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, May 28, 2009

Dogs & Cars

Welcome to Dogs on Thursday! Today's post was inspired by a very cool site I discovered a while back, but hadn't used a lot until the last few days. You see, I'm vehicle shopping, a few months ahead of schedule. Like most of you, my dogs play a significant role in my decision, so I'm glad I remembered

I'll leave you to explore it yourself, but three different reviewers cover a lot of makes and models, and a fourth reviewer handles pet travel products. There's a lot of focus on how crates fit in a cargo area, which isn't applicable to our situation. We need more space and yet because the fur-girls ride in the back seat (tethered in their harnesses), the information is still very helpful. (And yes, that photo is Mugsy and baby Sissy...)

One other site that I am turning to a lot is I don't have any human offspring, but there's a lot of information there for dog-mas too, and the fact that the reviewers are women not so far from my age makes them fun to read. They seem to value many of the same things in a vehicle I do.
Do your dogs travel with you? If so, how? Our dogs wear harnesses that have a special tether that attaches into the seatbelt receiver, just like our own seatbelts do. However, a week at the beach means a tub full of food, a large tote filled with favorite toys, another tote with treats, and the human towel tote includes at least four dog towels as well. Get the picture? We need a good deal of cargo room too.
If you happen to have a great dog car, feel free to let me know. Advice is always appreciated. Please let us know if you have great doggy resources we should all know about too.
Don't forget to visit your fellow Dogs on Thursday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spotlight on Dughallmor Beagles

Welcome to Dogs On Thursday. Today we are turning the post over to Nicky who will introduce us to her Beagle family.

Hello! My name is Nicky and I'm owned by the Dughallmor Beagles.....Snoop, Alfie, Rosie and Gabbi. We live in the North-East of Scotland, on the Moray Firth coast.

I first got into this breed almost five years ago when, despite saying we'd never have another dog, we realized we missed having one around. We decided on a Beagle as they are a nice size and easy to, who could resist those faces! We booked a puppy from a breeder in South Wales and proceeded to buy and read every Beagle related book we could find....oh dear, what had we let ourselves in for?

We picked Snoop up on Father's Day 2005...he was the most adorable thing I'd ever seen and our whole family immediately fell in love with him... and the breed.


We decided Snoop needed a playmate so we booked another pup, this time from a breeder in Birmingham. Alfie came along on April Fool's Day 2006 (very appropriate, he's such a clown).


We started showing both our boys when Alfie was around 14 months old, in fact our first show, a companion show, was on Mother's Day 2007. We didn't do very well, but I had caught the bug... Snoop didn't enjoy it so we took him out of the showring, but Alfie loves it. We have been to many more shows since then with our greatest success being Alfie winning a Hound Group last September. He has also recently achieved his Show Certificate of Merit.

Shortly after we started showing, we decided we might like a bitch. We made enquiries to a lovely breeder in Herefordshire. We let her know when the time was right and she told us she had two litters available. We booked one from each. Rosie and Gabbi are nine days apart and came to live with us in August of 2007.



We have not bred a litter yet, but are hoping to have puppies in the summertime.

We enjoy our training classes at Spey Valley Dog Training Club and have all achieved some level of success with the Kennel Club Good Citizen Award Scheme.

Rosie and Snoop both have their Bronze awards, Gabbi has her Silver and what was once the naughtiest dog in the world, Alfie, has his Gold award. We are so very proud of them all.

Our blog is not only about us's about the beautiful area in which we live, the lovely beaches and forests we walk in, some local history ( and there are many photos). It's about the friends we meet, not only one-to-one, but through our blog. We post most days, we take part in lots of photo memes and contests and occasionally run some of our own. There is also a healthy dose of fantasy and silliness. We each have online romances!

Rosie, who was first to get a boyfriend (figures) was wooed off her paws by a New York Terrier with Scottish roots called Petey, who is so romantic!

Alfie has fallen head over paws in love with a beautiful Golden from Ohio, Mason Dixie. They send each other saucy emails!

Gabbi is dating a Wire Fox Terrier called Jake, who lives in Florida and leaves her cute little love notes on our Cbox.

Ans Snoop persisted in wooing Kira the BeaWootiful, a Siberian who also lives in Florida. She is an older lady with the bluest eyes.

So there you have it, our blog. We would like to thank Sue for nagging us to start a blog in the first place and all the wonderful friends we have made since our blog began back in September. It's those people and dogs who have made blogging such an enjoyable hobby, have been our inspiration and helped to shape our blog into what it has become. Thanks foe joining us on our journey!

Be sure to check out Nicky's blog and while you're at it stop by the other Dogs on Thursday blogs and leave a comment saying Hi.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Agility Basics

Welcome to Dogs On Thursday. Recently a lot of people have expressed an interest in dog agility. It's a wonderful way to combine teamwork and play with your dog, but although it looks like fun, there are certain rules and pieces of equipment that are unfamiliar to some of us.

We are fortunate to have some members of DOT that compete in agility and have agreed to give us some inform
ation that may help us to to get some teams started.

Nicki and her dogs have earned a number of titles and she agreed to write about some basics for the rest of us.

Agility is a sport where a handler guides their dog through a course of obstacles while racing against the clock and avoiding course faults. It's a great way to exercise, build your bond with your dog, build a dog's confidence, have fun, go to competitions and make new friends.

Any dog can participate and compete in agility. There are several different organizations that offer agility competition and the rules on which age, size, breed or mix of dog may compete - but there is something for everyone. Many organizations even have special divisions for older dogs and older or handicapped handlers.

Before getting started in agility it is helpful if your dog knows some basic commands such as sit, down, stay and comes reliably when called while off leash. It's also good to get your dog used to playing fetch and tugging on toys, as these are good motivators to get your dog revved up for agility, and to help teach them
to work at a distance and move out ahead of you on the course.

The obstacles on an agility course can generally be divided into several catagories as follows:

Jumps: These can include the single bar
jump, double and triple bar jumps, tire jump, broad jump and panel jump. The dog must not knock down any bars or panels, must not step on the broad jump, and must go through the tire.

Tunnels: These include the open or pipe tunnel and the closed tunnel or chute. The open tunnel can be straight or curved in a variety of shapes.

Contact Obstacles: These include the Dogwalk, A-Frame and Teeter. The dog must touch the yellow 'contact' zones on ends of the obstacle for correct performance. Only one toe needs to get in the yellow zone to count, but most handlers teach their dog using a method that rewards the dog for going all the way down - not just barely touching the yellow.

The teeter is the only moving obstacle and must be taught carefully as not to spook the dog.

Weave Poles: This is a line of 6 - 12 poles that the dog must weave in and out of. The dog must always enter with the first pole on his left. This is one of the harder obstacles to train.

Pause Table: This is a table on which the dog must perform either a sit or down for the count of five. The judge will announce ahead of time if it will be a sit or a down.

The obstacles used may vary from one organization to the next, but will generally be some combination of the ones covered above. The height of the table and jumps changes with the size of the dog but the other obstacles stay the same. This can create special challenges for dogs that are very large or very small depending on the obstacle.

In a competition setting a dog can earn qualifying scores and eventually obtain a title, and then move on to the next level of competition. This allows a dog to essentially compete against himself as well as the other dogs. As the dog gets to higher levels of competition the courses get longer and more difficult and the time allowed to complete the course becomes shorter. This means there are always new skills to work on and plenty of reasons to spend more time with your dog!

I want to thank Nicki for explaining the equipment and for the pictures of her Border Collie, Legend. The other wonderful models in the pictures were Boone, a Pyrenean Shepherd and Wicca,a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Boone and Wicca belong to Amanda of Many Muddy Paws. She was kind enough to share her photos with us.

Be sure to visit the other DOT dogs and say hello.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dogs on Thursday...Ceaser on Puppy Mills.

Hi and welcome to this week's Dogs on Thursday post.

This week I wanted to share an episode of the Dog Whisperer that's airing tomorrow. The following is the press release.


Friday, May 8 at 9PM ET/PT

Dog Whisperer: Inside Puppy Mills exposes inhumane conditions at these factory-like breeding operations, as Cesar joins an undercover mission with the animal welfare organization Last Chance for Animals (LCA). With hidden cameras, LCA operatives spot-check several Los Angeles County kennels essentially dog-breeding facilities that may be exceeding legal capacity limits. After negotiating with the owners of one of these kennels, the team, including Cesar, is able to rescue 11 dogs considered worthless by breeders a small start in their hope to save as many dogs as possible from these conditions. The team members then learn from Cesar as he teaches them how to rehabilitate the traumatized dogs from the moment they are taken out of their cages. “We are from two different points of rescuing,” Cesar says of LCA. “They do the physical rescue, I do the psychological rescue. So together it’s a team, it’s a good pack.” Entertainer Sharon Osbourne even adopts one of the rescued pups!

On our program website, you can also find more facts about puppy mills in the United States and more information about Last Chance for Animals."

I received a pre-release copy of this episode and I quickly sat down and watched it. I have seen a lot of shows on Puppy Mills and I was curious to see how Ceaser would handle it.

I have to admit and this is my opinion only but I have mixed feelings about Ceaser. I think he's doing some great things in educating the public about dogs and he is always very straight forward and honest with his clients and I really love that. However, some of his techniques are a bit too much for me. I agree with his philosophy of exercise, discipline, and then affection but I also like training to be a game and for the dogs to be having fun. Sometimes I don't feel that his are fun. Also I do admit that he's working with dogs that need a lot help. A dog who doesn't have the issues like the ones he works with would benefit from just plan fun training along with the exercise, discipline and affection. Oh and I guess I will also admit to saying the Jackjack needed Ceaser a couple times in his life. :) back to this episode! I feel he did a great job of explaining how a lot of his clients that he works with are puppy mill dogs that have these issues from inbreeding and lack of proper upbringing. The organization he works with is amazing and shows all the horrors of puppy mills and shows how they are doing something and how you can help. I like how they talked about rescuing your dog and not going to a puppy store and buying one. They explained that you are not rescuing that are only adding to a horrible horrible business that makes these puppy mills profitable. They included a little bit about how if you are looking to purchase a dog that you should look for a reputable breeder and really get to know the parents and see where the dogs live...but they didn't say anything about being careful of backyard breeders, which can look like a reputable one but they don't do all the extra steps that are needed too.

I also thought it was great that Ceaser is helping teach the organization that rescue these dogs how to start to rehabilitate them the moment they are rescued and how this can help speed up their recovery. He is always so patient and does explain why his techniques work for that particular dog.

Well, I think I've rambled on a bit about this but in the end I think it's a great episode and I recommend watching it. I think this will reach many people who otherwise wouldn't see things about the horrors of puppy mills.

Thank you very much Ceaser for showing this world to people and thank you for education the public on the needs of dogs.

Happy Dogs on Thursday and don't forget to take your dogs for a walk as often as you can! :)