September 30, 2012

Fort Funston Trip

Riley & Cooper went on their first trip to Fort Funston yesterday. It was what I would call a "series of unfortunate events". They were playing a game of keep-away in the front yard early that morning when Cooper slipped and fell on the brick walkway. He yelped a bit when he fell, but otherwise showed no signs of being injured. On the drive to Fort Funston we stopped at a gas station to fill up & it was then that I noticed the blood trickling down his leg. Thankfully, it was just a surface wound & he had scratched off the top layer of skin. I rinsed it with some water & we were on our way. We arrived at the Fort Funston stables late, so we were looking for a way down to the beach when we noticed another Vizsla in the distance. I let Riley & Cooper off-leash and we went over to meet up with the other pup. This was when we realized there was a steep drop between us & the beach. We found the easiest (so we thought) pathway down and set off. About half-way down the trail went from a nice slope to an uncomfortably steep angle. The dogs were having a blast running around & making the humans feel very clumsy! There were some spots that were so steep we had to slide down on our rears to keep from slipping & falling. We finally made it to the bottom when we realized there was yet ANOTHER cliff we had to climb down to get to the beach! My dad found the easiest way down & the rest of us followed. Cooper was very nervous about climbing down! Riley climbed down & then went back up to encourage her brother to follow. The beach itself was gorgeous & the pups had a blast running, swimming, & chasing birds. We met up with the main group of Vizslas toward the end & the pups got to play with their buddy Louie. It was a nice beach but there were too many groups of horses for us to be able to relax. The beach is apparently empty at around 7:30AM but I don't think it's worth it to get up that early just for a beach trip.

September 28, 2012

Morning Walk

Mom & I walked the pups for about 1 hour this morning. Cooper needs A LOT of heel training, so we are going to start doing this several times a week. Toward the end of the walk I had him in almost a perfect heel. My arms are tired... it was a good workout! :)

September 25, 2012

Just Say NO to Rawhide!

Please, PLEASE don't give your dogs rawhide toys! They are very dangerous and can cause severe stomach problems and even death from obstruction or choking. Here are some emails that just came through on the Vizsla Yahoo email list earlier today:

"...Heidi died last night due to a rawhide caught in her esophagus.  She was in surgery and they removed it but she did not recover. 
   I stopped giving Zoe rawhides after my vet told me she had done too many emergency operations removing them.  (She told me to give Zoe the bully sticks instead because they crumble rather than become long shreds like the rawhide.)  Heidi's rawhide was one that was tied in a knot but Heidi had chewed it until it was soft and became untied and then she swallowed it.
  [The owner] was devastated because she had to make the decision to take Heidi off the ventilator.  Too sad.  But at least Heidi was older and had had a good life."

"...please listen to those who have dealt with this and just say no... I have personally saved two Vizslas from choking on rawhide chews in the past 10 years, the shape is of no matter once they get slimy and pliable. THANK god I have very small hands and I was able to go in, The piece of rawhide that was blocking his airway was quite far down and this Vizsla was no longer passing air. This was not my V, I was dog sitting and the owners insisted on bringing those for him. I just about had a heart attack, it happened RIGHT in front of me. I've witnessed some dogs get especially careless when another dog comes along and they think they have to cram it all in their mouths before the other dog gets there. Horrible. I was very lucky, so were they. It's very easy to make the situation worse and push it further down the throat since rawhide gets so slick. But I knew there was no way we would make it to a Vet in time. This is what you will have to deal with if there is an accident, I say no thank you."

Not only are they dangerous, are you aware of the process used to create rawhide treats?

"The Lime solution is the quickest and most often utilized by manufacturers. This utilizes ordinary builders powdered (hydrated) Lime. The hide soaks for 1-3 days and the hair is scraped off. This process is highly caustic but the most efficient for mass production. To remove all traces of the Lime solution and to sanitize the rawhide product, commercial makers then rinse the hides in a bleach solution before creating whatever shape is to be used. The bone and other shapes used to attract you and your pet are created while the hide is still wet.  The “treats” are then either dried or sent for “smoking” to further entice the unsuspecting owner and pet." - (Dane Angel Network)

 There are many other chew toys available that are much safer for your pets:

- Bully sticks

- Large, raw bones
- Kong toys 

Cooper enjoying a tasty raw marrow bone!

September 19, 2012

Dog Interaction - Ian Dunbar

DogStarDaily just uploaded this BRILLIANT video onto YouTube and it's very insightful regarding dog interactions, the affect of altering on these interactions, and how to prepare your puppy for success as an adult.

"In lots of cities and towns abroad there is often a culture where it's OK for dogs to roam around on their own unsupervised and unattended. Very often these dogs get along very well, often without the kind of loud and unsettling aggression problems that dogs have when they're on leash with their owners. One factor could be the extent to which many strays are intact, especially when it comes to the treatment and subsequent temperamental development of young male dogs. Also, groups of stray dogs usually include a variety of ages and breeds, which naturally teach puppies how to behave around older dogs. Finally, and possibly most important of all, these packs of strays don't have human owners around accidentally reinforcing and provoking antisocial behavior."

The most interesting point he made (in my opinion) was how altering a male puppy before the age of 1 year actually is detrimental for their social development because intact males won't discipline them the same way. It makes sense - if a male doesn't smell like a male, it won't be treated as such. And some people wonder why their males altered at an early age are so out-of-control. I do worry that Cooper will miss out on the kind of discipline he needs from intact males due to the fact that he was altered at a young age.

Ian Dunbar is having a seminar in Santa Clara November 9-11th! I am begging my hubby to let me go as an early Xmas present.

Development of Social Behavior & Treatment of Fearfulness, Reactivity & Aggression 

September 18, 2012

Sunol Hike - Cooper's First "Official" Swim

Our "goofy goober" <3

 Reuben took the pups on a hike at Sunol today (I'm so jealous) and they had a blast! Cooper has always been interested in water and he fell in accidentally on our last Sunol trip, so he had to swim to get out. I didn't count that as his first swim because it was by accident. Well, today Cooper took the plunge (quite literally) and jumped into the creek after his big sister for a swim!

They stopped at Little Yosemite for some rock climbing and more fun playing in the creek. We are both loving the Ruffwear backpack we purchased for Riley. It's great for her to be able to carry her own water and it's also been strengthening her leg muscles as it holds about 2 bottles of water.

Yummy creek water!
Looking through the pictures Reuben sent me brought a tear to my eye today. It fills me with so much joy to see my pups running free in nature exploring and enjoying all the wonderful smells and sounds!

They are such mountain goats on these tiny trails!

Explorer pups

Race to daddy!

Running wild and free in the grass

The "end" ;)

September 17, 2012

Bird Training & Bird Intro!

This weekend was a busy one for the pups! We drove 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours today for some quality bird training with Ken's lovely wife, Janet, from Willowynd Ranch up in Davis, CA. Not only is she a great Vizsla trainer, I also discovered she is a fellow accountant! Janet used pigeons in little velcro wraps to teach Riley to be steady on her point. She's already shown great improvement over the weekend.
Saturday Training

Sunday Training

Pulling the velcro on the bird wrap

Riley in full hunting mode

POINT! (Can you see the orange wrap on the bird?)

Pulling off the velcro wrap

And the bird is off!

 Cooper had some bird exposure for fun and to see his level of interest. Saturday he met some pigeons, which he was very nervous about until they flew away... then he chased them! Yesterday he got to play with a chukar on a string. As long as the chukar was running away from him, he chased. Whenever the chukar turned toward him, he ran away. He did prove to be an EXPERT butterfly hunter. ;) Janet gave us a frozen chukar to take home and Cooper was extremely interested in it. After about 10-15 minutes of showing it to him he decided it was pretty awesome and he proceeded to carry it around the yard with a little prance. We still haven't seen him point at anything other than his sister in play. He may or may not be a hunter, but I don't really care. I just want him to be happy. :)

Where'd it go?

Chase the chukar!

Ah! It's lookin' at me!

Chukar hid in the plants... that was exciting

"I'm not so sure about this *bird* thing, guys..."

Passed out after a long weekend!

September 9, 2012

Santa Cruz and Brewery Trip

Riley and Cooper posing for a picture

Today we took a trip to the beautiful Santa Cruz coast. It was a beautiful day and perfect for a walk! We walked about 4.5 miles total up and down the coast. The pups even had a fun romp on the beach. Riley of course found a chunk of dead sea lion washed up on the beach and ROLLED in it. @_@ (Needless to say, they both got baths when we came home.)

After our walk and beach run we stopped at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing where the pups relaxed (well, COOPER relaxed) and we enjoyed some beer, hot dogs from Gary's Old Fashioned Snappy Dogs, and pastries from Kelly's French Bakery.

I said "Riley, are you ready to go home? :)

The pups were fast asleep within about 10 minutes of our journey back home. <3 <3 <3

Sleeping beauty

Sleeping beast... lol!
A tired Vizsla is a good Vizsla! :)

September 8, 2012

Meet "Cooper"

We had a 6 month old Vizsla pup (re-home) as a trial this weekend and he is now an official member of the family! He went on his first off-leash hike with a Vizsla pack today at Sunol Regional Wilderness and had an absolute blast. We also celebrated Riley's first birthday with some "doggie" cake made by my sister. :)

Chloe, Riley, and Penny at Little Yosemite

Cooper says "This is so much fun!!!"

Cooper checking out the water with Riley in the creek

Cooper fell in! At first he wasn't sure what to do...

... then he started looking a little worried...

...he tried to climb onto Riley! She showed him the way out. :)

Cooper enjoying some birthday cake

Riley ate 2 pieces of cake!

September 2, 2012

Point Pinole "Viz Wiz"

What a fun day we had! Riley romped and played with a group of very sweet, well-behaved Vizlas through grassy fields and bay waters. There were all ages from 5 month old pups to white-faced elders! We even had a special human pup visitor join us. Riley tried several times to persuade her to play, but the human adults really enjoyed carrying her around. We are looking forward to the next "Viz Wiz". :)

I haven't taken my nice camera out in a while for Vizsla pics, so I thought I'd bring it along on this trip. Here are just a few from the many pictures I took on the excursion:

On the drive to Point Pinole!

"Human puppy! Come play with me!" (Riley loves kids)

Romping in the grass

Bailey: "Give me that stick!"

Riley "I don't think so!"

Bailey: "Give it to me NOW!"

Riley: "NO!"

Bailey: "Haha! It's mine now!"

Riley: "Not for long!"

"It's all mine! Muahahahaha!"
"Dangit... not again!"

Toby: "Gimme that stick!"

Lily - Honorary Vizsla puppy

Lily and her puppy friend

Catch me if you can!

3-way stick tug

The two puppies - Bo and Louie

I *think* this is Fox

Brother and sister Baily and Chloe having fun!

"I'm a big dog too!"

Riley posing for a picture

Bo is such a handsome dude!

More stick games

The end! :)

For more pictures (yes, there are PLENTY more) please follow these links:

Flickr pictures of Point Pinole

Photobucket pictures of Point Pinole