Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
I had been watching a particular patron because I was waiting for an opportunity to go up and pet his dog. She was a beautiful white pit bull. He was on the phone, so I was waiting for him hang up so that I could try and sell him on some of my pit bull groups and programs etc...
Before his conversation ended, the dog must have some how pulled him (didn't really see anything myself...) and he went off. He yelled at the dog to SIT and STAY, after it cowered and complied, he hit the dog repeatedly in the face. Then he said, and I quote: "Move again and I'll beat your ass."
I was horror struck. My husband and I stood frozen for a moment with our jaws dropped. Another customer was walking by, and actually got tears in her eyes.
When the man started walking again, the dog trotted faithfully at his side, tail wagging.
She doesn't know any better, to her, that's what love is. That made me so sad.
I never saw him purchase anything, it was as if he was just trying to show off...he had her on a pinch collar and thick heavy chain. Way to perpetuate a stereo type buddy.
So, of the options presented to me, the way I saw it, these were my choices:
1) Do Nothing
2) Confront the man myself
3) Play stupid, and go up as if I saw nothing, the whole time trying to educate, and encourage 'my way'.
4) Alert the store staff
So, I know what I did, but I want to know....what would YOU do?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
It is important to supervise both your dog and your house guests during this holiday. People mean well, but don't always put your dogs health or digestive tract first when offering you pooch a morsel or two.
Keep that in mind and please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Although I didn't know I had it in me, I immediately went into 'stage mom' mode and submitted my baby's pictures. Within an hour I had gotten her an audition!
I'd love to say she passed her auditi0n with flying colors, but she did not. She actually charged her auditioner, hackles raised and barking. Luckily he came equipped with doggy steak treats, and she soon changed her tune. After about 15-20 minutes, she had the job!
The big day came, and I wondered how she would do. The shoot lasted about 3 1/2 hours and she was such a trooper! (I'm sure it helped that she had a tent, plenty of water and treats, and of course lots of love and everyone telling her how pretty she was!)
During the shoot it was as if she could read the photographers mind. When she asked her to look up, she looked up when she thought she should sit, she'd sit before the sentence was even finished!
One of the very last shots sent a wave of pride over me. The photographer asked if she'd put her paw on a box of poop bags. I honestly didn't think she would, as she doesn't enjoy having her paws touched. We set up the shot and I took her paw, placed it on the box and asked her to STAY...and she did! Then the photographer asked her if she wanted to go for a WALK and she put her ears up and cocked her head to the side. Evey one in attendance gasped. It was perfect.
So now I'm not only a stage mom, but a proud one. She received compensation (a REAL working model!) and over 6000 doggy poop bags! It was a great experience all together, and I am quite grateful for it. But most of all, I am proud.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
2) They had to go!
3) It's Comfy!
4) They're Bored
5)They don't know how to.
So how'd you do? As you can see, dogs think very simply.
Let's talk a bit about a popular theory these days, Pack Theory.
It is true that dogs are pack animals, however, they are removed from wolves by THOUSANDS of years.
Dogs are NOT born leaders, in fact they are born FOLLOWERS! Think about it, if every member of a pack wanted to be the leader or 'alpha' that pack wouldn't function very well, would it? Dogs are more than happy to sit back and relax and let you take care of the important stuff like food, water and shelter.
Dogs do not need to be dominated. The best way to establish leadership is through the Nothing in Life is Free method which states that a dog must work for everything it wants. Before a dog eats, gets pet, goes outside, plays etc, they must first do something for you. (Like sit).
If you do find yourself with a dominant dog, make sure you mix their food with your hands and let them watch you eat first, before they get fed. Also make sure to walk through doorways first.
In the next instalment we will delve into K9 Cognition and learning theory...see you then!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Today was like that for me. I arrived at work this morning to find a note and picture waiting for me on my desk. I could tell right away that it was written by a child, and the picture attached was of a large mixed breed dog and a birthday cake.
The letter reads:
"Our dog, Daisy was adopted on May 31st 2009 at SPCA.
Thank you for treating our dog with respect while she was in her cage.
In this picture you will see Daisy has just blown out her birthday candle
and is heading for the cake!"
The back of the picture read: "Daisy on her first birthday."
Alright I'll admit it, this got to me...I formed a few happy tears and thought out loud "good for you Daisy!"
Not only was this a happy ending for one of our shelter dogs but this young little girl, whom I've since found out is only 5 years old, really seems to 'get it'. She didn't thank us for feeding her dog, or even just 'taking care of her', but for treating her with RESPECT. Bingo. Nail on head.
This is why we do it.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In my opinion the best way to introduce two new dogs is in an unfamiliar place, to them both. This way, neither of them should get territorial. The biggest mistake I see people make is walking the two dogs straight at one another on leashes. This is extremely confrontational. It's not wonder the dogs end up fighting! It is best to just start walking together, side by side. This way the dogs can sniff one another, get to know each other and get some good exercise doing it. Walk and walk until the two dogs are all tuckered out. (Too tired to care or get grumpy.)
Now you can head home. The dogs should just want to lay down for a bit to rest, and by the time they become rejuvenated, they are old news to each other.
Now sure, things don't always go as planned, but just remember not to get mad or upset. You must have patience and you can try again, but also, know when to quit.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Did you know that the second most dangerous place for your puppy to be is your vets waiting room floor?
Did you know that the MOST dangerous place for your puppy is right OUTSIDE your vets office?
Did you know that a shelter's adoption numbers don't take into account returns?
Did you know that the biggest killer of cats is litter box problems?
Did you know that cats don't actually 'miss' their litter boxes? If they go outside of them they meant to!
Did you know that when done correctly potty training is error-less and takes only 7 days?
Did you know that dogs must always be kept entertained?
Did you know that there are no studies supporting the effectiveness of DAP?
Did you know that this was a short blog and now it's over?
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
At first the 3 day 8 hour lecture sounded...well, long. But I soon was wrapped up in knowledge and discovery as Dr. Dunbar craftily illustrated stories and ideas that spring from his brilliant mind.
Also luckily enough, he speaks with a wonderfully smooth British accent and is down right funny.
The entire weekend was spent discussing puppies and adolescent dogs, and I was reminded why I always gravitate towards adopting senior citizens!
This all came at such a perfect time as I am just beginning to offer puppy and obedience classes myself. I have a lot of work to, but am excited by the many ideas now planted in my head.
It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet some dog professionals in the community. I may be just starting out on my career with dogs (only five years in) but I hope that someday I might be the one to teach a seminar.
Being open to education and new ideas seems like a good way to start. Putting those new ideas into practice and finding out what really works seems like a logical next step.
So stay tuned for updates on how all of this incredible new knowledge is being put to use! And wish me luck!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Let's start with the "milk myth". Did you know that the ONLY milk your kitten needs is it's mothers? Kittens do NOT need cows milk any more than we do....and no, we don't need it!
Beating Boredom: Plant an indoor garden for your kitten. Try wheat grass in small planters. Get a couple of cat tress and don't throw away those paper bags and cardboard boxes! They may great kitten forts! Change up your kittens play things regularly to keep them stimulated.
You can make cat toys out of pipe cleaners as well. They cost about 3 cents to make. I like to make little bugs, but feel free to get creative!
Remember to confine your kitten at night to where ever you are. Cats are nocturnal by nature and a small kitten can get almost anywhere!
Scratching is a natural and normal cat behavior and should be encouraged, in the right places. Buy a scratching post and show your kitten how to use it. Scratching allows your kitten to scratch and also leave their scent behind.
Kitty Signals: Quivering tail: "I love you!" Swishing or Wagging tail: "I'm annoyed." Ears Up: Curious, alert. Ears Back: "I'm not happy about something..." Low Purr: "I'm very happy! That feels good!" Low Growl: "Back off!" Hissing: "I warned you! Now I'm really MAD!" Meow: reserved especially for humans.
Litter Box Training: Finding the right location is important. Put kittens litter box in a place that provides privacy but does not totally isolate. Keep the box clean. Litter should be scooped every day and the box cleaned with soap and water weekly. Make sure to have as many litter boxes as you do cats and place a box on each level of your home. To train your kitten to use the box, place them inside when they most need to go. (Wake up, after play, after eating, after nap, before bed...)
Be prepared, your kitten will have accidents. It's ok. If you catch your kitten in the act of a mistake, interrupt them with a loud noise and then place them in the litter box. You CANNOT correct them after the fact.
Clean the area with a non ammonia based product. Enzyme eaters work great.
A note about de-clawing. It is cruel and inhumane. There are several countries where the procedure is outlawed. De-clawing removes more than just the nail, it removes the first bone of every 'finger'. Ouch. De-clawing can cause severe behavior problems and is unnecessary. Simply clip your cats nails regularly. Push out the claws by squeezing the paw and snip up to the pink. Do NOT clip the pink part, as this is a vain and will be painful. You can also put "pedi-paws" on your cat. Pedi-paws are basically a rubber nail cover. They come in all different colors!
Crate Training: Crate training your kitten is very important as it will make vet visits much easier for the both of you! Crate training cuts down on the stress of your cat. Start early with your kitten and go slow. Never force your kitten into the crate. They should always walk in willingly for a treat or their dinner.Proper crate carrying should be done AWAY from your body, and with the opening of the crate facing backwards. This minimizes kitty's stress immensely, plus it's a GREAT arm work out!
Problem behaviors to look out for include: Counter surfing, suckling, fights/aggression, night crazies, spraying and scratching. Counter surfing is not only annoying but can be dangerous to your kitten. (Think hot burner!) To prevent kitty from doing this, simply make your counter an un-attractive place to be. Try placing a plastic carpet runner upside down on your counter. You cat will not like the way this feels on their feet, there fore they will be less likely to jump up there in the future. Suckling is generally caused by a cat being taken from his mother too early. Most cats that display this behavior, do so their entire lives. Spraying can be controlled by spaying and/or neutering your cat.
To figure out what is causing your kittens 'bad' behavior you have to ask yourself a series of questions: Have you changed anything? Taken anything away? Added anything? Met a new person? The smallest thing can set off your cat. (Finally threw out that bean bag chair from 1993? Tried a new perfume?) Find the answer and fix the problem.
Aversives: An aversive is something your cat does not like. There are texture aversives (like the upside down carpet runner), smell/taste aversives such as citrus, surprise (a stacked pyramid of empty soda cans that falls over when your cat jumps on your bed) and human controlled such as a squirt gun. Be careful with human controlled aversives and they can back fire and make your cat fearful of you, instead of the action.
Managing rough play. Hands are NOT play toys and kitten should learn right away that it is NOT ok to bite them. If your kitten bites your hands, end the play session immediately. Always follow by redirecting them to an appropriate action, like chewing on a toy.
The importance of play: Play manages kittens stress and reduces ankle biting and scratching.
Prey Play: This should be done just before bedtime. Simulate a hunt with your kitten with a mouse toy on a string (or similar toy). Let kitty hunt the toy and 'kill it'. Follow with a high protein meaty treat. This will send signals to your kittens brain that it is time for sleep.
Always use positive reinforcement! Encourage the behaviors you want to see and ignore the ones you don't.
Hard work, responsibility and commitment = a life time of love.....