Condo Blues: dog training
Showing posts with label dog training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog training. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homemade Fairy Wing Dog Halloween Costume

Costuming is my favorite part of Halloween, but Lacey? Not so much.  Lacey’s favorite part is earning treats at Halloween pet charity events. I can’t blame her for that.

Husband and I use dog charity events as fun socialization training to help Lacey work on her fear and anxiety issues (Read more about that on this dog training post on Condo Blues.) Unlike her humans, Lacey isn’t into wearing dog Halloween costumes or clothes (unless it is freezing outside.) We don’t push it because the costume thing is really for the humans, not the dogs.

Pin this post for later!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lawn Fertilizer Made My Dog Sick

Last week Lacey started her day by vomiting on the carpet. I don’t want to sound callous or unfeeling but life with Lacey sometimes comes with spontaneous barfing. I wasn’t surprised to find grass in the clean up.

Lacey sometimes eats grass as a stress reaction. Our Homeowner’s Association has been repairing sidewalks and damaged roads for the last week or so and her anxiety has been off and on Orange Alert Level Defcon 5.

Following our vet’s advice, we wait a bit to let Lacey’s tummy settle before giving her a small portion of her breakfast. We wait again to see if Lacey keeps it down Then we give her the rest of her breakfast in smaller portions until she’s finished her half cup of morning kibble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fearful Dog Behavior Training

One of our favorite ways to socialize a rescue dog with behavioral issues is going to pet rescue events. It is a dog appropriate venue with better behaved dogs, rescue people understand if you ask them to approach your dog in a weird way because you are working on an issue.

They also understand if you have to leave early because your dog is tapped out or has an issue. We learn about new ways to help our dog, support great causes, and it is fun!

how to use dog events for behavoiral rehab training
Hey Charlie, do you need help with those bungee cords? I’m feeling a little distracted. Lisa says I should do something to put that energy in a positive direction when I feel this way.

The Capital Area Humane Society Halloween Pet Parade is something we look forward to all year. We work up to it by going to smaller dog rescue events throughout the summer. This event can be overwhelming to a dog because there are a lot of people and animals in a small space and costumes are involved.

Some of the people and dog Halloween costumes are clever and amazing. Here are a few of our favorites.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Getaway to Put-in-Bay

While Lacey’s separation anxiety is a wee bit better, but it still goes to orange alert level often enough that Husband and I haven’t taken a vacation since she joined our family.


I suggested we go to Put-in-Bay. It is close enough to go home early if we need to and still far enough away that it is Not Home.

This trip also fixes a hideous wrong I committed while growing up in on Lake Erie. I have never actually been to the Lake Erie Islands. I think I broke a local ordinance or something.


We knew we wanted to visit both islands. I wasn’t sure which one we should stay on. I arbitrarily picked staying on Put-in-Bay and I’m glad I did.

There were more things we were interested in doing on Put-in-Bay although I had to fulfill a childhood science class obligation and take a day trip to Kelley’s Island.

Every single science teacher used the Great Lakes and the Kelley’s Island Glacial Groves as an example of how the glaciers changed the landscape after the they receded. I finally saw them in person!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

12 Natural Gardening Tips for Beginners

Now that I have a house with a yard, I’ve been forced into this gardening thing. Some days I like it. Other days, my fails remind me why I named this blog Condo Blues!

I want to keep our gardening habits as green and eco-friendly as possible because Lacey likes to run into our flower beds even though she knows she shouldn’t. The last thing I want is for her to be covered with or ingest some chemical concoction of unknown origin we put on our plants or in our soil. Frankly, I’m not crazy about Husband and I doing that either.

Husband and I need to rework the front yard a bit after a series of windstorms pelted our bushes and plants. I asked a bunch of blogger friends if they had any green gardening tips that I can learn from and share with you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to Make Dog Boots

Poor Lacey. Snow and ice get in between her toes when she goes outside during winter. It hurts so much, my snow dog stomps romping and digging and crumbles into a little ball from the pain.

You try playing in the snow with bare feet. I bet it hurts too.

I scoop her up and carry her home. Often we have to go back outside after Lacey's toes are warm to finish what she didn't get to do outside in the snow. Rinse. Repeat.

As much as I hate putting clothes on dogs for the sake of putting clothes on dogs, I bought Lacey a pair of dog boots for Christmas. I'm all for protective dog clothing if the dog needs it but I still felt like one of those people while in the store buying shoes for my dog.

I didn't feel that way last weekend when I tried to exchange the boots for a size that fit Lacey. All of the pet stores had a run on dog boots to prepare for the Polar Vortex Storm That's Colder Than Antarctica (for real. It is summer in Antarctica and 45 degrees warmer in Iceland (36 F) than in Columbus, Ohio today (-9 F. )  It looks like I am not the only crazy pet parent in Columbus putting boots on my dog. Good to know.


The only thing left in Lacey's size in Store Number Three were a set of disposable dog booties made from recycled plastic bottle fabric. I was less than thrilled with the disposable part, but any port in a storm. I hoped Lacey could wear them several times and see us through the cold snap. No such luck. Lacey's dachshund claws started to poke through the second time out.

Time to make fleece dog booties!

How to Make Fleece Dog Booties

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 DIY Goals Wrap Up

I almost always put too many things on my yearly DIY Goal list to finsih by year’s end. I'm the Queen of Overscheduling. *royal wave*

I did something different when I made my DIY Goals List for 2013. I focused on more general/umbrella type goals and limited my list to seven items. It is 2014. Let’s see how I kept my 2013 DIY Resolutions.

1. Concentrate on projects using the items I already have. I really needed to knock the growing list of projects off my Someday list. Not to mention, the offhanded comments Husband uttered from time to time about my reclaimed material stashes. Yes, stashes. I completed 12 projects this year using things I already had on hand. I made Husband happy and cleared a corner of “treasures” from the garage. Bonus.

  • Big Ten team barn wood Welcome signs. I made these for Christmas gifts.


  • 10 more ways to use orange peels because it is a shame to toss a useful Christmas orange rind.

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    No Sew Drop Cloth Placemats

    I use tablecloths to hide the fact I need to refinish our dining room table and haven’t gotten around to it. Lacey likes my tablecloths because she figured out how to use them to pull things off the table and into her eager mouth. 

    I guess I better get some placemats, huh?

    I got my inspiration for this project from some of the little bits of supplies I wanted to use up while I was clearing a path through the crap meticulously cleaning and reorganizing my craft room. 


    How to Make Drop Cloth Placemats

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Homemade Pumpkin Jerky Dog Treats

    Lacey was glued to my side all weekend.

    I know it is because she loves me.

    It has nothing to my cutting, gutting, and drying pumpkins into treats for her on Lazy Budget Chef.

    This is a great time to get a deal on discounted Halloween pumpkins and make them into dried pumpkin dog treats to give as Christmas gifts.

    Yes, dogs get Christmas gifts in this house. Always!

    You can make my pumpkin jerky treats in the oven if you do not have a dehydrator.

    Learn how I make allergy free dried pumpkin dog treats on Lazy Budget Chef.

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    Monday, September 16, 2013

    How to Clean Dog Pee from Carpet WITHOUT a Carpet Cleaning Machine

    Potty training Lacey is a challenge. She was litter box trained and could go pretty much when and where she wanted in her former home.

    Guess what? She does here too.

    Potty training Lacey to go outside was even more difficult because all of her barks where the same high pitched and loud (girlfriend is part dachshund. They are not exactly soft barkers) freaked out alert barks that we couldn't tell which one is a potty bark and which one is a  freaking out over the noises of close neighbors bark.

    The result? Cleaning up a lot of pee and poo accidents might ruin the current and all future carpets in our house. Most some days we're cleaning up more than one and are frustrated and tired to haul the carpet cleaning machine from the closet to clean up the mess.

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    The Last of the Summer Fun and Lacey Update!

    Oh Summer. I wait for you all year long and before you know it – poof! – you are gone.

    Our summer got off to a weirdly slow start due to the constant heavy rain. Husband and I tag teamed a few necessary business trips so Lacey would not be face her greatest fear – being left behind. 

    Lacey’s behavior is not consistent enough to earn the privilege of a vacation or to keep us from being kicked out because of her behavior. Husband and I took long weekend staycations instead because we still need time off to unplug, be silly, and recharge.

    We started with short trips to the dog park. Lacey thinks she has to challenge other dogs and get them before they get her - a classic case of Little Dog Syndrome.  We keep the dog park trips short so Lacey won’t get overwhelmed.

    Some of Lacey's summer adventures!

    Just like with human kids, there are well behaved dogs that play well with others and sometimes there are bullies who try to challenge the other dogs or dominate them. It is critical you keep an eye on your dogs at all times to head off any potential problems and be ready to leave to avoid them even if it means you are only there for 15 minutes.

    Sometimes we had to leave the park shortly after we arrived with our tail between our legs because our kid was the one whipping the other dogs into a frenzy. It doesn't happen often, and it is part of the process as we puppy step her in the right direction.

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    How to Clean Dog Urine from Carpet and Keep Your Dog from Peeing on the Carpet Again

    Lacey piddles, poos, or sometimes vomits when she gets anxious or has a doggie panic attack. Building Lacey’s confidence with our behaviorist will take time and we are ready to take as much time as Lacey needs to conquer her fear demons.

    In the meantime, I’m cleaning pet carpet stains and removing dog urine marks on my carpet in a way that the dog doesn't urine mark that spot again.

    Hey everyone! Look what I did!

    Of course once I take care of one area, Lacey thwarts me and uses a different part of the house the next time she gets upset and we start this song and dance all over again. And again. And again.

    I'm an expert on cleaning dog pee, dog poo, and dog vomit from floors and carpeting - be jealous.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Socializing Miss Lacey - Our Fearful Rescue Dog

    Lacey’s obedience and behavioral training is working! Lacey is consistently walking at our side 90% of the time on a loose leash. Yay Lacey!

    We are now able to work on the next layer of Lacey’s behavioral issue onion – meeting other dogs and introducing her to new people and places.

    Family time!

    First, our behaviorist brought a fake dog into our yard and instructed Husband and I to give Lacey a verbal correction when she acted out. We use the sound AH AH because it has the force behind like a Momma Dog's You-Are-Not-Behaving-Stop-It-Right-Now bark unlike using the word NO.  The only people I knew who forcefully use NO consistently are toddlers and we are a smidge past that age.

    On the one hand, it makes perfect safety sense to use a fake stuffed animal in this situation because you don’t know what reaction you are going to get from the real fearful dog. Poor fake dog has been growled at, attacked, and peed on in the line of duty. Sad fake dog face.

    On the other hand, and in the crazy part of my brain that is not a responsible adult, it is funny seeing a grown man bounce a stuffed animal on a in leash in my backyard. However dedicated dog people know that sometimes you have to do strange things to help your dog learn how to be balanced and happy. Besides fake dog worked and we were able to work with his real dog on later appoints. Thank you fake dog!

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Project Me

    Our ongoing lesson with Lacey is to teach her Husband and I are her leaders to help build her confidence and help her with her fear issues.
    The big difference between Dog World and Human World is to be happy, a dog needs a good leader. Not someone who leads by yelling or hitting but the type of leader who stays calm in a crisis, like an ER nurse. If a dog doesn't think you are doing the job, it is going to try to take over. Human World considers this bad behavior but Dog World considers this the way stuff gets done. 

    Lacey is trying to be the boss of this pack. It is stressing her out because she knows she isn’t a strong leader. Unfortunately Lacey isn’t cluing in that I am her leader either.

    The Dog World Leader always goes first. Lacey knows her humans walk through doors and up stairs first. She now knows sit, stay, down, and is pretty good on shake with both voice and hand signals. Husband and I use these tricks as a way for Lacey to earn positive things (for example she has to sit so I can put her leash on her for a walk) or to give her something positive to focus on (and the treat reward) when she thinks something is scary.

    We are having a heck of a time teaching Lacey to walk by her human’s side and not pull on the leash! This is something we started working on as soon as Lacey came to live with us and before we started working with our behaviorist.

    We are on Technique #3 to teach Lacey how to walk on a loose leash. *sigh*

    I now understand why some people claim their dogs are dumb and can’t learn. I don’t think that is true with Lacey. Lacey walks well with our behaviorist. Lacey doesn’t yank Husband around (unless she sees a bird) with our new teaching technique but not with me. At all. Lacey, what is wrong with you?!

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Our Fearful Dog: Some Days I'm Not Sure How to Help Her

    I am flattered when people complement Husband and I on the lengths we will go to rehabilitate a dog with behavioral issues. Sometimes they use nice words like Miracle Worker.

    I feel weird about that because I do not think we perform miracles. I think it is more Husband and I being too stubborn to let a pup wallow in fear and act out because of it because we know they have an inner awesome they haven’t discovered yet.

     We read tons of dog behavior books. When we take classes, we pester dog experts with tons of questions. We put together a team of professionals who know more about dogs than we ever will to train us AND our dog. Husband and I aren’t afraid to be wrong and we often are.

    The green collar is a calming dog collar. It has mother dog phermones, lavender, and chamomile essential oils to help Lacey stay calm in stressful situations. Our behaviorist recommended it because it goes where Lacey is when she is stressing unlike the phermone plug ins I used with Blitzkrieg. 
    The collar lasts 30 days. I bought mine from Amazon here.

    Besides teaching basic manners and obedience, our first task is for Lacey to learn it is her humans' job to be the leader and protect the pack, not hers. She does not have to bark and act like a tough girl because she is scared and thinks she should “get them before they get her." Once Lacey learns that, then and only then we will teach her jujitsu and allow her to eat any robbers that try to break into the house while we call the police but this is a long ways away.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    Washi Tape Dog Treat Box

    Introducing the newest must have accessory for spring – the washi tape dog training treat box!

    washi tape clip on dog treat box

    Husband said he was surprised I waited two whole days after we adopted Lacey to make her something. What can I say? I’m a maker.

    Condo Blues Lacey the Dog
    I asked Lisa to reuse this photo of me because I am sometimes a little shy when she pulls out her camera.
    You can read my story here.

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Meet Lacey

    Pitter patter pitter patter romp romp romp.


    Say hello to our new dog Lacey!

    Lacey Condo Blues
    Hello, my name is Lacey. 

    She’s recycled :)

    Lacey is an 11 month old fearful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mix. Look at the long and luscious legs on this girl!