Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mack Thinks Murph is Dirty

Mack, I guess, thinks Murph needs a little personal grooming. That or she was just bored! She is such a silly wiggle butt. She never wants to leave Murph alone. Luckily, Murph is extremely tolerant. She is a bossy little Aussie. 

Murph looks so amused...NOT! Geez, little sisters are so needy. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Almost the Weekend!

So, training has been going really well this week. I can already see some definite progress, which gives me hope. Murph has been doing great on his walks- rarely barking at passing dogs. He's really mastering the "Watch Me" command. He's started to look at me when dogs are passing, just waiting for his click and treat. 

The clicker training has made a huge difference. The pups are always watching me and looking for my direction- which I love. I'm doing my best to redirect the dogs behavior when they do something wrong such bark or jump. I don't want to just scold them, I want to provide them with an acceptable behavior to practice. 

But enough with the training- it's almost the weekend! Time for some fun!

Here's Mack and Murph going at it. 

Look at Murph's strange frog pose!

Mack can't wait for the weekend. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Special Delivery

We finally got our delivery from Amazon. I ordered a few dog related things, that we've been needing for awhile now. 

A new easily accessible treat bag, clickers galore, and The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. 

I must admit, I was really excited about the Furminator. Murphy is a HUGE shedder. You pet him and fur goes a-flying. I had my doubts about this one- just because Murph really doesn't liked to be brushed that much. 

But, it was nothing short of a miracle. He laid down and let me brush him all over. He actually, I kid you not, closed his eyes in bliss. I think it must feel different than a normal brush- more like a nice, gentle scratching. 

So, I've charged my clickers and we are ready to rock! Well, looks like the pups had a different idea. They just wanted to play bitey face!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Relaxation Protocol & Biofeedback

A big part of the dogs' training is learning to relax. To help the dogs learn to relax we are going to be working through the Relaxation Protocol by Dr. Karen Overall. Relaxation techniques are beneficial to all dogs, but particularly to fearful dogs. Mack and Murph are both anxiety and fearful, so they are both working on these exercises. It also helps with developing longer sit/down stays. 

Dont' they look relaxed?!

They are also doing BioFeedback as a complement to the Relaxation Protocol. Murph is having a tough time with this one, because he is so food motivated. He can't seem to relax when there is food around and we are using a low level treat here (actually his regular food). I'm thinking of just switching to praise instead of food. 

 These exercises were recommended by our trainer. Anyone else heard of or used these techniques? Would love to hear your thoughts...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Interactive Toys

Our trainer recommended that we pick up some new interactive toys to enrich the pups environment. She also recommended that we put away the food bowls and make the pups work for their food. So we went over to Pet People today and picked up two interactive/ feeding toys- The Kong Wobbler and The StarMark Everlasting Fun Ball. We are going to get a few more online (since it's cheaper), maybe the Buster Cube, The Nina Ottosson Brick Puzzle, or IQ Treat Ball. Please let me know if you have any personal favorites!

We also got some new treats the pups go crazy for- the Natural Balance roll in Turkey and ZiwiPeak. The ZiwiPeak is pretty expensive, so it will be saved and used as a high incentive treat. It's an air-dried venison from New Zealand. 

I recently order clickers online too! I really can't wait to get started on clicker training. I really think it will help improve my timing during training. 

I really want to thank everyone for their kind words. Both pups did very well on their walks today. They are both learning Watch, Targeting, and not to bark around the house by focusing on more constructive things to do. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Time for Serious Training

This two have issues?

Ok, so we had our first private training session today with both dogs. Whew! It lasted 3 hours and we are all exhausted now. 

Mack is working on becoming more social with other dogs. She had terrible kennel cough for over a month when we first got her- during that key socialization stage. Then we took her to a very bad puppy kindergarten program at Petco, which only had two dogs in it. One was a huge Weimaraner who was over 7+ months ( he really shouldn't have been in the puppy class) and the other was a Golden that jumped all over Mack- both of these dogs really just made her more terrified. So now we are working hard to desensitize her to other dogs, so she doesn't bark her little wiggle butt off every time we walk her!

Murph, on the other hand, is pretty good with dogs. He can be a little leash aggressive but only with certain dogs. It's strange but some dogs just set him off and other dogs he is instantly comfortable with. Murph is actually very shy and unsure of new people. He gives a very loud beagle howl when strangers come into our house or try to get too close to him outside the house. So we are working on his issues too!

Geez, sounds like we have our work cut out for us! And now I have to take the pups on separate walks, since the trainer says they set each other off. That means 4 walks for me a day! Yikes! And let me tell ya- Mack does not like walking without Murph, since she is super shy. 

Sorry for this very long rant. Just feeling a little down, like a failure puppy mom. Let me know if you have any training pointers or ideas. Also, looking to get the pups some new interactive toys. What is everyone's favorites? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cool Treats for the Hot, Hot Heat

It's Summer! And it's hot! To beat the heat, we eat cool treats! Some of our favorites are Frosty Paws and Pumpkin Popsicles. 

Frosty Paws:

32 oz plain, non fat yogurt (we used Greek)
1 banana
2 tbs honey
2 tbs peanut butter

Blend together and pour into ice cube tray or ramekins and FREEZE. * Use ramekins to avoid a messy floor, ice cubes are good for the outdoors!

Pumpkin Popsicles

1 can pumpkin puree ( make sure it's not pumpkin pie mix/filling)
honey (this is optional)

Mix together and FREEZE. 

The pumpkin really helps with digestion- perfect for after surgeries or an upset stomach!


Mack & Murph

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thanks for all the Love!

I'm feeling much better now! Here is a video to prove it. Thanks for all the sweet comments. I can't wait 'till I can do my puppy zoomies again. Mom says no running and jumping for about 5 more days...

I think Murph was enjoying his down time, since I've been so mellow recently. But I'm back now and ready to play!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Mack's First 6 Months

Tomorrow is the day- Mack is getting her lady parts removed. I feel for the little gal. She doesn't even know what's coming. All she knows is she got some extra food tonight- since she can't eat after 6pm- I figured she needed a little extra.  

Don't worry Mack- it's all for the best. We really do love ya! Here's a compilation of Mack's first 6 months in honor of the spay tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What a Weekend!

So we got CRATES! Murph doesn't seem to mind. 

 But I really do prefer the bed...
 I also had a bath. 

 And I tanned outside for a little bit too. June gloom finally went away. 
And we also got a little bit crazy! When I get crazy I tend to roll A LOT! Even Dad got in on the action.