Monday, December 15, 2014

Dog Beauty Salon--Dog Apps/ Game

Dog Beauty Salon

iPhone Apps for Dogs/ Dog Game
Released:  July 31, 2013

This is the perfect app for young kids who want to "take care of a pet."  With this app, you can give your dog a bath, give vet care, play with toys, and play dress up.

Although this game is very cute, it is necessary to buy "add-ons" often to continue.  The $0.99 version of the game will only allow you to play with the Bath and limited dress up options.  To buy additional actions like toys and vet care will cost you another $1.99 each.  Each additional clothing option for the dress up will also cost you $1.99.  

Overall this is definitely a game for children.  Adults will not find it holds their attention.  But if you have kids who love dogs and can afford the extra add-on costs, I believe this is an excellent game for your child.  Plus it has the added bonus of teaching a child how to care for a pet.  This app will also send you updates that your dog needs a bath or some sort of attention...something I think the kids will enjoy.


Dress up.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trainer Tips--VIDEO: Proper Dog Socialization

For this month's Trainer Tips, I would like to retouch on one of the most important things you can do for your properly socialize them.

Properly socializing your dog is very important, but many people do not understand what that actually means.  Proper socialization is not only exposing your dog to as many situations, people, and other dogs as possible, but more importantly, making all of these experiences positive ones so that your dog becomes comfortable no matter what happens.  

In order to do this, it is important for you to allow your dog to take his time exploring something new.  Never quickly force a dog or puppy that is not comfortable into a new situation.  The dog should appear mostly relaxed, not tense or afraid.  This is why it is so important to begin this process as soon as possible!  This means the day you get your dog, or as soon as your new puppy has all his shots and is vet approved to meet others. 

Although we do not want to force our dogs into the situation, we must also ensure that they do not shut down from fear.  Dogs that do this become trapped in that fearful state. This is obviously not healthy for your dog or something we want to have happen.  To prevent this, ensure that when your dog socializes, they are not allowed to hide behind or under you (their owner) or other people or objects.  If they hide under a person, the person should move away.  If they hide under an object, move the other dogs away from the area, then slowly encourage/ lead the dog out of his hiding spot.  Try and block the hiding spot once they are out.

To help take the pressure off a fearful dog, you can also turn the fearful dog around and allow the new dog to sniff their rear end.  It is best to allow one dog to sniff a very fearful dog at a time.  Then turn the new dog around and allow the fearful dog to sniff the new dog's rear end.  Greeting a dog this way helps takes pressure off dogs who are fearful, anxious, or nervous.

Below is a video on Proper Dog Socialization.
This video features Khloe, a 6-month-old Boxer in training with SGDs.
Also in this video are two of our own pack, Caravaggio (our Great Dane mix), and Devo (our Miniature Pinscher/ Chihuahua mix...currently 7 months).

Other helpful and interesting Blogs related to this Topic...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Breed of the Month--Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Color:  All coat colors and patterns.  White trim, tan markings, yellow, yellow merle, white merle, red, red merle, chocolate, brindle, blue, blue merle, black.
Height:  Males: 24 inches/  Females:  22 inches
Weight:  50-95 pounds
Life Span:  12-14 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Eye problems, congenital deafness, and hip dysplasia.

Coat:  Single coat.  Short to medium length with smooth to coarse texture.  Coat lies flat and close to the body.
Country of Origin:  United States.

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The name for this breed comes from the Parish of Catahoula, meaning "beautiful clear water," in northeastern Louisiana.  The ancestors of the breed are not known, but it is thought to be descended in some part from mastiff-type dogs brought by Spanish explorers to the Americas.  It is known that in 1686, during his explorations, Henri de Tonti spoke of seeing dogs with "mottled spots" and "white eyes."  It is thought that European shepherd dogs were crossed with these mastiff-types to form the Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Named for a swampy area in Louisiana, the Catahoula Leopard Dog was used to assist people in trapping, fishing, and running wild cattle and hogs back into the woods.  These are dangerous jobs, and the assertive, protective, independent nature of the Catahoula Leopard Dog made him the perfect helper.  

Known also as the "Catahoula Hog Dog," and referred to as a "walking sledgehammer," the Catahoula Leopard Dog was named the official state dog of Louisiana in 1979.  The breed is affectionate with those he known well but can be tentative around strangers.  Although a hard working breed, he is personable and playful when he becomes comfortable around people.

As a hard working breed, the Catahoula Leopard Dog requires plenty of exercise and daily vigorous walks.  This breed is high energy and will become destructive without regular physical and mental activity.  The Catahoula excels at sports like herding and agility.

Regular brushing will keep the coat at its best.  The undercoat will shed continuously and even more so when he is uncomfortable or anxious.

Training for the Catahoula must involve techniques that engage his intellect and energy.  The Catahoula is quick and smart, making him a very capable learner.  This breed does have a very independent nature however, and his trainer must always remember to keep alert to hold the dog's attention.

I have met a few Catahoulas & Catahoula mixes in my day, and I will say that the one thing they all have in common (other than beautiful coats and eyes) is that they are all very high energy.  This is most definitely not a dog for someone who is not highly active.  Catahoulas need lots and lots of daily vigorous exercise to stay happy and healthy.  This breed is a working dog and needs to be given a regular outlet for his excessive energy.

Catahoula mix pup Mocha (middle) 
making friends at her first dog training class.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trainer Tips--Dog Backpacks

For this month's Trainer Tips, I would like to talk about Dog Backpacks and how they might be able to help you and your dog.

A dog backpack is pretty much what you think it would be...a backpack that is fitted for your dog.  Dog backpacks come in many different styles and brands.

In choosing a dog backpack, look for a style and color that speaks to you.  The main thing you will want to look for is to make sure that the pouches of the bag do not hang too low on the sides of the dog.  Some dog packs are not made appropriately and hang too low.  This makes it difficult for your dog to walk properly.  A dog backpack that is fitted well will not hinder your dog when walking.

My personal favorite brand of dog backpacks is Ruff Wear.  Although they no longer carry the bags we have, they products are amazing and last long.  Our dog packs are at least 6 or 7 years old and I have not had any issues with them.  They are in great condition for that many years, and we use them quite often.

Of course your local pet store will have other options as well.  It is best to try and bring your dog to the store so you are able to try on the bags to see how they fit.  You may even do this just to get a good idea of what you like, then measure your dog and order online.

Why use a backpack on my dog?

There are many reasons to add a backpack to your dog for your daily walks.  If your dog is very high energy or tends to be quite reactive to people or other dogs in public, adding a backpack can help keep your dog more calm (therefore making it easier to train your dog in these situations).  I highly recommend adding a backpack to any dog that is very high energy.  If you have a hard time wearing your dog's energy out on a daily basis, adding a backpack on your daily walks can help expel some of that excess energy.  

When adding a backpack to a dog, it helps puts their brain in a "working mode."  This helps focus the dog on the task at hand (walking calmly while carrying the bag).  Add water bottles for weight, but be sure to keep the weight as even as possible on both sides.

Both my larger dogs have dog backpacks.  Caravaggio is a certified service dog and has accompanied me with his backpack into stores and other public places.  He carries my items in his bag and I add anything purchased to the bag for him to carry as well.  Service and therapy dogs are known to carry bags to assist their owners.  But just because your dog is not certified as a service dog, does not mean he can't carry things for you.  We also add the backpacks to our dogs when we go on long hikes or for a long outdoor day event such as a parade or swap meet.  Going to the beach for the day?  You can have your dog carry all the things they need for the beach in their own bag! (water, leashes, bowl, poop bags, etc.)
This is Rayne, a service dog.
Her backpack is small and includes Service Dog tags,
but is still a dog backpack.  While she is wearing her bag,
she is in "working mode."

Dog Backpack = Magic

All in all, adding a backpack to your high energy or reactive dog can work like magic to calm them down.  There is training that should accompany you adding the backpack to your dog.  As with any new items, when first putting it on your dog, it should be paired with a treat or something the dog likes so as to make it a very positive experience.  Put the bag on and tell your dog "Good!" while giving them a treat.  If they remain calm, praise and treat.  Disagree with any behavior to try and get the bag off or scratch at it.  The first time you put the bag on the dog, only leave on for a few minutes.

Once your dog seems mostly comfortable with the bag, add it before going for your regular walk.  Have the bag pre-packed with a small amount of weight to start (you can add more as your dog gets used to it).  I even throw my roll of poop bags in the backpack pouch.

REMEMBER:  While wearing the backpack your dog should be in a "working" mind set.  Therefore the dog should not be allowed to play or run wild off leash while wearing the bag.  Remove the bag and give your dog their Release Cue before allowing these activities.  While wearing the bag, the dog should be required to remain calm and in the "working mode" mind set.

This is Hazel.
She is a VERY high energy, 2-year-old Shepherd mix.
Hazel and her mom have been working with SGDs 
on her dog aggression and reactiveness on the leash.
Adding a backpack has helped calm Hazel on walks...
she is becoming less and less reactive to other dogs and objects.

Friday, November 7, 2014

VIDEO: Teaching your dog to swim in the ocean: Step Two

Here is the video for Step Two of teaching your dog to swim in the ocean.  Keep in mind that these videos do go together for training.  Teaching your dog to swim in the ocean Step One should be one day of training.  Step 2 should be done over several training sessions, while also mixing in Step One when your dog is feeling relaxed.

Always remember to stay calm during any training, especially when the training involves something new and intimidating, such as ocean waves.  Take training slowly...ease your dog into new things.  You should never rush a dog that is obviously nervous or afraid.  Don't feel bad if it takes more time than you think it should.  If you do not rush your dog, you will have him loving the beach in no time. Also remember that it's important for the dog to witness you (and if possible other dogs) having fun at the beach.  This tells the dog that this is a fun place to be.  Encourage your dog with praise when they are calm and/or relaxed.

See Step One of Teaching your dog to Swim here.

We hope you enjoy the video...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Doggie Dash!--Dog Apps/ Game

Doggie Dash!

iPhone Apps for Dogs/ Dog Game
Updated:  July 16, 2013

This is a basic run and jump game featuring a dog.  The dog jumps over the spaces between grass patches and around/over enemies and jumps up to collect gems.  

Overall, worst game ever.  This game is hard to control, super boring, and has almost nothing exciting to look forward to.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

VIDEO: How to teach a dog to swim in the ocean: Step One

Here is the new video on "How to teach your dog to start swimming in the ocean."

For dogs who are new to the ocean, or are seeing it for the first time, the waves of the ocean are the really scary part.  To get a dog comfortable with swimming in the ocean, you must teach them how the ocean waves work.  Doing this helps the dog understand what the ocean does and what might happen and therefore gets them more comfortable with swimming in the waves.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Breed of the Month--German Shepherd

German Shepherd Dog

Color:  Black, reddish-tan, tan, gold to light gray markings, solid black, solid gray,
(white is not accepted by the AKC)
Height:  Males:  23.5-26 inches/  Females:  21.5-24 inches
Weight:  Males:  66-88 lbs/  Females:  48.5-70.5 lbs
Life Span:  10-14 years

Breed health concerns:  Allergies, bloat, elbow dysplasia, Cushing's syndrome, epilepsy, glycogen storage disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Coat:  Medium-length double coat with dense, straight, harsh, outer coat and thick undercoat.
Country of Origin:  Germany

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

One of the most recognized breeds in the world is the German Shepherd Dog and is well known for its adaptability, intelligence, and trainability.  The "father of the breed" was Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz.  Von Stephanitz promoted German Shepherds in the German Shepherd Dogs club (founded in April 1899), from 1899-1935.  He encouraged the breed's use in the military and for police during World War I.

Today the German Shepherd dog severs in many ways including:  police work, army work, search and rescue, scent discrimination, and as guide and assistance dogs.  German Shepherds are very loyal dogs, intelligent, and brave.  Shepherds are great with children of all ages and instinctually tuned into their people family members.  

This is one of my favorite breeds.  Our dog, Caravaggio, is part German Shepherd (along with Great Dane and Black Lab).  Knowing a lot about a breed allows you to pick out certain characteristics of that breed in your own dog.  For example, Caravaggio requires a lot of physical and mental activity.  He is also extremely owner oriented.  Caravaggio is a baby for his daddy.

German Shepherds are very energetic and intelligent dogs that require daily vigorous exercise.  Shepherds must be mentally and physically challenged each and every day to remain healthy and happy.  
I consider the Shepherd to be a "Powerful Breed."  Therefore, this is not a breed a would necessarily recommend for a first time owner.  However if the person is ready and willing to put in the extra work and training that the breed requires, this is one of the best breeds out there!

The Shepherd requires regular brushing to keep its dense undercoat under control.  The Shepherd is a heavy seasonal shedder.  It is not recommended to bath Shepherds too often because it will deplete the essential oils of the skin and coat.

Shepherds thrive on training.  Shepherds have been used as service and police dogs for many years.  They also excel in sports like herding, agility, and obedience.  Shepherds are very quick learners and appreciate people that keep them challenged.

Again this is a breed that requires a LOT of daily physical and mental activity.  Shepherds are considered working dogs and really need some sort of "job" to thrive.  This does not necessary mean they need to be a service dog.  A "job" for a dog can be accompanying you on a few vigorous walks throughout the day, or playing fetch for awhile, or even playing hide and seek with their toys.  They key for the German Shepherd and other working breeds is to continuously keep their minds working.  Sometimes something as simple as carrying a backpack on their daily walks will do the trick.

German Shepherd Police Dog.

Cute German Shepherd pup.

German Shepherd Service Dog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Poodle Jump--Dog Apps/ Game

Poodle Jump

iPhone Apps for Dogs/ Dog Game
Updated:  September 8, 2013

This game is extremely simple and requires very little effort to play.  The goal of the game is to jump your Poodle up the rungs of safety while eating bones and avoiding other dogs along the way.  Simple game, but fun.  This is a game I would highly recommend for smaller children.  The Poodle automatically jumps up the board, all you have to do is tilt the phone back and forth to make him land where you want.  If you land on a bone, you gain points.  If you land on a cat, it springs you quickly further up.  If you land on/ near another dog, your turn is over.

Start screen.

Watch out for those other dogs, they will bite you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

VIDEO: Teaching the "Leave It" Cue--Step One

Here is our new video...How to start teaching your dog the "Leave It" Command.
This video is the beginning to teaching this cue.  Stay tuned for more videos.

Doggie Dash Event Saturday Oct 11th

Saturday October 11th, 2014.  (9 a.m. to 12 noon)

(All proceeds go to benefit Maui Humane Society.)

Where:  Keopuolani Park, Kahului/ Wailuku

Course:  A fun, 1.5 mile course amongst one of Maui's best public parks.  Water stations provide at start/finsh point for furry friends and owners.  Pet and people friendly pets welcome, please leave your pet in heat at home.  Furry friends and other critters must be leashed.

When:  Check-in and late registration 7:00a.m.
Race starts 9:00 a.m.  Course will officially close at 10:00a.m.

What:  A 1.5 mile Run/ Walk of all skill levels, drawing for prizes just for attending, must be present to win.

Prizes for:  Biggest Pooch, Smallest Pooch, Best Costume, 1st place, other critter racing.

Email inquiries to
Online Donation at

(Information from:  Doggie Dash Maui, LLC Supporting Maui Humane Society)

Join Such Good Dogs and several other great dog people at the vendor booth area at the event.  We at Such Good Dogs are always excited to be a part of fund raising for the Maui Humane Society.

Stop by Such Good Dogs booth and ask questions, take home information, and see demonstrations with some of our pack.  Our new 5-month-old puppy DEVO will be on hand to help demonstrate and answer your questions.  All our dogs used in training and events are well-trained and well-socialized around people, other dogs, and other animals.  We hope to see you at the event!

Athena & the pack.

DEVO hopes to meet you soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Trainer Tips--Potty Training, Ring the Bell

As a continuation from our Potty Training -Trainer Tips from August, (and as we continue potty training our new puppy), I am going to present you with an advanced training technique you can add to potty training that can be used for your dog's whole life.  This is adding a bell, or something the dog can touch or ring, to let you know they need to go potty.

To teach this to DEVO, I went to Ben Franklin and got some ribbon and bells.  Then simply attached the bells to a length of ribbon that DEVO can reach.  He is a small dog, so the ribbon hangs pretty low to the ground.

First we start with regular potty training.  This means taking the dog out every few hours and always taking the puppy or dog out after:  waking up from a nap, playtime, eating, and drinking.  During this basic potty training, you should be adding your command like "Go potty." when you take the dog out.  (Explained in more detail in this previous post.)  Remember to say "Good potty!" with LOTS of praise when the puppy goes outside.

During this basic potty training, you will start noticing signals the puppy will give that he may have to go potty.  These can include: sniffing around a certain area or near the way out, disappearing suddenly (usually going out of sight to potty), whining, pacing back and forth, whining or jumping near the door or window.  Early in our potty training, DEVO gave a very clear signal of whining then jumping near the door when he had to go.  His signal has decreased to a simple whine as we are redirecting him into the Bell training.  Each dog will have their own signals.  Keep a watchful eye and it will soon become apparent what these signals are for your dog.

In basic potty training (especially when the puppy can't hold it very well), as soon as the puppy gives these signals, immediately get up and give your command like, "you need to Go Potty?"  Put the leash on and take the puppy directly out to the area to potty.  Continue as above (good potty, praise, etc.)

Continue training but when the puppy starts to give his signal, incorporate the bell.
So, when DEVO goes to the door and whines (telling me he has to go potty), I say "Do you have to go potty?"  Then I come over to the door and point to the bell, and again say, "Go potty?"

Initially, you will want to come over after the puppy signals the need to go potty, say your phrase, and ring the bell yourself.  Say "Let's go potty!" then touch the bell a few times.  If the puppy touches the bell, give lavish praise..."Good! Let's go potty."  Continue with excitement until the puppy starts touching the bell.

If you are consistent with using the bell when the dog signals you he has to go potty, he will learn to associate the Bell with going potty and eventually start touching the Bell instead of giving his other signals (such as whining).  This training does take time.  Don't think it will happen overnight or even in a few days.  Most likely it will take several weeks to a few months.  Don't get discouraged.  It will all be worth it in the end.  From now on you will have a dog that will easily let you know when he really has to go potty.  Besides that, it is an extra helpful way to keep up with proper potty training for you pup.  Many of us do not take a new puppy or dog out to go potty nearly as often as we should!

This was after DEVO rang the bell.  He is waiting to go outside.  Good boy!

(NOTE:  You may also need to do a side training of "Touch," teaching a dog to touch an object.  For "Touch Training," say your word "Touch," touch a simple object like a toy while encouraging the dog to mimic you.  When they do, "Good Touch!" and reward.  Work up to more difficult and unusual objects.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Breed of the Month--the DEVO mix.

For this month's Breed of the Month, I wanted to highlight our new puppy, DEVO, who is a mix of Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua.  Although both of these breeds have been in previous posts, I felt the need to redo them with a fresh reminder of the breeds in my own home.  DEVO is currently 5 months old.

DEVO definitely has the Miniature Pinscher coloring, but his legs and eyes have more of a Chihuahua look.  As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of mutts!  Even though we do the Breed of the Month focusing on Purebred Breeds, I highly recommend adopting a mutt of several breeds for your next dog.  Why?  The fact is...ONE IN FOUR purebred dogs will have some sort of genetic health problem.  Mutts tend to be healthier over all, and usually also tend to have less behavioral problems.  So I present to you, our newest pack member, DEVO...
DEVO's first pack walk (with Nekita & Caravaggio).

DEVO's first day at the beach.

Since he looks most like the Miniature Pinscher, let's start with that...

Miniature Pinscher

Color:  Black with rust markings, stage red, solid red, chocolate or fawn with rust markings.
Height:  10-12.5 inches
Weight:  9-13 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  Epilepsy, heart problems, patellar lunation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, eye problems, cervical disk problems.

Coat:  Dense, close, smooth, shiny, straight, short
Country of Origin:  Germany

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Although this breed looks like a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, the two breeds are actually not related.  The Miniature Pinscher comes from breeds including:  Italian Greyhounds, terriers, Dachshunds.  The breed comes from the word "pinscher," which refers to the way the dogs actually attack vermin.  The dog literally pinches his prey.  The "Min Pin" is the top toy breed in Italy, Holland, and Denmark.

It is important to properly socialize this breed and to not allow him to get too spoiled.  The Min Pin is a fun-loving, self-assured dog that bonds very quickly with his family.  This breed does enjoy using his voice and can become a real behavior problem if not properly trained and managed.

The Miniature Pinscher enjoys getting exercise by accompanying his owners anywhere, as much as possible.  He also enjoys draining mental and physical energy with obedience and agility.  A short walk each day will be enough exercise for this toy breed.

Because DEVO is still a puppy, he has plenty of energy and still needs lots of exercise (usually followed by a nap).  DEVO definitely has the characteristics of following me around.  He is always on my heel following me around the house or out on the leash.  DEVO has also learned to enjoy car rides and meeting new people and dogs wherever we are.  He is a very social dog.

The Min Pin coat is easily cared for with occasional brushing and rub downs.  Keep the face clean.
DEVO does shed, but brushing does very little to help the process at this point.  This is typically true of most puppies of any breed.  We are currently brushing him to get him used to the process of being groomed so that when the brush will actually do some good, he is already used to it and sits well.

This little dog is athletic and able; he does not need to be carried around everywhere he goes.  In fact, it is better for the dog to walk alongside his owner than to be carried by him.  Socialization is important and training from puppyhood is key.  Short, reward-based, and motivational training sessions are best.

As is stats above, you should let your puppy walk, not carry them.  This is very important for small dogs.  Many small dogs can easily develop fear or anxious behaviors (its hard to be small and have everyone under the sun come right up to your face).  Dogs must learn how to be without being constantly coddled or protected by their owners.

This Min Pin (right) looks a lot like DEVO.
DEVO is very good in training.  He is very food motivated and will do anything for that reward.  We have kept his training sessions short and sweet, and DEVO has already learned all of Level One dog training items.

Now the other half...Chihuahua...


Color:  Any color, short coat any color, long coat solid-colored markings/ solid color
Height:  6-9 inches
Weight:  Up to 6 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  eye problems, patellar lunation, seizure, collapsing trachea, hypoglycemia, pulmonary stenosis. 

Coat:  Long and short coat types, both types can be double or single coat...smooth, soft, silky
Country of Origin:  Mexico

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The Chihuahua is the smallest and oldest breed on the American continent.  It is believed that travelers from Spain brought the beginnings of this breed, mixing them with hairless breeds, making the Chihuahua of today.  The Chihuahua is one of the most popular toy breeds today. 

The Chihuahua is affectionate, lively, playful, and alert.  He will bond quickly with his family and must be properly socialized so strangers will not intimidate and frighten him. 

Small and easy to transport, the Chihuahua is a favorite choice for many Americans.  It is important that even these small dogs still learn rules, boundaries, and basic manners.  Many people let these little dogs get away with a lot of bad behaviors because they think it looks cute or funny coming from such a small little dog.  It's not cute, and it's not funny!  It is very important to teach these dogs proper manners and socialization.  I have also found this breed to be very susceptible to anxiety.  The Chihuahua owner would do well to create a nice calm home life and give their dog plenty of regular exercise to keep this from becoming a problem.

The Chihuahua can be prone to short little bursts of energy.  An easy daily walk and following his owners around are usually enough exercise for this breed.  It is important to give the Chihuahua several little play sessions each day.

DEVO enjoys following us and the other dogs around and loves to play (then take a nap).

The shorthaired Chihuahua is easily kept clean with regular brushing and bathing.  The longhaired version needs more attention, including trimming.  All Chihuahuas must be kept clean around their eyes and ears.

DEVO has Chihuahua eyes and we must be sure to keep them clean and free from gunk.  

Positive, fun, upbeat training is necessary to keep the Chihuahua'a attention.  This breed can be difficult to potty training.  Never use punishment or harsh tones with this breed.  Socialization is especially important to keep the Chihuahua comfortable in all situations throughout his lifetime.

Although we are doing well with potty training, we have had some set-backs with DEVO.  But we are continuing to be consistent in taking him out and rewarding for proper elimination.  He is doing very well overall and I expect to be fully potty trained very soon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VIDEO: Jolene trains two young puppies

Here is a video of client Jolene training with her dog, Buttercup, a 9-week-old King Charles Spaniel.
DEVO was also on hand to add some extra training for Jolene.
Jolene did amazing with these two little pups. 
Enjoy the video...

Trainer Tips--A schedule matters

For this month's Trainer Tip, I would like to remind everyone (and myself) that a schedule matters to your dog.

As some of you may have read in a previous post, I recently broke my ankle in the beginning of May this year.  Although I am currently back on my feet and back to work, things have been a little bit chaotic for me getting back into a routine.  Besides running my dog training business, I also switched a part time second job from serving, to becoming shop manager of a tattoo shop.  Obviously, my responsibilities have increased.  Along with all this, we also adopted a new puppy, DEVO.

Because I had been sitting around unable to do anything for TWO months with a broken ankle, I was ready to get moving once I was given the green light from the doctor.  I may have overdone it just a bit.

In the midst of all the chaos and changing schedules for both myself and my husband, I was reminded just how important a schedule is for our dogs...especially a puppy.

Why a Schedule Matters to your dog:

Don't get me wrong, dogs can be fairly flexible, but they do like a basic regular schedule.  A basic schedule for your dog should involve his/her daily walks, feedings, and play times.  Your schedule should also include those extra exercise times as well.  For example maybe every Saturday you go for an hour hike or take your dog to the beach for some swimming.

The reasons dogs like and need a schedule are really quite simple.  Dog have regular needs just as we do.  They need to eat and use the bathroom every day.  Having a regular time when your dog knows when s/he will eat and be able to do his business is important.  As humans we find it unreasonable to work more than 4 or 6 hours without a bathroom break, yet we expect that our dogs can easily hold it for up to 12 hours.  This is not true.  It is possible, but that doesn't mean it is easy for your dog to do that.  So just like us, dogs need to know regular times that they are able to both eat and use the bathroom.

Along with this, dogs also need a regular exercise schedule.  Besides your twice daily walks, your dog should be getting some other regular sort of exercise.  As I said, maybe this is that once a week when you have the time to go on a long hike or to the beach to really wear out your dog.  These exercise days are very important.  Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.  When dogs get bored, they start making trouble.  Even though we have been away all day working very hard and are usually tired when we get home, our dogs have been patiently waiting for us and looking forward to their own exercise time.  Let's not disappoint them.  Dogs need regular daily exercise to stay both physically and mentally healthy and happy.

So take a quick look at your you have one?  The time of day does not matter.  If you work nights or if you work days, it makes no difference to your dog.  As long as you have a mostly regular schedule you follow, your dog will thrive.  Just don't forget the exercise part of your dog schedule!

What a Basic Schedule should look like:

I will give you an idea of a good basic schedule by sharing my schedule with you.

Monday -- Friday
7:30am   Wake up/ use bathroom
7:35am    Walk dogs
8:15am    Return from walk/ feed dogs
8:20am    Shower/ get ready for day as dogs eat breakfast
8:50am    Put puppy in kennel with plenty of toys and water, go to work

5:00pm    Return home from work.  Set things down/ get dog leashes ready
5:02pm    Walk dogs
6:00pm    Return from walk
6:30pm    Make dinner for humans
7-7:30      Humans eat dinner
8:00pm    Feed dogs dinner
8:30pm    Take puppy out for potty break
8:35pm    Play with puppy/ training with puppy
9:30pm    Take puppy out for last potty before bed
10:00pm   Put puppy in kennel/ get ready for/ go to bed

This is what a weekday basic schedule should look like for you (obviously times may vary).  Since my schedule also varies during the week, anytime I come home, I must immediately let out the puppy for a potty break.  This is because we are still in potty training with our new puppy.  However, this should also be true for any dog.  Be courteous to your dog and let him out to go potty!  I will also throw in a quick game of fetch (10-30 minutes) in the middle of the day if I have time.

Overall, if you meet your dog's needs, you will have a happy and healthy friend that will be with you for a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dog Pairs--Dog Apps/ Game

Dog Pairs

iPhone Apps for Dogs/ Dog Game
Updated:  July 16, 2013

This game is your basic memory/ matching game, using dog pictures.  The free version of Dog Pairs is a very basic, one board game.  Good for kids maybe, but super boring for the rest of us.

After matching several boards, I was unable to go up in level using only the free version game.  Overall I'd say this game is a waste of time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Movies with Dogs--MORE Honorable Mentions

In my previous post a wrote about what I consider some of the Best & Worst Movies that have dogs in them.  Keep in mind this is my personal opinions on these movies.  Below are some movies not included in the list that I feel deserved an Honorable Mention.  These movies may not be among my top favorites, but are definitely worth a watch if you love dogs.

Movies with Dogs... Honorable Mentions:

Snow Dogs (2002)
IMDb Description:  "When a Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs, he's got to learn the trade or lose his pack to a crusty mountain man."
I remember that I have seen this movie, but honestly can't remember that much about it.  That is one reason it did not make the original list.  From what I remember it is basically a slap-stick comedy with Cuba Gooding Jr. and a pack of snow dogs.  It has some laughs, but overall not super exciting.

The Fox and the Hound (1981)
IMDb Description:  "Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies."
I remember absolutely loving this movie as a child.  With fun adventures and just enough danger, this heart-warming film will give you many smiles.

K-9 (1989)
IMDb Description:  "To stop an elusive criminal, a maverick detective enlists the aid of a police dog who's an unusually intelligent smart Alec."
A buddy cop movie starring James Belushi.  Only his buddy cop isn't an almost retired, cranky guy, it's a beautiful German Shepherd police dog.  The movie over-all is just another 80s buddy-cop movie, but I think this dog makes it worth the watch.  You'll have a few laughs, and if you're anything like me, you will want a German Shepherd for your next dog.

The Adventures of Milo & Otis (1986)
IMDb Description:  "The adventures of a young cat and a dog as they find themselves accidentally separated and each swept into a hazardous trek."
I remember enjoying this film as a young child...definitely family approved.  As an adult, it lacks the excitement that we crave these days.  Worth a watch.

Oliver and Company (1988)
IMDb Description:  "A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York."
I honestly don't remember much about this movie except that I enjoyed it as a child.  Good family watch.

Benji (1974)
IMDb Description:  "A stray dog saves two kidnapped children."
Benji is a dog with a heart of gold.  Helping everyone in need from other animals to humans.  A heart-warming story.

Also see our other Honorable Mentions Movie List.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Movies with Dogs--Honorable Mentions

In my previous post a wrote about what I consider some of the Best & Worst Movies that have dogs in them.  Keep in mind this is my personal opinions on these movies.  Below are some movies not included in the list that I feel deserved an Honorable Mention.  These movies may not be among my top favorites, but are definitely worth a watch if you love dogs.

Movies with Dogs... Honorable Mentions:

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
IMDb Description:  "Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home."
An older movie, but a must watch.  Every child ever born since 1939 should have seen this movie.  Although not included on my original list, this one definitely deserves a mention.  A great story that we all know, its worth watching over and over.  Everyone knows...there's no place like home!

White Fang (1991)
IMDb Description:  "Jack London's classic adventure story about the friendship developed between a Yukon gold hunter and the mixed dog-wolf he rescues from the hands of a man who mistreats him."
This movie became one of my favorites when it was first released.  After seeing this movie, I fell in love with the Alaskan Malamute and begged my parents for one.  After several months of begging, my neighbor friend down the street happened to have a dog that had puppies, so I started to beg for one of those dogs instead.  It took some time to wear them down, but eventually my parents gave in.  I got my first dog because of this movie.  And get this, I named him Fang.

Scooby Doo (2002)
IMDb Description:  "After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on."
This movie is definitely intended for more younger audiences, but I would say it is totally worth a watch.  Based off the silly Scooby Doo cartoons from my childhood, now the adventures come to the big screen (well depending on your TV size).  Very silly, but I found the movie to be pretty descent overall.  With lots of laughs from the Scooby Doo gang, its sure to entertain.  Not worth a buy, but I would add it to your Netflix cue.

Eight Below (2006)
IMDb Description:  "Brutal cold forces two Antarctic explorers to leave their team of sled dogs behind as they fend for their survival."
I had not yet seen this movie, so while writing this blog, I decided to rent it.  (Ha ha I get to watch a movie and call it research for work.)  The beginning is very suspenseful and exciting; I enjoyed it.  As the story moves on it becomes very, very sad.  But this tear-jerking movie has some amazingly well-trained dogs.  Although it made me cry several different times, I'd say it is worth a watch.  Great pack of dogs.  Seeing this amazing dog pack makes me wish I was closer to owning more than just my two current dogs.  (One day SGDs will have a much larger pack of its own.)

Marmaduke (2010)
IMDb Description:  "A suburban family moves to a new neighborhood with their large yet lovable Great Dane, who has a tendency to wreak havoc in his own oblivious way."
Talking and dancing dogs and slap-stick comedy.  Although I'm not big on the "look how funny this bad dog behavior is" theme, I think this is an enjoyable flick for most.  I do love a big Great Dane!

Hotel for Dogs (2009)
IMDb Description:  "Two kids secretly take in stray dogs at a vacant hotel."
This movie is definitely for kids.  A group of 5 friends decide to help take in strays by putting them in an abandoned hotel and sprucing it up, dog style.  Well trained dog in this movie, for sure, but definitely a movie for kids.