The Queen’s Dog of Choice

Female Welsh corgi dog

It is hard to imagine this little dog herding cattle, but that is exactly what he was bred to do.  In reality, his shortness gives him an advantage because it allows him to avoid cow hooves.  He nips at the cattle’s heels and then quickly gets out of the way with great agility.

There are two breeds, the Cardigan, which has a larger head, and the Pembroke.   Cardigans have long tails while the Pembroke has a docked tail.

The dog originated in Wales.   This breed has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Although we more often see pictures of the tan coloured Corgi, it also comes in other colours including black and white and merle.    The dog stands between 10 to 12 inches at shoulder height.

The Corgi has a nice personality.   It likes children and makes a great family dog.  However, it may not always be tolerant of other dogs.  This little dog has lots of energy and loves to play ball, and takes well to agility and obedience training.   Its short fur means he does not need special grooming like my shelties require.  And this is the Queen’s dog of choice.


Okay…so it’s the perfect little dog.  Not quite.  It is known to be a barker and to be stubborn.  It also likes to eat (who doesn’t) and may easily become obese if not checked.  It can weigh up to 30 pounds.  Anything more than that may mean a diet adjustment.

How to spoil your dog

Maybe you thought that the title of this post should contain the word not as in “How not to spoil your dog.”  But the title fits the article’s intent.  I am going to give you several ways to bond with your dog.

These ideas are certainly not vet approved and no certified trainer will encourage you to follow my suggestions.  But your dog will love you.

Take the dog in the car with you whenever you can. That means that you have to pay attention to the weather.  Don’t take him out on hot summer days or frigid winter days.  Also, you should use a harness buckled to the seat belt if you want to avoid an accident.  A dog jumping around like a toad is not only distracting, it is downright dangerous.  And, when you do take him out, follow canine principles.  It’s best to establish that humans and only humans sit in the front seat.  If you have two dogs, buckle the alpha dog in the seat behind the driver.   Trust me, dogs know the pecking order in the car.  If you put the alpha dog behind the passenger and the beta dog behind the driver, the alpha dog’s pride will be hurt.  Now if you own a truck with no backseat…let the dog drive.

Whenever you take your dog with you, make sure he gets a treat.   Never ever return to the car empty handed.  Just a wee tiny bit of that donut shop muffin will not hurt his waist line, not nearly as much as the coffee latte you had will hurt yours.

On foot, there are different loving acts that can be done.  Make walks a doggy experience.  If you haven’t tried playing hide and seek with your dog yet, you may be depriving the dog of his chance to hone his spotting or hunting skills.  Just know that some dogs find hide and seek below their dignity.  I had a dog who would look in the direction of where I was hiding and give me a look that clearly said, “Honestly, do you really think I don’t know where you are?”  Her brother, on the other hand, just loved the game.

All dogs should be treated as lapdogs, no matter what their size.




Do agility training as well as obedience training. Dogs enjoy agility and they love showing off their acquired skills

Play ball with your dog. Now this may seem obvious, but if you use a tennis ball which is relatively soft, you can play soccer and baseball, as well as fetch.  Use a mini tennis ball for small dog.  Get a floating ball and play at the lake.

Bring the dog on the bed with you. This does not have to be an every night ritual, but an occasional visit.  Make him feel special once in a while.

If you live somewhere where there is winter, play snowball with your dog. Ensure the dog is not getting too cold.  Remember you’re the one wearing the $150 parka.

Finally, get down on the floor with him once in a while, and get a dog’s eye view of things.


My first dog would not poop anywhere in the house than on newspaper.  Wow, I thought this is great.  Put down some newspaper and problem solved.  Then I got my second dog.  Maybe she read the paper.  That would explain her reluctance to soil any part of it.  No sirree.  Anywhere in the house but on that newspaper.

The most success I’ve had with training puppies is in the summer.  This has nothing to do with the puppy’s intelligence, and everything to do with my preference for going out in the yard in the summer instead of the winter.  So, consider the time of year when you decide to get a puppy.

What I have learned is that, although the puppy might want to please you, he won’t be able to control his bladder until he is at least four months old.  So, expect accidents even once you think the puppy has finally GOT IT.

If you have recently gotten a puppy, here are some ideas I wish I had thought of with my second dog.

  1. When we first get our cute little puppy, we are highly tolerant. After all, we want him to feel welcomed into our home.  Big mistake.  Start training as soon as you get your puppy.  If you let the puppy pee in the house, he will get the idea that you are okay with that behavior.
  2. Choose a spot in your yard where you want the puppy to eliminate and bring him there each time. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of doing this but it would save the grass for sure.
  3. Bring him out on a leash. This will show him that this is not fun time—no playing—this is toilet time.
  4. You might want to put a bell on your door hanging from a rope. Ring it each time you take the puppy out – better yet get the dog to ring the bell when you are going out.  Give the dog a treat if he rings the bell then eliminates.  If he rings the bell and doesn’t eliminate…no praising, no treat.  You don’t want him ringing that bell whenever the dog wants to take you out.
  5. Have one word for “the business”. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, unless you want to impress your neighbors.   “Do your ca-ca” is fine.
  6. Reward the puppy when he does his business.
  7. Bring him out first thing when he wakes up and 20 minutes after he eats.
  8. Play time should be done only after “the business”.
  9. Clean up after your dog right away. This will prevent him and other dogs from eating poop.  See my article on that distasteful (pardon the pun) topic.
  10. If your dog poops in the house, take the poop and place it in his designated ca-ca spot in the yard.  (That’s another task that is way easier in the summer.)

So, how will you know when your puppy gets the urge?  If you see him doing circles or semi circles, it’s time to take him outside.

Good luck.



The Afghan Hound

glamorous cream and black afghan hound
Could be a model

One of the most majestic dogs around.  Absolutely beautiful.  It comes in several colors and looks especially gorgeous, I think, in jet black.

As its name implies, this dog originates from Afghanistan.

The height is from 61-74 cm (24-29 inch).

It can weight from 20-27 kg (44-60 lb)

This dog has unfortunately been labelled as stupid because it is difficult to train.  In fact, it is its strong independence streak that makes it hard to train.

Although the breed is not well represented at obedience trials, it is often seen in the sport of lure coursing where the dog chases a mechanically-operated lure that looks like an animal, fox or rabbit as two examples.

The dog has an expected lifespan of 12-14 years.

This dog is highly sensitive, so if you get angry often, it is probably not the dog for you.

This dog does not make a good watchdog.

Because of its independence and aloofness, it is not the best dog for small children.

It needs a lot of exercise but needs to be kept on a leash as it tends to run after small animals.  Even though it looks like royalty, it is still a hound.


Why does my dog eat poop?

The dog may have an illness that makes him ravenous.  Not the case with my dog—according to my vet.  So what gives?  Females will eat poop to clean the nest, but that’s not the case with my dog who is definitely a male.  I’m at a lost.  So, I’m going to take this advise and see if it works.

  • Call him to you.
  • If he comes, give him a treat.
  • If he doesn’t, let him know in a stern voice that you don’t approve.  If he is off-leashing, leash him to show him that he has lost his privilege.


By the way the name for this yukky habit is Coprophagia.

10 Rules for Dogs

  1. Never give up. If your owner (master, mommy/daddy) doesn’t get that you want to go out the first time you bring the leash, try and try again.  And if he (or she) still ignores you, begin dancing around like a bee providing GPS directions for the hive.  This will show him that it’s “high time” for a trip to the outside washroom.  Remember you know the right “time”.  You’re a watch dog.
  2. If another dog goes near your dish, growl (practise this with the family cat). However, if a dog urinates on your owner’s leg, pretend you didn’t see a thing.
  3.  If you have had a disagreement with a dog bigger than you, hide behind your owner when you see that dog coming. If, like Bean, you actually nipped the dog because he stood over you and pretended to be in love, hide behind your bigger brother who will be hiding behind your owner.
  4. If you actually had a fight with another dog (about your size), and nothing got settled during that dispute, insist on trying to get at that other dog every time you see him walking with his owner. Being the responsible dog owner, your owner will move off the walking trail into the brambles and thickets and will have to spend an hour getting burrs out of your fur.  The other dog owner will have insisted on bringing you and your enemy as close together as possible.  This other dog owner will smile and say “Nice evening isn’t it?” as he passes on the trail with his dog growling (uttering insults) at you. This will make you even more committed to getting at that s.o.b. the next time.
  5. When it’s bath time, head for the hills.
  6. When it’s grooming time, hide behind the Mugho pine that grew huge due to neglect. Ignore your owner when he says, “You could be more cooperative; groomers cost money you know.”  Definitely turn the other cheek if he says, “Come here you little so and so.  Who do you think buys your food?” He really doesn’t mean to lay on the guilt.  He has just lost it because he trampled his wife’s prized tea rose.  (Don’t forget to act fearful yourself when he catches it from the wife.  It’s called moral support and shows how you really are man’s best friend.  Tuck your tail between your legs and start to skulk away.  That’ll make her wonder who did what.  (It’s kind of like providing your owner with an alibi.)
  7. When it’s time to go to the veterinarian, refuse to get in the car. At all other times, insist that you’re part of the family and should not be left behind.  If they don’t get this, bark and jump in the door as they are existing the house.  If they still don’t get it, howl the whole time they’re away.  Make sure the neighbours hear.
  8. When you finally get to the off-leash dog park, get in with the most disobedient dog there. Forget all your training.  When your owner says “Come”, pretend you heard the word “Run”.
  9. When you have gas, insist on sleeping on her side of the bedroom. That’ll teach her to disallow dogs on the bed.  Rules, rules, rules.  Who needs them?  Also, never let on that pop actually takes you up on the bed when she’s away on business trips.  (It would make her feel that any warm body will do.)
  10. Oh yeh, and when she is away on those business trips, always tilt your head in that cute way so pop insists she talks to you over the phone even if all her co-workers are listening.  Do the same when he calls to say he’s at a union meeting or having a beer with the guys from work.  (This will show her that you aren’t playing favourites.)

Mayhem in Dog Class

First there was the funeral, then grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer after finally getting in to see a gerontologist.  She is getting some treatment and it seems to be helping.  Now mom is off her feet with a knee injury so maybe she’ll start paying attention to our blog.

During our absence we learned a new trick called “You are under arrest!”  where we put our front paws on the couch and the policewoman frisks us.  Dad thinks it’s hilarious especially when little Bean does it.

To date we know at least 15 tricks.  But, when we first started our schooling, Bean hated learning.  Several times he refused to go to class, once he walked right out of class, and another time he just sat there looking at all the other dogs.  So, dad decided to bring incentive:  cooked chicken.  And it worked—-on every dog in the class except Mr.Bean who couldn’t concentrate because of all the attention he was getting from all the other dogs…well his chicken was getting attention.  Mayhem in the dog class.

Bean would have been wearing the dunce hat had the trainer had one, and we were a bit embarassed because all the other dogs, including Sinatra, seemed to be doing so well.  We were concerned that Bean had a mind of his own and would never do well.

Finally the trainer announced that dogs should learn the word play.  So guess who aces that class?  Yes, Mr. Bean himself.  He was so excited to play that the trainer’s  assistant had to try and calm him down.

gooey with the spread
SINATRA – what long legs
Mr. Bean