Saturday, February 28, 2015

National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day. Jedi feels this is a holiday worth celebrating!

Choosey Moms Choose JIF

Want to celebrate too? If you're not a "give the dog an empty peanut butter jar" kind of person, perhaps you'd rather bake a cake. This recipe is for the Peanut Butter Carrot Cake that I made in celebration of Jedi's first birthday.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • More peanut butter for frosting and bacon bits for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake pan. (I used this silicone mold and omitted the grease.)
  2. Combine egg, peanut butter, honey, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir in carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together flour and baking soda, then fold into carrot mixture. Spoon batter into baking pan.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Today is also Sepia Saturday! Click around below and see what others are sharing. -- K

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Think He Knows

I'm leaving this afternoon for a conference. I'll be back in three days. I think Jedi suspects something. He keeps giving me "the look." See:

 What do you think?

It's Thoughtless Thursday! We're joining Ruckus and friends to bring you a bunch of random thoughts -- or no thoughts at all! Click around below and see what I mean. -- K

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Roxy!!

It's Roxy's 10th birthday*

Can you guess what she wants to do for her birthday?

BTW, "Go for a ride" and "Take of this stupid hat" are both correct answers. Lucky girl -- all her birthday wishes were granted.

* Truth is, we don't know Roxy's real birthdate. We arbitrarily picked today. She joined our family in February of 2007 and she was about two at the time. February 25th is Son #2's birthday, and we thought it would be great if she could share the date with her favorite person in the world.

Do you celebrate your pets' birthdays? What special things do you do?

It's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, February 23, 2015

Zoom Groom

I was whining about the challenges of washing a double coated dog when a friend suggested the Zoom Groom from Kong. I had never heard of this. Have you? It's a weird looking rubber brush that you can use on either wet or dry fur. My friend said to use it when shampooing. Zoom Groom is only about $10 at Petsmart so I thought I'd give it a try the next time I bathed the dogs.
It's easy to hold on to, even with wet hands. The firm, rubber nubbies do an excellent job of getting the shampoo through the undercoat all the way to the skin. They remove any loose hairs in the process. (I had to clean it out four times on one dog -- and that was after his pre-bath brushing.) And by the look on Jedi's face, it feels pretty good massaging the skin too.

It didn't take any extra time to bathe Jedi using the Zoom Groom, but the results are great. He's shiny clean and smells great! The Zoom Groom has earned it's place in our canine cleaning routine. -- K

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oops, She Did It Again

According to Blogger, my most popular post is the one about Roxy pooping in Petsmart. (Yeah, really.) I swear we're conscientious pet owners. We walk our dogs outside in the grass before going in the store. We tell them to "Go potty." We even wait until they tell us that they don't have to go. Apparently that's not good enough, because Roxy did it again. This time in Petco.

At least she pretended to be remorseful this time. She's not, trust me.
I'm beginning to think that Roxy likes pooping in the pet store. Maybe it's her wild side peeking through. I wonder if she has a secret goal of crapping in every pet store chain in Jacksonville. Her own kind of bucket list. If so, the people at Pet Supermarket had better watch out.

It's Sepia Saturday! Click around and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

He IS a Shepherd!

Last weekend I entered Jedi in a couple herding instinct trials. Basically, we put him in a pen with sheep and watched what happened. Jedi had never seen sheep before, so I was a bit worried.

Jedi was put on a long line and three sheep were walked around the pen. Jedi sniffed the sheep. (Seriously, he buried his nose in the back end of a poor ewe. It was embarrassing!)

At first Jedi just followed the sheep. Then he started chasing the sheep. But at 2 minutes, 8 seconds the light came on and he started herding the sheep! The long line was dropped and I watched in total amazement.

Jedi circled around one way, then the other, driving the sheep forward and keeping them together. It was incredible! All I could think to say was "Oh my goodness. He IS a shepherd!"

It's Wordless Wednesday. Click around to see what others are sharing today. -- K

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pet Theft Awareness Day

February 14th is Pet Theft Awareness Day. Today I'm going to put on my Animal Control officer hat and give you a few tips.
#1: Don't leave your pets unattended.
Most thefts are simply a matter of opportunity. Thieves are like cockroaches: lowly creatures that prefer to stay unnoticed. Keep pets inside when you're not home, don't leave them in a car or tied up in front of the 7-11. I know, sounds simple right? Well, the next tip is even easier.
#2: Always keep collars and tags on your pets.
Yes, always. The two biggest excuses I hear are "My dog just got a bath" and "My cat never leaves the yard." Both are crap. If the dog is dry enough to go outside, he's dry enough to wear a collar. And cats don't care about property lines. However, if you follow tip #1 then it doesn't matter. Most of the "thefts" I deal with are actually cases where pets got out and the owners couldn't be located so the finders became keepers. Make it easy to return your pet! I say the next tip so often that I sound like a broken record.
#3: Microchip your pets.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes pets do get out and sometimes collars do come off. Microchips are a great back-up. (They should not be your only form of ID.) I return microchipped pets all the time. Please note: microchips only work if the information is valid. About 10% of the chipped animals I pick up never make it home because:
  • The chip was never registered
  • The phone number has been changed or disconnected
  • Owners moved and left no forwarding address
  • The registered owner gave the animal away (usually on Craigslist) and the registration was never transferred
Could this be you? If so, there's an easy fix -- check your chip today! Have your pet scanned. Nearly all vet clinics, animal shelters and animal control agencies have microchip scanners. Most Petsmart stores have a Banfield clinic inside. They'd be happy to scan your pet. Write down the number and call the microchip company right away. Tell the operator you want to verify and update the contact information (you'll make her day). It can get tricky if you don't remember which microchip company you have. You may need to make a few calls, but this should help:

Jedi's not going anywhere!
24 Pet Watch: The scanner reads a 10-digit alphanumeric code. The phone number is (866) 597-2424.

AKC Companion Animal Recovery: The scanner reads a 9-digit alphanumeric code beginning with TR. The phone number is (800) 252-7894.

AVID: The scanner reads a 9-digit alphanumeric code beginning with AVID. The phone number is (800) 336-2843.

Banfield True Paws: The scanner reads a 10-digit alphanumeric code beginning with 0D0D OR the scanner reads a 15-digit numeric code beginning with 98101. The phone number is (877) 567-8738.

Bayer resQ: The scanner reads a 15-digit numeric code beginning with 981. The phone number is (877) 738-5465.

Home Again: The scanner reads a 10-digit alphanumeric code OR the scanner reads a 15-digit numeric code beginning with 985. The phone number is (888) 466-3242.

I hope your pets never get lost -- stolen or otherwise. But if they do, please check out my post When Pets Go Missing. TTFN, -- K

P.S. Bayer resQ has the worst customer service. I've been on hold with them for 30+ minutes many times. They want you to do everything online (though not everything you need CAN be done online), and it takes hours to get back to you. If you can choose any other microchip for your pets, I suggest you do so and save everybody a headache.

It's Sepia Saturday! Hop around and see what others are sharing today.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Gifts For Your Canine Valentine

I have grown to loathe Valentine’s Day. What happened to the cheap, punny cards and chalky candy hearts of my childhood? When did the holiday become so commercialized? Why do you have to go into debt on over-priced flowers and fancy dinners to show someone you love them? It’s awful! Even the pet industry has gotten into the game. But before you spend any money on that heart shaped squeaky toy or rhinestone studded collar, stop and ask yourself: "Why am I doing this?" and "Does my puppy care?" Petsmart says your dog wants this stuff, but I’m sure your dog would rather just have quality time with you. Aren’t dogs great?! Here are 10 simple ways to show your dog you love him without spending a fortune. (BTW, they can be used anytime, not just on Valentine’s Day.)
  • Turn off the TV and step away from the computer. Give your dog your undivided attention. Talk to him. Tell him about your day. He won’t understand the words, but he’ll be thrilled to hear your voice. On the plus side, he’ll always agree with you. According to Jedi: yes, my boss was being unreasonable yesterday and I totally deserve a raise.
  • Be silly. I once read that dogs enjoy a Three Stooges slapstick-type humor. True or not, I believe that dogs do have a sense of humor. I know they respond to laughter. I’m talking about real belly laughs, not that fake stuff you show to the in-laws. (Dogs can tell the difference.) And I may be anthropomorphizing, but I'd swear that dogs smile when happy.
  • Play a game. Fetch, tag, tug-o-war, chase the laser pointer -- it doesn’t matter what you play. Just play. Looking for a new game? PawNation has some fun ideas.
  • Take a walk. I'm not talking about the “hurry up and pee” walk, or the “I need some exercise” walk that we're all familiar with. Take a DOG walk. Put away your cell phone and enjoy the moment. Stop and smell the flowers -- or whatever you feel like sniffing. Your dog will love it!
  • Find the sweet spot. You know what I'm talking about: that one spot that makes your dog’s feet kick and tongue loll? Every dog has one. Pepper’s was at the base of her tail. Logan would actually groan during ear massages. Roxy loves her belly rubbed and Jedi can’t stay still when you scratch his back. Where is your dog’s sweet spot?
  • Go out for a burger. When the weather is nice we like to go to go to Sonic. We’ll sit at a far table under the awning. Hubby and I enjoy people watching while the dogs split a plain cheeseburger and cup of water, no ice. If we go between 2-5 PM I can get a lemon-berry slush for half price! Cheap date, hunh?
  • Set up a play date. Does your dog have a canine BFF? Why not invite the dog and his owner over for some butt sniffing (the dogs) and margaritas (the humans)?
  • Go for a ride. This is one of Roxy’s favorite pastimes. A trip around the block with her head out the window is the Best. Thing. Ever. Want bonus points? End up at the park or pet store.
  • Learn a new trick. This is a great bonding experience for the two of you. Your dog wants to spend time with you. Seeing you happy because he figured out “roll over” will make his day. Need ideas for tricks? Check out Janet Wall's site or one of the many books from Kyra Sundance.
  • Take an afternoon nap together. Spoiler alert: I let my dogs in bed with me. There’s not enough room for two big dogs and two not-so-small humans to fit comfortably all night. However, there is plenty of room for one human and two dogs to enjoy an hour-long nap. I’d like to think that we all benefit from the closeness of sleeping together.
So, are you feeling inspired? GOOD! Now get off the computer and go spend some time with your dog! Come back later and share your favorite things to do with your pooch. Don't forget to hop around and see what others are sharing on this week's Pet Parade! (Click on the icon to take you to the parade.) -- K

P.S. Regular readers will notice this is a recycled post. It's a good one, and I'd rather spend the day playing with the dogs than sitting in front of the computer.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Liebster Award

Hey everybody! Lauren over at ZoePhee nominated me for a Liebster award. How cool is that? I follow ZoePhee regularly, and am honored that she thinks as highly of me as I do of her. If you haven't checked out ZoePhee, you really should.

This award involves answering 11 questions given by the nominator, telling 11 random facts about myself, nominating up to 11 other blogs and posing 11 questions to them. My first thought: What's up with all these 11s?! Such an odd number. (Odd. Punny, hunh?) Next thought: How am I going to choose 11 blogs? I've decided to play along, though I'm changing the rules a bit -- I'll explain that later. Anyway, here goes:

11 Questions for Me:

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2012 after the death of Logan, my heart dog. I had a difficult time dealing with his death and writing about it was therapeutic. Fortunately, the blog quickly morphed into something more fun and less morose.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would you go?
I've wanted to go to Australia ever since Paul Hogan offered to "slip another shrimp on the barbie" for me. Do you even know who Paul Hogan is? Am I dating myself again?

Just so you know what I'm talking about

What is your favorite breed of dog and why do you like that breed?
I love German shepherds. Surprise! They're very smart, loyal, and extremely versatile. There's a saying that goes "German shepherds are number one and nothing but number two and everything."

Who is your favorite dog trainer(s)? 
Wow, this is a tough one. I've been reading dog training theories since I got my first copy of No Bad Dogs by Barbara Woodhouse in the 80s. I think they all have some merit to them -- even Cesar Milan who promotes exercise, routine and boundaries. I know a lot of whacked out dogs that could use some help there! However, I'd have to say that my favorite dog trainers are the dedicated men and women of K-9 Obedience Club here in Jacksonville. The knowledge, support and camaraderie I've received from my fellow club members is incredible.

What is your favorite dog product?
I love my grooming table and forced air dryer. I can have my double coated German shepherd washed and blown dry in less than an hour. And my back doesn't hurt afterwards. They were worth the money!

Do you have any hobbies?
You mean in addition to blogging and working with my dogs? I enjoy reading, movies, music, grown-up game night with friends and solving logic puzzles. I also enjoy photography -- I'm not good at it, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

What is your favorite exotic animal?
It's a toss up between tigers and elephants. Fortunately we have them both at the Jacksonville Zoo!

How do you come up with ideas for your blog?
There's no rhyme or reason to my blog. I do stuff, I write it down. Sometimes I'll try to follow the theme of a blog hop. Other times my posts are just responses to something that pissed me off earlier. It's a bit unsettling that my rants seem to be my most popular posts. hmm. I would like to be better organized, so I signed up for the Blogger A to Z Challenge in April. That'll be 26 posts on a single topic (I'm doing dog shows). It'll either be an awesome exercise in focus or a big hot mess. I guess we'll see which come May 1st!

LOVE this thing!
Do your dogs have any favorite foods or toys?
Roxy will do anything for the laser pointer. Jedi likes Red Barn bones and the Kong Wobbler. But to be honest, I'm his favorite play toy.

What is your most favorite activity to do with your dog?
I really enjoy hiking the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. And we're having a blast with our Monday night nose work classes. But an afternoon nap or a game of fetch is just as nice.

If you could go anywhere (including time travel) and do anything where would you go and what would you do?
I'd like to go back and talk to my 20 year old self. I'd tell her to relax and enjoy life, she's not fat, she IS good enough and she needs to stop waiting for the "right time" to do something. Truth is, there is never a right time, so go ahead and do whatever it is it now. I'd also tell her to take better care of her teeth and wear sunscreen.

11 Random Facts About Me:
  • I'm left handed.
  • I love a good pun (and several bad ones).
  • I've probably seen Star Wars 100 times.
  • My not-so-secret celebrity crush is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
  • I can drive a stick shift.
  • I love one hit wonders from the 80s.
  • I hate Lynyrd Skynyrd, despite the fact that I'm living in their hometown.
  • My husband has voluntarily put up with my crap for over 26 years.
  • One summer my kids and I watched every James Bond movie from Dr. No to Die Another Day -- with commentaries. And then we wrote a paper on it. Yes, I'm THAT mom.
  • I lived in Japan for 3 years.
  • I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

My 11 Questions to the Nominees:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Where do you get your ideas?
  • What blog-related goals would you like to accomplish in 2015?
  • Besides blogging, what other hobbies do you have?
  • Who was your first dog?
  • What is you favorite dog breed and why?
  • What is your favorite dog product?
  • Does your dog have a favorite toy or treat?
  • What is your favorite thing to do with your dog?
  • What is your favorite dog themed book or movie?
  • What is the best training tip you ever got?

My Nominations:

The rules specify that I must nominate blogs that have less than 3000 subscribers. I find that problematic; there are so many different blog formats that I can't figure out how many subscribers someone has. Does that mean Google+ subscribers? Email subscribers? Blogger subscribers? Who knows. So, I'm changing the rules a little *gasp* by choosing blogs that are less than a year old. I think we need to support the newbies. I've seen so many wonderful, young blogs disappear and I don't know why. My nominees are:

Chasing Dog Tales -- This is a new blog that I discovered recently. I got lost in it, clicking around for an hour or so. (Jedi says it was longer than that, but he can't tell time.) The information is great, the pictures are beautiful and I look forward to what Elaine has to say next.

Let's Go Dog -- I was paired up with this blog for the Pet Blogger's Gift Exchange. Boy did I luck out. This is a beautifully done blog, very informative and lots of fun. And you can't miss the gorgeous pictures of the Pacific Northwest.

Tails From the Road -- For years I've told everybody that I want to buy a camper and travel the country with my dogs. Well, I'm not (yet) but Juliet is! So until I win the lottery, I'm going to live vicariously through her blog.

Should you accept this award, you’ll need to know the rules, which are:
  1. Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
  2. Copy and paste the Liebster logo onto your own blog.
  3. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  4. Answer the 11 questions put to you by the person who nominated you.
  5. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  6. Nominate and link to 3 to 11 other blogs you enjoy that have less than 3000 followers.
  7. List 11 questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.
  8. Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
I hope you take the time to visit the blogs I've linked to. They really are some of my favorites. They just might become your favorites too. And while you're there leave a comment. It'll make their day

I had also planned on nominating DZ Dogs, but apparently Allison was tagged by Walks with Rama (another of my favorites, and the same blog that nominated ZoePhee) and DZ Dogs nominated us first. That being said, Dante and Ziva are wonderful pit bull ambassadors. I love following their adventures and looking at the beautiful pictures. You really should check them out.

And if thought things couldn't get better, it's Thoughtless Thursday! Thank you Ruckus the Eskie, Love is Being Owned by a Husky and M. K. Clinton for hosting. I love this hop. It's so random and quirky -- kind of like me! So after you've visited my faves -- ZoePhee, Chasing Dog Tales, Let's Go Dog, Tails From the Road, DZ Dogs and Walks With Rama -- click around below and see what fun stuff others have to share today. BTW, chances are you'll see several of my faves here. Sometimes they're random and quirky too. Go figure. -- K


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hello Drogo!

Meet Drogo, the newest member of our menagerie. Drogo is an 18 month old bearded dragon. You'll probably be seeing more of him because the only thing I think funnier than dogs in hats is lizards in hats. Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner and I'm already looking for a teeny tiny sombrero. Don't tell Drogo!

It's Wordless Wednesday. Hop around below to see what others are sharing today. -- K

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We're At It Again

This is Suwannee Valley Kennel Club's logo. Isn't it great?
So . . . a while back I bitched and moaned about whether I would continue showing Jedi or look for a different outlet. After a bit of soul searching -- and several "Put on your big girl panties" speeches from loved ones -- I decided that we'd return to the ring and give it a year to see if Jedi and I have what it takes. I shared that with you all and set the April 3 German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida's specialty shows as our return date. I was *almost* comfortable with the decision. But then . . .

The very same day I posted my decision I got a call from my friend/breeder. The Suwannee Valley Kennel Club of Florida is holding two all-breed shows March 21-22. The location is within driving distance so I can skip the cost of a hotel. She really thinks I should go. Hubby concurs. (Those two always gang up on me, BTW.) I am so NOT ready and it's making me anxious. Jedi's stacking is still sloppy and I am so out of shape that I don't know if I can run around the ring. I was lovingly told to quit whining and go anyway. So if I don't want to make a total ass of myself, I need to start jogging. And practice stacking. And praying. Wish me luck!

I'm a little worried that we might be doing too much at once. Here's the dilemma:
  • Nose Work is fun and I don't want to quit. I told Hubby that for now we're just playing, not training for competition. Also, if I drop out I'll lose my spot in the class and may not be able to pick up later. (It took 9 months to get this spot!)
  • I've been wanting to get Jedi's CGC for months. I've mentioned it here multiple times. Unfortunately, classes kept getting pushed back -- until now. And now I'm afraid that we might blow it. Good news is that Trainer says if we don't pass the first time we can retake the test with her any time. I'm trying not to stress. (I'm failing.)
  • THEN there's the Herding Instinct Test. It's just one weekend. THIS weekend. No practicing. I've already sent in the entry fees, so I'm not backing out now. And I don't know if the test opportunity will ever come this close to us again. I've made up my mind, so why am I still stressing over it?
  • So that leaves the stacking and gaiting thing. I haven't been in the ring in almost a year. I'm rusty. I'm afraid I'll look bad. I'm afraid I'll vomit. (Seriously, I haven't jogged in months.) I don't know what to wear. Will my show clothes still fit? (Have I mentioned that I can think something to death?) But the good news is that they'll accept my entry and cash my check regardless of how sucky I am, so who cares. Right? (I care. Dammit.)
  • And if this isn't enough, I'm trying to put together the Blogging From A to Z Challenge stuff now. I'm stuck on a few letters (F, K and N) and others are just rough drafts. Really rough.
Argh! . . . I'm going to stop now. I'm making myself nuts. I think I'll go have a glass of wine -- or three, don't judge me -- and see if I can come up with a game plan that doesn't kill me. Any suggestions? (That's for the game plan; I've got the wine selection figured out.) -- K

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Do I smell hot dogs?!"
I haven't written about our nose work classes in a while. Yes, we still go on Monday nights. This week we introduced the dogs to vehicle searches. That was pretty intense. By the way, next time I see that friend who said "Try nose work. It's easy. The dog does all the work." I'm going to stomp on her food. Hard. There is a lot to think about on my end -- wind, search patterns, leash handling, body language, space, time, NO PEEING (Jedi), no vomiting (me) -- it's enough to give me a headache (or a panic attack).

Truth be told, I don't know if Jedi and I will ever actually compete in nose work trials.* Right now we're just having fun in class. Jedi doesn't care if we ever get a ribbon or a title. He just likes finding things and then getting hot dog pieces as a reward. However, if we do decide to compete, we'll have to pass an Odor Recognition Test first. A wha . . . .?

This is what my "Find the Odor" instructor sent out about ORTs (Odor Recognition Tests). It was so good that I'm reposting here word for word for all my blogging buddies to enjoy. So would that make this a guest post of sorts? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

About ORTs

An ORT is a completely separate event from a Nose Work trial. Your dog must pass the ORT(s) for the level of trial you want to enter. The odors used at each trial level are:

Level 1: Birch
Level 2: Birch and Anise
Level 3: Birch, Anise and Clove

An ORT “Pass” is good for the life of the dog. The dog only has to pass it once.

The purpose of the ORT is to verify the dogs know the target odor (scent) used in competition.

To pass, the dog must identify the location of the target odor and the handler must correctly call an ‘alert’ (or equivalent) within a three-minute time period.

The odor will be hidden in one of 12 identical closed cardboard boxes.

The boxes will be set up in a pattern of 1 or 2 rows with a minimum distance of 4 feet from box edge to box edge.

The ORT ends when you call “Alert” or you run out of time. Your dog does not need to, in fact will not be allowed to, check the rest of the boxes.

ORT Skills

You have 10 seconds to orient your dog before crossing the start line. Once your dog’s nose (or any other part of his body) crosses the start line, the clock starts whether you realize it or not. The timer will NOT tell you he has started the clock. Therefore, keep your dog at least 2 feet back from the start line while letting her orient.

Depending on air movement, many dogs will pick up the general direction of the odor if allowed to orient first. Watch your dog for signs he is interested in a particular direction. If your dog immediately proceeds in a direction, follow him rather than force him to go in a pattern of your choosing.

If your dog doesn’t find the odor by going straight to it, or your dog doesn’t seem to be interested in a particular direction, THEN you ask your dog to search a pattern you suggest.

Use your voice! Do not use the leash to force the dog into your pattern. It’s there to prevent the dog from going too far out of the search area, helping you encourage him into a pattern.

Keep track of which boxes the dog has checked and which he has missed. If your dog fails to indicate a box at the end of the pattern, encourage him to go back and check the ones he missed.

Check both sides of the boxes. If you take the dog along the inside of the line(s) of boxes and he hasn’t found anything, go around again with the dog on the outside of the line(s).

Don’t crowd your dog or get between him and the boxes

At any point, if your dog suddenly turns and heads with determination or strong interest in a particular direction, abandon the pattern and let him go there. He has most likely caught the odor and is trying to follow it to source.

Watch for your dog to “catalog” – identify the source of the odor but decide to check the rest of the boxes. When cataloging, the dog shows interest in a box but does not commit to it. If your dog then checks the other boxes but doesn’t find anything, start the pattern again and make sure he re-checks that box. If he was indeed cataloging, he will most likely commit to that box on the second time round.

*OK, I'm a big fat liar. You know if I had the chance to do this I totally would. I love doing things with my dog. I'm a junkie. Seriously, ask me about the herding instinct test. -- K

Hey, it's Thoughtless Thursday. And as usual, I'm thinking too much! Why not click around below and see what some of my favorite blogging buddies are thinking about today?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Does Jedi Love Ewe?

Jedi and I have special plans for Valentine's Day and they have nothing to do with hearts, chocolates or cheesy greeting cards. Nope, we're doing this -->
For more information about what the Herding Instinct Test involves check out this post from Glenrose Farms. I'll make sure to come back to tell you how it went!
Bring it on, Jedi!
It's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

CGC Woes

I mentioned last week that Jedi and I are working towards his AKC Canine Good Citizenship certification. This is a ten item test that is proving to be more difficult than it should be! Logan took it and passed with flying colors. He was a very easy going, good natured dog that knew how to walk nicely on a leash. Jedi, not so much.
If you aren't familiar with the CGC, here's a brief summary of the 10 test items. For more details look on the AKC website here.
  1. Accept a friendly stranger. While sitting, the dog allows a friendly stranger to approach the handler. The dog must not show resentment or shyness.
  2. Sitting politely for petting. The dog must sit for the test to begin. The dog allows a friendly stranger to touch it without showing shyness or resentment.
  3. Appearance and grooming. This one also starts with a sit. Dog allows the evaluator to brush/comb him as well as examine his ears and feet.
  4. Walk on a loose leash. The dog and handler make a series of turns and stops at the evaluator's command. Dog must walk on a loose leash the entire time.
  5. Walk through a crowd. Dog and handler walk around and closely pass by several people. Dog must be calm without showing any shyness or resentment.
  6. Sit/down and stay on command. The dog must sit or lie down and stay in position for an extended period of time.
  7. Come when called. The handler puts dog in a sit then walks 10 feet from the dog, turns and call the dog. Dog must come when called.
  8. Favorable reaction to another dog. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance, and stop to shake hands and exchange pleasantries before continuing on. Dogs should remain calm and ignore both the other handler and dog.
  9. Favorable reaction to distraction. The evaluator will set up a series of distractions both physical and auditory. (passing by on crutches or in a wheelchair, opening an umbrella, dropping a metal dog food dish, etc.) The dog should not panic, try to run away or show aggressiveness.
  10. Supervised separation. The handler leaves her dog with a trusted person and walks out of the dog's line of sight for three minutes. The dog must remain calm until the owner returns.
"How many times are we going to sit?"
As you can see, there's a lot of sitting. Jedi knows how to sit, but gets tired of doing it all the time. I guess he just doesn't see the purpose behind it -- and I don't know how to explain it to him either. There's also a lot of loose leash walking. I know that Jedi knows how to walk on a loose leash as well -- I've seen him do it! -- he just chooses not to do it when people are looking. He gets excited and pulls. Or he smells were something else has peed and pulls. Or he feels that we should be going in a different direction -- and he pulls. See a pattern?
I'm glad that we're taking a CGC prep class. I'm hoping that'll help. The class -- as well as the test -- is being held at the Humane Society after hours. The Humane Society is right next to a major road. All during class we can hear cars zooming by as well as ambulances on their way to the hospital only a few miles to the west. Unfortunately, that's not the only distraction. Thousands of dogs come through the Humane Society every year. Even if only 10% of them left their mark that's still a lot of pee mail to compete with. The Humane Society also has a feral cat colony living on the property. These cats aren't afraid of dogs and like to come out during class to see what's going on. There are seven dog/handler teams taking the class, and it's a wonder any of us can get our dogs' attention.
"Wouldn't you rather play ball?"
Last Wednesday was our first class with the dogs. Except maybe for a very stately golden retriever, all of the dogs were idiots. I was near tears when I got home. Did I just waste a $100? The head trainer is breaking the test up into tiny pieces. Last week we worked on test items 1, 2 and 3. Jedi has decided that he doesn't like having his ears touched anymore. Great. There goes test item number 3! We also worked on test items 4, 6 and 10. He would have failed the loose leash walking part of item 4. On a happier note, he killed the down stay (item 6). And when we practiced item 10, we got a full minute before he became anxious.
Our next class is tomorrow night. I hope it goes better. I've been practicing. I try to walk him a little bit every day, having him sit every 25 feet or so. (He gets annoyed pretty quickly.) And I've been taking Jedi to strange places. The Humane Society's thrift store allows dogs. That was definitely a challenge for him! I also took him to the Humane Society during the day, hoping to get him used to the smells so maybe next time won't be so overwhelming.
Sorry to be such a whiner. I really didn't expect this to be so difficult. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm desperate here! Anyway, I'll keep you posted. -- K