Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Three Stooges!

Yep, it's us, The Three Stooges, hanging out in the yard the other day.

Ahh...there is one missing! Where's Wolfie? Oh, he can't come outside, he always jumps the fence and goes after mice on the hill. Someday we hope he learns not to jump the fence, so he can enjoy the outside with us too!

We saw that wacho hawk soaring nearby, of course I had to herd it.

Once I took care of that hawk, it was off to chew on a good stick (which my Auntie Bonnie, vet, says I'm not supposed to do, bad for my toofers. Oh well, a little won't hurt, right? I gotta be a dog!).

Of course Gracie, being the good girl that she is, kept an eye on Wiggy.

Wiggy absolutely loves our sage. I think he thinks it's catnip, silly cat (although sage is from the catnip family, so maybe he's smarter than we think :)

Gracie was watching the bees up in the Redbud, which is blooming right now!

After a little bird herding, I took a little break and watched all the activity.

And here's one last shot of my kittie bro, Wiggy. He's kinda cute for a cat :)

Treibball!

Being the herding breed that I am, I have to say that I'm a bit fascinated with this Treibball sport.

We understand the sport has actually been around since about 2003 in Germany, and officially became a dog sport in 2008 with competitions held there. (If any of my European friends have more info, feel free to leave in the comments :).

From what we can gather, the ultimate goal is for the dog to herd eight large balls into a soccer like net as quickly as possible. These balls originate from a formed triangle in the center of a field. But we see other variations as well - herding through obstacles, lanes, and more.

What I like is that it's something new and fun to learn - and would be great to work on even inside during the heat of summer or cold of winter. Inside I could learn to herd those balls around tables and chairs, before venturing outside to wider spaces.

We found a few sites (use translate.google.com) that may be of interest:
  • This site, Treibball, has some links to starting training, exercises, a blog and more.
  • And here's a Wiki that explains some about the sport, which we believe is also called 'Drift Ball' from what we can gather from translations. This site also has some tips on what rewards are important in teaching Treibball.
Here's a vid to enjoy, as well!

Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts on DVD May 19th!

Get ready, there's another fun dog movie on the horizon! Woofs!

On May 19th, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment releases Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts on DVD & Blu-ray!

Kyla Pratt (Hotel for Dogs, Fat Albert) returns as Maya Dolittle, the “animal whisperer” in Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts.

Maya’s off to college when a Hollywood starlet seeks out her canine counsel to help with her depressed Chihuahua. When she experiences the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood, Maya’s plans for college get put on the backburner.

With her faithful sidekick, Lucky, Maya sees past L.A.’s rich and famous and those flashing light bulbs, staying true to what’s really important in her life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Winner! Hotel for Dogs DVD Giveaway!!!

Woo, hoo!

We have a winner for our Hotel for Dogs DVD Giveaway. Are you ready?

Drum roll please.....

The winner is my cool Twitter bud, Buddy, of Orphan Buddy fame! Big congrats bud!!! Sure hope you enjoy the movie, and don't furget to tell your Mum to make some pupcorn :)

Thanks to everyone who entered, sure appreciate it. And stand by, I think we're gonna have more giveaways coming up real soon! I'm gonna be so busy, Mum's gonna have to work out on the elliptical to keep up with me!

If you missed out and want to order the DVD here are some links for the widescreen, full screen and blu-ray editions:


And this is new!!! Download the movie on demand and watch it on your TiVo or PC, only $3.99! Cools!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gracie loves the water!

My sis Gracie is crazy for the water! And she was in nirvana today :)






You may remember Gracie's big hit video from last Summer! This'll get you in the mood, enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

AKC World Team Tryouts next weekend!

Next weekend - May 1-3 - are the AKC World Team Tryouts for the FCI World Agility Championships to be held September 18-20, 2009 in Dornbirn, Austria.

The AKC will take a team of 12 dogs to the FCI World Agility Championships to represent the USA at this event.

Friday is practice, random draw and briefing. Saturday and Sunday are the competitions. The tryouts will be held at the Hopkins Pavillion, Hopkins, Minnesota. Judges will be Kurt Matushek and Diane Craig. Entry requirements are listed here.

Eric at AgilityVision will have video on demand and live streaming of the event, and also have a DVD available. Fifty (50%) percent of the sales of the DVD and Video on Demand plus Live Stream go directly to support the USA World Team. The DVD will be $29.99; Video on Demand plus Live Stream will be $29.99 and both DVD and Video on Demand plus Live Stream will be $44.99. Info here. To purchase, click here!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hanging around!

Since it finally stopped raining after three days, and the weather turned nice, we got to have some fun outside! Yesterday we got to go on a small little hike down by the river. Super fun, and lots of yummy smells to investigate. Here we are in the car on the way to the river, can't wait!!! (Since it was only a few blocks, Mum let us ride in the back seat, cools!)

When we finally got there, Mum made us sit for a photo. We didn't want to, we were raring to go! But we obliged with some treat persuading!

Here I am on the trail, checkout the cool little wild flowers!

After the hike it was back to work on the 'puter. Here I am with my new little netbook, just the right size for a little guy like me.

Then Gracie and I got in some zoomin' and wrestlin' time. Gracie's gonna need one of those cool cheap wigs after I get done with her, BOL!!

Then it was time for a little love on my target. Hide that thing will ya Mum, I wanna find it!

And just a tad work on my running dogwalk. Mum's lovin' where I'm hitting it!

Then it was time to take a break. Such a nice day I just had to hang out on the patio!

Hope you all have a pawsome weekend! We hope to do more of this today...Woofs!

Dogs protect nearly endangered big cats!

We thought this was pretty cool! Over 250 Turkish Anatolian Shepherd (sheepdog) dogs work with the Cheetah Conservation Fund and farmers to protect sheep and other livestock from the African cheetahs, saving the big cats from potential shootings by offended farmers and potential extinction.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund's Livestock Guarding Dog program has been helping to save the wild cheetah in Namibia since 1994. Working with local farmers and their livestock, the dogs and this program is one of several non-lethal predator management strategies that CCF has developed over the years. With all the hard work they do, bet those pups keep pretty thin, with no need for those Fenphedra pills, BOL!!

The program not only saves the cheetah from being hunted but also creates goodwill between the CCF and the farmers, greatly improving the cheetah's chances for survival.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DVD Giveaway - Hotel for Dogs!!!

Woo, hooo! I was super excited when I got an email yesterday from the nice folks at Paramount Home Entertainment.

Hotel for Dogs will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28th and the distributors are providing us with one DVD to giveaway to our readers...Woofs! See the end of this post for instructions to enter and win!

A fun-filled family adventure with heartwarming canine comedy from Dreamworks Pictures and Nickelodeon Pictures, Hotel For Dogs follows the adventures of two orphans as their quest to find a home for their pooch leads them to create a haven for all the stray dogs in the city. Filled with lovable dogs and ingenious kids, Hotel For Dogs has the kind of pedigree that the whole family can enjoy.

Check out this cool trailer!


Loaded with over 45 minutes of special features, the Hotel For Dogs DVD and Blu-ray presentations include the making of Hotel For Dogs, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, photo galleries and more, as well as commentary from director Thor Freudenthal, producer Ewan “Jack” Leslie and cast members Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post, with your name and email address (if you're shy about leaving your email in my comments, feel free to email me @ johann@johannthedog.com with your name. And BTW, we promise not to use your email for any purposes!). By doing this you will be entered into the drawing (and we'll have a way to get back in touch with you if you win :)

I personally will be selecting the winner, through my usual process, which is Mum puts all the entries on little white pieces of paper on the floor, then sends me to them to pic just one. I'll be picking the winner on April 28th, and then we will let Paramount Home Entertainment know who our winner is and they will be sending the winner their new Hotel For Dogs DVD on April 28th (or shortly thereafter). Oh, please note, US residents only please! (Apologies to my friends across the pond, and further north & south!)

So get your entries in! K?

To get in the mood, visit the Hotel For Dogs site, for fun, games and more on the cast, crew and the dogs! If you just can't wait to see if you're a winner, you can pre-order the DVD from Amazon, and it will be sent on the 28st! Here are the links for the widescreen, full screen and blu-ray editions:


And this is new!!! Download the movie on demand and watch it on your TiVo or PC, only $3.99! Cools!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Around the dog-o-sphere!

It's time for my occasional post - around the dog-o-sphere! Found a lot of great links, info, tips, tricks and more this week. Some of it's new stuff, some just good reinforcers - 'cause both 2 and 4-leggers can use some reinforcing too right? :)

Nice vid from Karen Pryor's site - the basics of tugging with your dog. In this video Aidan teaches you how to play tug with your dog so the game is safe and fun.

Nancy Gyes' great article on making and using a homemade tug toy your dog will absolute go mad over. An oldie but a goodie.

And of course one of my all time favs, Susan Garrett's wonderful article "How to create a motivating toy" to use in training.

For those canine athletes out there, we added a new vid to our Canine Athletes Squidoo lens. The video has some tips on stretching your dog from the great folks (and my new best friends :) who recently published the book, The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog - a Physical Therapy Approach.

Here are the new IFCS 2010 US Team Selection Rules from USDAA (pdf).

Sue Jones from the UK has a new DVD out entitled, "Well Balanced Pup" which focuses on the ways responsible breeders build strong foundations for their future of their dogs, with care and attention in the early weeks. Sue is not only a breeder, but works with the RSPCA in rehabbing and re-homing homeless dogs. She also has a blog, and more info on her website, including this video. Sue is in the UK, but will sell to those in the US as well.

I received an email this morning from Nina Ottosson, the inventor of those wonderful interactive games and puzzles we've been raving about. She wanted me to share info that her toys will be available in Australia beginning sometime after this summer through distributor VCA World. If you are in AUS, bookmark this page and keep an eye out for Nina's great toys. And remember, if you're in the US, find all her toys available here.

Clean Run has really beefed up their site and added some great info, news, resources, articles, training exercises and more. Be sure and visit them for all regularly for the great updated info. They are now on Facebook and Twitter, so you can add and follow them to keep up to date with the latest. They've announced info on the 2010 Clean Run Instructors Conference to be held August 5-8, 2010 at the Inn at Chester Springs in Exton, Pennsylvania, click here for info. And don't miss their free worldwide shipping items that change every month!

You may want to bookmark this page - it's a listing of all the AKC confirmation events that will be airing on ESPN and Animal Planet.

Also the AKC has posted an FAQ document regarding the new Mixed Breed Program. Some answers to questions about how the MB program relates to PAL and FSS, why tracking is not included in the MB program, etc.

Surfing around the other day we found a great blog with a couple of posts we wanted to share with you. Positive Dog Training (from Spain) has a few homemade dog toys vids they have posted about that you may find interesting. They also have several posts - Free introductory course to the clicker (be sure and start from the bottom).

Our friend Hugo has a couple of posts on his Just Agility blog that we wanted to share with you:
If you'd like to see who made the Canadian World Team for the FCI World Championships, click here!

We picked up a few new trick ideas from these vids, here and here!

Check out the new upcoming book from my new Twitter bud, Dusty, a 5-year-old rescued sheltie, and his dad Robert Rodi. He's got a new book coming out about being an agility dog - it's called "Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World's Least Likely Agility Dog". The book will be in stores around June 11, or you can pre-order it here at 25% off!

Saw this on Clean Run's Group: You know how much I am a fan of stretching and strengthening after all my injuries. Here is a great vid of pups utilizing an exercise ball to help build their core, strengthen their backs, and more. And you can see my exercise ball vid here! Also check out my Canine Athletes Squidoo lens for more ways to keep your pup running great!

In other news:

The EPA is increasing scrutiny of flea and tick control products for pets - yeah, well, it's a step!!!!

The new first pup is certainly on the ball. He has a new book out already - Bo : America's Commander in Leash. Currently it's sold out, but check back, I'm sure they'll get more.

Here's an interesting article from MSNBC the other day: Raw deal? Some feed their pets uncooked diet. Some say yes, some say no! Relatedly, I found it interesting that the castaway dog that was recently found, reverted to his instinct and dined on raw wild goats while living on the deserted island.

Looks like only $1M of the massive Helmsley estate is going to the dogs. Here's a list of the 10 $100K grants that animal and dog welfare organizations will be receiving.

There are tons of pet pantries cropping up all over the country to help needy families with their pets. If you, or someone you know, is having trouble feeding their pets in this tough economy, help them by doing a Google search for 'pet pantry'. There is sure to be someone local that can help them.

And there are also lots of organizations that can help needy families with pet care, as well. Google search for that, too, if you know someone in need.

If you are a rescue organization, The Meow Bow Wow Fund will reimburse qualifying non-profit rescue organizations for the spaying and/or neutering of adoptable dogs and/or cats and for the vaccination of dogs and/or cats commensurate with requirements for adoption. More info.

After all the reports from pet owners about Nutro foods, the FDA is finally confirming a probe of NUTRO Pet Food and related deaths and illnesses. Read more.

If you live in the Chicago area, this is a not to be missed event. The Shedd Aquarium's has a new show now through most of May - Pet Training the Shedd Way w/rescues! It's the brain child of Karen Prior friend, Ken Ramirez, clicker trainer extraordinaire, and trainer to the dolphins, big cats, whales and more, as he oversees the daily training programs for the entire animal collection at Shedd.

Casting Call: In South Florida or Boston? Try out for "Fetch Me a Beer" new dog trick reality show from Animal Planet, coming this fall, starring Zak George of YouTube fame.

From the Seattle Times: Hmmmm....Got a devil dog? Try the Russian Dog Wizard?

Amazing advances going on in animal care. Check out Cassidy! One of the 1st pups in the country w with a permanent prosthetic artificial leg.

Great interview with Michael Schaffer, author of the new book "One Nation Under Dog" from NPRnews. Press 'listen now' to hear the interview.


And last, but certainly not least, I just had to share this story - The Amazing Story of The Moscow Subway Stray Dogs. They are so smart!!!

Happy Earth Day!!!

Today is a wonderful day! It's Earth Day - a day to celebrate the amazingly, wonderful World we live in, and a day to learn how to be more green for a healthier, happier pup and environment!

Head on over to my Raise a Green Dog Blog, we've got a super cool post up today about Earth Day! And be sure and visit my Raise a Green Dog Squidoo lens, to get even more tips to help raise your green dog.

Today, in honor of Earth Day, we are conserving water! Yep that's right, no baths today, yeah!!! BOL!!!!


Monday, April 20, 2009

This week is National Pet ID Week!

Hey there! I'm showing off my tags for you today in my pic, because this week is National Pet ID Week!

It's a great time to not only make sure you have your tags and that you wear them, but that the information contained on your tags is up to date.

The info on my tags include my name, phone, address, vet info and phone, emergency backup number & my microchip number!

Every once in a while, Mum and I will find some stray dogs wandering the neighborhood. Mum immediately jumps in the car with a bag of treats and tries to catch them.

She's been pretty successful at it too. And luckily all of the pups Mum has 'rescued' had tags, so Mum could call the number and get them back home in the same day! And those tags hadn't had a mig welder taken to them, and were easily readable! That's important, 'cause us pups sometimes wear down the engraving on our tags.

Having a tag or microchip for your pup is soooo important. What if, heaven forbid, that they would get lost, one day. It's so much easier for them to find their way home with some type of identification.

Here are some resources for tags that we use and like. And you can visit my website to see lots more!. But whatever you do, tag us!



Pet tags, military dog tags and license frames, customized!



Dog's Life ID Tag


Good Dog ID Tag


HomeAgain ID Tag and Membership




Leader of the Pack on HGTV!

There's a new reality dog show premiering this month. It's Leader of the Pack a new show starting on April 26th from 8-9 CT on HGTV. Here's a bit from DogChannel.com:
Choosing a dog to fit your family can be exciting and challenging, especially when the competition is fierce.

On HGTV’s new reality show “Leader of the Pack,” eight dogs are let loose in one family’s home, competing to earn a permanent place in the home.

With a variety of breeds and plenty of personalities – both canine and human – there will plenty of excitement to watch. Dogs like Buster the energetic Beagle, Louie the lackadaisical Bichon Frise mix, and Ginger the overbearing hound mix, turn the quiet home into quite a doghouse.

Throughout the show, the eight dogs and family meet with trainers, behavioral specialists, and humane society consultants, and compete in challenges to determine who is top dog. Each week, one dog is eliminated. No tears, though – each dog is found a loving home.

Root for your own underdog when “Leader of The Pack” debuts Sunday, April 26, at 8 p.m. ET on HGTV.

Bet with all that activity in the home the Mum certainly won't be interested in liporexall reviews, she'll have enough exercise to lose any weight she wants!

Have to say, I'll be reserving judgment on this one. Should be interesting!

Coastal Gray Wolves!

I love heading over to YouTube now and then to check out some cool vids. We sure find lots of neat info, and fun and interesting videos.

This is one we found the other day from The Nature Conservancy. It's about the Coastal Gray Wolves that live around the coastal temperate rain forest in British Columbia. Living on fish, squid, clams and barnacles sounds pretty yummy to me. Maybe Mum can take up Outer Banks rentals sometime, so I can experience the ocean and sea life!

Check out this vid, see a wolf den and learn more about these unique coastal gray wolves.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun Games - Find Target!

Our next video in the Fun Games series is Find Target!

This is one of my all time favorite games. It's a game that makes you use your brain, and you get a little exercise at the same time! It's super easy to learn, and it's a game you can play inside, or outside, no matter what the weather is.

Mum started with the target just a few feet from me and clicked when I touched it. Then we progressed to placing it just around the corner, then in another room, then two other rooms away, and sometimes now she'll put me in a stay and hide the target way up stairs.

Mum is certain that this is the game that helped me know how to track my kittie bro, Wiggy, last summer when he jumped the fence. All Mum kept saying to me that day when she harnessed me up was 'find Wiggy,' 'find Wiggy!' And I found him in minutes, after she had been searching for him in nearby bushes for 20+ minutes. I rocked it out that day :) I was so intent on finding Wiggy that Mum thought she may have to look into term life insurance quotes, 'cause I was a manic pup on a mission! BOL!

Gracie is getting the hang of this game, too, and she's loving it. She's up to three rooms away now. Gracie uses her nose more than I do, (well at least more obviously, BOL). Enjoy! And we'll have more Fun Games vids, we promise!

Blooming time!

Check out the pawsome tulips Mum picked this morning and added to our office! Aren't they beautimous!!! (I like that word, it means beautiful and fabulous at the same time :)


Lots of our plants and shrubs are starting to pop out. Pretty soon, I'd say in a few weeks, our incredible lilacs are gonna overtake the corner of the yard near the fence gate. Oddly, though, this year was tough on our forsythia - too much frost at the wrong times and they aren't going to bloom this year. We'll miss that!

But we think our clematis is going to be much bigger and gorgeous this year, and hopefully bloom lots more. Sometimes Mum thinks the clematis blooms look a little like pearls jewelry in the center. Just beautiful.

Our hydrangeas are starting to leaf out as well. They were so gorgeous last year, and hope they do well this year too, because the plants are twice as big. Mum picked some of the dried blooms off last fall and added them to the wreath on our front door. It's a grape vine twine wreath, with all kinds of dried flowers and blooms from our yard. Pretty cool if you ask me and we get lots of compliments on it, because it's so unique!

We absolutely love Spring, all the new life, birds gathering up items from our yard for their nests, and the bunnies, oh the bunnies this year are everywhere. They are driving us herders, crazy!!!

Hope you are enjoying your Spring and all the beauty that comes with it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AKC Announces New Program for Mixed Breeds

Big news from the AKC website today:
"...Board of Directors has voted unanimously to proceed with a program for mixed breed dogs. The creation of this program ushers in new opportunities for our constituencies, our clubs and our organization to grow and flourish in many ways."
The program includes (among other things): A certificate of participation, and a competition card, with identification number. This number allows mixed breeds to compete in AKC Agility, Rally, and Obedience events.

Here's a link to the full letter, and the program details.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Around the dog -o-sphere!

It's time for my occasional post - around the dog-o-sphere. Have lots of interesting stuff to share that folks have emailed me, or I've found hanging out on the Internet lately. Gotta hurry, it's time for breakfast, so here goes!

Agility

One of my favorite agility trainers to watch, Silvia Trkman, has some fairly new info on her website. One is a new pawsome heeling video, and here she shares her technique for training her heeling.


Heeling Video from Silvia Trkman on Vimeo.

Here are a few more vids of Silvia, mostly from seminars she did in March:

Teaching cik/cap
A few runs with La (watch that teeter, yikes!)
Reviewing her running contact method
Some agility with La & Bu, and low jump agility/tunnel and contact work with Bi
And she shared a link - big dogs can do running contacts.

Here are a few videos from a Silas Boogk seminar last August, 1, 2, 3. Interesting stuff.

If you'd like to set up some super difficult courses, we found tons of European course maps here. Click on the links at the top for some interesting stuff. We even translated the page for you :)

Into dog sports and looking for a new dog car? The folks at Honda are looking for you! They unveiled their new Honda Element this week, and it's got not only tons of room, but a few handy dandy dog gadgets included!

Other Stuff

If you're looking to take your pup out to the ballgame, here's a site that lists Dog Days at a few major league venues - including White Sox, Giants, Oakland A's, and more.

You know how much of a proponent we are of knowing CPR for your dog? We were super glad to hear that after being hit by a car, and not breathing, Prince's neighbor performed CPR on him and brought him back to life. Gotta love that!

Our good friends over at Affordable Agility (where I buy a lot of my agility equipment) have a new blog and they are running a cool contest. This week you can tell them your beginner dog agility story and enter to win a competition adjustable jump!

Love this! Handicapped Pets now rents WalkinWheels for short term rehab/recovery use! Before you would have to purchase them and they are expensive!

The city of Girona, Spain, is putting some great new (well if you're a dog) laws on the books including a fine for not walking the dog, or bathing them in public. Oddities? Or sign of the times?

First they battle over the dog in divorce court, now a couple in Michigan is battling over frozen dog sperm, what's next?

I was honored the other day to be featured Squidoo lensmaster on the SquidLog blog, thanks to my friend MiMi. And Gracie even got in a mention this time :)

My Mum was featured in an article in Pet Style News this month, talking about how pet boutiques can feature and promote eco-friendly and green products for Earth Day, which is coming up on April 22nd! Proud of her!

And she and I have both been Twittering away! If you're not familiar with Twitter, check out Mum's blog post. And if you'd like to follow me, or my Mum, or even Raise a Green Dog, just click on our name and follow along. Folks liked our Twitter page backgrounds so much a few of them hired us to do theirs, cool!

This month is the ASPCA's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. Be sure and stop over to their site, and check out all the info, goodies, and more that they have. For their kick-off on April 7th, I went orange on Twitter (my avatar) to support this worthy cause. I caused a ruckus over there, everyone wanted to know why I was hot looking, BOL!

Did you hear about the castaway dog who swam six miles through shark-infested waters, then survived four months on a desert island? Wow Sophie Tucker's got it all over Tom Hanks, maybe they'll make a movie?

If you're in the UK, the search is on for Britian's Most Talented Pet! Do you have what it takes?

Recall Alert! Stoneyfield Farm (which is the yogurt I eat, btw) is recalling specific fat free plain yogurt due to presence of food grade sanitizer. I'm really glad Mum gets me the low fat, this sounds awful! May not make a human sick, but what about a four legger?

Not since Winged Migration have I been this excited about a non-dog movie, BOL! Disneynature's EARTH hits theaters this coming Earth Day, April 22! Check out Raise a Green Dog for more info, it's gonna be cool.

OK, that's it for now!

Happy Easter and Passover! And make sure you pups stay out of the candy and stuff, K?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Herders, herd no more?

Seems some folks in New Zealand are all worked up over a centuries old practice of dogs herding sheep to abattoir.

Tesco, the super big supermarket chain, says the lambs are getting too stressed out by the dogs. So now they don't want herding breeds herding their sheep for them anymore.

Instead they want guardians to wave their arms, beat sticks or wave flags, to move the sheep. (Oh, wouldn't that be a sight! Bet those sheepies would roll over for that!)

We found this news right around April Fool's Day and thought it was a joke. Nope, not a joke after all. And the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is backing the situation. In the article, leading animal welfare charity the RSPCA said it had concerns about the anxiety suffered by sheep as they are circled and pursued by dogs, but did not believe a ban was necessary.

Tesco says,"we don't have a problem with sheep dogs, but we need to make sure they move the sheep in a considerate manner, so they don't stress the sheep out," said a spokesman.

I definitely have the herding instinct, and I have to admit that if I was herding those sheep they may get a little stressed out, because I'm not really trained to herd and I get pretty intense.

But pups who have been herding sheep for years, from bloodlines that go back for centuries, heck, they know what they are doing! They've been trained to do this all of their lives, and come from a long line of sheep herding pups. But still Tesco says the meat is too tough, and not tasty enough when the lambs get too stressed out. So they are pushing the matter.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and hope it's just an isolated incident with an isolated farm.

EDIT: Here is a link to a great article in the Sunday edition of the New Zealand Herald "Days numbered for the working dog."

I got Trek'ed!

Create Your Own

DVR Alert: 2nd Season of 'Groomer Has It' premieres on Animal Planet this weekend!

There baaaccckkkk!!!

I kinda got a kick out of this program last season, mostly because it was fun watching the pups, of course. Poor pups had to be groomed!

I didn't always agree with how the pups were handled or groomed (maybe it's 'cause I don't like baths), but enjoyed the program just the same. Learned lots about grooming. We're adding it to our DVR list!
The claws are out, and the catty comments and tearful hissy fits are back as Animal Planet kicks off the second season of its hot reality, competition series "Groomer Has It", hosted by Emmy award-winner, Jai Rodriguez (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy“).


"Groomer Has It" sniffs out 12 of America‘s most passionate and skilled dog groomers to compete against each other in a test of desire, creativity and affinity for animals as they shave, shear and shampoo their way through a series of challenges that will crown only one “Groomer of the Year.“

The contestants will be put to the test each week to see who can turn the dingiest dog into a glamorous, pampered pup beginning this Saturday, April 11, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Running contacts - progression #3!

With several sessions of running the plank flat on the ground, and slightly elevated (about 1.5 feet) we've progressed to a more elevated plank, now at about 2.5 feet.

We continued to utilize our patio, propping the plank up on more bricks, added in a table at the beginning of running the plank with an indoor, non-skid thin carpet on top. We're pleased with the set up - it's stable and gives enough room to get a fairly good run in.

Progression to this elevation didn't occur until both me and Gracie were running at nearly 100% with the first elevation, even though Gracie's striding is still not completely running through the yellow. She's hitting the yellow continuously with her back feet about 3-4 inches into the yellow. So we decided to continue elevating to see what effect that would have on her striding.

She faltered a bit with this higher elevation, and was hitting the yellow at about 60% in the beginning, so we lowered it back down for her, taking out one level of bricks. We did a few sessions with her back at this first elevation, until she was hitting it at about 100%.

Mum's happy with the progress. My striding is great, hitting the yellow right in the center (this is USDAA measurements). And my speed is good with the target out from the plank about 15-20 feet to keep my speed through the yellow. She's continuing to vary her placement - running out both sides, standing still, running full out (for her anyway :), etc.

Gracie still needs work at this level for several more sessions we expect. I may be ready for a higher elevation at this point. Now the trick is going to be how we elevate the plank to mimic the elevation of a regular dog walk plank, but she has some tricks up her sleeve. Mum's still getting the hang of clicking at the moment we hit the yellow, and not clicking when we don't - not an easy task.

We know that we are weeks away from seeing a full size dog walk. Maybe even a couple of months. We're going to take it slow and thorough. So for now, here's the vid for progression #3.


This is the third in a series of posts about re-training my running dogwalk contact. You can see the first and second post here:

Johann & Gracie running dogwalk retraining - progression #1
Johann & Gracie running dogwalk retraining - progression #2