Recently, someone found our website by searching for this question:
Why my cavalier king charles spaniel wont come when called?
I will now do my best to answer this question, as a self-professed Behavioral Expert Research Professional (BERP).
Cavaliers suffer from a common condition called praesertim auditum. A fabricated disease which affects primarily Cavaliers and teenagers. Praesertim auditum loosely translates to ‘selective hearing’. Our Valentine suffers from this fake malady. If she doesn’t want to come, she’s just going to pretend that she can’t hear you. Why won’t your Cavalier come when called? Perhaps she doesn’t feel like it.
Seriously, if you are actually worried about your dog’s hearing, there are veterinarians that specialize in hearing tests for dogs. They run a test called a Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER). Ask your vet for more details. Mike Freeman D.V.M. is a local vet offering BAER tests in Dallas.
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Beau’s photo is a finalist in the Royal Spaniels Magazine “Cavaliers and Charlies on Vacation” photo contest. To vote for him, click on the photo to get to it on Facebook and “like” it. Beau is one of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies out of CH Dakar Danger Silver Capricorn and Baroc My Funny Valentine.
Update August 13: Beau’s photo won first runner up and will appear in the fall issue of Royal Spaniels Magazine. Thank you for the votes!
Recently there has been some debate again in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel community regarding dewclaws. Dewclaws are the fifth toe which cavaliers have on their front (and sometimes hind) legs. Interestingly, some cultures consider dogs with rear dew claws to be good luck charms.
Some breeders remove this “extra” toe just after birth. We at Mokido have never removed dewclaws and here’s why:
It actually does hurt the puppies. Anyone who says otherwise has never seen it done. It hurts the puppies during a critical developmental period, and it upsets the mother.
Infection. Some breeders have lost puppies from infections they received from the removed dewclaw area and more importantly,
Dogs need the dewclaws.
This excerpt is from With A Flick of the Wrist by Chris Zink, DVM, PhD (as seen in Dogs In Canada – September 2003)
In the last several years, while doing sports-medicine consultations for performance dogs across Canada and the United States, I have seen many canine athletes with carpal arthritis. Interestingly, this condition is much more common in dogs that have had their front dewclaws removed. To understand why, it is helpful to understand the structure of the carpus. This joint consists of seven bones that fit together like fieldstones that are used to build the walls of a house (Figure 2).
Figure 2: The seven carpal bones fit together like fjeldstones in a wall
The carpus joins to the radia and ulnar bones (equivalent to our lower arm) above, and to the metacarpal bones (equivalent to our hand) below.
Each bone of the carpus has a convex or concave side that matches a curve on the adjacent bone. Unlike the bones of the elbow, for example (Figure 3),
Figure 3: The elbow bones have ridges that slide into interlocking grooves.
the bones of the carpus do not have ridges that slide into interlocking grooves on the adjacent bone. The relatively loose fit of the carpal bones is supported by ligaments that join each of the carpal bones to the adjacent bones.
With so many carpal bones that don’t tightly interlock with the adjacent bones, the ligaments of this joint can be easily stretched and even torn when torque (twisting) is applied to the leg. The dewclaws have the important function of reducing the torque that is applied to the front legs, especially when dogs are turning at a canter (the main gait used in agility).
In the canter, there is a moment during each stride when the dog’s accessory carpal pad (on the back of the carpus) of the lead front leg touches the ground (Figure 1) and the rear legs and other
Figure 1: The accessory carpal pad of the lead front leg touches the ground.
front leg swing forward to prepare for the next stride. At this point, the dewclaw is in contact with the ground and if the dog turns, the dewclaw can dig in for extra traction to prevent unnecessary torque on the front leg. Without the gripping action of the dog’s ‘thumbs’ there is more stress on the ligaments of the carpus. This may cause the ligaments to stretch and tear over time, resulting in joint laxity and ultimately, arthritis.
NPR’s This American Life just did an episode about dogs and pets. The first story by David Sedaris The Youth in Asia had me in stitches and is worth a listen [link].
But the thing that really got me was that they used The Monkees I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog as their final bumper music. I had completely forgotten about this song, but I used to love the Monkees as a kid. So I had to find the video on YouTube. These guys are still just as goofy as ever.
P.S. That spectacular car is a modified Pontiac GTO called the Monkeemobile. Father’s day is coming up. I’m just sayin’
Teresa owns a photography studio in Dallas where she photographs people and pets. Teresa also volunteers her time with an organization she founded called Focus on Rescue. It is this second project which brought her to my attention. Puppy adoption websites are filled with awful pictures. Obviously, in this internet age, a first impression photo from the web can make all the difference in a pet being adopted or not. So, Teresa volunteers her time with rescue groups and shelters taking glamour shots of the dogs.
Her photographs have helped speed up adoption rates and cut down time in foster care from 3-6 months to 8 weeks –making room for more homeless animals. She publishes calendars and greeting cards showing the beautiful faces of adopted animals to raise awareness for their quality and beauty.
Focus on Rescue seems like a spectacular idea and recently finished a photography webinar series – saving lives with cameras.