Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guinness opens the baby gate

The boys are so smart! They must take after mom. :D

The baby gates open into the kitchen and we usually leave them unlocked and unengaged if we're stepping in and out of the kitchen to living room often. The boys have freedom to push the gate in and enter the kitchen from the living room if they wish. Once they are in there though they can't push their way back out of the kitchen. Guinness was testing the gate a few times last week. He would nudge it and nudge it so that it would slam and BOUNCE BACK so he could catch it while it was open. He did exactly that. He finally caught the gate while it was swinging back into the kitchen and with his nose, he held it open and wiggled his way out. We took a video. I'll upload it on their you tube page later.

Boy, am I proud!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

At the Park

Mom took us for an extra long walk.

The dog park has one of these things. Strange.

Whoa! You're kinda big.

He was a sweetheart but Guinnie was being naughty and swatted him in the face with his paw. Guinness is going to have to learn better manners than that!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Guinness & Cooper

Since Guinness and Basil's play date with Carmel went well, mom arranged a play date with our friend Cooper....but Basil stayed home. Mom wanted to see how Guinness was without Basil's instigating. ;)

Look how handsome he is!

Guinness seems to like to swat the other dog upon first meeting. But after they get a few minutes to sniff and jump around, Guinness is fine. When Cooper got near mom, Guinness would run him off or snap at him. Mom kept trying to get Guinness used to it by petting Cooper.

Guinness took his seat on the sofa with Cooper's mom and dad. Guinness knows Cooper's dad very well since he helped bring Guinness from Florida with dad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Update on Guinness

Mom here. Guinness being the second child, he doesn't get all the attention he deserves, so here's a post just about him.

Food & Health - Guinness is very healthy and allergy free! He was 30 lbs when he first came to us 3 months ago and within 2 weeks he lost 4 lbs when we took him to the vet for his wellness checkup. Soon, he went back to 29lbs and has been at a steady weight since. He gets 1.25 cups of food a day. He's my chunky monkey. When he first came, he must have been so nervous and scared that he would snatch treats from my fingers. It would really hurt because he grazed his teeth across my fingers. He has big cheeks so he has to make sure the food is all the way in his mouth otherwise he'd drop it. Now he's very gentle about taking treats from my fingers. Guinness has no food allergies. Yay! However he has a sensitive stomach and has lots of stinky gas and drippy poo. We switched him from fish & sweet potato kibble over to dehydrated raw (fish) food. His poo is not as drippy and he gases less throughout the day.

Tricks & Obedience - Guinness has completed his obedience course and earned his Bachelor of Arfs! In addition, we taught him "BANG!" to roll over and play dead. We saw it on an episode of Cesar Millan and thought it would be really fun to teach him. It only took him 5 minutes to figure it out!

Behavior - Guinness loves people. He has no problem in a crowd and loves the attention. However, we did learn that although he's good with dogs, he's guarding me and my husband when we're around those dogs. If the dog poses absolutely no threat, he's unfazed. If the dog is even remotely interested in me or if it's a big dog, he gets protective. He will try to split us up. He will chase the other dog away by running against the other dogs' side or he'll stare the other dog down. We make sure that Guinness and the other dog sniff while on leash before allowing them to play freely.

Overall, Guinness has been a joy! He's so sweet and so handsome. He's so well trained. My husband calls him his buddy. They really have bonded. Since he's so easy to train, we're going to enroll him in Agility at Wonder Dogs. He has a long body and is very agile so we think he will do very well. Having two dogs isn't easy. We don't get to spend as much time with Guinness as we would like and really concentrate on him, but we're trying our best. He loves walks and we take to the local little league games to get him used to the sounds and commotion with all the lights, screaming kids, bright colors and people. He seems to enjoy it but also gets overwhelmed - he falls asleep as soon as we get home. We took him to our friend's house who has cats. In his bio on FBRN, it says he doesn't care for cats but is okay with them. My friend's cats are as large as him. he met them and just like his bio said, he ignores them. How funny!

Being a little brother - Being a little brother isn't easy is it? I find little scabs on Guinness all the time. He and Basil play every night, but Basil tries to get his loving jabs in there. He and Basil sleep together and play together now. It's so sweet. Basil likes to sleep in Guinness' bed and Guinn sleeps in Basil's bed. Go figure! For a while, Basil was hoarding the toys and bones from Guinness. We took the toys away. We left 3 bones out. After 3-4 weeks, they no longer "fight" over bones. Guinness hides his in his bed. Basil will steal it out of his bed, but either way, they each still have a bone and all seems well now. Recently, I took out 2 toys. 1 is Basil's frisbee and 1 toy stuffie (it was the only thing I had that was new) and gave it to Guinness. Basil tried to take it. I put it away a couple of times and took it back out. This week, I took the stuffie and frisbee out again. I gave it back to Guinness. Basil tried to take it but Guinness ran away and turned his back to Basil. They played tug o war a couple of times. The amazing thing is that now Basil doesn't bother with it and hasn't chewed it apart! That's the longest in frenchie history I think!

Guinness has a couple of play dates lined up with other dog friends. We hope this structured play with help him through his anxiety about losing his family and guarding us.

Playdate with Carmel

Carmel has finally met his match in playfulness - Guinness Maximus is his name! Mom invited Carmel over to help socialize Guinness to dogs while around mom. It was a fun time!

Carmel loves the frisbee and unlike frenchies, he actually brings it back! Guinness didn't like it when Carmel would jump towards mom for the frisbee.

Here's Guinness making his point known to Carmel.

Turn your back. Just ignore him and maybe he'll stop playing with mom. Mom looks like she really wants to play though...should we honor mom with some play?

Nah, let's just go back to eating grass.

*Guinness is clearly guarding me (and anyone who gives him affection) from other dogs. He does a swat with his paws at the other dog or he'll run by and chase the other dog away. He'll jump and separate the other dog from me sending the other dog signals that say "go away". He'll even snap at the other dog. When he does, he goes to time out. I pick him up under his arms and put him in the house and shut the door separating him from the pack. Then he's allowed back out. * Any suggestions to curb this kind of behavior?

Uh Oh Wicked Wednesday

Mom and dad went out to Sunday breakfast without us. We were hungry so we helped ourselves to a box of dehydrated raw food. First we tore apart the plastic. Then the cardboard box. Then the plastic bag the food was in.

Nom nom nom

The evidence was clear.

Fat and happy.

(Guinness was pretty bloated. Basil didn't eat much of it if any. He doesn't seem to like raw food. We didn't give Guinness water until he began pooping it out and we kept a close watch on him and his tummy.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dog Trainer

We have a new friend! Her name is Renee the dog trainer! Other pawrents and furfriends love her, so mom asked her to come to out to our house to teach mom a thing or two ;)

Some things mom has to do with us before Renee's next visit.

"SIT" for everything. Basil doesn't always sit as intuitively as Guinness does, so now mom has to work with Basil so he sits for everything.

"WAIT" before going in and out of entrances.

Mom's favorite is "LEAVE IT'. She has to work with us everyday, a few times a day for 3-5 minutes on "leave it".

Mom asked Renee to come because Guinness and I sometimes fight at the door and Guinness has been guarding mom from other dogs. I guess I have been guarding too ever since Guinness came to live at our house.

We look forward to seeing her again!

Heat's on!

Brrrr it's been cold! Mom (aka el cheapo) finally turned on the heat in the house. As soon as it kicked on Basil ran right to his spot near the sofa in front of the heater. Mom showed Guinness the other heater which is even better because it's not blocked by the sofa. When Guinness realized, he laid chest front to the vent. They both passed out and fell asleep.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guinness protects Basil

Basil has had the itchies lately and dad went to go spray him with anti-itch spray. Basil doesn't like that spray bottle sound at all. So dad grabbed him and cuddled him and then tried to spray him. Basil had his ears back and wanted to get away. Guinness started to bark at dad!

Bark bark "What are you doing to my brother!?" barked Guinness.

After it was over, dad let Basil go and Guinness jumped in front of Basil as though to say "Move aside. I'll handle this." Guinness began licking dad like crazy as though to say "Don't hurt him don't hurt him. Take me instead!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Basil & Guinness go to Deutschland

Flat Basil and Guinness here. Mom and dad took us on an amazing trip to Bavaria (southern Germany)!

We left the real Basil and Guinness behind at grandma's house. The good thing about us Flats is we don't have stinky gas.

We went site seeing. Here is downtown Munich. We're up at Olympic Park.

We visited a bunch of old castles.

Mom and dad had a lot of livations but we just chaperoned them.

And saw a lot of fancy Arfwork. The Germans sure love their dogs. There were dogs everywhere from paintings, to tapestries, to parks and restaurants.

More photos to come...

Monday, October 18, 2010

10-14-10 Basil's 1 Year Anniversary

One year ago, a wonderful lady named Debbie granted our wish to have a frenchie of our own to love. We named him Basil Oliver Brown and we promised we would take care of him. He was sick at first, but we quickly nursed him back to health. He was such a good little pup. He cuddle with us, slept with us, and went everywhere with us. Mom taught him a few tricks. He loved to play tug of war and fetch. He would even bring the toy back. Quickly, he learned that he loved applies, pears and smoked gouda cheese. Sometimes mom would treat him with some canned sardines or salmon. Basil seemed to love mom and dad both evenly, but preferred to snuggle with mom. In February during a big snow storm, Basil got really sick after eating 4 cups of his neighbor friend Carmel's dog food. Opps! He loves to play with all kinds of dog friends and kids. In the spring, Basil joins mom outside to garden. Mom and dad even threw a big birthday party to celebrate Basil's 2nd birthday. Finally, we gave Basil his wish to have a brother and we adopted Guinness.

On year ago, you became part of our family and we love you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

FBRN Fundraiser in Philly!

We had another successful fundraiser on Saturday at Chic Petique in Philadelphia. To see all our photos, go here.

What a great set up!

We met FBRN foster Uma. She is incredibly sweet and makes a purring/sighing sound when you cuddle her. Look at her purty dress.

We got to see Mr. Gibbs again who was dressed up as E.T.

There were lots of goodies for sale like this new hat.

Ellie Mae and Guinness were workin' the crowd for some mola!

Our pal Tego (right) joined in on the fun! A local frenchie named Henry came dressed in a Devil's costume to enter our costume contest.

FBRN foster wore a beautiful purple gown!

Guinness looked very distinguished with his bow tie.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The True Test

After all this training, we went over for a visit with Basil & Guinness' auntie Sugar to see how they would do there at Grandma's house. A big concern for us is *Will we be able to bring the boys over during holiday functions where there is a lot of chaos and such? Will they be dependable or will a fight break out?*

In the past, we let them run loose and they run around the yard and wrastle with all the other dogs. Our trainer friend told us that when we take them over to another person's house for a visit or for a party, we should keep the leash on them and make them sit at our side. For how long? For the whole time until they understand that THIS is the behavior we EXPECT from them at another person's home. Doesn't sound fun does it? Wait.

As soon as we entered the house, kids and dogs and lots of squeels of joy and love were all over the boys. Pretty quickly, we could see something escalating and I moved Guinness away into an open space. The boys dragged their leashes around the entire time. For the first 20 minutes, the boys were not allowed to interact with Sugar, the kids or eachother. I just had them "Sit" at my side with me forward or side ways. Each time they were tempted to get up, I reminded them to Sit again. When all was calm, they were allowed to play and get love, but the leashes stayed on. The kids asked us why we had to do this and we explained that dogs aren't allowed to just crazy in someone else's house.

Basil seemed to be excited (anxious) with this practice, but Guinness did very well and sat by my side the whole time with no protest. I'll have to work with Basil some more. It was hard for him to ignore Sugar when she was egging him on to play.

Next: Working on "Heel" and leash walking.

Meet Guinness and Basil in person!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bullie Bootcamp: Week 2

We're really starting to see results.

Our daily routine still includes:
  • Ignoring them the first few minutes when I get home from work.
  • No bed. No sofa.
  • No mugging the door.
  • When exiting/entering, they have to walk behind me.
  • No barking frenzy.
  • No compulsive licking (us).
  • No hogging toys. We've taken them away.
  • No mugging the food bowl.
  • No tug of war play.

No mugging the food bowl - When we adopted Basil, I didn't train him to "wait" and then eat when I tell him it's okay to approach the bowl. It was my fault that I didn't have the patience and Basil was so easy going that I just thought, "ehh, he can have that one." With Guinness and Basil, together I noticed that they began mugging the bowl more and more. They inched closer and closer to it for fear the other dog would eat his food. I could see myself on an episode of the Dog Whisperer where I was one of those silly owners who was "afraid" of her dogs and threw the bowl down and couldn't get my hand away fast enough. Something had to be done. Once the baby gates were up, I was able to keep one dog out of the kitchen while I fed the other and no dog had to be afraid that the other dog will eat his food. Since Basil was the being the bully about the food, I fed Guinness first for a week. Before I had the gates, I would tie Basil's leash to the door while I fed Guinness. I made Guinness "Wait". I asked him to "Watch me" by pointing to the outer corner of my eye. Paused for a few seconds and then pointed to the bowl and said "Yes!" It took about 3-4 tries with Guinness. I wouldn't put the bowl down until they kept their head up and waited for my say so. Basil required 5-6 tries and finally he got the hint. That's also why I used Guinness first as the demonstrator since he's better trained and could show Basil what needs to be done. Soon after that, it only takes Guiness 1 try and Basil 2 tries. Also, they aren't scarfing their food down like somedog is going to steal it. When it was all said and done (after 6 tries), it seemed effortless. It worked and all it took was a few minutes. Don't get frustrated while you are training. As Cesar says, you have to be in a calm assertive state of mind.

*It's important to note that by controlling their food, I have far more leverage in training them.

Water bowls - It was suggested that we should keep more water bowls scattered around the house so that Basil can't guard them from Guinness. At first, I didn't see a need. I thought they were fine and it was great that they ate in the same room. I was so blinded by the need to get them to "get along". Perhaps it was more mental in doggie language because I didn't see any outward signs of Basil guarding over Guinness' bowl even though Basil would ocassionally block Guinness from his bowl. I just thought they liked swaping bowls and "sharing". It was suggested that maybe for peace, just keep the food bowls separated and put more water bowls around. So I put a big bowl on the far side of the dining room on a little rug. Immediately, Guinness came over and began slurping it down. My poor wittle man. I could tell he was relaxed and loved that bowl far far far away from "Basil's area". He went to it several times within the hour that day.

No Bed No Sofa - The boys do not attempt to go on the furniture anymore. We rarely have to remind them now. It finally sunk in and they lay on the carpet in the evenings. Then a few days ago, they began voluntarily going into their crates to sleep. Guinness goes into it more often than Basil. Basil jumped onto one of the arm chairs and then I realized he just wanted to go to bed and wasn't necessarily being defiant. He actually has a bed time of about 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM. So I led him to his crate and he slept in there without protest for the rest of the night. I do that every night now. One late night while my husband and I were watching a movie, both boys went into their crates. When Guinn heard a noise on the tv, he came out and Basil came following like "who dat?! what's dat?!" Then they would go back into the crate. They did this repeatedly. It was so funny!

PLAY! We do get to play with them but we do the work first. When they are calm and we've done our training, we'll play with them and let them outside to romp.

After 2 rigorous weeks of training (and seeing results), we awarded the boys on Saturday morning to nap with us on our bed. We let them come upstairs and onto our bed. We cuddled and slept with them for another hour before rising. It was so sweet. Basil and Guinness were huddled between us laying on one another's behind.

Next up...going for a car ride, walk and to Grandma's house.