Gday everyone. As many of you have seen on Facebook I have had a bit of a ruff time recently. But us k9’s overcome adversity and physical change much faster than humans do. It helps that we don’t care what we look like or what the “norm” is. As long as we have a good quality of life we just adapt to the changes and roll along with life and the changes that are to come. This is the same for most physical changes whether it be going blind, deaf or loss or inability to use a limb. As you may know, I am normally very physical and love chasing my ball as far as Zig can throw it, and racing up and down the beach chasing waves. Recently I had an episode of FCE, which, in short, is a spinal cord stroke. It left me temporarily paralyzed in both back legs. Now, through intense rehab it is only my back left leg that is having difficulty. I am having to learn and retrain my body to walk and build back my strength. This partial paralysis may be temporary or permanent, or a long haul of rehab, but nevertheless I am still, for the most part, my happy self. You see as much as I love running I love time with my k9 parent Zig more than anything and although I can’t run, I do get to spend lots of time with Zig having cuddles, home environment enrichment and in rehab.
The specialists at the VSS are woofing good at what they do. Not only do they help me in the rehab process but they also care about keeping me calm and feeling safe in what is a new and sometimes scary environment. The rehab road may be a long one but it’s life and I am making the most of every day with my family. My daily routines and needs have changed I struggle in the mornings the most as I have been sleeping and still all-night. I start my day slowly having cuddles with Zig and Darcy, before being harnessed up so Zig can assist me in walking and doing my business in the garden. I have to do exercises every morning but they are helping me gain my strength back. I am forever happy to have Zig as a K9 parent as she really has put me before everything else the last couple of weeks. On a positive note FCE can only occur once, I am woofing happy I have had my one time.
I guess I wanted to share that just because life might sometimes throw your k9 buddy a challenge and may seem too hard or like they will lose something in life they love, doesn’t mean you should give up on them. We can adapt to more than you probably give us credit for, and will find new things in life to love. This isn’t always the case and sometimes it is best and more thoughtful to say goodbyes, but you know your k9 buddy best and what they are capable of overcoming.
Thank you all for your best wishes I am taking it one day at a time and as always living in the moment.
Crate training has got to be one of the happy tail wags you can do for most of us K9’s. Crate training gives us our own special place to chill out which then, in turn, lets the humans know we just want some time out or need a rest. For some reasons humans seem to have a real aversion to using a crate for their K9 buddy and thinks it is even cruel. Nothing could be further from the truth, woof, where do you think we have to go when we have to stay at the vets or even a kennel, woof, a kennel run is just a bigger version of a crate at the end of the day.
There are 3 types of crates on the market, an airline crate, a soft fabric crate and then, as Zig says, the ugly black wire crates. But high paw don’t stress you can get some pawesome covers from Molly Mutts and they have matching bed covers to go with them for the wired crates. The best crates are the wired ones as they can't be chewed, they are very sturdy, and gives us full view of our surroundings which makies us still feel like part of the family.
So why crate train your K9 buddy you ask?
Dog training… don’t you mean people training!
A couple of months ago Zig got a distressing Facebook message from a dear friend about Harry, their K9 buddy, who was having a ruff time. He had been in a couple of incidents stemming from other K9 parents not having consideration for others or teaching their dog manners. Zig is very protective of her friends and clients and cannot bear to see or hear that they are in physical, mental or emotional pain. She got permission for me to use Harry’s story for inspiration to write this blog.
So here goes:
Well dog training, as you know, is all about really teaching K9 parents how to teach their dog basic manners or as we like to say etiquette inside and outside of the home; and having rules and boundaries can really make our lives far less stressful.
I bet all K9 parents want a dog that is calm and has manners at home and in the local community and this can only happen if K9 parents learn to understand our doggy behavior, learning to read our body language which is our form of communication and what your actual dogs motivators are. Mine is quality time with my K9 Parent Zig! Yippededoda!
Let’s woof that you have done some, or lots, of training and you think your dog is pretty cool now with responding to you. But hey, paws up, you may have taught your k9 buddy to have manners but what about your manners, woofing through personal experience and all the stories Zig tells me, many people in general lack consideration for others these days. If you then put a dog with them its like nobody else exists except them and their dog. They then forget everyone else’s personal space and think that all dogs are meant to be social RIGHT??? So woofing wrong!
Now don’t get me wrong and start abusing us, as we all know Zig will totally make K9 parents accountable for their k9 buddy’s behavior. We totally get that life gets really busy and we get caught up in our own little world and this lack of consideration may be subconscious behavior, but it does impact those around you.
So here’s Harry’s story:
“Just to give you the story of Harry’s life -
Harry went to doggy daycare at one year of age after being quite social and gregarious as a pup. Was bitten deep in the middle of the spine by a large (we think black labrador as he hates black labs) dog, requiring vet care. That’s when we met you for re-socialisation. And remember also that Taggie ( senior k9 companion) began to lose her aged marbles and started to get vicious with him as she became sicker. He also watched a German Shepherd threaten old Taggie and he was very protective of her.
Then last year, he was attacked 3 times by the same dog - a Lab x Rhodesian Ridgeback who roamed the streets. The last one resulted in a report to Council about that dog. I wasn’t the only one to complain. So in his just over 6 years of life, Harry has been significantly attacked by two large dogs, requiring vet care.
All this last year, we have done really well in the city with socializing with older dogs who are no threat to him and whose company he loves.
It was so very kind of you to ring this morning. I ended up crying after I hung up because I always have this niggle that we may be doing it wrong or that Harry is just one of ‘those dogs’. You made me feel that he isn’t and that we are doing what we can to give him a loving life.
Much love from us all but especially Hazza (Harry).
Harry’s K9 parents.
PS: One thing I will add is that he LOVES people - trusts and loves them without reservation. Sadly other people who own dogs often let him down!”
So woofing sad to hear this story and by sharing I hope that all you wonderful K9 parents out their who have consideration for those around you and taught your K9 buddy manners are aware there are many K9 owners out their who are oblivious to the fact that not all K9’s like, or know how to socialize. So please be aware that it’s ok to let us free run but don’t assume that all dogs that your K9 buddy may come across are socially trained or have social etiquette, and not to let your guard or training down.
At the end of the day it is all about your relationship with your K9 buddy and if you are not your dog’s number one priority you need to be asking yourself why?
Your relationship comes first then training is easy so long as you are listening to each other through calm communication.
Remember ‘It’s Not About the Dog!’
Ryda Boy and his paw pal Harry
Did you know that us K9s need very clear rules and boundaries in and outside of the home?
Now my tail wagging as some may say that me and my mate Darcy are free range dogs as we sleep with Zig, have snuggles on the sofa and yippy dadooda Zig shares her food with us! Which also means if she does not have dinner then we know we ain’t getting any dinner.
But guess what! We are not free range dogs we actually have very strict rules and boundaries and for those that know Zig well, she never changes the goal post, a rule is a rule. Let me give you an pawsitive example: we have our own special blanket on the couch. Now when Zig is not on the couch we can go on the couch but only on our blanket. When Zig is on the couch even if our blanket is on there we can only go on it by invitation only. If there is no blanket on the couch whether Zig is there or not we are good boys as we know we cannot go on the couch with no blanket on there.
Another pawsitive example: when Zig comes home from work, crikey! I do my happy dance jumps. Zig acts like I am not even there but when I stop and chill, it’s like woofing magic she opens the door we go in and go straight to our blanket and wait for our chew or cuddles and which one we don’t care as our calm patient behaviour will always get rewarded, as Zig always says never take good behaviour for granted.
So wagging tail at the end of the day what K9 parents have to remember is to be consistent and predictable with your behaviour that way know then what is expected of us. Zig always jokes that dogs are a bit like blokes we need simple clear instructions without all the fluff that the Sheila’s give, I hear many blokes agree with her.
Now tail up as whether you have a cute puppy or have given your heart to an older rescue dog, either way don’t pussy foot around the minute they enter the house, ground rules should be implemented. When doing so, stay calm, stay clear in your communication and if they don’t get it the first time remember it’s not their fault as they are just starting to learn to live within a human family.
Consistency, consistency, consistency woof, woof ,woof is the key to all training your best forever friend.
As you know we at INATD don’t pussy fuss around or sugar coat anything so lets get straight to the point.
Us K9’s bark and some of us feel the need to bark more than others. But hey dudes give your K9 buddy a break, as behind every bark there is a reason, yes it is a part of our communication.
Tail up high, as expecting us k9’s never to bark is like expecting girls never to chit chat, come on, you know that’s never going to happen. So, Woof! come on stop your whining, and please take the time to learn how to interpret our different barks.
Barking is very natural for us and just like you humans we like to be heard, so some of the reasons we bark are:
Some of the sounds of barking can be
Bark out! What not to do
Barking in any situation, if a dog is not heard or is reprimanded, can become stressed. So K9 Parents things you should, tail down, never ever do.
High paw! Keep this in mind when you want to reduce or eliminate a behavior, you must teach us K9’s another more appropriate behavior that you would like. For example:
Now, when it comes to a bark, check out your k9 buddy’s body language as they go paw in paw. Watching their body language can provide clues for the reasons behind their barking. Do they look stressed, anxious, aroused or excited?
Check out your K9 buddies environment. What could be the reason behind the bark? Knowing why your dog is barking will help you know how to adjust their normal behavior to something more desirable to your liking!
Finally remember not all barking should be unwanted as it is our way of communicating so please be patient with your K9 buddy and remember that unless you have trained your dog not to bark how will they know any different?
Remember ‘It’s Not About the Dog!’, as the dog only knows what we teach them.
Yea right, your wagging tail fooling yourself if you think when you take your K9 buddy to dog training school your training them. Woof woof, it’s the K9 parent that is in training! yippy dadooda! That’s right! Us k9s are already doing our best in learning to understand you, even though most of the time all we hear is bla bla bla, but what we do see is your body language, and yep that’s our main form of lingo, though we do vocalize as well.
So what makes us really wagging tail happy is human and dog on speaking terms, and to learn our lingo is the ultimate gift you can give us.
Woof as we k9s are talking all the time it’s just that your not hearing us because you don’t understand our body language or as we say at INATD K9 lingo.
A good, modern dog training school should have a qualified dog trainer or as Zig calls herself a K9 coach. Yes to be a coach you do need to know how to train dogs in the first place, but at the end of the day it’s you, the K9 parent, that is in training to learn to understand us,our behaviour and our language.
Now I am going to bark on about modern dog trainers, as yes this is 2017 and still there are some dudes using way out of date dog training methods that are done through force.
Come on mate really!!! Is it fair to correct us and force us to do something you have not taken the time to teach us in a positive manner in the first place?
Did you know that many dog trainers that are using the old methods of dog training through force and dominance have absolutely no qualification in dog training what so woofing ever. My tail is down for some of my fellow K9s.
Not only does my K9 Parent Zig use positive training methods but she also continues to keep up to date in all new training methods and scientifically proven ways of training. I know she delivers the best training to K9 parents so they can guide their K9 mates because, well, she practices what she preaches and I understand her communication as we are on talking terms!
If you would like to learn more about K9 lingo or have trouble understanding your K9 buddy? Give Zig a call and mention this blog to receive a complimentary phone consultation.
I really did land on my paws when Darcy chose me to be his buddy. You know since I became part of Zigs family I have never heard a raised voice towards me and never been yelled at.
I have only ever been guided into doing what Zig would like me to learn and all my good behaviour has always been captured then rewarded.
Anything I did that was out of line, and believe me, head down there was plenty, but I was only being a needy dog, I was just redirected to do something that was more appropriate.
You see from my point of view being a dog when people yell at us we see it as a confrontation, woof you nasty human being we don’t understand your words, but gosh it is your body language that speaks loud and clear.
And, hey dudes when you stop and think about it is it fair to correct us for something you have not stopped to teach us.
I am so thankful I found my forever home with someone who not only understands me, but is a dog training expert in Brisbane who also teaches others how to understand and communicate with their K9 mate. Learning to communicate with your K9 mate at an early age is important to build a trusting relationship from the start; this is why Zig offers the only 8 week puppy classes in Brisbane, to help set you and your K9 buddy up for success! Yippededoda! Tail down I wasn’t lucky enough to go to a puppy school, but with a dog trainer expert for a K9 parent I have learned everything I need to know and more.
Happy training K9 Parents!
Yippy dadooda I am back yes I know we are meant to be doing a blog post every week but tail down as Zig has been working long hours and we just have not had that much time together to sit.
Thank heavens for Darcy, at least I have him for company cause you know us K9’s are not really meant to be on our own for ideally 2-3 hours yep that’s right.
Some of us k9s are more needy than others so being alone for long periods can play havoc on our emotional state and mental health.
So K9 parents! If you do leave your K9 buddy on their own for long hours, don’t be yelling or show any animosity when you get home and they go jumping and barking mad to greet you when you get home.
You see they are just showing you how wagging tail happy they are that you are finally back and have not deserted them.
If you find your K9 buddy is getting more boisterous and jumpy the longer you are away, they could be anxious or stressed. Tail down thinking about any of my K9 mates out there that might suffer from anxiety or stressed when left alone.
Did you know you can help your K9 buddy by breaking up their long days alone with a visit from a relative, friendly neighbor they know, a dog walker or It’s Not About The Dog recommend that the ultimate for most K9s is a second K9 buddy to keep them company? Yippy dadooda that’s right! A second K9 buddy will provide lots companionship for you and them.
If you are a past client of It’s Not About The Dog! I know Ziggy would be more than happy to help you find that 2nd K9 companion that suits your whole family. Or, if you think you have found that 2nd companion, Ziggy would come to you for a complimentary assessment to see if they are a match for other. You should know, she never gets it wrong! If you feel your K9 buddy might be suffering true seperation anxiety please seek help asap as this is not a training issue it is a medical issue.
Until next time, try to spend a little extra time chilling with your K9 buddy and keep an eye out for my next blog!
Yippy dadooda woohoo! Our blog is back! For those that don’t know me my name is Ryda and I am Zigrid’s companion, well Darcy’s companion really, I'm Zig's pain in the butt. You see my mate Darcy had lost his life long mate Dakota 12 months prior to meeting me. The woof is that Zig told Darcy if he wanted a mate he would get to choose. Well the big fella upstairs was looking after me, as wagging tail high out of all the k9s Darcy mixed with his tail was always down and he just kept to himself.
Then we met, we looked at each other, blinked softly our tails were high wagging in a happy motion, did the meet and greet of sniffing each other’s sexy butts and it was on. Play bows, running around playing tag, and our favourite tug of war with a toy. I had found heaven and Darcy had found his spring in his step and happiness again. Zig did not want a black dog or a working breed and dada, I am both and yep I have all the traits of a kelpie. But she couldn’t deny Darcy the happiness he showed when we were together.
I've just celebrated my 5th birthday and have been part of Zig's family for 4 years now! Boy it hasn't always been easy! Zig and I have had our tough times, mainly whilst I learned to become the relaxed cool dude you see today! I can often be seen out working with Zig, helping teach other K9’s to be calm like me.
Anyway, enough about me, back to the blog! This is my blog; I like to keep all my K9 pals and their parents up to date with news, handy tips and just what’s happening in life.
So keep you ears to the ground and I’ll send a barkout post on Facebook to broadcast the next blog!