Sunday, November 30, 2008

CGC # 5

Hooray for Buggie!!

Today we did a dry run of the CGC test and Bug did very well. I am particularly proud of his reaction to distraction. Today's distraction was a stainless steel bucket dropped on the ground and someone walking by on crutches. When the bucket was dropped he barely flinched and then looked immediately to me.


He could have cared less about the crutches. For whatever reason he has no fear of crutches or wheelchairs.

Our loose leash walking in the "real world" is going to be an ongoing project, IMO. However, when we are "working" and I ask for a loose leash he does it very nicely.

I am nervous about next week, but that is because I am a dork. Bug was super. I am very proud of him.

Some Wrestling

....beneath me, of course!!

How Scary!

From Dolittler, Dolittler’s back on the Xylitol attack! (the Rescue Remedy and Tic-Tac edition) :

....newest loser product to adopt Xylitol: Rescue Remedy.

You heard that right. This bach flower extract-containing product we often recommend to soothe our dogs’ high-strung souls has succumbed to the Xylitol dogpile. No longer can I safely recommend Rescue Remedy now that its pastilles contain the ingredient. Though its other products have reportedly not yet been tainted by this sweetener’s potentially dog-toxic effects, I can no longer trust the manufacturer to keep its products Xylitol free without fair warning....

Personally I only use the drops - but this is SUPER scary. Please be aware!


Yesterday morning Bug and I had a second herding lesson with Diane. It was AWESOME!!

Our first lesson Bug was really stressed about the new location and acted more like the Bug I first brought to Colleen's than the Bug I have come to know. So, yesterday we started our lesson by having Bug move two groups into and out of a center pen. I had a different dog this lesson. He happily moved those sheep about.

The we worked on "get around." Diane tried to teach me to meet my dog, not cut him off. She brought out her AS Mikey and let me work with him. It made perfect sense. I had been taking my eye of the Bug and literally cutting off his forward momentum versus turning and meeting him when he came around. Not sure if that makes sense or not - it is hard to explain, even with sheep.

We also started to work a bit on fetching but it was stressing Bug out, or I was stressing Bug out, or the rake was stressing Bug out. Who knows. So we altered our plan and just worked on me letting him bring me sheep and changing directions. Also keeping him engaged with the rake.

Bug really was stellar and I listened and asked more questions. I also tried not to HELP my dog, which can be hard for me. Diane must have yelled "Don't move" 10 times if she yelled it once!

Diane also showed me a way to take playing with the rake at home to the next level. It is literally the space game with the rake. She showed me how she could ask Mikey to side-step, etc with just a wee bit of gentle movement from the rake. I am definitely going to work on this with Bug. Probably Ike too because he would enjoy it.

The lesson ended on a real high note. Bug brought me the sheep (and I didn't move!) and Bug kept the sheep in front of me! Moving back and forth and balancing the pressure on them. It was awesome.

I need to work on Bug playing the space game with the rake. I am happy to say I am starting to "grasp" more bits and pieces. Backing up was not as hard for me this lesson. Diane was also able to clarify different pieces for me. We have a lesson in two weeks to hopefully build on this week's success.


Obi has been very relaxed while staying with me. He slept in Bug's crate last night. We went to bed around 10 and he slept through the night until about 6:30 when he started whining a bit. So off we went for a walk around the neighborhood (on the GL because he is forgetting his manners when walking with the boys! [John, Bug, and Ike]).

Now everyone has been fed and Obi is looking for things to pick up and bring me. He has already brought me a slipper, a cube of post-it notes, and a rolled pair of socks! I decided to buy a few minutes by giving the boys fish skin chews.

I am very impressed with how well he has adapted to being at my house. He is not noticeably worried about "mum." I am sure it helps that he knows me and that I have dogs, but none-the-less - impressive.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Relax Much?

I am making a vegetarian strudel (I accidentally screwed up and bought puff pastry for T-day - so this is to use up the left-over filling) and I hear this loud snoring noise. I thought it was John - that he had fallen asleep watching tv.

Nope, It is Obi!!

Bug is trying to keep a watchful eye on him,

in case he makes off with me in the middle of the night.

Obi So Far

Obi is staying with me this evening so to try out being away from mum. So far he is doing awesome. To give you an idea of what he is dealing with:
  • 1 set of super steep stairs;
  • 2 cockatiels that think big black dogs are super-scary and if they open their wings and hiss like a snake said big dog will be scared (and not MORE interested!);
  • 1 lonely Zebra Finch;
  • 2 Guinea Pigs;
  • 1 jealous Cardigan;
  • 1 Super Schnauzer who thinks welcoming his house to dogs with GOOD manners is no big deal;
  • 1 super husband with a goatee.

It took Obi a second to do my stairs. He stared up them like, "huh, really?" And then up he went. Bug is being a grumble-puss. He is convinced that Obi is going to steal me away somehow.

Once I ate lunch, I decided to take Obi for a walk to try and make sure he was relaxed and had gone to the bathroom. Katrin will be proud - we sat at all curb cuts and there was no pulling on leash.

Second walk after dinner with jealous-Cardi and Super-Schnauzer, a bit of pulling so I put the GL on Obi so as not to reinforce any bad behavior. We want an Ike on leash, not a Buggie.

Obi is interested in the birds and the g-pigs but not overly so. He is more interested in the birds because they react and try to scare him. He could care less about the pigs aside from the fact that they smell good.

Right now I have a Bug asleep beneath my feet and an Obi nuzzling me. Will keep everyone posted. I did try to find some children for Obi to not look at, but there wasn't anyone about this afternoon! I suppose they are still recovering from T-day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Bug's Bro Luther

Best of Breed - Kennel Club Of Philadelphia, Inc.

To read more about Luther you can visit either Holly's web site or her new blog, Tails of the Visions Cardigans.


This year I am thankful for quite a few things. I am very thankful for the Bug and that the Bug and Ike get-on so well. Pics from yesterday's celebration.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


That was my handling style last night in class. Not sure why. The course was not particularly difficult but I handled it terribly with both dogs. My biggest issue appeared to be consistency and just forgetting what I planned on doing and then trying to cross too late or forcing an ugly rear cross. As far as reasons why this might be – I woke up feeling really sick – so maybe I am coming down with something!


Seriously though, I am trying to adjust to running two fast(ish) dogs and it appears my adjustment period will be lengthy. I love having a fast and happy Ike but boy does it make my head spin!

We practiced a tunnel, jump, wrap, dogwalk combo that was really fun. We don’t do a lot of wraps and it took me a minute and some coaching to understand how to make Ike turn faster. The sooner I start my f/c, i.e. the further I can send him from and then make my turn (f/c) the tighter he will turn into the wrap. Very cool to witness that mechanics of it.

I also had a class where every single time I took my eyes off of my dog I lost them. It is not usually so pronounced, or I do not usually take make eyes off them so frequently, or Katrin was just really calling it out. Any-which-way it was a lesson drilled home – the second I took my eyes off of my dog they listed behind me. Lesson learned – do NOT take your eyes off your dog.

The good news is that I collected myself for the final run with Ike. It was quite nice. So, it’s possible….when I am consistent and calm!

Oh, and Ikey was blowing his down dog walk contacts. Katrin asked if I care. I know why he was blowing them – he was moving faster on the dog walk than I have ever seen *him* move. He isn’t used to that and doesn’t have the control to do the down contact at that speed. In a sense I do not care because I will probably not be trialing Ike ever again and a trialing Ike is different than class Ike. But at the same time I do care.

So, I am going to work on asking him to decelerate on the down contact. I am not sure if I will ask for a wait or just slow him with my body language. I will have to futz around. He is so different now than he was. Before asking him to wait would stress him out, but he has more developed control of his rear and isn’t that stressed by me asking him to repeat exercises (over and over). He no longer thinks that asking him to do something again means he is wrong (hooray!). So, I will have to think on it. Since I know the cause of the contact blowing I am fairly certain I can fix it easily. Or train him to take contacts while moving FAST!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kickin' the Bucket

Katrin's right, it is pretty funny.

We are making bucket progress. The bucket is still in the middle of my kitchen. So convenient. Both John and I keep accidentally kicking it and out runs the Bug to touch his nose to it. Hooray!! I am also feeding him next to it and since his bowl moves, he moves and then he bumps into the bucket.

Of course, Ike thinks the bucket is the best thing ever. “Oh, are we working? Let me touch the bucket, paw the bucket, circle the bucket, bump the bucket, down at the bucket, try the paw again.” Exhausting just watching him!!

Bug will touch his nose gently to it after I have kicked it. He will stare at it and offer a down. He will – if Ike isn’t about – take treats OUT of the bucket. Of course, if Ike is anywhere near the bucket Bug cannot even get to it!! Teacher’s Pet, that one.

Now we need to start working on the bucket being swung about and clanging down.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BUSY Weekend!

Where to start? How about....

You know it is REALLY cold when your Schnauzer's beard freezes.

Friday I went to the Cluster with two of my friends from the Shelter days (Marlene and Michele). Bug had an appointment with Debbie Gross Saunders in the morning to see if she had any recommendations for proactive treatment for his long back and hip. Yes, I am a bit anal, but I would rather be doing this stuff now when he is 2.5 yo and healthy than later.

DGS has very nice energy. Buggie thought she was swell and wasn't really a nudge about her handling him. DGS felt him over and asked if it was his right hip that is slightly dysplastic as it felt a bit tighter. I believe that is the correct hip - although I will have to talk with Holly.

DGS did some deep tissue massage and Bug looked pretty content. Due to the tighness and massage DGS decided we should also use the laser on Bug. To which I said, newbie that I am, "The laser?" Apparently there is a fair amount of research that supports the use of laser in aiding with inflammation and tissue injuries. I have to say that Bug did seem to be moving particularly well after the session.

DGS recommended a couple of exercises that we learned from Mel Henkel at the seminars she did for Maplewood - including what I think of as the flying dog exercise (and might in fact be the actual name). You extend a front leg and the opposite hind leg. The dog uses his core muscles to balance. DGS uggested putting a cd on Bug's back - as long as it stays balanced on his back I will know he is correctly using his core muscles during the exercise. Doing this with Bug - hysterical. It is going to take some time to get him used to being handled in that manner. At the moment he thinks it is freaky! She also recommended extremely steep hill walking and ball work.

Bug, Carmen, and I stayed over at the Red Roof Inn in South Deerfield to make getting to Saturday's trial a bit easier. We were at the Breeze Thru Agility CPE trial in Conway, MA. The temp was about 20 degrees and the wind chill was single digits. We were trialing in an unheated horse barn where the temp inside was still about 20!! We had snow flurries in the afternoon! Our water - along with Carmie's beard - kept freezing!

Even with the brutal cold, it was a great day - what made it even better was that we had the opportunity to hang out with Bill (a member of the Performance Schnauzer e-list) and Maggie, a really sweet rescue Schnauzer. I saw some of their runs and Maggie has really nice drive - she obviously enjoys the sport and enjoys working with her human! Hopefully I will get to see them again at the upcoming (end of Jan) SCAT trial, if we enter it. We also met a Schnauzer cross named Toby with a lovely temperament. I love meeting other Schnauzers at trials - it makes my day!

Carmie and I had a great day. We finished our Level 1 title with a Non-Traditional Jackpot Q/1. Carmie accumulated 54 pts!! The Dog-gods were with us - I was worried as Carmen doesn't have a ton of distance yet. We are working hard on it though as the venues we play in all have some distance requirement and ultimately it benefits you to have a dog that is wiling to work away (right?). Jackpot is similar to USDAA Gamblers, unless it is Non-Traditional. In Non-Traditional Jackpot, the gamble is at the judge's discretion. i.e. they can do whatever they want!

In this class, the gamble didn't have a distance line. You were required to complete 4 obstacles, which included either the A-frame or weaves and had to end on the table. The other two obstacles in the gamble were of your choosing. Weird, but I guess we will take it!

We also Q/1 in L2 Fullhouse and Q/2 in L2 Wildcard. We got whistled off L2 Snooker almost immediately when my body language had her backjump a colored obstacle. Oh well - I need to be more careful! ;-P

In Wildcard - Carmie acted a bit lost on course twice. On the ride home I was thinking about this a lot. That class happened when the sun was at its brightest in the barn. Although the most noticeable issue with PRA is low-light vision, I have read that very bright light can have a similar effect for dogs with PRA - washing out the area. Considering the judge was using her hand as a visor I can see how the same thing could have happened to a dog - especially a dog who's vision is compromised.

The weather was EXTREMELY difficult for humans and canines. I made sure to stretch Carmen and have her do spins and figure eights, etc. I appreciated very much that the judge mentioned that in her briefing. After trialing in such brutal conditions, I think it is safe to say I am an addict (as if I didn't already know that!).

Today Carmen had a spa day and Bug had CGC Class # 4. I am so proud of the Bug. Even with a very bad mum who doesn't do her homework his stays have improved dramatically. He is such a quick study! I think I might need to take some competition obedience classes with this dog. I think he would really do well. And to be honest I need the push of structured classes. CGC has been terrific for making me work on some of the little skills I haven't paid much attention to yet.

Today's new items were:

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

Bug did really well with reaction to another dog. Katrin split the class in three and had three teams on one wall and three on the opposite side. Each pair would walk towards each other. We did this multiple times prior to stopping and asking our dog for a sit. We did this a few times prior to actually greeting the individual. Then we rotated so that every team had the opportunity to do a run thru with every other team.

I also decided against using "boo" as my nonsense word. My friend Marlene commented on how it could be considered part of Bug's name since I do call him Bugaboo on many an occasion. Instead I am doing a very annoying "beep" noise. I felt like Bug did better walking with me this week. I don't know if it is because we have been practicing a bit on our walks or because I am not incessantly chanting his name so he isn't forced to tune me out. Either way, I will take it.

We did not do so well with the reaction to distraction. Katrin dropped a stainless steel bucket and Bug tried to hide behind me. Then when she picked it up he acted like he thought maybe she was going to hurl it at him. So, I borrowed the bucket and we are working on making it the funnest thing ever. Right now it is in the middle of my kitchen and I have already kicked it three times.

Do you know you can find salmon treats in buckets that are lying about?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Last night both classes were set up similar to a NADAC Chances course. Distance challenges!! Hooray! Distance is something I am desperate to work more on with Carmen.

As you can see (Thanks, Katrin!), the course started with jump, dog walk. Carmie couldn’t see the dog walk at first due to the black contact. She took the space between the dogwalk and the tunnel a couple of times. Once she realized, she was fine and in fact took the dogwalk without instruction a couple of times.

The first distance challenge involved a pinwheel after the dog walk. I frequently “ride the line” instead creating an invisible line that would actually be useful to my dog. Carmen had a lot of trouble with this exercise. I am not sure what the distance was, but it was outside her comfort level. It was also in a corner – not sure if it was harder for her to see? Regardless Katrin and I talked about what I need to do in order to help set her up to succeed.

I am going through a very frustrating period of knowing what I am doing wrong – I can literally feel it as soon as I do it – but not being able to do it correctly. This is a ton better than before. Before when Katrin would ask if I knew what happened and I would guess or not have any clue. Even when she told me half the time I hadn’t felt it/realized my body did that! So, this is progress.

After the pinwheel I tried to stick a f/c bewteen 5 & 6 when I should have waited and done a r/c at the tunnel. This is a problem I have. I try to do f/c ALL the time. Ike isn’t even slow anymore and I am doing this! I essentially cut off my flying little s/p schnauzer and am lucky I didn’t fall on my @ss. Needless to say I went with the r/c before the tunnel the rest of the night.

From the tunnel we went into a distance challenge on the weaves – which we didn’t really follow the line for. And then onto a bi-directional tunnel that allowed for the opportunity of layering a jump. Carmen actually surprised me by not taking the call off jump. She didn’t get the jump she was supposed to take, but had quite some distance. We’ll get there eventually with practice.

She was much perkier than she has been the past two classes (where she was accidentally fed dinner beforehand), but she did seem to run out of steam at the end. She didn’t have the umph! she had earlier. Maybe the cold was getting to her? Not sure. Maybe it was in my head!

I am 88% decided that after the trial this weekend we are going to stick to training and skip trialing until March-April. I think she needs a breather. I am not too crazy about the indoor venues I have been to that host most of the trials locally anyway. 88% sure....

Ike’s class was a blast. He has such joi de vivre now! Amazing. He had some trouble with the distance challenges but not really THAT much – and in a different sort of way than Carmie. In the pinwheel he was able to successfully navigate – it was just U-G-L-Y! He kept reorienting to me for info. He would take the jump and re-orient to me. Obviously I wasn’t giving him enough info, fluidly enough! I did manage to stay on the “right” side of the line though. And he was super happy about the entire thing. No stressing with the repetition.

In the weaves he kept skipping the first pole, my fault. But gods was he trying. This was from the line! Yay, Ike! He did seem like he was starting to stress, so I moved in a helped him out. He handled the last portion of the course very nicely as well. First run he did the same things as Carmen - running between the jumps. The second time he nailed it. I also remembered to cue "Out" verbally which I think Ike actually has an understanding of (must remember that!).

Very fun classes. I think everyone did an excellent job with the distance challenges - and they really are challenges!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teasel Treatment 2

Last night I did a second Teasel treatment on Ike. He fell asleep. I found myself incredibly relaxed as well. It will be interesting to see, once Ike’s treatment is complete how it effects Bug. Buggie relaxes with me, but more often than not he is go-go-go. Hence the nickname Bug! Will the Teasel treatment knock him out too?

Since we started the Cat’s Claw and Life Exxtension with Ike I KNOW he feels MUCH better. I hope the Teasel treatment adds to that.

I have noticed this past few days with the Lachesis and Aspen (and the Teasel) he is LESS reactive. Thank you dog-gods. I do these things (homeopathy and alternative treatments), because I do believe in the potential for them to work. When they work I am floored (I suppose that will start to happen less and less – the flooring part). This is how people are converted, I suppose. ;D

Monday, November 17, 2008

CGC # 3 (How I Continue to KILL the Meaning of Words)

Yesterday was class three of Bug’s CGC prep class. The new additions to our repertoire were:

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place

Test 7: Coming when called

Test 10: Supervised separation

Bug is doing stellar with “sit” and “down.” We need to work on our “wait.” At about 10’ he thinks he has waited long enough. This is completely my fault as we haven’t practiced AT ALL. This week I will work with both boys separately downstairs in the mud room. Ike will be working on downs in place. Bug will be working on stay. He was perfect with coming when called.

As the title of this post alludes to, I have also been attempting to negate the meaning of Bug’s name. huh? While loose leash walking instead of using a nonsense word when necessary with “Let’s Go” or “With me” interspersed, I have been doing a nonstop litany of “Bug, Buggie, Bugaboo.” Repeat ad nauseum. Hit me with a bumper, please. I think Katrin would have had she had one handy. Instead she verbally reminded me that I was very quickly making his name mean…. NADA!!

Sh!te. What am I doing? I NEVER did this with Ike. It’s a confidence issue for me. I do not feel confident that Bug will walk WITH me so I do this barrage of verbal tics that unfortunately include his name. I am not yet confident about our relationship. What’s really odd is that for the most part Bug is EXCELLENT on leash – rarely attempting to take me for a walk.

So, I am going to start using “boo” as my nonsense word because I have an aversion to “Pup, pup, pup” (‘cause I am a contrarian like that). I will also try to start using “With me” when Bug is giving me super attention and is indeed with me.

This morning I started re-orienting him to the fact that his name means something. On our walk (about 40 minutes) I called BUG at 5 different points and rewarded him with cookies for immediately turning towards me. Of course Ike says – “Right here, mum” and is IMMEDIATELY at my side. Good goober.

When we were practicing our heeling and halting in class, Katrin had us walk around our dog while in a stay. Bug was fine with that. I think that long back allows him to swivel his head better than Ike or something. He did a great job holding his stay and we NEVER practiced this before.

In other CGC prep news, one of the students brought her children with her to act as part of the crowd. It was a GREAT distraction for Bug because he LOVES kids. It must be a cardi thing. He sees them and says “oh hiya!! You must be my fan club!”

Bug also did his first supervised separation and was totally cool with it. Good boy!

I think the biggest things we need to work on are my mouth, Bug’s stay, and maybe his feet? He takes feet handling as an invitation to act like a complete goof – doing the shoulder grind and saying “Don’t you want to rub my bum?” I might ask Lisa to do this portion of the test next week, too. Just to see if he does it with everyone or only Katrin (who he loves even if she does torture him).

After class I took Bug to the Dirty Dawg Wash to get rid of some of that fur he is shedding and the red sand from Diane’s. Holly and Katrin will be so proud of me – I figured out how to blowdry his bum hair so he doesn’t have a crazy cowlick back there. We are set for the UKC show in terms of beautifying (if nothing else)!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Puppy Development Seminar

Yesterday I attended a seminar put on by the Wachusett Kennel Club. The seminar was on Puppy Development and the presenter was John Rogerson. John Rogerson is a behaviorist from England who has been working with dogs for the past 3o years. It was an excellent seminar - I wish I could have afforded to go to the Aggression seminar he is giving at this very moment.

Below are my notes.

While we were waiting the last five minutes for all attendees to show up John Rogerson (J.R.) talked about the differences in dog training in other countries. He works with our government, the Cuban government, International Association of Guide Dogs, the Kennel Club in England, teaching at University in India and Italy, etc. He said the UK and US are the only places where you see a group of trainers that are predominantly female.

Apparently the UK Kennel Club has a program to certify trainers called the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme (aka Program). It is accepted by vets worldwide and takes about 5 years to complete. It includes Learning theory, breed specifics, anatomy/physiology, grooming, law, handling, and ability to teach.

J.R. said he likes to start the series (as this is typically a 4 day seminar and has been condensed into one day for the Wachusett Kennel Club) by talking about the frightening situation we are currently in – that it then DRIVES the seminar.

Dog bite deaths have doubled in the past 6 years in the USA (17 v. 30).

He said in the past the typical British family dog was a small-to-medium dog with wirey fur and on average lived about 15-16 years. It went every where with its people and was very well socialized. He said that the typical British Family dog no longer exists. He said he feels that is part of the problem.

People – “pet owners” NOT “Dog Enthusiasts” – are owning dogs bred for a specific purpose and expecting them to be a companion. He strongly feels this plays a part in aggression, as does ordering dogs off the Internet, and the number of “pet owners” who own a 2nd dog to keep the first dog company.

In his opinion for the “pet owner” all owning a second dog does is dilute the owner’s influence by 50% and increases dog-dog aggression. He claims that in an area where a doggie daycare has recently opened dog-dog aggression increases.

Back to puppies....

Breed Standard – Genetics versus “pet owner” expectation. Genetics gives the possibility. Owners need to control it.

Genetic behavior is pre-programmed at birth. It is inflexible to any kind of modification. For instance do you not expect a Doberman to want to guard it property? Genetics can be CONTROLLED with training but not manipulated.

Puppy = Genetics + life experiences at home with breeder + new owner.

Be aware of impact of other dogs in a breeder’s home on puppies. Puppies use dogs other than the mum as role models.

From 3 weeks on all sense are working and play develops.

1st true interactive behavior – pawing
2nd mouthing, lock mouths
3rd Wrestling
4th Chasing

Play is important because it allows pups to compare against each other, bond with other pups, relax, and allows them to practice life skills (terriers – mouth, BC - chase, Rottis – wrestle)

Play Biting.

J.R. feels that all the things we do to extinguish biting activities tells our dogs that biting and playing with us is not okay.

He feels the best way to stop play biting is to bring your pup into a room, tether him to a door or the wall and interact with the dog and the toy. If the pup’s teeth touch your skin – you move outside the reach of the tether. Once the pup picks up the toy again be it out of frustration or whatever – re-engage play. Dog more easily learns that play doesn’t happen when teeth touch skin.

Good breeders have the opportunity to instill appropriate play skills in pups. Give puppies more toys than pups and of a very large size so that the pups can interact with the toy and each other without their teeth touching other pups. Rotate toys to keep them novel. He said he sees a 90% decrease in pups being mouthy with humans using this technique and cuts down on possessiveness (as there are always enough toys). The bonus is you have a very toy driven dog. Versus a dog that has had the play drive extinguished and the owner now must rely on food as a reward.

The big question is what happens to a puppy between purchase and being dropped off at a shelter. It is a combination of genetics, what happened at the breeders, and you.

To prevent separation anxiety from 3 weeks on mum needs to be able to remove herself from the puppy area at will and get back in whenever she wants. You do not want to lock mum in a different room because that can cause to increase sep. anxiety. Pups bark for mum. She responds but is unable to get to them. Pups hear her response and hear that “Yes, There is a reason to be worried.”

Where puppy is kept at the breeders is their model of the world. 2/3 of the surface should be something that is common in households and will most likely be found in your house (rug, hardwood, linoleum). 1/3 should be a novel surface. Mum will house train the pups by teaching them to seek out someplace other than where they eat and play to go to the bathroom.

Creating a reactive dog.

Mum is GREAT with the breeder, but when a new individual arrives – woo woo woo.

New individual makes off with one of your littermates!

New individual arrives, mum – woo, woo, woo.

New individual makes off with another littermate!

This is imprinting and imprinting is FOR LIFE. The first pup may be able to recover with proper socialization, maybe. Pups 2, 3, etc – CANNOT recover from this. Will most likely always think people are creepy. All you can do is control the reactivity. Mum has very effectively taught these pups, “Trust with your life the people you live with – no one else.”

Possession Issues.

Feels breeders can begin to prevent this by having more food bowls, water bowls, and toys – teaches dog there are enough resources.

To test at home with your pup walk up while they are eating. If they start to eat faster they are a bit possessive about their food. What to do? Break food into two bowls six feet apart. While dog is eating a bowl A, walk up to Bowl B and sprinkle chicken on it. When puppy moves over to Bowl B to check out the yummy chicken walk up to Bowl A and sprinkle chicken on that bowl. Puppy quickly starts to understand that not only is there plenty, but if you let the human near it you might get something better.

J.R. firmly believes that in the cases of food aggression, reactivity, etc. if the puppy is 12 weeks or under you should return them to the breeder.

J.R. believes that the socialization period is even shorter than the commonly accepted length of the 3 weeks to 12 weeks. He feels it is 3 weeks to 9 weeks. He feels that getting a pup at 12 weeks is buying a book that is already written.

If he said it once, he said it 10 times – the key to the future success of dogs in our community is supporting GOOD breeders – they have the opportunity to change things.

J.R. feels that puppy class lesson plans and training techniques should be geared more towards the make-up of the specific breeds in the class. For example, he feels a guarding breed (which has a natural propensity for possessiveness) should never be taught to tug UNTIL they have a very solid retrieve (which is a game of sharing). J.R. feels one of the biggest problems with puppy classes is that they are geared to Dog Enthusiasts and not the general public and it is the general public who needs them. He questions why we still include so many competitive obedience pieces when it is really general skills the owners want.

If you are teaching a socialization class and we are saying socialization occurs from 3 weeks to 9 weeks you have 1 week from when the pup arrives home. J.R. suggests intensive 1 week class. First night at his house – he controls all the food, water, and toys. 2nd night at a classmates house, Classmate controls all the food, water, and toys, etc. Teaches pup that we are all the same – we are a community. Feels it is more important for pup to play with appropriate adult dogs than with other puppies.

J. R. cautions that names are very important and can be self-fulfilling for owners and dogs. Feels they are a window into the owner’s psyche. If they have named their Yorkie Saddam or the JRT Snap and they are a pet owner – what do you expect?

One of his favorite things to do for puppy class is ask the owners to go online and prepare a 5 minute spiel on their breed for the first night – which is without puppy and goes over training methodology, local dog law, responsibilities, and asks WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR PUPPY?

Many people do not actually know what their dog was bred for or why it is important and might impact their training.


This is how J.R. teaches a dog not to pull. He uses something called Premature Conceptual Learning which he learned from elephant trainer is the Philippines.

At 5 – 6.5 weeks old the breeder should take each puppy into a different room, alone. Put a collar on them and tether them to the door or the wall. Sit next to the pup and wait. He said one of four things will happen.

1st scenario – pups pulls and then gives up and relaxes the lead
2nd scenario – dog is scared and you reassure him and he relaxes the lead
3rd scenario - Temper tantrum and then relaxes the lead.
4th scenario – puppy is in distress and might submissively urinate.

Scenario 4 is the only instance in which you should take a step back and build up to the situation. He said that 3 – 4 10 minute sessions very effectively teaches a dog that pulling gets him no where.

For dogs that pull on lead and are older than 5 – 6 weeks. Buy a new lead. Pretend you are holding a full glass of water in your hand with the leash. The second that water cup would be dumped – you pretend to take a nasty fall. Act hurt. Slowly get up. Walk in a pained manner for about 50 yards. Do this about three times. Assuming you have a relationship with your dog they will begin to worry that they are causing you to be hurt and will adjust their pulling behavior to prevent hurting you.

All training is DESIRE. Desire to gain something that benefits them. Desire to avoid something bad.

How much desire does the owner have to train?


J.R. says NEVER teach a recall in the backyard.

J.R. suggests driving someplace about an hour-and-a-half away where you can allow the dog off leash in an open space. Let the dog off leash. You stand in the same spot. Allow dog 20 minutes to explore area. Then walk to the car door, open the door, call your dog, and wait 30 seconds. If he is not en route, you get in the car and drive down the road.


The dog is someplace he has never been before. He does not know how to get home. He should be cognizant and have a good enough relationship with you that he recognizes you are his only chance of surviving. If he does not then you need to work on your relationship with your dog prior to trying to teach a recall.

He suggests driving only a half hour away for puppies.

Teaching Down Stay.

First introduction to the down stay should happen after you have run your dog ragged, fed him, and then asked him to down. The first time a dog does a new behavior effects how they will do it forever more. We want to teach our dogs that a down stay is relaxing and self-rewarding.

Magnitude of Reinforcement.

Ask you puppy people to list:

5 foods in order of absolute favorite to okay
5 toys in order of absolute favorite to okay
5 ways to touch the puppy or dogs in order of absolute favorite to okay

If your puppy people cannot do this they should work on their relationship with their dog. When training, start with lowest reward in the beginning. Save the higher reward to strengthen the training.


Toy should fire off some natural instincts in the dog.

Teaching Retrieve.

Start with lower value toy. If you throw most valuable toy why on earth would they want to bring it back to you. Puppies and dogs have a natural desire when they have something new and novel to take it off in a den to examine it.

Put a coffee table in the corner of the room creating a den. Toss the toy toward the table – about halfway. The pup will run after toy and then continue to the coffee table. Walk over to the coffee table – crouch down and face away from the coffee table (so your back is facing the puppy). Quietly stroke the dog. Once the dog relaxes take the toy back to the same spot and do the same thing. Do this about six times.

Now move so you are sitting on the coffee table. Toss the toy away from you. When he heads toward the coffee table – there you are. Introduce trade. Trade the EXACT same toy for toy he has “retrieved.” After dog is doing the efficiently move from coffee table – you will find dog begins to come to you. Then remove coffee table.

With tugging J.R. recommends pulling in toward your stomach and letting the dog pull out. He doesn’t recommend head shakes as he feels they can escalate out of control too quickly as they mimic a killing shake.

Motion Sickness.

Breeders can help minimize puppies that have motion sickness by putting them in a crate in the center of the care with cardboard on the sides so that they can only see forward and backward. Do not feed them prior to the first few trips.

Another suggestion is something called a grounding strip. Something to do with the static electricity can cause motion sickness.

For incorrigible counter surfers who have humans who are not willing to do management he recommended double-sided sticky tape.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Last night I did Ike's first Teasel treatment since the seminar. At first he was sitting - with his eyes getting heavier and heavier. Then ka bloom he toppled over on his side - as relaxed as I have ever seen him. Perhaps needless to say, I had to lock us in the bedroom and leave Buggie outside. He wanted to play!

I noticed that Ike was very happy to see John when he came home but MUCH more mellow. Next treatment should be Sunday. I have been so busy I didn't feel like I had the brain to give it adequate attention until yesterday. Once Ike has been treated I will treat the Bug, too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vote for a Shelter @ The Animal Rescue Site

I received an e-mail today from the fellow who is the training coordinator at the Metro South MSPCA now. The Animal Rescue Site is running a special contest – the shelter in each state that receives the most votes receives a $1,000 grant. The shelter that receives the most clicks – period – receives a $25,000 grant. Voting continues until December 14th.

Vote daily for your favorite shelter! Why not?

(I have added a The Animal Rescue Site widget on the left right above my blog roll. You can also sign up for a daily reminder!)

Lachesis and Conformation

The boys saw Anne on Wednesday (and quite a few Maplewood students!) and had some minor tweaking. Anne recommended Lachesis 12c 2x day for 5 days for Ike’s reactivity. Hopefully it will help; he has been ridiculous lately. Anne feels that he is unbalanced emotionally, versus physically – hence the remedy.

Lachesis – Bushmaster
The South American bushmaster snake grows to a length of seven feet and kills its prey, both animal and human, by constriction or by injection of its highly poisonous venom, known as Lachesis, from which this homeopathic remedy is derived. Small doses of the venom can destroy red blood cells and impair the clotting of blood. Larger amounts of lachesis poison the heart. Homeopathic practitioners believe that the conditions best treated with Lachesis are those accompanied by symptoms similar to the ones induced by the venom. To prepare the homeopathic remedy, venom is extracted from the snake and diluted in large quantities of lactose (milk sugar).

The Lachesis individual is like a highly strung bow....

Lachesis is used to help these symptoms: Suspicious-ness, jealousy, talkative-ness (all Ike!). Robin and Anne said it is helpful for the quick and hot reaction.

While we were waiting in the small waiting room for Anne, I noticed that Bug has lost a bit of hair around one eye. What! Oh no!! What could he be allergic to now? Anne tested him and it is the beef. It makes sense since, bad human, I have still been letting him have the odd beef bully stick/tendon now and then. I haven’t gotten around to ordering the fish skin chews or any ostrich tendons. Guess that shows me!!

I am going to hold off on ordering any chewies since I am headed to the Cluster next weekend to shop. Clean Run typically has a big booth and there are all sorts of vendors. Assuming Clean Run is there again (and I assume they will be since it is the largest AKC trial in the country let alone MA) – I will hopefully be able to pick up the fish chews and some ostrich tendons. They carry both in their store.

If not SitStay has the fish chews, ostrich tendons, rabbit jerky, and pork skin rolls - all of which BOTH boys can eat. I am also planning on ordering some dehydrated rabbit ears from Hare Today. which Ike adores. They also carry 6 oz bags of dehydrated rabbit liver and goat liver. I might pick some up for when the Bug starts competing in the conformation ring again since beef liver is now a no-no.

I am planning on entering him in his first UKC show in January (gulp!) and am looking at AKC shows in February. Holly (Bug’s breeder/grandmum) and I talked this week and she gave me her blessing to show him if I would like. I am thinking if we do some shows this spring by the time the outdoor shows begin I will be more confident about the entire conformation experience – at least I hope so!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jump Box Exercises

Last night we practiced our “Go” or my “Git It” with a jump chute.

Katrin had a Jump Box set up and in Carmen’s class we worked on rear crossing. Gods, I have so much trouble with r/c. In part because Carmen doesn’t tend to drive ahead of me, but also because I just haven’t practiced it much. So, it was a very useful class. My biggest problem is I move too quickly forward so I overshoot where I want to be crossing. I can see this, I understand it, and yet I have GREAT difficulty not doing it. So annoying!!

On the second exercise I had kind of gotten the idea and was able to stop myself from moving too far ahead. Initially I was stopping too completely – which then stopped Carmen’s motion. I didn’t realize until after I was successfully doing Switch with Carmen that the difference was. Yes, I was still waiting for her, but my speed change was more subtle. Lack of consistency in motion will be the bane of my agility career. I swear. It felt good to end the class with a bit of success. I find rear crossing so incredibly frustrating – because I am not good at it and mis-communicate to my dog!!

In Ike’s class we started with “Git it” and Ike was excellent – although at first he thought he should be outside the jump chute!

He continues to be EXTREMELY happy about agility. Jumping with joy in his heart – I can literally see it.

When we moved onto the jump box I expected to be working on Switch again, but nope. We worked Front crosses. Hooray!! My favorite. First round we did really well, a couple of times I crossed late. I am not used to Ike feeling so fast! Second round I lost my head and backed up a few times instead of crossing. VERY ODD.

I also tried to step OVER a jump once I asked Ike to wait. I have done this a few times lately. Odd, again. Better train myself out of that quick or I will have LOTS of trouble down the road. Ike’s “wait” leaves something to be desired, but since I typically do not ask him to “wait” in agility I am not surprised. He was also trained with the word “Stay” (and a different hand signal) where both Carmie and Bug have been trained with “Wait.” One word/signal is easier!

In general, once I got over the odd backing up instead of turning for my cross – the exercise felt really good. It is so much fun to work with Ike when he is feeling like this. When I gave him a NRM for not holding his wait and asked him to sit he stood there wagging at me. If you know Ike at all, how can that not make your heart over fill with happiness?

I noticed a really interesting phenomena. The in-laws forgot and fed Carmie before class. She wasn’t her usual self at all. Much more subdued (not very terrier-like) and sat nestled in my lap between runs. Meanwhile Ike had not eaten dinner and was RARING to go.

I felt like it was a very productive class. Katrin said she might offer a six-week class on Jump Boxes exercises in February. I might need to take it with the girlie, I think we would benefit from it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Herding Lesson

Yesterday I had a herding lesson with Bug. Katrin and Monty are most likely going to be seeing a new trainer who is closer (about 1 hr+) and I asked if I could schedule a lesson with her too. I had yesterday off, which made it an attractive opportunity.

It was a REALLY good lesson. Bug was completely stressed out initially. No interest in me or the sheep. We know he doesn’t generalize well and Diane’s pen is sand with lights (our lesson was at 7pm). Ohh,,,,scary.

I felt like Diane did a great job getting Bug all jazzed up about the sheep – she let him really rip after them and move them in and out of two pens.

I was the biggest issue. My desire to “help” my dog. I have more or less lost this bad habit when it comes to agility, but it is rearing its ugly head in herding. Diane said it is surprising because people who don’t know what they are doing typically don’t try to help, they don’t do anything. Yup, that’s me. Helper extraordinaire. Oi! I know why NOT to help, but in new learning experiences I revert to my original helper default.

I also found myself getting tunnel vision and focusing so much on Bug or the sheep that I literally could not hear Diane! She had me going crazy for the sheepies trying to get Bug crazy too. It worked. At one point she grabbed a hold of a sheep’s leg and yanked on it – then released. She feels this makes Bug feel like he’s chasing the sheep away. He was definitely keyed up about this. When Colleen tried that during our first lesson he tried to leave the pen. This time he was only a few feet from Diane, leaping and very interested.

She had me do the same thing later.

I have a lot to think about. I learned a boatload from Katrin and Monty’s lesson – including the doggie two step and what coming in on balance means. Coming in on Balance means once the dog has circled about and collected the sheep he comes in toward you – keeping the sheep between you and him without pushing them past you. Then the handler steps through the sheep and directs the dog in the opposite direction to collect the sheep and come in on balance. And this is the Doggie Two Step. I also got to watch Monty drive the sheep which was very cool.

I was pretty stressed and uncomfortable. Not in a bad way, but it was a lot to take in. Now I need to decide what I am going to do for future lessons. Right now I haven’t a clue. I like how Diane got Bug revved up – she feels like I should be focusing more on getting Bug crazy about the sheep and building his confidence – worry about the other stuff later. I like how she taught – lots of explanations and she was very hands off with Bug. And he wasn’t worried about her at all – he was more worried about the new location. This was a big concern of mine because it appears that a lot of the herding trainers lean more toward compulsion which makes me uncomfortable on many levels and wouldn’t be effective with Bug’s personality.

I guess I will have to make a list of pros and cons and see what I think. I do not think one lesson is really enough to tell if I should switch trainers. However, Diane doesn’t think it’s a good idea to be training with two different people when you are a novice and I agree with that. Argh!!! Confusion is my middle name. Fortunately I do not need to make a decision today.

I will have to ask Katrin about Monty - when Bug got home he was licking his paws like mad. I think the sand might have bothered them. If I do continue to take lessons with Diane I am sure his paws will toughen up (although they should be pretty tough from all the pavement walking we do!).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ike = CERF Normal


Friday I received a call from Animal Eye Specialists - Carmen had an appointment scheduled for today at 10:20. Huh?? Our appointment is scheduled for December - it has only been about two weeks since we saw Dr. Donahue.

I called AES this morning at 8am sharp and asked if since Carmen was scheduled anyway, Ike could come instead and get CERF tested. No clue how Carmen ended up in their schedule today since her appointment in December also exists. Hmmm....serendipity anyone? They said sure.

Ike's eyes tested normal. Dr. Donahue recommended getting them tested annually, but for now he looks good. I also asked about contributing Carmen's blood to the OptiGen DNA testing database for Miniature Schnauzers and he said if I bring the paperwork in December he will complete his part. Hooray.

CGC #2

Yesterday was week 2 of the CGC prep class. John was kind enough to take Bug last weekend while I attended the Lyme seminar. This week we went reviewed the first three steps, which everyone worked on as homework:
  1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger
  2. Sitting Politely for Petting
  3. Appearance and Grooming

Bug did attempt to either do a shoulder grind or request for belly rub when we did step 3. Katrin said that wasn't an issue - as long as he wasn't jumping on her, etc. We will work on remaining in a sit though.

While we were waiting for our turn to walk through the steps 1 - 3 we worked on sits and downs and "wait" (aka "stay"). Bug is doing super on his "waits" - door manners really do transfer to the rest of the world!

Next we practiced walking through a crowd (Step 5). Our crowd consisted of two dog/handler teams and one instructor. We wove between the group of three trying to keep our dog on a loose leash and paying attention. We did it three times, gradually using less food and asking for intermittent halts (with a sit). I thought Bug did really well on this as it isn't something we have practiced.

The flip side of this exercise is that when it is not your turn (and you are acting as part of the crowd) you needed to have your dog in a controlled sit or down "wait/stay" while another dog/handler walks by in close vicinity. I think this was really quite a challenge - especially for some of the younger dogs. Bug did really well on this. He says he will do just about anything for eye contact and cookies.

We ended the class with some heeling (Step 4). Bug and I haven't worked on heeling at all, however he didn't do terribly. It will take quite some time to build up to the relationship Ike and I have. At this point Bug understands I want him generally with me and does nice loose leash walking, but that is about it. He doesn't have a clear picture of what his job is - so I need to work on clarifying that for him.

All-in-all I found it to be a very enjoyable class and I am really happy with Bug's developing work ethic! This week I need to keep working on Sit-wait, Down-wait, heeling, and having people "groom" the Bug.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chocolate Chart

A couple of the e-mail lists I am on included this link from National Geographic for a "chocolate chart." It is an interactive chart that allows you to select your pet's weight and then see the amount of different types of chocolate your dog would need to ingest to become ill, seriously ill, or gods forbid die.

I know one person, from my shelter days, who's dog got into a wrapped package of dark chocolate under the Christmas tree. The dog proceeded to be violently ill, having seizures and losing bodily control before passing away. That is not something I would wish on anyone or anydog.

This chart is definitely worth taking a look at and e-mailing to friends and family who have new (or first) dogs in their lives - especially as we head into the season where sweets abound.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chiro/Eye Update

Yesterday Bug had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Anne. I called earlier in the day to see if Anne would be willing to see Carmen, too. I explained to Robin about the PRA diagnosis and she said “bring her in.”

Dr. Anne checked Carmen out first and gave her a nice tune up before testing to see if she is okay with the Ocuvite. I thought we would just be testing to see if she needed a liver supplement – It never crossed my mind that she might be allergic to the Ocuvite.

Anne tested her twice and she doesn’t feel Carmen will do well on it. She recommended Natrum Muriaticum (3-12c 2x/day) and Neurotrophin PMG from Standard Processes. She said she felt confident this would slow down the progress of Carmen’s PRA.

Buggie had a very nice tune-up. Nothing out of alignment.

This morning I decided to do some research on whole foods that provide ocular nutrition. I think adding a variety of whole foods to Carmen’s meals would be beneficial. I know my in-laws do not want to feed raw, so this would be cooked and solely to supplement her kibble.

She already receives salmon oil on a daily basis. Salmon oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower eye pressure and promote circulation of blood to the eye. Fish also contains taurine, which helps regenerate retinal tissues, and helps protect the eyes from ultraviolet radiation (source Vision Care News).

In addition to that I am going to recommend my in-laws supplement with foods rich in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential to proper functioning of the retina. It helps to prevent night blindness (the first symptom of PRA) by helping the eye to adapt between bright light and darkness (source Eye Care Source).

Foods very rich in Vitamin A that will be very easy to add to Carmen’s meals in a rotation are:

Beef liver
Chicken liver
Sweet potatoes

According to the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health, studies suggest a link between lutein and decreased risk of eye disease. The highest concentration of lutein is found in spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens and other leafy green vegetables; broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and in some fruits, such as oranges and cantaloupe. Lutein also is present in egg yolk.

Easy to add:

Brussel Sprouts (fave of my boys)
Egg yolk

I also need talk to Anne about adding Bilberry to Carmen’s diet. Originally bilberry was recommended by someone on my Schnauzer list for liver health, but further research shows that it is actually known more as a vision supplement. During WWII RAF fighters took it to improve their night vision (first symptom of PRA)!

My thought is that a rotation of these foods added to Carmen’s kibble on a regular basis in conjunction with the homeopathic remedies recommended by Anne will help boost Carmie’s eye health (as much if not more than solely the Ocuvite). I also think it might be wise to have a blood panel done – to make sure that her liver levels are normal and do not fluctuate with the addition of the homeopathic remedies.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One of those days....

Yesterday both classes had a common *problem* denominator....ME!!


In a nutshell, I was junk and my dogs' responses were interesting. I had a lot of anxiety about the election (unfounded as it turns out - wooeeee!) and was emotionally spent by the time I got to class last night.

I expected Carmen and I to be fine because we are not as connected as Ike and I are. Well, Carmie was a bit off and Ike was happy as a clam! He has figured out after many years that just because mum is junk and stressed doesn't mean he has to be and that he can't have fun - most of the time at her expense!

Things to work on:

MY SHOULDERS!!! I am becoming much more aware of them and the havoc they can wreak if I am not paying attention.

REAR CROSSES. If my dog is flying use one. If my dog is poking - don't!!

CONSISTENCY. As in mine. I seriously left my brain at home last night.

DISTANCE. I want to make this a priority with Carmie. Last night was not a good night to try and work on it - fortunately I did not try! ;D

Things that went well:

Handling the serpentine - with both dogs. Hooray!!

Carmie's weaves and the tire - at least initially before I realized she was having an "old-school Ike nite" and really wanted to just go hang in the crate!

Teeter performances from both dogs.

On to next week - it will hopefully not be as ugly!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Alternative to Lyme Seminar

Yesterday I attended a seminar called Alternative to Lyme hosted by the New England Terrier Club. The seminar was given by David Dalton of Delta Gardens who has developed a new protocol for treating Lyme disease in animals and people.

His protocol uses flower essences from the Teasel Flower and was developed after him, his wife, and his dog were all diagnosed with Lyme in the same year. The Teasel flower is known to be very attractive to deer, or deer nation as these herbalists say.

The initial part of the seminar covered how Dalton made an intuitive leap between the arrival of his Lyme, arrival of teasel in his garden, and the deer. Teasel has multiple blooms – it is intriguing the fashion in which it blooms. Dalton has made flower essences of each of the blooms.

He also gave a brief primer on flower essences for those who had not previously been exposed to them. In the instance of Lyme he explained how an animal or person might be stressed or have a very driven personality that allows them to be easily stressed and thereby lower their energy vibration to a level that is complimentary to the Lyme pathogen – thereby allowing Lyme to flare-up and thrive. What is needed is an essence that can change the active Lyme’s energy level allowing it to exist without be detrimental to the host.

Bach, the founder of flower essences as we know them, felt that specific personality traits attract specific illnesses. The dogs most susceptible to Lyme are:

Dogs trained/bred to guard
Show dogs
Working dogs
Over sensitive dogs
Dogs in type A families
Dogs in high stress families

Lyme is attracted to a “geared up” personality according to Dalton. Of course, I have to say, Ike is my chronic or lingering Lyme case and he fits the description to a “T.”

At the seminar we were taught a form of kinesiology and body dowsing which would enable us to choose the correct essences to treat both ourselves and our animals. This floored me – how generous to give students the skills to treat.

In the teasel set there are 13 essences. Dalton recommends treating every two days for 10 days and then repeated the process if your dog displays symptoms. Using body dowsing you select the essences your dog needs. You mix one drop of each essence with 1/8 of an ounce of water and give your dog two squirts of it. Then you lightly lay your hands on your dog’s upper-mid back for 10 to 15 minutes.

We used Ike as the demo dog prior to lunch and it was so strange. I felt a tingling on my palms, which Dalton said is not unusual – as the teasel is spiny and Lyme frequently creates chronic pain. You could see Ike trying to relax but unable to fully go off guard with the other people so close by. Dalton said that frequently dogs fall asleep during treatment. Ike was very relaxed immediately following the treatment. Since Lyme burrows deep into the nervous system and hides out, Dalton said it is not unusual to see symptoms briefly reappear in either your dog or yourself. He recommends doing a cleansing – particularly when you first begin treating other people and animals.

After Ike’s second treatment he snoozed in his crate No barking – on alert behavior. I have to say, although I am “into” the idea of homeopathy at a certain point my brain disconnects and says, “eh, too woo-woo to understand. If it works cool.” I felt like Dalton explained *why* certain essences work really well.

I am going to try the teasel treatment with Ike and Bug. I will let you’all know how it goes. Dalton also recommended I add Bach Aspen to Ike’s water. It helps to lessen unfounded fears.

In addition I am going to speak with Dr. Anne about whether Ike needs to go back on the thyroid supplement. I have noticed lately that he is much more reactive with people. I actually broke out the Gentle Leader on Friday he was being such a goober. My dilemma is that I feel like the GL inhibits his response – which is great in the sense that one doesn’t want their dog acting all reactive, but not so great in that it doesn’t deal with the underlying issue of Ike’s reactivity suddenly escalating. Somehow we backslid and I must assume it is partially through my neglect. Bummer.

John also took Bug to his first Canine Good Citizen class yesterday while I was at the seminar. Apparently they both survived!! Hooray! We need to get cracking on Loose Leash Walking, Stay, and some other basic skills.

Note: I forgot to mention that both the in-laws and John commented on how happy Ike seemed yesterday after the seminar.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hope You Had a Howling Good Halloween!

I think this picture says it all...

Perhaps not surprisingly Big Pimp "Evil Joey" (hanging with a sexy sailor girl) was almost more photogenic than the Cardigan!