Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Here is the haircut I gave him in progress sometime last month. It started with a hot spot on his back that I shaved to help with the healing. Then for some silly reason I thought I would take more of his coat off due to a slow shedding season. (Tip you HAVE to brush them out first or the clippers do not go through the coat. So it is a falicy that a cut will save you time.)
And here he is with a REAL haircut from the groomer. Wow look at that, it's even!His side view before groomer, after home cut:
So there you have it folks. The best evidence for investing the time into a professional IF you decide to ever shave a dog. (which isn't always recommended, is not something I ever thought I would do, and is fodder for another post) Thanks to Yankee Clipper in Rockport for always doing such a great job with Jack. He loves going there for baths and I don't know what I was thinking denying him the real deal.
Hunting season has begun here in Maine and this is Jenny licking the moose blood off my husbands shoes. He has a side business as a game butcher, a fact the dogs love due to all the extra bones they get.
He won this round.
Jenny also loves the new bed. The pet stairs to the couch are something I got for our frenchie Missy because she would occasionally strain her back jumping down to the floor. Heavy bodied dog, short legs, a disaster waiting to happen. We haven't had another problem since and I highly recommend them.
Edge detail. Isn't it beautiful?
So that about sums up my week. Groomer, vet, shopping. Oh and some work thrown in just to keep my head above water.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
For the record the Marine Corps part is true. I spent 6 years right out of high school in the Marines as a jet mechanic on A4 Skyhawks, (seatshop) and as an Embassy Guard. (with tours in Geneva Switzerland and London England) I was even in the first class to admit women in the embassy guard program. (which explains my non-hardship tour, they had no facilities for women at that time) There are 5 of us women in the first class with 3 of us graduating the school. Two of us finished the full program successfully. (one went home early for personal reasons) I am very proud of the time I served and it was a very exciting time in my life. Being a women in the military back then was a challenge for sure.
However, how this translates to me being heavy handed with dogs has to be a mistake of stereotyping. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I am a positive reward based trainer. Since becoming a professional trainer I have always used positive methods with my own dogs as well. Previously I had been a traditional method trainer with them. When you know better you do better.
My husband got a good laugh when I told him about it. It would be laughable to me too if it wasn't something that I consider a negative perception of me and the training I offer. Even my dogs would laugh about it if they could understand the story.
All of my clients now are taught with positive methods with the RARE exception for special cases. (like the police drug dog that was previously trained with a prong collar and no food rewards allowed) The key to traditional methods is timing and knowing how to use it to be fair to the dogs. It is NOT used for behavior modification which I do a fair amount of. I seem to be one of the only trainers in the area who sees behavior cases. Thankfully considering one trainer (trainer X previously mentioned) seems to not know very much about normal canine behavior. Scary considering they are teaching group classes including puppies.
But I digress.
I would urge anyone looking for a trainer to check them out before using them. Don't just take a friends word for something unless they are describing their own experiences with the trainer. (and even then consider your source if they are prone to dramatics) Ask around to other people and possible clients of theirs and your local vets. See if they are online with a website. Find out for yourself about the training they offer. Call and ask them! Trainers expect questions from potential clients.
Hopefully after working with her and her dogs today she can nip that rumor in the bud. I would love to know who started it of course and I have my suspicions. I admit it took me back as it is the first time I have heard negative stuff about me as a trainer. Thankfully it is unfounded. It does make me wonder if others have the same perceptions. I guess I'll need to look at my presentation and see if it should be tweaked. It's always something isn't it?
Monday, September 15, 2008
He had some behavior issues and also drew the genetic short straw. If anyone near Maine has any leads on a bulldog that needs a home please contact me directly at CanineHelp@aol.com They are willing to travel. The dog will need to be good with other dogs, because I will be babysitting for her when needed, and it has to be good with children. (They have a special needs child in the home.) I know, kind of a tall order. This isn't ordering a happy meal after all. She is also looking into reputable breeders. (a topic for another post I hope to make soon) I know some wonder if there is such a thing when you are talking about such a man made breed. Sometimes you do the best you can when you fall in love with a certain kind of dog and want another one. At least she knows what she is getting into with potential vet bills having been there and done that. She is a great dog owner and all leads are appreciated.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
And this is the dehydrated mixed and ready to go. They get this for breakfast and the primal patties for dinner. The Primal smells terrible to me, the dogs however seem to love it. The dehydrated doesn't have much smell and compared to the Primal is it a regular rose garden. But again I am super sensitive to smells. The dogs seem to like it all immensely so I will keep on with it. I will probably add some other raw foods as we go but for now the pre-mixed works great for my schedule. Even though Jenny HATES waiting for her breakfast in the mornings. The dehydrated needs to set for a few minutes so there is a wait time involved.
I have some sad news to share about one of our previous graduates Diamond. He was the border collie we had on the program. It turns out he developed a fast moving cancer and had to be put down recently. At least his last year was one spent with a loving family and not at the end of his former chain.
Here is a pic one of the kids took of me during "puter time". While it isn't the most flattering photo of me, I thought it was cute to see all the dogs crashed out. Those are my favorite rubber ducky jammy bottoms. (Excuse the hair, I am in a growing out phase.)
You can see part of Jack's haircut. I vastly over estimated my skills with the clippers so he now has an appointment with his groomer to "fix" him. I'll post the embarrassing pics of him when I get him looking better.
Another pic one of the kids took. This seems to be her favorite crash position.
I caught them during a play session over the stuffed bear. I couldn't resist the pic because Jack rarely gets all the way on the couch. (Why do they always stop when I point the camera at them? Paparazzi shy perhaps?)
This is what Missy does when they start horsing around. This isn't even her crate but it had the chewie in it she prefers.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
P.S. I added some of my favorite pics of the dogs to the right sidebar. Scroll down to under the archives section to see them.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Check out a great post, and the resulting interesting discussion about this show and how it compares to their other "training" show.
My opinion of the DW is this, he is very uneducated (which he himself admits in some of his books) and uses outdated and sometimes dangerous methods. His dog language reading skills could use some work. If they were better he wouldn't get bitten quite so often in my opinion. (of course if he didn't use such extreme tactics the dogs wouldn't feel the need to defend themselves either) He has taken a true method of training, called compulsion or traditional, and bastardized it to suit his own needs. If you find the need to use compulsion in training, PLEASE use the Monks version, at least they use it more fairly for the dogs. (Their updated version where they recanted the Alpha Roll since it was originally based on misinterpreted wolf behavior.) Compulsion training does have it uses and does work, but timing is everything. And suppression of behavior isn't changing behavior for the long term no matter what you call it. (Dog psychology? Why doesn't this guy have to meet the same standards as other canine behaviorists?) Also be aware that traditional training started back when they trained dogs for wartime situations and needed to weed out "soft" unsuitable dogs. So there are some dogs it just isn't good for. Real training is about communication, not domination. There end of rant. Back to our reguarly scheduled dog info.
And the update on the stars of the DogTown show for those that watched like me:
Updates of my own: As I left the shelter today little miss Angelica was being walked by a potential adopter. She's gonna go fast. I'm so happy for her but do hope she stays local so I can see her around. I wuff her!
Jack LOVES the new food, I used to have to add stuff to his kibble to get him to eat. Not anymore! My only negative comment is that is has a very distinctive odor I do not find all that pleasant. But in the defense of the food, I am a HORRIBLY picky eater. My husband says I don't eat anything with real flavor. If in doubt of a new food I smell it before trying and if it doesn't smell good I pass. Yeah I know. Not good, but understandable considering I grew up on plain meat and potatos almost every night as a kid.
Missy and Jenny also love the new food but their vote counts considerably less considering they also love the taste of their own poo. Just saying.
*Note to Hannah* I keep forgetting to say, Congrats on your engagement!!! Are they gonna be in the wedding? Apollo would look great in bowtie and Jenna could carry the basket and be your flower girl. I want pics of course. :-)
Friday, September 5, 2008
This poor sweet old girl is Misty. She was found stray. Can we say dumped? One of the smallest female dalmatians I have ever seen. We need to get her coat fixed up and some tumors removed. She is looking for a great retirement home to spend her golden years in. It looks like she had a few litters in her day as well.
I hate to admit but I forgot this boys name. He is 8 months old and a possible lab mix. (In person he looks possibly pit/pointer cross) Obviously in need of a neuter.
They are all available for adoption at our local shelter: http://humanesocietyofknoxcounty.org/
On an 80 plus degree day squarely in the sun, tied to a bench was an older pit female waiting for her person to come get her. Now there are a few things I find wrong with this situation. One is the fact that she was directly in the sun on a hot day without water or shade. The other is that anyone had access to her at any time. Disturbing to me because we have some people in our area that aren't nice to animals and aren't totally stable. To ME tying a dog out and leaving it in this situation is a very bad idea for the safety of the dog. What if someone hurts the dog and it reacts by biting? What if someone lies and says the dog tried to bite them? Why put your dog in that situation if you don't need to?
So I stood there, using my body to provide some shade for the poor girl until her owner returned, over 30 minutes later. Somehow I managed to speak calmly to her and explained that it was to hot to leave a dog out in the sun for that long. Her reply was that it was better than in the car. My response to that was that while that was true she could have tied her on the other side where there was shade available. That is IF she was insistent on leaving her dog unattended where it's safety was in question. I told her I wouldn't trust everyone in this area to that degree. To her credit she calmly said thank you for the advise and said to have a good day. Hopefully she reconsiders this option next time even if she found me to be a meddling b***h. The dog was a very sweet older girl who's name I found out was Bella. I took a photo of her with my phone camera but have no idea how to download those on the computer.
Check out the new toy from the Loyal Biscuit. It is supposed to be a favorite with pugs and other small dogs. I figured Jenny and Missy would be pleased.
Jack and Jenny would disagree and say they are a favorite with ALL size dogs.
It is a good thing for Jenny that Jack doesn't mind sharing. Missy waited til they were both done then stole it and tucked it away in her crate with all the other hoarded toys.
Poor Jacks hotspot area is healing unevenly. To the point where I think it is time for a thyroid test. Thyroid issues are very common in akitas so it is something I recommend you do with your akita even if they don't show physical signs. It is also something I recommend for any dog with aggression issues to rule it out as a possible cause or exacerbation of an issue. (FYI Tufts university does a full thyroid panel on ALL dogs brought in for behavior consults dealing with aggression.)
Missy relaxing in her crate after I claimed all the toys back. (How can that be comfortable?)