Monday, November 27, 2017

Polipoli Hike

Join us on our dog adventure hike at Polipoli in Kula, Maui.

Some of our friends were nice enough to show us this beautiful trail in Kula called Poli Poli.  The worst part of this adventure is actually getting to it.  The roads are switchbacks up the mountain and make many people car sick (including myself).  Once you make it past the paved part, there is still much road to cover in the mud.  A 4-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.  The hike itself is very beautiful.  Because we are so high up on the mountain (6,200 feet), you actually hike in and out of clouds.  It was very interesting.  I would highly recommend this hike if you have the proper vehicle to get there.

You can find more information about the hike here.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Come when called Off Leash

In this video, we are practicing Come when Called off leash with our puppy.  Ahsoka is a lab/ pit mix, currently 5 months old.  We practiced this same activity with a long line leash (for safety) first.  Once she was performing the recall more than 90% of the time.  I started taking her off leash for a few minutes here and there and practicing.

There are many factors to consider when trying to get your dog off leash.  Consider the environment...what's around you, a road, woods, other people, other dogs?  Consider the excitement and mental state of your dog...if your dog is overly excited, it is not a good time to allow them off leash.  Wait until your dog calms down and is paying attention to you.  Reward this state of mind by allowing them off leash at that time.  I chose this particular hike because there are no roads and cars near by, and there are not a lot of people around that can cause distractions.  However, this area is full of smells of other animals, including wild pigs.  If your dog has strong hunting instincts or gets overexcited around these types of smells, this would not be a good place for you to start taking your dog off leash.  Ahsoka enjoys running in the grass but enjoys being with the other dogs above smells.  Therefore this was a good place for us to start her off leash experience.

Related blog articles:

Come when called:  Part 1
Come when called:  Part 2

Monday, October 9, 2017

Maui Paddle for the Cure

My first annual Maui Paddle for the Cure was a lot of fun.  It was held at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.

My friend, Tina, and I signed up & paddled together.  Since this was my first year doing this event, and I just starting paddle boarding this year, we decided to take the intro class.  I'm glad that they offer such a thing for this event, but if you've already been paddle boarding at all, you probably don't need to take it.  No worries if you're on the fence, it only lasts a few minutes.  If you are new to paddle boarding or unsure about the ocean, I would recommend it.

After the quick little intro class, my friend and I headed out.  We ended up paddling alongside a visitor to the island and made a new friend in the middle of the ocean.  When coming into shore after the paddle, all the paddlers that came in before you start to make a paddle tunnel for you to run to as you exit the water.  That was a lot of fun.

Once everyone has finished the paddle and been accounted for (yes they want to be safe and each paddler gets an ocean tracker), there is a lunch served and after party at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.  The food was good, the music was entertaining although a bit loud for a relaxed event.  There were also vendors with products and a silent auction to help benefit the cause.

All-in-all I really enjoyed the morning and we will be doing it again.  Next year we will have a larger group and try even harder to get more people to join, have a little fun, and help out a great cause at the same time.  Thank you to all the participants this year and we hope to see you all again.

Tina & myself ready to rock.

All the paddle boards lined up and ready.

The introduction class.

An assistant directing us into the water.

Heading out.

myself (left) & Tina (right).

Here we go.

Paddle boarding!

Running the paddle tunnel as I come in.

Athena & Tina.

Related Articles:
Paddle for the Cure Information site

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Helpful Ways to Exercise your puppy

When getting a new puppy, sometimes we forget that they need to be "quarantined" before they get their final Parvo shot.  This means that your vet recommends keeping them only in the area of your personal yard and not taking them out into the world where they could potentially pick up the disease.  Parvo is very serious and highly contagious and cause severe health problems and even death in puppies.  Because of this, vets will usually recommend keeping your puppy to one "safe" area until their shots are complete, which is usually around 16 weeks old.  The problem here is that the prime socialization period for dogs is 6-16 weeks.  This is the most critical time to properly socialize your puppy.  However, the fear of Parvo can make this difficult.  I highly recommend contacting  a trainer in your area to safely socialize your puppy at a young age.

Besides socialization, puppies needs LOTS of exercise.  This can be difficult to do when you are not allowed to take your puppy out into the world.  The video & graphic above illustrate some helpful ways to exercise your pup before you are able to take them out after receiving all their Parvo shots.

Other Helpful articles:

Puppy Supply Check List
Small Dog Puppy Party

Information on Parvo from WebMD

Friday, August 25, 2017

Dog Paddle Boarding, Step One

This video shows the beginning steps to teaching your dog to learn to love being on a paddle board.
To really get your new dog or puppy to love paddle boarding, the best way to start is with the board on dry land.  Here you will see as we add a command word "Get On" to her getting on the board and saying "surf" when the board moves.  By using food, we create a positive association with the dog being on the paddle board.
Use your food to lure the dog onto the board while saying your command, such as "Get on."  Once the dog hops on, give your "Good" and reward with food.  We then add the command "Surf" as we move the board around to get the dog used to the movement.  Give food rewards often in the beginning.  The more we do this, the more of a positive association the dog will have with being on the board.  Remember to never force a scared or timid dog.  Take your time.  If your dog is frightened of the board, start giving food if the dog even gets close to the board, then if they put one paw on the board, etc.  Keep moving slowly forward until the dog gets on the board then reward with lots of praise and delicious food.

Stay turned for more training videos on teaching your dog to surf as Ahsoka gets older.

Related blog articles:

Join our Such Good Dogs team for Paddle for a Cure
Dog paddle boarding with Devo

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Join Paddle for the Cure

Join our "Such Good Dogs" team to raise money for Breast Cancer.
Follow this link and sign up or donate under our team name.

Maui Paddle for a Cure
EVENT DATE: OCT 08, 2017

7:00am – 1:00pm
Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, The Butterfly Effect and Maui Jim present Maui Paddle for a Cure 2017. This fun non-competitive event for stand up, kayak and canoe paddlers takes participants along the beautiful shoreline of Ka'anapali Beach in West Maui to raise funds for Susan G. Komen, Hawaii Affiliate. Join us for this community water activity and after party at Hyatt Regency Maui with Anuhea!

100% of registration and donations goes to support Susan G. Komen Hawaii in their efforts for breast cancer education, awareness, prevention and treatment programs for women and men in the Hawaiian Islands. Our goal is to raise $55,000 in 2017!

Your paddle registration is your donation to Susan G. Komen Hawaii, and includes a pink rash guard, goodie bag, food, beverage, special room rates at Hyatt Regency Maui, and admission to the after party with concert by Anuhea! Registration cost will increase on October 1, 2017. Registration will CLOSE on October 7, 2017 at noon HST. On-site registration will NOT be available. After Party Tickets (admission only) will not increase and will be for sale at the door. ​ Don’t forget to fundraise by clicking the DONATE button! Even if you cannot participate in the paddle, you can set up your own fundraiser or donate to one of the many great existing teams (like our Such Good Dogs team).

"The Maui Paddle for the Cure, with inspired community and guest participation, fueled by this outstanding event, exemplifies this year's Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure credo that 'There Is A Hero In All Of Us' as we celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate for breast health and support research to find the cures." - Susan G. Komen Hawaii Mahalo for your kokua!

Related Blog Articles:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Come when Called, Part Two

Come When Called, Part Two

Come when Called:
We now add all 3 Steps to Come when Called.
1.  Say the dog’s name, and Come.  ONE TIME ONLY.
2.  Have a party.
3.  Lure the dog back to you.

The reason we have 3 steps is, we start with step one, if that doesn’t work, we try step 2, if that doesn’t work, we go to step 3.  Properly practicing the steps and following the rules to Come when Called will help you build a reliable recall.  This is one of the most important things you can teach your dog.  As your dog improves, you must practice by slowly increasing distance, then adding distractions. 

The Rules:
1.  Always have a leash (or fenced-in area).
2.  When you say come, you have to see it/ make it happen.
3.  NEVER punish a dog for coming to you.

When teaching your dog "Come when Called" it is helpful to play a game that we call Puppy Ping Pong.  For this game you need at least two people and one dog.  The main part of this game is to practice the Come command.  Always reward when your dog comes to you, then practice one or two other commands, such as sit, down, look, or any tricks you may be teaching your dog.  Then the next person will call the dog.  Start off about 10 feet away from each other.  As the dog improves, start moving further away and then around obstacles like a wall or tree so that you are out of sight and the dog has to find you.  It is important that if it is not your turn to call and interact with the dog, that you ignore the dog.  It will much harder for the dog to run to the other person if you are looking at them, smiling, or otherwise engaging the dog.  Communicate with your partner during this game so they know when it is their turn to call the dog.

Related Blog articles:
Come when Called, Part One

Come when Called Off Leash

Friday, August 11, 2017

Playtime with Caravaggio & Ahsoka

Today's video:
A little bit of fun playtime featuring Caravaggio & Devo.  

Caravaggio is our Great Dane/ German Shepherd/ Black Lab mix; he is 9 and a half years old.  He's still doing well but he is getting older and starting to slow down.  We are slowly easing him into retirement.  He still is one of the best dogs I've ever had to help teach a new puppy.  It took him a few days to warm up to the idea that this new puppy was here to stay, but he did.  This is a quick video I caught of them having some fun.  It is important for a puppy to learn to play with dogs of all shapes and sizes.  

Ahsoka is our new puppy.  We adopted her last week.  She is a Lab mix, and now about 10 weeks old.  She was only 9 pounds when we adopted her but she is growing fast.  She will be trained in all the dog basics of course, but will also become my new main working dog (as we retire Caravaggio).  All of my dogs over the years assist me in training and socialization activities with Such Good Dogs.  They are all well versed in what to do or not do around dogs with a variety of behavioral issues.  Each of my dogs also has something in particular that they are best at.  Caravaggio was best at helping assist me in training with aggressive dogs.  He has done amazing over the years at listening to me while not reacting to the other dog's bad behaviors.  I am hopeful that Ahsoka will be able to take his place as my main training dog.  At least, that's the plan.

Devo is also used in training but somewhat less often.  He is social but does not care to play for very long with other dogs.  He prefers the company and love of humans most of the time.  However he is still useful in many situations.  Because of his aloofness and small size, I do not feel he can be my "main" dog used for training.  He's more like our little princess.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Come When Called, Part One

Teaching your dog:  Come when Called
Featuring:  Ahsoka (our 10-week-old Lab mix puppy).

Come when Called:
The Rules:
1.  Always have a leash (or fenced-in area).
2.  When you say come, you have to see it happen.
3.  NEVER punish a dog for coming to you.

The Steps:
  1. Say the dog’s name, and Come.  ONE TIME ONLY.
  2. Have a party.
  3. Lure the dog back to you.

When first teaching a dog Come when called, we start with step 1 & 3.  Standing directly in front of the dog (No distance), put the treat in the dog’s nose, say the dog’s name and Come (one time), then quickly back up a few steps.  When the dog follows, stop, say “Good!” and give the treat.

Related blog articles:
Come when called, Part Two
Come when called Off Leash

Friday, August 4, 2017

Puppy Supply Checklist

Today's Video:
What should you have for a new puppy or dog in your home?  Here is your...

Puppy Supply Checklist

There are many things to consider when bringing a new puppy or dog into your household.  Please take your time when choosing to add to your family.  Adopting a new animal into your home should be a decision for a lifetime.  That means you will care for that animal for its entire life.  That could be 10-20 years or more depending on the animal.  Please be responsible and respectful when making your decision.