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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A new litter of wirehaired dachshunds is born in Iowa

If you are looking for a male puppy, Brian Hibbs from Oxford, IA, might still have one available. His "Scout" FC Chipsy Scout Vom Hessenjaeger SW was bred to FC Vimy Ridge Von Lowenherz and on April 27 whelped 8 puppies, 4 females and 4 males. Brian Hibbs's website is at,  e-mail  and  phone # 319-430-8065.

Brian, it looks to me like some of your pups might be chocolate, the ones with very light coats and pink noses. We had a litter like this many years ago (it was our H litter).

UPDATE: all puppies are spoken for.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Update on Mielikki and Keena as their whelping dates get closer

In the last 24 hours we have  had several e-mails asking about status of Mielikki and Keena. Mielikki was bred to Sky on March 8, 10 and 12, and she is very much pregnant. She gets regular exercise by chasing her favorite blue ball. As I said on Facebook - she lost her waistline and correct topline but she has not lost her love of ball game. We don't know how many pups she carries, probably at least seven. We will check her out when it comes closer to her due date, which should be between May 10 and 14.

Mielikki and her favorite blue ball.
Keena is doing well too, but she does not carry as many pups as Mielikki does. She should be whelping between May 18 and 20 so we will know more when it comes closer to the due date. She was bred to Tommy.

Spring is finally here

Last evening ducks came back to the pond. Wild turkeys parade close to the house. Rabbits munch on the grass by the driveway. Deer feed in the nearby fields. Two litters of puppies will happen in the next three weeks. I think spring is finally here!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring is a perfect time to resume blood tracking training

Andy Bensing reports:

Spring is in the air and now is the prime time here in the Northeast to get out and train your blood tracking dog. Karen Zeman and her a year and a half old Bavarian Mountain Hound, Cyrus, came down from NY today for a half day instruction in blood tracking training. I met Karen's dog Cyrus for the first time three weeks ago at the Deer Search Competition and saw a ton of potential in the team. We had a very enjoyable morning today and I know Karen and Cyrus learned a lot. Karen and Cyrus work very nicely together. I am sure they will be successful in their real life tracking this fall.

Good luck to Karen a nd Cyrus in their training and tracking!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 Dachshund Club of America National Field Trial

The Dachshund Club of America National Field Trial took place at the Maryland Beagle Club grounds on April 13-14. The roll call was taken on Saturday, April 13, at 6:45 AM. All the stakes were run consecutively in this order: Open All-Age Dogs (judged by Julie Couch and Connie Fisher), Field Champion Dogs (Alan James and Julie Couch),  Open All-Age Bitches (Janet M. Schwalbe and Alan James) and Field Champion Bitches (Janet Schwalbe and Connie Fisher). The picture below, which shows the judges was taken at the end of the trial. Julie Couch came to judge all the way from Oregon!

From left: Connie Fisher  (VA), Julie Couch (OR), Alan James (NC) and Janet Schwalbe (GA).

The weather conditions were just right as this picture of the sunny and crisp morning shows. The rabbit situation was as described in my previous post: there were too many rabbits and the cover was very sparse. The entries were rather high with 20 OAADs, 31 OAABs, 31 FCDs and 38 FCBs.

At field trials you get to see all kinds of dachshunds as they come in two sizes and three coat varieties. I don't know the stats for the dachshunds participating in the national field trial, but my impression was that we had a lot of mini longs, standard longs and standard wires. I saw very few mini smooths. Many of standard longs were huge, close to 30 lbs. In the United States the AKC conformation standard does not impose the maximum limit on the dachshund size, and many standard dachshunds of the American show type are big dogs, above 25 lbs.The picture below shows an example of the large standard.

John Merriman points the start of the rabbit trail to Pete Mercier and Lorraine Simmons, the handlers of two mini longs Trooper and Itsy.

Sylvan von Lowenherz is an example of the wirehaired dachshund bred to the FCI standard. Sylvan is small and agile, with a good ground clearance. She was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith, and she placed 4th in the OAAB stake.

This is one of Diane Sennett's mini longs. This color is called dapple.

One of the attractions of field trials is camaraderie. As you can see we know how to have fun. What is a better way to spend a weekend than to be outdoors with your friends and dogs. Somebody said that dachshunds are like potato chips, you can't have just one. And when you have more than one, who can better understand you than other "dachshund people"? Field trials provide an opportunity to come together, compete with your dogs and learn more about other dogs that one day you might want to breed to.

After a fierce competition the Absolute Winner of the field trial was a young standard wire Edelweiss owned and handled by Gail  Binder from Webster, NY. What a great achievement for this team! Edelweiss von Lowenherz was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith, and she is Sylvan's littermate. It was a great weekend for Laurel. On Friday her young Strolch won the trial, and on Sunday it was Edelweiss' turn (Edelweiss is Strolch's daughter). Congratulations!

These are the final results; in addition to usual placements Awards of Merit were handed out to the dogs whose performance deserved acknowledgement.

Some dogs such as Michael Pitisci's Brooke, Susanne Hamilton's Buster and Alice Moyer's Lance placed in both trials, and this was an accomplishment in itself. It was not our weekend though. I took with me Billy, Paika and Tuesday, and we came back with only one placement. There is a lot of luck involved in field trialling, and so many things can have a negative impact on a dog's performance: a poor release, wrong bracemate, the lack of scent when a brace is put on a rabbit doe, start in the area saturated in rabbit scent, windy conditions etc, etc.

Gail Binder's Edelweiss received a special trophy from Lorraine and David Simmons in memory of "Littlest", who passed this year.

The final picture of the day shows Gail Binder's Edelweiss with all the judges of the Absolute run.

You can see more pics taken at the Nationals by clicking here. Prints and downloads are available for purchase.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dachshund Field Trials, Shawsville, Maryland: April 11-12, 2013

A week ago I spent four days in Shawsville, MD, at the grounds of the Maryland Beagle Club. There is a lot to write about so I'll cover the field trials in two posts.

On Thursday, April 11, Dachshund Fanciers Association of Berks County ran two stakes, 32 Field Champion Dogs and 36 Field Champion Bitches. FC Dogs were judged by Susan Fuller and Michael Pitisci, while FC Bitches were judged by Pat Warble and Susan Fuller. Susan flew all the way from California. On Friday Metropolitan Washington dachshund Club ran two open stakes, and the entry was 20 dogs (judged by Teddy Moritz and John Merriman) and 36 bitches (judged by Alice Moyer and Lorraine Simmons).

Maybe because this year we are having a late spring the grounds looked bare. The grass had just started to grow, but altogether the cover was sparse. In addition to insufficient cover there were way too many rabbits. While it is nice to have rabbits for the sake of expediency in the trial, too many rabbits are not a good thing. A brace is supposed to be put on one rabbit and to follow the scent trail of this one specific rabbit. This is hard to do it when a half dozen rabbits are flushed out of the same brush pile. In one section of the grounds there were so many rabbits that first beaters performed "rabbit cleansing" by flushing as many rabbits as they could and then tried to beat out single rabbits to be trailed by dogs. While grounds like this might be suitable for brace beagles they are not suitable for dachshunds, which run more like SPO beagles. They run much faster than brace beagles and range wider. They were bumping rabbits all over the place.

This picture illustrates well how the grounds looked like.

While the weather seemed ideal on Thursday, cool, partly sunny, with good moisture, Friday morning was tough. We had a heavy rain while Open Dogs were running, and perhaps this would explain their poor performance. Judges gave dogs many opportunities to work, but in the end they had to withhold two placements for the lack of merit.
Below are some pictures shot on Thursday and Friday. I took a camera to the field when it was not my turn to run our dogs and when the weather allowed it. I ran Billy, Paika and Tuesday. It was Tuesday's first trial, and my conclusion was that she is a mean rabbit hunting machine, and needs some serious obedience work. She placed 2nd in the stake of 36 bitches, and had some really good runs.
Jill Blake with her mini long Rhett, who placed 2nd in the FC Dog stake.Unfortunately I don't get to see Jill too often -- her dogs are very impressive. Jill is very serious about working them; she also owns a beagle and is a beagle judge. 
This must be Michael Nothstein's standard longhaired dachshund Reggie. What a great face!
Goodman and Rhett were braced together in the first series.
Susanne Hamilton's Buster and Barbie and Ed Wills' Bernie ran together in the first series in brace #6. Buster was called back and he placed 4th. It is great to see blood tracking dogs doing well at field trials.

In spite of being 11 years old Buster is in  very good condition, and he placed well in both trials, on Thursday and Saturday.

Alice Moyer's black and tan longhaired mini Lance placed 3rd on Thursday, and he also won the FC Dog Stake at the National on Saturday.
Robert Schwalbe from Georgia with his mini wire Dizzy. What a handsome team!
Linda Snyder is trying to control Zuni before his run. Even though Zuni is the cutest dachshund I have ever seen, he is also a fierce competitor. He was NBQ on Thursday.
Brian Bradley, a master falconer from New Paltz, NY, ran several mini longs in Maryland. I think this is Belle, who placed first in the open bitch stake and beat our Tuesday, who placed second.

Michael Pitisci had a couple of open bitches, but it was his 11-year-old Brooke, who distinguished herself by winning the FC Bitch stake at both trials, April 11 and April 13.
The Absolute Winner of the trial was a young male bred and owned by Laurel Whistance-Smith, Strolch von Lowenherz. He happens to be our Tommy's son. This was a great weekend for Laurel, and more about it later.
FC Strolch von Lowenherz has a great heart and nose for running rabbits.

Laurel Whistance-Smith from Pontypool, Ontario, with her FC Strolch von Lowenherz, who won the FC Dog stake. Michael Pitisci and Susan Fuller were judging.
Michael Pitisci's Brooke (DC TownFarm Water Wings) was first in a highly competitive stake of FC bitches. Pat Warble and Susan Fuller were judging.
Susanne Hamilton with Meggie (FC Marguerite Vom Jagerhugel) who placed second in the FC Bitches.

Huge congratulations to Laurel Whistance-Smith and her Strolch, who was the Absolute Winner of the trial.
To be continued........

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Congratulations to new Deer Search certified dogs!

This last weekend Deer Search of Finger Lakes held a blood tracking workshop and certification tests for dogs. Ten new dogs got certified - congratulations to all their handlers and owners!

I will report only about the dogs that I am familiar with. Walt Dixon's Ariel von Moosbach-Zuzelek (Ari) was handled by Paulene Eggers to a Prize I with a score of 94. Ari is ten years old, and she is a littermate to Sherry Ruggieri's Auggie and Dixie and a sister of our Billy.

Walt handled Billy and Mae's son Dachs, who at eight and a half months completed a certification trail earning a Prize II score of 73. Dachs was bred by Genti and Beth Shero.

Bob Yax certified one-year-old Thor von Moosbach-Zuzelek (a littermate of Theo and Tuesday), who got Prize II and 79 points.

Certifying a tracking dog is one of the requirements for eligibility to become a Deer Search Blood Tracking judge.

Limit rice content in your dog's food! And how to improve dog's scenting ability through diet.

Recently there have been reports about dangerously high content of lead and arsenic in rice. Please read articles at or

It would be a very good idea to review ingredients of the food(s) you are feeding your dog and if the content or rice is substantial, switch to a food that has less rice or has none at all. 

It seems that feeding a dog a healthy and affordable diet is getting increasingly difficult in spite of the multitude of choices available these days. There are so many things to consider, and "experts" often provide contradictory advice.

We are active breeders and since it has been proved that too much calcium in a female's diet leads to whelping problems we try to stick to the foods that have no more than 1.5% calcium. There are other factors to consider as mentioned in this article

Just a couple of weeks ago this interesting study reported that less protein and more fat in the dogs' diet helped trained dogs perform better in exercise and detection tests. During an 18-month period, researchers rotated 17 trained dogs through three diets: a high-end performance diet, regular adult dog food, and regular adult dog food diluted with corn oil. It was found that dogs eating the normal diet enhanced with corn oil returned to normal body temperatures most quickly after exercise and were better able to detect smokeless powder, ammonia nitrate and TNT. 

Disclaimer: Remember that we are not experts in canine nutrition.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Results of the 2013 Deer Search Blood Tracking Competition

Yesterday, on April 6, 2013, six dogs were entered in the Annual Deer Search Blood Tracking Competition.  As we mentioned in our Friday post the judges were Roger Humeston, Mark Long and Bill Siegrist. The lines were 800 meters long, and there was a time limit of 1.5 hour to complete a line.  According to the rules the dog has to work exclusively on a leash.   The judges have to observe how the dog behaves at the beginning of the blood trail, how he works the trail, and how he occasionally corrects himself. A dog is allowed to lose the track twice. If a dog has lost the track he has to be given sufficient time to correct himself. For this reason the judges should call him back only if the dog goes 75 meters beyond the track. 
The evaluation of the dogs is accomplished with an index and score numbers. The categories of performance are: steadiness and concentration, tracking accuracy and willingness to track.
Of the six dogs entered, three passed, all wirehaired dachshunds: Eibe, Theo and Tommy. A winner of the competition with a perfect score 100 points, Prize I performance  was Eibe von Merreche, owned and handled by Andy Bensing. Eibe is a six -year-old wirehaired dachshund, and she was bred by Hans Josef Broich, Germany. She is a very experienced blood tracker, and this was her second win. Congratulations to Andy and Eibe!

From left to right: Mark Long (judge), Andy Bensing with Eibe, Bill Siegrist (judge). The third judge Roger Humeston is not in the picture.

Some of the competition participants and judges.
It was a very good day for Darren Doran and Theo von Moosbach-Zuzelek, who yesterday had his 1st birthday. Theo placed 2nd with 92 points and Prize I! It also meant that he was certified by Deer Search.

Darren Doran from New Jersey with Theo at the end of successful track.

One-year-old Theo with his certification diploma.
Tommy did not have much luck yesterday. He tracked first, along the ridge that was blasted by a very strong wind. He worked hard, never gave up, and ended up with 57 points and Prize III. John was not disappointed as the dog gave everything he had under very difficult conditions.

One of the eligibility criteria for the competition is that a participating dog has to have passed  a pretest, which is conducted on a 500 meter long 20-24 hour old line. This ensures that only trained dogs are entered in a competition, and judges and track layers do not waste their time on dogs that have not had sufficient training. With such a long winter, very few training opportunities and no chance for pretest, our Sky (Theo's older brother) was not entered in the official competition. But John took him along with the understanding that he could be run on a spare line at the end of competition (there is always an extra line) and would have a chance to get certified. 

So Sky tracked a line #7 at the end of the day, and he passed with 67 points and Prize III. The picture above shows him and John at the end of the line. Sky is now Deer Search certified.

Congratulations to all who participated! Conditions were tough, but tough dogs and tough  handlers prevailed! At the end of the winter it is not easy to prepare dogs and have them sharp for the competition. Handlers whose dogs did not pass should not be discouraged. Milder seasons will off better conditions to succeed.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Deer Search Blood Tracking Competition April 6, 2013

Tomorrow Deer Search is going to hold its Annual Blood Tracking Competition at Casperkill Game Club, 116 Stone House Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. There are six contestants: five dachshunds and one Bavarian Mountain Hound. The judges are three Master Handlers: Roger Humeston, Mark Long and Bill Siegrist. The lines are 800 meters long. There is a time limit of 1.5 hour to complete a line. The competition is open only to Deer Search members.

Good luck to all participants!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Upcoming North American Teckel Club events

Dates: Thursday, June 13th - Sunday, June 16th

Judge: Wolfgang Trumpfheller, hunting and conformation judge from Germany

Location: 1411 Cross Keys Road, Reading and Weiser Forest, Hamburg, Pennsylvania
  • June 13: 12 pm JGHV Judges Seminar (required for all hunting judges and great tool to understand FCI hunting tests)June 14: 8 am Gun Shyness Test (blood tracking participants only), Blood Tracking Test 40 hours
  • June 15: 9 am Hit Site Evaluation Seminar, Gun Shyness Test, BHP (DTK Companion Dog Test), Water Test
  • June 16: 9 am Zuchtschau (DTK Conformation show), dogs will get a written evaluation according to FCI Standard #148
Blood tracking training lines will be available upon request only for Thursday morning, Friday late afternoon or Sunday before/after the Zuchtschau. Contact Andy Bensing for more info

Entry forms can be found at, for more info e-mail Alexandra Weber, NATC Secretary

Pictures from previous NATC events can be viewed at