Monday, January 12, 2015

Filling A Dogs Tummy!

With all the information and research about the poor quality of kibble, we strive to buy what we feel is the best quality kibble on the market but I love to cook for the dogs and feel much more comfortable feeding them food that I have cooked. I know nutrient wise it is much better for them. Our challenge is the cost of cooking for ten dogs but I have been cooking more lately and am finding that with the correct recipe I can provide good food and still be frugal with our money. I will begin to post some of the recipes that I will be trying at least once or twice a month. Each recipe should last us a couple of weeks so you may need to cut back on your recipe. Hope this helps. These recipes are from a holistic vet that also parallels the diet with eastern medicine. She will speak of cool and warm foods to heal different ailments, interesting and following! I will also add fish oil to my recipes. We are doing this one this week! 

It's a dreary day, so I decided a nice warm stew was in order for the dogs. I am using 6 pounds of chicken (whole chicken, cut up, will remove bones after cooking). This is a Qi (energy tonic) and is warming. By allowing the bones to cook, I am adding the marrow, which is a Jing tonic to replenish the kidneys. 2.5 pounds of chicken livers as a blood tonic, 1.25 pounds of chicken gizzards and hearts to support the heart (had another pack, but the pot was too full!), 3 parsnips and 2 sweet potatoes. Warming, Qi tonics, root vegetables for Jing. About 1/3 pound of spinach as a Blood tonic and for extra vitamins and minerals, 5 ounces of Shiitake mushrooms which are cooling, draining and cancer-fighting. Two apples were added for fiber. I will add 1 cup of steel cut oats once things cook down a bit, as oats are also warming. This is a 12-quart pot and the total cost of this stew was $34. It will make enough food for our 6 dogs for at least one week. #dogstew #petfood #petcare

Training Tip!

It is very important to desensitize your dog to a muzzle even if you do not have handling issues with your dog. When dogs are hurt or they don't feel well they can become aggressive. It would help to have the dog trained to a muzzle before you actually need to use one. Giving your dog a treat as they interact with or when they put their nose in the muzzle is a great way to make the muzzle a positive tool. Yesterday was spa day for our Fernando! He does not like to be handled but he needed a bath, an ear wash and his nails trimmed so out came the muzzle. He is already desensitized to the muzzle and knows it means a great treat is about to come when he wears it. We were able to even pick him up to put him in the tub and finish everything else we needed to do. We fed him grilled chicken pieces through the muzzle as we worked with him. As he learns to trust us we will be able to remove the muzzle and work without it but for now the muzzle helped give him a very positive and safe experience which is just a deposit in the bank of trust for us!

Our Fernando!

The muzzle means time for grilled chicken!!

New Research!!

Very exciting and interesting!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A review from puppy class today! Puppy Socialization Matters

Puppies between the ages of 3 to 18 weeks are like sponges. They are prepared to learn what is safe in their world. They can easily be taught that people are wonderful, dogs are fun, having toys taken away is a good thing, loud noises are not scary, skateboarders are no big deal, nail trims are great and being alone is a good time to relax with a chew toy. 

 Puppies need multiple positive experiences around people, dogs, sights, sounds and new places. They need be touched and handled followed by good stuff (think steak or chicken). 

 Food and object guarding can be prevented during this period by teaching puppies that it is great when someone approaches her food bowl or takes away her bone. Thank you Yaletown!

Well our first day back at training and our HUGE shout out goes to JR and Atlas on a great recall! We have been practicing recalls with this handsome boy for awhile. He is adolescent and up and down about recalling but today he was a champ! We had him in a large open field practicing many chase games, treating, heeling, sits, downs,stays and recalls. While were practicing recalls the long line we had snapped and broke! Atlas was loose and he knew it! He played with us, our hearts were thumping but we stayed with the training plan and very calmly recalled. He bounced and played and then came close. It was a game but he did recall and we added a down and stay. I petted his head and lowered my hand to his collar while JR fed him the remainder of treats! Such a good moment for all of us but a reminder that you continue with the training plan particularly with an adolescent dog! Their behavior is very up and down as they are developing physically and mentally. He was in training mode but his attention was completely on his owner today and the pay off was huge! What a big boy! Nice job today!

Yes you can train dogs to be calm and settle but you do have to help them work out some of their energy beforehand! Good article and training path to get there! With ten of our own dogs hiking and training is what works for us!

Click here to view the article!

Another great article by the phenominal Karen Pryor!

"training with reinforcement involves more than just being nice, and more than using reinforcers. It involves creating a climate of security in which it is safe to learn new things, and safe to rely on what you've already learned. In this climate an animal can learn to control itself, rather than being controlled by you. In this climate, rather than just reacting to the environment like an untutored shelter dog, barking at every noise, plunging towards every attraction, jumping on everyone and everything, mouthing and smelling and grabbing—an animal becomes confident and calm. In this climate, having confidence that your cues are meaningful and will lead toward pleasant goals, the dog is trusting and—this is very unscientific—the dog is happy.

Click here to view the article!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas Hike Photos!

We had a great walk and great fun playing around the decorations and lights! Always one of our favorite walks every year! Thanks Jim and Mary Beth for pictures!

Treats for the grown ups!
Brittany and Journey enjoying a snuggle!

John and Maverick!
Bill and his wonderful hat with Emmy!
Cutest snowman ever!
Everyone gathering to begin!
We had fun in the Winter Wonderland!
Playing around the tree!
Dixie wanted to break out the treats before the walk!

We are off!
Waiting for Dixie to break out in a joyful howl?!

Colleen and sweet Mantha!

Robert and Jeep!
Finny and the snowman!

Candy canes and homemade nutty bacon maple syrup dog cookies! They were a hit!

Many dogs will find new families this Christmas and then many dogs will be in the shelter or rehomed by February. To give a person a dog as a gift, you have committed them to house breaking, obedience training, training bills, vet bills, possibly grooming bills or grooming at home, food and treat bills, a possible change in their daily schedule, play time, snuggle time, walk time, boarding fees, pet sitter fees and management of any behaviors that may not be desirable at the moment. Now that is the reality of giving someone a dog for Christmas, the rewards from a dog are wonderful but ownership comes with great responsibility if they can not handle that it would be better to get them a stuffed dog. You are responsible for the life of an animal. Food for thought!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Slow And Hurry! Self Control

In our classes we like to teach a "slow" and a "hurry" cue. It is great for a change of pace on a walk, teaches good self control, our theray dogs have used it and i use it when hiking! In the first pic I have given Joey and Glacier the slow cue. Joey is on my right side, a little behind my knee and Glacier is on the left. This hill was very slick going down, it is full of limestone and there were no trees to help us down. One good pull and i would have fallen. Both dogs did great all the way down kept good pace with me. In the other picture we are climbing a pretty steep hill. Our hurry cue is given and a nice pull helps momentum up the hill! Teach your cues and have a good play!