Loose Dogs Are NOT Maizey’s Friend

There really is nothing ambiguous about this sign:

Unfortunately it seems dreadfully difficult for anyone to follow that rule.

If I saw someone pick up their dog and start walking briskly away from me while loudly saying three times, “Get your dog! My dog’s not friendly!” I would not allow my off leash dog to chase after them.

I would not merely keep sauntering along while my Ridgeback looking mix ran towards the shrilly barking dog. Of course if my dog didn’t have a recall at all my dog wouldn’t be off leash in the first place.

Needless to say I was not happy tonight at the park when that happened to us. We’ve managed to get Maizey out quite a few times with out a run in like this, but today was just not going our way.

I know off leash dogs are something we all fight with, but when you have a pup with issues who is in “rehab” it’s even more frustrating. Of course right after we settled down from the big dog there was another lady running with an off leash Schnauzer that also clearly didn’t care that her dog was off leash. Both of these people were carrying their leashes! Umm. . . it doesn’t count if the leash is not attached to the dog! Thankfully the Schauzer kept it’s distance, but Maizey reacts at dogs that are very, very far away so that didn’t really help her.

It’s not like I enjoy hollering at people as they approach us in the park, but really! I mean this was a big dog with it’s hackles raised. It didn’t look mean, just aroused. It would be hard for any dog not to be aroused with the racket my Princess of the Shrill Bark raises. I felt like I was pretty mean, but my husband said I sounded like an “assertive dog trainer”. I thought that was pretty funny.

After the dogs were gone I was very thankful for the RP and LAT work we’ve done. These were the steps I took after the dogs were away from us:

I was carrying Maizey (the only way to get her away when she’s reacting). Magnus was on leash so I was telling him leave it and lets go. When I had a free hand and the dog was headed away from us I opened bar the treats to Maizey. I basically just threw a handful on the ground for Magnus to find and then just let Maizey start eating a handful out of my hand.

When she was not barking I started Look At That with her.

When she could LAT with our barking I put her down at which point she started reacting again so we went back to open bar.

My husband went and grabbed her mat and so I asked her to settle in RP mode. As she quieted down we started LAT with me on sitting with her on the ground. As she got calmer I stood up and went into RP stance. Then I basically combined a LAT with RP mode until she seemed calmer and the dogs were all out of the park. After that we went back to the area where the Ridgy mix had approached us and both dogs got very sniffy so I let them get their sniff in and we jollyed our way back to the car.

I don’t think it was the worst encounter we’ve had. We both accessed out skills pretty well and now I have some new ideas for some new skills we can use. Best of all she seems okay tonight. She’s been a little spooked tonight, but she’s sleeping in her crate with the door open now.

The difference in her since we started the Fluoxetine three months ago is amazing. She’s back to my happy girl who wants to meet everyone and she recovers faster and faster from triggers. I don’t regret putting her on Prozac, I only regret I didn’t do it sooner.


Can You Help Maizey and Magnus Choose New Names?

I’m trying to choose Registered names for the dogs. I’ve it narrowed down to my favorites, but I’m not going to tell you which ones since I want to know what you all think of the options. Do you want to help me choose?

For Maizey the options are:

  • My May Sunshine
  • Pearl of Sunshine
  • Sunshine of My Eye
  • Pearldrops of Sunshine

For Magnus the options are:

  • Jester of Magnificence
  • Magnificent Jester
  • Make A Magnificent Jester

I’ve been working in this for over a week and still can’t decide so plesae help me out! Cast your vote in a comment. I’ve given myself till Monday to figure it out so I’ll post the results then. Of course if you have any better idea’s or tips on how to choose a cool registered name I’d love to hear those too!


Wordless Wednesday: The Tug-A-Ball Always Wins




Not Monday Miles, Relaxation Protocol and Work

I am the worst blogger ever.

I tried to write a story for you all, but blogging is hard work and I had to just take a nap on the 'puter!"

I just can’t seem to put together a coherent thought by the end of the day anymore and it seems like every day starts with a bang and has no time for coherent thought then either.

It’s good busy though. I’m loving work. Sometimes it’s a little crazy there too, but overall I really enjoy it. I’m doing short private lessons now and that’s my favorite part of the job. I like getting to work one on one with people and see them really learn about their dogs. I think after time and many dogs sometimes we loose the wonder of training the basics, but I love how thrilled people are to teach their dogs things we take for granted.

I love seeing their eyes light up when we’re teaching leave it for the first time. When their dogs turn away from a treat in your hand and they look at me like it was magic that their dog CHOSE not to get that treat just thrills me every time.

It’s great to have the tools to help people. I love it every time a dog drags their person into the store and 15 minutes later walks out on a nice loose leash after we fit them for front clip harness. The solutions people need are so simple, but sometimes they just don’t know how to find them. So being able to share even simple things that are management tools and allow that dog mom or dad to have time to train is a great feeling.

On the doggy-home front things are going good too. We’ve done lots of work at the park and check in on this not Monday Miles with 223 miles. How are you all doing? Getting any walks in?

One bit of news is we started RP at the park. I’ve had to change how we were doing RP and stopped filming it. The camera setup was becoming too much of a cue to her and I wanted to start replicating more real life use before we switched to outside. I found the park is actually less distraction than my yard since we live in a crazy dog neighborhood and the park we work in a virtually deserted. I also started doing RP in the house with her harness and leash on. I find she gets super charged the minute we put them on and want to be able to see her much more relaxed before we ever even start out the door. I don’t know if any of that is very classic RP, but it’s working for us.

I’m still reading everyone’s blogs and keeping up with the news. So that’s where we’re at. Please let me know if you’re still with us in the Walking Challenge. I hope everyone hasn’t given up. We’re still plugging along and hope you all are too!


It’s All About the Cavaliers

Those of you following us on Facebook will remember when I started puppy dreaming over this black and tan boy. I know if I get another Cavalier it will be a black and tan and it was almost unbelievable that this boy would show up in my state. We rarely get Cav puppies in rescue here and black and tans are extremely rare in rescue anywhere. So when he showed up I naturally started dreaming.

Many people thought I was crazy for passing him up. I know that it seems crazy to pass up the chance to rescue my dream dog without having to fly across the country like I did for Magnus. The thing is I have very strict rules for myself about when I can get another puppy. Also it’s just not the time for me to bring a new puppy into the house. It wouldn’t be fair to the puppy or to Maizey and Magnus. The other reason is going to shock all of my Cavalier loving readers. . .

I am fascinated my other breeds. I was considering. . . a different breed. GASP! I know! You can hardly believe your eyes!

I love my Cav’s but I have concerns. As they get older I know I’m in for heart murmurs among other expensive and emotional illnesses. Grooming two Cav’s is really a lot of work. And I never have got over missing having a big dog.

Then I met my first French Bulldog a few weeks ago. I really started thinking maybe this was my big dog feel in the convenience of a small body. They are really cool dogs and have less health problems than Cav’s. So I started doing my research and contemplating a new breed.

So back to the little black and tan boy. . . He got adopted and it took the dream off the table. The coolest thing is that the people that adopted him are bringing him to puppy class at work. Plus in his class is an 18 week old Frenchie. So today I went on a mission of exploration. I figured if I went to their class I could see side by side where my heart really was. Am I a total Cav girl? Or do I want to start over with a new breed?

Any guesses as to the answer? Well, the little Frenchie boy was super sweet! He was a lover and very smart. But. . . that black and tan boy stole my heart!

I can’t even tell you why. All I know is every time that sweet, soft boy scampered into my lap I just melted. I pretty much turned into a gooshing, gooey, cooing girl. It was embarrassing! But it was a good thing to do, it settled in my heart where my true love lies. For now, it’s all about the Cavaliers!


Wordless Wednesday: Happy Maizey at the Park



You’ve never been smothered until you’ve been smothered by a Cavalier. We call these face hugs. They’re a Princessface Maizey specialty.

Does your Cav do this or something similar?