Denver Dog Runners: Q&A: Brewer

Brewer is a German Shepherd/Husky mix. He does know he is a Shepherd
as he tends to think everything in the house is his! He likes to steal
everything from shoes to baby toys and have his way with them in the

We adopted Brewer from Front Range German Shepherd rescue when he was
8 weeks old. We had lost our 10 year old Shepherd mix to cancer inbrewer with baby2
2010 and knew our older dog Piper needed a new Pal. Once you have 2
dogs for over a decade is hard to just have 1.

We hired DDJ when I was pregnant with our first child Hudson. I was
not running and my husband had a bad knee. We had a puppy with a lot
of energy and not enough of our own energy to provide him with what he
needed. DDJ has been great for us and for Brewer.

Brewer requires a lot of time and energy! He gets to run with DDJ 2
times a week and with us whenever we can. He Loves to run and play
all the time!

brewer on snow

Brewer’s most favorite thing in the world has become running. As soon
as I say you going running today? He runs to the window to look for
Jeff. He has a Ton of energy and running helps him get a good workout
and saves our pillows and baby toys from getting destroyed. His second
favorite thing to do is play with our 1 year old daughter Hudson- They
are great buddies and so grateful for their growing friendship.

Brewer and baby

The makings of a good canine running partner

You probably don’t want to challenge a dog to a footrace — or a “who has more feet” race — but you can’t do much better than a dog when choosing a running partner. There’s no better encouragement than the sight of your four-legged friend standing at the door, only breaking eye contact with you to gesture toward the leash. Any dog can make for an excellent companion for your runs, but certain breeds may be better suited for your preferred running style. Find the perfect fit for your pace and you’ll have man’s best friend at home and on the running path.

Long runs

If you prefer to milk as many miles as you can manage out of your runs, you’ll want to make sure your pup can keep up. Dogs with strong hind leg muscles are ideal. A strong build that isn’t too heavy to stifle stamina like you see in Weimaraners, Jack Russell terriers, and Goldendoodles are what you’re looking for here. If you like extended jogs but are willing to slow your pace, Poodles, Dalmatians and Catahoulas will be happy to tag along.

Short runs

For those that prefer to take in the outdoors in shorter spurts, turn to the dogs that have a leaner build. The lighter frame of breeds like Retrievers, Boxers, pit bulls, and Setters will help them keep up with you on your brisker excursions. If you’re one that particularly enjoys pushing yourself, a dog with the right mindset is important. Greyhounds, Whippets, and other dogs  predisposed to this style of running are ideal.

Running against the elements
You can control the speed of your run, but you have no say over what Mother Nature presents. Luckily, neither you nor your dog will have to sit inside staring longingly out the window imagining what could be. Run into the elements head and snout first. For your colder, perhaps snow-accompanied runs, invite dogs with a thicker coat and a little insulation like
a Malamute, Husky, or German Shepherd. If the heat doesn’t bother you, a dog with a thin coat and slender body like the Airedale Terrier, Vizsla, or Rhodesian Ridgeback is best. If weather isn’t the issue but instead it’s the obstacle-covered course that you plan to tackle, make sure you’re accompanied by a dog who is quick on his feet and obedient to your commands like Border Collies, sheepdogs and shorthaired pointers.
Dress for success
Gear can make any short haired dog comfortable in the coldest of weather. A warm winter vest or cooling vest for the warm summers can greatly increase your dog’s comfort level. (my favorite brand of dog gear is Ruffwear). However most long and medium coat dogs handle single digit temperatures with ease while out on a run.
The # 1 dog breed for running
At Denver Dog Joggers our dog runners are out running dogs 5 days a week. Needless to say we get to run with some of the best canine running partners in Denver.  So it is safe to say that we know our stuff when it comes to running dogs. It is our conclusion that the dog that holds the #1 spot for best running partner is.. the enthusiastic dog.

Spring is in the air, and your dog is not simply stopping to smell the flowers

You may notice your pup sniffing the earth voraciously in quick
strong circular breathes, shifting from one point to the next in an
unexplainable path. This is only unexplainable because unlike humans,
dogs, reptiles and other mammals have two olfactory systems or the
sensory system.


Dogs, also, unlike humans separate their air intake
into both respiration and scent. While your dog is diligently sniffing
they are also taking in non-humanly detected. So, in addition to the main system there is a secondary system, the accessory olfactory
system. The main component of this secondary system and what
makes it unique is the vomeronasal organ(VNO) also known as
Jacobson’s organ. This organ was discovered by the Danish physician
and anatomist, Ludvig Levin Jacobson. In 1809 he published his
findings of the organ in mammals. It is this organ that recognizes nonvolatile(that which cannot vaporize) chemicals that may enter it via
circular sniffs through each nostril. This organ then interprets the
unscented odors or pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances
released into the environment that affect the behavior of other animals
within the same species.
The vomeronasal organ(VNO) is the first point of interpretation
in the accessory olfactory system. You may have noticed dogs
engaging in the unsightly activity of in-taking the urine or feces of
other dogs The reason behind this is purely instinctual and for the
purpose of identifying the status of another dog. This is the beginning
process of recognition and communication between canines.
The VNO is a tube-like organ that is found at the base of the
nasal cavity split into two bulbs frontally, behind the septum and within
the Vomer bone.


This organ contains cavities full of micro cilia that
enable diffusion of nonvolatile chemicals via mucus produced. It is in
these walls that sensory epithelium detect information contained
within the pheromones and are then directly sent to the accessory
olfactory bulb. Once there mitral cells(neurons) receive it via their
nerve fibers(axons) and then direct it to other areas of the brain such
as Amygdala, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc), and then
finally the Hypothalamus.
The amygdala is responsible for memory recognition this enables
associations to be created between other canines and their scent.
From the axons of the amygdala this information is then projected to
the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. This is where the brain learns
cause and effect and the correlation this can have between detection
of certain pheromones and what they signify. From here the next and
final stop for the diffusion of the specific scent is the Hypothalamus. It
is this portion of the brain that is responsible for the nervous system and production of hormones. Once the scent is identified then comes
the appropriate response. This behavior leads to the functioning of the
reproductive system. If this is not applicable it may trigger certain
behaviors of aggression towards other canines.
Memory plays an important role. It is essential in the
identification recognition process of animals that possess this organ.
They associate and store their daily findings so they can become
familiarized with one another and communicate. Consider this the next
time you think your dog has been stopping to merely smell those
newly sprung crocuses.
Døving, Kiell B., Didier Trotier. “Review: Structure and the Function of
the Vomeronasal Organ” The Journal of Experimental Biology 201,
2913–2925 (1998): 2913-2922. . March 2013.
Keverne EB (October 1999). “The vomeronasal organ”. Science 286
(5440): 716–20.

Margolinsky, Julius. “Jacobson Ludvig Levin”. Jewish Virtual Library.
Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. Sunday, April 6, 2013.

Q&A: Percy Standard Poodle

1. What breed is your dog?
  A: Percy is a silver Standard Poodle.
 What breed does your dog thinks he is?Why?
  A: He KNOWS he’s a standard poodle…why would he want to be anything else?
2. Why did you decide on this breed?
A: I have always had poodles… (though this is my first big one).  They are so smart and so sweet. They are easy to live with, they don’t stink, they don’t shed. One of the best pictures I ever saw was on Animal Planet, where a little girl had her 2 standard poodles dressed up, sitting at her tea party.  Poodles just want to be part of the group!   They don’t mind what you ask them to do.
3. Is your dog adopted?
A: Yes.
Where did you adopt him/her, and what prompted your decision?
 - I adopted him from Poodle Rescue of the Rockies.  I have known the owner there for nearly 20 years. My previous wonderful poodle Frisco had lived with me for almost 18 years. He was the mid-size though, 20 lbs,  and I got him as a puppy. His breeder was a good friend of the rescue owner, and that was how I first met her. After Frisco died, I only lasted 2 days before calling Jeanne,  telling her I needed a new dog right away.   She said, “All I have right now is this silver standard.”
4. Do you match your dog’s energy level?
A: NO !
5. What interesting fact are their about Poodles?
A: What people may not know is  that poodles are athletes.   They were originally bred for retrieving birds out of cold water lakes in northern Europe.   They have hair, not fur, so they do not shed, and their hair will just keep growing unless it is cut.  So when they  were retrieving birds from that cold water, that long hair was trimmed except where they needed it to keep them warm—around their chest, and hips, and knees, and ankles.  That’s where that silly show dog hair cut came from!
6. What is your dog’s most favorite thing in the world?
A: Why, his momma, of course!
7. What is your dog’s exercise needs?
A:  Oh my, I think he could run 30 miles a day.    Or at least 5 miles, 4 or 5 times a day!
On the days I take him to the dog park, I walk about 45 minutes, or 2.5 miles, and he’s running the whole time.  When we get home, he takes a nap.  But I think he could go again right after his nap!
9. Why did you decide to hire the services of Denver Dog Joggers?
A: Last summer, there were warning signs at my dog park about rattlesnakes in the area.
So during July and August,  Percy happily ran with Denver Dog Joggers.   The only tricky thing about summer running for poodles is how early they need to go…Since they do not have fur, they do not have an undercoat.


Our Denver Dog Joggers love Kaja and Buddha

Denver Dog Joggers‘ Q&A with Katie is one of those very uplifting stories. After I read Katie’s responses I could not help but smile. These two dogs have it good! Good owners = good dogs. Thanks Katie for taking the time to tell us a little more about your special dogs. What a great story!

Kaja     buddha

1. What breed is your dog? We have two and they are both rescue dogs from the Denver Dumb Friends League so we’re not really sure what they are.  Kaja, we were told was a Great Pyrenees mix but we think she might be a Maremma Sheep Dog.  Buddha is a German Shepherd Mix.  We’re convinced of the German Shepherd part but we’re constantly asked if he’s a wolf hybrid…he might be.

2. Why did you decide on these breeds? We did not choose them…they chose us! 

3. Is your dog adopted? Yes 

  • Where did you adopt him/her, and what prompted your decision? We adopted them both from the Denver Dumb Friend’s League about 3 months apart.  We had been looking for a dog for a while and we’d go to the shelters often and meet with lots of great dogs, but hadn’t found the right fit until we met Buddha.  Buddha was 8 weeks old sitting in a pen with his two litter mates, at the time they were named maxwell, marvin and maggie.  The story was that they’d been found in a box at city park.  They had literally just been placed on the adoption floor and we were done looking at dogs for the day but decided to go back for one last look.  Everyone flocked to their kennel and we went over to see what the commotion was about.  They were adorable and we requested to meet the biggest male of the bunch. Staff brought him into one of the meeting rooms and we knew right away he was the one.  He was awfully cute, but his personality won us over – curious, confident and a little goofy.  All three of those pups were adopted within the hour and we feel pretty lucky to have our boy.
  • We got Kaja about 2-3 months after we invested in Buddha.  We thought Buddha needed a buddy.  Someone a little older who could essentially help raise him.  We had been frequenting the Dumb Friend’s League and twice before saw this big white athletic looking dog who had been adopted out twice before and returned twice.  This was the third time we saw her at the shelter over the course of a few months – it was like she was waiting for us to take her home. Most people would have shyed away from a story like that but we thought she was beautiful so we inquired.  At first the shelter staff were reluctant to let us meet her because we didn’t have an 8 foot privacy fence.  Apparently, this dog was an escape artist and had been returned by 2 previous families because she kept getting out and running away.  They told us that this was essentially her last shot before she would be put down for failing to place in a forever home.  Finally the staff gave in and let us meet with her.  She was very calm and gentle and we loved her right away.  We decided to go get the puppy and see if they would get along.  At first, Kaja didn’t seem very interested in Buddha. He wanted to play with her desperately and she really kind of ignored him until we took them outside to the enclosed playground.  We let them both off the leash and it was like this thoroughbred had been released from a cage.  Kaja was sprinting around so fast that Buddha could not keep up.  She was hurdling over his head making quick sharp turns.  She was so powerful and athletic – it was quite unexpected.  Eventually, Buddha quit chasing her, sat down and watched her go – even he was impressed.  Now we understood what a powerful animal we were dealing with but we were up for the challenge.  We adopted her and though she did manage to escape a few times during the first 6 months, but we never once thought about returning her.  
4. Please tell us a little about your dogs’ personalities.
  • Kaja is a gentle giant.  She’s stubborn and independent.  She is as lazy as they come except when she gets to run or when she thinks someone or something might be a threat to her flock (aka us).   At her core, she’s a protector and guardian.  I would not want to meet Kaja in a dark alley, that is for sure.
  • Buddha is a cartoon character.  He is a big goofball, very happy and a loves to cuddle.  He’s high energy, athletic and always wants to play.  He’s curious but also fairly skittish.  The dog is afraid of anything that is unnatural, cars, loud noises, the broom, the vacuum and the list goes on…

5. Do you match your dog’s energy level? Depends on the day.  Buddha is super high energy, Kaja is not.  

7. What is your dog’s best trick? Buddha gives high fives like a human.  
8. What about your dog makes you laugh out loud? Kaja weighs 110 pounds and she routinely sleeps in a small formal wingback chair in the living room, she never seems to fit.   Big dog in a little chair.
9. What is your dog’s most favorite thing in the world? Running/hiking/being outside.  Each other’s company.  Their owners. Peanut butter.  tennis balls.  Dentastix
10. What is your dogs’ exercise needs? If you asked them they’d say either a 30-60 minute run daily or a long hike, daily. 
11. Why did you decide to hire the services of Denver Dog Joggers? I run with my dogs as often as I can but it still isn’t enough.  We don’t have a huge yard and they love being outside, they love running and they deserve to be fit, happy and healthy.   I want my dogs to be around for as long as possible and regular exercise is vitally important to that goal.
12. My dogs steels my…heart.
13. What would your dog’s answer be if he/she could respond to the question “why does cat’s have nine lives? We also have a cat in the house.  Buddha loves her, Kaja hates her.  
Buddha would say: “So I can continue to pester her.  She’s my favorite toy.”
Kaja would say: “Because God is punishing me.”