There are a number of steps you can take to help your dog be more comfortable during this year's celebration of our Country's birthday. Is your pup a nervous-nellie for
most noises, regardless of the occasion? You might want to think long-term and enroll in a positive-reinforcement clicker training class in your area - this is a wonderful training method and actually increases your pet's confidence level. A more confident pet is less nervous in new situatiuons. Looking for a shorter-term solution, with July peeking around the fold of the wall calendar? Take a look at the ThunderShirt - its gentle, constant pressure is a terrific solution for many types of dog anxiety, fearfulness, barking and more. You can also create a safe place for your dog, if you haven't already. A room, a crate - some place your Buddy can go and KNOW that nothing bad will happen there. Start using the safe room a week before the Fourth of July. You can block off your kitchen, or turn the bathroom into a safe haven. If you already know your dog will be a bit crazed and you choose to use a crate - do not use a wire crate for this solution. A dog that is frightened can find ways to get a paw - or worse - caught in the wire openings; go with the plastic crate option instead. And be sure to check in on your pet during the night of revelry. Take a high-value treat and talk in soothing, low tones to keep her anxiety level low.
Are you leaving town for the long weekend? This may not be the time to take your family pet along with you. One loud boom and you could end up with an escaped dog - and being lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood is even worse than being lost in your own home stomping grounds with no recognizable landmarks to help Fido get home. During other times of the year you may use a dog sitter, but unless they can stay with your dog the night of the fireworks, you might want to visit some local kennels now and find one you are comfortable with. At the one I use, the kennel manager lives on-site. That gives me extra peace of mind when I'm away! With the economy being what it is, you may be staying closer to home for your r&r that weekend. Whether you are hosting a BBQ at your place or heading out to a friend's house to celebrate, you still might want to consider a boarding kennel. I had one foster dog that would attempt to escape loud noises by launching himself at the living room window! One hint: when kenneling during any holiday, it's best to make your boarding reservations in advance. Even with less people traveling out of town these days, the good kennels are still filling up their schedule books ahead of time.
I am a huge advocate of microchipping. Check with your local shelter for low-cost clinics and remember to register your new chip with the home company. Keep your Fourth of July celebration fun and exciting - and don't let it become the date that your dog escapes!
Ringside candids from the Gateway Cities English Springer Spaniel Association Specialty held in Walnut, CA on April 30 are finished and posted. Also finished are the Rescue Parade and the portrait booth photos. I LOVE the Spaniel breeds!
Germany is recognized as the country of origin of the Dachshund. The Dachshund can be found in historical accounts dating back to the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, when illustrations reflected badgers being hunted with dogs with elongated bodies, short legs and hound-type ears. The dogs of medieval Europe were noted to have the tracking ability of hounds and the proportions and temperament of terriers, much needed to pursue their main quarry of badgers. Early in the 17th century, the name Dachshund (badger-dog) became the designation of a breed type with smooth and longhaired coat varieties, and in 1890 wirehairs were added as a third variety. Today you can find all three varieties in both the miniature or standard size. True to the breed, they are friendly with a keen sense of smell. Whether participating in earth dog trials or sailing over agility obstacles, the Dachshund is sure to impress with his attention to detail.
I am working the Lake Matthews show photos now, and will be enjoying the upcoming weekend with the dogs at Mt. Palomar. From Lake Matthews on May 1, 2011, this is Chesapeake Bay Retriever Marnetts Loves to Play Shelby. Bred by Annette B. Monugian of Marnetts Chespeakes and owned by Jon and Edith Pierson.
Once Lake Matthews' photos are finished, I'll be working on the pix from Rio Hondo Kennel Club Show held Sunday May 8th, 2011 in Pomona, California. This little cutie is 13 inch Beagle Gone Postal Blue By You (call name Ellie). Bred by Julie Wright of Just Wright Beagles and Doug & Mary Postal, owned by Doug and Mary Postal. She sure caught my eye ringside!
Coming up: May 20 - Studio Mini-Sessions at Su-Et's Kennel in Santee, CA (weather permitting); May 21 & 22 - Ringside Candids at Mt. Palomar Kennel Club in Valley Center CA; May 26 - Ringside Candids at West Coast Cocker Spaniel Specialty Show in Pomona, CA; May 27 & 28 - Ringside Candids at the Mission Circuit in Pomona, CA; May 29 - Private Shoot in San Diego, CA; Contact me if you would like me to capture your dog showing in the ring, for a private photo shoot or to participate in a mini-session in Santee. The full shooting schedule can be seen on my main website. See you at the shows!