Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lord Malcolm's Progress

Everyone tells me it will be a slow process.
After all, I spent an ENTIRE YEAR
getting him into this mess.
But I have to say,
My new attitude and behavior
is giving him loads of confidence right away.

It's been only 3 short weeks since our friend Tiffany helped me out with Malcolm and gave me some great tips on how to handle his confidence (or lack there-of) and his lunging at other dogs.  {see my post of Oct. 9th}  As most of my readers know, I had been really making hard corrections on my wee bairn because he just didn't get it with anything less.  You know that I tried harness leashes that promised to correct him gently, I went to various trainers, and did many many things to try and correct his lunging problem.  {you can look up all the past blogs for a year and see how hard I had tried}.  Nothing worked, so I called in the big guns--ie, Tiffany Talley.  

Even as young as Malcolm was in this commercial, you can see his body language when the woman and child enter the picture.
He didn't know how to react to them (they'd never met) and he was scared.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We've Come a Long Way, Baby!

It's Our Birthday!
We've had a great first 3 years and
are looking forward to the rest.
We want to thank everyone who has been
following us on our journey through life.
We hope to have many more wonderful 
Adventures so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some pictures of us through the years.  Hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nessie the Monster Makes Front Page News!

The Duchess of Hagg was
Captured by the Pup-a-Rotzi
While She was Helping Young
Children Learn to Read

As you all know, the Duchess of Hagg makes regular visits to see young children.  Reading and education have always been a number one priority on the Royal Agenda.  A correspondent for a local paper in a suburban community caught her up at one of the local Libraries while she was involved in helping young children learn to read in a programme called Paws for Reading.   The following are pictures that were taken of her and then published on the front page of that newspaper with a wonderful article asking for more 4 legged volunteers!

This is Carter reading to Nessie and his sisters

Twins, Seth and Brayden put on an entire performance for the Duchess
by acting out the books they were reading
The thing that Nessie would like you to know is that every dog can be tested to become a Therapy Dog.  Once you've passed the test, you may set appointments to visit Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Libraries and other facilities that have people who might benefit from petting and being with a tail waggin' 4 legged pooch.  It's good for the people, it's good for the dog and it's good for you when you give back to the community.  It's also educational for the public because they can see that even bully breeds like Boxers, Rotties and Pitties can be calm, balanced and loving animals with the right handler.  

For more information on Therapy Dogs, INC.  visit their website or call Toll Free @ 1-877-843-7364  or you can email them @

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Animal Behaviorist vs Dog Trainer

The more I try to help my dogs live amongst humans, the more I learn that I don't know what I'm doing........

When one of your dogs develops an issue,
whether it be aggression, fear, pulling, lunging
or dominance;  it is wise
to get a person who is trained 
in animal behavior to help you.

Let's face it.  There are a lot of dog trainers out there.  And the responsible person who buys or adopts a dog will usually want to get some training for it and themselves.  So where do you go?  Pets Mart or another local dog supply place, until you find out that there is really no room to work there and that the 'trainer' is not really that organized and doesn't really know your breed.  And there are usually way too many dogs in the small space to work.  Yes, you can get very very basic information there, but not much else.

Our first glimpse on the internet...we hadn't seen him in person yet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'll Be There.......

This was posted on G+ today and was a great lesson for me with regard to Malcolm.  I hardly ever open videos on G+ unless they are agility videos, but I'm an old Sax player and I couldn't resist.

The reason it reminded me of my relationship with Malcolm is because of how he responded to my new techniques while at the Dog Club last night.

So with high hopes and expectations and new 'tools' just learned from our session with Tiffany, I loaded Malcolm in the Jeep and headed for Agility Class.  And yes.  I remembered to get the chunks of chicken out of the fridge.

We got to the school parking lot and everything was normal, so out jumped Malcolm and we headed over to the grassy area to take care of business before class.  That's when we got our first opportunity/challenge.  The lady with her big Golden was talking to me about Malcolm's previous eating habits and neither one of us were looking at our dogs.  Her dog did something and Malcolm lunged.  (He usually doesn't do this with large dogs, so of course, I was caught unaware)  I did NOT correct him though.  I stepped calmly between him and the Goldie and asked him to sit -- which he did right away and he also looked at my eyes right away as if to say, "OK.  Mom. I see you've got this one."  So I gave him a chunk of chicken.  

Next up was the lady with the Chihuahua.  She walked up and went by us.  I again stepped between Malcolm and the Chihuahua and didn't even have to ask him to sit.  He did so on his own and looked at me.  More chicken.  He also kept his focus on me, only glancing at the dog as it walked back by to go inside.  Whoo Hoo!  More chicken.

That was great!  Two opportunities before we even went into the Dog Club!  Malcolm passed both tests while his handler only got a 75% score.  I get lots of points off for not noticing the dog language while I was trying to have a conversation with the Goldie's mom.  So we went in and had our class without any further challenges.  I will say, that Malcolm did better in his class than he has in about 6 months.  He had slowed way down almost as though he really didn't like agility.  In fact, I've been considering pulling him out of it and finding something else to do.  But last night, he had a blast.  He was strong and fast and paid attention and never once worried about what was going on outside the ring.

After a phone conversation with Tiffany this morning, she suggested that it might be that Malcolm has been so stressed out over the other dogs that he just couldn't relax and have fun in the ring.  I think she may be right.  I'll wait to see how he progresses this week before I decide that.  In the mean time, Malcolm did have one more challenge as we left.  Another lady with her weeny dog walked by us in extremely close proximity.  I stepped in front of Malcolm again as if to say, "It's OK, buddy.  I'll handle that dog.  You don't have to worry."   Malcolm simply sat there looking at me and he didn't worry at all.  We didn't even have to move a further distance away.  And it was only when the woman asked me why I stood there with my back to her, that I offered that Malcolm was terrified of little dogs and that's why he lunges.  She commented that he was doing really well and that she didn't get any indication that she should worry about her dog being lunged at.  We had a conversation and nothing happened between the big dog and the little dog.  Yay! Malcolm!

I do hope that this is a first step on a road to full recovery and a normal balanced Lord Malcolm.  You should have seen him flying around the agility ring last night.  It made my heart so happy to see him have some fun.

Don't worry Buddy, ...I'll Be There