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Video

Fluffy Dog, Clancy, acting out The Secret Life of Pets scene & C’mon back soon!

30 Jun Clancy sightsee 7 falls

Clancy and I tried to enter the “The Secret Life of Pets” live animal casting audition where you have your pet re-enact a scene from the movie trailer.  Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, our video submission wasn’t accepted.  It’s still pretty cute, so please check it out below and enjoy!

 

Also, please come back soon to hear about Clancy’s latest adventures, see great pics and most importantly, get ideas to enrich your dog’s lives.  🙂

Clancy sightsee 7 falls

The month of June was all about catching up on work and other things after our Colorado trip, but I plan on writing some substantive blog posts soon, so please check back in the near future!  

Be your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB

Clancy to be on TV & Introducing www.FluffyDogTricks.com

26 Jan Clancy the Keeshond ...  the snow shoveling dog!

Two big announcements for you!  We are excited to announce that Clancy will be featured live in a segment on “Good Morning Washington” on News Channel 8 Washington, DC tomorrow (Jan. 28) at 9:15 am EST.  Also, we are excited to announce that Clancy has a new website featuring his dog trick videos:  www.FluffyDogTricks.com and Clancy now has his own Facebook page: Like Clancy on Facebook – Clancy, the fluffy trick dog – Keeshond

Clancy snow shovel 2

Clancy, sporting a Washington Capitals winter hat, tries to help clear away nearly 2 feet of snow.

During the big dig out after the Blizzard of 2016 in the Washington, DC area, I recorded a quick video of Clancy’s newest dog trick, “snow plow”, which the folks at WJLA- ABC 7 News took a liking to.  They shared it on their news program and their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wjlatv/videos/vb.60987623733/10153914886248734/?type=2&theater

We are now booked to do a 3 – 5 minute segment on “Good Morning Washington” to demonstrate his snow shovel trick live along with a few other tricks.  If you live in the DC area, set your DVR for News Channel 8 (WJLA 7 ABC news affiliate) for our 9:15 am segment on Thursday, Jan. 28.  If you don’t live in the area, look for us online!  Once the live segment airs, they will post to wjla.com within 1 to 3 business days.

We love our Kees of Dogs Delight blog fan base and will continue to publish the variety of videos/photos/articles/announcements here.  I recently created www.FluffyDogTricks.com for the ease of directing the numerous people that crosses Clancy’s path who would love to just see Clancy’s tricks.  As Keeshond lovers know, it isn’t easy to explain the breed name…  and it’s a lot easier for people to remember to look up Fluffy Dog Tricks instead.  So, there you will find Clancy’s dog trick videos in one place and we’ll also post tricks in progress so you can see, as smart as Clancy is, teaching a new trick usually doesn’t happen overnight.  (I do admit that it only took about 10 minutes to teach Clancy the “snow plow” trick seen below, but other tricks we’ve been working on for a long long time.)  I look forward to writing that blog post on dog tricks that I promised!

Clancy snow shovel 1

Clancy the Keeshond … the snow shoveling dog!

In case you miss it, I’ll post the link to our segment on GMW next week.  🙂  Hope everyone is enjoying the snow with their dog!

~ Be Your Dog’s Best Friend ~ S.S.B.

 

 

 

Video

Share Your Best Friend, make someone’s day with Pet Therapy

30 Nov Dogs sense when people really need their companionship...  sometimes the best medicine is a warm fuzzy friendly animal to pet.

Clancy head down

Please consider volunteering even a little bit of time with your wonderful pet as a pet therapy team.

Therapy dog work is so rewarding and anyone with a social and well-behaved pet can become involved. There are a large variety of establishments that are in need of pet therapy to help calm nerves, help with a mental or physical disability, or to brighten up someone’s day. Many times, when Clancy and I do a therapy dog visit, we are not just brightening up someone’s day; we have been the one happy moment of that troubled person’s week, month, or sadly, the remainder of their life. It means so much to people to have their minds taken off of their troubles as your pet greets them, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Clancy dr. visit 2

Clancy cheering up a patient at the hospital, giving her a mental break from her pain.

As much as people appreciate our visits, it’s just as rewarding to us. Watching people take joy in petting Clancy, the laughter his doggie kisses brings, and the applause he gets from delighting everyone with his trick performances, makes me and everyone who witnesses it feel good. Even those that don’t care for dogs, have to smile when Clancy waves at them or does another cute dog trick, like playing the “piano”. If you have a Keeshond, then you know that even just the mere sight of your fluff ball triggers smiles and gasps of awe.

Clancy dr. visit 3 bb

Clancy showing off his basketball trick to long-term patients in a hospital.

Clancy and I volunteer with a local pet therapy program and have visited nursing homes, dementia care facilities, Hospices, elementary schools, colleges, hospitals, public libraries and more. Lonely elders are reminded of good times with their own pets which triggers them to have conversations with others long after you leave.

Clancy nursing home help

Clancy giving some love at a nursing home.

It’s especially special to get a reaction from someone that has been trapped in their own mental state, not acknowledging the outside world. Clancy did just that with an elderly lady at a special adult care live-in facility. As Clancy performed his tricks for her, she pointed at him and started muttering with a smile on her face. A nearby caretaker exclaimed that she had not heard this lady make a sound in the weeks that she had been there. We were all thrilled when she began clapping as Clancy showed off more of his tricks.

Here is a video of one of the favorite tricks that Clancy does at the medical facilities we visit:  Clancy’s “Achoo” Trick …

However, your pet doesn’t have to know tricks to help those in need. Any well-behaved, trustworthy, social, sweet, and well-groomed pet that has been conditioned to a variety of distractions will make a good therapy animal. If your dog is able to pass the (AKC) Canine Good Citizen test, your dog would likely be able to pass the temperament screening test that most therapy dog organizations require.

Clancy dr. visit

“Dr. Clancy” dressed up as a doctor for Halloween, visiting a patient in the hospital.

Keeshonden are especially well-suited for therapy work, for they have naturally sweet temperaments and are great family dogs. They have a natural affinity for people and especially children. They are such a happy and social breed that has more tolerance than most for children’s antics and do not seem to mind hugs. Good thing, too, for of course the Keeshond has a huggable factor off the charts… people just can’t resist wrapping their arms around them and burying their head in all that fluff. Kees are also very trainable, making it easy to teach them manners, obedience and tricks. It does take some time from the owner to do the training, but it’s worth it.

Clancy school lesson

Mr. Clancy is ready to start today’s lesson at school.

From when he was a young puppy and continuing through the present, I brought Clancy everywhere to socialize him with all types of people and to get used to all kinds of environments. We took classes, then enforced manners and practiced obedience in a variety of places such as pet-friendly stores, on sidewalks of store fronts, near playgrounds of screaming children, dog parks (which was the most challenging for us) and unfamiliar places. With some training and patience, you can also train older dogs to be good therapy dogs. Even a couple of keeshonden rescued from puppy mills, who had a very different start to life than Clancy, were socialized and trained and have recently passed their therapy dog screenings (one of them being Reggie, who was one of the lucky ones that was rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel and went on to become a Trick Dog Champion just like Clancy).

Kallie and Reggie therapy dogs

Kallie (left) and Reggie (right) recently became therapy dogs after being rehabilitated after being rescued from a puppy mill.

I didn’t know at the time I got a puppy that I would one day be involved in therapy dog work. Clancy brought me so much joy every day and any time we were out in public, he was a natural with the attention he drew. I couldn’t keep Clancy just to myself when we could use the power of his cuteness, personality and intelligence to make a difference in people’s lives. Clancy took the therapy dog temperament test when he was a little over 2 years old and had completed over 50 different therapy visits to earn his AKC Therapy Dog title shortly before his 4th birthday.

Clancy elementary school visit

Clancy spreading the importance of therapy dog work at an elementary school on Career Day.

Clancy and I have so many heart-warming memories of visits that I know made a real difference in that person’s life, already too many to share on a blog post. Many of those visits occurred in Hospice and in the ICU at the hospital. To make someone in those situations smile, to entertain them with something that likely they never have seen before (such as a dog playing the bongos, basketball, or getting a drink out of a cooler), are priceless moments. I even had someone in Hospice profusely thank me because they felt they have now seen everything after seeing Clancy’s performance.

Clancy library 2

Clancy happily listening to a child read during The Paws to Read therapy dog program at a local library.

Dog tricks do add to the special memory of having been visited by a therapy dog. A few useful ones for any type of therapy visit is to train your dog “Paws up”, so they may get closer to those that are bed-ridden, “kisses” to get a giggle out of the real animal lovers, “head down” to have your dog lay their head down on people’s laps, and “wave” for those that want to only admire your dog from a distance.  If your dog is up for a full out private performance, everyone gets a kick out of uncommon or more complicated tricks. In an upcoming blog post, I will cover dog tricks more in depth. Just be mindful of wearing out your dog and keeping them a safe distance from the spectators when the dog is in motion so to not even risk a scratch. I have Clancy put his paws up on my arm rather than on the patient or on their bed when we’re trying to get him closer to those that have limited mobility. Though you should be covered by the therapy dog organization’s insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, know your dog and if you sense that he/she needs a break or indicating any change in behavior, politely end the visit.

Clancy library 1

Clancy lending his fuzzy ears to children brushing up on their reading skills.

Therapy pets are high in demand and more volunteers are needed to step up with their capable pets, even if it’s just an hour a month. Pet therapy benefits those in hospitals, therapy, nursing homes, educational programs in schools, children’s reading programs, colleges during stressful exam time, even courtrooms. There are many local pet therapy organizations out there to get you and your pet started in therapy work. Each has their own set of requirements, so check out and compare a few to see what you think will work out best for your situation. To find one, just do a web search for pet therapy organizations in your state.   Want to learn more about what therapy dog work is, how it benefits others, and typical requirements or other things to expect? This website has a lot of useful information, www.TherapyDogInfo.net , but always be sure to check with your local therapy dog organizations for specifics.

Clancy POW

Dogs sense when people really need their companionship… sometimes the best medicine is a warm fuzzy friendly animal to pet.

Share your best friend with others that might need him/her. It will make everyone’s day better, especially if you could find the time during the holiday season when it’s even lonelier for the lonely. Thank you to all those that already volunteer. ❤

Clancy umcp

Clancy helped college kids take a mental break from exams at University of Maryland. There’s all kinds of needs for pet therapy volunteers. Now get out there with your pet and make the world a better place!

Clancy’s Busy Dog Days of Summer – Winery, Tricks, NYC & more!

30 Sep Clancy in the Big Apple!  Clancy traveled to New York City for the day.

From the winery to “taking the plunge” in the Chesapeake Bay to being at the library listening to children read books to dock diving to obedience trials to visiting New York City to visiting patients at the hospital  to winning a dog trick contest to spending time with beloved family from near and far, Clancy the Keeshond (and I) have had a very busy past couple of months.  Check out some “snapshots” of Clancy’s summer below!  Then, please remember to check back in a couple of weeks when we share our experiences and encouragement of doing therapy dog work in a new blog post!

Clancy through the grape vine! Clancy enjoyed the K9s in the Vines wine tasting animal rescue fundraiser event this summer.

Clancy through the grape vine! Clancy enjoyed the K9s in the Vines wine tasting animal rescue fundraiser event this late summer.

“Bang-Bang!” Clancy won the Dog Trick contest at the K9s in the Vines dog fundraiser event, followed by fellow trick dog friends Aria and Amelia.

Clancy in his therapy dog role at the library. He provided a friendly, furry and non-judgmental ear to children helping them with their reading skills.

Clancy in his therapy dog role at the library. He provided a friendly, furry and non-judgmental ear to children helping them with their reading skills.

Clancy in the Big Apple! Clancy traveled to New York City for the day.

Clancy in the Big Apple! Clancy traveled to New York City for the day.

We tried for our second leg of our CDX Obedience title, but NQ'd due to a failure to drop on recall. (We try again this coming weekend!)

Last month, we tried for our second leg of our CDX Obedience title, but NQ’d (didn’t qualify) due to a failure to drop on recall. That’s okay, we try again this coming weekend and hope to achieve our title the following weekend!

Who do you think was the fluffiest dog in the Chesapeake Bay doing the SPCA

Who do you think was the fluffiest dog in the Chesapeake Bay doing the SPCA “Puppy Plunge” fundraiser event held in August?

Clancy created many smiles with his trick performances during his therapy dog visits and at a child's birthday party over the late summer.

Clancy created many smiles with his trick performances during therapy dog visits and also recently at a child’s birthday party .

In August, Clancy qualified for more legs towards his next dock diving title!

In August, Clancy qualified for more legs towards his next dock diving title!

We look forward to sharing many of these experiences more in detail in future blog posts to hopefully encourage others to seek out and do more activities with their dog.  Coming soon:  A new blog post to share our experiences and encouragement of doing therapy dog work!  We’re also working on a new blog post on dog tricks!  

Be your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB

Video

A Cute Dog Trick from a Hockey Fan

15 Jun Clancy hiding head

As Clancy and I watch Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (we’re big hockey fans), here’s a quick, funny and cute dog trick video poking fun at the Tampa Bay Lightning fans.  This is another fluffy dog tricks video dedicated to bringing attention to rescuing the Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Puppy Mill in Harpursville, New York.  Please learn more at www.KeesRescue.com.  For each milestone met on the #FreeTheKees petition, we post another dog trick video!

P.S.  Our favorite teams aren’t involved…  but we do respect the Bolts and the Chicago Blackhawks!

Clancy hiding head

Clancy pond hockey

P.P.S.  The Keeshond Karnival and Symposium was a lot fun!  We will share more about it soon.  Despite it being quite warm, Clancy did well in his dog trick show performance.  He performed this trick from this video, too.  🙂

A Clancy Dog Tricks Stage Performance – TOMORROW is the Keeshond Symposium

12 Jun Clancy wins 1st place at the 2014 Maryland DogFest talent show...  that's two years in a row!
Here he is holding a gift bag with his 1st Place certificate next to two of his famous trick props.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium hosted by the Keeshond Club of Delaware Valley and as our last dog trick video leading up to it, I’m going to share one of Clancy and I’s first stage acts at a dog talent show from last year.

We hope to share even more tricks that Clancy has learned since this performance tomorrow around 1pm (it will be a challenge with how hot it is going to be) and please look for more trick videos in the near future.  Clancy still has many more tricks up his furry sleeve!  I have to count up how many milestones we have hit on the www.KeesRescue.com petition to make sure I have posted that amount of dog tricks.  I still have a couple of other stage acts I need to publish (still having technical difficulties and need more time.)

We hope to see many of you tomorrow at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ!  As a reminder, bring your own picnic lunch!  I hear there is water on site and baby pools will be available for your Keesies to cool off in.  The event is approximately from 10 am – 3pm and the order of events should be as follows:

  • Smelly Dog Treat Hunt
  • Agility Demo and Walkthrough
  • Best Dutchman’s Trousers
  • Best Dutchmen’s Grin
  • Longest Tail
  • Musical Squares
  • Lunch
  • Trick Show (starring Fancy Clancy!)
  • Raffle
  • Name that Body Part
  • Recall Competition
  • Fastest Eater in the Park
  • Presenting Your Keeshond to the Public
  • Grooming
Clancy wins 1st place at the 2014 Maryland DogFest talent show...  that's two years in a row! Here he is holding a gift bag with his 1st Place certificate next to two of his famous trick props.

Clancy wins 1st place at the 2014 Maryland DogFest talent show… he also won it in 2013 and for the third strait time in 2015!
Here he is holding a gift bag with his 1st Place certificate next to two of his famous trick props.

Sorry for the late post!  Been a busy day with work and family stuff!

Fluffy Dog Walks The Doggie! Clancy’s Dog Trick Video of the Day

11 Jun Clancy taking a child's toy dog for a walk!

Yesterday you saw the video of Clancy going to get his leash and harness so he could go for a walk, today you get to see him “take a doggie for a walk”.  These dog trick videos are dedicated to helping to bring attention to #FreeTheKees, telling New York to strengthen and enforce their puppy mill laws so that over 50 Keeshonden being neglected at Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, NY will have a chance to be rescued like the 51 of them that already have been who are now living a quality life in the hands of caring people.  Clancy’s “Dog Trick of the Day” has also been to promote the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium that will be held this Saturday!  Enjoy!

There’s not many things cuter than a Keeshond walking a toy dog!  Come see him do it in person this Saturday!

Clancy taking a child's toy dog for a walk!

Clancy taking a child’s toy dog for a walk!

Dog Trick of the Day – Clancy Wants To Go For a Walk (and remember others can’t)

10 Jun Clancy leash

We’re only a few days away from the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium at the Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, New Jersey and today’s Dog Trick video of the Day is Clancy doing a useful trick in order to just go out and do a common dog thing.   Please watch his video below.

Thought of the day:  Please remember how the Keeshonden and other dogs stuck in puppy mills like Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, New York never have the chance to take a walk (as well as never getting the chance of being petted and loved, not getting vet care, proper nutrition, etc. etc.).  Learn how you can help #FreeTheKees at www.KeesRescue.com Do NOT support puppy mills…  ALWAYS find out where your puppy/dog is coming from and make sure their parents are being well cared for (and health tested, conform to breed standards, etc.) or rescue.  Here is good advice to help you make sure you are not inadvertently supporting a puppy mill (which is likely the case if you buy from a pet store or the Internet) –  Finding a Good Dog Breeder

P.S.  Sorry that the video isn’t the best quality, I’m still suffering technical difficulties and am resorting to using my cell phone to record new videos.

Clancy leash

Clancy does do normal dog activities like going for a walk too! He just gets his own leash and harness for you!

Video

Maybe Child-Proof, but Not Keeshond-Proof! Dog Opens Locked Child Gate Trick

9 Jun Clancy opens child gate

I am posting a new trick video each day of the week leading up to the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium this Saturday.  Friday was “Keyboard Clancy”, Saturday was “Clancy delivers beer from cooler and recycles” , Sunday was “Clancy basketball” , and Monday was “Clancy honks horn” .  I have a new dog trick video that I’ve been trying to post for the last couple of hours, but unfortunately I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the Internet and YouTube.  😦   I will try again tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have to improvise with today’s trick video, so please enjoy a unique trick Clancy taught himself very quickly…  opening up a locked child gate!

Hope to see many of you on Saturday!

Clancy opens child gate

Clancy Honks Horn to #FreeTheKees! 1/4 million Signatures Delivered, but Need More Help

8 Jun One of the lucky Kees that was rescued from Marjorie's Kennel in 2013 stands on the mountain of binders that contain 222,000+ signatures and tens of thousands of comments on the Free The Kees petition.

Clancy the Keeshond honks his horn to get your attention to keep writing/calling New York State officials to keep the momentum going to rescue the 60+ remaining Keeshonden and other dogs being neglected at Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, NY.  Last Tuesday, a group of dedicated Keeshond lovers and several of the Keeshonden that were lucky to be rescued in 2013 from Marjorie’s puppy mill, traveled to Albany, NY.  They delivered nearly a quarter million signatures on the petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo to enforce Charlemagne’s Law and to look for answers into why Marjorie’s Kennel is still allowed to be in operation.  See a brief report on the local news here and keep updated on events through the Free The Kees Facebook page.

One of the lucky Kees that was rescued from Marjorie's Kennel in 2013 stands on the mountain of binders that contain 222,000+ signatures and tens of thousands of comments on the Free The Kees petition.

One of the lucky Kees that was rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel in 2013 stands on the mountain of binders that contain 222,000+ signatures and tens of thousands of comments on the Free The Kees petition.

Survivors of Marjorie's Puppy Mill still dealing with a variety of health problems

Survivors of Marjorie’s Puppy Mill still dealing with a variety of health problems

Rehabilitated Survivors of Marjorie's Kennel outside of New York's Capital Building helping to deliver the petition

Rehabilitated Survivors of Marjorie’s Kennel outside of New York’s Capital Building helping to deliver the petition

Food and Agriculture representative accepting delivery of the 222,000+ signatures on the Free The Kees petition

Food and Agriculture representative accepting delivery of the 222,000+ signatures on the Free The Kees petition

A lucky one of the 101 that was rescued and rehabilitated asking for help to free his relatives out of Marjorie's Kennel

A lucky one of the 101 that was rescued and rehabilitated asking for help to free his relatives out of Marjorie’s Kennel

See more pictures, read about this important visit, and sign and share the petition here:  Free The Kees change.org petition and Albany visit summary

We still need people to keep the pressure on to show New York that we are not going away, so please keep sharing the Free The Kees petition and sign it if you haven’t already.

By overcoming the lackluster laws on puppy mills and at least forcing state officials to pay attention to Marjorie’s Kennel, which is on the list of 100 worst puppy mills in the United States again (page 29), it will be a huge step for all dog lovers to make progress in relinquishing the pain and suffering that all dogs in puppy mills are enduring.

When you have some time to spare, please do one or more of the following to move the effort along (the following is from the Free The Kees Rescue Site) :

Call Assemblyman Bill McGee, of Ag and Markets Committee. He is preventing the animal cruelty laws from being placed in the NY state penal code section so that law enforcement officers will be required to know what those laws are. Please call 315-361-4125 to ask Assemblyman McGee to allow those laws to be placed into the penal section of the NY laws. UPDATE:  It was brought to my attention that there’s an alternate number for Assemblyman McGee… 518-455-4807.  Law enforcement officers need training in animal cruelty laws, which they are not currently getting.

Fax, email, or mail a letter to Governer Cuomo:

Governor Cuomo’s Contact Information:
Fax: 518.474.1513
Email: gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Mail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

We feel that fax is the best method because it is the most direct.

 A basic sample letter:

 To: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York

From: [Name and contact info]

 Please enforce Charlemagne’s Law and Free the Keeshonds from Marjorie’s Kennel in New York.

 Sincerely,
[Your full name]

 Feel free to include any images from the Free The Kees website.

 You may also contact the Attorney General:

Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

Website

The body that conducts inspections and determines if the kennel is compliant:

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS

DIVISION OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY

10B AIRLINE DRIVE, ALBANY, NY 12235.

On behalf of the 60+ neglected dogs left behind at Marjorie’s Kennel that are continuing being bred for profit, we thank you profusely for any help or attention you bring to the cause.  Keep in mind, that Marjorie had close to 200 Keeshonden in her “kennel” originally.  She sold many of them, presumably to auction to be part of other puppy mills, put down many of them due to their exceedingly poor condition, and then had promised to turn over the remaining 101 Keeshonden to rescue.  She turned over 50 to Keeshond Rescue in late 2013 and decided to keep the last 51 to continue her business of breeding them for profit.  Learn about the story here.

A snapshot of some of the urine stained, matted, unsocialized Keeshonden at Marjorie's Kennel

A snapshot of some of the urine stained, matted, unsocialized Keeshonden at Marjorie’s Kennel

Here are links to a couple of videos showcasing the mission of what’s been accomplished and what still needs to be accomplished:

Free the Kees rescue of 50 Keeshonden in December 2013 – PLEASE NOTE, DONATIONS SHOULD NOW BE MADE TO 

Free the Kees
1801 Willis Avenue
Perry, IA 50220

This fund is a 501(c) Non Profit.
PayPal is: freethekeesfund@gmail.com

More donation details:  http://www.keesrescue.com/#!donate/ctzx

More before and after of rescued Kees from Marjorie’s Kennel:

P.S.  Hope you enjoyed Clancy’s trick of the day video (honk the horn) to also bring attention to the Keeshond Symposium coming up this Saturday!

Clancy holding paws with Christian, a lucky

Clancy (on right) holding paws with Christian (on left), a lucky “NY 101” rescue from Marjorie’s Kennel #FreeTheKees

Fluffy Dog Basketball Dog Trick – 6 days til Keeshond fun!

7 Jun 016

One of Clancy’s most favorite tricks is playing basketball.  This one always gets a great reaction on our therapy dog visits and stage acts.

Come watch him play basketball yourself at the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium on Saturday, June 13!  Get the details here:  KCDV Keeshond Karnival and Educational Symposium 

Each day leading up to the event, visit our blog to see one of Clancy’s tricks!  (P.S.  Yes, I reposted this dog trick video that was created over a year ago.  The day got away from me!  However, it’s always fun to watch Clancy playing basketball!  Look for a new dog trick video tomorrow!)

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Video

It’s Saturday night! Let Clancy bring you a beer! 1 week til the Keesie fun!

6 Jun Clancy beer cooler video

The Fluffy Dog Beer delivery service now serves from coolers!  Let Clancy bring you a beer and properly discard of your empties on this Saturday night!  We’re celebrating that we have a Triple Crown winning horse (Congrats American Pharoah!) for the first time in 37 years and we’re just one week away from the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium.  (See my prior post for details.)  As promised, I will post a video of Clancy doing a fun dog trick each day leading up to his trick show at the Kees event on Saturday, June 13th.  Each of these videos are also dedicated to the effort to bring attention to the 60 or so remaining Keeshonden that are being neglected at Marjorie’s Kennel, one of the worst puppy mills in the United States.  Please learn more and how you can help at www.KeesRescue.com.  Come back tomorrow for another dog trick video!

Bonus video (was posted a while ago, but fun to share again here since a dog getting a beer for you never gets old!)

 

Clancy beer cooler video

#FreeTheKees Petition Building Momentum! and Clancy’s Trick Videos

19 Mar A NY 101 Kees, "Reggie", playing basketball.

10402049_780771558609578_8032165475966283418_nWowzers!  We are suddenly closing in on 150,000 signatures on the #FreeTheKees petition at www.KeesRescue.com and my Keeshond, Clancy, and I are thrilled that the cause so near and dear to our heart is finally getting the attention it deserves!

Originally, I said I would post a video of Clancy doing a dog trick for every 5000 signatures on the petition telling New York Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Agriculture to enforce their own puppy mill laws.  Specifically to enforce Charlemagne’s Law, which Marjorie’s Kennel, a puppy mill of Keeshonden and a couple of other northern breeds in Harpursville, NY, is clearly violating.  I recently had to change it to every milestone met on the petition because I couldn’t keep up with all of the wonderful people that believe Marjorie’s dogs should have a better life than just being breeding machines while trying to survive outside in the New York sub-zero winter temperatures.

So here’s a new short video demonstrating many of the dog tricks and things that Clancy can do.  It’s a compilation of many parts of trick videos we’ve already produced (with a new “play and stay dead”).  I’m submitting demo videos to animal talent agents so I thought I would share them to help begin fulfilling my promise of Clancy’s tricks for petition signatures.  This is demo video #1.

Clancy and I have a lot of work to do.  It might take some time since I still have to earn a living, but we will be happy to be in debt to you all for HUNDREDS of trick videos as long as everyone keeps the pressure on New York and Marjorie to #FreeTheKees.  Let all those dogs become the wonderful pets they were meant to be.  Learn more at www.KeesRescue.com.  Like the Free The Kees Facebook page to learn of other ways to help, too!

A NY 101 Kees, "Reggie", playing basketball.

A New York 101 Kees, “Reggie”, playing basketball.

Clancy and I would like to give a big WOOF out to Mary Lynch and “Reggie”.  “Reggie” is one of the Keeshonden rescued from Marjorie’s Puppy Mill and has already become an Expert Trick Dog (and Mary is working with him to become the next Keeshond Trick Dog Champion). 

Congrats, Mary and “Reggie”…  and to all the wonderful people that have rehabilitated the dogs that have been rescued from Marjorie’s Puppy Mill so far! 

This just proves that every dog is capable of so much.  One of the many reasons why we need to just put a stop to puppy mills.

So, while I work on recording new material, here’s a video from Clancy’s last Obedience trial that we were in just last weekend (hey, these are considered dog tricks!  Especially the one Clancy created in the show ring here.)

Oh, the Keesie sense of humor.  ….  ‘Til next time, remember, you are your dog’s world.  Be his best friend! ~ SSB

Video

Focusing on Dog Obedience

8 Mar

Hi all …

I just have so much I still want to blog about and want to share more of Clancy’s talents, but I’ve been focusing on Dog Obedience as of late.  We’re going to try for our first leg of our CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) title next weekend (for the second time) at a trial in York, PA, so much of our free time has been spent preparing for it.  Here is a video of Clancy and I’s last attempt almost two months ago:

After we achieve this, we will refocus on dog tricks.  Of course, dog obedience will be a topic of a future blog post as well, since it’s a great way to enhance you and your dog’s life!  Wish us luck and touch base with you soon!

Baby Cries when Fluffy Dog Fake Dies – Funny and Cute quick video

28 Feb

A young spectator at Clancy’s dog trick show at a children’s birthday party takes his “playing dead” trick too seriously.

Enjoy this quick, cute and funny video as we work on more of Clancy’s trick videos to be posted soon.  (I’ve learned my lesson on promising time frames, so let’s just say “soon.”)

Remember to please keep spreading the word to #FreeTheKees being neglected in Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, NY.  Visit http://www.KeesRescue.com for more information.  Thank you!

Keeshond Steals Checkbook, Gets Beer, and Goes Shopping!

2 Feb

Ta da!  Finally, here is Clancy the Keeshond’s new fun and unique dog trick video where he “SneaKEEily Steals my Checkbook, Gets a Beer, Recycles and Goes Shopping!”  (I added in an extra trick as a bonus for the delay.)  Clancy takes matters into his own paws when he finds out that I’m not getting him any more new toys after he tears out the stuffing of one of his toys.

This long awaited dog tricks video that you voted for in a recent poll, hopefully is worth the wait in celebrating over 15,000 signatures on the #FreeTheKees petition to convince Governor Cuomo of New York to enforce New York State’s own puppy mill laws (specifically Charlemagne’s Law) to shut down Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, NY where 50+ Keeshonden are neglected and suffering outside in the dangerous cold winter right now.  Learn more at www.KeesRescue.com and keep spreading the word to #FreeTheKees.

Clancy and I will be creating new dog trick videos to celebrate the 20,000 and 25,000 signatures milestone within the next few weeks, so visit again soon!

Please accept our apologies for the long delay in getting this “Pickpocket and Go Shopping” Dog Trick Video out.  Between accepting a promotion at my “day job”, working on my start-up pet services business, doing things with Clancy (we’re training and competing for our CDX title now!), family and other personal matters, it has left little time to work on this passion of mine…  dog tricks and encouraging others to enrich their dog’s lives.  Things should be quieter in February, so look out soon for “Clancy’s Dramatic Death Scene” video next followed by “The One-Fluffy Dog Band” dog trick video!

Dogs are capable of so much more than we give them credit for…  work with your dog and you will be amazed!  Will post more over the next couple of months on how to work with your dog to teach them fun and cool stuff!

~ Your dog is your best friend.  Be your dog’s best friend. ~ SSB

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

HapKee New Year !!! and P.S.

31 Dec Here's a toast to all that love their dog!  Happy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in 2015, Clancy and I want to thank all of our followers and those that stop by because they are interested in enhancing their life with their own dog, or love Keeshonden or are a fan of Clancy’s.

Here's a toast to all that love their dog!  Happy New Year!

Here’s a toast to all that love their dog! Happy New Year!

2014 has been a busy busy year for us…  It’s been fun, educational, and productive despite some of the limitations a nagging neck injury from a car accident a few years ago still imposes upon me.

Clancy’s achievements we celebrated in 2014, beginning with the most recent accomplishments include:

  • First leg of his Rally Advance Excellent title – American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • United Kennel Club (UKC) Rally Obedience 3 (RO3) title
  • Breaking his own dock diving record for Keeshonden with a 13 foot 2 inches jump
  • Becoming the AKC (and North America Diving Dogs) first dock diving titled Keeshond -Dock Junior jumper (DJ) title
  • AKC Companion Dog (CD) obedience title
  • AKC Rally Excellent (RE) title
  • Trick Dog Champion (TDCH) title (Do More With Your Dog!)
  • 1st Place in Maryland DogFest Dog Talent Contest
  • Trick Shows at numerous nursing homes, schools, and community events
  • Featured in the Maryland Gazette for our trick videos to bring awareness to the neglected Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Kennel (New York Puppy Mill)  (FOR EVERY 5OOO SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION AT WWW.KEESRESCUE.COM we will create and post a unique and fun dog trick video on YouTube.)
  • Had a blast being with so many Keeshonden at the Keeshond Club of America National Specialty in Asheville, NC
  • Earning numerous First Place ribbons in the competitions we’ve been in
  • Creating THOUSANDS of smiles all year long with the dozens of Therapy Dog visits we do and just being out and about together

We look forward to what 2015 will bring and hope to keep motivating dog owners to bring out the best in their furry companions.  Dogs are capable of so much more than we give them credit for.  It’s up to you to encourage them and show them their potential!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S.  I am so sorry about the delay in posting Clancy’s trick videos.  I have recently accepted a full-time promotion at my “day job” that does offer me the flexibility to grow FUNanimal Pet Services, however those combined with my continued devotion to doing things with Clancy, has not allowed me the time to complete the videos or contribute much to my blog as of late.  Clancy and I owe TWO awesome trick videos now as the petition to Free The Kees in New York has reached over 25,000 signatures!  With the holiday season coming to an end, I hope to get out the much anticipated “Clancy Steals Checkbook and Goes Shopping” video out on YouTube within the next week.  After that video gets out, Clancy will perform another unique fun trick routine!  (You will find a hint of what’s to come in the picture above. 😉 )  Keep spreading the word to tell the state of New York to enforce their own Puppy Mill laws to close down Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, New York where 60+ neglected Keeshonden and a few other Spitz breeds are trying to survive the brutal New York winter outside…  learn more and sign the petition at www.KeesRescue.com.

Merry KeesMas!

Merry KeesMas!

Coming soon… Really! In the meantime…

22 Oct
My new trick video is still in production!  Not much longer now...

My new trick video is still in production! Not much longer now…

My apologies to everyone waiting on Clancy’s newest trick video!  It really is coming soon…

I haven’t had any spare time lately, but I have not forgotten my promise of a new unique dog trick routine video for every 5000 signatures received on the http://www.KeesRescue.com petition to #FreeTheKees.

At a Capital Keeshond Club meeting, here's Clancy enjoying spending time with "Christian", one of the lucky Kees rescued from Marjorie's Kennel (Puppy Mill)

At a Capital Keeshond Club meeting, here’s Clancy enjoying spending time with “Christian”, one of the lucky Kees rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel (Puppy Mill)

At the time of this writing, we’re at about 17K signatures…  please keep sharing and encouraging others to sign.  It’s getting cold in New York…  let’s save the remaining Keeshonden from Marjorie’s Kennel before we have more cases of frost bite and heat lamp burns.

Clancy and I achieved our UKC Rally Obedience 3 title last weekend!  With some great scores of 97, 95 and 97, too!

Clancy and I achieved our UKC Rally Obedience 3 title last weekend! With some great scores of 97, 95 and 97, too! Pictured with Judge Robert Wolfe.

Clancy and I have been busy doing so many things!

Clancy has been bringing smiles to hospitals, nursing homes & more with his therapy dog work...  he has completed over 40 therapy dog visits and will soon earn his AKC Therapy Dog title!

Clancy has been bringing smiles to hospitals, nursing homes & more with his therapy dog work… he has completed over 40 therapy dog visits and will soon earn his AKC Therapy Dog title!

Now I just need to fulfill the purpose of my Kees Of Dog’s Delight blog and write about it so we may inspire others to go out there and do things with their dog!  So please keep checking back in, we have so much to share!  For a preview, you can get an idea how busy Clancy has been over the last several weeks in these photos.

Clancy received his AKC Dock Diving title (1st titled dock diving Keeshond!)  Last year Clancy received his UKC Dock Diving title.

Clancy received his AKC Dock Diving title (1st titled dock diving Keeshond!) Last year Clancy received his UKC Dock Diving title.

(We’ll also be in a dock diving competition this weekend!)

In the meantime, enjoy some teaser pictures of Clancy’s “steal checkbook and go shopping video”.  As an extra bonus for everyone’s patience, we are actually adding much more to this fun trick skit!

Clancy competed in AKC Obedience Novice B at the Capital Keeshond Club Specialty on Oct. 12 and earned his highest score yet, 185 1/2 (Clancy has much more fun in the other dog sports, so he's better at those than competition obedience)

Clancy competed in AKC Obedience Novice B at the Capital Keeshond Club Specialty on Oct. 12 and earned his highest score yet, 185 1/2 (Clancy has much more fun in the other dog sports, so he’s better at those than competition obedience)

We loved seeing all the Keesies and socializing with folks at the Capital Keeshond Club Speciality on Oct. 11.  Puppies make it extra fun!

We loved seeing all the Keesies and socializing with folks at the Capital Keeshond Club Speciality on Oct. 11. Puppies make it extra fun!

Clancy going shopping --  a scene from the trick video we're working on!

Clancy going shopping — a scene from the trick video we’re working on!

Clancy shopping 2

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

www.KeesRescue.com Petition Reaches 15K Signatures! Clancy’s new trick video will be…

26 Sep Cool Clancy with his Bongos and "Piano"...  did you see the "Fluffy Dog Plays Bongos" video yet on YouTube?  If not, click here!

Woohoo!  We have reached the next milestone to #FreeTheKees with 15,000 signatures on the petition to Governor Cuomo of New York that tells him to Enforce Charlemagne’s Law and to shut down Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, NY for being in clear violation of the law.

What does that mean?  Most importantly it means that at least 15,000 people are aware of the neglected Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Kennel and that it’s only a matter of time before those that have the power to shut her down cannot continue to ignore our voices.  We will not stand down until the 50+ remaining Keeshonden in her possession are allowed to be rescued and placed in the loving homes that are waiting for them!

Secondly, that means that it’s time for my beloved Keeshond, Clancy, to perform one of his fun and PAWesome trick routines for everyone to see on YouTube!  Recently, due to this mission, we were featured on the front page of two versions of the Gazette and the Local Living section of the Washington Post!  Check out the article here:  Gazette.net- Dog Lends Talent to End Poor Canine Conditions

You voted for it!  In our last blog post, we asked you which trick routine you wanted to see Clancy do next to celebrate 15,000 signatures on the www.KeesRescue.com petition.  Earning 50% of the the votes, you will soon see…

Clancy “SneaKEEily steals checkbook and goes shopping” dog trick video!
Check back here soon!  (and of course we will announce the video release, too!)  Please also keep spreading the word to sign the petition, write Governor Cuomo or the New York State Department of Agriculture…  let’s keep the momentum going and when we reach 20,000 signatures, we already have a very fun and awesome dog trick routine ready to share!
Cool Clancy with his Bongos and "Piano"...  did you see the "Fluffy Dog Plays Bongos" video yet on YouTube?  If not, click here!

Cool Clancy with his Bongos and “Piano”… did you see the “Fluffy Dog Plays Bongos” video yet on YouTube? If not, click here!

Clancy’s Next Trick Video — You Choose! #FreeTheKees petition closing in on 15K signatures!

17 Aug

Keep spreading the word to help the turn over of neglected Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Kennel to Keeshond Rescue, for we are closing in on 15,000 signatures on the #FreeTheKees petition on www.KeesRescue.com.  That means it’s time to start thinking about which of Clancy’s tricks to feature in his next trick video.

With so many tricks up Clancy’s furry sleeves (he knows well over 100 commands so far), it’s hard to decide which one(s) to show off next!  (I do already have something fun and unique planned when we reach 20,000 signatures.)  So, I’m going to let the Clancy fans decide!

Which trick would you like to see next???  Whichever trick below has the most votes on the day that the petition reaches 15,000 signatures, will be the next video we make and post!  You may vote once each day.  (P.S.  The “Other” field is for fun and to hear what ideas you might have.  No promises!)

 

Here’s the link to the primary YouTube channel to see videos of Clancy, including his “Playing the Bongos with Piano Encore” video which was posted to celebrate 10,000 signatures.  Here’s another link to our original YouTube channel that features other Clancy videos, such as his dock diving videos.  (Oh, by the way!  Clancy completed his NADD/AKC Dock Diving title in the Junior division last weekend!  More on that, soon!)

Clancy giving piano lessons at a local event

Clancy giving piano lessons at a local event

Clancy achieved his North America Diving Dogs title in the Junior Division!

Clancy achieved his North America Diving Dogs title in the Junior Division!

Video

Clancy plays the Bongos! (with a piano encore!) – 10K Signatures reached to #FreeTheKees

3 Aug

Finally, what you have been waiting for…  it’s Clancy playing the Bongos with a finale of him playing both the bongos and the “piano”!  This is just the beginning of what we have in store for everyone!  When we have time, OR when the #FreeTheKees petition on www.KeesRescue.com reaches 15,000 signatures, we will post a new trick video!  Once 20,000 signatures have been reached, you’ll get to see Clancy do something really unique and cool!  (Hint, this video is a preview of what’s to come!)

We have surpassed 10,000 signatures on the petition to help put an end to the suffering of the Keeshonden at Marjorie’s Kennel, a large puppy mill in upstate New York, who had promised to turn over her dogs to Keeshond rescue, and now is going back on that promise to continue to breed her unhealthy and neglected dogs.  Thank you to everyone that have already signed.  As promised, here is that video of Clancy playing the bongos in return for the petition reaching 10,000 signatures!  Keep spreading the word!  Clancy wants to keep showing off his tricks!

PLEASE do not support puppy mills by purchasing a puppy from a pet store or unknown person from the Internet…  you will be dooming that puppy’s parents to a horrible life.  Either adopt, rescue, foster OR buy from a reputable breeder.  Please do your research before taking that cute puppy home.  You will be happier and the poor dogs suffering at places like Marjorie’s Kennel will be happier that there may be a day that puppy mills are put out of business.

Interested in trick training or booking Clancy for a trick show?  Contact us at FUNanimal Pet Services!  Thanks!

The Fluffy Dog Beer Delivery Service – starring Clancy, the Keeshond

6 Jun

How many of you would like your dog to deliver you a cold one this summer?

Contact FUNanimal Pet Services to help you get the training started!

 

How to teach your dog to “Sit Pretty” – Our first dog trick demo video!

2 Jun

Wow, what an incredible and productive two months that Clancy and I have had!  I have so much to write about, so stay tuned to Kees Of Dog’s Delight this summer!  For now, to keep my promise to the FUNanimal Pet Services Facebook fans, here is Clancy and I’s first dog trick training video demonstration.  This is how to teach your dog to sit up on their hind legs like a bunny…  often called the “sit pretty” or “beg” trick!  It’s a very cute trick that you can build on to do other fun and more complicated tricks.

Keep up the sharing (our blog and videos) and “Liking” (Like FUNanimal Pet Services on Facebook!) and following (follow FUNanimal on Twitter!)  For every 50 “Likes” we get on Facebook, Clancy and I will create another dog trick demo video.

Thank you to all of our fans and we look forward to helping you train your dog some fun things!

~ Be Your Dog’s Best Friend…  ~ SB

Video

Dog Tricks Tips and Clancy, the Trick Dog Champion video

2 May Clancy doing his "stick 'em up" trick, one of Clancy's many tricks under his Advanced Trick Dog Title.  Keeshonden love to learn and perform tricks!  All dogs love to learn new things and with even just 10 minutes of daily training sessions, it won't be long before your dog can show off what it knows!

Trick training is one of the best things you can do with your dog.  It stimulates their mind, builds a stronger bond between the two of you, and gives them a “job” to do (not to mention how much fun it is to hear the “oohs and ahhs” from spectators).  Trick training should always be a fun time with your dog!  You must never get frustrated (just quit that session if you start to feel any change in your demeanor) and always set realistic goals in a training session.  It does take patience, a lot of positive reinforcement and time.  However, before you know it, your dog will catch on and be happy to have learned something that pleases you.  Soon, I will write a full article on dog tricks, the benefits of training, some tips and more videos of other tricks that Clancy knows.  For now, enjoy seeing some of the things that your dog may be capable of!

I’d like to share with you the video I submitted as part of Clancy’s Trick Dog Champion   title application… I had to keep to a certain format for the application’s sake, so Clancy does have many more tricks up his furry sleeve!  Before you watch, please keep this in mind:

Clancy had to demonstrate in this lengthy video that he could perform the foundation of many dog tricks:  Coordination, Mouth Targets, Paw Targets, Finding the Scent (this section is kind of long because you had to do this multiple times in a row without being edited), Being able to work at a Distance from you, using only Silent cues, and then you finally get to the really fun tricks…  demonstrating a behavior Chain and Expert level Tricks (which some were also performed to demonstrate other categories of the application.)  I will eventually compose highlight videos of Clancy’s best tricks…  many of which didn’t fit in this trick dog champion title application video.  Check out our FUNanimal Twitter and/or Facebook page to be alerted when one is posted on YouTube!

While I am proud to brag that Clancy is the first titled “Trick Dog Champion” Keeshond (and was the first Intermediate, Advanced and Expert titled Kees 😉 ), I’d like to give a shout out to A*Starz Through the Looking Glass, aka “Allison”, for being the first ever titled Trick Dog (novice) Keeshond.  Thank you, Donna Stekli, for introducing me to the sport of dog tricks.  Congrats to the other titled Keeshond Trick Dogs out there and everyone that “does more with their dog”.

Keeshonden are super smart and may test your patience with their bad behavior they are capable of when they are bored…  teaching them tricks is the perfect way to stimulate them and to distract them while having FUN (Keesies are all about FUN!)

So please have fun watching (I hope to get some “oohs and ahhs” out of you) and check back here occasionally for more information and to see more videos and posts of Clancy’s tricks and other going on’s.  Please be sure to watch the last few minutes of the video for the best tricks.  Enjoy!

(I do offer trick training classes in my new pet services business, FUNanimal Pet Services, LLC.  If you’re interested and in the DC area, please let me know!  Clancy and I are also available to do trick shows…  so if you want to liven up your party, get-together, workplace or any event with the fluffiest, cutest (IMO), and smartest dog around, let me know!)

 

Clancy playing basketball trick video

27 Apr

Move over LeBron James, “Fancy Chief Clancy” is just waiting for his big contract and then he will just tear that court up!

Enjoy one of Clancy’s newest tricks, playing basketball!  (More trick videos and a blog on trick training will be featured in the near future!)

Rally for Rally Obedience! An Introduction to the FUN Sport of Dog Obedience

5 Apr start rally sign

Clancy Rally trial ukcHeel. Sit. Stay. Come. “Boring…” may be what your dog is thinking as it mechanically completes the requested actions from their master. While an obedient dog is to be respected in the community, especially in competition, it may not be very fun for many dogs. Fortunately, there is an alternative (or just a fun extra dog sport to be involved in!)

It’s RALLY Obedience!  Watch Clancy and I in a Rally trial here:

What is Rally Obedience? Imagine being in the competition ring and being able to talk as much as you want to your dog, even in your puppy-wuppy voice if you wish! Pat your leg to encourage your dog to stay with you, repeat the commands to your dog if you need to and just be as silly as you want, to RALLY your dog as you follow a course of signs indicating what you’re supposed to do. It’s so much better than trying to remember an obedience course and listening to a judge telling you what you should do.  You can even say “re-do!” when you know you’ve messed up and want to re-do the station.

Stacie&ClancyRally11

Rally should be fun and encouraging! Clancy and I working as a team in our first AKC Rally trial.

That’s what makes Rally Obedience fun and a great way to either start in or enhance your teamwork skills to improve in any dog sport. Rally is a relatively new dog sport focused on success in obedience in a more relaxed setting than regular Obedience. It is offered by various governing bodies. Clancy and I compete in both the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club since that’s what’s offered in our area.

In Rally, there is a course composed of signed stations that tell you what to do. Your dog heels beside you as you approach the signs that range in telling you to turn in a specific direction, circle, or giving your dog a command or series of commands. Clancy loves that we can have fun together through the excitement of my voice and the encouragement in moving my arms. I enjoy the challenge of having to quickly read the signs and remember what they said… having to ensure I complete all parts of the station while being mindful of my positioning…  and being sure to sound upbeat and positive to keep Clancy motivated!

It’s also fun that any dog over 6 months of age is welcome to compete, you just need to register with the organization (mixed breed dogs can do this too!)IMG_6873

Rally course mapIn Rally trial competitions, you will be given a map of the course when you check in. Before your class level starts, you will have at least 10 minutes to be able to walk the course and should practice with an “imaginary dog”. (Your real dog should either be crated or held by someone outside of the ring at this time.)

IMG_7576

You get to walk through the course before your competition level begins and ask the judge any questions!

RALLY COMPETITIONS (Trials)

The ring steward will call you “on deck” when you are next to enter the ring to be sure you are ready to approach the “Start” sign as the previous dog exits the ring.

A Rally exhibitor on deck to go in the ring next.

A Rally exhibitor on deck to go in the ring next.

When you approach the “Start” sign, you have your dog sitting (or standing) to your left in heel position. The judge will ask “Are you ready?” (now take a deep breath and make sure your dog is focused on you), and when you reply, “Yes”, they are able to start judging you and you can no longer touch your dog. The judge will say “Forward” and you then tell your dog to heel as you head to the first station. A timer begins as soon as you pass the “Start” sign.

In both the AKC and the UKC, you begin the course with the perfect score of 100 points. Points are deducted throughout the time you are in the ring anytime you and your dog are not exhibiting the ideal vision of a Rally run. These could include if your dog is lagging behind while heeling (though it is nice that unlike traditional Obedience, they aren’t looking for “perfect heel position”), not responding to a command or taking an excessive amount of time to obey your command, or handler errors such as having a tight lead, slowing to the dog’s pace, performing part or all of a station incorrectly, touching your dog, etc.

The judge is looking for you and your dog to walk briskly and most importantly, work together as a positive team. Harsh corrections (such as jerking the leash or yelling at your dog) will be severely penalized and may “NQ” you (Non-Qualify). Be sure to read and to understand the Rally regulations of the organization that you are competing in (they do vary slightly, along with the signs) AKC Rally Regulations and Description of Signs

AKC score sign

Scores are posted next to your armband number after your run. Times are not disclosed until after placements have been announced.

A qualifying score in the AKC and UKC is 70 points. At any point during the course your deductions put you lower than the 70 points qualifying score, you are then marked “NQ” and are excused from the ring. Sometimes, depending on the judge and how busy the schedule is, they may let you complete the course as a training opportunity. At the end of each Rally level, the judge will ask all those that received a qualifying score back into the ring to award them all a Qualifying Score ribbon, which also means you earned a “leg” towards that level’s Rally title. They will also award those that received their third “leg” a ribbon for receiving a new title. The judge will then announce the 1st place, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners based on the highest scores. IMG_7017

 

If there is a tied score, the tie is broken by whoever had the fastest time (which is the only reason they time you.) Only twice has time been a factor for Clancy and I… which is suspenseful because while you can see what everyone’s score is ahead of time, you don’t know the times and just have to wait to hear the placements from the judge.  If the judge isn’t too busy, you may approach them after the awards presentation for your class and ask them what stations did you lose points on so you know what you need to work on for next time.

Clancy and Stacie earn their AKC Rally Novice title and 1st place!

Clancy and Stacie earn their AKC Rally Novice title and 1st place!

MORE RALLY SPECIFICS AND TIPS

Rally Obedience is a fun way to train your dog obedience and a variety of additional listening skills, for there are a large variety of exercises and many of them defy the set traditional Obedience exercises. Call front Rally signFor example, the “Call Front, Finish Left, Forward” exercise. While you are heeling, you tell your dog to “come front” where they walk past you and do a U-turn to sit directly in front of you. You then tell your dog to return to heel position by doing another U-turn on your left, HOWEVER, unlike traditional obedience where the dog should immediately sit on your left automatically, you start moving forward as soon as your dog clears your path before they had a chance to get into the heel position, which makes the dog have to catch up to you to heel by your side.

Some of the signs can be difficult to understand Double left about turn Rally sign which is why it’s always good to either take a Rally Obedience class or participate in “run-thru’s” which are often held by local dog training or kennel clubs (often you don’t even have to be a member, you just pay a fee to do a run-thru and instructors or knowledgeable volunteers will answer any questions you have and correct you if you make a mistake.)  Join Clancy and I for Rally Run-thrus!  Check out our FUNanimal Meet-up Group.

Stacie&ClancyRally8Rally sign for picWell, I could go on and on and on about Rally Obedience (and I will), but the goal of this article was to introduce you to this fast growing sport that serves not only as a wonderful foundation to get you ready to compete in other dog sports, but it is a fun way to train your dog to want to listen to you and strengthens your bond. I also find that Rally Obedience offers new challenges you don’t see in other dog sports. Having to focus on the signs and remember exactly what they said (it’s an entirely different experience in the competition ring… you and/or your dog may suddenly seem like you’ve never done it before… the sign says do a circle to your left and you circle to your right, or the dog doesn’t seem to remember what “sit” means).

Clancy tied for 1st place in Rally Advanced, however we had the slower time so we took the 2nd place honors.

Clancy tied for 1st place in Rally Advanced, however we had the slower time so we took the 2nd place honors.

Not to mention all the distractions you could encounter in the competition ring that you don’t see in practice runs or at home. Such as a wooly caterpillar crossing your path so your dog stops heeling to investigate and finds it more interesting than listening to you… (ahem, Clancy!) Or new smells draw your dog’s attention away from you, or loud noises, or just other dogs. That’s why it is best to practice random exercises during your travels with your dog. While you’re shopping at the pet store together, suddenly do a “come front, finish” exercise… while you’re taking a walk past a barking dog behind a fence, suddenly do a 360 degree turn while telling your dog to look at you instead of the barking dog.

Repetition, repetition, repetition in a variety of settings with a treat that you can give your dog quickly (and that they can consume quickly) as soon as you get the desired behavior from your dog, will eventually get you to where you want to be.  The more you do it, the better you’ll both get!  Do not give up on your dog!

Even spending just a couple minutes every day practicing a move or two will make you a better team!

Even spending just a couple minutes every day practicing a move or two will make you a better team!

Being owned by a Keeshond, I have learned you also need to share in the sense of humor they have. They are fun-loving dogs that want to please you, but also just want to have fun. Especially with emotional breeds such as the Keeshond, Rally Obedience is a wonderful way to increase your dog’s focus, your trust and bond, and enhance your training while meeting lots of great people!

(Live in the DC area? I have just started a Meet-up group through Meetup.com to practice Rally Obedience and traditional Obedience (with other fun dog stuff in the works).  Learn more at www.Meetup.com/FUNanimal or on my business website: www.FUNanimalPet.com)

Rally Obedience… Another way of being your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB

Clancy and I at RNC

 

P.S. Look for future blogs targeting the different levels of Rally Obedience.  ALSO, Coming Soon: I will share my experience of competing in the AKC Rally Nationals Competition in Harrisburg, PA with Clancy that was on Friday, March 28th!  Thanks for reading!

Achievements of the last month with a New Blog Post Coming Soon!

17 Oct

With all the dog events that Clancy and I have been involved in lately, I have a long list of ideas for future blog posts!

Within the last 30 days, Clancy completed his AKC Rally Novice title in style by winning 1st place with 94 points and in his following trial the next day, scored even higher with 98 points and took 1st place again.  (I had entered him into two Rally Novice A trials over the weekend though we only needed one more leg for our RN title just in case something went wrong on the Saturday.)

Then on this past Sunday, Clancy and I were in our first AKC Obedience trial.  Not being able to encourage Clancy through the course in the ring was a challenge (which you are able to do in Rally Obedience).  He didn’t happily oblige to heeling in the Obedience ring as he does in Rally and Clancy also decided to be a funny guy on the recall by almost running by me to say hi to the people and dogs behind me.  (Fortunately, he corrected himself and promptly returned in front of me in a partly sideways sit, as if he started to get back in heel position and then suddenly remembered he was supposed to be in front of me.)   We still did better than the other dogs in Novice A and earned 1st place with 181 points and more importantly, obtained our first leg of our Companion Dog title.  🙂

Though Clancy's keeshond sense of humor did come out during our first Obedience Novice trial, we still got our 1st leg of our CD and 1st place!

Though Clancy’s keeshond sense of humor did come out during our first Obedience Novice trial, we still got our 1st leg of our CD and 1st place!

Over the past month, Clancy also achieved brightening up the day of dozens and dozens of elderly residents in nursing homes through our Pets On Wheels visits.  He received rounds of applause from his trick shows he performed for them and lots of love and compliments.  Most importantly, Clancy did get some patients suffering from dementia to break temporarily from their spell to pet Clancy.

This weekend Clancy and I are entered in another UKC Altered Conformation show and we are entered in three Rally Obedience level 2 trials.  I’m hoping to accomplish his UKC R02 title all in one weekend.  Graduating to all off-leash with the off-set figure 8 challenge (where we have to do a figure 8 circling bowls of treats and/or toys) is going to be a huge challenge for Clancy!

Next week things finally slow down, so I hope to write a detailed blog post on how fun and challenging Rally Obedience is!  Til then, please share what you’ve been up with your furry best friend!?

It’s all in a Dog’s Life … in August! Including “Where To Find Your New Best Friend”

31 Aug IMG_6785

Clancy and I enjoyed so many activities together throughout the month of August and we hope to encourage you to go try something new with your dog!   “Part 2” of Dock Diving with the Flying Fluff-ball blog post is still in progress pending more information that I’m gathering from various resources.  So in the meantime …  enjoy!

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Clancy brought a friend to dock diving practice with him.  One of his best friends, “Annie”, a Cattle Dog Mix, made her first baby step towards the introduction of the sport of dock diving by getting a swimming lesson…  or more like a “getting used to the water lesson”.  (Pictured above.)

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Since Clancy brings smiles to so many people’s face when we’re out and about, I wanted to share him with those that could really use a smile by becoming a Pets On Wheels volunteer.  We had our first visit with a senior assisted living facility in early August and just had another visit recently with another facility targeting the dementia guests.  Clancy was such a champ as he happily greeted dozens and dozens of elders.  He even performed some tricks that earned him rounds of applause.  Clancy was tuckered out after his hour and a half visit (pictured above) and we look forward to returning there in a couple of weeks.  *More on Therapy Dog work in a future blog post!

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Despite being late to compete in an AKC Rally Obedience trial due to an absurd amount of traffic which caused us to literally run straight from the car to walking into the Rally course blind, Clancy and I earned our 2nd leg towards his AKC Rally Novice title.  I was concentrating so much on making sure Clancy was only paying attention to me and not to all of the new distractions we just walked into that I didn’t perform the first station, a figure 8, correctly.  I crossed the center point 4 times instead of 3 resulting in a 10 point deduction, but at least it was our only deduction.  We still managed placing 2nd with 90 points and hope to finish up his RN title within a few weeks.  *More on Rally Obedience in a future blog post!

My dad with Clancy at the State Fair while I was checking out the bees.  Clancy seemed to be one of the most popular "walking exhibits" throughout the day.

Clancy, with my dad, at the State Fair while I was checking out the bee exhibit. Clancy seemed to be one of the most popular “walking exhibits” throughout the day.

Last weekend was “Volunteer Appreciation Day” at the Maryland State Fair.  Normally dogs are not permitted at the State Fair, but Clancy was welcomed because he is a volunteer as a therapy dog with Pets On Wheels.  Fortunately, the weather was just tolerable for him to join me with a high of 80 degrees F.  We actually didn’t make it to all the things we were hoping to see, but it was still a lot of fun.  Imagine you were walking at a highly attended public event with a celebrity, or in this case, with a beautiful creature that no one has seen before…  that’s what it was like for us while we were there.

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Pets On Wheels volunteer, Clancy, admiring an agricultural exhibit at the State Fair on Volunteer Appreciation Day.

We never made it more than 20 or so feet without being stopped by what would start out as a couple of people, but then quickly multiplied into a dozen amazed and curious people.  Now only if the Keeshond Club of America paid me a dime for every time I answered “What kind of dog IS THAT?”  I would have been able to take off work this week!  I do love it when people know what kind of dog Clancy is, even if they pronounce it wrong (see my “What is a Keeshond” page).  Several families tracked us down (they said they saw us through the crowd and just had to catch up to us) that used to have a Keeshond in their lives.  It was heartwarming to hear their stories.

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Clancy and I with the honorable UKC Judge Rolando Mata whom awarded Clancy Best in Show Altered in Show 2 on September 1, 2013.  Clancy won 2 BIS and 1 RBIS out of the 4 altered shows this weekend!

Clancy and I with the honorable UKC Judge Rolando Mata whom awarded Clancy Best in Show Altered in Show 2 on September 1, 2013. Clancy won 2 BIS and 1 RBIS out of the 4 altered shows this weekend!

To close up the month of August and to begin September, Clancy is competing in United Kennel Club dog shows this weekend again.  Today we took Best In Show (Altered) in the morning show and Reserve Best in Show (Altered) in the afternoon show!  We hope we can have similar accomplishments tomorrow.  Clancy is an “Altered Champion” with the UKC and now we’re working towards earning his Grand Championship title.  (Picture above is Clancy with his ribbons he earned today and his best feline friend.)   **UPDATE**  Clancy took Best In Show Altered in Sunday, 9/1, afternoon’s show!  😀

* More on how to exhibit your altered dog here:  Do You Have a Neutered or Spayed Pure-Bred Dog?  You Can Still Show Them!

 

ImageWith Clancy and I accomplishing all this in one month (plus our weekly dog training club activities), we hope to inspire you to go out and do an activity with your dog!  Don’t have one yet?  Perhaps my first physical print article (another August milestone for me that will be showing up in a local publication next week) can help you with that!  It is titled “Where to Find Your New Best Friend” (the picture above was taken of Clancy at 6 weeks old when it was decided that we were going to be best friends!)  I fine-tuned it below by generalizing some things to make it more useful for the general public.  Please keep in mind that I was limited on how many words I could have in my article…  if I had more space, I would have liked to have been more detailed!

“Where to Find Your New Best Friend” by Stacie B.

Did you know that the secret to living a longer and healthier life may be who you choose to be your best friend?  Where can you find a best friend that lowers your blood pressure just by being close to you, who will love you no matter what and never argue with you?

The answer may be right in your own town.  Your county shelter has a wide variety of furry, scaly or feathery friends to choose from!  Take a peek right now online at www.petharbor.com to see the large variety of animals near you that need homes right now.  There are so many kittens, cats, puppies and dogs (mixed and pure-breeds!) hoping for the opportunity to be your companion.  You could even find “Other” animal types such as gerbils, rabbits, birds, reptiles or even farm animals there too!

So, you have your heart set on a certain dog breed?  Have the animal shelter contact you if your ideal pet comes in!  To make sure you and your breed of choice will be happy together, visit www.akc.org/breeds to do your research ahead of time.  Too many dogs are given up because their owner wasn’t prepared for their breed specific traits!  If you are interested in a mixed-breed, be sure to research all the breeds that are part of that mix.  You will also find the contact information in that link for the “AKC parent club” of each breed to help you find your breed’s rescue or to help you find a responsible and legitimate breeder (see “Breeder Referral” in the above link).  Please be sure to do your research on the breeder, ask them lots of questions and talk to their references.  Be prepared to walk away if something doesn’t seem right.

Where do you NOT want to buy a puppy?  At a pet store or through the Internet without visiting the source!  You would likely be supporting the inhumane puppy mill industry and odds are you’ll end up being heartbroken with a pup that has health, socialization and/or behavior problems.  An Internet search for “puppy mills” will yield much information on this inhumane trade.

So what are you waiting for?  Your Best Friend is out there waiting for you!

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Dock Diving with “The Flying Fluff-ball” (and your dog can do it too!) Part 1

30 Jul Clancy, "The Flying Fluff-ball"!!!
Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions...   On left:  Clancy waiting his turn to dock dive at "The Andersons" in Ohio. On right:  Clancy dock diving at Maryland Dogfest.

Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions…
On left: Clancy waiting his turn to dock dive at “The Andersons” in Ohio.
On right: Clancy dock diving at Maryland Dogfest.

“Here is a treat that you never see in the sport of dock diving… a Keeshond!” exclaimed Milt Wilcox, the founder of Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving, to the audience as I lead Clancy onto the dock platform leading to the approximately 40 foot long pool.

Clancy watching a Lab jump in the Extreme Vertical dock jumping competition

Clancy watching a Lab jump in the Extreme Vertical dock jumping competition

While you will see a lot of Labs and lately the Belgian Malinois dominating the dog dock diving sports, the dynamics of the professional dock diving leagues encourages any water loving dog to join in the fun. Every kind of dog has a chance to not only enjoy just participating in the sport, but also there is ample opportunity to actually compete for recognition and prizes (in some cases), because of the jumping distance divisions. This allows Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Great Danes and even the Yorkie to enjoy the cheers of an audience as they fly weightless through the air before submerging themselves in a cool body of water.

Two years ago, while cleaning up the spilled water around Clancy’s water bowl, I questioned myself “why did I choose the puppy that was digging the water out of the water dish?” (Which when given the opportunity, he still does to this day!) Perhaps it was a sign of destiny. Just one week after bringing our new Keeshond puppy home, we headed to the lake house my husband grew up at in Michigan. Our 9 week old Kees puppy took to the lake immediately and he went for his first swim.

Clancy has always loved the water...  any dog who who enjoys the water can enjoy dock diving!

Clancy has always loved the water… any dog who who enjoys the water can enjoy dock diving!

At nearly 6 months old, Clancy loved swimming and retrieving, but couldn't be convinced to jump off of the dock yet.

At nearly 6 months old, Clancy loved swimming and retrieving, but couldn’t be convinced to jump off of the dock yet.

Several months later, we vacationed on another lake and Clancy immediately was eager to get in the water. We did get him a life jacket to give him more stamina in the water. All that fur can weigh a Kees down! We tried to encourage him to jump off the dock into the water, but instead he would run back to shore and then swim out to retrieve his stick.

The following summer, we returned to my mother-in-law’s lake house in Michigan and wanted to see if we could get Clancy to jump off the dock into the lake. We ran down the dock with Clancy at our feet and jumped in ourselves. Clancy put on the brakes and bowed at the end of the dock, barking ecstatically at us in the water just ahead of him. I slapped the water and encouraged him to jump in. The “Velcro dog’s” (one of a few nick-names for a Keeshond) desire to re-attach himself to us took over, so Clancy stopped barking and took the leap of faith!

One of Clancy's first dock jumps....  July 2012

One of Clancy’s first dock jumps…. July 2012

As I talked about our vacation to a local dog lover, they encouraged me to try the sport of dock diving and told me about a facility that had the regulation size dock and pool that had open practices not too far from where we lived. Just for fun, I headed there with Clancy, not even considering competition. After all, I thought a Keeshond could never be in the same league as the Labs, Retrievers and other “sporting dogs”. Well, Clancy didn’t know he was a “non-sporting” breed and leapt off the dock with just as much enthusiasm!
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As Keeshond owners know, we get all kinds of attention when we’re out in public with our unique smiling fluff-balls. Seeing a Keeshond take part in dock diving makes everyone do a double-take! “That fluffy dog can’t swim, can it?” Yes, he can swim very well! “You can’t let that coat get wet, it will take days to dry!” Actually, it dries quite quickly and as long as you groom him before getting wet, it’s not difficult to turn him back into a big fluff-ball. Everyone enjoys seeing the transformation of the dry Kees versus the wet Kees too! It’s almost like one dog goes in and a different dog climbs out… with gallons of water pouring off the coat. Probably the biggest workout of it all for Clancy is the climb out of the pool with his saturated coat adding all that extra weight.

Clancy's  transformation of being a  dry Keeshond to wet to mostly dry again in less than a half hour!

Clancy’s transformation of being a dry Keeshond to wet to mostly dry again in less than a half hour!

Socializing with the dock dog enthusiasts, they encouraged me to compete with Clancy. I learned there are a few different dock diving organizations in the United States which are Ultimate Air Dogs (UAD) (www.ultimateairdogs.com), Dock Dogs (www.dockdogs.com) and Splash Dogs (www.splashdogs.com). While there are some differences in the rules and other logistics, they all offer multiple divisions in order to allow dogs to be competitive at the level they jump. This encourages any dog to be able to participate. For the “Novice level” jumpers range from 1″ (yes, I said one inch!) to 9’11”, “Junior division” jumpers are in the 10′ to 14’11” range, “Senior division” is from 15′ to 19’11” and so on. There’s even a “lap dog” league for the small dogs to not get their egos hurt, though some of those lil’ guys can fly! The top 5 dogs from each division at the end of each weekend event then get to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in a divisional finals. Clancy recently won 2nd place in the Junior division at the Ultimate Air Dogs Maryland Dogfest event!
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During the Maryland Dogfest event a few weeks ago, Clancy was acknowledged by the owners of Ultimate Air Dogs for having the longest jump on record for a Keeshond, at 12 feet and 10 inches! While there have only been a sprinkling of Keeshond appearances in the professional dock diving world, it is still a fun record to have!

Another fun recognition feature offered in professional dock diving are titles. There are varying qualifications within the different dock diving entities, but a benefit of competing for titles in UAD is if you are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC), then you also earn titles and points towards dock diving championships in the UKC. Clancy just earned his Ultimate Air Dogs and United Kennel Club Junior Division dock diving title in July 2013 in Maumee, Ohio. (Someone actually caught Clancy on video jumping over 12 feet and put it on YouTube!) UAD founder/owner (and ex-Detroit Tiger’s World Series winning pitcher), Milt Wilcox, confirmed that Clancy is the first Keeshond to get a dock diving title with UAD! (He’s the judge and emcee in these UAD videos too!)
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On a future blog post, I will dive a little deeper (pun not intended, but it is funny) into comparing the different dock diving organizations and will offer some insight on how you can give your pup the opportunity to fly!  If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the warm weather with your dog, or perhaps a little out of the ordinary competition, consider dock diving with your fur-pal. If you have a Kees or other long-haired breed, just be prepared for at least a 6 foot splash and shake zone!

Dock diving – Another fun thing for Best Friends to do together! Be your dog’s Best Friend! ~ SSB

Clancy, "The Flying Fluff-ball"!!!

Clancy, “The Flying Fluff-ball”!!!

“The Flying Fluff-Ball” !!! – Dock diving blog post on it’s way!

21 Jul

Clancy has the record for the longest jump by a Keeshond and he also became the first Keeshond to get a Dock Diving title in Ultimate Air Dogs!

Any dog can have fun jumping into a pool of water! Later this week, look for my new blog post on the subject!

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Dog Days of Summer are here… new post coming soon!

30 Jun

Dog Days of Summer are here...  new post coming soon!

“It’s getting hot in here… so hot… so take off all your…” fur? There are many dogs that are getting their summer hair cut out there. Not Clancy… for in general, you shouldn’t shave a Keeshond. So how do you have summer fun with a Kees or ANY type of dog this time of year? You’ll see in my next blog post coming soon! 🙂 (Okay, so this pic is a major hint!)

Have a great Independence Day!

Make Your Dog an Ambassador for all of Dog-Kind!

29 May Clancy proudly sits next to his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate and course graduation certificate.  Every dog and owner should aspire to achieve this to be a confident ambassador of dog-kind!  Training to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test (any dog, mixed or pure-bred can achieve this) takes a lot of practice and patience.  If at first you don't succeed, try...  try again!

Clancy enjoying an outing at a family gathering and hanging out with a friend's dog. A well-behaved dog is often welcomed into friends and family's homes.

Clancy enjoying an outing at a family gathering and hanging out with a friend’s dog. A well behaved dog is often welcomed into friends and family’s homes.

Dogs are man’s best friend. So are you being your dog’s best friend? Best friends do everything together. Do you and your furry bff go to parks together, go to stores together, go to friends houses together, do activities together such as going for a swim, participating in dog sports such as agility, tracking, obedience or the like? While you have work, family, TV, and other entertainment to occupy your time, you have to remember that all that your dog has… is you! So, you don’t think your dog is capable of joining you in activities outside of your home? It’s true that in order to go out and about with your dog, your dog must know how to behave in public (and wouldn’t it be nice if they knew how to behave at home, too?) With some time and patience, any dog can learn to behave.

Clancy (about 5 months here) enjoys going to watch hockey games! Since he's well-behaved, I can get away with bringing him to places that most dogs would not be welcomed at.

Clancy (about 5 months here) enjoys going to watch hockey games! Since he’s well-behaved, I can get away with bringing him to places that most dogs would not be welcomed at.

Dogs are always learning… it’s up to you if they learn good habits or bad habits by your level of enforcement. Dogs learn mainly by repetition. They pick up on routines rather quickly (you know they know when it’s dinner time!) By introducing and enforcing some basic rules, your dog can become an ambassador for dog-kind. If every dog was well cared for, sat politely to be petted and posed no threat of danger to people, there would be a lot less fear of dogs and less red-tape in public places. So how do you get your dog to that point?

Clancy earning his Basic Obedience graduation certificate at just 4 months old. Especially for puppies, you have to use positive training techniques and make learning fun! While it's best to start training your dog while they're young, every dog benefits from training, no matter the age!

Clancy earning his Basic Obedience graduation certificate at just 4 months old. Especially for puppies, you have to use positive training techniques and make learning fun! While it’s best to start training your dog while they’re young, every dog benefits from training, no matter the age!

There are so many options when it comes to training your dog these days. There are a variety of dog training classes out there you could sign up for, or have a dog trainer come to your house for private lessons, or there’s a large variety of dog training books and free advice on the Internet. In order to pick the appropriate type of training for you and your pup, you should be aware of the learning traits of your specific breed of dog (it’s as easy as doing an Internet search!) The most important aspect of teaching your dog, is consistency! For example, if you tell a dog to stay and it moves before you release it, you must place your dog back in the original position and tell them to stay again. No matter how many times it takes! You will need to start off with very short sessions (always give them a chance to succeed at a smaller goal before trying a bigger goal) and work your way up to longer sessions over time. If you ask your dog to come and it doesn’t, then you have to go get your dog and make it come. If you are not 100% consistent, then your dog will not be either. This goes for all that interact with your dog.

Clancy and I in our first Rally Obedience trial. You must start with basic training as a foundation to start to train for other dog sports. Participating in dog sports creates a stronger bond with your furry best friend and is a lot of fun!

Clancy and I in our first Rally Obedience trial. You must start with basic training as a foundation to start to train for other dog sports. Participating in dog sports creates a stronger bond with your furry best friend and is a lot of fun!

Before signing up for a dog training class, ask if you could observe a class to see if it would be right for you. Some trainers are all about positive teaching (my personal favorite) where you quickly reward for the correct behavior with a quick word of praise or a click (see clicker training: http://www.clickertrain.com/whatis.html) along with a taste of an irresistible treat. Incorrect behaviors are corrected with a distinct sound such as “aaap!” and an immediate repeat of the exercise until they get it right to deserve their reward. Dogs like to be rewarded! They want to please you and will eventually learn to do what you want with this type of training. It may take longer for some breeds to get it. See on average how quickly your dog learns here (from Stanley Cohen’s “The Intelligence of Dogs”): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intelligence_of_Dogs

Other dog trainers rely on combinations of techniques that may include corrections with a quick jerk on a choke collar to regain the dog’s focus. The collar used in training or “working your dog” at a dog sport can make a big difference in the dog’s behavior. Some very stubborn out-of-control dogs may only initially respond to a prong collar or the even harsher electric shock collar (this should only be used as a last resort when other training methods have been unsuccessful, please consult a dog trainer before using.)

Clancy doing his "stick 'em up" trick, one of Clancy's many tricks under his Advanced Trick Dog Title. Keeshonden love to learn and perform tricks! All dogs love to learn new things and with even just 10 minutes of daily training sessions, it won't be long before your dog can show off what it knows!

Clancy doing his “stick ’em up” trick, one of Clancy’s many tricks under his Advanced Trick Dog Title. Keeshonden love to learn and perform tricks! All dogs love to learn new things and with even just 10 minutes of daily training sessions, it won’t be long before your dog can show off what it knows!

The keeshond is an emotional dog that does not respond well to harsh corrections, punishments or raised voices. They are smart dogs that enjoy being trained (as long as you keep it fun!) Clancy enjoys doing “Tricks for Treats” everyday and also understands when I get his leather buckle collar out to put on him, it’s time to “work”. I only place it on him when we are doing training or doing an obedience trial. (Other times when we are out and about for fun, he wears his harness.) When I place his show lead on him, he knows that it means it’s time to be a “show dog” and his behavior changes appropriately.

Though Clancy and I will likely never be classified as "athletes", we do enjoy having fun participating in all kinds of dog sports! Here Clancy and I are doing lure coursing. As long as you and your dog have a good bond and basic training, you two can learn to participate in all kinds of dog sports and activities together!

Though Clancy and I will likely never be classified as “athletes”, we do enjoy having fun participating in all kinds of dog sports! Here Clancy and I are doing lure coursing. As long as you and your dog have a good bond and basic training, you two can learn to participate in all kinds of dog sports and activities together!

After some basic manners training, you will be able to bring your dog out and about and start exploring the large variety of dog sports available in your area (you and your dog do not need to be an athlete, it’s just an opportunity to have fun with your dog!) The American Kennel Club offers a “Canine Good Citizen” test that every dog owner should strive to complete with their dog. Here are the test items: http://classic.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm Many dog trainers offer prep classes and then give you the opportunity to take the test at during the last training class. If your dog can complete all ten items on the test, they are indeed an ambassador of dog-kind and you should be proud to bring your dog out in public! If every dog was a “Canine Good Citizen”, then there would be less fear of dogs and we would have more opportunities to have man’s best friend with us everywhere we go, making us a better friend to our canine companion.
Clancy proudly sits next to his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate and course graduation certificate. Every dog and owner should aspire to achieve this to be a confident ambassador of dog-kind! Training to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test (any dog, mixed or pure-bred can achieve this) takes a lot of practice and patience. If at first you don't succeed, try... try again!

Clancy proudly sits next to his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate and course graduation certificate. Every dog and owner should aspire to achieve this to be a confident ambassador of dog-kind! Training to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test (any dog, mixed or pure-bred can achieve this) takes a lot of practice and patience. If at first you don’t succeed, try… try again!

Do you have a Neutered or Spayed Pure-bred dog? You can still show them!

15 Jan Clancy1012Ribbons

While the point of Conformation events (Dog Shows) is to define the best breeding stock of pure-bred dogs, many responsible dog owners would like to compete in the show ring with their pet dog whom they had altered.

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The United Kennel Club offers “Altered Conformation Classes”. Here, my neutered 1 and a half year old keeshond, Clancy, proudly stands in front of his earned ribbons.

When I got my keeshond puppy, Clancy, I decided I wanted to try every dog sport I could with my dog.

Clancy as a 2 month old keeshond puppy

Clancy as a 2 month old keeshond puppy

When he reached about 6 months of age, it was about time to think about neutering my dog to make him a better pet and to ensure I didn’t accidentally contribute to the pet overpopulation problem. However, if I neutered my pup, I knew I would not be able to experience the AKC show ring. So, I decided to hastily enter him into an American Kennel Club (AKC) show that was just a couple of weeks away to see how we would like it. I learned a lot while I was there… including that I shouldn’t have been there in the first place because I had a “Limited Rights AKC Registration” which was part of my breeder’s contract to prevent people from breeding then registering their puppies. I did not know this rule until it was almost showtime, so to gain the experience, I went ahead and showed Clancy anyway since the judges wouldn’t know it until after the event. Clancy and I ended up winning a couple of ribbons, but I did get a letter from the AKC in the mail a few weeks later saying that my wins and prizes were forfeited due to his “Limited Registration.”

Stacking 6 month old Clancy at his first dog show (AKC)

Stacking 6 month old Clancy at his first dog show (AKC)

Though I had little interest in breeding Clancy, I did want to continue to show him. I enjoyed the excitement of being in the show ring and admiring all the other beautiful dogs. Most of all, I enjoyed talking to and learning from the other keeshond owners. So I contacted Clancy’s breeder to discuss obtaining a “Full Rights” AKC registration and was given the option to do so because she believed in us. Responsible dog breeders try their best to prevent people who buy their puppies from irresponsibly breeding them, so I appreciated the trust that my breeder had in me to give me that option. While I thought about the decision (full rights cost more money), I unfortunately discovered that Clancy had a health concern so I decided to get him neutered. There were many other things we could compete in besides Conformation… but here I had such a beautiful dog and I wanted the show ring experience. Then someone introduced me to the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Getting Clancy ready for the show ring to compete against other altered dogs

Getting Clancy ready for the show ring to compete against other altered dogs

In conformation events, the judge inspects each dog to compare it to what the breed standard is. The dog that most closely compares physically and characteristically to what it is supposed to be, wins. Only those dogs that best represent their breed and have had various health testing should be allowed to breed to produce future generations that uphold those standards. (Breeding should ONLY be done with health-tested dogs that closely adhere to the breed standards with the goal to improve the specific breed of dog.  It ends up costing more money than what’s made selling the puppies. It should only be done by knowledgeable breed enthusiasts.) So, that is essentially the reason to show dogs. However, there’s people like me that want to “do it for fun” or to practice for a future show dog career, so it’s wonderful that the United Kennel Club provides an avenue to do that.

Keeshond Speciality at an AKC Dog Show ...

Keeshond Speciality at an AKC Dog Show …

You can easily register any dog to the United Kennel Club (after meeting a few requirements) and participate in all of their events. While “All-American” dogs (aka mixed-breeds) do not have a breed standard to compete against, therefore they can not participate in Conformation, there are so many other sports they can participate in! If you have a pure-bred dog, you can cross-register them with the UKC and participate in Conformation. Clancy is registered with the AKC, CKC and now the UKC. We have participated in two UKC Altered Conformation events and won two Reserve Best in Show’s. (Had to throw in a quick brag!) 🙂 Depending on your area, there may not be very much competition amongst your breed… so spread the word for everyone to show their neutered or spayed dog for even more fun! For more information on UKC Altered Conformation events, go to: http://www.ukcdogs.com/Web.nsf/WebPages/DogEvents/Conformation

Clancy competing in the UKC Best in Show Altered.

Clancy competing in the UKC Best in Show Altered.


Best friends do everything together! Be your dog’s best friend!
~SSB

UPDATE (MAY 2013): Clancy and I recently did 4 UKC events in one day and did great! We got our first 2 legs of our Rally Obedience 1 title and got a Best in Show (Altered) and another Reserve Best in Show Altered! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Here he is in progress of winning Best in Show and then with most of his ribbons he earned in one day:

Clancy rocked the ring and won Best in Show (UKC - Altered)!  He also earned two legs towards his UKC Rally 1 title on the same day!

Clancy rocked the ring and won Best in Show (UKC – Altered)! He also earned two legs towards his UKC Rally 1 title on the same day!

Clancy and I did 4 UKC events on the same day!  Here's the results:  In the morning we earned 2nd place in Rally O1, and Best in Show (altered class)!  In the afternoon, we earned 1st place in Rally O1 and Reserve Best in Show (altered)!  A good day!

Clancy and I did 4 UKC events on the same day! Here’s the results: In the morning we earned 2nd place in Rally O1, and Best in Show (altered class)! In the afternoon, we earned 1st place in Rally O1 and Reserve Best in Show (altered)! A good day!

UPDATE (JUNE 2013): Clancy just received his ALTERED CHAMPION certificate in the mail! Woohoo! He now has ALT CH in front of his UKC registered name.

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