Wednesday, April 28, 2010

They say a dog owner can start to look like their dog...

Look-a-likes

I had to laugh when I realized just how much my outfit matched Gibson.. The turquoise sweater..the lime green purse.. the tan coat w/a white furry collar... People already said we looked a-like (my reddish hair and general shortness).. but this put us over the top! ;)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A day in the life of Gibson

Routines are a big part of a dog's life. They love them and are totally confused when their day goes a little differently than usual. Gibson and I have our weekday (yes, the weekends are a little different, and I'll get to those later..) schedule down pat, so I thought I would share it with you...

As soon as the sun comes in through our windows, Gibson wakes up. He then stares at me until I show any sign of life and then will whine until I get out of bed. If this takes too long he'll walk up on my pillow and breathe 2 inches from my face until I have no choice but to get up.
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I then put him down off the bed (it's a little high, so I have to put him on and off of it) and he goes into his 5 minute routine of stretching and rolling around. He has to get nice and limber and also wipe his face off and blow his nose into the carpet. It's lovely. We then walk down stairs and he starts getting really excited for breakfast. If I am going too slow, he will sprint back and forth to the kitchen until I get there.

Before I feed Gibson, I make him go outside and pee, so that his food is a bit of a 'reward'. I put on his flexi lead and let him out. He pees and then does this little stretch/kicking the grass thing...which I assume is to spread his scent around the yard to scare off other animals..
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Now that that is taken care of, he is ready to go and be fed. Which is devoured in 4.3 seconds flat (Maybe a little longer since we got his slow down bowls :) ).
New "Slow Down" Bowls

While he is eating, I get on my computer and check some email until he decides he is going to poop is pants so we need to go for a walk NOW :)
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I had to poops, ma!

Our walks are pretty routine themselves. I always have to bring 3 charlie bear treats along, and give him 1 as I put his leash on. Once we get back in, I give him the other two while I take his leash off. Just a little reward for cooperating ;) Our morning walks are our 'medium walks'. This is the same exact walk every day that takes about 15 minutes.
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Once we get back in, I'll towel him off if it was damp at all and then I normally eat breakfast and work out while Gibson watches. He gets to lick my dish when I'm done eating which is very exciting for him. When I work out, he either sits and pouts, or tries to play w/me. And let me tell you, it's REALLY fun to have a corgi attached to your pant leg when you're trying to work out ;)

While, I'm showering, Gibson usually sits and looks out the window on guard duty. However, as soon as he hears me put lotion on my legs, he's up stairs ready to lick it all off...

By now, Gibson is ready to take a nice long nap, but not before he gets his Kong filled with goodies (lately it's been frozen chunks of Vital food) that I give him when I leave for work. He gets very impatient w/me at this point and just wants me to leave already so he can eat his Kong and then sleep for the next 4 hours..
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I come home for lunch every day to find Gibson in 'his' chair and verrry sleepy. We have a good cuddle session for a few moments and then he gets down and strettttttttches before I let him out to pee. At this time, he gets a small treat for lunch and then he watches me eat (hoping to get to lick my dish when I'm done). Depending on my mood and the weather, we will go for a 'quick walk' or else I will just let him out again to see if he needs to poop. Then, I leave and he sleeps 4 more hours ;)

Ben comes home from work a little bit earlier than me now, so Gibson is already up and waiting for me to get home. Sometimes, I see him looking out the window waiting for me, and other times, he's already at the door :) We immediately walk out the door and go for our 'long walk' of the day at this time, which I try to make about 20-30 minutes long.

His reward for this walk is dinner, which he expects after every early evening walk no matter what time it is, so I have to time it just right ;) I feed him about a half of a cup twice a day, and he has to sit and be nice before I will pour it into his bowl. New "Slow Down" Bowls


After his dinner, he'll watch me cook (hoping that I'll be messy and drop food on the ground) and then watch us eat (hoping we'll be nice and drop food on the ground), and then he wants to PLAY. I'll play fetch w/him for about 20 minutes or so and if he's not worn out by then, we do stair chases. This is a guaranteed "make Gibson so tired he's done playing for the night" game, and it's good exercise for me too. Basically, we run as fast as we can up the stairs, run to my room, jump on the bed, then run back down the stairs....about 3 or 4 times. It's really tiring!!
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After that, Gibson will look out the window (if it is nice out, he'll sit in the screened in porch) or chew an antler until he is ready for bed (he is also let out to pee one more time). And since he is a little prince, he is carried from wherever he is sleeping to our bed, where he sleeps until the routine begins again ;)
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Monday, April 26, 2010

How I Taught Gibson Fetch

I received a lot of questions after my last post about how I went about 'teaching' Gibson fetch... so I thought I would share what I did in this post. It was definitely a gradual process, and to be honest, we are still working on it...but, if you are having trouble getting your dog to fetch, maybe these tips will help:

1. DON'T BE THE RETRIEVER
Gibson used to love to chase after whatever I was throwing for him, but never brought it back.. I would either go get it, or he'd take off with it and expect me to chase after. Now, I refuse to play with him unless he brings me the toy back after I throw it for him. He learned pretty quick that if he wanted to keep having fun, he had to bring me the toy.

2. USE REPETITIVE PHRASES
With any trick, it's good to teach a phrase for the dogs to pick up on whenever they are doing a particular action. For fetch, I have quite a few that I use:
  • Go Get It - Every time I toss a toy for Gibson, I say "Go Get It", signaling that it is the start of the game.
  • Drop it - This is really important. Once Gibson learned this, fetch became much easier. Sometimes dogs just don't want to give up the goodie in their mouth, which is a bad habit. I taught him to drop it when he was a puppy, by opening his mouth and saying "drop it" when the object would fall out. Now, he will do it on command, since he knows he gets rewarded w/ either a toss of the object or a treat (if he has something that isn't a toy in his mouth). If for some reason he is being a jerk, and keeps trying to pick the toy back up before I can get it, I make a loud "Eh!" noise until he backs off.
  • Bring it - I use this every time he comes back to me w/the toy. I usually say it a few times until he brings it all the way back. In addition to saying this, I also pat my legs to make the point that I want him to come to me. If he drops the toy on the way back to me, I stop saying anything to let him know the game is over.


3. REWARD
Rewards are always good to let a dog know he's doing something right. This is kind of the same as #2, as I use phrases to reward Gibson during fetch. My reward words are, "Good!!" and "Thannnnnk you" (it has to be said slowly like that haha). I make sure to say these whenever he does something right. If he brings it back I say, "Good!" and then when he drops it for me, I say "Thannnk you!". When I say these things I can see his eyes light up and he gets really excited for me to toss the toy again :)

4. REPEAT

The biggest thing that helped teaching fetch was to keep trying. The more Gibson plays fetch, the better he becomes. He used to only bring things back when I was throwing, but now he'll play w/Ben all the time too. It also helps when we go over to my parents house and he gets to play w/Coal who fetches like a maniac :) He sees what she does and tries to do the same.


So, there you have it. My fetch tips :) I feel like these should help those of you w/non-fetching dogs..and if not, maybe your pup is just no the fetching type!! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bossy Fetcher

I've posted before that Gibson is not a fetch dog. He just had no interest. At all. He thought it was pretty stupid of me to expect him to bring back whatever it was I had him chase. Well, little did I know that I actually had to TRAIN him to play fetch. Who knew??

Fave Toy

So, I learned that I had to MAKE him come back or else I wouldn't play anymore. And it worked! The little bugger plays fetch now, and likes it! And when he gets really excited,he's a bossy fetcher. He barks barks barks until you throw the toy for him. It's quite annoying. Especially around company. Ugh ;)

This is illustrated perfectly in the below video, where he is playing fetch w/his Auntie Coal:



Seriously bossy :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Corgi vs Vacuum

This is what happens EVERY time I try to vacuum:



Arch enemies.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Corgis with blogs meet :)

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So, I decided to plan a mini-meetup at the dog park (somewhat) close to my house to take place yesterday. I was jonesin' for some multiple corgi action, so I thought I'd take the initiative and plan something myself.. and I must say, it was a success! 9 corgis showed up; some old friends and some new. Another celebrity corgi showed up as well.. His name is Ty, and you may know him as the Puppy on a Roomba (and if not, click on the link to check out his blog!).

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Here are Gibson and Ty going through the agility tunnel together! It was so cute. Gibson did really well this time w/the equipment, I was proud. He did the dog walk again and nailed it (of course I couldn't get a photo or video of it again, but that's ok :)


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It was a really nice little get-together. All of the other dog owners became smitten by all of the corgi cuteness.


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And Gibson had a blast.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Calendar Corgi of the Month: Dixie


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Miss April

Name: Dixie
Corgi Mom: ClassyChassy


Dixie Cuteness:






April Calendar Ideas
(it's a great time to take those photos for next year's calendar!)

-Spring/Outdoors
-Easter/Passover
-Bunnies/Bunny Butts
-Flowers
-Rain/Rain Coats


Note: Every month I'll be featuring the corgi of the month on the "Corgis (with blogs) Calendar" and giving tips on the types of photos I'll be looking for for the current month next year.
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