Holiday Shopping Guide

Tis the season for Christmas shopping! For those of you that may not know me, I’m Keri and my dogs are Nala and Conway, plus, whatever foster we have at the time. 

Follow us on Instagram (@myperfectpitties) We also model for a few shops. Here are a few of our favorites for this holiday season:

1. 4 Mutts and Co- We’ve been modeling for this shop for about 2 years. They’re handmade collars, based in Canada. You can use code AZUL20 to save 20% on your order. Plus, you get free shipping with purchase of two or more items!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/fourmuttsandco/

2. Naked Beasts Snacks– We stumbled across this awesome shop this year. They’re smaller now, but are in the process of expanding. They have air dried treats, a process that leaves majority of the nutrients! Nala’s favorite are the shrimp! You can use code Thankyou10 to save on your order!
https://nakedbeasts.com/password

3. G Stop Y Bowtie– This awesome shop donates 50% of their proceeds towards saving the dogs in the Yulin Meat Festival. Their quality is amazing! We prefer the “party for two” style bows as pictured below. Use code SHOPSMALL for 20% off your order!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/GstopYbowtie

4. Luvabullz and Co– This amazing shop makes edits of your pet that can be put on stickers, hoodies, bags, and more! They help educate people on the benefits of adopting senior dogs and leashing your dog while in public. They also use positive reinforcement training for their own dogs! So far, we’ve had an edit made of two of our dogs. Then, we had stickers and a hoodie made with the image on them! Use the code FREESHIP for free shipping on your order!

*You must to purchase an edit first, before ordering anything with the edit on it
https://www.etsy.com/shop/luvabullzandco

5. Furr-bulous – I recently found this shop. They do harnesses, bandana collars, matching pajamas for you and your dog and more! They are donating a portion of their sales to our favorite bully rescue, BARC for the month of December. Use the code PITTIES15 to save and donate!

https://furr-bulous.com/

https://furr-bulous.com

I threaten to sell my dogs to the gypsies.

In the last week I have threatened to give Cargo back to her breeder twice, drop Pixie off at the BARC shed for adoption, and send Opie to live with his Nan in Northern Virginia.

Some days are just frustrating. Days with dogs are no different. Yes, even as a dog trainer I get frustrated with them. I am also a business owner, a manager, a maid, a wife, and a daughter. I am allowed to be frustrated when they just won’t stop barking at the neighbor getting in his car 500 yards away. We all feel this way at some point.

If you don’t, you are lying!

What do we do about it when we feel like this. I will walk you through what I do to get to the other side with all my dogs at home and alive.

Is this something I am getting frustrated with often?

Be grateful for any behaviors your dog came pre programmed with. I have had to train Cargo to do everything. I got nothing wired in except to bite things (a Malinois trait), and work (also Malinois).

Getting in the crate? Never seen one before in my life. Putting on a harness or leash? Going to eat her while she walks. Wearing her pants when shes in season? Definitely not going to happen, although the temper tantrums are ridiculous. (Don’t get a malinois)

If I am finding myself frustrated with these things often, then I develop a training plan to relieve some of that frustration for myself. Learning to wear a leash is not as fun or sexy to train as a down stays or agility skills, but still needs to be done. If I find myself fighting with my dogs over something they have to do, I will make sure I come up with a plan to train an alternative behavior that works for both of us, or help work through the pain point.

“Why does my dog need my attention right now?”

I go through the mental checklist, starting with the most obvious.

  • Is there water in the bowl?
  • Have they had food?
  • Do they need to go out?
  • Do they have something to chew?
  • Have we trained today?
  • Is it Cargo’s nap time?
Can I sit down and enjoy this or should I walk the dog first?

I try to make sure all these things are complete before I sit down to get some work done. They get breakfast, then I fill the water dishes while the coffee is steeping. I get my coffee and sit with puppy for a bit. (She likes pets in the morning. That was also trained.) After about 30 mins, she’s ready to go back in her kennel for a nap and I get about an hour of work done. When she goes out, I play with her and Opie for awhile, then sit back at my computer to get some more things done.

Help the dogs meet their needs without me

Some days the dogs need more. Those puzzle toys are not for one time play or just when you feel like it. We do puzzles every day! Opie got to play with the snoop the other night and he was passed out 5 minutes after. That freezer full of Kongs and bones is worth it for those moments that I just need peace!

Planning for peace seems like it would require and brain power that you don’t have. Believe me, the relief you feel when you can grab something premade, and entertain your dogs is so worth the prior planning.

Need some peace and quiet ideas? Keep an eye on The Freckled Paw facebook page. We have something fun coming up!

Another year, how did that happen?

Baby dog is 18 months old! Maybe not a baby dog anymore.

 When did January start?

How did we make it to 2019?

Can you believe I have been training your dogs for 5 years?

I have come a long way from those first few clients. (Y’all I am sorry! I am much better at this whole dog training, and listening thing these days!) Now I have two interns, Jon and Keri, who will help me move into the next phase of world domination.. uhh I mean this business I am building.

Moving on…

As I continue to teach them everything I know, and get them ready to take on their own clients, I am reminded that some things we just can’t rush. I have learned so much in the last 5 years about dogs, behavior, training techniques that it gets overwhelming. Then there is so much more to teach about the most important part of the equation, the people who love the dogs we teach, that I just cannot cover in the 300ish hours they are with me.

Some things you just have to learn little bits at a time. After awhile, it becomes clear and easy but to try to do it all at once just overwhelms everyone. Same with clients, sometimes I have to say the same thing a few times before people are ready to hear what I have to say. That’s okay, it’s how we all learn!

Why do we think that our dogs learn any differently?

Think about the last time you learned a new skill, or the worst, had to get a new cell phone! You didn’t have to think about where the apps were on the old phone, and the autocorrect knew what you really meant when you spelled something wrong. It takes some work to remember how to handle the new information thrown at you.

Why do we think that because our dog did one 6 week group class that they know everything they need to know about living with a different species, in a world that makes absolutely no sense to them?

Learning is a lifelong process, and we need to remember that the species we share our life with might need a little more practice or a little patience to make sure they are learning the right thing. Behavior doesn’t change overnight. It takes some time and consistency to reach the goals we have for ourselves and our pups.

So don’t get discouraged when Spot can’t sit in the vet’s office, just use it as information on how to help your pup a little bit more.

Is 2019 the year for you and your pup to live your best life?

Opal is old as dirt and living her best life. Retired

If you want to help your pup a bit more in 2019, sign up for our newsletter now. It’s a bit dormant at the moment, but as 2019 gets rolling, there will be plenty of new and improved training options for you and your pup. There is a free e-book that will help you and your pup live their best life. Tell me what you think of it!

Keep in the loop with the newsletter or on the Facebook Page.

Sign up for the newsletter here!

Until next time!

Holiday gift guide for the dog lover in your life

Blue and red hands free leash from Rugers Ropes. Whale bandana from The Mispit Shop

I brought in a guest blogger for this one! Between working with her own dogs, and shadowing me on appointments, Keri and I have been together for about a year now! Many of you have met her at Recalls on the Beach and at appointments. She will be taking her training certification exam in March, and I can’t wait for her to join the team at The Freckled Paw! If you love cute dog pictures you can follow her on Instagram at @nalas_foster_furiends

Here’s what she has to say about her favorite online shops for her pups!

GstopYbowtie makes gorgeous, high quality bow ties. 50% of their profits goes towards helping dogs involved in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. I personally love the style called “Party for Two.” You pick a secondary color for the background. It adds more color and even more stability! I recently let her choose the fabrics and was pleasantly surprised by her choices. These are velcro bow ties so they easily attach to any collar.

Biothane collar and tag from TagNTrail

RugersRopes hand dyes cotton leashes. We have several four and five foot ones, along with two hands free leashes. She also sells pre dyed super soft leashes, but still with her perfect whipping to keep it all together. I previously tried another cotton leash company, but the whipping fell off within a month, causing the entire leash to fall apart.

FourMuttsAndCo creates fabric collars. She is based out of Canada, so shipping takes a little longer, but it’s definitely worth it. As a pitbull owner, I love that she has a house full of bully breeds. She is always finding great new patterns. Her size range is broad so they can go grow with your puppy. Don’t forget your keychain to match your pet! Use code AZUL20 to save 20% on your entire order.

 

GStopYBowtie Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am bowtie 4 ft Rugers Ropes leash

TagNTrail has over 200 tag designs and will custom make any tag you can think of! They’re double sided and include a silicone silencer. In our house, we have a tag for every collar, so the variety is helpful. You can choose the fonts, colors, and patterns, making every tag unique. Her customer service is great and she sends you proofs before she creates the final product. We have never been disappointed! She has also recently added biothane collars to her shop. They’re great for the beach!

 

TheMispitShop does bandanas with a sturdy pleather backing.  Pleather helps the bandana to say where it’s supposed to. Each bandana is made to size with snaps to fit your dog perfectly. The snaps allow for a quick and easy on and off.Use code AZUL15 to save 15% on your entire order.

Got a favorite “dog stuff” shop? Let us know!

Black Friday Shopping: For the Dog (and owner)

Thanksgiving is almost here, and after turkey means shopping for the holidays!

Happy rescue dog under the tree!

I am one of those people who would rather hold a snake than go black friday shopping. (too many “not-dog people.” Y’all are my dog people.)  I will be sitting at home scouring Amazon and all my favorite shopping sites with Pixie beside me since she’s the only one who cuddles.

So what am I looking for this year? Here is a quick guide of a few of the things I think every dog owner needs to have in their possession!

Harness

I like the Freedom Harness by Two Hounds and the Balance Harness by Blue9. All my dogs wear a Balance Harness, but I like the safety and no-pull function of the Freedom Harness. If you have a bit of a puller on the leash then go with the Freedom Harness.

Long Line

I’ll be looking to upgrade to biothane this year since cotton and nylon tend to get heavy when it gets wet, and my dogs love the water! If you are looking for something a little less expensive, cotton or nylon still get the job done!

Treat Bags

Y’all have seen my “fanny pack” made by EzyDog. This was a christmas present a few years ago, and my favorite treat bag for wearing everyday! It’s got all the pockets and compartments that I need to get through the day training your dogs. It’s held up to everyday wear and tear like a champ, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ezydog.

Another great option that doesn’t break the bank is the Rapid Rewards pouch from Doggone Good. This was my first training pouch as a serious dog trainer. It held up pretty well until Pixie’s leash got wrapped up and broke the clip. I could have easily bought the belt that goes with it to eliminate that problem.

Some other places I can spend a ton of money

Ruffwear – God help me when they have stuff on sale! I have more unnecessary Ruffwear purchases than I care to admit to. I have bowls, bumpers, balls, cooler coats, backpacks, harnesses and so much more. Very geared toward hiking and trail running, the quality is definitely there and can certainly get you through the neighborhood.

Clean Run – Not just for agility equipment, although that gets a good chunk of my money too. They have a great supply of toys and treats for general training aid. They also have a wonderful library full of training books by the industry greats, such as Leslie McDevitt and Denise Fenzi.

Two Brothers Dog Wash – For my local folks. This is where I get all my snacks and food for my pups. They are super committed to excellence in service and products they carry. If you are worried from all the dog food recalls and treats being manufactured in China where the regulations are lax, fear not at Two Brothers. They make sure everything they carry is sourced responsibly and safely to keep your pet healthy and happy. They also carry my recommended products: Annamaet Pet Food and Treatibles PCR treats

Show off your pups new toys on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @thefreckledpawdogtraining