Friday, October 31, 2008

Lots of yummies for this little 'trick or treater'!

Poor Poncho. He is the best ever! How many dogs would allow their nails to be trimmed, then follow it up by being dressed up for Halloween - as a food item no less! Too cute... check it out>>>>

I did make it "fun" for him though. For nail trimming he got leftover rice cake crumbles (he loves 'em), with mixed in lamb jerky. For the "lobster" outfit he got the same treats, plus some "ball time", which he finds very rewarding. 

See? Just goes to show you 1) you can train a dog to like anything (almost) 2) you can use many things besides food to reward your dogs great behavior! 

Happy and safe Halloween, from me and my sidekick Poncho! AKA: my "rock lobster" 


It's official! My new fabulous website for The Inquisitive Canine has been launched! Can you believe it??? It took awhile, but boy was it worth the wait. Thanks to my fabulous "dream team", I can now be proud and share with everyone all it's glory! You can read all about my classes, workshops & events, privates training, philosophy, and about little ol' me :-) You can also check out all the new stuff, including an FAQ's page, press releases, and this blog... Oh, and you can also link up to Poncho's own blog... there's much go ahead and check it out! Let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A BIG HUGE SHOUT OUT to Jeff, Tim, and SBC!

Talk about a positively reinforcing, rewarding, over-the-top kinda business meeting! Today Poncho and I took a little road-trip north (our favorite direction) to meet up with Amber - my trusty and oh-so-brilliant website designer/builder to finalize info on my brand new and improved website!!! EEEEKKKK! We're about to launch folks, to keep your eyes, ears, and web browsers open!

Anyway, since I had Ponchorinorama with me, Amber suggested we hit our local top-notch dog friendly fabulous restaurant The Summerland Beach Cafe! Jeff the owner was there - welcomed us with open arms, as did Tim (who is one rockin' dog guy let me tell you...he was just loving Poncho the entire time...and Poncho was sending signals back too...what a good boy!) Jeff helped us out with the wireless internet system... Good job Jeff! And Tim helped the entire time just making sure we had everything we needed... including water and bowls for Poncho

Emilia was just finishing up a conference call meeting at Lorrie's, but stopped by to say *hi* too - made sure we had all the up-to-date web and blog info she had sent earlier... Nellie, (Emilia's great pooch who just graduated with honors from my Manners Class) was home with proper enrichment while she was blogging... 

What a great team I have!!! Yes, I can't wait for the new site - But now I'm gonna have to figure out how I can continue to be part of this great "dream team"! 

I do know this: Inquisitive Canine meetings and other get-togethers will be held at SBC (Summerland Beach Cafe) whenever possible! 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dog Play Behavior: Are they fighting or playing?

"What is dog play all about?" This is one of those comments I hear from various folks...and often get questions about. Both in and out of the studio classroom - especially when folks first start bringing their dogs to our dog socials at my studio - The Inquisitive Canine here in Ventura.
Humans commonly assume that dogs that "hump" or "mount" just want to have sex with them, or that the dog is attracted to them etc... Ugh... really? Do you really think you're that charming, and that maybe all of the spoiling has lead your dog to want to return the favor in a way they think you might like? Come on... here's a quickie lesson on dogs humping and dog play:

Dog play is practicing of "the four F's" - meaning, if they had to survive out in the wild so they could pass on their genes - surviving, hunting for food, creating more of themselves in order to pass on their genetics (cause that's what it's all about, right) - survival of the fittest so you can pass along your DNA... This is the list of the four F's:
  • "Fight" - dog play can get really rough - think two young human male children playing and wrestling about - With dogs it's: I mouth you (practice biting but inhibited bites in play), you mouth me, I pin you, you pin me etc...
  • "Flight" - I chase you, you chase me
  • "Feed" - meaning all the steps of the predatory sequence, including the "grab-shake-kill" - chasing, stalking etc...
  • "Fun!" (fornicating etc...) - I mount you, you mount me... Unless both dogs (one male one female) are actually intending to breed in order to make more of themselves, then the whole humping action is just play! That's why you see males humping males, females humping females, females on males, dogs on humans etc...and humping in positions that are not related at all to actually "doing the deed"...
It's important that dogs learn what proper dog socialization play is, and what is appropriate - that is what dog social time is for!!! Yes, we can give the dog a "time out" if we don't like something... but dogs (really important for puppies especially) are learning about what play is - and doggy DNA is telling them to "hump" - most likely trying to get the other "animal" to play... If humans don't like it, the best thing to do is completely walk away and ignore the dog completely, but throw a party and play like crazy when he is playing the way they want... Older, well socialized dogs, who have great play skills can help "guide" younger pups...the older one will "tell him" (growl or a snap) to knock it off if he or she has gone 
too far...

*A BIG note of importance: DOG PLAY SHOULD BE: RECIPROCAL and CONSENSUAL! Sure, for some dogs they'd rather be the chasee vs the chaser. How to tell? Look at the one being chased - are they running off and trying to hide the entire time? Cowering under things? Trying to find their guardian? Or are they egging the chaser on? "Come on! Chase me!!" 

As for consensual: look at this picture of Freddie (the one mounting) and Jazz (the one in the red harness). Jazz's face is relaxed, focused on something else at the moment, doesn't appear to care. If it weren't consensual, Jazz would have turned around and growled or snapped "Knock it off!!!" 

Providing opportunities for our dogs to socialize and play is very important for their well being, and development as well-mannered canines - dog training classes and dog socials can help provide them. You just want to keep an eye on the situation, making sure that play-time is safe and fun. 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dog Training Workshop : Ventura Community Canine College! Oct 18

The holidays will be here before you know it - is your dog holiday-ready yet?

No matter what the season or whatever your reason, it's always a good time to invest in creating a better relationship with your dog!
Teach your dog to walk on a loose leash, greet others politely, and come when called!

Join my  power workshop for you and your dog at Ventura College Community Education


Saturday October 18th 

1:00 - 2:30 PM

Location: Ventura College, 71 Day Road

Please contact Ventura College Community Ed directly for details and to register.

Plus, check out the Inquisitive Canine Dog Training calendar for updates!

The Inquisitive Canine
2159 Palma Drive, Suite D

Ventura CA 93003
O: 805.650.8500
F: 805.650.8501