- Long Held Beliefs (Denise Fenzi)
- Human Engagement (Denise Fenzi)
- So what is your Border Collie NOT good at? (Fuzzy Logic)
- “Can I pet your dog?” Why It’s Always OK to Say No (Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog)
- Building Confidence with Backchaining (Stale Cheerios)
- Rivalry & Decision-Making in Dogs (Companion Animal Psychology)
Check out Audacious Border Terriers for a really sweet post about these amazing pups. I have to say I’m downright proud of myself for breeding such awesome dogs, I just delight in their individual personalities.
- What Did You Mean — Not What Did You Say (The Clicker Center)
- When Love Is a Double-Edged Sword: Recognizing Separation Anxiety (Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog)
- Solutions for Separation Anxiety: How to Make “Alone Time” Less Scary (Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog)
- When Teaching Doesn’t Equal Learning (Stale Cheerios)
- It’s All in How You Raise Them: Are We Really Helping Bully Breeds? (Collared Scholar)
- Please Don’t Worry About What Others Think of You (Nancy Tanner)
I must be doing something wrong because my dogs are irritatingly fickle when it comes to food. They like something for a day or two but then the winds change and they won’t touch it. They do eat, but not reliably. We’re constantly experimenting, and also constantly returning the foods they won’t eat. A few days ago I made a run to return yet another selection of “gross, that’s not edible” dog foods, something our pet store is used to and very understanding about.
As we checked out we joked about our picky dogs and how they won’t eat anything. The checker, someone new and trying to be helpful, asked if we’d tried feeding raw. “Yeah, they won’t eat it. They’re weird.” How about lightly cooked? “Yep, they won’t eat that either.”
She kept attempting to advise me, never mind that I’ve been studying canine nutrition for going on a decade or that my particular dog has a very particular palate. Finally she gave up on me, deeming me uncooperative since I didn’t find any value in her advice.
This interaction reminded me of how important it is to listen. I know a ton about dogs, but I don’t know your dog. Maybe you tried X and he hates it, or he’s allergic to Y. I also don’t know your situation. Maybe you can’t feed raw because your 100 year old grandmother lives with you, and she has a 100 year old immune system. Finally, I don’t know you. For all I know you have tons of experience with this, you’re a DVM, or perhaps you literally wrote the book on whatever we’re talking about.
If I don’t listen I won’t learn any of that and, instead of helping you or learning something new myself, I’ll alienate you.
In case you’re wondering…
- My philosophy on dog food? Just like people, dogs are meant to eat a varied diet of species appropriate foods. I prefer feeding raw and grain-free. That being said….
- My dog has to eat. I can’t let my personal preferences and beliefs get in the way of what he’s willing to eat. Wally was no more enthusiastic about raw than he was about anything else and it was inconvenient, so I stopped trying.
- I’ve literally tried everything except for the whole prey diet, in which you give your dog a dead animal (like a rabbit) and let them have at it. I did feed Fiona Pro Plan when she was nursing puppies but after a few days she wouldn’t eat it. Other than that I’ve never fed the box store brands like Purina, Pedigree, Science Diet, etc. and I really dislike Rx foods: all of these have garbage ingredients.
- What will they eat? We normally mix dry and wet, and right now we’re doing Nature’s Domain dry. We’ve tried Open Farm, Orijen, Acana, Now, NutriSource, Core, Evanger’s, Zignature….. You get the point. PetKind Tripett is a staple canned food plus two rotating brands (Weruva is usually one of them). They prefer chunky canned food and won’t eat pâté; sometimes they eat loaf-style. Occasionally we make boiled or roasted chicken with minute rice and I’ve been known to make Satin Balls for Wally (which he likes for a day or two, then phffffbt).
- They maintain a healthy weight and have plenty of energy. Nobody has an underlying medical condition that would cause these eating habits.
- Potential Causes of Problems in Pet Store Puppies (Companion Animal Psychology)
- Learn Your Dog: Part 1 (Denise Fenzi)
- Learn Your Dog: Part 2 (Denise Fenzi)
- Failure to Set Up for an Exercise (Denise Fenzi)
- Sorry to Say: Dogs & Guilt Revisited (Dr. Patricia McConnell)
- A Few Thoughts About Poisoned Cues (Stale Cheerios)
We’ve actually been doing stuff, but I’ve been too busy/tired to write about it!
Ava’s last class at Ahimsa came to a close in April, which is sad since we all love Ahimsa and the trainers there. Ava melts for any one of them, even if she hasn’t met them. Somehow she knows which people there are the trainers. Wally still has a class starting this weekend but it’s offsite so we may not see our usual trainers. After that we’ll have to see what new classes they come up with! Admittedly, I’m looking forward to not going to Ballard (Seattle) every weekend. It gets exhausting after 9 months.
Wally was going to start agility this month but he unexpectedly injured his back on April 1 (too bad it wasn’t actually a practical joke!). We came home from dog training to find him hunched over, trembling, and desperate for relief; he was fine when we left so we have no idea what happened. We visited our local emergency clinic twice and they claimed he just had bad gas. I, of course, was unsatisfied with this explanation. Admittedly Wally was being pretty stoic about it whenever he was in the clinic, but still. Farts are causing this?!
At the suggestion of our vet (who unfortunately wasn’t available due to travel) we went to Summit Referral in Tacoma and within 30min they had diagnosed a back injury. We don’t know specifically what was injured since that requires an $1800 MRI, but it was likely either a disc or a muscle. He was on meds for a few weeks and now (med-free) is getting some bodywork done once a month by our local alternative vet (he gazes at her adoringly and then he’s relaxed the entire evening). Since he recovered quickly and completely it’s most likely a muscle, but to be on the safe side Wally is now barred from all impact sports.
This was disappointing but not world-ending; Wally will love doing Nosework and Ava can do agility. Which, it turns out, she LOVES. She has so much fun on the equipment and isn’t afraid of anything. The first time she met a real teeter (on the lowest height setting) within minutes she was standing up to put her paws on the elevated end to pull it down. We make an amazing team; I get to finally see all of our work pay off. We’ve started lessons with Susan Perry and we love this game. It’s such an amazing feeling to truly play with your dog and experience the depth of your relationship; all of that happens for us with agility.
Other than that, Ava’s (and her siblings’) first birthday is coming up on June 3 — time really does fly! I can’t believe they’ll be one, they’re all still little puppies to me.
- Play with me, now. (Cognitive Canine)
- Is a Clicker Necessary? (Ken Ramirez)
- Enrichment for Dogs in Shelters (Best Friends) – applicable to all dogs!
- People Mistakenly Think Anxious Dogs Are Relaxed Around Baby (Companion Animal Psychology)
- The Magic Diet Pill Dog Training Method (Nancy Tanner)