Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day

Basil had a wonderful 2 days! He got lots of attention, presents from Santa, and got to play with his cousins Maui, Murphy and Winston!

At first, Basil didn't understand what we were doing. After opening a couple of gifts with treats inside, he started to understand and began OPENING the gifts and even untied the ribbon on some of my gifts.

This was his face in the morning. Mister Grumpster!

Maui is definitely the patriarch and Basil was learning things from Maui. When Maui got up, he got up. When Maui barked at the door, he barked at the door. Maui was eating his food (which we have to keep Basil from), but Basil stood and watched and never interrupted Maui eating until Maui was done and Basil went and gobbled up some of his food! Eeeks!

Caught Basil in action being bad and mouthing Maui!

Festive Basil. Grandma got him and his cousins matching ribbon collars.

Dog Conference back here. Who's going to pee and poop in the most places first?

Basil and Maui were like best friends.

Winston started to warm up to Basil and egged him on to play.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Looks Like Snow

Basil took a better liking to the snow today. We woke up and immediately started shoveling a spot for him to go potty. He's so funny. He won't go down through any areas that haven't been shoveled. He spent the morning coming in and out. He was curious and wanted to come outside but then he was cold and wanted back inside.

The evidence is on his face.

Carmel came out and started playing with Basil, but Basil wasn't too happy about it. Later, Carmel pulled his humans on a sled which was so cool!

Basil's girlfriend Bo came out to play too. Bo LOVES the snow and jumps all over the place. They were able to run into the street for a change since there were no cars. Here, Basil is egging Bo on to chase him. It was a real fun morning for all of us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Basil's First Snowfall

It was chilly! Basil ran around a little and jumped up to catch some snow in his mouth. Otherwise, he just wanted to go inside. I don't blame him. It's warm and cozy inside.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Basil's First Ornament

After we got home, we put up the Christmas tree.

Dad, move it a liiiiiitle to the left. No, a little more...

I'm gonna need some help with the top of the tree.

Looks just like me except I'm cuter.

Some dogs don't have the talent to hang their own ornament due to the lack of digits, but I do.

A miniature version of me. What more could you want?

(Basil actually seemed pretty stressed out by all the Christmas magic happening in the house. He also doesn't like wires. Since I was running around the house decorating, he was alert all the time too. Finally, I put him in his crate and covered it. He took a nice long nap.)

Lucky Dog

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tough Love: Barking II

We take Basil out with us as much as we can. We go for coffee or pop into the store to rent a movie. One of us always stays in the car with him, but when the car is idle and people are around that's when the barking starts.

Of the 5 Tips for handling barking, this is what Cesar says that we think applies to us:

"Correct and follow through! Tell your dog to stop barking using a look, a sound, or a physical correction. But don't stop there. Your dog may pause and then go right back to what he was doing. His body relaxed, but his brain was still on alert. Be patient. Wait until your dog completely submits before you go back to what you were doing."

We decided to park at a Shop Rite. There's enough people, but no one would think I'm crazy for being there. I left the car running because it's freezing out! As men walked by, Basil jumps up and begins barking, then it winds down to a sound that an otter makes and then into a whine.

Immediately, we threw him a fierce look and made a "tsch" sound. That's the sound to get him to stop whatever it is he is doing and that we don't like it. Right away he backed down. I stuck with it, continuing to look at him in the face, and then commanded that he sit and lay down in the car. We kept doing this as another person went by and another. Keith left the car. Someone came by and he was "ferociously" barking and jumping all over the back seat following the person from window to window. Again, I made the "tsch" sound, stayed calm, and quietly told him to sit down and I stuck with it continuing to face him. He wasn't as quick to calm down as when it was with both of us in the car. I had to use the "two fingers" and tap him to get him to chill out. When he laid back down, I praised him.

It worked! 4 more people went by and he didn't bark at them. A man came right next to the car and Basil was really upset by that (understandably) and began barking. Again, we just repeated what I mentioned above. We forgot to bring treats with us so next time we'll do it again with treats. Betty's mom gave Basil these training treats when he came to join our family and he LOVES them! It's real pieces of salmon too!

Next time, we're going to run him around and give him lots of exercise before going for a car ride and see if he still barks at people. If barking is pent up energy then we'll see if this makes a difference.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Basil cuts down his first tree

We took Basil to our local tree farm to pick out his first tree. He was so excited to go!

Gearing up with xmas hat and coat.

All the dogs on the farm were jealous of him.

Wow, so many trees! Which one do I pee on first?

How about this one, mom?

That was hard work but somedog has gotta do it. Hurry up dad! Let's take it home and decorate it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tough Love: Barking I

Tego's parents are big believers in Cesar Millan's methods. We've learned quite a few things from them and they work! So I began listening to Cesar Millan's tips on youtube through my phone while I'm at work. One of his big things is "Being the Pack Leader". Be a leader, be alpha and don't forget that your dog is a dog, not a human. Basically, Cesar Millan tells you the dog's perspective so you can understand where they are coming from and you can treat/train your dog accordingly.

Our latest priority is getting Basil NOT to bark at people while we're in the car. He loves his car rides! He knows the word "Ride" and he gets very excited about it. While we're driving he "sits" or curls up into a ball and doozes off. But once we're parked and one of us leave the car, he barks feriously at anyone who walks or gets too close to the car. At first, we thought he was being protective of me (which can still be part of it), but then it just got annoying and frenchies don't typically bark. If they are barking, then there's something going on. We don't want to be THOSE people with the annoying dog.

One method: My friend S trained his 13 week old German Sherpard this way. GS are a different type of dog all together. They are incredibly smart. It takes S 30 minutes to teach his dog anything! Amazing! He said to cover the back windows of your car, then allow your friends or whomever is crazy enough to help you to walk by and when your dog barks, hold up a sheet or towel to block his view. Then bring it down, let him see the person again. Repeat if he keeps barking. When he finally stops barking, give him a treat. This takes a great deal of patience! And I don't have any friends willing to stand outside in 32 degree weather right now.

Another method: Simply make a sound or a look to let your dog know this behavior is unacceptable. Stay calm, don't yell, but take control of the situation. Repeat. This is what Cesar suggests and what Tegos parents suggested as well.

This is what Cesar says about Barking.

We are going to try it out and see how it goes. To be continued.

Basil and silk cuddles

Basil sure loves his cuddles. The temperature here has dropped to about 32 degrees F and it's COLD outside! We brought out our down silk comforter which is really warm (it was a wedding gift). Basil LOVES IT!

He climbed onto the bed and instantly made himself comfortable. It's funny that we can tell when he really likes something. Maybe because it's cool to the touch and so squishy.

What a good boy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rubber Ducky you're the one...

You make bath time lots of fun!

Basil is timid in the bath tub, but he doesn't fight us on it. He'll just run away at first when he realizes what's going on. We give him treats to encourage that this is a good thing. Isn't be sweet?

Getting toweled off. He starts falling asleep and is in total relaxation mode when we towel him off. We give him a nice massage, so he likes it.

Then he checks his handsome self out.

Keith was brushing his paws and he started to doze off. He's starting to learn "paw" and that we want him to lift his paw up for us to wipe him off. He loves getting brushed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Basil Christmas Ornament

From Etsy seller Itty Bitty Barkers

Keith and I are big fans of Christmas ornaments. It's the one thing that is useful and doesn't take up too much space. One single little ornament could tell a story, bring back a memory or melt your heart. After our wedding, we went across the street to the souvenir shop and found a gold ornament of the cathedral we were married in. Each year that we take it out, we're reminded of another stepping stone in our lives. To commemorate 2009, I found a french bull dog ornament on Etsy that looked just like Basil. White chest and green collar!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Basil Playing With Keith!

Click here to view this video

18 months

Here is Basil's 18 month photo:

Our little boy is growing up. (sniff sniff) He's very healthy now. He's alert, playful, strong, energetic and still a good listener. His thighs have definitely grown more muscular. Looks like a pork chop. All his hair has grown back. He's still smart and very clever. He rings the bell when he wants a treat even if he does not have to go potty. Nice try buddy! He knows his name very well. He knows "heel" when we take walks. We went to the park and he stopped at the end of every block when I told him to stop and stay. In the mornings, he runs to all the bedrooms to check on us before he goes out to potty. He lays with us. He knows his toys. He kicks his ball and tosses his bone in the air! Pretty soon he will be learning the alphabet.

A few things we want to work on:
  • learn commands to not bark at people when in the car.
  • Heel more (to keep him from sniffing just anyone).
  • I've been listening to Cesar Millan and how to be a pack leader. It's very insightful and I learned a few things myself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Health Update

Basil has been noticeably stronger and more muscular. His thighs and abs are lean, but very muscular. When he plays, he pulls much harder. To our surprise, he was able to take our friend's hyper Boston Terrier. When he steps on us, it hurts a lot more! ahaha His face also seems different. It seems fuller and a tad more mature. Ahhh, we don't want him to lose his puppy face!

Otherwise, no itches. Every few days, we change up his diet and give him some pear, apple or cheese. We're on the move doing research and slowly changing his diet to see if there are improvements. We made the mistake of leaving his shampoo on too (thinking it would help) and he had a rash on his sac. In 3 days, I kept wiping it clean and it cleared up right away.

We started to feed him Blue Buffalo: his smelly gas had decreased and his coat looks more shiny. However, we noticed he's been itching under his chin a bit and licking his paws. Also, this last week, he's been getting the worse case of boogie eyes. K wants to take him off of it right away. We're going to move to Taste of the Wild while we research raw feeding.

We're starting to get ready for Christmas! Target has some really cute doggie pajamas.