Posts Tagged ‘pierson’

Service Animals – Where’s the Line?

February 22, 2016

I know I haven’t been blogging lately. I’m doing well, as are Maya and Pierson. I’ve just taken a step back for a while to work on other interests. I’m probably not going to get back into blogging, but you will see me once in a while.

I came across this interested article about service animals. I’m all about having a pet to help with stress. But how much stress does one need to experience in order for their animal to be considered a service animal? I think there are legitimate situations, such as those with PTSD. But some people really push the line. So much so, that it makes things difficult for those with legitimate service animals. And so much so that states are beginning to implement laws to make it tougher for pets to be labeled as service animals. This is a good thing for inhibiting all the impostors out there, but it makes things harder for people with legitimate needs. Check out this article for more – Service Animal Impostors Face Crackdown.

To me, it’s just a given that pets help us reduce stress. So even though Maya and Pierson are absolutely great at helping me deal with stress, I would never consider calling them service animals. If I did want to get then labeled as service animals, it would be surprisingly easy. Seriously. Not only are there ways to do it online for a small fee, I bet I could get my doctor to write me a note. If she won’t, I can just get another doctor! Simple.

What do you all think about this issue? Do you think service animals to help with stress should be defined broadly or narrowly? Do you think those who define it too broadly are impostors? Do you think impostors ruin it for everyone?

Managing Undesirable Dog Behaviors

March 6, 2015
Bad Poetry Day - Roses Aren't Edible

Pierson likes poop so I need to manage his behavior.

Dogs will be dogs, but some of the things they want to do are annoying, unpleasant, or possibly not safe. If someone is not familiar with dog training, their first instinct might be to try to correct the issue with punishment. Those who are familiar with better ways to stop an undesirable behavior will try behavioral modification techniques such as redirection and positive reinforcement. But sometimes, we don’t have to go through all this work. Sometimes we can eliminate an undesirable behavior by managing it.

Let me give you an example. My dog Pierson loves to eat my other dog Maya’s poop. I’ve considered training him not to eat it. But let’s be honest, even if I did teach him not to eat it, he will probably still try whenever I’m not looking. I’ve also considered giving Maya something like NaturVet Coprophagia Stool Eating Deterrent to make her poop taste bad. But I’d have to buy this stuff all the time or risk Pierson realizing the poop wasn’t tainted and eating it. So what did I do instead? I simply decided to always pick up Maya’s poop right after she poops. Yes, it is a bit inconvenient, especially in colder weather. But it’s more sanitary and it has completely stopped Pierson from eating her poop. No training, no expensive supplements.

Another example is with Pierson’s barking. As you may know from previous posts, I gave in and got him a no bark collar. It worked well much of the time. But sometimes he really couldn’t help himself from barking and I felt terrible about the collar shocking him. It finally occurred to me that I should try managing his barking instead. This is what I did:

Determine the Cause of the Behavior

Pierson barks at surprising noises and he barks at squirrels, rabbits, and birds. I decided that barking at noises isn’t such a bad thing. I want to know if someone is creeping around my house. Even though most of the noises Pierson barks at are nothing to be concerned about, I can live with that. But the barking at squirrels, rabbits, and birds when he can see them out the back door window was too much.

Eliminate the Cause of the Behavior

Like how I eliminated Pierson’s desire for eating Maya’s poop by picking up her poop, I managed Pierson’s barking at animals he sees through the window by blocking the view from the window. It worked like magic! By simply putting a large piece of paper over the bottom half of the door window, I eliminated Pierson’s barking by at least 70%.

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 1

See how I blocked the door window so that Pierson can’t bark at squirrels?

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 2

“How am I going to talk to the squirrels now?”

Other Ways to Eliminate Undesirable Behaviors

If your dog tends to get in the trash, eliminate the behavior by getting a trash can with a secure lid or by putting the trash can in the pantry. If you don’t have a pantry, use a smaller trash can and put it under the kitchen sink. You may have to throw out trash more often, but isn’t that better than picking up trash from the floor and worrying about whether your dog ate something harmful?

Eliminate digging behaviors by filling his favorite digging spots with rocks or even his own poop. Keep your dog out of your garden by putting decorative fencing around your garden. Keep your dog from trying to bolt out the door by putting his leash on him before you open the door. Stop counter surfing by making sure food is always put away and/or out of reach. Keep your dog off the furniture by laying a sheet of foil over it when you’re not around.

Managing your dog’s undesirable behaviors isn’t always feasible and doesn’t always work. But if you think outside the box, you might just come up with a simpler way to stop your dog from doing things you don’t like. You can save time and even money by not having to hire a dog trainer.

Does your dog have an annoying behavior that you’d like to stop? Comment below and let’s see if we can come up with some creative ways to manage your dog’s behavior.

Wordless Wednesday – Dogs and Snowflakes are Kisses from Heaven

February 4, 2015

Ever heard the quote, “Snowflakes are kisses from heaven”? After shoveling 10.5 inches of snow from my driveway this weekend, I wasn’t sure I agreed. But after watching my dogs Maya and Pierson play in it, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of snow.

The Street to My House February 2nd, 2015

The street to my house after our weekend snow was so pretty that I had to pull over and take a photo.

My Dog Maya Scales 10.5 Inches of Snow

This bench in our back yard shows how deep the snow is compared to my Maya.

Snow-Filled Trees in Our Back Yard

The trees in our back yard are heavy with snow. Some branches broke.

My Fluffy Dog Pierson in the Snow

My fluffy boy Pierson likes the snow. Can you see his boots?

Dogs Maya and Pierson Looking at Frozen Squirrel

Maya and Pierson are looking at a squirrel that is sitting on a lower branch of a snow-filled tree.

Maya and Pierson Giving Snow Kisses

Pierson gives Maya snow kisses.

Okay, so it’s not so wordless. I just can’t help but to comment on the photos. You’re welcome to leave a comment too. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Wordless Wednesday – Slo-Bowl for Piggy Dogs

January 14, 2015

Maya and Pierson are piggy dogs. Eating from a normal bowl takes them less than a minute. The Kyjen Slo-bowl dog bowl makes them take at least five or more minutes.

Maya and Pierson Wait for Dinner

“Can we eat now?”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 1

“Nom, nom, nom, nom.”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 2

“Only a few pieces left.”

Piggy Dogs Eat from Slo-Bowl 3

“Still working at it, five minutes later.”

I purchased these Slo-Bowl feeders on my own and am not being compensated in any way. However, if you are interested in one for your dog, follow my link to my Amazon a-store.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Pierson

January 10, 2015

I can’t believe it has only been three years since I got my dog Pierson. It seems like he’s always been a member of the family.

Happy 4th Birthday & Happy 3rd Gotcha Day, Pierson!

Pierson Cuddling on 3rd Gotcha Day

Pierson Cuddling with Me 2

Maya wants cake for Pierson Gotcha Day

Yes Sweetums, of course you get cake too.

Want to know more about the day I caught my little fluffy pants Pierson in Pierson Park? Check out my post on The Reward of Rescuing a Dog.

 

Holiday Goodies for My Doggies

January 1, 2015

My dogs Maya and Pierson have received a lot of gifts this season. Our thank you is a little late, but your gifts did not go unnoticed.

Maya with light-up stick dog toy

Maya really likes the light-up stick. Pierson only wants it when Maya has it.

We won this great gift from Petco through AllThingsDogBlog. It’s a lightup stick dog toy and Maya absolutely loves it. It lights up and squeaks, although Maya broke the squeaker right away. It’s a soft but hard rubber that Maya can chew on safely without breaking off any pieces.

Boo Bucket from Jones Natural Chews

I forgot to take a photo of the Boo Bucket that Flea gave us from Jones Natural Chews so I borrowed this photo from Flea’s Dog Treat Web site.

We received the Halloween Boo Bucket from Flea when she came to visit in September. Then later, we won a bag of Jones Natural Chews dog treats through Flea’s Dog Treat Web. We won it for this video we did:

Spring Naturals Dog Treats

This is the company’s photo. I forgot to take a photo of the Spring Natural dog treats that we won.

We also won some dog treats from Spring Naturals through Rumpy Dog’s Blog. Those went fast too.

Labrador Retriever Ornament from ForLoveofaDog.com

I was too lazy to take my own photo so I borrowed this photo of my Labrador Retriever ornament from the place I bought it, ForLoveofaDog.com.

I didn’t win this ornament, but it was a gift to myself so I’m counting it. It is a wonderful ornament made by Sue with Talking Dogs blog and the For Love of a Dog jewelry retail site. I would buy her beautiful dog-themed jewelry too, but I don’t wear jewelry very often.

Maya with Kong Stick Dog Toy

Maya is pooped after playing with her Kong stick dog toy.

This gift is from me to Maya. It is a Kong stick and Maya loves sticks. I saw it reviewed on one of the blogs I follow, but sorry, I don’t remember who that was!

Dog Chews Olaf Snowman Dog Toy

Despite not having any stuffing, Olaf still lives!

This is a gift from me to Pierson. Pierson does not chew his toys like Maya does, so this stuffed squeaky has lasted a while. What do you think of the caption?😀

Maya with Hide-a-Squirrel Dog Toy

There are six of these little squirrel dog toys in the Hide-a-Squirrel, and Maya loves every one of them.

This squirrel toy is part of a larger gift given last year by my friend Joanne with FleeceDogHarnesses. The Hide-a-Squirrel has stayed in good shape all year because I only allow Maya and Pierson to play with it when I supervise them. Otherwise, I’d have six destuffed squirrels all over my house! Joanne gave Maya and Pierson a Tail Teaser dog toy from Kyjen this year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture because my camera doesn’t do action shots very well, and Maya was bouncing all over the place for this toy.

Thank you, Carrie, Flea, Jen, Sue, and Joanne! And Happy New Year to everyone.🙂

Wordless Wednesday – Dog Costume?

October 1, 2014

Maya and Pierson don’t usually wear clothing. But I received the Rein Coat to try out for Pierson’s dog aggression. The Rein Coat is supposed to help with anxiety, which is linked to his dog aggression. I have only had a few opportunities to try it out since the weather has been warm. Anyway, I put it on Pierson again today and it reminded me of Count Dracula’s cape. And so this Rein Coat is almost like a costume, which fits both Maya and Pierson.

Pierson Dog Rein Coat Prince of Cuteness

PRINCE OF CUTENESS

Maya Rein Coat Countess Dogula

COUNT(ESS) DOGULA

Want to see more cute pups? Check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below. I can’t promise there will be any other dogs in costumes, but you never know!

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Wordy Wednesday – Turning My Husband into a Dog Lover

September 24, 2014

My husband cares for our dogs, but he doesn’t love them like I do. The only dogs he ever had were outside guard dogs. So Sephi and Maya were a unique experience for him. When we got married, it took some time for him to get used to the dogs living in the house with us. The dogs are still not allowed on the furniture, but he no longer gets grossed out when he accidentally eats a dog hair or if there is a fur dust bunny floating around on the floor. Having Maya and Pierson indoors is second nature to him now. However, he still doesn’t interact with them as much as I do. But I have caught him playing with or petting them every now and then. Maya and Pierson are really making progress with him, don’t you think?🙂

Husband Li Xi and the Dogs

Caught in the act! Whatever cuteness Maya and Pierson exhibited this morning caused my husband to bend down and give Maya and Pierson an unexpected belly rub.

For more pet photo fun, check out the Wordless (or Wordy) Wednesday blog hop below:

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Just Because My Dog is Shy Doesn’t Mean He Was Mistreated

September 5, 2014
Pierson Rescue Dog

Pierson was nervous on his first day at his new home. He wasn’t quite sure yet what to think of me and my husband or Maya.

I was talking to someone about my dog Pierson the other day (when do I not talk about my dogs?), about how he was rescued and about how shy he can sometimes be around strangers. Their first reaction to his shyness was to say he had probably been mistreated by his prior family. My immediate response was to say this is not necessarily true and here’s why.

SHY BUT NOT FEARFUL
Pierson is wary and shy, but he is not fearful. He darts out of the way of a fast hand movement or if someone bends over him. But this is a natural reaction for many dogs. He doesn’t snap or growl in reaction. He simply takes a few steps back.

Dad Pierson Shake

Pierson was a bit shy around my dad at first. But he warmed up to him after a few treats.

BREED BEHAVIOR
Pierson is most likely part Border Collie and part Australian Shepherd. Both these breeds are very high alert dogs. They were bred to guard flocks and so they tend to be naturally wary of strange things, including strange people. Pierson tends to warm up to a person better if I or my husband is there and if the other person lets Pierson check them out first on his own terms.

LACK OF SOCIALIZATION
I got Pierson when he was probably a year old so I have no idea how well he was socialized. He was very shy when we first got him. I have been doing my best to introduce him to new people and new things. And as such, he tends to warm up to new people much quicker than in the past. There are still occasions when he decides to be shy. Generally it is around small children since he doesn’t get the opportunity to be around children much.

Family Playing Hungry Hippos

Pierson looks on as my niece and nephew, my brother-in-law, and my husband play Hungry Hungry Hippos. He was wary of the little ones but not fearful. My sister has done a good job of teaching her kids how to approach dogs and to leave them alone if they don’t want to be bothered.

MISTREATED
A dog very well could be shy due to mistreatment. If Pierson had been mistreated, however, I would expect his reaction to be a lot more severe. I’d expect tail tucking, ears going back, eyes dilating, growling, or cowering. He occasionally growls, but it is usually when a person tries to be too overly friendly with him. He’s not a Labrador. You can’t just go up to him and try to put your arms around him! (Actually one shouldn’t do this to any dog regardless of breed, but you get my point.)

I honestly don’t know whether Pierson had been purposely abandoned in the park I found him in or if he had wandered off from his family and found his own way to the park. I have no idea if he was loved or if he was unwanted. Either way, I very much doubt he was abused. For Pierson, I think the most likely explanation for his shyness is his breed mix. Lack of socialization is probably a factor too, but I think it is possible for certain dogs to have a shyness tendency regardless of proper socialization.

Do you have a shy dog? Why do you think he or she is shy? What do you tell people when they suggest your dog might have been mistreated?

Cute Words on Wordless Wednesday

August 6, 2014
Pierson Dog Cute Bunny-Killing Machine

No actual bunnies were hurt in the taking of this photo.

Face it, Pierson. You’re a cutie fluffy boy patootie.

There are a lot more fun pet photos on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop. Click the link below:

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