Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away. . .

What a bunch of gloomy days we've had. And of course, more rain today. But lots of cute puppy faces :) Training has been limited to training at home & a short trip to PetSmart with Sunshine & Duke. They both did great. Sunshine was of course on alert & doing her whole licking the mouth & had the shark face on. I quickly snapped her out of that & we had a nice walk around PetSmart. We've of course been walking around the neighborhood but there aren't many people out & about with the droom & gloom going on. Sunshine is playing with all the dogs even the boarders. She's really doing wonderful and she's made lots of friends.

Vinnie & Sunny making nice. She's so gentle with him.
Sunny holding her "down" command next to the youngsters
She's doing such a great job continuing to hold her "down"

Duke had his recheck on his ears yesterday. They are standing great except the tips of them fall in slightly so they taped them to teach the tips to stand up straight. He's 13 weeks old now & he's 45lbs. Now that he's eating great he's finally looking like he's at a healthy weight. He's still 21 inches at his shoulders but he's at inch longer (45 or 46" I think). I can't I imagine where he's going to be in a month!! He & Stella are still madly in love & have been playing NON-STOP! It's great for me because he slept so hard when it was time for bed. I wish it wasn't so muddy outside, otherwise they could fun like fools & really get worn out. I really need good grass out there.... it's just too muddy when it rains. Here's Stella really wanting Duke to play with her...... isn't that just cute. He's not playing into the whole "aww, look at me" thing. Right after this he turned & pounced on her. It was hilarious. They play hard & then pass out for about an hour.

Bella has been my side kick since she got here. She's really calmed down a lot since I last watched her. She does so great! She is pefectly content & has just made herself quite at home. She's such a pretty girl. When I'm old & not training anymore & I want a dog to just enjoy & doesn't challenge me & just wants to be with me, I'll definitley have Goldens. They're such great dogs. I havne't met one I don't like & that isn't a breeze to train.

Well, we're off to work a bit & then take a nap..... well they will. I wish I was a dog :) I hope you like the rest of the pictures.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone that reads my blog! I can't believe Christmas is tomorrow. Sunshine is doing wonderful with her training. She is doing down at the side & holding her commands (sit & down) for extended periods of time with heavy distractions. We'll start working out away from the house now that she is doing so well. Sunshine has been joined by our holiday boarders; Murphy, Mazzie, Stubbs & Bella. Everyone has played great together. I think Sunshine's best friend is Diesel, my German Shepherd. They play great together. She's socializing with everyone though. I'm very proud of how well she's doing. Well the presents are under the tree, the dogs are all sleeping close to the fire & I'm ready for a nap. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunshine Update

Sunshine had a lovely day of training today. She's picking up on everything wonderfully & moving right along. She had a great walk today as well & learning to do the commands we just worked on around more distractions. Tomorrow we'll work on down at the side & coming back up to a sit from the down. Not much to update on but just to say she's doing great & pictures to come later on.

Duke The Eating Machine. . .

Duke is doing FANTASTIC now that he has a Lamb & Rice formula. I also went to Petco & bought Dick Van Pattens Natural Balance Lamb & Rice Meat Rolls to encourage the eating even more. It has put that little excitement about eating in his eye that I was looking for. Plus they are packed full of calories which is great for his growing puppy needs. Those meat rolls are great. Super great ingredients & they smell very fresh. . . not like canned dog food. They actually smell like fresh cut meat from a deli. It's great & of course he loves it. I just grate crumbles over his dry kibble & he woofs it down. It just brings a tear to my eyes. The meat rolls can be fed just by themselves but I don't know if my pocket is deep enough for that. :) YEA FOR DUKESTER! Yea for momma not having to play airplane with a puppy!!

Sunshine's Great Weekend

Miss Sunshine made a LOT of progress this weekend. We didn't make it to the park but that's definitely on our to-do list for this afternoon or tomorrow morning. She is heeling nicely at my left side & stopping every time. We did take a walk around the neighborhood & she never fell out of her heel position or paid any mind to much of anything going on around us. She is mingling with the group just as she should be. She will walk around with her tail too high up but I just tell her "no" & she's very responsive; she just puts her tail down & walks away & lays down. She still isn't completely comfortable. I'm sure she'll really start testing things here in the next few days but so far so good. I am very pleased with her progress!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We Have A Break Through!!!

Yesterday was Mesa, the Am. Staff's last day with us. She had a bit of food left in her kennel, Duke wondered into the kennel she had been sleeping in & at the last of her food like it was going out of style!! Of course I had to call Mesa's owners & find out what this magic food is. It seemed to be a mixture of two food; could that be the secret?? After speaking with Mesa's owners, they informed me that its a mixture two types of Lamb & Rice formulas! He's a Lamb & Rice kind of guy, not a chicken kind of guy. Mesa's owners were gracious enough to bring me a mixed bag of Mesa's food for me to try out with Duke for a few days & see if he really does like the Lamb & Rice or he just likes the change. So far, success. He doesn't eat a lot at one setting but that's understandable at this point. His stomach is so small from not eating much for the last few days. But he eats it by himself, he actually tried to rip the bag open to get to it!!! It's so great I could have cried. Keep your fingers crossed he's a Lamb & Rice lover forever his picky eating days are over. I feel so relieved inside.... well at least for now. We'll see how the rest of the day goes & the next day, and the next day, and the next day.......

Friday, December 19, 2008

"I've Got Sunshine. . . ."

This is Sunshine aka Sunny. She is a 4 year old mix breed. She has come to stay for the next 21 days for our Advanced Obedience. She's such a stinker. She likes to act out aggressively towards other dogs when she's on a walk & she think it's okay for her to drag her owner along in the process. Key word is act. She's just a bit too big for her britches & she needs major socialization with the group as well as getting her manners in check & allowing her to do all of this off leash! It's going to be so much fun working with her. She is soooo smart. Today we've worked on her heeling at my left side & sitting automatically when we stop. Of course we had to do intros to the group & she failed miserably at that. She's been able to call all the shots up to this point with all dogs & she's having to learn to not act like a bully every time she gets around other dogs. She got the message pretty quickly. As soon as she postured & started licking her lips MAJOR correction & on her side she went (by me, of course). My dogs aren't allowed to act out either :) She had a very puzzled look on her face as I made her lay on her side with her head down while the rest of the group got to sniff her with her completely submitting. She did Fabulously! She got back up & laid next to me at the computer. She ignored the others, which is what I expected once the intros were over. I think she's going to be fantastic & her owners are going to love the new & improved Sunshine!! More to come tomorrow. Pray for no rain; I'm wanting to take her to a park & work on her walking past other dogs. As well as walking at the park we're going to do down at my side, back up to a sit from a down, & holding all of her commands until she's released w/distractions around. Big day tomorrow!

Whoa Is Me

Well the lack on eating continues with Duke. I tried Parmesan cheese in his food & he took about 3 bites & it was over. I got the suggestion today to feed him from a dinner plate that we would eat from. I'm taking any & all suggestions at this point. Anything to get him to put weight on. We're almost to the point of trying boiled chicken, brown rice, & veggies. I doubt it will work though. I have never experienced a dog with no desire for people food. I tried to give him the end pieces of the bread & he sniffed it and walked away. I tried giving him sliced turkey from the deli & he sniffed it and walked away. I'm baffled. He still responds best to me acting like I'm going to eat his food & then playing airplane with him & spoon feeding him. It's not a habit I want to get into with him; it's just not realistic. I don't' like finicky eaters. He loves Isaboo beef treats & Puppy jerky strips but he doesn't like them in his food. I think I'm going to try changing his protein base from chicken to lamb or venison. It's going to cost me..... that's my only worry. So, I just had the thought that maybe he'd like hotdogs.....everyone likes a hot dog. So I cut off a small piece of the end of a hot dog & he actually spit it out & walked away from it. ERRRRGGGHH!! So my list of things to try: (Please feel free to e-mail me suggestions)

  1. Yogurt
  2. Water
  3. Feed him on a dinner plate
  4. Try a low brand dog food . . . . not excited about that one.
  5. Don't feed him if he doesn't eat. . . . he'll eat when he gets hungry; so they say.
  6. Chicken Broth
  7. Force Feed him. . . . . . I don't like this one either

Well.... more to come on Duke's eating or should I say lack there of...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Duke's New Lady. . . .

Duke has a new best friend!! Her name is Mesa. She's a BEAUTIFUL female Am. Staff. She is a doll. She's staying with us for 5 days while her parents are out of town. She & Duke are great together. She plays so great with him. She keeps up with him & plays so gentle with him. They're great together. We hope to have her back! As for Mr. Duke; he had his ears checked & re-wrapped today. They are coming along wonderfully. Then we went to his regular vet (Beaver Crossing Animal Hospital) to have blood work & stool check to make sure he's not suffering from a physical illness that is keeping him from wanting to eat. Well, well..... it's just as I suspected. He's just a picky brat. Nope, not one physical problem with him other than he's under weight because he's NOT EATING!! The vet game me samples of other foods to try as well as suggesting I add things to his dry food to encourage him to eat. Now from a trainer stand point what I'm about to admit, eats at my core but from a momma stand point this feels completely acceptable as long as he's eating....... I am able to get Duke to eat as long as I feed him like he's a baby & play airplane with his food. If it's a fun game & I act like I'm going to eat it & then give it to him, he'll eat it. If I put it in a bowl in his feeder he eats two bites & walks away as if to say "this isn't fun. I'm not eating." So, at this point I just want to get him to a healthy weight & worry about the behavior problem later. What can I say..... momma first, trainer second. He weighs about 36lbs now. Steady gaining but you couldn't tell from looking at his skinny little butt :) Well, that's all for now. I should have a new group of pups starting their training next week. YEA!! More fun blogs to post.

Awww.... precious puppeies
Grrrrr......Aren't hjs ears standing beautifully!?

He needs to grow into those ears ;o)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

He's Almost 12 weeks....

I know it's been quite a while since my last post. I had a death in my family so I haven't had much time to post updates. Duke is 12 weeks old tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 14th. Duke had his first road trip to Virginia with me last week. He did great. It was a bit stressful the long hours in the truck, new sleeping arrangements, different eating schedules, but all in all I think he did okay. It was great socialization for him. I took Duke, Boomer & the stow away Chaser. Tom stayed home with Ruger, Cammi, Jake, & momma's dog Lexi. Chase was supposed to stay home but he jumped in the truck & hid under the back seats. I had no idea. I had to dropped the cat & other dogs off at the vet clinic to board and he stayed hidden the whole time. Then about an hour into my drive he popped out seemingly very pleased with himself. He's such a smart boy. He doesn't do well when I go out of town; he doesn't eat, he pouts & sulks & hides behind the toilet so he decided he was going no matter what :) Pretty cute, I think. Mr. Duke has some catching up to do as far as gaining weight. He's gone on a food strike since the trip. He's only gained about 2 lbs in the past 10-12 days. It sounds like a lot but he should be gaining about 3-6 lbs per week. He's looking skinny because he's growing so quickly. Or I'm just being a worry wart again. I don't have many pictures this post since I've been away. It just wasn't on my mind to take pictures of him. But none the less...... here are a few pictures from our trip!

Duke asleep over the back seat
Duke, Boomer & Tanner enjoying the car ride
Duke & me smooching. . . or me head locking him :)

Duke goes back to the vet on Tuesday, 16th to have his ears checked again. Hopefully they'll be standing completely by themselves. We'll see!! He's probably about 35lbs now & all legs! Gosh they grow up so quickly. Well more on Duke later on!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Monster!

Duke had his recheck on his ears & they were re-taped today. The vet said they look great & they're well on their way . He weighs 32.2lbs!! I was pretty much on the money. He's been quite a brat today. He's really wanting to challenge me at things which has been very unusual for him. He also started this overly dramatic crap where if he thinks he's in trouble & he's going to be corrected he starts howling like you're killing him (before you've even touched him) & he throws himself down on the ground.... like a 2 year old baby! Full out doggie temper tantrum. It's quite comical. He wears himself out, I don't know why he feels the need to act that way. Anyways. I'll start his formal obedience in about a month or so. For now it's just socialization, routines, boundaries, potty training; all that fun stuff. Well not much to update on for now. Lots of laundry & so little time :o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

He Can Fly! He Can Fly!!

Little Duke looks awfully silly right now while we're training his ears to stand. He met a baby today for the first time. He did great. He was actually a lot calmer than I expected him to be. I was instructed to take his old tape down today & he goes back tomorrow morning to have them look at his ears & then he gets a new wrap on his ears. He looks like the flying Nun right now. He's pooped from his long day & I'm tired because of the rain. I guess there will be no working with horses or dogs today. Days like today make me want to sleep, sleep, sleep. Sometimes I wish I was Duke. He gets fed great food, sleeps whenever he wants to, plays, someone else takes care of him, he gets to meet new people & ride in the car everyday. What a life. Spoiled little guy.... not just him; all of mine are spoiled. I'd be any one of them any day!

Duke discovered the fire this week, even though I've had one almost every freezing cold night. He loves it. He lays so close, it makes me kind of nervous.

He has been testing the cats a lot lately. I really think he's going to have to take a good bot in the face for him to back off.
He only tries it when he thinks I'm not looking; little stinker.

He gets weighed & measured tomorrow. Any bets on how much he's up to now?? I'm guessing he's about 32lbs. I swear I go to bed and wake up and he's grown. It's crazy to think I've had him a month already. My how time flies. We're decorating the Christmas tree tonight. Awww, Duke's first Christmas tree. Hopefully I can get my Christmas pictures & cards finished this weekend. Anywho, tune in tomorrow to find out the weight of the beast! Night night :o)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update on the Dukester!

Sorry it's been such a long time since I've updated. My Internet has been down so I haven't had the opportunity to post an update. Duke is doing freak'n awesome! He is 10 weeks as of Monday, December 1st. He is 30lbs & 17 1/2 tall at his shoulders!! He's a little monster. He is so so so smart & so much fun. I've been working a lot on his socialization & his confidence around things & people. So far, so good. I started imprinting him on Cadaver scent for search & rescue. He has so much drive & focus it would be ashamed to not utilize all that. His ears are taped & training to stand up. He looks like reindeer. He's pretty cute. I hope you like the pictures of Duke! Hopefully I can post more soon!
Duke 9 weeks (November 24-30)
Duke & the Daddy..... that's just cute as hell. Duke doing his object socialization with the umbrella
Sleepy boy
Duke's favorite spot in the house....

He's a reindeer!

Foxie & Duke

Aunt Casey & Duke
Meal time..... my my how they grow
Duke 10 weeks old (December 1 - current)

More pictures to come later on! Have a great day!