Thankful Thursday, what Bajas taught me

Okay, so we don’t really celebrate thanksgiving (although we will sometimes use the excuse to have a turkey). However, sitting down and being thankful isn’t a bad thing! I started out intending to make this a thankful-in-general-post, but turns out it’s a “thankful for the stuff Bajas taught me”-post.

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I’m thankful for this crazy little pug who taught me I wanted to be a Crazy Dog Lady when I thought I wanted a quiet companion dog.

Hidra juli-august 2004 (145)….and that you should always take the time to have some fun with your dog(s).

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He taught me how dog sports are not only for the working breeds, and how many companion dogs need to use their brains more.juli 09 410

(Bajas says “Hi mom, why on earth are you there on the ground with the camera thingy instead of running around with me?)

 photo turkeyday.jpgHe taught me that rawfeeding is the way to go and that even when you’re small, old and almost toothless you can eat a turkey. (This one is from thanksgiving in 2011.)

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He taught me the importance of going to see the vet when you’re not in pain or sick, but just to chat with the staff and eat some treats. With pugs love for food and attention being put on a table to be looked at and given treats is a pretty good deal anyway, but making sure the place isn’t associated with pain or prodding is a good idea. They loved him so at our regular vet’s – I could let him off leash in the parking lot and he’d run straight in (much to the amusement of the staff).

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He taught me you should always have room for at least one dog while typing. And that dog faces can really mess up the use of a touch pad or keyboard if the best sleeping position is in the middle of it.

I also have a new understanding of the magic properties of pug hair and still find it in the most amazing places now almost two years after having to let him go…

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you’re celebrating or not. And as always we’re thinking of Sal, Toby and their crazy turkey penis adventures!¬†

New collars. Again.

A while back Mom ordered us a couple of nice new collars! It’s a good thing we don’t exactly *need* collars as their arrival was delayed by a couple of months(!). They are top quality, though, and of course we look GREAT!

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We were not the most cooperative models in the world…

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These are the “Elegado” collars from KorysWorld on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/KorysWorld)

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Especially somepuppy… (Gummi: “amateur!”)

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Lovely, vibrant colors. (Mom’s number two weakness after us ;))

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Woohooo!

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I already have some of Pipette in her collar, since she got hers first. Gummi was away with PA up by the lake when the package arrived.

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Hear me roar!

Mom ordered a pair of silly lion “manes” for us for Halloween. They didn’t arrive in time and were just stuck in one of the drawers of Dog Stuff for later. But when Mom popped in there to pick up a few treats for a photo session with our new collars she saw them and brought them outside, too. She was rather impressed with how good I looked. But really, I always look good and she should have known better.

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I think Pipette needs a size medium rather than small if she’s to have the same effect as Gummi (if it’s even possible). She’s a cute little shaggy pony, though.

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C’mon Gummi – let’s PLAY!

Sorry – gotta go!
Kisses,
Gummi

A weekend of training

It’s been a wonderful weekend of dog training! It was the second weekend of the “year long” (= four weekends a few months apart) dog trainer-class and Pipette was a star!

I was lucky and sweet Ann Kristin with Mimmi (pomeranian) took a few photos of Pipette in action.
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My bouncy puppy!

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Get that thing!

She played really well on Saturday, despite lots of people and action. She was a bit more easily distracted on Sunday, probably because I had better treats on Sunday. I only used dry kibble on Saturday which was my bag of back-up treats. But since I left the proper treats that was what we had to work with and she was perfectly happy with it. She had a couple of rounds on Saturday trying to get some of the fun people to play and cuddle with her. Unfortunately they were all broken and just ignored her. How rude! (VERY useful training for a social little doggie.) She had a GREAT hand target session and a good heeling- and (jumping) stand session, too.

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Sunday she was more easily distracted. She’d rather have treats than the toy and I spent a large amount of time running around and tossing the toys until she’d finally show interest in it. It would have been better to do training that didn’t require treats so she didn’t have them at all, probably, but OTOH this bit of “don’t wanna don’t hafta” might be useful to work through, too. We did eventually move into a different room (one of the other dogs were really noisy) with only a couple of crated dogs and a few people watching and that eliminated the DWDH. I think all the people and dogs training (we were 4 dogs at a time in the main room and 8 handlers + two instructors) PLUS really yummy chicken and meatballs at the same time was too much for her to make the good choice and stick with me.

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Sunday we worked on “flow”. Having a fluent behavior means it’s automated and the dog hardly has to think to perform it. Basically you do lots of repetitions (we worked on sit) until you have virtually no time between eating the treat for a well performed repetition and doing it again. Sit – click – chew -sit and so on. Then stupid me wanted to change to a different behavior once she was fluent with sit. Instead she chose to demonstrate one of the benefits of a fluent behavior – it’s very resilient towards extinction. So she just sat, and sat, and sat some more. She tried sit/stay and she tried multiple sits, but she didn’t ever lie down like I was hoping she’d do. I should probably have decided to click for “anything not sitting down” but by the time I realized just how much time it would take before she came up with anything other than the sit… well… Let’s just say I’ll do it a bit differently next time, but I was really happy with her intensity and willingness to keep working even when sitting didn’t work “the way it was supposed to”.

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Then we worked on doggie zen and she was almost TOO good. I haven’t used this kind of training with a bowl before, just treats or toys on the ground and she wouldn’t take a treat/toy on my que if it was in a bowl. Just shows you how important it is to vary how you do stuff. So we worked mostly on getting a reliable release to a reward in a bowl. We made a lot of progress, but need to keep working on this. Having a bowl can help with visibility at a distance (help the dog to find the treat or toy in the grass or whatever) so it’s useful to spend some time on this.

Sun!

After days of rain, rain and more rain we finally got some SUN. It might not be so obvious in the photos since we’re in the woods. But trust us. There was blue skies and high spirits. I took the camera along and got some photos of my little needlenose!¬†IMG_2161

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Being all objective and everything I’ve got to say she’s pretty darn cute!

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She’ll even stand still and pose for a while which is a huge improvement!¬†IMG_2245

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I just can’t seem to get a decent action photo of her, though…

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I hope you’re all having a great Sunday!

Pipette & Ane