Monday, September 29, 2014

PEDs: Exercise Benefits

We've written about the benefits of our weekly dog walks for our pooches, but we don't always talk about the great benefits for the human end of the leash.  There is the obvious human socialization taking place, but one of the other things that we love is the exercise benefit.  

Many of us in Erie have some type of yard, so it's easy to let the pooches play-exercise.  Of course, this is no help for us humans!  Our one-hour, two-mile weekly walks are an easy way to kick-start a walking habit.  Some of our members need the confidence to get started with their pooches.  During the brutal winter months, our pack walks may be some of our only walks with our dogs!

Do you regularly walk your dog?  What helps you get out there?

Monday, September 22, 2014

PEDs: No Judgment Zone

As the owner of a reactive dog, it can sometimes be overwhelming when Edison has a bad day.

We're constantly wondering if people are judging us as dog owners, Edison, or worse, his breed.

That's why we work so hard to foster a judgment-free zone at our pack walks.  Our dog owners know they can come with whatever they are working on and not worry what other pack members think.  Even better -- they'll know what they are thinking: that they are a responsible dog owner working hard to improve their dog.

Do you ever feel judged?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Releasing the Beast

It's no secret that we are huge proponents of the crate.  Both of our dogs take to it (fairly) well, and they even know the command "go to bed."  But of course, we always feel a bit bad having them cooped up all day, especially on days when we come home late and can't come home at lunch.

Our favorite lunchtime activity

While we know Tesla would sleep all day if left out, we also know she would poop and pee in the house 5 minutes after we left.  We always assumed that if we left Edi out, we'd come home to a house of shambles.

But after my sister was in town and we saw how relaxed he was after a day out of the crate, we couldn't help but think about how nice it would be to come home to a relaxed dog!  So much so, we tested out the waters by leaving Edison home out of his crate for 15 minutes during a grocery run...and he didn't even eat any thing!

Do you crate your dog?  Any guilty feelings about it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Having had Edison around the past 3 years, we've grown in many ways.

Most of this growth is through necessity.  After some of Edi's antics, it is all we can do not to kill him.

So we've come up with this mantra when this happens: "If you don't laugh, you cry."

This way instead of getting mad, we take a moment and think about how funny the situation actually is.

How do you deal emotionally when your pooches act up?

Monday, September 15, 2014

PEDs: Controlled Chaos

This week our walking group welcomed two new members to our walk (welcome Lilly & Bones!).  of course, with new additions comes new energy.

As our group has grown, we have welcomed a number of new members.  But usually one at a time.  With a few new dogs, it seemed like the group was out of step with one another.

Of course, that's to be expected.  As we grow, we become a new pack.  Our pooches (and humans!) have to find their groove together and figure out what works for each other.  The beauty is that our group rolls with the punches and keeps on walking!

Those of you that walk with groups, how do you handle new members?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Dog is Friendly!

Edison is making huge improvements walking.  We've been working on walking him sans-prong with really great results.  We still make sure to give ourselves plenty of room should we come across another dog, pedestrian, or bicyclist by moving across the street or waiting on the tree-lawn.

In doing so, we rarely have issues with people or dogs.  But every once in a while, people disregard our requests.

They will walk too close to us with their dog (yes, I know he's friendly -- mine needs space!), or continue approaching Edison even though he's too excited (but, can you blame them?  Look at that face!)

It all makes it very hard.  We try to set up for success 100% of the time, but some things are out of our control.  We do our best to intercept, re-direct, or move away.  And when all that fails, sometimes Edison proves us wrong and is on his best behavior.

Do you have trouble with other pedestrians/dog walkers on your walks?  How do you handle it?

Monday, September 8, 2014

PEDs: Confidence Needed

We started this group to help socialize Edison dogs who need a little assistance in socializing.  We know not all dogs are successful in full-contact socialization, and there was a definite need for passive socialization in Erie.

When we get potential members with reactive dogs, they are always nervous about joining the group.  We understand the feelings associated with a doggy meltdown, but we also know that our group doesn't mind.  Our group truly does take dogs at all levels.  We leave it up to the humans to know their dogs and work within their dogs' comfort levels.  That may mean walking an entire block behind us, and that's okay.

One requirement that we do have to join is that our new members be confident.  A new dog might have a meltdown, but that's okay -- as long as the human end of the leash can re-group and let it go (easier said that done!).  We're all there working on something!!

What are you and your pooch working on?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Family RUN Friday

I've been running again.  On short runs (and cool days) I like to take one of the pooches with me.

The instinctual choice is Edison; he's so energetic -- and wouldn't it be nice to have a peaceful night for once?  In reality, he's not that great.  He gets way overheated on even a moderately warm day and becomes distracted by the smallest things (oh, look! Is that a rock?!)

While Tesla is super laid back, she's also surprisingly athletic.  She runs circles around Ed in the yard and makes turns that would surprise a professional driver.  She's also a great running partner.  She has no problem keeping up and running short distances (3-4 miles), and even keeps perfect pace!

Do you run with your dog?  We want to know!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Canine Look-Alikes

We've all heard about dogs who look like their owners.  The more dog owners I meet, the truer it becomes.  While it may not be that they look alike, they end up sharing a lot of similarities.

For example, neither Tesla nor I like to be home alone.  And Sam and Edi both scarf down their food.   Tess and I both like snuggles, but like our space when it's time to sleep -- Edi & Sam want to be smushed together.

I just wonder -- do our dogs pick up things from us (or us from them), or do we find ourselves in the dogs we choose?  Is it really just our soul finding a piece of itself in another being?

Do you have any similarities with your dog, physical or otherwise?  And check out this study done in Japan!