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January 2011

Happy New Year! 

I hope 2011 brings you all health and happiness.  This time of year is always exciting at the Hound Huddle as the daily number of dogs continues to rise as the temperatures decline.  With the new year I always try to do some new things.  Last year at the Huddle we introduced our webcam (you can watch your pets play throughout the day by clicking on the webcam link at our website at www.houndhuddle.com).  One of my goals this year is to help you all get to know all of us.  I am blessed to have a wonderful dog loving staff with a great degree of kindness, responsibility and common sense. 

We have Dan, who has been with us almost since the beginning.  He is almost exclusively in with the dogs, and loves them dearly.  There simply is not room enough to detail all that Dan does for the Hound Huddle, but most recently he has immersed himself into dog behavior and training and will be instructing our puppy preschool classes.  We have Matt, who has been here for over two years and keeps telling me he should get a job related to his continuing education and chosen career as a police officer, but luckily for us he won’t leave us yet.  Matt will make a great police officer someday, and showed us all his cool head when he and Joann rescued a dog in front of our building that had been hit by a car.  That brings me to Joann who greets you all every morning.  She is an incredibly, caring, conscientious and hard working woman who always has a smile for everyone.  Joann is a very clear favorite of a few of our dogs (on certain days you know when Joann takes a break because of the wailing that commences in the daycare until she returns).  Abby is our other full time employee—having just graduated from UW Madison with degrees in Zoology and Environmental Studies and a background in dog behavior and training.  We are lucky to have Abby full time until she starts her veterinary technician training in the fall.  Abby and Lindsey have both been with us just under one year.  Lindsey is currently working toward her degree as a medical laboratory technician and we are fortunate to have her with us when she isn’t in a lab or classroom.  Lindsey, like Joann, brings several years of horse experience to the daycare.  It is hard to be intimidated by 30 barking dogs when 30 horses don’t phase you.  Sara just celebrated her one year anniversary with us.  Sara is our only employee in high school.  I was wary of hiring a minor due to the responsibility of keeping our dogs and our staff safe.  I knew the second I met Sara that she would be a great addition to our team—friendly and outgoing, responsible and smart.  After she had worked here a short while we found out that she also is an amazing artist.  Speaking of artists, Terry, who has a degree in visual art and a second job at the Vinery, brings a lot of creativity to our place.  As a single mom Terry has been helping us out for over two years.  Now Terry handles all of our retail and special orders—if you are looking for anything in particular, she is the one to help you find it.  Jack is our pre-med co-ed.  A transplant from Chicago to UW-Madison we have been happy to have Jack with us for the past year.  As his course load at school is intense, Jack hasn’t been able to work as many hours over the past few months, but helps us out when he can.  He is always fun for the dogs and sticks around because he just doesn’t want to say goodbye them.   Rachel has been with us since late summer when we realized how busy Jack was going to be with school.  Rachel is currently enrolled at Globe University in the veterinary technician program.  We all love Rachel’s calming personality and her special love for the dogs.  All the littlest dogs seem to gravitate to Rachel—they know a good heart when they see one.  Rachel also shares her photography with us, and joins Dan in providing us with fun shots of the dogs at play.  You can find a bunch of her pictures on our Facebook page.  Melissa is our most recent hire—to help us out in the busy winter months.  When I think of Melissa the one prevailing thought is ENTHUSIASM.   All of our employees love dogs.  Melissa LOVES her job and will tell you that every day.  She is learning tons about dog behavior and how the Hound Huddle works and I appreciate her enthusiasm every day.

We are currently in the process of updating the staff section on our website with pictures and biographies so you have a better idea of who is playing with your dog each day.  I am also working on a “who is working now” board to go in the retail area of the daycare so customers can know who they are talking to or seeing in with the dogs. 

 You can always call me here at the daycare (835-6622) or feel free to email me at info@houndhuddle.com or at beckymittel@yahoo.com with any questions, comments or concerns.

Happy New Year!

Becky Mittelsteadt




Saturday Playtimes: 

Escape the cold temperatures and come play!  All dogs must be current on their vaccinations including Bordetella and owners must be present.

Puppies 6 months and under 9:00 to 10:00 am           




 Dogs 35 lbs and under 10:15 to 11:15




flake 3.jpgInclement Weather:

In these cold winter months we are happy to offer an indoor/outdoor play experience for your dogs. 

A couple things to note:

- If the weather is bad and you are wondering whether we will be open, please note that we do as the Oregon School District does.  If Oregon schools are cancelled the Hound Huddle will be closed.  However, if school is delayed we will be open at 6:30 a.m. as usual.

- Snow, ice, salt, and dry air are hard on your dogs paws.   We always keep a close eye on sensitive paws, and definitely see more cracked pads and scrapes this time of year.  We have a protective spray coating we occasionally use on sensitive paws called Pad-Tough.  Please let us know if you notice your dog’s paws have been sensitive when you are dropping off or if you have noticed it after picking  your dog up and we will keep an extra close eye.  Just so you know, we do not use salt or any salt products in the daycare area.



Dog of the Month: Kelty 

Kelty is a Border Collie who happens to have made it to Nationals in agility competition and is a soccer playing genius.  You cannot get the ball past her.  Kelty doesn’t often have time to play with her fellow dogs as she is so busy playing soccer with her human friends, but when she does want to play she finds her buddy Moose.


http://lib.lbcc.edu/images/libupdates/cap.jpgTraining schedule 

Puppy Preschool and Beginner Obedience classes have filled quickly.  As of this writing we have one opening for Dan Antolec’s Saturday Puppy Preschool at 11:30 beginning January 15th.  The next round of classes will begin the first week of March.  Please see our website for more information or call 835-6622 with any questions or to register. 


            Product of the Month: 

http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/public/vxUmq-UGhkf-y9TzO83FEb1wtMBxKh9TUKMJPEW3f2eWTOP_BOBxt64ZeiXM5k-oUx77afFiAA123HDO2G3NoW0IJUgogoBsBklj16lC4PCZgF9wkeWBI_AHVOnvY9BRmmgm0Y78pBxh_BG-GhZv9bx57F7xQ3EIWiYyXj9wi4KzOCbVHave you heard of Charlee Bears?  Charlee Bears are all natural low calorie treats made right here in Wisconsin.  We originally brought Charlee Bears into our retail area at the suggestion of a trainer.  This is a treat that dogs love and is good for them—put another way, highly motivating for training, but won’t result in upset stomachs.  We carry three flavors of the Charlee Bears in small (6 oz.) and larger (16 oz.) sizes.  

For more information on Charlee Bears, check out their website at www.charleebear.com.




We now have a Facebook page where we are trying to post lots of pictures, updates and our newsletters.  We’d love to have you as a friend!


Grooming Notes  We couldn’t be happier to have Oregon Pet Spa and Salon sharing our space.  You can reach them directly at 608-835-8234, or check their website for pictures and more information at www.oregonpetsalon.com.


Dan’s Dog Den

We are often asked how do you know whether dogs are playing or fighting?

Dog play is based in predatory behavior, though inhibited.  Playing dogs may engage in simulations of chasing prey or fighting.  The intensity of play varies from low to high and can sometimes evolve into a fight, such as when one dog accidentally bites too hard, or the intensity level reaches threshold stage.  Dogs often resolve their conflicts by effective canine communication, but sometimes a person must step in to prevent a fight.  So how do you know what to look for? 

Play occurs by consent and is reciprocal, including frequent calming signals, pauses, play bows and “check-ins” whereby one or more dogs will pause briefly to look at a nearby person as if to ask “Is this OK?  We are just having fun!”  Neither dog should appear afraid or unwilling to participate.  Their bodies should appear soft, their ears loose and floppy and direct eye contact is avoided.  Some dogs bark or growl during play.  Bites during play are inhibited and there is often role reversal, or a larger/older dog may willingly make itself submissive to a smaller/younger dog.  Play is easily interrupted by calling a dog by name or redirecting it to another activity.

Fights occur for many reasons and sometimes are preceded by direct staring for 2-3 seconds, a tense posture, stalking the targeted dog, sudden stillness, hard eyes or other aggressive signs.  Fighting is intense and scary.  Neither dog will look away or pause.  It is a matter of survival and dogs engaged in a fight are operating on a purely reactive instinctive basis.  Bites are delivered with bad intent and include a nipping, bite/hold or a bite/hold/shake.  That is how dogs cripple and kill their prey.

When you understand canine body language it is easier to distinguish playing from fighting, but how and when should you intervene?  That will be addressed in the next newsletter.  In the meantime, dog experts like Patricia McConnell and Brenda Aloff have written extensively about canine behavior, so check out the great resources at hand.

Dan Antolec 



Past Newsletters

December 2010

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

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