Wordless Wednesday – Toys All Over the House

February 19, 2014
Pierson Kibble Drop Dog Toy 1

One dog, three dog toys. Two dogs, thirty dog toys… maybe more.

No, I don’t have children. But one might think so with all these toys all over the place. It never fails that the moment I put them all away, Maya or Pierson suddenly want the dog toy on the bottom. Sillies. :D

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

De-stuffed bunny, piggy bottle buddy, two red owl blanket toys from Petco with the owl heads torn off, invincibles gecko, and a homemade dog toy made form a scarf and a tennis ball.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 002

That green thing in the background is the toy box. There are lots of toys piled around it. On the dog bed is an antler horn and the orange invincibles gecko. That brown thing is the blanket. Pierson sometimes considers the blanket a toy.

Do your dogs leave their stuff all over your house?

If you thought this was a fun post, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below for more fun pet photos:

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Pierson is Terrified of the Vet

February 17, 2014
Pierson Head Down Looking Up

Is it time to go to the vet again?

My poor Pierson has a vet appointment tomorrow. Don’t worry, it is nothing bad. It is just time for one of his vaccines and his annual checkup. So why poor Pierson? Because he is absolutely terrified of the vet. At his last appointment, he peed all over the place. Pierson can be skittish at times, but this was the only time he’s been so terrified that he peed. What happened to my poor baby boy to make him so scared?

When I first got Pierson he was nervous at the vet, but not terrified. He did just fine on that very first day I caught him and took him in for a checkup. Three days later I took him to the emergency pet hospital because he had a severe bloody nose. He had to stay overnight. And while I doubt the experience was pleasant for him, he was not terrified when he went to the vet a couple weeks later for booster vaccines. Nor was he when he went another couple weeks later to be neutered.

It was probably a combination of all these vet visits that made last year’s annual checkup visit so terrifying. So I vowed to do some things to make Pierson’s experience more pleasant this year:

Travel Calm, Maya, and Me

Travel Calm helps keep Maya from acting so excitedly on car rides.

Canine Calming Remedy
I have a product called Travel Calm, which I use for Maya when we take long road trips. Maya gets excited in the car and this stuff helps her to relax. Travel Calm is an all-natural product from Earth Heart. It contains bergamot, lavender, tangerine, and other calming ingredients. Earth Heart also makes a product called Canine Calm. It is the same thing as Travel Calm but Travel Calm also contains ginger to help with car sickness. Pierson doesn’t really need the ginger, but it won’t hurt him either and I don’t have any of the Canine Calm.

Pierson Wearing the Thundershirt 003

Doesn’t Pierson look comfortable in his Thundershirt?

Pet Anxiety Shirt
Another product I have is the Thundershirt. I’ve tried it on Pierson before and loved how it fit. But for him, his anxiety about the vet was just too strong. However, with a combination of the Thudershirt, Travel Calm, and the below methods, I believe this shirt will make a positive difference for him.

Visit the Vet Regularly
For the past couple of days I have been taking Pierson to the vet for a visit. He doesn’t go to get a checkup or anything. He just goes so that he can hang out for a bit. Even though Pierson is just stopping by to say hi, the staff has been very helpful. If they have a moment or two, they come and introduce themselves to Pierson while at the same time bribing him with tasty treats.

Take Maya
Sometimes when Pierson is afraid of something but my dog Maya isn’t, Pierson calms down. Maya absolutely loves going to the vet so I will take both her and Pierson at the same time. Perhaps her attitude about the vet will help influence his attitude.

New Vet?
I don’t know if these few visits are enough to help, but I’m hoping so. I’m also thinking of having the new doctor check on Pierson. The two doctors at this office that Maya and Pierson usually see are males. But they have a new doctor who is female. I’m interested in seeing if this can make a difference. We’re going to the same vet office, but seeing a different doctor. If all this doesn’t make a difference, next year I may have to try a new veterinary office.

Wish us luck! I will try to follow up later this week to tell you how his vet appointment went. Let’s keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

Challenges of a Leash Reactive Dog

February 13, 2014

Progress
Pierson has made a lot of progress with being better on his leash when he sees another dog. Two things helped. First, we cross the street when we see another dog. I have Pierson sit and I use the “look” command to distract him. He gets rewarded with lots of treats every time he pays attention to me and not the other dog. Second, I was fortunate enough to find a group of people who were willing to get together once a week or so to help work with our dog’s leash reactive behaviors. We walked our dogs at a distance from each other and the distance depended on our dogs’ own individual thresholds. Pierson was always last in line and furthest away. But by the end of fall, he was able to get within a few feet of those other dogs without reacting.

Pierson Group Walk Group Photo

Everyone is proud of Pierson’s progress.

There have been four major challenges in trying to overcome Pierson’s leash reactive behavior:

Challenge – Walking Two Dogs
Pierson’s leash reactive behavior is due to his high prey drive. He could even be called aggressive, although it is difficult to imagine such a cute ball of fuzz with a girly bark as aggressive. But that is what it is. He whines, he barks, and he lunges. Maya’s leash reactive behavior, on the other hand, is due to excitement. She loves other dogs and really wants to go say hi. She barks and lunges too, but only because she is so happy.

Needless to say, I can’t walk Maya and Pierson together. Maya’s happy bark makes Pierson’s aggressive bark more intense, and vice versa. So in order to properly work on their behaviors separately, I need to walk them one at a time. By the way, the “look” command does not work on Maya when she is excited. I need to find a different training technique for her.

Pull No More dog harness

First I walk Pierson, then I walk Maya.

Challenge – Loose Dogs
One day when I was walking with this group down a nature trail, someone coming up from the other direction had two dogs not on a leash. When the dogs saw us, they ran towards us. Their mom called them but they didn’t listen. They ran straight for Pierson. In order to keep something terrible from happening, I quickly picked Pierson up out of the way. Luckily the two dogs were small. That would not have worked if the dogs had been bigger. The lady was apologetic but she didn’t really grasp what had almost happened. Luckily, the group of people I was with explained to her just how close her dogs had come to being injured. Having a good recall is extremely important, and this trail was not an off-leash trail. I think the reality of the situation sunk in and I hope she learned her lesson.

A similar situation happened in my own neighborhood. A Lhasa named Barkley is often allowed off leash in his front yard when his mom is out with him. I have met Barkley a number of times and know that he usually has a great recall. But one day, there was just something about Pierson that he had to investigate head on. I picked Pierson up out of the way. Barkley’s mom kept saying that Barkley was friendly. I told her I knew that, but my Pierson was not. She finally understood. And the next time I met her while we were both walking our dogs, she called Barkley back and put his leash on while I went across the street. She complemented me on being so responsible.

Challenge – Other Leash Reactive Dogs
Pierson is very good about paying attention to me when we cross the street and I use the “look” command. It works most of the time. The only time it doesn’t work is when the other dog is also leash reactive. If the other dog reacts, Pierson does to and no amount of bribing with treats will distract him.

Pierson on a Leash with Look Command

The “look” command helps me to distract Pierson whenever we see someone else walking their dog.

Challenge – Winter, Fewer Dogs
We are getting a little out of practice this winter. Even though I still try to walk Maya and Pierson every day, we seldom see other dogs. In fact, we have gone over an entire week without running into any other dogs. I fear Pierson will be greatly out of practice when spring arrives.

Do you have a leash reactive dog? If so, what are your challenges?

See what other people with leash reactive dogs are doing to manage the behavior in the WOOF blog hop below.

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Wordless Wednesday – BambuBowl, Jones, and More Snow

February 12, 2014

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! Here are a couple of photos of some great stuff Maya and Pierson received recently:

Jones Natural Chews in BambuBowl 004

The “all the way” command is mastered when you use Jones Natural Chews as a reward.

Jones Natural Chews in BambuBowl 002

Jones Natural Chews in the BambuBowl from Loving Pets.

For just in case you’re not tired of seeing dogs in snow:

Dog Pierson in 12 Inches of Snow 008

“Where did all this white stuff come from?”

Labrador Maya in 12 Inches of Snow 011

“Where did all the bunnies go?”

Dog Pierson in 12 Inches of Snow 005

“Where did all the squirrels go? Maybe the bunnies and squirrels had a party and didn’t invite us.”

Australian Shepherd Dog Pierson in 12 Inches of Snow 007

“Dashing through the snow…”

Labrador Maya in 12 Inches of Snow 010

“Yay snow!”

Aussie Mix Pierson in 12 Inches of Snow 015

Snow Face

Yellow Lab Maya in 12 Inches of Snow 012

“Help, I’m stuck! Not really. This is my happy-snow-dash.”

Dog Pierson Eating Yellow Snow Funny Caption

Pierson is actually just eating plain snow. He loves to eat snow for some reason.

You can see more fun pet photos by clicking the link below for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

 

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Confessions of a Rescue Mom Blogger Interview

February 10, 2014
Rolo and Kimberly

Meet Kimberly and her dog Rolo

I follow a lot of pet bloggers. It’s a great community. And even though I’ve had dogs my entire life, I learn something new every day. Kimberly Nelson’s blog is one of those places. I find out about lots of cool pet products, see a bunch of adorable pet photos, and find out about great fund raising events to help animals in need. Here is my interview with Kimberly:

Where are you from? Fort McMurray, AB, Canada

Tell me a little about yourself? I grew up in a small town in British Columbia (Canada). I find myself with a very busy life, you can find me attending as many local events as possible, spending time at our camper, traveling, shopping or with my dog Rolo.

Portrait of Rolo Resting in the Grass

Isn’t Rolo gorgeous!

Rolo Wearing Elf Hat and Scarf

Cuteness!

What is your blog called? Confessions of a Rescue Mom

When did you start blogging? and why? I launched my blog March 11, 2013 because I wanted to find another way to help out the local shelter and I know that social media is a great way to meet new people, spread stories and events.

Rolo Posing with His Magazine Article

Rolo posing with a magazine article about him and Kimberly.

How often do you blog? Is it a set schedule or random posts? I blog every weekday unless I am out of town (on vacation) and it is a set schedule with each day of the week having its own feature:
Adopt Me Monday, Tuesday Spotlight, Wagging Wednesday, Thursday Spotlight and Fundraise Friday.

What is your blog about? All things Animal & Adoption

Do you have any animals? I currently have a dog named Rolo who came from our local shelter (Fort McMurray, SPCA) He is approx. 10 year old and is a German shepherd x Husky.

Rolo - From Stray to Rescue

From sad and lonely to a happy stud muffin!

What do you hope to achieve with your blog in 2014? I hope to hit 10,000 views on my 1 year blog anniversary (March 11th), I think that would be amazing. I also hope to have a ton of different companies and bloggers on my blog this year!

Have you ever attended any Blog Conferences?, If so what ones and how was it: I haven’t, I really wanted to go to the Blog Paws in May but that weekend I will be on my Honeymoon so that doesn’t work out. Maybe next year!

What do you get inspiration from? I would definitely say Rolo and every other shelter dog that I cross paths with.
What are some of your favorite pet blogs to read? I have just recently started to branch out and read other blogs but I definitely love to read the FiveSibes Blog which you can find at: http://www.fivesibes.blogspot.ca/

Anything else you would like to add? Be sure to check out my blog and facebook page there’s always lots of neat things on it.

Kimberly’s blog, social media, and contact info:
Website: www.confessionsofarescuemom.wordpress.com
Email: confessionsofarescuemom@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rescuemomblog
Twitter: @RescueMomBlog

Kimberly and Rolo Walking

Kimberly is the luckiest rescue mom!

The Fighting Truth About Pit Bulls

February 7, 2014
Cute Pit Bull

I Love a Pit Bull Smile

I’ve had a number of dogs of various breeds  in my life. One special dog was a Pit Bull/Mastiff named Squash (because of his orange color). His previous owners kept him in the back yard tied with a thick and short chain around the tree. When they moved, they just left him there. So my mom took him in. Squash understandably had a few issues due to his life tied around that tree, but with care and understanding he turned out to be a great family dog. I remember walking him as a girl and everyone being afraid of him. Some people couldn’t believe my mom would let me and my little sister be around such a big, strong, and mean-looking dog. But Squash would never hurt us. Because of his sweet nature, he was one of the most memorable dogs of my childhood.

pit bull terrier puppy

This isn’t a photo of Squash, but you get what I mean about the orange color.

With that being said, let me present to you this article about Pit Bulls. This is an article written by Randi Adams. Randi is a blog-from-home mother of three from California.

It’s easy to see golden retrievers adored as loving, family-oriented companions or chihuahuas as cute accessories that are dressed up and toted around. It’s called breed generalization, and pit bulls are victims of sweeping unfair generalizations such as “dangerous,” “a community menace” and “unpredictably aggressive.” Dog stereotypes and breed generations do originate though somewhere, somehow. Media attention that sensationalizes a tragic story involving a pit bull, or even the Michael Vick illegal dog fighting case disservice the breed that typically has a good nature.

The Fighting Truth

Pit bulls have been historically bred to be a fighting dog, and as a physically powerful, “high drive” breed, they have been traditionally trained to be an aggressive threat against other animals, as the ASPCA reveals. Because of the breed’s long history with fighting, the pit bull has a naturally strong propensity to react to other dogs. Pets for Patriots emphasizes that dog breeds of all kinds can exert aggressive behaviors, but a pit bull can end up inflicting more serious injuries and damage because of its size and strength.

Dog fighting was certainly more common one hundred years ago, and the American Pit Bull Terrier was bred to be a friendly and gentle dog, explains Pets for Patriots. At one time, the pit bull was one of the most popular dogs for American families. The pit bull image was even represented on World War One posters as a symbol for bravery and reliability.

Human Fault

ASPCA, the non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of animal cruelty, asks “why the bad rap?” First, pit bulls can be a macho status symbol because of their intimidating appearance. Breeders irresponsibly and carelessly breed pit bull puppies for people who excite over the pit bull’s tough image. Dog owners also have their fair share in perpetuating the pit bull reputation. Dog owners may encourage the negative pit bull archetype by raising their puppy to be aggressive and domineering.

Just like humans can reinforce the violent association of pit bulls by using their pet as a tough guy accessory, humans can also negate the fear of pit bulls. The ASPCA describes the breed as “one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable.” Like all dog breeds, the dog just needs to be well-bred, socialized and trained. Despite the pit bull’s connection to dog fighting, pit bulls make good dogs for therapy and search-and-rescue. A pit bull puppy can grow to be a well-mannered, beloved member of the family, loyal to their owners. It’s just the owners responsibility to provide consistent training, gentle guidance and good socialization with humans and other animals when the puppy is as young as seven weeks old. A pit bull also needs healthy living conditions, adequate exercise and room to roam. A pet door, for instance, can provide a dog with the independence for exerting excess energy, as PetSafe mentions.

Myths Debunked

Any pit bull lover and advocate will tell you the following:

  • Pit bulls have strong jaw muscles and a determined hold, but definitely not locking jaws.
  • A dog with aggressive behaviors toward other dogs is no more likely to be aggressive toward humans – pit bull or not.
  • Pit bulls are easygoing dogs, but shouldn’t be unsupervised around other animals.
  • Not all pit bulls are meant to socialize at the dog park. Pitt bulls are muscular and high-energy dogs that can get overwhelmed in a dog park environment.
  • Owners who spay or neuter their pit bull can improve their dog’s health and behavior, as well as prevent unwanted, homeless pit bulls. Learn more about spay-neuter surgeries and other frequently asked questions by visiting our Spay/Neuter FAQs page.

There it is, that’s the article. What do you all think? I agree with most of it, although I’m not too sure about some of those myths. How many of you have Pit Bulls who do just fine around other animals? What about the dog park situation? Thanks for weighing in.

Wordless Wednesday – More Snow Than We’ve Ever Experienced

February 5, 2014

Yesterday just snowed and snowed. It ended up being well over 12 inches.

Pierson in 1 inch of Snow

In the morning, Pierson checked out the newly fallen snow. This is about 1 inch.

Maya in 1 inch of Snow

Maya was a little bit interested in the snow yesterday morning, but 1 inch wasn’t enough for her to get excited about.

Pierson in 3+ Inches of Snow

This is early afternoon and Pierson is laying in about 3 inches of snow.

Maya in 3 Inches of Snow

Maya’s having some fun in the snow now. She’s looking for a snowball I threw.

Pierson in Snow Looking for Snowball

Pierson is looking for another snowball I threw.

Pierson Looking at All the Snow

Pierson doesn’t quite know what to do with himself and all this fluffy white snow.

Pierson in Snow over 12 inches 001

By 9:30 pm, we had over 12 inches of snow and are expecting another 1-2 inches. Pierson is loving it.

Maya in Snow over 12 inches 002

Maya was enjoying the snow until she realized she had to go poo. Where to go?

Me in Snow over 12 inches 003

Either I’m very short, or this snow is really deep. This is definitely over a foot of snow.

Me in Snow over 12 inches 005

Here I am at about 9:30pm standing in over a foot of snow. Too bad it is going to be really cold tomorrow. I could make a really cool fort with all this snow.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos, check out the blog hop link below.

 

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Dog Trick Training Goals for 2014

February 3, 2014
Pierson on a Leash with Look Command

Because Pierson knows the “look” command, it is easy to get his attention so he can learn new dog tricks.

On Friday, I went over how I’ve managed to keep my New Year Resolution to teach Maya and Pierson more dog tricks. So far we are on the right track. But a resolution shouldn’t end after just one month. I want to keep going. So I’ve made a list of tricks and have resolved to teach at least one a month:

*Heel-Sit – Maya and Pierson know heel and they know sit, but they don’t know how to do both at the same time with a specific command. Yes, they will sit at my side if I stop walking at a walk, but I want them to be able to do it when I call them from across the yard or something.

*Sit in a Specific Spot – I think once they learn to heel and sit at my side on command, it will be easier for me to teach them to sit in a specific spot I point to. This will help me with photo-taking.

*Stand – Stand means to stand up on four feet after being in a sit or down position. Sephi knew how to do this one, but I don’t think I taught Maya. Or if I did teach it to Maya, I haven’t made her do it in so long that she’s probably forgotten.

*Back up – To back up means to walk backwards. I think it will be easy and fun to teach. It can be especially useful if Maya and Pierson are trying to crowd me for their treats or toys.

*Cover Your Eyes – I don’t think this one will be easy, but I think it would be fun to try anyway. They both know how to shake, and I saw in a book how I can get them to cover their eyes.

*Wave – I started this one with Pierson some time back but didn’t stick to it. Once I have a better idea on how to teach it, and when I commit to teaching more consistently, I think both he and Maya will get it.

*Roll in a Blanket – I bet Pierson will learn this one easily since he’s done it on accident a few times. He will already grab his blanket on command so it is a matter of getting him to roll over with it in his mouth. Teaching this to Maya will probably be more difficult since she has no interest in the blanket.

Pierson Playing with Blanket

Pierson was getting stir crazy in winter. He wrapped this blanket around his head by himself while playing.

*Jump Up – I won’t teach this to Maya because I am worried she may develop arthritis. She’s a Lab and I understand Labs are quote prone to this. Pierson, on the other hand, is quite bouncy. It will be a breeze to teach him to do this on command.

*Put Toys Away – This one will be the most challenging. I can already get them to pick up a toy, but to teach them to put it in their toy box will be a bit more challenging. Putting toys away is completely backwards from what they want to do with the toys!

I got many of these ideas from the “101 Dog Tricks” book by Kyra Sundance and her dog Chalcy. She has some great ideas on how to get dogs to put toys away and cover their eyes. The book does not give detailed step-by-step, like what showed on Friday for teaching “all the way” and “hold”. But since I am a certified dog trainer, I can fill in the blanks easily enough.

This list may change or be taught in a different order. But having a list will help me stay on track with our dog training resolution. If Maya and Pierson learn each trick so quickly, why am I taking a whole month between each? There are a few reasons for this:

1. Reinforcement – Repeating the same trick for several days helps them retain what they’ve learned.

2. Gives Confidence – By having Maya and Pierson do dog tricks they already know, they have the confidence and the desire to learn more.

Synchronized Spinning

Synchronized Spinning – Maya and Pierson have this trick mastered. So if they don’t succeed at a new trick, I give them the command for another trick they know well so that training ends on a positive note.

3. Keeps Training Fun – Learning is more fun when you do things right. If you’re being told you’re doing things wrong more often than you’re being told you’re doing things right, then learning becomes a chore. When dog training becomes a chore, it is more challenging and, therefore, more frustrating. We enjoy training and we want to keep it that way.

Dog Tricks for Treats

Learning is also more fun when you get lots of treats. ;)

Do you like teaching your dog new tricks? What are some dog tricks you want to try?

January Train Your Dog Challenge

January 31, 2014

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to teach Maya and Pierson more dog tricks. So far, I have been pretty good about keeping this resolution. Maya and Pierson have learned two new things this January.

TEACHING ALL THE WAY (aka head down)

You saw Maya do the “all the way” trick posted on January 6th. Now I have a photo of both Maya and Pierson doing it together.

Head Down All the Way Dog Trick 002

Maya and Pierson have both mastered the dog trick where they put their heads all the way to the floor.

Have your dog lay down in front of you. Tell them to stay, and then squat down and put the treat in front of them. If they reach for it, say “no”, “eh eh”, or “wait”. Slowly bring the treat (or toy) to the floor, leading their nose downward. Say “all the way” or “head down” the moment their chin touches the floor. Then say “good” and give them the treat or toy as a reward.

If they have a hang of this, move the treat down and a little out so that their entire muzzle is flat on the floor. Next, work your way up to where they don’t just touch the floor, but actually rest their head on the floor for a few moments.

Eventually, you will be able to say the command without having to put the treat in front of their nose and leading them into the position. Don’t worry if they don’t get to this point right away, like Maya. Train for only a few minutes at a time and be sure your training session always ends with a reward. So if your dog doesn’t get to the point where his entire muzzle is on the floor, that’s okay. Reward him if he is at least getting his chin to touch the floor. Reward your dog for what he can do and stop training before your dog gets bored or before either of you get frustrated.

The hardest part of this trick for both Maya and Pierson was keeping them from trying to crawl after the treat in my hand. It’s easier to teach this trick if your dog already knows to stay or wait.

TEACHING HOLD AND CATCH (aka balancing a treat on the nose then flipping it into the mouth)

The next trick is still in progress. I’m trying to get them to balance a treat on their nose, and then catch it when I give the release command. Once again, Maya was the first to get a hang of the trick. She will hold still without me having to hold her nose while Pierson still needs me to touch him. Both of them are still trying to learn how to flip the treat into their mouths rather than flip the treat behind them. Maya catches them more often than Pierson.

Pierson Balances Dog Treat on Nose

“I can see the dog treat. Why can’t I eat it?”

To teach this trick, hold your dog’s muzzle. Be gentle. Don’t make them uncomfortable, but hold on well enough that they can’t move around. When they seem to be holding still, give the “hold” command. Reward.

Next, add a treat to the mix. Hold your dog’s muzzle and gently balance the treat on their nose. This is a very tough one for most dogs because the can see the treat and really want to move so they can get the treat. Hold their nose gently and say “hold”. If they try to move out of your hand say “no” or “eh eh”, whichever your dog is more familiar with. If you dog doesn’t try to move out of your hand, hold for a few seconds. If he does try to move out of your hand, hold for only a split second. Try to only hold for just under the most amount of time your dog will hold still. You can gradually increase this amount of time over several training sessions.

When you reward them, let go of their muzzle and give the release command. I can say “catch”, but I use “okay”, which is the command I use to release them from “stay” or “leave it”. At this point, don’t worry about whether your dog flips the treat in their mouth. You want to teach them to balance it first.

Once you think they understand the “hold” command means to hold still, cradle their muzzle in your hand rather than hold it. After several successes, simply touch their chin when you give the “hold” command. Eventually, you can have them balance the treat on their nose without you having to hold them still at all.

Pierson Tries to Balance Dog Treat on Nose

I still have to touch Pierson’s chin in order to get him to hold still and balance the dog treat on his nose.

To teach them to catch the treat rather than flip it backwards is not easy. The best way I can say to do this is to double-reward them when they do it. In other words, if you give the release command and the flip the treat behind them, let them get the treat as their reward. But if they actually flip the treat in their mouth, give them another great right away and give lots of extra praise. Make a big deal out of their success.

The hardest part about this trick for Maya and Pierson is teaching them to hold still. I think it was easier for Maya because I have sort of used it before when I tried to balance my glasses on her nose.

Maya Balancing Dog Treat on Nose

Maya is good at balancing a dog treat on her nose.

Student Dog Maya Wearing Glasses

Maya already knew how to hold still and balance a pair of glasses, so teaching her to balance a treat on her nose was easy.

January is train your dog month. Dog training doesn’t have to be a chore. Teaching tricks is a lot of fun. So take up the challenge and remember to keep training sessions short and train often.

To see what’s next on our dog trick training agenda, come back on Monday to see. :)

Check out the blog hop below for more Train Your Dog stories, tips, and challenges.

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The Rest of Pierson’s Gotcha Story – Part 2

January 28, 2014
Pierson Playing with Ball 1

The Wobbly Nobbly dog toy ball was one of Pierson’s favorite toys, until he chewed it to pieces.

In Part 1 of Pierson’s story, I told you how I convinced my husband to let us keep a stray and about how he had to be treated for fleas and ticks at Pawsh Wash. Today, I’m going to tell you about a very expensive mishap that occurred after only three days of having Pierson in our home.

Crate Training Disaster
Pierson did very well on his first night in the crate. The second night was a very different story. Pierson not only cried, he also fought his way out and actually succeeded. I think he did some damage to his nose in the process because the next afternoon he had a terrible bloody nose. I suspect he bruised his nose while trying to escape the crate and the heater on in the house made a blood vessel burst the following day.

Pierson Watching the Rain 1

Pierson is wishing it would stop raining so he can go outside and play. This photo was taken after he lost his thick winter coat.

Second Vet Visit and Emergency Hospital
I took him to our vet in town. They couldn’t do anything so they sent me to the emergency vet, Blue Pearl. Blue pearl is a 45 minute drive. I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible the back seat of my car looked after Pierson sneezed blood all over it! Thank goodness for Oxyclean.

We Can Put Him Down
When I brought Pierson in to Blue Pearl and told the staff I just got this dog and how I got him, they assumed I wouldn’t want to pay for his treatment. I imagine it happens often where people bring in a stray animal that is ill or injured and just want the dog taken care of but don’t want to pay for it. It’s reasonable to want to help a stray animal but not be able to afford emergency medical care. Emergency vets are expensive. But I had made a commitment. When they hinted they could put Pierson to sleep, I made my position clear. No way! Do what you can, I told them.

Pierson with Legs Out

Frog Dog – I’ve had many dogs in my life but I do not ever recall having a dog that could do this with his legs.

Recovery and Reunion
They couldn’t stop the bleeding with a cold compress or by putting gauze up Pierson’s nose so he ended up having to stay overnight. When I went to get him the next day, I paid $800+ and was rewarded with Pierson being very happy to see me. He had been very shy the first three days at our house, so this warm welcome was very heartwarming. Yes, I cried.

Fitting In
Every day brought Pierson closer to me and my husband and to Maya. He learned his name very quickly. His shyness with us slowly wore off and the real dog began to blossom. He learned to play with Maya and he learned to play with us. He came housebroken, which was bonus! As he got more comfortable, though, bad habits became evident. But those are other stories and already told in previous posts.

Maya & Pierson Sleeping on Dog Bed

Maya and Pierson are often found sharing the same dog bed, even though I have one for each.

There you have it, the rest of Pierson’s Gotcha story; told in full detail.


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