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Old 03.06.2011, 00:28
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Large 9.5-month-old pup arriving in Basel on June 8th

Hi there,

I introduced myself in the main Introductions section but I thought I'd better do it here, too, since this is my favourite little corner of the forum. I am moving to Basel next week and my pup is coming along for the adventure. Winnifred is already quite large but very much still a pup. All this exuberance can be a little hard to control but we're working on it. Winn is very social with other dogs and gentle with her mouth although still lacking good control so the paws can be a bit of an issue for smaller dogs. I think she's just growing so quickly that her coordination never quite has a chance to catch-up. She's very high energy for her breed (she's an American Mastiff), but still pretty laid back when compared to more sporting dogs. She's just shy of 130 pounds now but still has a lot of growing to do! I'm wondering if someone else in the Basel area might have a big, young dog that would like to have a play-date with Winnifred some time later on in June. If so, please post or PM me! I look forward to meeting some of you soon.

Dezz
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:46
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Re: Large 9.5-month-old pup arriving in Basel on June 8th

Sorry Dezz, I don't have a dog here myself but would love to come along for the fun if you and your pup do find folks to play with!

I've noticed while walking about that some of my neighbors have some big dogs and one or two have really big ones, I remember seeing one that appears to be a Neapolitan Mastiff a few times over the last year or two. I mention this to help assure you that while it's not terribly common to see larger dogs around here, there definitely are some around!
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Old 03.06.2011, 08:45
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Re: Large 9.5-month-old pup arriving in Basel on June 8th

Welcome to Switzerland, CHanuck - your pup is lovely!

I would strongly recommend getting involved in training classes with your pup. Training is more than sit, stay, down; training is about socializing with other dogs, learning canine manners, learning how to play nicely with others - as well as learning all the skills needed to live in the human world. Those skills - and society's expectations - may be a tad different here in Switzerland than in other countries.

We go to Familienhund classes regularly - have done so for many years now and will continue to do so as long as I have dogs - I see Familienhund as an activity as well as training opportunity. I've found this an excellent way to give my dogs a chance to socialize with others in a safe environment - and most importantly, the mutts and I have so much fun!

And just a head's up in case you haven't yet come across this - some cantons have enacted BSL affecting Mastiffs. ( )

The breed is banned or restricted in several cantons, which could affect how you travel with your pup. Mastiffs are banned in Valais and Geneva, and restricted in Fribourg, Tessin, Thurgau, Schaffhausen. In the restricted cantons, your dog might need to be muzzled and kept on lead - make sure you understand the various laws as you travel around Switzerland. Here is a good summary, click on the canton:

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php


Wishing you and your 'little' pup all the best in your new home.

Last edited by meloncollie; 03.06.2011 at 13:03. Reason: correction
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Old 03.06.2011, 21:01
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Re: Large 9.5-month-old pup arriving in Basel on June 8th

Thanks so much for the advice. I definitely want to get involved in training classes with Winnifred...we both need it! We did a basic obedience class (like puppy kindergarten) and we've continued with her "puppy parties" (socialization classes), but she definitely needs a brush-up and I'm sure we could both learn a lot. I love her dearly but she's a bit, let's say, spirited and still very much a baby, even though she's getting pretty big now. I'm going to check the forum more closely but if anyone has a favourite training school in Basel they'd like to recommend, I'm all ears.

Thanks for touching on Swiss BSL. I must admit that BSL in general drives me up the wall! They've started with this in Toronto ("Pit Bulls" only in Ontario so far) and Winnifred and I have already done a protest march to help support our canine friends who are being discriminated against, but no luck changing anything on this end just yet...fingers crossed. I really hope the Swiss BSL won't affect us too much but, believe me, I plan to play it safe. I mentioned this to my vet here and she offered to create a certificate labelling Winn as a 'Great Dane cross', but I really felt that it was better to stick with the truth (since we haven't done anything wrong and Basel didn't mention anything about Mastiffs at all). Now I wasn't sure exactly how "Mastiff" translates to actual breeds...is it just English Mastiffs or does this mean every kind of Mastiff in existence (and all crosses) such as Tibetan, Neopolitan, Dogue de Bordeaux, etc.? How about Great Danes (who are basically like Greyhound and Molossus/Mastiff crosses, genetically speaking, way back when? It all seems so crazy to me but I will make sure I do my research before visiting any of these regions and Winnifred wear whatever she has to (and perhaps avoid Valais and Geneva altogether).

Thanks again for the well-wishes and advice.
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Old 04.06.2011, 01:29
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Re: Large 9.5-month-old pup arriving in Basel on June 8th

BSL is bad law, bad science - and the thin edge of the wedge. All dog owners - of any breed or mix - should stand in solidarity against these kinds of knee-jerk measures. As they say, 'Deed, not breed.'

You are in the clear in Basel - Mastiffs are not restricted (although the Pitbull, Staffie, Amstaff, EBT, Rottweiler, Dobermann, Dogo Argention, Fila Brasileiro are on the list).

Geneva, Valais, Fribourg, Thurgau, Schaffhausen bann /restrict Spanish Mastiffs and Neapolitan Mastiffs specifically, as well as the catch-all 'Mastiff' - so any of the Mastiff breeds (but not all molossers) are included.

Tessin goes further and in addition to the above adds the Tibetan Mastiff and Bullmastiff. (Tessin restricts 30 breeds, including the Great Dane, German shepherd, the four Belgian shepherd breeds, btw.)

To my mind, though, the most frightening example is Zürich, because BSL was introduced there as the result of a public referendum. The average voter knows little about canine behavioral science, but responded rather to fear-mongering and media hype.

---

The best way to combat the hysteria that sparks BSL is to make sure that you and Winnifred are good ambassadors for her breed. Hence the suggestion of getting involved in a training group or a dog club.

One of the reasons I spend so much time at the training school (aside from the fact that my mutts are all nuttier than fruitcakes ) is that in a world where dogs are increasingly unwelcome, the companionship and support of other like-minded dog owners has been a godsend.

Hope that you and Winnifred (fantastic name, by the way...) settle easily into your new lives here, and enjoy your Swiss adventure.
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