Monday, May 23, 2011

23 May,Victoria Day. Tony The Tiger. English Shepherds. Stop Leash Pulling. Dog Mind Tricks.

Victoria DayHappy Victoria Day to all Canadians.

Left: A portrait in Ottawa City Hall of Queen Victoria, first sovereign of a confederated Canada

Right: King George VI in Ottawa, Ontario, on his official birthday, Victoria Day 1939(Parents of Queen Elizabeth II.)

"Victoria Day (in French: FĂȘte de la Reine) is a federal Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the last Monday on or before May 24, in honour of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning Canadian sovereign's official birthday. It is sometimes informally considered as marking the beginning of the summer season in Canada." More at:

For "Mammal Monday": Great News for Tony the Tiger.
"I am excited to share with you an incredible victory in our case to free Tony, a 10-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger who has
Tony the Tiger
spent every day and night of the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund won its case against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, preventing the Department from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin, owner of Tiger Truck Stop, to display Tony as a roadside exhibit. When the current permit expires in December 2011, Sandlin will no longer be able to keep Tony confined at the truck stop where he has been subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day for over a decade.

Your support made Tony's freedom possible! From the activists who brought Tony’s plight to our attention, to the tens of thousands of people from around the world who have signed our petition and made donations -- you made a real difference for one animal! But our fight can't end here.

In preparation for the day the current permit expires and Tony is finally free, ALDF hopes to work with the Department to find the best possible new home for him, providing recommendations for reputable sanctuaries where Tony can live out his life in a peaceful, natural environment, free of the fumes, toxins, and noise that have plagued his life to date.
Your generous support is vital to our continued success.   Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign!
We won this fight, and with your support, we will do it again."
For the animals,
Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Tony's story:

Wizz, **   Did you see this?
Most Valuable Pet photo
Most Valuable Pet Photo Contest. By encouraging their supporters to participate, the National English Shepherd Rescue will receive $10,000 thanks to grand prize winner, Bailey,!

My Photo

This is a blog about an English Shepherd, Wizz.
She is one of the first born in England for some years...


Leash Pulling
""The fastest way to STOP your dog from pulling on leash is to STOP pulling on the leash."  This confused many and I wanted to clear up what I meant.  There is a term "opposition reflex" that anyone training a dog should know.
Have you ever pushed down on your dog's back and tried to force him into a down position. If you have, your dog probably resisted and pushed back.
The same happens when you pull back on the leash.  Have you ever noticed that as you pull back on the leash your dog pulls even harder.
Opposition reflex is kicking in. As you apply pressure on your dog, your dog will resist and apply counter
Gentle leaders are great for walking dogs and I have recommended them for years. Of course, a lot of
people don't like them and would rather walk their dog without one.
BTW - Here's a little tip for you. Opposition reflex occurs with humans also. Opposition reflex will happen
mentally and physically.  Think of the last time someone told you to do something.  Not asked - told.  Most people will resist when told to do something. It's normal, it's natural, it's opposition reflex and it's built into us."  Eric Letendre.

I found that the best way to stop a dog from pulling on the leash, is to turn around and go in the opposite direction….
The dog finds out that pulling doesn't get him where he wants to go!  So he quits pulling, but you have to be consistent.

Another way, is to have one of those harnesses which has the leash clip on the right side of it.   Your dog should always be walking on your left side, so if he pulls, it swings him around, and doesn't get him where he wants to go!  He soon learns.

Mind Tricks for your Dog

"Stimulating your dog’s mind and challenging him to try new things is one of the keys to fulfillment. Finding ways to work with a dog’s instinctual nature can bring out the best in them. The walk offers a structured routine that allows you to bond with your dog, but playtime can give you more opportunities to challenge them, enrich their lives, and establish an even deeper bond.

Many owners think “play” means letting their puppy run wild, but play sessions can be productive and fun too with some focus that allows a mental component in addition to the physical. A dog plays two ways – first as a dog, and second as a breed. Channeling that energy and knowing the difference is the key to making it a positive learning experience.

Here are Cesar’s best tips for mind tricks you can play with your dog.

1) Stimulate the nose. All dogs can track using their most powerful sense – their nose. Make a game out of hiding their food or play hide-and-seek with treats. You can build obstacle courses for your dog out of boxes, sturdy containers, and portable stairs. Rub the scent in scent in various spaces, hiding the meal or the high-prized treat in the toughest place to find. It encourages the dog to problem solve and as a result, builds confidence too. Think of this as a sort of Easter egg hunt for the dog. You can hide treats and high-prized toys all over the house or yard even! I’ve played this “game” with all of the pups I’ve raised over the years.

2) Use your imagination. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on toys or tools. Remember when you’re a kid and you built fortresses in the family room out of sheets and chairs and sofa cushions? You can do the same with your dog and create an agility course at home. Use treats to lure the dog by scent into the area and activity you want them to perform. Be patient. They might not get it right away, but as with any sport, practice makes perfect! Remember that all kinds of toys sold in stores can be made at home too. Treat balls are a lot of fun, but hiding kibble in an empty plastic water bottle can be just as exciting. The dog doesn’t know the difference. This can be a challenging way to feed them too because it forces them to problem solve and earn their food. I know some dogs that learn how this works so quickly that they realize if they put the bottle in their mouth and turn their head, all the food comes out at once!

3) Play like a dog. All dogs love to run and chase things (even if they don’t naturally retrieve, all dogs can learn). One game I like to play: Tie a string to the end of a long stick, then tie a soft stuffed animal onto the string. Dangle it in front of your dog to catch their eye contact and attention. To make it even more interesting, stuff it with a treat or rub it with the scent of a treat or food. Instead of moving it frantically, which is our natural human inclination, move it slowly, stopping and starting again. This encourages the dog to focus the excitement and leave you in control – the faster you go, the more you drain their physical energy; the slower you go, the more you challenge their mind. Additionally, it nurtures their natural prey drive in a focused, disciplined way that is fun for them and you.

4) Discipline can be fun too! One of the ways people often teach a puppy their name is to play hide-and-seek, literally, not just with a treat. Once a dog has learned the “stay” command, this becomes a really fun exercise. It’s also a way to teach “come” with the word “come” or whatever sound you choose, a whistle for example. It works like this: you say “stay” and then go hide in another room or behind a tree or wherever. Keep the proximity close at first and then gradually increase the distance. When you are in your hiding place, make the come sound or say the word. Then patiently wait for the dog to find you. Don’t say his name or the command again. Give their mind a chance to work it out. When he finds you, reward him with a treat. It’s that simple. They’ll get better and better at it and once they do, you can move to larger areas like a park.

5) Tug of war is not for humans. With the amount of ropes and toys available that encourage tug of war, it’s not surprising that so many dog owners play this game with their dog. I never do and here’s why – I don’t want any dog to think that he can engage in a contest of strength with me.
It may be easy enough to “win” when they are puppies, but puppies become dogs, and some of them will be able to win the “game.” This nurtures dominant and obsessive behavior which is never the way to balance or the calm-submissive dog you want to create. "

Raccoon gets new Mama



Annual rainfall here is supposed to be about 46".  If I read it right, our area hasn't even had 2" of rainfall this year. That doesn't seem like very much!  Our area's average for May is 5.5", and we have only had 1.23".  Only 8 days to catch up!  But, please Lord, we don't want it all at once!

Of all my known readers, I think Dizzy-Dick ( lives the closest to me, and it seems that the little rain we had the other night missed him.  If I have any readers closer than Dizzy-Dick, maybe you will come out of the woodwork, and supply us with better statistics for this area?

No one wanted to work yesterday.  Saturday is supposed to be the day of rest, as the Sabbath starts on Friday at sunset, .   But as the rest of the world beats to a different drum, Sunday was my rest day.  But, even on a rest day one is supposed to tend to their animals, so I seemed to be busy all day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Hey Penny, down here where I live we have had less than a half inch this year. Most of the rain missed us to the north or west.

Sandra said...

The last couple of months have been mostly rain here. Too bad we can't all share.

I have a friend who has just gotten a border collie puppy (not what I would have chosen for an elderly couple). She says he wants to bite all the time. I don't know if that's when playing or all the time. I sent her to a web site with some ideas. She said she's tried all of those so has started hitting him with the TV guide. I told her he would start cringing from her and being frightened of her if she does that. Any suggestions?

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Sandra, I agree with you.
Hitting him is just going to make things worse, and is not the way to go. Pet parents need to be the alpha animal, and someone the puppy respects, not fears.

Most puppies who have lived with their litter mates until at least 8 weeks of age, have learned that if they bite, their litter mate will squeal.
Copying the response of a litter mate to a bite is also a smart technique. When the puppy bites, make a small, whimpering sound like a puppy would. This is the same response he would get if his brothers and sisters were still around, and it lets him know that he’s hurt you in some way. Since this is not what the puppy wants to do, he’ll retreat. Make sure your sound is surprising enough that he lets go and moves away.

Another good procedure to stop puppies from biting in the beginning is redirection. If the puppy starts to go for a finger or toe, just say “no!”, then provide a chew toy or bone instead. Most puppies will speedily learn that if they need to chew, then find a toy, not a finger.

My little orphan kittens had the habit of trying to climb up my legs, so I would squeal a high pitched startling squeal, and lift up my leg, so they realized that they were hurting me, which was not their intent. So they stopped doing it.

These kittens are going to be very well trained puppies!!

I hopes this helps. Happy Trails, Penny.