Since it's impossible for me to pick just one Get Pet pup to be the cutest, I thought I'd let everyone else decide with a fun friendly Cutest Puppy Photo Contest!
Post your puppy photos on our Facebook Page or Tweet your cute puppy photos using the hashtag #GetPet and you could win some cool prizes. Plus the winning dog will receive a featured Valentine's Day blog post to tell the world all about why they are so cute and loveable, and their picture will be added to some clothing items that will be available for sale in the Get Pet Shop.
Photos must be posted before Sunday February 5th and voting will take place from February 6th through the 12th.
Not sure what a cute puppy looks like? Here are some examples :-)
I'm super excited to announce the newest weekly installment for my blog. I'm calling it "Tricks and Treats" because you (the humans) can win treats (aka prizes) when the pups perform tricks. For our first week 13-week-old Metro, a Danish-Swedish Farm dog, is donating the footage from his very first "sit" lesson.
Here's how it works:
1. Watch the video
2. Show some love
3. Be entered in a drawing
4. Tune in next week to see if you won
How do you show some love, you ask? It's easy. You can either:
- post a comment here on the blog about the video
- post a comment on the Get Pet Facebook page with a link back to this blog
- send a Tweet to @GetPetChicago with a link to this blog
- post a comment or "Like" the video directly on the Get Pet YouTube channel
And you can earn up to one entry for each form of love for a possible total of 4 entries.
Prizes will range from credits to use in the new Get Pet Shop to Gift certificates for awesome Chicago businesses.
Enjoy Metro's video and be sure to show some love before next Wednesday, February 1st for your chance to win.
I've been talking with my friends for several weeks now about the need for a website that allows you to set a recurring order for dog food delivery since I somehow always seem to end up running out of Gatsby's food.
Boy oh boy was I excited to find PetFlow today! It's a website that allows you to order dog treats, dog food, cat food and other supplies, and you can setup automatic shipping for recurring orders. Plus if you use discount code "ship49" shipping will be free for life, and the prices are below retail!
This is amazing! Such a great way for me to start off the new year, and I know Gatsby is going to love knowing that his food bin will always be full :-)
There are several opposing schools of thought about whether dogs need a coat, and below is the post I feel sums it all up the best. Although it may seem like common sense, I just need to add one thing: If a dog coat is not water resistant, don't use it when it's snowing. Also, Gatsby's personal choice in coats is Ruff Wear. http://www.ruffwear.com/
Copied from Does My Dog Really Need A Coat? February 24th, 2009 by Dan
While you may think that a dog’s natural fur coat is enough protection against the elements, this isn’t true for every individual canine. While some dogs (Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, etc) have thick fur that is designed to keep them warm in cold temperatures, others would be more comfortable with an extra layer.
So which dogs *do* need coats?:
- Dogs with very short fur (Pit Bulls, Boxers, Dobermans, etc) can all benefit from wearing a coat due to their lack of insulating fur.
* Dogs with little body fat (Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Italian Greyhounds, etc) that can’t retain heat as well as their stocky canine cousins should wear an additional of insulation in cold or wet weather.
* Toy breeds that can’t retain heat as well as larger dogs and will be more affected by the cold.
* Elderly dogs or those who are suffering from illnesses. Keeping warm puts extra stress on a dog’s system. A coat allows them to preserve their energy.
* Dog’s that are accustom to warmer weather and are then brought to a cold region may need an extra layer as they are not acclimated to the new climate.
* Any dog that is hesitant to go outside in the chilly weather or shows obvious signs of being cold while you’re outside (shivering) will probably be more willing to spend time outdoors if they are wearing a coat.
Keep in mind that if a healthy dog is actively exercising in cold weather that he probably won’t need a coat for his entire time outside. However, if you’re just going for a leisurely walk, a coat will keep your dog more comfortable.
I recently taught a class for www.DabbleHQ.com about what to expect and how to plan for your first dog. I thought it would be nice to share the PowerPoint and resources here on my blog for you to reference and share. If you have questions or would like more detailed information about getting your first dog, I'd be happy to talk with you one-on-one via phone, email or in person. Just visit the "Contact Us" page and send me a note.
If you didn't read my first blog about Lexie, the foster who has been living with me for the past three weeks, then this video will probably just look like another cute dog video. BUT...
If you read my giant rant about Lexie, then you are sure to be impressed by how much progress this amazing lady has made.
This beautiful and sweet Weimaraner is definitely ready to move into her forever home. She's still full of energy since she's only one year old, but she's super intelligent and has so much love to give.
Be sure to check out the Great Lakes Weimaraner Resuce page to learn more about how you can welcome Lexie (or another deserving Weim) into your family!
In case you didn't already know, on Monday, July 11th at 6:30pm, I'll be teaching a class designed for the first-time dog parent, someone considering welcoming a new dog to the family, or anyone who needs a refresher on Dogs 101.
Spaces are filling up quickly, so be sure to spread the word if you know anyone who might benefit from the class. You can find the full details and RSVP at http://www.dabblehq.com/events/my-first-dog/
About two weeks ago I welcomed Lexie to live with Gatsby, Dr Seuss and me until she finds her forever home. She is a very energetic sweet lady who has sadly lacked any structure during the first year of her life.
Our focus for the first week was adding structure to Lexie's life through introducing her to a schedule, leash walks and crate training which went hand-in-hand with potty training. Let me get on my soapbox for a moment and remind everyone that putting your dog out in the backyard for a couple hours unsupervised is NOT appropriate enrichment and exercise. Dogs look for a pack leader to challenge them and initiate exercise and play - that's where we are supposed to come into the picture. They WANT us to give them a "job".
Okay, moving on. As you probably know by now, my approach with dogs is very direct and all about consistent exposure and reinforcement. It is my belief that dogs, like humans, learn through repetition and positive experiences but also require someone to push them outside their comfort zone to grow and mature. We need to give our dogs more credit and stop babying them as if they might "break" when confronted with a challenge.
For Lexie, the introduction of boundaries and structures has translated into actual physical boundaries through crate desensitization both while I am out of the house and even while I am home doing work. Does this mean she should be in a crate 24/7 to figure out that it's okay? Most definitely NOT. It's all about balance. Currently Lexie probably is spending about 16 to 20 hours out of each day inside her crate. Yes, you read that correctly, she is spending close to 20 hours of each day in her crate, BUT for the 4 to 8 hours she is out of the crate, she is at the park on a 30-foot lead running with Gatsby, going on runs with Gatsby and me, practicing important skills like "stay" and "come" with me one-on-one, playing at the off-leash dog park, etc. Thanks to this intense attention while she is out of the crate, she is very ready for a nice long nap in her crate in between "workouts".
Before you call PETA, please focus on the results. One week ago, Lexie required 3 baths per day along with 3 full deep cleanings of her crate. Why? After being in her crate for only 20 minutes, she would pee and/or poop and proceed to pace through it out of nervous energy. Her barking was also a very apparent sign of her obvious lack of familiarity to structure and independence. This display occurred even when her bladder should have been completely empty. Today, Lexie willingly walks into her crate where she is greeted by lots of enrichment (aka toys), and for the past week she and her crate have remained clean and dry. Comparing the Lexie I knew two weeks ago to the Lexie I know today, I would have to say she is MUCH happier with her new boundary-filled life.
The other obvious sign of Lexie's lack of structure prior to moving in with me, is her diligent and even dangerous resource guarding habits. Please keep in mind that a dog is much more relaxed and comfortable if they have an idea of what to expect on the daily agenda - aka a structured schedule. For Lexie, the uncertainty of what time her next meal might come or whether she would get her toy back after having it taken away coupled with her inability to identify the pack leader (because none was ever introduced to her) resulted in a nervousness and aggression even when she was drinking water. Lexie would physically shake while growling when she ate or drank, and she would lash out at anyone (or any dog) who tried to approach her during that time.
THE GREAT NEWS is that thanks to consistent work and positive reinforcement, Lexie has stopped the shaking, growling and snapping with toys, water and food. The breakthrough for food guarding came from an awesome tip from the super talented Cis Frankel (www.canineintelligenceagency.com). Cis is not only an amazingly talented trainer based in Chicago but also a recognized Weimaraner breeder. As fate would have it, Gatsby, Lexie and I bumped into Cis in the park, and she suggested putting only small amounts of Lexie's food into her bowl while she was eating. This turned feeding from night to day! After only one feeding where I would continually dispense a small handful into her bowl as she ate, Lexie allowed me to start grabbing her bowl and removing it while she is eating. Coming from a dog who actually bit me only a few days ago during food desensitization, this is HUGE! THANK YOU SO MUCH CIS!!!!
So I realize this has probably been my longest post to date, but Lexie has also been both my biggest challenge and success, so I thought it only fair to dedicate a longer initial post to this superstar in the making! I can't emphasize enough how amazingly sweet she is
Don't forget to check out the Great Lakes Weimaraner Resuce page to learn more about how you can welcome Lexie (or another deserving Weim) into your family!
These videos were taken about one week after Seymour's May 20th video. Notice how much better he maintains focus and how much less I need to repeat "stay". Of course he still has the same big reaction to "ok, come". Practice makes perfect and you can NEVER stop making it a FUN GAME!
As I've mentioned several times before, I believe stay and come are two commands that should be learned together. Your puppy will most likely prefer to come to you, so by teaching him to stay and using come as the release you get to reinforce both commands.
Secondly, it is critical to make sure your puppy is solid with stay indoors before you practice it outdoors, and I always highly recommend using a long (30 feet +) leash when doing stay/come outdoors. This insures that if your dog breaks stay to chase something, that you still have control.
Seymour is a 7-month-old mini GoldenDoodle who has been practicing stay indoors for the past several months. Everytime we come back inside he must wait on the doormat until I release him from the other side of the room. Tonight I decided it was time Seymour got to practice his amazing skills outdoors.
You will notice in the video that I repeat "stay" quite frequently like a broken record, and it even gets to sound very annoying :-) As Seymour matures and is able to hold focus without being reminded, this frequency will greatly decrease. There are also a few points in the video where Seymour got distracted and either began to move forward or look off into the distance. By using either "Seymour" before saying stay or my "ah, ah" noise, I am able to re-focus him to remind him that he's working and must remain focused on the task of stay.
The most fun part for me is getting to see him bound toward me at full speed with such enthusiastic excitement when I release him with "ok, come." Such a good puppy!
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.