Allabout the breed Clumber Spaniel
All about our Clumber girls
All about our Clumber Spaniel offspring

Our view of dog ownership, breeding and rearing, as well as the demands we have on the future families of our puppies, are not "crazy ideas" .... but is based on several decades of experience and observation and has meanwhile been confirmed in most points by Cynologists, behavioral biologists and/or physicians.
Living and training with our dogs, raising the puppies and growing them up in the family has taught us a lot. The desire for our dogs and their offspring to create the best possible basis for a long, active, happy and healthy life has awakened our interest - in addition to genetics, nutrition, biomechanics and kinesiology - in behavioral biology, especially cognition.

>>If you have not an open mind on new, if you don't incorporate your own experiences and knowledge from others,
and does not question this again and again, then you can do everything wrong for 20 years!(U. A.)<<

Below the most frequently asked questions to us & the answers:

I. Why don't we hand over puppies at 8 weeks? Answer....

The development of puppies is very individual, as is the “cutting the cord” of the mother from the puppies. In the meantime, various studies have shown that staying in the family unit for a longer period of time has a very positive effect on the puppy's mental strength...the ability to cope with stress.
Behavioral biologists consider social play and learning with the littermates in their familiar surroundings to be particularly important in the 3rd and 4th month. An actual bond with a person (breeders can be seen here in a different category) is only really possible from the 14th week of life (also the beginning of the phase of stranger anxiety ).
Not only the renowned behavioral biologists PD Dr. Udo Ganslosser and Dr. Adam Miklosi are sources here, but also the American dog researcher Marc Bekoff, whose investigations, which took place as early as the 1980s, showed that the intensity and extent of social play with littermates and "babysitters" (adult dogs in a pack who help take care of the puppies) in the period of the 3rd and 4th month of life has a direct positive effect on their later sociability tendencies.
The imprinting or socialization phase pretextualed by breeders for the early handing over of the puppy can only be cited to a limited extent, since this phase lasts until the 15th/16th week (which is repeated at the age of approx. 6-9 months), so there is still enough time. In addition, socialization together with the mother and/or siblings is also possible by the breeder, and is even more relaxed for the individual puppy - however, most breeders simply reject this effort and forget that this additional time is particularly important with regard to breeding - in which one can observe the development, assess the abilities and characters better - can be extremely valuable for a breeder.
Another aspect that speaks in favor of a later hand over is that from about the 8th or 9th week the puppy develops a local bond. In unfamiliar areas, they initially react with uncertainty or fear. This removal of a puppy from the place of its birth, which takes place too early, can sometimes traumatize the animal so much in this phase of life that it remains insecure for the rest of its life. The sudden separation of a puppy from the breeder family too early has a greater impact on its development than the separation from littermates or the mother.

All this speaks in favor of a handing over age from the 12th to 14th week, as well as the fact that immunity against certain diseases is only guaranteed with the 2nd vaccination (12th week).

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!

II. Why we do consider free running / "off leash" to be so important?.
..or: Why "leash compulsion" is harmful?

Quite apart from the fact that free running / off leash strengthens bonds and team spirit,

- because when I act as a team with the dog, trust on both sides is part of it
.- and only if I put my trust in the dog and If I let him off the leash, I'll get his trust too

......compulsory leash has a harmful effect on joints and muscles.

because. . . . . . Movement is not like movement
In biomechanics and kinematics, the adaptation types speed and strength adaptation are known (“stride” for step length and “strength” for strength adaptation).
The mobility of the large joints differs depending on the breed-related functional requirements, which has a clear impact on the structure and course of muscles, ligaments and the entire musculoskeletal system. If you swing your legs back and forth in one direction, such as greyhounds, you only need the muscles in this direction, and the holding apparatus can be different. If you want to rotate your joints in many directions and exert powerful pressure, like our Clumber, for example, you need strong postural muscles and strong connective tissue.
Movement is the elixir of life for the joints!
A joint – or more precisely – the cartilage depends on the uninterrupted supply of important nutrients from the synovial fluid. The avascular cartilage can only absorb the valuable nutrients through regular physical activity. With each step, the cartilage is "massaged" and lightly compressed. This pumping mechanism transports fresh nutrients into the cartilage. If the pressure load decreases, the fluid flows back into the joint space and in this way also takes degradation products from the cartilage with it.
However, with straight-line, uniform movement, more than large parts of the joint surfaces are not involved - i.e. the cartilage is not supplied with important nutrients and degradation products are left behind. As a result, unused joint cartilage degenerates, can become inflamed, die off and are often the cause of joint changes such as arthritis or arthrosis.
Only through irregular movements, sudden braking and turning manoeuvres, jumping, stop-and-go operation (for example when running free, free movement play or when playing with conspecifics) the entire joint surface is used e. g. in the hip or in the shoulder joint.. Dogs that have large and open joint surfaces are particularly dependent on movements in all spatial directions and suffer even more if they are only on a leash.... only be moved at a walk and/or a trot. An increase in speed alone - e.g. by dog walking with the bike - does not change anything, since the joint surface required for this does not enlarge

All of these are reasons why, in addition to sufficient " running off leash", we make the movement of the girls as varied as possible through swimming, training with agility elements, etc. "Our 4+ decades with dogs....and also again Velvet - now in her 12th year - who is still leading the way with lots of fun hurdling, swimming etc.... hardly diminished, have us confirmed in it.
»Without freedom you can nowhere develop into something beautiful.«
Although dropped in a different context, I find this sentence by TH. Fontane also is figuratively very appropriately to our dogs and this topic in two ways. On the one hand, because healthy muscles result in better posture and charisma...just like a self-confident, well-balanced dog.

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!

III. Why we already practice free running / off leash with the puppies? Answer....
As explained more detailed in the point above, free running is an important topic for us - in terms of bonding/team building and, above all, health. Therefore it is just logical to integrate it into everyday dog life as early as possible.
A puppy is (even) much easier to control on excursions, and the imitative behavior can also be used on walks with the mother or other pack members (babysitters). The puppy quickly memorizes a recall with hand signal or a double whistle.

Just because we have had the experience that many dog owners are too hesitant when it comes to letting the dog off the leash, we want to teach the puppy a few basics in a playful way before moving out and thus give the new family a certain security - if necessary.
According to behavioral biologists, e.g. Dr. Adam Miklosi, biologically speaking, puppies have a tendency to imitate or learn through observation. It's about gaining information from the parent animal through imitation, trying out similar behavior, going to the same places, etc. It is completely normal and can be assumed that the puppies practice this constantly with each other and in contact with the mother.
>>We have experienced this ourselves several times, e.g. For example, in the "lay down" exercise using a hand signal, the puppy initially imitates the hand signal - i.e. waves its paw - instead of laying down. If you let the puppy do this exercise together with an adult dog, it usually works very quickly because he imitates it from the big one.<<
With the usual way of rearing and training, we unlearn the puppy the imitating, says Miklosi. When the puppies move into a new family, they will use this strategy as well. In normal households, it is usually undesirable for puppies to do the same things as humans, such as taking food from the table. In some situations, of course, imitation is good, like playing together, but many behaviors are simply forbidden. This signals to the puppy or adult dog that imitation is not wanted. He will no longer automatically imitate but will be trained to do only what is allowed, which can be a problem. The imitation training (such as practiced by Claudia Fugazza) is a good thing here. In principle, it is a reminder of the "good old days" and thus a link to the natural, biologically given abilities of the dog.

Dr.Ádám Miklósi … … is the head of what is now the world's largest research group on the subject of dogs. As the best-known behavioral researcher in cynology, he leads research work in the fields of social learning, experimental behavior analysis, behavioral genetics and neuroethology and the genetic basis of behavioral deviations at the Chair of Ethology at the Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest/Hungary.

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!

IV. Why we prefer dogs from working lines? Trainability - heritability
....or: Why dogs from working lines aren't harder to handle? - au contraire!

(First a small foreword: I (as well as the studies cited) use the terms working line & show line. I know that some people do not like to hear the term "show line" for their dogs, but this is not an evaluation, but merely a subdivision of the lines according to the "use" and/or the primary breeding goal.I reject using the term "standard" instead of "show" line (suggested to me), because this would incorrectly imply that dogs from "working lines" wouldn't correspond the standard).

In our almost half century of living and working with dogs - initially from both lines - we tended more and more towards the working lines over the years due to our experiences - not only because of the health aspect. Since we consider the training with... or the use of the dogs in a way that is appropriate to the natural abilities of the breed, is very important - for a well-balanced, happy dog - we got the impression that training of "working dogs" is much easier. This impression has been reinforced by our litters.

1st Generation "Velvet"
(mother: working line, father: working line/show line) was already relatively easy to train
.2nd Generation
(father: also active working line) here we noticed that despite the differences in character and varying distribution of natural abilities, training became even easier.
3rd Generation
(both parents out of working lines and are regularly trained) this has - as far as can be foreseen - increased again....respectively the handling / trainability simplified.

This has once again confirmed us the "heritability of learned skills", which has meanwhile been proven by studies.
It is also important here that these inherited skills must continue to be fostered by a stimulating environment in order to use this "learning advantage" permanently.
There are numerous studies on the topics of "heritability of trainability" and the influence of environmental factors on trainability, behavior and development of puppies. Some of them you can find e.g. in the book "Behavioral Biology for Dog Trainers" by Dr. Udo Ganslosser.
As with Dr. Marie Nitzschner (behavioural biologist) is to be read, various studies have shown that trainability is the property with the highest heritability.
Behaviors that e.g.:
- the willingness to cooperate with humans
- how quickly a dog can learn in new situations
- how high he can concentrate on a task
are include within the behavioral complex described under “trainability.”
There are also overlaps with impulse control.
In general, the picture emerges that the most trainable breeds were either representatives of the Herding- or Sporting group. The results of Hsu and Serpell could also be confirmed in another study.
Hart and Hart (1985), Ley et al (2009), and Turcsán et al (2011) also found that herding and sporting dog breeds score higher on trainability.
The authors explained their results against the background of the original breeding aims of these breeds. The dogs of these breeds were selected for cooperative tasks with constant visual contact with their human partner, so skills such as the attention focus on humans, responsiveness to communicative signals and instructions, as well as a quick learning ability were favored here in breeding.
But not only the breed itself, but also the breeding line plays a significant part here.
As expected, the working lines showed a significantly higher trainability than the show lines.

Based on our experience we just can underline that and it contradicts the often heard misrepresentation that a working dog is more difficult to handle.
Dogs with high trainability have a high retrieval motivation and focus on a task.
It's also been shown that dogs with a higher trainability have a longer life expectancy.
By the way: Individual genes that influence the trainability of a dog are also related to intelligence and the speed of information processing in humans. (Kate C. MacLean et al. 2019)

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


V. Why are playing and playful training so important?
...or What is play and what is training?

»Playing is an activity that cannot be taken seriously enough.« (J.Y.Cousteau)
Because: Playing is not only fun, but also strengthens the bond, has a stress-reducing effect, is health-promoting in many ways, serves to learn social rules and conventions as well as the correct application of signals and behavioral patterns.
There are basically three different types of playing:
> the social play
> the solitarily play
> the prey catching play
But what exactly is "Play"?
Characteristics of play behavior:
• Stress-free, relaxed environment as a prerequisite
Animals only play when there are no predators, social tensions, or other stresses in their environment. The activity of the stress hormones in the brain normally noticeably and verifiably dampens the desire to play, and also learning through play therefore does not work in a straining and stressful environment. A relaxed environment is not only important for the dog, we should have a clear mind too. Otherwise, it makes more sense not to get involved in the game at all, but to wait for more relaxed times that are better suited to learning through play.
• frequent repetition of the concerning behavior
• the lack of the respective final action as the goal of the behavior
Retrieving, regardless of whether it is a dummy or a ball, is therefore not part of the play.
• free combination of elements from different circles of behavior
Dogs at play combine in random order elements of:
- fightng behaviour: like mouth wrestling and tussling,
- prey catching behaviour, i.e. sneaking up, jumping up and shaking,
- sexual behaviour and social grooming, by nibbling and licking, in any order with each other.
• frequent role changes
"The hunter becomes the hunted" or the one standing above in the scuffle lets himself fall and suddenly lies below, alternating sneaking up and jumping at in the game of prey catching. Real play is always balanced between both parties.
• lloose, relaxed, excessiv and exaggerated movements, e.g. with dangling legs.
• the so-called play-face
Anyone who has ever seen a dog "laugh" all over their face while playing can understand that.

Our C-Litter at 8 weeks

Play: why and what for?
Many researchers have long been concerned with play behavior and its advantages. The most important of these are the following:
When playing with the dog to which we have a bond the so-called bonding hormone oxytocin is released on both sides - in humans and dogs.
In addition, oxytocin - as an opponent of stress hormones - also acts as a stress brake and is health-promoting due to its stress-reducing effect.
By the way: Studies have shown that the increase in the hormone in both partners was particularly strong when humans and dogs looked into each other's eyes for a long time while playing and cuddling.

The play is used for physical training and condition.
Muscles, nervous system, blood flow, etc. are trained in a sporty way. Interesting: the chronological rhythm in which the playful movements are repeated corresponds almost exactly to what is required in a well-planned program in terms of sports medicine:
o Exercise repetition in rapid succession for several seconds/or a few minutes, then the program changes and after about 20 to 30 minutes you return to the original form of movement. It's this rhythm that trains muscles, nerves, blood vessels and other physiological structures particularly well and keeps them fit.
o Movements and situations - be it in fight or prey catching or take over or loss rank positions - which are rarely required can be trained in the play

Phoenix & Sparkler

The play conduces to learn social rules and conventions, as well as to train fairness and the correct use of signals and behavioral patterns.
Action and reaction to signals sent or received can be tested without serious consequences.
Dogs that have had little or no unrestrained play contact with peers of the same age between the ages of 4 and 10 months (e.g. due to incorrect dog training suggestions) often become conspicuous. Although these dogs may have socialized with adult dogs during this time, they often later exhibit misguided prey-catching behavior (attack or hurt conspecifics), which in turn is often interpreted as aggressiveness in ignorance of the situation.. Dogs that have learned in puppies and young dog play groups that one should not torment fellow dogs too severely with prey-catching behavior usually do not have this problem.

Play behavior in puppies and adolescents has a number of important functions in stabilizing and preparing the brain for its future tasks.
Several parts of the brain are strengthened by playing. Areas which deal with:
o spatial orientation
o movement coordination
o fine-motor sequence of movements

Clowance at 6 weeks

Cell divisions are stimulated, the cerebral cortex becomes thicker, the number and connection density of nerve fibers increase.
As a result, problems arise when dogs are not allowed to romp around in the puppy and early young dog period and are not allowed to move playfully. Impaired gross motor skills, with serious balance problems.

• The messenger substance dopamine leads to a double effect of play behavior. Dopamine is known as a self-reward and learning drug, is formed in the midbrain and is released when you feel successful.
o It stabilizes the development of several parts of the brain, including the cortex, preparing the dog for better mental and social functioning later in life.
o Not only does dopamine have a self-rewarding effect, but it also increases the anticipation of certain situations. If dopamine was produced, e.g. during playing, the animal remembers that the play was fun last time, and looks forward to having the same pleasurable experiences and sensations again. Play situations are therefore also situations be sought by young animals.

The play of adult dogs conduces not only to deepen and strengthen the pair bond but also to keep the social group together.
Even the high-ranking members of the pack can afford to behave just as silly and exuberantly as adolescents.

Learning processes that take place with the help of the self-reward messenger substance dopamine,
increase e.g. the willingness to do the same thing more often in the future.
Learning processes that were coupled with many stress hormones
take away (at least with most living beings) the desire to repeat.

(Dr. U. Ganslosser „Verhaltensbiologie für Hundehalter“)

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


VI. Why do we want active families for our puppies?
.....and why one should continue to train with "seniors"?

First of all, when we talk about "activities with the dog" and "training", we don't mean high-performance dog sport. An extreme in this direction would probably be just as detrimental to the dog's health as a lack of exercise.

The girlies '21

There are so many ways to incorporate a few small training units / varied exercise into everyday life - in addition to the daily walks. It doesn't matter whether it's water work or just a few hurdles in the garden - as a change in dummy training.. Our girlies love it.....especially Velvet, even with more than 11 years of age.

As already described in detail in points II., IV. and V., exercise and training have a very positive effect on mental and physical health. Muscles and joints are just as dependent on "stimulation" as the brain. In addition, it has been proven - as already explained under point 4 - that inherited skills must continue to be promoted by a stimulating environment in order to use a "learning advantage" permanently.
By the way: Exercise and mental work, a species-appropriate activity that is fun for the dog (and the owner), can - just like positive reinforcement.... - increase the level of the "happiness hormone" serotonin in the body, which is responsible for serenity, contentment and stability for the dog.
Environmental conditions and dog keeping have a significant influence on learning and curiosity behavior, on movement and exploratory activity, learning ability and problem-solving behavior. A study on Alzheimer's/dementia in mice also shows how important the environmental situation is.It was shown that with sufficient environmental stimuli, even with a genetic predisposition to these diseases, protection against or delaying the disease can be achieved. This protection is said to last for a few generations. Activities and physical and mental training have a very positive effect on the physical and mental health of dogs - just like in humans.
A long, healthy, happy and balanced life - that's what we want for our little ones!
Breeding and rearing are a building block, but another important factor are the environment or living conditions.

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


VII. Why are we very critical of castration?
...or What health consequences can this have?

A topic that is very important to us and that has occupied us for several decades. Fortunately, more and more experts such as behavioral biologists, veterinarians, etc. are dedicating themselves to this topic and are thereby shedding light on the connections and the influences on the psyche and physique.

Here we only scratches the surface, but perhaps – at least we hope so – will arouse interest in taking a closer look and finding out more... to question the meaning and possible consequences of this procedure, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, before subjecting your dog to such a drastic step.

Recommended information material / a list of books can be found at the end of the page!

Explanation of terms: castration means ectomy of the sexual organs, this applies equally to males and females. Males get their testicles removed and females normally the ovaries, more rarely a hysterectomy.

The legal basis in Germany can be found in §6 of the Animal Welfare Act:
- (1) The complete or partial amputation of body parts or the complete or partial removal or destruction of organs or tissues of a vertebrate is prohibited.
The prohibition does not apply, if the procedure in individual cases
- a) is indicated by a veterinarian
- b) in hunting dogs, if it is essential for the intended use of the animal ………. (it's a point about docking)

Indikation = Heilanzeige (heilen = das Beheben einer bestehenden Krankheit durch entsprechende ärztliche, medikamentöse o. ä. Behandlung)

Sterilization involves severing the vas deferens in males and the fallopian tube in females. This prevents reproduction. Sterilization is permitted provided there are no veterinary concerns to the contrary. Regulated in §6 (5) and in any case preferable to castration.

Before I list the reasons given for castration - only very few of which are covered by German law - and the expected or lack of success, first the physical and psychological consequences of such a serious intervention in the hormonal balance:

Consequences of castration.....the effects for the body

Musculoskeletal system such as muscles, skeletal robustness, joints
For dogs that depend on strong muscles and strong connective tissue, it is fatal if they partially lose this supporting and postural muscles due to stress and/or castration. The so-called male hormone testosterone is also responsible for the elasticity of the connective tissue, for its durability and for the development of the muscles in the large joints of the body. Neutered males have much less postural muscles and looser fibrous tissue. This, in turn, is particularly harmful to breeds that are dependent on strong and resilient muscles and connective tissue apparatus, such as e.g.. also our Clumber Spaniel.. According to studies, the risk of hip dysplasia increases significantly, and the increase is particularly strong in dogs that have been neutered at an early age. An increased risk of cruciate ligament tears has also been statistically proven. In addition, there is damage to the musculoskeletal system as a result of the obesity problem caused by the altered metabolism in castrated dogs.

In neutered dogs/bitches, the basic metabolism is greatly reduced. In addition the appetite-suppressing effect of the sex hormones has been switched off. Appetite increases at the same time as energy requirements decrease.
Secondary diseases of obesity can be:

- Joint disorders (arthrosis or osteoarthritis)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Constipation
- Skin conditions (Dermatitis)
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Breathing problems
- Reduced immune defense and thus the risk of infections and other diseases
- Calcium oxalate - urolith
- Predisposition to lethargy, lack of motivation and energy
- Increased tumor risk
- Fatty degeneration of the liver
- Increased risk of anesthesia and surgery. Disturbing fatty tissue can complicate surgical interventions, wound healing disorders occur more frequently
- Malnutrition, by simply reducing the amount of feed (macronutrients) without considering the need for micronutrients

Incontinence of the bitch
Weakness of the sphincter of the urethra due to the lack of hormones after castration. In some breeds, up to 60% suffer from it after castration. Hormone treatments can have an aggression-increasing effect on some bitches. Incontinence can also be promoted by being overweight.

Tumor formation
The predisposition to prostate tumors increases in castrated male dogs. The risk of anal tumors increases in neutered bitches, but decreases in male dogs. The development of splenic-, bone- and cardiac tumors increases.

Hypothyroidism was also diagnosed more frequently in neutered dogs.

That the fur condition changes after castration, on the other hand, is an almost negligible fact.

Consequences on the brain, psyche and behavior
Estrogens regulate neuronal activity and have a neuroprotective effect.
It also has vasodilating and antioxidant effects and helps maintain myelin architecture - the membrane that protects our nerves.

The result is senile dementia and other behavioral changes in neutered older dogs due to the loss of estrogen's protective function. Sex hormones prevent damaged nerve tracts and changes in the conduction speed in the brain in old age.

The increase in the cortisol level, due to the loss of the sex hormones and thus their cortisol-dampening effect, led to behavioral changes such as fear, stress and aggression being observed.

Inconfidentes and stress stomach, intestines and immune system.

Eminently fatal - early castration

see also VII. (2)

And now to the most frequently cited reasons for castration:

Owner or keeping reasons

This includes, for example, mixed packs, the "annoying" bleeding during heat, etc.
"If you can't deal with your dog's sexuality, you shouldn't keep one!"
(Kurt Kotrschal, Behavioural biologist)

Inhibition of reproduction
In this case, the smaller intervention, i.e. sterilization, would be preferable, which would be covered by the Animal Welfare Act and does not represent such a caesura in the dog's life. For an attentive, careful dog owner, unwanted mating should not be an issue either.

Preventative health care
There are only a few diseases that may make castration unavoidable, such as pyometra (Uterus suppuration), Tumor of the mamma in the bitch or testicular tumor in the male.
However, castration as a precautionary measure is neither a reason provided for by the Animal Welfare Act nor makes sense in view of the negative effects of castration..
Obesity, a diet high in fat and protein during growth increase the likelihood of developing tumors of the mamma, as does treatment with estrus-suppressing hormones, which is also a risk factor for pyometra. A moderate diet and observation of the bitch for the first signs of metritis, as well as regular check-ups at the vet are probably more suitable as a preventive measure.

Hunting instinct and prey behavior
Again and again one hears that castration not only makes the dog calmer but also reduces the motivation to hunt.However, experience and studies on other, closely related mammals contradict this and show that the dog often showed much stronger hunting behavior after the loss of sex hormones. Systematic studies in house cats have also shown that sex hormones tend to reduce prey-catching behavior and that eliminating them - i.e. castration - increases prey-catching behavior.
Castration as an anti-hunting therapy is therefore absolutely unsuitable. Training / excercises, a species-appropriate activity are probably the means of first choice here.

Behavioral problems (such as hypersexuality, aggression)
Hypersexual male dogs are actually very rare and in most cases the behavior is perfectly normal and often has nothing to do with sexuality....sometimes habits that have already manifested themselves in the puppy.
It is similar with aggression, since most forms are not controlled by sex hormones and it's not uncommon for the aggressive behavior to increase due to the lack of sex hormones or the imbalance - the disturbed hormone balance. In this cases it is advisable to gather information and consult with experts.
In case of doubt, a "hormone chip" (a chemical castration) can be used to test whether the dog's behavior would change at all as a result of castration, before deciding on the final step, the surgical castration. Chemical castration can be reversed - a surgical castration cannot.

Castration in unilateral cryptorchidism? - No!
Even with unilateral undescended testicles, complete castration is not necessary and makes little sense. The surgical removal of only the testicle in the abdomen or groin is completely sufficient. Here, the laparoscopic removal of the inner testicle offers an alternative to the large abdominal incision that is associated with less pain for the dog. In addition, the vas deferens of the remaining testicle lying in the scrotum can be severed to prevent reproduction. By preservation the normally developed testicle, the hormonal balance remains in balance and there are no consequences of a castration.
Especially in connection with cryptorchidism one often reads about increased cases of HD, which is not surprising, because the most cryptorchid males undergo castration at a very young age and are thus exposed to the consequences for the musculoskeletal system....connective tissue, muscles and joints.

Pseudopregnancy or false motherhood

From a hormonal point of view, all female representatives of the canids are pseudopregnant after each heat.
The reason for this is the corpus luteum, which develops on the ovaries after ovulation and produces the hormone progesterone, regardless of whether fertilization has taken place or not. This hormone creates conditions that the embryo needs for implantation and growth in the uterus. The degradation of the corpus luteum (luteolysis) can take up to 9-12 weeks..
The now falling progesterone level triggers the release of the hormone prolactin, which, among others, boosts milk production.
Due to the associated altered metabolic activities, the bitch appears more clingy and more interested in positive social contact. False motherhood occurs about two months after heat (oestrus). This phase is controlled in particular by prolactin, the parent hormone.

Bitches are often castrated due to existing or even possible false pregnancy or false motherhood, as both are often misinterpreted as "morbid disorders" and the bitch would have to suffer as a result.

From a biological point of view, however, these two phases are not disorders, diseases, etc., but are of course part of the sexual cycle and do not normally cause the bitch any suffering.

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


VII.(2) Eminently fatal - early castration!
.....and what happens in the body & brain during puberty / adolescence?

Translation in progress!
Jede Kastration vor dem Ende der Pubertät gilt als Frühkastration. Bei Hündinnen kann man davon ausgehen, dass die Pubertät ungefähr bis nach der 3. Läufigkeit andauert, die Entwicklung bei Rüden verläuft in der Regel etwas langsamer. Meiner Erfahrung nach, würde ich von einem Alter von ca. 3Jahren +/- bei unseren Clumber Spaniels ausgehen, bis man von "erwachsen" sprechen kann.

Die Hormone sind nicht nur für die Ausbildung des Sexualverhaltens und der Geschlechtsorgane wichtig, sondern beeinflussen auch das Wachstum von Muskeln, Sehnen, Bändern und Knochen, zudem ist das Gehirn in dieser Zeit eine regelrechte Baustelle.
Der Körper bereitet sich dadurch auf das endgültige Erwachsenenalter vor. Eine Kastration in dieser Phase stellt einen nicht zu unterschätzenden Eingriff in das endokrine System, die körperliche und geistige Entwicklung des Hundes dar, wichtige Prozesse in der Entwicklung finden nicht statt oder werden unterbrochen.
Auswirkungen auf den Körper
Infolge der Anschaltung der Pubertätsgene und dem folgenden Anstieg der Sexualhormone wird die Schilddrüse aktiv. Schilddrüsenhormon (Thyroxin) und Wachstumshormon (Substanzen, die das Wachstum beim Tier anregen. Bei Säugetieren übernimmt das Protein-Hormon Somatotropin (STH) diese Funktion. Es besteht aus 191 Aminosäuren und ist artspezifisch.) werden verstärkt produziert, welche Einfluss auf den gesamten Körper und die Funktion vieler Organe haben. Z. B. beenden sie das Längenwachstum der Röhrenknochen durch das Schließen der Wachstumsfuge. Eine Verstärkung der Bänder und Sehnen und der verstärkte Muskelaufbau sind an der Änderung der Drehmomente und -Verhältnisse beteiligt.
Kastrierte Hunde werden größer als ihre intakten Geschwister. Eine Folge, einer verzögerten Schließung der Wachstumsfuge des Knochens. Bei einigen Hunden kommt es in dessen Folge zu einer irregulären Körperform, mit unvorhersehbaren Folgen für die Biomechanik der einzelnen Gelenke.

Bei frühkastrierten Hunden zeigte sich in manchen Rassen ein doppelt so hohes Risiko von Hüftdysplasie. Ein leichter erhöhtes Risiko konnte auch noch bei einer Kastration bis zum Alter von drei Jahren nachgewiesen werden.
Hinzu kommen, die zahlreichen bereits in Punkt VII. genannten möglichen Folgen einer Kastration, deren Risiken sich durch die frühe Kastration besonders beim Bewegungapparat oftmals erhöhen.
Der schlenkernde Gang in der Pubertät, hervorgerufen durch unterschiedlich schnelle Wachstumsprozesse, welche ein Ungleichgewicht in den den Teilen des Bewegungsapparates entstehen lassen, kann sich wenn die Pubertät nicht abgeschlossen werden kann, nicht mehr einspielen. Ebenso hat dieser Abbruch des Entwicklungsprozesses oft auch Auswirkungen auf das Herz-Kreislauf-System. Die Größe des Herzens passt nicht nur nicht zur Größe des Hundes, es ist auch zu schwach.

Der "Umbau" im Gehirn betrifft besonders zwei Bereiche:
- den präfrontalen Kortex, er ist für das Denken, Lernen und Verarbeiten zuständig, ist Sitz der motorischen Planung und Steuerung, von Teilen des Arbeitsgedächtnisses, und der Kontrolle / Entwicklung der Persönlichkeit
- die Amygdala, die an der
emotionalen Kontrolle und der Formung emotionaler Gedächtnisinhalte sowie der Speicherung von Gedächtnisinhalten beteiligt ist.
Daher leiden Hunde in der Pubertät / Adoleszenz häufig unter Stimmungsschwankungen, lernen tendenziell schlechter, reagieren empfindlicher und intensiver auf Reize aus der Umwelt. Reaktionen fallen meist emotionaler aus und sie tendieren schneller zu Angst- und Aggressionsverhalten. Auch Risikoabschätzung und Impulskontrolle sind davon betroffen.
Beim Menschen braucht die Entwicklung (Myelinisierung) des präfrontalem Kortex, die Entwicklung der Persönlichkeit bis zu 30 Jahren und ist selbst dann noch nicht ganz abgeschlossen//

Zudem ist während der Pubertät das "Stresshormon" Cortisol erhöht, was eine höhere Stressanfälligkeit der Tiere in dieser Zeit zur Folge hat.
Da auch der
"Selbstbelohnungsbotenstoff" Dopamin im Körper steigt, haben die Hunde ein gesteigertes Neugierverhalten....sind schwerer von Situationen abzuhalten sind, die ihre Aufmerksamkeit erregt haben.

Erlerntes scheint in dieser Phase wieder „vergessen“, der Hund reagiert anders als gewohnt in (un-)bekannten Situationen und auf Reize. Trotzdem ist die Pubertät für eine gesunde körperliche und geistige Entwicklung unserer Hunde wichtig und notwendig. Es findet ein Optimierungsprozess des Gehirns statt.
Nach und nach werden nicht gebrauchte Verbindungen zwischen den Nervenzellen, die Synapsen - von denen in den ersten Monaten sehr viele ausgebildet wurden - nun teilweise wieder aufgelöst.
Nur solche, die tatsächlich immer wieder verwendet werden, bleiben erhalten. Gleichzeitig werden die Nervenfasern größer und darüber hinaus mit einer neuen Isolationsschicht ummantelt, der Informationsfluss zwischen den Nervenzellen wird nun schneller. Dieser Ausbau führt zu einer Zunahme der sogenannten weißen Substanz d. h. Myelin macht die weiße Substanz weiß. Es bildet die Fettschicht der Axone (schlauchartiger Nervenzellfortsatz über den Signale weitergeleitet werden) der Nervenzellen, die die Informationsübertragung durch das Gehirn beschleunigt. Dieser Prozess kann während der gesamten Lebensspanne auftreten, ist aber in der frühen Entwicklung des Gehirns vorherrschend.
Die Geschwindigkeit der Hirn- und damit der Denkprozesse - die Rechenleistung des Gehirns - wächst dadurch um ein Vielfaches. Die Pubertierenden entwickeln die Fähigkeit, genauso "schnell" zu denken wie ein Erwachsener.

Zu Beginn der Pubertät gilt diese Optimierung nur zuerst einmal für Hirnteile, die für die Motorik, für die Wahrnehmung und die Orientierung gebraucht werden. Aufgrund der Reihenfolge, in der sich die verschiedenen Hirneegionen verändern, unterliegt das Verhalten der Pubertierenden zunächst noch besonders stark dem Einfluss des sogenannten limbischen Systems.
Das limbische System vermittelt zwischen motiviertem Verhalten, emotionalen Zuständen und Gedächtnisprozessen. Des Weiteren regelt es Körpertemperatur, Blutdruck, Blutzuckerspiegel und andere Aspekte des Körperhaushalts. Das limbische System besteht aus drei Strukturen: Hippocampus, Amygdala und Hypothalamus.
Auch die Riechzellen sind direkt mit dem Riechhirn und dem limbischen System (Verarbeitung von Emotionen, Ausschüttung von Endorphinen) verbunden. Dadurch sind Hunde in der Lage (menschliche) Emotionen zu riechen, dies geschieht durch die Ausschüttung diverser Pheromone beim Menschen und Artgenossen.

Der Hypothalamus ist eine der kleinsten Strukturen des Gehirns und spielt doch bei vielen unserer wichtigsten alltäglichen Handlungen eine entscheidende Rolle. Er ist aus verschiedenen Kernen, kleinen Neuronenbündeln, zusammengesetzt, die physiologische Prozesse des auf Motivation beruhenden Verhaltens regulieren (darunter Fressen, Trinken, Regelung der Temperatur und Sexualität). Der Hypothalamus erhält das Gleichgewicht der Körperfunktionen, die Homöostase.

So anstrengend ein pubertierender Junghund ist, ist doch auch er ein "Opfer" der masssiven Umbauarbeiten, die gerade in seinem Gehirn stattfinden.

Eine Kastration sollte in dieser Phase unbedingt vermieden werden, außer es gibt medizinische Gründe hierfür!

Informationsquellen / Bücherliste finden sie am Seitenende!

VIII. Why puppy raising never should happen imprudent? Answer....

Translation in progress!
Die ersten Wochen / Monate sind viel zu wichtig, um sie ungenutzt zu lassen. Denn Einfluss auf die Kooperationsbereitschaft mit dem Menschen, haben in besonderem Maße auch die frühen Erfahrungen ....die Aufzucht. Schlecht sozialisierte Hunde mit wenig Trainingserfahrung erzielen in der Kategorie Kooperationsbereitschaft mit dem Menschen nur niedrige Werte.
Wenn man von den Welpen örtlich getrennt ist, oder gar berufstätig während eines Wurfes, steht es außer Frage, dass einem kleinere Entwicklungsschritte einzelner Welpen völlig verborgen bleiben….bzw. die Verbindung zu den Welpen nicht so intensiv ist.
Zum anderen kann man nur mit ausreichend Zeit den Ansprüchen von Mutterhündin & Welpen…oder ggf. anderen im Haushalt lebenden Hunden gerecht werden. Uns ist sehr wichtig, dass die Mutterhündin relativ zügig – sobald sie das möchte - wieder an den Spaziergängen teilnimmt, denn wir konnten die Erfahrung machen, dass es ihr ausgesprochen gut gefällt ….und sich physisch und psychisch sehr positiv auswirkt. Ebenso merkt man relativ schnell, dass auch die Welpen es genießen, wenn man für sie ein anregendes, animierendes Umfeld schafft und spielerisch ein paar Übungen einbaut. Natürlich immer angepasst an den Entwicklungsstand der Welpen.

   Video "Playful learning"....Phoenix & Sparkler
 First time with the dummy at 9 weeks.
Cupid, Clowance, Phoebus & Juno
13 weeks
Retrieving (almost) like the big ones

Ein ausreichend stimulierendes Umfeld hat nicht nur Einfluss auf Neugier-; Lern- und Spielverhalten, sondern auch auf Bewegungs– und Erkundungsaktivität, sowie Lernfähigkeit und Problemlöseverhalten.


Welpen, die unerschrocken von selbst Neues erkunden und durch eine gute Motorik auch dazu in der Lage sind.


Sicher,... Welpen, die man fördert sind für den Züchter „anstrengender“ oder „fordernder“, …also bei „Züchtern“, für die reine Vervielfältigung und eine schnelle Abgabe Priorität haben, nicht erwünscht.
Wenn man jedoch aus Liebe zur Rasse züchtet – nicht nur Äußerlichkeiten schätzt, sondern besonders die rasseeigenen Anlagen & Fähigkeiten – ist dieser Mehrwert an Erfahrungen und die vielen freudigen Momente über Lernfortschritte / Trainingserfolge bei den Welpen unbezahlbar! Ganz abgesehen von dem Spaß beim Lernen, den man den Zwergen im Gesicht ablesen kann und dem stolzen Blick nach einer gelungenen Übung...

Informationsquellen / Bücherliste finden sie am Seitenende!


IX. Why shouldn't dogs be denied species-appropriate employment, regardless of whether they are "show" or working lines? ...or Why do stories about the "exertive dog of working lines" belong in the realm of fairy tales? Answer....

Translation in progress!

In short, because regardless of which line they, they were once bred for a specific use – in case of the Clumber as a flushing dog and retriever. In our opinion, species-appropriate dog keeping also includes species-appropriate training. Brain stimulation and adequate exercise are important for everyone. Und was liegt dabei näher, als einen mehr –oder weniger vorhandenen Grundstock an Fähigkeiten zu nutzen, zu erhalten und zu erweitern. Zumal diese Art der Beschäftigung / Training auch auf den rassespezifischen Körperbau und seine Bedürfnisse abgestimmt ist.
So, wie es beim Menschen Wohlstandserkrankungen gibt….findet man auch Leiden beim Hund, die auf mangelnde oder -wie in Punkt II ausführlich beschrieben - falsche Bewegung zurückzuführen sind. Daneben, können auch genetisch veranlagte Erkrankungen des Bewegungsapparates u. U. später oder verdeckt in Erscheinung treten, was gerade im Hinblick auf einen Zuchteinsatz ein großes Problem darstellen kann. Ebenso verhält es sich mit der Psyche und der Trainierbarkeit bei mangelnder Stimulation des Gehirns. Bezüglich der Zucht sollte eigentlich ja auch immer die körperliche & geistige Leistungsfähigkeit ein Auswahlkriterium sein. So wie bei ererbten Fähigkeiten, die weiterhin gefordert und gefördert werden müssen um erhalten zu bleiben, wurde auch durch Studien belegt, dass ohne diesen Heritabilitätsvorsprung sich trotzdem durch ausreichend Stimulation / Förderung sich ein beachtlicher Grundstock an Fähigkeiten antrainieren lässt.
Bezüglich des „anstrengenden“ Arbeitshundes: Im Punkt IV, wurde ja schon ausführlich das Thema Trainierbarkeit behandelt und das Gerücht vom angeblich schwer zu handlebaren „working dog“ widerlegt.
Nun zu einem weiteren Gerücht: ….der Arbeitshund, der nicht abschalten kann und „ständig“ bewegt werden muss.
Genau wie der Mensch passt sich auch der Hund seinem Umfeld an. Ein Clumber aus Arbeitslinie ist nicht weniger entspannt, als der aus einer Showlinie. Und völlig egal aus welcher Linie: durch dauerhafte mentale und/oder physische Unterforderung und/oder Überfütterung wird ein Hund träge…., teilnahmslos oder entwickelt gar „Ticks“ oder Verhaltensstereotypen.
Ebenso erzielt ein aktives Training von Körper und Geist die gegensätzliche, positive Wirkung.
Eigentlich sollte die Frage bei Interessenten an / Besitzern von Clumber Spaniels nicht lauten, ob manche dieser Jagdhunde zu viel Bewegung / Beschäftigung brauchen, sondern eher ob einige davon zu wenig bekommen – das würde wohl eher der Realität entsprechen!
Es gibt zu dem Themen "Heratibilität" & „Einfluss von Umweltbedingungen“ auch einige interessante Studien bei Säugetieren, z. B. besonders ausführlich untersucht wurden Angehörige verschiedener Mäusestämme.
Hier nur in einer kurzen Zusammenfassung:
Standardversuchsansatz: Jeweils 3 Gruppen von Mäusen aus 2 Stämmen, die sich in der Lernfähigkeit unterschieden. Der Einfachheit halber als: „intelligente“ & „dumme“ Mäuse bezeichnet.
Gruppe 1…. wuchs im Standardkäfig, ohne Einrichtungsgegenstände, nur mit Einstreu, Wasserflasche und Mulde für Pelletnahrung auf.
Gruppe 2… erhielt eine leicht angereicherte Umwelt, d.h. ein – zwei Einrichtungsgegenstände (Röhre zum Durchkriechen, Wand zum dahinter verstecken).
Gruppe 3… Erhielt einen ideal ausgestatteten Käfig, doppelt so hoch, mit einer Vielzahl von Kletter- und Bewegungsmöglichkeiten, einer 2. Ebene, Treppen usw..
Nach dem Verbringen der Jugendzeit in einer dieser 3 Käfige wurden die Auswirkungen auf ihr Verhalten getestet.

Die Mäuse aus den Gruppen 2 + 3 zeigten in vielerlei Hinsicht ein differenzierteres Verhalten als diejenigen aus dem langweiligen Standardkäfig. Bezüglich Neugier & Spielverhalten zeigte sich eine deutliche Zunahme. Mäuse aus dem Standardkäfig spielten fast nie, die aus dem angereicherten ab und zu, die im Idealkäfig jedoch sehr häufig. Bei Verhaltensstereotypen hingegen verhielt es sich umgekehrt. Diese traten in Gruppe 1 sehr häufig, in Gruppe 2 selten und in Gruppe 3 nicht mehr oder fast nicht mehr auf. Ebenfalls bemerkenswert waren die Erkenntnisse, die man gewann aus verschiedenen Lern- und Geschicklichkeitstest. z.B. wie schnell man aus einer Schale klettert, über ein Seil balanciert oder eine unbekannte Fläche (offenes Feld) erkundet. In all diesen Tests schnitten die Tiere aus dem Superkäfig besser als Gruppe ab, und diese wiederum besser als Gruppe 1. Auch Nervosität und Angstverhalten zeigten die Mäuse aus Gruppe 2 und 3 deutlich weniger als Gruppe 1.

Nun zum Vergleich der Mäusestämme …“dumm“ und „intelligent“: Innerhalb einer Gruppe schnitten natürlich die „intelligenten“ immer besser ab als die „dummen“. Jedoch zeigte sich auch, dass der „dumme“ Stamm aus dem Superkäfig und auch aus dem angereicherten Käfig bessere Werte erzielte als Artgenossen aller Stämme aus dem langweiligen Standardkäfig. Im Mittelfeld gab es sogar auch Umkehrungen: d.h. genetisch „dumme“ Mäuse, die besser abschnitten als „intelligentere“ in schlechterer Haltung. Das zeigt: Einflüsse der Umwelt tragen hier einen erheblichen Teil zur Entwicklung des Verhaltens bei.

Unterschiede beziehen sich auf:
- Bewegungs- und Erkundungsfähigkeit
- Lernfähigkeit
- Problemlöseverhalten
- Größe, Gewicht des Gehirns
- Ausmaß und Dichte der Verzeigungen von Nervenverbindungen
- Zahl der Synapsen
- Und auch die Aktivitäten der Botenstoffe im Gehirn sind nachweisbar größer bei den Tieren aus dem angereicherten bzw. superangereicherten Käfigen.

(Studien von: Marashi et al., 2003; Sachser, 2000b, 2001; Sachser et al.,2011, 2013; Kaiser et al., 2007)

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


X. Why our dogs normally don't have puppies when they are just 1-2 years old?
...or: How meaningful are breeding and behaviour tests at this age?

One reason is that a dog's personality , like humans, is relatively stable only after puberty - in early adulthood... at the age 2-3 years depending on the breed. Although it will continue to develop over the course of life. Even if puppies with a few weeks are already show consistent behavior patterns, these can still change a lot in the following weeks and months. That's because of:

- different environmental factors
- maturing processes
- gained experiences

>>Tests before the age of 1 ½ -2 years are not relevant in the slightest either for personality assessment or for breeding suitability tests, considering how much the behavioral traits tested there can still change.<<
(Behavioral Biology for Dog Trainers by PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer)

From our point of view, only an adult dog that is already mentally and physically stable should have offspring.
Apart from that, how can I assess the health development of a 1-1 1/2 year old dog. The longer time you have, the more – possibly hereditary – diseases you can rule out. Of course, the litters can be smaller with increasing age and/or the rate of successful mating acts can be lower, but you have a more exact picture of the mental and physical constitution of the parent animals. . . .and not to forget a more mature, mentally stable bitch who is more relaxed with the puppies.

Sources of information / list of books (unfortunately the most of them in German) can be found at the end of the page!


Informationsquellen / Empfehlenswerte Bücher:

Hunde - Evolution, Kognition und Verhalten
Dr. Ádám Miklósi
Verhaltensbiologie für Hundetrainer
PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer
Genetik der Hundezucht 
Malcolm B Willis 
Die Persönlichkeit des Hundes:
Wie Gene und Umwelt das Wesen bestimmen
Dr. Marie Nitzschner
Kastration und Verhalten beim Hund
PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer, Sophie Strodtbeck (TA)
Hunde-Forschung aktuell: Anatomie, Ökologie, Verhalten 
PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer, Kate Kitchenham 
Verhaltensbiologie für Hundehalter
PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer

Ein guter Start ins Hundeleben:
Der verhaltensbiologische Ratgeber für Züchter und Welpenbesitzer 

PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer, Petra Krivy 
Spielverhalten bei Hunden:
Spielformen und -typen. Kommunikation und Körpersprache
Mechtild Käufer
Forschung trifft Hund: Neue Erkenntnisse zu Sozialverhalten, geistigen Leistungen und Ökologie
PD Dr. Udo Gansloßer, Kate Kitchenham 
Hunde sind anders
Jean Donaldson
Clicker Training
Martin Pietralla
Mein Hund im Flegelalter
Petra Krivy, Angelika Lanzerath

Links zu Informationen zu oben genannten Themen:
Bewertung eines Persönlichkeitstests
bei Hunden
Wesenstest bei Hunden
Angst und Furcht – Ursachen, Symptome und Therapie





Dukeries' Clumber Spaniel 2011 - 2023 Hinweis

Dukeries' Clumber Spaniel....