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April 2011

Happy Spring!

The occasional days of nice weather that we get in April put everyone in my house in such a good mood. you can see it in the dogs at daycare, too! While the dogs always seem happy, there is just an extra bounce in their step this time of year. If you are looking for some fun ways to put a little more bounce in your step (i.e. exercise) with your dogs this spring, please consider joining us for the Oregon Police K-9 Unit 5k Run/Walk (see below for more information) or check out our new training classes (also below) including Rally Obedience and Tracking!

On a separate note, I would like to include a special thank you here to all of our customers. March was our biggest and busiest month of dog daycare since we opened 3 ½ years ago. These economic times have been hard on everyone, and we have done what we could to help out—including not raising our prices, ever. I can’t say that we will never raise prices, but for now we are concentrating on growing our business by making sure we provide a healthy, safe environment where the dogs are loved. So thank you to you all for entrusting us with your dogs!

Please check in anytime on the webcam (www.houndhuddle.com) or call me at the daycare (835-6622) or email me at info@houndhuddle.com or beckymittel@yahoo.com with any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns.

Becky Mittelsteadt


Product of the Month: Sugar Plum Collars
Looking to give your pooch a new collar for spring? Love to buy locally made goods? Then our new Sugar Plum Collars are perfect for you! Christine, Oregon native and owner of Sugar Plum Collars, makes each collar herself and has been selling them on the popular website Etsy.com. We have partnered with her this month and now sell her some of her collars in our store! You can buy the collars straight from the shelf, or send in a custom order for Christine to do. They come in various sizes, colors, and patterns, so you’re sure to find something perfect for you and your pup!


Dog of the Month: Sprocket
Adopting a dog from a shelter or humane society can be one of the most rewarding decisions a person can make in his or her lifetime; just ask the owners of Sprocket, April’s Dog of the Month! She was adopted from the Dane County Humane Society two years ago when she was still a pup, and now she enjoys a loving home with her “parents” and three cats, Sage, Olive and Basil. She’s the quintessential mutt—a mix of German Shepherd, Poodle and Australian Shepherd. When she’s not spending time here at the daycare, she participates in evening training classes and is currently at the third level of agility. Her family just adopted a German Shepherd/Poodle (is that a shepadoodle or a gershoodle?) puppy named Mokey earlier this month, and they have been getting along great! Like the rest of us, she—and her brand new little brother!—probably can’t wait for spring to get here!


Grooming If you’re doing some spring cleaning and would like to include your dog in your things-to-be-cleaned list, be sure to check out the Oregon Pet Spa and Salon located inside our building! Amy, Bree and Camille can help your pooch wash away all that winter grime and look fresh and clean for spring!


Oregon Dogs: 5k Run/Walk The Oregon Police K-9 Unit 5K Walk/Run is on Saturday, May 21st at the Oregon Community Sports Area, 100 North Perry Parkway. The current K-9 unit consists of Vende (left)—who will be at the event for everyone to meet. Team Hound Huddle will be there and would love to have you join us. The race starts at 9:15 without dogs, or 9:25 if you are running or walking with your dog. The cost is $20 per runner or $35 per couple (Price goes up $5 after May 1). Dogs are free and the human runners get a t-shirt. Applications are available online at www.vil.oregon.wi.us. Dogs also get to run on the hockey rink from 10:30 to 11:30.


Saturday Playtime Saturday playtimes are now combined and will meet from 9:30 to 10:30. With the fencing inside to separate the dogs by personality rather than by age, all small breeds and puppies under six months are welcome to escape April’s showers and run off some energy indoors! Dogs can play outside as well. All dogs must be current on their vaccinations including Bordetella and owners must be present.


Training New Training Classes have been scheduled! Classes start the first week of May. Be sure to check out our NEW classes: Introduction to Agility 2, Rally Obedience, and Tracking!

Beginner Obedience: 6:15-7:15p.m. Tuesday May 3 - June 7
For dogs age 6 months and older. Classes will re-enforce basic manners and commands. Dogs will learn the command “stay” as well as to focus with lots of distractions using traditional training methods. In this class we learn to "heel" with our dogs and have plenty of question and answer time. Cost is $90. Taught by Scott Lindner.

Puppy Preschool: 6:15-7:15p.m. Wednesday May 4 - June 8
Recommended for puppies under 6 months in age. Class includes play time, instruction for commands: “look”, “sit”, “down”, "wait”, “come”. Also, understanding canine language, leash walking, dog/dog greeting, socialization, and lots of question and answer time. Handouts and reference materials are included. Cost is $90. Taught by Dan Antolec.

Agility Foundations 1: 1:00-2:00p.m. Sunday May 1 - June 12
This class is designed for all dogs and handlers! Dogs only need to know how to sit and lie down. The class will work on teaching focus on handlers, body awareness and beginning jump training. Cost is $90. This is a great opportunity to do something fun and challenging with your dog. Taught by Renee Grittner. NOTE: Class will NOT meet June 5th. Course will be extended to June 12th.

Agility Foundations 2: 2:30-3:30p.m. Sunday May 1 - June 12 **NEW!
Dogs must have completed Agility Foundations 1, or be approved for class by Renee. The class will continue building on the skills learned in Agility Foundations 1, begin short sequences, add handling skills, and start weave pole training. Some distraction will be added to proof skills learned in the previous class. Cost is $90. Taught by Renee Grittner. NOTE: Class will NOT meet June 5th. Course will be extended to June 12th.

Rally Obedience: 4:00-5:00p.m. Sunday May 1 - June 12 **NEW!
Rally is the new dog sport that is taking the nation by storm! Rally offers both dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in various settings. Basic obedience knowledge is required. Cost is $90. Taught by Renee Grittner. NOTE: Class will NOT meet June 5th. Course will be extended to June 12th.

Tracking: 6:15-7:15p.m. Thursday May 5 - June 9 **NEW!
Learn tracking with Scott Lindner, the trainer for the Dane County K-9 Unit! You can use tracking for fun games with your dog or for hunting. This is a chance to further your dog's education and spend some quality time exercising your dog's body and mind! Cost is $90.


Dan’s Dog Den
Dog Bite Prevention
Anybody who owns a dog or has had a nervous encounter with one will probably relate to this topic. My first couple of dog bites occurred while I was riding my bike on country roads and was chased and attacked by farm dogs. In one case the owner and his buddy stood on their porch pointing at me, laughing. Perhaps you encountered a hostile dog while on a walk with your own dog, or while visiting a friend, or at a dog park.

Adult dogs have 42 teeth designed for tearing flesh and crushing bone. It is not a pretty picture, especially when we are talking about our cuddly playful pets, but they are predators after all. Any dog will bite under the right…or wrong…circumstances. The Insurance Information Institute reports that last year one-third of homeowner/renter liability claims were for dog bites, with an average claim of $24,840. Who can afford that? Clearly an investment in prevention is worth avoiding that outcome.

My first advice is to follow the steps outlined in a previous article “How to Safely Greet a Dog” (all past newsletters are available at Houndhuddle.com) during encounters with dogs you do not own. To all dog owners I urge you to invest in dog obedience training and don’t feel satisfied with puppy classes or basic commands. The more you train with your dog the better your relationship and communication will be, and the more success you will have in reading your dog and redirecting its behavior. Classes are widely available in beginner, intermediate and advanced courses. Consider seeking a Canine Good Citizen training certificate for safety, peace of mind and possible liability issues. Beyond that dogs may be trained for agility competition or therapy work.

In the daycare I frequently play games with dogs, issuing basic obedience commands to individual dogs or groups of them. When they perform as expected I release them, call them to me and host a playful celebration. If a dog in a busy daycare environment can pay attention to a human and do things like sit and wait, it will develop greater self-control and learn to consider what a human approves of when choosing behavior. Please trust me on this one; you really don’t want an over-excited dog to choose a course of behavior without regard to what the owner or caretaker considers appropriate. With a bit of time and effort we can all safely enjoy our canine companions knowing we have done all we can to reduce the risk of dog bites.
Dan Antolec


Past Newsletters

March 2011  *  February 2011  *  January 2011  *  December 2010

Hound Huddle · 1145 Park St · Oregon, WI · 608.835.6622 · 608.835.2662 f

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