Daisy, the guard dog!

When Daisy was a puppy I was sooo worried that someone would steal her from my yard. I mean, if you’ve had a Beagle puppy, you know what I’m talking about. Daisy was probably THE friendliest puppy ever. When people would come over, she would be so happy to see them! When we’d be outside playing and someone would walk into our yard through the front gate, Daisy would be the first one there to greet them, with her tail wagging like crazy!

This worried me because anyone could have walked into our yard and taken her. Could you imagine?? I made sure when I’d leave the house to lock the front gate with my Master Lock X-4000 super titanium power lock!!! Well, not really. It was a master lock and it did the job. I made sure that gate was locked, just in case someone decided to get “wise” and take her! Sometimes I’d be sitting in my front room watching TV, and I’d see little kids walk by and they’d see Daisy behind the gate looking out. Well, Daisy was damn cute and anyone would have stopped just to get a glimpse of the cutest puppy in the Pasadena area. So, another thing that bothered me was the idea of some little kid going up to the gate and opening it, releasing Daisy to the front yard, and worse yet, the street. No way, Jose!

As Daisy grew older I began to figure she knew better about strangers. I wasn’t certain though, whether she knew to bark at strangers, rather than play with them. It was almost 2 months ago now, that I finally saw the adult guard dog in Daisy. I know Beagles aren’t truly guard dogs, but Daisy finally knew the difference between people she knows, like me, and strangers, which are bad! I think the mail man had a lot to do with it. Daisy began barking every day at the mail man. She’d see him across the street, then he’d cross on over to our side, hit up the neighbors house, then walk across the front gate, towards out front door. The whole time he did this every day, Daisy would be “ARROOOO”ing at him! As he would walk by the gate, she’d hesitantly walk backwards, then bark and growl. To this day she HATES the mail man. If Daisy was inside at the time the mail man would come by, she’d hear the mail box slot being opened and she’d freak out! (aka barking, howling, the whole bit).

After I really noticed that Daisy hated the mail man, I wanted Daisy to get acquainted with him, but when the mail man was asked to meet Daisy, he said he’s not allowed to pet dogs or other animals when he’s on the clock. Whatever. I couldn’t argue with that, so I figured Daisy will hate the mail man. Big deal. Well it did turn into a bigger deal. Daisy thought that every time someone was at the front door, it was the mail man, so she’d freak out. To this day, when she’s hears a car door slam on the street, or even the VCR clicking around to rewind a tape, she thinks it’s something outside and starts barking. It’s something that can really get to you, especially when you are trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

My first plan of attack to correct this little problem was to be firm with Daisy by giving her a “NO!” whenever she’d continue barking after a few seconds. I mean, I don’t mind her barking at something. I think it’s great she does that because it tells me someone’s here, or someone’s in our yard, but when she barks and barks and barks at absolutely nothing, it makes me crazy and I felt a “NO!” would do the trick, showing her that enough is enough. Well, she’d stop for 5 seconds, then continue. It was a simple problem that has turned into paranoia for Daisy, which in my opinion is not good. Maybe it’s part of being a Beagle, but I’ve never read anything about that in this breed.

Worse turned into worse when we’d have company come over to the house and visit. Daisy would first go crazy at whoever was knocking, then when they’d enter the house, she’d freak out and be very hesitant towards the stranger. I figured she would get used to the person being in the house after a few minutes and get over it, which 50% of the time she did. The other 50% of the time, it was a man that was the visitor. I noticed that she would bark more at men, rather than women. I found this very interesting. When she was a puppy, she wouldn’t bark at anyone, including men. She seemed cool with everyone. Now, because of the mail man, I’m guessing, she hates men. I know it sounds funny, but it makes sense in a way. Even when my uncle would come over, she’d freak out at him, even though she’d met him a few times when she was a puppy.

I’ve read a few articles on how to correct this kind of problem, and one way sounded pretty good. It said to have a friend come over. (One who doesn’t come over often and isn’t too familiar with your dog). Then have them act like they are coming to visit by ringing the doorbell or knocking, etc. When the “stranger” enters, have them greet your dog, then if the dog comes close enough, to give a doggie treat to the dog as a “peace offering”. This sounded like a good idea, but the friends that I have would not take the time and do this for me. Plus the friends I have, Daisy gets along with them fine. My uncle rarely comes over and I’m not going to call him and say, “Hey, do me a favor and help me train my dog not to bark at you.” He’d laugh.

What’s funny is that Daisy isn’t like this when we are out on a walk. I think this all has to do with people in her territory. Just the other day, I was walking with Daisy, and this lady with two other little girls comes up to me and asks if they can pet Daisy. I said “Sure.” So they began petting Daisy and she was happier than pie being pet. Daisy is a ham and she loves the attention she gets from people. Even men, she doesn’t seem to care about when we are on a walk. A man could walk or bike on by and she’ll ignore him. Like I said, I think its all because of the territory she’s protecting. Daisy’s my guard dog!

Daisy HATES Bees

A couple weeks ago I was just hanging out, playing with Daisy’s ears. I love the way they feel. They are almost like velvet. When I was playing with her, I noticed there was a balloon type swelling on her right ear. I flipped over her ear and I notice a little bee stinger in Daisy’s ear. Great, she got stung by a bee. So I pull the stinger out and called the vet, just in case there’s something I needed to know about bee stings. The vet said not to worry, just keep an eye out for hives or a change in Daisy’s personality. Also, look for loss of appetite, vomiting, and all that kind of stuff. Basically, if she seems weird, then bring her in. Of course, Daisy is a tough dog. The swelling in her ear eventually goes away by the next day and everything is back to normal.

Now, lets jump to the present. Tonight, I’m sitting in my room. I’m on the internet reading about Kobe Bryant and that whole mess he’s involved in and all of a sudden I hear Daisy outside. It was that “girgley” sound that she makes when she’s going to puke, so I got up to see if she was okay. By the time I looked outside, she was standing in the driveway, head down, and she’s letting it all out! Of course, it’s a huge ball of grass that she just threw up. Daisy eats grass. It’s a bad habit she picked up from Brandy and I could never get her to stop. Anyways, Daisy looked up at me as I walked outside. I went over to her and gave her a pat on the head, seeing if she was okay. She walked away from me and threw up some more. And then again. I figured she was just throwing up all the garbage (grass, dirt, etc.) she’s been eating.

After she finished throwing up, I noticed something weird about her mouth. I took a closer look and her left upper lip was all swollen. Great, she got stung by a bee, AGAIN!

Let’s stop for a second… Let me just add that Daisy likes to chase any type of flying bugs. Moths, flies, mosquito hawks, BEES, etc. Unfortunately, Daisy isn’t smart when it comes to choosing the kinds of flying insects to chase.

So anyways, I put 2 and 2 together and I figured Daisy threw up because of the bee sting. I was pretty sure it made her sick. I took her inside where there’s better lighting, I flipped her over, and began my search for the stinger. I found the stinger right on the lip where it was swollen. I tried to grab it with my finger nails, but it was really in there this time. I grabbed some tweezers and pulled the stinger out. I think. I lost it as I was pulling it out with the tweezers. I couldn’t see it on her lip anymore, so I’m pretty sure I got it. Now I had to find it in my brown carpet. No chance there, so I just vacuumed. The swelling hasn’t quite gone down yet. I think I’ll check again in the morning.

The weird thing is that Brandy threw up about 10 minutes after I took out Daisy’s bee stinger. So that threw me off as to why Daisy threw up. Maybe it wasn’t because of the bee sting. I’m figuring they just ate the same grass together. They tend to have grass eating sessions together. So, after all this madness I got to spend the next 10 minutes hosing down the driveway.

Top Four Dog Training Mistakes

Ideally, we would all have well-behaved pets that never steal food off the kitchen counters and never mistake green carpet for grass. However, dogs require prompt, consistent training in order to become well-behaved, and many dog owners make common mistakes that can be avoided early on in the dog’s life. Unless you are paying for expensive training at a local facility, you’ll have to learn these dog training mistakes and how to avoid them.

Dog Training Mistake #1: Inconsistency

Dogs aren’t people and they can’t understand when you change something in their routine or in your commands. For example, if you let your dog lay on the couch during the weekend and then yell at him during the week for getting on the couch, he isn’t going to understand that sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s not. As your dog matures and learns the routine around the house, you can make exceptions, but during his or her puppy days, consistency is absolutely necessary.

Dog training should be based on a simple routine of cause and effect. If you tell your dog to sit, you expect him to sit every time. If he lays down or runs around in circles, he’s giving the wrong effect. The same goes for the other side of the coin; if your dog does something wrong, your response must be the same every time. You can’t allow him to lay on the couch one day, then refuse to permit it the next.

Dog Training Mistake #2: Impatience

I took my first dog to training school and something the instructor said has stuck with me since that first dog training experience. He said that you can punish your dog for doing something wrong if you have taught him that the behavior is wrong, but you can’t punish your dog for simply misunderstanding. For example, if you haven’t taught your dog that the couch is off limits and he jumps up one day, you can push him off the couch and tell him, “No!” but you can’t punish him further. It’s only after he’s learned that the couch is off-limits but continues to break the rules that you can punish.

Dog training is a long, complicated process that can last for several years. You can’t expect overnight results and you can’t allow yourself to get angry with your dog when he doesn’t immediately understand your commands. Human beings are often focused on instant gratification because we come to expect it in our society of convenience, but that isn’t how it works in dog training world. Instead, you’ll have to control your impulses and learn to give it some time.

Dog Training Mistake #3: Attitude

Your attitude is singularly important in the dog training process because it directly impacts the results. If you treat your dog like he’s a “possession”, then you probably won’t get very far. However, if you approach dog training as a process in which you both work together, you’ll probably see faster results. Look at your dog like your “partner-in-training” and look at your successes and failures as shared. When something goes wrong in dog training, it’s the combined result of both of your efforts, just like a success belongs to both of you.

Work with your dog as though he is a partner and not a subject. This will not only work toward a more enjoyable dog training experience, but it will also help to create a bond between you and your pet.

Dog Training Mistake #4: Inattention

One of the most important aspects of dog training is paying attention to your dog. You must watch and learn his or her responses to your behavior so you can better understand motivations. When you’re involved in a dog training session, watch your pet for signs that he or she is listening and make sure that you aren’t boring your pet. If you don’t pay attention to your dog, you can’t hope to correct problems that arise in the future.