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Can anyone name the popular designer breed represented below? This boy came in for a training consultation earlier this evening, looking Not One Bit like what I expected.

What breed am I?

What breed am I?


a blurry profile


I just found this footage from an old puppy class. It shows the Buhund from the Christmas video playing with a slightly younger (if memory serves) bulldog puppy. It also features an adult Brussels Griffon playing the role of regulator.

Which pair of dogs seen below shares a household?

Please enjoy this New Year’s Day vignette out of See Spot Run’s exercise yard.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2013.

Ruth's dog Atlas

Here is my dog Atlas inside Ken Foster’s new book I’m a Good Dog.

Just saying.

Actually, I know a bunch of the dogs featured in the book, because nearly all the photographs were taken by Karen Morgan, a talented photographer friend who’s been involved with pit bulls for years, and has done a lot of work with clients of ours.

Below is a portrait of Roxy with her owner Wanda. They live right here in the neighborhood and attended See Spot Run’s Basic Skills & Manners class not too long ago.


And here is a portrait of a pit bull named Mila. I mentioned her in an earlier post regarding my choice to forfeit renewal of my CPDT-KA certification. Mila played a central role in that decision, and I never regretted it. She’s posing below with her owner’s father.


© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.


See Spot Run trainer Nick Rodriguez carved this frightening specimen out of an unsuspecting pumpkin. Kinda reminds me of a smallish bull terrier I trained once.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.

Last month, See Spot Run said farewell to Phoebe, the Dogue de Bordeaux we’d been fostering. Following a month of interviews with potential adopters, I finally drove her to Wisconsin to begin her new life in an exceptional home. Here’s the shot I took as I was packing up to return to the city.

Be good, Phoebe! We’ll miss you, girl.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.

I suppose it was just a matter of time before my daughter’s first science fair project would be assigned. She just graduated kindergarten, which is where the Chicago Public School system likes to kick off the annual tradition.

I put my husband, a bona fide scientist, in charge of that adventure. However, the kennel did contribute the raw material for their data collection, which involved measuring the height and length of thirteen dogs, in order to determine whether these two variables tracked consistently or not. They did not, as it turned out.

Thanks to all the dogs that participated in the name of science! Incidentally, the tallest dog was a male Doberman named Manu, while the longest dog was a female Bernese Mountain Dog named Tess.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.

Meanwhile, back at the kennel… April saw the long awaited launch of See Spot Run’s new website (replacing the dinosaur we built back in 2004). Thanks to Lauren Wozney of Pathways Creative, who also moonlights as a training assistant.

Above is a shot of See Spot Run’s new home page. Follow the link to view the whole site. It’s still a work in progress in a number of respects, but we’re nonetheless very proud. Comments welcome.

On a side note, Lauren also joined me in attending the IAABC conference in Rhode Island in late April, where we were pleased to meet and exchange thoughts with a number of fellow trainers, including Connecticut trainer Michael Shikashio of Complete Canines, and Brian Burton and Sarah Fraser of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training in NYC.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Susan Friedman, who was presenting at the conference, to discuss some concerns regarding the current application of her Humane Hierarchy within the field of dog training. Those concerns, and Dr. Friedman’s own thoughts, will be the subject of an upcoming post.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.

Sorry for being slow to post the end results of our kennel renovation. Mason did complete their install on schedule, despite three small panels needing to be refabricated at the factory and shipped here mid-week.

I could not be more pleased, particularly with the installation itself. So worth the money to avoid doing it ourselves.

View from front of facility

View from rear of facility

Floor plan

Sparta looks good in yellow. His 4x5 run has 3-ft-tall FRP on two sides for partial privacy.

Sophie (AKA "Sufi") and her hedgehog enjoying the comfort of an x-large Kurunda pet cot. Sophie's 4x5 run has 3-ft-tall FRP panels on three sides.

Gainer and Worley occupy a two-kennel "suite" with no opaque barrier between them.

Phoebe's 4x5 run has 4-ft-tall stainless steel sides and a white FRP back panel. She's laying on a Kurunda all-aluminum x-large pet cot with heavy-duty vinyl.


spot-check: to sample or investigate quickly or at random

My Thought Exactly

"There's facts about dogs, and there's opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions." --J. Allen Boone

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© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruth Crisler and Spot Check with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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