November 03, 2007

The paw plunger

Like a giant coffee cup filled with bristles, the paw plunger lets you wash puppy's feet without a whole bath. Handy device or useless gadget?

Might be useful after Duz's side trips through the mangroves.

Wagging School

A little different from previous tv dog-training schools, Wagging Schools is a series of five minute programs each dedicated to teaching a basic skill like sit, lie down and leave it.

All the Wagging School videos are available to download onto your mobile device - in MP4, WMV and 3gpp format. Or you can download all 10 guides in one pdf (202KB).

Wagging School's Golden Rules

When you make a plan of action, stick to it and don't change your mind later. If you ask your dog to sit, make sure it does so immediately every time! And if you don't want your dog on your favourite chair, don't allow it to get up on any furniture ever!

Many people just pull their dogs around either without speaking or being annoyed. Very negative behaviour.

Don't just stand there waiting for your dog. Dogs need a leader, so tell it firmly and show it what you want. Then when it does it, praise it.

Learn to say training word first, then quickly get dog to respond, then quickly praise or reward with a treat. Say it, Do it (quickly) & Praise it a lot!

The second your dog has done what you asked it to do, praise it well - use positive reinforcement only.

Don't say anything if your dog doesn't obey you, just simply ask it again and make it happen. Then give it lots of praise, of course!

November 02, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Furry

There are quite a few of these books around - "Choosing the dog that's right for you". But Sam Stall tells it like it is, giving the most important information would-be owners might need to know about more than 100 varieties of dogs. Each entry addresses key factors, like size, coat type, temperament, exercise requirements, potential genetic issues, schedule demands (does the dog mind if you leave her alone all day?) and financial demands.

Helpful pet icons tell if a dog is aggressive, very smart, needs a lot of grooming, can make a lot of noise, etc.; while other icons pertain to owners, differentiating between couch potatoes and active folk, suburbanites and city dwellers, etc.

Whimsical sketches of each dog give an indication of personality. Stall's humor makes the book a little different from others available: describing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's watchdog potential, he says "the only way it could harm a burglar is if the guy tripped over it." He warns that "Goldens like to carry things in their mouths. They may trot around for hours holding an interesting piece of underwear before presenting it to houseguests."


guarding?, originally uploaded by illona.

An interesting discussion taking place on Flickr around Illona's photo taken at a dog park. What is agression? What is inappropriate play? Should someone intervene? Who? And how?

What is the role of the dog park? Are they good places to take your dog? Should they be more strictly 'policed'?