Category Archives: Fun Stuff

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Jasmin Bauer

Photo by Jasmin Bauer

Humans and dogs play the same games.

- Denise Fenzi

Socializing your Dog: an Illustrated Guide

Thanks to Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings for collaborating with me on this socialization poster! You can click on the picture below to view the full sized version. Lili and I have previously worked together to create the illustrated guide to playing with your dog.

SocializingYourDog17x22

Do you have any socialization tips or tricks? Please share them in the comments below!

Contest: What’s in a Trout?

Trout (also known as Mischief) is almost 2 years old, and she’s matured into a lovely little dog. She likes everybody, and her sweet demeanor and easygoing personality make her a great little companion. Like most young dogs, she still has her share of challenges – she tends to be whiny in new or exciting situations and cats don’t like her nearly as much as she adores them – but all in all, she’s a wonderful pet.

At 1 year of age. Photo by Sara Brueske.

Around 1 year of age. Photo by Sara Brueske.

Last week, I ordered a Mars Wisdom Panel for Trout. This test uses a DNA sample taken by swabbing your dog’s cheek and compares the results against their database of 209 different dog breeds to help determine your dog’s ancestry.

Picture taken one month ago.

Picture taken one month ago.

While I think tests like this are more of a fun game than a scientific certainty, it’s always interesting to play “guess the breed.”

Puppy picture! She was between 5-6 months old here.

Puppy picture! She was between 5-6 months old here.

That’s where you come in. Post your breed mix guesses in the comments section. When I get Trout’s breed results back I will post them here and the closest guess will win a prize! If there are multiple correct commenters I will award two prizes: one to the first person who guessed that breed combination and another to a randomly-drawn guesser. Make sure you include your email address or website in your comment so that I can contact you about claiming your prize, or I’ll give it to someone else.

Photo by SC Studios when she was about a year old.

Photo by SC Studios when she was about a year old.

As far as what this has to do with dog training… well, you’ll just have to stay tuned for future blog posts on the matter.

Trout's natural coat before it was stripped.

Trout’s natural coat before it was stripped.

Throughout this post are some photos of Trout, who at a little under 2 years of age weighs 29 pounds and measures about 20 inches at her shoulders. She has a mixed coat: the brown spots are short and smooth, while the white areas are medium-length and wiry. I keep the coat over her shoulders and back stripped out or it will grow to about 6-8″ (maybe longer – I didn’t wait to find out!). It’s unknown whether her tail is a natural bob, a birth defect, a purposeful crop, or the result of an injury. She has dew claws on all four feet. In addition to whining, she has a full-throated bark and makes several different yodeling and baying sounds. Trout was abandoned as a young puppy on a trout farm in Missouri (hence her nickname!) and came to me as a foster dog after she was transported to Minnesota.

She's about a year old here. Photo by SC Studios.

She’s about a year old here. Photo by SC Studios.

Happy guessing, followers!

Picture taken at about 18 months. Photo by A Dog Spot.

Picture taken somewhere around 18 months of age by A Dog Spot.

My Favorite Things

[To be sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music]

Photo by Parl

Photo by Parl

Raindrops on garbage and chasing fast kittens
Stealing and chewing up my master’s mittens
Empty McDonalds bags tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Rolling in cow pies and stinky dead rabbits
Tug toys and rawhides and crotch-sniffing habits
Hearing the sirens so that I can sing
These are a few of my favori… SQUIRREL?!!

Big muddy pawprints on girls in white dresses
Hot dogs and hydrants and making big messes
The excitement I feel when the doorbell it rings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the flea bites, when the shot stings
When my mommy’s mad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Eating the cat food and scooping the litter
Bugging my owner when he’s trying to twitter
New squeaky toys that my owner will fling
These are a few of my favorite things

Peeing on lampposts and humping the poodle
Wild crazy playtime with six labradoodles
Shocking my owner with my static cling
These are a few of my favorite things

Running around with the kid’s dirty diaper
Right before bedtime when I get real hyper
Good countersurfing that gets me some wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the flea bites, when the shot stings
When my mommy’s mad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad!

This was cowritten with the talented Mel Bussey Silverman of Training Tracks in Ohio.