Thursday, August 31, 2006
One of the most dangerous bad habits a dog can have is chasing cars. Chasing them is not so bad but when they catch one or the next one in line catches them. The results are often fatal.
My neighbors dogs have taken to chasing my Jeep as I drive by their house. So I am working with them to help correct the problem. I sure don't want to hit one.
I picked up a cheap but powerful water gun at a discount store. It is the kind that pumps up so it sprays a long way.
Now when they start to chase me, I slow down or stop and give them a good squirt of water. This startles them without hurting them. They will soon get the idea that chasing my Jeep is no fun. Maybe that will translate in to not chasing other cars as well.
This idea came from the Sit Stay Fetch dog training course section on chasing cars. They have more ideas there to complete the process and break them from the deadly habit of chasing cars.
Smash and I are getting better and better at communicating with each other.
But I am beginning to wonder if this dog whispering stuff is a science or magic.
Since it is easy to learn form books like Sit Stay Fetch who explains it in a step by step manner, it seems to be a science.
But when I notice that Smash seems to respond to my thoughts as well as my words, it starts to look like magic.
Lets take today for example. It is a rainy messy day here where I am. We are all very happy for the rain as our creek had completely stopped flowing. But I was not nearly as interested in walking in the woods as Smash was today.
He seemed to sense that right away and spent his time chasing unseen things in the woods rather than walking with me as he normally does. Also, he did not come right back to the house with me either. I think he went to visit his puppy friends down the street. The ones who have been known to get him in trouble.
I tried not to worry about him as I went about my work. later I decided it was time for him to come home and I better go look for him. I imagined looking out and seeing him on the porch.
I looked out and did not see him. But before I got my shoes on, I heard a noise and there was my wet and muddy dog Smash running up to greet me.
I gave him one of his favorite treats and hooked him back to his tether. We were both happy.
So I begin to wonder if he is reading more than my body language and vocal tones as taught in the book. maybe he is reading my thoughts instead. Either way, I am glad I learned dog whispering because it works.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I tried to say to myself that none of my other dogs had had any trouble roaming the area where we live, but I never shook the thought that something would happen to my cute little puppy.
When he came home bleeding, I realized my worsts fears had been manifest.
Sometimes I wish it was not so easy to manifest my thoughts. Read more here....
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
In the morning serve the following as a hot cereal:
1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon honey
Combine and serve warm.
For Smash, I add some garlic and powdered wheat grass to supplement his immune system.
Dr. Pitcairn has many more recipes for homemade dog foods in his book. Smash loves them.
Monday, August 21, 2006
One reason people have a dog is for protection. Since we live in a rural setting, I like my dog to bark when people drive up the driveway. He can hear them on the gravel road long before they come into sight.
Dogs will naturally bark at things that surprise them or things that move. They also tend to bark when they hear other dogs in the distance. Remember the doggy telegraph in 101 Dalmatians?
When your dog barks, go to him and look in the direction he is barking. Acknowledge that he has made a warning. Then, depending on the situation, you can command him to be silent.
Always acknowledge his warning before issuing the silence command. You want to make sure that your dog feels he has performed an important function.
Also, if you truly want a dog for protection, you may want to consider letting him live inside your house. While you dog can be effective as an alarm outside, he can be more protective if he is inside with you. Sit Stay Fetch has a tragic story of a woman who ignored the bark of her family watch dog. She now keeps her well trained dog with her in her bedroom.
One more point about family watch dogs: depending on the degree of protection you desire, you may have to get professional training. There is a bonus book with Sit Stay Fetch about training family watch dogs however they also recommend professional assistance for family watch dog training.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Smash loves to try to lead me down the trail. Many of our hiking trails here are really too narrow for him to walk be side me. So I have had a bit of complication training him to walk beside me on his leash.
I have begun using the length of the free leash as his cue to walk beside me or in front. When I want him beside me, I pull up the leash short and hold him in the standard heel position for a few steps. He soon gets the idea. I reinforce the leash signal with the verbal "Heel" command accompanied by a visual image in my head of him walking calmly and happily beside me.
When the trail gets narrow, I let out the leash and slow my pace enough to allow him to go in front. He quickly takes to this! If he tries to pull on the leash, I give it a quick tug to remind him not to pull.
For more info on how to train a dog to walk on a leash click here.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
I have noticed this response in children - see Potty Training Site Blog for my posts on that subject - but it has become really obvious with Smash this week that he responds much more to the caller's intentions than to their verbal commands.
The response that I have noticed is the difference between when I call him to me and when Janice calls him. I know, and now Smash knows that when she calls him her intention is to tie him up. So, if she uses the correct tone and words he will come close to her but always stay just out of reach. She gets frustrated and you can watch his ears and other body posture start to shows signs of agitation as well. He will often grab one of his toys and start tearing it up.
She gets mad that he comes to me when I call him seemingly the same way she does. However, when I call him, I am thinking about petting him and maybe giving him a snack or a treat. He will come right up to me and wait to get petted. He will then go to his tether and wait for his treat. Only after he has begun to enjoy his treat will I hook him up. He offers no resistance at all to being hooked up when my first intention is to give him puppy luvin' and a treat.
By the way, if I call him thinking about hooking him up because I am in a hurry, he usually runs the opposite direction. So I have learned to control my thoughts.
Friday, August 11, 2006
My dog grooming instructions for Smash mostly consists of:
A: Take him to the creek
B: Let him swim.
C: Trim his toe nails by letting him run until he dries.
Being an active short haired dog, that it pretty much all it takes.
But for many people dog grooming instructions are more complicated.
The Sit Stay Fetch course includes a bonus book on Dog Grooming with some great suggestions. I wish I had had this book when I had Jack the Border Collie. His long hair was always getting matted up and icky looking. Smash is much lower maintenance.
One of the first dog grooming instructions they offer is training the dog to be touched and handled. This is best started as a puppy.
Also, the dog needs to be able to obey the sit and stay commands as well as other simple dog grooming instructions.
So keep your dog healthy and looking good, get Sit Stay Fetch and make sure you get the bonus Dog Grooming instructions book.
Monday, August 07, 2006
The importance of choosing the right dog for your family is often over looked.
When picking a family dog, there are many factors to consider.
- Where will the family dog live?
- How often will you play the dog?
- What environment will the family dog be exposed to?
- Are there other pets in the home?
When picking a family dog for us, I first watched to see which one ran out to greet us first. I knew this one would be the one most likely to enjoy humans.
Smash's sister actually beat him there but another factor in picking a family dog was knowing that we wanted a boy dog.
I also tested Smash's response to commands by watching hos response to my facial expressions made in dog whisperer style.
All you need to know about picking a family dog is explained in Sit Stay Fetch. They also tell you more about breed selection and many other factors to consider when picking a family dog.
I have been searching the dog supplies sections of my local pet stores and discount stores lately for so good treats to use when training Smash.
I have not found much that I really want to give him.
They are all full of nasty chemicals that I don't want him eating. And he does not seem the least bit interested in the treats they tried to give him at the veterinarian office. Much to their surprise he just spat out the dog biscuit they gave him as a reward for taking his shot.
So far the best pet treat I have found for him on these hot days are frozen French fries. He loves these things. He has to let them thaw just a bit before he can eat them but he loves to play with them while they are still frozen.
So instead of looking in the dog supplies for pet treats try you frozen food section.
We have also found that our local meat department has some low priced beef ribs that have lots of bone in them. Smash really loves these and will chew one all day of he gets the chance. They keep his teeth pretty and white. So no more shopping in the dog supplies for pet treats.