Homemade puzzle toys

Has anyone else noticed that most commercial puzzle toys for dogs are painfully easy? I don’t know who designs them but either the test subject dogs that try out the products are not all that bright, or the toy designers don’t have test subject dogs at all, or maybe my own dog is some super-genius, but I somehow doubt that. So I am on a quest to make really tough (but not so tough that the dog gives up) puzzle

Continue Reading

Chores and Dog Training at the Same Time

On a rainy weekend morning, when I should have been walking the dog but wasn’t in the mood to go out in the downpour, I decided instead to do a bit of housework in hopes that the weather would change. Betsy, however, was antsy for action, so I decided to involve her in the chores. Her job: Hold a position (down, sit) while I did a bit of work. This ended up being great in a number of ways: 1.

Continue Reading

Choices and Happiness

Eileen of Eileen and Dogs recently wrote a piece on giving dogs choices and Patricia McConnell wrote one on what makes your dog happy?. They’re both of a similar tone and it made me think about what makes Betsy happy. I often feel sorry for dogs – they’re at our mercy in most ways: We control their food, their water, when they get to go to the bathroom, and when they get to leave the house. We force them to

Continue Reading

My (possibly neurotic) dog walking philosophy

I spend a lot of time thinking about the walks I take Betsy on. In my mind, there are three kinds of “walks” we can go for, and I try to make sure she gets a balance of these three: Socialization/Brain Challenge Walks In which I take Betsy to locations where she is exposed to a variety of different and interesting things. Usually lots of people, sometimes other dogs, skateboards, maybe horses or other interesting things. I might walk her

Continue Reading

Kong Recipes

I wasn’t a big fan of the Kong at first, thinking the design was kind of silly, but over time I’ve decided that it’s actually pretty great. We now have two Kongs, both of the red variety, both size large. My main use of the Kong is for the crate. Betsy doesn’t mind being crated in the slightest – she took to it like a fish to water, right from the day we brought her home. She doesn’t whine, she

Continue Reading

Five easy ways to enrich your dog’s life

I always feel horribly guilty about not using Betsy to her full potential. Since I don’t have a job that requires a working canine companion, my wonderful dog, who boasts generations of breeding geared towards boundless energy and stamina, is forced to spend a lot of her time laying around the house, waiting for me to entertain her. When she whines or paces or nuzzles me for attention, I am always beseiged with guilt, knowing how much it must suck

Continue Reading