Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How the AKC GoodDog HelplineSM is helping Gracie with her focus! #AKCDogLovers

Over the past week or so Mum and Gracie have been playing fun training games to help Gracie with her focus utilizing the tips we received from the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM trainer.

I have to say that I really don't like it when I'm left out of the games, but Mum has made it up to me by taking me out and working with me individually after she works with Gracie.

Gracie and Mum have been working with the two fun game type tips that the AKC trainer gave Mum, including utilizing a long line in the yard to help her remember how important her recalls are. The other was helping Gracie perfect her leave it so that when she does get super focused on a toxic toad or little lizard in the yard, or a squirrel, that she leaves the critter and comes back to Mum.

We have say that her leave it is almost at a 90% success rate. which is super great! But her long line recalls are still at about 75%.

So Mum and Gracie will continue working these tricks to help keep Gracie safer up here on our mountain. They sure have fun playing these games and we're super grateful to get some further tips to help her from the AKC trainer.

We're happy to be able to have this lifetime training advice service from the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM to help with any behavioral or dog training issues that come up with us. It's super fun to try new tips and tricks, and the best part is we get to spend more individual time with Mum, which we love!

DISCOUNT ALERT: The AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM provides unlimited access to AKC positive trainers for one low price for the lifetime of your dog. And we are super happy to be able to provide our readers a great discount for signing up for the service for a limited time! By clicking this link you can sign up and receive the service for $29.99, that's a $50.00 discount from the regular price of the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM service of $79.99 (the discount will be applied during your checkout process)! Cool huh?

So if you are looking for fun dog training advice to help with your dog/human relationship, we highly recommend you try it out. We love it and think that you will too!

"I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the AKC. I received compensation for my time from the AKC for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flat tire!

After a nice play session in our yard, Mum wanted to run to the store and stock up on a few things before the week got busy last week.

She got in the car just at sunset and headed down the mountain. The road seemed extra rough to Mum driving down the gravel part that starts at our cabin and goes down the mountain about a mile. Maybe the bus made the road more washboard?

Then she hit the paved portion of our mountain road and it was still bumpy. Oh, no, 'I've got a flat', she said. By that time it was quickly getting dark. Not the best scenario. So she tried calling our neighbor, no answer. She thought a moment....she could call AAA and wait for several hours, or she could take a chance and go to the next neighbor that had a big security light and see if they are home and could help, or just use their security light to change the flat.

She pulled into a cabin area that met the requirements and honked the horn. (That's how we let our neighbors know up here that we've arrived. It's less scary than going up and knocking on folks doors, sounds weird but it works for all of us up here).

Just then a nice man came out, asked Mum what the trouble was. Mum told him she had a flat and asked if perhaps he would be willing to help her, and what did he say? "Just pull over there to my automotive garage and I'd be happy to help!"

He had an auto garage, can you believe the luck!

Mum had a great time talking with Mr. P while he got out his heavy duty auto jack, used the compressor to pump up Mum's spare tire, and Mum was back on the road in about 30 minutes. She ran into town and was home in about two hours.

Boy did she have a story to tell us when she got home, and we got lots and lots of extra welcome home hugs and kisses from her. She felt very fortunate to meet our new found neighbor. He was so helpful. Mum considered it an early birthday present!

So Mum is going out and buying something that may help if she ever gets in a similar situation like this - a Stanley PPRH5 450-Amp Professional Power Station with Built-In Air Compressor.

Why she didn't get something like this before I'll never know. But she's hoping that it will help us being out in the middle of nowhere if we ever need a jump, get a flat, or loose power for a few hours.

We bet your Mum already has one of these!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Black and White Sunday: Always by her side...

It's been cold on our mountain the past few days, and we had our first frost! Mum has her winter coat out and the leaves either are very slow to turn or maybe since all the rain we had this year, they won't be showing their true colors this year. Nonetheless, there are still leaves to rake. But in between raking, Mum and I enjoy the few and far between sunny spots in our yard till all the leaves drop.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#ThrowbackThursday: Halloween 2006!

It's #ThrowbackThursday!

That's me, YoYo, way back in 2006 the first time I dressed up for Halloween! We were attending a Doggie Halloween pawty at an agility trial, back before I could even do agility. All of us young up and coming agility pups paraded through during a walk through at the trial and entertained all the competitors. What a fun day with furiends.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Just call me the Comback Kid: Fun day practicing agility with friends!

A week or so ago, we drove down to Norcross to get in a little agility practice, and join our friend Rocco for his very first run thru and a nice little hike!

For those of you who didn't know, Mum actually retired me a couple of months ago. Yep, my agility career is technically over. Being nine and a half years old, and with all the injuries I've had over my life, and after my last few runs at my last two trials, Mum thought it was time. My body just wasn't taking it too well, and I just wasn't running like I usually do when I'm feeling good.

So after our last trial we got pretty down in the dumps. What are we going to do now? This is our 'thing' together! This is what we both love to do! And with all those injuries, and all the time it's taken me to get over them, I've really only been able to run agility about three years of the eight years total I've been involved in agility. No fair!

Mum looked into a few things that may help me feel more strong, more flexible, more less overall 'achy.' She bought a supplement or two (primarily Wobenzym) and had me start taking it. We cut back on my pawsome supplement that brought me out of my last retirement because they stopped making it.

And what do you know?

I feel better, again!

So Mum took me to practice to see how I handled running a full course, jumping, climbing up that frame (which is a lot bigger when you are older); and here's the result. I'm loving it! Mum planned on running me only one run, but I begged her for more. So we ran a second run, and I begged for more again. So we got out there a third time and I was just as good as the first run.

With only one SQ to go for my ADCH, it was really sad to have to retire. But we're gonna give it one (and hopefully more) more go mid November at a trial not too far from here. We'll see how I run, we'll see how I feel....I've come back so many times over my agility career Mum has started calling me the 'Comeback Kid.'

Who knows, maybe this comeback kid can still pull it out. But no matter if I have one more run, or 50, Mum and I continue to enjoy each and every run we get to do at a practice or a trial. It's in our blood!

So here are a couple of my practice runs. Not super speedy like when I was lots younger, but definitely capable of getting a SQ we think!

And Gracie got in some fun practice too. You may remember that her teeter fear started at this facility with the big bang in the echoie room. Over time, she's getting more and more OK with getting on the teeter. We missed getting a vid of her first run which was BC fast, but she looked pretty good in her 2nd and 3rd runs too.

During practice we got to video tape our pal Rocco. Rocco is a Havanese, and only 13 months old. And he's doing great! We had a lot of barking fun watching him run. It's going to be really fun if we get to keep doing agility come spring and spend some fun time at trials with him.

After our practice we took off to get Mum and Rocco's Mom something to eat. Then we ventured off to a park with walking trails to take a nice walk around on flat land. After hiking all the mountains, we love the time we get to walk on flat land, BOL!

We spent the entire day together and had the most fun. What a great break from our time up on the mountain, and for Mum to get a break from her busy, busy work!

Photos please? You got 'em!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Black and White Sunday: Wolfie!

This is a photo of my kittie bro, Wolfie.

Our former home in Carmel, Indiana had a two story front entry. If you were a kittie you could jump up to the railing of the loft (which was to the right of this window) and jump to the window sill of the palladium window that was above our front door.

The first time Wolfie got up there, it freaked Mum out. She had no idea how he was going to get down from there! It was well over 13 feet. Mum even started bringing down a mattress to put it down on the floor under the window, in case. But before she could get it down, Wolfie actually jumped all the way to the floor and walked away like it was nothing. 

Kitties, they are crazy sometimes!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Johann The Dog is on Vine!

Technology rocks sometimes, doesn't it?

Not too long ago, Mum had me join Vine. Vine is a fun app (we have the Android version) that allows you to create and post 6
sec vids.

It takes a little experimenting, but we've been having a little fun with it. We like it, but since we have the Android version, we've noticed that the vid quality isn't so great. Hopefully they will improve it soon.

Below are a few of the favorite Vines we've created so far. You may want to turn the sound on with that one with Wiggy so you can take in the entire experience, BOL!

If you're on Vine, be sure and find me over there K? @Johann The Dog If you don't have the app, you can see all my Vines here right now!

The Many Faces of YoYo

Gracie Weaves!

What happens when you live with a herding dog!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Black and White Sunday: Wiggy!


Back before Mum adopted me, she had a lot of fun with her film camera. She even took a class in photography and built a darkroom in one of our spare bedroom closets. This was one of the photos she shot of my kittie bro Wiggy. Then she developed the film and the print in her darkroom. It's a scan of the original print, so some of the quality is lost, but it's the real black and white deal, cool huh? 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Charlotte came to visit!

You remember Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web?

She came to visit the other day and has been staying on our back deck. Charlotte is a barn spider, or Araneus cavaticus.

About an inch in diameter, barn spiders are nocturnal, although our Charlotte hangs out on the back deck in her web all day long, but is obviously at rest. These spiders are easily identified with a yellow and brown body, striped legs, and a very disctinct marking on its underside of two little white marks inside the black of the body.

Barrn spiders, and our Charlotte, are part of the orb weaver family. These are spiders that normally take down their web and rebuild another web every evening. But we haven't noticed that our Charlotte completely rebuilds her web, but only repairs it when needed. Then at night she sits and waits for her prey/meal.

This spider was the same well known spider depicted in the book Charlotte's Web by American writer E. B. White. Of interest is that in the book Charlotte's full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica. Get it? It's a reference to the her scientific name, Araneus cavaticus. Also in the book one of Charlotte's daughters, after asking what her mother's middle initial was, names herself Aranea; which ties in with the order in which this spider is classified.

Cool huh?

Monday, October 07, 2013

How we're using the AKC GoodDog Helpline to help Gracie with focus! #AKCDogLovers

If you know Gracie, like we know Gracie...you'll know that she has a problem with focus, or should I say unfocusing!

Whenever something catches her attention (SQUIRREL!), she really gets into it , and Mum has a lot of trouble getting her attention, and snapping her out of her obsession.

We've worked with a lot of trainers on this issue because of her running off during agility runs over the years. And some of the tips have worked really well. But Mum still wants to work on this issue with new ideas, mainly because that super focused attention could someday put Gracie in danger with us living around bears, mountain lions and snakes.

So we called the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM the other day and talked with one of their trainers. Mum was really excited to try some new techniques with Gracie and had a lot of fun talking about dog training and Gracie with the AKC trainer representative. They had a lot in common, which we both really like...you know positive training, clicker training and games for training dog behaviors....our kind of stuff!

Mum got some tips. So here's what she and Gracie have been working on:

Tip #1 - Working with Gracie on a long line in the yard with her recalls to help her remember how important they are and adding a variety of rewards, like toys, kisses, quick massages (Gracie's favorite things), in addition to super yummy treats to create variety. They started this over the past day or so, but we know it's going to take time to get to the near 100% sure recall that Mum needs. It's a super fun game that Gracie and Mum get to play without me every day, and I know, even though I get jealous, that it's super important.

Tip #2 - Another tip that they discussed since Gracie has a pretty good leave it, is to use that leave it for lots of different situations, so that when a dangerous one may come along it's a 'trick' Mum can turn to. So instead of just working on 'leave its' in place, they have started working on leave its while walking on leash and around the yard; and throwing things as well as coming up on things (like squirrel toys, treat bags, and other super high value to Gracie kind of stuff). Then treating when Gracie comes back to Mum. Mum and the trainer thought that this tip would be great in a snake encounter situation, whereas the recall work will help in a potential bolt situation.

So they are continuing to playing these fun games, and Mum says that she's already seeing some improvement after just a couple of days. The trick is to have it work really well all the time, so that when we need it it's a sure thing! Mum and Gracie will need to work on this nearly every day for a long time to come, but since it's a game, it's fun, right!?!

"I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the AKC. I received compensation for my time from the AKC for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine."

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Super fun Halloween costumes from Petsmart and Martha Stewart!

We are ready for Halloween!!!

The nice folks at Petsmart were kind enough to send us some costumes of our choice to blog about and review, for free too!

Since neither Gracie or I are super fond of wearing costumes (winter dog coats are OK with us), we thought we would select something a little different this year!

You can see below that I'm dressed in the Martha Stewart Cat Hat (Meow!!! Black Cat coming!). And Gracie is dressed in the Pumpkin Hat. I think we look pretty darn cool, don't you?

Give us treats or face the consequences!!!!

If you'd like to show off your dog's trick-or-treat style, you can submit a photo of your pet wearing a Martha Stewart Pets costume today through October 18, 2013 for the chance to win a Martha Stewart Pets Halloween prize package and be featured on MarthaStewart.com!

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!!! Be safe, K?
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