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.
This was the first year we were not home. Instead we went to Boston to visit family and did a little sightseeing while there. As you can see, Alex could care less about the ducks around her.
It was funny to see Alex totally uninterested in all the real ducks around her, but once she saw these “fake” ducks she couldn’t help herself and she had to go and meet them. As you can see, she is meeting them the polite way, the doggie way. How? By sniffing the tush.
Alex even posed with them. She was such a good girl. By the way, because it was so cold that day, we were out for about 20-30 minutes only. We parked very close so we went back to the car and headed to get some food.
We could take Alex pretty much anywhere dogs are allowed because she is used to so many things, including horses. We saw a policeman on a horse, but I was hesitant about asking him for a picture so we kept walking. When Alex was a puppy I took her everywhere so that as an adult dog she would be comfortable in different situations and areas. Belated happy new year 2015!
This is Alex contibution to our move: sleep like a baby. Since I know that dogs love routine, I am doing my best to keep things as usual specially when it comes to walks.
Bella also enjoys her bed, but many times she hangs out by the sliding doors in our eat-in kitchen. Bella’s contribution: guard dog.
Our move to Boston is getting closer and closer, therefore I am going to enjoy the time I have here in Maryland. I am certainly going to miss our house, and the amazing dogs and pet parents I met during the past few years.
This is Dieter, a 2 1/2 year old Vizsla. When he is in his bed, he looks smaller than Alex. He was asleep, but woke up when he saw the flash. I know, I know, I should have let him sleep, but he is too cute not to photograph.
Alex is so used to us taking pictures that not even the flash of the camera faces her anymore. This is what they look like after our morning walk, relaxed and a little tired.
I guess Dieter lost interest in the flash from the camera so he is about to fall asleep. In a couple of minutes, breakfast time.
Posted in Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Outings, Walking
Tagged breakfast, Breeds, Dog, Pet, photography, Recreation, Vizsla, walk
Alex, enjoying a well deserved nap. I envy her. I have very sensitive ears and even though I am asleep I can hear almost everything that is going on around me. But look at Alex. She is out like a light.
Oliver, a Lhasa Apso, is our guard dog. He is the first one to bark when he hears something going on around the house.
Walter, an Aussie, was the only one awake, but within 5 minutes he was also out like a light. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday afternoon with your loved ones.
Posted in Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Outings, Walking
Tagged Breeds, Dog, Dogs Trust, Guard dog, Lhasa Apso, Pets, Recreation
It was supposed to be 20 degrees today here in Maryland, but when we went out to walk with Alex it felt more like -5. If you are planning to walk your dog in cold weather, please make sure you bundle her up, you too of course, and make the walk a little shorter than usual.
Alex, “I can’t believe you took me out for a walk in this horrible cold weather.”
As the picture clearly shows, Alex was not very happy with our walk, but on my defense I’d like to say that we took a shorter walk than usual. Talk about an ungrateful canine child.
Alex, “Fine, I’ll pose for the picture since I feel more like a popsicle than a dog.”
To my amazement, Alex actually posed for this picture. But I was thinking that it was because she was so cold that she did not want to move at all. I took all these pictures as soon as we got back home.
Alex, “Mom, I know what you are going to say to me, I am your mother, I command you.”
Wow! A total of 4 pictures and I did not have to chase after her for that. Do take your dog for a walk, but please remember that they also need a sweater or jacket in this unforgiving cold weather. My suggestion for both human and canine alike would be the following: bundle up, walk fast, ok., walk really fast, shorter walks, hydrate after the walk and turn up that heater full blast once you get home. Enjoy your walks.
Roxy stayed with us this past weekend and Cynthia did her best to take pictures of them, but as many of you pet parents know many times our subjects are not very cooperative.
Roxy falling asleep
Sienna about to fall asleep
The above two pictures is a perfect example of what happens after a nice long walk and feeding. No cooperation from these canine kids.
Do you know how I got them to look awake and alert? I showed them a treat and that helped. Yes, I know I had to bribe them, but I wanted to take a picture of both of them.
Sienna aka Super Girl
Let me start by introducing Sienna, a Beagle/Chihuahua mix.
Sienna will be staying with us for a couple of weeks, and so far these are the things I’ve noticed she likes to do:
Sienna, rubbing her back on her bed
Sienna teaching Alex new “tricks”
Chewing on a Nylabone
Of all the things Sienna likes to do, I’d venture to say that the most enjoyable for her is chewing on the nylabones I leave around the house.
The first thing I did the day she came over to stay with us was to take her and Alex for a really nice long walk in order for both of them to understand that we are a pack and by doing this avoid any conflict between them.
Josie in Dreamland
Every time a dog is to stay with us, I like to do a little bit of research on that particular breed, but since Josie’s mom told me that Josie was a lab and I knew about the breed, I decided to let it go. Anyway, Josie has come to stay with us a couple of times, but her behavior was not that of a lab. I looked at her very carefully and noticed her quirks and behavior and started my research. Josie, I found out, happens to be a Weimaraner. Aha! Now her behavior makes sense. As per www.terrificpets.com, a Weimaraner is, “Known to be bold and excessively rambunctious, this breed loves to hunt and run. If not allowed to do what their heart truly desires and is pent up, they will develop a destructive manner with sheer frustration. With a tendency to be headstrong and stubborn, lack of exercise or running will force these traits into a negative and unhappy dog. They need a yard that is large enough to run and explore in, and a home that allows them to sleep indoors on cool and cold nights, due to their very short hair.”
The description fitted Josie perfectly. Josie’s beautiful, big body wiggles like crazy every time she sees Alex, while Alex maintains that alpha demeanor so Josie can calm down. It usually takes about 2 minutes. Josie is extremely loving, but getting her to do things such as: sit, down, come, etc., is a struggle. Her mom said that she knew all this commands, but I think she has selective hearing like Alex. Anyway, I kept thinking of a way to get her to follow commands without having to repeat myself like a broken record, and I finally had an epiphany: Food. Josie is very food oriented, so I decided to use food to get her to do what I want. These are the things Josie does with food as an incentive, and surprisingly with repetition even without food as a reward:
- Sits patiently while I get her food ready
- Sits without whining or moving by the door as we get ready to go for our walk
- Goes to bed on command
This may seem insignificant to some pet parents, but to me this is pure joy and success. Josie stays with us about once a month, therefore I am going to continue training her because, yes, Waimaraners are stubborn, but it just means that training with her will take a little longer than with other dogs, but the results are more than worth it.
A couple of weeks ago, I answered an ad for long-term boarding a male pit bull, and after some e-mails and phone calls were exchanged, we agreed to meet and see if my home would be the right environment for Kingston.
Now, I’ve had, so far, one AmStaff and one pit mix of my own so I am familiar with this breed, but I never expected for Kingston to look so impressive. I was taken aback at his size and gladiator physique, but at the same time quite curious about his temperament and quirks. Yes, dogs, just like us humans, have quirks. We took a walk with Kingston and Alex for a couple of minutes and his body language was that of a puppy; curious and playful. Anyway, after our walk we went straight to the kitchen and I spent some time talking to Kingston’s mom while I continued to assess his body language, curiosity level, and his interaction with his mom and myself. A couple of days later, Kingston’s mom agreed to leave him with us and he’s been a part of our family for the last couple of weeks and I’ve had nothing but great and funny experiences with him.
Although he does look impressive and intimidating, what he likes best is to be hugged and kissed. Could you believe that? He loves to be close to us and he plays well with Alex, our mix breed female dog. I see no aggression at all on his part, and I do hope that this was the kind of dog that people would breed rather than aggressive dogs that give Pit Bulls a bad reputation.
Kingston is what a Pit Bull should be: gentle, affectionate, docile, strong, and gorgeous:) He is the perfect Pit Bull ambassador for a breed that because of irresponsible owners gets bad publicity.
Posted in Dogs
Tagged Breeds, Dog, Pet, pit bull