Monday, March 31, 2014

PEDs: Yellow Bandanas

As reactive dog owners, we created our dog walking group specifically with reactive dogs in mind.  We wanted to create a space where reactive dog owners could focus more on working with their pooch instead of worrying where other dogs were.

We set up our group to not allow greetings.  We try to keep the energy low.  And we make sure each dog receives the space he needs.

One way we make sure everyone knows which dogs need a little more space is by having them wear yellow bandanas.  We've seen The Yellow Dog Project come across our Facebook news feed a time or two and thought we'd help further the cause by selecting yellow as our color.

Any dog that needs more space - be it for aggression, excitement, or fearfulness - wears a yellow bandana to let the rest of group to give them a little more space.  With the rest of the group being more aware of boundaries, this allows our "yellow dog" owners to focus just a little bit more on themselves.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PEDs: Winter Challenges

With spring right around the corner (we hope!), we've been preparing ourselves for the onslaught of dog that will be out with major cabin fever -- with symptoms of pulling, barking, and general craziness.

And while our pooches have had their fair share of missed daily walks, we're much better prepared due to our weekly PEDs walks.  This month's location is an off-leash dog hotspot in the summer, so isn't generally somewhere we frequent with the pooches.  But because spring is taking her sweet time getting here, we're able to take our dogs to enjoy the park.

There have been a few off-leash dogs that thankfully we never encountered along with a few runners and cyclists, so it's been a great training location with a few challenges while still setting them up for success.

Are you and your pooches ready for spring?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Longing for Spring

Even though tomorrow is the first day of spring, I'm pretty sure we Erie-ites have a long way to go until it feels like spring around here.

With 95% of Lake Erie frozen over, and Presque Isle Bay having over a foot of ice, the cool weather is here to stay for the time being.

But even though the winter wants to stay, the people (and pooches!) of Erie are just ready for some nice weather.  On even moderately nice days (Criteria? It be above 30 degrees and not snowing/sleeting/raining...we have low expectations), the neighborhoods will be bustling with people and pooches out walking and enjoying being outside.

We trick ourselves into thinking spring is closer by learning to enjoy sunny days (even if it's still below freezing), wearing multiple layers and forgoing the winter shell, walking the dogs at a ridiculously fast past to stay warm, or (our favorite) curling up in a sun spot to get the much-needed radiated warmth.

What are your tricks to battle the I-Wish-It-Were-Spring-Already Blues?

Monday, March 17, 2014

PEDs: Spring Training

One of our favorite reactive dog resources recently put up this post about reactive dogs being "out of shape" when coming across other dogs/people/bicycles after a long, cold winter.  We are so guilty of this ourselves, and we know Edison has taken quite a few steps back because of being cooped up so much this season.

But one thing we have going for us is our weekly walks.  They keep our pooches social by allowing them to see other dogs and strange humans on a weekly basis.  We even come across outsiders from our group from time-to-time.

There were runners and several other dogs in the park -- even a (well-behaved!) off-leash one.  And you know what?  He did fantastic.  With all these potential triggers, Edison didn't have a single meltdown.  How's that for progress?

Is your dog out of practice?  What do you do to keep him mentally prepared for the busyness of spring?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Studs & Duds

It's no secret around here that Edison is the photogenic one, while Tesla, well...isn't.

Edison always seems prepared to cheese for the photo, but Tesla just can't seem to get the timing right.

We think Edi could be the next big name in canine modeling...

...while Tess will stick with therapy dogging.

Is your pooch photogenic?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

VIP Products Toy Tester: Gear Ring & Alien

Well, it's been six months since our last update on our VIP Tuffy, which means we've received two quarterly stuffies since then: Alien G3 and Gear Ring.

While we've had the alien longer than the gear ring, they both are still alive.  The dogs quickly honed in on the alien's weakness -- his mouth.  It's probably only a matter of time before this one bites the dust.

I have much higher hopes for the Gear Ring.  Tess did her best "picking" on the edges and didn't even get them to fray.  While it's a very similar style to their beloved Mega Tug, they don't seem to like it quite as well.

We love that we finally have a small selection of toys for Edison the pooches to play with.

What are you pooches' favorite toys?

Monday, March 10, 2014

PEDs: Scenic vs. City Walks

At 10 months in, our walking group has had walks in all sorts of locations: some city walks, some scenic walks; crowded walks and unpopulated walks.

With each of these types of walks come different considerations for our group.  When we know we will come across other pedestrians, our members need to be aware of their dog and their surroundings, while scenic walks allow us to spread out and focus on ourselves.

Either way, our weekly walks allow us to get out and enjoy some time spent with our pooches.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Furniture Fails

After stumbling upon this link filled with photos of "cats and dogs losing the battle against human furniture," we thought back to all the times we caught our pooches in compromising situations with our furnishings. 

And while this is obviously not an inclusive list -- the pooches always move just before you snap the photo, don't they? -- it sure gives us a chuckle.