Thursday, 29 October 2009

I realised in terms of shipping to America its getting close to Christmas time (I know I hate that the shops go Christmassy so early)

So I have started making some Christmas themed dogs.

and I felt like making the wee yorkie

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Adopt a shelter dog month

The Lonesome Road Studio reminded me in her blog that October is 'Adopt a shelter dog month'

It is also 1 year ago this month that my little pound dog Mia came to live with me.

Its been quite a steep learning curve with Mia learning how to deal with a dog with 'issues' But she is smart and loving and once I realised that she is like Scrappy Doo - all shouting because she is v scared of strange dogs. She is actually a gentle soul and has never attacked another dog (except settling in scuffles with Ben)

Ben is also a rescue dog from the Dogs Trust

I urge anyone considering a new dog to think about a rescue. It is so difficult to find a decent breeder these days with so many people churning out thousands of puppies just for money with no thought for the poor breeding dogs, the temperament or health of the puppies or the poor new owners who they fleece for thousands of £'s to buy their poorly bred 'designer crossbreeds' (read mutts) or 'pedigrees with papers' (papers can be anything - and a pedigree is no proof of good breeding)

Rescues can have puppies, they can have older mature dogs whos temperament has been assessed and you can KNOW if the dog will fit into your lifestyle. Rescues can compete successfully in the highest levels of dog sports or can be great family companions.

Before you buy that cute puppy (and encourage the breeder to churn out the next litter of puppies into an overcrowded world) take a while to look around a rescue.

and if you cannot take on another dog at the moment how about a little donation to one of the great charities that help look after and rehome these poor guys who need a chance to find a loving home??

To make it even easier I have a listing in my shop, for only $3 (all of which goes to the charity that rescued Mia) you receive a collage of lots of rescued dogs happy in their new home and a lovely poem of thanks.
Or if you are looking for a lovely Greyhound in Scotland - have a look here

Monday, 12 October 2009

'Red zone' dogs, or positive training for aggressive dogs

I have been looking for this vid for ages ( for facebook readers)

A fantastic example of how you can use kind non confrontational methods on even 'red zone' aggressive dogs.

The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

B asked if we could keep Mias tooth from her surgery - so here it is

I have no idea what he plans to do with it!!

It is amazing how h

uge the roots of the tooth are, much longer than the bit of the visible tooth.

The good news is the surgery was pretty easy and Mia is healing well. She bounced back pretty quickly although she is a little sore and grumpy in the mornings till she gets her painkillers.

She is a little more jumpy with dogs at the moment but we have had her on nice long walks and if I think back to what she was like before then she really isnt bad. B was handling her yesterday and another onlead dog came up. I sent them of to the side of the path and Mia was sitting nicely until the dog got to about 2m away then she started lunging. Really thats such good progress cos it used to be like that for any dog she could see on the horizon.

Fingers crossed we can get her calm and happier again in no time.

Thankyou all so much for all your kind words. Its lovely and heartwarming how much good feeling there is out there for this amazing little dog.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


The winner of the 'I heart my dog' contest was the cute Teddy

Here is my sculpture of him

and here is the photo that melted the judges heart

Mia is home now, sleepy and clingy but not to bad at all!

Mia's operation day

The head vet decided she wanted to do the surgery on Mia today and she isnt in on Friday so she moved the operation forward to today.

Ben is wanting to send his best wishes to Mia, he is crossing his paws that all will go well and asking 'please please' can he get his little playmate back ASAP.
Thankfully Mias bite wounds are looking OK, no signs of infections so that is really good and in the house she is totally bright and bouncy - not bothered by her tooth at all.
Outside she is a little jumpy but is fine with all her friends and was even able to make friends with a new little puppy in the park.
She is weary of Storm and Lucy. When we went out this morning they were right outside the gate. Mia barked lots but settled down and was quiet although v timid.

She was giving off some v good calming signals tho - sitting facing away and turning her head away. It is a good sign.
We walked round the park a bit behind Storm and Lucy (who is now on the lead all the time around Mia) and thinks were pretty calm, Mia was almost relaxed.
Then off to the vets - and the crazy lady tried to pull me all the way along the road desperate to get to the vets where the nice nurse makes a fuss of her.
One dog came in when we were waiting and she barked a bit but then settled down and had a nice calm sniff of him.

I have to say tho I am totally fed up of well meaning dog owners asking me if I think Mia will now be better with other dogs cos Lucy has 'put her in her place' or 'shown her who the boss is'
It is sad to see what a lack of basic canine understanding the average dog owner has. They can all see that Mia is a nervous dog, can (finally) understand that she is barking and lunging through fear and when she sees there is nothing to fear she calms down and makes friends with dogs. If you were really scared of someone and then that person without warning came up and thumped you would you feel calmer the next time you saw that person?

Sunday, 4 October 2009


I am sad to see that many many dog owners do not really understand what our furry friends are saying to us and without meaning to can make a dog become aggressive.
Pretty much everyone understands a happy dog, tail flying, relaxed happy mouth and eyes. Its when the dog is not happy that the communication problems arise.
This is made worse still if the owner is constantly putting themselves under stress to be the 'pack leader' (more about that another time)
Dogs have many many different signals to tell us they are unhappy, many are very slight and quick and us clumsy humans miss them.
What we do notice is when our dog growls. It may be the case that your dog has been trying to communicate lots and lots that it is not happy in a situation, and what dogs do is they build up the communication. They start with a little head turn or a tiny licking of the lips, mibby they will sniff the ground. But us silly humans just don't notice - or worse still we mistake this for the dog being disobedient, stubborn or just plain 'at it'
How do we respond to that?
More likely we get a little angry or more insistent that the dog does the thing it isnt happy with.
Lets imagine in this case we are taking the dog to greet a child.
It is trying its best to tell you it is not comfy being dragged over to this strange unpredictable small thing.
You keep dragging it because toddler wants to meet fluffy.
Fluffy tries and tries to tell you it is not comfy in this situation.
What is the next step? Fluffy now shows its teeth and mibby even growls at the child.

This is NOT aggression - this is a GOOD DOG telling you it really isnt happy in the situation.
But what do we do??
Now we really punish the dog, that is BAD BAD BAD, dont you EVER growl at children.

So what has Fluffy learnt here??
It was correct that the little humans make bad things happen.
Its human doesn't understand its 'errmm, I am a little unsure here' signals - so there is no point using them.
Growling gets you punished - better not growl any more.

Human is happy and thinks 'what a good dog trainer I am, look I stopped Fluffy growling at children'

But the problem is ALL you have done is taught the dog not to warn you it is not happy, you have not solved the problem of the fact that the dog is not comfy in the presence of children.
So at the least you have a dog who is not happy - but if the situation gets worse, say that unhappy dog, around a child where it is expecting bad things to happen and the child reaches out for the dog - or something else that makes the dog feel even more scared - what can the dog do?? It has no warnings it wants to use cos it will get punished - better to just attack swiftly

It makes me feel sick just to post that. Of course this dosent happen in all cases or in even many cases but you can see that

Punishing a dog for growling can make a ticking time bomb

(For those of you reading this on facebook the video is at )

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Mia day 2

Well today we were back to the vets.

Mia was an angel, alert enough that she barked at new dogs when they came in but turned her attention to me quickly when I asked her to look at me. She has also worked out her own little version of 'look at that dog' game where she was sitting nicely facing me, had a wee look over her shoulder and a 'wuff' at the other dog then looked back to me for her treat. What a clever girl, at least its a nice 'wuff' and she was calm and happy.

With the vet she was great too, let the lady do anything - although she did give me a look when getting her temperature taken.

We discovered another puncture on her back so the vet clipped some of the fur away, its quite big but looks clean at the moment.

Her tooth does need to come out - you can kinda see in one of the fotos how it makes her lip curl up in a sneer. But she has to wait till next Friday to see how the puncture wounds are healing up.

Poor girl, little lead walks, soft food, no playing with Ben and antibiotics for a week but she is enjoying all the fuss


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