Monday, November 29, 2010

The Rockstars Families ROCK !!!

Over the past few weeks, The Rockstars have been lucky enough to have their future "families" come and visit them. In talking about puppies, and all things Vizsla, both good and bad, I realize more than ever how wonderful all the future families are . . . and how lucky each pup will be when join their new homes in a few weeks. I have no doubt the families are looking forward to sharing their lives - and hearts - with one of these outstanding pups as well.

These are truly very special pups ~ and they are going to very special homes.

Cold Outside!

Today is pretty cold outside for Southern CA so the pups are relaxing and playing indoors.
Of course everyone has been outside to potty in the cold air, adult dogs will have to do potty's in the cold, so pups need to learn the same thing.

Chillaxin' in the Kitchen

The pups spent the evening in the kitchen doing what they do best, playing and sleeping.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The many faces of Bono

make a gif

Holiday Week . . .





The pups enjoyed more of the same on Thanksgiving, lots of playing, eating, peeing and sleeping. And they really didn't care much about Black Friday . . .
mostly due to they are PUPPIES!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Field Trip!

Today the Rockstars went to visit the Provence Family and their 1/2 brother "Orion" who lives in the San Diego area. The Rockers and Rockettes had a great time playing with the kids and romping around in the backyard. The weather held out and there was no rain, when it got a little chilly outside, everyone tumbled into the kitchen for some additional play/nap-time.

Thank you Jeff & Alicia and Family for having the whole crew over to play!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures outside . . .






The Carlsbad weather is a bit colder & gloomy today (no rain, yet) but the pups made the most of their early morning trip outside.

Have YOU ever wanted a "normal" dog?

This is must read article on the benefits of training your dog. Enjoy.


The Myth of "Normal" Dogs

Dogster's Dog Training Guide with Casey Lomonaco, KPA CTP

Recently, a colleague and friend posted a picture on FB accompanied by a caption saying something to the effect of “does anyone have ‘normal’ dogs?” indicating that her dogs had a variety of issues which she was dedicated to working with – separation anxiety, noise sensitivity, fear aggression, etc. “All I ever wanted was a normal dog!”

I hear this a lot in my practice and am forced to ask, “Really? You really think you want a ‘normal’ dog?!”

What exactly is a ‘normal’ dog?

Here are some characteristics of normal dogs:

  • normal dogs bite
  • normal dogs have no standards as to appropriate elimination sites with the exception of “where I sleep is out of bounds”
  • normal dogs do not come when called if something more interesting is going on
  • normal dogs default to responding to new stimuli in their environment fearfully. Fear is a survival adaptation and keeps a dog safe.
  • normal dogs chew, dissect, and destroy things
  • normal dogs resource guard
  • normal dogs bark and growl
  • normal dogs dig holes
  • normal dogs hump legs
  • normal dogs vocalize when left alone
  • normal dogs chase squirrels, deer, and cats
  • normal dogs kill small animals
  • normal dogs pull on the leash
  • normal dogs often like to run around as fast as they can, even if they knock over small children or grandma in the process
  • normal dogs lift their legs and pee on trees, even when we bring those trees into our houses and put lights and ornaments all over them
  • normal dogs like to sniff EVERYTHING – crotches (human and canine), fire hydrants, trees, bushes, gopher holes
  • normal dogs eat poop
  • normal dogs tear up the garbage, counter surf, and eat expensive panties or heels
  • normal dogs roll in poop and dead things
  • normal dogs do not like every dog they meet
  • normal dogs do not want to be hugged, kissed, touched, or stared at by every person they meet in every situation
  • normal dogs don’t like having their nails trimmed, mats removed from their coat, or grooming
  • normal dogs don’t naturally love being crated
  • normal dogs don’t naturally love wearing sweaters, being carried in purses or strollers, or wearing booties

Looking at all these things that normal dogs do, how many of you want one? All of these things are NORMAL DOG BEHAVIORS. If humans did not intervene, these are the things that dogs would do naturally. I’d argue that very, very few humans would even know what to do with a truly “normal” dog if they came across one. Normal dogs do not make good pets.

What we want in a pet dog is abnormal behavior. We want a creature which has evolved for millennia as a hunter to act like prey doesn’t matter. We want dogs to learn to go potty outside the house, even when we bring doggy bathrooms (trees) into our homes as holiday decorations. We want dogs to like every dog and person they meet. We want dogs to be silent animals. We want dogs to walk politely on a loose leash, even though our walking pace is comparatively very slow. (Have you ever been caught behind someone who moves slowly when you’re in a hurry, either walking or driving? Frustrating!) We want dogs to never bite, no matter what, even when they are harassed, abused, and neglected.

What we want from dogs are behaviors which are ethologically incompatible with their evolution as a species. We like dogs, but not their “dogginess.” Normal dogs end up in shelters for just this reason. Abnormal dogs get to stay in their homes.

Part of the problem is also in what is defined as “normal dog owner” behavior. “Normal” dog owners:

  • don’t take their dog to class
  • don’t go out of their way to socialize the dog extensively and appropriately during puppyhood
  • place their dog’s physical and mental stimulation needs somewhere around #894 on their list of priorities
  • don’t manage their dogs to prevent rehearsal of bad behavior
  • focus on what their dog is doing “wrong” and ignoring the dog when he does the “right” things
  • don’t train their dogs and then blame the dog for misbehaving
  • expect dogs know the difference between “right” and “wrong” naturally
  • look for a quick fix to behavior problems
  • choose to confine the dog to the back yard, turn him into a shelter, or have him euthanized before consulting with a behavior professional to address the problem

Normal dog owners get normal dog behaviors. Abnormal dog owners are proactive about preventing behavior problems and address any new problems as soon as they are noticed. If they don’t know what to do about a problem, they research to find a good trainer who uses dog-friendly training methods. They exercise and train their dogs, even if they are busy. They make spending time with the dog and helping him thrive a priority.

While no dog is perfect, realizing that virtually everything we expect of dogs is unnatural for them highlights the need for training. Part of what makes dogs so wonderful is the fact that they are generally more than happy to exchange behaviors which are rooted in hundreds of thousands of years of instinct for an owner that will spend a few minutes a day training them to offer alternative, incompatible, and socially desirable behaviors.

Dogs don’t come “perfect,” whether they are brought into the home as puppies or as adult dogs they need training. Well-behaved dogs rarely happen by chance, they are usually well-trained dogs. “Bad” behavior in dogs is not bad behavior to dogs, it is simply normal behavior. I think that society does dogs a disservice with the assumption that “good behaviors” are the norm and “bad behaviors” are aberrant. It is the dogs that pay for this misunderstanding, often with their lives. It’s like something out of the Twilight Zone.

Carefully review the list of normal dog behaviors above. If these are not the behaviors you want, you need to train your dog to offer abnormal behaviors. In doing so, you will leave the ranks of “normal dog owners” and join us crazy folks in the “abnormal dog owner” realm.

It’s not so bad – we have lots of treats, toys, and fun here with our “abnormal dogs!”


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Great Indoors!

By 2's and 3's the pups got hang out in an x-pen in the kitchen. Here they "watched" HDTV while dinner was made, cleaned up and guests stopped by.

For several weeks the pups have been listening to a Sounds Socialization album which has recordings of the following; train, ambulance, baby crying, gunshot, etc. This acclimates the pups to strange and unexpected noises.

Exposure in the "main living area" gets them used to hearing noises of an average household; i.e. TV, microwave, phone ringing, new voices, etc. All the pups did great "Indoors".

The Great Outdoors!

The pups enjoyed their First Trip Outside today! Iggy was the boldest pup and took the first steps into the big outdoors. A couple pups did their "potty" outside (yay!) and Bono explored the adult dog water fountain, he found it to be ok, so much so that he even took a drink from it.

Jett and Iggy investigate . . .


Jett: "What is this?"
Iggy: "Don't be silly, its a FLYING MOOSE".
Jett: "What do I do with it?"

Iggy: "I don't know what you do with it, I think you bite it".

Jett: "Well I tried hitting it, but I think I will taste you instead".

What is a FLYING MOOSE you ask? It's a giant stuffed toy which hangs from the ceiling. This gives the pups an experience of having something above their heads, and a chance for something to "bonk" them in the head (something SOFT of course). The MOOSE has squeaky feet and lots of fur to bite.

By the end of the day everyone wanted a piece of it!

We got a tunnel!

Yipee! The Rockstars celebrated Week Four with lots of fun activities ... the first one was THE TUNNEL! Woot woot! Look at us go! We have no fear and most of us just jumped in - and ran straight through it. These pups love new experiences and are curious about anything and everything.