Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Here is Maddie, a friends pug with Santa.
Go check out Hannah's blog at http://ebonyivoryinbetweeny.blogspot.com/ If you love ferrets, or want to learn more about living with them, that is the blog for you. Lots of great care info. Pass it on.
And for some fun in the snow check out this you tube video:
This guy puts my Jack to shame.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Holiday.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Check out the height of the drifts and the amount of snow on the right by the gate. (4 foot fence)
The girls want in. Jack was trying to get them to play.
Work was abit nuts last night. Cars getting stuck IN the roadways. Plow crews were unable to keep up due to the heavy drifting. Fortunately not many people lost power in our area. It is amazing though how many people will try to drive when they shouldn't. (Only 5 more shifts to go. Yay!)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Now that that bit is done I am kinda nervous. I have lots of new stuff to learn ahead of me. I haven't officially worked at a vet since 1996ish. Alot has changed since then. I also realise I am going to have to keep my yap shut about things I may disagree with. I am assuming they do not read my blog since they didn't ask me about my conflicting opinion about diet and other potentially vet related stuff. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. I guess I'll find out over time. I'm sure I will also find out their thoughts on the subjects. Until then I will certainly keep my opinions to myself. Fortunately I learned long ago not to give training advice unless specifically asked. (and usually do well at that though have the occasional brain cramp and forget myself) They are interested in using my training knowledge so that should be fun and interesting.
In other good news to share Chloie has started to actually play. It seems teaching to to pick up a ball was a great starting point. From there we shaped a fetch and now she does some cute hopping and play behaviors while chasing the ball. Now we are going to add other toys and start over to teach her those as well.
The book also finally came. Fortunately I didn't wait and started her with what I thought might work. It turns out the book had the same advice in the section on rehabbing non-players. I'm not to far in the book but it seems pretty good so far. Perhaps more for the average owner with good tips on matching dogs to others with the same playstyles and why. I'm hoping to finish it tonight at work if it is slow. I gave two weeks notice so have some more time ahead at the other job to finish up. I am staying on the part time roster there and will potentially fill in for shifts I can on my days off when I have the time. (eventually after a break away) This way I keep my hand in the pot and keep my skills current. This can also help make up for the pay cut the new job means if needed.
I am so glad I will be working regularly with and around lots of animals again. I look forward to the new adventure for me. Thanks to everyone for the good wishes. :-)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Now I just have to wait for the phone call to see if they offer me the position.
I hate waiting.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Now I just need to find one for Jack. I am VERY partial to martingale style collars. The dogs can wear them loose around the house but when a leash is clipped to the live ring they can't slip their heads out of them. It seems many owners put their regular buckle collars on to loosely. There is nothing worse than a loose dog sans collar and tags.
And this was the best shot I could get of her wearing it. Here she is hard at work holding down the couch. You can see it is a tough job which is why Jenny has to provide back up. I've heard this position is called "bunk beds".
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I ordered the books "Play with Your Dog" by Pat Miller and "Tales of Two Species" by Patricia McConnell PhD to see if we can get more ideas to use to teach Chloie how to play. With Grizz bringing my dog Jack worked wonders and he figured it out quickly after that. The same method didn't work for Chloie though so we are strategizing.
In other training news I have been offered the possible opportunity to go watch Fred Hassen of Sit Means Sit do some training. He works using electronic collars even for basic obedience. E-collars aren't something I use aside from the occasional client with e-fencing but it is an opportunity to watch a different type of training in person. Education about dog training doesn't stop with only the methods I use after all. If I get to go it should be interesting.
On another front I think I am going to apply for a vet tech job in the area. I saw an ad in the local paper and decided it might be a better fit than the night shift dispatch job I am currently doing. I am worried though because sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. I like the people I work with, the money is good and the job security is excellent. However the stress level is quite high. Between the job itself, and the fact I'm not 20 anymore trying to adjust my sleep schedule is just adding to that. I'm thinking I might be happier doing something I love instead of doing something for a paycheck. Even though it most likely means a paycut.
Just because I apply doesn't mean I'll get the job. I need to find out more details about it too like the hours involved. I've got to figure out how to continue the prison program with a regular job as well. That is one way the night schedule has worked out well. Since I do private training I can simply schedule clients on my off days or later in the day on work days. We'll see how it pans out.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I have been on the hunt for a reputable breeder of bulldogs for my sister. Things are moving slowly on that front. Fortunately she isn't in a hurry. It is about finding the best match than finding something right now. One of the e-mails I got back asked me the question, and I quote, "Why would we test healthy dogs?" in response to asking about any health testing they do prior to breeding. ~sigh~ yeah I know.
For the record, no matter how great the pedigree is, every breed has health issues they can be prone to carry in their lines. There are no guarantees. And if you never look for problems, how can you know they exist? Their website spoke about a female with IBS. I wonder if she is out of their own breeding? It wasn't a breeder I would have contacted except my sisters BF found them online so I did a quick e-mail check of them. As you can imagine they failed the test. (For those with contacts in bulldogs she doesn't care about sex, color or age. Health and temperment are numero uno this time around.)
Since someone requested it in my comment area I'm going to address not choosing your own puppy. It can be very common for reputable breeders not to let you pick the puppy you want out of their litter. There are a few reasons for this. One of which is that since they have watched and evaluated the puppies from day one until time to go into a new home they know the puppies individual personalities best. Reputable breeders screen their puppy buyers to find the most appropriate homes for them. Matching the puppy to the best home starts by knowing the puppy well. We humans are suckers for falling in love with a look or action a puppy might do when we visit them. But the one you think is the cutest might not be the best fit activity wise or personality wise for your situation. You need to rely on the breeders knowledge here. This of course means we need to trust them. This is one reason finding a breeder we get along with can be important for the long term relationship.
Another reason is that a reputable breeder is breeding for a purpose. One that doesn't include making money. Dogs are not a cash crop to them like puppymills or even many back yard breeders. It is to breed a next generation dog for the show ring to prove they meet the standard for the breed, as sport competition dogs, or for working purposes. Pet quality puppies in a litter are actually the excess of a breeding program. This means THEY, the breeder, get pick puppy from the litter.
In many cases you can expect to get on a waiting list for a puppy as well. Reputable breeders aren't going to always have a litter of puppies on the ground waiting to be sold. Any breeder that does isn't reputable in my book. I think this may be one reason pet store puppies get bought so frequently. People just aren't patient. They want a puppy and they want a puppy NOW! Never mind the health and temperment mine field they may be entering.
If you don't care about potential health issues consider a shelter or rescue dog. At least then you aren't part of the supply and demand of a market that is so unbelievably damaging to dogs. (look up puppymills on YouTube for heartbreaking video if you don't believe me) Sure you might "save" that one puppy buying it from a petstore but being part of the supply and demand of that industry means you are partly responsible for the ongoing abuse of the parents of the dog that created yours. There are only two sides here, part of the problem or part of the solution.
Think about it folks, if you know the breeders and they can be held accountable for what they produce, they are more likely to produce a good product. (tho I hate to label puppies that way) A faceless breeder and a storefront seller can pawn off anything, with any health/temperment issue and expect no fallout. Because they may say they provide a health guarantee, but who is going to give BACK the puppy they bought when something crops up to get their money back or another possibly defective puppy from the same source? Damn few, if any. So that is money in the bank for them.
I hope that makes it more clear about the reasons you might not be allowed to chose a puppy from a litter. And why you should consider a reputable breeder or rescue if you are looking to add a puppy to your family. I'd rather not chose my puppy and find that quality breeder than be allowed to pick the puppy and have things go horribly wrong down the road. Even if you pick a puppy out at a shelter most good ones will provide feedback on which puppy might be the better match for you. It shouldn't be about getting A puppy, it should be about getting the BEST puppy for you.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
These are her housemates. A male Rhodesian Ridgeback named Xindika on the left and a female Greyhound named Nellie on the right. Sorry I didn't get more pics, I was trying to not be that annoying person with the camera. (I was at a going away party.)
Now I have seen alot of dogs. Between working at a vets office and the 100's of shelter dogs over the years I have never run across this before. It made me curious. Has anyone seen this before or have any thoughts?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
She just loves to work and is very smart. She is also very beautiful and has bounced back from having puppies wonderfully and has filled out well. I took Jack to work with me one day and while she was to defensive to play with him this time, she had great focus on her handlers and worked well with him there as a distraction. Hopefully seeing him play with her tug toy and ball will spark an interest in it for her. We at least got some dog slobber and scent on them for her. The handlers report she doesn't seem interested in playing with toys at all. It is possible due to her past neglect she never learned to play or that she was not allowed to play.
I ordered the DVD from http://www.leerburg.com/ on The Power of Marker Training and we have incorporated that into our program with great results. There has been some adjustment for us as what I was doing was similar but not exactly the same. I am VERY impressed with the video and it is well worth the time it takes to watch. (3 & 1/2 hours) It has great detail and shows many video examples. Of course I also love the beginning where he apologizes for using some of the methods he has used in the past on dogs. This is a guy with 40 + years of experience! He even admits that he used to laugh at this training method in the past and how he was wrong. I love a man who can admit his mistakes.
So for anyone interested in learning more about positive training with operant conditioning for dogs this is a great video. And for those not interested in "clicker" training, you can use verbal cues instead, which is what I have always done and what they show predominately in the video. And luring is also allowed so it can be used with deaf dogs as well using hand cues.
Chloe is doing well and I expect she will be very easy to place when she graduates the program. It is just to bad that not all shelter dogs get to benefit from this hands on training. So many dogs, so little time.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm throwing in a bunch of Jenny photos for someone to look at that has smooth brussell griffons. It has been mentioned that perhaps she is a cross with a smooth BG due to how much she looks like one in the face and has a similar body type. I have only seen one smooth BG in person and it was such a long time ago I am unsure if this is a realistic possibility. After seeing the photos in the history book however I believe she looks like more of the original pug type. I think they used to call that a throwback.
Another thing I found interesting from the book is that is used to be very common practice to crop pugs ears.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thank you to Nancy of "A Dogs Life" blog for the warning regarding Xylitol in Rescue Remedy Pastilles. Rescue remedy is a Bach flower essence used in both people and animals as a homeopathic remedy for stress and anxiety. It seems the new candy version of the product contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that unfortunately is toxic to dogs. For more info check out her blog at Maine Today. (link on my blogroll to the right)
Warning to vegetarians who may be reading: Graphic meat photos to follow.
Tonight for supper the dogs all got some deer ribs. This was my first experience giving them bones to be crunched up and eaten and I admit some nervousness. I am learning as I go in this raw food journey.
I had nothing to worry about however. Jenny had no problem figuring out how to enjoy the new treat. Of course she will eat most anything. (Sorry for the crummy pics, my camera was on it's last leg battery wise. I'm lucky I got these.)
Missy McStrong jaws made pretty quick work of it too. (she was the fastest, no surprise)
The girls finished theirs and Jack was still playing so I picked his up. Then I decided to try kenneling him as well to eat and it worked like a charm. I think he is so used to Jenny stealing his food (given the opportunity she will and he lets her) that he couldn't relax and eat. Problem solved with the crate. They really enjoyed the bones and I will definitely be getting more of them. I switched them to another Wellness for the breakfast kibble. The fish version seemed to make Jenny itchy so I put her back to the simple solutions Wellness too. (I did put her on full raw for abit but found it was easier to have one meal kibble for every dog due to my schedule.) I did wise up and started mixing their meat in bigger batches so I have enough for a week now instead of a few days. That has made things somewhat easier.