Friday, September 13, 2019

4 Month Weights

The Hearts Afire Puppies are 4 months old! We're tracking their weight at this stage to get an approximate adult weight. If you take the 4 month weight and double it you have a good estimate of adult size. Example: Cordie was 18 lbs. at four months, and she is exactly 36 lbs. as an adult. 

  • Gabriel (was Black Boy) 23.6 lbs. 
  • Emme (was Yellow Girl) 21.7 lbs.
  • Axel (was Blue Boy) 29 lbs. 
  • Addie (was Pink Girl) 20 lbs.
  • Aya (was Green Girl) 21.4 lbs. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Misunderstanding of Time

The Misunderstanding of Time

When I am asked what is the biggest problem I see in dog training today, it is the same problem I saw fourteen years ago, and thirty years ago, it is the misunderstanding of time.

It takes time to learn how to be a teacher to another species.

It takes time to learn how to learn from another species.

It takes time to build understanding.

It takes time to learn how to observe and how to apply what you observe.

It takes time to build a relationship with trust.

It takes time to get to know one another.

It takes time to teach.

It takes an enormous amount of time to build skill on both ends of the leash.

It takes time to learn.

It takes time to learn about humility.

It takes time to learn how to work together.

It takes time to learn about the things in training you don’t even know that you don’t know yet.

It takes time to learn about your own short comings.

It takes time to forgive your own short comings and learn how to move on with your dog.

It takes a life time to practice compassion.

It takes time, all of it.

You cannot rush a relationship.

You cannot rush the teaching or learning process, on either end of the leash.

You cannot rush maturity or the lack there of.

You cannot rush your skills, or your dog’s understanding of your skills.

My advice to new dog owners, seasoned dog owners, and want to be dog owners – learn how to settle in, learn that nothing will happen overnight. Learn that if you try to take short cuts and try to make it all happen to fit your schedule, or your desires, or your needs, it will come back to bite you in the ass, figuratively or literally.

Written by Nancy Tanner - April 11, 2016

Saturday, August 3, 2019

And then there were NONE!

And then there were NONE! Baby "Aya/Green Girl" (Moonlight Muse On Fire) went home with Sebastian and Nancy (and their V's Cruise and Camille!) and kept her name. "Aya" is a do-it-all puppy with smarts, sass, good looks and confidence! I am so thrilled she landed in the perfect home where she'll shine. Looking forward to watching her compete in performance events (agility, tracking, rally, etc.) and Sebastian agreed <wink> to let me show her and let her play birddog, YAY! Can’t wait for the next Moonlight Meet-up! See you soon! 😘

Friday, August 2, 2019

A Beginner's Guide to Companion Events

Excellent PDF from the AKC - link:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Increasing expectations

Increasing expectations

"In my time, we didn't have so many issues with our dogs", a sentence that my father has quoted to me on several occasions. I'm pretty sure he is right; life on our planet was a lot different 70 years ago. There weren't many cars, no internet or cell phones and our human lives were pretty much set - you would often follow your parents' footsteps, get married and have children.

The same pretty much went for dogs. They lived their lives as they knew how to. There wasn't much "excitement" in their lives; no regular beach visits, no fancy dog courses or car rides to the other side of the city or even country. If a dog had an issue with another dog the owners would just not bring those dogs together. We would now feel that would be "avoiding the issue". Which it basically is, but who cared? There weren't as many people or dogs as in our current (city) lives so lots of opportunity to just let the dogs be. Accepting that these dogs don't like each other and work around it. Were these dogs unhappy? At times I think yes, because people also spent less time trying to understand their dog. On the other hand I think they had a lot more freedom to be their own individual, and with that, a lot less EXPECTATIONS to handle.

What makes me say so? I think we, in our current society, find it very difficult to accept things as they are. We are so used to portraying and seeing the "perfect pictures" that we think our lives, and our dogs lives, should match this perception. I was totally guilty too - wanting my dog to be perfect and making a fuss over everything he wasn't great at. Turid Rugaas, my mentor who educated me to be the dog behaviorist I am today, was also the one who confronted me with my high expectations. She said, and I quote:

"In order to help your dog, you have to let go of your own ambitions"

However hard it was, I did eventually learn to have lower expectations. It led me to critically look at everything I wanted from my dogs vs what would feel natural to them. As it turned out there can be quite some contradictions between the two. I have set out some major ones in the image of this post.

I believe we want a lot more from our dogs now compared to 70 years ago, and I think those increased expectations (and of course the changing demographics) lead to a lot of problems we face with our dogs today. Why write this blog? Because I want to inspire you all to think about this. What are the things you want from your dog? Is your request compatible with his natural behavior? If it isn't, can you let go of that expectation? Or tweak it so there is a win win situation?

Online article:

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Titer Tests: Protect Your Dog From Over-Vaccination

Dog vaccinations can often be just as harmful as the disease they’re meant to protect against.

Vaccination can cause a wide range of health problems that range from minor fever to anaphylactic shock and cancer. So it’s vital that we vaccinate our pets only when necessary.

Here are some of the common reactions you might see in your dog, either days or months after vaccination …

Friday, July 26, 2019

And then there was ONE!

And then there was ONE! Baby "Addie/Pink Girl" (Moonlight Heart On Fire-TBD) went home with Heike and Neil, Jasmine and Aunt Zali (Zene's sister!) and will be known as "Addie aka Addison". She is flying first class ✈️ to Athens, GA -- as carry-on of course! While I am sad to see her go, Heike and Neil have been friends for a nearly decade and it's hard to deny the perfect puppy a perfect home. I would love to see her in the show ring one day, but knowing she will be adored and loved forever made the decision an easy one. Hoping for a Moonlight Meet-up in the Peach State 🍑! We will miss you!
P.S. Family Photo Coming Soon!