For many many years, I’d been looking for the perfect small dog that would fit my family, my pack, and my lifestyle. My criteria were difficult to fill. They seemed simple at first glance, but once you looked deeper into the breeds in the USA, at least the breeds recognized by the AKC, you’ll see that my criteria were not easy to find.
1. Not a Terrier
2. Short Hair
3. No Long Back
Seriously, that’s all, you ask? Yup, that’s pretty much all. A small dog with short hair that was not a terrier, and didn’t have a long back. And I really didn’t want the stubbornness of a Shiba Inu (ack! that kinda falls in the non-terrier arena). The long backs.. well, when looking for a breed, my number one requirement is health. And the long backs always make me nervous, like in the corgis and dachshund. And I wanted a dog I could do sports with. Friendly, smart, energetic, and wonderful to live with.
AKC: MACH CD BN RN MX MXB MXJ MJB OF T2B CGC
ASCA: CD RS-N JS-N
U-FLI Flyball: TF-II
UKC: UCH UWP
In January of 2009 I was at a flyball tournament and I met Maverick. At first I thought he was some sort of mix. Maybe a JRT mix, or a BC mix, or even a staffie mix… but he didn’t quite fit any of those descriptions. I came to find out he was a Danish-Swedish Farmdog.
Could it be? A small dog with short hair, not a terrier, and without a long back? Had my search finally come to and end?
Well, while doing a great deal of research into the breed, the more and more I loved the personality, temperament, energy level, size, and lack of hair! So i went onto the internet to find out if I could find some breeders here in the USA. First I contacted the DSFCA, a Breed Club for the Danish-Swedish Farmdog here in the USA. Unfortunately, I only found a brick wall. Apparently they are not really interested in talking to anyone who does not already have a Farmdog. Kinda made it hard to talk to any breeders in the USA. Since then, I have found some great ones though, so that’s good! (drop me an email if you’re interested in a breeder!) But back then I just couldn’t get through that wall, and so I started scanning abroad for a puppy. I realized that getting a Danish-Swedish Farmdog to Utah, from either Denmark or Sweden, would cost a pretty shiny penny, but that was okay. I had the money saved up and… heck, it’s just money. Having a warm snugly puppy is worth so much more than cold money!
I won’t drag on about how many breeders I tried to contact.. because there were quite a few! I finally stumbled upon an amazingly good breeder, with excellent ethics, and amazing dogs who can do their jobs, hunt, have great temperaments, and do great in the show ring! The kennel is Stolta Ebbas. I developed a great friendship and relationship with Erika, and it was finally decided, I’d get a puppy!
I was thrilled! And Nervous! It had been about 10 years since I’d actually bought a puppy. I bought Lucy and Levi, my smooth blue collies, back in 1999 and 2000. They were going to be show dogs and agility dogs. Since then, I’ve mostly kept rescues. And none of them from puppies. But I was ready for a well bred, healthy, solid puppy. Rescues come with issues and baggage. And getting a dog to high levels of obedience with baggage is, to put it mildly, tough. Jet got a wonderful start, and that helps so very much!
At first I wanted a female. Even though I have mostly loved my boys… I was thinking of maybe breeding a girl. And getting to know a girl. But alas, there were three boys in the litter. I thought about it for a while, then said yes, I would love a boy. Jet was the only tricolor boy in the litter of three. Wasn’t he adorable as a baby? Of course he still is. I wish I could have cuddled him and loved him when he was tiny, but that’s okay, I get to cuddle him and love him for the rest of his life.
Jet was born on April 25, 2009. 10 years after both my smooth blue collies, who were born in 1999. Maybe that’s a lucky coincidence. Looking at these baby pictures of Jet… he looks just the same now. 🙂 Well, bigger, of course, but just as adorable!
I go to follow along with the ultrasound that Anni, Jet’s Mom, had. And her xrays. They only thought there were two puppies in the litter. And two had been spoken for. So I was overjoyed when three were actually born. Jet was born just to be with me! Well, I can think so, anyway. 😉
Jet grew up on a wonderful farm in Sweden. He got a lot of socialization, lots of outings, and lots of time to spend with his litter-mates and the other Farmdogs on the farm. He was a lucky puppy who had an amazing start. And we all know how critical a good start is for a puppy!
Waiting for Jet to fly across the ocean to me was nothing less than torture. 🙂 I’m so glad I got pictures and updates from Erika to keep me posted on how things were going.
And finally, at long last, it was time to go meet Jet in Newark, New Jersey. Jet flew on Scandinavia Airlines and arrived in the USA on July 14, 2009. I was so worried about him during that flight. And when I picked him up, he was screaming in his crate! But I was able to get him out and give him lots and lots of loves. I could tell he was stressed. More a feeling than anything else. He was pretty high energy, and nervous energy at that. But looking back now, he was already his regular self, really.
I went with my friend Marie to pick up Jet. We first stopped in Tampa, Florida, where she picked up her Sheltie puppy, Dare. Then we zipped over to Newark, New Jersey, to pick up Jet. It was a fun and amazing trip! On the flight from Newark to Salt Lake City, both Jet and Dare slept under the seats in front of us. And Jet was so tired, he slept the whole way. I think he was very glad not to be alone anymore.
Jet was the most adorable puppy, and I really wanted him to stay a puppy for a long, long time. But at the same time, while puppies are amazing and fun, you can’t quite do agility with them! So as he grew and changed over the first year I was thrilled by how wonderful he was. Smart, friendly, gentle… everything I wanted in a puppy and more. The absolutely perfect small dog.
As of this writing, Jet is now 18 months old. I’ll have to update this over the years as he grows and starts his career. The difference between Jet, a puppy coming from a great start, against my rescues who came from bad starts, is amazing. Jet will be able to do anything we try to do. I’ve been giving him a lot of foundation work in first obedience, then agility, and then flyball. We’ve done some tracking, and I hope to get him liking the water enough to do dock diving. Hopefully we can try some Go-To-Ground sometime too!
Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are a lot more broad than a Terrier. Though I often get, and probably always will, the comment that he’s a strange looking JRT with a long tail. But he’s not. He doesn’t act like a terrier. He doesn’t have that intensity that terriers have. He’s very soft, and I have to use lots of positive training methods with him. He is growing and filling out and is now a very handsome young man.
Since he came from Sweden, he’s flown to Chicago and back with me in September 2009 for the DSFCA National Specialty. He’s flown to Denmark with me for the World Dog Show in June-July 2010. We also toured Denmark, and took a Ferry to Sweden where we met Erika, Jet’s breeder, and then flew home. Jet also flew to California with me in November 2010 for another DSFCA National Specialty. Since he is not completely filled out into his adult form, though, we are taking a break from conformation until he reaches his adult form. Then the judges will like him a lot better!
Personally, I love him just the way he is. What an amazing boy. I think this breed is going to become more and more popular over the years. I’ve always had big dogs, and I’ve always loved them, but being able to put a dog on a plane, have small crates, less food, and an amazing personality to boot… really does have it’s advantages.
On April 25, 2011, I had Jet BAER tested, as I was concerned that he might have problems with one of his ears. Turns out he is deaf in his left ear. While I’m a bit sad about it, I’m also very glad at how he deals with this issue and he’s still going to do all I’ve planned for him!
2011 will be Jet’s competition debut year. I think he’ll do amazing things. His full name is Stolta Ebbas Einride of Sweden. And every day I’m still amazed that everything worked out, and he is living with us now!