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Clancy wins 1st place in the talent show at Maryland DogFest (dog tricks video)

9 Mar

Finally!!!  Here is a video of some of my Keeshond, Clancy’s tricks!  Clancy and I had a blast meeting new people, visiting exhibits, watching demonstrations and participating in the Dog Talent Show at Maryland DogFest yesterday!  (Unfortunately due to the unpredictable climate in early March in Maryland, the Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions were cancelled.)  😦

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… 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.

We had Rally Obedience run-thrus in the morning, so I wasn’t sure what Clancy had left in the tank for his talent show performance here.  I also have been so busy, that I didn’t figure out what I was going to do until 5 minutes before the show.

There were many dogs in the contest and Clancy and I were called up last.  After watching other competitors, I decided not to duplicate the other dog’s tricks (I didn’t want Clancy to entirely steal the show 😉 ).  Though Clancy has many more tricks up his sleeve, we’ll save them to share with everyone another day.  (I also had a time limit to try to stay within at the talent show.)  Next time we do a routine, we will be more polished and show off even more tricks!

For now, enjoy!  The theme of our performance is sharing some of the traits of the Keeshond with the audience.  (Oh, and we did win 1st place by a unanimous vote from the judges.)  😀

P.S.  We have a Rally Obedience trial and Obedience Novice trial later this week.  Then we have the 2014 AKC Rally Nationals later this month!  (Wish us luck!)  That Rally blog WILL be posted by the end of March.  🙂

P.S.S.  I do plan on writing a dog tricks blog in the near future, too!  Trick training is a great way to have fun, strengthen your bond and challenge your dog!

P.S.S.S. I am just starting up a pet services business where I also offer dog trick training!  Visit www.FUNanimalPet.com to learn more about it!

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Closing up February, Opening up to March

28 Feb

My Keeshond, Clancy, loves a challenge.  “Silly humans”, he thinks to himself, “you think this child/pet gate will prevent me from going where I want to?”

Since I wanted to have some sort of post in February, I thought I would share this fun (well, not so fun when I really want the gate to restrain Clancy) video and slideshow of how Clancy feels about not being able to be where he wants to be (and that’s either with me or eating cat food.)

Please forgive me, I’m going to be a little late publishing a “real post” for February (hey, it’s a short month!)  I did finally get my photos off of my old laptop and can now finish up my article on Rally Obedience, so look forward to that in the coming weeks!  Clancy and I actually qualified and are entered into the 2014 AKC Rally Nationals coming up at the end of March.  Prior to that, we’re hoping to get our 3rd leg to get our Rally Advanced title in York, Pennsylvania.  We’re also entered into Obedience Novice in York to try to get our 2nd leg of our Companion Dog title.

Another fun March event we will be doing is the Maryland Dog Fest, where Clancy is entered into the Dog’s Got Talent show!  I know I haven’t showed off how truly talented he is yet on here, but I promise to post videos soon of his large variety of tricks, many of which are very unique!

Here’s a sneak preview:

Clancy bongos 12.13

In the meantime, could you help vote Clancy as the “Cutest Dog of Maryland DogFest”?  (Because you know he likely will be, but the dog with the most Facebook votes wins the title!)  Just go to this link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maryland-DogFest/369879699699485?sk=app_292725327421649&app_data (you’ll have to “like” Maryland DogFest’s page…  which is likeable!) and then go to “Photos”.  Look for Clancy’s pic of him when he was a 5 month old puppy in his life jacket…  the pic is titled “Ready for Summer & swimming!”.  Thanks so much!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! (with caution)

31 Jan
Many dogs love the snow, the Keeshond adores it!

Many dogs love the snow, the Keeshond adores it!  Clancy looks up as if to say, “C’mon out!  The snow is great!”

While most dogs would want to be indoors (and should be!) cuddling with their human friends in front of the fireplace during the extreme cold spells and snow that have been blanketing much of North America this winter season, there are a few breeds that would actually want to spend more time outdoors.  As you may guess from their fur coat, the Keeshond would be one of them!

Clancy enjoys the companionship of the snow  when he can.

Clancy enjoys the companionship of the snow when he can.

The Keeshond is known as a “Velcro Dog”, always wanting to be by your side.  It doesn’t matter how deep asleep my Kees, Clancy, is or how quietly I try to exit a room…  he pops right up and trots to my side to escort me WHEREEVER I go, and he will plop right back down at my feet when we reach our new destination.  I have found that the only thing that can detach us is snow.  That freezing fluffy white stuff trumps me!

Clancy wishing that the weather was like this everyday.

Clancy wishing that the weather was like this everyday.

As much fun as a Kees may have in the snow, there are some precautions that all dog owners should take to ensure that it remains all fun and games in the snow.

As we struggle to keep our footing in the slippery conditions that winter brings, keep in mind that salts, de-icers and other chemicals are dangerous for your pets. Try to use kitty litter or sand for traction instead. If you must use a chemical, supervise your pet in those areas to make sure they don’t drink from puddles and remove the slush and dissolved product as soon as possible. Wash paws after exposure.  Being a fuzz-butt mom, I keep baby wipes at the door at all times anyway.

Clancy loves to bury his face in the snow.

Clancy loves to bury his face in the snow.

 Staying warm uses up more energy. Pets that spend a lot of time outside need more food, especially protein. Ask your vet if you should vary your pet’s diet for the winter if your dog spends a lot of time outside in the cold.  Dehydration is often a forgotten danger of the bitter cold, for water sources freeze outside. Also avoid using metal bowls this time of year (if you don’t know already from watching “A Christmas Story”, yes, tongues will stick to metal in below freezing temperatures.) 

My snow angel, Clancy.

My snow angel, Clancy.

Check paws to pull out any snowballs that have gathered in between pads which are not only uncomfortable, but also could lead to frostbite!   Snowballs accrue quickly around the furry pads of the Keeshond’s feet.

Be aware that frigid weather lessens the sense of smell, causing more cases of lost dogs than any other time of the year.  Keep your pet leashed or fenced in as they frolic in the snow with an ID tag.

Young Clancy with his best feline friend, "Mr. D".

Young Clancy with his best feline friend, “Mr. D”.

One of the reasons I chose to get a Keeshond was for their love of all living things, especially because they are known to get along well with cats.

So Clancy would appreciate if I gave a public service announcement on behalf of his feline friends.  To protect your vehicle’s engine and to save an animal’s life, remember to knock on the hood of your car or honk your horn before starting your car. Engines can stay warm for hours after being shut off, offering an enticing warm shelter for cats. Before using the remote start feature, give a quick press of the “panic” button on your car key first to scare away any unsuspecting sleeping felines. Clancy sitting in snow 2014

Another vehicle-related danger of winter is exposure to anti-freeze. Ingesting as little as a teaspoon of the harmful chemical of ethylene glycol can kill. It’s sweet taste unfortunately attracts pets, so be sure to promptly clean up any spills and keep it out of pet’s reach.

Clancy ready to play hockey!

Clancy ready to play hockey!

Okay, so now that we’re more aware of things that could harm our beloved pets, let’s discuss fun things you can do in the snow with your dog! 

Many dogs enjoy “snowball toss”…  Clancy will jump up in the air to catch and eat snowballs tossed his way.  He also enjoys snow drift bouncing…  where I encourage him to hop up on snow drifts and hills as I run alongside him.  Clancy enthusiastically bounces from mound to mound, and if it’s soft and powdery, he will burrow into the snow drifts.

Clancy loves snow mounds!

Clancy loves snow mounds!

Another fun game is having him wait where he is, then walking a good distance away, kneel down, stick your hand in the snow and wave it back and forth just under the surface making the snow ripple.  I then tell Clancy to “come and get it get it get it!” and he runs as fast as he can to come and pounce on my hand under the snow.  It’s great exercise for the dog and also gives you a chance to reinforce the “come” command.  Another fun game is to toss a smelly treat into the snow or bury a favorite toy and telling your dog to “find it!”  Clancy enjoys running along the snow with his nose to the ground.  Sometimes he does need hints, but the excitement when he finds the item has to make you smile.

Clancy playing goalie

Clancy playing goalie

If you have a safe opportunity to do so, playing hockey with a soft item with your dog is fun and exercise for all.  Chasing the “puck” or letting your dog play “goalie” or just carefully stick handling with a puck around your dogs legs are some fun ways to interact with your pup in the cold.  Run around in cleats if you’re not experienced wearing ice skates so you don’t risk hurting your dog with the sharp blades of skates!  Also, limit your time on ice with your pup to give his/her paws a break.  If the ice is choppy or has lots of cuts in it from ice skates, be aware that it is sharp and could cut the pads of your pup’s feet, so use caution or buy booties for your pup.IMG_7360

We’d love to hear what your dog thinks of the snow and any outdoor snow games that you enjoy together!

Please share in the comments!

They are your best friend…  Be your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB

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Looking for a Last-minute Gift for the Keeshond Lover in your Life? (The NY Puppy Mill Keeshond Rescue)

23 Dec

Looking for the perfect last minute gift for the Keeshond lover in your life?

If you know somebody that has ever had a Keeshond, then you have likely heard all about how wonderful of a dog they had.  Keeshond lovers are passionate about their breed and know how sensitive, loyal, loving, intelligent, sweet, (and I could go on and on with more adjectives to describe the Kees) of a dog they are.  To know the Keeshond, is to love the Keeshond.  Which is why the following gift idea could mean more than any other gift you could give this holiday season!

Currently, there is a large-scale effort to rescue numerous Keeshonden from a large-volume puppy mill that is closing down in New York.  (Read more about What is a Puppy Mill?)   Puppy mill life is deplorable, especially for the “Velcro Dog”, aka our Keeshond.  The bills for such a rescue effort are enormous.  In order for all of the 100+ puppy mill Kees to enjoy a new life, there will be transportation costs, spay/neuter costs, other various veterinary bills and miscellaneous expenses.  Every dollar donated helps to make this massive Kees rescue successful.   Please consider making a donation of any dollar amount in the name of the Keeshond lover in your life to Bay Area Rescue Keeshonden (aka “BARK,” a non-profit 501c organization…  so your donations would be tax-deductible), whom is collecting and organizing all donations for this project.  (Remember to check with your employer to see if they will match your donation!)  Donation information is in this video (which is a nice tribute to the rescue efforts underway) and again at the bottom of this post.

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TO GIVE THIS AS A GIFT TO SOMEONE…

After you make a donation to BARK for this NY puppy mill rescue effort, e-mail me either a snapshot of your PayPal receipt (leaving out any personal data) or of your check (conceal your account information) and I will e-mail you this Certificate of Appreciation for your donation for you to print out to give as a gift for the Kees lover in your life.

Give a Kees lover a heartwarming gift of helping to give the NY puppy mill Keeshonden a new life!

Give a Kees lover a heartwarming gift of helping to give the NY puppy mill Keeshonden a new life!

Please provide the gift recipient’s name, your name to be placed on the certificate and if you prefer, a clear picture of your special Kees to replace the picture of Clancy on it.  Also, please indicate if you would like the donation amount on the certificate or have it just read “a donation”.  (See form at the bottom of this post.)

The puppy mill closure is a  huge victory for not only the current 100+ Keeshonden who have known no love, no exercise, no grooming, no human socialization or any idea how fun it is to be the “Smiling Dutchman”, but also for what would have been more generations of the same misery for many of their offspring.   This massive Kees rescue underway is to save, care for, and place these puppy mill Keeshonden in homes, even if they are just temporary homes for now.  After some rehabilitation, they will get to know what it’s like to be a true Keeshond and that helps heal the Keeshond lover’s heartbreak of the sad situation that they, and their ancestors, used to be in.

To help this cause:

Donate via PayPal: the email address is paypal@keeshondrescue.org or use the PayPal button on the home page for this huge rescue effort:   www.keeshondrescue.orgPlease indicate that your donation is for the NY Puppymill Dogs!
BARK is a 501c3 charity.  Donations are tax-deductible. Their EIN number is 41-2049201.  Send checks to:
BARK   – (NY Puppymill Rescue)
PO Box 375
Los Altos, CA   94023

Other ways to help:

AUCTION to raise money for the NY Puppymill Kees details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nykeesrescue/permalink/630432440332005/
Needed supplies through AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/registry/giftlist/5YJLSJ1EWEW5/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_gln

Help transport, foster or adopt!  For more information, visit:  http://www.keesrescue.com/#!get-involved/cihc

SPREAD THE WORD!  DO NOT GIVE PUPPY MILLS A REASON TO EXIST.  NEVER PURCHASE A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE!

On behalf of all Keeshond lovers and these poor Keeshonden needing rescue…  Clancy and I THANK YOU!  and wish you the Happiest of Holidays!

Clancy holiday card

Video

Clancy’s “Closet Rescue” and how he did it

10 Dec

Clancy is the first titled “Expert Trick Dog” Keeshond on record!
Here is one of his expert level tricks… opening and closing the door introduced with him “rescuing me” from being “trapped” in the closet! After I taught him this trick, he surprised me in the bathroom. Lever-style doorknob owners, beware!  (Hmm, I may be regretting that I taught him this…)

Clancy — the inspiration for Kees Of Dog’s Delight

10 Dec

Clancy holding flowersClancy has truly opened up my eyes to the potential that all dogs have that most humans aren’t aware of.  My main mission with my Kees Of Dog’s Delight blog is to encourage all dog owners to enrich their dog’s life, which in turn enriches the dog owner’s life through socialization and the benefits you gain from the strong bond you create with your dog.  Though I love all types of dogs, cats, and just all animals, Clancy has ignited a passion in me for the Keeshond, so from time to time you will see more Kees oriented posts, especially while the Keeshond community works on rescuing 60 + Keeshonden from one of the worst puppy mills in the U.S.  (Learn more at www.KeesRescue.com)

Clancy and I have met so many wonderful people together just by being out through our various activities.  Clancy brings so much joy to everyone that crosses his path and has many fans who would like to see more of him.  Since we do go to so many places and do so many things together (in various States, too!), there will be a new category of the blog dedicated to the Clancy fans!  (Look for the category “Clancy – My Keeshond” for just fun Clancy updates, pics and videos.)  NEW:  Clancy has his own Facebook Page!  Follow Clancy’s adventures, see him do tricks on #TrickTuesday and cute retro pics of Clancy on #ThrowbackThursday by “Liking” Clancy, the fluffy trick dog – Keeshond on Facebook!

So, here’s Clancy!  The UKC Altered Champion, Rally Obedience level 3, United Junior Jumper (1st UKC dock diving titled Keeshond), AKC Companion Dog Excellent, Rally Advanced Excellent, Dock Junior (1st AKC dock diving titled Keeshond), Advanced Canine Good Citizen, AKC Therapy Dog titled, Ultimate Air Dogs AND North American Diving Dogs Dock Junior titled, and the first CHAMPION Trick Dog titled Keeshond!  *More training for other titles are always in progress!

Be your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB  

Enjoy and thank you for visiting!

Clancy

Clancy

Tips on Dealing With The Morning Rush

9 Dec

Remember… though the dog is IN your life, you ARE the dog’s life.
Everyday a dog needs to be fed, given fresh water, exercise, companionship, playtime, and mental stimulation. Some days you’ll have less time to devote those things to your dog, but they still must be done in fairness to your fur-pal. Here are some tips for those days:

Be your dog’s best friend. ~ SSB

AKC Dog Lovers

Mornings are a chaotic time in any household, and one family member that can get lost in the shuffle is Fido.  Your dog still needs attention, even though you are in a rush to get out of the house.  The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to help you prepare the night before to make sure your dog gets what he needs and you get to work on time.

  • Put your dog’s breakfast in his dish and cover it.  Don’t forget to put it on the counter out of his reach!  If his food is canned or perishable, make sure to refrigerate it.
  • Prepare for your morning walk in advance by leaving the leash and pickup bags by the door.  You can also leave extra bags by the door for your evening walk to save time when you get home.
  • Check the weather forecast each evening and get together…

View original post 59 more words

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Kees Of Dog’s Delight wishes you and your Fur-Family a Happy Thanksgiving!

28 Nov

Kees Of Dog's Delight wishes you and your Fur-Family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Pawsing for a minute to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Keep it a Happy Thanksgiving with these pet safety tips

28 Nov

Keep it a Happy Thanksgiving with these pet safety tips

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

While much of America is enjoying their feast with the family and fur-family, Clancy and I hope you keep these tips in mind to make sure the rest of your day and evening stays happy!  (This is from an article I wrote earlier this month. 🙂  )

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Happy Howl-oween!!!

31 Oct

Happy Howl-oween!!!

Clancy wishes all of his fans a Happy “Howl-oween”!!!

New blog post about Rally Obedience is almost finished! Check back here soon to learn how you and your dog can share in a fun learning experience together!

— UPDATE —  AHHH!!!  The laptop that has my Rally videos and pictures is on the fritz.  Hoping to get it fixed soon so I can get my new blog post up here asap.

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!?

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Falling Behind

30 Sep

Falling Behind

And I thought August was a busy month! How is it the last day of September already?!?

Oh, how Clancy and I love the Fall. With cooler temperatures enticing us to spend more time outdoors, dog shows, Rally trials, dog clubs, and yada yada yada… I have “fall”en behind with my September blog post.

New blog will be posted in the near future!

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

31 Aug

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
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 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!

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Get a Caricature of your Dog! Great Gift Idea ALERT!

29 Apr

During a recent humane society fundraiser event, I got this caricature done of Clancy! They had hired a professional caricature artist and it was well worth the $30 donation to the local humane society to have this adorable piece of art forever in my life.

Clancy was a superb model, sitting still for the 15 minutes it took for the artist to create it. I had no idea what he was drawing, for I was sitting in front of the easel with Clancy… I just mentioned a little about the history of the keeshond breed and how Clancy enjoys “dock diving”.

Get a Caricature of your Dog!

He captured the keesie smile quite well along with his mischieveous “sideways glance” that he often gives.

With the convenience of the Internet, you can easily do a search for a caricature artist in your area to have a portrait of your dog to cherish forever!

There’s lots of events going on with Spring in full swing! Clancy and I’s weekends are full of activities for the foreseeable future and we hope that you are on the lookout for fun outings to enjoy with your dog!

We’ll be back soon!

Let Your Dog Enjoy the World!

3 Apr

There are so many things to do with your dog happening every week around town!  Here Clancy is enjoying "Playtime" at a local pet store.

There are so many things to do with your dog happening every week around town! Here Clancy is enjoying “Playtime” at a local pet store.


Clancy and friends having a great time at "Playtime" which is held weekly at a local pet store.

Clancy and friends having a great time at “Playtime” which is held weekly at a local pet store.


Depending on where you live, there are many opportunities to go out and about with your dog! You and your dog may enjoy a visit to a pet-friendly store, or could participate in a pet-related fundraiser, or go to one of the various functions designed for an outing with your pup such as a Pet Expo or “Yappy Hour” at a dog-friendly cafè. Or you could just go to a sporting event or ask your family or friends if it’s okay to bring your pooch over with you. One way or another, just let your dog enjoy the world outside of your home.

Dogs can enjoy going with you to parties, too!  If you're planning on attending an outdoor event at a friend's house, just ask to see if it's okay if you bring your dog...  you may be pleasantly surprised!

Dogs can enjoy going with you to parties, too! If you’re planning on attending an outdoor event at a friend’s house, just ask to see if it’s okay if you bring your dog… you may be pleasantly surprised!


Most weekends beginning in the Spring offer some kind of event that you can bring your dog to. Next week I should have more time to share Clancy and I’s experiences and offer some more insight on how to enjoy outings with your furry best friend.
Clancy loves the water, loves other dogs and loves people.  He couldn't be happier that I took him to the SPCA's "Puppy Plunge" fundraiser!

Clancy loves the water, loves other dogs and loves people. He couldn’t be happier that I took him to the SPCA’s “Puppy Plunge” fundraiser!


In the meantime, to find an event to enjoy with your dog, try visiting http://www.bringfido.com/event/ or just doing a web search for your city’s dog events. Visit your local humane society’s website or your local pet store and ask them if they know of anything fun to bring your dog to. Clancy and I will be going to one this weekend and will share our experience next time!

Dogs showing off in a costume contest at a local dog rescue fundraiser.

Dogs showing off in a costume contest at a local dog rescue fundraiser.

Lots of dog lovers watch a disc dog demo at an SPCA fundraiser event.

Lots of dog lovers watch a disc dog demo at an SPCA fundraiser event.

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Be on the lookout! A new post coming soon!

19 Mar

With the wind blowing his fur back, Clancy can't wait to see where he is going to next!

With the wind blowing his fur back, Clancy can’t wait to see where he is going to next!


Clancy loves going out and about!
A new post on how to delight your dog by going out and about is in development.

Take Me Out… to the Dog Park! A Guide for all to have a ball at the Dog Park.

4 Mar

Everyone knows that a tired dog is a good dog, and nothing tires a dog out more than another dog! All the romping, wrestling, playing tag, playing keep away and the good ol’ just run with the pack in an open field is sure to give you a peaceful evening, if you take about an hour out of your day to stop by the dog park. Now the dog park isn’t a place for every dog. Your dog must tolerate other dog’s presence at the very least, but you both would get much more out of the experience if they enjoyed being in the company of other dogs. Your dog must also be sociable with people and tolerate children… for you will often find kids running up to pet your dog or trying to initiate play with them.

Clancy enjoying canine companionship at the dog park.

Clancy enjoying canine companionship at the dog park.



Most dog parks are divided into a “Large Dog” park and a “Small Dog” park. If you are nervous that your Maltese may get stepped on by a Mastiff, you have your own dedicated fenced in area separate from the big dogs. However, if your lap pup plays like a big dog, feel free to join in the fun on the big dog side! Before entering, it’s always a good idea to ask the larger dogs’ owners if it’s okay for you to bring your small dog into the large dog side, because some big dogs may not play well with small dogs.
The keeshond plays with the big dogs, so Clancy can only look on and bark "hi" to his smaller cousins.

The keeshond plays with the big dogs, so Clancy can only look on and bark “hi” to his smaller cousins.



Not only is the dog park a great place for your dog to socialize, but for you, as well! You are in a place where you have at least one thing in common with everyone around you… you all love your dogs and most people love to talk about them. Before you know it, you and your dog will make new friends. It often begins with knowing the dog’s name and referring to their owner as “Rocky’s Dad” or “Diesel’s Mom”. You can learn about all kinds of walks of life or there’s plenty of space to keep to yourself if that’s what you prefer.
Dog parks offer fun socialization for both dogs and humans!

Dog parks offer fun socialization for both dogs and humans!



While a dog park is a great place for your dog to socialize and play with other dogs, it’s also a great place for you to bond with your dog and practice training. The large open space is a great place to legally have your dog off leash to play fetch or take a walk together without the tether. It can also be a test for your dog to obey your commands with the distractions of other people, dogs and oh, all the smells! For those that are ready to practice more advanced training (it’s highly recommended that your dog has mastered his commands in a controlled environment first), just be sure you are in a position to enforce your dog listening to you. Also keep the training sessions short, for you don’t want to set up your dog to fail and this should be a place for your dog to look forward to for fun!
Dogs are natural pack animals and most enjoy the company of other dogs.

“Follow the leader!” Dogs are natural pack animals and most enjoy the company of other dogs.

Before heading to the dog park, please know your specific dog park rules and ALSO be aware of these lesser known guidelines for an enjoyable time:

The double-gated entrance to the dog park

The double-gated entrance to the dog park

This Afghan Hound feels a little nervous being on his leash at the dog park.

This Afghan Hound feels a little nervous being on his leash at the dog park.



* Unleash your dog before entering the park – Dog parks have a double gated entrance, not only as a safety measure, but also to allow you to remove the leash in the enclosed area before opening the second gate to the dog park. This will allow your dog to escape from the crowd that usually is at the gate to greet the new dog. Your dog behaves differently on a leash versus off the leash. Dogs may feel trapped being on the leash while other dogs are free around it, which could cause defensive aggression.

*Do not coddle your dog if it’s scared – If you do, you are just reinforcing it’s scared behavior. Be confident, but do not force him into uncomfortable situations. Dogs with their tail between their legs, have the hair along their spine raised or are crouching may need some space and time to get acclimated.

Hi!   Who, or should I say, what, are you?

“Hi! Who, or should I say, what, are you?”

Hi!  Hello!  Who are you?  Aren't you glad that we don't greet each other like this?

“Hi! Hello! Who are you?” Aren’t you glad that we don’t greet each other like this?


* Let your dog be a dog – Dogs jump up on each other, knock each other down, wrestle, growl, snap at each other, and yes, they hump and will sniff each other’s genitals. It is all part of the dog communication world that most humans don’t comprehend, but the dogs are just doing what is natural to them.

Some dogs try to initiate play by wrapping their arm around another dog’s back, which may trigger humping. This is a natural behavior to establish dominance. Most of the time, the dogs will work it out themselves with the humpee warning the humper to stop with a growl or a snap. Let dogs be dogs and they’ll learn from each other what’s acceptable or not much quicker from each other. However, do be ready step in and remove the offending dog if tempers start to flare or it’s going on for more than a few seconds. Excessive humping can cause aggression not only with the participating parties, but trigger aggressive responses from other nearby dogs. Other behaviors, such as growling or snapping should not be interfered with. By yelling and stopping this natural behavior because you don’t like it, it may create waves in their communications with each other. By stopping your dog from growling, you may be teaching him to skip that warning sign he’s giving and he’ll go straight to biting the next time. Dogs have a way of working everything out themselves. However, if things are getting too intense, try distracting your dog with another activity, or create a loud noise, but avoid yelling.
"Whoa!"  Clancy literally runs into an Aussie.

“Whoa!” Clancy literally runs into an Aussie.


If a dog fight does break out (a rare occurrence which rarely lasts for more than a few seconds), encourage everyone to not scream or yell (which hypes up the dogs more). DO NOT try to separate the dogs by putting your hands/body in the middle of them or try to grab their collars, for you will likely get nipped or bitten. The quickest way to separate the fighting dogs, is for each owner to grab their dog’s hind legs (preferably where the hips connect to the body to avoid injury to the dog), lift and drag him straight back (like a wheelbarrow) then turn him 180 degrees to face away from the other dog. If you are by yourself, do the above method to the attacking dog, and tie him to something, then repeat with the other dog if necessary. There are also citronella sprays on the market to aide in stopping dog fights as well. For more information on how to prevent and stop dog fights, please visit http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/breaking-up-a-dogfight.

Clancy can't resist being tempted by a child wanting a doggy kiss.

Clancy can’t resist being tempted by a child wanting a doggy kiss.

* Do not let your dog jump on people – Though dog park patrons should be prepared for muddy paw prints on their outfit, this is a basic rule that should be enforced with all dogs all the time. Not being consistent with the “no jumping on people rule” will make your dog inconsistent in obeying elsewhere.

Clancy claiming a water bucket at the dog park on a hot summer day

Clancy claiming a water bucket at the dog park on a hot summer day

* Bring water for your dog – There’s many travel water devices for dogs out there that make it easy to bring water along for your pooch wherever you two go. Your dog will get thirsty quickly and frequently with all the exercise he’ll be getting at the dog park. While some dog parks supply water, don’t assume it will be there or assume others will let your dog drink their dog’s water. Try to offer your dog water in private, for dogs may get possessive of a water bowl.

* Do not bring treats, dog food, or people food into the dog park – Not only will you have a pack of dogs following your every move, but it could cause tension/fights among the dogs. Also, PLEASE know what foods are toxic to dogs such as grapes and keep them away from the dog park. If you must bring treats as a reward for training your dog, try your best to contain their smell, conceal them and give them to your pup in secret.

* PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG!!! – Not only is it a health hazard to people and pets for doggie doo-doo to be lying around, but no one wants themselves or their dog to step or roll in it then track it perhaps along with roundworm eggs, into their car or homes. Doggy bags are usually supplied at the parks, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple grocery or newspaper bags in your pocket in case they’re out. We don’t want to ruin our opportunity to enjoy dog parks, so everyone just needs to do their dooty!

Clancy sneaking in a sniff while the brown dog bows down to play with the dog with the tennis ball.

Clancy sneaking in a sniff while the brown dog bows down to play with the dog with the tennis ball.

*Be cautious of bringing toys to the park – Before engaging in play with a toy with your dog or another dog, sit back and observe all the dogs there. Some dogs are toy aggressive, once a toy is introduced to the environment, it could start fights for dogs getting possessive of a toy. Take away the toy if it negatively affects the dog pack behavior.
dogs hanging out Spreading out at the dog park
* SPREAD OUT! – Dogs love their owners and tend to hang out near them. When the owners congregate together, so do all the dogs… which can lead to aggression from too many dogs being too close together. Often dogs like to just play with one or two playmates at a time, and aggression can occur if they feel like they’re being ganged up on. Also, if everyone congregates in the same place on a daily basis, the ground gets worn and muddy in that spot resulting in dirty dogs and ruined grass.

*Know your dog! – Know your dog’s behavior and signals. Watch for signs that your dog has had enough. Dogs can become over stimulated which can cause anxiety and aggressiveness. Also, when your dog becomes tired, they may get cranky. I know when Clancy has had enough when he suddenly becomes barky.

*Always keep an eye on your dog (and any around you)! – Don’t let him crowd the gate making it difficult for others to leave or enter. Don’t let him dig which creates safety hazards. Always be on the look-out for your dog squatting to be quick to pick up any doggie doo. Be mindful of standing near playing dogs so you’re not knocked down. You even need to be aware of dogs lifting their leg to mark you. (Now don’t you really want to hang out a dog park now?)

Watching your dog have fun, meeting so many different kinds of dogs and chatting with other dog lovers makes it fun to visit the dog park.

Watching your dog have fun, meeting so many different kinds of dogs and chatting with other dog lovers makes it fun to visit the dog park.


While I can appreciate the concerns of those that avoid dog parks due to fear of dog diseases or dog bites, please keep in mind that the vast majority of dog park patrons are responsible dog owners. They have their dogs up to date on their vaccinations, have them on flea/tick prevention and have socialized their dogs. Be sure to do the same and follow the suggestions in this article and you, too, can become a respected dog park patron.

Letting your dog play with other dogs and getting fresh air together is another way to bond together.

Letting your dog play with other dogs and getting fresh air together is another way to bond together.

Though it’s best to consult with your veterinarian, until your puppy has completed all the series of vaccinations, it’s advisable to avoid all places where many dogs go until your pup is fully protected. As soon as they are finished, get them out to the dog park to build the necessary socialization skills to grow up to be a great dog!

To find a dog park near you or near your travel destination, ask other dog owners or anyone in a dog related business. Other good resources include your local Parks and Recreation or doing a search online.

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

Please share with us! What and where is your favorite dog park and why??

With many acres of land, a lake with a doggie dock and walking trails throughout the fenced in dog parks, this is Clancy and I's favorite dog park!  Located in Michigan.

With many acres of land, a lake with a doggie dock and walking trails throughout the fenced in dog parks, this is Clancy and I’s favorite dog park! Located in Michigan.

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Winter break is over! Check back late this week for more ways to delight your dog!

25 Feb

Just need to put the finishing touches on my blog on Advice to Enjoy the Dog Park which will be published later this week or early next week!

Pictured here, Clancy is taking a break from playing in the snow in Michigan.

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WINTER BREAK! A new blog post is on it’s way!

22 Feb

A new blog post on more fun to have with your dog is nearly finished. In the meantime, please read how you can show your neutered or spayed dog in conformation events in my previous post. Please visit again soon!

The windy freezing cold doesn't phase my young keeshond, Clancy.  He's enjoying playing with some driftwood on a frozen lake in Michigan.

The windy freezing cold doesn’t phase my young keeshond, Clancy. He’s enjoying playing with some driftwood on a frozen lake in Michigan.

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

15 Jan

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.

Blog site in development… please visit again soon!

14 Jan

Welcome to my blog, “Kees of Dog’s Delight”… where my keeshond, “Clancy”, and I are hoping to inspire others to enhance their dog’s life which in turn enhances their own.

Please come back soon to learn how easy it is to have fun with your dog, strengthen your bond and meet new friends (both furry and human.) I also hope to hear about new ideas from you!

Just one of many fun things you can do with your dog.

Just one of many fun things you can do with your dog.