A day at doggie boot camp

Otis 98


Boarding the dogs I once fostered is an interesting thing to do. I get to see what fine specimens my little babies have grown into and I get to see what characteristics from puppyhood are still with them.

Today we are boarding Otis, formerly Willow‘s puppy, Ash.

(Click on the smaller photos to see larger ones…)


He seems to have some lab in him and some blood hound too. But look at this point! Who knows what else he's got floating around in his blood.

He is a little over 6 months old and he is big. I mean big. (824) 88 pounds sort of big.

He is a little over 6 months old and he is big. I mean big. 88 pounds sort of big.

A dog as young as Otis young who is that big had better have good manners…and, well, let’s say he is still working on it.

Hermes and Bella, my working dogs who go with me everywhere I can take them are helping me.  Notice how Hermes is telling Otis, with his body who is in charge. And Bella, is telling the world (with her barking) what is happening.

the pack the pack
the pack Bella

After romping in the yard and getting to know one another we took a pack walk. Otis did well and it is clear that his owners are doing a lot of things right. He walks nicely and seems to know his place relative to the walker.

the walk the walk

Those who know me often hear me talk about how to walk a dog correctly. I call it a “controlled walk” and here is a great photo illustrating one of my main points…I say, “pretend there is an invisible line coming out of each hip and no dog can cross in front of it.”

invisible line coming out of each hip

invisible line coming out of each hip

Tomorrow Otis leaves but not before another one of his pack mates arrives for her stay at our “doggie boot camp” – Abby, formerly Ginko will join in on the fun tomorrow morning.

update on Ginko…now Abby!

Here is from the family that adopted Abby (formerly known as Ginko) Just wanted to let you know that Abby is doing very well.

She slept through the first night in her crate – snuggled up to the piece of bathmat you gave us. We took her out to potty around 10pm, and she woke at 6:30 for her morning potty. I think she was also a bit stressed, seeing that she ate very little, and tired exploring her new environment. Her second night was good too, with one potty break at 4am. Between the two days, only one potty accident in the house. We’re very proud of her.

Abby cried and whined very little. We focused on rewarding good behaviors, and she’s learning her boundaries very quickly in repsonse to the annoying ‘Ah’ command. We’ve practiced with the leash a few times, making sure there were no tension or resistance on it. And we carry it with us whenever we go out for a walk – so she can associate the leash to a fun outing.

Abby has many chew toys. So far, her favorite is nylabone and a tug toy. S- and M- both enjoy Abby’s company, and we are keeping new visitors to a minimum. Surprisingly, Abby is mostly attached to my husband C-, following him everywhere.

Thank you again for choosing us to be Abby’s new forever family, and we will keep you posted of Abby’s progress.

August 9, 2009 • Tags: , , • Posted in: puppy update • No Comments

Meet puppy Ginko

GinkoGinko is a beautiful, playful, energetic girl, born to a mama who looks to be part Golden Retriever/Labrador mixed with a setter or hound. Her mama, Willow is also up for adoption and is a mellow, playful, cuddly and patient dog. Her pups really take after her. Ginko really looks a lot like her sisters, Apple and Cherry, favoring a yellow lab with a short coat. The only difference is that she has a slightly lighter colored marking on her forehead. Ginko is nearly house trained, having had the luxury of spending lots of time outside. She has had her first set of puppy shots, has been microchipped, and is on flea and heartworm preventative.