Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dogs That Look Like Badger

It seems like a lifetime ago when I called up LoveHandlers Animal Sanctuary to inquire about a puppy they labeled a Cocker Spaniel / Border Collie mix. They estimated that he wouldn't grow to be more than 35 lbs (our apartment complex's weight limit for pets), but they warned that he had a lot of energy. Guess which one was true?

Tiny dog, huge ears, propensity for jumping over the back of the couch

People, us included, love playing "guess-the-breed" with Badger, because he's very "mutty". We've heard pitbull, lab, spaniel, and border collie. We've also wondered if he maybe he was part boxer, American bulldog (or any other nationality of bulldog), golden retriever, puggle, or spitz.

We actually weren't able to find any pictures of dogs that looked like him until we started reading pitbull blogs. And while he's still a very unique-looking dog that we'll always be able to pick out in a crowd, we think these dogs bear quite a bit of resemblance to him.

Buddy (L) and Blue of Chicago SociaBulls (Photo credit: Chicago SociaBulls)

Laynie, former foster at Mr. & Mrs. & Nola Kisses (Photo credit: M&M&NK)
Sock Dog version of Laynie - this one might be cheating (Photo credit: M&M&NK)
Adoptable Cooper might not be the same color, but he makes the exact same faces as Badger (Photo credit: A Heartbeat at My Feet)
Told you so

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back-to-School Shopping

The school year has officially started for us! No, I'm not talking about grad school (sorry, Mom) - I'm talking about training classes for Mushroom. My friend talked us into signing up for a reactive dog class with her and her dog Lilee.

Lilee: So cute she looks fake

The first class was yesterday, humans only. We listened to the merits of positive dog training. (An excellent write-up of which can be found on Love & a Six-Foot Leash.) We went around the room and shared about the problems we were currently having. Then, we practiced our first homework assignments with the trainer's dog Lizzie and a course assistant's dog Strider. We were also given a list of what to bring to next week's class, the first class that dogs will attend.

To be fair, we do already have some all of the things we need to bring to class:
  • An extremely high-value treat that Mushroom never gets at other times. As luck would have it, we ordered a bag of lamb lung treats from DoggyLoot last week.
  • A treat bag. We have one, but we rarely use it, since we tend to put treats in our pockets. The trainer doesn't want us fumbling for treats, though, so we'll be bringing the treat bag.
  • Clickers. We were given one in class yesterday, and we already have two at home.
  • Two leashes. One of the requirements for class is that dogs be double-leashed at all times in case of equipment failure. Since Badger will be staying at home, we can borrow his leash.
  • Two collars or harnesses, one for each of the leashes to attach to. We currently walk Mushroom using a Gentle Leader head collar, but she is always wearing her flat buckle collar, so we can attach the other leash to that.

Mushroom models her current equipment

So we're all set, right? Weeeeellllll.... Lizzie was wearing a pink martingale collar attached to a four-foot leash. This got me thinking - should we do some back-to-school shopping for Mushroom? (Eg. I'm always tempted to buy more "dog things", and maybe I finally have an excuse!)

The two things I'm eyeing are:
This cow print martingale collar from Pixie Girl Treats.
A shorter leash with an additional traffic handle, like this Kong traffic leash.

What equipment has been helpful for you and your dog during training classes?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Draw Something Wednesday

Playing Draw Something with Llamaentity's mom

I wonder if she'll guess it...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Events Season

Where has the summer gone?? The days are getting shorter, and our niece and nephew are back in school already. That said, fall is actually my favorite season because I love anticipation. And holidays, especially Halloween. 

Fall is also a good season for being outdoors with the dogs. It's not so hot that they'll overheat or burn their paws on the pavement, and it's not snowy and cold yet. It looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so, because there are a bunch of dog-themed events going on in Massachusetts this fall!

You're bringing us along, right?

Saturday, Sept. 8th
Get lost with your dog in a corn maze! Marini Farms is hosting "Doggy Days", which will benefit Ipswich Humane Group. Dogs are allowed, free of charge, on both the 8th and the 9th.
Sunday, Sept. 9th
There are actually TWO events going on this day, the Pet Rock Festival in Worcester (which is actually about pets and rock music, not pet rocks) and MSPCA's Walk for Animals, which takes place in 3 separate locations. My parents and sister are going to be in town this weekend, so hopefully I can convince them that they want to spend their vacation surrounded by dogs.

Sunday, Sept. 16th
The Somerville Dog Festival features contests and events you can try with your dog. I'm hoping to try out frisbee and nosework with the dogs. Who knows? Maybe we had a champion all along and didn't even know it!

If being a champion involves food, I could totally do it!

Saturday, Oct. 13th
Buddy Dog Humane Society is holding Woofstock in Hudson. I glanced through their adoptable dogs list, and Susie and Sasha, who were featured on 2 Punk Dogs, are still available. I wonder if Buddy Dog would trade them for two little pitbull mixes...

Sunday, Oct. 14th
Chelmsford Dog Association is holding Howl'oween, which includes a costume contest. I'm really excited because Halloween is my favorite holiday. Maybe we can do a group costume with the 4 of us. (Badger, Mushroom, and Llamaentity will all need some convincing.)


Are there any dog-themed or dog-friendly events you're looking forward to?