can be ordered from Alpine Publications.
Ch. MACh, U-CDX Arcticdawn’s Guardian Spirit UDX, WTD, WLD, WWPDX, “Atka”,
expertly handled by breeder/owner Raissa Hinman.