Friday, January 31, 2014

Socializing your puppy...

I have listened to my coworkers complain about how their dogs do not get along with other dogs.  They complain about how they can't take their dogs anywhere.  They question why their dogs behave this way, but in may cases, this behavior is the result of a lack of socialization when the dog was young. 

For a puppy to mature into a friendly, confident adult dog, he or she must be exposed to many different people, animals, experiences and places.  Your puppy should have a variety of interesting experiences, and every new experience should be treated as a fun, new adventure.  Your puppy needs to bond with you, so that they trust you to lead the way in these new situations that are potentially frightening to a young puppy.  From the time a puppy is 8 weeks old, until she is 16 weeks old, is the ideal time to introduce your puppy to new people, animals, places and experiences. 

This includes giving her a first bath, trimming her nails so she doesn't mind you touching her paws.  And invite young children, who are gentle, to interact with your puppy under close supervision.  If you are a woman, living alone, introduce your puppy to friendly men, especially those in uniform.  Begin leash and collar training, most puppies do not like being led by a leash at first, so make it a game and reward them for following you.

But one of the best things you can do for your puppy is help her to learn how to play with other dogs.  Many dog training facilities offer Puppy Kindergarten classes, where puppies can play and interact with each other in a safe environment with supervision by trainers.

There is a checklist of things/people you should introduce to your puppy before he or she is 16 weeks old.
Unfamiliar People
People of different ethnicities
Men with deep voices
Tall men
Men with beards
People in uniforms
People wearing hats
People wearing hoodies
People with canes, walkers or crutches
People in wheelchairs
young children
People running/jogging

Unfamiliar animals
Older dogs
other puppies
Dogs who play well with others
horses and livestock

New Surfaces
slippery surfaces
metal surfaces
standing on a table, for examination
wet grass
snow (if possible)

Unfamiliar sounds
Vacuum cleaner
knocking on the door
ringing the door bell

Things with wheels

stores (like Petco/Petsmart
city environment
country environment

The idea is to expose your puppy to as many new things, in a fun and positive way, as possible.  This will help to prevent your adult dog from reacting with fear or aggression.  After all, you could have a dog who never leaves the house/yard and is afraid of strangers or other animals.  Or you could have a dog that can go anywhere with you, and who thinks each new experience is an adventure.  Which would you want?  Kori is very happy that we took her to puppy socialization classes as a puppy, you can see it when you watch her visit Doggie Daycare with my daughter. It's up to you!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Scarlett, when she was just a little puppy.  (She was born on May 1st, 2012)

Scarlett - May 31st, 2012

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Not so Wordless Wednesday

This week we decided to share a story that touched our hearts, so I hope you will forgive us for our not so "wordless" post.  These two senior dogs have spent their entire lives together. Now their owner, due to unknown circumstances, has to part with them.  The owner doesn't want to put them into a shelter or rescue, so is trying to find them a home.  So if you know anyone who might be able to take these two, please forward them the info or link them here.  Thanks!

From Old Dog Haven:
Pepper and Layla are dogs who have lived together for almost their entire lives. Pepper is a 45-pound likely yellow Labrador/Rottweiler mix who is 12 years old. Layla is a 40-pound girl guessed to be Shepherd/Alaskan Husky mix who is also 12 years old. The girls have spent most of their life outdoors but have been brought inside during cold weather at night. According to their lifelong owner, Pepper can go through the night without pottying but Layla should have access to outdoors for a potty break at night. Both girls have some arthritis as to be expected for their age so a home without many steps would be best for them. T hey do not require much exercise but do really enjoy getting out to sniff and explore like all dogs do. They are said to be OK around other dogs, have never been exposed to cats and are good with respectful kids age 7 and up. This gentle, loving pair would love a home together where they can live indoors. If a home cannot be found for
both the owner will allow splitting them up. Pepper and Layla need a home VERY SOON . They are posted for their owner in Federal Way., WA
Email us at to be put in contact with the owner. Local only, no transports.
Nothing negative, please. We would like to find these two a home together.

ODH has not met these dogs; we urge prospective adopters to do their own evaluation.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Got collies?

I've got collies...

Yes I do!

I've got collies...

How about you?

So do you collect dog items?  What's in your collections?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Doggie fun!

My daughter took our smooth girl, Kori to work with her today!

This made me smile, on this cold, snowy day, so I thought I would share the smile!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Travels with the collies...

What a fun weekend with the collies!  On Saturday we took the collies shopping, and they each received a lot of attention.  After the shopping trip, we took them to Lighthouse park, and we got a few really nice pictures.  Then on Saturday evening we visited with some of our friends, who also have collies, and we talked about upcoming shows.  Sunday we took the collies to the park, and unlike our trip on Wednesday, they didn't need baths after they played.  (On Wednesday it was so muddy at the park, we had to take all the collies to the kennel for baths!) 

After the park we took the collies on a hike in the woods, and ended up at the marina on the far side of the state park.  Since we needed some new pictures of Scarlett, she agreed to pose for us!  They had a great time, and were completely exhausted last night!

It was such a fun day, and even though it was cold both days, we all loved being outside most of the weekend!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The woods are dark and deep...

Saturday, June 7th, is National Trails Day.  What is that?  It's a day to celebrate all our wonderful National Park Trailways.  We have some beautiful hiking trails here in New England, and all across this country.  There is something so relaxing about exploring a trail, you could almost forget that you are also exercising!  So we would like to encourage everyone to get outside on June 7th and take a hike or walk.  You do not have to live in the United States to participate, all you have to do is step outside, and put one foot in front of the other!  We realize that June 7th is a long way off, but we want to encourage people not to wait, and to start hiking now, there is no better time than the present!

Hiking is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together, even the canine family members love to hike.  Our collies really enjoy hitting our local hiking tails.  In fact, they love it so much, that we began traveling to parks all over our state.  Last Spring we managed to visit six new parks, as well as our local parks, for some beautiful and scenic hikes.  We discovered waterfalls, covered bridges, light houses, wild flowers and peaceful woods.

The hot Summer weather shortened our hikes, but the return of the cooler temperatures in the Fall had us once again hitting the trails.  It's currently Winter, here in New England, so for safety reasons we have been sticking to our local park, with it's familar trails.  But we are all eagerly waiting for Spring, so we can set out to discover new parks that we can explore and enjoy.

Did you know that hiking can be one of the best ways to bond with your dogs?  And sharing the adventure of hiking a new trail is beneficial to you both!  So much of the destructive behavior a dog exhibits is due to a lack of exercise.  Even excessive barking can be the result of boredom and too much pent up energy.  You can leave your home whenever you choose, your dogs are stuck in the house or yard until you decide to take them for a walk or car ride.  By hiking with your dogs, you give them a chance to experience new smells and terrain, getting them off concrete sidewalks and giving them the opportunity to feel some dirt and grass beneath their paws.  This is exciting for them, and it tires them out.  Remember, a tired dog is a good dog!

We spend so much of our lives working and rushing around.  Our schedules are packed full of events, and jobs to do.  We lead very stressful lives, and spending a few quiet hours outside, enjoying the peace and tranquility found in nature, can lower our blood pressure and improve our moods.  And a good hike will help to keep you fit and healthy.  But you aren't the only one who needs exericse to remain strong and healthy, your dogs need it too!  Hiking with your dogs on a regular basis will keep them healthy, which can help to extend their lives!

But there is more than just the health benefits to be considered.  Completing a challenging hike can fill you with pride, and it's fun.  There are no demands on your time on the trail, you can wander and explore to your heart's content.  Many times we let our dogs choose which trail we will follow, we let them have the freedom to explore, and they have led us to some amazing places.  And we always bring along a camera, as you never know when the next curve in the trail will lead you to a peaceful spot, that will stun you with it's beauty or touch your heart.

So who will join us on June 7th, and find a trail to explore with your best friends?  Come on, the trail is waiting for you!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dog shows!

Collies are shown at all breed dog shows all year long, but there is a "collie specialty season," when specialty shows are held. What this means is that there are dog shows that are held for collies only, and they are the only dogs allowed to enter and compete at these shows. There are specialty shows for all the different dog breeds, but collie specialty shows are held each year from late Fall until early Spring. All breed dog shows are the shows where all the different AKC recognized dog breeds compete, first against each other in the breed ring, then against all the other breeds in their group. (such as the herding group, the working group, the toy group, etc)  Then the winner of each group then competes against each other for the coveted title of "Best In Show." 

At collie specialty shows, the smooth collies compete against other smooths.  The roughs compete against other roughs.  And then at the end of the show, the Best of Variety smooth and the Best of variety rough compete against each other for "Best of Breed" and "Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed."

The reason they hold these collie specialty shows during these months, is that the rough coated variety is typically in full coat during the colder weather. And if you are going to pay entry fees, travel expenses and possibly dog handler fees in the hope of winning at a dog show...well, you want your dog to look his or her very best!

The smooth coated variety has the bonus of being able to be shown even in the warmer months.

We are very busy right now preparing, because the collie specialty season is starting in our area in just two weeks!  So we have been spending extra time exercising the collies and grooming them.  We thought we would do a post where we showed you everything that went on during a typical dog show day.  We would take pictures throughout our day - From getting up early in the morning, driving to the show, setting up our grooming area, grooming for the show ring and then competing.   Is this something you would be interested in seeing/reading about?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time Warp Tuesday and Tuesday's Tails

So there is now "Time Warp Tuesday" here in Blogville, where we post pictures of our dogs - then and now.  And there is also Tuesday's Tails, where we spotlight a shelter or rescue dog in need of a home.  We couldn't decide which one to join, so we are doing both!

This week we decided to share these collies:

We had featured these collie mixes last year, and sadly, they are still looking for homes!
THE PUPS ARE GROWING UP ....and need families to love. To adopt Lucie or Lester or both, contact:
Phone: #985-674-3688 or #985-863-2156 or #985-201-9552

And for Timewarp Tuesday, we decided to do something slightly differentm and share a picture from 2010, back when we had just 3 collies, Abby, Lad and Holly.  It's hard to believe it's been over 2 years since we lost our sweet boy, Lad.


And this is our pack now:

Holly, Scarlett, Kori, Ryder and Abby

Friday, January 10, 2014

Primal Foods review!

A while back we were asked to do a product review, our very first, by an awesome company called Primal Foods.  We had never heard of them before, so we agreed to review their products.  It turns out that they are offering some pretty wonderful products, that feature organic ingredients!  As the health of our collies is one of our main concerns when choosing a food or dog treat, we love that Primal Foods uses organic fruits and vegetables in their products!  But what about the next concern, how does it taste? (Which is the primary focus of all our collies, and all dogs, everywhere!)

The collies tried Primal's Freeze-dried formula....and they give it four paws up!  They devoured this food, and were left drooling for more!  And after looking at the ingredient list, I also gave this product my highest rating, take a look:

 Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams, Chicken Livers, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Carbonate, Sodium Selenite), Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Natural Vitamin E, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative).

Meat is the primary ingredient, and it's also listed as the first three main ingredients!  That's something we like to see in a quality dog food.  It's followed by Organic Kale, Carrots, Yams, chicken livers (more meat) broccoli, apples, cranberries, blueberries, etc. This food is packed full of nutrious ingredients, and the collies enjoyed it.

Primal Foods also offers an excellent line of dog treats as well.  The collies loved Primal Food's dog treats, and we even brought the treats to dog shows with us, to use as a reward during judging!  So if you are looking for a dog food with quality ingredients, you should definitely check out Primal Foods!  We are including a link to their website, and a short video about their company:

Primal Pet Foods Mission Statement

We want to thank Primal Foods for asking us to do this review, our very first. 

Primal Freeze dried,  a good food, for active dogs

Fourth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

It’s time for the Fourth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by our friends Amy Burkett from Go Pet Friendly and  Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me.  All pet bloggers are invited to join in and take a few minutes to encourage, motivate, and support each other. Let’s celebrate the successes of 2013, share what we’ve learned this year, and outline our visions for our blogs in 2014! Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
I started my blog in May 2012.  So we are still a relatively new blog.  I write about my collies and do a lot of picture posts about our adventures living with our five beautiful collies. Occasionally, I will post a recipe, or write about canine health related topics.  And you will even find posts about the history of the collie breed in general, and my own collies in particular.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
We had a rather difficult year, because of a variety of circumstances, and we had to take a break from blogging for a couple months.  But I am very happy that I have returned and started blogging again, as I was afraid I might not return as other bloggers have disappeared in the past...

3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
I think the one thing that has changed is that I have met and friended a lot of other bloggers this past year.    When I first started the collie blog it was just something I did for myself, for fun.  And now I come to blogville to keep in touch with all the wonderful bloggers we have met online.

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
I’m not sure I have any advice to help others with their sites, as I am still learning through trial and error.  But I have learned that pet bloggers are some of the most compassionate people around, and will be there to support you through any difficulties.

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I need ideas for more topics to write about! Help!

5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
Participating in blog hops, commenting on other blogs, and visiting and new blogs.  The more blogs you follow, and the more you interact with other bloggers, the more likely they will be to stop by your blog from time to time!

6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I don’t publicize my blog, in fact very few people in my "real" life even know about my blog.  This is something I share with other bloggers, as many of the people in my life would not get it!

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
I guess I judge that by how many comments I receive.  But it isn’t something I focus on, as I’m mainly writing the posts for fun.
How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?
This hasn’t come up yet.

8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
If the blog has touched my emotions, or made me smile, then I will stop and comment. 

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
Yes, I have one product review to do, and I hope to eventually be asked to do more and begin doing giveaways.
If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?
Well, because of our need to take a break the review was delayed.  The only hurdle is getting more followers, because we won’t be asked to do reviews until we are reaching a larger audience.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
When I am not sure what to write about I will usually just do a picture post, or I will check out what other bloggers are writing about.  However, if nothing inspires me, I just won’t post. 

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
I took a break this year after my 17 year old niece was killed.  I just didn’t have it in me to blog for a while after that.
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
No, even when I don’t post, I enjoy reading other bloggers post too much to quit!

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
My goals are to do at least one new product review, hold at least one give-away, make 10 new blogging friends, boost my followers from 60 to 75 and to participate in more blog hops!

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and if I haven’t discovered your blog yet, stop by and introduce yourself!  The collies and I love meeting new friends!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Dog park in Winter...

Yesterday was another cold day here in New England, with temps in the teens.  But the collies needed to really let loose and run, so we headed to the dog park.

The ocean water, right next to the park was frozen because of the abnormally low temperatures due to the Polar Vortex.

I wonder what had Abby so lost in thought...


"I will follow you, follow you wherever you may go!"


"I'm Queen of the dog park!"

Abby trying out the tunnel

Then it's Kori's turn!

Then Ryder has to give it a try!

Holly is telling my daughter she is not going in that tunnel!


They had a fun time, and were finally ready to go home, get warmed up and take a nap!