Archive for January, 2011

A typical day of exercising & fun for my dogs?

January 21, 2011

What is a typical day of getting out and having fun with my dogs? You have to understand that for me having fun with my dogs comes very easy: it is not like I have to ponder ….”humm what will I do with my dogs for fun?” Now if that is the case for you as a dog owner, I would love to hear from you!  Because I simply can’t imagine being in that predicament with my dog.

Doing some simple group obedience with my four dogs, including my foster dog Max, is always fun for them, but today it was about going outside and enjoying the sunshine and of course a tennis ball with the Chuck-it, regardless of the 20 degree temperatures.  But due to the temperature today, little Keegan stayed inside, he was not happy about it but at 9 pounds and a new hair cut, I made the executive decision that it was in his best interest!

So off we went the border collies ran down the 32 steps on to the frozen lake and ran out about 20 yards, stopped to make sure I was along for the fun and waited ever so patiently for my arrival, or more likely the tennis ball! Behind me, Annie followed my every step down to the frozen tundra. Today instead of me deciding where to walk, I let them make up the route.  It became very obvious that they would not walk away from me for me to follow as they kept looking at me to see where I was going to walk.  Then the fun started!  Annie took inventory of the miscellaneous elements in the snow; she was in her glory, nose to the ground and having a purpose!  With six eyes piercing through me, it was time for the first throw of the tennis ball and off the three border collies, Toula, Cole and Max, went as fast as their legs could carry them.  I only throw one ball but it is amazing how much fun all three have running after it- there is never any sulking or aggression because the one dog (whom we all know is Toula) continues to get the ball repeatedly.  On that rear occasion when Max or Cole do get the ball, Toula seems to have the same about of joy as when she gets the ball.  For my dogs it’s not all about getting the ball, it’s about being outside exercising and having fun with me.  Throw after throw, tails wagging, ears cocked with delight and running non-stop there is nothing better than to see happy dogs!  Even watching Annie explore is a great sight to see, the things she stops to take note of or the trees she must look up remind me that she is in her glory.

With working dogs it is so important to recognize their need to stop exercising other wise they will go until they injure themselves.  When Cole lies down I know I have one very tired dog and it is time to call it quits.  This isn’t always the case but one that I am very much aware of.  Oh don’t think that if I kept throwing the ball he wouldn’t run after it because he certainly would, he is a border collie and there is no such thing as “I’m too tired!”.  So I make the pack decision and say the one word that brings the fun to an end “HOUSE”.   And up they go, climb the 32 steps and wait at the door.  Once inside, they all find their soft beds and as I sit here typing I am surrounded by snoring from Annie and three other sleeping dogs.  Keegan is wide awake still wondering why he didn’t get to go outside!

Follow WHATADOG on Facebook!

January 20, 2011

Become a Facebook fan of WHATADOG and follow the adventures, advice and never ending K9 topics.  There is the weekly “WHY NOT WEDNESDAY”, “PONDER THAT” and “DO TELL”  ……its always something new!  Its real life with a dog trainer and her dogs!

Pack dynamics, can they change?

January 20, 2011

Pack dynamics, can they change?  Absolutely! After nearly two years of living together, today for the first time, Cole and Max played with each other outside.  Max engaged Cole in a game of up close fun and run and Cole decided to partake.  The communication of play between these two dogs is a huge milestone, and I have to say I am very proud of how far both of these dogs have come!  

Max is my foster dog and has been living with Team WHATADOG for nearly two years.  In those two years Max and I have been through a lot.  If there was ever the term, “I was his last chance” this was truly the situation for Max.  Other trainers told the owner to put Max to sleep, I offered to evaluate Max and see what the real issues were.  Aggression is a term that many people speak but rarely understand.  This is a whole other blog topic!

Today I shall smile with happiness knowing that a dog, Max, that never knew how to play with other dogs got to experience the true meaning of a pack and got to enjoy being a dog!  I have my dogs to thank for much of Max’s success.