Questions and Concerns

This can be summed up in a simple phrase:
Don't hesitate, contact us - we would sooner have a 2:00 am phone call than an "I wish!"

There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to puppies any more than when it comes to kids. Please continue to contact us with individual questions or concerns.

Please note that if you purchase a book through any of the links on this page, Canadian Border Terrier Welfare will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

Recommended Books on Puppy Raising

Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog (Carol Lea Benjamin)
This book is fun to read, very easy to follow, very thorough, and takes you through the process in the correct order (so you don't have to read the entire book to begin your training!) An added bonus: the author has a great sense of humor.

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Jansim Reg'd Feeding Recommendations

Like our health care protocol, our feeding suggestions will change from time to time based on our continuing experience with home-prepared diets and as new holistic products become available.

For those not already feeding a 100% fresh food (homemade or "commercial") diet, there are a variety of options and we would be happy to discuss these based on your dog's needs

While we do not believe that dogs should be fed a grain-based diet, neither do we feel that a grain-free diet is necessary or desireable. (The exception being senior dogs or those with health concerns for which a grain free approach may be appropriate.)

Being able to get by on what man had to offer played an integral role in the dog's domestication and that meant in bad times as well as good. To think their diet did not include some grain based food is unrealistic. Some of the best hunting dogs in the world are raised on a diet that includes grain as well as fresh meat. That being said, the grains used in commercial dog food and on most grocery store shelves today, bears little resemblance to the wholesome grains of yesteryear. So some judgement is required.
We respect those that choose to feed grain-free but it should be just that, a choice. If it is a necessity then we believe one should think twice, no - three times, before breeding such a dog. Forgetting some of the wonderful traits that played a role in domestication and breed selection (hardiness, working ability and temperament) while focusing only on looks is as detrimental to the future of purebred dogs as the Animal Rights movement.

Our current preference is to feed our adults a protein source consisting of cooked organ/muscle meat, cooked fresh fish, and egg or cottage cheese with a small amount of grain in the morning, then ground chicken carcasses/necks and vegetables and any additional supplements at supper time.
Dr. Harveys , Sojo's , Honest Kitchen and Hilary's all make a series of base foods to which you can simply add protein (and oil in some case).
These offer a simple way of managing the vegetable, fruit, grain, vitamins and mineral side of their diet.
Yoghurt is added to breakfast three or four times a week.
We replace the meat with fresh or canned tripe once every week or so. Variety is one of the best ways of ensuring a balanced diet and if we are using a dehydrated vegetable mix, we will alternate between the various options.

Young puppies being weaned "chez Nous" get two raw meat meals and one or two grain meals (made with goats milk) a day. Growing pups get two raw meat and veggie meals and one or two meals with cooked protein and grain a day.

There is no one approach to "natural feeding" but there is a wealth of information available on the web and in books. It is important for individual owners to take an approach they are comfortable with.


We tend to use either a quality, holistic kibble mixed with a quality canned food or a complete food such as NRG or Canisource Grand Cru while actually "on the road" (depending on whether we are travelling with the trailer or car and motel), reverting to home made grain mix in the morning and a dehydrated vegetable mix for evening meals with locally obtained fresh meat, eggs, etc. once we reach our destination.
For short duration trips we often use homemade meat loaf. Another trick on the road is to use paper plates that can be discarded to save carrying dirty dishes or trying to wash them in a rest area or restaurant wash room. Our dogs are excellent travelers, so we have found it possible to feed them in the vehicle, then continue traveling, stopping an hour later to exercise them. This is especially valuable when we will be arriving at our destination late and in the dark, or where we will be on the road for more than a day.

It is a good idea to keep a few cans of holistic dog food and a bag of good quality kibble on hand for emergency use.

Things to Chew: Recommended:
     large, raw knuckle bone (for ten minutes once or twice per week)
     "Tartar Busters" (for ten minutes three or four times per week)
     raw marrow bones (most of marrow removed)
     sterilized bones (made in the US or Canada)
     split elk antlers (from the US or Canada)
Things NOT to Chew: dangerous or deadly:
     rawhide chews
     pigs ears
Basically any "chewie" that can be consumed should be avoided, a Border's jaws and teeth are capable of demolishing and thereby ingesting more than their stomach or intestines are capable of handling

Recommended Reading on Nutrition

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Pet Diet (Kymythy R. Schultze)
An excellent book that provides a lot of solid information, although we do not agree with all Schultze's "do's and don'ts", we appreciate the explanations and believe readers will decide for themselves.

Better Food for Dogs: A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide (David Bastin, Grant Nixon, Jennifer Ashton)
A fun and practical book for those that prefer to feed cooked food. It includes an excellent and comprehensive guide to vitamin and mineral supplements.

Three Dog Bakery Cookbook: Over 50 Recipes for All-Natural Paw-Lickin Treats for Your Dog (Dan Dye, Mark Beckloff, Three Dog Bakery, Kansas City, Mo)
The Three Dog Bakery Cookbook unleashes some of the never before published recipes from the famous bakery's delicious treats made from all-natural, healthy ingredients for your pooch.

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Jansim Reg'd Vaccination and Health Care Protocol

In keeping with our holistic approach, we tend to be conservative in our approach to the administration of vaccines and parasite prevention. Our vaccination protocol is sensitive to increasing awareness of risk vs benefit. What we recommend today is not what we recommended five years ago and may not be what we recommend tomorrow.

The below recommendations are somewhat in line with Dr. Jean Dodds DVM 2016 recommendations.

9 - 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

14 - 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

16 - 17 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies - give at least 2 weeks apart from other vaccines
Mercury-free (thimerosol-free, TF)

18 - 19 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: Recent research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.

12 - 15 months
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

12 months after initial Rabies vaccine
Rabies - give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
3-year product if allowable by law; mercury-free (TF)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. Visit The Rabies Challenge Fund for more information.

We do not recommend corona virus, lyme, bordatella or other kennel cough vaccinations. We suggest leptospirosis vaccination only when recommended by a local vet on basis of potential exposure
Our basis for vaccinating or not vaccinating is based on certain criteria:
The effectiveness of the vaccine - the lyme vaccine is apparently nothing close to a guarantee. The effectiveness of the lepto vaccine is dependent on the strain of lepto prevalent in the area. Even if the strain and the vaccine match, the vaccine has a relatively short effective life (12 months). Kennel cough is another "disease" where the number of strains make vaccination a "crap shoot".
The safety of the vaccine - lyme vaccination is too "young" (IMHO) - when we see vaccination of humans in high risk areas, I may sit up and take notice. The lepto vaccine is recognized as being one that is more likely to result in an adverse reaction.
The "lethality" of the disease - Given the quality of care bestowed by folks who have our Border Terriers and the enormous wealth of experience that is shared in "the circle", the likelihood of a dog developing an illness unnoticed is about ZERO! That being said let us consider the risks (keep in mind that the "risk" will vary from area to area): Corona virus is a non-fatal disease in a managed situation; kennel cough is non-fatal and can be treated effectively; lyme is being detected much more easily and can be treated effectively (albeit with the risk of side effects) - it can also be prevented to a large degree without resorting to toxins; lepto is treatable if detected early but there is a risk of long term damage to affected organs if not treated immediately. The bottom line has to be the owner's level of comfort - we do not have crystal balls, we learn by experience and what might be right for one dog or one owner is not necessarily right for all. One thing I can say is that having a pup with a healthy (OK - voracious) appetite, gives one a head start on any illness.

Although we have not had a problem with vaccine reaction, we do suggest using a homeopathic approach as a precaution. This entails administering a single dose (one granule) of Thuya Occidentalis 30c per day for as many days as there were vaccines administered.
Example: at 8 weeks the pups received a combined DHP+P - i.e. four vaccines, so they received a granule of Thuya each night for four consecutive nights starting the night of the vaccination.

Heart worm:
Except for dogs living in an area were year-round heart worm prevention is mandatory, we recommend keeping dogs on the prevention for the minimum time necessary to preclude exposure. Our preventives of choice is Interceptor which only needs to be given every 40 days. We strongly recommend an annual IDEXX snap 4DX test (Heart Worm, Lyme, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia) and consider this an excellent opportunity for a routine blood work up.

Fleas and Ticks:
We do not recommend the use of pharmaceutical topical or oral flea or tick treatment/prevention. Auto-immune related diseases are on the increase in dogs, including Border Terriers, although there may be many reasons for this increase, the administration of vaccines and other toxins must come under suspicion. We travel to the States extensively for den trials, hunting, shows and canoeing and our dogs are exposed to all kinds of conditions, yet it is many years since we had a flea problem. We deal with ticks as we find them and stay cognizant of symptoms of the tick borne diseases.
The only topical tick preventions we currently use are Best Shot and Atantick.

Tick Borne Diseases:
We strongly recommend that all dogs be tested at least annually with the IDEXX Snap Test for Heartworm and a full panel of Tick Borne Diseases. Beacuse of our conservative approach to tick and flea treatments, we test three times a year.

Worms and other internal parasitic organisms
We have a fecal sample analyzed annually (or as required if circumstances dictate), and only treat on the confirmed presence of parasites.
Note: The exception being puppies which are wormed prophylactically with Strongid-T.

Dental Hygiene:
Although feeding a fresh food diet certainly helps maintain healthy teeth and gums, dogs are like people in that individual susceptibility to tartar build up varies greatly. Routine brushing of your BT's teeth is an investment in time that can save substantial vet bills and the worry of anesthesia down the road.
A cheap battery-operated tooth brush is ideal with a natural tooth paste for dogs. The trick is to start slowly - just a couple of teeth to begin with - keep it short and reward with a small piece of cheese. We have our BT's sit on the closed toilet seat for their nightly (we try for Monday through Friday) brushing. They dash into the bathroom as soon as they hear the tooth brush.

cleaning the teeth/mouth with a thin peiceof facecloth after each meal is also very beneficial.

Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs (Geoffrey Llewellyn)
A fun and easy to follow reference book on homeopathic remedies

Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats (Diane Stein)

Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook (3rd Edition) (James M. Giffin, Delbert G. Carlson, Liisa Carlson)
This book provides information on a wide variety of topics concerning dog health. The information is explained in a way that pet owners can understand without having the medical background. It covers behavior, emergencies and CPR, and many common diseases and conditions that veterinarians encounter everyday.

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