Saturday, March 29, 2014

Phone Pictures of the kids.

Simon chilling on a walk.
I have been really busy starting a new job while still working for my old one for a bit. It has been a crazy week over all I have spent my extra time training Simon and going for walks. Over all not much time to write or take nice pictures with my good camera. Also I got a job at a dog kennel and I am going to learn how to groom dogs. I am super excited!  I plan on getting back to writing as soon as as life calms down a bit. But I want to share some pictures I have been taking.

However I normally have my phone on me and when Simon or Sadie is super cute I can't resist it.

So here are some cell phone pictures of my guys.

Simon smile
Sadie on a walk. By the river. 
Simon on a walk. 
Sadie at obedience class. 
Simon next to Paquette. He looks huge.
Sadie does not want to get out of bed.
Simon like to sit on my feet. I like it when he does that. 
Sadie says reading is important. As is sleeping.
I like how huge Simon's head looks.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Year in review.

2013 just ended a few months ago and now that we're a couple months into 2014 what better way to celebrate than reviewing the year gone buy?  It also gives me a chance to share some older Sadie pictures that I took prior to starting this blog.

What a year it has been.  I started helping out with a husky rescue and ended up getting to assist with the dog sled team and had the opportunity to foster Maya! Oh Maya we still miss you so much but I am sure we will be seeing you before too long. We had Maya from February to August and I would not give that time up for anything. I still get updates from her mom and she is doing very well in her new home.  

In February we went to the Ashton Dog Derby. A dog sled race that is really close to us and super popular. It has food vendors and a weight pull that you can enter any dog that is old enough to see if they will pull. It's really interesting to see how dogs who have never been in that type of harness pull for the first time. We took Sadie and Maya  last year and it was really a surprise. Maya was to young to pull and Sadie, who everyone thought would do great, walked half the way to sniff another other dog and refused to go any farther. She always kind of freezes up the first time in a new harness.

March was rough.  My childhood dog that I had for the past 13 year went into kidney failure and we lost him a few days after we found out he was sick. I miss you Bubba, you were a fantastic little dog and I think of you often. But we were very lucky; other than some allergies and arthritis he was mostly pain free up until the last bit. 13 good years is a lot more than most people get with their dog and I count myself lucky.

June was the Blackfoot dog show. It is a yearly show held at the state fair grounds in Blackfoot, Idaho. It is a combination agility, and conformation dog show. I really enjoy it.  Most of the space is taken up by the show dogs and normally we highlight any breeds we want to see or any breeds we have not heard of before and make sure to see them during there ring time. The rest of the time we spend watching the agility dogs. It runs for four days and I have already requested time off work for the 2014 show. It has become a tradition and the goal is one day to be in the agility ring and not just watching it.

July is mine and Nik's birthday month, being only a few weeks apart. We were able spend a week with his family during a huge family reunion at a summer resort just outside of Provo, Utah.  It was so much fun. I was able to meet a lot of his family for the first time and get to know the rest of them better. They do it every two years, so I'm excited to do it again in 2015.

This is where we went to the family reunion. It was beautiful. 

In August we said goodbye to Maya and she went off to her forever home. It was really tough to say good bye and I still miss her but I know it was the best thing and she is doing great.

September, Nik went back to school and Sadie and I couldn't be more proud of how hard he has worked this semester.
Sadie studies just like her daddy.
Sadie turned four years old in October and had her own doggy birthday. She also rocked a Halloween doggy daycare party and won a prize for her costume and for putting up with it. Also a close friend of mine had to say goodbye to a dog she had since she was a kid too. Shien was an amazing dog such a handful. In her youth she would jump over 6 ft fences, leap onto roofs and we had to keep on her because she would escape and pick fights with cats. As she got older she had some issues with her hips and tore her ACL she still lived for going to walks in the hills and was a character. She was one of those dogs that wanted to be with her people in the same room but not necessarily get attention. Any affection was on her terms but she would get very upset if you didn't come say hi to her because walking around was difficult when she got older. We miss her a lot but she was really suffering the last few days so I am glad she is no longer in pain. 
Shein we miss you.

Sadie says. "Mom I am all dressed up I get cookies right?"

November 5, 2013 Simon was born he is our newest member of the family. We also enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family who welcomed Sadie as a member of the family.

One of the first pictures I got of  Simon.

The month of December we finalized plans to get Simon and of course had a lovely Christmas with our family.  Holidays were kind of crazy with work and booking flights but somehow it all worked out.

The first night we had him. He was a little freaked.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oww! Puppy bitting.

Best picture I have of puppy teeth in action.

How to: Puppy biting.

I feel like the second biggest issue most people complain about with puppies is biting. Who can blame them? Those puppy teeth hurt.

Here are some ways to help work on puppy biting.

Nom nom nom.

Suggestion One (What we used with Simon): The "Yelping" Method

When the puppy bites you, yell "ow" in a high pitched voice and stop giving them any attention. The noise is to imitate how puppies communicate with each other when playing. A yip means 'hey you went too far, stop'. It's one of the reasons you want to leave puppies with their litter until they are 8 weeks old, so that they can learn from there siblings. You just continue to use that method of communication to tell your pup to stop. Also by withdrawing your attention there is a negative consequence to that behavior and they learn to do it less.

Now the issue people have with this is they forget puppies take time. Also, you have to be consistent. You can't one day do it and the next day switch. It took weeks for Simon to significantly back off on biting and if he still gets excited he can still be a little mouthy. However, Simon has improved. Even when he gets mouthy he doesn't bite as hard and he is getting better and better.

I am glad that is snow and not me.

Suggestion Two: Bitter Apple (and other deterrents)

Bitter apple is a nontoxic spray designed to be unpleasant tasting to dogs and to make them not want to chew on anything you put it on.

This only works if your puppy does not like bitter apple, so spray some on the back for your hand and make sure he is not a fan. You can spray your hands before playing with the puppy. Let it dry a little and go play. If your puppy dislikes bitter apple as much as most dogs do it will be unpleasant for him to put your hands in his mouth. The thought process is that eventually the puppy will associate putting hands in his mouth with the unpleasant experience and not do it as much in the future. I haven't tried this personally but bitter apple did work really well to deter Simon from chewing other things so it could work well.

Suggestion Three: The Parrot Tactic 

A good dog trainer I know likes to use this method with her puppies. What you do is when they bite you, push your hand further into their mouth. It's similar to the bitter apple method in that you are trying to show them that biting them is unpleasant. She told me that with parrots you want to push in and not pull out so they let go not bite harder. I have never been bit by a parrot so I can't say if it works on them but all her dogs have excellent mouth control.

Simon says "This is my  rope!"

Personally I like the method we used the best. It uses communication to teach the dog what is acceptable. You also use your affection and attention (or lack thereof) to help them learn what you need.

At this point Simon is four months old and is pretty good with not mouthing. When he does, he does it softly. Sometimes he will get overly excited and get a little mouthy, but it is happening less and less; and when it does he is mostly using a nice soft mouth. The only time recently I have really had any issues is when we are playing with a toy and he misses the toy. He is really fantastic learns very quickly I can't wait to keep watching him learn and grow.

Puppy mouth.