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What is the difference between the Welsh Terrier, the Lakeland Terrier and the Fox Terrier?

What do you feed your dogs?

What is your practice for vaccinating your dogs?

Why do dogs but especially Lakies like chasing feet and what should I do about it?

How soon do you start training a dog? And what causes them to misbehave and sometimes bite? How do you correct these problems? What is instinct in a dog?

What is the difference between the Welsh Terrier, the Lakeland Terrier and the Fox Terrier?

Although there appears to be many similarities between the 3 breeds they are different in the way they think, in the way they hunt, in their sense of humour and in their overall perspectives on life.

The Wire Fox are the busybodies. Always looking for something to do, get into, party, party and lots of fun. Turn them loose in a room and in 5 minutes they'll give you an inventory. They will have had their head/body into every nook and cranny possible. Pretty much a non-stop dog. They tend to be vocal, but not as bad as Welsh. They do get along with the other dogs better than the other two breeds for the most part. They're always ready for a game or two, the perpetual child.

The Welsh IS very serious and puts 100% effort into everything he does. This is an independent dog often called the "latch key" of the animal world. They can entertain themselves, and the owners don't have to constantly "baby-sit" them. They are less active and athletic from the fox. They don't tolerate nonsense, silliness or out of control behaviour that the other breeds tend to create. The bitches are "very" dominate, the dogs very sweet unless challenged. They seem to have a mission that needs to be fulfilled, maybe a bit of "tunnel vision". They can be stubborn, but once they've figured out what you want then it's easier working with them.

The Lakie is the "PEOPLE" dog. Always "in your face". They don't make good kennel dogs for this reason. Their idea of "living" is to be on the couch or chair next to you. They don't seem to run head first into a situation without first thinking about it. They are athletic and quick, in mind and body. They have a great deal of self control and are great manipulators. There is nothing more fun than outwitting you. Life is a game and they are creative not silly. They are also very patient and can wait a long time to even a score. Why should they go down that tunnel over THERE, when they know there's been rats around/under that shed over HERE. Not a stupid dog at all. They KNOW how to get what they want. They tend to keep trying all of their lives. New owners need to beware or they'll be wrapped around that little paw in no time at all. "IF" they could be the boss, they'd sure take over in a heartbeat.

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What do you feed your dogs?

After a great deal of research I decided feeding my dogs a raw diet was best for their health.

Over the past 15 years they get the following:

  • about a 1/4 lb of Chicken/veggie/fruit raw diet
    with a drop or two of six-in-one oil
    1/4 tsp of Solid Gold's Seameal each day

for variety I will add the following: dry cottage cheese, plain yogurt, raw liver, raw beef, raw tripe, egg. I don't care for turkey and do not feed it.

  • if you are able you can divide this into 2 smaller meals per day.

  • a puppy would get 3 meals a day up until about 6 months and then 2 meals a day.

  • as your dog gets older and is less active you can add more veggie and fruit if they start to put on weight.

  • I feed raw bones that I get from the butcher.

For treats I give them (unbleached with no dye coloring) dog cookies, sometimes dried liver but I am careful not to start giving them much else or they will go off their food. Just like kids why not eat cake at each meal if you can get away with it? A lot of the treats also change their stool into a loose stool which I don't like.

With this diet I have found that the dogs health is very good, they have clean mouths and bodies. Bacteria in the mouth from dirty teeth can easily travel to the heart and other organs and cause early health issues with the dogs. That is why the raw bones are very necessary. You may also wish to brush the dogs teeth and have dental checks for the health of the dog. Their stools on this diet will be firm and in the sun will dry and turn into a non-smelling powder like substance that not even the birds will try and eat. Obviously the dogs are taking all the nutrients out of the food.

I compared the development of 6 litters of puppies fed dry kibble versus raw diet and the results were:

The pups carried and raised by raw diet parents developed quicker and their overall strength was greater right from birth.

At the other end of the scale the older dog put on raw diet regained its strength and over all health very quickly. I do believe in the raw diet.

For your interest and research there are many good sites on diet. Here is the name of the manufacturer of the food I use: www.mountaindogfood.com

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What is your practice for vaccinating your dogs?

I use Dr. Jean Dodd's Protocol. I attended her Seminar and anything I have read about her research says that she is the best versed in this matter. As humans we are vaccinated very rarely after our school years therefore I fail to understand what the need for yearly vaccinations is. When I have done a titer on dogs that have not be vaccinated for over 5 years, their reading is the same as if they had just been vaccinated. Obviously they have adequate natural immunity to deal with these diseases. If you have an unhealthy animal that is another matter and you will have to consult your "trusted" veterinarian on how to proceed.  You will have to vary your practice according to the laws in your area and kennels etc that you may wish to use when they demand yearly vaccinations.

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Why do dogs but especially Lakies like chasing feet and what should I do about it?

Chasing feet appeals to three of the Lakeland's favorite priorities:

1) Prey drive- Chase "prey" and kill it

2) Games- What is a Lakeland's favorite toy? That would be a squeaky toy wouldn't it? What do you do when your little darling bites your foot? You Squeak!

3) Control- Control is a Lakeland's specialty. After a confrontation, which ever party remains in the space, that being has taken control.

Now I ask you why wouldn't a Lakeland chase your feet? This game is common in each and every Lakeland. The difference is that some of them have been taught NOT to do it a second time.

Chasing feet is nothing but a dog's natural prey drive that has been allowed to manifest itself in a negative way. That first day when you brought that puppy home was the day that some limits need to be imposed. It was just so cute to watch your little darling pull on your shoestrings or pant legs, wasn't it?

When you bring a Lakeland into your home, remember this: Nothing with a Lakeland is boring or EVER just remains the same. If you do not establish and maintain a limit, the behavior will surely escalate.

As a puppy, the Lakeland moves into a home, is polite, very cute and just observes. Remember, a Lakeland is a master of assessment. All this time the dog is figuring out his advantages and a "battle plan." Think of it as if, the dog intends to win control of YOUR company. When he moved in, you were C.E.O. and he worked in the mail room. He would be happy and content to remain the mail room, BUT will gladly move up the ranks right into the executive office IF YOU GIVE HIM THE CHANCE.

Keep in mind, IF the dog moves into the top ranking job, You will be moved out. There cannot be two pack leaders.

If your dog moves into the top spot, he will treat you exactly the way you should have treated him. I suggest you watch your dog closely, his behavior is a great guide for handling him. Remember, by 4 months and ONE day, the puppy has made his assessment and is ready to enter the "corporate world" and work on advancement. By then, each and every behavior of that Lakeland should be considered a test. At 4 months and one day, the dog knows exactly what your strong suits are and more importantly, where your weaknesses lie.

From this point on, you are either training the dog or the dog is training YOU. There are no equals in a pack and the strongest and smartest MUST be the leader or the pack will surely fail.

Your Lakeland is testing, not just for the fun of it, he is testing so he knows just what kind of a Pack Leader you are. A strong pack leader means the pack will survive. A weak pack leader MUST be replaced or the pack can not survive Testing is how a dog asks questions. Your reactions to these tests lets the dog know your capabilities and how serious you are.

If your answers are not consistent, the dog must continue to test to clarify in his mind just which of the limits are actually priorities to YOU. If you are not going to bother, neither will he. If you set firm limits and then give in, the dog then begins to push each and every time you even attempt to set a limit. If YOUR reactions are to laugh, give a treat, chase, play or clap your hands, well then why wouldn't a dog believe a behavior is acceptable?

...and so it is with chasing feet. As a puppy, you laughed and thought it was sooooooo cute. That just went on being fun until one day the dog bites grandma in the butt, you trip over the dog, the bite breaks skin or there's a big tear in a pant leg. NOW suddenly it's a problem To YOU. The dog is just doing what has been accepted behavior up until that magic second in time. How could the dog possibly know you suddenly have a problem with a behavior that You established as normal?

Because you laughed about it when the habit was allowed to develop, he now laughs at you. You next chase the dog. Wow, this is a really fun game. He can't wait until you play this one again. You get more and more ugly about the game, that makes the dog try even harder…so the cycle has begun.

The next Lakeland Rule of Life is this:

“IF you have to struggle to maintain control, you are not even close to being in control.”

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How soon do you start training a dog? And what causes them to misbehave and sometimes bite? How do you correct these problems? What is instinct in a dog?

Here is a reply from Marilyn Koyanagi on the Quansa chat line to these questions...

I think you need to start at the beginning in order to fully understand the Lakeland Terrier . Hopefully this information will help you.

Firstly, you must know that a dog's behavior is the result of instinct and conditioning. Appropriate behavior cannot be taught in 5 or 10 minute daily training sessions nor does it come about by loving the dog and giving it a wonderful home. The dog doesn't know it's a wonderful home if she has no one to trust and rely on. A dog in this kind of situation is frightened, confused and has a life that is full of anxiety.

Appropriate behavior begins and continues with rules that are fairly and consistently enforced. It is a way of life. Most owners who do not set and enforce limits think they are being 'kind'. Sadly, a very large number of dogs that are raised this way end up quite literally being killed with their owners' kindness. They are shifted from home to home until they end up in a shelter as unplaceable. Or they go back to the breeder who is unable to safely put them in another home. There is only one end for these dogs. You don't want this to happen to Lady but the reality is that if she continues to bite, there will be no other option.

Fortunately you have found this forum. The people here are very knowledgeable and supportive and the training advice is nothing short of miraculous! The methods developed by Pat are not intended to teach a perfect sit, stay or heel on command, although those will all be very possible later. They are intended to teach you how to raise a dog that behaves appropriately in EVERY situation. Hence the term 'Manners'. Unlike most trainers, Pat does not train all breeds the same way but uses their breed specific instincts to more effectively communicate with them and to motivate them. Her methods have saved the lives of countless dogs and they will work for Lady BUT you have to be prepared to make the necessary changes in the way you have dealt with her up to this point. I also can't stress enough how important it is for everyone in your family to make the commitment and participate in her re-training. This cannot be done sometimes or halfway. Picking and choosing the exercises that are easy or the ones that won't upset Lady will only confuse her and make her worse.

Some people may think it not surprising that Lady used her teeth since many of the herding breeds were required to nip or bite at livestock's heels. It is an important quality in a good cattle dog and an instinct (or 'priority' as Pat would call it) that has been strengthened by decades of selective breeding. However, it is equally important for a good herding dog to know the difference between people and livestock and Lady is more than old enough to know the difference.

You have referred to Lady as your little girl and three times as your baby. Do you think she sees you as her Mother? Please do not take this as sarcasm - I want you to try and get inside Lady's head and think like she thinks. It is important for you to know that Lady would not have dreamed of biting her Mother. Oh, she may have tried it when she was very young - but only once! It would not have been the correction itself that convinced her not to do it again but the consistency of her Mother's corrections. No meant No every single time. There was no uncertainty and no confusion. She could trust her Mother and she respected her. Lady would also not dream of biting a worthy pack leader - one she trusted and respected.

You have to ask yourself why she thought it was acceptable to bite, starting with the vet. She should have trusted you enough to know that you were not putting her in a dangerous situation. I am guessing there was no correction when she did it. Next it was your Mother-in-law so obviously Lady was not worried about consequences. But you smacked her that time and although it wasn't enough to prevent her from biting your daughter, she must have remembered because she hid and when you tried to put her in the crate, she bit you. These are not snips, BTW. Snips do not draw blood. These are bites and they are serious.

Although you have called her your baby, I would say you are babying her rather than treating her like your baby. I doubt very much that you would have allowed your daughters to run around with scissors or play on the streets just because they wanted to and saying no would have upset them. I am sure there must have been rules for them and there must be rules for Lady. You have to love her enough to do what is best for her.
You will be surprised not only at how easy this is when you are consistent but also at how devoted Lady will become. If you have fears that she won't love you anymore, she doesn't love you now. Love is a human emotion. The closest dogs come to loving is trust and respect. If you are worried that Lady will see you as the bad guy, rest assured that the exact opposite will happen. With limits and consistency, Lady will realize that you can be trusted and she has no reason to be frightened, worried or unsure.

The following is an article on instinct. I hope it will give you some insight into how important it is for Lady to be treated like a dog. It is the only thing she truly understands and, with Pat, the only hope she has.


The most rewarding and enjoyable part of being a breeder for so many years has been the opportunity to study mother dogs with their young. It is fascinating to see how deeply ingrained Mom's instincts are and to watch the little ones progress through the various stages of puppy-hood. It has taught me a great deal about how to continue raising the puppies when Mom's job is done and how to communicate with them in a way they understand.

Regardless of the species, the role of a Mother is all about survival. Whether human, bear, cougar, wolf or dog - a Mother nurtures, protects and teaches her young how to survive in their particular world. Every species is born with certain inherent instincts. A good Mother tempers and strengthens those natural tendencies to enable her young to 'leave the nest' and be fully functional without her.

The human Mother tries to teach her children to be independent, productive adults who can feed, clothe and provide themselves with shelter. Hopefully they will become contributing members of society with the skills necessary to raise their own children. It never ceases to amaze me that humans are so lacking in instincts compared to animals. The Mother animal does not need Dr. Spock. Just as they have done for centuries, Her instincts tell her how to raise her young.

The Mother bear strengthens her cubs' natural instincts by teaching them to fish, forage for berries and honey, dig for roots, insect nests or make a den. The cougar's Mother strengthens her young's predatory instincts by teaching it to silently stalk its prey using the element of surprise to make a kill. Cubs watch and learn as she protects leftover food from scavengers by covering it with dirt and other debris. Both of these solitary animals learn to mark their own territory and avoid the territory of others of their own species.

Unlike the bear and cougar, wolves are highly social animals. They live in a pack, traveling, hunting and raising the young together. The pack is their survival. It means territory, food, safety, social interaction and the continuation of the species. Wolves without a pack have no territory, no food and no safety. They eventually die without ever successfully raising any young. 'Pack instinct' is, by necessity, the strongest of all their instincts and is at the root of the wolves' existence from the moment of birth. Mother wolves further strengthen it by teaching their young what they will need to function within the pack. When the wolf pups are old enough to leave the safety of the litter, the rest of the pack continues their education.

A direct descendant of the wolf, the dog possesses instincts that mirror those of his ancient ancestor. Pack instinct is the strongest and instinctively the puppy knows that he needs the pack to survive. A good Mother dog begins early to teach her puppies the ways of the pack. For the first few days after the pups are born, it may seem that Mom is all absorbed in nursing and cleaning the whelps. But the close observer will see that she is already teaching the puppies about survival. A smaller puppy that gets knocked off a teat receives no special attention. He must hold his own if he is to survive. A weak member endangers the entire pack. If he cannot keep up to the others, he is left behind. The survival of the pack depends on it.

As the puppies get a little older the lessons progress. Although Mom remains nurturing and protective, the puppies are never spoiled. Rules are clearly set and broken rules are never forgiven or ignored. Mom reacts swiftly and consistently showing the pups what will and will not be tolerated. She does not correct a behavior one day and then allow it to go unnoticed the next. Each and every time a puppy crosses the line she corrects him. By being consistent, a Mother dog instills trust in her puppies and they are never confused!

Unlike her human counterpart, the Mother dog does not bargain, bribe, reason or explain and she does not give time outs. She does not lecture, yell or issue idle threats. Nor does she bully or abuse. She is completely consistent. Her corrections are firm and immediate. Once the puppy is back in line, the transgression is forgotten. Do the pups fear her? Absolutely not! They respect her and the deep affection between them is obvious.

Before pups are even steady on their feet they begin the play fight and wrestling stage. This is not just play to the puppies. They are already beginning to establish their positions within their 'pack'. A good Mom not only allows this, she encourages it. It is the natural progression. One of these puppies may eventually grow up to be a leader.

Mom will step in to put an end to excessive roughness and interestingly, she usually corrects both the bully and the victim. As humans, we may see this as cruel or insensitive but you must remember that neither the overly aggressive or wimpy puppy will survive in the pack. Mom is, by instinct, just doing her job in equipping them to survive.

Inevitably, one or more of the pups will try to dominate Mom. They learn very quickly the error of their ways. Mom does not tolerate this behavior for a second but she understands that it is perfectly natural for the puppies to try. How else will they determine who is in charge and what is acceptable?

At the point where the pups are no longer solely dependent on Mom, the other members of the pack become involved and continue the puppies' education. This is the way of the wolf pack and sometimes the way in a breeders' home. Usually, with our domesticated dogs, this is the time when puppies are separated from their families and placed in new homes. When you think about it, we ask our dogs to lead a very unnatural existence. For the most part, these pack animals are deprived of the day-to-day companionship of other canines unless they live in multiple dog homes. Fortunately for us, they are content with human companionship and even thrive on it.

The biggest mistakes in raising a puppy are usually made within the first few days in his new home. Owners often think he is too young (or too cute) to train and that it would be cruel to correct such a little baby. The puppy is allowed to make mistakes that his Mother would never have tolerated and within days all of the education he received from her has been compromised. He is thoroughly confused but still trying to live by his instincts and take his place in what he considers to be his pack. Without limits that are consistently enforced by a confident leader the puppy has no one to trust and no one to rely on but himself. If he is to survive, he must become the leader. Is it any wonder he develops problems?

As much as we love our dogs, we must never lose sight of the fact that they are animals. When they are expected to suppress their natural instincts and live by human values, the relationship between dog and human becomes nothing but a battle of wills that results in behavior problems often causing the dog to lose his home and sometimes his life.

Although the dog does not live like the wolf, some of the same instincts will always be his driving force. No amount of training will ever eliminate these instincts but understanding them is the greatest advantage in establishing a successful relationship. By imitating Mom, you can learn to effectively communicate and be the leader your dog needs and wants. His trust in you will never waiver and he will be secure in the knowledge that he is safe within his pack.

Marilyn Koyanagi
WeeRuffians Lakeland Terriers


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