Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Me...so far

So I've been spending several days hanging out in the yard during the day with my friend Mona (who has been staying with us), Big Sandy, and Bernie. Jenn says that we're having major work done inside the house and I can't be inside. I might get into things that aren't safe, like power saws. She says that sometime tomorrow, all the work will be done, and I'll have new cool tile to lie on. Which will be great for the summer when I need to cool down. Jenn's been hanging out inside (she used the word "marooned") and passing the time by making a little video of my life so far. There are many snippets of me as a wee puppy, working on my box projects and sleeping in various embarrassing positions (!). Check out my movie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Day at the Aussie Dog Show

Sunday was my day at the Carolina Australian Shepherd Club Spring Fling. Jenn took me to socialize with lots of people and other dogs and to participate in a conformation show. Not sure what all that was about. I had to stand around waiting, which was BORING. Jenn's sister Kim came with her husband Jim and their kids Caldwell and Kaufman. They even brought their Newfy Holly to cheer me on. We went into a gated ring, trotted around and then I had to be very still and get touched by a judge. I especially liked coming out of the ring and cuddling with Kaufman and Caldwell. They gave me a red ribbon for second place! Jenn told me to be very proud even though I was competing against only one other dog. I did have the biggest entourage and cheering section! Then I got to go outside and watch other dogs compete in agility. Boy, that looks like fun! Jenn said that when I finish my Canine Good Citizen class this summer, we can start with agility. I can't wait! Check out my dog show video and see me strut my stuff!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Day of Beauty at Bed and Bone

Oh, admit it-I'm gorgeous! Yesterday, I spent my afternoon at Bed and Bone Boarding Kennel. Jen and Maripi are wonderful and kind people that offer boarding, training and grooming (my Jenn offers training classes there).

Claudette gave me a bath and dried my fur using a giant hair dryer. I didn't think this was very fun, but Jenn was there telling me to relax. She gave Jenn tips on getting dogs squeaky clean.

Maripi brushed me out and trimmed me up. Maripi is also a professional handler and has not only been to Westminster but won Best in Show with a Scottie named Peggy Sue. Maripi and Claudette gave Jenn more tips on handling for a conformation show this weekend. Jenn says it will be just for fun. I'll get a chance to meet lots of people and other dogs

I promptly came home from my beautification and rolled in the dirt out in the yard. That was the most fun!

Thanks to Bed and Bone for my day of beauty! Check out Bed and Bone by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mona's Visit

My friend Mona came for an overnight visit. She is a beautiful, 1 year old German Shepherd. Her people Laura and Anthony are going out of town this weekend and Jenn wanted to see if we would all get along so she could stay here with us. We had the best time and we played and played. Jenn took some video and you can see several interesting things. First, Mona and I love playing together. We are both very active puppies with similar play styles. Next, Big Sandy gives Mona "The Face" when she approaches her. "The Face" may look scary, but it's a communication tool used to avoid conflict. Mona respects "The Face" and backs off. Later, Mona tries to get Bernie playing by circling and licking his face. Bernie puts up with it for a bit, but he doesn't use "The Face". He grabs Mona's muzzle and vocalizes to get her to back off and calm down. This is followed by a bit of play with Bernie. My favorite video clip is where I get special laptime with Anthony. I don't remember the last clip 'cause I was passed out. Mona's coming back soon to stay for several days. I can't wait!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wacky Doodle Duck Part One

Jenny and Jon (friends of Jenn and Eric) gave me the greatest gift! It's a big yellow duck that sings when you press its foot. I can't decide if I love it or hate it, but I just can't get enough. I especially love to throw it around! Check out my first video to see me play with the duck.

Jenn says you have to excuse the bad camera work, as she was laughing the whole time which jiggled the camera.

Jenn has other videos on the way, from my younger puppy days and on training/behavior that will be available soon.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our afternoon with Dr. R.K. Anderson

Who is Dr. R.K. Anderson? He is one of the inventors of the Gentle Leader headcollar and the Easy Walk harness, both revolutionary training tools used by dog trainers. A veterinarian for over 6 decades, he's partnered with Duffer Schultz, a media/communications specialist to develop a new educational website for dog behavior professionals with downloadable videos on different canine issues/techniques. Dr. Anderson and Duffer came over to our house to film Jenn talking about and demonstrating TTouch, and how she uses it with dogs that have health or behavior issues. Big Sandy was her demo dog (although I think I'm just as photogenic).

It was a real honor for Jenn to spend time with Dr. Anderson. He's done so much for dogs in promoting gentle, humane training and he's a very kind person to boot.

Duffer let me check out the camera, tripod, and stick my entire head in the photo equipment bag too.

You can check out ABRIonline.org
Jenn's video should be up sometime next month.

Monday, April 7, 2008

You mean this isn't my couch too?

Well, you've really caught me this time! This is my new favorite spot on the livingroom couch. I like to quietly sneak onto the couch when Jenn or Eric get distracted. He, he. Each time they catch me, they calmly say the word "Off" as they point to the floor, in no uncertain terms. I get the idea. Jenn says the furniture is for people, not puppies and that's why they have comfy dog beds all over the house. Allowing your puppy onto furniture or on your bed is a personal decision. But many times what it says to the puppy is that he/she is on the same level as the people, big time confusing the leadership roles. At the very least, you can teach your puppy to only come onto furniture when you invite them and get off when you say so. That way, we understand that couch access is a perk controlled by you, the leader of the house. Click here to learn how you can establish leadership in your house without force or confrontation. If I'm a good puppy, maybe I'll get some legal couch time soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Yikes! What's that??!! Stress!

I've had a couple scary things happen and now I know what it's like to feel stress. I was in the dog park and I heard this really loud noise that Jenn said was a trash dumpster being emptied. I heard it and just ran and ran trying to get away. Jenn said I shouldn't be concerned, that the scary noise wouldn't hurt me. She didn't get upset or coddle me. She just told me to do some tricks for her and she fed me some treats which got my mind back to a thinking place. Giving commands and rewards is a great way to help your puppy deal with new stressful situations. Puppies between 6-12 months can get scared at objects and noises and we need to learn they are OK (see fear periods).
This is what I look like when I'm scared, concerned or stressed. My ears go back on my head, and my face gets all tense. Can't you see how freaked out I am? When I'm stressed, I also might yawn, pant/salivate, shake off, lick my lips, pace, whine, etc. Most dogs have a range of signals that indicate stress and it can be helpful for you as their person, to recognize stress in your dog. You can learn more about stress signals by reading the book by Turid Rugaas called "Calming Signals". Read this article for more info.