Monday, January 31, 2011

Tricks to Teach After Pet Expo

So I have been thinking about dog tricks I want to teach Gaius after the pet expo, or tricks I want to perfect. But I thought I’d get organized an make a list so I can keep up with my progress. That way whenever I feel like I have nothing to train I can come back to this post.


Back up

-Heel Backwards

- Do backwards Figures 8s around my legs.

Go around me in a circle

- forwards

- backwards

Jump on Command

-Jump rope

-Hop to the side (into heel position)

Run through a hoop rolled on the ground

Nod Your Head Yes



Object discrimination (Hold up an object and ask your dog to pick the same out of a list of choices)

Two Dog Tricks

- Under

- Over

- Leap frog (Jump several dogs in a row)

-Weave between another dogs legs

- Sit in between another dogs front legs

- Circle another dog

- Ride another dog (Stand on it’s back)

- Kiss (Noses touch other dog) Would need a very tolerant partner

- There is a bunch of other stuff that could be done here.

Hide your head under a pillow

Dig the Ground on Command

Cross your paws while laying down (Legs may be too short for this)

Hold a Cookie on your nose without going for it (HA! I’ve tried to teach this several times and each time I sort of give up. He just doesn’t have that much self control)

Things we have been working on that need to be perfected

How embarrassed (Paw held over nose)

Mark (Lift his leg on something on command)


Lift and go through a hoop which is stationary on the ground.

Nod your head No

Caught your tail and spin

Blow bubbles in water

Here is a video that shows the object discrimination game I'm dieing to teach.There is a better one that describes the raining process with a standard black poodle I think, but for the life of me I can't find it on you tube. If you have the link PLEASE let me know. I'd really love to watch it again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Introducing Will

We have a new foster puppy in our midst. This is Willie Wonka, but we're calling him will for short (We decided against calling him Willlie for obvious reasons). He is a 13 year old standard long hair (And I mean standard. He's about 25 pounds. He makes Gauis look pretty measly)

Will came to us in pretty horrible condition. He needed a dental very badly. And on Thursday had 7 teeth pulled including his two top canines. Habitual chronic ear infections have left him almost completely deaf. His nails were so over grown that several of them had looped back around and were cutting into his pads leaving painful sores. He had whip worms (thank g-d no heart worm), and his skin is a mess, itchy and flaky with patches of hair missing, which is such a shame considering he is obviously a really pretty dog. His eyes are cloudy and I'm not 100% sure how well he sees. I'm also guess he may have a slipped disk, as he has that sort of drunken sailor walk some dachshunds get when they have minor spinal injuries. Though he doesn't seem to be in much back pain. We've been carrying him up and down stairs right now. And he could go to lose a couple of pounds. And on top of all of that he was nuetered on Thursday!

That's a lot for a thirteen year old dog to handle! Let me tell you, he came with a whole pharmacy. We're at about seven pills a day with ear cleaning twice a day and topical antibiotics. He could really go for a bath too but with the neuter we'll wait till Sunday.

And through it all, Will has been nothing but a champ. Sweetest dog you could ask for. Never growls or shows any signs of aggression despite his obvious discomfort. Just wants to be held. He gets along with Gracie and Gauis (Cat and dog friendly). He has lovely leash manners. Just a total doll baby.

He could use a brush up on his potty training (my carpeat has taken it's first casuility since moving -sigh-). But with all the medication he's on and the neuter it might not be his fault. I'm going to wait till he's off drugs to really officially declare him un-potty trained (Which would really reduce his chances of being adopted).

The owners surrender form had financial reasons listed for giving him up. She apparently just couldn't afford to feed him any longer. That's the only thing I can think of that she could have possibly been spending money on. She certainly wasn't spending any on medical care. The vet she listed had never heard of her or Will which suggests he may have gone his whole life without veterinary care.

But in the end she did the right thing and now he's in more capable hands. We'll get him in tip top shape and hopefully find him a home. Let's just keep the other two animals she still owns in our hearts and hope she is keeping them in better condition.

So here's a question for the audience. Anyone have any ideas how I can clicker train a deaf dog? Is there a hand signal I can use to mark correct behaviors?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


So I thought you all might be interested in a video I made for a friend of mine. This is Annie a standard poodle and her owner Joyce. She's going to be one of the other dogs doing the trick demo in February. Annie is just the sweetest, but highest energy dog I have ever met. She's quite a handful!

After the pet expo Joyce and I are planning on getting together to teach two dog tricks. I have been dieing to try some and I think it would be really cute. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All Quiet Here

Having a sleepy quiet winter

Hey guys!

I wish I had more to say, I would defiantly post more. Winter is the agility off season so I have no trials to speak about. Trick wise, I have a few new ones, most are difficult to self record, but mostly we have been working on cleaning up the ones we already know. Making them sharper and gaining distance and consistency of performance, at home and in new places. Cindy keeps telling me that distance isn't gained by training it directly. It's gained by building value for doing the work close in! I need that on my refrigerator or something to keep reminding me. I want to move to fast in training.

All this detail work is mainly because of the Pet Expo in February where Gauis will be doing a tricks demo in front of a crowd. He will also be participating in the agility demo. Come on down and see us if you are in the area :) I'll have someone record us this year and put it up here for you all to watch.

Here's a video of Gauis in the pet Expo last year. (Both in the obedience and agility demo)

This is the first time I have embedded through facebook. I changed the privacy settings to everyone so it should work. If it doesn't let me know and I'll try and get it on you tube.

We had just started learning weaves, so he really wasn't ready to do them, but bless his heart he tried. The obedience stuff made him nervous when he had to have his back to some kids and a bunch of strangers which is why he broke the stay, but other than that I remeber being really proud of him. It will be exciting to see how much progress he's made in a year!

No news on the foster front yet. We are still currently a single dog household. I will let you know when that changes. I think we are still getting Buckwheat but I'm not as sure. Rescue seems to change plans by the hour. We just try and roll with the punches.

In other news I am now an instructor at my local agility school teaching level 1 and level 2 agility. Just the basic stuff. How to go through a tunnel and chute, start line stays, the beginning of front and rear crosses. It is so strange that only a year and a bit ago I was just starting to learn this stuff and now people are confident enough to let me teach! Almost all of my students have really big dogs too which I don't have much experience with (Though I guess anything is big compared with ten pounds). But the principles of training are the same I guess.

Gauis was a lovely demo dog and worked really well despite all the new dogs and people. He wasn't such a fan of hanging out in the crate while I taught though and whined a bit and once got to come see me which he NEVER does (I usually leave his crate door open because he knows not to come out unless released. g-d bless crate games). I think he'll get used to it though.

We have an agility trial coming up in February and one in March. I'll keep you all up to date on the status of our agility career. Especially that last Jumpers with Weaves Q we need to finish up Novice. I hope he gets it in February before he turns three. That would be a nice birthday present.

Earth dog trials won't be until the spring, but will be his first time in Senior (Sean hasn't practiced recalls with him at all though so I'm not holding out much hope for qualifying) but he'll love it either way.

I guess I need to get on the stick about his obedience. I'm still nervous about his stand for examinations. I just need to flood him with new folks until he's totally comfortable. Our weekly trips to Stony Point and class on Monday's might not be enough. I should find some obediance trails to crash in my area and just get everyone there to put their hands on him. It's such a boomer to know that we're really ready to compete in open if I could just get him to tolerate strangers for a few seconds.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Busy Holiday Season

Perfect pointing at squirrels in the neighbor's yard.

We're Back!

Shesh December was busy. But I'm back an boy do I have a bunch of news.For one thing we were invited to a bunch of holiday parties. The only one we made it to was our Dog Scout Party (Mom got sick so Gauis had to cancel his other engagements. He has quite a demanding social schedule) Well he won three little troop awards at the party and we got these very cute ornaments commemorating made by our friend Ms. Raliey (Garth the golden lab's mommy).

All of the awards revolve around being tiny. I think Gauis is the smallest dog in the troop so that makes sense.

We could get used to mom sleeping on the couch. She should get sick more often.

After the parties and moms recovery we got into the Christmas spirit. Now that I have a house and a fireplace I thought we should have stockings. A good idea in theory but Gauis found unatainable food hanging just out of reach for a week to be a little stressful.

But he was happy enough when he got into it. We went to my parents for Christmas (well Gauis and I). He got to play with his favorite cat in the world Oolong. They chased each other around all weekend. And he earned some well deserved scratches on the nose from Pekoe, my parents less dog enthusiastic cat. we played retrieve games with the smaller presents during Christmas. It went well, with Gauis bring the gifts to my mom (though she needs to learn how to maintain criteria. It was a very "good enough" retrieve. Drop it sort of near me and that's good enough.) It was fun though. Gauis has never had to take an object from me and give it to someone else, so it was an interesting experiment.

Snickers and Sean stayed home for the holidays.

Speaking of our favorite 10 year old dachshund, huge news!

I was going to rotate this picture... but then I got lazy and didn't.

Snickers is officially spending the new year in her forever home. She went home to a lovely couple in Herdon Virgina. They have two adult children (Her daughter came, and is in the above picture with Snickers the night she left), and an 11 year old low key beagle. She'll be getting lots of attention and three long walks a day. What more could you ask for?

The couple in Alexandria, who are also lovely, alas didn't email Claire back for a week and therefore missed their shot at Snickers. But they are looking at other older dachshunds in the organization to give a good home. There certainly enough senior dogs to go around. So it's a win win.

In other news we should be getting a new foster sometime next week! A black and tan 6 year old wire haired boy named Buckwheat (pictured below). The owner is giving him up because he's apperently "Food and toy aggressive and bad with children". Should be interesting. Then again I am not sure how seriously to take that. Snickers was given to us with the excuse of "potty issues". Since she had a perfect record of no accidents at my house, I think he was just looking for an excuse to get rid of the dog. When I get Buckwheat I'll evaluate him myself and see if he has trouble spots and where they lie.

But I like to be prepared. Do any of you out there have any fun games I can play with him to help overcome his resource guarding behavior? I have a few idea's but I'd love some input from folks that have dealt with this issue. Positive training techniques only please. Harshly correcting anxiety and aggression only begets more aggression.

Now do I look like I'm mean to you?