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 Post subject: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Hank has been having some heightened anxiety issues lately, so last week we took him to see a handsome TV behavioural vet (we weren't actually on TV, but the vet was totally the TV vet type- then we saw photos of him on the set of a talk show in his office). The vet took a DNA sample so that we can figure out what breeds are in there, so that we can identify what type of training he'll respond best to, and work with a breed-specific behavioural trainer. It'll be awesome if this can help Hank, but equally exciting- this ends nearly two years of speculation as to what the fork he actually is.

Everyone we meet seems to offer an opinion- friends, family, strangers at the dog park, whatever- so I thought I would open it up to the PPK to see if anyone can solve this mystery before we get the official answers next week.

Some Hanks for your perusal:

Image

As a puppy- his colouring was a lot darker then.

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Enjoying his delicious first birthday cake (behold his old man mane).

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At his well-groomed best after a swim.

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At the RSPCA Million Paws Walk- mainly so you can see how disproportionately long he is.

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And having the BEST TIME EVER at the dog park.

Give us your best shot!

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:03 pm 
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15% wire haired dachshund, 100% adorable

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:40 pm 
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I see some terrier.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:45 pm 
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His face looks a bit like a Border Terrier. But most of the dogs I know who have had breed tests done have gotten results back that make you go "Really?! He doesn't look like any of those!" So I'll be really interested to see Hank's results!


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:53 pm 
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I am almost positive he's a mutt. The very best kind of dog.

All kidding aside, he definitely seems to have some terrier and perhaps that is enough for your breed-specific trainer, given that terriers do seem to have some similar characteristics... What kind of anxious behaviours is he exhibiting?

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
What kind of anxious behaviours is he exhibiting?


We initially took him to the vet because he was getting a little bit aggressive, like being a bit rough with our other dog after she indicated that she didn't want to play anymore (mainly by yelping), and growling/lunging at other dogs at the dog park a couple of times. He also bit me about a month ago, which was mainly my own fault because I went to pat him while he was sleeping and startled him- but still, he used to be fine with that sort of thing, to the extent that he could sleep on our bed.

The vet just sort of let him wander around his office and watched him for about an hour and pointed out a bunch of stuff that was apparently really anxious behaviour. There was obvious stuff like whining and not settling down even after a really long time, but also little things we hadn't picked up on, like yawning a lot (the vet said he does it as an anxious tic kind of thing). The not settling down thing is the big one though, which we first noticed when we took him on a 15 hour drive back to our hometown in April. Pants (our other dog) slept most of the way, but he sat upright and hyper-alert the whole time and practically fell out of the car all zombie-like when we got there.

Anyway, I am also convinced that the test is going to come back saying that he's like 0.5 per cent of every type of dog ever. He's a mutt descended from a long line of mutts.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Boyfriend of Erinwiko here! Hola you crazy PPK types that Erin is always telling me about.

For the record, my guess is as thus;

One parent is a Pug/Jack Russell terrier cross. Another parent is a Border Terrier/Kelpie/Cattle dog cross.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:43 pm 
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Cairn terrier!

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:05 pm 
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He looks like he has a lot of terrier in him, with maybe some dachshund thrown in there too. Let us know the results of the DNA test!

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:40 pm 
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I have no idea about dog breeds, but HE IS SO CUTE!

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:32 pm 
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i wouldnt put too much stock into the DNA tests. the blood sample ones may be more accurate but i think overall they are a scam.

we did one on our "mega mutt" just for fun. he looks like a cross between a beagle and a border collie. he has long floppy ears and is very houndy. he makes hound noises and loves to sniff things. he's about 45-50 lbs.

when we got the DNA test back it said one of his parents was a purebred anatolian shepherd (a giant breed) and his other parent was a purebred austrailain shepherd which would make him 100% shepherd and no hound.
this is a dog that has never herded anything in his life.

i dont know what specific type of hound he is but there is no way he's not part hound. we call him a beagle.

after we got our results back i heard tons of other stories from people with the same sort of thing, where their results were not even remotely close to what their dog was.

he definitely looks like some sort of wire haired terrier to me.

i wouldnt worry too much about finding a breed specific trainer. he sounds like he is heading towards reactivity if he's not there already.
i would find a really good positive reinforcement trainer and use clicker training to desensitize him to the things he is anxious about.

if you find someone that wants to do any sort of correction based training or put any weird collars on him run screaming the other way.

good luck

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:42 pm 
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When we took Hank to the RSPCA for his training as a puppy, they tried to get us to sign up for an elective breed testing thing run out of Sydney (and for which I'm fairly sure they didn't need a blood sample). I was a bit skeptical of that, so we didn't do it. I brought it up with the vet and he said those things are pretty different to this one, which is run out of the US (Hank's DNA is in America, weird) and seems to be pretty much for veterinary purposes. He also said that it was recently reworked and a lot of Australian breeds were added to their database, so they've had pretty good results with it.

And yeah, the first thing the vet asked us was our training methods in the past, and he was really pleased that we'd only done positive reinforcement. He lent us a couple of positive reinforcement training books so we could pinpoint the right responses to specific things in the meantime.

Whatever happens, at least soon we'll have something to tell people at the dog park! I kind of hope it comes back with something crazy so we can tell people he's a Pomeranian or something when they ask.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:03 pm 
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I'd guess part wire haired terrier too

I also second that the DNA tests don't seem to be very accurate. A friend of mine got some very interesting results with a pure-bred dog from a breeder.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Cutie. Terrier and cattle dog?


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:46 am 
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The results are in!

Image

And it turns out that while Hank's parents were also mutts, his grandparents were (mostly) identifiable breeds!

Grandparent 1: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Grandparent 2: English Springer Spaniel
Grandparent 3: Whippet (yeah, what?)
Grandparent 4: Okay, supermutt. The test uncovered a bunch of small amounts of other breed DNA that they attribute to this dog. The top five breeds in the mix were Brussels Griffon, Bedlington Terrier, Dalmatian (amazing), Labrador and White Swiss Shepherd.

So it would appear that no one was really close. I called Staffie, but that's as close as it gets.

Anyway! We've been referred to a behavioural guy who we'll be in touch with pretty soon. I did a little bit of reading and I came across some sudden onset aggression problems that are apparently pretty unique to English Springers and Spaniels. The stuff I read word-for-word described what happened when Hank bit me, and the behaviours that he's displayed a few times since (no more bad bites though, but that's mainly because we learned pretty quickly what triggers him, and how to avoid the situation). There's a lot of information online that I'm skeptical of (some articles call it 'rage syndrome', which sounds like steaming bullshiitake to me), but at the same time there's a lot that's creepily accurate so it'll definitely be something to learn a bit more about from someone more qualified than Wikipedia.

Enough words, here's a photo of Hank sleeping on our couch like the weird guy he is.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:19 am 
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That is a great photo!

Hurrah for Hank the Staffie SuperMutt Mix!

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:36 pm 
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That picture is too funny! Does he sleep like that often?


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:34 pm 
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It seems to be his new thing, he only started doing it a few days ago but now we keep finding him there. At least he's keeping fur off the cushions, I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:47 am 
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I say cairn terrier and staffie. I know a lot of terriers and they all seem to have similar behaviors. I think it is important to try and figure out breeds when it comes to training if the dog has some issues but I don't think it needs to be so specific. I think knowing he is a terrier in general helps a lot because they have such strong little personalities.

Oh and my cattle dog mix does the anxious yawn thing too. He is anxious pretty much all the time no matter what we do and it is hard. I can't even walk by him without him freezing up and acting like the world it going to end. We give him meletonin and it works pretty well for his anxiety. It isn't a cure all with him but there have been days where I was wondering what is wrong with him because he is acting more afraid of the world and darting away from every little thing and I get home and find that he spit his pill out.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is a Hank Scorpio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:57 am 
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the whippet thing might also be sign of a mix, right? after all whippet is hound+some kind of little terrier, IIRC.
if it really is whippet, i noticed my whippet's anxiety was really troublesome, especially as she got older. Eventually it made her snappy and aggressive. It made training very complicated (and definitely specific to hounds- motivation and correction have to be done very differently)- i couldn't even look at her severely without her becoming traumatized, so i had to relearn how to train. On the bright side, after training her, the next dog was a breeze.

ETA: i didn't see what grandparent was responsible for those cute little quirky legs!! maybe the terrier was a jack russell.....

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