Archive for the pets Category

Grom and Molniya Got Wet

Posted in Dog diary, pets with tags , on August 30, 2013 by rattlerjen

All Feet!

Many of you long time readers may remember my posts about trying to get my dog to like swimming.  Read a post about it, here: https://houndandthefound.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/its-sort-of-like-swimming/

We tried everything.  We threw his favorite toys in the water. We threw other dog’s favorite toys in the water and he watched those dogs swim for them.  We threw Grom’s favorite toys in the water and let other dogs swim for them.  I got in the water and teased him with his favorite toys.  I got in the water, put a life vest on the dog, and helped him “swim,” through the water. We did everything short of just throwing him in to the water.  No matter what, he would only get to the point where his feet stopped touching the bottom. Then, he stopped going any further.

He never really liked to swim.

Until now.

All it took was his best friend in the whole world, a lab named Seamus, to go swimming.  There must have been a doggie conversation between the two, because after Seamus went out, so did my dog!

But that is not all!

Did you catch the little dog in the lifejacket?  That’s right, it is little Mo! She loves to swim!  Of course she really enjoyed biting the waves and digging in the sand too.

What a great day on the water.  Woo Hoo!

A Journal Entry

Posted in Dog diary, pets with tags , , on August 20, 2013 by rattlerjen

Let’s get you all up to speed

Some of you have been wondering what has been going on with my posts.  They have lately been infrequent or have not included any updates of my Search and Rescue life.

I have been one busy chica

golden puppy

I have also been pretty bad at keeping up on my blog here. What have I been doing? Well, eight months ago I began my education towards becoming a Certified Dog Trainer through Animal Behavioral College.  My nose was deep in reading material and my brain was smoking with information.  My time was  spent driving to and from animal shelters to train dogs so they may be adopted as good pets.  My skills were assessed by a mentor in real life training environments.  I was also working a job with early morning hours and training two Search and Rescue dogs to boot!  My husband said I had three jobs going at once.  Well, now it is over and the real work begins.

I started my own animal training business

pcalogosmall

This is not something I really thought I wanted to do.  All the paperwork, and taxes, and responsibility, and…..  Until my husband pointed out that I practically did all of that at my last job anyway.  He was right, of course 🙂  Now I can truly make my own hours.  I can even go on a search and rescue mission whenever I am needed!  The best part is that I can continue to work at the wonderful doggy daycare with a fantastic staff and an amazing pair of owners.  My clients include dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small animals, and even fish!  Now, how cool is that?

My website is coming together.  Check it out.

Pawsitive Critter Academy

What’s up with Search and Rescue?

modoc

This is where I wish I was able to update all of you more on this blog.  Remember the rescued little Malinois we named Molniya?  She is turning into a wonderful dog that finds new ways to test me on a daily basis.  I call her the Rubik’s cube.  She has found a way to perplex myself and everyone else to boot.  More on the sweet little girl on another post.

At the moment

I am visiting my family in New Mexico for a week. Here’s to hoping some desert sun will kickstart my brain back into blogging!  Check back later this week for some awesome news about Grom and Molniya that was a very long time coming!

Paws Up!

-Jen

Debunking Dominance Theory

Posted in dog training, pets with tags , , on August 13, 2013 by rattlerjen

Yup, I am going to say it. Dominance theory is poodle poo.

poodle

Dog trainers have been using the Alpha theory for years to back up some notions on how to train a dog.  This has been passed around for decades among the dog training world.  This has simply been passed from trainer to trainer as fact (aka, meme). The theory was based on a very unscientific observation of a single artificial group of wolves in a zoo.  Wolf biologists themselves have discarded the theory. Before you Alpha Roll your pup, check this out:

Whole Dog Journal – Debunking Dominance – Filled with references and comprehensive

Australian Veterinary Association – Debunking Dominance in Dogs

Time Magazine – Animal Experts Debunk the Myth of Alpha Theory

Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science – Fresh Look at Wolf Pack Theory -Science stuff

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior – Official View on Dominance Theory

Association of Pet Behavior Counselors – Why Wont Dominance Die

Dr. Yin – The Dominance Controversy

Science publication University of Bristol

 

 

The Possibility Dogs – Book Review

Posted in pets, Product Review, Search and Rescue with tags , on June 6, 2013 by rattlerjen

What a handful of “Unadoptables taught me about service, hope, and healing

By the author of “Scent of the Missing” – Susannah Charleson

In one word; Inspiring

possibility

I hit the follow Susannah on Facebook button soon after reading her first book about her journey through search in rescue and her search dog Puzzle.  I knew a bit about what her new book might hold. The book is not about search and rescue to which I am involved as a K9 handler. Would it have the same hold on me as her first book?

I believe everyone knows the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” So, when I slid the book out of the shipping envelope and saw a little white dog with a goofy grin, tilted head, and ridiculous half cocked bat ears, I thought, “This will be cute.” I also figured I could read a few chapters a day in between my busy schedule of studying, working, and training two search dogs.  I got absolutely nothing done for the past two days.

The  journey begins immersed in the confused gritty red-dust covered memories of a firefighter who survived a terrible accident. The imagery conjured a frantic feeling of desperation; a need to claw your way out of the hell that was laid before the mind’s eye.  Charleston gently leads you out into the comforting fresh air with the soft touch and sweet gaze of a little mixed dog. The firefighter’s wonderful, shelter rescued dog can predict his episodes of PTSD and stop them, waken him from nightmares and flashbacks, and lead him home. She is one of many amazing canines you will meet in this remarkable book.

The author skillfully braids the stories of others with her own experience raising and training her own service dogs. This book paints gorgeous pictures that will fill you with tears, laughter, anger, and heartwarming joy. Who can forget a dog named Juice Box that completely changed the life of a young teenager who couldn’t safely leave house without him?  How about a lab with a creaking tail? Or a tiny gray lilliputian with enormous ears rescued hours before he was to be euthanized? Charleson’s voice brought such vivid detail to the page, I felt as if the people and their service dogs were all very dear friends of mine.

This book is at my bedside table to read again, and again. Possibility Dogs indeed has a hold on me.

The book may be found on Amazon. Possibility Dogs by Susannah Charleson

Susannah does more than write a book about it.  She started her own organization to help those in need of a service dog!

The name:  Possibility Dogs

Susannah Charleson begun an organization to help match and train K9 partners for those in need of a service dog.  Her website says it best:

We identify, rescue, and train talented homeless dogs for psychiatric and utility service. We connect partners with a heart for rescue to service dogs that have love and skills to share. And we support that partnership for the long-term—through ongoing training, public education, and research

You may find out more at her website Possibility Dogs

  http://possibilitydogs.org

See a great interview with Susannah and Jake Piper here: Susannah News Interview

How to Make A Dog Food Puzzle Toy

Posted in dog, dog training, howto, pets with tags , , on May 23, 2013 by rattlerjen

It’s easy and takes less than 10 minutes!

Materials:

Pvc toy materials

  • Drill
  • 1/2 inch drill bit
  • 3″ Diameter PVC cut down to 18″ long
  • Two PVC 3″ end caps
  • small piece of wood at least 19″ long

Instructions

1. Put the end caps on either end of the PVC pipe.

pvc endcaps dog toy

2. Drill a hole several inches away from the edge of the end cap.

drill hole pvc dog toy

3. Rotate the PVC a 1/4 turn.  Drill another hole 4-5 inches away from the first hole.

drill hole pvc dog toy

4. Repeat step 3 two more times to drill a total of four holes in the PVC.

IMG_1980

5. Take the end caps off. Place the edge of the piece of wood along side the PVC pipe and under the edge of the end cap. While holding the wood and PVC together, tap the end of the wood on the floor. The lid should pop right off.  Repeat on for the other end.

6. Run a towel through the PVC several times to get the plastic shavings out.

towel through dog toy

7. Put one end cap on.

8. Fill with a few cups of dry kibble.

9. Give to dog.

10. Sit back and enjoy the entertainment.

Molniya Tries The Agility

Posted in dog training, pets with tags , , , on May 15, 2013 by rattlerjen

Our little puppy is growing so fast!

She did an amazing job on the agility today.

Are there treats in that hand?

treats

 

Arrr!  I walk the plank for those tasty morsels.

 

walk the plank

 

Treats?  I don’t need silly treats!  Even this swinging plank is cake!

 

swinging plank

 

I think I might need a bit of help with this one

pipe bridge

 

Climb the stairs?

open stairs

 

Almost there.

almost there

 

I did it!

i did it

 

Down under we go!

short stuff

 

You want me to go in there?

tunnel 1

 

For a frisbee?  SURE!

IMG_1518

 

Woo hoo! Let’s do more!

frisbee

Rovers on the Rubble

Posted in dog training, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , on May 13, 2013 by rattlerjen

Today, our team trained on the urban search and rescue’s rubble pile.  I got some wonderful pictures of some of our fantastic pups braving the wreckage.

grummanrubble1 IMG_1689 IMG_1696 IMG_1742 IMG_1793 IMG_1841 IMG_1867 IMG_1915

A little new puppy update for spring

Posted in dog training, pets with tags , , , , on April 1, 2013 by rattlerjen

We have been busy here

Our new puppy is growing up so fast.  She can do nose work like nobody’s business!  We have been to two dog obedience classes and have had a lot of fun.

Starting over with a brand new puppy is hard work!

I have forgotten all of the things that I must do to turn her into a good search dog.  Time to review some of my previous posts!

http://wp.me/pNjwk-iG – 10 Dynamite Tips for a New Search and Rescue Dog

Right now we are working on her recall.

I have fallen into the dog training trap nearly all of us have done at one time.  She has a fantastic recall at home. (She looks a lot like the roadrunner from the cartoons,) her feet all a blur when coming when called.  Alas, when we are out and about.  She can decide a blowing leaf, a blade of grass, or a pile of deer poo far more important than listening to me.  It seems like such a pain in the touche to grab the long line, treats, toys, and pile the dog in the car to drive to someplace new for every training session.  So, I convince myself I will do it tomorrow and simply train my dog in the living room.  BAD dog owner!  This is something that will come back and bite me in the touche.  It is like going to the gym or for a walk, no one wants to get up and do it, but once there you are glad you did. I timed my last training session outing and it only took 10 minutes all told!  That includes the drive to and from the park!

Lesson learned.

If you want a well behaved dog, you need to take little field trips.

Now shut up, put those shoes on, and get off that bum!

doublestack

The recall is very important to Search and Rescue dogs because we work air scenting dogs off leash. Forget the idea of the bloodhound dragging the handler around the woods.  Those are how tracking/trailing dogs work.  My dog can choose to chase deer, roll in poo, play with another dog, splash around in the stream, or work. He can play keep away and chase me games if he wants. Grom, my operational search dog choses to work instead.  He will even come back to a call or whistle blow while in hot persuit of a herd of deer!  How did I get such a wonderful recall?  Practice.

Practice at home with no distractions.  Then practice in many other places without distractions. Then add distractions working closer to the distractions and then working around more difficult distractions.

Best I get started then.

Tinkering with the Robot

Posted in dog training, howto, pets with tags , on January 28, 2013 by rattlerjen

This is what my husband got me for Christmas

Manners Minder Kit

Manners Minder

It has turned out to be a very cool way to train my dogs from a distance.

Here is Grom playing with his new toy.

My husband is a genius!

Our new little puppy, Molniya seems to have trouble staying quiet in her crate.  She has learned to bark in there and throws some pretty nice tantrums.  In order to reward her for being quiet, we needed a way to reward her.

Sure, we could drop a few treats in her crate every time we walked by, but wouldn’t it be more fun and rewarding for her to get treats even when we were somewhere else in the house?

My hubby found a great solution with a little bit of work.

Materials

  • dremel
  • funnel
  • board
  • rubber bands
  1. First, cut a hole in the top of the crate just big enough for the end of the funnel to fit through.
  2. Measure how far the funnel drops into the crate.
  3. Then measure the thickness of the board you will be using on top of the crate. (see video) We used a sheet of plywood. Cut a hole in the plywood the same size of the hole you cut in the top of the crate.
  4. Remove the food tray on the Manners Minder (it comes off easily for cleaning.)
  5. Bend the funnel flat on one side so that it lies flush with the manners minder tray area.
  6. Then, cut the funnel so that is not sticking into the hole in the crate and lies flush with the roof. The funnel will be cut at an angle since it will be lying against the Robot.
  7. Tie together enough rubber bands to fit around the back of the manners minder to either side of the funnel.  Drill a hole on either side of the funnel where the rubber bands will attach to.  Tie the rubber bands to either side and adjust so the funnel lies flat in the tray area.  Make sure the funnel is not blocking the hole where the treats come out!
  8. Put the board on the top of the crate and line it up with the hole in the crate.
  9. Place the funnel in the hole.
  10. Place the Manners Minder up against the leaning funnel and pull the rubber band loop around to the back of the robot to hold it on.
  11. Fill er up and let er rip!

Watch this baby at work!

Video from the top

Video from the front

When to Deploy Search and Rescue Canines

Posted in pets, Search and Rescue with tags , on January 19, 2013 by rattlerjen

I would like to give a shout out to a fantastic website I found today about how to deploy search and rescue dogs.  The website gives a wonderful description on the different kinds of search dogs and how they are best used in a search.

Find the fantastic posting here:

Scents Ability Search Dogs

scentsabilitydogs

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