Monday, February 22, 2010

Dog toy review Mr. Valentine Fuzzy (with a squeaker inside)

For Valentine's Day I gave Pierre, the love of my life, a stuffed long red weenie dog toy with a heart attached to it that says "I Wuff You" and includes a squeaker inside. So cute. I new though, that this token of love would last about an hour at the most before he tore it in half, de-gutted the stuffing and removed the squeaker. I was wrong. It lasted 25 minutes.

Once I gave it to him, he pranced around the house with it, proudly showing it off to my grandmother and the cat (who could not care less) and me. Then laying down next to me he proceeded to do what I exactly expected him to do but told him not to do - tear it apart. He proudly displayed said toy with stuffing hanging out and squeaker on the floor as if he just hunted and caught his dinner in the field.

If you are wondering why I would buy him this toy when I knew what would happen to it I will tell you it is because I know he gets a lot of joy from tearing apart these toys. It's in nature. He loves them more when he can shake violently the toy sans stuffing and prance around with it. Pierre has several toys in his backyard that were once stuffed cute little guys but now are just as I call them skins or skinnies - toys without stuffing.

The cost for these toys are usually no more than $5.00 and really its worth seeing him love them the way he does. I think I picked this guy up at Albertson's. Really, any pet store and grocery store has them in the dog toy aisle. As for durability, well, if you have an aggressive chewer like Pierre than I don't recommend these stuffed toys. Unless, like me, you just want your dog to have fun and you don't mind picking up the stuffing and squeaker that has been strung about the house and or yard. However, if you have a dog that cares for their stuffed toy as if it was part of their pack then it really is worth buying.

Rating for stuffed dog with squeaker: 4 paws from Pierre and 2 paws from me for having to pick up the remains! Below is an "after" photo of Pierre and his well loved weenie dog Valentine!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Milkbone Dog Treats and Training Mr. Houla

The past few days I have had the pleasure of staying with Mr. Houla at his home with his family. Together we worked on walking on a leash with his harness, staying put when the front door opens (he is a dasher) and laying down on command. He already has the sit down command good. In training your dog, it is good to have treats that are bite size because you will be using them as rewards. Having large treats will be too much for them to eat during a training session.

Mr. Houla's dad bought him a box of Milkbone's which Mr. Houla really loves. However, Milkbone's are pretty large so I took about 10 bones from the box and broke each bone into 3 pieces and put them in a plastic sandwich bag to carry with me for our training sessions.

I am not a trained dog trainer; more like part armchair trainer and part self taught from my own experiences with Pierre and Daisy (who turned out really well trained if I say so myself!) I have also read tons of books from Caesar Milan the dog whisperer to Animal Planet, It's Me or The Dog with Victoria Stillwell. And various dog training sites and how to's. Anyway, Mr. Houla is a very intelligent dog but he is super hyper and super stubborn. But, he is a quick learner and with more time and dedication to these things he could learn. In the end, I did tell his mom that Mr. Houla and the family would greatly benefit from him going to a trainer or having the trainer come to their house for some sessions. Remembering to be consistent in the command words and everyone in the house on the same page so the dog learns and doesn't get confused. Also, in my opinion Mr. Houla needs to be taught how to handle seeing another dog without freaking out and going crazy. This is really where a professional trainer would help.

I wanted to make a mention here of how it is much easier to control and train your dog utilizing a leash and harness instead of just the dogs collar. Also, it will keep the dog from choking on its collar and also from escaping it's collar should a situation arise while walking where your dog would try to escape your grasp. I personally have used a harness on Pierre since he was a puppy and it helps me really hold on to him and have control especially when I have to and a big plus is that I can attach the seat belt to it when he rides in the car with me.

Anyway, all and all it was good but Mr. Houla really needs more time to learn and I wish I had more time and lived closer so I could regularly work with him. He is a great dog and I can tell he likes to learn and is curious and as with all dogs really wants to please his family.

Rating and Review for MilkBone Dog Biscuits:
4 Paws
Mr. Houla loves the crunchy type snacks preferably over soft snacks

Plus, his teeth get cleaned too!

Note: Milkbone's have been around since 1908 and were first baked in a bakery that was located on the lower Eastside of New York City. Check out their website for more fun facts and ingredient information. And with each purchase of Milkbone treats they give a portion of the proceeds to Canine Assistants Organization. Love that too!

BONUS FUN: Get your dog's picture on his own Milkbone box of treats for $23.99 go to their site to get the information under give gear. Too cute! I think I know of a gift for Mr. Houla in the future!