Friday, July 31, 2009

Foster / Rehoming Tips 2

If you didn't read my earlier post of tips for foster homes, please do so. There are some awesome suggestions and tips from others added in the comment section too so don't skip those!

In rethinking this whole "Foster Tip" idea, I realized that this information can be used by everyone who brings a new dog into their house - adult or puppy. Whether you keep the dog or are only a temporary home for it, these tips are all things you should remember. If you follow the tips suggested in my posts and as comments by other readers you will set yourself and your dog up for success.

So, what's Tip number 2? Well, this may start a wild fire on here but here goes ...

Give the dog a few days to grieve

When you bring a dog into your home, it is a new environment, right? People, sounds, smells ... all new. We all know this; but what is it that we often forget??

We are all guilty of planning for the future with our new dog - even if the dog will only be with us for a few weeks. We all do it - we think about the great times we will have with the dog, the training we will do, the bond that will form. (Do you notice that this is all about "us" the people and not really about the dog?)

What some people forget is that this dog had a life before coming to you. He had a family and a home (even if his home was a tie out in a backyard it was still his home - we may not think much of it, but it was his world). He loved them (no matter what they did or didn't do). Regardless of the history of this dog, he will need time to grieve and to be fair to him, you need to give him time to do so.

In the first week (5 to 7 days) you need to give the dog space. You should have the dog in and out of the crate multiple times throughout a day. Crate training takes time and LOTS of practice. Give him a stuffed Kong or something that is safe to play with if you feel uncomfortable leaving him in there.

For the first week, he should spend more time in the crate than out. Every few hours through the day you should take the dog out, go to the potty spot, spend some time (like 15 minutes or so) working on basics such as not pulling on the leash and sit. Take him for a walk if you know he is capable of doing so.

Depending on the dog, this simple exercise may be an awful LOT of mental stimulation for him. It doesn't seem like a lot to us, but for a dog from a sheltered background - the simple act of being handled, walked, etc is sometimes over-stimulating.

Only one person in the family should work with the dog for the first week (walking, feeding, handling). This builds a trust relationship with that person and don't worry - the rest of the family will get to build a relationship later on.

You must allow the dog to grieve as well as settle in to his new surroundings. Believe it or not, this initial period of not paying total and complete attention to the dog is more difficult on the people than it is on the dog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dog Park Adventures - Fight!

Went to the dog park again yesterday - sorry, no pictures ... we were running late. We generally go every week now. At the point where we are in training (or re-training?) our Flat-Coat, he needs all the time we can get with other dogs. We go as often as our busy schedule allows which turns into about once or twice a week (don't forget it's a 45 minute drive each way and both my husband and I work full-time).

Anyway, we went yesterday evening with some friends to the dog park. The park I go to is a nice hike through some trees and over a hill - it's actually quite nice (aside from the fact that there is no water available for the dogs and it's pretty dusty on the dry days!).

All was going well until a boxer and husky we were walking with decided to get into a fight. I'm actually impressed at how often we don't have fights at the dog park - most dogs that go are quite friendly and well socialized. What started out as "catch me if you can" turned into grappling and mouthing which turned from honest fun to dead serious in the blink of an eye - amazing to see.

According to the owners, both dogs are under 3 years old. Both came with two owners (but one dog) - an unusual sight in our dog park ... generally the dogs outnumber the humans. The boxer had never been in a fight previously (to the owner's knowledge) though he was pretty pushy and rough with all the other dogs. The husky had been in a few fights before. The one owner of the husky made a comment that "at least this time he doesn't need any stitches".

Remember that both breeds are difficult to read and if the dogs aren't used to playing with that breed, it is difficult for them to understand what they see (the boxer has a docked tail and short fur so is harder to read; whereas the husky has the curly tail that is always raised which could be misread as assertiveness). Dogs learn through experience - they can't pick up a book and look at a picture to show them the difference between the tail positions for curled/docked or the difference for short/long fur.

The fight began right in front of my husband and I so we got a pretty clear picture of what happened. The husky didn't even know what hit him. The worrisome thing is that at the end, the husky had rolled on the ground and was not fighting back (not even to defend himself) but the boxer was still grabbing at the husky's throat and trying to do some serious damage.

All dogs can fight and every dog has a right to defend him or herself. When the boxer first arrived at the dog park, he dragged his owners down the hill and when he got inside the fence and off leash, he charged at all the other dogs and was pushing them around with his body. Some people might read that as an over-exuberant greeting but it looked like bullying to me.

The boxer owners weren't even aware their dog was in a fight until the end - they didn't rush in to help but rather hung back. I hung back also because someone had to keep all the other dogs out of the way - that was my job. Now, here is where I would like to remind everyone of a few things when you witness a dog fight or when your own dog is in a fight.

DO NOT scream. (Husky owner did this)
DO yell loudly in a deep pitch (the rest of us did this)
DO NOT pick up your dog after a fight (unless he's severely injured and shouldn't walk)
DO put your dog in a time out (both owners tried to do this but failed)
DO NOT coo to your dog after a fight (both owners did this)
DO show him you are very angry (the silent treatment works really well for this)
DO NOT pet your dog after it has been in a fight (both owners did this)
DO have someone keep the other dogs in check (this keeps all others safe)
DO NOT ignore all the other dogs and hope they won't get in on the fight (there are triggers that will instinctively encourage even the most laid back dog to join a fight ... like screaming)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dog Business Rant - Using Videos

Ok, so if you are going to promote your business with a video then take a minute to watch it!! I wonder if people actually go to this place for training after seeing that video? I know I sure wouldn't.

After watching this, I wanted to post a short entry about recommendations to any business owners out there so they can ensure they don't look like asshats by publishing videos like this one. Here are a few tips for when you are showcasing your business using video ...

1. Make sure your sound quality isn't crap

2. Look at the camera when you are speaking

3. Turn off your cell phone - it's annoying when it makes noises as you are trying to speak

4. DO NOT use "Uh" - it makes you sound like an asshat. (I counted 34 times in this video ... and at least half the video was showing off obedience skills!)

5. Remember the name of the company you are showcasing without having to turn around and read the name

6. Make sure your camera operator isn't moving the camera all over the place like a noob

7. Set up everyone so they are outfitted properly and look professional. What the hell are the dogs wearing? And what is that guy wearing? Why the suit jacket over top of the zippy sweater?

8. Don't unzip your sweater while you are on video

9. Don't keep your hands in your pockets the entire time

10. Ensure only one person talks to the camera at a time

11. Don't cut off the end of your video in the middle of a sentence.

Here's my disclaimer ... Normally I don't care what people wear. In fact, seeing a dog trainer in jeans and a t-shirt rather than a suit tells me a lot about the trainer. I have found that generally the more down to earth a person is, the more successful they are with dogs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News Reel - NFL Reinstates Vick

Here's the latest update on our good ol' friend Michael Vick. After serving 20 months in custody after being found guilty of dogfighting, he has been released and reinstated in the NFL. To read the full article, see the below link.

NFL reinstates Vick, but stigma to dog him

Turns out there is some concern about his fitness after being in prison for so long and inactive. Fitness? After everything he's done and all that he's been through ... they are worried about his fitness?!

What team in their right mind would ever sign him? Any ideas?

Is there a team out there that is so hard pressed that they would be willing to take on an asshat like Vick as a hope that they could bring their stats up?? What do you think? Anyone want to lay any bets down on who would take him on?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Featured Rescue - Fala the Vizsla

There are 206 Vizslas available through today. A friend of ours has a Vizsla and she's so quiet in a love-me-forever sort of way. The Vizsla is often mistaken as a Pitbull (even though it is a hound!).

This is Fala. She is 2 years old and she is a special needs case. Fala has an autoimmune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis which is treated with daily oral medication. She sounds like an absolutely delightful dog. She must eat in this special chair (I assume the one she is pictured in) ... take some time to read her bio - it's really quite interesting!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tips to Foster Homes - Number 1

There was a great request on yesterday's posting ...

mytwh said...
BTW, I'm starting work with a local rescue to foster dogs. Any advise for a new fosterer??? Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!

What a good idea for a blog topic! I have SO many tips I could pass on and I get so busy ranting and raving that I forget these little things. Thank you mytwh for asking. I'll have to ensure I remember to post tips regularly!

And the super-cool thing about all this? You could apply the tips I will be giving you to all dogs - including your own. This is not only info for the foster home, it can be used for the regular pet owner too!

Tip number one

You know all that stuff the rescue just told you about the dog's history? Like how it's been chained to a tree, beaten, ignored, scared, blah blah blah ... etc.? After hearing the dog's history and about what a tough life the dog has had, you probably feel a bit sorry for the dog, you may be a bit frightened about what the dog has done/could do and you might want to just take the dog up in your arms and hug, kiss and squeeze all the bad things away. Don't do any of these things.

Always listen to what the person is saying but more importantly what the person isn't saying. It will help you determine things you will need to deal with. Perhaps the dog that's been chained to a tree won't be house trained. The dog that's been beaten will latch on to anything that could become a security blanket for it - including you or your other dogs (therefore watch you don't allow protective or territorial aggression to develop!!). The dog that's been ignored will have more obvious issues - destruction, excitement urination. The dog with fear will eventually bite unless the fear is resolved (don't make excuses - he WILL bite).

The first thing I want you to do is forget everything the rescue told you about the dog's history. Remember only those things that will be important in the dog's re-training (like he chases cats/cars/bikes/etc, bites children, jumps up, house training, aggressions). Remember only the behaviours and not the circumstances so you can begin working with the dog with an open mind. If you don't, you will have a biased opinion and will make excuses for the dog. This will not help the dog and it will hinder its ability to rehab. If you get stuck in the perpetual rescue mind-set "woe is the dog, poor dog, blah blah blah" then you will end up keeping the dog for longer than you should. I see it happen regularly and usually it is because the people get so tangled up in their own imagination they can't deal with the dog properly.

If you do this, you will be one step ahead of a lot of the other fosters out there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Training Rant - Loose Leash Walking

This is one of the things that drives me crazy! So many people out there can't be bothered to teach their dog not to pull on a leash (or maybe they don't know how). ARGH!!

Yesterday, I saw a lady with someone I could only assume was her 10 year old daughter walking a young yellow lab (dog looked about 1.5-2 yrs). They were walking along a very busy road. The daughter had ahold of the 6 ft leash - not the adult. (From the looks of it, the adult's hands were empty.) The dog was pulling for most of the walk that I saw and the daughter was obviously struggling.


This is something I see all the time and it is SO dangerous! Each and every dog I foster is taught how to walk on a loose leash before I will consider adopting them out because it is so very important.

What do you think would have happened had the dog run out onto the road?

How about the following scanario ...

The dog sees a cat/squirrel/other dog on the other side of the road. Dog runs out and across the road. Daughter has the leash looped around her wrist and can't let go fast enough. Daughter is dragged out in front of cars. Car in near side of road is able to stop in time (whew!) but truck on other side of road has heavy load and needs extra room to down-shift and stop (yikes!). Dog and Daughter are hit by truck. SPLAT! That is one big mess to clean up.

All for the sake of a bit of training.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

News Reel - Heat killed K-9 unit dog left in car

This was an interesting article. What do you do when the people enforcing the laws are the ones breaking them?

Heat killed K-9 unit dog left in car

Leaving dogs in cars when it is warm outside is just dumb. This police officer was in New Orleans, it was 88 degrees out on May 27th. He left the dog in an SUV. This is the third death in the same K9 unit within a short timeframe (one had heartworms and a heart attack, the other fell down an elevator shaft). The thing that bothers me the most?

Young (police spokesman) noted that while the necropsy report found a likely cause of death was "shock due to heat stress," the medical examination did not definitively find that the temperature inside the vehicle caused the heat-related symptoms. While Young acknowledged that the dog was left unattended in the vehicle, he said the report could not rule out the possibility that another medical problem caused the dog to overheat.

That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

News Reel - Dogs Read Gestures Like Toddlers

I found this video on the Discovery Channel website and I laughed. It was added July 13, 2009

Researchers have completed a study that proves that dogs understand gestures (pointing) like two year old toddlers (not three year olds though - they proved that too).

I laughed because I often tell people that their dog is like a two year old (which of course always brings in "terrible two's" comments). I'm sure I'm not the only one who has said that and I can't even remember where I first heard it

Anyway, I thought it was pretty interesting so I figured I would share it with you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Featured Rescue - Riggo the American Bulldog

This is a crossposting for someone who pulled a dog out of the local shelter. She does not wish to keep the dog, but he had overstayed his welcome and was scheduled to be put to sleep (PTS).

Riggo is an American Bulldog. He's UTD on shots, HW negative, housetrained and shows no signs of aggression. He does need some basic training like the crate, heel and stay but he's a good boy so far. Seems very smart and responsive.

You can see her post about him here. She's located in Richmond, VA

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Featured Rescue - Parker the German Shorthaired Pointer

The breed standard for the German Shorthaired Pointer recommends an active family for this breed, but I've always found them to be fairly laid back dogs. They do require a fair amount of exercise, but what dog doesn't?

This is Parker. He's already been vaccinated and neutered and he's ready to go to his new/last home! The rescue estimates him to be somewhere between 6 and 8 years old - another older guy. Too many older guys in rescue if you ask me ...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups for June

It's been another month. Here's the follow up for all the featured rescues I've published. Check out the original post if you're interested in seeing the pics. There were actually a fair number of dogs that had been adopted on last month's list.

Kobe Swims the "Rottweiler" mix
Status: NOT adopted
Featured on December 5, 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

Cody the Akita
Status: Adopted!
Featured on March 29, 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: Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on April 30, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Codi the Welsh Corgi
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 10, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Eubie the Border Collie
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 13, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Priscilla the Shih Tzu
Status: Adopted
Featured on May 19, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Jack A Roo the Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 30, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Ingrid the Chihuahua
Status: Adopted
Featured on June 4, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Buster the Beagle
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 9, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Deuce the Boxer
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 13, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Winston the Boston Terrier
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 17, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Sam the Chow
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 25, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Poll - Trainers

For those of you who haven't read it yet or haven't answered, I added a new poll to the blog. I'm really curious to see the results of this one! It will only take a moment of your time so please read it and mark your answer.

Please don't answer the question more than once or it messes up the numbers. If you want to add something to your answer or comment about it, please leave a comment in this thread.

When I first started this blog I posted polls every week and quite enjoyed seeing the results. I am going to try to post one often. If you have an idea for a poll and you are interested in seeing the results, email me and I will set it up for the next one!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News Reel - Dog fighting raids

Thought I'd pass this one on. I know it's just a drop in a larger pool, but it's a start. They have to keep fighting the good fight and this is a darn good start.

Informants helped agents infiltrate dogfights

Raids in 6 states show dogfighting is widespread

More than 400 dogs seized in multistate raid on dogfighting rings

If you have any information about people dogfighting in your area, call crimestoppers! Don't just sit by and do nothing. There's a saying that you'll probably find familiar ...

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Temper Tantrum

Each time I go to spend some time on this blog lately, something has come up and I haven't been able to. Always one excuse after another lately. The latest excuse? I have spent the last two days bathing my dog and it is my own darn fault (you know how hard it is for me to admit that?!) I think I'm more angry with myself than anything else.

I spent last weekend and a few days last week away to write some exams. I stayed in a hotel because it is a two hour drive to Toronto for me and I wanted to have those extra few hours to sleep (and this weekend was Honda Indy Weekend and traffic was brutal!). I left the dogs at home because the exams were so long (one day of 7 hours, the next day of 4 or 5 hours) and I didn't want to leave them in the car for that long!

I normally take one dog, Zeus, to Toronto but since I didn't take him, he got into a pout. I have been taking him to TO every weekend for the last six weeks; we've had a wonderful time and our relationship is stronger than ever before. I'm sure you can imagine the look on his face when I left without him! Well this weekend he sulked and put up a big fuss for the entire time I was away. Unfortunately everyone who was around played right into his hands (yes, I've spoken with them and explained why this was bad for them to do ...) and since I was away, I couldn't address it until after I got home.

The day I came back (Sunday) Z was hilarious to watch - he was like a little excited puppy. I said hello to the dogs for ten or fifteen minutes and went to unpack my bags. I was going to take the dogs for a walk to the pond and play fetch for a while but wanted to put a load of laundry in first. I am quite aware that this is not recommended and that you are supposed to spend some superduper quality time with them immediately, but figured the 10-15 mins I had spent greeting them would carry for an hour until I got settled and changed. I left the dogs outside with my hubby and a few other people.

What does Z do? Have you guessed it yet?

He went right out and pestered the skunk that has been living near our barn for the last few months. He had been aware of the skunk for months and hadn't bothered it. In fact, there are often multiple skunks around and for the last three years he's never bothered any of them (including the one with distemper we had to shoot this spring that spent an entire day wandering around our yard!). How impressed was I?

I have a gut feeling that this was a temper tantrum, but I can't really prove it. What do you think? Have you ever experienced tantrums with your own dog(s)?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Training Rant - Importance of Bonding

I was discussing dog training with a friend of mine last night and I shuddered when I heard the same thing come out of her mouth as I hear from everyone else ... "To teach the dog what Good Girl means, you have to click and treat so you associate it" What?! I almost spat out my coffee in surprise to hear it come out of her mouth (of all people)

My dogs (permadogs and fosters both) know what that means and I've never associated Good Girl/Boy with a treat (but they still get all wiggly and excited when I use the word as praise), so it got me thinking. Why? How do they know?

My dogs know what Good Girl/Boy means because my pitch and tone changes. Sometimes it is associated with a pat, othertimes it is not. It is the relationship - the bond - behind those words that rewards the dog - not the words themselves (or the treat! But I'll talk about treat-training another day).

Why are there so many people out there who don't know how to build a solid bond with their dog? Why don't people spend the time to create that super special bond? Do they think that it just appears?

Ok, let me backtrack a few steps here ...

So much of dog training depends on the bond you develop between the two of you. It might be the single most important aspect to your relationship with the dog. So why don't dog trainers encourage it more? Why do they ignore it?

If I look at everyone I know with dogs I'd say not even 15% have that bond. It is so sad to see so many empty relationships. The worst part is that many dog owners aren't even aware that part of their relationship is missing because they hide it with treat rewards.

Do you remember when you were little and you had a dog?

The dog was your best friend. The two of you went everywhere together. It was like you knew what each other was thinking! You could communicate with each other without all the fancy training. Do you remember turning to your dog, making eye contact and feeling like everything is right in the world so long as you and your dog are together? Knowing that no matter what happened, your dog would be there with you? No one seemed to understand any of this (including your parents). When your dog passed away or left you, it was like the world stopped turning.

Maybe that's why; maybe deep down we do know how to create that bond, but we're too afraid to try.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

News Reel - Black Dog Memorial Fund

Ok, so I read this and I got all tingly! Yikes. Thought it was important that I share it. It's written in chronological order from bottom to top. It took me a minute to realize that.

SPCA creates Black Dog Memorial Fund

There is a video on the link if you want to see him. Here's a recap ...

For 2 decades the "king of the strays" wandered the streets of Richmond. He avoided all manners of traps to catch him. The beloved chow-mix had many homes where people often left food out for him. Many believed he wasn't just a dog, but a spiritual figure, seemingly immune to time and age.

On Thursday they learned, sadly, that he was mortal. He was apparently hit by a car early in the morning. He was buried that afternoon on the property of a secluded estate in Buckingham. Among those present at the impromptu burial, a woman he once saved from a late night attacker.

It's important to remember how much black dog reminds us it's okay to be independent, to be free, to be scruffy, and to be hungry every once and a while.

We should all take a moment and think about that last sentence. It's pretty important.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Featured Rescue - Scooter the Dachshund

I always wonder at how many Dachshund's there are available for adoption through rescue. Petfinder alone has 4,079 listed today. Certain breeds are always flooding the doors of rescue organizations.

Today's featured rescue is Scooter. I wonder how many people choose the dog they want to adopt based on the name?? It's how I came across this guy to feature; cute name. Let that be a lesson to all rescues out there!! Use cute names.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

News Reel - Does your dog really feel guilt?

A new study was done to test whether or not dogs actually feel guilt. You know the "uh oh I did something bad" look that many of us get when we come home? Check out this article from the Toronto Star this week

Does your dog really feel guilt?

It's a really interesting article. I'm sure each and every dog owner sees this look at one point or another. You know, even after this study was concluded there are still people who doubt the outcome (note that at the bottom of this article there's a quote regarding this). Personally, I think there were too many variables in this study to form a conclusive answer. There were 14 dogs but they were different sexes, breeds and owners. Why wouldn't you limit your variables in initial studies?

Regardless, it is a good read. Take some time to check it out. What do you think? Based on your experience with your own dogs, do you agree with the outcome of this study?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Monthly Followup June

June followup
Happy July everyone!
To Canada, I hope you had a great day on July 1st - Happy Canada Day (also commonly known by some of my co-workers as "Eh-Day").
To USA tomorrow, I hope your July 4th is great - Happy Independence Day.
July seems to be a pretty big month for holidays; July 2nd is National Literacy Day; July 7th is Chocolate Day; July 19th is Hot Dog Day (seriously, who comes up with these things?). Regardless of what you and your family celebrates - I hope you have a great time and be safe.
Just a quick note about your dogs and fireworks -- keep your dogs inside! The last thing you want is for your canine family member to spook at the loud noises and take off running. So many dogs are found as strays in the days following these holidays. Please don't let your dog be one of the statistics.

Top Commenters
I love reading everyone's opinion. If it doesn't mesh with mine, I really enjoy hearing you hash it out! It's great to hear from everyone. I try to give a little link love to the top commenters here on my blog every month so here are the top 5 commenters from June.

What?! Comments again?! Ok, don't get cranked. This is a different topic from the commenters above. I just wanted to let everyone know that although I am a bit behind in replying to all the comments from June, I will be replying to all eventually.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dog Park Adventures

So I've been going to the dog park a LOT lately. Every day this week in fact. I decided to start going because I wanted a change in pace for my dogs and I wanted to see how people in the community interact with their dogs. Somewhere different and fun to work on some stuff. This way, the dogs also get an hour or more of playing off leash with other dogs and I work on some of our off leash stuff with mega-distractions so it's a win-win.

I have to tell you all, there are some crazy weirdo people out there at the dog park! I thought I'd share a bit with you. (Funny part is that I don't even know where to start! There is so much!) My next goal is to remember to bring a camera with me so I can take pictures and give you a visual.


The first one is the Burnese Mountain Dog owner (big guy - over 6 ft, heavy set kinda guy). This guy comes in with a 3 year old fugly intact male (weak hind end; roach back; fugly fugly fugly) and a 9 week old puppy. For an intact male, the other dogs didn't pay much attention to him - I don't know why ... sure makes me wonder though.

Owner lets them both off leash and then calls repeatedly five or six times (the only one that came back to him was the puppy - not the adult). He didn't do anything when the adult refused the recall (how about put him on leash for a few minutes then try again? Doesn't matter - just follow up!), looked frustrated at the adult then patted the puppy saying "good girl" and started up a conversation with the people around.

After talking to him a bit, we find out that he has FOUR more at home and this 9 week old puppy is the male's new "wife". Great - another BYBer. Just what we need. *headdesk*

Can't these BYBers get it right? At least breed dogs that don't look like crap. Get some titles in SOMETHING (obedience, conformation, anything!), register them and don't make more fuglies. Wish I had a picture I could post - I'll be bringing my camera to the dog park from now on. We learn as we go, right?

I was really impressed at the other people in the park. None of them said anything negative about this guy breeding, but he got the cold shoulder and was left to walk by himself after that. Go dog park regulars!


The other one I want to share about today is a Great Dane. This big guy is the calmest Dane I've met. He did play (wrestling gently and mouthing a bit) with a few of the smaller dogs when he first got there but for the most part he walked near his owner. His body language was so subtle it was beautiful to watch. He projected a calm and confident attitude to all the dogs and people. He watched everything going on without showing he was watching. When other dogs wanted to sniff him in greeting, they would approach and stand back far to stretch in for a sniff.

The best part? His owner displayed the same demeanor! You know the Fido commercials? Well, this dog and owner are the embodiment of these Fido commercials. The two of them were like mirrored images. Wow.