Tuesday, June 20, 2017

7 Things to Know Before You Travel With Your Dog






Hello Schnauzer Friends!



I have been traveling with my dogs for over 40 years. I have taken them to lakes, oceans, mountains & campgrounds. We have stayed in hotels, beach houses, and many different types of RV's. We have traveled with one, to as many as five, dogs at a time. Actually for the past two years, it's been five. As I am writing this post, we are in route to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in our motorhome. 


Daisy Traveling in the Motorhome

Why Do I Love Traveling With My Dogs?
  • I know they are being cared for properly.
  • I know they are eating & are not on a hunger strike.
  • I don't keep having that feeling that "something is missing".
  • You have more money to spend since you won't be paying for kenneling and in my case that would be big bucks for five dogs.
  • You don't have to work your departure and return time around the kennel's hours.
  • I always have my sweet teddy bears to love on and cuddle with.

I wanted to offer some ideas to those of you who have never traveled with your dog(s) and are thinking about it. For those of you that do travel with yours, maybe I will share something you can use too.



Getting Accustomed to Traveling in a Vehicle

Start your dog out with short trips such as picking the kids up from school, trips to the park, or picking up dog supplies at the pet store.  Take advantage of every opportunity to get them in the car. 

If your dog gets car sick, make sure they haven't eaten just before heading out. Try putting them in the front seat. If they want to jump all over you (which is dangerous), get a dog seat belt connector that keeps them in their own seat. Always carry a roll of paper towels, a couple of grocery bags and a spray cleaner just in case they get car sick. 

My dogs start riding in the car as tiny pups as soon as I bring them home. Through the summer months, we travel to the lake almost every weekend, so they get an hour drive each way. Carly is the only one who ever had motion sickness. She would pant, salivate & eventually vomit. I started putting her in the front seat on my lap and she did better there. After a while I would let her ride in the back for short periods of time and worked her up to all the time. She no longer gets sick, but she still won't move much when we are in motion.

This is how they roll...

Seat Belts

I'm sure everyone won't agree with this, but I don't belt, crate or secure my dogs in any way. I'm not convinced what is on the market would work anyway. I do use a belt that connects to the seat belt latch and the dog's collar when I have the top down on my convertible to eliminate any chance they would jump out. 

Daisy & I cuddling

Feeding & water

I feed my dogs a light breakfast (half their normal meal) on days we will be traveling most of the day and their regular size meal when we stop for the evening. When traveling, I keep their stinky fish flavored food in this container to keep it fresh and also contain the odor. I keep water available at all times in the motorhome.  They only get bottled water when traveling because diarrhea with five dogs is no fun (I know this from experience). I do have to keep a diaper on my elderly dog because he can't hold his urine very long.

Lounging on their cots

Stopping at Rest Areas & Gas Stations

With five dogs, potty time is quite an ordeal on the road. My husband and I take them one at a time on leash of course. I have taught them the words, "go potty" and "hurry up" so they usually move along pretty quickly. We always pick up any droppings and encourage everyone to do the same because not only is it disgusting but it's also a health hazard. I like these heavy duty bags because I don't like the super thin ones that you actually feel as though you are touching it. Yuck!

We always have a full backseat

Be Careful at Campgrounds

We have always loved RVing and have spent a lot of time in campgrounds and RV resorts. We use a small x pen for our dogs so they can have outdoor time when we are sitting outside. I like to put a vinyl camping rug underneath the pen to keep them clean and insect free. Of course, there are a few campgrounds that won't allow pens or rugs so we adjust accordingly and may ultimately not visit that campground again. We will use the dogs' cots and a tie back if we can't use their pen. 

I caution you to be hyper aware when walking your dog in campgrounds. Unfortunately, there are always those people who think the rules don't apply to them and won't have their dogs on a leash. I have heard too many horror stories of dogs getting attacked by these unleashed dogs. I always carry a sound deterrent and a can of Halt dog repellent. If the sound deterrent doesn't faze them or they are coming at us too fast, I won't hesitate to use the dog repellent. I would much rather the rule breakers have to take their dog to the vet for eye irritation than me to have to bury my dog. Don't get me wrong, I am a dog lover of the highest degree but I will not stand by and let my dog get hurt.


Leaving Your Dog in an RV

For years, I worried when we left the dogs in the RV on days we left to go to the beach or on excursions where we couldn't take the dogs. What if the air conditioner stopped working or the power went out? It could get hot very quickly on a sunny summer day. I found something called an Animalarm that would monitor the temperature and send me a text if it reached a set temperature. This worked great until it became obsolete with the newer cell phone technology. 

I now use a Piper camera. Not only does it monitor the temperature and send me notifications, I can also check in to see and hear what the dogs are doing. I can even talk to them through a speaker on the camera. It also has a "loud sound" notification and I can tell if they are barking their heads off. It definitely puts my mind at ease when I can check in on them through the Piper.

Naps are better shared...


Bring Along Familiar Items

Try to bring some of your dog's own belongings such as their favorite blanket, a couple of toys, bone, food and water bowl. If you are traveling in an RV, bringing their crate (if they use one) will help them feel more at ease. 

I always pack the following:
*Our vacation to Myrtle Beach was awesome, as always. We got to have a lot of beach time and was able to walk the dogs on the beach some too. You are allowed to walk your dog on the beach before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. It made for a sandy bed, but who's afraid of a little a lot of sand. :)

While shopping at Myrtle Beach, I ran across this cute little purple polka-dotted rain slicker. I tried it on Daisy and she was running all over the motorhome trying to get it off. Abby thought it was playtime:


Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Fun Way to Teach Your Dog Focus




Training is an important and necessary part of having a dog. I believe focus is the most important and the first thing you should train your dog/puppy. Every other command builds on them being able to focus on you. Communication with your dog is easier when he can focus on you instead of the distractions around him. It can help your dog cope with a situation that is stressful to him. You can use a word such as "focus" or "watch me" or simply use the dog's name. When I say my dog's name, I want them to stop whatever they are doing and turn to look at me. 



The simple act of eye to eye contact with my dogs has changed the dynamics of our relationship. They now quickly look to me for guidance when they are in a situation they are unsure of. When I call their name, they now come to find me much quicker than before. 

I wanted to share with you an exercise I have been using with my dogs for a few months now that has taught them excellent focus skills and has created great "muscle memory". It has become automatic and they can't help themselves but to look in my eyes when I say their name. I feed my dogs twice a day so I get to practice this command many times a day. 



I think it is important to build training into your normal day so that it isn't something that is likely to be forgotten. 




Here are the steps:

(1) I give my dogs the "Place" command, which means go sit on your spot, don't get off and chill out. (Your dog doesn't have to be in "Place" to do this exercise. I started out with them just standing in front of me.)

(2) I grab a handful of kibble, stand in front of them, hold both my hands up and out to the sides & say their name (only once). (Sometimes I won't even say their name, I just wait for the eye contact.)

(3) The minute I get eye contact, I say "Yes" and reward with the kibble in my hand.

You will notice as they get really proficient at this, they will stare a hole through you as you approach them (notice Daisy in the video). Be sure to practice at other times too so they will focus at times other than meals.


It's easy to come up with many different situations where you could use basically the same steps to practice focus such as using a toy, a treat, picking them up, putting on their leash to walk, etc.

Give this a try with your pup and let me know how it goes....



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

10 Tools That Can Change Your Dog's Behavior



Having five dogs and being a natural problem solver, I am always on the lookout for good tools and information on dealing with problem behaviors.

Listed below are several tools I have personally used and recommend:

(1) Pet Corrector - I am listing this one first because it is my favorite. When one barking dog sets off my other four, this tool is great to put an immediate squash on all barking. You simply say "No!" or whatever you want your word to be then push the button and it produces a hissing sound which startles your dog into being quiet. From that point on, all you usually have to do is pick up the can and they all immediately get quiet. This works great on four of my five dogs. Note: Don't overuse for many different behavior problems. Dogs can become desensitized if you overuse it.



(2) Pet Convincer 2 - This was recommended by my trainer. It is a more professional version of the Pet Corrector above. It also emits a hissing sound to help "reset' your dog's brain when barking, being aggressive, jumping, etc. It is rechargeable with C02 cartridges which can be purchased separately.





(3) Doggie Don't Device - This was also recommended by a professional trainer. It is used to "interrupt" the dog's thought to bring their focus back to you. It emits a "zapping" sound which gets your dog's attention very quickly. This is a great tool to stop jumping, barking or leash reactivity. I stick this in my back pocket on every walk.



(4) Dog Dazer II Ultrasonic Dog Deterrent - For whatever reason, my dogs feel the need to scuffle whenever I remove the full garbage bag from the can to take out. This little device stops the fight instantly. You can't hear it because it is ultrasonic, but the dogs jump back like something hit them. The garbage can theatrics are almost a memory now. 

(5) ScatMat - This is a mat that you can place on your couch or anywhere else you do not want your pet. I used mine on the bottom step because I did not want my dogs upstairs. If they put a paw on it, it emits a loud beep and believe me, they back off. One of the many purchase options is a thin, narrow mat you can use in a window sill or on a counter top.


(6) Sentry Calming Collar - I used this collar on three of my dogs. It worked great on two of them and I saw marginal results on the third. If your dog is high strung or fearful, it is worth giving this collar a try. It's a bonus that it makes your dog smell great too. Amazon's cost for a package of three is way below what you will pay in the pet store.


(7) Doberman Security Motion Alarm Detector with Infrared Sensor - This little alarm can be used in so many ways. You can use it to block off any area of your house you do not want your dog in. You can also use it to teach your dog to stay off the counter or furniture. It's also a great way to teach your dog to leave your food alone when you turn your back. I can't tell you how many times I have went to the bathroom to come back to an empty plate. Set them up a couple of times with this sensor and they won't go near it again. If your dog likes to sneak to a certain spot in your house to potty when you aren't looking, you can break that habit with this alarm.

(8) Home Security Camera with two-way audio - I have a camera on my dogs in the living room because that is where they spend 99% of their time when we aren't home. I can listen to them and talk to them through the camera. I have on several occasions logged in to find them howling. When five schnauzers howl, it's quite a little party. I spoke to them through the camera and told them to knock it off and they stopped. However, the camera I have cost eight times as much as this little guy. I'm liking what I see about this camera and may purchase one to expand my viewing area.

(9) Elevated Pet Bed - I now own five of these beds. If you do not teach any other obedience commands, you should definitely consider teaching "Place". It is the best dog obedience command out there. This hammock is great to designate your dog's "Place". We use the command "Place" several times a day now with our dogs: when someone rings the doorbell, when we have company, when I am fixing their meals, or when I just need them to be quiet, still and get out from under my feet. Here is a link to a great YouTube video about how to teach "Place". 

(10) Thundershirt - I have used this on two of my dogs. Abby used it when she was in obedience training to help calm her around other dogs. I use it on Bella when we have thunderstorms because she is terrified of loud noises. It works great for both. If you have a dog who is anxious in the car, this would be great for that too.

I hope you can find a solution for your dog(s)' behavior issues within this post. With five dogs, I am always running into something that needs attention and the above tools have helped out tremendously.


Here's a video of three of the girls going to their "Place":




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

6 Natural Flea & Tick Preventatives

Bella

It's almost that time of year again. The fight begins! Those nasty little blood-sucking, creepy-crawly fleas and ticks that hitch a ride on our best friends will be hatching and hungry in the next few weeks here in Indiana. There is so much controversy over flea and tick medications, it's really scary to even think about the side effects of feeding our dogs an insecticide to kill them from the inside-out or to put the insecticide on their skins so it can spread to every pore of their body. So what can you do?

I have used Frontline on my dogs for many years and never had any problems with ticks or fleas. For whatever reason, last year it stopped working. I had a mild flea infestation in my house which really freaked me out. Daisy, who has the thickest coat, was picking them up and bringing them inside. I ended up having to give many flea baths and spray my house with a strong insecticide which I hated to do.


Scooter

I cannot bring myself to use any of the other topical or pill type flea controls because there are so many reports of illness and deaths from using them. So I am going to try to go natural this year with a product line called Wondercide. I have read many good reviews but there are also a few not-so-good reviews.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Here is my plan:

1. I have purchased an all natural spray from Wondercide that contains essential oils to spray once or twice a week on each dog. You can also use this to spray on your upholstered furniture so I will spray the couch where they all nap.

2. I have a potty pen filled with pea gravel so when they need to go outside so they won't be rolling in the grass. I plan to spray their potty pen weekly with the Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Control Concentrate for Yard & Garden. I will also be spreading food grade diatomaceous earth in and around their pen from time to time.

3. I will be using the Wondercide shampoo bar for all their baths.

4. I will be washing all my bedding & the dog's couch blankets weekly with hot water.

5. I no longer have any carpeting, but I will be vacuuming all my floors at least twice a week. I have an iRobot Roomba so that's not really a big deal

6. The lawn will be kept short and weeds removed.


Carly

I groom my dogs frequently, so I will know if they have any fleas. My husband was not too happy with the flea bites he got last year so I know I have to be vigilant in my quest for natural prevention. I would be interested in learning of any other natural preventatives that you have found to be effective! Please let me know in the comments below. 


Laser Fun



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Quick, Simple & Fun Way to Teach the "Come" Command to Your Dog





Are you tired of your dog running the other direction when you call his name? I was reading a post on Facebook about an owner who was frustrated about her dog ignoring her command to come. 

I suggested a game that I use to reinforce recall in my dogs. My dogs love this game and they are learning at the same time. It strengthens that "memory muscle" if you play the game often, so they can't even help themselves but to come to you when you say "come".

Here is the game:

1. Instead of feeding your dog's meal in a bowl, throw a few pieces on the floor. 

2. While they are gobbling those up, run to a different location & yell "come" in an excited & happy voice. 

3. When they get to you, say "yes!" and throw a few more pieces to the floor, run to a new location & yell "come!"  

4. Do this until you have fed the entire meal.  

If you feed every meal this way for a few weeks, they will come every time. They can't help themselves after being so conditioned.


BTW, dogs LOVE this game & they're learning a very important command at the same time!

Here is Daisy demonstrating how we play the game. She has gotten so good at it, she just automatically turns and runs to me.


Monday, March 20, 2017

The Last 10 Things I Purchased for my Dogs


Bella cuddling with granddaughter's doll


My best purchases usually come from recommendations from friends or from online forums. I belong to many schnauzer and dog groups on both Facebook and Google+. I also regularly visit a professional groomers forum. I love being able to research and purchase items from my home, then have it delivered to my door. It saves me from making purchases that I am not happy with.

I thought I would dedicate this blog to the items I have recently purchased for my dogs. If you are interested, you can check them out on Amazon and read their reviews as well. I always read through the positive, the negative and the most recent reviews. You can get a great feel for the product that way. 

*If you buy one of these items by clicking on the pictures below, I will receive a small commission (very small 😏) but it will not change the price for you. 

1. Dog Hair Dryer - I groom my own dogs and thought this high velocity dog dryer might be a little more efficient than my own hair dryer. It had over 600 reviews and four stars. I didn't want to spend much over $50 and this was a good buy.  

I have used this on two of my dogs and both were a little skeptical at the loud noise and the velocity of the air. However, I don't feel it was much, if any, louder than a regular hair dryer. Initially, I held the nozzle a foot away from them when drying until they got used to the feel of the pressure of the air. I am amazed at how fast they were dry with a nice, soft texture to their fur.

Go Pet Club Dog and Cat Pet Grooming Hair Dryer



2. Cordless Clippers - I have a pair of corded clippers and was looking for a pair that was not heavy and one that I didn't constantly have to deal with the cord getting in my way. It makes my dogs nervous when the cord lands on their back or head. The research I did on the professional groomer's forum lead me to this one. The pro's tend to buy clippers in the $400 to $500 range, however, this one got mentioned over and over as a lower cost option.

I have used these and am very happy with them. They are very lightweight in my hand and very quiet. It has a run time of about 90 minutes on one charge and stays cool the whole time. It is called a "5 in 1" because instead of having to change the blade for a different hair length, you can just dial it to the desired length.

I also bought the snap-on stainless steel combs which turned out to be a great investment because I can use these for my schnauzers' legs instead of having to scissor them, which takes me forever. Their legs looked very even and smooth using these combs.

Wahl Bravura Professional Cord/Cordless Pet Clipper Kit

Wahl Professional Animal 5 in1 Stainless Steel Comb Set 


3. Straight grooming scissors - I have several cheap pairs but wanted a good pair of scissors that weren't too long and had a ball tip for safety. This brand recommendation came from the professional groomers' forum. It really does make a big difference using a good pair of scissors.

Geib Gator Ball Tip Straight Shear, 7.5-Inch


4. Dog Cot - My trainer uses these to teach the command "Place". They are a great dog landing spot. I now have three: two small and one medium. I plan to take them with us when we travel this summer to the lake and on vacation. They are up off the ground, therefore not quite as accessible to the fleas and ticks, not to mention dirt and grass. The center of these are mesh and will help keep them cool. They also have a canopy you can buy to shade them from the sun. 

I have found all of my dogs napping here at one time or another. Sometimes two will jump on the medium sized one together.

This cot has almost 1000 reviews and is rated 4-1/2 stars. 


K&H Manufacturing 17 by 22" Original Pet Cot, Small, Chocolate/Mesh


(5) Earthbath All Natural Shampoo - I bought the Aloe & Oatmeal with the vanilla and almond scent. Mmmmm, heavenly smell and leaves their coat soft and silky. All ingredients are natural, biodegradable, and gentle. This product does not contain anything that would harm your pet or the environment: No DEA, parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes, or perfumes. This shampoo has almost 2000 positive reviews on Amazon.

Earthbath All Natural Shampoo

(6) Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid Tartar Remover - Schnauzers are notorious for having awful teeth and gums so I am trying to give my dogs every dental advantage. I brush their teeth, give them elk antlers and rope toys to gnaw on and add this tartar remover liquid to their water.


It has a nice wintergreen scent that helps with their breath and I have actually noticed less plaque forming on their teeth. I started with a tiny bit and worked up to the full dose so they didn't notice the taste change.

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid Tartar Remover

(7) Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution - None of my dogs have ever had an ear infection. My groomer uses this on all the dogs that she grooms and suggested I use it when I groom them at home. It cleans, dries, acidifies, and deodorizes the ear canal.

You just squirt some in their ear after a bath, close the ear and gently rub. They will then shake their heads to clear out any excess.


Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution

(8) Musher's Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax - I noticed my dogs paw pads getting really dry and rough this winter. I knew I couldn't put any lotion on them because they would simply lick it off. This stuff is amazing. You massage a little into their paw pads and it not only moisturizes them, it gives them protection from road salt, hot pavement or sand, and ice. It also does a great job giving them more traction if you have slippery floors.

One of my girls also has a consistently dry, rough nose and I use a little on her nose to soften it up.

Musher's Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax

(9) Personalized Dog Collar - I ordered this for my Daisy. I knew if she ever got lost, she wouldn't allow anyone to get close enough to read her tag. I have her name and my cell phone number printed on it. I ordered black with bright pink lettering and it's adorable. 

It is a great quality leather with a metal buckle and still looks new after months of wear. 

Personalized Dog Collar

(10) Leather Flower Dog Collar - This collar is just adorable. I ordered the soft pink with flowers and it looks great on my solid black, salt and pepper or the platinum girls. It is actually a faux leather so it is softer than new leather.
Flower Pet Dog Collars

Just hangin out...
Carly has strange phobias. Like walking past the open crate door???? (Note: She is wearing the cute flowered collar in this video.)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Training is a Wonderful Thing

Daisy tolerating my granddaughter, lol


If this is your first time to my visit my blog, I had promised a follow up on Daisy's training:  

My vet had recommended a local trainer when I talked to her about my concerns with Daisy's aggression. I immediately went to the trainer's website (ourdogtrainer.com) and the questions he posed on his homepage ~embarassed? worried about injury? frustrated? irritated? overwhelmed? upset? afraid?~ described my situation perfectly. 

To say I am pleased with Daisy's training results at this point is definitely an understatement. I can't believe the difference in her behavior. 
Bella & Daisy sharing the "Place"

Our lesson this week was at Home Depot. I was pretty apprehensive about taking Daisy to a place where she would be in close proximity to people and possibly other dogs. The trainer brought his dog too. As you can see from the trainer's link below, she was very relaxed in the down command at the entrance watching people come and go.



We purposely set her up in many different situations that normally would have brought an embarrassing meltdown, but instead she looked to me for calm and guidance. We walked by people pushing carts, kids, loud equipment and men in bright orange vests, lol. 

I worked really hard to stay calm and confident so as to convey to her I was in charge and could handle anything without her help. We had one incident where someone brought in their HUGE unruly dog that had every intention of eating Daisy. (I'm not sure why you would bring a large aggressive dog to Home Depot?) The trainer said Daisy definitely had every right to feel threatened. I was able to calm her with a correction so she could see I wasn't going to let anything happen. I can't believe how much my attitude and demeanor influences hers. 


I am now training Abby too with the methods I am learning.
Although learning obedience commands was an important part of her training (sit, down, place, come, stay, heel, nope), what I considered the most essential was the modification of Daisy's frame of mind. Teaching her self control through the obedience commands helped her in situations where she would come unhinged. 

Another important aspect of the training was teaching me how to communicate clearly, calmly and effectively with Daisy. We had a good relationship before the training, but the mutual respect we now have for each other has brought us to a whole new level. At bedtime, the first thing she does when she comes to bed is snuggle up to my neck and cuddle for a few minutes. She looks to me now anytime she is unsure of how to react. I love this!  When one of the other dogs go to bark at a squirrel out the front window, she looks at me like, "Mom, I'm pretty sure you don't want me to do that!"



One thing that I struggled with at first was not treating my dogs as my children (humanizing them). I love my dogs with a passion but what I didn't realize is they are uncomfortable and confused when we expect them to behave like a little four legged person. I respect their species and try to communicate more clearly in their language. By this I mean using fewer and consistent words and body language to convey my expectations. When I make a rule, such as no jumping, I have to expect the same behavior at all times, no exceptions.

Just hanging out with my sis

I have actually ordered her a pink (of course) vest that I plan to use when we are in public that says "Please Give Me Space". Being the cute, fluffy and little dog she is, everyone assumes she wants to be petted. This vest will at least stop those who quickly move in before I can say No! It is my job to be sure people/dogs do not invade her comfort zone.

I plan to work with each of my dogs to teach them everything Daisy has learned. I have already started working with Abby. It is so nice to put them in their "place" when people visit. It doesn't look like a stampede anymore. I look forward to the day when I can say "place" and all five scramble for their spot.





I am so so so happy that I had the opportunity to learn how to help Daisy become a less reactive, calmer and happier dog. Her training will be a life long pursuit, but she is so worth it. I know that she will never be the cute and friendly dog that loves everybody, but at least I am now confident of how she will react in most situations and know how to handle it correctly. 

If you have any specific questions about her training, please don't hesitate to ask!



My granddaughter loves her some Bella!

Monday, February 6, 2017

8 Signs You Have an Aggressive Puppy (2/6/17 Update on Daisy)


2/6/17 Update on Daisy's Training


Since my post on 1/15/17, Daisy has been evaluated by Scott Borden with Our Dog Trainer and had her first training.  

However, before her first training, the trainer gave me several documents to read and implement. His program foundation is based on "Nothing in Life is Free" and even before her first lesson, I began her "Relationship Reboot Program". 

Basically, you control everything: their food, toys, time, space, and affection. The result of this reboot is your dog will become more relaxed, more affectionate, more tolerant and much happier.

I saw results almost immediately with this reboot. She seemed to mellow a little bit and was much more respectful of me.

The other dogs don't care for the extra attention Daisy seems to be getting.
I like the way the program builds on itself. Her first few lessons will be based on learning basic obedience training to give her self confidence and make me a strong pack leader in her eyes. 

We have been working on three basic obedience skills: 

(1) "Place" which means basically she must stay put where ever I deem is her spot until I release her. I can see this being very handy in many situations.

(2) We also started the "Heel" exercise to teach her to stay aligned with my hip when walking, turning, zig-zagging, etc. 

(3) The last thing we worked on during her first lesson was "Recalls" to teach Daisy that she must always come when I call.

I have been practicing with her for about 30 minutes each day in increments of five to ten minutes. I am very proud of her quick progress. She is a smart girl.

Sharing "Place" with her brother.

Lesson number two is two days away and we are anxious to learn more new things. I know this is going to make my Daisy the sweet girl I know she is. :)




******************************************************





1/15/17 - Wow, it feels like forever since I've posted. Christmas was fantastic as always - lots of family together time. However, Christmas felt a little different for me this year because I was retired. I was able to slow down and enjoy every moment. I kept thinking, "This is what Christmas is supposed to feel like!"

Now that all the Christmas decorations are lovingly packed and stored and I have spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the house, I was excited about getting back to my blog.

I am going to dedicate this post to Daisy. Daisy is my youngest mini at 1.5 years old. She is my beautiful baby with a Great Dane size attitude! She has displayed this attitude since she was a tiny pup. 


Daisy

Most pups wiggle when you hold them, but Daisy growled, nipped and protested loudly if she wasn't feeling it. Most new puppies are playful and respectful of their older housemates, but Daisy started scuffles with them from day one. 



My hopes were that she would calm down and relax in our multi-dog household and become the sweet mini schnauzer that I knew she could be. Well, that really didn't happen. Her bad behaviors have escalated over time.




I felt she was socialized sufficiently living with four other dogs and spent a lot of time around my five grandchildren and large family. In the summertime, she traveled every weekend with us to the lake and rode in our motorhome to our beach vacations. She was exposed to many different situations.



She barks incessantly and will not respond to the hush command like our other dogs. She tries to intimidate my grandchildren, even chasing and nipping if I don't catch her in time. She gets aggressive and intimidating when people enter our home. 




Taking her for a walk, omg, that is an experience you would have to see to believe. She lunges and barks viciously if we happen to pass a stranger or another dog. It becomes very embarrassing. 

She actually nipped a jogger's leg as we were walking on the beach during last summer's vacation. Thank goodness, he was understanding. It was at that point that I decided she needed some serious intervention and I needed to watch her like a hawk from then on.



I have tried one training facility with limited success. I really couldn't afford their full program, but I paid for a mini version and in retrospect, she obviously needed a lot more training. 



I am going to contact a local trainer next week. His name is Scott Borden from Sellersburg, IN. I have heard many good things about his program, Our Dog Trainer, and his website has a couple of dogs like Daisy who have been rehabilitated. I will update you on her progress over the next few blog updates.



I want to leave you with eight behaviors to watch out for in your puppy that may indicate you need to get professional training asap:

1. Abnormal intense "play" -  Your pup shows signs of excessive aggression, a little more intense than the normal puppy play such as snarling, growling, snapping, and nipping.

2. Fearful behavior - A pup is usually curious and ready to play with everyone. If your pup hides or backs away from new people, this is not typical puppy behavior.

3. Dead eye stare - I have noticed when Daisy locks her eyes on something that is irritating her (usually one of my other dogs), she becomes deaf to my commands. She is going to attack if I don't physically intervene.

4. Aggressive barking - The kind of barking that they refuse to stop with a command.

5. Dog reactivity - When you walk your pup and they act aggressively when approaching other dogs (lunging, growling and/or barking).

6. Possessiveness - Acting aggressively to people or other dogs over a toy, food or even their owner. Daisy thinks I belong exclusively to her and gets nippy with the other dogs when they come close. I do not allow this, but she still gives them a nasty look and would nip at them if I turned my back.

7. Biting - Not normal puppy mouthing, but intent and purposeful biting.

8. Dominance - Showing aggressive dominance over their dog housemates. Daisy likes to pick on our small, elderly dog. If he tries to get to the door first, she will aggressively attack him.

I hope I have helped anyone who has a puppy that doesn't display normal puppy behavior. I wish I had realized sooner this was something she wouldn't outgrow and gotten help sooner. I'm sure the longer you wait to get help, the longer it will take to turn the behavior around.

Stay posted for updates on Daisy's progress!

Here's a video I took of Abby trying to get Daisy to play with her. Abby can be relentless, lol.