This past Saturday marked the end of yet another dog obedience session.What a great session we had! We covered many different topics and worked out a lot of behavioral issues, especially in the Basic group. Impulse control, trust, and communication are always an underlying themes of every Basic Obedience Class. Puppy Class was an absolute treat! From socialization to learning commands, these pups were resilient little learners. It turned out to be my favorite session thus far, between dogs and owners. It is always something special to watch and observe the relationships between dogs and owners grow. As always, thank you all for allowing me to teach both you and your dogs!
Those Silly Hounds are at it again. Cute as they seem, don’t be swayed. Their mischievous side far outweighs their cute and cuddly side, well somedays it seems anyways. I must put the ball in their court for just a minute- they have come a long way from their rambunctious days just full of mischief making. Now a days, they care more about sleeping and relaxing than anything else. Most of the time anyways.
We could classify yesterday morning as a “Terrible Tuesday” at least between Rascal and I anyways. It started normal, benign even. We got up, went through our normal routine, the same went for the dogs. Nothing out of the ordinary. Alas, they are hounds, they keep you on your toes. Rascal, was the sole mischief maker during this series of incidents. Yes, INCIDENTS. Bella watched from her chair.
I turned my back for just a second and Rascal took advantage. We keep our garbage locked in a cabinet, we have a garbage picker in the house… RASCAL. With persistence, he got the latch undone and a field day ensued. I caught him quickly enough to avoid a major mess. He did not take kindly to being cut off from the delicious treasures the trash had to offer. He decided to rebut my attempts at household control, and pulled the chicken scraps off the counter. The little bugger, knowing he was being rotten, picked what he wanted from the mess (strawberry scraps and bread) and ran off to eat it. A lab would have at least cleaned up the mess! At this point, I stuck both dogs outside, hoping they’d run some steam off and get their, or his, jolly’s out. As I was trying to get housework done, a walk wasn’t in the cards for today. When will I learn.
They say things happen in threes. Oh yes they do. Can you even imagine what happened next? This time I. WILL. LEARN. Walk your dogs every day people! EVERYDAY! Exhaust them to the point they can’t move. EXHAUSTION. That is all.
I cleaned the mess up, let the dogs in, and carried on with my morning. On a normal morning, I leave the hounds sleeping in their respective spots as I take a shower. 99 times out of 100, they sleep like peaceful, lovely pooches. Not this time. Rascal had to let me know just one more time his thoughts for the day. I came out of the shower to find that he had peed on the leg of my couch. HE PEED ON MY COUCH. All because he wanted a walk. no comment.
This people. This is a prime example of the importance of exercise and mental stimulation. Even I am at fault of not getting my dogs enough in any given day. Life happens, we can’t always get out for walks like we should, but we must try. We must make time everyday to get out and walk. It is not only excellent for our pups, but for ourselves. No excuses. These events were a direct correlation of not meeting these important expectations. JUST DO IT.
Let me paint a picture for you. An itty bitty Italian Greyhound, Minky blankets, and a throne. I mean hello?! All I want to do is hit up Etsy and buy all the tutus and tiaras I can find. I mean who wouldn’t? Now, some people may judge, may eye roll, but not this girl. I think this is seriously adorbs. My world has been thrown upside down, I am a terrible dog owner. Why do my dogs not have tutus and tiaras? Well maybe leather and rhinestones for the boy dog, but I digress. My point being, everybody loves their dogs differently in their own special way. My little italian friend has inspired me to to make a list of the top five “dog styles”.
The Man’s Dog. The ultimate bachelor. The 30-something, single guy who’s dog is his best friend. They roam through life together, both looking for love- kinda like 101 Dalmatians, but a little more hair on the chest if ya know what I’m saying… mmkk? Dude and his dog do everything together. They have their respective chairs, share pizza and beer, and hang with the boys on Friday nights. Ok, let’s be real- none of you reading this is this guy, but hey you never know.
The Over-Treater. Treats for everyone! Oh it’s dinner time? Better cook a piece of chicken for Fido. Ice-Cream? Some for me and some for Princess. These people are so taken by their little buddy’s puppy dog faces that they just can’t resist. Suffice it to say- they usually have overweight dogs. Food=happiness.
Field and Stream or Mud and Poop? These people enjoy spending free time hiking with their pooches, and their pooches love finding mud puddles, eating deer poop, and rolling in anything dead. They definitely use “anti-ickypoo” for cleaning unfortunate messes. Seat covers, towels, and other more hearty cleaning supplies are alway on hand for whatever mess their dogs find.
No Muss, No Fuss. These people go to puppy kindergarten, and expect just enough obedience to get by. Their dogs sit pretty at the vet, get a walk in everyday- no excuses, and may even have a puppy play date or two. Everyone wants to fall into this category, but let’s face it- if their dog sits on the couch, steals blueberry pie, or likes to roll in dirty socks, they DO NOT fall into this category. These people have perfect dogs- am I right?
Tutu’s and Tiara’s. Do I even need to explain this one? More often than not, these people own some sort of toy breed. To no fault of their own, they fall to the adoring baby faces of their itty bitty little fur babies. There is quite a spectrum to this one as well. Their are the folks that buy blankets and jackets due to fear of “cold”, then there are the people (and you know who you are) that shop American Beagle, give “Baby” a spot at the dinner table, buy collars with flowers and rhinestones, and lastly, don’t forget about the perfectly painted toe nails. Don’t hate. Appreciate.
There you have it, dog styles explained- what’s yours?
During puppyhood, dogs learn the foundational pieces needed to become well adjusted adults. Socialization, socialization, socialization. By allowing puppies to experience many different aspects of the world in positive and controlled manners, you are helping to create a well balanced dog. More specifically, puppy socialization helps create a well balanced dog. Puppies don’t just pop out of the womb knowing how interact in all situations, we have to teach them.
Socialization starts at birth. The moment the puppy is born it immediately engages with it’s mother, other littler mates, even their human caretakers. Growing and socializing with in the litter establishes the groundwork for further socialization, adjustment, and curiosity of the world as a whole.
Socialization comes in many forms. Whether it’s spending supervised time with well socialized adult dogs, other puppies, trips in the car, walks in town, any form of interaction that promotes a positive learning environment is referred to as socialization. It is also at this stage that you should highly supervise all forms of interaction. All it takes is one negative interaction with another dog, object, or experience, to ruin it forever. Dogs go through an “imprinting” phase as puppies, where all of their experiences are permanently engrained in their brain. This imprinting period is why socialization and positive learning is crucial to puppy development.
I always like to start my puppy classes with a few minutes of fun supervised play. It is always interesting to watch and develop over the weeks. The first week people and dogs spend more time at a distance, figuring each other out. Owners tend to keep dogs on leash and encourage sniffing and other “greeting” sorts of behaviors. As the weeks progress both dogs and owners become a little more brave and begin to engage in play. It is however, important to keep temperament, play styles, and body language in mind as play time gets increasingly comfortable for all parties involved.
I had a private training session with Leah and her two boys, Buddy and Bugsy, this afternoon. We had planned on getting out for a structured training walking, but the weather kept us indoors. Buddy, a seasoned student, breezed through the commands with ease. Bugsy, the realy student today, kept wooing me with his cuteness. Distractions are meant for the dogs, not the trainers. Somehow he just kept distracting me! I’m not sure if it was ready for take off stay or floppy, side-lying down, or eyes that just melt your heart. Whatever it is, the soft and obedient dispositions of Buddy and Bugsy paired with the company of Leah made this rainy afternoon training session quite the treat.
The day after Christmas was a gorgeous day all around the Northeast. We, Josh, Rascal, Bella, and myself were blessed to be able to spend this day on the NH coast.
The Silly Hounds thoroughly enjoyed their first ocean experience. Plenty of new smells, intriguing people, and dogs to chase. Accompanied, by their doggy cousins- Baxter and Czeska- they had a true adventure. From paws in the water, dog chases, and face planting into seaweed embankments, it was a fun time had by all.
Fresh veggies might be my favorite form of dog treats. I’ve tried carrots, green beans, and snap peas.The dogs have had rave reviews of all those treats. Recently I was intrigued by the use of dried peas as dog treats. WHO KNEW?! So I set out on a mission to make my own.
Fresh english or green peas are SO hard to find. I searched and searched the grocery store and couldn’t find them anywhere. I do have a few more places I will try, like the Cambridge, NY Co-op, but until then, I used a bag of frozen peas. I let the peas thaw and pulled out my dehydrator.
I set the dehydrator to about 105 degrees and let it work. It took quite some time (about 12 hrs) but…… IT WORKED! An added bonus- the dogs LOVE THEM!What do you use for treats? Do you make your own?
SHARE your thoughts in the COMMENTS!!
Thanks so much for stopping by SillyHounds- more thanks for having a read!
You could say I’ve had quite the wild year- all for the best, of course. An engagement, career change, a wedding, letting one business go, and starting a new one. That’s how Silly Hound’s came to be.
Last March, I finally followed sound advice. “Follow your heart.” You always hear people dolling out this advice to people caught in a “rutt” so to speak. Easier said than done, but I DID IT. One evening, I arrived home from work, looked at my (now) husband and said “I QUIT, I want to make dogs my life.” It’s that moment people tell you about, but you don’t think you could ever, or would ever do. Poor guy, thought I was off my rocker for a few minutes he did. Then I explained myself: the direction I wanted to take, why I wanted to take it, and the extreme passion I had for it. Almost a month later, I made the change. I took a position as a veterinary assistant, a role that was fascinatingly new, began a dog training apprenticeship, and a LOT of brainstorming. In the Fall of 2014, Silly Hounds: Dog Training and Pet Services was born.
Today: January 14, 2015, Silly Hounds became officially insured for training and pet sitting. This is THE DAY, a major milestone, for me at least. I have been working towards this goal since September.
I am so pleased to offer Salem, Cambridge, and surrounding communities with exemplary, responsible pet care. Please follow along, here- my blog and facebook, as I share my daily adventures in dog training, pet sitting, and living with my silly hounds.