Hello Dolly, our new home dog boarding pup

beagle home dog boarding
We are happy to have Dolly with us and she’s learning a lot too.

This is Dolly.  She is a beagle that we have had staying with us since last Friday morning, as we are boarding her as part of our side business and labor of love Barneys Home Dog Boarding.  We love her.  She is very sweet, and only a little high maintenance, so that’s wonderful.  🙂  Ironically she is the first beagle in all the dogs we have boarded, even though our dog boarding is named after our first late beagle Barney.  Before her stay here she was pretty shy with other dogs, so living temporarily with our three dogs has helped her get important socialization experience.  At first she would avoid them, and now she acts just like one of the pack.

She used to have no cat experience, and that is going relatively well too.  Only a few times has she tried to chase Bambi, and only the first of those was a dramatic chase most of the length of our apartment.  Now it’s just a chase of few feet once in a while.  She is learning!  Of course I’m not sure which is teaching her faster, my “No” at the end of the chase, or the fact that another of our cats Smokey takes it personally and tries to teach her a lesson with body language and hissing after each mini chase.  As usual each of our cats helps in their own way to socialize the dogs to cats.  🙂

Oh and the only high maintenance aspect to her is that she does not usually go to the bathroom during our many daily yard visits, so I have to also take her on various walks as well.  Also she has not yet been trained to take much direction on a walk so is used to going wherever she pleases.  She is very resistant to most standard gentle correction, so I have learned the right bribing, I mean training method for her on her walks.  I guess we are all learning things this week!


Poodlepalooza Plus Cat Sitting Visits: Murphy Inspires Business Improvements

poodle mix dog on grass with ball
Murphy plays a mean game of catch for a 9 year old doggie!

Most of you know that Lorenzo and I offer BarnneysHomeDogBoarding.com dog boarding in our home, providing night and day care and companionship to the dogs of only one owner at a time.  Recently we met Murphy and his parents.  Murphy is a 9 year old poodle/shih-tzu mix, and a compact bundle of cuddles, love, and a motorized wagging pompom tail.  Murphy has three cat siblings at home and since we experienced love at first sight with Murphy, we agreed to Murphy’s mom’s request for cat sitting visits for their three cats.  We are very experienced cat people due to our own cats as well as volunteer and foster experiences.

cat with woman
Charlie appears for a cuddle during the cat sitting visit

So now we offer the best for the dog-cat homes.  The dog gets round the clock love in our home, and the cats get to stay in their own home and get love and care with cat sitting visits.  This photo shows 12 year old Charlie, as we both enjoyed a cuddle this past Saturday in their home.  His cat siblings are Linky and Shadow.  Linky was the main ambassador giving us lots of cuddles and company, and Shadow who lends us her subtle companionship from afar.

Murphy is very good with other dogs, so we decided to see if he wanted to play with Teddy, another poodle mix and honored client of Barney’s Home Dog Boarding.  We invited Teddy’s parents over for dinner, to see if both well-socialized dogs would enjoy a playdate.  Of course we took all precautions and had them meet down the block outside, then when that went so well we had them play off-leash in our enclosed yard as we all supervised.

Murphy and Teddy acted like long lost twins, so we declared Poodlepalooza a success and went ahead and ordered dinner and made a night of it. In this video, the voices are mostly Teddy’s parents, as well as myself and Lorenzo. Before this video was taken the dogs had chased each other around in circles time and time again, and here in the video you see their play as they are a little winded but still enjoying their play, safe in our enclosed yard. Thanks also to Murphy’s parents, for allowing us to post this all-out festival of cuteness. Will there ever be another Poodlepalooza? Stay tuned to find out!

Introducing Champ & His Ongoing Diplomacy Training

Champ is a wonderful seven year old cocker spaniel that we have been boarding for just over a week now.  In a previous home he has got along well with one cat, even sleeping with him.  Our home has three cats.  Zen and YoYo may run from dogs and Zen will even growl at a dog if she is threatened or chased, so we found Champ needed some help and training so that he could adjust and live peacefully with our cats.  He never had an obvious desire to kill our cats, but he did think it was OK to chase them at top speed, which started some trouble with our cat Zen who was not amused at all.  Also he would stare at the cats nonstop while panting, and this was pretty unnerving for the cats.  Initially we thought the staring was love at first sight, but we quickly realized it was a dominance & vigilance play to keep staring at them for minutes on end.

cocker spaniel with cat photo
The Goal: the cat (Bambi) walks calmly & Champ relaxes

To begin his gentle training, we needed to keep him on a loose harness and leash and gave him treats of boiled chicken when he displayed calm behavior and gave us his attention near one of our cats.  Bambi was the easiest cat for us to work with, since she is able to walk slowly and calmly near him as long as he does not charge her.  In the beginning he would have chased even Bambi.  The first photo is from this morning proving just how far he has come with his dog-cat diplomacy training in just one week.  Bambi is doing her classic calm walk by him, and he remains relaxed and lying down.  They have been doing fine for days now, which is why he is off of any restraint near her.

photo of cat with cocker spaniel
Champ & Bambi: peacefully ignoring each other. Progress!

In the second photo we see them totally ignoring each other, which is a sign of their growing trust and acceptance of each other.  We still are working with and supervising Champ when he sees YoYo on the ground or Zen on the ground.  We have another few days with Champ for this visit, so we’ll see how far we can get with his dog-cat diplomacy training.  He’s such a good boy and thanks to the treats he does learn.  Also he loves massages around his ears and on his whole body, so that’s another method of persuading him.  🙂

I finally put categories for each blog post, so to read old posts about our dog boarding, see the Categories section on the right and look for Dogs.  For more info on our home dog boarding, see our website at www.BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com.