Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

June 30, 2011

Water Supply

It is very important to provide your puppy with a plentiful and clean supply of drinking water, especially when the temperatures climb. Monte has a large stainless steel bowl that holds about two quarts.

This morning I woke up extremely early. After a quick potty break for Monte, I decided that he might as well have an early breakfast. He was ecstatic; he loves to eat. Trusting Monte completely, I decided to grab an extra two hours of sleep and gave him the run of the house. On the verge of falling back to sleep, I heard Monte lapping up water, but it sounded closer than the kitchen.

I sat up in bed to confirm my suspicions. Yes, Monte's survival skills kicked in and he had located an alternative water supply. I calmly told him to "LEAVE IT." Before reprimanding him I checked the primary source which turned out to be completely dry. It doesn't pay to have a big water bowl, if you forget to fill it.

June 28, 2011

Summerfest Distractions

The summer festival in Oregon last weekend meant nightly walks through the carnival. On Thursday, the sights, sounds, and smells offered quite a challenge for our energetic little boy. By Sunday, he couldn't care less.

We awoke Sunday morning to the rhythmic drum beats of marching bands preparing for the parade and evening show. We walked along the parade route and encountered a year's worth of sirens and bands. The horses and dogs were the most difficult distraction; they drew a double take from Monte, but nothing more.

It was a hot one, so we rested in the shade every chance we got.

June 25, 2011


Today was another fundraiser for OccuPaws. Being involved with a non-profit, one quickly learns that Raising Money is almost as important as Raising Puppies. Today was the "Hogs for Guide Dogs" event. Motorcycle enthusiasts show their support for guide dogs while spending a beautiful day on their cycles.

Monte is the most vocal dog in the world; he continues to cry when he doesn't get his way. Therefore, it was quite appropriate that Monte spent the day at the first checkpoint, Wollersheim Winery.

Never failing to disappoint, our puppy was whining before we left the start line. He wanted to play with our newest puppy, Faith. Hopefully it is not a learned behavior because she was crying because she couldn't play with Monte.

Once at our destination for the day, Monte settled in. That is until meeting the first group of riders. He feeds off the energy of others and quickly matched their enthusiasm - wiggling and licking, with a few nibbles.

After greeting all the riders and answering all their questions, we returned to home base. With many more opportunities to meet and greet, Monte found a perfect match. It was mutual attraction. Both calm and relaxed, they traded pets and licks. Monte ended up resting his head on the boy's leg while getting an ear rub.

Monte behaved perfectly, proving once again that "A tired dog is a good dog."

June 22, 2011


We restocked our supply of training treats at Mound's Dog Fest by loading up on free samples of dog food. Monte now has a virtual buffet of dog treats. To only be given in moderation to avoid any digestive issues.

We also received a $5 coupon for our favorite dog food that was burning a hole in my pocket. The sales representative mentioned that it happened to be on sale this month. In addition to our bounty from the Dog Fest, every class at the Dog Den earns a $5 certificate. So, free money in hand we visited one of Monte's favorite places - Mound's Pet Food Warehouse.

We made our selection of NutriSource Large Breed Chicken and Rice, it is similar, but a new food. It occurred to me that Monte has never had more than two bags of the same dog food. He started out on Wellness Large Breed Puppy, followed by NutriSource Chicken&Rice, Natural Balance Ultra Premium, and American Natural Premium Original. All "premium" foods, our selections have been based on recommendations, availability, and price.

We splurged and picked up a new chew toy. Monte's new favorite pastime is chewing on his antler.

We were impressed with a new food we saw at Dog Fest and considered giving it a try. However, a thirty pound bag of Orijen was around $70, which is a bit too pricey even for Monte. Considering whole chicken breasts were $0.99 a pound at Pick n' Save this week, he will settle for receiving Orijen as a reward for good behavior.

June 17, 2011

Uncivil Rewards

Monte did surprising well last night at our OccuPaws training class. His obedience is generally very good, but there were a lot of energetic puppies and distractions galore in the mall. My biggest concern was when we swapped puppies. Monte doesn't always work well for others; he requires consistency and a firm leader. Needless to say. it is critical that our dogs will work for others.

Abbey became my partner and she is a little spitfire. After a short breaking-in period, we found common ground and worked well together. She was focused on me, and my "air biscuit'. There were only a few bouts of over excitement and loss of control.

Now, Monte can be food obsessive, so we never work him with treats, real or imaginary. He simply loses his brain. I was able to share this with his "new" raiser which eased the transition. I was not able to watch Monte, as Abbey required and received my undivided attention, but Lisa said that he did better than she expected.

In addition to our obedience work, the mall is a place to greet people. Monte has learned to greet me calmly when I come home. He is ignored until he complies and affection ceases when his behavior is undesirable. However, when meeting strangers, he has learned that most any behavior is acceptable because he always gets rewarded. On numerous occasions Monte's uncivil behavior was rewarded.

On our walk tonight, we met a neighbor and her dog. She asked if Monte could have a small treat. "Only if he stays calm and takes it gentle" was my reply. He quickly learned the only way to get a treat from me is to let me open my hand with treat exposed and wait for an "OK". She tried so hard to follow my rule as Monte attempted to dislodge the morsel from her hand. Eventually she got frustrated and dropped the treat into his mouth from above, to "preserve her fingers" she said. Monte's uncivil behavior was again rewarded.

For me, the hardest part of being a puppy raiser is training others to help train my dog. Granted Monte is high energy dog with a low dose of impulse control, but he is smart and quickly learns what is acceptable. He has also learned that different people enforce different rules.

June 15, 2011

Home Alone

Monday night, Monte received an unexpected visitor. Although it looked like Banjo, it was actually his brother Toby. Toby, who lives here in Oregon, was never part of the OccuPaws training program. The trainer at the time thought he was going to be too laid back - perfect pet. Based on his demeanor and his owners description, Marlene was absolutely correct.

This gave us a great opportunity to practice the PLACE command with the ultimate distraction. Monte went directly to his PLACE, but remained on alert, waiting for a chance to play. He was very good until I gave him an inch; he took a mile. I learned my lesson because once he was able to greet Toby he only wanted more.

For the last six weeks, I have been home alone on Tuesday nights. Lisa and Monte have been going to the Dog Den for training class by themselves. They successfully completed the Intermediate class.

Loyal readers will note that this was his second time through the class. The level of class is not important because most classes practice/teach the same things. It's more about a solid hour of training each week with professional guidance and plenty of dog distractions.

I usually work with Monte at OccuPaws events and some of you may think that I am doing all the training. That's because after Lisa spends all day every day with him, I need to get my training in after work and on weekends.

June 12, 2011

CGC Demo

In preparation for Dog Fest, we got up early this morning, went for a short run, and ate a quick breakfast. Well, actually these are the things we do every weekend. But we were already anticipating the Dog Den's Canine Good Citizen demonstration this afternoon. They asked and we volunteered to participate even though Monte has not yet passed the CGC test.

The Dog Den has been so kind to help us out with Monte's obedience training. Hopefully, we won't make them look bad.

Unable to attend the practice session, we were assigned Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead). I knew this would be the most difficult task for our puppy. The trainers must have based the assignment on Monte's behavior in class. Without all the distractions, he walks very well and is focused.

In the real world, outside of class, we struggle with this behavior. And Dog Fest is real world stimulation on steroids - hundreds of canines in various states of excitement.

As we entered the "ring", I knew I was in trouble. Monte was hearing me, but not paying attention. Not using the pronged collar, I struggled to quickly gain his attention. As you can tell from the photos, the lead is not loose and Monte is not focused on me. He did look at me a few times during our walk. Not a perfect example, but under the circumstances, he did good.

After a long day, our lovable, excitable fifteen month old dog is resting comfortably.

June 10, 2011

Back on the Farm

Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) started this week. It has been almost seven months since we were last out at Blue Moon Community Farm to pick up a supply of root vegetables.

In addition to our fresh produce, which included honey this week, the farm provides a training opportunity for Monte. He was very excited by the seemingly new sights and smells. Not sure which was more appealing the scent of the farm dog, new people to greet, crackers on the ground, or the new batch of friendly pigs.

June 9, 2011


Since Monte's obedience far surpasses his basic manners and self-control, we have been working on welcoming visitors to our home. Actually it's more like not molesting them as they enter. Most dogs jump, smell, lick, and are generally too welcoming to visitors. He has never been a jumper, but he is overly excited.

Over the last few weeks, we have been training Monte to go to his PLACE when the doorbell rings. He hasn't got it completely figured out yet, but he will go to his special PLACE when told. Every night when I come home, I ring the doorbell, we practice. When I go out to get the mail, we practice.

Tonight, a real visitor stopped by to discuss insurance. She didn't ring the bell, but Monte reluctantly went to his PLACE after being told. He remained in the other room, away from us, for most of our forty-five minute meeting. He only had to be reminded a couple times :-)

June 6, 2011

Race Time - Rules

Before the race started, we had time to settle in. Monte patiently watched the driver introductions and pre-race activities. He rarely missed observing a soaring bird. After the National Anthem, it was time to take care of primary objective for the evening, provide a safe environment for Monte by preventing any aural disturbance.

A trial with one ear plug in the afternoon proved unsuccessful. The ear plug remained intact for less than a second before it was sent flying through the air. Rule #1 with puppies: be prepared to leave a situation if it becomes disturbing or stressful

Rule #2: always be prepared. This time I inserted an ear plug into each ear and while trying to keep them secure, place Mutt Muffs over his head. The Mutt Muffs served two purposes. First, to further reduce the sound level and secondly to keep the ear plugs in place. We had been practicing during the week, so he calmly accepted the Mutt Muffs.

Although not stylish, he did not look out of place. Most adults and every child was either wearing ear plugs to reduce the noise or head phones to listen to driver "discussions".

Rule #3: a tired dog is a good dog. Like many people, Monte eventually got bored with the cars riding around in circles and rested.

June 5, 2011

ChicagoLand Visit

ChicagoLand Speedway was Monte's destination this weekend. He is the third puppy to accompany us to the race track. Echo and Marley have previously attended. ChicagoLand Speedway has always been accommodating to us and our trainees.

He endured a three hour car ride to the hotel, but we passed up the opportunity for the obligatory dog on hotel bed photo opportunity. We replaced it with the obligatory dog in front of race car photo. Those of you familiar with NASCAR will recognize Danica Patrick's ride. For some reason she is one of the most popular (part-time) drivers.

Arriving five hours before the first scheduled race, we used our pit passes to walk Monte through the garage area and acclimate him to the sound of car engines individually. This was the first time we had taken a dog into the pit area. Not impressed with Victory Lane, he was more intrigued by the sound of the air guns as the crews worked on their cars.

It was brutally hot, over, 90 degrees, and our primary objective during the day was to keep Monte cool and hydrated. We took every opportunity to lounge in the shade or enjoy a presentation in air conditioned comfort. A thunder shower rolled through which cooled things off, postponed one race until later, mangled our canopy, and provided a chance to be a dog (play in puddle).
Given the miles of walking during the day and Monte's aversion to slippery surfaces, we passed on the hundreds of metal steps to our seats in row sixty-four, for a leisurely elevator ride. Once to our seats, we had a spectacular view of the facility and Monte was eye-to-eye with his prey (birds). We had the whole row to ourselves and Monte was able to stretch out and relax, except for the noise of 43 cars roaring around the track below.

How will Monte react? ...

June 2, 2011


Riding home from work this evening, on my bike, I spied Monte and Lisa out for a walk moving toward me. From about a quarter mile away I noticed there was a dog approaching them. I thought it would be interesting to see what would be more distracting, another dog or his pack leader. As I rode by the dog, fifty yards from Monte, and continued on past Monte, it was clear that his attention was focused on me. I won.

At home, Lisa said that she noticed a bicyclist approaching from about a quarter mile away. In need of glasses, she couldn't tell for sure if it was me or not. That was until she sensed Monte's reaction a moment later. It was clear that he knew who was approaching. Either he has very good eyesight, superb olfactory system, he sensed my energy, or I was in need of a shower.

After Monte's initial interaction with me and my bicycle a few weeks ago, he would scan every bike that passed to check for familiarity. This would happen even when we were walking side-by-side. After a few days and one more encounter, Lisa reported that he seemingly ignores bicycles. Somehow he knows that it's not me, until today. They are amazing creatures.