Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stops Pulling Challenge Week 2

It is week 2 of the Stops Pulling Challenge. This week, I'm learning where and how Jenn wants me to walk. Check out our video and you can work with your puppy's leash manners too.

Home Renovations are exciting!

There has been so much activity around here lately. Apparently, we are having some much needed home renovations done. There are men coming and going all day long, making awful loud sounds with tools and machines. It's funny because everytime they show up, Jenn gives me a big marrow bone and then I don't really care about the men or the noises. It takes me hours to work through and get all the marrow out. By the time I'm done, I'm ready for a nap. It's now easy to take a nap, even with all this noise going on.

Jenn says that giving dogs a special project and/or increased physical activity can be helpful while having home renovations or repairs done. That way, we don't have a freak out when the workman come and we actually look forward to them being here. I must say that plan really worked for me.

Bernie's funny because he doesn't seem to care about the noises at all. He likes to monitor all the activity and keep track of who is coming and going. We all should be so low key!
Big Sandy has needed a little extra help dealing with these men that bring the banging, saws and nail guns. She barks at them when they show up in the morning, telling them to get out of her house! She started wearing her Thundershirt bodywrap to help her feel safe and secure with all the commotion and noise going on. To help her calm down, we also put her bed in the quietest part of the house. I think she'll be most happy when the house is quiet again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stops Pulling Challenge Week 1

Jenn and I are doing the Halti Stops Pulling Challenge. This week, we're working on me being calm as we prepare to leave the house on a walk.

Check out our YouTube video of Week 1 of the Challenge.

You can join the challenge by going to the Stops Pulling Challenge website and downloading the first week.

Stops Pulling Challenge

Jenn says I need some work! And that my leash walking manners have gone down the tubes. Horrors! I guess I have gotten a bit pully now and then.

So Jenn is going to take me through the Stops Pulling Challenge. This is a four week program designed by the folks that make the Halti Headcollar. Now you don't have to be using a Halti to do the challenge. You just need a dog that pulls on leash and the time and energy to help them change their behavior.

Each week, Jenn will videotape our progress so you can see what to do.

Here are some of the general guidelines of the Stops Pulling Challenge which are suggestions to help your dog not practice pulling.
1. You may need to change your normal routine for a while walking in less exciting places or at different times so it is easier for your dog to be calmer.
2. Make sure to play with your dog and exercise them before the walk to burn off energy. If your dog's only outlet for exercise is leash walking, of course they are more likely to pull.
3. The most important rule your dog must learn is that tension on the leash does not equal forward movement. The only thing that makes you move forward is a loose leash. So if your dog pulls, stop. When the leash is slack, move.

Check out the rest of the general guidelines of the Stops Pulling Challenge and download the first week of the challenge.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Modeling Gig!

Check me out! I got another modeling job. Jenn is writing a series of articles for the APDT journal "Chronicle of the Dog" on the TTouch Method. The first article will be published in March and features body wraps. So, of course I was enlisted to be the perfect model for the wraps. I got to model the full wrap and the half wrap. Body wraps are light fitting lengths of fabric or shirts like the Thundershirt used to give the animal awareness about their body. Kind of like swaddling a baby, wraps can be very helpful with dogs that have anxieties, physical or behavioral issues. Jenn's been using wraps with her clients for many years and she uses them on me when I get nervous during storms. I'll be sure the post Jenn's article as soon as it is published so you can learn more about using body wraps.

Jet is Three Weeks Old!

My new sister/niece Jet is now three weeks old. She'll be coming to live with us in March and I am getting excited about having a puppy in our family. Katrina the breeder says that Jet is doing everything first. She was the first puppy to climb out of the whelping box, play with a toy, and want to explore the world. Jenn says that Jet sounds like a very confident little pup already.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I have a new sister!

Oh my gosh! I have a new sister. Well, actually she is really my niece not my sister. Her name is Jet and her daddy is my half brother Skittles (also a son of my daddy Shake 'n Jake)...
and her mom is named Dixie. They are quite handsome and Jet is awful cute. Maybe that is because she looks a lot like me. She is red tri-colored and has a full tail like Bernie. Jenn asked that Jet be able to keep her whole tail like I did. Only my tail turned about to be a natural bob anyway.
Jenn told me that she and Eric thought long and hard about adding another dog to our family and they wanted to wait until I was over 2 years old. It will add more work, more time, and more energy to their schedules particularly over the first year. Puppies are a ton of work!

I'm not quite sure how I feel about all this. Having to share the attention, the toys, and the FOOD. But I will have someone else to entertain, someone to teach things to, someone to snuggle with. Well, I guess it won't be all bad.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January is National Train Your Dog Month!

The folks at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers had this great idea to name January National Train Your Dog Month! They have a new website with links and articles all about how to get your puppy into training early and also how to get your adult dog back into training for fun.

Jenn says that I'm no exception and that it is time to get off my butt. I'll be starting training classes ASAP after she had to take a long break to get over her Lyme Disease. Now that Jenn is feeling better, I'm going to rejoin the Drill Team and maybe do a Rally class too. She has big plans for me in the coming months. Should be fun!!

Check out the link to the APDT National Train Your Dog Month website.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Holiday Travels and a Happy New Year

Wow! What a whirlwind of activity the past few weeks. We were traveling a lot and boy am I glad to be home and back my own house and my own yard. We went to visit Jenn's family in Maryland where it snowed two feet right before we arrived.
I got to romp with Holly the Newf. Playing in the snow was so fun!We had a great time chasing each other and it felt so good the run, run, run.
Big Sandy had a less active time on our holiday. Traveling is more stressful for her now and she has a tough time getting around on the different types of flooring. She didn't venture far from her orthopedic bed most of the time. Jenn started using some absorbent pads to keep her bed nice and clean. She pees sometimes when she is asleep. But she really enjoyed getting attention from everyone and being with the whole family.Jenn's mom made us all holiday Jing-A-Ling dog bandanas. Bernie is modeling his green ruffle. Bernie got to be squirrel patrol looking out the windows of the house. This kept him pretty busy the whole trip.So, I had lots of free time on my holiday to develop some very helpful new skills. I became a dish washing assistant for Jenn's mom. Here I am being very thorough to get every last bit off these plates. Hard work! Next, I found a great new way to give attention to people. I became a lapdog. Jenn's nephew Caldwell was the first person I tried this out on. He was a little surprised.
I figured that I might as well make myself comfortable on the couch as well, pick up a playing card, and participate in a human game called "Last Word". This unfortunately was a short lived venture as Jenn reminded me that furniture is for people (unless you are invited). Bummer.Finally, it was time for a nap. Here's to a healthy and happy New Year and good things to come for us all!!