ETHICS & DOG CARE  The primary breeding objective of the L.B.A is to produce healthy athletic Bulldogs that will be a valuable member of the family. A thorough knowledge and understanding of the Leavitt Bulldog standard, temperament, and movement, is critical to the continuing improvement of the Leavitt Bulldog. All dog transactions with the public, as well as fellow breeders and members of the L.B.A., must be handled in a very ethical manner. All dogs must be sold with a guarantee of replacement if subsequent lameness, disability, or death is due to genetic causes. Selection of Breeding Stock  -Only the best examples of Leavitt Bulldogs should be used for breeding stock. -All breeding stock must be at least 18 months old before they are bred. -There will be no inbreeding (Brother to Sister, Father to Daughter, or Son to Mother). -Bitches will never be bred on three consecutive heats. ***Hip x-rays must be submitted for all dogs to be bred.*** [Top] Indoor Dog Care Recommendation's  The minimum care that should be provided to a dog housed indoors is as follows: * The dog should be provided a safe and sanitary environment, that lends itself to the proper development of the dog both physically and mentally. * The dog should be provided with FRESH water around the clock, with the water bowl being sanitized at least every other day. * The dog should be provided adequate daily nutrition through feedings once or twice a day. Puppies demand a greater amounts of nutrients for their growth and development and you may choose to feed more than two meals per day. * The dog should be inspected physically at least weekly but ideally much more often considering they share your living space. A good time to do this is during grooming sessions. * The dog should be groomed on a regular basis. Ears and teeth should be inspected and cleaned as needed. Coat should be brushed to free it from any dirt and loose hair. This also serves to generate the necessary oils the dogs coat requires to stay healthy, and protect it from the weather when outdoors. In addition, the therapeutic benefits of touch, for both you and your dog are starting to be realized. The dog should also be bathed as needed to assure he is a welcome, not offensive, member of the family. Nails should be trimmed to a level as to not impede the dogs movement and /or cause a health issue. Excessively long nails will often lead to injury, causing the dog a great deal of pain. They are cosmetically unattractive as well and often an indication of the quality of care the dog receives. * The dog should be given ample amounts of time daily, for exercise, companionship, socialization and elimination. The dog should have access to a safe outdoor area for these purposes. * The dog should be placed on a tie-out or within the confines of a fenced yard (preferable) when outside without the company of his owner. * A designated bedding area should be provided the dog, preferably a dog crate. This is an important area that allows the dog to have a safe and secure area of respite. There are many opinions/personal feelings on the use of a crate as it pertains to a canine. The crate is not a cruel place of punishment and confinement and should never be used as such. Dogs are instinctively den animals and the crate can and is a most useful tool in rearing a canine indoors. For the canine, it is "their space". It should be located in a quiet area of the home away from the household's heavy traffic areas, if at all possible. For a puppy or young dog, place the crate in a location where you spend most of your time. Allowing the puppy or young dog to have eye contact with you, will not cause the feelings of separation that can be associated with the crate. The crate serves many useful purposes in addition to providing the dog a place of respite. The following is a list of some other useful purposes for the dog crate: ~ House Breaking: Dogs do not want to urinate and defecate in their own bedding areas. Providing a crate just big enough for the dog to be comfortable, will deter the dog from "doing his business" in his sleeping area. If the crate is too large, the canine will learn that it can relieve itself in one section of the crate and sleep/rest in another . If your plans are to rear a number of puppies, it may be worth investing in various size crates to meet the needs of their growth. A more economical choice is available as well. Life Stages has a folding metal crate available with a dividing panel that you can adjust to meet the needs of your growing puppy. This allows you to adjust the available amount of space afforded your puppy, according to its growth. ~ Discouraging Bad/Undesirable Behaviors: Leaving a dog, especially a puppy, unrestrained while you are away from the home could be a recipe for disaster. Besides all the safety concerns, dogs who are left for various time periods, alone in the home, can develop some real bad/ undesirable habits. A dog who is bored or suffering some level of separation anxiety from his master, often turns destructive. With no one there to show the dog that chewing on anything it pleases is wrong, the dog learns that its chewing behavior is ok. Dogs will indiscriminately chew on anything they are not taught is inappropriate. As a side note, trying to correct the dog hours after he commits the crime, so to speak, has no effect on the dog learning that his behavior is undesirable. If you return home to a mess and give your dog a harsh correction, for destroying the house, all the dog learns is that his master is a raving lunatic, when he arrives home. You need to catch the dog "in the act" for your correction to effective. This way, the dog learns what is acceptable and what is not. Providing the dog with a safe chew bone/toy when you put him in his crate is a much less costly alternative. ~ Safety: A dog left unattended in the home can suffer serious injury or worse, death. Dogs get into all kinds of trouble out of boredom. All it takes is the dog chewing through an electric cord or getting into the household cleaner's, for you to come home to an injured or deceased dog. In multiple dog homes is often unsafe to leave dogs unattended together, especially same sex animals. Dogs can also unintentionally injure one another in their play. Here again, a crate serves a very practical purpose in separating and keeping your dogs safe when you are away from the home. The crate also provides the safest way to transport your dog in a vehicle. Dogs, allowed to be loose in a vehicle can cause an accident. In case of an accident, your dog stands a much better chance of survival than if unrestrained. This can be likened to the use of car seats for the child or seat belts for the passengers. · Crating guidelines that must be adhered to: - The crate must be large enough to allow the dog to stand up and change positions. - Always remove your puppy's or dog's collar before placing him in his crate. Even flat collars can occasionally get stuck on the bars or wire mesh. If you must leave a collar on the dog when you crate him(e.g. for his identification), use a safety break away collar. - Never use the crate for punishment. You want the crate to be a " happy " place for your dog, a place where he is comfortable. Along the same lines, never punish your puppy or dog for soiling his crate as this will just associate negativity with the crate. Look at the bright side, you merely have to clean the crate, rather than having to replace your hand made oriental area rug. - Do not allow your children to play in the dog's crate. - Do not allow your children to handle the dog while he is in his crate. This is your dogs private sanctuary and his rights to privacy should always be respected. - Except for overnight, neither puppies nor dogs should be crated for more than 5 hours at a time, 6 hours maximum. Crating for excessive durations can lead to structural and developmental problems such as sores and the malformation of bones, not to mention what excessive confinement does to the psyche.  Crating Duration Guidelines: *Age 9-10 weeks - Approx. 30 - 60 minutes *Age 11-14 week- Approx. 1 - 3 hours *Age 15-16 weeks - Approx. 3 - 4 hours *Age 17 + weeks - Approx. 4 to 6 hours  A crate should not be used in the following cases: * The dog is too young to have sufficient bowel and bladder control. * The dog is sick and either vomiting or has diarrhea. * When you must leave the dog crated for longer than the crating guidelines suggest. * The dog has had insufficient exercise prior to crating. * The dog has not been given the opportunity to eliminate prior to crating. * The temperature is excessively high. * The dog as had inadequate companionship or socialization prior to crating. There are alternative ways of confining puppies who are either too young or puppies that need to be left at home for periods of time exceeding the recommended guidelines. Accordion style exercise pens or metal playpens without floors are good alternatives. You can place your puppies crate inside this area for purposes of rest. The remaining area can be used for play, food and water, and an area of newspaper for elimination purposes. Choose a pen at least 30 inches high and be sure your pup cannot climb on the top of his crate and out of the pen. · The indoor dog should be assigned the lowest position in the family pecking order and thus should be expected to obey every person in the household. The Leavitt Bulldog is an intelligent, thinking breed. This coupled with his strong will and extreme physical power, necessitates his compliance to the commands given by any member of the household, child and adult alike. At the least, basic obedience training (preferably with a trainer familiar with training bull breeds) is recommended for those who have never owned a bull breed prior. Basic obedience training and teaching your dog that you are in control, will ensure a long, happy, relationship with one of the best breeds you will ever own. It also ensures that your dog will be a safe, responsible and accepted member of society. With a little effort and time, your Bulldog, will quickly become a canine good citizen. Links: "Who's in Charge here? A Lesson in becoming Alpha"  " So you want to own an American Bulldog" - written for the American Bulldog prospective owner but can be applied to the Leavitt Bulldog.  [Top] OUTDOOR DOG CARE RECOMMENDATIONS Dogs are social animals who crave human companionship. In fact, dogs are more social than humans and must to be part of human families. When you bring a dog home, you become his “pack”. Forcing a dog to live outdoors with little to no human companionship, is one of the most psychologically damaging things a pet owner can do to a dog. Studies have shown, that dogs isolated in backyards are highly likely to develop serious behavioral problems that often result in euthanasia. The Leavitt Bulldog, bonds closely with his human family and thrives on human companionship. If circumstances absolutely prohibit you from keeping your dog indoors with his family unit, the following guidelines must be adhered to. The minimum care that should be provided to a dog housed outdoors is as follows: * HOUSING AND SHELTER* Hot weather and cold weather place conflicting demands on dog houses. In hot weather, the dog house should be spacious and ventilated, while cold weather dictates a tight house that is small enough so the dog’s body heat can warm it. Since most of us can’t have 2 dog houses, we must settle on one design. Cold Climate House A well insulated doghouse will be provided, that is large enough for the dog to stand up, lie down, stretch and turn around, without touching the sides or top. Anything larger is more difficult to keep warm and allows greater loss of body heat. If possible, there should be an opening ventilation panel, that can be closed in the winter, and opened in summer. The entrance door should be no bigger than is necessary for the dog to easily step through. A door flap or special hinged dog door is a good idea. Hot Climate House This house can be larger and should also have an opening ventilation panel. Features Common to Both Houses *The doghouse will be at least 1.5 inches off the ground, to prevent water from running inside. *The doghouse will have adequate dry bedding, preferably straw or wood shavings. Blankets and towels tend to hold moisture and freeze in winter, leading to additional loss of body heat. * Bedding will be changed regularly to prevent mold. Mold growth in bedding materials can create a variety of skin and respiratory problems. *Hay must never be used as a substitute for straw because it often contains fungus and grass seed that can cause severe nosebleeds. *Heating pads or heat lights, powered by electrical cords, will never be used in an outdoor doghouse. KENNEL RUNS *Kennels runs must be large enough to allow the dog ample space to move about without stepping in manure. Forty-eight square feet should be considered the minimum amount of space for this purpose. * Fence panels must be unbreakable. They must be set on masonry (either block or poured) to ensure the dog can’t dig out and run away. * Runs must be shaded in hot weather to allow the dog to escape the heat of the sun. Greenhouse shade fabric works well for this and is commonly made to custom sizes. * Dog feces must be cleaned up and disposed of at least once a day. * Plenty of fresh water will be available at all times in the kennel run. *NUTRITION* Winter * Dog food rations must increase since dogs will use much more energy, keeping their body temperature regulated. As much as a 30 % increase in calories may be necessary to keep him warm. * Fresh, unfrozen water will be provided at all times. Ice and snow are not acceptable substitutes for fresh water. Water bowls need to be checked regularly or heated water bowls must be used. If using unheated water bowls, use plastic, rather than metal. Water in plastic bowls will not freeze as quickly as in metal bowls. There is also a risk of the dog getting his tongue stuck to a metal bowl in extremely cold temperatures. Summer *Dogs will be offered a good quality food at least once daily. Dogs do not use as much energy in regulating body temperature as in the winter and thus do not require as many calories. *Puppies will be offered a good quality food at least twice daily. Ideally, young puppies’ meals, should be spread out over the course of the day in 3 feedings, to address their high nutritional needs. * Plenty of fresh water will be available at all times. Do not allow the dog to drink from standing pools of stagnant water or swimming pools, as these can make your dog seriously ill. Only fresh water is acceptable. *GROOMING* Winter * The fur between the toe pads will be clipped as needed, to reduce the amount of snow that collects between the toes. Paws must be checked and cleaned regularly since compacted snow or ice, lodged between the paw pads, can lead to painful sores or frostbite. *Nails will be trimmed as needed. Do not, however, trim the nails too short, as they aid the dog in maintaining good traction in the snow and ice. * The dog’s coat must be brushed occasionally. Ungroomed hair diminishes the insulation properties of the coat. Regular brushing also helps stimulate natural oil production, necessary to maintain a healthy protective layer. Summer * Dogs should be brushed and inspected once or twice weekly, to remove any dirt or debris from the coat. This is a good time to check the dog for ticks, if they are prevalent in your area. Also, check the dogs ears for excessive debris, and clean as necessary. * HEALTH CONCERNS* Winter * Never use salt or chemical ice melts around doghouses or in kennel runs to melt snow and ice. The dog may walk in the salt/ice melt and burn the pads of his feet. He can ingest it when licking his paws. Ingestion of salt/ice melts can lead to gastrointestinal upset and burns of the esophagus or stomach. * Dogs should be monitored for signs of illness as they are more susceptible in wintertime. * Dogs must be examined often for signs of frostbite. The tips of the ears, tail and feet are particularly susceptible. * Automotive products must be stored and exposed of properly. Many people change anti-freeze in late fall or early winter. Dogs are attracted to the sweet taste of anti-freeze, and as little as a couple of tablespoons, when ingested, can be fatal. * Dogs must be monitored for signs of shivering, as this is a clear sign that they are too cold, and indicates the potential for hypothermia. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be fatal if not treated promptly. Spring, Summer, Fall * Dogs must be treated with flea and tick preventative. Bites from these insects can cause a variety of health problems, from minor skin irritations, to serious, life threatening diseases. * If you reside in an area where the Deer Tick is prevalent, check your dogs often, especially following outings in wooded areas. Lyme Disease can be transmitted to your dog through a Deer Tick bite. However, a Deer Tick must be attached to its host for at least 48 hours in order to transmit the disease. A tick that has remained attached for that amount of time will be engorged with blood and noticeable to the touch. If you remove a tick from your dog or find one that has fallen off (engorged to the point it can no longer feed), save it in a zip lock bag and take it to your Vet for identification. There is no need to take your dog to the Vet along with the tick, since no Lyme Disease test can be performed until 30 days after exposure. Be aware that these tests often give inaccurate results and if your dog exhibits symptoms of Lyme Disease your Vet may prescribe medication even if the test is negative. * Garden supplies, such as herbicides and fertilizers must never be used in areas that house a dog, as these can pose a health threat. Heatstroke * Dogs should be monitored for signs of heat stroke, which is a potentially fatal hazard, especially for dogs not offered proper shade and water. Dogs do not have efficient cooling systems (like humans who sweat) and get overheated easily. A dog suffering from heatstroke will display several signs: ~ Rapid panting ~ Bright red tongue ~ Red or pale gums ~ Thick, sticky saliva ~ Depression ~ Weakness ~ Dizziness ~ Vomiting - sometimes with blood ~ Diarrhea ~ Shock ~ Coma Treatment for Heatstroke: Remove the dog from the hot area immediately. Prior to taking him to the Vet, lower his temperature by submerging his body in water. You can also use a shower or a hose to cool the dog down. For very small dogs, it is recommended that you use lukewarm water. For larger breeds (like the Leavitt Bulldog), cold water may be used. Caution: Cooling must take place gradually. Cooling too quickly or allowing the body temperature to become too low can cause other life- threatening medical conditions. The rectal temperature should be checked every 5 minutes. Once the body temperature is 103 degrees F (normal for a dog is 100-102.5 degrees F), the cooling measures should be stopped. Place him on a wet towel and keep cooling the dog during transport to the Veterinarian. Allow free access to water or children’s re-hydrating solution if the dog can drink on his/her own. Do not try to force feed cold water; the dog may inhale it and choke. Prevention: Dogs who suffer from heatstroke once, increase their risk for getting it again and steps must be taken to prevent it on hot, humid days. > Do not leave your dog in the car. If you must, make sure you have 2 sets of keys and leave the car running with the air conditioner on. > Do not muzzle your dog . > Do not confine you dog without shade. > Do not confine your dog to areas with asphalt surfaces. > Restrict the dogs exercise. > Provide constant access to water. > Keep dogs with breathing problems indoors. > Keep your dog at his/her optimal weight. Overweight dogs are more prone to heatstroke. General Health * Annual physical exams are a must for the outdoor dog. * Dogs must be adequately protected from disease by vaccination. * Dogs will be periodically checked for parasites, including heartworms, and will be properly de-wormed. Dogs that live outside have an increased chance of contracting Heartworms, as they are exposed to mosquitoes around the clock. They must be placed on a Heartworm preventative. Exercise * Exercise is a key component in the sound physical and mental health of your dog. Individual Leavitt Bulldogs vary in the levels of exercise necessary for physical and mental well being. No one knows your dog better than you, and you will have to adapt your dog’s exercise routine according to need. It is the opinion of many Leavitt Bulldog owners that a tired Bulldog is a happy Bulldog. And a happy Bulldog makes a happy owner. [Top] Breeding Stock Outdoor Dog Care Indoor Dog Care Home History Breeders/Kennels Photos Competition Standard Events Links Care Links Health Links Guidelines Registration and Breeding Approval Message Forum Link to the LBA Chairman: David Leavitt President: Christopher Blatcher CHBlatcher@aol.com Vice President: Marie Morris