Dog Treats, Toys & Expectations

frozen dog treats
Janet enjoys a home made frosty treat
The Dogtor is in

When we treat our furkid companions as family members instead of livestock it’s easy to spoil them with dog treats and toys. Sometimes they can become so accustomed to getting treats that they become demanding. This can be a disruption to training and an aggravation in your home-life. Usually it’s more of a hopeful anticipation – which is not an undesired behavior.

Dog Treats and Proper Diet

The impact of dog treats on a dog’s diet is similar to handing out sweets to a child: if done indiscriminately it can have a seriously adverse effect on their health and well-being. Choose wisely when selecting treats.

Good Dogs and Sharing

Cochise talks about sharing
Cochise explains

Many dogs are, by nature, possessive and sometimes aggressive about food. This can create problems in an otherwise peaceful home. While all dogs should have their own dish at feeding time – to control portions – treats and toys sometimes involve sharing.

If there are multiple dogs in the home, each needs to be able to accept small treats without getting grabby; trying to steal another dog’s treats. Durable treats like chew bones will last a long time, that means sharing them. People and dogs need to know who is alpha and behave accordingly.

Of course the Peoples are uber-alpha, but among us dogs we will have our social order as well. Once we all agree on that order, peace can be maintained. Problems come when more than one dog thinks it’s in charge. Being possessive about food is not so much about hunger as it is about control. Once we all agree that I’m the big dog, I can be magnanimous by sharing.

Of course, the fact that none of us is starving helps.


Cochise Mentor dogHairyFace made a trash run today, so Blondie and I got to go along. I rode shotgun (of course). Hairy won’t roll the window down enough for me to stick my head out, but he turns the vents up on high so I can get a good sniff of what we’re driving through. There’s always so much to see.

Blondie rides behind the seats. She gets an open wing window on each side and she can watch out the front and back as well as the sides, so don’t go feeling sorry for her: she likes the ride too.

At the end of our nice long truck ride we will be at this place called a Convenience Center. Hairy says they call it that because it makes it easy for peoples to dispose of their trash. I don’t know why you don’t just eat it: I would.

Anyway, when we get there Hairy gets out and takes some of the trash from the back of the truck and puts in this container, and some in that container and still more of it in that thing over there. He calls it RECYCLING. I have no idea what that means, but he seems to think it’s important. He’s pretty smart, for a Peoples, so if he thinks it’s important, then I say you should think it’s important too.

There’s always lots going on here. And sometimes one of the other peoples here will come over and scratch our heads (Blondie and I, not Hairy … that would be weird) and tell us what fine looking dogs we are. That’s one of the things I like best about our Saturday morning truck rides. Another thing is that it smells so GOOD here!

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Rain, Rain, Go Away …

Cochise does not like rain
Cochise tells the tale

Some dogs like to play in water and even in the rain. Others do not. Blondie’s yellow Labrador side sometimes entices her to go walking in a light rain, but most of the time her Pit Bull side overrules that and she prefers to stay on the porch, in the dry, and watch from there. I am an American Bulldog. I dislike getting wet. I don’t even like getting my feet wet after a rain has stopped. But that’s partly because when I go back inside the house HairyFace will clean the mud off my feet with a towel. I don’t like that: it tickles.

I like being able to run outside anytime I need to bark at something. I like laying on the stone slabs of the porch steps in the warm sunshine. I can’t do that in the rain. Even though I have a home where I can stay dry and safe when it rains, rain keeps me from doing what I want, so I don’t like the rain.


Dolly and Zadie in Workshop

The Dogtor is in

I let the dogs out that morning. They each barked once or twice and Boots (who lived down the road) came streaking joyfully across the yard from the old dirt mountain road, dodging his way through the garden boxes. The three of them started wrestling around like they always did. The three of them were buddies and constant play mates, but Boots and Zadie were best friends. I went back inside to fix breakfast. It was Wednesday; my day to fix scrambled eggs and bacon.

Dolly came in after a bit, but not Zadie: she had gone off adventuring with Boots.

When it was time to sit down for breakfast, Marie went out and called Zadie several times, it was not like her to miss breakfast (or any other meal).

I took Marie to work so I could keep the truck for errands. Marie always handed out cookies when she left for work. Dolly always said, “Give mine to my ‘boy’ here and he’ll go put them on my bed in the office.” Zadie scarfed hers down and tried to snatch Dolly’s as well. If Boots was visiting he’d get some too. Today: no Boots, no Zadie. Dolly was miffed that I was leaving: that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. She was such a creature of habit!

Being a Shop Dog and Housebreaking

The Dogtor is in

Housebreaking any dog, whether a puppy or an adult dog can be a trying phase of dog ownership. Housebreaking is more than just teaching them not to urinate or defecate in the house: there are also rules concerning destruction of household items and acceptable indoor behavior. Rules will vary from family to family and may depend on the size of the dog. A pair of four pound chihuahuas running up and down the hallway is not as hazardous as a pair of 90 pound bull dogs. Some will not allow the dogs on the furniture; or only on specific pieces, others don’t care or even encourage it. Learning proper behavior at meal time, and learning to share toys and treats are all important lessons to master before getting their Really Good Dog diploma.