Thursday, January 24, 2013

Go Team Puppy! - It's Puppy Bowl IX

Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX is on February 3, 2013
          I am not a football fan, so when the Superbowl rolls around I usually avoid the TV and my football nut friends and family. However now the TV has been saved thanks to ..... the Puppy Bowl! Yay! Every year curl up on the couch with my dogs, family, and snacks to watch adorable floppy puppies running a football from field goal to field goal.

          Every year the Puppy Bowl adds a new feature like hamsters in a blimp to doggie tailgaters. Want to find out what will be new this year? Then check out this article:

          Spaniels and Spaniel mixes I am partial to and root for them to win each year's MVP. This year's puppy lineup doesn't look to have any. I guess I will then have to go with the Corgi mix and the Basset Hound puppies. Who would you pick?

          Hopefully this year there will be more water bowl action. I love when they go to the camera that is under the water bowl to film the puppies digging in the water. Cuteness over load! It is also a hoot when the puppies are given a penalty for relieving themselves. Never before has puppy accidents been so much fun. I suppose not having to pick it up myself plays some part in the enjoyment. Hehe!

          If you haven't seen the Puppy Bowl before I highly recommend it. Cuddle up with your pets and enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Releases - Miniature Schnauzer with Undocked Tail and More

Miniature Schnauzer with natural ears and tail.
           It is that time again my friends, so without any further ado here are my first releases of 2013! They are Miniature Schnauzer with natural (or full) ears and tail, a new color for the Pomeranian, a new look and color for the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and Poodle in the sporting clip.

          I had a customer recently contact me about placing an order for a Miniature Schnauzer. The pattern I had was for the American version with cropped ears and a docked tail, but in many countries they no longer crop or dock. So with this being the case for this customer I was more than happy to oblige and add this new pattern. If you are looking to place an order for a dog without a docked tail just send me an email so I can include that dog to my line of needlepoint dogs.

Pomeranian, New color

          The Pomeranian now has two color options, yay! Most of the new items add are customer requests, so don't be shy and tell me what you want to see.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

          The current pattern I have for the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever had its tail down, the new pattern now features an alert tail. At the moment I will offer both patterns. However, if customers seem to only like the new pattern then I will discontinue the old. What do you think, do you like the new pattern over the old tail down look? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it.

Standard/Miniature Poodle in a sporting clip

          And my last introduction is the Poodle in a sporting clip. I think this look is going to be very popular with most Poodle owners.

          Most of these new piece can be found in my Etsy shop, I still need to list the new Pomeranian color there so please check back later or send me an email. I will be getting these new items up on my website and in my other shops as soon as I can.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dog Doesn't Like to Play Ball? Here is a Tip to Help.

          Years ago when I was training my dogs at Westside Dog Training Club, some of our members started doing flyball. After watching the excited dogs having a great time racing back and forth it electrified everyone in the room. I wanted to have my dog do this but there was one problem.... my dog wasn't into tennis balls.

          When one thinks of a dog the old clichés comes to ones mind of a kid in the yard throwing a ball while the devoted dog runs and retrieves the ball without fail. However not all dogs are turned on by a ball or dog toys for that matter. A non ball orientated dog is a major problem if you want to get into flyball. If this is your problem not all is lost if you have a food motivated pooch.

       Luckily most English Springer Spaniels are will do anything for food, and my boy was no exception. What I did was to cut a flap into a tennis ball and filled it with small yummy treats. Taking baby steps I slowly introduced this good smelling ball to my dog.

          Once you have your ball filled (you can even let your dog watch you load it up) offer it to your dog. If he takes it that is terrific, but don't be surprised if he doesn't at first. What you are looking for is your dog to at least touch the ball with his nose or mouth. As soon as this happens praise and make the ball cough up a treat for your dog. Let the dog see that treats come from the ball. You want your dog to associate the ball with getting a yummy stuff. Remember to keep your training short and to always end on a good note.

          Work your way up to getting your dog to put the ball in his mouth and then to have him release it, don't forget to praise and teat. Then work on having the dog to hold the ball in his mouth in an ever increasing length of time.

          The next step is to work on retrieving. With you and your dog facing in the same direction hold onto his collar. The dog can either be standing or sitting at your side, in front of you, or between your legs. With your special tennis ball filled with treats, gently roll the ball a few feet in front of you both and immediately give a command like "take it" and release your dog so he can retrieve the ball. When you do this make it sound fun and exciting to help motivate your dog. Remember to roll the ball and not bounce it or the treats may pop out. Once your dog grabs the ball call him back to you. If your dog picks up the ball that is great, if he also brings it to you that is perfect. But don't be concerned if he drops the ball on his way back to you. Praise and treat. Just keep making baby steps toward your goal while making this fun and happy. Slowly increase the distance you roll the ball.

          When your dog has a good grasp of what you want from him you are ready for fine tuning. This is the stage when you want your dog to be able to bring the ball to your hands. Up to this point it wasn't a problem if the dog dropped the ball in front of you instead of handing it to you. In flyball, the dog needs to be able to hold and carry the ball over all the jumps and across the finish line. If he doesn't, the team will take a penalty. Teaching your dog to bring you the ball will help insure he will bring it over the hurdles and all the way to the end. In fine tuning you only want to give a treat for a ball in the hand retrieval. A dropped retrieval is just ignored.

          Now your dog is ready to join the rest of the dogs in flyball training. Have fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dogs and the Law - Sentimental Value

          Ah, my first post of the new year and if I don't say so myself it is gonna be a good one. I came across this online article today Texas court asks: Is man's best friend priceless? The Texas Supreme Court is considering if dog owners should be able to sue for "emotional value" of the wrongful lose of a dog. It comes after a Fort Worth animal shelter wrongly euthanized a beloved - but essentially "worthless", in terms of actual market value - family dog named Avery who ran away in from home in 2009.

          Under the law dogs are considered property. Irreplaceable items like heirlooms, one-of-a-kind, photos, and other cherished property that are wrongfully destroyed one can sue for "sentimental value". If that is the case then why doesn't this law cover dogs? After all they are under the law "a piece of property".

          Read the full article as this could be a very important precedent and a great victory for dog and other pet owners.