Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday Tricks - Hit the Light!

In this trick, Teddy demonstrates 'hit the light' which consists of turning a light switch on or off. He needs a little boost from a chair, otherwise the walls get scratched by claws!

Here's the light on...

And now it's off...

On a side note, I am realizing that my goals of writing multiple new posts throughout the week is too lofty for someone with an otherwise already busy life. I find myself too busy to write posts and read those over on my favorite blogs. The best compromise for me, for now, is to post less often and hope that this gives me enough free time to catch-up on blog posts written by others. So, if you hear a little less from Forest Poodles for now, don't be alarmed, we're just reading other blogs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Stuffies

As much as I love looking at all the cute stuffed toys at the pet stores, my rational mind knows that buying them is almost akin to flushing money down the toilet. If Teddy gets his paws on a stuffy he is convinced that it is his responsibility to society to de-stuff it! D'Art is much more gentle, but they do share toys so toy decapitation is inevitable. Well, I found a good compromise. I can buy as many stuffies as I want and not feel bad about their demise, providing they come from the $.99 bin at the thrift store. I make sure they don't have any small hard plastic eyes/noses and then they take a tumble in the washing machine as soon as we get home.

Here's D'Art with his latest new stuffy - cow. He loves large, fluffy stuffies!

Teddy likes 'bite sized' stuffies. His new stuffy is called Love Dog. (It says love on the side.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Tricks - Belly!

"Belly" or "show me your belly" was a hard one of D'Art to learn. Not because he didn't understand the concept, but because he didn't trust humans well enough to expose such a delicate part of his body! He started off very reticent. But, with time, he learned it was worth it.

 When you show your belly, the reward is belly rubs after all! So, now he will often show his belly without being asked, as he likes the reward so much! 

Teddy learned "show me your belly" pretty quickly. This trick consists of lying on their sides, one, or more paws lifted to expose the belly. Teddy likes belly rubs so much that when lying on the floor he will often just lift his legs to expose his belly as I walk by, knowing I can't resist!

Belly rubs as the reward are fun for both poodle and human! The hair on their bellies is the softest of all!

Dogs show their bellies for more than just love and reward. They sometimes do this to display submissiveness. Physically forcing a dog to show its belly isn't a great thing to do. They should come to it themselves, although as for trick training, starting off with a little treat motivation never hurts!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Unconventional Essentials

I started to think about those things that I use often, to make life easier/cleaner with the poodles. I don't mean the mandatory essentials that we all have (e.g. poop bags, treats, leashes). I'm referring to those less conventional essentials that, if pushed, I would prefer not to live without. So here's my top 3. I hope after reading this you'll share some of you unconventional essentials with me!

1. A walking purse/bag. The purse I use, made by Le Sport Sac, was an awesome thrift store find! It even has cute little dogs on it! It is made of rip stop nylon, which is easy to wash and light to carry. It has two separate zip pockets. One pocket I use to hold a roll of poop bags and also the used poop bags. I don't know about you, but I don't really like walking miles carrying a full bag(s) of poop. Putting it in one side of the purse means that I don't have to hold it, smell it or see it. This is essential for country walks where garbage cans are few and far between! The other side of the purse is where I keep keys, ID, etc. That way I have a clean side and a 'dirty' side and when it needs it I can throw the purse in the washing machine with no worries that I will ruin the fabric.

2. A car seat cover. I like Kurgo car seat covers. They are covered by a good warranty, wash well, and match the interior of most cars. Anyone who's taken their dog for a walk in the woods on a wet day can appreciate the benefit of a waterproof car sear cover!

3. Dog friendly wipes. I keep a bottle of Natures Miracle Pet Wipes in the doggie car bag. There have been numerous times when I've needed to wipe one or both of the poodles clean and these have saved the day. They are especially useful when we are out and about, as I'm less likely to be near a sink for running water. You have to be careful about using regular baby wipes on pet paws, as they can contain things that make dogs sick and we all know how our pups like to lick their paws!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

8 Photos of Happiness!

I was invited to participate in 8 Photos of Happiness by my good friend from Keep The Tail Wagging! Having already enjoy a few other people's posts on this theme we can all agree on one thing - it isn't hard to find 8 happy photos of the sweet furry ones we love!

This first photo is of the two portraits painted by my dear friend and talented artist Aura's Garden. She captures each spirit perfectly!

Then we have this face.... need I say more?

Anytime I get to spend outside in the forest exploring with Teddy and D'Art is always a happy moment.

A sleeping poodle warms my heart...any sleeping dog actually, but Teddy is an expert at getting cozy and loves to 'nest' in blankets.

Hello said the turkey to the poodle. Want to play? Young turkeys are very playful and D'Art was very happy to give them attention!

Sunbathing buddies. I'm so glad I have the two dogs. They are great friends and enjoy each other's company.

But they aren't always this still and serene, they like to romp and play too! Watching the poodles play together brings me much joy!

This photo brings me happiness and cracks me up. These two will put up with a lot from me...including making them sit nicely for a photo wearing silly paper hats!

Thank you to Kimberly for including me in this fun blog post. You are a good friend! I believe the custom is to keep spreading the joy, so I encourage the following blogs to participate. If you have already done so, then I look forward to reading your posts!
Rubicon Days 
Lola The Pitty
Kari of Bark and Lunge 
Oh My Dog! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday Tricks - Yoga!

I mentioned the evolution of Teddy's 'yoga' trick in this previous post. Teddy goes into a downward dog-like stretch regularly. Usually before he's ready to settle down for a nap. It seemed like a god idea to capture this with a command. Now Teddy will 'yoga' for you whenever you like! D'Art can do it too, but being much less flexible means that his version of yoga is less visually noticeable and wouldn't really look like much in a photo. So, here is Teddy demonstrating his 'yoga'.

Although I know there are many other names for this trick, including 'bow'. Teddy has a few other 'b' commands, so I went with something that sounded completely different (and heck, it is kind of witty...right?!)

This photo isn't related to 'yoga', but it was kind of cute and fun so I thought we'd end here....

 Does your dog know a version of 'yoga'?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ramping it Up!

The poodles were very lucky to be the winners of a give-away on an amazing blog called Oh My Dog! for a Solvit pet ramp. The timing of this couldn't be better, with D'Art now 11 years old and showing some signs of joint and muscle weakness I've started looking for ways to take extra care with his joints. Up until now, I've had to give him a boost into our car, usually after we've been out for a walk. At 75lbs, we've made it work, but he's no lap dog. Enter the Solvit ramp!

After a couple of practice sessions D'Art is walking up and down it upon command and without me needing to physically guide him with a leash.

I've got the ramp stored in the back of our car, ready for those times when he's feeling weak and stiff. I'd like to get into the habit of using it in hopes that it will decrease some of the wear and tear on his joints. Although when it comes to play time, he doesn't seem to care about such things!

Of course, Teddy wanted to show me what a clever boy he is and walked right up the ramp when he observed that I was doling out treats for anyone who did so. Clever boy!

It makes sense to get the poodles used to this now, before they need it 100% of the time. That way, when that day comes, using the ramp is just 'par for the course.' Thank you Oh My Dog blog!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday Tricks - Beg!

Every Tuesday, the poodles and I are going to share a trick or game with you that we enjoy. This first one is a stand-by. It's the trick that Teddy will do without being asked, just to try to impress. We call it 'beg', but I know it has many other names including 'sitting pretty'. Both Teddy and D'Art can beg upon request. D'Art can do it by himself, but when we attempted this today he was already tired from our walk. So at first he just posed for the camera in repose.

Then, once we came back inside the house, we tried again. He did it, but I had to give him a hand. He's off the hook today, I know he's tired.

Can your pup 'beg'? Do you call it something different? We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 3, 2015

D'Art Gets It!

This positive pet training blog hop is all about training improvements! I knew instantly what I needed to write. One of the biggest improvements I've made with training Teddy and D'Art is taking advantage of their strengths. For example, Teddy is constantly stretching (think downward dog yoga pose) and so I trained him to do that by saying "yoga" every time he stretched. In no time at all, Teddy knew 'yoga' on command!

D'Art's strengths are a little different from Teddy's. When we met D'Art he ran outside and instantly grabbed a mouthful of grass. He didn't have toys at his previous home, so this is what he was used to playing with. That running and grabbing behavior he displayed on that first day is a strength of his. Seeing this, I trained him to 'get it' on command. The trick here is that 'it' isn't just anything on the ground. It is something that doesn't belong on the ground, for example a pen or piece of silverware. He's gotten so good at 'get it' that I can casually drop a variety of items on the floor and then sit down and point at the one I want him to bring me. He'll get each in order, as I ask for them. What's more, he loves this task! You can tell by his body language as he joyful gallops over the the offending object and then joyful gallops back to me to hand over the goods! Win, win! I don't have to get up and pick up the mess and he feel special doing it!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Poodles in Town

Every once and a while, the poodles and I just need to feel some real pavement under our paws. So we head out for a 20 minute drive into town. This morning, we did just that. I stopped by the local hardware store to get all the essentials of a country girl's shopping list - grass seed, oyster shell (for the chickens) and a duster! Exciting, aren't I! After that, we parked near a local paved trail and went for a nice morning stroll.

Despite the change in scenery, Teddy still prefers to feel grass under his paws.

Part of our walk lead us over a bridge. D'Art is a little afraid of heights, so he sticks to me like glue while we walk over the bridge.

The river was beautiful this morning.

Once on the other side, D'Art was happy to pose for the camera again.

After a good walk, we came home to refresh ourselves. The poodles stuck to water, but I had a nice cup of tea.

Happy Saturday!