8

You are a pain in the nose, human!

Three facts about your dog’s nose


Dog nose prints are unique like human finger prints!

But unlike human fingerprints, dog nose prints aren’t really used for dog identification as much as the microchip or the dog tag.

Still that hasn’t stopped pet lovers from trying their hand on DIY projects that help them capture this unique part of their fur buddy. There are some webpages that suggest dog nose print projects that can be fun for kids and the dog lover.

But our dog here would likely not take it kindly to have food colouring or china ink painted over her nose and then have a piece of paper pushed into her face to make a unique nose print project.

Nope, those tensed up pinned back ears and that tilt in the head to avoid the human and her camera says it all. You’re being a pain, human!

But even without that wet ink to make a nose print, my dog’s nose is typically wet and cold.

Why do dogs have wet noses and what use do they have?  

Because they have wet tongues that lick their noses! Hahaha. Common sense, huh?

Although sometimes, when a dog is not feeling well, he/she may not lick the nose as much so it becomes dry. However, in this Q&A with a Monterey vet, the vet also makes it clear that a dry nose may sometimes be a symptom of illness but that is not always the case.

Brachycephalic breeds with short, high noses like the Pug and the Boston Terrier are also more likely to have dry noses since their noses are set too high and their tongues couldn’t reach them! This also means that such dogs have a higher tendency to suffer from noses that are cracked and dry on top.


Eat your hearts out, snorties! *Now that is just rude, Donna!* 
 

But back to the wet nose, it actually helps the dog to (1) cool down (rather than overheat) and (2) to smell better. No, I don’t mean it makes Donna sweet smelling. (Wouldn’t mind if that were the case.) The wet stuff on the nose is mucus that collects chemicals present in the environment which the dog can lick to aid her in her mission to sniff and process all the different smells she is exposed to on walks, etc.

So yah, high five to the wet nose! *thumbs up*

The nose is to the dog, what eyes are to the human
(but sighthounds need not apply, I think :P)

Speaking of sniffing, there’s no looking down on Brachycephalic breeds even if they have to suffer from their funny faces and shorter noses due to humans breeding them to look cute. According to this dummies article, even flat nose dogs smell better ‘detect scents far better than humans’!

It’s kind of debatable if it’s the human’s loss or gain, I mean, considering I am picking up dog poo everyday… maybe not having such superhuman sense of smell is not a bad thing. :P

So stop with that sticking your nose high in the air, Donna!

And yes, I’ll get out of your face now, poor thing. (She’s persisting sitting there looking grumpy rather than walking away because she wants to eat the forbidden ice cream waffle.)


with 2 Brown Dawgs
and Heart Like a Dog.

References

6

Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge Week 11 – Text on photo

Ten Uses for Text on Photos

1) Make a notice
Left – Made with Studio; Right – Made with Moldiv

2) Add your brand/credit/attribution to your copyrighted images.Add a credit for your pictures
Left – Made with MOldiv; Right – Made with Studio

3) Supplementary text help to enhance or explain the photo

Left – Made with Moldiv; Right – Made with Studio

4) Label or title your photo

Left – Made with Moldiv; Right – Made with Studio

5) Add a mantra or make a quotograph/quotogram
 
Left – Made with Studio; Right – Made with Moldiv

6) Add balance to a photo
Both made with Moldiv

7) Text as part of the design
Both made with Studio

8) Tell a story
Both made with Moldiv

9) Embellish your photo collage
Left – Made with both Moldiv and Studio; Right – Made with Moldive

10) Make a festive e-card

Left – Made with Studio; Right – Made with Photoshop


Welcome back to Week 11 of the Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge hosted by weliveinaflat and firebonnet ;)
This challenge asks you to (1) share a good photo that you took or edited last week, (2) run it through a photo app on your smartphone or mobile device and share with us the result. This week it’s time to add text to your photos!

Some all-in-one photo apps like Picsart easily help you add text to your photos. There are also dedicated text apps for this function like Phonto and Over. My two favourite are Moldiv, a collage app and Studio, a design app. Let’s take a look at them.

Moldiv

add text to your photos using moldiv

Moldiv is a collage app that I’ve featured in the Snappy H’appy cutouts post before so more details on that link. I also like the app for it’s selection of fonts and customisation options :) The following screens give you a quick overview of the text features.


Click on Edit Text and the following options will appear: 
This screen shows the Stroke/Shadow presets in the Edit Text section. 
This screen shows the available tag patterns to choose from, should you need a background for your text.

But if you prefer your text on photos to look less home-made or crafty and more designy, then the Studio app may be more up your alley.

Studio Design

Studio bills itself as the Instagram for design. That’s why the splash page for the app is the image feed from other users that you may follow.

Like Instagram, the button right at the bottom screen center lets you take or load your photo to begin. Or you may choose to start on a clean slate if you just want to play around with the text or design elements Studio has, without the photo.

The studio user interface can be more complex. Design elements like text are added as layers over your base image, if you have one.

There is a free library of overlays to choose from, and there are also more free and in-app purchases that you can download from the Overlay Market. For this post, we look specifically at the available text options that come with the app installed.

If you want to input your own text, you have the option of using “Text” or “Text Crops”. Voice/Thought Bubbles are useful background for your text if you desire ;)

And if you’re feeling uninspired for that day, riffle through the “Mantras” and “Social Jive” sections for pre-made phrases.


This screen above shows a text crop being used. It’s kind of obscured by the text bubbles though. Sorry about that!

This screen above shows a Text layer overlayed on top of the Text Crop layer.

This screen shows the edit options for Text.

You can choose to save to your Gallery/Camera album or to share on your social media accounts. 

 The result:


Get Inspired!


Go get it!
Photo apps for your mobile devices

iOS devices

  • Design apps
    • Studio Design free, in app purchases [ iPhone ]
    • Rhonna Designs paid [ iPhone | iPad ]
  • Collage apps
    • Moldiv free, with in app purchases [ iPhone | iPad ]
  • Text apps
    • Path on paid [ iPhone | iPad ] – lets you draw a line where you want the text to appear
    • Phonto free [ iPhone | iPad ]
    • Over paid [ iPhone | iPad ]

Android devices


Host Challenge Photo

Photo of the week
Edited with Photoshop. Last week’s photo to illustrate the training post. Photo was taken indoors at night so the quality wasn’t too good. 

Apped Photo

Edited with Snapseed and Studio. In Studio, added the round badge to focus on Donna’s volleyball smacking paw (‘cept there’s no volleyball, lol), and the text which I sized bigger than the original.  


Now it’s your turn to share!

Create your challenge post from now until Sunday, 4 May end of your day. Post your Photo of the Week and your App-ed version of that photo on your blog. (You can follow my format above if you like).

Pic 1 – Your Photo of the Week can be taken with any equipment – a regular camera, a DSLR, a smartphone, hack even a pin-hole camera if you so choose!

Pic 2 - Pic 2 is optional. The theme this week is a Pop or Splash of colour, but if that is not your cup of tea, you are free to choose other app effects for your app-ed photo. In all cases, it would be helpful if you can name the app effect used so we can understand what you are doing ; )

Add the challenge badge and link your post to the host and co-host sites. Be nice and visit with some of the other challengers for this week! :) And do remember to leave me your blog post link in the comments below, in case I do not receive the pingback/trackback from your link.

For more information, you can read in detail more about the challenge and the instructions at the About page here. You can also grab the badges here.

Questions? Feel free to pose any questions in the comments below or email me at weliveinaflat@gmail.com. Next up, what happens after you have linked up? Why you start getting your challenger photo grid filled up!


Challenger Photo Grids

Every week, challenger grids get updated with the new photos! At the end, you get to grab your grid off this blog for your own pleasure. :D Meanwhile, you can view one another’s photos on the blogs by clicking on the linked numbered weeks above each challenger’s photo grid. I will try to keep it up to date as quick as I can ;)

Host| weliveinaflat.com
[ photos tagged "snappy happy" ]
weliveinaflat's Snappy H'appy Photo Grid

Host| firebonnet.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
firebonnet snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| ForestWoodFolkArt.wordpress.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Roxy The Traveling Dog
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| completelydisappear.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
completelydisappear snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| 1stworlddog.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
1st world dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Blogagaini
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Blogagaini snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Zeke’s Adventures
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Zeke's Adventures snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Little Dogs Laughed
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Little Dogs Laughed snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| LivingWithMyAncestors.wordpress.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| sassmuffins.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
sassmuffin snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Claim your photo grid, join the challenge today!

Next week, we’ll get Snappy H’appy with Creative Mixes for your photos! Thanks for checking out this Photo Challenge and making it all the way to the end of the post! ;) 

7

Marvellous Monday – Right time to get a pet?

Have a great start to the week guys!

18

White flowers, with a side of dog

Hello! Today, we’ll take you around the block to look at the white flowers growing in our area.

cute smiling dog outside

Take a joyful step with Donna now! LOL

At Donna’s height, mostly she’ll come in contact with the weeds. Here’s my particular favourite, the delicate five-petal Lavender Sorrel. Each flower is smaller than the tip of a finger.

Oxalis barrelieri, Lavender Sorrel, Barrelier's Woodsorrel - small white flowers with yellow center

The leaves are apparently edible in small quantities. They have a sharp, sour flavour because they contain oxalic acid, I suppose hence the scientific name Oxalis Barrelieli. So less concerns if Donna happens to bite off a leaf. Do note that oxalic acid in large quantities can be bad for dogs.

Also named after a French Botanist Jacque Barrelier, Barrelier’s Woodsorrel is not really pure white. Though it appears so, the white petals show pink veins at closer inspection. Its distinctive yellow heart with the white petals also makes this roadside weed easy to identify. You can see more photos of this plant in colour here.

Oxalis barrelieri, Lavender Sorrel, Barrelier's Woodsorrel - small white flowers with yellow center with white weed, Ageratum conyzoides

That little untidy cluster next to the flower (picture above) is a different weed called the Little Ironweed. It is apparently known to have some traditional uses for fever, etc ailments.

Up next the Cupid’s Shaving Brush.

Emilia sonchifolia, cupid's shaving brush

A check across different webpages writing about the same plant concurred that the Cupid’s Shaving Brush can be eaten and has in fact some medicinal uses as well as…

The flower heads are chewed and kept in the mouth for about 10 minutes to protect teeth from decay – source: plants for a future

 And guess which part of the plant Donna has eaten before?

Evidence

I suppose she grew impatient with me stopping the walk to take a picture of it, so she decided to stop me by eating it. Not the flower but the seeds.
What’s left after she ate it.

Pictures from this post.

The plant didn’t do her any damage. I wiped whatever I could of those fluffy seed off her tongue, whatever that she hadn’t swallowed anyway.

Alright, wrapping up with white flowers that she can’t really reach. Some Crape Jasmine flowers (pictured below) blooming above her head on walks. These are white with yellow centres too.

crape jasmine
fragrant jasmine flower bud
Another Jasmine on a bush, on the cusp of unfolding.

sitting dog on wall
Donna has inspected all the scents coating the grass and weeds in the grass and has gotten bored, so she sits and waits. 

sitting dog on wall
Can we go now, human? 

Happy Easter everyone ;)

References
- plant colour photos: lavender sorrel, little iron weedcupid’s shaving brush
- plants for a future – cupid’s shaving brush, lavender sorrel
- urban forest – lavender sorrel, cupid’s shaving brush, little ironweed

7

Sit Pretty

sit pretty dog trick

Here’s another trick that’s maybe not so practical, but can be pretty cute.

Sit Pretty

The Sit Pretty trick may not be that practical but I thought it was something to do now and then to continue to expand Donna’s repertoire of cute tricks.

Some benefits of the trick when correctly done include:

  • Better balance
  • Build muscles that help Donna to sit on her back legs while supporting a straight back

I read that Sit Pretty is easy for small dogs to learn but can be harder for bigger dogs with longer backs who will find it harder to balance. (Did I mention that somebody at the Pet Expo actually mistook Donna for a dachshund??) So our kind-of-long dog here definitely needs a lot of physical support for this trick.

sit pretty dog trick

At this point in time, Donna may be able to Sit Pretty a couple of times on her own for 1 second (just lift up and then 4 paws on the ground again). We’ve been practising this, not consistently, on and off for perhaps a couple of months.

sit pretty dog trick

Being able to rest her weight on my arm definitely helps her to balance better while she takes the treat out of my hand.

sit pretty dog trick
I am the mystic palm reader!
sit pretty dog trick
Shhh… studying your destiny mapped out in the lines of your palm. Do not disturb!
sit pretty dog trick
Palm licking reading is serious business! 
sit pretty dog trick
That’s it! Hold it up against the light. 

Treat Delivery

There’s quite a lot of videos on Youtube, and they may show you different ways to deliver the treat as a lure to get the dog into a Sit Pretty position.

sit pretty dog trick

When I hold out the treat downwards, Donna appears to be more likely to jump up to try to get the treat out from my fingers.

sit pretty dog trickNo longer sitting on hind legs.

She has a very soft mouth, so I don’t worry about her nipping or biting my fingers. But it can hurt if that were not the case.

So to create more instances where she sits, rather than tries to stand up on her hind legs, I try to deliver the treat on my palm instead of holding it downwards.

sit pretty dog tricksit pretty dog trick

Today I watched the Kikopup video for this trick and found that she lifts her palm upwards for the hand signal, and that looked pretty smooth. I like that it should not be difficult to transition the treat on the palm to that hand signal later on.

But meanwhile, we’re just taking it easy so that Donna has the time to slowly develop the muscles necessary for Sitting Pretty for a longer duration of time. I need to make sure there’s more cushion under her to lessen the impact on her joints when we do this at home though!!

happy dog

This training video explains the trick and how to make it safe for the dog - http://youtu.be/IQUerO0woqw

4

Dog meets ice cream waffle – an unrequited love

dog begs for waffle

Arghh! She said “Leave it.”

dog begs for waffle

Alright, alright, no poking my nose into the human food. Do I get some if I wait for it?

dog begs for waffle

…. ….

dog begs for waffle

This is more tragic than a Shakespearean tragedy!

dog begs for waffle

I don’t like this, human!


The last photo is interesting for me. I’m not sure yet, how upset or unhappy she is when she turns away her head like that.


with 2 Brown Dawgs
and Heart Like a Dog.

12

Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge Week 10 – A Pop or Splash of Colour

This post is late, arghhh. Sorry about that. I just have some things happening offline that took my attention away for a few days. Sorry, sorry!



Picsart Colour Splash effect, black and white, followed by light sepia for the monochrome portions.

It is easy to assume that selective colouring, as a technique,  should be used to accentuate a photo by giving it a pop of colour. This means most of the photo remains as black and white or some other monochrome of a consistent tint, so that the one coloured area/subject of that photo becomes the focus of the photo.

Selective color is a post-processing technique where most of a photo is converted to black and white, but some parts are left in color…  The selective color technique emphasizes parts of the photo and draws more attention to the subject.

The subject impresses if it’s something eye-catching standing out of the sea of monochrome, like a glowing jewel in the ocean.


PicsArt Coloursplash effect, photo further tinted in VSCOcam to give the monochrome portions a blue tone

PicsArt Colour Splash, with further colour adjustment in Snapseed

But then again, sometimes we like to take a closer look at some of our subjects and they could take up much of the frame. And so we could end up with a sweep of colour, not just a pop. And I think that’s fine too ;) Helps you focus on the colourful subject and helping the background to recede… further into the background ;)

It’s actually a pretty useful tool when you don’t have specialised lens to render a busy background into gentle bokeh that your subject can stand out from.


PicsArt Colour Splash, further adjustment in VSCOcam to warm up the monochrome. 
PicsArt Colour Splash effect, monochrome colour adjusted in VSCOcam.
Picsart Colour Splash effect, green colour

And perhaps in some cases, the colour or lack of it helps differentiate the still from the moving -how the leaves move in the wind, how the duckweed ripples on the water.

Black and white helps create a kind of stillness in the picture, and coloursplash lets you show the viewer the subject in it’s original colour and it’s spatial relationship with the background. The challenge is to find the visual harmony between the two.


PicsArt Colour Splash Effect, temple detail


snappy happy photo challenge logo black and whiteWelcome back to Week 10 of the Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge hosted by weliveinaflat and firebonnet ;)

This challenge asks you to (1) share a good photo that you took or edited last week, (2) run it through a photo app on your smartphone or mobile device and share with us the result. This week we are back to the theme of Colour and we encourage you to explore creating photos with a pop of colour or more than a splash of colour. It’s all up to you!

Let’s look at the Colour Splash function in some apps, shall we?


Camera360

Before when I was using the iPhone, I was pretty happy with Camera360‘s options for black and white with a pop of colour. Mainly because it offers an easy one tap and your done solution :P

There were two sections you can go to do this, unfortunately, I am unable to provide the screenshots since I no longer have an iPhone. So fiddle with your iPhone abit and you should be able to find these two sections that let you determine the primary colour you want to colour your subject appear in your black and white.

In my case, I chose black and white with some shade of blue and tada! Pop of colour dog toy ;)

*Note, while camera360 is available for Android, the Android version appears to be lacking one of the two sets of colour splash sections in camera360 for iPhone. So I would not recommend this for Android.


PicsArt

Now for android, PicsArt, which I have written about previously in some of the other Snappy Happy post, is the app I like for the Colour Splash effect.

Unlike Camera360 mentioned for iPhone above, PicsArt lets you select up to three colours to show up in your black and white. And that’s cool because most things do appear to be more than one colour. Consider this rosy flower with its sunny yellow heart ;)




Just a screenshot to show you the different colour swatches selected for each photo. 


Get Inspired!


Go Get it!
Photo apps for your mobile phone

iPhone/iPad

Android


Host Challenge Post

Photo of the week
Tiny purple flowers using Panasonic FZ35.

App Challenge Photo
PicsArt Colour Splash, followed by PicsArt Orton FX filter.

Here’s the colour swatch selected:


Now it’s your turn to share!

Create your challenge post from now until Sunday, 27 Apr end of your day. Post your Photo of the Week and your App-ed version of that photo on your blog. (You can follow my format above if you like).

Pic 1 – Your Photo of the Week can be taken with any equipment – a regular camera, a DSLR, a smartphone, hack even a pin-hole camera if you so choose!

Pic 2 - Pic 2 is optional. The theme this week is a Pop or Splash of colour, but if that is not your cup of tea, you are free to choose other app effects for your app-ed photo. In all cases, it would be helpful if you can name the app effect used so we can understand what you are doing ; )

Add the challenge badge and link your post to the host and co-host sites. Be nice and visit with some of the other challengers for this week! :) And do remember to leave me your blog post link in the comments below, in case I do not receive the pingback/trackback from your link.

For more information, you can read in detail more about the challenge and the instructions at the About page here. You can also grab the badges here.

Questions? Feel free to pose any questions in the comments below or email me at weliveinaflat@gmail.com. Next up, what happens after you have linked up? Why you start getting your challenger photo grid filled up!


Challenger Photo Grids

Every week, challenger grids get updated with the new photos! At the end, you get to grab your grid off this blog for your own pleasure. :D Meanwhile, you can view one another’s photos on the blogs by clicking on the linked numbered weeks above each challenger’s photo grid. I will try to keep it up to date as quick as I can ;)

Host| weliveinaflat.com
[ photos tagged "snappy happy" ]
weliveinaflat's Snappy H'appy Photo Grid

Host| firebonnet.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
firebonnet snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| ForestWoodFolkArt.wordpress.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Roxy The Traveling Dog
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| completelydisappear.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
completelydisappear snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| 1stworlddog.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
1st world dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Blogagaini
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Blogagaini snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Zeke’s Adventures
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Zeke's Adventures snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Little Dogs Laughed
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Little Dogs Laughed snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| LivingWithMyAncestors.wordpress.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| sassmuffins.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
sassmuffin snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Claim your photo grid, join the challenge today!

Next week, we’ll get Snappy H’appy with Text for your photos! Thanks for checking out this Photo Challenge and making it all the way to the end of the post! ;) 

14

Life gets stressful sometimes…

Donna has spent most afternoons this week tense and worrying about the possibility of rain and thunder in the afternoons. I said “possibility” because sometimes she stands shivering, with her tail tucked even when it is bright and sunny outside and 2 hours before it actually starts to rain. Does the air pressure change as early as 2 to 3 hours before it rains? Anyway, that’s Donna guarding the bedroom door in case the rain comes in down the hallway. Life gets stressful for this dog sometimes.

Evening tug games to alleviate the stress.


More relaxed.

Most relaxed.

12

Let’s not rush out the door

I was getting ready to leave the house for an appointment sans dog.

It didn’t seem quite possible. I could see the dog was getting excited all on her own. Her whole body language was screaming, “I’m going out!”

She was so self-absorbed, all she did was face the door as close as possible, wagging her tail all the while. She wasn’t looking at me, and it didn’t matter that she did not have her collar and lead on her. It was as if there was just this one dominant thought in her one track mind, and she could entertain no other possibility. She was going out. And so she crowded at the door, waiting expectantly.

I thought I would open the door a little so I could slip out while still keeping her in. I must have been a fool.

The dog streaked out before I could put a foot out of the doorway. Thankfully the layout of our block of flats is enclosed and there is no way for her to exit out of the common corridor and landing and lose herself. 

I am not the only one. It seems people I’ve spoken with have their fair share of stories about the dog or cat running out the door when it is left open for even just a short period of time.  Thankfully unlike the stories I’ve heard of dogs running away from homes and dog sitters and getting lost that way, these people I spoke with all manage to get their dogs safely back into their flats.

Besides the possibility of the dog running out the door and getting lost, what was a greater concern for us was the unrestrained dog rushing out and scaring the neighbours’ and their children outside the flat leading to complaints. That can lead to us being forced to re-home the dog.

So one of the first things we struggled with was how to train the dog from being wild, crazy and heedless…

i'm going out!

… to be more self-restrained.

quick, open the door

Doggy exuberance is adorable, yes? But have the same scene play out one too many times and I find my patience wearing thin and my exasperation levels hitting all time highs. Meanwhile, the dog persists in zooming around and not heeding you. Crowding about the door but not staying still enough to get the collar and lead on her. Going out the door for a walk becomes a 15 min chase and catch routine in order to just run the collar over her head so that we could even step out of the door. (Ok, so the 15 min may be an exaggeration since I never timed it :P but I’m sure you get the drift. )

Mostly I just sat there waiting for her to calm down, while I get more irritated by the second at the thought of wasting time. Sometimes, I just give up on the walk and make her go to her bed and sit-stay there instead.

Are we still going out?
Are we still going out?
I'm being good here
I’m being good here.

It took about two months of working with her on entering and exiting the flat efficiently. Nowadays, she is very good at staying, even when the door is opened. ;)


Donna, let’s go for a walk from weliveinaflat on Vimeo.

 But if either of us are leaving her alone at home, we usually make sure she is preoccupied with a plate of food in her crate, and then we would make our sneaky exit with haste out the door!! :P

16

Tug toys are made to hang on to


Donna will hold on forever! from weliveinaflat on Vimeo.

OK, so not forever. :P

Donna loves tug. It’s probably hard-coded into her DNA.

I had to teach her to weave between my legs, sit on the weighing scale and touch her nose to my hand.

But tug?

She does it all on her on. Even more than she retrieves!

Dogs are predators and scavengers. They need an outlet for exercising their instincts. The predatory sequence is eye, stalk, chase, grab/shake, and beyond that kill, eat. The game of tug-of-war keeps the sequence at bay, trained properly, to grab/shake. It is a satisfying experience for the dog and can be a very good training tool. A healthy outlet for natural prey instincts is to understand that the key is to play the game with rules. - why dogs like to play tug of war

We have been told not to play tug with her before or at least to always make sure we win if we do.

The first video doesn’t show it but after some months, we found that it doesn’t really matter who wins. And honestly, I would have some issues with the dog’s intelligence if she were to persist to want to keep playing a game that she was bound to lose. I wouldn’t want to be the losing side all the time!

playing tugGive it up, human!

So now and then, we do let her win :P And interestingly enough, there was a couple of times where she would run willy nilly to her crate with her toy, before peeking at us to see if we follow. And when it looks like we’re ignoring her, she’ll bring the toy back. ;)

There are some things we do to make tug safe for dog and humans. That’s because even if Donna is not aggressive or protective over her toys (some dogs are, so tug may not be that great an idea just yet for them), there will be times when she gets too excited and accidentally nip or scratch the human.

1) Use a longer toy.
The longer it is the further your fingers can be from the dog’s teeth to prevent accidental nipping or biting. There will be times when Donna feels herself losing her grip on the toy and tries to adjust her grip on it to get a better hold of it. This is when she may accidentally bump her teeth to our fingers or hands.

playing tug
This toy may be a little short.

2) Training that teeth and skin contact ends the game
When Donna gets excited, she may try to snap at the toy to get it, particularly if it dangles enticingly just within reach. That of course means danger for human fingers to some extent. Stop play when dog gets too rough so dog learns that she gets to play when she plays nicely

playing tug
Another entirely too short toy when she grabs it by the middle. Watch out for those teeth!

3) Teach “drop it”
Particularly for Mr P’s case where tug becomes a rousing game, Donna can get over-excited. Being able to get the dog to drop the toy on cue means that we can go into time outs easier and let Donna regain calmness before she accidentally hurts us from being over enthusiastic in play.

Some dogs play growl when they are having fun at tug, but not Donna. She does however reserve the odd snort now and then. I don’t know for what but I imagine its to express disgust at the unfair advantage we have over her in the game :P

…(you) don’t want to lift the dog off the ground by the tug because it could hyper-extend their neck and possibly cause an injury. Try to mimic a dog when playing tug – they pull side to side or straight back. Their necks are built to have tremendous power from side to side, but not up and down. When dogs tug with other dogs you will never see one jerk or bounce the other up and down. – Should I play tug with my dog

References
Why dogs like to play tug of war
- Should I play tug with my dog?
- To tug or not to tug
- Dog-training tip video – tugging with your dog
Rules for Playing Tug with your Dog
How police dogs work
The right way to play tug with your dog