Monday, June 20, 2011

Sharing is Caring

When we first brought Kyuubi home, Mika wasn't too sure about him. The first time I ever heard her growl was when the second day he was home with us and I heard Mika let out a growl! He had gotten near her OLD trachea chew that she refused to eat for 2 months. It was sitting in an old dog bed where we kept a lot of her toys at the time. We had forgotten it was there because well, she barely ever touched it. She suddenly wanted it though when Kyuubi showed a bit of interest in it. After that we made sure that we would keep them separated while they have chews or are fed. That didn't last long though because Mika would let Kyuubi take anything he wanted from her. She realized he was there to stay after the third day and didn't care anymore that he wanted to take her toy or her chew. She just went on to something else.

Kyuubi on the other hand resource guarded almost everything from Mika. Even while being fed in his crate he would bark at Mika if she even glimpsed over at him. He was kibble fed for probably the first two weeks or so when we got him then we switched him over to a raw diet. While being fed kibble in the beginning he would continuously guard it from Mika. After he started getting some raw, he no longer cared if she was near his crate while he had kibble. For a while he wouldn't eat his kibble anymore and just wanted raw. Mika would go over to his bowl and eat and he would go back to his bowl of kibble and they would eat it together.

Now, I won't say that Kyuubi no longer resource guards against Mika because he does sometimes. I still feed them separately, but if it's kibble (if I forget to defrost something) it would just be down in the kitchen and he will usually eat and if Mika wants to snack on some he has no problems sharing with her. When he's being fed a chicken wing though that's a whole different story. He's fed in his crate and he will still bark at Mika if she walks by him. He doesn't resource guard against antlers, bully sticks or other chews.

Here's a cute video of them together sharing an antler. Kyuubi though, doesn't really want it, he more so is messing around and annoying Mika. She lets out a whine at him that I find cute!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Puppy FAQs

I enjoy browsing the Shiba Inu forum and reading updates about the other shibas and how they are doing. I also enjoy having new people join and seeing their cute puppy fluffballs, cause well puppies are CUTE! Who doesn't love to see pictures of puppies?

One thing I do not enjoy are the redundant questions that are asked almost every other day. There is a search function on the forum, but apparently people do not like to use it very much. Myself and I'm sure other regular forum members do not mind answering questions, but when the same questions are asked so often it gets a bit tiring.

Here is a small list I put together the other night.

1. I just brought my new puppy home, why won't s/he eat very much?
A: Your puppy has just been taken out of his/her environment where they were with his/her littermates and mom. Your pup is still getting used to the new surroundings. Everything is a bit overwhelming for your pup right now, so give your pup some time to adjust to his/her new living arrangements.

2. Why won't my puppy walk on a leash?
A: Puppies do not automatically know that they are supposed to walk when you put a leash on them. It is something that has to be taught. First try letting your pup drag the leash around the house so they get used to walking around with the leash on them. Next time you take your puppy out have treats on hand and when your pup is by your side treat him/her for being next to you. This will also teach your pup to loose leash walk.

3. Help! My puppy is peeing everywhere inside the house!
A: Even if your breeder tells you that your puppy is housebroken, chances are your puppy is not. It's not because your breeder lied to you, but because most puppies and even dogs are only housebroken in their current house and not in new environments.  So with new puppies and if adults need to be housebroken, crate training is in order. Puppies and dogs in general do not want to soil in their area and will hold it. Each and everytime you take your puppy out of his/her crate, immediately take your puppy outside to eliminate. Praise, praise and treat when your puppy goes. If your puppy does not go, bring your puppy back inside and crate for 10 minutes and then take your puppy back outside. Keep doing this until your puppy finally goes. When your puppy is playing and not in his/her crate please be sure to keep a close watch on your puppy. If you do not have your 100% attention on your puppy then please put your puppy in his/her crate or in an ex-pen. This will make housebreaking a lot easier on the both of you.

4. My puppy's mouth is bleeding! What is going on?
A: Puppy just like babies lose their teeth. When their adult ones are ready to come they start to teeth and lose their puppy teeth. You will notice their breath will be a bit more stinky than usual. Once all their adult teeth are in the bleeding should stop and so should the bad puppy breath. If your puppy still has very bad breath and all his/her adult teeth are in please schedule a dental appointment with your vet as your pup may have a case of gingivitis.

5. Are rawhides okay to feed my puppy?
A: I personally do not feed rawhides as they do not digest properly and can cause a blockage. If you would like to give your puppy something to chew on besides your furniture and shoes, look into specific chew toys from nylabone. There are also alternative chews such as bullysticks and antlers. Chews are a great workout for your puppy and it helps keep them busy and learn to chew on their stuff and not yours.

6. Sudden fur loss, what's happening?
A: Puppies lose their soft puppy fuzz and shed most of it and their guard hair comes in. During the time when your puppy starts to lose his/her puppy fur your puppy will start to scratch a bit more than usual. If your puppy has a balding spot you may want to take your puppy to the vet to rule out mange. If it is not mange there is a chance your puppy may have allergies to certain ingredients in his/her food. Although puppies do not develop allergies at that young of an age it is possible for them to show it early on.

7. My puppy growls at me when I get near his/her food bowl.
A: Your puppy is resource guarding. When you see this you will want to get rid of this behavior immediately. You can start by hand feeding your puppy. This will let your puppy know that good things (such as food) comes from you. If you do not want to hand feed your puppy try having a high value treat and giving the treat to your puppy while s/he is growling when you approach. Do not take your puppy's food bowl away. Just give treats to your puppy and your puppy will build a positive association with you and his/her food.

8. All my puppy does his scream and cry in his/her crate.
A: A lot of puppies do not like to be confined. Making positive associations with his/her crate is very important. Try feeding your puppy in his/her crate. Crate time can be fun time and not just being locked up. Give your puppy something to do while crated. Frozen kongs are a favorite in this house. I usually will mix greek yogurt with blueberries and freeze it. If your puppy continues to cry and scream and you know that your puppy does not need to be fed or let out to eliminate then just ignore the cries. Your puppy will eventually calm down. If you keep letting your puppy out when s/he cries your puppy will take advantage of that and cry each time s/he does not want to be crated.

9. My puppy started running around like a maniac!!!
A: All puppies get the "zoomies". It's just a burst of energy and they start to run around and do not stop until they are out of breath! Most of the time it is due to lack of exercise or mental stimulation. Unless your puppy is like mine and likes to do her zoomies after a 45 minute walk. Having the zoomies is perfectly normal, especially in puppies.

10. Should I put my puppy in training/puppy kindergarten?
A: YES! YES!! YES!!! Puppy K classes are so important. Make sure to find a place that uses positive reinforcement. Puppy K classes will help your puppy build his/her confidence. It also enables your puppy to learn bite inhibition by playing with other puppies. The class helps you to curb unwanted behaviors early on where it is easiest to teach your puppy good behaviors. Socializing your puppy with other puppies, people, surfaces, textures, noises, will help you have a wonderful companion in the future, instead of having a fearful, reactive, hard-to-control dog.

I'm sure there are more questions that I am missing, but I felt 10 was a good number to start with. Hopefully this FAQ will help at least one person.

Here is a video of Kyuubi experiencing a brand new surface in his Puppy K class.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Belated Gotcha Day!

So I am a day late to this, as I was busy yesterday and was not able to post about it!

It's been one year since I brought little Mika home! As it turns out it is also my birthday. Yes we picked her up on my birthday last year! It was not planned that way either. She was supposed to arrive a few days before, but I wasn't able to get her until the weekend started. She is the best unplanned birthday gift I could have received!

starting to come out of her crate
I remember trying to look into the crate after picking her up at the airport. She was so afraid and didn't want to come out of the crate. We decided to leave her in there while we drove home. When we got home we opened the crate and she just stood in the back. Wanting her to get more comfortable we opened the top of the crate so she could see her new surroundings. She started slowly coming out to sniff us. Still a bit timid, but she did warmed up quickly.

It's been an amazing experience living with her for the past year and I hope every year with her just gets better.

For her Gotcha Day, we decided to go to the local shiba meetup that was scheduled in our area. She had a blast running around and playing with other dogs at the dog park. After all the running and wrestling she did she was wiped out when she got home. It was a fun filled doggy day for her!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beef Trim

One protein Mika is on quite frequently is beef. She's had beef shanks and ground beef. Lately, her beef has been the beef trim offered by Creston Valley Meats. Beef trim varies between different suppliers and butchers. I am very pleased with the beef trim I have received from Simon. Mika also adores the beef trim. Kyuubi will be getting some in the next few weeks. I will be adding bits of beef trim to his meals to get him used to a different protein. He's been eating chicken for the past few weeks and I think he's ready to add in another protein.

This box had 3 bags of beef trim
The beef trim comes in boxes ranging from 10 - 20 lbs. The beef trim that I get from Simon is very lean, sometimes having tendons attached to it and has the silver skin covering of muscles. The beef trim is from spare parts after aging the beef for human consumption. The rest that are not approved for human consumption is put together for pets. Since the beef is aged, when thawed it doesn't give off much water content. What I love most about the beef trim is that it has already been cut up, which make it very easy to portion and pull apart when thawed. The only con I have experienced so far with the beef trim is that it does give off an odd odor, possibly because it was aged.

Overall, I am very happy with the beef trim from Simon and will continue to purchase it from him. It is probably one of my favorite products I have gotten from him.

Isn't messy compared to other products