Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Making Better Choices!

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a great day. Today I have an update on how Phoenix has been doing. As most of you know, we started Phoenix in play groups at my work back in the beginning of February to try and help her with some of her dog/dog issues. Along the way, we've had some struggles and we've learned so much about her. Phoenix also attends our reactive dog class whenever there is room for her and helps other dogs learn how to be calm around each other, so she's getting some additional counter conditioning on leash with other dogs in a controlled manner. Working my own dog in that class has been really helpful for me and has helped me improve my handling skills which is great for Phoenix and great for all the dog training classes that I help with.

The main thing that Phoenix struggles with is greeting new dogs. She is fearful and face-to-face
 (----> <---) greetings are hard for her. Sometimes a face-to-face greeting can illicit a soft snarl and flash of teeth all the way up to an actual snark with light contact. I say light contact as she has never hurt anybody.

The other issue that we've seen is what we call "breed-specific (hereditary) chasing and nipping. This behavior is very interesting as it seems like something she has a very hard time controlling on her own. It's like some sort of compulsive action that she can't help doing. When she sees a dog moving, her first instinct is to chase them and nip at their butts.

We've also seen some low-level separation anxiety from me. As soon as I would leave the room, she would continually pace and try to figure out where I went or try to get back to me. Transitioning times between employees and dogs were pretty stressful for her.

I'm happy to report that things are going a lot better and it seems like each week she does better. We've been setting her up to win with new dogs by introducing her dead last. That way the new dogs are distracted by the rest of the group and Phoenix is also distracted by the group. She is not able to zero in on a new dog to chase and nip or get snarky upon greeting them. We control the greetings by feeding the other dog so Phoenix can sniff them without conflict. We are very careful and thoughtful on how we do greetings and it's really helping. She's doing amazing outside of my work when we go hiking and meets new dogs on her own without help. We have not seen much snarky behavior in weeks, most of what we see is avoidance or a very low level lift lip. We've even seen her solicit play from new dogs out at the park, which is amazing.

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Playing in the water surrounded by new dogs she's never seen before!

The chasing and nipping has gotten much better as well. Today I actually saw her think about **NOT** doing it. She started to do it and then stopped herself, turned around and came back to me. She was SO good!!! I was excited to see her do that. She is also not nipping as much if she does end up chasing and is able to recall off the dogs and come to us. We've also seen some play that did not include chasing with her, actual play bows and jumping around a little. It was so cute!

The separation anxiety and worrying about where I am has gotten much better. My coworkers report that she's doing really well and participating in all the training activities that they've been doing. She's still really worried when the dogs are transitioning to go home but we wait until she's completely calmed down before she's allowed to get back to me, which seems to be helping a lot too!

I'm so happy with her progress and I'm really glad that I stuck with the play groups, even though she had a hard time at first. I'm so thankful that I work with awesome trainers and that my coworkers have been so helpful with her. The support I've gotten has been amazing. I wish everyone had a facility like this to help them.

Note: Our play groups are not in any way close to what you would find at a traditional "Doggie Daycare". Our facility is first and foremost a training facility where we work with the dogs to help them with their issues and understand them better. I do not recommend traditional doggie daycare for dogs who have dog/dog issues, as they can end up flooding a dog and causing more issues. A training facility that understands behavior, does training and careful, thought out introductions is where Phoenix goes and it's the only sort of facility I would ever recommend. Pet owners need to thoroughly vet the places they are taking their dogs. 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nature's Logic Review!

"I'm hungry! Let's Eat!"

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic day! Today I have a dog food review for you. We were excited when Nature's Logic asked us to try their food. I've heard wonderful things about this company. We actually tried a few samples of the food a few months ago when Zoe wasn't feeling well and it was the only thing we could get her to eat.

Nature's Logic is a company that provides pet owners with a variety of top notch pet foods, treats and supplements. They were founded in 2006 by Scott Freeman. Scott wanted to develop a pet food that focused on the benefits of whole food nutrition without using added synthetic supplements that other food companies use. Since nothing like this had ever been created, Scott sent the food for AAFCO feeding trials to have them substantiated for All Life Stages. They passed with flying colors. The ultimate goal of Nature’s Logic is to provide the most nutritious and safest product that people can feel good about feeding their canine and feline family.

All of food from Nature's Logic are 100% natural and free of common allergens. There are no synthetic vitamins or minerals.

Nature's Logic receives a 5 Star rating from Dog Food Advisor

Nature’s Logic Canine Venison Meal Feast is a blend of Venison meal from New Zealand combined with Nature Logic's concentrate of dried vegetables and fruits. It’s ideal for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.

Nature’s Logic Canine Rabbit Meal Feast is a blend of rabbit meal from European-raised rabbits combined with Nature Logic's exclusive concentrate of dried vegetables and fruits. It’s ideal for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.

Both of the dogs really enjoyed the food we tried from Nature's Logic, even Zoe, who is super picky! They both did really well on the food. I really like that the food is all natural and doesn't contain any synthetic vitamins or minerals. I'm really happy with how the dogs did on it and we will definitely be getting this food again. I would recommend checking them out! 

ZoePhee was provided with samples of Nature's Logic dog food in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are my own!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Phoenix Does The Tunnel! Training Tuesday

Things are going a lot better the past two weeks at work with Phoenix. We have only had one new dog join the group and she's getting along okay with him. She also learned a new skill this week: Going through the tunnel! 

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A few years ago, there was no way she would do this. I'm pretty happy with her progress. She's doing really well and she's such a good girl. She's trying really hard to figure out how to dog with other dogs. 

Phoenix's favorite friend from work is Percy, the border collie. We spent some time last week doing agility with all the dogs. They got to do the jump, tunnel and our pause table.

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As you can see they really like all the training they get to do!