Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Pit Bull Shelter Partner

We've had fantastic success so far with our partnership with Humane Society Silicon Valley. Miss Bubbles has gone into her new home and is doing very well. Due to such great success we are continuing our partnership.

Meet Timmy, this little man is about 10 months old, loves people of all kinds, is good with dogs and is very handsome. He has the happiest, brightest and the most hopeful face with beautiful bright, shiny eyes. We just love this lil guy! When we take him out for walks he's just so happy to be your buddy.

Look for him on our available page shortly!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love Bugs - Couch Spuds

Pit bulls playing on the couch, Human on the phone

And NO those are NOT my hairy legs!

Happy Days!

Marthina and crew

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love, Hope and Help with Ben the Therapy Dog

Ben shown here on the left with his sister Charlotte is a certified therapy dog. Here's a note from his person Anne about what it's like to do therapy work with him.

"It makes me feel great to help patients. When I put the vest on Ben he's different. When he enters the clinic his head is up and he's proud of himself. He's loved by everyone, staff and patients. I feel so happy when the patients pet him. Some of the patients will wait for him to get a chance to visit. I'm very proud that I can do something with my dog to help people. I used to be afraid of Pit Bulls believe it or not and now I work along side one to help sick people.
Ben's new job is to walk with a woman who has Alzheimer's disease in Palo Alto which is very rewarding for both of us.
My Pit Bull has given me new life full of love, hope and an ability to help others."

Anne Krevet and Ben.

Thank you Anne and Ben for bringing so much joy to so many people! We are so proud of you!

Marthina and Mary

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Puppy Playtime

Puppy Playtime is so important to a pup it's as important as food! Without proper socialization dogs simply don't learn social structure and bite inhibition. It's important however that one has a balanced and well socialized, well matched, appropriate friend to play with. This is important so that good lessons are taught to the pup, not inappropriate rude behaviors.

Training is also very important but I would never put training over the importance of socialization. It's fairly easy to teach sit, down, stay, at almost any age. These behaviors are used to replace inappropriate behaviors in teaching house manners. So training is definitely necessary for a dog to live a happy life and is a must.

However, for a pup to learn the skill of communication with other dogs and through that gain confidence is invaluable. A confident dog is less likely to react to other dogs in various scenarios. A dog that has acquired bite inhibition through play is less likely to do damage later in life IF he ever does bite in a very stressful moment. Many things influence whether or not a dog is reactive to other dogs throughout his life but socializing can be a very helpful tool in setting a dog up for success.

These two dogs were introduced the canine way, in other words not face to face before they knew each other. For example let dogs hang around (not staring at each other) or walk side by side before greeting. Bree is shown here playing with her buddy after hard work at training class. Her lessens learned from this nicely balanced pooch buddy will we invaluable throughout her life.

This is the best way to have a play session end....calm and relaxed. When you get to this point call it a day, tell your pup with calm praise how great she did. Pups like small children tend to get cranky if play goes on and on especially after the point shown here. So pack up, say thanks and go home for a long nap! Enjoy!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Cool Guy, What Disability?

We've blogged about this gentleman before. His name is Gino.
He's suave, handsome, lovable and most of all optimistic as hell. He's also the one who has what's called Ectrodactyly, also known as Lobster Claw Syndrome. Yep, remember that fabulous trait the American Pit Bull Terrier, optimism? That's him. He still has his ehem, disability and is still going strong in his happy ole life. Love Pit Bulls.......optimistic as all get out. It's all good, especially when their person is around to love them.

Just thought we'd give an update on him. Here's his original blog form when I first met him.
He's more fabulous now than ever, why heck, just look at this photo of him lovin' up his life! Go Gino. Thanks to his equally fabulous guardians givin' him the lovin' up stuff!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dangerous Dog Label or Dog Guardian Made a Mistake Label?

I hate the "Dangerous Dog" labels, not because I'm some sort of fanatic but because they don't describe the dog or the situation he's in when he gets into trouble.

As a certified trainer I'm asked to work on hearings for guardians of dogs that have gotten into trouble. I see the same thing over and over:

Dog in yard....most of the time
Dog in yard not trained
Dog in yard not trained or socialized to humans they don't know
Dog left to his own canine "wiring" with no leadership or guidance, i.e. "uh, uh, don't jump on that man to greet him, sit first" - let's remember folks, dogs are animals they aren't bank executives for a reason, they need guidance
Dog with reproductive parts = desire to roam, to jump fence to leave safe contained area and uh, oh yeah, back to that no guidance thing!

We know that dogs left in a yard with their "parts" with little socialization and training get into trouble. Then of course it becomes a breed thing, wha? It's a DOG thing! No wait, it's and owner/guardian thing! How can a dog be left to decide and fend for himself then be blamed for it? Do we leave toddlers in the streets and say "ok honey, watch out for those cars now" ?? A case I'm working on right now is a Chocolate Lab case. So breed schmeed!

Guardians, spay and neuter your dogs, they're not dinosaurs going extinct. Keep them contained inside, preferably next to you snuggling. Train them, teach them, let them play with new people appropriate playmates, give them a good life, they deserve it.

Dangerous dog hearings are no fun and gawd, someone change that title to "My guardian didn't realize my fence was broken, sorta forgot about me in general, that I need training, socialization and birth control so I got out and didn't know what to do and got into trouble".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

spress yourself.....bite someone in the butt

Here's Dexter scooching, Posie chewing and Leo bitin' Dexter in the butt.....spress yourself and do it to it!

We'll See

This was the press release Alabama Fight Bust
Within the article is this statement: "The HSUS, according to its policy, will recommend that dogs seized in these raids be evaluated for adoption suitability."
Now - we all need to step up and help if called on to make sure that if they are evaluated they have a place to go.