Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Agility Diaries Week 6

Week 6

Well, this week was a little more unusual compared to others when it comes to Homer. For one thing, he was a naughty dog earlier in the day and pulled a fast one when my mom was getting the mail. One minute he was sleeping, the next minute he darted out the door and down the street.

At first, I was searching for him on foot. By the time I got home, I called the police department and one of my neighbors. Sure enough, shortly after I called the police department, I received a call from one of my neighbors. Luckily, they lived about a block away, and the lure of their outside lunch attracted Homer's strong sense of smell. After an hour, all was right with the world.

Time For Class!

This week, we only had two in our group. It was good because Homer got some more time than he would with the usual amount of dogs. Homer is progressing nicely. Considering he's never done agility before this class, he has a knack for learning these objects. One of the teachers worked with him on the weave poles and he seemed to remember exactly what needed to be done. He had no problem jumping through the tire.

The second half of the class was spent getting him to run across the bridge and dogwalk. Probably the most difficult was having him stop and sit. I've been trying to build his stamina by running him more and I think it's been working. What's most surprising to me is his attitude. He's so calm about everything. Usually, he's a huge worrywart but with agility, he seems like he is a natural.

The biggest obstacles to his progress is hearing or seeing other dogs that are adjacent to the area we 're in. One of the most exciting things is having him going off-leash to accomplish his tasks. Next week will be the final class. I hope to be able to take pictures and video for you guys.

Let's Discuss!

For all of you who've taken an agility class, what was the learning curve for your dog? Did they love it or just put up with it?

Related Posts

The Agility Diaries-Week 5
The Agility Diaries-Week 4
The Agility Diaries-Week 3
The Agility Diaries-Week 2
The Agility Diaries

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dogpedic Infomercial

Last night, I was finishing up watching Top Chef. I then came across a channel called Buzz in the guide and there was a show called Dogpedic in progress. I flipped over to it and checked it out.

Let me just start out by saying, I rarely watch infomercials. It drives me crazy how they drive home their point over and over during the hour. Still, Montel Williams (yes, that one), was hosting this gig and I was intrigued by what was going to happen.

In the half-hour that I was watching, I saw a Border Collie mix dog that does freestyle dancing named Gin, another poodle mix dog who could bark "I love you" and a Jack Russell Terrier named Uggie who could skateboard.

It was interesting to hear all about this bed. It seems ideal for an older dog like Cookie. Made with memory foam (the same material as Tempurpedic Beds) it conforms to your dogs shape. The bed seems to be reasonably priced. So, there may be a review for this in the future.

Pawsitively Fabulous Contest

If you are a dog owner who has the ultimate picture of your dog, you may want to give this contest a shot. The winner will win $10,000 USD, a feature in the next infomercial as well as having their photo on the product box. only one entry per person allowed. Any multiple entries will be duplicated. This contest is running through the end of the year (12/31/10).

If you would like to find more details about the contest you may want to visit the website.

Let's Discuss!

Have you seen the Dogpedic infomercial? What are your thoughts on this product?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Oscar Foundation

When I was a kid, my dog Casey would greet us when we would come home from school. One day, Casey got hit by a car when he went outside. His injuries were massive, including a broken hip. We weren't sure if he would walk again, and it took two months for him to be able to walk again. Even so, he walked with a limp. At that time, dog wheelchairs or carts were not available.

Sometimes, when you own a dog, there are times when a dog will need surgery such as Casey's and the costs are not affordable. This was the case with Oscar. Oscar was found in a dumpster at only eight weeks old with his body shattered and his jaw broken. After considerable surgery Oscar was able to walk but it was decided that using a cart would give him the best quality of life.

The Oscar Foundation was established to help pet owners who are in similar situations to have the opportunity to afford these complex surgeries. Their application has strict requirements and will give a person the chance to give their pet the care they need when there is no where else to turn.

If you would like to learn more, you can learn more through their website. Since this is a non-profit organization, they will accept donations as well.

Let's Discuss!

Have you had a dog in your life that needed a serious operation like Oscar or Casey?

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Two Dogs And A Goat

Many of you may have heard about the dog and goat found wandering together in Garland, TX that had such a strong bond, it would be difficult to separate them. It seemed that Minnelli the Goat would cry until Judy was close to him. The two animals had such a bond, the goat actually behaves more like a dog.

There have been a couple of twists in this story. First, the law in Texas does not allow livestock and domestic to be together. For a short time, these two were separated and Judy the dog was barking and crying the entire time.

However, the real owner stepped forward and brought another dog named Lucky. Lucky is unique because he only has three legs and will be adopted out with the other two animals. It seems that this situation was obviously an exception to the state law and the three animals will be adopted together. It helps that the original owner stepped forward on the animals' behalf as well.

Now all three animals are staying together while the two dogs are being treated for heartworm. There have been hundreds of e-mail inquiries to adopt this threesome. You can read more about these animals at the hospital's website. Their website even has a live webcam where you can see the animals in real time.

Read More About It

Article from CBSTV 11

Let's Discuss!

What are your thoughts on this story? Have you owned animals of an unusual pairing?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Agility Diaries Week 5

Hello Everyone!

I did take Homer to agility this week but I was so excited to share my experiences with you about my meeting, that I thought I would write about his agility class today instead.

Week 5

I came a little bit late to class because of my meeting with Nancy. We are now entering the point of doing longer routines. Homer seems to get distracted but once he focuses, he looks like a natural.

He tackles the equipment with no fear. He just ran across the teeter-totter and when he got to the other end, he jumped on the end and ran back across. There isn't anything Homer won't do for food. The only thing he has to work more on is his speed. He seems to be hesitant when it comes to jumping over.

The next two weeks will be where Homer gets to truly shine. In the meantime, if you haven't checked out the rest of the Agility Diaries, here are the posts:

The Agility Diaries\
The Agility Diaries Week 2
The Agility Diaries Week 3
The Agility Diaries Week 4

Other News

You may have noticed that I've changed the design again. I went with a new design because my other template wasn't adding links the way that it should. I'd love to hear your feedback on the new design.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Making Headway With Homer

Having a beagle isn't like having other dogs. They are one of the most misunderstood breeds out there. They are one of the cutest breeds and are calm, loving dogs, but their energy level can shoot through the roof. As a result, they are one of the most common breeds you will find in shelters. This week has been a roller coaster ride when it comes to understanding why Homer does what he does.

Oh Homer!

This week was extremely challenging with Homer. It seemed that every chance he got, he would bring something that was inappropriate to chew in for us to see. One moment it was a pillow from the couch in the living room. The next time he would bring in a pillow from my mom's bed. After taking that away from him, he brought in one of the bathroom rugs.

When he does this, he does this to destructively chew. The kicker was when he went into the living room after I put all the pillows away to grab the seat cushion of my mom's favorite chair. When it was too quiet, I went to check on him after a few minutes and was in complete disbelief. There on the floor, I saw the seat cushion with a chunk removed from the corner.

When Reality Hits

It was apparent that Homer was acting out and my mom and I were at the end of our rope. My mom decided to call my brother to figure out what would be best for Homer. After a rough night and not knowing what to do, I left the decision up to my mom.

The next morning, my mom came to the decision that we were giving Homer two more weeks to see if we can improve the living situation. I was looking at abeagle rescue group and the one that I saw had at least 50 dogs up for adoption in the midwest alone. That's a lot of dogs! I had agility with Homer later that day and one of the agility teachers last week said that one of the ladies who work in the build is a dog behavior expert and that it would be good for me to talk to her.

Beagles 101

I arrived at agility about 15 minutes early. After sitting with Homer for a bit, I thought I would seek out Nancy Reyes from For Your Canine before class. When I went to her office, she took a few minutes to talk to be about Homer. It turned out that she was a beagle owner as well and had a 13 year-old beagle named Bailey.

After observing Homer and having him play with a bigger German Shepherd, Nancy discovered these things.
  1. Homer wasn't getting enough exercise. When Homer first came into our house, it was a couple of months ago. The weather was cooler and less humid and it was easier to give him a good workout. When summer arrived, it wasn't as easy to get out and exercise him. Running the risk of heatstroke was not worth the extra time outside. Homer got tired of playing fetch inside too.

    Nancy then informed me that Beagles were bred to hunt. They are always using their noses and are motivated by food. He was acting up for attention because he was bored and didn't have enough to do. She showed me a game that I could do with Homer. It was called find it. You take a treat in break it into little bits and place the bits in a spot that they could find with their nose.

    For a beagle playing scent games and making the dog use their nose, is as good of a workout as having them run a mile.
  2. Homer was relentless with Gigi. Gigi is a very sweet, laid-back and docile dog. She loves a good walk but is happy when she gets her treats and her exercise. Homer knowing that Gigi has a playful side is too alluring. As a result, he's always on Gigi to play with him. It turns out that even though Gigi has a high energy level, Homer's energy level is much higher. When Gigi says "I've had enough", Homer would tell her "I want to play more".

    Also, Homer will steal the toy she's chewing because he wants it. When I told Nancy about this, she told me to take it away from him. When she found out that I do that already, she said if he does it again, to give him a time out. Unfortunately, with Homer's penchant for pillows, the only thing I can do is put him in his crate. She told me that was ok because he needs to learn his boundaries. As for when he gets too much for Gigi, I need to give him an activity to keep him engaged.
  3. Homer is a major worrier.During much of his puppyhood, Homer was left by himself in a crate for hours at a time. His previous owner knew that he needed more of a human presence in his life since Beagles are such strong pack dogs. Homer has quite a case of separation anxiety. All dogs have their fears, and not knowing how to handle this breed, didn't help with his fearfulness. Where I thought he was being aggressive, he was acting out in fear.

    Time and patience are instrumental in helping Homer overcome his fears. If the dog owner doesn't stay calm, the dog will sense that.
  4. Homer bouts with carsickness. Although this affects many dogs, there's a very good chance Homer will grow out of this. It helps having him ride in the front seat and he loves to put his head out the window. I was relieved to learn this.

Moving Forward

Speaking to another beagle owner has helped me realized that Homer is an incredible dog. While no dog is perfect, understanding what motivates your breed, makes a huge difference in helping to train them. Beagles are unique because once you master what makes them tick, the rewards will be worth all of the work. Agility has been great for refocusing Homer's excess energy. It's helped give him some obedience skills as well. I hope to be able to arrange play dates with other dogs and take them on outings. I have high hopes that I will be able to stick with Homer and bring out the superstar that lurks underneath.

Let's Discuss!

Have you worked with a breed of dog that is difficult? What were some methods you used that helped?

Related Posts

When Your Dog Is Fearful
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The Newest Member Of The Crew
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 Tips About Rawhide

Rawhide is one of the more popular treats made for dogs. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Dogs love it whether it's natural or specially basted. It shares a similarity to leather, but engages a dog in its primal instincts. However, it posts some dangers.

1. A dog may confuse them with your shoes. Shoes or other objects that are made of leather can be confused with rawhide, so an owner must be vigilant in distinguishing the two items.

2. For dogs who love to chew, this is a treat that will keep them busy. Yet all that chewing will make a dog thirsty. If a dog drinks too much water afterwards, the rawhide can expand in their digestive tract causing bloating and irritation. Therefore, it's important to monitor your dog's water intake after giving it one of these treats.

That's my tips. What's yours?

Thank you all for stopping in.

Related Posts

A Treat For Gigi
Homemade Dog Treats Part I
More Homemade Dog Treats Part II

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bottle Rappers Dog Toys

Photo From: Genuine Dog Gear

Some dogs will play with a toy and just enjoy having it around. Other dogs, like Homer, are on a one-man mission to destroy whatever they can and they tell themselves it's just for fun.

I came across a toy that may be worth checking out if you have a dog who is an aggressive chewer. It's called the Bottle Rapper Dog Toy and is made by Genuine Dog Gear. It is priced at $13.95 USD and is manufactured in the U.S.

How This Toy Works

You insert an empty 20oz or smaller water bottle in there, close the ends and let your dog chomp away. It is made with microfiber so the dog can chew without the owner having to worry about bigger pieces of plastic cutting into your dog's mouth.

You can also try other objects. For instance, any squeak toy I give Homer, he will chew into the item and not stop until he's able to pull the squeaker out. With this, the toy could be covered and it will hasten the dog from destroying the toy inside.

Where to Find Them

There are two places online that you can order these toys:

Clean Run
Genuine Dog Gear

Let's Discuss

I will be writing a review soon on this toy. In the meantime, what toys do you use for your dogs who are aggressive chewers?

Related Posts
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4 Reasons Your Dog Likes To Destroy Your Things

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Agility Diaries Week 4

I have to say this was a good week for Homer. We had a smooth trip in the car, going back and forth to dog agility.

He's getting better at the equipment such as the bridge, the weave poles (which can be very difficult to grasp), and he seems to love the tunnel.

Aside from running out of treats, Homer's biggest challenges are keeping up his stamina for jumping and keeping his focus on me and away from the other dogs. I remember seeing an episode of It's Me Or The Dog where she used hula hoops being held in place to get the dog extra exercise. Since I am limited with what I can do with all three dogs, that may be an avenue to explore.

I did learn a couple of neat commands. Watch Me is where you hold a treat in both hands where the dog can't see or smell the tree. You need to grab his eye contact, tell him "yes" and then give him a treat.

The agility instructors couldn't stress enough of the Come command. It seems simple enough when you think about it, but a dog has really mastered it when you can call him from one side of the house to the other or from the back of your yard to the front of your house. Since Homer has a stubborn streak, I think this part of his training will be ongoing.

Let's Discuss!

What are some ways that you keep the focus of your dog? How do you build their stamina?

Related Posts

The Agility Diaries Week 3
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Friday, July 16, 2010

The Newest Member Of The Crew

Hello Fair Readers!

I am happy to introduce the latest addition to our family. His name is Homer and he's an 18-month Beagle. My brother originally adopted him but realized that his schedule wasn't ideal for this dog. He was alone quite a bit from his previous owner and my brother knew that with his work schedule, he couldn't give Homer the time he needed. Now, Homer lives with my mom and I.

Homer Having A Snooze

So far, it's been an adjustment. Homer is a very loving and sweet dog, yet has all the alpha dog characteristics. For some reason, he likes to treat Gigi like a chew toy. He doesn't understand why he can't and when I tell him no, he will either chew on one of his toy bones or try to chew on something else.

He is doing excellent in agility but I think he will really get to shine when it's time for dog obedience. I hope to sign him up in the fall but with the way my school schedule is, I may be squeezing him in for a late summer class. Sometimes, it takes a little more work than usual when it comes to acclimating your dog to a new household. I consider Homer a labor of love. I know the end result will be worth it.

I hope you all are having a great day. I love to hear your comments so don't feel shy. That's all for now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When The Sun's Rays Come Into Play

Photo by C. Janssen from Morgue File

More and more these days the effects of the sun are getting stronger. As a child, I could go out into the sun, and get a nice brown look on my arms. Now, I get a burn that I'm lucky if it turns into a tan.

I was talking to my friend on Twitter and we discussed how we have to be careful not to keep our sun-loving dogs in the sun too long. Dogs are very much like us when it comes to the sun. They may be furry but their nose, belly and ears can be susceptible to sunburn. Light-colored dogs and hairless dogs are susceptible as well. Examples of these breeds would be the Chinese Crested, Greyhound and Chihuahua.

Protect Them!

If your dog loves to be out in the sun, there are two really effective methods to protect them.


Yes, they really do make sunscreen for dogs. All chuckling aside, these are made not to irritate your dog's skin. You have to let the product dry and believe me, the dogs will want to lick it off. A good diversion is giving the dog a treat while applying it.

From what I saw, I liked these brands of sunscreen best. Since dog sunscreen is hard to find, I was able to find these at the website.
  • Doggles Pet Sunscreen
    This tiny bottle will come in handy for your dog. The most effective way to apply a spray is to spray it into your hands and then apply to the areas. Spraying it directly may scare your dog.

  • Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen Spray

    I like this one because it comes in a much bigger bottle. It's approved by 94% of veterinarians and made specifically for dogs. It costs $17.95 USD at Amazon but offers a good source of protection for your pooch. You ought to see the before and after pictures at their website.

    Pet Guard Gel with Sunscreen 8oz
  • Pet Guard Gel With Sunscreen
    This product works well since it not only protects your dog from the sun but protects your animal from insect bites. It's a gel so it will stay on better but you still have to watch that your dog doesn't lick the product while it's wet.


PlayaPup UV Protective Rash Guard Shirt in Green, MediumTuga Sunwear has created protective clothing for dogs. These are a lightweight and fitted with a SPF of 50. They dry quickly too. For dogs who love to swim or surf, these are ideal. If you don't like the idea of applying sunscreen, this may be a great alternative. They range in price from $19 to $29 USD.

Summing It All Up!

You can stay ahead of the sun's damage with some prudent planning. Dogs with lots of fur have a good source of natural protection against the UV fans. Dogs with lighter colored fur and skin are more susceptible to damage. If these measures seem excessive, it's best to have your dog avoid the sun during peak hours.

Let's Discuss!

What are some ways do you keep your dog safe in the sun? What are your favorite products to use?

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Monday, July 12, 2010

3 4 Reasons Your Dog Likes To Destroy Your Things

Dogs are funny. One minute they are telling you how much they love you, the next, you find some of your possessions shredded to bits and you can't understand why. Yesterday, I went to a family wedding. Because of a shortage of time, I wasn't able to put Homer in his crate. (We've inherited Homer from my brother so now I have three dogs). I figured how bad could it be.

When I got home, the living room was a disaster area. He tore the book jacket off of one of my books because it was on the coffee table. There was a roll of wrapping paper on the floor that I forgot to put away. Finally, there was some stuffing taken out of a pillow. I couldn't be mad at him because he didn't realize what he did wrong. The only thing I could do again is give him choices.

Here are the biggest causes of why your dog goes ballistic when your out:

  • Your Dog Misses You. It's been said that a dog's biggest fear is that they'll never see you again. They don't know how long that you'll be away just that you're away. Separation anxiety can affect dogs differently. One of the ways dogs deal with this is by chewing up whatever possessions you have. Your scent is on them and they feel closer to you.
  • The Dog Is Bored. Dogs like people have different levels of intelligence. Some dogs need to find constant sites of stimulation. Smart toys are becoming more popular as a way of giving dogs a challenge.
  • They are aggressive chewers. Although most puppies teeth between 4 to 7 months. Some dogs just love to chew and can't get enough. It may be a way they relax or they have nervous energy.
  • They need more exercise. I can't believe I forgot this one. A working dog will need much more javascript:void(0)exercise than a dog that is bred for companionship. Exercise improves circulation, stamina and relaxes one's nerves. A dog that has a good workout will be thinking more about sleeping and not about being curious to what's lying around when you're out of the house. I didn't take the dogs on a walk before we left last night and I think if I had, there would probably have been less of a mess.

How To Handle This

1. Anything you don't want chewed shouldn't be within reach. I'm not the most organized person so I guess Homer will help me improve with that.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement. It does no good to scold a dog unless you catch it in the middle of the act. Many times Homer will try to latch on to a sock or pillow and I'll swap it out with a treat to give him a bigger incentive. He knows he should not be chewing these things but he still likes to test me. I look at him as a work in progress. Still positive reinforcement will build greater trust than yelling or punishment. Some dogs take longer to learn this.

3. Work Through The Anxiety. Separation anxiety can be lessened by conditioning a dog to get used to your absence. It involves repetition and patience. Start with leaving them for one minute and gradually build up the time as you go.

4. Exercise with Caution. On days where the temperatures hit the extreme highs and lows, you can't be too careful when it comes to the welfare of your dog. Always have a supply of water on hand if it's too hot or take them out in the early/late times of the day.

Let's Discuss!

What are methods that you use for your dog to become less destructive? Which one worked best?

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Friday, July 9, 2010

The Agility Diaries Week 3

Hi everyone!

I hope you all have been enjoying the week. My arm is getting better slowly but surely. It's much better to type now. Thanks to all who have sent get well wishes.

Week 3

Well this week got off to a rocky start. I tried the expressway again to save time, but missed my exit and wound up being about 10 minutes late to class. Aside from that, once I arrived at class, there were new pieces of equipment for Homer to learn.

The A Frame
Photo Resource: PR Log
This apparatus is one of the more challenging events in agility. It requires balance and concentration. It can be intimidating for a dog. Homer was a little shaky at first but soon was able to master this with the assistance of a little beef jerky.

Photo Resource: Lambert Vet Supply
The Chute
This is very similar to the tunnel but is a piece of fabric that is collapsed that the dog passes through. When Homer first encountered this, he was a little bit apprehensive but he quickly got accustomed to this apparatus.

Homer's biggest distraction is other dogs. He would notice the dogs sitting out waiting for the next class, and would pass through the opening to say hello to them. Because of this, it was hard to have him do the agility passes off-leash. I'll have to find a treat that has a stronger smell than beef jerky or just cut the beef jerky up in bigger pieces.

Still, Homer is catching on very quickly. It's giving him a positive focus for his energy. After three weeks, he's learning the routines very fast and is always willing to try again. He doesn't complain and gets along well with the dogs in his group.

We are still working on his car travelling issues. However, considering that I was way off-course, I can't get upset. He is getting better at travelling in the car, and sometimes time makes all the difference.

Related Posts

The Agility Diaries
Agility Diaries Week 2

Thank you all for stopping in. Hope you all enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

To Tug Or Not To Tug

Tug of War is a popular game to play these days with dogs. My brother's dog Homer loves to play it and is relentless when it comes to giving up whatever he is tugging. On one hand, it's great exercise for a dog. It is perfectly normal when you hear a dog growling playing this game.

However, there is another side to this. Opponents of the game think that tug of war causes dogs to become more aggressive. A dog can wind up biting their owner if the game gets out of control. Any time a dog nips or bites, you must stop the game immediately.

Other times, a dog may get their teeth on something you don't want chewed. Sometimes Homer will wrap his teeth around a throw or towel and will want to play tug of war. Since he's a Beagle, swapping out a treat usually works well in this situation.

Tug Of War Tips

  • It's good to start out when the dog is a puppy. They haven't learned the rights and wrongs for bite inhibition so it's a good game to teach. Also, it's useful for them to learn the Drop It command.
  • Never chase the dog to get the toy back, grab another toy instead or offer an item of greater value.
  • If a dog has aggressive tendencies towards humans, it's advisable not to play Tug Of War.
  • Some dogs will have such a grip, you can lift them into the air. While this is amazing to see, depending on what the toy is, it can pull out or loosen a young dog's tooth.

Tug Toys

Here are some great tug toys to use with your dog and can be found at

Ruff Stuff - 2-Knot - Colored - Medium
Rope Toys
These are inexpensive and last quite a while. The only downside is that it may be difficult for a dog to differentiate a rope toy from a fabric you don't want chewed. However, this is more the exception rather than the rule. Bitter Apple is good to spray on things you don't want chewed.

KONG BraidZ Dog Toy, Small, Monkey
KONG BraidZ Dog Toy
This toy is made with strong fleece and is braided. There's very little stuffing and it is good for dogs who love to destroy their toys.

New PetSport USA Disco Tug Flying Disk Super-tough Nylon and Rope Design Great for Retrieving
PetSport USA Disco Tug Flying Disk
This is nice because a dog can not only tug on it but can play frisbee as well.

West Paw Bumi Dog Toy - Large (Colors Vary)
West Paw Design Bumi Dog Tug Toy
This is an eco-friendly dog toy that can be tugged, thrown and floats in water. It's a soft yet strong material that won't damage your dog's teeth. It's available through the West Paw Design website and various online retailers.

If you would like to learn more about tug of war Best Friends Pet Care has a great article here.

Let's Discuss!

Is Tug Of War a game you play with your dog? Do you think it's a good activity or a dangerous one?


Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th Greetings

Hello Everyone! For all of my US readers, I wish you all a Happy Independence day. For all of you who live in other countries, I hope you've had a great weekend.

I had a good weekend myself. However, I was out on a walk with my boyfriend and wound up slipping on a raised piece of pavement. I wound up hitting my arm and hand and because of that, it's very hard for me to type my usual posts since I can't rest my arm when type. I hope to be back by Wednesday or Thursday. Thank you guys for stopping in.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Agility Diaries - Week 2

Hello everybody! As you know, I recently signed my brother's dog Homer up for an agility class. Being a beagle, it seems like he has boundless energy and agility would be a good outlet for that.

Week 2

I put him in a travel kennel this time since Homer got car sick the last time. I had thought he wouldn't be affected if that was the case. Sure enough, he was. After cleaning things up, we headed into the class. It probably didn't help that he gobbled up some of his kibble before we left but sometimes dogs can be sneaky when we least expect it.

It made a huge difference getting there earlier. I had cut up string cheese and beef jerky into tiny pieces to keep Homer motivated. Food is a great motivator for this breed.

The first half of the class, we worked on the teeter-totter and also jumped over small hurdles. Homer was a natural.

The second part of the class was a little bit harder. Homer wasn't familiar with the equipment as he was still pretty new. There was a bridge that was curved. It was about 18 inches (43 cm) off the floor. Homer did great the first time. The second time, I tried it without holding his leash and he wound up jumping off before completing the task.

We also had him run through a tunnel, weave through a series of hoops, and do the deck. The deck is two short platforms with a bar across the middle. To master this, you have the dog sit on one platform, jump over the bar, then sit on the other platform. Homer was right there and didn't miss a beat.

Soon, we had to put these tasks together. As the class was getting ready to finish, Homer was interested in the other dogs in the waiting area. The trainer then informed me that I would need a higher value treat to keep his attention. It turned out that beef jerky trumps string cheese with him.

Going home, things went much better. Homer seemed to enjoy his ride in the front seat and had no problems at all.

Let's Discuss!

Do any of you have dogs who become car sick? What are some things you do to keep your dog from getting this?

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