Monday, January 30, 2012

Working Dogs

Very cool dog. 
I wanna be like him when I grow up.
But cooler. 
Printer Dachshund. *nods*
I like it. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Walkies: Episode 2

Texas on the Porch
Having two dogs in the house, has made me extremely lazy, I will admit that. Well, I should say, having two lazy dogs in the house, as made me lazy. However, when my neighbor needed to use my computer while I was gone, I decided yesterday was as good as day as any, to take the dachshunds out on the town. So I loaded up their crate, and off we went. Let me tell you, they were NOT happy about being crated in the car, but it had to be done, if I wanted Texas to be any semblance of calm, once we arrived at our final destinations.

For Mr. Reactivity, sitting in the car, increases the likelihoods of him becoming extremely reactive, people walking around, dogs, birds, etc, will elicit an extreme reaction from him, to the point that if someone were to stick their hand in my car, they would get bitten. (If he were in there of course)

Hence the crate. I quickly discovered, that if I played music, they would quiet down, but listening to a book-on-tape, brought to mind, how much they could be missing, by not being in my lap, and the chorus of whining would resume. Needless to say, we were jamming on our way to the park. After a quick stop at a local pet store for more harnesses, (as our old ones have "mysteriously disappeared" .. Texas left the house with one on, came back a few minutes later without it. Haven't seen it since!) and another bag of dog food... and we were on our way.

Getting out of the car, took the most time, first I had to wait until they stopped whining and jumping around, then I had we practiced not lunging out of the crate as soon as the door was opened. Bubbles won, so she got out first, then we did another, longer round with Texas, until he too "got it" and sat quietly until I opened the door all the way.

Once that was accomplished, we harnessed up, watered up and prepared to start on our way.  However, the dachshunds, always on the look out for trouble, spotted some, in the form of a furry white dog, jogging with his owner.


"Texas. Bubbles"

Huh? Wha? Treats? Cool.

I was surprised, and impressed at how quickly they redirected. All that work is worth something after all!

The park where we were, had several walking trails, most paved, but there was one that went through the woods.. perfect for my reactive dog, but to get to it, we'd have to walk around the dog park. I was mentally preparing for a fencing fighting scenario, but none came. Some of the dogs ran along side, but Texas & Bubbles ignored them.


We did practice sitting, as a jogger dashed by and continued on our walk. It wasn't until we were on our way back, that the ultimate trigger descended upon us, in the form of a loose dog.

Now I live in the country, so an off leash dog, isn't an huge cause for alarm in my book, I was more concerned about what Texas would do, to said dog rushing him, than I was about the dog attacking us. Turned out I was wrong to be concerned, not only did Bubbles & Texas come back to my side without even hackling, the dog in question, checked out the scene and decided that there were other things to do besides pester these little guys.

Never have I been more proud of my guys.

Seriously? A large dog rushed us, and my dogs turn to me for treats?


Once the owners got control of their way-ward animal, we were able to walk past them, and another dog without any problem.

By this time, Bubbles was definitely winded and ready to stop. I wanted to put her up and continue with Texas, but decided to end the afternoon on a high note.

Why Yes, I think we'll do this more often!



Check out My other Blogs: Big News on Chronicles of a Puppy Walker | Life is ... going.. at Life of a College Student.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Understanding

You Have dog treats, I'm a dog...what's the hold up?

Can an old dog learn new tricks? To be sure, but not without much patient understanding on the part of the owner. Right now we're teaching Bubbles to "Stay" something she will do, only at the door. Its a slow process to be sure, unlike teaching Texas who picks up things quickly, Bubbles requires multiple sessions going over the same thing.

One of these day's she'll get it.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Chewy Rules!

Sometime last week, I was contacted by a representative from asking me if I would be willing to review their website. Not being one to turn down free stuff (and in dire need of dog treats) quickly replied that I would, and was promptly sent my "coupon". 
Being a web design major, my first impression of a website, is what will set the tone for the remainder of my visit. Mr. Chewy is easy lets you know what they offer up front and make it easy to find what you need quickly. I was pleased to see they offered a LARGE variety of pet food brands,treats and even Flea & Tick Medicine! I quickly found treats that I normally pick up at PetsMart or Pets Supplies Plus, on the site at nearly the same price. 

While I was not in the market for dog food at the moment, I did look through there selection to see if their prices were any better than buying locally.Unfortunately for me, I can get a bigger bag for the same price offered online, so I didn't have much luck in that way.

I quickly selected what I needed/wanted and placed my order. This on Wednesday, Friday afternoon, I pulled up to my house to see my box sitting on my front porch, just waiting to be dove it. 

In conclusions, Mr. Chewy is a easy to navigate website, easy to use, and has fast shipping! Definitely will be a recommended site in our book!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Four days late, into the new year, and we've already had our first furry visitor, and a new one at that! 

This is Snowy, whose breed and age we have no clue about. The original plan was to feed & care for her at their house, as
I'd just arrived home from a trip, two days ago, and wanted to give Bubbles and Tex a chance to settle back in at home. (They stayed with a friend's house while I was gone.) 

I was feeling confident in my decision to let her hang out on her own turf, after it took me thirty minutes to convince her, I wasn't a dog-eating-human. However the weather had other plans. During the night, it snowed, maybe a half an inch, no big deal right? 


While the road's by my house were clear, the roads leading to Snowy's abode, where coated with snow, and ice. Now you have to understand, in order to get to the N********'s Family Home, you must drive up and over two hills, across a bridge, and around a steep turn, that has a huuuuge drop off, and once you make it past that, you must drive down another hill, filled with curves, drop off's and what not. By the time I made it around the first steep turn (with the drop off) I knew I wasn't about to attempt, going downhill in my little car. So I turned around and CREPT back to "safety" only to find, I was in between two hills. Two hills that did not want my car to climb it. 

After several attempts I pulled into a subdivision, parked my car, and did what any child would do. Called my dad. 

However as we were talking, I watched car after car attempt the hills. Some made it on the first try, while others had to back up, gather their courage and gun it again. After about twenty minutes, with no check in's from my father, I decided to try it again. The fifth time is the charm apparently, though my wills spun, I kept my foot steady on the accelerator and we made it over the hill. Never have I been so happy to get out of a place. 

So I went home, took a nap, and then with the sun shining I went back, and decided that Snowy was going to come home with me. Now for the fun part. Introducing the dogs. 

There are a lot of awesome tips when it comes to introducing strange dogs into your home, some include: "Make sure both dogs are on a leash" or " Take the dogs on a walk “together” – single file" - great suggestion if you have another person readily available. 

I don't. 

So I have to come up with alternative ways of introducing the dogs, ideally If I know there is a point in time, where I MAY watch someone else's dog, I'll ask to meet at a park or something. 

To date, this has never happened, but it's a good idea! :) 

Lately I've divided my single wide into half, double gating my dogs away from the new dog, they can see and hear each other, but the distance is too great to encourage things like fence fighting. Which SOMEONE is apt to do.
I walked Snowy in the front door of my house, hopped the gates, and let my dogs out the back door; giving her about thirty minutes to adjust to the house sans dogs. Then I brought my dogs back in, and immediately began watching for behavior out of Texas I could reward. Aka him quietly looking through the gate. 

Though he did do quite a bit of barking, I was able to reward him several times, for simply looking through the gate and looking back at me. 


After about an hour of separation, I occupied Texas in his crate with a Kong, and let Bubbles into the second gated area to meet the new dog. Bubbles is normally the best "meet & greeter" and SOMETIMES can help set the tone for Texas. I'd forgotten that Snowy's owner's have watched her in the past, so they basically could have cared-less about the other. This having gone well, I decided to release Snowy into area #2. After filling my pockets with treats, I went and released Texas into area #1, leaving the gate between him and Snowy. 

He saw Snowy.

Treats rained down from heaven.

He sniffed at Snowy.

More treats rained. 

He looked at Snowy. 

More treats. 

No growls, barks, or snarls. 

I removed the gate. 

Snowy sniffed Him.

He stood quietly.

More treats. 

After this, I put on Snowy's leash and we all walked around the cul-de-sac a bit before, returning to the house. This is only the second time, I've done this sort of thing, to introduce Texas to a new (bigger) dog, and I must say, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before! Its obvious if I want him to change his behavior, I need to REWARD what I like. It has gone so much better than, constantly pulling him off the other dog. 

Seeing success in this area, just encourages me as we work towards our other goals with him! :) 

But back to Snowy, by that evening, Miss Snowy had settled in, and was making herself at home. There were a couple snarky moments, as Snowy has an interesting play style, that consists of smacking her paws into her playmates face. Something Texas did NOT appreciate. But over all, she's doing fine. 

I think we may see more of Snowy in the future. :)