Years ago, when I took my very first dog training class with an excellent dog trainer, Janet Bennet, there was a lady with a small dog and during class she had conversations with her dog rather than plainly telling him, “Sit.” To say that I smiled about this exchange between the two of them would be an understatement, but I know now that that is the worst thing you could do with your dog.
Yes, you should use words to teach your dog commands, but dogs don’t need a story of why you want him to do something. To be effective at communicating with your dog, use your body language, tone of voice, intention, and energy. And if you have a fearful, sensitive, excitable, or shy dog, the least you talk to him, the better for both of you because you will not be frustrated and he will learn at his own pace. So, let’s leave our talking for the trainer you are communicating with about your canine companion and start communicating properly with your dog. Stay safe!
Yes, dogs need sweaters and blankets once the weather starts turning cold specially if your dog has short hair, she is a puppy or senior, and also if she is recuperating from injury/illness.
Abby and Charlie both wear a sweater and sometimes jacket when we go out, they both have short hair, and a sweater or t-shirt when they are indoors. By the way, and this may just be me, but I like to touch their ears. If their ears are cold, then they are cold.
Sweaters and jackets for dogs, if you are looking for quality items, tend to be a bit expensive, but I’ve learned from trial and error that they are worth it. Blankets, on the other hand, I get them from a thrift shop. They have inexpensive, beautiful thick blankets in all sizes and colors.
Take a walk with your canine companion, weather permitting, but remember to bundle up and do the same for your canine companions. Enjoy your weekend.
I enjoy going to downtown Annapolis, and that’s what we did this past weekend not knowing that it was time for the annual sailboat show. To say that there was a lot of people would be an understatement, and because of that I asked Cynthia to wear her mask, and only remove it for this picture. Safety first pet parents!
How did Charlie do? Surprisingly well. Abby and Charlie barked at a dog while we were walking because such dog barked at them first, but other than that we had a nice time walking around and taking pictures. We are trying to expose Charlie to as many different things as possible just like we did with all our other doggies. Sharing your life with dogs is quite an adventure so let’s enjoy the ride! Stay safe.
Let me start this post by saying that there is no such thing as a perfect dog. I could see pet parents red with anger, but allow me to explain. Just like humans, dogs are a work in progress, and that’s ok. But I believe that there is such a thing as the perfect dog for you, the pet parent, and that is a completely other post for the future.
I decided to post about Charlie’s progress, but it dawned on me that I should also post about Charlie’s antics. Why? I want pet parents to know that they are not the only ones feeling lost, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc.
This past weekend we took Abby and Charlie to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for a nice long walk, and well this is where our odyssey started.
During our walk, we introduced Charlie to water, and being the Sheprador that he is he seemed to enjoy it. We continued our walk, and brace yourself, he saw a squirrel, and although he is doing better when seeing squirrels, he lost it. He barked, pulled, whined, etc. In other words, he put a whole Broadway production for us. I had to hold on to that leash for dear life. Then, after a short period of walking nicely, he saw a bird and wanted to go after it, but with less intensity than with the squirrel. We finished our walk, almost an hour long, gave them water, and put them in the car.
Charlie is a little over 2 years old, and there are times when he walks beautifully even if a bird-he ignores birds for the most part-or squirrel show up, and there are other times like our outing this past weekend when he just goes bananas. What I am trying to say is that your dog will drive you nuts and he will certainly keep your life interesting and unpredictable, but take my word for it when I tell you that this too shall pass. One day, your crazy dog will be a well-behaved dog, and you would say to many people, “My Charlie is the perfect dog for me.” Yes, you will! When? It depends on the dog. Our Abby calmed down around 4-5 years old. I’d say Charlie has another 1-2 more years of craziness in him.
Dogs are not perfect, but who would want a perfect dog? It would be boring. Until your dog matures, he will-many times-misbehave and surprise you. You are just going to have to have patience, be consistent, and remember that life is full of surprises, and so is your dog!
As you can see in the above picture, Abby and Charlie take their job seriously. Our routine is to drop off the garbage, sometimes we have to do 2 trips, and pick up our mail.
Charlie’s separation anxiety is slowly starting to disappear. He no longer screams murder when left him in a room alone. We’ve been able to go shopping without a problem. Also, Charlie no longer goes bananas when we put Abby in the car first. He gets excited, which is normal, but even that is manageable.
I realized very early on that Charlie needed to get exposed to everything and that’s exactly what we’re doing with him. It helps that Abby is there to lend a paw to her younger brother. To those pet parents out there dealing with a variety of issues, we all have issues by the way, don’t give up and work hard. Our dogs are worth it. Enjoy your weekend!
Lately watching the news is scary and depressing-to say the least-but then I take a look at Abby finding happiness in simple things such as: walking, taking a ride in the car, eating, etc., and all I feel is a great sense of gratitude.
Abby, “I smell food. Mom, do you smell it too?”
Dogs are great teachers, and for me they are an integral part of my life. They make me take a look at what really matters and not worry about things that are out of my control. What does your dog bring to your life?
To say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives would be an understatement, but I choose to be optimistic and find a silver lining in every cloud. With that being said, living in semi-isolation has afforded me the time to take Abby for more walks; catch up on some of my reading; write a post more often; and prepare to start working on my taxes – I know, you must be giddy with excitement and anticipation to tackle this task!
I don’t know how long we’ll live like this, so my question to you is: what are you doing with your canine companions during this time?
Abby, “Mom, I like the new smells I am picking up from here!”
Yes, we’re finally back home. Home is really where your heart is, and a long time ago I realized that that place was Maryland. For the last 5 years, we lived in Stoughton, MA and although it was a nice place, and we met amazing people and dogs, I always hoped that we had the opportunity to come back to Maryland and it finally came true.
Abby, “Mom, I picked up an amazing new smell. It smells like chicken!”
We were really busy moving for the last couple of weeks, but finally things are less hectic, and I have been able to take Abby for nice walks around the neighborhood lately. Thanks to all the pet parents in Massachusetts that trusted us with their canine kids, we’ll miss you all, and looking forward to meeting amazing dogs and their pet parents in Crofton, MD. It feels great to be back home!
Abby, “Mom, did you put some cookies in my back pack?”
Abby is a working dog, and if you ask her she’ll probably tell you that she needs a raise in the form of more cookies and human food. One of Abby’s task is to carry her own gear. Yes, people, there were a few cookies in that backpack.
Walking with my pack. Prince, yours truly, Champagne, and Abby. (L to R)
Abby also helps me walk dogs. The funny thing about it is that she gets a little confused when the weekend comes around because that’s when we are off. Yes, she is a hard working girl! In order to fulfill your dog’s needs give her a job, she’ll thank you for it.