Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Rescue Dog Saves Family From Christmas Light Fire

Years ago, Pippa the 9-year-old rescue dog found a loving home with Jan Bickhart and her family. She currently lives with them in Virginia and she is very loyal to all her family members. The sweet senior dog always wants what’s best for her loved ones, so when she sensed danger, she knew she had to do something. Her family had rescued her when she needed a home, so now it was her turn to rescue them.

At 2 a.m. one Sunday night, Bickhart’s house caught on fire. The fire started outside, so the smoke alarms didn’t go off right away. However, Pippa was able to notice the fire even before the smoke alarms did.

Image: Jan Bickhart Facebook

Pippa to the Rescue!

Pippa began barking as soon as she noticed that something was wrong. She smelled the smoke outside and decided to alert her family right away.

Bickhart could tell that this was no ordinary bark. She said that Pippa’s bark sounded vicious, so she suspected that there was an intruder in the house. When she got up to investigate, she realized that the house was on fire.

The family ran out of the house as fast as possible, but Bickhart soon realized that Pippa and her other dog, Benny, were not behind her. She refused to leave her dogs alone in the burning house, so she ran back inside despite the firefighters’ wishes. 

Image: Screenshot, nbcwashington.com

Luckily, the firefighters were able to get Bickhart, Pippa, and Benny safely out of the house. Thanks to Pippa’s bravery and amazing detection skills, her whole family was safe from the fire.

Be Cautious with Christmas Lights

The cause of this house fire was something that’s fairly common, especially around the holidays. The fire started because of the cords attached to the family’s Christmas lights. They had used an indoor extension cord on the outside of their house.

“If there’s one thing to tell your viewers, it’s to check your cords,” said Bickhart during an interview. “And everybody needs to get a dog. A rescue dog.”

Image: Jan Bickhart Facebook

This wasn’t Pippa’s first time near a fire. About a year ago, their next door neighbor’s house burned to the ground also because of some faulty Christmas lights. The holiday season has been an unlucky time for Bickhart’s family recently, but if it weren’t for Pippa, things would’ve been much worse this time around.

Never take a rescue dog for granted. You saved their life when you adopted them, so of course, they will always love and protect you. Pippa’s family realized this more than ever during this scary event.

H/T: nbcwashington.com

Featured Image: Screenshots, nbcwashington.com

The post Rescue Dog Saves Family From Christmas Light Fire appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

She Decided To Quit Her Job, Dump Her Boyfriend, & Travel Around The US With Her Dog

sydney van life

Sydney Ferbrache had no idea that a picture on Instagram could change the path of her entire life. When she scrolled past a photo of a girl traveling around and living in her van, she knew she had to make this her reality.

Now, Sydney is traveling around the US with her dog Bella, while over 100,000 people follow her journey on Instagram. Though she is now a passionate advocate for solo travel, her journey didn’t start this way.

sydney van travel
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

Sydney got her first taste of the travel lifestyle when she went to Europe with a college friend after her freshman year. After spending 3 weeks exploring Europe, she knew she was addicted to seeing more of the world. With the experience she gained on her last adventure, she booked her first solo trip to Africa.

Sydney spent 3 weeks back-packing alone around Cape Town and Johannesburg. Once she got home from her first solo trip abroad, she knew she was capable of anything. With this newfound confidence, she was ready to begin her life on the road. But first, she wanted to convince her then-boyfriend to tag along on this adventure with her.

sydney van life
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

The couple was currently working 70-80 hours a week in restaurants and felt crippled by the lives they were leading. It didn’t take much convincing before her boyfriend agreed to come along for the ride. But first, they had to purchase the van.

“I saw this picture and it took me down this black tunnel hole of van life. I was scrolling for hours a day on my laptop and in between homework and everything else, just looking at vans. We bought one, had it shipped to Indianapolis, and that was the start of how I discovered van life.”- Sydney

Sydney and her boyfriend purchased their first van and poured thousands of dollars into the renovations. After their first van project was complete, they set out for their life on the road in 2017.

sydney van life
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

Though Sydney had created the life she wanted with her boyfriend, it soon became clear that her boyfriend just wasn’t the one for her.

“I have always felt that I’m capable of going 100 mph and I was with someone only capable of going 50 mph. I felt I couldn’t be doing everything I wanted, or shooting for the stars the way I wanted, because he had very different dreams.” – Sydney

Sydney’s boyfriend viewed van life as a phase that Sydney just had to work through before she could officially settle down somewhere, get married, and have kids. When Sydney decided that she wanted to walk away from the relationship, she ended up giving the van to him. She knew that with the dedication that she had toward her goals, she could accomplish this again, but on her own this time.

sydney van life
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

After taking on several jobs, along with her side work online with freelance web design, she was soon able to purchase and renovate her own van. By September 2018, she was ready to hit the road again! A week before she took off, she made one last change – a puppy named Ella.

sydney van life
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

“I sat there the first day, just staring out the windows at the mountains. I spent two to three days there just in awe — I couldn’t believe my life.” – Sydney

Sydney has since been to over 20 states in her new van and has grown a large audience of viewers that are inspired by her journey. She even created her own website documenting her life, along with a successful podcast that discusses life in the van and other relatable life topics.

 “I’ve never woken up once in the last year and not felt like this isn’t exactly what I should be doing. I don’t foresee anywhere in the near future where I want to stop, but I also don’t want to hold myself to this idea that I have to be on the road.” – Sydney

sydney van life
DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

Sydney wants to inspire others to solo travel despite the fears and warnings that you generally hear regarding a female traveling on their own. All she needed was her pup and her determination to make her dreams come true, and it’s attainable for other dog loving, travel junkies as well!

If you’d like to keep up with Sydney and Ella’s adventures, you can follow along on Instagram here.

H/T: www.lucisphilippines.press
Image Source: DivineOnTheRoad/Instagram

The post She Decided To Quit Her Job, Dump Her Boyfriend, & Travel Around The US With Her Dog appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Crafty Narcotics Detection Dog Escapes Kennel For A Post-Holiday Break

Look, nobody likes going back to work after a holiday break. Why shouldn’t that sentiment apply to working canines too? At least, that seems to be the mindset of a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Hyco who sniffs out narcotics for a living in South Carolina.

On Friday December 27th, Hyco got a little stir-crazy and escaped from his kennel. The Greenville County Sheriff’s office shared his photo on Facebook, hoping someone in the surrounding area would recognize him.

@Greenville-County-Sheriffs-Office-274184402705200/Facebook

Hyco is shy around new people, though he gets along with other dogs. Brent Haynes, who lives nearby, assured everyone that while he was on his walkabout Hyco had people looking after him.

“If it’s of any help to his handler he slept on my porch last night for a while on a warm bed and had water and a bowl of food. He would not let me get close enough to have a look at his collar . He was nice to my dogs. I saw a few squad cars today so I assumed he was a K-9 and was found.”

Thankfully, the Sheriff’s Office reported that on Saturday morning Hyco had been returned safe and sound.

Belgian Malinois are smart and strong working dogs who love to keep busy. AKC’s description of the breed really sums it up:

“If you have ever seen a Mal perform an obedience routine, you know firsthand what a smart and eager breed this is. Problems set in, though, when this people-oriented dog is underemployed and neglected. Exercise, and plenty of it, preferably side by side with their adored owner, is key to Mal happiness.”

Many Facebook commenters noted how commonly Mals escape from their crates and kennels.

So very happy he was found safe. These dogs are too smart for their own good sometimes. They get bored too easy in their pens and want to explore.” – Jeannine Lockridge via Facebook

“He actually escaped his outdoor kennel. He is a Mal and they can just about chew through anything. Praying he is found safe.” -Christine Peters via Facebook

Growing up my dad was a handler for Anderson City and our Belgian Malinios, Chuck, seemed to always know when Dad was out of town and would use that time to do his “meet and greet” to a far off location. They would bring in the other K9s to track him, and often times it was to a house party where he got endless hotdogs. The tiny police badge on his collar should have been a giveaway that he probably didn’t belong there, but I guess it was a better story to have a (dog) cop crash a party for food and drinks for a change.” – Kati Galman via Facebook

The good thing is, this smart little troublemaker is back with his handlers and ready (in theory) to get back to work. Mal parents take note: these guys would probably be better off living indoors with you. At least you can keep a better eye on their escape attempts that way.

H/T: WYFF4

Featured Image: @Greenville County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

The post Crafty Narcotics Detection Dog Escapes Kennel For A Post-Holiday Break appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Pit Bull Rescued After Being Trapped In Porta Potty

A kind woman never expected to be a hero when she decided to use a portable restroom at a Michigan park. She opened the porta potty door to reveal a dog in need. A poor Pit Bull had been abandoned in a crate that was zip-tied shut inside the bathroom. He was left with no food or water, and he was shivering alone in the cold. So, the woman cut the zip-ties off his crate and called for help without hesitation.

The dog was brought to the Harbor Humane Society where he was given the name Jon. He gave plenty of kisses to his rescuer and showed even more love to his new caretakers. The humane society referred to the woman who rescued him as a ‘human angel’. She likely saved his life that day.

Image: @harborhumane/Facebook

The staff at the humane society are unsure how long he was alone for. He showed no signs of abuse. In fact, he’s a very happy dog who adjusted to his new life at the shelter almost immediately.

Animal control is aware of the situation and they’re working hard to find out what happened. They have been on the lookout for Jon’s previous family, but no information has been found yet.

No dog should have to go through what Jon went through. Hopefully, he will be able to find a loving home soon!

Meet Jon!

If you saw Jon in person, you wouldn’t be able to tell he had a rough past. He’s an extremely happy dog that falls in love with everyone he meets. He loves playing with toys, and he’s stolen the hearts of all the staff members at Harbor Humane.

Image: Screenshot, woodtv.com

“He’s great. He’s a really, really sweet, well-mannered dog,” said Jennifer Nuernberg with Harbor Humane.

The humane society still has a lot to learn about Jon. They aren’t sure how old he is or where he’s from. They need to make sure he’s healthy and up to date on all vaccinations. So, he’ll stay at the shelter for about a week, and then he’ll be ready for adoption.

“He seems to be in really good shape, and he’s in good spirits, so we’re just keeping an eye on him and getting him some good enrichment,” said Nuernberg.

Jon’s situation was very unusual, but stray dogs like him are found nearly every day. It’s difficult for Harbor Humane to care for them without the help of the community. So, if you would like to help dogs in need like Jon, please donate to the Harbor Humane Society. Every donation could change a dog’s life.

Image: @harborhumane/Facebook

H/T: woodtv.com

Featured Image: Screenshot, woodtv.com

The post Pit Bull Rescued After Being Trapped In Porta Potty appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.