Friday Facts: Puppy Crate Training

Friday Facts-Puppy Crate Training

I have been reading a lot about puppy crate training lately. Disclosure: I am a poor crate trainer. Fourteen years ago, I tried to do it with my first Doodle, and failed miserably. I hate hearing puppies cry.

I read a lot of articles about the right way to crate train, and learned that the best way to do it is to get the puppy to want to go in the crate of his own accord. This is easier said than done. This puppy will even avoid eating his food in order to stay away from the crate. I put the bowl inside the crate and the most he will do is to take a few bites, with his back legs stretched way out in order to keep them out of the crate.

Next I will be trying to give him some bits of chicken or so-called “high-value treats” to get him to venture further in. In the meantime, here is what my puppy likes to do:

puppy

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Photo Credit: Kelly Marinelli

Digging Dogs – Skunked Edition

skunk

If you follow me on Twitter @KellyinBoulder you may know that my dog got sprayed by a skunk again. I awoke to the acrid scent of spray coming in through the window and ran to check the back door to make sure the pooch hadn’t gotten out. No such luck-I turned on the light and discovered the dog, ears down in despair, his face covered with bits of leaves, smelling like a gasoline spill.

Those who have been close up and personal with skunk spray will know what I mean: it is a completely different experience from the whiff you might get when you pass one of the little waddly white and black things at 500 yards. “Ewww! Skunk!” the kids squeal. No, really. This stuff burns your eyes and takes over your sinuses so it’s beyond stink into totally toxic territory.

Okay, you may not have known this, but if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, you shouldn’t go buy out the entire stock of tomato juice at your local grocery store. Yes, tomato juice is the old-fashioned home remedy for removing skunk stink. But according to the Humane Society of the United States, this is the mixture you should use for de-skunking your pet:

You will need:

  1. 1 quart bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  2. ¼ cup baking soda
  3. 1 tsp liquid dishwashing soap
  4. Dog shampoo
  5. Rubber gloves
  6. Access to a garden hose

Mix first three ingredients together in a bucket. If you’re not sure how much you will need, we allocate 6 bottles of peroxide per application to our 90 lb, very furry dog. You may need less. If you apply it at 3 am in the dark in the backyard, or your dog has been through this before and knows what’s coming, you will need more in case you miss your dog when you pour it.

DO NOT WET DOWN OR SHAMPOO YOUR DOG FIRST. This will just spread the oily skunk spray so it saturates the rest of your dog, making removal of that stink just next to impossible. AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR DOG WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. You will carry that stink around for a while. And even though you don’t smell it anymore, everyone else will.

Put on the gloves and apply the peroxide mixture to your dog’s fur. Once your pet is thoroughly wet, massage it in so her hair gets saturated. Pay special attention to her head and face, as usually this is where your curious pooch has gotten the brunt of the spray. And be careful with the mixture because the soap will sting her eyes.

Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes (too much longer and you may give your dog a bleach job). Rinse, and then lather up with regular dog shampoo. Rinse again and towel your friend dry. Let him sleep it off in your garage or in a kennel in a place where he won’t have access to rub his fur all over the walls of your house and track the remaining smell on your carpet.

In our experience, this special wash needs to be repeated 3-4 times before the smell fades. You can also use special skunk wash that’s made for dogs. But they don’t carry that at the grocery store at 3 am.

Happy de-skunking!

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Photo credit: julierohloff via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

5 Tips for Getting Ready for Puppy: Friday Facts

puppies

It’s time for a new puppy at our house! Our grandpa dog, the friend that keeps appearing in my posts, is 13. He’s a big guy, and we are enjoying every additional day of health and vitality he has at this point. Being that he is an absolute legend and totally irreplaceable, the best we can hope for is that he can cuddle our new puppy through his weaning and adjustment to a new home, and teach him all of the great tricks of getting along in our human world. In the best case scenario, the new puppy will be half the friend he has been to us, and he will have a furry companion in his old age.

Oh, who am I kidding? We will be in love with this puppy in two seconds flat, and we won’t even notice the chewed shoes and puddles on the floor.

Anyway, kind of like some parents I know who wait a long time in between having kids, we now are in a situation where lots of things have changed since the last time we had a puppy in the house. So today’s Friday Facts is focused on what the hell I need to do to get ready for this.

  1. Veterinarian Care: Cesar Milan recommends several great tips for keeping our puppy healthy, and one of the items on the list is spaying or neutering the pup at 4-6 months of age. Also critical is ensuring our puppy is vaccinated, dewormed, and kept free of fleas and ticks.
  2. Budgeting for Puppy Needs: Aside from puppy food and the vet care mentioned above, it’s recommended that we plan on at least a few hundred dollars per year in expenses. One of the things that surprised me about having a Goldendoodle is that he needs haircuts on a regular basis, and for a dog of his size, that can easily cost close to $100 with a tip for your groomer. And you absolutely can’t do it yourself; believe me, we tried, and even with a very patient dog, we got pretty hilarious results.
  3. Pet Insurance: Pet insurance 13 years ago didn’t cover much and was kind of expensive. It was hard to find value, and we didn’t consider it. Things have changed, and it may make sense for you if you think you might end up in a situation where you are at the emergency vet with your pet and you can’t pay for treatment your best friend needs. Check this out this video to find out if pet insurance is right for you.
  4. The Fun Part-Toys: My absolute favorite toy for adult dogs is the seek-a-treat kind of puzzle toy that gets them thinking and rewards learning. It’s a good fit for dogs that are really food motivated and love to train and seek approval. That’s our dog to a “T” and this toy is easily his favorite ever. But when it comes to puppies, teething and busy toys are better. Hard nylon toys with bumps are great for sore gums, as is a puppy-sized Kong filled with frozen peanut butter. Avoid squeaker toys and stuffed toys because aggressive chewers can easily end up with an intestinal blockage from swallowing dangerous items. Also, rawhide and bones are not for puppies.
  5. One New Feeding Solution: I had never seen these years ago, but I am sold on the benefits of this dog bowl for fast feeders that choke down their food. It is a fun way to slow that puppy down at mealtime.

Stay tuned for puppy pics in a couple of months! Enjoy your weekend.

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Photo courtesy of goldendoodlesofcolorado.com

Ever Feel this Way?

Oh Shit Im Lost

I’m at a dead end on a project and feeling like I wasted some time going in the wrong direction, and now I’m stuck in a cul-de-sac and instead of hanging a quick right, I have to do one of those crazy 18-point turns to get out.

But you know me–no matter how bewildered or frustrated I get, I’m going to keep driving…so there’s that. This is an easy one compared to the dead ends I’ve seen before.

Hey, thanks for the pep talk! I think I’m ready to turn around now.

Sleepydog

Were you even listening?

Friday Facts – Bring Your Dog to Work Edition

My Dog at Work – Kelly Marinelli
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Friday Facts, where I will look into a topic that peaks my interest, and share what I found. Today I’m curious about dogs at work, since so many companies, retail businesses and other places here in Boulder are universally dog-friendly. Here are the facts:
1.   Take Your Dog to Work Day is a thing. This year it takes place on Friday, June 24th. This event began in 1999, created by Pet Sitters International.
2.  A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that eight percent of American workplaces allowed their employees to bring pets to work with them. This increased from five percent in the 2013 survey. An older 2008 survey from the American Pet Products Manufacturers’ Association has that figure even higher, at 17% of workplaces being pet-friendly. 
3.  A study carried out by researchers at the Central Michigan University and described in this Entrepreneur article showed that a team working with a dog alongside them exhibited greater trust, intimacy and team bonding than a dogless team. 
4.  Not surprisingly, a study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, mentioned in this slide show from PetMD, found that we have lower stress levels when our animals are with us at work, as opposed to workers who left their pets at home or have no pets at all.
5.  Need some great practical tips on how to create a BYOD (dog, not device) policy for your workplace? This article from CIO.com is a great resource. My favorite tip? Set up a “Rufferee Team” to handle any disputes or complaints.  
Those are the facts!  Enjoy your weekend!
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