Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

Highland White Terrier

Highland White Terrier

At around 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every “threat” from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier
Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds

Temperament:

Naturally,

•    they like to bark and dig
•    they are not as willful like most terriers
•    they love companionship

When properly trained

•    they can become fairly friendly towards strangers
•    they develop close affinity with behaved children
•    they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them
•    they can become a very good watch dog
•    they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

•         Chronic skin problems
•       Perthe’s disease (hip problems)
•       Jawbone calcification
•       Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)
•       Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap
•       Liver ailments
•       Deafness
•       Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

•    Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.
•    They should bathe only when necessary.
•    Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.
•    The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.
•    They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.

Origin/History:

As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland. It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that were known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in the history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in the history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland. Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, that are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire.

In the first-ever dog show that were organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called as White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.

We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | 1 Comment

Caring for Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Pet Dog

softcoated-wheaten-terrier

soft coated-wheaten-terrier

The soft coated wheaten terrier would be considered by most people to be “high maintenance”. This means that a lot of care should be given to it in order to maintain its stature. This statement also means that a lot of steps should be taken in order to care for the dog properly. So how do you care for your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog?

Let us first talk about the coat. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of a soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. In fact, when you take a look at the name, you will realize that the coat gives the dog its identity. Taking care of this essential part of the soft coated wheaten terrier dog can be quite a daunting task. This is especially true if you have just found out about the various standards that people use to judge the beauty of a soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

Frequent grooming is required to keep the coat shiny and to prevent matting. It also helps get rid of any accumulated dirt. You should comb or brush your soft coated wheaten terrier dog everyday to make sure that his coat remains silky and tangle-free. The coat also needs to be trimmed once in a while to preserve the “terrier look” and to allow a new coat to grow.

Besides the coat, you should also take care of the nails and teeth of your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. In case that you do not know what to do by yourself, you might want to hire some professional dog grooming services to do the job for you.

Another aspect you should concentrate on is the training. Remember to train your soft coated wheaten terrier dog as early as possible in order to ingrain in him the basics of proper behavior. There are several keywords that should come to your mind when training your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog:

1) Consistency – be consistent with your teaching. Do not use different commands in order to get the same response as this will only serve to confuse your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. You should also be consistent in terms of reward and punishment. This will help your dog understand what you want to happen.

2) Tone – a soft coated wheaten terrier dog is actually pretty sensitive to the tones in the human voice. This means that the dog will be able to tell if you are feeling upset or if you are feeling impatient. You need to learn how to moderate your tone in order to avoid confusion with your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

3) Timing –learn the proper timing of when to correct your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. The element you need during correction is surprise. You need to correct the soft coated wheaten terrier for a mistake right after or even before it performs the act. This way, you will be able to instill a sense of consequence into your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

Caring and training for your soft coated wheaten terrier can be quite a bit of work. You will also have to contend with the energy inherent in every terrier breed. However, with patience, your efforts will be rewarded.

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | 6 Comments

Keep gay sex a criminal offence: India government

September 30, 2008
Keep gay sex a criminal offence: India government
By News Editor
The Union government has supported the stand of the Home Ministry in opposing the plea for decriminalisation of homosexuality, arguing that decriminalisation would promote delinquent behaviour and cause moral degradation in society.
Calling sexual relations a “social vice” and “a reflection of a perverse mind”, India’s Union government told the Delhi High Court last Friday it opposed scrapping of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code.

articlepic
India’s Home Minister Shivraj Patil (left) and Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss. The Health Ministry wants same-sex sexual relations legalised but the Home Ministry favours keeping the status quo arguing that the ”deletion of the section can open the floodgates of delinquent behaviour and be misconstrued as providing unbridled licence for homosexual acts.’’ Click ‘’Centre: Homosexuality is a reflection of a perverse mind’’ link below to view video.

Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra said the government was not in a position to scrap the law at this time. “It (homosexuality) is a criminal offence,” he was quoted as saying in local media reports.

“Homosexuality is a social vice and the state has the power to contain it… If it is allowed then evils of AIDS and HIV would further spread and harm the people. It would lead to big health hazard. It would degrade moral values of the society,” Malhotra said before a bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S Muralidhar.

“Why do not you ban sexual intercourse (involving HIV infected person) if you want to contain the spread of HIV?” The bench hitted out at Malhotra’s often used argument that “homosexuality” causes the spread of HIV virus, reported The Indian Express.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code provides a punishment of up to life imprisonment for same-sex sexual relations. The hearing is the result of a petition filed by Naz Foundation in 2001 seeking to have Section 377 “read down” so that it does not apply to sexual acts between consenting adults. The same law is used to protect minors and non-consenting adults.

The petition filed by the Naz Foundation reads in part: “Section 377 demeans a gay man. It silences a gay man into accepting the discrimination against him. He will not come out to declare his orientation,” the NGO contended… “It can be criticised on the basis of moral grounds but it is illegal to make homosexual acts between consenting adults an offence.”

Last Thursday, advocate Shyam Diwan, appearing on behalf of Naz Foundation argued that morality cannot triumph over constitutional rights.

“For many homosexuals, their orientation is at the core of their identity… The moral argument cannot triumph over constitutional rights in a democratic society where fundamental rights prohibit any discrimination on the ground of sex.” He added that homosexuals in the country do not have full “moral” citizenship and are being treated as second-class citizens.

The Centre’s stand assumes significance in view of the contradictory stand taken by two of its ministries. The Health and Home Ministries have taken contradicting stands on the issue with the Home Ministry favouring to keep the status quo.

“Indian society strongly disapproves of homosexuality and the disapproval is strong enough to justify it being treated as a criminal offence even where consenting adults indulge in it in private,” the Home Ministry had said in its affidavit earlier.

“Deletion of the section can open the floodgates of delinquent behaviour and be misconstrued as providing unbridled licence for homosexual acts,” it had said.

In referencing a judgment in a child sexual case by an Orissa court passed more than two decades ago, Malhotra’s attempts to link homosexuality as being “reflection of a perverse mind” failed to impress the court.

Justice S Muralidhar said, “We are concerned about homosexual acts among consenting adults in private so that judgement is not relevant here.

“Much water has flown under the bridge during last 25 years.”

The case continues this week.

For detailed court reports (filed by Lawyers’ Collective, India), visit www.lawyerscollective.org and media reports listed below.

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Gay General, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | Leave a comment