Marie and I are NASCAR race fans, so it’s only natural that when I see a group of dogs racing around the yard in close formation, I think of auto racing.
We currently have three dogs who are various types of Beagle mixes. All get along splendidly in pairs: Josephine and Buddy play well together, Buddy and Angel have a blast together, Angel and Josie Bean recently started playing together as well. I have been hesitant to let all three out together because the “odd man out” factor often rears its head and causes spats of jealousy if two pair up and ignore the third. But eventually I have to try it. Would they play together as a trio, or start sniping at one another?
Josephine is a Big Scary Dog in training. She worships her mentor, Cochise, and dreams of being big and powerful like him one day. Of course, Cochise is an American Bulldog and Josie is a Beagle/Dachshund, but that won’t stop her: she’s a determined lil gal!
Cochise taught Josie to bark like a big dog. When they are out being fierce together she abandons her cute Doxyish yap-yap and projects from her diaphragm with a louder more cutting version.
When she’s feeling impish, Josephine will sneak into the den while I’m working at my desk, sit in the middle of the floor, then issue one loud “BARK!” — which scares the living daylights out of me because it’s so unexpected.
Then Josie bounds over, hops up to put her front paws on my knees and giggles, “I scared you! I’m a big scary dog!” and demands that I rub her head.
She thinks that’s a great game.
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Shiloh is a good kid and I liked her right off. So when HairyFace decided to start house-training her after being here only a couple of weeks, I gave my approval. As long as he teaches her that inside play is NOT the same as outside play. She likes to sprint and tussle with Julian and Josephine out in the yard. That won’t fly in MY house! But Hairy knows that.
She was eager to get started and often hung out by the back door hoping to be invited inside.
Josie Bean has taken it in her mind that if she gets me up anywhere between 2:00 am and 4:00 am and goes outside that I should give her a stick-treat. We are in the habit of giving stick-treats to good dogs who go outside after they get up so they are “safe” to let run loose in the house. But that is after We the People get up, not whenever they decide they need a snack. She’s trying to con me: and it’s not the first time. Continue reading Josie’s Midnight Con→
One of the things I do as part of House Dog training with our foster dogs is to teach them to control their food frenzy. The first step is done in the Kibble Treasury.
If the dog gets grabby or goes bucket diving, they get evicted and I’ll dish up kibble behind a closed door for a couple of days. If they can reign in those urges, they get a sample. When they master this, they get a special job to do.
Sometimes he gets dual inspectors:
We feed foster dogs in their crate at first. As they learn to control themselves (so they won’t be shoving the others out of their bowls) they get to eat on a blanket outside of their crate, and eventually on their blanket around the dining table with Cochise, Blondie, and (now) Josephine.
They also learn to get chewies as a group activity. Any growlies or grabbies and it’s back to their “room”.
Food training also includes lessons about NOT standing up to cruise the kitchen counters or the dining room table. Four on the floor, sit on your blanket at the table and wait to be served, and no grabbing anyone else’s food if they are slower than you. When they master those lessons, they get their gold star in food etiquette.
Marie and I are a foster home for dogs. We often develop attachments to our charges (the dogs) and have to fight back tears as we send them off to new homes. Some are harder than others, but we’ve learned to deal with that. Well, mostly.
Josephine was especially hard, in part because she is still so timid. She’s come a long ways from the terrified creature we took out of the shelter so she could find some peace and so we could work on her fear of people.
She had a health issue too, which we addressed with our veterinarian. When her treatment was complete and she had settled down to where she could meet new people, we began soliciting for a forever home for her. Continue reading Josephine Goes to Summer Camp→