Monday, November 12, 2018

When Your Dog Pulls on the Leash

We were walking down the street and Petey pulled ahead enthusiastically.
Around the corner he pulled toward a squirrel.
He heard a dog bark and he pulled toward the dog.
Later, we walked into a room of dogs and he pulled hard, barking.
Petey's pulling had become a problem.

Now that Petey is more than a year old, he's nearly full grown and strong. He also has boundless energy. We use many techniques to help. We provide him with lots of interactive toys to keep him busy. We also use a good, front attaching harness. We like the Easy Walk harness. This has always made a big difference in all our other dogs, but Petey is an especially difficult case!

My first instinct was to stop going out in public. It certainly was easier! But this wasn't teaching Petey anything. Plus, we want to be able to take him places with us, and hopefully eventually he will do therapy dog work with us. So we bought a supply of training treats. I began rewarding him every time he made eye contact with me.

Then I began using this technique when out on a walk. Every time he pulls, I stop walking. He usually eventually stops looking at whatever he's pulling toward and looks at me. I say "yes!" and he comes to me and gets a treat. First of all, this makes the walk really slow! But every time we practice, I notice him pulling less, and stopping to check in with me more.

My friend and dog trainer sent me this video. (Thank you Teri!)

With practice, he's improving. We even walked back and forth in front of a house with a barking dog, and he didn't bark back at all! I'm very encouraged by his progress but I know that it's up to me to keep working with him.

Does your dog pull? What have you found that helps you?

Disclouse: This post contains affiliate links. The products are those I personally use or think you will like.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ernest Goes to First Grade

We walked through the parking lot, past the big yellow buses, and approached the red brick building. Pushed the buzzer to be allowed in. Then we knocked on the principal's office door.

"Hello. This is Ernest. We're here to visit the first grade today."

The principal smiled and jumped out of her seat to greet Ernest. "The boys and girls will be so excited," she said. She led us down the hall to the room. All along the way teachers and students stopped to pat Ernest. He sure enjoyed that!

 The kids in first grade were all smiles and wide eyes. The teacher had everything organized and ready for us. Ernest laid down on a quilt and the kids sat beside him one at a time and read him their stories--they'd written original Halloween stories all by themselves!

The Mummy who Lost his Bandages.

The Vampire who Lost His Teeth.

The Ghost That Wasn't White.

 The Witch Who Couldn't Fly.  These kids could write!

Ernest listened attentively while they read. Some of the kids were a little afraid of dogs--they didn't want to get too close, but they all showed him the pictures.

Afterwards Ernest gave the kids each a trading card with his "stats."


The class gave Ernest a card they'd all signed, and two Halloween toys. He played with the spider right away.  One of the girls gave Ernest a note that said "I Love You." One of the boys asked Ernest to come back. And guess what? He will come back! We're going to visit the first grade once a month. We can't wait to hear the stories again next time.

Monday, October 29, 2018

How to Make Pumpkin Treats for your Dog

It's Halloween time and there are plenty of pumpkins around. Good thing that pumpkin is great for your dogs! It's high in fiber, low in calories, and full of Beta Keratin.  It's also great for your dog's digestive system.

You can use canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling.) However, if you have a few real pumpkins and want to give them to your dogs, here are some cooking and preparation suggestions:

1. Raw pumpkin is okay, as long as it is fresh. Don't use your Halloween pumpkin that's been sitting out on your porch steps for weeks. Yuck! Just peel the pumpkin and cut the flesh into small cubes. You can then top your dog's food with some of the pumpkin cubes.

2. Pumpkin puree
Boil peeled, cubed pumpkin until tender.
cut pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes or so, until golden brown on edges. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.

Place in food processor and add a little water and puree.

I put spoonfuls of pumpkin purees in muffin cups and froze. Then I popped the frozen lumps out of the tins and placed in ziploc bags to store until needed.

3. Pumpkin Pupsicles
Mix pumpkin puree with water until smooth. Poor into ice cube trays or molds and freeze.

4. Pumpkin Biscuits
I don't really enjoy cooking, but I got inspired to make dog biscuits with some of the pumpkin puree. One of the reasons I'm not much of a cook is because I'm horrible at following recipes and I hate to measure. So I put the puree in a large bowl and added some rolled oats, a little cinnamon, 2 eggs, and some flour. I kept mixing in flour until it felt like the right consistency to roll out. I rolled the dough and pressed out dog bone shapes with cookie cutters. I then baked them for about 15 minutes. They didn't look too bad! Best of all, my dogs were crazy about them! It made me ridiculously happy to make something from scratch that my dogs seemed to love!

Other ideas are
Mix pumpkin with peanut butter, banana, plain yogurt---or all!
Stuff into a Kong
Make pumpkin dog-safe ice cream
Bake into doggie muffins

Do you give your dogs pumpkin?
How do you prepare pumpkin treats for your pet?

    Monday, October 22, 2018

    How a Delicious Distraction can Help You and Your Dog

    Petey is a wiggly puppy.
    He is always on the go and hates to be constrained for me to examine his ears, trim his nails, apply medication, or pretty much anything else.

    Then I found this interesting new product, and decided to give it a try. (*Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I discovered this product and decided to blog about it in order to share my personal experience.) It is billed as a "dog distraction device."

    Introducing Lick Lick Pad!

     Recently Pete needed some ear medication, so it was the perfect time to try out the Lick Lick Pad. First, I opened the package, then smeared on some peanut butter.

    Next, I stuck the pad to the front of a kitchen appliance. You can also stick it to windows, tiles, bathtubs, sinks, or most any shiny surface. Pete immediately got to work. (Ernest helped!).

    Then I applied Pete's ear medication. Lick Lick Pad worked great. Petey didn't wiggle, his head stayed just where I needed it to be, and he didn't even seem to notice when I applied the medication. Success!!

    Lick Lick Pad is also great for baths. Just apply to the side of the tub and your wiggly pet might not even notice when you suds him up and rinse him off.

    What could you use the Lick Lick pad for with your dog?