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 schedule...do 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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Breed of the Month--Most Popular Dog Breeds

For this month's Breed of the Month, I would like to do a blog on the most popular breeds in the United States, and a few other places around the world.

Most Popular Dog Breeds

Oddly enough, the Top 5 most popular dog breeds in the United States were the same for both 2012 and 2013.  Below is the list of the Top Five.

Top 5 Dog Breeds in the US

#5  Bulldog

The Bulldog makes an excellent watchdog and although he does have strong protective instincts, he is one of the most gentle breeds.  Today's Bulldog is extremely affectionate and happy to be around other people and pets when properly socialized.  The Bulldog can be very stubborn and requires a firm, but patient owner.
(See Breed of the Month--Bulldog for more information.)

#4  Beagle
The Beagle's small size and charming personality has made the breed very popular.  A great size for apartment living, many city-dwelling pet owners love the breed.  Properly training and socializing your Beagle from day one is important.  Beagles do not generally like being left alone and can make some very loud objections to your absence; something to keep in mind if you are considering this breed.
(See Breed of the Month--Beagle for more information.)

#3  Golden Retriever
Smart, sociable, and always wanting to please their human, Golden Retrievers are a great breed.  Easy-going and lovable, the Golden gets along well with other dogs, other animals, and children of all ages.  Golden's are easily trainable using positive reinforcement, making them well sought after by service dog organizations all over the United States.
(See Breed of the Month--Golden Retriever for more information.)

#2  German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog is one of my most favorite breeds.  The German Shepherd is adaptable, intelligent, and trainable.  It is one of the most recognized breeds in the world and is aptly used for police work, army work, search and rescue, scent discrimination, and as guide and assistance dogs.  German Shepherds are extremely loyal, intelligent, and brave.  Shepherds bond very closely with their family and have an instinct to protect them.  German Shepherds are quick learners, but require an owner using consistent positive reinforcement training.
(See Breed of the Month--German Shepherd.)

#1  Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is intelligent, affectionate, and willing to please.  Labs seem to understand that children need to be treated with an extra gentle touch.  Labs are generally high-energy and need lots of regular exercise, but just about any activity will do.  Labs are great with other dogs, other animals, and children of all ages.  Labs love to please and enjoy working for their owners.  Their excellent temperament and training ability not only makes them the most popular dog breed for owners, but also makes them highly popular in the use of police and service dogs.  Labs enjoy most any activity including:  fetch, swimming, hunting, agility, tracking, and obedience.  Many mixed-breed dogs have Lab in them.
(See Breed of the Month--Labrador Retriever.)

Top Breeds Around the World

Along with the United States, several other countries rank the Labrador Retriever as the number one dog breed.  They include:
Great Britain

Ranked #2 in the United States, the German Shepherd takes the top spot for most popular dog in both Germany and France.

Ranked #5 on the U.S. list, the Bulldog ranks the number one spot for South Africa.

Not gracing the Top 5 for the U.S. most popular breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier is rated most popular for Russia.  The AmStaff has an affectionate nature and loyalty for his family.  The AmStaff is adept at guarding, hunting, herding, and weight pulling.  It is vitally important to socialize and train this breed from day one, as they can become aggressive towards other dogs is not done so.  This is a very powerful breed that requires an owner willing to put in the time and training required.  I do not recommend this breed for a first-time dog owner.  This breed (along with other Pitbull-type breeds) are steadily gaining popularity in the United States.
(See Breed of the Month--American Staffordshire Terrier.)

Also missing the Top 5 list for the United States, the Doberman Pinscher is rated the number 2 dog in Israel.  The Doberman Pinscher excels in many activities including:  police work, therapy, search and rescue, and protection.  The breed is very intelligent and graceful, yet powerful and intimidating.  This breed is often used for home protection.  As with any powerful breed, the Doberman Pinscher is not necessarily a breed I would recommend for a first-time dog owner.
(See Breed of the Month--Doberman Pinscher.)

Remember, just because a breed is considered the most popular, does not mean its the right breed for you.  If you are truly considering adding a new dog to your family, please do your research.  If you have a breed in mind, look them up on-line and see if the aspects of the breed actually match your lifestyle.  Please do NOT get a dog breed based on looks alone.  Each breed has characteristic about it that are unique.  Properly choosing an appropriate dog breed for your lifestyle, family, and energy level, will ensure a happy life for your entire family.

Need help choosing the right dog breed for you?  Check out this previous post.