DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How Come Our Dogs Behave So Nicely When They're Visiting??

Alvin and Simon did an overnight with their favorite dog sitter BJ. Here's the picture BJ sent showing how well they behaved (except for a few poop accidents).

Why can't they act like this at home?

One Of The Most Common Dog Health Questions - How Do I Know If My Dog Is Overweight?

A few weeks age, we visited Simon's vet for a routine vaccination. After his weigh-in and exam, the vet mentioned that his 31 pounds should be reduced to 26 pounds, a 16% reduction in body weight! What if your doctor asked you to drop 24 pounds from your weight of 150 pounds?

First of all, my reaction was to ask one of the most common dog health questions - how do you know if a dog is overweight? He looked fine to me, although recent luxating patella surgery for a trick knee might have contributed to his weight gain.

How to figure out if Fido is a chub . . .
Dr. Becker, a holistic vet, says:
One way to measure your pup’s fitness is by feel. Run your hands over his rib area. You should be able to feel ribs beneath a thin layer of fat, and his skin should move easily under your fingers.

Now step back and take at look at him. He should have a tuck-up at the rear of his ribs and a visible waist when viewed from above.
Simon's vet said essentially the same thing - he has no waist! And guess what - when you look at him from above, he's the same width from collar to the beginning of his stubby tail.

And obviously, if your dog waddles from side to side when he tries to walk, chances are more exercise and less food are in your dog's future.

Doggie Weight Loss Guidelines

To help your dog get to his healthy weight, do the same thing you would do to lose weight (with one exception):

1. Get the dog moving (more walks, more playtime). If your dog is older, find the time to lease walk a few times a day. If you need to train your dog to leash walk, see these squidoo lenses:

2. Reduce the amount of food your dog consumes. Simon loves food, so he now gets smaller quantities of daily meals and treats.

3. Forget about feeding your dog table food if you have this habit. All this will do is pile on the pounds. Besides, very few people enjoy a dog begging for food at the table.

4. Forget the doggie diet food. It works about as well as people diet food - in other words, it won't help your dog to lose weight and probably isn't good for him.

Hope this post helps you answer one of the common dog health questions! Best of health to you and your dog!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Train A Dog Part III - Teaching Name Recognition To A "Pigs Fly" Dog

Alvin (The Terrible) SEZ:

As in the two previous posts* about "Pigs Fly" dogs (When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs), this post describes the application of a "Pigs Fly" technique.

Name Recognition is particularly difficult for a "Pigs Fly" dog because they're so intent on doing whatever they want to do versus what YOU want them to do. For example, when Alvin the Terrible is guarding his goughnuts, he would not recognize ANY command nor respond to his name.

What's An Owner To Do When Even The Dog Ignores YOU??

Buy the When Pigs Fly! book.
Read It.
Use it.

If this reads like a See Dick and Jane kid's book- then you got the message - it's really that simple.

Alvin needed to learn name recognition.

Got to get a dogs attention before training starts. So, according to the technique presented in the book, we did the Name - Click - Treat routine several times a day for three days.

Same thing for bro Simon - but out of Alvin's hearing range.

Now both dogs respond to their names - their heads jerk toward the sound - and they come running. Even better - each dog knows his own name. When I request both dogs to stay and say "Simon, Okay" to release him from the stay, Alvin stays. Amazing what a few training sessions will produce.

Obviously, name recognition is very important when you have more than one animal.

No More Complaining About The Dog Ignoring You!

Buy When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs
At Barnes & Noble's LOW price!

* Previous posts about When Pigs Fly! (How To Train A Dog):

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stop Dog Chewing The Easy Way - PREVENT It From Happening

One Proven Way To Prevent Destructive Chewing - Give Dogs an Alternative
One of the simplest ways to stop dog chewing is to provide your dog with indestructible toys. When he chews, He can work on HIS stuff, NOT your furniture, shoes, cell phone, or eyeglasses.

Some dogs just love to chew and rip toys to shreds within minutes. The Guinness Book of Records must record information about the canine who can remove a squeaker toy and scatter stuffing the fastest! Not a very hopeful thought, but many dogs never grow out of this phase - so OK-to-chew playthings are must-have purchases.

The Ultimate Chew Toy
For the cost of a few squeaker toys, you can get the ultimate, nearly indestructible chew toys – GoughNuts. The originals came in Green, Black, and .75 (a smaller version). Now there are stick versions of these miracles, also in green and black. The black ones were designed for the strong Big Boy or Girl Chewer – usually a larger dog.

Each of these items has an inner core of red material surrounded by either the black or green substance.

Goughnuts come in 6 different varieties and are virtually indestructible. If your dog is able to chew through to the red area, you call the manufacturer ASAP for a replacement. Black Goughnuts are stronger than green ones and are for extreme chewers.

Alvin's Recommendation
Doesn't this post read like the voice of experience? It is - Alvin, my Bichon Frise mixed breed is an amazing chewer. See his video "Guarding The Goughnuts" below. But he knows to chew his own toys - his favorite is

In this video, Alvin The Terrible (a 23-lb "small dog") guards his goughnuts from his bro (offscreen). This video will you an idea of the size of the GoughNut Green .75

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Train A Dog Part II - Starting The Process Of Shaping Behaviors

The first things you do to start shaping behaviors (rewarding behaviors to increase the chances that they will happen again) in the "how to train your dog" book When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs is to associate the sound of a clicker with food.

If this sounds like Pavlov's Dogs, you're right - only it's the click instead of a bell.

Basically, you click the clicker and then feed the dog a treat as soon as you can (within a half second of clicking). If you do this twice a day for three days (20 treats at a time), the author maintains that you will "power up the clicker" - your dog will give you his immediate attention at the sound of the clicker.

Your "pigs fly" dog - you know - the pup who does his own thing and mostly ignores you unless you are giving him his dinner - is on alert for the click. Great first step to "how to train your dog!" Ever try to train a dog who's paying attention to the squirrel running up a tree? LOL!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How To Train A Dog Part I - When Pigs Fly!: Training Success With Impossible Dogs

No matter what your beliefs about how to train a dog might be, consider this statement at face value:
No breed of dog is inherently better at learning than any other breed or mix of breeds.
Wow! This statement is right out of When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs. And the author's assertion is backed by scientific research! Very mind boggling!

According to the author, Jane Killion, a "Pigs Fly" dog is one that is perceived as being difficult to train, but in fact, is easily trainable using the shaping behaviors described in her book.

This is not the only dog training book that describes shaping behaviors.

What makes this book unique is that the focus is on understanding why dogs do what they do. When you get that, shaping behaviors are much easier and make sense.

Not theoretical, but practical application of using shaping behaviors to train your dog to do what you want him to do - willingly and enthusiastically!

And the author has included ways to stop aggressive behavior.

A different dog training technique that works - as evidenced by the clear photographs in the book.

Buy This Book! Learn This Training Technique!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When To Call The Vet When Your Dog Is Throwing Up

This is Alvin getting a treat a few weeks ago - he looks healthy and HUNGRY!

But by lat Sunday (Oct 16) he was lethargic and perched on the top of the couch all day either sleeping or looking pathetically sick. He started throwing up Sunday nite a few times and then several times Monday morning around 6 am.

Once a dog is losing this much fluid (12 hours of throwing up repeatedly), it's time to visit the vet. A call into the vet's office confirmed that he should be brought in.

Since this has happened before with Alvin (last Christmas), I knew the drill.

The vet examined him, gave him a shot to stop his vomiting and said she would wait to see how he did to decide if blood tests were necessary (thank you very much!). His abdominal area was not tender and he was alert and aware of what was going on (he hates the vet's office and tries to escape the examining room).

He's on boiled chicken and rice a few days. Then we start mixing in the kibble in small amounts.

What causes his bouts of vomiting? Both of the vets we see seem to think he gets into something in the yard, but no one knows what exactly causes it. I questioned the possibility of the stress caused by two family members disappearing on vacation for a week. Since he is a "sensitive" dog (aware of breaks in routine and suitcases being packed), that also could be the cause.

Whatever the cause - we'll keep him on his chicken and rice (Boiled only) and see what develops. This is the third day on this routine - so far so good!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella - Surgery Recovery Time Is Critical To Success

My handsome Cockapoo pup Simon had luxating patella (trick knee) surgery when he was a year old.

Details of the problem with his knee, how it was corrected, and his recovery from surgery are described in this ebook: Simon's Story.

Luxating patella surgery recovery time was a lot longer than anticipated. During the initial six-week period post surgery, Simon was totally inactive and had to be carried up and down stairs.

The second four-week period ordered by his surgeon after an exam on August 23rd was only slightly less restrictive. Basically, he could climb stairs, but was not allowed to run or play with his brother, Alvin. Leash walking was allowed.

You must have a dog if you're reading this post, so just imagine keeping a young 18 months old dog from running for even a day. LOL - this wasn't a fun time for animals and owners!

Of course he isn't supposed to run full speed, but he does. And the stumbling, limping, stiff-leggedness has been corrected. His vet (not the surgeon) confirmed that the knee was stable during a regular visit for a rabies shot.

If your dog is about to have this surgery, I wish you patience and persistence to ensure a successful recovery. According to the surgeon, the repair is routine. The key is the recovery period so that proper healing takes place.

Listen to the surgeon and the pup's vet - you do not want your dog in surgery again if the recovery is not successful!

Find out how to ensure a successful recovery from canine luxating patella surgery: Simon's Story

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Memory Of Bonnie - A Woman's Best Friend

This post is dedicated to Bonnie,
BJ's Best Friend

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dog Owners: Correcting Dog Behavior Problems - Stop A Dog from Jumping, Destructive Chewing, and Excessive Barking

As a dog owner, you may be suffering from your dog's bad behavior -
  • Jumping on you, your family members, and your visitors.
  • Chewing your stuff (not his toys).
  • Excessive barking at anything and everything.
It is possible to stop a dog from jumping, chewing and barking. Listen to what the experts say about correcting dog behavior problems as follows:

Check out Secrets To Dog Training by Kingdom of Pets to


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Preventing, Stopping, And Correcting Dog Behavior Problems BY Kingdom Of Pets

Enjoy your dog's calm behavior!

This handsome Cockapoo (Simon) became a barking, chewing, whining menace after being confined for 6 weeks for canine luxating patella (trick knee) surgery.

We solved these dog behavior problems using the dog behavior and obedience training "bible - "

By Kingdom of Pets,
experts in correcting dog behavior problems

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Correcting Dog Behavior Problems - Chewing: The Latest (And Just Maybe) The Greatest Squidoo Lens By Designerpuppys

Okay - see that brown Cockapoo on the left in the picture above? Simon might have just had surgery, but he sure gets into trouble easily. He's chewed cell phones, playing cards, electric cords, credit cards, newspaper, plastic bags - in other words, anything he can get his teeth into.

Besides, he's a thief, too! Leave anything on an end table - it's GONE! And probably chewed to bits!

Finally, we puppy-proofed the house and started him on a correction program using Kingdom of Pets advice.

Check out this lens if you have a destructive chewing dog:

This is Simon!

correcting dog behavior,dog behavior problems

Monday, August 23, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella Surgery - Simon's Passes Initial Recovery Period

Today Simon has a 6-week checkup with the surgeon who repaired his luxating patella.

The Good News

He passed. The surgeon examoned his knee, watched him walk up and down the hallway in the Animal Hospital, and pronounced him ready for . . .

The Post Recovery Period

Yeah - that's the bad news. Now we're into a month-long, somewhat limited restriction period.

Simon can negotiate stairs. (No more lifting him up and down stairs!)

Simon cannot play with Alvin.

Simon cannot run around the fenced-in yard.

In other words, he still can't be a dog.

Let's summarize Simon's luxating patella surgery saga:

2 days in the animal hospital for the surgery.

6 weeks of inactivity.

4 weeks of somewhat restricted activity.

For those of you who want to know - here's the whole story - from diagnosis through the detailed questions I asked the surgeon today:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Overwhelming Dog Behavior Problems Like Excessive Barking Can Be Corrected - With A Little Help From The Experts!

Does your dog bark non-stop for no good reason? Can't find a way to STOP THE RACKET?

Two Reasons Why Dogs Bark Incessantly

The dog behavior experts at Kingdom of Pets address dog behavior problems like excessive barking every day. Kingdom of Pets offers the following reasons for this type of barking:

1. Pent-Up Energy
The average dog needs about 1 to 1 and one-half hours of exercise per day. This may vary depending on breed and age, but the animal has to exercise to release pent-up energy. Otherwise - barking is the unwanted outlet.

2. Not Enough Socialization
If your dog is just plain lonely, he WILL bark. If you cannot spend time with your dog - find someone who will.

Simply walking a dog will address both of the reasons dogs bark incessantly.

Back to How To Stop The Racket
Here is the dog behavior training solution from Kingdom of Pets:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Do You Think About The Squidoo Lens I HATE DOGS (2 of 2)?

In the previous post, several reasons for hating dogs were presented from the I HATE DOGS Squidoo lens - a deliberate attempt to stir up controversy. This lens shows up in the DUELS category of

This post presents the remainder of the reasons the I HATE DOGS author offers for totally hating man's best friend:

• The slobbery licking is repulsive. Yuk, and the ones that have the drool hanging from their mouths. If you are an owner who kisses their dog on the lips, then I think you are very very wrong.

Yes it is, but only when you make yourself a target for licking and drool.

• The jumping up, the bouncing and the running. Absolutely terrifying.

Ignore, Ignore, Ignore! If people would just turn their backs on jumping dogs, the animals would lose interest very quickly.

• This is the main reason why I don't like dogs: owners expect everyone else to love their pooch as much as they do. We have to be tolerant of their hairy excited animal bounding up to us in the park, frightening our children and sticking their noses in our crotches. I like to go running, but each time I go I have to navigate the dogs. I hate dogs, but they just love me! I am a dog magnet, they smell the fear and seek me out! I think many owners forget that only they know their dog, it could be the soppiest dog in the world but we do not know this and I am going to wary of anything that runs up and rugby tackles me when I go running.

Again, the author has something called misplaced hatred. It's not the dogs that are the problem - it's the owners. Why aren't the dogs leashed when the author is running? If you decide to run in a dog park, you're going to be the subject of investigation by loose dogs.


If people can bring their bratty, insolent children to work, then I can bring my licking, jumping, but cute dog to work.

It's An Old Saying
If you hate dogs and children - find someplace else besides their presence to spread your misery. That way you won't be polluting the universe with your negativity!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Do You Think About The Squidoo Lens I HATE DOGS (1 of 2)?

Whoa! A dog hater came out of the woodwork and wrote the absolute unthinkable squidoo lens - I HATE DOGS! (

Check Out Prince Alvin HIS Cuteness
Could You Possibly Hate This Laploving Wee Pup?

Actually, the author wrote I HATE DOGS in a Squidoo category called Duels. This section is about controversy and starting "spirited" discussions.

Just for yucks, here are her reasons for hating dogs and a little "discussion" about them (some in this post, some in a future post while I think about the real reason the I HATE DOGS author pollutes the universe with dog hatred).

•Dogs smell. Their odour gets into everything, if you own a dog your house will smell, even if your home is spotlessly clean, a visitor will smell your dog in seconds of coming through the door.

Dogs do stink. And the bigger the dog, the bigger the stink. But Baths work! This is a real weak reason to hate dogs. I wonder if the I HATE DOGS authors hates people who smell, because there's a lot of smelly people around.

•Dog poops are gruesome. The stink of dog poo is not easy to disguise. And many owners don't pick it up either, making life unpleasant for anyone else walking in that park, field or road. It isn't the dog's fault; it's got to do what it has got to do. But if you own a dog, take responsibility and for goodness sake bag it and bin it. Yes that's a horrid task to perform, but more fool you for owning a dog in the first place.

It sounds like the I HATE DOGS author hates dog owners who don't pick up dog poo. It really isn't the dog's fault!

•Dogs bark. Not a nice sound, not cute at all.

Condemn dogs 'cause they bark? Why not condemn people because they talk! Yeah - I hate the dogs barking for no reason whatsoever - it's annoying, but it's up to the owner to control excessive dog vocalization.

•They have sharp teeth. That bite.

The I HATE DOGS author must have been bitten in kiddom. Me, too. I still have the scar more than a half century later. Guess people need to keep their body parts away from dogs' mouths!

Okay - you get the idea - you read a statement and launch a polite (or not so polite) argument.

Stay tuned for the next post for more argument starters from I HATE DOGS!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why Correcting Dog Behavior Problems Is Easier Than You Might Think

Puppy Prison Is No Fun!

Dog Behavior Training Needed Here!
During Simon the Cockapoo's six-week recovery period from luxating patella surgery, he started to show some classic behavior problems:

Excessive whining, especially when penned and also during the night.

Aggression toward Alvin, the other dog in the house.

Refusal to obey a command he had seemingly learned perfectly - the Come command.

It does not take a dog behaviorist to recognize that these behaviors require correction as immediately.

Unfortunately, we do not have a dog trainer on site, so the next best reference for correcting dog behavior is the dog training bible - Secrets To Dog Training:

For Ordering
Secrets To Dog Training
by August 31

Send proof of purchase with the email address and name used to order Secrets To Dog Training to Please use "BONUS" in the subject of your email.

As soon as your purchase is validated (asap), you will receive this bonus pdf:

solving puppy training problems,correcting dog behavior

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella Surgery - Simon's Recovery Week 5 of 6

The Boyz Playing (Pre-Surgery)

During Week 5 of recovery, it is getting more and more difficult to keep Simon quiet. Just a few minutes ago, Alvin and Simon were wrestling over a toy bone. We break up fights constantly because when they're on the same floor of the house, they want to play.

Because his knee seems fine and he is a young dog, the tendency is to ignore the surgeon's orders to keep him quiet. It's tough to keep hauling him up and down stairs (even though he seems to be used to it). I can see why some dog owners would just give up.

But I keep hearing the vet tech's words when I complained about the 6-week restrictions - "Do you really want to do this all over again? It just takes one little twist the wrong way to tear the repaired knee."

All righty then - one more week and a half to go to the August 23rd date with the surgeon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alvin Demos One Of The Puppy Obedience Commands - Leave It

I taught Alvin puppy obedience commands using the It's PAWSible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD. Since I got one of the FLIP HD Camcorders, I can demonstrate what he learned on video.

The Leave It Command is taught in three parts. See

By far the hardest part is to get the dog to look at you BEFORE you release him with an OK. Alvin does it perfectly. Simon took a while before looking up in the training process - dogs tend to focus on the treat. Wouldn't you if it was something you wanted to eat?

Training your puppy to Leave It requires some patience, but it's worth the effort when the dog passes up on something that could hurt him.

Training specifics are spelled out for you in the 5-week program on the It's PAWSible! DVD. See the DVD review:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) In Dogs - Ebook Tells The Whole Story

Has the vet recommended luxating patella surgery for your dog? Can't decide what to do?

Want to know what'll happen before, during, and after the surgery?

Ever consider how you'll handle the dog's recovery?

What if you have another dog? How do you keep them separated during the recovery period?

Your questions answered in an ebook entitled Simon's Story.

Simon A Few Days After Luxating Patella Surgery

Monday, August 2, 2010

Luxating Patella Surgery - Simon's Mid-Recovery Period Swelling

Today is 3 weeks to the day from Simon's surgery day.

I noticed some swelling around the area of the top 2 stitches. That of course meant a call into the animal hospital. The surgeon's "staff member" asked me to bring him in.

After an exam by several hospital doctors, the diagnosis was swelling around the internal stitching because they could actually feel the stitch causing the problem. Since Simon is walking fine and experiencing no pain, we are supposed to "wait and see." If it's any bigger in 2 days, there'll be another trip to the hospital for a re-assessment.

Turns out there's a level of difficultly associated with getting a good shot of the area to use as a benchmark, but I did measure it (as instructed) - it's about an inch long, although it appears bigger in this photo:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella Surgery - When Puppy Exercise Is Not An Option

Post Surgery Recovery - Puppy Playing Is Only In Simon's Dreams

Simon's into the third week of post canine luxating patella surgery with 3 more weeks to go.

How Simon Is Reacting To Inactivity
You don't really know how an active dog who's forced to be inactive will react. Simon's reaction ranges from whining to restlessness to scratching incessantly. He wants to run and play with Alvin. Since that's not an option, he behaves like a confined animal.

An Example - one morning after we removed the ecollar, he bit or scratched a hot spot in the lower part of the surgically repaired leg. Of course that means treating the hot spot AND putting the ecollar back on.

Puppy Exercise Banned

Since puppy exercise is banned during the six-week recovery period, the owner becomes the social director for deciding how to keep the dog inactive but engaged.

Funny thing - a wonderful article on puppy exercise showed up in the author's mailbox. It lists 10 Ways To Engage Your Dog Indoors (in case he cannot exercise outdoors). Some of these suggestions are perfect for Simon.

Here's the article:

Halfway Through Post Surgery Recovery! Lifting Simon up and down stairs is backbreaking!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is Alvin The Cockapoo Neurotic Or Struggling With Anger Management? Capturing Weird Puppy Action With Flip HD Camcorders

When you have one of the Flip HD camcorders, you keep it with you so you can capture weird happenings like the video shown below.

It shows Alvin The Cockapoo going beserk on a pillow. And then it appears he tries to explain his actions.

After you view this video - please comment on the dog behavior - I think Alvin might need a doggie shrink!

Alvin's Anger Management Video

Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) 12 Days Post Surgery - Simon Stitchless

Twelve days after luxating patella surgery on his right back leg, Simon got the surgical stitches removed by his vet. The vet reported that the surgical site appeared to be healing as expected with no infection and minimal swelling.

How well does he walk? He walks effortlessly without even a hint of a limp. In fact, he has escaped to run through the doggie door so he can play with Alvin on the deck.

Because he does not lick the surgical site, we were able to dispose of his ecollar. This makes it much easier for Simon to find a comfortable sleeping position.

The Next 4 Weeks Of Recovery
Now comes the hard part - continuing Simon's minimal level of activity for the next four weeks. Interesting that the vet said to watch his weight, so we compared his weight on July 17 - 5 days after surgery - to his weight on July 26. He lost 1/2 pound or 2% of his body weight.

But the deal is - he's also eating a lot less than before the surgery, leaving about 1/2 of his nighttime meal and consuming fewer cookies (treats).

It will be an interesting 4 weeks!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella Surgery - Simon Bandage Removal Day 5

On Saturday, 5 days post surgery for canine luxating patella, we took Simon to the vet for bandage removal. We decided we needed one person to drive and one person to control Simon so he could not hurt himself. You could probably crate a dog and drive to the vet yourself, but Simon's crate is too small for him (he's was supposed to grow to 20 pounds, not almost 30).

It took 2 vet techs, one to hold him and one to cut off the bandage. The hospital did NOT shave his entire leg so some of the bandage adhesive adhered to hair. The tech shaved part of his lower leg to release the adhesive.

Simon gave one protesting yelp - when the tech tried to remove the bandage on hair. Besides that, he was very cooperative. He walked out of the office with a very slight limp.

Here's 2 pics of the leg sans bandage. You can see 8 stitches to the left of center line of his leg. The leg seems to be healing nicely.

See the post on 7-16-2010 ( for a complete list of posts on this surgery and Simon's recovery.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) Surgery - Simon's Recovery Week 1

Simon (The Patient) & Alvin Get Re-Acquainted
Post Surgery

Simon's week 1 recovery is routine:

He gets pain medication twice a day.

He gets anti-inflammatory medication once per day.

He sleeps - a lot - day and night.

He eats twice a day in limited amounts because he's putting on weight due to inactivity.

He's on a leash if he's outdoors.

He wears the e-collar most of the time - if we take it off, he immediately starts licking the sutures.

He wants to run with Alvin, but that's a no-no.

He has to be carried up and down stairs, and he's no light weight.

The complete documentary of Simon's trick knee diagnosis, surgery, and recovery can be found here: Simon's Story.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella - Simon Returns Home From The Animal Hospital

Approximately a day and a half after his surgery for correction of canine luxating patella (trick knee), Simon came home. In case you just checked in, prior posts are as follows:

Sir Simon the Sad's Trick Knee - Medial Patellar Luxation (6-15-2010)

Canine Luxating Patella - The Surgeon Explains Simon's Surgery (6-26-2010)

Canine Luxating Patella: Simon Scheduled For Surgery 7-12-2010 (7-11-2010)

Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) - Simon's Surgery Day (7-12-2010)

One Day After Surgery
Amazingly, he walks quite nicely, even with a recently repaired knee. He ate dinner, peed and pooped, got his pain pill, and promptly fell asleep. He has to be carried outside to do his duty and don't you know - it's raining, so he has to wear a plastic booty over his bandage.

These Instructions Are Demanding
The post surgery instructions are both demanding and conservative, but we have to follow them. What do ya think - he cannot go up and down stairs, jump onto or off of furniture, and has to be on a leash when he goes outdoors - and these restrictions last FOR 6 WEEKS!

And There's More . . .
He has to wear an e-collar (see the video below).
He has to stay away from Alvin. Besides banning wrestling and other brotherly activity, the discharge nurse said that Alvin cannot lick the sutures (and he will try).
There's pain pills twice a day and an anti-inflammatory once a day.
The bandage comes off after 5-6 days (from 7-13).
The sutures get removed in 12-14 days (from 7-13).
The surgeon sees him in 6 weeks.

BEFORE the surgery (when his patella was dislocating), he was able to do a 28 inch vertical jump onto the table on the deck.

Wonder what it'll be when he's fully recovered!

A Real Short Video
This is a not-too-exciting video of Simon's lack of activity this evening. At least you can see the wonderful bandaging job done in the hospital. The top sutures show because the bandage can't go any higher on the leg (according to the hospital vet tech).

Remember he's on pain medication! He did NOT climb on the couch. We put him on the couch 'cause that's where he's comfortable.

This video was taken with one of the FLIP HD camcorders,
the FLIP UltraHD.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) - Simon's Surgery Day

Today I know who's more anxious about Simon's surgery and it isn't Simon.

We took him to the animal hospital at 7:30 AM. He shook when he got there (he was there for X-Rays and apparently it wasn't a pleasant experience) and insisted on being held. Holding a 30 pound dog for any length of time ain't possible, so I sat down with him and waited while he was checked in.

Successful Surgery
At 11:00 AM, the surgeon called with the news that the surgery was routine/successful. They were giving him morphine via an intravenous drip. According to the surgeon, if he progresses as expected, he'll be coming home Tuesday afternoon.

We set up his pen to keep him away from stairs and furniture he can jump onto.

The other party affected by the surgery is Simon's bro - Alvin.
He kept looking for Simon all day, didn't eat his dinner, and finally woke up after I gave him a bone to chew on and guard. He's in dog heaven 'cause Simon's not here to challenge him for the bone. The picture is Alvin guarding his bone against an imaginary threat.

9:00 PM Simon Update
Good news. Simon has just been taken off his morphine drip. It has been replaced with fluids. He will get more morphine tonight if he's uncomfortable. He's alert and responding to the vet tech who said he's "a sweet dog," something we've heard more than once.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella: Simon Scheduled For Surgery 7-12-2010

Sir Simon The Sad will undergo corrective surgery for canine luxating patella tomorrow (7-12-2010). His hospital stay - 3 days.

Thanks to the advice of ( forum members and his breeder, I have been taking his temp for the past several days so I have a benchmark to figure out if he has a fever post surgery. I've also been trying to catch him limping so I can video his current condition (The Flip UltraHD camcorder comes in handy A LOT).

Finally caught a short video of the limp Simon develops when his knee dislocates. Watch the first few steps in this video . . .

We prepared his food and treats for the animal hospital stay. If he wants to eat, at least he'll have familiar food instead of "hospital food." He can't eat after 12:00 midnight (Sunday) but can drink water.

To all those dog owners out there, please wish Simon a pain-free smooth recovery!

The video shown in this post was taken with one of the FLIP HD camcorders, the UltraHD.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Ultimate SECRET To Puppy Obedience Training - It's Up To You, The Trainer

What's the ultimate SECRET to Puppy Obedience Training?

Without a doubt, it's the

Trainer's ability to GET and MAINTAIN the puppy's attention.

If you do NOT have the dog's attention, he will not learn and you will not teach anything . . . ever.

If you really want a well-trained, obedient dog, learn Puppy Obedience Training commands from an expert Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Beth Ostrowski-Parks. She has a puppy obedience training DVD called It's PAWSIBLE! Dog and Puppy Training DVD.

Here's the review of this DVD that can help you train your dog step by step in a few weeks:

The following video demonstrates how It's PAWSIBLE! works:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella - The Surgeon Explains Simon's Surgery

We had a discussion (June 25) with Simon's surgeon about his trick knee (canine luxating patella). His symptoms are getting worse, so we opted for surgery as soon as possible for two reasons:

1. Over time, he will develop arthritis. It's not a concern this moment, but without surgery, he will have problems with an arthritic knee.

2. Dogs with a luxating patella often injure their cruxiate ligaments because of the stress of a dislocating kneecap.

Simon's Symptoms
In case you're wondering - he's showing (or we are better at noticing), these symptoms:
  • Occaisonally he will limp because the kneecap has dislocated. The limp lasts as long as it takes for him to pop it back into place.
  • When he lies down, he groans as if in pain.
  • It takes him a while to get into pooping position (the knees are flexed).
  • He falls up stairs (and has since he was a pup).
Frankly, he's had this issue since he was born, but it's getting worse now that he's more mature. His condition is complicated by the fact he's grown from 9 to 29 pounds since we got him in August of 2009. That's a big growth spurt for a Cockapoo originally estimated to be 20 pounds tops at maturity. He's really not the clumsy puppy we thought he was, just a pup with a trick knee.

More Facts About Luxating Patella From The Surgeon
We asked a lot of questions of the surgeon - this is a family member who's having knee surgery and we wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing for Simon.

So here's a few facts about the surgery -

In Simon's case, the kneecap dislocates medially - to the inside of his right knee. It dislocates (moves out of its groove) because the ligament holding the kneecap in place attaches to protrubing bone in his lower leg bone slightly off center. This condition (off center attachment) was probably present at birth.

During the surgery, the protruding bone (and ligament) will be cut and re-attached in the correct position with a pin. Then the ligaments on the side of his knee will be tightened.

Total surgery time - 30 minutes.

Total time under anesthesia - about an hour.

More about Simon's condition (canine luxating patella) in future posts . . .

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Molding Your Pup's Behavior By Finding The Solutions To Puppy Training Problems

New puppy owners get so enthralled with canine cuteness they forget about the house messing, mouthing and biting, and the confusion caused by lack of discipline.

When reality and lack of sleep hits them a few days later, many new owners cry for HELP!


How do I stop puppy biting and mouthing?

Do I need to watch this puppy every second?

Does crate training work?

What's the best way to teach leash training?

Why won't this dog come when I call him?

Solving puppy training problems - puppy housetraining, puppy obedience training, and puppy anti-aggression training - all need to be addressed.

Here's the site to visit to tackle these issues:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Puppy Training Problems - Obedience And House Training Your Puppy

Anyone with a new puppy knows the common puppy training problems:

Your cute puppy:

  • Messes in the house
  • Will not come when called
  • Pulls on his leash
  • Bites everyone and everything
  • Wakes up every three hours at night - whining pitifully

Need solutions?

Check out a new ebook designed to address these problems plus many more puppy training problems.

It's called
As Long As You Have A Dog, Puppy Training Never Ends!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sir Simon the Sad's Trick Knee - Medial Patellar Luxation

We've been noticing Simon limping lately, so we took him to the vet. After x-rays - he's got that small dog (30 pounds is small?) condition called trick knee.

Basically, his right knee cap dislocates to the inside of his knee. He does not seem to be in pain, but he does limp stiff-legged until it re-locates to its proper position.

He'll need surgery to correct the condition which could be congenital or due to trauma.

Just another day in the life of Simon the Sad!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Simmie-Sim

Simon is a year old today, June 4, 2010.

When we picked him up in PA in August of last year, he was a scared little pup.

A year later, he's still scared of lots of things, but remains the same lovable, laid-back, would not hurt a fly (rabbits maybe) pup.

Here's to our handsome year-old Cockapoo - Simon. He's enjoying his birthday bone in this picture.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Capturing The Indestructible GoughNuts Dog Chew Toy With The UltraHD (Flip HD Camcorders)

Alvin destroys dog toys - usually in 5 - 15 minutes.

The only two toys that pass the Alvin test for destruction are:

GoughNut Green .75


I shot several videos of Alvin's possessiveness with the GoughNut Green .75 and his GoughNuts Battles with Simon.

Here's Alvin guarding his GoughNuts from Simon who is off-camera.

Same video on YouTube:

Here's the Cockapoo GoughNuts Battles

Same video on YouTube:

Please note that these Flip UltaHD videos were taken indoors with low light.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Housetraining Your Puppy - When A Doggy Door Is NOT A Good Idea

A few weeks ago, we had a PetSafe Doggy (Pet) Door installed in the back screen door. Both Alvin and Simon are past the "housetraining your puppy" phase and we were just plain tired of playing doorpersons. The idea was to allow them free access into and back from the fenced-in yard.

Alvin overcame his fear of the door's clicking magnets first. Simon decided that if Alvin could go through the door, so could he. Easy entry and exit happened in one day.

The whole doggy door concept is wonderful, even though you tend to loose control of their whereabouts. And quiet dogs outside usually means some kind of trouble.

And the loss of control and visibility is exactly the reason why you do NOT want to install a doggy door until AFTER your pup is house trained. It's a convenience for older dogs, but a nightmare if you need to keep a puppy on a schedule.

If a young pup disappears outside, how do you know what he did or did not eliminate? And how do you know the next time he's supposed to go out? Seems like a doggy door might set back house training a few weeks!

So a doggy door is a good thing AFTER house training your dog is finished. Gotta remember that when Theodore makes his entrance!

In case you need a little help housetraining your puppy!

Trust the experts from Kingdom of Pets:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Puppy Owners: How To Make As Few Mistakes As Possible House Training Your Puppy

House Training Your Puppy requires the best and most effective method from the first day you get your pup.

Really, there's no room for mistakes, because accidents beget MORE accidents. If you like cleaning up poop and pee, screw around with a bunch of different house training methods until one finally works (by chance alone).

The other morning year-old Simon (who had not had an accident in months) left a big, smelly present in the family den. As I was cleaning it up (with Sir Simon watching), I was ever so tempted to reprimand a dog who would not know what the reprimand was for (ranting make you feel good?). But then I remembered a quote from the Kingdom of Pets Ultimate House Training Guide:

The GREATEST RISK (in house training a puppy) is often not a matter of whether or not your puppy will learn, but rather how much CONFUSION AND STRESS your training methods may cause.

Pick a puppy house training guide that will lead you through the process the right way the first time. With the Ultimate House Training Guide, you’ll get:

A comprehensive explanation of the 3 PROVEN house training METHODS: you’ll be able to decide which method will work best for you and your dog AND

SOLUTIONS to all kinds of common problems associated with house training.

Get your Ultimate House Training Guide NOW!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tired of Your Dog Sleeping In Bed With You? Getting Kicked Or Growled At All Night? Try This Method

Are you tired of no sleep, being kicked in the head or growled at, but are still putting up with the dog sleeping in bed with you? Isn't this carrying the pack psychology a little too far?

You know the dog has to sleep elsewhere. Are you procrastinating because it's too difficult to get your best friend OUT of the bed and where he belongs - on the floor?

Here's My Short Story About Simon The Kicker
After not sleeping soundly for several weeks because Simon likes to stretch his legs and kick sleeping humans, it was time for action. (If you want to know how they got into the bed in the first place, it's a real long story!)

Try This Method
After consulting the dog training bible (Secrets to Dog Training), this is what worked:

  • Get dog beds or pillows for the dog(s) to sleep on.
  • At bedtime, tell the dog(s)to go to bed. You can lure them onto the dog beds with treats.
  • Get ready for bed as usual except do not let the dogs on your bed.
  • Luck has it that my dogs cannot get on the bed because it's too high, so it was protected with towels so they could not scratch the wood. They cried for about half an hour, then went to their pillows. You cannot let the dog onto the bed. If the dog is insistent, he goes into another room. You should try this on a weekend in case you're up a lot.
  • Amazingly, they slept until 5:00 AM the next morning when Simon insisted it was time to go out.

A Related Issue
One little glitch - Simon recently got into the habit of getting up at 3:00 AM. Since he is housebroken and can go for 8 hours without going out, he mainly gets up to get attention.

The solution to this problem aired on an episode of It's The Dog Or Me with Victoria Stilwell (It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet).

Ignore him as long as you can. Use your judgment - if he's insistent, take him out. Simon's been moved to another room so he can't wake anyone. But do NOT keep getting up with the dog. He can sleep during the day - you most likely cannot do the same.

Tired of the dog sleeping in bed with you? Do something about it today and stop complaining! There is a solution!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Puppy Owners: Need Help With Puppy Training Problems? Get Advice From People Who Understand Puppy Behavior

Ain't They Cute?(Would You Feel That Way If Simon (left) Ate Your Cell Phone?)

If you feel like I felt when you got a new puppy (and then, in my case, another new pup 4 months later) - you wonder (sometimes) if the little bugger is returnable.

When will this Marley-like monster stop biting, chewing, digging, and eating my shoes?

Then your not-so-helpful friends give you advice that totally FAILS!

What I found was I needed EXPERT help. Unfortunately, certified dog trainers charge $75 per hour (at least where I live!).

When I needed help with obedience training, I turned to as close as I could get to an actual trainer - a demonstration DVD - It's PAWSible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD. See
my blog post.

When I needed help with house training issues and dog behavior/aggression issues, I USE (yes, I continue to use this info - the dogs are about a year old) Secrets To Dog Training (videos, pdfs, and audios).

These experts help hundreds of dog owners every day!

They WILL help with your pup's training and behavior issues!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The BEST Dog Obedience Training DVD - It's Pawsible!

Wow - Deja Vu all over again! Simon's breeder called yesterday. Seems she's looking for a dog obedience training DVD to recommend to the lucky people who get one of her perfect Cockapoo pups (they may be perfect, but they still need to be trained!).

Interestingly, her point was that she does not want the dogs she raises ending up in shelters because the owners fail to train them and they become Marleys.

She had googled the It's PAWSible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD and found the blog you are reading (probably because I raved about this DVD for about 6 - 8 months and still use it occasionally).

So, I talked briefly about why It's PAWSible! is the best dog obedience training DVD and how often I use it. This dog obedience training DVD is cheap and effective!

In case you are a "show me" type, check out this video of Beth Ostrowski-Parks, the It's Pawsible! Certified Professional Trainer. She explains why getting the dog's attention is all important.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How To Handle The Barking Dog Problem

Yes, I am the picture of cuteness, but I like to bark - a lot!

As usual, Secrets To Dog Training has an answer to a common dog behavior issue. Like most dogs, Alvin barks at strangers. Lately, his barking has become obsessive. So, I turned to Secrets To Dog Training for a way to handle the situation.

Here's a summary of how the dog training "bible" can help you with a problem such as excessive barking. This is a testimonial from a recent Secrets To Dog Training newsletter:
I wanted to send you a testimonial on how wonderful your book was, and how much it helped my little Sydney, who is a year and a half old yorkie. Thank you for your help! Sydney is my one and a half year old yorkie who was having problems barking whenever anyone came to the door, we passed by anyone on our walks, and anytime she heard something outside.

I tried your techniques with the squirt gun and what a difference it has made. Everytime I hold the water gun now, she knows that she should be quiet. I had to learn that I needed to become the alpha with her and not let her run the household. She is a very pampered princess, but now Sydney knows who is the boss. Your books are a great refresher to read and each time I find new information. Thank you for your help!

-- Mara Giampaola (New York, USA)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Your Dog's Real Age: True or False? Dogs Age 7 Years for Each Calendar Year

Okay, so yeah - it's false.

But did you know how rapidly a dog "ages" in the first few years?

Check out this chart . . . (Click the pic to make it bigger)

Read the full article at

Monday, March 8, 2010

Designer Puppy Breeders - What the GOOD Designer Puppy Breeders Do After You Buy a Pup

The Boyz After a Recent Grooming Session

We got Simon from a GOOD designer puppy breeder in PA. Just about the time Simon was 8 months old (a few weeks ago), we got a call from the breeder.

Why? She was doing the "good" breeder thing (see Designer Puppy Breeders - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) - checking to see if he has any physical or behavioral issues.

There were a bunch of questions about his health and disposition and a few comments about the importance of gene testing. Turns out Simon's daddy is responsible for that laid-back attitude.

How many "pure-bred" dog breeders make these types of calls?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inside Your Dog’s Mind - Prevent Dog Behavior Problems BEFORE They Happen by Understanding Dog Psychology

Dog psychology? What drugs are influencing this blog author?

Yeah, so you think I’m losing it by getting into the minds of my 2 dogs Simon and Alvin. Maybe, but I’m all for preventing dog behavior problems, or at least figuring out how to stop them as quickly as possible.

An example - although I use the picture shown above as Alvin's Evil Eye expression, it turns out he uses it whenever he's protecting something like a piece of food, a bone, or a toy. It's clearly a sign of dominance, so I'm researching how to stop the protective behavior because he can become aggressive toward a person or Simon.

I want you to know upfront – I’m not the Dog Whisperer. I consult Kingdom of Pets' Secrets to Dog Training whenever I need help. The author of this dog training “bible” publishes a newsletter available to those who have purchased the program. A recent newsletter addressed dog psychology and how to prevent dog behavior problems.

Here’s the condensed version of dog psychology from the Kingdom of Pets recent newsletter:
A Dog’s Mind
  • No one really knows for sure what dogs are thinking.

  • A dog's mind is much less complex than that of a human – they use instincts as opposed to emotion.

  • It is a mistake to treat a dog as you would another human being. Example: your dog barks at another dog, so you pick him up to get him to stop barking. This reinforces the dog’s behavior by giving him attention and physically elevating his position.
Pack Life
  • Your dog needs to feel secure.

  • If he is confident with you as a leader he will allow you to make decisions for the pack (you, your family members, and the dog), and will be more inclined to follow those decisions.

  • If your dog understands that you are the pack leader he will obey your commands and be a lot less prone to aggression problems.
Communicating with Your Dog
  • Dogs do not actually understand English or any other language, but they can associate the sound of a word with an action or an object.

  • When you are communicating with your dog, make sure first that he is aware that you are speaking to him by calling his name to get his attention.

  • Dogs can also pick up on your body language so it is important to consider your body language and what message it is sending your dog.
What’s Right or Wrong?
Dogs do not have an understanding of right or wrong nor do they have the ability to be malicious. Example: If your dog chews on your furniture and you put him outside for a time out he will learn that chewing on the furniture leads to punishment by being ignored and therefore they are less likely to do it again. Note that the concept of “it’s wrong to chew the furniture is NOT learned.
Explore Secrets to Dog Training by Kingdom of Pets to learn more about how to solve housebreaking, behavioral, aggression, and obedience issues. And a LOT more about dog psychology.