Monday, February 24, 2014

PEDs: Teaming Up with Other Resources

While we don't put out billboards about our walking group, we want to make sure our community knows about the resource available to them and their pooches.  One of the most efficient ways we have found to do so is to "team up" with other local dog resources. 

One of our favorite places sends dogs and their people our way after coming in looking for socialization opportunities.  A local doggy daycare recommends our group to those whose dogs don't pass the temperament test.  A few dog trainers even recommend our group for more practice.

We also make sure to support other canine-focused events, like doggy trick-or-treating.  By participating in these events, not only do we help them be successful (and hopefully recurring!), we can also meet dog owners outside of our usual circles.

For those of you with a walking group, how do you make sure your community knows about you?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Visual vs. Verbal Commands

When teaching the pooches basic commands, we also taught them a corresponding hand signal.  When we can we use both verbal and visual commands to elicit an action from the dogs.

We've noticed recently that they each have a preference.  Edison responds much better to visual commands.  When given a verbal command alone, he is significantly less likely to respond.

Tess, on the other hand, responds much better to verbal commands, although we still throw in the visual commands as well.

Do you use visual commands with your dogs? Which do they respond to better?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Trusting a Pitbull

I'll admit it: when I first started seeing Hannah, I was wary of the little, muscle-bound, resident pitbull.  She didn't trust me much either.

I was a victim of the anti-bullie propaganda that has had a firm hold on our society for far too long.

Long story short - I knew that I'd have to get to know this beautiful little creature because it was (and is) painfully evident where my place in the pecking order was.

Thank God for stubborn women.  It wasn't long before Tessie-girl was snuggling me while we watched TV, lick-attacking me when I returned from work, and serving her general purpose of heating the bed during frigid Erie nights.

You'd think that once I became so close with Tessie that my unwarranted mistrust would disappear and I would welcome any dog with open arm(s), right? ...WRONG.

Once Edi Boy showed his true colors, I stated on multiple occasions that I would "never trust this dog."

After years of hard work and lots of time to bond, I trust Edi just as much as Hannah (take that as you will).  But really, hype is hype -- my two bullies prove it to me every day.

Monday, February 17, 2014

PEDs: Active vs. Passive Socialization

Socialization can be lumped into 2 categories: active and passive.

Active socialization includes that in which the dogs actually meet and play together, like social hour or play dates.  Passive socialization is where dogs are around each other, but do not actually interact.

Both types are a great option (and are great when used in conjunction!), although they serve two entirely different purposes.  Active socialization teaches dogs how to interact and identify social cues, while passive socialization allows dogs to learn to be comfortable around each other while focusing on their handlers.

What types of socialization does your dog receive?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


As we've said on here before, Tess is afraid of a lot of things.  She's afraid of water, anxious about car rides, and is even scared to be left alone.

We're starting to think she's a little agoraphobic.

It seems that she would much rather be home with her humans all day.  No adventures necessary.

Is your pooch a little agoraphobic, or is he a social butterfly?

Monday, February 10, 2014

PEDs: Space and Focus

As owners of a reactive dog, we always ensure we know exactly where Edison and his focus are.  Not only that, but we usually have to make sure we know these same things about the dogs around us.

It's easy to take this for granted, however.  We've found we're much more lax with Tesla.  But space isn't just for reactive dog owners to worry about.  Even the humans of social butterflies need to be aware of where there dog is -- both physically and mentally!

This is one expectation we have of our Pack members.  Not only does it help each of them be better neighbors to other pedestrians, but it also takes some of the pressure off of our reactive dog owners.  They can be relieved to know that the other dogs in the group will be under control, allowing them to focus completely on their own dog.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Grain Free = Odor Free

Last year when we switched the pooches' food brand to Victor Dog Food, we also decided to make the switch to grain-free.

We're lucky that the Ed & Tess don't have any major allergies, but we've heard really positive feedback from those who have switched to grain free, so we figured it wouldn't hurt.  Plus the formulation of the grain-free was closest to what we had been previously been feeding the dogs.

While we figured we would see skin and fur improvements (so soft!), there were a few other unexpected improvements, too.  Usually, we give Edison a bath once a month -- but smelling him after 3!  We went over 3 months before noticing his musky odor.  We also had to keep an eye on his ears and be sure to clean them each week as they would get really dirty, but since the switch haven't had to clean them yet!

What is your food doing for your pooches?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Edi & Tess's Favorite Things: Paus Berber Ball Bed

This Christmas, Edison and Tesla got the perfect present for our long days of snuggling over Christmas.

We thought the Paus Berber Ball would be the perfect way to trick get Tesla to snuggle with us.  Since she only snuggles on her own terms, we have to go to her.

What better way than a giant (44 inches!!) cushy floor pillow -- "big enough for 1 human and 1 dog."  We've even managed 1 human and 2 dogs.

What's your favorite way to snuggle with your pooches?

Monday, February 3, 2014

PEDs: On Getting Out

After canceling last week's walk, we really wanted to make this week's happen.

Even though it was cold and icy, the weather was nice compared to the polar vortex we've been experiencing.  With temperatures almost!  to freezing, we kept the walk on as planned.

Since so many of us have backyards, it is so easy to become complacent with weather like we've been experience (especially if you have a dog who hates the cold as much as the humans!).

It was great to get out, enjoy our city, and spend time with our pooches!