Well, we decided to start 2023 by eating and relaxing just like our canine companions on the above picture.
Dogs are amazing teachers, if you take the time to really watch how they live their lives, and so we decided to copy their behavior and relax. Happy New Year to you, your furry kids, and extended family!
One of the things I recommend pet parents to do with their canine companions is go out and explore different areas in order to acclimate their dog/puppy to a variety of environments. I trained Harlow a couple of weeks ago, Level II Basic Training and Behavior, so every time she stays with us she brushes up on what she learned and we go out to practice in the real world.
Harlow, ” I think we are lost.”
My sense of direction is so bad that even Harlow knew that we were lost. No problem, we went and asked for help.
Harlow, “Help. This human is showering me with hugs and kisses.”
I recommend a lot of things to pet parents and one of them is to get their dogs used to being hugged. Why? Because being hugged is not something most dogs enjoy. Harlow enjoys it as long as you give her a treat.
Harlow, “Am I getting paid to pose for this picture?”
Harlow did wonderful during our outing. She did get startled twice when someone dropped some dishes, we were walking by a restaurant, but she was getting used to the noises better than I expected. You have to remember that Harlow is only 6 months old.
Harlow, “Wow! Look at all the people here”
Harlow was very curious seeing so many people around, but she was not nervous about it. This is why training and behavior need to go hand in hand. A balanced dog is a pleasure to have and to take out with you every time you get a chance.
Harlow, “Is that the menu for the restaurant we’ll be eating at? I am hungry.”
Expecting your dog to behave like a good canine citizen is really up to you. Dogs are amazing teachers, but they need us to guide them and get them to be balanced. Go out with your dog and enjoy the outdoors.
As a child growing up in Ecuador with a menagerie of animals, dogs were our constant companions. I grew up in a small village by the sea and for us to see a dog being walked on a leash was something very weird. Socializing dogs? We didn’t know what that meant.
Once I got my first dog, a challenging handsome staffie, and started to go to training classes, I realized that dogs getting along with other dogs, socializing, was something a lot of dogs have difficulty doing. I also figured out that many pet parents didn’t know how to properly socialize their dogs.
When a dog stays with us, I send pictures to the pet parent so he can see his furry kid. A couple of years ago I had a pet parent say to me, “You sent me a picture of my dog sitting right next to another dog. How did you do that? She doesn’t like to sit next to other dogs.” I was surprised by what she said. A couple of other pet parents also said similar things.
How did I do it? I made sure that they had plenty of exercise, structure, discipline, and boundaries. For some dogs, being next to another dog, like the above picture is close to impossible. If you don’t know how to work with your dog, do what I did years and years ago, find a trainer that can help you understand and learn about dogs. Living with a dog should be enjoyable, not stressful.
Do you know how Alex is going to welcome Spring? She will start by taking frequent naps specially when we go out sightseeing and/or shopping. She has to have her beauty sleep.
Alex’s naps will be followed by walks throughout the day. She is a senior, almost 13 years old, and as such it is very important that she keeps her mobility, therefore exercise within reason is essential.
Aside from naps and walks, Alex will also be working on some training. She enjoys it as long as the reward is food so that is easily accomplished. How will you and your furry kids be welcoming Spring?
I took Alex out for a short walk in the morning before Argo, a cute puppy, came to stay with us for the weekend. Alex is always excited when there is a dog/puppy coming to stay with us, but after the introduction period, she just goes back to doing what she does best, and that is sleeping.
I’ve been training Argo for the last few weeks on Basic Obedience so I am glad he is staying with us this weekend so I can go over what he’s learned so far. Doesn’t he have a cute face? Have a great weekend.
When Bella came to live with us a little over 4 months ago, she had absolutely no doggie manners: she’d step over Alex; bump into her; and this was the worst, while Alex was sunbathing by the sliding doors Bella would try to put part of her body on top of Alex. Manners is something dogs can learn from one another, and I’ve been lucky to have Alex, a very laid-back, balanced pit mix, help other dogs accomplish that.
Is manners something you can teach a dog overnight? No. There are many factors that need to be present and put into play in order to have a well-mannered dog and these are just a few: patience, structure, exercise, discipline, commitment, consistency, love, and a balanced dog like Alex.
A few pet parents I’ve talked to believed that if they took their dog to an obedience class, this would solve most, if not all, problems, but let me tell you that an obedience class is just the beginning of getting your dog to be a happy, balanced, and well-mannered dog. I look at an obedience class as one more tool that you can use to start training and conditioning your dog to listen to you, her pet parent.
Also, please don’t expect your dog to learn manners from another dog in a couple of hours, days, weeks, etc. Why? Dogs are individuals, as I mentioned on a previous post, and they learn at their own pace. Bella, our foster failure, has made amazing progress, but that took time and a ton of patience. There is still a lot more I need to work on with Bella, but now she is able to live with other dogs in peace while respecting their space.
A little over two months have gone by since Bella, our foster dog, came to live with us. The changes I see in her and the continuous progress she makes every day makes us all happy and hopeful that one day she’ll find her forever home. Here’s a progress report on Bella:
Walking – On my last post, she was walking next to us, for the most part. Nowadays when I walk her, and this is no lie, I truly enjoy our time together. She walks beautifully, but fast like I do which I love. With Cynthia, this is weird since she is the one that taught her how to walk properly, she tends to get a little ahead of her during their walks. Overall, I’d say better than last month.
Feeding – She still makes those funny sounds like a piggy, bird, and who knows what else, but less than a month ago.
Pacing – She paces when she sees either Cynthia or I coming back home. Now the pacing seems to be more out of happiness than anxiety. In general, her pacing is less than before, and when she does it we stop her and ask her to sit or shake hands so she can snap out of it.
Training – Bella got her Basic Obedience completed on 3/1/14. I am hoping to get her enrolled in another class in the near future.
Doggie manners – Bella is a little more careful and aware of her surroundings unlike before when she would step over Alex. Progress!
We took her to an adoption event a couple of weeks ago, and she did great and got an application approved, but the prospective pet parents changed their mind due to their living arrangements. I’ll be taking her soon to another adoption event so she can get some exposure and perhaps her forever home, but also this would give her an opportunity to meet more people and socialize with them.