Spring is here. The sun transformed my backyard swamp into hardened grass-covered clay. It’s a perfect place to train the puppies I raise for a service dog organization. So many smells and distractions.
But distractions have limits. And when a neighbor’s unleashed dog (we’ll call the dog Fluffy) continually charges into my unfenced backyard barking and growling, a training distraction turns into a nightmare, especially if I’m training a puppy with fear periods.
The owner, a very nice lady, eventually presents herself. She stands in the yard and yells the dog’s name, telling Fluffy to “Come here right now!” over and over and over. It grates on my nerves, and Fluffy totally blows her off. I would, too. Why? The owner is a nag. Her dog is giving her the paw.
Fluffy has no boundaries. And coming into my yard to retrieve barking Fluffy, picking her up and telling her “No!” doesn’t mean what the owner thinks it means. In Fluffy’s world, this is a game. I growl and bark, make the neighbor’s dogs back up, and MY OWNER COMES, picks me up, cuddles me and carries me home. What fun! (more…)
When I received an email from Mark Schuette, the inventor of the Dog Power Scooter, asking me to check out his invention and let him know what I thought, I expected to see the vehicle used by Norman – the Wonder Dog. NOT.
Introducing Urban Mushing – A Sport for You and Your High Drive Dog! Mark and his invention were even spotlighted on CNN!
Mark Schuette wanted to exercise and have fun with his dog. But bicycles with dog leash attachments concerned him. The dog could forge out in front of the bike. And what if the dog had a high prey drive and spotted something irresistible? There had to be a better and safer way to bike with your dog. So he invented the Dog Power Scooter, a safe way for you and your dog to have fun.
The Dog Power Scooter can be dog or human powered. The human has total control. There is a Scooter model for one, two, three or more dogs. There is also a Trike that holds up to two dogs. The Trike system is totally stable with powerful steering and braking. The Trike can accommodate certain disabilities. (more…)
I have to admit that I LOVE innovation, and this dog washing product piqued my interest. It’s called Aquapaw.
It’s a hose you use to wash your dog. But this hose solves a very real problem. How many times has this scenario happened to you?
You’re in the garage or outside in the yard washing your dog. Your one hand holds the leash so that your dog doesn’t escape. Your other hand holds the hose. You wet down the dog. Now you need shampoo. Wish you had a third hand? Me, too!
Aquapaw attaches to your garden hose or your bath showerhead. You activate the spray nozzle by pressing your finger against your palm. It appears you have complete water control while you shampoo your pet.
This product has launched on Kickstarter. Check it out and play the video for more information. The inventor approached me to spread the word about the product, and once the samples arrive he will send me one to review. So look for my product review on Aquapaw real soon!
For the past twelve years, Austin area architects, interior designers, and builders have joined forces to design innovative doghouses to be displayed and auctioned at Barkitecture Austin. The proceeds of the auction benefit the non-profit dog adoption group, Austin Pets Alive. A great idea for all major cities across the nation. Which doghouse reflects your dog’s taste?
My Wish List: A Dog Shower/Dog Washing Station – A Must Have for Every Dog Owner!
Plop. Plink. Splash. Water cascades from the gutters. Rain stops. Clouds move. Sun reappears. Pup scratches at the door and whines. Human cringes and grabs towels.
You get the picture….
Mud? What mud? I didn’t see any mud.
Let’s face it. Outside of a root canal, there’s nothing more painful and aggravating than your dog tracking mud onto your kitchen floor and running through the house smearing brown all over light carpeting. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog shower or dog washing station built for your home?
But sigh…there’s no space in the laundry room of my current home to accomodate a dog washing station. I’m considering the garage, though. I’ll keep you posted!
Have you ever been in a restaurant or store and wondered, “That dog doesn’t look and/or act like a service dog? That’s somebody’s pet. Why are they allowed in here?”
Fake service dogs seem to be everywhere, including in strollers and shopping carts. But what is a service dog, a therapy dog or an emotional support animal? How can you tell the difference? And if I’m a business owner, what do I do?
Our friends at Orvis produced a handy infographic that will answer those questions at a glance. Thanks, Orvis!
And remember, not all disabilities are visual. There are hidden disabilities that make it difficult to identify if the dog is working or not. When in doubt, you may ask:
1) Is this a service dog required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has this dog been trained to perform?
Then observe the dog’s behavior. Service dogs should never misbehave, defecate in public, pull, tug, growl or bark. They should be silent and working, concentrating on their person and waiting for their next command. Therefore, do not bother a team while they are working. (more…)
A dog crate is an unattractive necessity, especially when you raise puppies for a service dog organization. At the beginning stages of housebreaking, crates are scattered around my house. Multiple crates. Multiples sizes. Holding tanks for active bladders. Some soft-sided. Some cage-like. All ugly.
So my son and I designed a dog center in our laundry room. The rendering below was our initial inspiration.
We took a well-used laundry room closet and redesigned the space. It now fashionably accommodates the same items as before and the dog, too! Here’s how it turned out.
Ample cabinet storage space surround the crate. A Corian countertop sits on top of a KraftMaid CoreGuard kitchen sink base. (I had the center strip of the sink base removed–where the doors rest when closed.) One of Home Depot’s great kitchen designers helped me find this gem. It’s an engineered polymer kitchen sink base with slightly pitched forward shallow ribbing. Why did I choose that? Because puppies pee. Any accidents will flow to the front of the base and can be wiped up easily. Happy puppy. Happy owner! And don’t worry about the ribbing. The dogs don’t mind it. If you do, buy a crate mat. (more…)
In my previous blog post, How to Build an Outdoor Dog Potty Area, I wrote step-by-step instructions (photos included) on the DIY home improvement project that saved my grass from urine burn.
Dog pee kills grass…period. There are all sorts of urine burn lawn repair products out there, but I don’t know any that really work.
I have four female retrievers. They produce large amounts of urine. There isn’t a product out there to help me. If I let them run in my backyard and do their business, their urine would take out my backyard lawn in one season. I had to come up with a plan.
Poop doesn’t kill grass. Urine does. So why not confine the damage to one area–an areas without grass. I made this dog potty area on the side of my house.
How to Build an Outdoor Dog Potty
Word of Caution: If your dog is prone to eating inappropriate things like toys, rocks, bedding, etc. this project may not be for you unless you take the dog out on leash and correct the dog if it attempts to lower its head to eat the gravel. My dogs don’t have dog beds or crate mats because they eat them. However, this project worked for them because I keep them on leash when they use the area and they don’t have access to it at any other time. Remember, your dog relies on your supervision. Now on to the project. (more…)