Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Chiweenies – Nickname: Mexican Hotdogs

Chiweenies:  Chihuahua / Dachshund Hybrid

The Chiweenie is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Chihuahua and the Dachshund. The best way to determine the temperament of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses.

Chiweenies are fascinating because no two that I have ever seen that look alike, probably because there are so many variations of both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds.  I have also heard them called Dachschis, but Chiweenie is the registered name for this generally sweet hybrid designer dog. At least our 3 are all loveable lickers, which they get from the Dachshund side but they are also independent, which they get from their Chihuahua mom. 

Recognized Names:
American Canine Hybrid Club = Chiweenie
Designer Dogs Kennel Club = Chiweenie
International Designer Canine Registry® = Chiweenie

Chiweenies, in general, have great dispositions!!

Daphnee, a 3 ½ year old Miniature Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie)

Daphnee is a Miniature Dachshund / Chihuahua mix. "Her mother was the Dachshund and dad the Chihuahua.

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) at 9 months old

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) at 9 months old. "This picture really shows the Dachshund on him."

"Jager’s Dad is a purebred Miniature Brindle Dachshund (he has the exact coloring) and his mom is a red Chiweenie (half Mini Dachshund half Chihuahua)."

Taffy is half long-haired Dachshund and half Chihuahua.

Luigi Von Hunkledink Sabo is full grown and only 6 pounds. His mother was a Dachshund, father was a Toy Chihuahua.

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) at 6 months old

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) at 6 months old.

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) at 2 months old

Gus, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie) – at 2 months old.

Chalupa, the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix (Chiweenie) at 8 months old

Chalupa, the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix (Chiweenie) at 8 months old.

Chalupa, the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix (Chiweenie) at 8 months old

Chalupa, the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix (Chiweenie) at 8 months old.

CoCo, the Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie). "Her mother is a miniature brown haired Dachshund and her dad is a long haired Chihuahua."

PJ, a Chiweenie at 11 years old

"PJ, at age 11. PJ lounging poolside after a dip in the pool.


Apachi, at age 4, Dad was a Dachshund and Mom was a Chihuahua


Angelina, at age 3, (attending a B-Day party in photo) is 3/4 Chihuahua and 1/4 Dachshund (Apachi above is her dad and her Mom is a purebred 1/2 long-haired 1/2 short haired Fawn faced Chihuahua)


Princess, at age 3.  Princess is 3/4 Chihuahua and 1/4 Dachshund (Apachi above is her dad and her Mom is a purebred 1/2 long-haired 1/2 short haired Fawn faced Chihuahua)

Magnum, at age 18-Months. Magnum is 3/4 Chihuahua and 1/4 Dachshund (Apachi above is her dad and her Mom is a purebred 1/2 long-haired 1/2 short haired Fawn faced Chihuahua)

Goji Posing for the Camera - 04.25.09

Goji, at age 2.  Goji is 3/4 Chihuahua and 1/4 Dachshund (Apachi above is her dad and her Mom is a purebred 1/2 long-haired 1/2 short haired Fawn faced Chihuahua)


Chiweenie Pups Angelina, Princess, Goji and Magnum at age 22-days with their Chihuahua Mom, Angel, Age 3 (a purebred 1/2 long-haired 1/2 short haired Fawn faced Chihuahua)

Ask Marion – The UCLA Shutterbug – Just One More Pet 

h/t: dog breed info


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Is Your Pet (or a Pet Your Know of) a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

California Shelters Overflowing with Chihuahuas

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets | 4 Comments

Alternative Dog Arthritis Treatment Series Part 1 – An Introduction

Dog arthritis has no cure; however, there are many forms of treatment available. Modern veterinary medicine utilizes painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, supplements, and if necessary, surgery, to improve the quality life of dogs suffering from dog arthritis. However there has been burgeoning number of dog owners and even vets exploring non-standard treatments – alternative medicine is not so alternative these days.

This article introduces you to some of the common alternative treatments for dog arthritis and watch out for more articles that explain alternative medicines in much more detail.

Alternative Treatments for Dog Arthritis.
  1. 1. Acupuncture. This ancient healing practice uses needles, finger pressure, heat and other methods on specific points of the body.   Acupuncture was first practiced in China several thousand years ago and it spread to the neighboring lands of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. In China, acupuncture is accepted as mainstream medicine while in the US numerous studies are still being conducted to prove its efficacy. Despite not being proven to help there are many people in the US and abroad who feel it helps their dogs greatly. In veterinary medicine, acupuncture is used in the treatment for allergies, constipation, kidney disorders, and kidney disease. It is also believed to be effective in managing the pain caused by dog arthritis. Practitioners of acupuncture believe that the correct placements of needles on your dog’s body will trigger the production of endorphins. These block pain pathways in a dog’s nervous system.
  2. Chiropractors. Chiropractors use fast, gentle motions on a dog’s musculoskeletal system to restore normal movement of joints. The method focuses on the spine because it is here that ailments are able to cause negative effects on the body through the central nervous system.
  3. Herbal Medicine. Humans and even animals use the healing properties of plants. Plants with analgesic properties are used in the treatment of dog arthritis. A strong tonic made of  devils claw, corydalis, and  ginger might help in the pain and inflammation. Alfalfa or meadowsweet can also be used. Read my blog posts on Arthritis Treatment with a Natural Twist for more information.
  4. Homeopathy. This 200-year old healing practice believes in the use of certain substances to create certain reactions, so that their body can ward off ailments. Before remedies are prepared for your dog, homeopathic vet will analyze your dog’s lifestyle and environment. Once this is done, a concoction is made to both address any physical ailments and behavioral issues.
Is Alternative Medicine Safe and Effective?

The appeal of alternative medicine is in its use of nature-based methods. People think that what is found in nature must be good for the body. But it is important to point out that none of these forms of treatment have been proven to be uniformly effective – some treatments work for some dogs.

You should look for an alternative medicine practitioner who chooses their cases carefully, who use their treatments to complement western medicine and who have some qualifications in this field. Balance this with advice from your veterinarian and you can achieve the best dog arthritis treatment for your pet.

Look out for more articles in this series on alternative treatments for dog arthritis.

Source: Dog Arthritis Blog  -  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 4 Comments

Become Your Own Doggie Delicatessen

Trips to trendy doggie delis and bakeries not part of your New Year’s budget? Whip up this easy homemade doggie treat instead, with simple ingredients you have in your kitchen.

Cheesy Carrot Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated carrot
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line it with paper baking cups.

Combine the flours and baking powder and mix well. Add the cheese and carrots, and use your fingers to mix them into the flour until they are well distributed.

In another bowl, beat the eggs. Then whisk in the milk and vegetable oil. Pour this over the flour mixture, and stir gently until just combined.

Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full with the mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins feel springy. Be sure to let the muffins cool before letting your dog do any taste-testing. If he’s a medium to large dog, one muffin will be a great snack. Make it half a muffin for a toy or small dog.

Recipe reprinted with permission from: Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide: Good Health, Loving Care, Maximum Longevity, edited by Matthew Hoffman. Copyright (c) 1998 by Weldon Owen. By arrangement with Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.

Originally Published on 01/15/2009

hat tip to: By DogAge Staff

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Recipes, Pets | Leave a comment

1000 Rats Seeking New Homes in California

San Jose, California (Nov 24th, 2010)

Volunteers from multiple animal rescue agencies are caring for 1,000 rats removed from an overrun home in Los Angeles County.

Rat Boys

Rescuers from United Animal Nations (UAN), The Humane Society of United States and North Star Rescue have removed and are caring for over 1,000 rats from a property in Los Angeles County after receiving complaints from neighbors, who were witnessing the rats escaping from the house. It is believed that the owner of the house is receiving mental health treatment, and that the population of rats resulted from the house owner’s daughter bringing home a pregnant pet rat. Neighbors contacted producers of the reality television show Hoarders.

When rescuers arrived at the hoarder’s home, they found hundreds of rats roaming freely throughout the house. Some were suffering from skin conditions, parasites and other medical ailments. The owner kept several rats as pets and upon the untimely death of his wife, tried to fill the void by breeding more rats, until they eventually took over the entire house. The rats were removed from the home on Thursday and Friday and were then transported to a shelter in downtown San Jose.

"Often, well-meaning individuals become overwhelmed with more animals than they can properly care for," said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. "United Animal Nations provides critical support in such cases, often exposing rescued animals to loving human contact for the first time in their lives and preparing them to be adopted into permanent homes."

North Star Rescue is currently sorting rats into compatible social groups, assessing their health and behavior, and is hoping to make the rats available for adoption from December 5th. The organization is seeking volunteers and donations of pet supplies, including rat food, extra toys and hiding places.

This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Dog’s Holiday…

I was talking with a friend the other day and telling her about how a few years back, we had a small Thanksgiving Dinner at our house, not like the sit-downs for 25+, I’ve had many times over the years, and we ended up having dinner for 6.5 people and 8 furkids…  I told her I’d find the photos, so I’m sharing below. This year we will be volunteering at a mission and fixing a barebones meal afterwards; primarily for our pups.


Angelina Waiting for Turkey, Princess After Too Much Turkey and Annabelle With Baby River


Angel and Apachi Having Too Much Fun


Merlin Playing Out Back and Snoop & Gizzy with Some Chews, Waiting for the Good Stuff… Turkey

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, Who Love To Be Part of the Family Activities, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”


While giving your pets Thanksgiving leftovers or scraps from the table can be a heartwarming experience for you and an exciting experience for them, it is important to be aware of which Thanksgiving leftovers are pet friendly, and which ones should remain in your fridge and away from your pets’ food dish.

To help you decipher which Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for your pets to eat, we have compiled two lists below — a “safe” list and a “not safe” list — that you can use as a quick reference during your Thanksgiving meal. But be sure to pay attention to the pets mentioned in the lists, and how the food should be prepared; just because something is safe for a dog doesn’t mean it’s safe for a cat.

If you, or your family, eat a food during the Thanksgiving holiday that is not mentioned on the lists below, do some additional research or talk to your local vet about the safety of the food in question.

Thanksgiving/Holiday Safety Tips For Pets

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough
Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Boneless pieces of cooked turkey, some mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie or cheese cake shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, especially if you don’t normally cook for your pets, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, if your pets have sensitive stomachs, it is best to keep them on their regular diets during the holidays with just some table scraps added to their food.

A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them rawhide strips, Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy. 

The “Safe” List

Cranberry Sauce

While cranberry sauce is safe for most dogs, it has the potential to make them a little wild or give them an upset stomach if they’re not used to fruit or foods high in sugar. So if you want to give your dogs a little cranberry sauce this holiday season, start out slow and see how your dog reacts. Cranberry sauce should also be safe for cats and potbellied pigs, but again, only in small portions.

Green Beans

Safe for cats, dogs, potbellied pigs and guinea pigs, green beans that are low in sodium (try using unsalted ones) can actually be good for your pets when served in moderation. As long as the green beans you have leftover this Thanksgiving don’t have anything extra added (no green bean casserole!) they are pet friendly Thanksgiving leftovers.   

Ice Cream (Dogs Only), a Few Licks of Pumpkin Pie, Cheesecake or Carrot Cake Without Nuts

While it is not a good idea to give your cat, guinea pig, potbellied pig, or any other common pet type ice cream this Thanksgiving, ice cream is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts as long as it contains no chocolate.  A few licks of pumpkin pie, cheesecake or carrot cake without nuts are also fine.

Macaroni and Cheese (Dogs and Potbellied Pigs Only)

As long as you don’t give you dog or potbellied pig too much macaroni and cheese, it is safe for them to eat on occasion, but not all the time.

Mashed Potatoes

As long as you don’t add anything extra to your mashed potatoes (such as cheese, sour cream, or gravy) mashed potatoes should be safe for dogs, cats, and pigs. But again, remember portion control: don’t give them too much, and consider mixing a little bit of mashed potatoes into their dry food instead of giving them mashed potatoes by itself.


While leftover turkey can be safe for dogs, cats, and potbellied pigs, make sure that the turkey does not have any bones, and that any excess fat and the skin has been removed. Also be careful about portion control, not giving your pets — no matter how big they are — human sized portions of turkey. It will be very rich for them, and could cause them to be sick if given too much.  If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

The “Not So Safe” List

The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • Alcohol of any kind
  • Anything with Caffeine
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, or Turkey
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Jell-O Molds
  • Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general
  • Pecan Pie
  • Potato Skins
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which is very harmful to pets)
  • Anything with onions in it  (and garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Anything with Xylitol in it
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Raw eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats

These plants are probably the most popular holiday plant and are easily recognizable by their large red, white, pink, or mottled leaves. These plants also contain a thick, milky irritant sap. In general, it would take ingestion of a large amount of this plant to see possible clinical signs in your pet. Signs could include vomiting, anorexia and depression. The symptoms are generally self-limiting and treatment is rarely needed. Your Vet may recommend limiting food and water intake for 1 or 2 hours if your pet is suspected of becoming sick after ingestion of poinsettias.  Ingestion of poinsettias will not kill your pets, but keeping them out of reach is a good idea; and fake ones might be even a better idea!

Thanksgiving Pet Recipe of the Day
Simple Roasted Organs

(This is a great recipe to make up for Thanksgiving to feed your canine friends… you can substitute chicken for the turkey and add a few turkey scraps at carving time, or just bake the liver and giblets and add the warm turkey as you carve… just go easy on the skin and watch for bones.)

This dish can actually double up as a treat, or healthy topping to your pet’s usual meal. Turkey giblets (hearts, livers and kidneys) are available from butcher shops and many natural food markets – and also come included with most Thanksgiving turkeys!

This recipe is super-simple and just about all pets love it! Since this recipe is cooked, turkey necks should not be used.


Up to 1 lb Turkey scraps, organs/giblets (don’t include bones)

6 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Dried or Fresh Rosemary

1 Clove Garlic, crushed or finely diced (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the organs on a baking sheet. Slowly pour on the olive and gently shake the pan so that the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the rosemary and crushed garlic. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

For cats, dice the organs finely with a sharp knife before serving. This technique also works well to create bite-sized training treats that are a little bit different.

Add a Grateful Bowl to Your Thanksgiving Celebration~

This year as everyone arrives for Thanksgiving Dinner, have each of them fill out a grateful note, to be deposited in a bowl, basket or container.  After dessert has been served, have everyone gather within earshot and have someone draw out the slips of paper one by one and have a designated person read them aloud.  It will give your Thanksgiving a very different feeling.


The Thanksgiving Bowl

And Checkout:  Thanksgiving USA

Wishing You All a Safe, Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!


Angel, Angelina, Apachi and Princess at Just One More Pet

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 60 Comments

When Your Dog is Your Best Friend

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November 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — A county employee in Arizona has been fired after mistakenly euthanizing a dog that saved soldiers in Afghanistan and lived through explosions in the war-torn country, officials announced Friday.

The unidentified Pinal County animal control employee euthanized the female shepherd mix on Monday and was immediately placed on administrative leave.

The dog named Target had been brought to the Phoenix area in August by Sgt. Terry Young after his tour of duty.

Target frightened a suicide bomber inside a military base and potentially saved dozens of soldiers’ lives, Young said. He said the dog was treated like royalty from then on at the base at Dand Patan, near the Pakistan border.


The dog escaped from the family’s back yard last Friday. Target didn’t have a tag or microchip and eventually wound up at the county pound.

Last Friday night, Young found Target’s picture on a Web site used by county dog catchers to help owners track lost pets. Young figured the shelter in Casa Grande was closed for the night and weekend.

He showed up at the facility to claim his dog on Monday, only to find out she was dead.

County officials say the employee mistakenly took the dog out of its pen Monday morning and euthanized it.

“I just can’t believe that something like this would happen to such a good dog,” Young told The Arizona Republic, which said the soldier and his family will get Target’s cremated remains.

County officials are declining to name the employee because of threats made to that person and angry telephone calls to the facility.

“We are continuing to look into management practices and procedures to ensure that something like this cannot happen again,” said Lisa Garcia, assistant county manager for Health and Human Services.


Video:  Military Hero Euthanized

h/t to theBlaze.com


Original Article:  A Dog’s Warning to America

2 of 3 animals who enter the Shelter System Never leave alive :-( "You can judge a society by how it treats its animals!" …Mahatma Gandhi

Join the #NoKillNation & support a National Pet Abuse Registry with stronger legal support. No more needless killing & abuse!

God and Dog

And God Created Dog…

Just One More Pet  -  There is always room for just one more pet.  Add love to your holidays by adding new member to your family while also saving a life!!

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

One Pound Deer – He Is Beautiful

Kinda makes your day, doesn’t it?

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a Wildlife hospital after a car killed his mother.

Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult’s hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

At just 6" tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire. He has only recently opened his eyes.

Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said, "Rupert’s mother had very severe injuries. We brought him out and got him breathing, and then he went into an incubator on oxygen. He is now being fed by a tube"

Rupert in an incubator.

Rupert pulls a striking pose for the camera.
Staff members are optimistic that Rupert, now 5 days old, will make a full recovery.

"Deer are very, very tricky, but this one has spirit. He’s an extremely feisty,  Little guy and quite pushy," Mr. Stocker said
                        Asleep: Rupert takes 40-winks.


Hope you will share this

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spots ‘N Stripes Ranch

What is a Zorse? What is a Zonkey? Or is it a Deebra?

What can you do with a Zorse? What can you do with a Zonkey?

How is a Zorse Different than a Horse? How is a Zonkey Different than a Donkey?

How is a Zorse or a Zonkey Trained?

The Zorse and Zonkey

Horses of a Different Color

What is a zorse?

A zorse is a cross between a zebra stallion and a horse mare. The zorse takes the color or dominant color gene of the mare and the zebra sire gives it stripes Zorse Color Info .  Photo Album A hebra is a cross between a zebra mare and a horse stallion – the rarest. Horse stallions as a general rule do not like to breed zebra mares. Zebra stallions usually must be raised in a special environment to breed horse mares.

What is a Zonkey?

A Zonkey is a cross between a zebra stallion and a donkey jennet. The zonkey takes the color or dominant color gene of the jennet and the zebra sire gives it stripes. The zonkey is generally more easily bred for than the zorse as the donkey and zebra both communicate behaviorally using very similar language, whereas the horse language is somewhat different than the zebra’s. Zonkey Color Info . Photo Album

At Spots ‘N Stripes Ranch we are preparing to breed for two hebra foals in 2003, for 2004 babies, along with several miniature zorse, miniature zonkey and full size zorse babies. We breed zebras, with our preference being Grant’s and Grevy’s. We are looking forward to breeding the world’s first miniature zorses, and hopefully, will have two or three on the ground for 2004. We will be breeding 3 full size quarter and paint mares in 2003 for 2004 foals. We will be breeding one miniature donkey for a mini zonkey, and one standard donkey for a standard zonkey.— Our animals are almost always sold in advance—so inquire soon!

What can you do with a zorse or zonkey?

A zorse and zonkey can be trained to do all the things a mule or donkey or horse can be trained to do, including trail riding, jumping, driving, and western or english riding.

You can show your zorse or zonkey at many open horse shows. Some shows have zorse and zonkey classes. A few mule and donkey shows are gradually increasing their classes to include the zebra/donkey hybrid, zebra/horse hybrid classes. Soon we will establish photo shows where all zebra, zorse, and zonkey owners from all over the world can participate as if they were at an actual horse show.

How is a zorse different than a horse and a zonkey different than a donkey?

(besides the obvious)

The attitude, smarts and personality of a zorse and a zonkey is much like a mule or donkey. If you know how to train a mule or donkey, you know how to train a zorse or zonkey.

A zorse and a zonkey have a longer flight/fight range, meaning they are more cautious in general than a horse or donkey, and will run away from perceived danger more abruptly than a horse or donkey will. When cornered and stressed, they will defend themselves more abruptly than a horse or donkey will. They are a prey animal, like the horse, but their instinctive prey behaviors are sharper than that of most horses, but they are comparable to wild mustangs. However, once trained, mustangs are just like regular horses, where zorses and zonkeys are still half zebra. After several generations of human contact, the horse mares relay a more relaxed prey/predator reaction around humans to their offspring. As zorses and zonkeys currently are most always first generation domestic on the zebra side, they display a more defensive instinct than a horse or dokey baby would. However, with proper imprinting right from birth, a zorse or zonkey baby can appear much like any horse/mule/donkey foal very quickly.

How is a zorse or zonkey trained?

Anyone who can train a mule or donkey can train a zorse or zonkey that has been imprinted properly as a foal. Proper imprinting is so important. I don’t mean touching a foal all over, picking up its feet, kissing it for awhile, then turning it out to pasture for a year, and expecting that it will remember you and pick up where you left off when it comes in from the back forty as a yearling or two year old. Imprinting means teaching the foal respect from day one, and continuing to train for respect every day or every couple of days during the time that foal is nursing, then continuing the training right on through ’til its time to get on the animal’s back. If you train the young colt or filly for respect, to respect you as its leader, it will respect you right on through. A note here: bottle babies show little respect for their human ‘mothers’, just like they show little respect for their natural mothers. Bottle feeding does not make a respectful and obedient animal. Working with the animal on a daily basis, teaching it to give to you, teaching it move away from you, to lead, to pick up its feet, to lunge, to handle equipment, ropes, blankets, etc. all over its body, and to stand quietly for you when you say "Whoa", to stand quietly for a bath, to stand quietly with its head down for you to put the halter on and take it off is what gains you respect. Those are all the things that should be done with a baby, and should be started on day 1 of its life or as close to that as possible, especially a zebra zorse, or zonkey! If you are in a situation where you are obtaining a nursing baby and are not taking the dam, get that baby drinking from a bucket right away. It is a very easy thing to teach them to do. There are directions on almost every mare’s replacement milk product. If you can’t figure it out, or the directions are not there, call or e-mail us and we’ll help you out. Horse trainers who have never trained a mule or donkey will need a little extra help in training their zorse or zonkey. Learning the zebra side of the zorse or zonkey is imperative to training one.

Some very special animals and some very special people can be trained and do the training and accomplish much with an animal that has not been imprinted, but every one of those people I have spoken with say, "Can you just imagine how much more I could have done had I been able to start the animal when he/she was a baby?"

Taking home a zorse, zebra or zonkey which has not been imprinted but left wild on the range is like taking home a wild mustang, only more extreme in all the initial reactions to you. Be aware of the history of your animal – and try to purchase from a reputable breeder who imprints at birth and trains up until it’s time for you to take the animal home. At our ranch we initially obtained nothing but wild zebras, both Grant’s and Grevy’s, as well as a wild zonkey, before we started breeding our own, so we know what we are talking about here!

Now, if for some reason the breeder has not been able to accomplish proper imprinting, and you are taking home an animal that has pretty much been left to its own devices for a year or two, you simply have to do the same thing you would have done with that baby, but don’t expect the compliance that a baby will give you. You are now dealing with an animal that has already established its place in a herd, (or ‘zeal’, if a zebra ‘herd’)and that animal is used to some give, but certainly, also some ‘take’. So you will need to be safe first and foremost, and simply set out to accomplish more today than you did yesterday, and plan on accomplishing more tomorrow than you did today. If you do that, you will be on your way to a trained animal. The speed of getting the animal trained is not nearly as important as doing it right.

(See Zipper, who was never lunged or had a saddle on til this year at the age of 10, when we purchased her.)

Much worse than taking home an untrained fully grown zebra, zorse or zonkey, with the task ahead of training from scratch, is the animal that has been incorrectly imprinted, or incorrectly or pseudo trained that has become an animal with negative or dangerous behaviors or habits that have to be undone before the animal can move forward in its training. Those animals must be trained to execute correct and safe replacement behaviors for the current unsafe or incorrect behaviors, and that is not necessarily an easy or a simple task. That task should only be assigned to those who know natural zebra behavior very well. It is not any different than a novice horseperson trying to take on a problem horse; it would be doubtful if they would ever have the problems worked out, and they certainly could be injured or the animal could be injured in the process of trying things that ‘might’ work.

Today’s ‘NEW’ (not really new, just finally excepted and preferred) method of horse training, (more natural communication with the animal) is much closer to the way mule and donkey or knowledgeable zorse people have been training forever. Proper and most successful trainers learn the same communication skills and behaviors that the animal has, then speaks to the animal in its own language, using behaviors that the animal already understands. In this way, the animal thinks less of you as a predator, and more as another horse, zorse, etc.

Because of the strong natural instincts (or smarts) of the zorse, training must never become an issue of forcing the animal to do a particular behavior.

The way to train your zorse is simply to give the animal a choice of ‘A’ behavior or ‘B’ behavior, and let the animal choose which behavior it would like to execute. You allow the animal to base its decision on certain consquences that result from choosing either ‘A’ or ‘B’. Yes, it is that simple. Simple, yes, but easy, well, that depends on the person doing the training, and just how insightful they are. Timing and technique are essential to training, which is just about like any task that is done well. Ask a mule person what I mean.

It doesn’t take any more patience to train a zorse than a horse, it simply takes technique and an understanding of the animal’s thought patterns, of how the animal thinks.

So, simply put, muscling the animal into submission is not an option in training the zorse, as it is not in training the donkey, mule, zonkey, or zebra (and shouldn’t be in training the horse). All of these animals are much stronger physically than the horse, and all of them will out-muscle you any day of the week.

That is what horse trainers are just learning about horses that the mule and donkey people have always known; that manhandling (Ok, ok, or womanhandling, or is it personhandling? I know…strongarming, muscling. How is that?) is not a necessary part of training.

You must create an atmosphere to encourage the animal to decide to communicate with you and accept you as its leader, not as a predator. Then it will learn and accept whatever you want to teach it, with mutual respect. This is the only way you will train a mule, donkey, zonkey, zorse or zebra. It is also the only way you will get out the utmost willingness out of a horse. Speak their language, and then they will be happy to learn yours.

So what does all this mean? Well, it means when you purchase a mini or full size zonkey or zorse from Spots ‘N Stripes Ranch, that you will ‘set-a-spell’ and learn how to communicate with your special new charge. We recommend several trainers now (hard to do in years past) who train correctly, and we highly recommend that you purchase their videos and books, (before you get your precious animal) or go to their seminars to learn how to communicate with your equine. We also welcome you to the Ranch for a little one-on-one. We are preparing a VHS/DVD training for the zorse/zonkey enthusiasts and will have it available through our site as soon as its ready.

Video:  Zonkeys and Zorses

November 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment