My dog is an introvert

It was only recently that I learned, and subsequently identified with, the term introvert for my own benefit. Sure, I’d heard the term thrown around, and I assumed an introvert was sort of a homebody, and someone that didn’t necessarily like other people. Turns out this couldn’t be more untrue. An introvert can be very social, can even be the life of the party when they deem it necessary, they just aren’t energized by it. Exactly, I thought! Instead, an introvert can feel drained by forcing themselves to be “on,” and will need time alone to themselves to re-energize.

Just like my dog.

 My dog is an introvert

It isn’t any secret that Izzie wasn’t properly socialized. At the time, nearly eight years ago, I thought if you had another dog, your dog would become social with that dog. Yep, I completely missed the mark on what socialization meant for a dog. And the dog she had for company was sort of mental, so that helped even less. Flash forward many years, and Izzie is a dog that is fearful in situations she doesn’t know, doesn’t really enjoy the company of many other dogs, and feels out of sorts unless she is in her comfort zone of familiarity. That comfort zone includes being left to her own devices, and only playing with her younger sister when the mood strikes.

So, what now?

Is Izzie’s need to keep to herself a bad thing? Not really.

Do I need her to be the life of the party at the dog park? Not at all.

Does she need socialization to get over her fears? Absolutely.

So, while respecting her individuality as a dog that prefers the company of herself (plus pillows), I’ve been slowly working with her on her socialization. Slowly has been the keyword. She still doesn’t like leaving her comfort zone. She still is not quite sure why she should have to be out and about. And although she loses her mind with excitement the second you mention going somewhere in the car, she pants incessantly the entire trip.

Realizing my dog is introverted has made me realize that training works best when it’s done in short increments of time, and gives her time to “recharge” afterwards on her own. I’ve also learned that socialization and social aren’t necessarily the same thing. I want and need her to be acceptable around others (socialized), but she doesn’t have to love and seek out the company of others (social).

Have you had luck with training an introverted dog?

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Moving: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Because December isn’t busy enough, my husband and I decided to buy a lovely new house this month, all while trying to fix up our old house to sell. Seemed completely logical. I, who hadn’t moved in over 8 years, forgot all the joys involved with moving. And I can’t say I’ve ever moved with dogs.

The good?

The new house is beeee-yoooo-teee-ful! I love it so hard, I still can’t believe it’s mine. And my dogs have gone from an approximately 3 foot by 7 foot unfenced yard on a busy suburban street, to 1.3 acres to roam in a rural area, with little or no traffic, and 8, yep 8, other small dogs for them to become BFFs with!

The bad?

Rural living (did I mention we now live on an island?) is a new experience for us and the dogs. Our house has no internet yet. For the love of jeebus, no internet! And with the Christmas holiday, no people that put in internets are working, or willing to sacrifice time with their families and stuff to put in my internet. So, that means, posting stuff to a blog has gone by the wayside with the exception of today when I made it to a coffee store with some sort of wi-fi, but extra slow country wi-fi.

The ugly?

Did I mention the no internet part? Also, no cable tv. In 2013, that’s not ok. In a way, the lack of both means I’m unpacking my house like an over-caffeinated ninja. It’s a good thing, technically, except I’m 43 and my back does not like when I do things like an over-caffeinated ninja. Go figure. To further the ugly, I have at least 10 more days of no internet/cable, so posting around here is going to be scarce again.

And a bonus “good” thing?

One day before I moved and blissfully had internet to browse at my leisure, I came across this diatribe on moving with dogs by Allie Brosh, who is one of the most funny illustrators/writers on the whole internet. This post – Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving – made me laugh so hard I just had to share. Enjoy!

dogspacking Moving: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Image via Allie Brosh

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Thanksgiving tips from a food obsessed dog

With Thanksgiving coming up next week in the U.S., Izzie put together these five handy dandy Thanksgiving tips to make food go from the table to a dog’s mouth.

Enjoy!

DogSplendor Thanksgiving 640x1024 Thanksgiving tips from a food obsessed dog

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The DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide

At this point there is no avoiding that the holidays are right around the corner. Without a doubt, many discerning dog parents will take the time to buy a present (or two or five) for the favorite furry faces on their list.

So, without further ado, I present the 2013 DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide – with fun items for dogs and the people who love them. We’re getting this guide out early so you have plenty of time to order.  Make sure you check out the special deals for DogSplendor readers!

Enjoy!

DS Holiday Gift Guide Cover The DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide

Click the image above for the full holiday guide in PDF format, or open the direct link.

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Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

Sometimes my dogs are uber photogenic and actually behave when I want to take their picture.

Then there is the other 99% of the time.

Typically Maddie is my go to dog for taking pictures with products, etc. Izzie doesn’t like having her picture taken. It’s quite possible she might be in the Schnoodle witness protection program, and I’m just not aware.

At any rate. Cheese. You know how photographers say “say cheese” to get people to smile in a photo? Well, with my girls, I just need to say CHEESE, and then back it up with, you know, actual cheese. I wonder if this is what they do with supermodels?

Below is a drawing I was given several years ago when both of my dogs attended a doggie Halloween party at their doggie daycare. For years, I’ve been meaning to take a picture to match the drawing. This week I finally did. Sort of.

DogSplendor Drawing Halloween Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

DogSplendor Halloween 1 Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

DogSplendor Halloween 2 Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

DogSplendor Halloween 3 Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

As the small amount of cheese I had dwindled, they quickly grew tired of the whole thing, and/or me.

DogSplendor Halloween 4 Do supermodels have to be bribed with cheese?

By the way, to follow up on my prior post regarding the EPIC Halloween costume I had planned for Izzie? Well, life happened. I got so busy this weekend with obligations that the materials never left the fabric store bag. I’m sure Izzie is relieved, although I still have the materials, and maybe next year I’ll start the whole thing with more than three days to finish it.

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