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December 2011

I hope this Newsletter finds you all happy, warm and ready for the holidays.  I am happy to report that the kennel cough bug seems to have run its course.  We have heard of no new cases for the last few weeks.  Daycare is starting to pick up with the colder weather and we are happy to welcome back friends we haven’t seen since spring.  If you are interested in bringing your dogs on slower or busier days I can tell you that we never know for sure, but typically Monday and Tuesdays are slower and Wednesdays through Fridays are the busiest. 

We started December off with a wonderful visit from “Santa Paws.”  Rachel took incredible pictures and Dan seemed to enjoy himself immensely.  I am not sure whether my favorite part was watching the dogs figure out who was under that suit or watching the rambunctious puppies do their best to remove the beard.  Either way it was a lot of fun.  Many thanks to all of you who were able to make it!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

Becky Mittelsteadt


Dog of the Month: Lovie

Lovie (short for Lovington) is a hairless Chinese Crested and his looks tend to be a conversation starter wherever he goes!  He has been called everything from a mini giraffe, cow, rat, punk rock dog, Cruella de Vil & Spike from the gremlins.  His breed seems to be pretty uncommon here in Wisconsin and he requires warm clothes in the winter and lots of sunscreen in the summer, which he doesn’t always enjoy.  He has been coming to the Hound Huddle for two years and loves it; he would move in if he was allowed to!  He is often one of the smallest dogs in the pack but he sure has a BIG personality, and the other dogs don’t seem to notice his size. His favorite activities are walking, running, chasing squirrels, deer and chipmunks up north, sun tanning, cuddling by your feet or on your lap, trying to eat anything he comes across and making new friends, animal or human.


Product of the Month: Hand-Made Ornaments

Be sure to check out the bone-shaped ornaments we are selling this month, hand-made by our very own Leslie! There are order forms available at the front desk, and you can get your pet’s name in many different colors, fonts, and with different types of ribbon. Your dog’ name is on the front and the year is on the back.  It’s a perfect Christmas present for your pet or your secret Santa assignment (if they are a dog owner)!  The ornaments cost $4.99 and Leslie has them ready for pick up just a few days from placement of your order. 


Did you know?

The Labrador Retriever—the most popular dog in America (and possibly even the world)—actually originated on the island of Newfoundland, not the mainland portion of the province of Labrador! The breed was originally called the St. John’s Dog or the Lesser Newfoundland in the mid-1800s. They were given the name “Labrador Retriever” when they were first were brought to England to distinguish them from their larger, longer-haired relatives, the Greater Newfoundland (later renamed the Newfoundland). Labradors were originally bred to be fishing dogs.


Trick of the Month from Renee

Weaving Through Your Legs

This month’s trick takes advantage of hand targeting which we learned in October. If you have not taught your dog hand targeting, it would be a good idea to refer to the October newsletter and work on that before teaching leg weaving. Our end goal is that our dog will go between our legs from left to right and from right to left while we are walking.

To start, have your dog on your left side in approximately heel position. Step out with your RIGHT foot, while leaving your LEFT foot near your dog. Extend your RIGHT hand, palm facing your dog in the space between your legs. Your dog should move through to target your hand, when she's all the way through step together and reward your dog on your right side. Reverse rights and lefts for the other direction.

Reward each attempt at first, then gradually wean them to every other and so on. Fade your hand gradually so that the cue for weaving is the extension of your legs. Happy leg weaving!


Training Classes

Classes begin early January! We are offering a few new courses this training session, so be sure to check out their descriptions below!

Puppy Pre-School: 6:15-7:15 p.m.  Thursday, January 12 thru February 16, 2012

A six-week course with instruction on socializing a puppy including supervised off-leash play in class. There is also instruction on several obedience commands using positive reinforcement, nutrition and toys, understanding canine body communication and other topics. A written training guide and DVD are included. Please bring a hungry dog, a 4 to 6 foot leash, and great training treats to class. The first class with be owners only.  Puppies will attend the next five classes.  Taught by Dan Antolec. Cost is $90.


Pet Manners 1: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, January 14 thru February 18, 2012

This class is for dogs 4 months or older who have not previously had an obedience class, or dogs that need a refresher. Pet Manners 1 uses dog friendly positive reinforcement methods to help you build a positive relationship with your pooch. Topics of interest are loose leash walking, sit, down, heel, recalls, and the beginning of stay. This class uses lots of fun interactive games to teach dogs and humans how to work together. Basic learning theory will be taught throughout this class. Please bring a hungry dog, lots of small tasty treats, a 4 to 6 foot leather or nylon leash (no flexi or chain leashes please) an open mind and a positive attitude! Optional is a clicker and a tug toy.  Taught by Renee Grittner. Cost is $90.


Beginner Obedience: 6:15-7:15p.m. Tuesdays, January 10 thru February 14, 2012

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. Taught by Scott Lindner. Cost is $90.


Pet Manners 2: 6:15-7:15 p.m.  Wednesdays, January 11 thru February 15, 2012

For graduates of Pet Manners 1 or Puppy Pre-School. Continue honing your dog’s manners and obedience skills using familiar positive methods. As with Pet Manners 1 and puppy class, lots of fun games will be used to keep the atmosphere light-hearted and fun. We will begin to build duration and introduce distractions into previously learned exercises. Please bring a hungry dog, lots of small tasty treats, a 4 to 6 foot leather or nylon leash (no flexi or chain leashes please!) an open mind and a positive attitude!  Optional is a clicker and a tug toy. Taught by Renee Grittner. Cost is $90.



Canine Good Citizen: 7:30-8:30 p.m.  Tuesdays, January 10 thru February 14, 2012

This is an opportunity to build on basic obedience skills focused on good manners in the home and in the community.  Here you and your dog will develop the skills required for the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.  The first five classes involve instruction and practice, with testing in class six.  Passing the test qualifies for AKC certification.  Taught by Scott Lindner. Cost is $90.


Rally: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, January 11 thru February 15, 2012

For graduates of Pet Manners 2 or Intermediate Obedience, or upon approval of instructor.  Teach your dog the fun and exciting sport of Rally-Obedience! Rally is a fun, competitive sport in which dog and handler navigate a preset course using common obedience skills. Many maneuvers will hone your dogs heeling in a fun, ever changing way. Dogs should have a good understanding of sit, down and heel. Please bring a hungry dog, lots of small tasty treats, a 4 to 6 foot leather or nylon leash (no flexi or chain leashes please!) an open mind and a positive attitude!  Taught by Renee Grittner. Cost is $90.


Dan’s Dog Den

Santa’s Little Helpers

Happy holidays, everyone!  Santa Paws…er, um, I mean “Dan”…is far too busy preparing for Christmas so he asked his furry little helpers to write the column this month.  This is the time of year when people decorate their homes and keep all sorts of tempting tasty treats on hand, but some of them are harmful to Elves…ah, er, I mean “dogs”, so we all pitched in to help keep your pets happy and healthy throughout the holidays.  The good folks at The Humane Society of the United States even gave us a guide to “Common Household Dangers for Pets” to ensure that we give you good information.

With ice and snow making walking surfaces slippery, did you know that de-icing salts can be poisonous to dogs if licked off?  Doggie boots with Velcro straps can protect doggie paws from collecting salt during winter walks.  Otherwise, paws may be washed at the end of a walk to remove the salt.  Did you know that even though dogs are covered with fur, they can still get frostbite?  When they are left outside they should always have shelter from the wind, a dry place to lie down and a source of warm water.  Heated water bowls make it easy to provide fresh water all winter long.

Holiday decorations and lights may also pose a risk to pets, and dogs are known to chew on things to entertain themselves or to relieve stress when left alone, so keeping them away from glass lights, tree decorations and small objects they may swallow will help them stay safe.  Mistletoe and other holiday plants can also make dogs sick, if eaten.

Dogs can also choke when chewing toys and treats if they are unsupervised, so taking the same precautions you would take with small children is another way to let your dog enjoy himself without getting hurt.  Some treats like pig ears and rawhides can be contaminated with Salmonella, so you may want to ask your veterinarian whether such treats are appropriate for your dog.

With so many baked goods and candies lying around the house during the holidays, Santa Paws would like to remind you that chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats alike.  Artificial sweeteners also make dogs sick, like those used as sugar substitutes or in sugarless candy or chewing gum.  Leftovers such as chicken bones can easily shatter and choke a pet.  Come to think of it, many other foods are unsafe for dogs: onions, grapes, raisins, yeast dough, coffee beans and grounds, salt, macadamia nuts and alcoholic beverages.   Even well-fed dogs still have the basic instinct of seeking food at every opportunity, and extra holiday cooking provides extra temptation.  (I’m watching you, Budda!)

Finally, everybody knows that the best possible Christmas treat is a nice juicy apple, or a fresh carrot…or better yet, a big bale of grassy hay.  We Elves just love hay!

Have a Happy Holiday Season!



Past Newsletters

November 2011 * October 2011 * September 2011 * August 2011 * July 2011

June 2011 * May 2011 * April 2011 * 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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