What is a Title?

What is a title?

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in the record and in the memory for about as long as anything in the world can remain. And though the dog herself doesn’t know or care that her achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans where such things count.

A title says your dog was intelligent, adaptable, and good natured. It says your dog loved you enough to do the things that pleased you, however crazy they may have seemed. In addition, a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with her because she was a good dog, and that you believed in her enough to give her yet another chance when she
failed, and in the end your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship, enjoyed by so few, that in a world of disposable creatures. This dog with a title was greatly loved and loved greatly in return. And when that dear, short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind,the best you can give to a deserving friend. Volumes of praise in one small set of initials after the name. An obedience, agility or herding title is nothing less than true love and respect, given and recorded permanently.

Author Unknown

Siberian Cats

I was over at the Pet Connection blog and learned something new. Apparently there is a breed of cat called the Siberian Cat that can be hypoallergenic. NOTE the operative word is CAN BE hypoallergenic. In other words, for some people with cat allergies this cat breed might work for them.

Some words from Pet Connection Blog

Now, before you run off to some Internet kitty-mill site to order a Siberian from someone jumping on to the bandwagon, stop. Not all Siberians have the potential to be lower in allergy triggers and not all low-allergy Siberians will work for all allergy sufferers. You need to be careful to work with a reputable breeder who’s testing the cats for both allergy levels and the health problems (heart, in this breed) that can pop up. And you need to make sure you, personally, are not sneezing and wheezing around the breeder’s cats.

So it was neat to learn something new. πŸ™‚

For more on these cats:

Joke – Soap and Water

Soap and Water

We were asked to dinner by a new friend. When we sat down at the table, we noticed that the dishes were dirty.

“Were these dishes washed?”, I asked the hostess as I rubbed my fingers over the surface.

She replied, “They’re as clean as soap and water could get them”.

I felt a bit apprehensive, but started eating anyway. Dinner was delicious, despite the dirty dishes. When dinner was over, the hostess took the dishes outside and yelled, “Here Soap! Here Water!”

Basics – Teach a dog to come

Teaching a dog to come, or teaching a good recall, is a tool that EVERY dog and owner should have in their tool box.

Why?

  • It could save the dogs life
  • It saves you steps of having to go get the dog all the time
  • It makes teaching games like fetch a whole lot easier

Variety of ways to train this behaviour. I’ll start with the easiest first.

  1. Get puppy home. Get his attention, then crouch down in an inviting way, say Puppy, come. then reward puppy for doing so, while touching his collar. πŸ™‚ Do this anywhere and everywhere.
  2. Catch your dog coming toward you. Fido, come! Reward.
  3. Arrange things so that when you say “Come,” there’s a high likelihood that your dog will come to you. For example, say “Come” when your dog is looking at you and appears to be ready to return to you anyway. Or have really desirable treats to increase his motivation when you say Come. If your dog is motivated by play,hold his favorite play toy when you say come, and use a firm, positive, upbeat voice.

Let’s say your dog chooses to ignore this more oft than not. Do not let him get into that habit. Really…you just don’t want to go there.

  1. Attach a long, light line to your dog.
  2. Get your dog’s attention. i.e. If dog is actively digging a hole or chasing a squirrel now is NOT the time to ask your dog to come. Go to your dog, as close as you need to that you are noticed.
  3. Call your dog’s name, say come. Do so in an inviting way, i.e. crouch down on the ground slapping your knees, tapping the ground or what have you. πŸ™‚
  4. IF your dog comes, then reward in a manner that works for your dog. IF he doesn’t come, give a slight pull on the lead to encourage forward motion. DO NOT get angry, just remain upbeat. Good boy Fido, Good boy. Fido Come!
  5. Reward, reward, reward.

Some additional tools in teaching a come

  1. If there is more than one person in your household, sit on the ground put the puppy between you, have one person call the puppy to you. Reward every time the puppy comes. Give a good petting. Then have the other person call the puppy, reward, and then continue back and forth.
  2. Go for a walk in some place where you can walk your puppy off leash safely. ‘get lost’ (i.e. hide so that you are not immediately visible) and call the puppy. This teaches two things. First that your puppy must keep an eye on where you are and second to come when you call.
  3. What often works for dogs that don’t want to come when they are called is for their owner to get that dogs attention and then race madly the other way. Dogs like to chase. πŸ™‚ When the dog is close to you, say Fido come in an inviting way, and then reward.

ALWAYS before rewarding touch the dog or grab hold of his collar so that he knows that coming means physical touch as well. Helps to prevent that dance of…I came, but I’m staying just out of reach of you, which gets owners frustrated with their dogs, which makes training a solid recall more difficult. πŸ™‚

As with all training, proof it. As in, do in anywhere and everywhere, all the time. Noise, busy streets, quiet bushes, bustling people, just walking randomly etc. Fido come! Fido, what a good dog! Reward! πŸ™‚

A PDF on using a clicker training method of teaching Come.

Other resources you may find helpful:

Some things to avoid doing

  • getting angry with your dog for actually coming to you (even if it’s after you called and called, even if it’s after the dog has torn up your flower bed etc).
  • calling your dog when you know he’s not going to hear you (aka squirrel chasing)

Guide To Congenital and Heritable Disorders in Dogs

Can be found here.

It’s a PDF file.

This booklet is intended to make you aware of the potential problems associated with various purebred dogs. If you do decide to purchase a purebred dog, it would be prudent to ask the seller if any of the relatives ever have been bothered by the conditions listed for that breed. Furthermore, you should ask the seller who will be responsible for the veterinary costs if a puppy is afflicted with a heritable disease which may not manifest itself until later in life.

I’ve have learned since I posted this that this article is a couple of years old.
It is put out by Animal Rights groups, and is therefore slanted in that direction.
It has had some of it’s research and statements disproven by breed research groups.
So take it with a grain of salt, and as a guide to asking questions of your breeder (if you choose to get a purebred dog).