'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Healthy Option.

No trespassing.

Today (well, yesterday now), I discovered that a pet shop near me--about fifteen minute's walk away, right next to ASDA--sells more chews than you can shake a tuggy rope at. They have everything from mixed-meat chews (picked up a couple of each, and Lola snatched one out of my hand to gobble down in seconds; I guess she likes them!) to cheap 500g bags of tripe, to bull pizzles. I've been looking for bull pizzles since they were recommended by the dogsintraining lj community; I checked with the other pet shops (Healthy Option didn't occur to me - instead, I looked at the two small pet shops in my town and Pets At Home, which is about ten minutes away by train) and couldn't find any, and thought I would have to order online. Of course, the one place I should have checked, I didn't.

But, anyway, now I have pizzles -- and Lola loves them. Even a peanut butter lined Kong doesn't hold her attention as long as a bull pizzle; she chewed solidly at one for about fifteen minutes while we were out, and then for about forty minutes when we got home. A raw bone only occupies her attention for half an hour before she's begging for a break!

In retrospect, taking L along with me to the shop may not have been the greatest idea. There were too many people there who just wanted to stroke and hug and smoosh her lil face. Lola simply refused contact with anyone, and I had to resort to stepping between her and one elderly woman that was crooning to and scaring her. I really do need to find a way to stop people from touching her (or trying to) constantly. On the other hand, a man there took some of my treats and let them fall around his hand as he crouched down, and Lola (hesitantly) took them. So, progress I guess.

Whilst at Healthy Option, I picked up an adorable (yet alarming) rabbit toy. It has no fur but is soft, has a squeaker inside, and has long legs that are perfect for tugging. It's the best kind of toy I've seen for Lola: appealing to her prey drive (and boy, does she have a toy-killin' prey drive!) by squeaking, being soft enough for her to really sink her teeth into, and yet long enough and floppy enough for me to swing it around and tug with her without getting razor teeth on my skin. Jess is forbidden from going near it, as the rabbit would last all of about ten seconds if she got it in her mouth. It's currently a one-on-one toy for Lola, which I'm building up the value of by only letting her tug with it for a few moments at a time before it is whisked away and tossed excitedly around the room. I look (and sound) like a psychopath while I'm doing it, but it stirs her up - and I do want a dog with a strong tug drive.

In other news, I rediscovered Gimp 2 on my computer and have been playing around with some of the photos I took today. Many only needed a quick fix of the colour levels (or something like that...) to be made instantly much better, but I enjoyed really messing with a few. My new camera (Sony DSCS2000S Cyber-Shot) should be arriving within the next couple of days, and I'm looking forward to that. It's a 10.1mpx cam, as opposed to my poor Kodak's 8.2; and I generally hear enough good things about the Sony Cyber-Shot to make it worth the price.


Sara said...

Oh, I am in love with Lola's face! Now wonder why so many people wanted to touch her.

Jess and Lola said...

Her face is really adorable; photos don't even do her justice, half the time. Sometimes I wish I'd gotten a slightly less cute pup, and then maybe people wouldn't feel quite so much like they just *have* to touch her (especially when I'm holding her and so can't step between them, humph).