Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Sky has use at Halloween

Really Im not a grumpy old man! I was ready to give sweets or other treats to any Trick or Treaters tonight who might have knocked at the door and my young daughter would have enjoyed it to.

But as time went on and no callers yet, I didn't want to be disturbed during my daughters bath and bedtime routine, so I let Sky outside to scare off any would be callers. I mean, its all part of the fun. She is pretty scary when she hears people coming and hits the metal gate at the side of our face with full body and barking force at any comers to our front dog.

I did hear one lot of squeals, and it was if they didnt make more than a couple of steps on our path before Sky greeted them. Although I think the jump she gave them as made them laugh once they were going in he opposite direction.

She does have her uses after all. :)

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Friday, 26 October 2007

Lots of US Dog Rescue Centers

Wow, there's literally hundreds of U.S dog rescue centers with web sites. I've been searching for them all day and emailing some to see if they want to be listed on my site and hopefuly give me a link back to my site.

Ive got replies starting to come back, much more from the U.S centers than than the UK ones. The U.S centers seem to be more with it as regards using the power of the internet to help there cause for rehoming dogs as well as raising funds.

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Thursday, 25 October 2007

Uk Dog Rescue Centers

I've had few responses from Uk dog rescues centers.
I have also started to contact U.S dog rescue centers, of which there seem to be alot more covering all kinds of different breeds.
Anyway, there's a few more I want to contact so I better get on with it

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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Working on Dog Rescue Centers Section

Today I made a start on the Dog Rescue Center section of the website. I think it's hugely important that visitors to the site are constantly reminded of how many dogs are awaiting to be rehomed and that while looking at cute puppy pics is all well and good, its well worth considering the rewarding experience of rehoming a dog that has so far not had the best start in life but may well be a very well natured dog and a perfect loving companion.

Not only that, but these dog rescue centers need donations and support in numbering ways, so if I can just help them out in the smallest way possible I'll be very pleased. The way I intend to do that is send them visitors from my web site.

I've contacted some dog rescue centers today via email and I hope I get a good response and that many will want to belisted on the Complete Dogs Guide.

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Sunday, 21 October 2007

Dogs - Who'd have Em????

Bad day yesterday, involving 2 late trips to the hospital, second one till 2 am. Not going to sleep till 3 am, I of course made sure my lovely Airedale Terrier, Sky, had been let out to the loo, so I could have a nice lay-in, (bar being woken by young daughter).

Now, in advance, to be fair to Sky, I did hear her bark a few times, (a one at a time calling type of bark), my daughter was waking me up, and I hadn't even managed 5 whole hours sleep, ( i need a solid 8 hours!).

Anyway, after 15 minutes I got up, went downstairs,,Sky had dumped in the middle of my conservatory. Charming!!! Not just in one spot either. Oh, of course, not only that, she'd somehow trod in it ???!!!??!! (of course walked it around))!!!

Not feeling too great after previous night (normally I'm in good health), had to spend time thoroughly cleaning the floor!!!!! Fortunately wasn't a stinker. (That is the only positive point).

For me its one of those never rains pours situations, I was still recovering from the previous night and shouldn't have been doing anything other than resting, but she has to add her little bit.
Actually last night when I came back from the hospital, she was really excited, as if pleased to see me back. This was more like her old over excitable self. Nowadays I normally ignore her when I come home and she never jumps up at me anymore.
However, maybe, and more likely, she was just sensing my weakness and dominating me!!!!???!!!!!! Doesn't miss a chance to be a pack leader!!

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Thursday, 18 October 2007

First Dog Breed Page - the Shar Pei

My original plan was to hold back on any web site promotion just to see how many of my sites pages got indexed into Google without any links pointing to the site.

Anyway, after completing my first dog breed page, that of the very interesting dog breed, the Shar Pei I couldn't help but inform some other Shar Pei sites and hopefully gain some links partners as well as any extra specialist advice they could offer and well as some Shar Pei pictures.

Response was quick, along with compliments on the site and promised photos to come. :)

Nothing motivates me more than good feedback and actual responses and progress. Some of the sites I emailed appeared to have been up for years and you never know if the webmasters are actually still running the site.

Anyway, was a good start.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2007 Web Site Uploaded

Tonight I have uploaded the new web site. It's a good base for the web site to grow from. I'll now be adding to it constantly so its growing and improving daily.

I hope people like the design and layout ofthe web site. Of course it needs plenty more adding to it information and pictures wise.


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Another Dog Borstal - Dog Advised to be Put Down

Watched the latest episode of Dog Borstal tonight. I can't help but watch it, even though I don't learn much from it and potentially could learn wrong information. For me it just highlights general problems and why as a society (including most dog trainers, workers) why we need a much better alround understanding of dogs, like Cesar Milan has. I've come to the realisation that the dog trainers on the programme are just that, trainers, they are not dog behaviour experts.

Robert did another excellent job with a greyhound. Mic did his usual swearing. Lynne had a tough case with a dog which had aggressive issues. In the end she came up with 3 options and one of them was to have the American Bulldog put down, which is the option the owner took. The other options were muzzle the dog when outside the house, and while in the house keep separate from the kids, or opt to find dog a new owner. The owner had 2 children, so I fully understand how they cannot be put at any risk, especially with an 8 stone dog. Apparently they couldn't find anyone to take the dog on and were told they were just passing on a problem.

The owner told herself everyday she shouldn't feel guilty. Well, she chose the wrong breed. She let the dog rule the house. She couldn't even put a check chain on correctly. She should at least feel a little responsible.

Thing is, I know full well that putting the dog down is not an option the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan would have taken.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still on an early learning curve and do not have lots of knowledge and experience myself, but the trainer Lynne did not do one single thing that Cesar might have tried. She was actually praising the dog and offering treats while it was in a stressed out misbehaving state. Other trainers were doing the similar thing. However, I accept Cesars Way isnt the only way. Lynne is known to be a very good good alround trainer.

Plus I'm tired of seeing the owners walking there dogs on tense leashes with the dog pulling them. Come on, get the owners leading the pack from the off. The dogs lives are literally at stake if they don't get put in there place as a follower.

Like I say, it highlights to me the right way of how Cesar works and gives me a better understanding of why his methods work. If I can get a fuller understanding of a dogs mind, psychology and behaviour etc I will certainly do my best to get the message across on the website so help any dog owner that needs it.

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Monday, 15 October 2007

First Website Visitor!!!

10 days into starting my blog and website, the site has been found by a visitor!!!

The term "Cezar Milan" the Dog Whisperer, BUT, would you believe it I spelt his name WRONG and it should be "Cesar Milan". I'm going to have edit the original post and correct the spelling. Can't believe I spelt his name wrong. SHAME!

I was actually found by , which is the Sweden google search engine, so likely whoever found my blog couldn't read a word of it.

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Sunday, 14 October 2007

Setting Website Goals for Authority Site

I've been busy all day piecing together pages of the website from content I have been writing the last couple of weeks.

Making changes, checking spellings and grammar, adding meta tags to each page. Boring stuff I know, but only because I had a backlog of written content built up. When the foundations of the website are in place I will much prefer concentrating on specific pages and then adding them to the site as they are completed.

Anyway, one thing I did do on the About Us page was to set my goals in writing. It's important to have goals so you know what your aiming for.

My ultimate site goal is:
1)Create the ultimate interesting and informative dog site. An authority dog site.
2)Build a huge traffic site, I'm aiming for 3 million visitors a month and 15 million pageviews.

The traffic goal is what give me an extra buzz. It's all well and good creating an awesome website, but if hardly anyone is benefiting from reading it, whats the point?

I've set the traffic goals seemingly mega high. Previously I have worked on 2 sites that could be deemed authority sites in there fields. However they were in niches. With my dogs site I'm going mainstream. :)

Niche Site 1 has approximately 30,000 unique visitors a month with over 300,000 page views.

Niche 2 site has approximately 140,000 unique visitors a month and 850,000 page views.

I figured something mainstream like dogs, I should be able to get more than 15 - 20 times as many visitors.

How long will it take? No idea, I haven't even had a single hit to my blog yet.

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Saturday, 13 October 2007

Website Progress - The Template

Today and yesterday I've been working hard on the website. If feels pretty slow going as I'm one of those people who wants to do 20 pages in a day but in reality can only do 2 or 3.

At the moment I've been working on the site template. I've had a draft in place for a couple of weeks but its not until I uploaded it that I spotted a couple of errors and then ideas for small improvements, which then have to be changed on other draft pages I've created.

My idea of a good website template for an informative site is :
1)Simple. The template is in the background. Without any content it looks really boring. The point being as soon as content is added that's what visitors focus on as the page content really stands out.

2)Easy to navigate. Whatever page a visitor is on my site any other page they want to visit is only 2 or maximum 3 clicks away. I have top horizontal menu of 8 main categories. Down the left I have a vertical navigational menu which features all the categories of the site.

3)Small file size so pages load fast as users browse the site. 8k - 12 k is ideal.

4)Headings to let visitors know where they are. Every page lets visitors know they are on and each page has its own heading for whatever specific subject that page is on.

5)Page is the width of the screen so every users screen is full of content of my website. Some sites have borders round the sides, just wasting space.

6)Simple, non bright colours. I've opted for standard white background, black arial text and blue link text. The site heading is a doggy brown colour with a blue base, (not my own design), but very suitable. Nice light colours, not to bold or bright. The doggy brown is also the colour used for page headings.

I'll have some pages uploaded in next couple of days for all to see.


Thursday, 11 October 2007

Another Dog Borstal Episode

Watched tonights episode of Dog Borstal.

Robert was training a Patterdale Terrier, and did a very good job. He said "Takes real intelligence to be a naughty dog. We never get stupid dogs here, because there too clever. They figured out how to get what they want. If he's an intelliegent dog we can train him". Now that's light at the end of the tunnel for any struggling owner.

The lady dog trainer Lynne, was training a White German Shepherd also stated to the owner "Part of the problem is you have an intelligent dog which isn't using its mind, well it is is but in the wrong way".

I found the programme more interesting tonight. 1 pair of owners had a Bull Mastif and and Old English Bull Mastif with a combined weight of 23 stone. It was almost laughably seeing the owners literally being pulled along the floor behind them, until one time they were actually pulling both owners into a road with a passing car as the dogs surge towards a dog on the other side of the street.

However on the return a couple of months later one of the dogs had actually attacked another dog of leash, which isnt surprising as the root of the problem was never solved, the dog was pack leader, made worse by the fact I think the owners had split up and the fragile lady owner was sole carer.

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Two Legged Upright Walking Bipedal Dog

While searching through some dog pictures on Google I came across what I thought at first must be a tampered picture, that of a 2 hind legged dog walking upright like a human!!!

If I hadn't seen the video link that accompanied the picture I don't think I would have believed it. However the dog has appeared on the U.S TV talk show "Montel" which you can see in the video link at base of post.

The dogs name is Faith and has a truly amazing story. She was born with just 2 hind legs. Her loving owners taught her first to hop on 2 legs using peanut butter on a spoon as bait. She later began walking. She really does appear to be a truly happy dog as you can see in the video and there hasn't been any health issues resulting from her upright walking.

Faith is the only known Bipedal dog in the world, meaning the only 2 legged walking , hopping, running dog.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Dog Borstal TV Programme

Watched a BBC Three programme "Dog Borstal" for only the second time today. It's normally on Thursdays at 8 p.m but I Skyplus'd it and watched last weeks episode today.

I've just learnt by checking the BBC website that its actually in its third series. I find that quite surprising, mainly because I'd not come across it before or heard it mentioned.

Each episode basically highlights 3 dogs with bad behaviour problems. These 3 dogs and owners are then supposedly taken to a disused air base in Suffolk for a week. Well, from the footage it looks as if the trainers only spend a couple of hours with the dogs and owners over maybe 2 or 3 days.

The show features 3 trainers Lynn Davies and Robert Alleyne and Mic Martin.

As a viewer and dog owner I want to see the problems that are highlighted actually solved so I've learnt something or can see that no matter how bad a dog may appear it can be sorted and bought into line with good leadership and training. That wasn't always the case in this episode.

I'll continue to Sky Plus it and see if it's worth continuing to watch.

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Sky does 1 Hour on Dog Treadmill

Yes, just 4th day in, and Sky has completed an hour on the treadmill.

Yesterday I gave her just 2, 10 minute sessions as for the rest of the day there was too much going on, i.e my daughters 3rd birthday party.

One thing I did learn yesterday, was be aware of whether you dog needs the toilet. Not that there was any accidents or anything, just that after Sky's 10 minutes she did go straight to the door for access to the garden for the loo. I don't know how she would have conveyed that message if I had wanted her to stay on longer, but I guess she would have one way or the other.

However today, back to some sort of normality and she did a whole hour. She did get off couple of times when things were going on, e.g someone knocking on the front door but for the main part she was fine, doing longs stints at mostly 5.0 km/hr.

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Monday, 8 October 2007

Sky On the Walk

Sky, my Airedale Terrier, has one main problem I'm finding extremely difficult to solve.
When she sees other dogs while she's on a lead she sometimes (most of the time) pulls like mad, sometimes even barks at them. Off lead she is fine with other dogs.

She is definately worse if the other dog also has a similar problem, which quite often seems to be the case. It is a problem I really want to solve, because sometime last year when she was being looked after by my Mum, while I was on holiday she pulled my mum over in the street. Now, even though my Mum is happy to have her again, its not something I want to risk happening again.

Over the last couple of months and especially the last few weeks since I've been watching and learning from Cesar Milan's Dog Whisperer programme she has come on leaps and bounds and when there is no dog, or cat for that matter in view she walks like a dream. Really excellent.

A few months ago I was really not enjoying the walks at all, which creates a vicious circle as I didn't want to walk her and when I did "the chore" I didn't do it for a long as should.

I think the problem arose because of dominance issues, which Ive worked greatly on. Also, up until early this year I walked her on an extendy lead, which obviously gave her the "leader of the pack" role as she is walking way ahead of me and also could pull in any direction whenever she wanted, i.e saw a cat.

I scrapped the extendy lead and Ive tried walking her by just attaching lead to her normal collar which proved quite difficult as she was constantly trying to edge in front on the walk.
Recently I used a check chain for a few weeks, which may have helped a bit in correcting her edging out in front occassional pulling but did nothing in the heat of the moment of pulling at other dogs.

Within the last 2 weeks I bought a new collar and lead, nylon I think, which I felt was betterthan my previous chain lead. However, this time I fully implentend some of what Id seen on Dog Whisperer:
1)Don't put the lead on the dog until she is calm submissive
2)Don't leave the house until dog is calm submissive.
3)When you leave the house make sure you lead the way physically.
4)Leave the house like your a pack leader, calm assertive, head high and relaxed. Envisage yourself the leader, kind of like you own the streets.

These steps work great. Until I come up against other dogs.

I don't know if the problem still relies with myself. Here's some examples from the last 2 days,

Yesterday, Sky was walking great, I could see a German Shepherd coming my way. It looked fine but did have a what looked like a head collar. I felt I was ready, standing tall, chest out, no tension on the leash, ready to just keep on walking past the other dog.

However, looking back maybe I was kind of avoidng the situation, because in the middle of the street was another man looking in a shop window and I deliberately went the left side of him as the other dog and owner were going the right side.

As I looked at the German Shepherd I noticed it ears prick up as it looked at Sky and within a split second she out out of control, pulling and barking, which I stopped immediately by pulling her back and up. I hadn't noticed the german Shepherd pulling or going out of control. We then moved on. It's actually quite rare for her to bark at a non barking dog.

Then today, I was walking down the street and again Sky was fine. Two small dogs were coming our way and again I was consiously relaxed. Sky started to beome a little fixated so I tried to correct her out of it. The other 2 dogs were both out in front and pulling there owner. In seconds, from being slightly fixated Sky had pulled out in front of me and I was pulling her back.

The lady and her dogs walked into a drive way. I turned to walk the other way to lead Sky in another direction and gainthe leader position and intending to turn back with her under control. However as Im walking away she was pulling back to the dogs, so I said to the women, "Ill cross over, so I crossed over the road, and when I got over Sky was still pulling a bit to face the direction of the dogs and I sat her down and confronted her then moved on.

Should I have crossed over? By doing that I feel I just avoided the problem. Although, I don't know purpose it would have served me pulling Sky past 2 excited dogs, there's no way it would gone smoothly.

Maybe the problem is I'm not correcting her enough when she goes into even slight fixated mode. Thats what I'm going to make sure I'm fully aware of next time.

I've been having similar problems for a while. The thing is its all happens and is then over in a matter of seconds.

Anyway, this is certainly one goal I have to achieve and I'll be so happy when I have!

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Sky's Treadmill Update

Sky had her second main treadmill exercise session today. I did try her on it yesterday for a couple of minutes just to show my sister how easy Sky went on and was happy to walk on it.

Today. I walked her on to the treadmill and didn't actually straddle her. She started walking fine, she did get off a couple of times when I first moved away or if someone came into the room.

After a short while I could leave her side and go and sit down, of course I was not far away.

She seemed more at easy today and I soon had the speed setting up to 4.0km/hr which is a walking pace. After about 15 minutes she was looking alot more comfortable and instead of concentrating with head facing down she started to look up a bit and glance around, so I felt it was okay to increase the speed a little. By the end of the exercise session she was doing fine at 5.o km/hr which is a nice decent walking pace and she looked really at ease and more comfortable at that speed once she got used to it than she did at the slower speed.

When the session is over I just slow the treadmill down and then tell her to come off. If ever she does get off of her own accord I put her straight back on. I think it important she learns to stay on it until told otherwise and maybe in the future she will go on there without a lead.

For now her progress is amazing. I have taken some video footage. At some point in the future I intend to work out how to upload it.

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Statcounter Added

Now that the site is indexed in Google it is theoretically possible, albeit unlikely at this early stage that the website may actually be found by someone surfing the Internet.

I have added an invisible Statcounter to the index page code and the blog template so I can see if the site does start to get any hits.

The statcounter is free, all you have to do is create an account and follow the basic step by step process. I opted for the free invisible statcounter and it generates a code which you then just add to the base of the page.

How long will I have to wait till my first hit????

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Site Cached by Google

I checked my site in Google by typing "CompleteDogsGuide" and the site is now in Google, it was also Top 10 for "Complete Dogs Guide".

Surprising how quick Google indexed the site considering I've been posting a couple of days and don't have any links pointing to the site.

The domain itself was bought in early September and then a couple of weeks ago I just added a basic holding page.

Strangely the cache of the index page showed the my blog posts. Now, when I first posted the blog it did upload on the root index page, but that was literally for a few minutes until I worked out how to get the blog uploaded to the correct folder.

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Saturday, 6 October 2007

Dog Walking Successfully on The Treadmill

Today I had a go at walking my Airedale Terrier, Sky on the treadmill today.
Now this is something I’ve seen Cesar Milan do many times on his Dog Whisperer programme.
Today wasn’t the first time I had tried it. I had an attempt a few weeks ago and failed miserably.

Today though was very different and a success . I think one of they keys this time was that I didn’t go and get the lead so Sky, didn’t go into excitable "Walkies" mode.

During my previous attempt I had Sky on her lead and actually on the treadmill but when I turned it on she panicked and jumped off. When I straddled her she just dug her claws in and pulled backwards with me pulling her forward, which was just creating more tension that made her pull back even harder. After that she wasn't to keen to go on it so in effect I had taken a step back.

This time, because the her previous experience had not gone to well I started off by leading her onto the treadmill with some treats. She was very relaxed and happily went onto the treadmill. I tried using the treat as a guide to get her to actually have all 4 paws on it with head facing forward but this wasn’t to be.
In the end I had to pick up the back to feet and told her to sit, which she did and then got the reward.
I then had her standing facing forward. I was standing over her with my feet on the side of the treadmill and my legs either side of her body. I had her on a fairly short lead to keep control of her. The lead was nice and relaxed.
I started up the treadmill at a nice and steady walking pace and she was walking fine. I had a treat ready in front her head ready to reward her but she didn’t seem to interested.

Mission accomplished, she was walking fine. I did try tying the leash to the treadmill and then getting off but she would then also jump off. So I put her back on for a few more minutes and then tried getting on myself, but again she followed.

Thinking about it, maybe I should have finished the session we me getting off and then telling her to as well, rather than her just doing it of her own accord.

Anyway, I can’t wait to show my other half later, (its her treadmill), and I hope to capture some film of the moment, and then Ill work out how to upload it on Youtube for all to see.

Sky has just completed another 15 minute stint on the treadmill. I was on it as well straddling her with my legs either side. I upped the pace a bit, but its still slightly lower than my normal fast walking pace. She seemed to enjoy it, although her tail's not up like normal and she does need to concentrate or she goes a bit wonky. She seemed extra content when she had got off.

All in all she is doing excellent. I used to work in a fitness club many years ago and the treadmill was difficult for a quite a few first timers who needed while to get there balance.

My aim is to get her walking on it on her own without me having to be standing over her. Ideally I'd like my feet up watching a bit of TV. I wouldn't leave her alone in the room, no matter how good she gets.

My Tips to Success
1)Make sure dog is "calm submissive" before you start.
2)Make sure you yourself are calm and focused. I remember Cesar saying one time he thought and envisioned going on the the treadmill with the dog before actually doing it.
3)Have a treat ready if needed. (May be a distraction so try without).
4)Try to get dog on the treadmill of own accord.
5)Keep leash relaxed. Correct dog if needed to pull forward or to center, but don't have pro-longed tension.

In Cesar's book, "Cesar's Way" he states it can take 2 weeks for a dog to get used to a treadmill and then they can even get addicted to it and will be asking to go on it.

This will hopefully be a great help in burning off some of Sky's excess energy and help with her dominance issues.

(Try and at your own risk and also checkout every aspect of safety first).

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Friday, 5 October 2007

Welcome to Complete Dogs Guide Blog and Website

Welcome to my new blog and website all in one. My original plan was just to create a website, the "Complete Dogs Guide" but it may well take a a few weeks before I have enough good dog content worthy of being uploaded.

However, in the meantime I can blog my progress with the website as well as other possible journeys I'll be taking along the way.

One of those "journeys" will be the quest for a "balanced dog". I'm not a dog expert, far from it. I'm just a dog owner. The dog I have is Sky, a 5 year old , (6 next month) Airedale Terrier.
Put it this way, she is far from balanced. However, without her it's highly unlikely I would have embarked on creating a dog website at all.

There will be plenty more about her in the not to distant future!