Archive | August, 2013

WTF Wednesday: The Aquatic Edition

28 Aug

Here at TDS we’re all big fans of the water. Our dogs have mixed reviews on the wet stuff but even the most water-loving pup in the group (Potnoodle‘s ‘I‘) would probably draw the line at this insanity.

Yeah it’s a cattle dog. Someone is going to die when (s)he gets out.

Or this…

Yikes

Or this…

Oh you’d better run

What would possess anyone to think this is a good idea? Sadistic SCUBA enthusiasts?

On the bright side, should the worst happen you can purchase a personal hyperbaric chamber for your pooch (Or kitty if you really don’t value your life).

The dog’s look says it better than we could.

Just kidding. It’s not a hyperbaric chamber, it’s an oxygen bed. It’s just like the one Michael Jackson used. Somehow they thought that was good advertizing..

That is says Japan in the corner explains so much

With enough money and enough crazy, anything really is possible even turning your pooch into Jacques Cousteau or MJ.

And really didn’t need to

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Welcome Aboard or How Long Till We Move To A Mini-van?

27 Aug

We’ve come to a sad realization here at The Dog Snobs.   What is it you ask?  Well, we’re fairly certain that we have are essentially glorified “cruise directors” for our dogs.    While we don’t smile nearly as much as cruise directors, nor do we have that crazy desperate look in our eyes (we hope) and a name like “Dan, Dan the Fun Times Man”, we do spend a good amount of our time catering to our dogs needs.  Between shuttling them around to various activities, planning excursions, and making sure that they keep busy and happy, we’re pretty sure they’re controlling our lives.

She’s us with bigger hair and a creepier smile.

Perhaps it would be more fair to compare ourselves to Soccer Moms, but god help us if we ever get those stick figure families on the back of our car.  If you ever see us driving around in a minivan adorned with those stickers, you have full permission to mock us.  Endlessly. And publicly.

Mind you, we enjoy doing so many activities with our dogs (and it’s not as if our dogs are demanding we take them to ten different classes a week), but we do wonder if it’s normal how much time we spend shuttling them around. An hour and a half to this class, two hours to that one. Forty five minutes to pick up that one special food they can have, thirty to take them to that park where people don’t side eye you for dropping the leash. It’s getting out of hand. At least cruise directors get tipped.  What do we get?  The joy of a dog that may or may not vomit in our shoes and the joy of filling up yet another tank of gas.

All this being said, do we plan to cut back anytime soon?  Nope.  We just heard there’s a new class being offered 45 minutes away….

We’ll be meeting at 4 on the Lido deck

*Anyone else feel the same way as us?  Does another job description fit you better?  We want to hear, so share below*

Sex Toy or Dog Toy Saturday

24 Aug

Ready for another a-maize-ing (see what we did there?) edition of Sex Toy or Dog Toy Saturday?

Time to put on your thinking caps!  Which is the sex toy and which is the dog toy?

A

Option A

Option B

Option B

If you guessed option A is the sex toy, you’d be correct, meaning option B is for the dogs.  If you’re bothered by how eerily similar these two are, well, you’re not alone.  And what’s that you say, you’ll never look at corn the same again?  You’re welcome.

Dog Breeds: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

23 Aug

By popular (and by popular we mean ours because really, we’re the popular ones here. Don’t get uppity) request we’ve brought back our Dog Breed pros and cons. These are just a general look at breeds we’re familiar with and some things you may not be aware of.  We’ll share the good, the bad and the downright nasty. We’re entirely aware that breed traits are by no means universal. Every dog is an individual, however breeds being breeds there are some traits we feel you should be aware of in choosing your next canine companion.  If you don’t like sweeping generalizations, then you should probably back away slowly from our blog.   For our first installment of what we hope will be a regular feature, we’ll cover the Sheltie, Malinois, and Border Collie a.k.a. The Herder Cabal.

Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

Looking for an incredibly intelligent, loyal, and eager to please dog?  The Sheltie definitely fits that bill.   They make both excellent family pets as well as performance dogs and will certainly turn heads when you walk down the street.  However, if you rage whenever you hear a dog bark, you might want to reconsider bringing home a Sheltie.

Other breeds typically owned : More Shelties… Occasionally you may get a branch out into Border Collies or Aussies but Shelties are the potato chip herder. Usually you won’t find just one.

BusyBee’s mutant (read: way larger than standard) childhood Sheltie, Dusty.

THE GOOD

-Shelties are incredibly intelligent and easily trainable and as such excel in obedience, agility, and other dog sports.

-They are one of the easiest breeds in terms of personality. They don’t just want to please you, they need to please you with a burning passions that at times borders on the scary. They’re often the starter performance breed and generally an excellent choice for that purpose.

-It will often seem like they’ve trained themselves mostly due to a deep personal dignity that most Shelties value. They take what you say seriously and to heart.

-They really are pretty. While most of us are familiar with either the merles or the sables, bi-colors also occur with some regularity in performance litters. Their fluffy coats, sweet faces and striking color patterns make them a perennial favorite.

-Personality plus. Shelties do it all with flair. They know what they want, and it’s their goal to get you to help them achieve it.

-They want to do things with you. If you want an interactive companion, these guys are up for anything except maybe swimming.

THE BAD

-The joys of a double coat.  These are dogs that require regular grooming and will literally blow enough coat to create a whole new dog.

-People will forever refer to your Sheltie as a “mini-Lassie”.  Learn to deal with it.

-Prone to anxiety (Separation and general).

-They bark. A lot. This is not a breed who is at all retiring. They don’t just like the sound of their own voice, they love it.

-Shelties are sensitive, probably more so than a lot of other herding breeds. They will get their feelings hurt easily and generally aren’t incredibly tolerant to mistreatment… basically subjecting them to an untrained toddler is unfair and probably won’t end well.

THE UGLY

-Barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark… Did we mention they bark?

-They will try to herd everything if left to their own devices. Herding involves teeth. Hope you weren’t attached to your pants.

 

Belgian Malinois

Do you have a need for speed and a worrying lack of concern for your personal safety? A Malinois may be for you, or actually, it probably won’t be. It’s not you, it’s them. Really, these are a terrible ‘pet’ breed in general and we cringe when we see them owned by the rank novice dog person. This breed does best when owned by an experienced (and we mean real experience not ‘I took a class at <Bloated pet chain>’ experienced), active, consistent owner who loves to train and work their dogs as a primary hobby. They are not a breed for the casual enthusiast.

Other Breeds Typically Owned: Other Belgians, both Corgis and Australian Cattle Dogs in the herding breeds. You will occasionally see a terrier (Border or Jack Russel usually) because you might as well round out the madhouse.

I may have eaten the bolts in the shed… maybe.

THE GOOD

-If you need a dog with endless energy and drive you don’t need to look much further than a Mal. There’s a reason they’re the top choice for many working dog venues including but not limited to: law enforcement, customs, detection, military and the bite sports. They are incredibly easy to motivate.

 -They really can be a stunning looking dog. While in the US they are considered separate from the other Belgian varieties their shared genetic heritage causes some gorgeous coat variation within single bloodlines.

-They are endlessly devoted and loyal to their people or person. They desperately want to be with their families and would be completely content to share a skin with you.  They want to be right in your pocket and will make  it happen if they can.

-They are extremely smart and learn incredibly quickly.

-They are very protective. Naturally somewhat suspicious of strangers, the Belgian varieties on the whole can be viewed with some caution by strangers.

 THE BAD

-Their neediness can transition to severe separation anxiety.

-If not instilled early their busy-ness in the house can become problematic. While it’s a myth Malinois don’t have an “off-switch” it does need to be taught and enforced regularly.

-Their protective instincts can become a problem very quickly. You may accidentally turn your new best friend into your only friend.

-They’re mouthy. They love to play but are rather prone to forgetting that their humans can’t tolerate teeth on their skin like another Malinois can. Those jaws are incredibly strong and as a rule they love to alligator snap and prance. If you had to watch your pants with shelties, watch your femur with Malinois.

-While smart, Malinois are not a ‘thinker’ as it were. Their first instinct is always going to be “do” rather than ‘pause and reflect’. They can be difficult to train in that respect as well as putting their own safety at risk. Obedience and extensive training is not optional on this breed.

THE UGLY

-They are high energy. Really, we’re not kidding. Their energy is boundless, exhausting and it needs an outlet. If you don’t give them one, they will make one and we can almost promise you, you won’t like it.

-They’re the sport/macho dog du jour right now. Unfortunately their versatility and outright power has gathered some notice from people who really can’t handle and shouldn’t have the breed. Many many misguided novices wander into the breed completely unprepared for what they’re up against when transitioning from one of the more easy-going breeds, thinking that their new high-powered canine will help them win.

-Pathological shyness occurs in some lines with regularity.

-We don’t know when, we don’t know where, we don’t know how but somehow they will hurt you or themselves accidentally. They are not a graceful breed.

Strange Breed Quirks:

– There’s something referred to as the Malinois Head Stand. It’s usually against your body as the dog shoves their head into you to the point of nearly falling over on themselves.

-Teeth snapping during play alarms some people but it’s just how they play. Alligator snapping and prancing is totally normal and typical.

 

Border Collie

The kind of people that do well with Border Collies are incredibly active and if not smarter… at least as smart as the dog. A Border Collie is not a dog for someone that wants to hang inside and go on occasional hike. They are a full time commitment that will amuse themselves if not supervised.

Other Breeds Typically Owned: Other Border collies, Papillons, occasionally an ancient Sheltie or a jerky terrier (Typically Jack Russell or Jack Russell mix).

You wil bend to my will, giant naked sheep.

The Good

-Nothing’s smarter than a border collie, according to that obnoxious little list that comes out every year. No one can argue that Border Collies don’t have weird savant style intelligence.

– A well bred Border Collie is a striking dog, whether merle, red, blonde or black and white… they are certainly appealing dogs.

-Athletic. Do I even need to go on? There is a reason you see so many Border Collies in performance sports, They’re fast and they’re accurate.

THE BAD

-That’s a lot of energy. A Border Collie is a dog that keeps going and going and going. We know this is something a lot of Border Collies treasure in the breed but we find it hard to believe that they never wish for an off switch.

-Obsessive. A Border Collie is a dog bred for generations to keep things in order. Things being sheep. Most Border Collie owners don’t have a couple hundred sheep to keep their dogs occupied so the dog’s obsessions often turn compulsive. They herd flashes of light, they herd cats, they herd leaves blowing across the lawn.

THE UGLY

-Holy crap, can you say breed politics?!? There isn’t a breeder in the US that you can buy a dog from that won’t have the other half of the Border Collie community snickering and gossiping behind closed doors. Barbie collies, working line, sport bred… it’s enough to have your head spinning.

-Border Collies can be… snappish. It’s less an aggression issue and more a control or fear issue, especially in the badly bred ones. That tendency combined with speed and intelligence often leads to a dog that can bite before anyone knows what is going on.

Thoughts?  Share below!

WTF Wednesday

21 Aug

Here comes the bride…all dressed in white….wait…what?

That’s right, apparently there is an entire industry devoted to dog weddings.  

Certainly no Vera Wang…

We love our dogs.  We really do.  But we’re not going to throw a wedding for them.   Can a dog even consent to a wedding?  What does the honeymoon look like?  Do you get them questionable dog toys as a gift?  Too many questions and even more weird answers. What was that about the sanctity of marriage again?

Dog Owner Profile: More Money Than Sense

20 Aug

Description:

Not uncommon in the dog world, most of us are familiar with the More Money Than Sense (MMTS) owner. The MMTS is the love-child of the Know it All Novice  and the Baffled Amateur. While they may not have the answer, they know who does and his name, ladies and gents, is Benjamin.

 

Mr. Franklin did love him some bitches.

That’s right kids. While the rest of the unwashed masses are finding ways to cut corners or DIY-it, the MMTS is tossing out money like a broken slot machine.

 

Common Locations:

Erm. Where do rich people go? The country club? Ibiza? Basically anywhere other than working with their own dogs. Is In The Company of Dogs a location? How about Drs. Foster and Smith? The MMTS’s credit card certainly gets a workout on those sites. The MMTS never bothers to shop around, if it’s expensive, it must be good… right?

Do they make housecalls?

Wardrobe:

White linen pants and other completely impractical clothing for being around dogs.

 

Breeds Owned:

Hypoallergenic breeds, rare breeds, breeds that match their upholstery

“He matches perfectly! Winston, write a check!

Skill Level:

Low with strange savant moments. Having thrown money at just about every dog-related issue, the MMTS owner lacks the most basic of dog skills.   They are, however, skilled at hiring people do the work for them and then complaining when it’s not done to their unrealistic standards. That being said though, they will frequently surprise you with their vast knowledge on one particular aspect of dog care.

“and stop trying to give me advice!”

Catch Phrases:

“Surely we can hire someone for that”, “I paid good money for this”, “If I pay you more, can you teach him to love me?”

There isn’t enough money in the world.

 

Anecdotal Evidence:

 

BusyBee:

An old neighbor of mine definitely fit the bill of a MMTS owner.   Between paying WAY too much for a pet-quality dog, sending the dog off to a 6 week “bootcamp” (TWICE!!)  to improve his manners, and going through dog trainers like toilet paper, this owner spent more time throwing money at the “problem” than actually interacting with his own dog.  He never quite seemed to understand why his dog wasn’t perfect despite having spent so much time in training with the “best of the best”.   Um, dude, maybe it’s because YOU haven’t actually done the training with your dog or followed up on anything the trainers told you to do.   Just a thought…

Asswipe

 

Potnoodle:

Much to my own shame, I work for a MMTS owner. Since I’d like to keep that job, I won’t talk about that here. I can, however, talk about another MMTS owner I know. This dog has OTB (only the best) food, collars, leashes… She goes to a vet about two hours away because nothing close by is good enough. When she was told that the dog was getting too fat, instead of exercising the dog like any normal human being, she sent the dog off to a fat camp. Barking problems? Two weeks of board and train. The dog is a short haired beast that could easily be washed in a sink but instead goes to the groomer weekly. When you work in the dog industry, these people can be both a curse and a blessing.

Make him thinner, and nicer… actually just trade him in, It’s time for a new model.

Know a MMTS owner? Willing to admit to being one? Tell us in the comments!

WTF… Sex Toy… We don’t even know.

17 Aug

Here on The Dog Snobs, we try to have two fairly regular columns–WTF Wednesday and Sex Toy Saturday. Today, we present you an item that combines the two.

It’s here. It scares us. 

Silly Dog Snobs, you say, “That is clearly just a clatter stick for protection or ring work”.   To that we encourage you to read a little more closely . Read the description. Now look at the products suggested below it. Concerned yet? We are.

Apparently the sound is supposed to scare your dog and interrupt the behavior. OK, that makes sense…maybe? What happened to a can of pennies if you want to go that training route? Is the BDSM element really necessary?  We think not.

Granted we have seen some worrying leather dog equipment before, but we’re pretty sure this one takes the cake.   The creepy, creepy cake.

There are like five dog toys on this thing.

I’m not keeping my foster dog. And no, that doesn’t make me a bad person: A rant by BusyBee

16 Aug
Over the past week since my latest foster dog came home, I’ve been bombarded by eager friends, coworkers, and complete strangers who want to know if I’m keeping her.  When I tell them that no, she is just a foster and will not be staying, the tone inevitably turns from excitement to dismay.   Based on their reactions, you would think I just told them that I stomped on a kitten, not that my end goal was to find a great home for my foster.

If by the quotations you mean reality, yes. Yes, indeed.

Up until last night, I hadn’t really let it get to me.  And then…..I went to puppy playgroup with my foster.  Enter holier-than-thou crazy dog lady (I could write a whole blog entry just on her…hell…I just might) who literally said to me “Oh, I could never foster dogs like you.  I have too big of a heart to give them up.”

re-he-he-he-healy?!

So apparently I’m heartless because my end goal is to send my fosters to a forever home that isn’t my own.

Gotcha

It seems that a lot of people don’t seem to understand the point of fostering.  As a foster, I am the gateway between the shelter and finding a forever home for dogs who need a little extra time and attention.  Do I care deeply about the dogs I care for?  Yep.   Does it hurt when they leave?  You betcha.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely.  Sending a successful foster to a new home is one of the most rewarding things in the world.

Now, I do realize that most people who have given me a hard time about not keeping fosters are well-meaning.  They see how far the dog has come under my care and how bonded we are, and think that staying together is best.  I also think that a lot of these people would foster fail themselves and can’t fathom how others don’t.  But please don’t try to guilt/shame/beg me to keep my foster.

Just because I follow my head doesn’t mean I don’t have a heart.  I am in no place to take on a second dog right now and frankly, I’m perfectly happy just having Mr. T in my life.  I know people find that hard to believe, but one dog is plenty for me.  If I followed my heart and adopted every dog I fell in love with or bonded with at the shelter, I’d end up on the 10 o’clock news as that “crazy lady” with 200 dogs in her 1 bedroom apartment.   No one wants that, right?

Truth

Look, I am not saying there is anything wrong with foster failing (heck, some of my best friends have foster failed and got some great dogs out of it).  I just wish more people would understand that there isn’t anything wrong with NOT “failing”.

So with that, the next person who suggests I’m in any way a bad person for not keeping my deliberately temporary dog, just shut it. I foster succeeded and you’re welcome. Hopefully your next shelter dog will be fostered by someone who cares as much as I do.

You’re pretty stinking cute. But you’re not staying.

The Dog Snobs 100th Post

15 Aug

Holy crap.   It’s our 100th post.  How did that happen?! Who knew we had this kind of dedication?

Since our blog debuted on February 28th, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried (well maybe not),  we’ve snarked, and in the middle of it all somehow managed to rack up a pretty cool league of minions!  In honor of our 100th post, we wanted to reflect on what we’ve learned so far.

1)  We’re pretty good at pissing people off.

While we knew we might raise some hackles, we can’t say we ever thought that people would get so riled up.   We’ve been called names, we’ve had people curse our unborn children, and we’ve even had hate email sent to us.  Now, if you think this made us sad…you don’t know us very well.  We took it as a sign that we had finally “made it” in the blogosphere.  You can’t piss people off if no one is reading you.

Not the worst thing we’ve been called.

2)  Some people aren’t good at recognizing themselves…or laughing at themselves.

Why do some people hate us so much?  Probably because they take themselves WAY too seriously.  We’ve never claimed to be anything but a snark-filled blog and we certainly don’t take ourselves seriously.  While a majority of readers get what we are about and join right in on the fun, some people will clearly just never get it.

3)  Having a “Sex Toy or Dog Toy” column results in a lot of really awkward spam mail.

But not as awkward as our posts. Who can forget the egg, the safestix, or the infamous cupcake?  We sure can’t and we have a feeling you’re can’t either.  Just be thankful that we don’t share our spam mail with you.  You’re welcome.

New column idea: Fruit or Sex Organ

4)  One should always clear browsers after searching for sex toy/dog toy items.  

Or at least make a deal with your friends to do so for you should you suddenly become incapacitated.  The things that show up in our search history are possibly arrestable offenses in 21 states

.

5)  We love our minions.

When we started this blog, we said we didn’t care if anyone else thought we were funny other than us.   Much to our surprise, our readership took off pretty quickly and we’ve garnered a great group of followers. We are so glad that other dog owners enjoy the snarkier look at the dog world, and we’ve enjoyed reading your comments.  You all post some funny shit.

6) Our brand of humor is not fit for everyone.

We think we’re hilarious, most of you think we are hilarious (right?), but not everyone gets it. If only we could control how people choose to present us because as far as we know, a sarcasm font hasn’t yet been invented.  Perhaps we should put a definition of satire at the beginning of every post.

Or we could google it for them. 

7) Nothing brings Dog People together like humor…

Mocking other dog people. If you’ve ever been ringside at a dog event, you know we’re a bitchy bunch, even to our friends. Is it any surprise that a blog mocking a wide range of dog people is a hit? We are like the mean girls of the dog world.

It’s true… and you will too if you want us to like you.

Have you learned anything from us?  Love us? Hate us? Share below!

Welcome to the Frat Party a.k.a. I’m not socializing my puppy that way so go away.

13 Aug

With a lot of new owners the concept of socialization is harped on endlessly. Socialize your dog! Take them everywhere! Make them meet everyone! They have to meet all the dogs! Take them to puppy play sessions twice per day! The dog park is great for puppies! They need daily specialized socialization classes! They should love this!

Even Atticus knows that is ridiculous.

Unfortunately, that extremist approach to a fairly simple concept has perpetuated something that’s hard to get around; There is an overwhelming belief that all dogs should love everyone and everything and anything outside of that assertion is somehow deviant, worrying, and likely a temperamental flaw to be crushed out, trained endlessly, or gotten rid of posthaste.

It’s beaten into our heads that dogs need friends and social lives and time off-leash, and freedom to be themselves and space and holy crap it’s starting to sound like you’ve got a child not a dog. Unfortunately what a lot of these voices berating us fail to take into account is that dogs are individuals and there is such a thing as too much too fast in terms of socialization. Enter, the dog park.

Dog parks, to many people are a welcome beacon of off-leash space in an on-leash world. In theory they could be wonderful, but a lot of things could be wonderful in theory.  Like deep-fried peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Trust us, it’s not worth it.

Regardless of how you feel about adult dogs at dog parks, I think there is one thing we can all agree on.  Puppies do NOT belong at dog parks.  Period.  End of story.  Why, you ask?  Let us count the ways.  Illness.  Injury.  Stress and fear responses.  The list goes on and on.   Dog parks are like frat parties.  They are full of loud, rude, clueless, and overstimulated individuals who only get worse when part of a large group.  Plus, farting and humping is not only allowed, but encouraged.  For real, though. Think about sending your 13 year old daughter to a frat party.  Yeah.  Besides being a major parenting fail, it would also be a disaster.  So if you wouldn’t risk your teen daughter in a group of hooligans, why would you trust your impressionable puppy?

Like this, but with more poop in baggies… we hope.

There are plenty of ways to get controlled socialization for your puppy.  Find a stable adult dog for it to play with.  Set up playdates with other similarly aged puppies.  Attend a puppy class at your local trainer who doesn’t just release them into the wild like some kind of weird documentary film. The key here is to set your puppy up for success.   Be smart about it and use some common sense (sadly not all that common) and be your pup’s advocate.

The Slow Loris, the most common cousin of Common Sense.

And if your dog or puppy is a bit of a hermit? Well that’s really okay too. We certainly don’t like everyone; why should our dogs? They’re entitled to their opinions on the matter. The idea that all dogs must be friendly and get along all the time is at best naive. If more people spent time imprinting manners in their dogs rather than engaging in free-for-all socialization (which is usually more detrimental for sensitive pups) we’d have a lot fewer issues in the long-run.

Eventually we want training to supersede their opinions but until then, socialize your puppies elsewhere.

The socialization doesn’t have to involve tiny outfits but the teacups are necessary.

And the next person who suggests you take your puppy to the dog park?  We give you permission to punch them in the throat.