Sunday, May 31, 2009

Herding Instinct Test

Here's a bit of personal news ... the potential adopter (PA) of my foster dog (FD) wanted to take her to a Herding Instinct Test. I thought that was a great idea since the FD has spent the last month or so trying to figure out how to herd my ducks.

Unfortunately, when the PA called ahead to see if there was space, all the spots were filled (pre-registered) and there was already a waiting list. So they spent the day together last week and went to a herding lesson with a friend of ours. While they were there, the FD apparantly wouldn't take her eyes off the sheep. Because of the lack of spaces in the public testing, the teacher offered to do an impromptu test right then and there (which of course, she passed with flying colours). Hooray!

So there you go. This dog who was aggressive, shy (resulting in fear-biting) and "untouchable" is now going to train to herd (I'm not surprised, but that's ok). I'm pleased with this and I think the FD will really enjoy it when she starts.

On another note, I've been working with someone to teach them how to work with dogs and I got her to take the dog that was supposed to be next on my list. She worked for a few weeks at the kennel and now has the dog at her house. I'll have to keep a space open here for the next few weeks just in case things go downhill for them and I have to take the dog without notice. This is good news because I'm starting a super intense dog training course next week and it will allow me to focus on that yet still support this new person and the dog. It's going to be exhausting after working a full week at the day job!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Featured Rescue - Jack A Roo the Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler

Today I thought I'd feature an Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler. There are currently 3,192 ACD's available on

I had a Heeler/Border Collie mix when I was growing up (have I mentioned this yet?) and she was great. We had a fair amount of problem behaviours with her (think two young children plus she didn't join the family until she was 8 months old ... plenty of bad habits already formed since that's why her last owners dumped her at a friend's farm), but to date she was one of the most awesome dogs I have ever owned (even if you include the current guys). I wouldn't hesitate to bring an ACD home and I don't think I'd have to argue the case with anyone I live with.

I thought I'd bring everyone's attention to Jack A Roo. Jack is 1 year old and he is deaf. Despite that, he looks like a real go-getter and apparantly has some incredible focus.
Jack A Roo is currently in the care of Border Collie Rescue Ontario . You can check out their website or their blog for more details about Jack A Roo.

Friday, May 29, 2009

News Reel - Internet Scam

I found this one when reading some of the headlines this week and thought I'd share with you.

Internet Scam Targets People Wanting to Buy Dogs

Ok, so seriously. If you're dumb enough to buy a dog through a "secure" site on the internet, sight unseen with no guarantee ... well, I'm sorry but maybe you really should learn a lesson and lose your money.

Who's the bigger Asshat in this scenario? The idiots buying or the scam artists taking the money??

Urban Dictionary Definition

1. ass-hat
One whose head is so far up their rear end it could pass for a hat; used to describe a person who is stubborn, cruel, or otherwise unpleasant to be around.

2. ass-hat
A general term for someone who carries out actions with such stupidity that they might as well wear their ass as a hat.

3. ass-hat
Someone so incredibly stupid and/or ignorant that everything above their waist is useless; i.e. a hat for their ass.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Wave Dog Training?

Check this one out. I found it while wandering through the CL postings this morning!

You too can have someone else train your dog while you're on vacation! They "train dogs to overcome a variety of issues" Doesn't that sound just dandy?

What a load of dog poo.

Good grief! Here's the problem with doing this ... I expect that 6 weeks after the dog goes home it will have totally regressed. I really want to call this entire situation a magnet for asshats ... Imagine! Not training your own dog! I've had people ask me to take their dog to train it and I tell them that if they want the dog to listen to me, then I will ... but if they want the dog to listen to them, they have to do the work themselves.

I've seen this style a few times now and it's sad that people will actually use it! I know we're lazy asshats, but couldn't we at least take a wee bit of responsibility?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

News Reel - Brighter Days A-Coming

I thought I'd put up some upbeat stories about animals today. They aren't all dog related - sorry for the off topic-ness (I know, it's not a word, but I'm having troubles waking up today!).

Hero horse recommended for bravery medal in Australia
(Neat story! I could close my eyes and see it play out)

Pet owners' job easier at dog wash
(Interesting idea. Don't know how the groomers in the area will feel about it though!)

Sit, shake, support... good dog (We have this program here, but it's called "Story Dogs")

Anyway, hope your Wednesday is a great one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Training Rant - Fear

There are so many people out there who think it is ok that their dog will cower behind them when other dogs/people approach. What's wrong with it? The dog is physically managed - beside / behind the owner ... so why is there a problem? Never mind that the dog is nowhere close to the place mentally where she should be!

I get so frustrated when people say something along those lines! I just want to bang my head on the closest hard surface and leave the world behind ...
If the dog can't deal with different stimuli, than you will begin to see fear-biting when you remove her security blanket. It will happen; it's a natural progression. This is a dangerous behaviour and one that many dogs have been euthanized for.
We saw the behaviour turn into fear aggression with the dog we were sitting over the weekend. Funny thing when you remove an emotional crutch ... the dog has to deal on her own! This particular one can't seem to deal with anything approaching her or walking towards her (like another person/dog on the sidewalk opposite).
This is not a behaviour the owners see because the owner is the crutch (or security blanket). The dog leans on them for support and is not able to stand on her own. When you remove that security, you see the dog's true colours and you can begin to understand a bit about how the dog feels. It is really sad for me to see a dog like this with so much potential ... especially one who has been with the same owners from a pup because then you know the problem is with the owners and their training.
Fear can be a strong motivator. Newsflash. It is NOT ok for your dog to cower behind you (or between your legs)! She is NOT a trust worthy, stable dog! This is a very serious behaviour that could develop into something dangerous!
This is something that could be fixed so easily and quickly in the early stages ... if only the owners will commit.
It's too bad that not every dog owner has the opportunity to have someone take their dog for a few days for a test run. Then you can easily figure out which behaviours are fanned by the owner and which ones are dampened (there will always be some on both sides of the fire).

I spoke with the owners about this issue (and a few others) at which point I learned that they only walk her twice a week (on a good week, OFFLEASH) ... otherwise, she just goes out to the backyard for bathroom breaks. Of course we don't walk the dog ... we don't have time for THAT! (No wonder she was absolutely exhausted after three days worth of running with my dogs plus a petsmart visit plus long walks every day!)
I hope they do something about it, though I'm not overly hopeful.
(I'm not hopeful because I have the castoff dog from the same family (brother's house) and he obviously started with the same issues - it's like looking at a young him. We are still working through his reactivity, though he no longer tries to attack cars and he's pretty good with people now.)
Fear is something that can turn very quickly into a worse behaviour. What seems like some simple submissive behaviour can actually manifest into something terrible. Most of the dogs that I get start out with simple fear. The problem becomes more than most owners can handle when the dog gains the self-confidence to go with the fear; then they have a real problem.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Make Mondays Matter 2

I thought I'd publish another Make Mondays Matter for this week. I really like this idea from Mrs Zeee - a great way to start the week! I did some thinking and decided to tell you about something we did that lasted the entire weekend, not only Monday.

This weekend we dog-sat a friend's dog. They were going away for the weekend and needed someone to watch their four legged family member. They asked us to do them a favour and see if we could figure out why the dog is doing certain behaviours and give them an idea how to resolve them.

- Jumping
- Mouthing
- Over-Excitement
- Pulling on Leash
- Not Listening

Day 1 ... Jumping when meeting people; verbal "No" correction was given and leash tug by handler. No Mouthing. EXTREMELY submissive with dogs. Overly excited about everything (birds, cats, dogs, outside, farm animals, etc)

Day 2 ... No jumping. No Mouthing. Submissive with our dogs. Submissive with people. Warning Barking to dogs/people. Fear biting with one of our dogs - could have been bad. Still pretty excited.

Day 3 ... No Jumping. No Mouthing. Not submissive with OUR dogs, but fearful of all others (took her to petsmart to "test the waters" and stood outside in the parking lot). Warning barking turns to lunging to biting if too close. Backs away from people and barks at them ... shows other warning signs with body language. If can't get away, will lunge at people. Not so excited ... exhausted!

At the end of Day 3, we took her home. We talked to the owners and gave them some ideas how to resolve these issues. So there you go. There's my Make Mondays Matter for this week; I helped someone out by dog-sitting their pup and investigating issues.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Featured Rescue - Washington the Beagle

In most shelters, you will find Beagles. Why? There are many theories to this; some say that beagles are runners and unless you have a fenced yard, they will follow their nose and run away (that's crap - I've had a beagle for 14 years and she's still around - she's constantly following her nose ... ? ... before her we had a hound of undetermined breed with the same habits), some say that they are difficult to train so people get frustrated and dump them (could be so - I have heard that hounds are difficult to motivate, though I've never found them to be a problem) ... the excuses go on.

For whatever their reason, each dog has a story and each one is there. Take it or leave it and move on.

Today there are 7,600 Beagles on Petfinder. (That's a nice round number!) Of those many beagles, I found Washington. He has a similar story to most Beagles out there; he was found wandering around as a stray. As is not always the case, they found the owners! Unfortunately, the people were moving and didn't want to pay the security deposit their new rental unit would require to have a dog. Now the rescue is adopting him out.

Washington is in Westfield, NY and is in the care of Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue Inc.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

OT - Cat Food Recall

This is a bit off topic, but I thought I'd post it anyway. There was a cat food recall earlier this week.

Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care and Nutro Max dry cat foods has announced a voluntary recall of select varieties. If you feed this food, please read the following article for more information.

Popular Pet Food Recall

I posted this entry on my other blog, Drowning In Cats, as well

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why veterinary behaviorists can't stand Cesar Millan

I stumbled across this one the other day during my 'free time' and thought I'd share it with you all. I didn't write it so don't give me credit for it.

Why veterinary behaviorists can't stand Cesar Millan

Nicely written. Check out some of the comments written in reply to the article. There are some for and against Cesar's techniques. I found it just as interesting to read some of the comments as the article!

Personally, I try to work with a hands off approach with the dogs I'm retraining mainly because for some, all you have to do is look at them funny and you'll get bit. I'm sure you are aware that I don't agree with a fair amount of Cesar's techniques, however do appreciate his theories about "Exercise, Discipline and Affection".

After reading the article, I went to the website that was recommended within, AskDrYin. The site is good, but something seems off about it and I can't put my finger on it. It just feels weird. It doesn't seem like the person writing the info actually believes it. You know how sometimes you read something and you think the person is just regurgitating the info as opposed to when you know the person believes in what they are writing without a doubt? I don't know ... maybe there's a ghost writer in there or something.

Check it out. What do you think?

Post Exchange - "Making Dollar Online"

I found this opportunity in my list of potential post exchanges and I thought that it would be a good one to do based on my post earlier this week about advertising. This blog is called "Making Dollar Online" and it is all about how to make money online, get the most out of search engine optimization (SEO) and basically work the system.

Don't ask me what search engine optimization (SEO) is because I have no idea. I do know that it negatively affects your page rank. Now, I do know a bit about making money online but am always open to learning different methods.

I flipped through some of the posts on the Making Dollar Online blog and looked around the site. There were some interesting topics, but unfortunately I did not understand the search engine optimization (SEO) one. Perhaps if I go through the archives I will find something a little more basic ...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

News Reel - Michael Vick Released

For those of you who aren't aware of what's been going on in the Michael Vick case, he was released to serve the rest of his sentence in house arrest on May 20, 2009. That was yesterday. He will still have two months to serve under house arrest, but he is no longer in prison.

Here is the news article:
Michael Vick Release Date Begins Uncertain Next Step for Vick

Personally, I think he should rot in the Halls of Hel, but that's just my opinion. Apparantly, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has decided that the best way to deal with Vick is to get him working with them on some anti-dogfighting campaigns.

What’s Next for Michael Vick?

We'll have to keep an eye out for some of these campaigns. I know that I, for one, don't believe he could ever be reformed - but he sure can put a good face on it, right?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Charitable Donation - Advertising

Do you remember a while back I posted about the Google Ads that I put up on the blog? I'm sure you've noticed by now that I've been experimenting with different types of advertising here. (To date, I've only made $3.81 from Google Ads and they have been running here since January - I am contemplating removing them completely)

Way back in January when I decided to start selling advertising space, I wanted to donate all proceeds to an animal related charity. Finally this has come to a reality and I am starting to see the fruits of my efforts.

Have you noticed the Adgitize links on my page? One of the ways I've been advertising is with this. Adgitize pays a few different ways - publishing, advertising, clicking and posting on your blog. Because I do all of these things, I make anywhere from $15 to $30 (depending on my activity) per month. It is so very easy and since I was blogging anyway, it seemed the logical thing to do! If you are interested in joining Adgitize, simply click on the Adgitize image directly under the ProjectWonderful ad and above the "About Me" and sign up now!

To make a long story short, this month I started to recieve payment for the ads. I thought that since you all are such awesome people who come and read and comment on my blog ... that you might want a say in what charity I donate the money to?? What do you think?

I will take whatever suggestions you give out either in comments here or via email, along with a few suggestions of my own, and I will be making a Poll that will sit on my page for a couple of weeks to give everyone the opportunity to put in their two cents. I hope you will all participate. We will send to which ever charity receives the most votes.

Please note that all suggestions are welcome. If you would like to suggest a breed specific rescue, an SPCA or something else, please feel free to do so. Ultimately, the deciding factor will be the results of the Poll.

(I will, however, vito the one that I sent that dog to in April. I STILL have not received payment and am now forced to pay the vet bills myself at the end of this month)

LinkLove and Awards

Ok, so I'm not really sure how this whole thing works, but Jaime over at ThoughtsFurPaws gave me this award.

I'm thinking it's something like LinkLove, but am not sure.

The rules are that we must link to the friend that gave us the award - ThoughtsFurPaws - and give the award to up to 15 recently discovered blogs.

I don't know who would want to be listed, so I am simply going to grab the 15 blogs that have been updated most recently on my blogroll. If they choose to participate in the game, great. If not, then at least they get a little LinkLove.

12. Finding Sirius

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Featured Rescue - Priscilla the Shih Tzu

Having posted about a Shih Tzu this weekend, I thought I'd post one currently in rescue! This is Priscilla~Princess. She is approx. 8 years old and a special needs case. Her vet surgically removed a mammary tumour believed to be malignant ...

Do I need to remind everyone of the various reasons it is beneficial to Spay and Neuter your pets? No ... I'd be preaching to the choir.

Anyway, if you have space for her, contact the rescue. Looks like they are a pretty high volume rescue with big turnarounds. I've never heard of them though so can't say anything either way about them ... anyone out there know this rescue?

Post Exchange - SearchEngineRankingsSystems

Well I couldn't pass up this opportunity; it's specific to dog training! "Search Engine Rankings Systems - Train Pet Dog" was the name of the opportunity (minus the spaces).

There is always a lot of discussion when it comes to training one's pet dog. There are those who strongly believe that "This Is The Way To Train A Dog." Period. No discussion. Then there are those who believe that every dog has different things that "drive" them to perform or learn and that you should use what you have.

I think both are right. Now, hold off on those rotten tomatoes and lettuce until after I've told you why!! I don't think in the all or none capacity. I try to keep an open mind (as best I can!) when it comes to training and am always willing to learn new techniques - provided they work and don't do more damage than good!

I think that both styles will work given the proper circumstances, the proper training and the right dog. One trainer I know uses the exact same model for each and every dog. This works for most aggressive dogs I've seen, however it sure didn't work for my dog! He specializes in aggressive cases and he taught me a lot about how to deal with those ones.

The flip side would be to teach based on breed. Some say, for example, that all Border Collies learn the same. I don't agree with that either because it is an all or none statement. You could say that most Border Collies will respond well to specific types of training with common motivators, but not all will react the same way.

Anyway, enough of my blathering! Here are some links from this opportunity that will take you to specific info for different breeds. Check them out. Tell me what you think! Who knows, maybe we can find some interesting little tidbits of information here.

Australian Shepherd
Great Dane
Bernese Mountain Dog

Post Exchange - Hummingbirds Are Coming!

For those of us in the southern parts of Canada and northern United States, we are starting to see the Hummingbirds set up house. I love to watch the hummers and for such a small bird they can be pretty aggressive!

Hummingbirds are coming so get those feeders out there if you want them to stick around!

We feed them every year and this year we have more than ever before. We have somewhere in the vicinity of 8 to 10 feeders up (including one Oriole feeder, though they prefer the hummingbird food anyway!). The reason we started putting so many up is because the little guys seem to be pretty territorial and will actually fight over the feeder. With the large amount of feeders we have up now, it helps because they are all over the yard this way.

We have both plastic and glass hummingbird feeder types and have found that both have positives and negatives. The plastic becomes brittle in the elements and tends to crack after a few years. They also don't come as clean as the glass ones. On the other hand, the glass ones are breakable. With multiple dogs and cats around, breakable is not good!

So here I am, out working in the garden this weekend and teaching the dogs a Down Stay (ok, so my guys know it and the foster has no idea so they were practicing what they already know and the foster was learning Down Stay!). We had a good time and were able to Down Stay for as much as 30 minutes at a time without needing to shuffle.

Here's a question for everyone out there ... you know how you are supposed to be the strong leader who isn't afraid of anything and is their solid wall they can lean on? Ok, so how are you going to be the "strong leader" when you have these hummingbirds divebombing your head?! Yikes! They sound like a 747 coming straight at you and then at the last minute they veer off. Maybe I'll move the feeders OUT of the garden in the next few days ... at least until everything is planted!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Make Mondays Matter

Mrs Zeee has a challenge on her site that asks everyone to blog about how they Make Mondays Matter. Since there is such a bad rap that Mondays get, the challenge is to go out and make Monday a positive one.


A quote from Mrs Zeee's site of examples of ways you can Make Mondays Matter:

"Some examples: volunteering, helping a friend move a sofa, donating time or a few dollars to charity, hitting the gym, spending QT with the kids after school, recycling, buying locally grown produce, calling dear Aunt Betty or, for some of you, just rolling out of bed and putting on a clean shirt — congrats!"

What did I do to Make Monday Matter? (Other than the daily volunteer work?)

I set up the pens for the new birds coming in this week and I also started planting all the warm-weather seeds in our vegetable garden (with the help of the rest of the family)! We will have fresh veggies, eggs and meat this year. Talk about locally grown food, eh?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BlogRoll Cleanup May and Thanks

You might have noticed that some links have been added and some removed from my BlogRoll this weekend. That is because I have removed those blogs whose authors haven't posted for over a month or two.

There are a few exceptions to this and those are the people who I know come and comment on my blog regularly. For those who comment, I have kept your blog on my blogroll regardless of how often you update (though I do enjoy reading your posts, so please keep on writing!).

If you have an issue with this and your blog is one of the ones that I have removed, please let me know that you are still interested and I will put it back up. I will be keeping an eye on it though so if you do want me to put it back up, I hope you will update it more often and / or comment here on some of the various posts.

Unfortunately, I can't post each and every blog out there that is animal related - it just wouldn't be feasible.


On a different note, I would like to extend my thanks out to Angus over at Life in italy and other musings..... for posting an entry about this blog. If you're looking for a blog to read about dogs, go check them out! Angus, I appreciate your readership and I enjoy reading about your various adventures!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CL Asshat Rant - Studly Shih Tzu

When I run across ads like this and haven't got anything to say other than *Asshat* that's a problem. I always have something to say!

This one wants to breed their one year old Shih Tzu. There are a few things I'm going to point out ...

Why are you looking to breed this dog? What makes him "Studly"?

What are you trying to gain/prove? You are obviously looking to get something out of this or you wouldn't be actively advertising his "services", so what is it?

What do you mean "taking care of since birth"? The sentence doesn't really make much sense ... Did you bottle feed him?

Why is "Great coat and personality" a better selling feature than something like "great conformation and registered"?

Why do you want to breed with Shih Tzus, Maltese or Poodles ... Why do you want mutts?

Why is this "Needed Asap"? Is he dying?

Do you really think we need more of these sorts of dogs around in this economic time?

Why Why Why?? That's all I have today. Questions. Maybe someone else would like to answer them today? I'm a bit tired.

Which brings me to the next important thing I'd like to bring your attention to ... I made an asshat award as was suggested by one of my readers. I had wanted it to be in the form of a trophy, but had difficulty making this work. (If anyone wants to take a shot at this, feel free!) Sorry for not being all that wonderfully original - I can't take credit for the picture, I did find it online and I don't know who originally photoshopped it since it's everywhere so I don't know where to give credit.

Anyway, I am going to bestow the first ever DogsDeserveFreedom ASSHAT Award to the owner of this shih tzu. Contratulations. You are an ASSHAT

Friday, May 15, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups April

Well, here's the Featured Rescue Followups for April and all those who weren't adopted from previous months. I'm not posting the pictures again this month. Check out the original post if you're interested in seeing the pics.

Kobe Swims the "Rottweiler" mix
Status: NOT adopted
Featured on December 5, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry

Tahne the Cocker Spaniel
Status: Home Visit - wow! Long visit, eh?
Featured on December 13, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Rafe and Redman the Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 12, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Bella the Catahoula Leopard Dog
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 21, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Sly the Boxer
Status: Adopted
Featured on February 6, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Apollo the Dalmatian
Status: Adopted
Featured on February 24, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Molly the Basset Hound
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on March 12, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Cody the Akita
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on March 29, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Sebastian the Shetland Sheepdog
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 2, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Rusty the Shar Pei
Status: Adopted
Featured on April 8, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Sweeney the Schnauzer
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 19, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

FiFi the Great Pyrenees
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 26, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Gala the Chinese Crested
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 30, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

There is quite a mix here. Not as many adopted as I'd hope, but there were some that found homes. That is good news. Also, now that the nice weather is consistenly here, more dogs will be adopted in the near future.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Training Rant - The New Puppy

Have you ever noticed that when people get new puppies, they let them do whatever they want? In my discussion with the person who just got a Border Collie puppy, one of the things that she said was that the breeder told her not to use the word "No" for a few weeks. (Now, I have to warn you that I have quite a lot to say about this conversation and my ranting may go on for a few days about this ...)

What the hell is with that?!

Does it go hand in hand with the "don't say no to your children??" I'm not going to get into that one, but lest I remind everyone that DOGS ARE NOT CHILDREN. Trust me, you will NOT hurt their feelings or scar them for life if you say "No" in a controlled manner when he tries to chew your $600 pair of boots that came from some foreign country that you bought on your honeymoon.

Hearing things like this makes me want to bang my head on my desk ... again and again and AGAIN.

So here's the thing. Image you get an 8 week old puppy and you don't say "NO" for two weeks. During this time, you have done what so many people do with a new puppy - gave them the run of the house, didn't crate train and let the puppy do whatever he wanted. What do you think the puppy thinks his role is in the family?

Now he's 10 weeks old. You start imposing rules (and trying to enforce them). You figure it's ok for you to start saying "No" to him now that he's been with you for a few weeks so you start telling him not to chew the carpet, shoes, boots, sofa, chair, table, wall trim, and anything else he finds to chew. You quickly find that "No" comes out of your mouth more than any other word. Not only that, but you also find you have a power struggle.

Finally, he eats something he shouldn't and you lose it. You've been holding in your frustrations for a few weeks, quietly replaced what he destroyed, but this is the last straw. The thing he chewed was your great grandmother's thing-a-ma-bob that she left to you in her will. Now you yell at him and tell him he's a bad dog for eating such an important thing. Maybe you put him in "jail", maybe you isolate him in a room or crate, maybe you do something more drastic?

Guess what? You may have just created damage that it will take months to fix. Depending on how scary you were, you just crumpled the pup's confidence in himself and the trust he has been building in you as well as creating an "if they don't find me doing this I'm not in trouble" attitude.

Here's what you SHOULD do with your new puppy. Your puppy should be crate trained so he can go in there with a kong treat or a teething cloth when you are not supervising. Your puppy should not have free run of the house. When not crated, your puppy should be with you, not wandering around. You should start teaching appropriate vs non-appropriate toys; have two different toys he can play with and when he has something in his mouth that is not appropriate, say "No" and exchange the shoe/etc for a dog toy. You should have set meal times through the day and potty breaks should follow those meal times by 15 minutes (so 15 mins after eating, it's time to go out). Start obedience training right away - walks should be NO Pulling; he can learn Sit and probably Paw/Shake in the first week. Start bonding exercising immediately and he needs to spend time with each member of the family.

Why do I keep hearing the same things from people about their new puppy? I can tell you why they are all crazy and uncontrollable by the time they are 6 - 12 months old.

I wonder how many will disagree with me on this one?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Featured Rescue - Eubie the Border Collie

I know, I already ran a Border Collie a while back, but one of my client's secretaries just bought a Border Collie so my brain is on them. Also, there's a Border Collie close by here whose owner died and they are trying to figure out what to do with him - I'm encouraging the Estate to keep him out of the shelters ... many Border Collies I've met don't do well in shelter environments. I am hoping they called Border Collie Rescue, but I haven't heard back from the lady ... If they still have him when I've adopted out my current, maybe I'll go take a look at him. He was an outdoor-only farm dog, so he'll need a fair amount of work and retraining.

There are currently 4,618 Border Collies on Petfinder. Most rescues I know have a "no young children" policy for BCs available for adoption. It makes me sad that they have had to do this but I understand the necessity.
This guy is Eubie. The first thing that popped in my head when I read his ad was "Good Grief! Couldn't they pick a better name?" Eubie came in as a stray to a county shelter and was pulled by a local rescue group in Ohio. Sounds like the rescue group is taking good care of him.
If you're interested in a Border Collie, I encourage you to go check out the shelters or rescues before buying a puppy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

News Reel - Higher Fines

Check out this article, DeRidder adopts new ordinances regarding dogs. Apparently city council has increased the fines for loose dogs and strongly encourages dog licensing. It also addresses dangerous dog legislation. Here is another article that explains specifically what these new "ordinances" are: City Council approves John Gott as Chief of Police

I would like to take a moment and applaud the city council of DeRidder for introducing stiffer penalties regarding animals at large and dangerous animals in the community. It is a step in the right direction. For those of you who (like me) don't know, DeRidder is in Louisiana (yes, I had to look this up on Google).

And hey, go figure, someone is opposing this. Surprise surprise. Resident Steve Green suggests it will penalize 'responsible' dog owners. Couldn't you at least find a good argument, Steve? I think each and every person opposed to this sort of legislation (regardless of the location) says the exact same thing.

How in the world will this penalize responsible dog owners?

The responsible ones are they who have their dogs contained or under control.

The responsible ones are they who work their dogs through any aggression issues, exercise regularly and teach obedience to produce a well rounded, balanced and happy dog.

The responsible ones are they who spay and neuter their dogs that aren't stud-worthy or shouldn't reproduce.

The responsible ones are they who vaccinate their animals regularly and continue a relationship with their veterinarian (if you don't have a good relationship with them or don't feel comfortable making one, find a new vet!).

The responsible ones are they who register their animals at City Hall and get a dog licence (or at least have some form of identification on their animal at all times such as rabies tags, Microchips, etc. - I know many people who refuse to license).

All others in my opinion are not very responsible. So tell me this, how is it again that this new legislation penalizes the responsible owners?

Probably this guy is an asshat and not looking at the whole picture. Or perhaps his animals are those running at large? Hard to say. Either way, Canine Control might want to keep an eye in his direction.

Monday, May 11, 2009

CL Rant - OT Raccoons

Well I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. We spent some good quality time with family this weekend; flowers and cards and hugs and kisses (oh my!) for the moms as well as dinner. I was reminded again how great my sh!thead dog is with kids (the permadog that is still in basic training). He reminds me that just because a dog isn't great on one side of the trianing, doesn't mean that they aren't on the other. I'll have to put a blog up about kids, disabilities and dogs ... I will try to remember (some days my brain is like a seive). Anyways, Happy Mother's Day everyone.

I found this ad on CraigsList today. I know it's off topic, but I thought I would post it anyway. I hope you can read it when you click on the picture.
I wanted to remind everyone that it is ILLEGAL in Ontario (and probably other places too!) to keep a wild animal in your care for more than 24 hours if you are not a licenced wildlife rehabilitator. Now, I'm sure this person had great intentions and I applaud them for their efforts bottlefeeding these little ones ... but PLEASE don't post that you have them on a free internet advertising listing!
Good grief! You'll be lucky if you don't get reported to the authorities for this one. If you don't? Would you like me to tell you what people do with raccoons when they have dogfighting dogs in training? How do you know those raccoons that you have lovinly bottle fed for the last few weeks aren't going to end up in a cage or tied to a post in the centre of a dog training arena?
Why doesn't she call a wildlife rehabilitator? Or perhaps she could call a vet who could refer her to one? There are some great ones I know of that deal with reintroducing wildlife to ... get this ... the wild.

Please use some common sense people! *headdesk headdesk* Why am I always asking people to use this? Is it not part of the basic training we go through in elementary school?
In some ways, I do hope that the MNR reads this lady's post and gets those babies out of there because I'd hate to see where they may end up.

Post Exchange - Floods and Disaster Planning

Disaster planning is becoming a big thing in recent years, there are seminars, kits you can buy, and other ways to prepare yourself. Or perhaps it is simply that I have only just recently began paying attention to this topic? I'm not sure which it is, but I do know that every dog owner out there should have a disaster plan.

What do you do in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood?

Do you know what damage may occur if you were to have a flood in your home? Some things you may have to deal with after a flood will be: water damage, flood cleanup, water removal, flood damage and wet carpets (and other furniture). There are companies out there that will help you deal with flood damage and if you are ever in this situation, you should explore your options.

In addition to damage that may occur to your home, there may be problems associated with your pets. You really should have a disaster plan for your dog and other animals. If there were to be a flood, what would you do? Who would you call? If you weren't able to go home for a few days, is there someone nearby like a neighbour that you could ask to feed your pets? Will they eat? Will they drink (ok, maybe something you won't have to worry about in a flood!)? Will they drown? Will they be safe?

As a pet owner, these are the questions that you need to be prepared to answer. You are responsible for your pets and their safety so it is your responsibility to ensure they are safe in any given situation.
Please note that this is a sponsored post by H2O Drying through PayPerPost.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Featured Rescue - the Welsh Corgi

Today's feature is the Welsh Corgi. I wasn't a big fan of this breed until I met one owned by a friend of mine and I have since withdrawn my previous opinion. The family recently welcomed a new baby into the house and again - I'm impressed with her.

This little guy hasn't had it as easy as the Corgi I know. This is Codi. You probably noticed that he hasn't got any eyes - they were both removed due to glaucoma. He is reportedly food aggressive and isn't good with other dogs. I wonder how much of it is due to the fact that he's blind ... or perhaps the dogs he's met are not the best ones to train around? I don't know. I also don't know how recently he had his eyes removed - if it is new, he's probably still in the transitional stage. Anyway, this guy needs someone to give him a chance and spend some time teaching him appropriate behaviours.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's your Favourite Rainy-Day Game?

Well, it's supposed to rain all weekend here, so we're going to be inside more that normal here. That just means that instead of being outside from the time we are up to the time we sleep, we are in and out all day to dry off and/or change.

I always look for new and exciting games to play with the dogs for days like this. Some that my guys love are:

Hide and Seek

Treasure Hunts

Cookie Toys (or Water Bottles w/Food, etc)

Stuffed Kongs (beware too many food related things!)

Some Obedience (beware, too much is overwhelming and can turn boring)

What do you do to keep your canine companions entertained in rainy conditions?

By giving your dog something entertaining to do, you can prevent unwanted destructive behaviours and other boredom related problems.

It's not raining here yet, so we're going to go out and enjoy as much of the nice weather as we can!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Photo Contest - American Greetings

I got an email regarding a pet photo contest and I thought I'd pass on the message

American Greetings, who sponsors, is holding this pet photo contest.

The Furry Faceoff Challenge, also sponsored by Frontline, pits cats against dogs to see who is cuter.

The grand prize, worth $350, includes a $250 PetSmart gift card, a $50 gift certificate, a one-year membership to, and a one-year Premium Membership to

There will be 10 runners up prizes as well. Runners up will each receive: a $20 gift certificate, a one-year membership to, and a one-year Premium Membership to

Most importantly, the winning pet will be featured as the Pet Photo of the Day on at a date TBD.

If you're interested in going over and entering your pet, please do so! The contest lasts through the end of May so you have some time if you need to go out and snap a quick pic to submit!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monthly Followup April

April followup


Beware of the Dog

On March 2, I posted a blog entry called "Beware of the Dog". I last I told you was that I had been told to submit a letter to them in complaint before they could consider removing the toy from the shelf. I submitted my letter but never heard anything from them. I went into the store about a week ago to check in and found that the toy is no longer available on the shelf. What a heck of a lot of loops to jump through just to get a toy removed from a store!! Since I haven't heard from the store after my letter, I don't know if that means they pulled it off or if they just hadn't restocked their shelves.

Some of you asked what store had the toy. The store name is Zellers. I will be checking in other big name department stores through my travels for this toy and I encourage you to do the same. If ever you see something that you don't agree with in a store, there is no shame in letting the managers know that you don't feel it is appropriate or unsafe (etc). At one point, I will also be writing a letter of complaint to the toy company ... I just haven't had the time yet.



This month there were more comments than ever before! That's awesome. There are so many people who leave comments regularly, and I would like to thank you all for your readership and continuing support.

I would like to single out one of the top visitors because I can (which by the way is counted based on the comments you leave). There were three top visitors this month, but I want to only feature one person each month (is that a shameless plug to get you all to come back and comment or what?) The plug this month is for GiantSpeckledChihuahua. Please note that GiantSpeckledChihuahua updates a blog regularly called ummmm. Take some time in the next day or two to swing by and say HI!
I will be trying to send out messages to everyone who commented in the next week or so. Even if you left only one comment - I appreciate your feedback! I look forward to reading more comments in the month of May!

Places Your Dog Can't Resist
On April 25 I posted an entry called Places Your Dog Can't Resist. In the post there was a link to an external website that was a compilation of ... yep - you got it ... places to take your dog. The company that was running this offered to make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States for each entry of 5 or more places submitted with a maximum donation of $500. I am pleased to let you know that they successfully raised the money they were aiming for.
Congratulations everyone who submitted an entry - you're helping change your corner one step at a time!

First HateMail

Something else to note (not that it matters all that much to you guys, but it was entertaining to me so I thought I'd share) is that I received my first hatemail. I had honestly expected to get one much earlier, so this didn't surprise me. The one I received was regarding my post from April 1 called Mail Bag - Alabama Man Accused of Shooting Dog. There are the two comments, but I'm referring to a nasty email I received from the person. Guess I really ticked them off, eh?
Ah well, what are ya gonna do. If you don't like my opinion, don't read it.
If you email me something you want me to comment on, I will probably blog about it and I will comment ... but it will be my opinion. If you want to blog about your opinion, start your own blog.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Featured Rescue - China the Weimaraner

There are 709 Weimaraners looking for homes on Though I haven't met a Weimaraner I didn't like, I have found this to be a delicate breed that often has vaccination reactions.

This is China. She's 2.5 years old and was brought to the shelter by someone who found her living conditions somewhat lacking. She does have heartworm and will require treatment.

Sorry for the small pic - the pictures in Petfinder aren't showing up properly for me today.

Post Exchange - Web Hosting

I have found that there are so many people out there who foster animals that don't have any record of them. I know one lady who has fostered uncountable cats and dogs over the 20 years she has been opening her home up, but she has no records of them. She has a few pictures, but that's about it.

From the discussion I had with her, I suggested that she keep a scrapbook about the animals and she has been considering it. The problem with scrapbooks is that you may lose it if there is ever a disaster in your area (like fire, flood, etc.). Also, you can't share it with others which means that others won't understand what a rewarding experience fostering can be.

For those with more computer experience, I tend to suggest a different route. Why not keep an online journal about them? There are companies that do web hosting which means you could make a web page about it for a minimal fee. Web Hosting Geeks looks to be a pretty good place to start looking into this as it is a site that will give you reviews and pricing on different hosting companies.

The site also provides information About Web Hosting, latest News About Web Hosting, and other great stuff.

Web Hosting Geeks is a great site that will provide you the stepping stones to success if you are planning to document your times, travels and experiences. Or perhaps you are looking into setting up a pet related business?

I suggest to anyone who fosters or volunteers with animals to document it because in 20 years, you will want to remember them.

Post Exchange - Myx-It-Up

I was parusing around and stumbled on this post exchange for Myxitup and I have to say ... what an interesting blog! The first post I read was titled "Swede indicted for hacking NASA computers". Fascinating read. After reading this, I decided that I would take the exchange.

I'm sure by now you all know that I'm a "computer-tech-by-day" and an "unlicenced-volunteer-canine-rehabilitator-by-choice" for the rest of my time. My day job can be quiet and busy at the same time which is nice to allow for contemplations like this. So, when I came across this post exhange I was pleased because I was pretty interested in its content.

I like the style the writer uses because they don't use all sorts of technical terms (I hate reading an IT related site that is FILLED with acronyms!) which means that most people could actually read it and understand. Surprising in and of itself.

If you are interested in computers, I would recommend this site as much for entertainment value as information (rare that you would find both in a blog!).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dog Fight

Someone asked me a while back to post an entry about what to do when a dog is attacking your dog ... I'm sorry - I can't remember where it was or who it was who asked for this. I am finally getting around to posting an entry about it! Why now? You'll see at the end of my post. Sorry for this one being so long - I have been trying to keep them shorter!

Note that I did post an entry back in December called News Reel - Strategies when You're Attacked. This contains an article in the Toronto Star Newspaper that details what you should do if you or your dog is attacked while you're out. I really like the answers given, but would like to add my 2 cents to this.

Please remember that it always depends on the circumstances involved, the training of your own dog, the size of both dogs (attacker and defender) and the severity of the attack.

If you have a small dog, NEVER pick the dog up and hold it up high. This seems to be our first instinct when we are walking small dogs and are confronted with others attacking. Always remember that most dogs are half our height until they are up on their two back legs ... then they are much taller!

I know so many people who have done this only to have the attacking dog jump up and try to bite at the little dog. Guess what happens? Yep, the dog misses the little dog, gets the person holding the little dog and causes extreme damage.

I know one GSD who was put to sleep after he tried to bite at a JRT and ended up grabbing the lady's forearm. There were 300 stitches - 150 dissolvable inside, 150 removable outside. The GSD grabbed the lady's arm but because he was in the air, he fell while holding on and she kept pulling upwards to keep her JRT away. He tore her arm to shreds - from just below the wrist to the elbow.

Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are close to a fenced yard or area, pick up your little dog and toss it over the fence. You may cause damage, but you may be saving your dog's life. What's worse? The attack or the fall? Chances are good your dog will land softly if it is grassed on the other side.

If you have a big dog, your options are more limited. I love the article's suggestion of using a handbag to see if you could get the other dog to grab it. But will it work? What about a towel tug? These are light enough that you could easily walk with one draped over a shoulder (and the dogs love to play with it so it serves two purposes), but heavy enough that you can use it to go between the dog and your own. Has anyone tried this method?
I have also heard pepper spray is something that people are starting to carry around. Has anyone tried this? Does it work?

Honestly, in my experience I have found that knowing exactly what your dog will do is so helpful - priceless.
I have a command that I use with my guys but it is only one word - "ENOUGH" in the loudest, deepest, angriest voice I can muster. This command for them means "I don't care what you're doing or what is going on because I am pissedoff and you need to stop, down, look and listen." I only use it in the most extreme emergencies, however I do make sure I use it as often as once every three to four weeks (as much to ensure they still know what to do as for anything else). I call it my "Stop, Drop and Look" because it makes me think of the fire-safety training we all have to go through in school; Stop, Drop and Roll.

You need to decide how the scenario will play out. You have 5 seconds to do this. You have to look at your own dog, the other dog and figure it out from there.
Take some time to read the above article. It's well written; I like the answers given. It's hard to be prepared for every scenario you may run into, but it's better to be somewhat prepared than not at all.


Last night, one of my dogs was involved in a dog fight - he did not start it, nor did he finish it, he merely had the luck to be the other dog. (Come on, you knew this post was spurred by SOMETHING, right? Yes, I was working on it for a while, but I just didn't have a good ending for it!)
The other dog got herself quite worked up and wasn't impressed that my Z came to see me for a reassuring pat (again enters the "Resource Guarding/Possessiveness" funny how it starts so innocently when they're pups, eh?) - she began harassing him so he came to me to check in (as he has been trained) and that sent her into a possessive-aggressive state. She does this any time another dog gets attention when she is around - something the owner is working on resolving.
He is 80 lbs - a relatively big dog. The other dog was a GSD (no, not my foster, this was another dog we were training with).
These two dogs had been heeling together for almost an hour and off leash together for a good 20 minutes or more before the fight ... remember, just because time has elapsed doesn't mean the situation has diffused.

Perhaps I should have a disclaimer? Please note that the following is what I do in a situation like this that involves a dog fight/attack and not necessarily what you should do in every instance as each scenario is different. Was that a good enough disclaimer, you think?

You don't have a lot of time. In less than 5 seconds you need to analyze the situation and figure out if the dog is in full attack mode, halfassed attack mode or snarly play-that-could-be-turned-attack mode. This will determine how much force you need to use to get the dog off in the imminent future. The longer you wait to get the dogs apart, the more damage done.
You need to move between your dog and the attacking dog.
Then you need to figure out if the dog is light enough that you can lift it. You should have pre-planned where you are going to grab the dog - I find that grabbing the back legs (as most people recommend) is far too dangerous because if you do get the dog off, the dog will turn on you. I don't do it EVER and I don't think anyone ever should.
I always aim for the back with one hand and the scruff with the other. This way, the dog often will let go of your own dog to turn and check who is "biting" its back (I assume the back-hold might hurt or perhaps my nails and hand feels like another dog's mouth, but haven't ever stopped to ask), but since you have a hold of its scruff with the other hand you can prevent it from turning too far and nailing you. In the same moment that the dog lets go, release the back, move so you have both hands on the scruff and lift up so at least the front legs are off the ground and you can control the teeth end. Then you can deal with the situation. If the dog is bigger than you can deal with, you will need the help of the other owner.

This ONLY works if you have verbal control of your own dog! IF you do not have control of your own dog, you will have two fighting dogs and that is a whole different situation that would require a different tactic altogether. Like I said; you need to know what your dog will do in any situation.
Because I have the "Stop, Drop and Look" command, in the time that I moved to the other side of the fighting dogs (she had swung around to the other side to aviod me), I had him looking at me, listening to me and in a down position while the other dog was attacking him. Then the owner and I were able to pay full attention to the GSD.

My guy stayed in his down and waited for further instruction.
When the GSD was under control and a half dozen feet away, I could go to my guy and inspect him for damage (funny thing about dog fights when one dog doesn't fight - the severity of the bites are often minimal ... he didn't even have puncture wounds). Of course, we had a second instance of her trying to start a fight with him, but he immediately went into his down position and I was able to fend her off without her making contact until she was under control again (self control is what I mean - calm).
The night was finished with the dogs playing off leash and occasionally fetching (different) sticks. A successful training night - but a high stress one for everyone involved - especially the dogs.
This is why I say so strongly that you must know what your dog will do and that you need to have commands that can be used in any scenario regardless of distractions. Even if it's only one command. All you need is one.
If you enter a scenario like the one described above, you have more of an ability to ensure the safety of your own dog if you have his or her complete attention, trust and control. It only takes a minute for a situation to escalate.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Training Rant - Resource Guarding

I often hear about dogs that guard things like food, toys and people. This is what is called "Resource Guarding".
Many dog owners don't see Resource Guarding as a problem. They accept this behaviour because they love their dog and don't want to think that their dog has problems. Or they don't know how to deal with this problem.
It seems like an innocent behaviour but by allowing it to continue the behaviour is reinforced and rewarded. How? If he guards it, he gets to keep it. It's self-rewarding
I tend to suggest to people to use common sense (I know, that's a lot to ask!). I have some questions that I ask people to think about and answer honestly.

Question 1 -
What do you think your dogs think of you? How do they "see" you?

Question 2
- Would you let your children do this (guarding of toys) to their siblings or friends? (think about the "Sharing" lesson we all learn in kindergarten)

Quesion 3 - Do you believe there is a "top/alpha dog" or a "pecking order"? If so, where is your spot? (Hint - If your dog is resource guarding when you're around then your spot is not at the top.)

Question 4 -
The "top dog" takes control of the situation all the time when they are present, do we agree? If you don't take control of the situation and you let your dogs do it for you, then what does that tell the dog?

Question 5 -
Having answered questions 1 - 4, let's go back to question 1 and rethink it - What do you think your dogs think of you? How do they see you?
Personally, we don't allow resource guarding between dogs that share our home. Because we don't allow it, it doesn't become a problem. Multiple dogs or stranger-dogs can come over and share toys (we can play fetch with as many dogs as we want at the same time with one ball), multiple dogs can eat in the same room and we don't ever have dog fights, etc. None of these things become a problem because we don't allow it to be.
If you don't control the situation with your dogs in your day to day life, then you don't have control. What are you going to do when dynamics change and a power struggle ensues? Why not prevent it before it has a chance to occur?
A change in the dynamics may be:
- New dog / cat coming on the scene (new permanent pet? or visitor?). Example, we encourage our friends to bring their dogs when they come over so visits also become play dates for the dogs. Learning is a lifelong process not only for humans but also our canine companions.
- Other adults or kids enter the space. Example, A neighbour's kids or your family members come over for a visit. Maybe they try to take a toy and play with the dog. What does your dog do? Does he guard it and snap because he has never been trained not to? What if he bites the child or adult?
- Other dogs existing in the house get older and many times aggression will be shown towards the other dogs when they age. This one is hard because people just don't seem to understand why this happens and it is difficult to explain because they are often not thinking of their dogs as dogs.
- The resource guarding will develop into something more. It always does - it may take a few years, but it will grow. It will begin with guarding, then turn to showing a bit of a snarl, then may turn into a growl, then a snap, and finally a bite. It is usually a slow process, but it is a natural and self-rewarding one.
People don't "see it coming" because the dog "never gave any warnings". Warnings are present, whether you choose to see them or not.
If you choose to let your dog continue Resource Guarding, don't be surprised if one day he bites someone or somedog. I'm not going to judge if a person or owner allows Resource Guarding, but I'll expect a phone call in a few year's time when the problem has escalated to a point where the owners can't deal with it. I don't want to hear about how the dog bit someone "out of the blue so we had to put it to sleep."
Be forewarned ... If I get a call from you about this or hear you did it, I may smack you upside the head, call you an asshat and walk away.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Training Tools - Martingale Collar

To me, the martingale collar is an interesting training tool. It is generally made of a combination of nylon and chain.

I've heard the martingale called many things including a hybrid between the flat collar and a choke chain. Many trainers encourage people to use the martingale because of its durability as well as its flexibility.

The collar can be adjusted to the proper size for the dog's neck. Properly fitted, it should sit loose on the dog's neck and you should be able to pull it over his/her head.

As with most other tools, if it is used improperly, it can be a dangerous item. Anything you put around your dog's neck could potentially cause damage if you aren't careful (yes, including the flat collar!) so always be careful.

There are a few things to watch out for with these collars.

Some companies have swapped out the chain portion for fabric. It changes the look of the collar and I can only assume it is because it doesn't look as "mean". This isn't very good though, because the release isn't quick enough. It also isn't as strong and it doesn't make the same sounds.

Some companies have made the chain links rather large. This is more for look than of any benefir to use. Remember when choosing a collar for your dog that the smaller the links, the faster it will adjust itself during use. You want quick-release, so you will want smaller links.

See if you can find one that has non-slip fabric on it. I have found that if you get one that is all nylon, it will automatically adjust its size on you without you realizing it.

I use this type of collar with the foster dogs because I find it works well. I don't like the choke because if your dog is not at the proper angle to you, the release doesn't work well and the chain stays where you tug it. Also, if you use a choke, your dog always has to be on the side you set up the collar - with the martingale, it doesn't matter.

I really like to use positive rewards to train a dog rather than correction because I find most dogs respond better this way. There are some instances, however, where I have found an interruption works best and I have found that the martingale works well for interruption without the need for correction.

Remember that with all training tools, it is just that. You should aim to train your dog to respond to your commands beyond the need for tools.

Have you tried this collar? What are your opinions of it so far?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Posted pics

Just a quick note - I posted some pictures on Drowning In Cats of the TNR cat we have currently at our house. She was too far along in her preganancy to abort the kittens (without euthanizing them as they came out), so she is living in our spare room until they are all ready for new homes. I figure that everyone loves kitten pictures - yes, even dog people - so I'd share them with you all.

While I'm sharing pictures, here's our foster dog. I'm pleased to report that she's emotionally stable enough to be spayed and adopted to her new forever home. WooHoo! So very proud of her. I think I have a glimmering of how proud parents feel ...

The picture to the left is her resting after being all 'crazy-dog' with the four other ones at the house we were visiting, and the picture to the right is her playing 'superman' off the deck. I know, I know, you aren't supposed to let big dogs do this because it screws up their growth plates ... but really? This is a dog that would shutdown everytime something in the environment changed (that you couldn't touch, that was reactive to dogs, etc). I'm just happy she's confident enough to be around new things, places, dogs, people, etc. And for those of you wondering, yes, that's my foot on the deck. She came running up beside me and before I could stop her, leapt to the ground to continue tear-assing around.
Anyway, we've got her to the point where my husband likes to get them - stable enough that they can go live with anyone including children. To get her this far, we've kept her a bit longer than I usually aim for, but that's ok. She's a far cry from the dog who came to live with us and that's what's important.

Friday, May 1, 2009

How many is too many?

A comment has spurned this post. I couldn't help it ... I just had to. This post is burning in my brain and I have to get it out there. You know, sort of like how money burns a hole in one's pocket? Ok, so I may not end up with a hole in my head, but some days ... well, let's move on.

I have a question to ask everyone out there ... How many is Too Many? Where is the line drawn? 2 dogs? 5 dogs? 12 dogs? 50 dogs? How many is too many?

Take this as you will. Yes, I am an opinionated person and am learning how to accept responsibility for my opinions. Here's my take on it.

I have found that often, people take in one dog at a time to 'save' it from its current circumstances ... then they take one more and one more and the next thing they know, they have 20 dogs and they're lucky to have enough resources to feed them all. You may not even realize you have a problem until it's too late ... If you do this, you are an asshat.

1. If you can't afford the vet bills and food for all your dogs, you have too many. If that means you can't afford the bills for one dog, then one is too many for you.

2. If you don't have time to train all the dogs you have, then you have too many. Each of your dogs should have 20 minutes of one on one time with you at least a few times a week.

3. If you have too many dogs, you are a hoarder and you are perpetuating the problem! Say the following statement to yourself ... "Hello, my name is yournamehere and I have a hoarding problem" Admitting to yourself that you have a problem is the first step towards wellness.

Those are my comments and my opinion. Short and sweet and to the point. A little vague if you were looking to me to tell you exactly how many is too many. I won't do that. It all depends on the person and their circumstances.

I have 3 perma-dogs and one foster, that makes 4. Some people would tell you that four is too many. If I didn't take the foster, I could probably do two perma-dogs (the fosters are more work than perma-dogs because I don't take normal ones). This is my choice. What's yours?

How many is too many?

Post Exchange - Organic Pet Food

There have been a lot of posts lately about pet food so I took this opportunity since it was related. The following information is regarding an Organic Pet Food on the market called Essential2Pets Life's Abundance Holistic Natural Pet Food. That's a mouthful, eh?

Here are some of the claims the company makes ... It is made from 100% Fresh and Natural ingredients formulated by nationally renowned Dr. Jane Bicks. NO Chemicals, NO Fillers, Nothing Artificial. Lifes Abundance is not affected by the recall.

You are able to get free samples ... I wonder if I could get them to send me a box of samples for the humane society??

The company claims that if you feed Life’s Abundance for 30 days and if you don’t see a difference, they will give you your money back.

Visit the website to compare your current pet food to Life's Abundance and see the difference.

I haven't tried this food ... have you?

Link Exchange - Remain Active

Though I try not to dwell on things that may be, I did sign up for this one, so I'll try my best to make it relevant.

One of the things that I think about is the possibility that something may happen so I may not be able to be as active as I am now. I may not be the kind of person who will run in an Ironman (truth be told, I might make it a block or two before collapsing!), but I do like to think of myself as an active person. (Unfortunately, my job is not very active and does not keep me moving as much as I'd like.)

I wonder if I could continue having dogs sharing in my life if I'm not as active and that really does concern me. I don't think it would feel like home without some furry four leggers wandering around.

There are so many ways you can ensure that you keep active as you get older or as life changes you. One of those options is by making use of items like hot tubs and whirlpools. There are also walkin tubs for those so inclined.

Hopefully I am able to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible (though I do know a few people in the same boat as I who have had to amputate limbs when they got older). I hope that I won't need them for a long while yet - and I hope never to need to be in a chair. We'll see how life goes though, right? When it throws you curve balls ... er ... you make lemonaid?

Please note that this post has been sponsored through payperpost and the RemainActive websites.