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This guy needs your help!

Check out his story.


Training the Tough Stuff: Part 1

Is that a treat?

Maybelle does not like it when she can’t go running up to every dog she meets. When I first got her and we encountered a dog walking down the opposite side of the road she’d want to pull me across the street. Trying to teach her to be calm was fruitless. Instead she just got worse. She started barking at dogs, lunging, and generally acting like a lunatic. It’s hard to explain to strangers that she’s not mean, she just a control freak who is frustrated by not being able to go running up to every dog she sees in order to sniff its butt.

So today we finally headed off to a class designed  to tackle the tougher issues many dog owners face. Basic obedience is great for learning the proper way to use positive reinforcement and get the foundations you need, but unless you’re a super-genius you probably don’t come away from it knowing how to deal with a dog that goes ballistic every time it doesn’t get to go running up to a new dog.  And the real problem is, most people don’t have the patience to help you practice, because it takes a long time to patiently reward good, calm behavior. So I started looking for a program that wasn’t just going to teach me more commands, but was going to let me practice the things we really needed to practice…and we seem to have found it. Read the rest of this entry

How Did You Celebrate National Dog Day?

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Thanks to Facebook I learned that today was National Dog Day. So I asked Maybelle what she wanted to do for “her day” and she said she wanted to go hiking and try out her new Kurgo pack… oh, and chase some chipmunks while I yelled from the path for her to come back.

Since it’s “her day” I obliged…especially the yelling from the path part. (Truth be told, I was hoping that backpack would slow her down enough to keep her from chasing every woodland creature she saw or heard.

No such luck.

But she had a good time and is passed out now, so that’s all that matters.

What did you do to celebrate National Dog Day?

Adopt This Dog: Caleb

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Look at those eyes! You can tell Caleb is smart as a whip! And at 40 lbs, he’s totally portable without being a “little dog.”
Also, if you have anything in your yard that need herding, we’re pretty sure he’d be happy to oblige.

Deer Huntin’

Which way did it go?

I should preface this by saying, no deer were harmed in the making of this blog post.

About 80% of the reason I decided to get a dog was to have a hiking partner that had no choice but to go with me, even if I decided to go at the spur of the moment. In fact, the reason I didn’t adopt Maybelle’s buddy Wilbur was because he didn’t have the stamina for hiking. When I first met him, long before I adopted Maybelle, he laid down halfway through a short summer walk. Read the rest of this entry

Doggy Sleepover

This weekend Maybelle and Tulla had a sleepover. It was actually very eye-opening for me. May has only been with me for a little over a month, and so we’re still getting to know each other. One of the more bothersome things I’ve noticed is her tendency to guard food from my cats. (The other day I emptied her bag of dog food into a plastic bin, folded the bag an stuck it into a little recycling bin I have next to the garbage. When Jerry, my fat cat, wandered by it, May leaped up and put her body between the empty food bag and the cat. WTF?) But as we discovered after having Tulla around for 24 hours, May doesn’t seem to have the same problem with dogs. (I can only assume she once lived with mean, greedy cats.)

I also discovered a couple of fenced in playgrounds behind the YMCA daycare near my house. Since no one is there on the weekend, I decided to lock myself in with the dogs and let them go to town… And boy did they ever. More interestingly, May didn’t go into super-intense herding mode. Instead she seems to have learned that if she runs, the other dog will chase her. In other words, she doesn’t need to bark incessantly at the other dogs. Or perhaps it’s just because they’re getting used to each other…or Tulla told her off in doggy language. Who knows?

But I got it all on video!