Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trainer Tips--Dog exam

As part of raising a well balanced dog, its important to remember the little things as well.  This month's trainer tip is about not only preparing your dog for regular vet visits, but reinforcing your leadership as well.

I always encourage clients to do everything the vet might do when they go for a visit (aside from drawing blood).  These means you should practice things like touching your dog's paws and looking inside your dog's mouth and ears.  Doing these types of things helps your dog learn to remain calm during a vet visit, but also reasserts your position as the leader.  It's also a good idea to check your dog over for fleas and ticks every so often.

To practice this, I check my dog's entire body over about once a week.  I will run my hands through the fur over their entire body, looking for bumps or unusual marks and parasites like ticks.  Starting this process by going over your dog's coat is the best way, because you can very easily make the experience pleasant by treating it like attention, petting, and a doggie massage.  Don't forget to touch along the dog's tail, and lift it up as well.  Many times vets will need to take a rectal temperature if your dog is sick.

After your pet has relaxed a little, move onto the dog's legs.  Touch and slightly squeeze your dog's legs from the top all the way down (this is how vets may check for a leg injury).  It is important to touch the feet and look between the dog's pads as well.  Get your dog comfortable having his legs and/or feet held and examined by you.  Remember to always remain calm.

After you have examined the rest of the dog's body, move onto the head.  Again start by treating the exercise like a massage, with petting and praise for calm behavior.  Hold the dog's head in your hands and slowly move it side to side as a vet would do to examine them.  Look into your dogs ears and touch them.  Finally lift the jowls of the dog's mouth to examine the teeth, then open your dog's mouth and look inside.

All of these exercises will come more naturally to the dog the more that you practice them.  Again, the number one thing to keep in mind is to STAY CALM, but firm.  Do not perform this exercise if you are not in the correct state of mind.

These exercises will make your vet visits much more enjoyable and less stressful for both you and your dog, and your veterinarian as well.   In the future if your dog ever ends up having any health issues, it will be easier for you to apply the necessary medication or treatment to keep your loved one happy and healthy.

Below are some pictures of this exercise.
Dora and her owner will demonstrate.

Check the dog's body.

Go down each leg squeezing just a little.

Check the paws.

While examining the dog's body, 
be sure to look for unusual marks, lumps, and ticks/ parasites.
Treat this like a massage for your dog as you move your hands around.

Go down the back legs and lift the tail.

Don't forget the paws.

Check inside the dog's ear.

Lift the gums and check the teeth.

Open the dog's mouth and look inside.

It is also a good idea to have your dog used to 
being grabbed by the scruff of the neck without reacting in a negative way.

Their practice payed off and Dora was very good at the vet.

Such a sweet girl!
Good job Dora!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MHS Mobile Adoption--Kihei

As always, I was happy to help out the Maui Humane Society with their mobile adoption event in Kihei today.  It was a real blast.  

Try and stop by any one of the Maui Humane Society upcoming events, or stop by the shelter itself!

Just a few cute pictures from today...

Pono was today's lap dog.
What a sweet boy!

Everybody loves Pono, even the other dogs!

Pono waved at cars for us :)

Stop in at Maui Humane Society today!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

MHS Canine Outing--Banyan Tree, Lahaina

I was very happy to help out at the Maui Humane Society (MHS) Canine Outing under the Banyan Tree in Lahaina today.  MHS brought 5 different dogs to hang out and meet people.  I want to thank the many people that stopped by and said hello, and an even bigger thank you to all the people that donated money.  We all had a great time, and the dogs enjoyed themselves too!

Below are some pictures from the day.

If you are thinking about adding a new member to your family, please visit the Maui Humane Society and check out the many loving animals they have for adoption.  Also check out the MHS Facebook for great pictures and updates.

Athena & Pono, a 5-month-old pit mix.
He was a super mello sweet heart!

Love the ears!

Another volunteer with Cody, a terrier mix.

Hanging out and saying hi in a beautiful spot.

All the pups got lots of love :)

There's a treat down here somewhere.

Two sisters, blue heeler mix.

Pono saying hi.

He was amazingly calm all day.  
This dog has the perfect calm temperament!

Athena & her new friends.
Funny enough, the 2 pups in this picture I wanted to take home :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Doberman Ears

I am currently working with two different Doberman Pinschers.  One owner has chose to crop the Doberman's ears, and one has not.  It is interesting to see the drastically different look in the two dogs.  Generally, when most people think of a Doberman, they think of the dog with cropped ears and a short cropped tail.  Left natural, a Doberman's ears are more flat and flipped forward, like a Labrador Retriever.  Proponents of the crop ear Dobies mark many reasons for having the procedure done including:  less risk of ear infection, being able to better pin point sound, and having the dog recognizable as a Doberman.  Many people train Doberman Pinschers to be guard dogs and crop the ears and tail so that would-be attackers have nothing to grab onto.  Ear cropping is usually done between 7 and 9 weeks of age.  The ear training process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the dog and style of ear crop. There are three different types of ear crops:
1) The military crop.  This is the smallest crop, with a short length and wide base.
2) The medium crop.  Slightly longer length and smaller base.
3) The show crop.  The longest length, with the smallest base.

Duke, 4 months old.
Duke must have his ears re-taped about one a week.

Duke's ear taking a breather...
what a cutie!

Dobermans with cropped ears.

Boomer, 8 months old.
Boomer's ears have not been cropped.

The non-cropped Doberman ears are flat and floppy.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I am very excited to have this new client...but puppies are always fun and exciting in my book.  This is Dora, she is currently 5 months old.  Her owner is a retired stunt man and needed some help in training his new pup with some basic manners, potty training, and help draining her puppy energy.  Dora is an excellent addition to the owner's household.  He picked a pup with low energy, like himself, which is very important.  Dora has been learning her basic manners very quickly and has been improving in her potty training.  Dora is still a puppy, and puppies also learn a lot from other dogs.  My pack has helped teach her acceptable dog to dog manners many times.  Even though she is low energy, she is still a puppy and does have puppy energy as well.  Dora gets very excited meeting new people and dogs (as most puppies do), and has been taught by my pack to calm down around new dogs.  Dora also recently got some excellent lessons in how to play from other dogs that I work with.

Dora is such a sweet little girl, and very smart.  Her training is going wonderfully and she is growing up to be a great little dog.  SGDs looks forward to many new adventure outings with Dora.

SGDs with Chloe & Dora on Dora's first pack walk.

Dora & Chloe made friends right away.

I love the pack walk.
It's a great training tool for all dogs!

Dora playing in the tall grass.

Playing with toys.

I used Caravaggio to help Dora learn to walk better on leash.

Caravaggio walking Dora for me.

Dora made another new friend, Milly.

Dora & Milly.

And another new dog to meet, Rua.

Dora & her owner on the beach.

What a little cutie-pie!

Dora learning to swim.

For Dora's second pack walk, she decided to hang with Nekita.

She loved Nekita this day!

Dora practicing some basic obedience with another client.

Caravaggio & Dora helping teach Lena how to play.

Dora & Lena.

Dora is a smart girl, she falls very quickly into the pack.
We look forward to many more pack walks with Dora...
I see her becoming very useful in helping teach future pack members.