Friday, June 17, 2011

Sweet Dog looking for her Forever Home

 One of my friends has been fostering a very sweet dog for a long time now. I'm hoping to help find her a home. Sadly black dogs are often overlooked when people consider adoption so please give "Dingo" a chance.

The Dingo.

Roughly 3-3.5yrs old.

Around 65lbs, lean but tall.

Up to date on shots. Spayed.

Housetrained. Crate trained, and really loves it.

Good with kids, prefers non-toddlers, though she did alright with a few she has met.

Great with other dogs, I would prefer a home with another dog for her.

Ok with dog-savy cats, took time to warm up to my cats.. but my cats already LOVE dogs (NOT tolerate dogs) and they eventually won her over with affection. Not sure how she would be around "catty" cats LOL!

Sheds twice a year really well for a couple weeks, but rest of the year she hardly sheds anything, lower shed than any of my smooth coated dogs, I loved it!

Is really good for grooming. Brushing. Furminating. Nail Trim. Ear clean. Teeth clean.

Very calm in the house. Gentle and occasionally still timid personality. Does like to get goofy though and wrestle on occasion. Likes to snuggle and get belly rubs. "Roos" when she gets excited.

Almost has a greyhound type mellow disposition, yet ALWAYS attentive and vigilante.

Many guesses to her breed. Had several people including a competitive dog sport breeder tell me she has Dutch Shepherd in her. This woman bred and competed with Dutch Shepherds and
wouldn't leave me alone about it. We don't know for sure though, we just call her The Dingo!

She has been with me over a year. Was a very very scared girl when I got her. Would hide under furniture at new noises or people. However always LOVED interacting with other dogs. Living with a posse of boisterous pits has done her good! Was at PetExpo end of March this year and LOVED all the people and commotion probably more than me truthfully. She tried out a treadmill, met countless people and dogs, and at the end of the day was still soliciting affection from strangers! Excellent!

This dog is doing really well and its time for her to find her forever home so I have time to help new needy dogs!

Please message for more info on her, or to meet her!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raw Dog Food & Awesome Treats

My Adventure Dog class was asking me where I got my dried Lung and Tripe treats last night so I thought I would share. In Calgary we're lucky enough to have an awesome business called Back to Basics. I actually get almost all my dog food from them and a far amount of treats. They also carry raw food for cats. 

Check them out here: 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fearful Dogs

I recently got back home from a seminar in Vancouver to see Nicole Wilde, CPDT-KA. Nicole is a very respected dog trainer with a background in wolves and wolf-dogs. Over two days we examined "Fearful Dogs" and "Creative Client Coaching". 

I wanted to share some of the information I learned about Fearful Dogs. Nicole also has a great book on this topic: Help For Your Fearful Dog. I highly recommend it for anyone who has a dog that needs help in this area.She has also written a book specifically on Separation Anxiety which is a must read for anyone dealing with that particular issue.

There are different types of fears: anxiety, fears and phobias. Anxiety is not dependent on a specific trigger or cause. My own Miniature Schnauzer has anxiety which makes her fears worse. A fear is a response to a specific trigger such as a dog who is scared of men. Phobias are a profound reaction (out of proportion) to an actual threat. Learned fears are the easiest to undo while anxiety and phobias are much more difficult. 

Root causes of fearful behaviour include genetics, lack of early socialization, abuse, traumatic experience, learned or associative fears and pain/illness. It's important to note that even if we can't pinpoint what might have caused the fear initially there's still help. 

When training your own dog you need to be aware of how he/she is feeling and responding. It's not uncommon for dogs in group classes to be displaying fearful/anxious behaviour and the owner misinterprets it as stubborn or aggressive. Many dogs who are fearful will actually shut down and just stop moving/offering any behaviour. If your dog is fearful or anxious then he/she will not be able to learn. I highly recommend private training or a fearful dog class for dogs with these issues. 

When Heidi first arrived in my life we spent 6 weeks in a group class where she hid under my chair the entire time. I decided to ride it out with her and offered her treats (which took until class #5 for her to accept). We eventually graduated with 0 new obedience skills but at least she would come out from under the chair. I opted to enroll her in agility after that and she did great with time, encouragement and positive reinforcement. I never force Heidi to do anything since that is more likely to increase her fearful behaviour. She was never being stubborn but was simply too fearful to work. Even to this day if we're at an agility trial or a new class if she gives me signals that she isn't feeling alright then we either head home or move to a quiet space to chill out.