Mardi and I had our first private obedience lesson last Wednesday and I liked the instructor, so I signed Mardi up for play with other dogs on Saturdays from 9 to 11 AM. Mardi has wanted to meet any dog we see when we are out and I have been a little worried to let her do so because she is really small and so many dog owners are idiots. The instructor has a really nice property/business with an indoor ring for training and a fenced outdoor exercise area--all safe. She takes dogs for two hours on Saturday and Sunday AM and the owners are expected to leave for the 2 hour session. I was a little uncomfortable but decided to trust the instructor. I was more nervous than when I dropped my kids off for the first day of kindergarten! There were several dogs outside in the fence when we arrived and the instructor met us just inside the door of the ring. She brought Sadie with her to greet Mardi. Sadie is a young, black Lab almost as small as Mardi and they loved each other immediately. I left the instructor with my cell phone number and then I drove away slowly so I could get a glimpse of Mardi as she first interacted with the other dogs. There were several Labs, a big Poodle-looking dog, a small yapper and a few other breeds including a pudgy Bulldog. I returned 15 minutes early and Mardi was cavorting everywhere with the other dogs. When the instructor noticed me she brought Mardi in to the gate entry of the ring and the Bulldog came along too. Mardi was having a ball and happy to see me, but showed no anxiety because I had been gone. The instructor said Mardi had played non-stop and was full of energy and got along well with all the dogs. I am so glad I decided to take Mardi there. I will next take her to the Good Dog Park at Onondaga Lake Park where there is a really nice fenced, off leash dog park sponsored by Wegman's. I used to take my Sibes there and was afraid to take Mardi only because she is small--but too big for the little dog section. It is clear Mardi needs a lot of opportunity to burn off energy and I am happy I now can take her to both places. She is just full of joy!
Just make sure you watch the other dogs at the park. Some owners are not very observant, or responsible, and many of us have had problems at dog parks.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
I plan to go at off hours where it will be easier to observe interactions.
That is wonderful and hopefully will go a long way in building her confidence so her her seperation anxiety at home calms also.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
My vet is vehemently against giving a dog ANY kind of bone. I totally agree with the exception of a hollow soup bone. I don't feed raw so I never use any raw bones. The vet says a dog can break a tooth chewing on a bone. The dog trainer says if a dog chews frantically and breaks a tooth, then they should not get another bone. Mardi has a huge desire to chew and I decided to let her have a bone whenever I make vegetable beef soup. I gave her a bone yesterday when I left her inside in her crate while I cut the grass. She didn't bark at all! This is the first time I have left her in the house without me or the house cleaner/dog sitter present and I intend to give her a bone whenever I leave her alone in the house. She does tolerate waiting for me in the car now.