'Primum non nocere'

A stash of various paraphernalia to satiate the fellow cynology connoisseur.
FULL PELT aims to serve as a diverse educational resource for the general tumblr community; from the average lay person seeking to learn the basics, to experienced trainers and otherwise keen parties interested in enhancing their knowledge or discussing advanced topics.
We hope to pay homage to the harmony inspired by successful, mutually-symbiotic human-animal partnerships—those founded on trust, communication and collaboration—as captured through art and the written word, in its many forms.

Refer to the disclaimer for more information on FULL PELT, and to view our copyright statement.

Feel free to submit a photo of your own dog/s, or possibly share an article you wish to see gain exposure.
Breed suggestions welcome!
For a full comprehensive list of shelters and breed-specific rescues in Australia, visit PetRescue.com.au.


Summer’s here! Make sure you and your dog(s) are prepared for the summer heat by following these safety tips!

Behavior Differences in Dogs from Pet Stores Versus Breeders

The Tail of Vecna

Apologies for the shameless self promotion but I started a photo and training blog for my German Shepherd puppy. You should check it out because he’s cute as hell!


"I like the routine having a dog instills in your life and I can’t wait to walk or run with Rosemary for long distances. I love the idea of having an excuse to explore new areas and places with her."

by Phil Hearing


Coco is a 6 week old foster puppy. 

(I’m going to use German Shepherds as an example throughout the this post because they’re the breed I know best)

There are a lot of things to look at when choosing a breeder, it can be really overwhelming! The first thing to keep in mind is that a breeder’s dogs being registered with the AKC, UKC, or CKC is not any indication of quality dogs. The major things to look for are breeders who health test and title their dogs.

Health Testing:

Which health tests a breeder does depends on the breed of dog. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about having a vet check out a puppy before it leaves or a one-year health warranty. You need to look at the genetic testing done on the parents and hopefully the grandparents as well. Look up the common health problems in your breed of choice and then look for a breeder who tests for them. For example, if I was looking for a German Shepherd breeder I would expect them to test for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy at a minimum. Many breeders post their health tests results on OFFA.com and web.vmdb.org

Titled Dogs:

This again is going to depend on the breed you’re looking at, but you want a breeder who does something with their dogs. Ideally, their dogs should be working in the arenas their breed was developed for and received awards in that area. The dogs should be shown and earned a conformation championship (“finished”) in most cases. In German Shepherds I would look for a breeder who’s dogs had earned their Schutzhund III titles, French Ring titles, and Obedience titles. The idea here is that the breeder’s dogs not only do the job they’re meant to do, but excel at them as well.

In addition there are a load of questions to ask a breeder.

  • Why are they breeding the specific dogs they are breeding?
  • What are their goals as a breeder?
  • How are they working to improve their breed?
  • How many litters a year do they produce? (The answer should never be more than two).
  • What kind of training and socializing process do they do with their puppies?
  • What is the temperment of the parents like?
  • What breed quirks should I be aware of?

The following are red flags:

  • Not being allowed to visit the breeder’s kennels
  • No health testing
  • A breeder who allows you to pick the puppy (breeders should assess the puppy’s temperament and pick the correct home for it)
  • Breeders who send puppies home before they are at least 8 weeks old
  • Breeding multiple breeds of dogs
  • More than one or two litters a year
  • No contract
  • A contract that does not require you to give the dog back to the breeder should you no longer be able to care for it
  • No spay/neuter contract (unless you are signing a show contract)
  • Breeders trying to sell you a specific brand of food
  • Being able to buy dogs straight off their website without speaking to someone (if you see this you are almost certainly looking at a puppy mill)
  • Amish breeders (again, this is a puppy mill)
  • Breeding poodle mixes
  • No conformation, sport, or working titles

The italicized points should be considered deal breakers. Do not buy a dog from any breeder who does these things as they are not responsible breeders.

Finally I’d like to give an example of a fantastic breeder to give you a more concrete idea of what you should be looking for. Wildhaus Kennels is a fantastic German Shepherd breeder and their website is very comprehensive and informative. Particularly look over the How Our Pups Are Raised, About Us, and Females sections, they’re a very good example of what responsible breeding looks like.

Socializing Tips - Our World Can Be A Scary Place!

Socializing your puppy is one of the most important aspects of new dog ownership but it can be hard to know how much is too much (or too little!). Emily Larlham of KikoPup and Dogmantics Training has some excellent tips on the matter.

The world can be a scary place for a young puppy.  This is especially the case if the breeder or previous caregiver did not take the litter of puppies out-and-about in the company of their own mother and littermates in order to socialize them to everything they will see and hear in their grown up lives.  

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2 of my foster puppies, Chloe and Joey. 

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