Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow - Finally!!

You know how jealous we have been of all of you who have had lots of snow. Well last night all those alarmist weather people on TV finally got it right. We have two inches of snow and are going to get more.

I love snow!

You can see how much I enjoyed my run through the woods in the snow.

Ambrose has only seen snow once when he was very little, so he got very excited this morning and went completely cracker dog trying to dig a hole to China in the snow.

He likes to make a snow beard on his goofy face.

He is whining now because he wants to go back outside to play in it.

I don't know why people here in NC get in such a twist about getting snowed in. We have enough dog food, stuffies, treats and chewies to last a long time. What is the big deal?

You still have time to enter our Train Your Dog Photo Contest. I've gotten quite a few entries in the last few days and the competition is stiff. However the prizes are excellent. Both you and your person will win a prize if you are one of the top four placements. You have until Sunday, January 31st at midnight to send in a photo of you and your person training together. It doesn't have to be obedience, just any skill, trick or game that you like to do together.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Demo at Duke

We have been very busy lately going to a match, practicing for the Drill Team and hanging out with friends at the dog park. The highlight of the week was going to Duke University (even though we are UNC fans).

You may remember that I participated in a research experiment at Dr. Brian Hare's Duke Canine Cognition Center last fall. It was very interesting and I enjoyed the experience. Barbara, Ambrose and I were invited back to give a talk and demonstration about dog training and handling to the students who work at the center.

The students got rewarded with chocolate for sitting in their chairs! We never get chocolate treats.

They learned about clicker training by practicing it on each other. I think that this student is being clicker trained to do a down stay.

I demoed some of my skills and then one of the students got to train me. She had me go around a cone to practice distance work. Of course I did it very well and got nice salmon treats.

Then it was Ambrose's turn. I knew that he would embarrass us and of course he did by lifting his leg on a plant in the center!! Then one of the students had to train him to go around a chair.

It took a while but he finally got it.

Then Barbara talked about canine body language and calming signals and demonstrated safe handling skills.

We were very happy to meet Dr. Hare who liked us very much and made a big fuss over us. He is doing important work on cognition and evolution. Dogs are part of that and there are lots of questions about how we think that need to be studied.

Please enter our Train Your Dog Contest.

You have until midnight on Sunday, January 31st to enter. We've had some good entries and the prizes will be great. And don't forget to check out the action at Mango Minster 2010.

Friday, January 15, 2010


We have already received several entries for my Train Your Dog Photo Contest. I know that others of you have said that you are practicing and trying to get the perfect photo to enter. Remember that entries close at midnight EST on January 31.

While Ambrose and I will not be entering, since we are judging, Ambrose has been practicing his training regularly. He is working on his attention while Barbara holds treats out to distract him. If he can do this exercise, anyone can. So I encourage you all to get to work on whatever skills you enjoy doing with you people and get those photos in. You and you person can win great prizes.

Last Saturday Barbara and I attended a great, fun workshop given by Carol Maupin and her dog Topper. They have such terrific teamwork and watching them was very inspiring. Carol taught us some heeling exercises that involved lots of playing with toys and eating treats! It was excellent fun and I learned a lot.

The people had to learn to walk in straight lines with their eyes closed!!! They were not that great at it. If they can't walk straight it is hard for them to expect us to walk in heel at their sides.

Trotter practiced precise left turns by heeling around dog crates.

I can not tell you how many hot dogs and bits of cheese I got but it was alot and I enjoyed every minute of the workshop although I was quite tired when it was over. Unfortunately Barbara forgot to give her camera to someone to take pictures of us working together. Bummer.

Here is a picture of me out in the sun today.

So practice your training and send me a photo for the contest. Don't forget to enter Mango Minster and also Biggie Z's Dog Pile Contest. I am going to see how many items that I can stack on Ambrose!

Monday, January 11, 2010

National Train Your Dog Month Photo Contest!!!

To celebrate National Train Your Dog Month and as an officially sanctioned Mangominster 2010 event, Ambrose and I are sponsoring a Train Your Dog Photo Contest!

We will be giving out prizes for the best photos of a dog blogger and their person training together.

Here are the rules:

1. Send a photo of you and your person doing training. It can be basic obedience skills, tricks, any dog sport etc or any activity you like to do together.

2. The photo should be taken between January 1 and 31, 2010. Only dog bloggers and their people are eligible. One photo per dog please.

3. The photo must be natural but if your person is shy about appearing in a blog, they can blur out or photoshop their face.

4. Training method should be positive and reward based.

5. Send it to us by midnight January 31, 2010 at
Make sure to put your name in the subject line and your blog address in your email. You can also write a few sentences about what you and your person are doing and why you enjoy training. You can of course put the photo on your blog and link to us.

6. We will post the photos on our blog on Monday, February 1st and Ambrose and I will judge them and post the results on Thursday, February 4

7. Winners will be the photos showing the best training and relationship between the dog and their person and the top 1-4 will get prizes (a people prize and a dog prize).

Not sure what picture to select? Here is a picture of Barbara and me practicing my leaping trick for the drill team. I love to do this trick because I get to jump high!

Of course Ambrose and I won't be entering the contest (since we will be judging) but I thought I'd give you an idea.

We hope you will all want to enter and show off your skills.

Friday, January 1, 2010

National Train Your Dog Month

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has declared January to be NATIONAL TRAIN YOUR DOG MONTH!!!

This is a great opportunity for you and your people to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. I know that many of my dog blogging friends are already doing lots of training. The Happy Heelers herd, Ludo does tricks, Honey does freestyle, Big Pupi is a therapy dog and Mango's momma is always training him to stand in a cardboard box.

The better behaved you are the more places that you get to go with your person. Because I am well behaved I get to go to outdoor cafes. Barbara wouldn't take me if I went all cracker dog in public.

It doesn't have to be hard. You can incorporate training into all your daily activities. When you are on walks, practice your sit stays at every traffic light and stop sign. Even Ambrose has learned how to do that. Practice tricks while your people are watching TV. Every time a commercial comes on they can do a trick with you!

Learn a new dog sport with your person. As you know I like to do tracking.

I also practice my rally exercises.

Here is a video of me last year while we were learning our freestyle routine. Barbara rewards me as we practice. Sure, we made some mistakes but that just meant that we had to practice some more.

I love training. It is always fun, full of rewards and I have Barbara's undivided attention when we practice together. The funny thing is that the more that we practice, the more that I want to train. The training time with Barbara becomes its own reward (although I do love all the treats, praise and petting that I get).

Don't know how to get started? Get your people to sign you up for a training class or get help from a local trainer. APDT has a trainer search where you can find a trainer in your area to help you. Or get a group of your dog pals together and go for training walks around town. People will be impressed with how well behaved you are. Learn some new tricks. There are lots of training books and videos available.

Keep it positive in 2010. Training should be fun, fast and effective. No rough stuff. Reward based training is the best!

So get training and take some photos. Check back here because we will be announcing a training contest that will be an officially sanctioned Mango Minster event.

Happy New Year!!