Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hunter's Summer Vacation

Its hard to believe that the school year is almost over and summer is here again. That means it is time for our annual camping trip. Hunter has gone on this trip every year since he was pup. Last year was no exception, his near obsession with water almost always gets him into some kind of trouble. If there is a lake stream or even a mud puddle he finds his way in it.

The trouble began last year with the stream that runs through the center of the campsite. Hunter is crazed over it and spends most of the trip trying to fiqure out how to get in it. By August the stream is running pretty low except for one spot (I think you know where I am going with this) the spot with the waterfall.

So my husband takes Hunter potty first thing in the morning, he lets him off the leash and turns his back on him for one second . Immediately Hunter makes a beeline for the part of the stream where the current is running strong and there is a four foot waterfall. All the while my husband is running behind Hunter yelling "Hunter NOOOO!" Hunter then proceeds to dive into the stream gets caught in the current and goes over the waterfall, then floats down the stream. My poor husband was an absoulute wreck till he got to Hunter who had washed up on the bank below without a single scatch, completely unfazed by the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5 Ways to Prevent Your Dog From Waking You Up Early

Volume 13 of The Whole Dog Journal recently came out with an article called “Sleeping in Is Sweet.” It explains five things to do if your dog is waking you up early and how to get those precious minutes of sleep back. Here are their suggestions:

1. Rule out medical conditions – Get your dog checked to rule out diseases or infections that may cause a sleepless pooch. Sleepless pooches with poor elimination infections can be a nightmare for you and your sleep.
2. Tire him out the night before – Exercise your dog the night before so that the energy that would normally go towards waking you up is gone. Exercise also releases endorphins, the bodies own endogenous opiate, reducing anxiety and helping doggies get a full nights rest.
3. Feed him earlier/ better; make the “last call later” – Feed your dog earlier so there is more time between his last meal and his last potty break. A bad habit can form quickly when its 5:00 am and your pooch has succeeded in getting you up as well as had the first meal of the day. High quality diets reduce elimination because they digest in your dog’s intestine more quickly.
4. Reduce stimuli in the bedroom – Turn off the television and play soft music. If he is crate trained, put a blanket over his crate. If he is a nighttime wonderer, put a baby gate across the door.
5. Train him to sleep in – Hopefully several of these ideas work for you. If these ideas don’t work for you, here is a simple idea that may help. If you condition your dog by setting your alarm forward five minutes eventually your dog will be in sync with your wake up time. As long as you have a quiet house, this is an easy idea that hopefully will solve your pooch’s problem.