Archive for the ‘treats’ Category


She played me. The Labradork has been playing me. I am a sucker. For three years we’ve worked spin. Some days were better than others (faster, tighter spins). But then there were the days the command didn’t seem enough and I’d have to get a hand signal as well. Those days the spin was half hearted, slow, and not very tight, and I would just cheer her on, encourage her, or sometimes bring the treat out to lure her into a better spin.

Because of course the problem had to be my training right? If she wasn’t doing it correct, even after all that time, I must not have trained it right. She must not understand. So I’d take a few steps back. I’d work it again. Bring out the treat (read bribe). And then one day something inside me questioned. She’s almost three years old. This is a simple behavior. Could I seriously be that bad of a trainer that she really didn’t understand what I was asking? That had been my assumption. It had to be me. And it was, just not like I thought.

The other night I filled up her food bowl with dinner. I held it in my hand and without a signal said, “Spin.” It was like a fan had turned on as she whipped around in tight circle almost nose to tail. This sweet, innocent little Labradork had been playing me! She’d figured out the least amount of effort she could put into this behavior and still get the treat! Why put in effort if mom will just bring out the treat and lead me around by the nose and then still give me the treat? Mom’s a sucker!


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Well since a few posts were delayed, I figured I’d make this one a day early. We’ve had a lot of fun today working on wait, leave it and starting weaving between legs. We also started working on roll over. This week is one of my busiest at work, but we still managed a few trips to new places including the Farmer’s Market and Downtown as students were returning.

We’re still working on loose leashing walking. I’m reminding myself that my trainer told me it could take ua year when I started with the Labrador. And even with the Labrador who is two we aren’t perfect. I am trying to be more consistent with both of them. We’ve added a new game to it, putting a treat on the ground and walking to it. If the leash stays loose, he gets the treat. If it doesn’t there are penalty yards! And we try again.

The Golden is also learning to catch. We are using dog cheese puffs for this. Something light and airy. If he doesn’t catch the treat, he doesn’t get the treat (well that’s the idea — sometimes he’s faster than I am!). Currently he has about a 90% success rate. Cheese tossing will come soon!

This weekend his sister (another litter) earned her RA. The weekend before she earned her RN and CD. His brother earned two legs of his RN. My little guy has big shoes to follow, but I know we’ll get there. I signed up for a Performance Puppy class that will start in October that I’m really looking forward to (and a Novice Competition class for the Labrador).

The coming months we have a lot going on. The Labrador is going to be competing in about 21 days. We have a Show N Go next weekend, and the Golden will be coming to experience his first show like conditions. Currently the Labrador has an Agility class, and then in October she’ll have Novice Obedience and Rally, while the puppy will be in Performance Puppy class. New classes, with new trainers. So much more to learn. And the Beagle just laughs at them both as she snarfs up the treats just for being cute!

Here’s the puppy practicing his sit/stay and leave it today. Ignore the junk in the background 😉


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We had our follow up tonight regarding the ear. Tuesday night I noticed it started getting red again. Wednesday there was scratching and shaking. Tonight it was definitely red. There is no wax build up, no junk, but definite irritation. We aren’t sure why.

We are adding an anti-inflammatory to her medication to see if we can’t keep it under control and let the ear drum heal. One thing that concerned me was we called during the week regarding the ear drops. I noticed about four days in that not only did it expire 9/12, it said to keep it refrigerated. Concerned my husband called the vet’s office. His staff assured him it was good for a month past the expiration date (which even human medicines can be, so that didn’t concern me), and that it was fine not to refrigerate it. With the ear getting red, I mentioned this during the visit. The staff hadn’t checked with him. He wasn’t so sure, and gave us another bottle that expires next year and said to keep it refrigerated. Not sure if that could part of the issue, but he didn’t want to take that chance.

I like that he gave me the new bottle. I don’t like that his staff didn’t check with him. I think I will make sure to check with him from now on when I have questions and speak directly to him.

He also told me, “because I know you’re going to go home and look it up, and I don’t want you to think I slipped something in there” that the anti-inflammatory has prednisone in it. We talked about that for a while, but I think it’s good when the vet gets to know you well enough to know exactly what you are going to do! He’s right. I would have looked it up, and I would have questioned it. We are using an extremely low dose, just hoping to control the ear for a little, so between what he told me and yes, what I looked up when I got home I’m ok with using it for a short duration.

So again, bonus points for being fully informative with me, and for knowing that’s what I as a consumer want from a vet.

He also earned a lot of bonus points with me for working with the Labrador. This issue has been going on for awhile now, and she’s hit the point where she tries to hide behind me when he comes in. We spent time working with treats tonight, to get her used to him, and get her more relaxed. We walked her around the entire clinic, including the exam room, his office and the kennels. I like being the last appointment of the day. He’s also willing to have me bring her by to visit in the evenings and walk her around, treat her, and have him visit with her without poking and prodding so she’ll get more relaxed. Bonus points for a vet who cares like that and doesn’t want to have to fight to make the patient accept treatment.

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