Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Tara Paterson, Founder of the "Mom’s Choice Awards" Interviews Author Fred Haney at Book Expo America (Watch the Video)

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
Why do readers of "My Doggie Says..." feel closer to their dogs? What's unique about the "dogs'-actions-speak-louder-than-words" approach of "My Doggie Says...?" How did the behavior of Jamie, Fred's Golden Retriever, lead Fred to write this unique book that is helping people improve their relationship with their dog? As you can see on this page, "My Doggie Says..." has won four awards. The most recent is the "Mom's Choice Award," Fred Haney, Author of "My Doggie Says..." was recently interviewed by Tara Paterson, founder of the "Mom's Choice Awards." The interview answers these -- and many other -- questions. [youtube]

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Sunday, May 11th, 2008
I would have thought that dogs were natural swimmers. That teaching a dog to swim would be like teaching a bird to fly. But not quite so. Apparently some dogs do need a little encouragement and training. Last summer, when Callie was five months old, she started learning to swim in Lake Arrowhead. It didn't come all at once, as she had to overcome some fear of the small waves lapping at the shoreline. And she was apprehensive about getting into water over her head. But finally, with a little coaxing, she worked through it and became an "adequate" swimmer. We kept her on a long leash, though, because we didn't want to risk her swimming out into the main part of the lake, where there can be a lot of boat traffic. Here's some video of Callie swimming last summer, after she overcame her initial fears: It's spring at Lake Arrowhead, so we decided the water was warm enough to take Callie swimming for the first time this year. Again we kept her on her leash, not because there's so much boat traffic this time of year, but we don't quite trust her to "come" when we call her yet. But Callie had to work through her little fears all over again. There's a very nice stone stairway that lets her walk right into the water. She took the first few steps, and she obviously wanted to retrieve the small pine stick I had tossed into the water. But she did not jump in (as I had thought she might). She didn't even walk in. It was as if she forgot everything she learned last summer, including how much fun it can be to swim. She kept shying away from the water -- wanting to dive forward, but then pulling back. Finally -- again with a little encouragement -- she took a few dog-paddles and then she leveled out her sleek Golden Retriever body and swam like a Golden Retriever should swim. Very graceful and confident in the water. So Callie had to work through her fears all over again, but she did it, and, when it was time to go, of course, she wanted to stay and swim! Here are two good articles about teaching your dog to swim: How to Teach Your Dog to Swim - Part 1 - Catherine Forsythe at Teaching Puppies to Swim, Butch Goodwin, Dogs love to swim and play in the water, but some of them need help. It's a great gift to give your dog, though, and it will be eternally grateful.

My Dog Really Wants To Join Your Soccer Game

Monday, March 31st, 2008
Sometimes doggie-messages are pretty easy to understand. Here's an example of some dog-talk that was not hard to interpret. Callie, as you know, is a soccer dog. She just loves to play soccer with me. And the thing I love most about it is that it's Callie's "invention." When she was still a puppy, she would invite me to play soccer by standing behind the ball, as if to say, "OK, Fred, show me what you've got!" Here's an update on Callie's soccer skills, photographed recently by Barbara: [youtube] That's all by way of background so you can understand what happened yesterday, when Callie went for a walk with Lauren and Amelia, our two grandchildren. As we walked along, we could hear a brother and his sister practicing soccer in their driveway. They were kicking the ball to each other, and, occasionally, kicking it into a "goal" on their garage door. When we got to the driveway so we could see the two soccer players, Callie froze in place. She sat down and watched the two kids with so much intensity that she started to quiver. At that moment, there was nothing in the world she wanted more than to join in the soccer practice. It showed in every bone in her body. My heart really ached for her, because I knew exactly what she was thinking and how much it meant to her. For a minute, I truly wished I could just take off her leash and let her run & join the soccer game. She would have chased the ball down and trapped it under her tummy. Or, she might have done a few "nosers," doggie versions of the "header." But then, of course, reality set in. Dog off the leash. Scared kids, who don't know that Callie is a good soccer player. And so forth. It just made me vow to make sure Callie gets to play soccer more often and to honor her very polite requests for a soccer game in our back yard.


Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
Ever since I blogged about Callie's Kong toy, on December 1, 2007, I've tried to get some good video clips of her dropping and throwing her Kong toy to the floor, hoping that the carrot or cheese inside will pop out. But having been introduced here to PUP (The Puppy Uncertainty Principle), you know that a puppy is never where you want it to be when you try to photograph it. Nor is it doing what you want it to do when you try to photograph it. So I've spent countless minutes trying to get some good video of Callie loudly thumping her Kong toys to the floor, hoping to be rewarded with a snack. Every time I tried to photograph her, she either moved someplace else, or she laid down and tried to pull the snacks out of her Kong toy with her teeth. So it took some perseverance, but here are a few clips of Callie thumping her Kong toys on the floor. Imagine waking up to this in the middle of the night, which is what happened the first time she did it. I thought someone was dribbling a bowling ball in our bedroom, because the sound was amplified by the floor of Callie's crate. What I really want to know is, "How does a puppy know to do this?" Is there a place in their genetic coding that says, "To get carrots and string cheese out of a Kong toy, you throw it on the ground?" Or is this a sign of the kind of problem solving the scientists always say dogs can't do? Or are puppies just pretty smart? Proving one more time that dogs are smarter than some people (mostly scientists) think they are. Give your dog credit for how smart it really is, and you'll have a closer relationship with it.

My dog can play soccer better than your elephant!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
If you haven't seen the "Kicking Elephant" video on You Tube, you should. It's really a kick 🙂 . This elephant can kick the ball both forwards and backwards. And he (she?) really gives the ball a THUMP! It's amazing what animals can be taught to do. But I'll still put Callie, my six-month-old (when this video was made) Golden Retriever puppy, on the animal all star team. Here's some video of Callie playing soccer. After thinking about it a little, I've decided to put both Callie and the elephant on the animal all-star team. The elephant has some real kicking power, so we'll put him (her?) up front as a forward. One caveat, though: The elephant has to quit playing basketball. Callie's pretty light on her feet and she does a good job of trapping the ball, so we'll make her a defender. So we need some midfielders who can take Callie's passes and move them up to the elephant. One huge difference between Callie and the elephant is that the elephant was taught to play soccer, but Callie taught me to play soccer. It was very much a case of me reinforcing something that Callie obviously liked to do, right from the first day she came to our home as an eight-week old puppy. Why not let your dog train you to do a few things? What have you got to lose? Think how good it will make your dog feel and how good it will be for your relationship. And you can maintain your alpha image while you do it, if you're careful. Now, on to the animal soccer all-star team. If you have some video of animals playing soccer, put it on You Tube, send me the link, and I'll be glad to post it here. Who knows, maybe we've invented a new sport for our pets!

How Do You Calm a Puppy?

Monday, December 31st, 2007
I wish I knew the answer to this question. I'm sure part of the answer is, "If you wanted a calm dog, why did you get a puppy?" Well, I know that puppies are puppies. They are wonderful, furry, energetic little bundles of energy that eat and drink and grow and give enormous pleasure to their people. Of course, we're talking about Callie here. And I know that the number one way to calm a dog is to make sure it gets plenty of exercise -- which Callie does. She goes for a three-mile walk almost every morning. And I try to play soccer with her a few times a week. She's improved since this video was taken, but it gives you the idea. Callie, at nine months, isn't going to be the same mellow dog that Jamie was when she was ten years old. But every month, she get a little calmer, a little more relaxed. Instead of bouncing off six walls at a time, she only bounces off of four walls. And she does have moments of extreme mellowness -- especially when she lies down with her "stinky" -- her little, stuffed puppy security object. This usually happens later in the evening, when Callie is starting to think about going to bed. At some point in the evening, Callie does calm down if she has one of her favorite toys to nibble on. I'm trying to make sure he has a good toy when the time comes to settle down. So I don't have any delusions that this energetic and wonderful puppy is going to become "an old mellow dog" any time soon. I'm just wondering if there are some things I can do to help her calm down a little more at times. I have a lot to learn about this, so I've been doing a little research, and it turns out there are some things you can do to help a dog calm down. Here's an interesting article on titled "How to Calm Down a Playful Large Dog." Callie's not a large dog yet, but if it works for a large dog, maybe it will work for a middle-sized one. This article describes a four-step process consisting of energetic play, stopping the play, kneeling close to your dog and making body contact to soothe it, and eventually getting your dog to lie all the way down, quietly. OK. That sounds like it's worth a try. And then here's an article, from, that describes a type of massage for dogs called T-touch. You massage the dog's skin in slow circular movements from head to tail. This also sounds like it's worth a try. Finally, you can't search the Internet for information about dog calming without running across the work of Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian author, who has done a lot of research on the signals that dogs send each other. She believes that dogs, when they lived in packs, had a lot of signals for maintaining the peace within the pack. This includes signals for calming each other down, avoiding aggression, etc. Here, from, is a good description of her work. This is something I want to learn more about, so I promise to read some of her books and review them here. More recently, Turid Rugaas has been experimenting with whether or not humans can use the same signals to communicate with dogs. More to come, here, I guess. But one of the most interesting possibilities, which we can all try, is yawning. Yawning? Yep. Actually, since I first read about this, I've tried to pay attention to Callie's yawning. It turns out that dogs, in their pack environment, use yawning as a way to reduce stress and calm each other. So when your dog yawns, there a good chance it's feeling some stress. This morning, Barbara was working with Callie on one of her puppy kindergarten exercises ("sit/stay"). Callie was doing a good job, but right in the middle of the drill, she yawned a big yawn. This doesn't mean she was bored; it means she was feeling some stress. Anyway, one theory is that you can help your dog calm down, or reduce stress, by yawning. A little game of soccer, followed by calm body contact, a little T-touch massage, lots of yawning, and I should be ready for a good night's sleep. I hope it works for Callie, too!

Help Your Retriever Retrieve (with video of Callie)

Monday, December 10th, 2007
If you want to have a good relationship with your dog, one of the best things you can do is to help it be true to its breeding and nature. For example, Golden Retrievers are bred to retrieve. So why not give your Golden Retriever lots of chances to retrieve different things? If you've read "My Doggie Says... Messages from Jamie," you know that Jamie would often interrupt our morning jog by freezing in place and looking back at us to make eye contact. The message was, "Could I please pick up this pine cone and carry it for a while?" We encouraged her to retrieve things (usually pine cones or sticks) whenever she could. Of course, her favorite thing to retrieve was her "floppy." Callie, now almost eleven months old, is building her retrieving muscles. It's fun to watch her, because she doesn't always know what works and what doesn't work. For example, Jamie learned that it works best to carry a big stick by holding it near the middle, so it balances evenly. You'll see in the video that Callie hasn't quite figured this out yet. She often "bites off more than she can chew," trying to retrieve sticks that are too big and then holding them at one end, instead of in the middle. But she's learning. And it's really fun to watch her work at being a better retriever.

More Doggie Dancing (with video)

Saturday, December 8th, 2007
On November 26, I wrote about this article, from, about dancing with your dog. 862-mag1125doggiepoodle_11-25-2007_amvkvutembeddedprod_affiliate81.jpg Well, guess what. Just a few days later, Barbara took this video of Callie's Puppy Kindergarten teacher, Ethel Mercer and her doggie, Heaven, doing a little impromptu dance demo. There's no music here, so you have to use your imagination a little, but you sure get the idea. Ethel is an instructor for the Lomita Obedience Training Club. See the link on the right hand panel. Callie has two diplomas, now, from Puppy Kindergarten, and she's learned her lessons pretty well. She's still a puppy, though -- with endless bundles of energy. She's not going to take dance class right now, but she was pretty impressed by Ethel and Heaven. Ethel, by the way, wrote one of the pre-publication reviews for "My Doggie Says.... " You can see it on the web site.

Fun things to do with your dog. Update on Callie's soccer skills and (believe it or not) dancing with your dog

Monday, November 26th, 2007
If you want to have a closer relationship with your dog, find things to do with it that it likes, too. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that Callie, now ten months old, invited me to play soccer when she first arrived at our house, at age eight-weeks. And we've played soccer with her ever since. Here's a little update video to show how her skills are improving. She's really jumping for the ball now and pulling off an occasional "header" or, sometimes, a "noser." But did you ever consider dancing with your dog? Here's a cute article from about learning to dance with your dog. First I've heard of it, but according to this article, it's gaining pupularity (Callie's mistake) across the country. There's even a little primer on how to teach your dog to spin around. The secret? You guessed it. Lots of doggie treats! 862-mag1125doggiepoodle_11-25-2007_amvkvutembeddedprod_affiliate81.jpg For now, Callie and I will stick to soccer, but dancing with your dog looks pretty fun.

Keeping your pet safe over the holidays and an update on Callie's puppy kindergarten

Saturday, November 24th, 2007
Callie likes "top ten" lists, so she asked me to share this with you. It's a great list of ways to keep your pet safe over the holidays, by John Woestendiek of the Baltimore Sun. Lots of good things to think about as we start the holiday season. Come to think of it, Barbara's putting out a lot of decorations right now, so Callie and I better have a talk with her. John's article reminds me of a Thanksgiving weekend hike we took one year with Jamie, at Lake Arrowhead. Jamie started digging in the snow, and she unearthed a whole turkey carcass. Probably something the coyotes dragged down from someone's trash. We got it away from Jamie as quickly as possible, because we know turkey bones splinter and can cause huge problems for a dog. Callie's doing really well in her puppy kindergarten. Here's some video of a drill where she meets six new people. The people approach her one at a time, from the side, and ask to pet her for a few seconds. Notice how Callie is learning not to jump up on people, which she had a tendency to do. In all six of her "visits" she stays down and lets people pet her. I was really proud of her for the way she did this. In the background, you'll hear a "yippie" dog. Wait until the last few frames of the video and you'll see who this is -- a cute white Havanese breed dog. Hope you're enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend.