Thursday, August 28, 2008

Owner obedience

Godpa has been training me regularly, even on cold wet mornings he gets us out so that we can do our obedience homework together. He's got a bit of the sniffles so he's been sleeping early to make sure he doesn't fall sick.

This afternoon we had great weather here and I got myself a bit of healthy sunshine. As you can see, godpa persists in training me. Fortunately he only asks me to sit-stay under shady areas. He even felt the floor to make sure it's not too hot.
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I read that Bear and Bruno got into a bit of trouble coz some soft hearted (and mis-informed) dog owner thought her dog was being "attacked". I can imagine those two licking the dog and drowning her in a pool of saliva or maybe the dog fainted on seeing these handsome sexy boys. I guess she's never seen me on rampage before, though these days I'm a lot calmer thanks to the training.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Get the facts from me

Godpa shared with me this paragraph from the book he's reading. It sounds wise but frankly, I could have told him so myself.

J. Allen Boone went to visit Mojave Dan, a wise old hermit who lived with a colony of dogs and burros. He asked the hermit to help him understand his dog and get at the truth of the animal. The sage thought for a while and then answered, "There's facts about dogs, and there's opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions. If you want facts about a dog, always get them straight from the dog. If you want opinions, get them from humans."
-- How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, by the Monks of New Skete

Monday, August 25, 2008

Watchdog II

Don't I look smart sitting down as godpa and family head out on Sunday morning? I'm more than happy that Godpa tells me to watch the house, I'm sure my barks are loud and clear for any one to be alerted.

My training is going on fine, and I'm glad my good "auto sits" have earned godpa more praise from the trainer. Sometimes I still get agitated with other dogs which godpa finds difficult to correct. So the trainer advised godpa to lift me off my feet for a while. He hasn't used the correction yet, maybe coz I started behaving myself after hearing what they said.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Torture! Call SPCS!


Somebody call the SPCS (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Soft-toys)! Godpa saw Stitch being dragged underneath a car today. He glanced something from a distance that looked like me dangling under a blue car, spinning and sometimes hitting the tar. I don't think I'll survive such an ordeal no matter how brave I am. Fortunately godpa recognized it was Stitch, who's supposed to be indestructible anyway :)

My obedience homework has been great so far. Godpa calls it "auto-sit", "stay-sit", and "down" exercises. And because I was so good, he finally rewarded me with the Nylabone. Yippee!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chicken cracker

The pressure of a dog bite can be between 200 to 450 lbs psi, and it causes crushing injuries and tearing of tissues rather than puncturing or cutting wounds. That's not surprising to me, otherwise how can I enjoy my raw chicken wings.
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I've growled and fought with other doggies but I'm not into biting. Sometimes I play bite with godpa and it's my way of showing I enjoy his participation. Too bad humans don't communicate the same way so I've to settle for petting from godpa.

Godpa's reading again. This time he says he wants to read the actual books on traditional training using the slip chain. He tells me it's always better to read things first hand rather than depend on others, who may interpret things differently. The 2 books he's having now are "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" by the Monks of New Skete, and "The Koehler Method of Dog Training" by William R. Koehler.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Resistance is futile III

Godpa says I have cute eye lashes and he turned my head around to pose for this shot since I don't have modeling experience.

Godpa has read another book about dogs: "How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do" by Stanley Coren. He finds it useful to know that skills training using operant conditioning can be categorized into i) behaviour capture, ii) lure training, iii) physical prompting, and iv) shaping.

He tells me that my obedience training uses physical prompting, which is a traditional method often using the slip/choke chain. It's good to also know that all training methods can be useful, and success depends on finding an experienced trainer. Of course the human student must also want to work hard and put in the hours. I'm glad godpa found a good trainer for us, he is experienced and has used lures and shaping for specialized training of performance dogs. In the language of Coren's book, he does not distinguish which are positive methods and which are not positive. After experiencing it for himself, godpa feels other humans should not prematurely rule out traditional training methods. Godpa says the downside of using slip chain is probably the physical control and self-confidence needed in order to use it correctly without hurting dogs.

So how is my progress? Godpa says he's very proud of me because I can now do proper heels and will automatically sit when he stops. I'm also a lot more confident when meeting people and dogs outside. We're eagerly anticipating how I can go off leash.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Godpa & Me


What is it about fast cars that fascinate humans? Is it the low revving of engines? The curves of the body? The thrill of danger? To me, if it moves then it interests me coz my ancestors used to hunt vermin for their human companions. Godpa is currently hooked on the book, Marley & Me. I guess the common interest I have with humans is food! Godpa and I love good food, yep, and he recently bought a new pack of peanut butter treats for me. They come in cute tiny pieces and look rather tasty but I'm still waiting for godpa to open them. He says finish the old treats first. Phooey.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Women and alcohol (fellow Mini Schnauzers for adoption)


Fifi and Whiskey (Fifi is seated in the photo) are 2 mini schnauzers up for adoption with more information on Bear's blog. Their names conjure up an image of a girl downing a glass of hard liquor :) I'm sure they'll look pretty after someone brings them for a nice cut at a good salon. Fifi is about my size. I wonder if she has my temper too.

I had a good sun tan this morning but Singapore's weather is crazy. Now it's dark skies with rumbling thunder. I stuck by with godpa as I'm scared of thunder. He's going out soon so I hope the storm passes over quickly.



Automatic


Godpa's taking useless photos again in all sorts of places. And my shot isn't well taken, he says it's low light so the primitive phone cam had to use higher ISO to record the image thus it became very grainy and lacks color depth. The lens is not fast enough, so longer exposure times also aggravate blurs from handshake. Hmmph, as if I'm interested in photography.

Anyway it's another tiring day after obedience class. Godpa's head is a bit bloated after being praised by the trainer. Why no one bothers to praise me for doing such good heel work? I'm the one who gives full attention and trots around tirelessly. Well, ok, I admit I'm not that great at automatic sits and need more practice. Godpa says he already rewarded me with one whole piece of edible Nylabone. I'll let the matter rest then and go to bed *YAWN*

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beauty

So how do I look? For me, beauty comes right after food. After godpa's health check yesterday, I was brought to the groomer to get a new styling *yippee* One thing godpa didn't tell me was that he'd be leaving me alone with the groomer and the rest of the customers. He forgot to say his usual goodbyes so I got a bit worried. I was jumping for joy when he came back to fetch me with Uncle Leon. Godpa did ask if I behaved well and the groomer reported that I was a difficult girl, always lying down to avoid being trimmed. Well, I was just concerned about how I'd look since they never gave me a mirror to check on their workmanship.

Godpa told the groomer to give me a cut that highlights my svelt body and yet capture my cute alluring face. Godpa was eager to take photos of me in various poses, even ones that look embarrasing *blush* Everyone found my tail very cute, it looks like a Glico Pocky stick.

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Health


Godpa is pretty health conscious, he enjoys Thunder Tea rice 客家擂茶饭 which has brown rice topped with fresh vegetables and herbs, and comes with a greenish soup. It looks horrid to me, where's the bloody, I mean, tasty meat? Anyway godpa went for a health check yesterday. He told me the place looked cool (it was cold too) and patients were waiting around in bathrobes. Right after that, it was my turn to get some attention.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Zorro for adoption


The human Zorro is handsome but there's a cuter short and smooth coat border collie named Zorro who's up for adoption. Wonder how he'll look wearing a mask, hat, and flowing cape.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gifts


I'm envious when godpa showed me the gifts he got. Two of these were more significant for him coz they came from a special someone :) For me, I like the cool bag that godpa will be using at work. Of course, I see godpa seems more keen in reading the book about Marley (he should pay more attention to me than some story about a Labrador).

As for me, I've been having a bit of tummy upset and had three accidents at home. The most recent was when I went to the door to welcome godpa's dad home. Godpa heard me fart and suddenly poop was all over the floor. It's so embarassing for me! Godpa wonders if anyone fed me junk food during the recent party at home.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Resistance is futile II

Yesterday I attended my first obedience training with godpa. It was an exciting experience which made me bark a lot. Godpa was taught on how to make me more confident by correcting my barking. It was a bit shocking for me at first when I felt myself being jerked away but I could finally understand what godpa wanted me to do, which is to pay attention to him and follow him where ever he goes. Uncle Leon joined in later for the lesson and he is shown here revising the work with me. Notice how I managed to train Uncle Leon to come next to me when I sit :P (godpa tells me not to be funny and shift myself closer to whoever holds the leash).
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Godpa is proud of me as I can now heel in pace with him at different speeds. Even on the way home, I have stopped barking after he corrected me using the training collar (godpa thinks choke chain is not the best label for a tool that helps in achieving positive results). I just lay down beside him while he enjoyed the drive and kept praising me for being quiet.

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We also celebrated godpa's birthday yesterday. There were many guests and I got so many hugs and enjoyed myself being carried onto the laps of many nice looking men. Godpa caught me dreaming this morning, and he wonders if I was dreaming about the party or the training. What do you think?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Little things, big things


Chilli coffee anyone? Godpa's just silly, taking photos of chilli sauce packets and coffee cup. But then it's easy to miss the little things in life. Notice the brand of chilli is called Swiss Bear, and there's an 8 printed right onto the cup's motif.

Anyway tomorrow's godpa's big day, and it's also my first day attending obedience training with him. I hope I'll do well even though godpa's prepared to show the trainer what I'm capable of *grin* I hope I don't scare away my classmates.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Watchdog


Someone or something passed by our house this morning around 3am and I let out a series of loud barks that woke the whole family. Godpa came out to check but found nothing. He took a panadol this morning before heading to work, poor godpa.

It's a funny coincidence coz godpa just had this conversation with a friend last night; Tony has a miniature schnauzer and proclaimed how good a watchdog he's been. The dog's now 13yrs old, blind, and recently got operated for bladder stones. He told godpa how the family toiled when the puppy came into their lives, and the pain of seeing their dog through difficult times such as heartworm treatment, blindness, and recently bladder stones. Tony spoke of how some people and even vets quickly propose euthanasia, and godpa learnt there were vets who openly declare they opposed such an option in their clinic.

Not all vets are animal lovers. And Tony learnt this the hard way when an irresponsible vet was treating his dog for heartworm. It got to a stage where the vet said he was unsure what else to do and decided to vanish on a sudden vacation. Fortunately for me, godpa already knows good vets from previous experiences seeking help for the chinchilla boys.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Busy bodies


Godpa had been busy but he likes to capture beautiful images for me. He says this was taken in a school. Wow, human schools these days are so grand.

For me, obedience training has started. I'm into my 3rd day of homework together with godpa. I'm not afraid of the heavy choke chain, infact I think it's as cool as my regular collar and I love it when godpa brings out the 15 ft. longe line to snap it on. It's hard work for godpa coz he has to train me for 40 minutes each day. I walk pretty well so far but there's still much for me to bark at. I feel more assured about godpa each time he brings me out for training, one day I believe I can be confident enough to ignore all those distractions.
 

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