Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Hey everybody! This blog has been long dead, but I have started a new one with the same principles. I now run a successful (in my eyes) dog training business, so you can read about my adventures as well as listen to my usual snark over at the new blog,


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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I haven't been active in forever, and for this I apologize. But this blog has moved on to bigger, better, and more educational (and maybe a tad more snarky) things. Right now the blog is under construction and should be up within the week. This is a no holds barred blog - much like this one, I say exactly what is on my mind, damned what anyone else thinks. As I progress further into adulthood I will have more amazing stories, helpful tips, and tons of other canine related goodies. The new website is intertwinedk9.blogspot.com. Go ahead and join if you already haven't, and if you have a dog-related website you'd like me to spotlight permanently on my side bar, leave a comment on either this post or any of the postings to come on TCC. I anticipate this blog will have heavy flow, and I'm not afraid to shamelessly self promote. Thanks, dedicated readers. You stuck out my blog as a teen, and now you can follow me into adulthood. Can't wait to see you on the new blog!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To use or not to use?

Let's start off with a few updates. One, I opted not to continue training to volunteer at the shelter. The staff was, in my eyes, unprofessional. I did not like the way they addressed volunteers, and I did not like their policies, so I took my volunteering elsewhere. Now, I volunteer at the local food bank, and I love it. Second bit of news is that when I moved up here, my fathers dog was an absolute nightmare. He would sit inches away from your dinner plate and drool, lick the air, and paw you. My parents aren't very firm with him, wheedling a tiny little "no" when he was begging and expected him to listen. By far, this is the least intelligent dog I have ever worked with, but guess what? It took him around two days to learn that begging was by no means acceptable behavior, and that when I eat, he is to go to his corner and lie down. From time to time I have to reinforce this, but never physically. A loud "NO!" and an "Out" suffices. I have also been working on keeping him out of the kitchen using the same approach. Sometimes, he will creep in, but when I turn around and find him standing there, he beats a hasty retreat back to the living room. My parents still can't grasp the concept, so when they eat, there he is, hovering inches away from their plate. I have tried to show them that all it takes is a firm voice, but they still give him the little baby, "No no, no being a beggar". If they decide not to take up my technique, fine with me, but I will be enjoying my meals drool free. I'm also going to have to teach him to stop scratching at the door, a lovely habit which he picked up from the cat.

Anyways, on to my main point. There was a discussion today in which I participated involving the use of Halti-Leads, choke chains, and prong collars. I have used Haltis religiously and have had amazing success, but most people seem to think it's a tool created by Satan himself. They gave accounts of dogs just wigging out over it, but my experience has always been that sure, it will be a bit uncomfortable at first, but after swiping at their nose for a while and giving a vigorous roll in the grass, they figure it isn't coming off and get over it. I have successfully retrained my extremely fearful hundred pound dog with the use of a Halti with no repercussions, whereas when I would use a flat nylon or a choker, he would bolt and leave me dragging on the other end of the leash. I've had pullers that were broken of the habit using a Halti, leash-wanderers (as I call them; the dogs who just can't seem to keep on one side during a walk), overly hyper dogs, and none have had a violent reaction to it.

However, in the discussion, a prong collar was deemed the best idea. I have used a prong, and some dogs respond well, but there were some dogs that would absolutely pull until it punctured their neck. Switching to a Halti, the sensation of pressure on their nose and a quick jerk to the side, thus throwing them off balance, I have gotten a lot better results, and more quickly.

Then comes to the subject of the dreaded choke chain. I had been using a prong for about a week on my step dad's English bulldog, and it may as well have been that I was trying to walk him using a piece of dental floss. He absolutely did NOT care about it, and would pull and pull, and, well, pull some more. A Halti was not an option, as he's one of the brachycephalic breeds, and neither was a harness, because with his awkward shape he could easily back out of them. What bothered me about it most though is that even though it was brand new, the collar would sometimes lock up with his pulling and I'd be rushing to unstick it before my dog was strangled to death. That is when I switched to a choke chain. He was EXTREMELY dog aggressive and thought he was massive, going after dogs four times his size. A week on the choker, and I could walk him through parks and bring him wherever I pleased. Mind you, I never choked him but he learned that pulling caused an uncomfortable squeeze. I also used a choke chain on my larger dog, who had an affinity for pulling me down the street to investigate all the awesome smelling things he came across. I can now walk him on a slack line, to the point where the chain is dangling off his neck with plenty of free space, and he stays right by my side.

IMO, when used properly, choke chains and Halti-leads are absolute miracle workers. Prong collars, however, I absolutely loathe and will never use one. In my mind, you may as well be using a shock collar.

What is your opinion on the subject of choke chains, Halti leads, and prong collars? I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In all fairness...

I've finally set myself up here in Washington and am on the road to starting my life, college, driving, work, and all the other things that come with growing up.

To offset the boredom I've been experiencing sitting here in the suburbs, I decided to take a volunteer job at the new Everett Animal Shelter. This weekend is my formal training for Kennel Hand. I'm pretty excited, but after listening to the whole intro, I found something that set me off quite a bit: The Dangerous Dogs act that is imposed in Everett. Apparently, and "Pit Bull" or dog falling into the "Pit Bull" category are not allowed to be placed in a home if they are older than six months - instead, they are euthanized. What I found a sight more shocking was the fact that they had a dog detained in the back who had actually ripped a woman's breast off and then mauled her arm, losing a tooth and leaving it embedded in her skin, and yet the dog was still in holding. Maybe a quarantine period, but still, I will crap my pants if the owners are able to get their dog back. They also had your assortment of cattle chasers and livestock killers, all alive and well and looking to be adopted. Another thing that bothers me is that they have some sort of dog training guru (can't recall the name) that they swear by at the shelter, and when we're trained, we MUST follow his teachings exactly. I've had amazing luck just using verbal and hand cues, and I haven't been bitten since I was a small child. I prefer to implement NILIF, with positive reinforcement and praise. No listen = no reward, but it never equals harm to the animal.

Maybe this post is a tad pointless, but it's something that really irked me. I will be more active now that I have my own laptop (thanks Mom!) and through my work I will have more of the posts you guys crave... To asshattery!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DogGone goes PNW!

Sorry guys, I haven't really had the time to post lately. Life's hectic, blogger is blocked on all of my home computers, and I'm getting ready to move to Washington state and enroll in college.

In about a month or so this blog should become more active. Thanks for all your patience and support.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

James Hensley, Dirtbag Dog Beater

As I looked in my inbox this morning, I noticed I had a "nastygram" about how my website is fake, I'm a hippie, and I don't bring anything informative or useful to the general public.

Guess who wrote me the lovely letter? James Hensley, alias Beater of the dog at Devore Animal Shelter, featured in a few posts below.

I knew you guys might have something to say, because I sure as hell did, so here's everyone's golden opportunity.

James, what do you have to say to defend yourself? Was there a reason for beating that dog? I have a feeling someone wasn't loved enough as a child. You're sick and twisted; beyond a poor excuse for a human being.

Step up to bat, baby, we'll learn ya real good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Long time, no post!

As stated in my last post, I have been very busy trying to get all my credentials before the year ends - and I have accomplished just that! I am now officially finished with high school. This means more time to pursue my passions, including blogging.

Without further adieu, I present to you the atrocity that is Sweet Yorkie Kisses, a breeding operation somewhat close to home. I found the advertisement in our local Pennysaver, proudly proclaiming the sale of "Yorkies, Shorkies, Morkies, Yorkiepoos, Porkies and Biewer Yorkies". Isn't that what we all need though? Nevermind the fact that Petfinder has 869 Yorkies/Yorkie crosses looking for homes, all which come with a reasonable adoption fee as opposed to the $1500-$3500 she is charging for her sickly little dogs. I commend her in a way - she practices the application of OFA and CERF, but that doesn't mean she isn't churning out just as many puppies as your average BYB.

This is her idea of breeding quality - anyone want a half mop, half dog? And the tear and beard stains are atrocious - it costs about $10 to purchase tear stain cleaners, give or take, at any pet supply store. As I have constantly said, present yourself professionally if you want to be taken as such. I don't want the "dose of reality" associated with seeing your dogs in their nasty, ratty, pre-groomed state with tear stains down their face, I want them clean, properly presented, and nicely stacked. BTW, nothing can scare me away from a webpage faster than when you have your religious beliefs and quotes smattered all over it. It gives me that "Mormon-at-the-door" kind of feeling (no offense to any). You know, just shake your head and politely refuse, and then laugh about it at a later time.

While presenting us with an amalgam of ratty, overpriced mutts, she then moves on to preach about Irresponsible vs. Responsible Breeders. She hits the nail right on the head when listing things off. While I do not doubt her ability to uphold her golden rules, anyone that has this many mixed breed dogs and continues to breed at such astronomical numbers just screams "Irresponsible!!!" to me.

Of course, you can can get your Porkie-Morkie-Poo for about $300 less if you choose not to register (with what club affiliation, do tell?).

Sigh. How DO the idiots manage to make bank while the rest of us struggle? We may never know.