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About Our Dogs
Our Dogs - Aida
Our Dogs - Tiama
Our Dogs - Broga
Our Dogs - Rusty
Our Dogs - Amie
Our Dogs - Autumn


Health Care, Feeding and Training
Health Care
There is compelling evidence suggesting the "traditional" vaccination protocols we've become accustomed to using on our pets is often not only inappropriate but could be dangerous to their health.
We, here at Armachord follow limited vaccination protocols. Our pups are only vaccinated against the three 'deadlies': parvovirus, distemper and later rabies. Armachord Tollers receive an annual "wellness" visit with our veterinarian. At this time a titre is done to establish their immunity to Distemper and Parvovirus. We use a great deal of caution with other vaccines as well. While we acknowledge and understand the benefit of vaccinations we also acknowledge not all vaccinations are necessary in all geographic areas, and some pets especially seniors and those with existing health issues may suffer as a result of exrta the burden on their immune systems. When the need for additional vaccinations arises we scrutinize the critera that appears to make that particular vaccine 'needed' very carefully. We will help our pups families find a veterinarian who agrees with this. They're not as 'rare' as one may believe.
We believe a pet who is fed an excellent and appropriate diet, given lots of positive attention, socialization, exercise including mental stimulation and regular wellness vet visits will have the best life possible.
Feeding
Please ask us about this! It's amazing! All the pets, including our kitty Muchu, who lived to 20 years old, have been fed a raw diet for 18 years! We noticed dogs we knew who were switched from kibble to raw had remarkable changes take place in their behavior, attitude, coat, teeth and general health. We did a lot of research before making the switch and we're not looking back. We envite anyone who is interested to come see our doggies. Our raw diet includes no grains and very little dairy. Raw meaty bones make up most of the diet. We also feed offal, a few fruits and veggies and limited supplements.
Recommended reading:

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats - The Ultimate Diet by Kymythy R. Schultze, C.C.N., A.H.I. ISBN 781561706365

Give Your Dog A Bone ISBN 0646160281 and Grow Your Pup With Bones ISBN 0958592500 by Dr. Ian Billnghurst B.V.Sc(Hons), B.Sc.Agr., Dip.Ed

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn D.V.M., PhD. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn ISBN 0875962432
Training
In the many years I've been training dogs I have learned each dog is different and it's training needs to be approached using the methods that work best for that particular dog. We start our training using positive methods and move on from there. It is absolutely necessary that a dog is taught social boundaries right from the start with puppy socialization classes at a reputable training facility. Consistency in the home is critical too. Everyone in the household needs to follow the same rules where the puppy is concerned. Obedience classes must follow. Each of our adult Tollers has extensive obedience training. Tollers are a high energy breed and most are athletes taking part in one sport or another. This activity is very important. It makes Tollers happy members of the family.
Since Tollers are a hunting breed it is important to nurture their natural retrieving ability. Each of the Tollers at Armachord takes part in ongoing field and obedience and Rally training with CKC and UKC titles as our goal.
A note about 'trainers': There are lots of folks out there who claim to be 'trainers' and 'behaviorists'. If the trainer claims to be 'certified' ask to see diplomas and about ongoing training and see proof it actually happened. A degree in Animal Behavior from an accredited university will give credibilty to those who claim to be "behaviorists". Memberships in organizations don't prove a trainer is qualified. Ask to sit in on some training sessions. If the facility won't allow that, leave and find one that will. A good trainer will always let a prospective client watch classes before comitting.
The following books are interesting reading for those interested in positive training methods:

A Dog and a Dolphin 2.0 An Introduction to Clicker Training by Karen Prior ISBN 0962401773

The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson ISBN 1888047054

Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons with Sarah Wilson ISBN 0446516759

How to Teach an New Dog Old Tricks by Dr. Ian Dunbar ISBN 1888047062
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