Thursday, May 29, 2014

We Won...ZUKES!!

We follow a great blog over at Beagles and Bargains and they have a ton of nice giveaways :). I recently entered to win some Zuke's and actually won!! It's been a long time since we have won anything.

Our package came!!!
We received all six flavors of Zuke's Mini Naturals: Delicious Duck, Roasted Pork, Wild Rabbit, Savory Salmon, Fresh Peanut Butter, and Roasted Chicken. So far we have only opened the Peanut Butter bag but the dogs are going wild over them. I am a bit OCD with treat bags and don't like to open a new bag until we are done with the current bag. In my head it has to do with freshness, lol.

My dogs said "YUM."
These treats are the perfect size for training. They are tiny but not too tiny :). Plus they are stinky for the dogs and moist, which makes it easier for them to eat quickly. We are going to have lots of productive training sessions with these! :)

I do have to admit, I was upset to hear that Zuke's was bought by Purina back in January. I am not impressed with Purina products and was prepared for the quality of Zuke's to go down. After doing a little research, it seems that Zuke's will operate independently under Purina so nothing should change. They will use the same facilities and the same ingredients as always. Hopefully that remains true because the dogs (and I!!) love Zuke's and would hate to see it go downhill.

Give me the Zuke's and no one gets hurt....

Do your dogs enjoy Zuke's? What is their favorite training treat?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

May Bark Box!

We got something special in the mail this weekend...a BARK BOX!

The dogs laid a guilt trip on grandma and since a handy groupon came through at the same time, she took pity on the puppies and got them a short subscription. :) No one can resist their please, oh please eyes, LOL. This is actually great timing though since we celebrate birthdays for the crew once a month from April to July (Rookie - April, Bourbon - May, Monday - June, Vito - July), it's a busy Spring/Summer at our house!

So what was inside?!?

Urban Stick by Bionic Pet Products

Bionic Rubber is a revolutionary material that can withstand the play patterns of our most tenacious chewers! Made with FDA food grade materials and tested in shelters with steel-jawed pups. The Urban Stick is great for fetching, chewing, and stuffing with peanut butter.

Apple Cobbler Snicky Snaks

Made in the USA with 100% organic, GMO-free ingredients like molasses, eggs, cinnamon, and apples, and with a minimal carbon footprint. Snicky Snaks are good for your pup...and the planet!

No-Grainers Jerky Chews by Nootie

Jerky has always been a favorite of humans on the go - we think pups will appreciate a portable snack, too! Nootie's BBQ chicken jerky is made in the USA and can be broken into bite-sized bits - plus, we think the smokey barbecue scent is reminiscent of outdoor markets!

Zuke's Clean Carrot Crisp Giant Dental Chew

Bye bye, boredom AND bad breath! Clean Crisp bones from Zukes feature flavors fresh from the farmer's market, like carrot, berry, and apple. Plus, they're long-lasting, grain-free, and filled with antioxidents. Save your carpet, give this to your pup on a wood or linoleum surface!

The haul.
Needless to say I was the dogs were very excited :). Presents in the mail! Who can complain about that? Rookie was mostly excited about the bionic rubber toy, everyone else was drooling over the treats...

Not pictured: Bourbon...he was totally passed out after Lure Coursing all day :)

The box itself was super cute as well and had some really nice details stamped on it. I loved this one off the back of it:

This is totally Vito.... :)

Do you subscribe to Bark Box? What would your pups love to see arrive? :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hit by a Flying Wolf {book review}

Hit by a Flying Wolf: True Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Real Life with Dogs and Wolves
by Nicole Wilde

Have you ever had to save a wolf from a rattlesnake? Or rehabilitate a dog who eats furniture and major appliances? Have you chased a stray wolf down suburban streets in the thick of a winter storm? Nicole Wilde has done all of those things and more. As a professional dog trainer and canine behavior specialist, executive director of a wolf rescue, and long-time dog mom, Nicole not only shares wildly fascinating stories of rescuing, training, and living with dogs and wolves, but also offers heartfelt insight into how she solved problems and repaired relationships.

You'll meet Sierra, who will stalk a dog a mile away; Bodhi, whose idea of a good time is to dismantle a mini-fridge; and Phantom, Heyoka, and Sequoia, the rescued wolves who find their way into Nicole's heart and home, even as they turn her life upside down.

My Thoughts
First, I have to say I met Nicole at last years APDT conference (and I follow her blog) and she really is such an amazing person with so much experience and knowledge. So I was super excited to see she had a new book out. I picked it up and read this is one sitting, it sucked me right in with it's conversational tone and real life situations. How reassuring to read about an expert that has struggled with their own dogs :). As a dog trainer we always seem to be under pressure to have all the answers and have them immediately, it's nice to see her share that sometimes we don't have all the answers and that we do make mistakes.

This book is divided into two sections - the first half focusing on her dogs with their myriad of issues and the second half focusing on some of her work with wolves through the Villalobos Rescue Center. (Most of you will recognize Villalobos Rescue Center :), Tia started out with wolves and later transitioned over totally to pit bulls. Nicole helped Tia in the early days when it was just wolves.) Interestingly Nicole's first dog (a German Shepherd) had the same fear of high-pitched noises that Vito has :).

There were also two groupings of color photos containing images of her dogs and the wolves she describes throughout the book. I love being able to see the individuals she described throughout all the stories :). This book was a great read written with heart, humor, and the inevitable heartache that comes with all canine companionship. I definitely recommend it to fellow dog lovers, and in fact I am sure I will be re-reading it :).

Check out the other books I've reviewed:

Dog is My Co-Pilot

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Herding Instinct: Does Your Dog Have It?

This weekend I attended a Herding Instinct Test held at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. That'll Do Australian Shepherd Club put the test on for any breed in the area - in retrospect I should have taken Rookie with me as I think he would have enjoyed meeting goats and sheep :). He has been hanging out with my friend's border collies and picking up bad border collie habits, LOL. You will have to excuse the quality of my photos as I using my iphone and sometimes I swear it hates me.

Goats! They are so cute!!
A Herding Instinct Test is just a simple test to determine whether or not your dog has the instinct required for herding. You cannot make a dog herd - they have to want to do it. The goal of an instinct test is to create a positive setting where the dog is allowed to succeed at attempting to herd livestock. The goal should be made as obvious to the dog as possible :), some dogs need to dig deep to find these abilities and instinct so making it as obvious and easy as possible will be key to their success.

Caris is interested in those goats!!
Sheep are typically used for the herding instinct testing, but there were also goats available for the smaller dogs (like Corgis). Plus, the goats aren't as imposing or move as much as the sheep so they are ideal if your dog is a bit on the shy side. For this test, dogs were only worked one session on the livestock, which is typically called an exposure to the stock. Generally, the second time in with the stock dogs do a much better job and have a better understanding of what is expected.

Moses meeting sheep. Most of the dogs approached
the stock like they were aliens :).
Moses seemed to get it figured out :).
I thought the test was really interesting and I was kicking myself for not entering Rookie :). Bourbon has too high of prey drive for this - he would have totally ate a sheep. Without a doubt he is a hunter not a herder! Monday also has an intense prey drive but she may have done okay. Vito of course would have been scared shitless :). Oh well, maybe we'll have another one of these come up in our area and I can test Rookie.

My friend's dogs seemed to have a great time:

Do you think your dog would be a natural at herding?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday Bourbon!!

Today Bourbon and I share a birthday :). I can't believe Bourbon is 9 - he certainly doesn't look it!! If you're handsome and you know it...apparently you flaunt it :).

Sadly, Bourbon has to celebrate his birthday while wearing the cone of shame. The poor dude has a weird irritation on his belly that he won't leave alone so I had to bring out the cone to stop the licking. Hopefully, it turns out to be nothing but to be safe we have an appointment with the vet on Saturday for a look-see.

He can still rock a birthday hat, even with the cone!

For his birthday presents he is entered in two lure coursing events this month - his most favorite activity EVER. Although he is still rather disappointed that they don't use real bunnies... :)

Happy Birthday Bourbon!! Every dog has it's day and today is your big day :).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Well now that the craziness of April is over, I feel like I can breathe :). Whew. Thanks for hanging with me through the daily posting and hopefully you learned a few tips! I'm going to be a bit sporadic over the month of May as I roll out my new business < how exciting! > but I'm sure there will still lots of time for updates. You know the dogs will be busy ;).

Monday and Bourbon aren't real busy apparently...
As a treat to myself (early birthday present and for finishing the A to Z Challenge), I spent the weekend at a car show about 3 hours from home. It was a blast :) and a great chance to relax! Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

A Bassett statue on top of an old jeep. I love the details.
Car club guys.

Fire from the tail pipe of a Voodoo Kings car.

I have a thing for Ford trucks :).

The lace paint job on this is amazing!

Jalopy racing!

Whatever you think you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. ~Goethe

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Z is for Zero!

The last A to Z post...and of course I am a day behind :). But I am here finishing this out!!

Z is for ZERO. After a month of talking about nothing but dog training and covering all the basics, you have ZERO reason to not move forward and go train your dog!! Your dog will have fun and you will have a canine companion you can be proud to take out into public ;). So get out there and play and learn! Git rid of those excuses, conquer those fears, and find your motivation :). Now is the time...your dog will thank you!

Monday enjoys participating in public events.

What do you find usually stands in your way when working on training behaviors with your dog? What excuses will you have to get past to accomplish your training goals?