Please note:

We hope that you enjoy the DOT posts and the different views from everyone included. We promise lots of cute pictures, laughter, maybe a tear or two, and some information. Please note that the views and opinions expressed here are each author's own and do not necessarily represent DOT as a whole.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dogs on Thursday! I'm such a fan. :)

Welcome to this week's Dogs on Thursday post! Hope everyone has been having a good week. Also for all of you who are experiencing some very harsh weather, please keep you and yours safe. We'll be thinking of you.

This week we have a big welcome to Dawn, Robin and Cheryl. I hope I'm not missing any welcomes but if I am...Let me know!

Also there have been several treats and grocery store brands added to the Peanut Butter Recall. Please go back here and check to see if any of your foods or treats have been added.

For this week's DOT post I wanted to talk about one of my favorite authors of dog books, who also happens to be an amazing trainer. Her name is Sarah Wilson. If you haven't already heard of is the time to check her books out. She has co-authored many many books but two of my favorites are My Smart Puppy, which she wrote with her husband Brian Kilcommons, and Dogology, which she wrote with Vicki Croke. If you have a dog or especially a puppy go out and pick yourself up a copy of My Smart Puppy! It's one of the best books on training a puppy or just any dog that I've seen. Her training methods are simple and very positive. There is also a great site for the book called and it has some great resources and a forum with many helpful people.

One of the main reasons I'm talking about her in my post this week is recently, I got to finally meet her! She was just as great in person. She came down to the Tampa area to visit the SPCA of Tampa Bay and do a book signing and a dog behavior demonstration. The demonstration was amazing...yes we know I'm being bias here but it's my post this week. :) Anyway, she took some shelter dogs and some of the volunteer family dog trainer's dogs and worked with them. She had never worked with these dogs before but she access what they need and then played the games from her book that would help them the most. She answered tons of questions ranging from how do you train your dog not to bite your husband when he gets out of bed and then wants to come back to bed(seriously) to why is my dog all of a sudden experiencing separation anxiety. It was great to see her in action and I'm just as star struck as I was before. Even more so now that I've met her.

After she was here, she posted video of her demonstration on youtube. The following video is my favorite of the bunch but I recommend going and viewing all the ones she has posted. The Mastiff on the little stage is adorable.

I hope you get something out of this post and/or videos about Sarah Wilson. I know I'm just a fan but I can tell you that I know from experience that her games do work. I have been playing many of them with my dogs and my pups aren't perfect but they have helped!

I will end this post with one of her quotes. "Your dog can change, but you have to change first."

Hope you all have a wonderful tail wagging week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spotlight : Nicki's Borderblog Pack

UPDATE!!! Please note that the peanut butter recalls now include pet food/treats. More information here.

Chan here... Welcome to the fourth Thursday of January. That means it's my week to do a spotlight. I think you'll really enjoy getting to know Nicki's pack. Sounds like if Sissy does want to do agility, I know where to go for more information. Thanks Nicki, for introducing us to your dogs.

Before we meet Nicki's brood, I do want to mention that this Saturday is Change a Pet's Life Day. Please follow the link to learn more about shelters in your area that are part of the national program to waive adoption fees for the day.

Oreo was born December 3, 1994 to a friend's Border Collie and an unknown neighbor dog and was my first experience with a Border Collie. By far the cutest of the litter of 11 he came home to live with me at just 6 weeks old and has never left my side since unless by force!

Oreo was our unofficial team mascot and my off season running partner in high school-going for a run was his second favorite activity after playing ball. He always has been a very avid ball player and often the ball had to be hidden to keep him from driving us crazy.

When I moved into a duplex in college Oreo came too and adapted well to suburban life with a small back yard-we spent time every day going for walks, runs, roller-blading or playing ball at the park. He was a spoiled only child and his favorite trick was to wait until I had to turn off the light at night and then he would take that chance to jump in bed ahead of me so he could sleep right in the middle! While I was in vet school and on the mule team he often rode in the wagon during our many parades. Oreo also ran in many Vet School dog jogs with me and we even won our division one year!

It was also during college that I became interested in competitive obedience and agility. Oreo proved to be a very smart and very stubborn dog-providing an inexperienced trainer with a lot of challenges and obstacles! However in 2001 we earned our first AKC obedience title of Companion Dog. In 2002 we made it into the agility ring-a feat that at one point I thought we would never accomplish-Oreo took months to learn the A-frame and a year to learn the teeter-totter. In fact when we started class he was afraid of everything but the jumps. But he soon earned the AKC Novice agility titles and went on to earn his AX and AXJ before stepping down to the preferred division. He then went through the levels again and earned his AXP and AJP before one day he decided it was enough and he retired from agility in the fall of 2006.

During this successful agility career he also continued working in obedience and earned his CDX and then showed in Utility for awhile. He did not earn any utility legs and ultimately became burned out on obedience training. He retired from obedience competition in the fall of 2005. However after some time off he returned to the ring in 2006 to earn the Rally Novice Title and then retired for good.

Oreo has also served as a therapy dog for Therapy Dogs International and Pet Therapy of the Ozarks. He has earned the Canine Good Citizen title twice. He has demonstrated obedience skills at schools, churches, and nursing homes, at the College of Veterinary Medicine's Open House and has performed in many holiday shows at Ann Gafke's Teacher's Pet.

Oreo's favorite things in life remain balls, frisbees, squeaky toys and treats. Today he lives the life of luxury-eating, sleeping, and playing and doing pretty much whatever he wants. He is plagued by diseases of old age (arthritis, renal disease, and a few gray hairs) but he doesn't let it slow him down too much. You don't have to ask him twice about a game of fetch, a ride in the car or a walk in the park!

Zodiac first came to us in 2003 as a foster dog through Happy Tails in Columbia when he was about 2 1/2 years old. One of the directors of Happy Tails asked if we would like to foster him because he knew we had Oreo and were familiar with the quirky traits of Border Collies. We said sure and thought he may even be the next dog we were looking for. When Zodiac arrived at our house he was almost completely shaved, had no clue about how to act like a dog and was had apparently led a very deprived life in his previous home. Zodiac had never been on a leash, worn a collar, been in a car, played with toys, been to the vet or received any medical care. He had been turned in to Happy Tails for running up and down the fenceline and wearing out the grass in the yard.

Over the next few weeks he started learning agility, obedience and how to play with toys. He was a quick learner and got along well with Oreo. And slowly, his coat started to grow in and showed us all how beautiful a dog he really was. But in the end it was his overwhelming charm and sweetness that ensured he never left our house.
Zodiac showed potential as a natural therapy pet and as soon as we were able he took the Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International test which he passed easily. He has enjoyed visiting schools, nursing homes, hospitals and churches ever since then. Zodiac currently serves as an active therapy pet with Pet Therapy of the Ozarks.

In addition to therapy work Zodiac has had a successful performance career. He earned his Companion Dog Title in just 3 days of showing (after less than one year of training) and also his Companion Dog Excellent Title with very limited showing. He has also worked through the AKC agility titles with little trouble and has completed the Master Agility Excellent and Master Agility Jumper titles. He has recently stepped down to the preferred level and is working on his NAP and NJP titles. Zodiac has also earned four agility titles in NADAC.

Zodiac has also showed great ability in Rally-obedience. He has earned his RN, RA, and RE and is working on his RAE. He routinely scores 98 points or more out of a possible 100.

Zodiac LOVES to herd and passed the herding instinct test easily. He practices herding his brother and sister daily. He also loves tugging, frisbee, fetch, and especially snuggling. He has calmed down a lot as he has reached middle age and can be quite the couch potato if there is nothing else to do but will still herd and play frisbee all day if you want to. He also enjoys wrestling with his sister.

Zodiac is currently training for his Utility Dog Title. He also fills the role of demo dog for the obedience classes I teach at work as well as trying to be everybody's best friend. He has even been known to jump in the lap of ring crew workers after a successful agility run!

Legend is a product of too much free time (which seems odd, because I never have free time), the Internet, and some luck. As it happened I was killing time one day browsing Border Collie rescue sites for fun because it was not a time when I was looking for or needing another dog-but then when is there ever a time? Anyway, as I hit the Nebraska Border Collie Rescue site an unusually marked red merle puppy with an eager expression and big ears was staring back at me. Just under a year old and listed as high drive I clicked on the picture to learn more. The bio went on to describe the puppy as very sweet, very driven, good with other animals and an agility prospect. She would be everything I was looking for if I was looking for another dog-which I was not. But over the next few days I could not get the picture of that little dog out of my head. I finally decided that even if the time wasn't ideal, the right dog does not come along every day. So I submitted the 10 page adoption application and waited. Apparently someone got their application in ahead of me and I was notified that "my" dog had been adopted. Now for the luck part of the story-it seems that the new family's current dog did not like Legend at all and she was returned to rescue. The following week I drove to Nebraska to pick up a dog I have never met in person. Legend was 11 months old when she came to live with us in 2006.

It only took a few days for her and Zodiac to be best buddies and for her to learn to leave Oreo alone. She was very busy and loved to play with her toys. But she stayed out of trouble and was very well crate trained. We tried to let her sleep in the bedroom but she was too energetic and would wake us up at odd hours of the night to play. She now sleeps all night without trouble but is still very busy-right now she is sprinting around the living room for no reason!

Since it was winter when we got her we spent several months working on obedience and agility handling skills on the flat and targeting, all in preparation of classes starting in the spring. She then progressed to doing a few simpler obstacles. In the spring she started more formal agility training and loved it! By June she was competing in her first Rally Trial and on her second day of competition she got a perfect score and first place!

In the fall I entered her in agility at the BC National Specialty and was pretty nervous. She did not have that much experience running courses and she had never been turned loose in a strange place. I shouldn’t have worried though-as soon as we stepped out on the course she thought of nothing else but agility and qualified on all four of her runs that week. She even had a clean run and first place her first time out. She has since gone on to finish her NA, NAJ, OA, OAJ and has a 2 legs each on her AX and AXJ. She has also earned three agility titles with NADAC.

She has also finished her RN and RA and 2 legs on her RE with several perfect scores and first place finishes to her credit. This fall she also earned a leg on her CD but mostly finds the obedience ring too rigid and adds her own spin to the exercises!
Legend loves to play and to snuggle and she doesn't do anything slowly or with subtlety. She is a fun dog to train, compete with, and live with. We have a lot of high hopes for her agility career and look forward to everything she may accomplish.

What a talented bunch! Don't forget to leave a comment and use the linky.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

Quick note from Natalie:
This is the start of some very newposters. We hope that you enjoy our posts and the different views of all our new posters. We promise lots of cute pictures, laughter, maybe a tear or two, and some information. Please note that these posts are the posters opinion unless stated and should be treated as such.

We'd also like to say welcome to Raven, a new DOTer this week. Again if you'd like to join us please shoot me an email at gnatchat(at)gmail(dot)com. If anyone needs anything you can email me as well. Also know that this is all of our Day and that if there is something that you feel we should include for everyone to read, don't hesitate to let one of us know!

Thank you,


And now onto Sue's post!

The New First Dog

Next week a new President will be sworn in and a new family will move into the White House. Mr. Obama has promised his daughters a puppy. Since one of the girls is allergic to dogs, the family wants a hypoallergenic dog.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. Some dogs, usually those with a single coat, can cause fewer sensitivity problems for certain individuals. Some people are actually sensitive to a protein in canine saliva. If that's the case, there is no dog that is safe for them. In many cases it's the environmental allergens carried into the house on the dog's coat that cause the problem. The only way to know if a particular dog will affect a particular person is for them to spend time together, not ten minutes, but a couple of days.

One of the breeds the Obamas are considering is my breed, the Portuguese Water Dog. I've owned PWDs for over twenty years and currently have eight of them, but they are not easy dogs. I don't feel they are a good first dog for a family that isn't experienced with dogs.

They are noisy, rough and sneaky. They demand attention and want to be with their person every minute of the day. They steal and splash water everywhere. Mine paddle in their kitchen water bowl, force open the shower door to join us, or guests, in the shower. They dig, not holes, but trenches in the yard. They can clear a four foot fence and have locked me out of the house several times. I now carry my key at all times. This breed needs a firm but loving hand on the leash. They need early training and a good sense of humor.

I actually have one that would make a good White House pet. Sky is a little barky, but he's calm and gentle. He doesn't climb on the furniture or jump on people. The others wouldn't last an hour as First Dog.

I can picture the Queen of England with big paw prints on her back after receiving a greeting from Norma Jean. I can see Noah trying to get a peek under the long robes of a Middle Eastern diplomat. I can see Samba stealing food off the table in the State Dining Room, Fudge knocking someone down the grand staircase as he twirls past them, Lola doing zoomies around the Oval Office and Bailey playing 'keep away' with one of the Presidential speeches she's stolen off the desk.

The big south lawn would be great for digging and the swimming pool would be permanently occupied by Tess. To stick these dogs in a kennel and only let them have occasional access to their human family would be cruel.

I think there are other breeds I might recommend to the Obamas as first First Dog.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year Dogs On Thursday!

"Dogs are such agreeable friends,
they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms."
~George Eliot

Elise and I wish all of you a Happy 2009!
We had a very nice holiday vacation traveling and visiting family.
Elise was quite spoiled everywhere we went as you can tell this by the extra heft she gained between Christmas and New Years! We both have some extra walks to tuck into our daily routine and help burn the off all those delicious treats!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is settling back into the routines of daily life. (remember that is is winter and so take a tip from our canine friends and snuggle up to loved ones and take naps whenever you can.)

Please give a big warm and slobbery welcome to our newest members Tobi, Artist Unplugged, and Dot

Just a reminder: In the Dogs On Thursday Holiday Ornament Swap there were a couple forgotten packages.
Please, please for those that participated, make sure you have contacted your swap pal to make sure she has received her intended package and vice a versa.
Also, I am kindly calling all swap angels. If anyone one is interested in being a swap angel please contact me or Natalie.

With the wintry weather upon us (or buried some of you in snow) I found this great site for wintry things for your dog:
Love your Dog dot com
...and for you crafty ones here is a fun place to get free dog sweater and blanket patterns.
Knitted doggy stuff patterns.
Crochet doggy stuff patterns.
Sewing dog patterns.
I have some news to share and ask for your support as we make some Admin. changes here at Dogs on Thursday.
Many of you know that I recently went back to school full time to study Botany and Environmental Science and hopefully (please keep your fingers crossed) will complete my degree in a year or two.
Due to this, work, family and etc... I have been pretty overwhelmed and have been having trouble keeping up with this group and other bloggy stuff, so I am going to be stepping down and our Natalie (who by the way just got married so don't forget to check out her wedding pics and say congrats!)Nichole and Chan will be taking on this blog plus, Sue and Mary will be helping them.
I am going to still be on the DoT blogroll and will make DoT posts about Elise on my blog.
Please give lots of support to these wonderful ladies who are kind enough to keep Dogs on Thursday going.
I have had the most wonderful time in this group and have met so many lovely dog people!
I can't believe how much we have grown in a year and a half I hope it continues.

Thank you everyone for your beautiful friendship and kindness. Have a warm and cozy week!