Friday, May 11, 2012

The Gentle Leader

We have been fortunate in life to find a beautiful homestead in the country just outside of the hustle and bustle of city living, so Zeus has lots of land to roam and run.  One of the minor downfalls of living in the country is that dogs seldom get the opportunity to be on a leash out walking with the public.  This brings with it two problems.  1) Their nails grow fast  as they don't have the asphalt to wear them down naturally like those dogs who live in the city.  2) They don't get to socialize like city dogs do when they visit the off leash parks.  So although Zeus is a very kind, warmhearted dog, he does get very excited and rambunctious when we have visitors over.  All one hundred pounds of him makes greeting people quite the ordeal.

Another problem we run into with Zeus is when we go on outings or bring him to festivals with lots of people, especially events where young children are present. We always have a collar on Zeus, but simply attaching a leash to his collar is asking for huge problems!  He has such a strong neck that he ends up walking us rather than us walking him.  Luckily we found a great product called the Gentle Leader.  When Zeus has this on, he is like putty in our hands.  Just the pressure of this item on his nose, leads him in any direction we take him.  And now, when he knows he has it on, he instantly knows we're in control and not him.  Fantastic around Children!


Keep a Gentle Leader close at hand..

They work wonderfully when you need to have full control of your dog, what ever weight or size they may be!  If you don't know what a gentle leader is..  click on the above link to see one.

Velcro Dog

It's no secret that I love my dog to bits and because I love this dog of mine so much I tend to dote over him.  Doting is not something I would recommend. Doting over Zeus has resulted in owning what it called a "Velcro Dog".  A term I recently became aware of.  A Velcro dog is considered to be a dog that sticks by your side no matter where you go; Upstairs, downstairs, to the washroom!  I love that he feels the need to be close, but it gets a little crazy when you get up from the couch just to get a tissue, only to come back to the same spot, and still they feel the need to follow you.  It's cute the first few times..  I'll show you later how to leave your dog in a spot such as your bed or a couch, letting them know that you're going to come right back in one minute, heck even a full hour later!

Here is a cute YouTube Video of an owner that has many VELCRO dogs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spotting the "I'm Hungry Look"

It's been a constant struggle in our household to keep our hungry boy [Zeus] satiated.  The appetite this dog has could put a Samoan Wrestler to shame!  Take this morning for example, after giving him his overflowing two and half cups of a blended feast of chicken, rice and assorted veggies, (dry dog food) within 20 minutes he was back in my office doing his ritual "Fanny Sit" which is meant to cue us he's hungry.  "Again!?".. I shout back at him.  "I just fed you!"

Yes our dog has a very specific "Fanny Sit" performance when he's hungry.  It happens around 7am and then at the strike of 4pm it happens again.  So this is how the performance unravels.  It's 4pm..  I'm working away in my home office and I sense a presence approaching me from behind.  Then the ever so soft whimper begins..  he even does this tap dance type shuffle to really get my attention.  When I finally turn around, he stares me right in the eyes and waits for me to reply "What Zeus, what do want?" and then he promptly sits down.  Just to make it clear here, this "sit down" was actually taught to him when he was a puppy to wait for his food.  Every time it was supper, I would have him sit while I went to get the food and he was to remain sitting until the food was placed in his bowl and a command was given to eat.  What we found happening as he grew older, was when he realized it was nearing that feeding time,  he would come to us and do his sit down. He wanted to be fed on his terms when he was hungry. That's when we started to call the event, his "I'm hungry fanny sit".

TOFYTIP #2Try to always make your dog sit or wait while you place the food in their dish.  A dog should always have to work for his food.  

So there is still one more step to Zeus's Fanny Sit Ritual and that's what we call the "Sit Down Plow".  So once I've asked him "what do you want?" and he's done his sit down..  and if I'm up for a really good laugh, I'll delay the situation and proceed to ask him "What Zeus, I don't understand..  what 'exactly' do you want?"  Well now he's pissed!  I'm sure in his mind he's barking out...  "look lady, I'm doing your stupid "fanny sit down".. are you blind!  I'm going to do this one last time for you, so watch closely now.."  and that's when he'll stand back up and here's the kicker.. He'll PLOW his but down with brute-force vengeance and Swooooshes it into the floor along with a peeved grunt.  It's truly hilarious and it makes my husband and I laugh out loud.  I'll do my best to get in on video later today.

Does your dog have any crazy rituals like Zeus has?  Drop us a line and tell us what your dog does that makes you laugh out loud!  : )

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Moon Silhouette

Tonight I was out roaming my property watching the sky when I realized I was staring at the highly publicized "Super Moon".   I knew the best time to photograph it would be while it was still close to the horizon, so I ran like crazy person home, grabbed my camera, grabbed Zeus and off we went.

It's always fun trying to photograph Zeus when he's full of beans and tonight was no exception.  Trying to get him to sit nicely just off to left of the moon was nothing short of impossible.  Not to mention I didn't have my tripod with me (no time) so the shot was going to be quasi blurry at best.

In the end, most of my shots came out black with a spec in the middle. The spec being the moon.. but I did manage to snap one shot that caught my eye.  The moon itself doesn't look so super..  but Zeus surely does.. and that's all that matters to me.  : ) 

Welcome to Digg'n My Dog!

Welcome to "Digg'n My Dog

A fun new blog where you can read up on some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years that have helped me be more "in-tune" with my five year old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog – Zeus.  I don't profess to be a specialist in canine training, nor am I the next Dog Whisperer.  I'm just a Girl who loves her dog to bits and has made a special bond by taking the time to communicate and interact with him every moment we're together.

I encourage everyone to join in on the conversation about ways in which you enjoy or relate with that special dog in your life.  This is a blog where people can share there experiences, successes and hardships with their dog or dogs to help others who may have just introduced a new dog to their family unit or may be having difficulty connecting with one.

These are just a few of the blog topics I plan on sharing with you: Calming the craziness out of your new puppy | Sharing special moments | Learning to talk with your dog |  Making "Poop Time" positive |  Finding both your grooves | How to use feeding time to train your dog | How to photograph your dog.

Throughout these posts, I'll being leaving small tips called TOFY TIPS..  These are simply little things that I've learned over the years that, for one reason or the other, I feel may help people with their own dog situations. Use them if they work for you, discard them if they don't.

And there we have it...  the first entry of my blog!  If you have any suggestions, or wish to contribute to my blog as a guest speaker, please chime in!

So on behalf of Zeus and I...  Welcome!