Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Food - Grain Free

Did you know that all Grain Free Dog Foods are NOT created equal??  

I suppose that would just make sense, but do you know why? 

Chery Morris posted an excellent article on her blog. 

While I feed a raw diet, I do use some kibble for training treats. 

I'll sure look closer at the next bag I happen to purchase!


Monday, November 28, 2011

I can't believe I just did that!! UGH!!

It's okay I'll regroup, 
it'll be fine! 

 I've just started working Nettle on her running contacts.  Okay, maybe I should clarify here, she's running across a carpet on the ground, not a real contact.   So, the first time out, she was awesome!  Ran after her toy, brought it back, played some tug.  Totally BRILLIANT!!!!

So, day two, Bill, Seeker, Nettle and I all go out to the building to practice.  I work Seeker for a couple minutes while Nettle is going nuts watching.  Bill is holding Nettle on her harness.  I'm done with Seeker, and go to play with Nettle.  We repeat what we did the day before.  She runs down her carpet, grabs her toy and does VICTORY LAPS!!!  UGH!!!  So, game over we go inside.  

Day three, same group goes out.  I repeat from the day before and guess what!  Nettle RUNS AGAIN!  Like, seriously....why did I NOT think that was going to happen again?  She adores Seeker, they love to play, and guess what she's doing during her laps?  Running by Seeker with a toy flaunting it!!  Some days I'm such an idiot!  But that's okay!  I can learn from my mistakes!!  LOL

Day four - I take Nettle out alone!  See, I'm getting smarter!! 
We do a couple sets of 'digging' around an upright.

Okay, now let's go run on the carpet!
Great job!  Doesn't come back with it directly, 
but comes back and we play some tug. 
So, I repeat it again.  
One more time!
Much better!!

Here's the sad part......

Do you stop there!  
Seriously ask yourself this!
When things are going well......
do you stop!  
If you're honest, most of you would not.

Well...me either!!!

Guess what I got on the fourth run!
I wanted to fall down in the dirt and cry!

Why did I not stop!
Because it was fun, and I wanted just 

Tomorrow...I'll stop after the first one and build from there.

Hopefully, someone will learn from my mistake!  

Go have fun! 
But stop your training while it's still going well!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Nettle - Almost named Vanna!!

This is the 'minute' I got home from 
picking up little Nettle last June.

Makes me laugh every time I watch it!

As Bill would say, 
"Did you not see this as BAD SIGN"!!

Yes, thanks to Michele's BRILLIANT
suggestion, we got some SLEEP!

Nettle almost became named, 

She still gets called that on occasion. 
This puppy has more nicknames
than any dog we've ever had!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Border Collie Cartoon


This has NOTHING to do with turkeys.....
but cracks me up!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ol' Red - A dog song.....

I'll admit, I don't listen to a lot of Country Music, 
however, happened upon this song while I was
scanning through the radio channels. 

Apparently it's pretty popular, I thought it was cute.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

ICDOC Agility Trials - AKC - A Special Event!

Saturday is PINK Day at the 
ICDOC's AKC Agility Trial!

We hope you can join us!
Kirkwood Community College
Equestrian Center
Cedar Rapids, IA

There will be a raffle with all the money going to the:
Susan G.Komen Foundation

There are some fabulous items!
Agility Equipment - by Jeff Hartzler
Garden Stone Paw Print - Me
Sugar Cookies - Meg Sailor
and other donations from
(Organized by Marsha Kingsley)
Clean Run
Honest Kitchen
J & J Dog Supplies
Murphy's Trading Post
Max 200
Fit Paws
Dog Gone Good
and MORE!!!!

Even if you're not running a dog, please come out Saturday, 
enjoy watching some K-9 Agility and 
donate to our raffle!!!

Weekend Colors are:
Friday = Orange,
Saturday = Pink
Sunday = Red.

Entries Close:
Closes November 23rd
Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kitty Agility Anyone!

This is just too ADORABLE!!

Cougar loves the tunnels, jumping out at the dogs as they go over the jump, 
he's not real found of the teeter however......but maybe a lower one?

He even does the suitcase trick!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does Your Dog "Lip Service" Tug??

(Seeker and Mad - Fall 2007)

Does your dog ever ‘pretend’ his tugging with you? 
He might have the tug in his mouth, but you are doing most of the work?  
Or you’re dragging the tug on the ground, and he gives the illusion of biting it.  
If so, then you are experiencing what I call, “Lip Service Tugging”.  
The dog is not fully engaged in the task of tugging. 
For some dogs, tugging seems to be innate and pure heaven!  
For others, they just don’t see the point.  
If you are lucky, the breeder of your dog nurtured the ‘tugging’ 
while the puppies were developing.  
If not, you might have a little more work cut out for you, 
depending on the age of the puppy. 
Seeker was a born tugger.  
Dena nurtured his tug, so this probably helped.  
He’s always been ‘toy driven’, 
and had to learn that he could work for food as well.  
We had to play games where I had food in my hand, 
stopped tugging, and he ‘had’ to eat the food.  
It took a little time, but he got it!!
Nettle is the opposite.  
She came to me 3 weeks older than Seeker, and her tug wasn’t nurtured.  
Now, in a breeder’s defense, they may not want to nurture tugging, 
depending on the home the puppy goes too.  
Not everyone family is going to want a ‘Seeker’. 
Nettle loves her food!!  
So, tugging with food in my hand took a little more time.  
I’ll be honest; a lot of her tugging when I had
food in my hand was “lip service’ tugging.  
She knew in order to get the food she had to tug, 
but she tried to put in the least amount of effort to earn it.  
We are working on this, and she’s getting better.  
She has come a LONG way, 
since she began just a few months ago.
I’ll share with you want worked for ‘her’, 
this might not work for everyone, but might work for you.  
There were a couple things I had to do first, 
before we could tug with her food present.  
Nettle needed to learn to ignore her food,
or treats when then were on the floor. 
This is really unbelievably easy; 
it’s Susan Garrett’s ‘It Yer Choice’ game. 
While I was working on the, “IYC Game”, 
I began my search for something she’d tug on consistently.  
We used the paper towel roll.  
Admittedly, they are not very durable.  
I used them to build the ‘want to’ to tug, 
then transition over to something more durable. 
I combined the two, very quickly.  
I'd sit on the floor with her bowl of food off next to me, 
and ‘attempt’ to get her to tug with the paper towel roll (PTR). 
I’d ‘bang’ it on the floor, dance it along the floor, 
maybe ‘hit’ her on the side with it a couple times,
and in general act like an idiot.  
Hey, it worked, she’d give me a little tug, 
I’d feed her some food. 
We’d then do our ‘shaping behaviors’ 
for that meal, and then tug again.  
Lesson done!
At first our sessions were longer, 
as it took her awhile to ‘engage’ with the PTR.   
It was much more difficult to get her to engage, 
prior to the meal, than after. 
I would often come out of the bathroom, 
bedroom, or porch, to Bill’s question,
“What the heck were you doing in there?”. 
My response, “Getting Nettle to tug of course”, 
- insert eye roll here, 
like doesn’t everyone do this???
I would love to tell you it only took a couple sessions,
and she was tugging quickly, it didn’t.  
Morning and night we would work our tug, 
before the meal, and after.  
She did learn that if she wanted to ‘get on with the lesson’ 
– and more importantly ‘the food’,
she would need to tug.  
That was a major breakthrough. 
I’m guessing that took a several weeks. 
During that time, 
I switched from using the PTR for a variety of other toys.  
At first I used the toys I knew she liked, 
Tony the tiger, Otto, the possum, 
and then switched to the toys I wanted to use. 
The transition was fairly easy, 
there were a few ‘battles of the wills’ 
where she just wanted the FOOD!  
But I just kept at it.  
Bouncing the toy on the floor, 
and acting a fool. 
She’d give in, 
realizing she wasn’t going to eat until she played. 
I can’t tell you how much this has paid off!!  
She can now tug while I have any kind of food in my hand. 
She’s learning that she needs to ‘tug like she means it’.  
In other words, I’m not accepting ‘Lip Service Tugging’. 
It can be exhausting for me at times, 
but if I give in now, it will be even harder to get it back.  
‘Who’s training Who’??
You might be wondering why I care if she tugs.  
Tug builds passion, food sedates 
(unless you’re a Lab!!! – Just kidding Michele). 
I want to be sure Nettle is ‘working’ and ‘performing’ at her best.  
For me and many others…that means having a great tug!
So, get out there and develop that TUG!! 
Don’t accept ‘Lip Service Tugging’!!