Thursday, June 19, 2008

Afghan Hound Whisperer

 White Wolves of Canada's Ellesmere Island
Some years back we were very pleased to discover a National Geographic Video about the Arctic Wolves on Canada's Ellesmere Island, titled White Wolf. Their life was very simple in a barren environment with pretty much only Arctic Hare and Musk Ox. The wildlife biologist was David Mech and the photographer was Jim Brandenburg. This video is described as "the most intimate film about wolf behavior". Apart from the notion that Jenny has about feeling akin to the white wolf, this experience added another dimension to our hobby with the Afghan Hounds which is a better understanding of pack behavior.

As this time we have little trouble running a pack of around 20, with a few more dogs than bitches. We have always been purists about certain things and spaying and neutering fits into that arena for us. We had a bitch spayed from our first litter who also happened to have a large white area on her mussel. She went to a pet home and came back years later. Jenny cried every time she tried to groom her, as her coat was completely unruly. Since then we have kept all the dogs intact. This has enabled our ability to run this large pack without much to do. Our gut instinct is that spaying and neutering confuses the sense of who the altered animals are and how they fit into the pack.

Additionally, many things have come to light in recent years about the health consequences of spaying and neutering being greater than in intact animals. Unfortunately, like many realities in our world, the advice the public gets isn't always in their best interest. It can be premature in terms of our real understanding of the consequences; or the powers that be have determined it is in the best interest for society, without and understanding of all sides of the issues involved.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I think it very interesting that you don't spay or neuter.

As an outsider I would have thought that it would have made the males more competitive...

Live and learn.

Jon T