Dec 30, 2010
Just like humans, dogs need something to do or they get bored. When dogs are bored they often get into trouble digging, chewing, wandering, etc. It’s easy to get wrapped up in so many other family activities that we forget about our 4-legged friends.
It’s important to make a daily effort to take time for our dog(s). Find something the dog loves to do. Throw the ball, take a long relaxing walk, do some obedience work, or just sit in the grass under a big tree. If it’s possible take your dog places like the dog park or the local pet store if allowed. Getting out and about helps build better social skills. Dogs don’t really care what they are doing as long as they are doing it with you.
Dec 1, 2010
Here’s a fun little recipe that ended up in my email recently.
I made some the other day and my horses love them! It’s simple, fun and a little messy so roll up your sleeves, get the kids involved and have fun cooking for your horse or as a gift to a horse lover in your life.
- 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup molasses
Mix ingredients in a bowl in the order listed. Roll dough into small balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Nov 23, 2010
I’m not a hunter.
I don’t consider myself a hunter, but….I love to pheasant hunt. For me it’s not about shooting the bird, it’s all about doing something with my dogs and my family. I love walking the field with my dogs and my husband. I love watching my Lab and Springer fan back and forth in front of us. I love watching them change when they get on a scent, when they respond to our commands and I love it most when they proudly retrieve a downed bird. I don’t generally carry a gun. I carry the dog water, leashes, remote collar controller and downed birds. Oh, and I shoot with my camera. I love to capture the thrill of the hunt.
Guess what?! I am a hunter after all!
Oct 22, 2010
Most animal lovers have had many different animal partners over the years. Each one we’ve loved and cherished. But there’s always “the one” that stands out; one animal partner that touched your heart (and others) in a way that can’t be explained and that will live on in memory long after he’s passed over the rainbow bridge. This is mine…
“Eddie” was my special animal partner. Eddie was a yellow lab aptly named “Dannick’s Special Edition”. The name came to me the morning we were to go pick him up. Little did I know that day as my son and I drove home with our little yellow bundle that he would find so many ways to live up to his name.
I bought Eddie as a companion and show dog. He went everywhere with us right from the start. Eddie was the patient babysitter, quiet watchdog and happy companion. He loved people and people loved him. Eddie was good at “communicating” with people but there is one very special incident that still today leaves me amazed at my special boy.
Eddie was about 8yrs old when he sired a litter of pups for my breeder. The puppies were about 9 weeks old when my mom and I decided to cheer up a friend of hers by taking one puppy and Eddie to the hospital for a visit. I had the puppy and my mom had Eddie. We didn’t get 6 feet through the front doors before everyone was gathering around the puppy wanting to see her. She of course was the center of attention! Eddie and Mom stood quietly by watching the commotion over the cute little puppy.
Then from the other side of the lobby a woman sheepishly approached my mom and asked if she could pet Eddie. “Of course!” my mom said. The woman barely stroked Eddie’s back at first. Eddie just stood like a rock and looked at her as if to say “really, it’s ok”. She started petting Eddie more and more, relaxing and getting closer to him. Then she looked to my mom and claimed that she was terrified of dogs and had been all her life. She’d cross a street to stay away from dogs on a walk or in a yard. She hadn’t touched a dog in over 30 years. When she saw our dogs in the lobby of the hospital the woman had planned on walking through as fast as possible but Eddie caught her eye. She said there was something about him and the expression in his eyes that told her not to be afraid, that it was ok to come over. Somehow Eddie drew this woman to him and showed her that she didn’t have to fear him. She stayed touching and petting Eddie as she talked for several minutes with my mom. Before she left she said “can I give him a hug?” My mom replied “Yes, Eddie would love one”. The woman kneeled down on Eddie’s level and gave my dog the biggest hug. That day Eddie changed a woman’s life by quietly helping her though a life long fear.
Eddie spent many more years “talking” to others at work, nursing homes, hospitals, and at home. Sadly Eddie passed away December 23rd, 2009. He was 13 years old. He may be gone but will never be forgotten. He was my “Special Edition”.
Oct 4, 2010
There are lots of dog trainers and therefore lots of training methods. Some are very harsh, while some are all about praise. All eventually get the desired results. Over the years I’ve studied under a multitude of trainers with a variety of methods. I feel I’m a better trainer for this since one specific method might not work for all dogs and it’s important to adjust training styles to the dog owner and dog’s own “dogenality”.
Overall, I consider my training methods as heavy on the positive re-enforcement (treats and praise combined) with a touch of effective correction when necessary. I teach methods that allow the dog to do what’s expected the first time, every time. This ensures better quality communication with our dog in the long run. In an emergency situation it is imperative that a dog listen and do as asked with the first command, not after repeating it 10 times.
Do I care what age the dog is? Nope. I do believe that it’s generally easier to start obedience work with a little puppy but dogs never stop learning. Puppies will learn quickly but lose interest fast, grown dogs learn quickly but often times have to be retrained or “untrained”. Each dog has his own set of challenges to work with.
For the most part I am just a person who loves dogs and loves teaching others about their dogs. I enjoy seeing dogs and their owners thrive and grow while learning basic obedience. There is nothing better than being around a well mannered dog and I enjoy helping others accomplish that.