Tag Archives: personal trainer

Holiday with the bandidos

This new year started with a surprise for me. A not so good and a good surprise in one: M and P packed their bags and have gone on a holiday, without me. Not so good. I went to Nicoline to have my own holiday. Good.

You can see I have mixed feelings about this. But, as a dog, I usually think positive. You know me: always on the bright side. And I think my own holiday will turn out fine. Because I am not only with Nicoline, but with my favorite pack, too! The Bandidos! Boss is here, and Stitch and Swiff and a lot of other rough friends. We will have loads of fun. Chasing each other on the beach and all that.

Nicoline and friends

You won’t hear from me for some time, because being with the Bandidos is hard work. There won’t be any time for quiet writing. Sorry about that! I will tell you all about my adventures later. So long!

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Bandidos

Lately M is looking a lot at the big luminous device in our living room. She is watching a new Netflix series, she tells me: Narcos. It is about drugs and a guy named Pablo Escobar. I doze next to her when she watches, hearing a lot of new words. M tells me it is Spanish. Great, I am learning some Spanish!

I like some of the words I learned. For instance: ‘bandidos’. That is what they say a lot in this series: ‘somos bandidos’. It means ‘we are bandits’. I like this word because it is exactly what we dogs are when we are together. Like when I am with my friends in the pack of Nicoline, my personal trainer. We are always up to some mischief. Humans and other dogs that meet us are beware of us, some are even a little frightened. They should be! We truly are a gang of rebels. Somos bandidos!

This is a pic Nicoline made from some of us. She caught them in the act of an undermining activity, as you can see.

Dig this

Moves

We dogs are very versatile in our movements. We can run extremely fast, dig huge holes and we can jump high in the air, as my friend Jojo demonstrates in this picture:

Jojo jumping

This pic is a lucky shot by Nicoline, my personal trainer. She also made this pic, it shows how well we can stand on our hind legs. Another move we excel in:

My friends

Yes we can do a lot of things, but some dogs overdo it. I mean one particular movement: bouncing.  All puppies bounce, that is normal. It is how we explore our strength and learn what our bodies are capable of. But when a dog has grown-up and he still bounces, that is not okay. At least, we dogs think so. Look at what happens when we play: when we are bounced upon, we snarl. And rightly so, because bouncing is very rude.

Oddly though, a lot of humans seem to accept that they are bounced upon. When their dogs are playing they tell each other: be careful, brace yourself for the impact! And they bend their legs, so they won’t fall when they are hit by their dog. That is a silly thing to do! Yes it is true that some dogs keep on bouncing when they are grown-up and some breeds even do it a lot, like boxers and bulls. But that doesn’t mean humans should accept being bounced upon! I mean: I don’t like begin run over by a 60 kilos bullmastiff. I don’t think humans like that either. They don’t need to, you know. My personal trainer for instance never gets bounced upon, because she is very clear she won’t accept it. Like the famous dog whisperer himself. I gather he doesn’t get bounced upon very often, too.

It is all about respect, really. We dogs do not accept it when another dog bumps into us and I think humans should act the same.

A visitor

Today I had a visitor. Some of my readers may think ‘so what?’. But to me it is a special occasion, because I seldom have visitors. Canine visitors, that is. The reason for this is simple: I do not allow any other dog into my house. I like other dogs, I have a lot of friends, but we meet outside on neutral terrain. When a dog tries to enter my house, I chase him away. I don’t want canine visitors on my territory.

Today, however, was different. First: It was my personal trainer who entered my house and she is no lady to tamper with. As I wrote before, she is a tough cookie. Second: She did not come alone, she brought a dog with her. And not just any dog, but my great friend Boss. Boss is totally cool, I really like to play with him… but I did have serious doubts when he came into my house. I go to his house a lot, but that is different. He likes to share, especially with beautiful female dogs like me. But my own house I prefer to keep private, I like it that way.

So I was in great doubt. My first reaction (which is always the best, as I explained earlier: decide fast, act fast) was to jump on Boss and bite him. I don’t care that he is a big mean German shepherd dog, I would fight him anyway. But then I thought this might not be a good idea with my personal trainer so near. And than I smelled, just in time, the great doggy treats she had with her. That is when I decided to behave like a nice dog, welcoming Boss into my house. As a result we both got a yummy doggy treat.

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There is a risk now, however, that some of my readers will get me wrong on this. I want to make very clear that it was a very rare occasion and an exception that I welcomed Boss into my house . I by no means intend to do it again, not with Boss or any other dog. This is still my house and mine only. So to end all possible misunderstandings right now: do not come and visit. Let’s have fun on neutral terrain.

Body language (1)

Readers of this blog will know that I sometimes write about canine behavior, because there are a lot of things humans do not seem to understand about us. I believe that by writing about these misunderstandings, I will make life better for humans and dogs. That is one of my Ambitions. This time I would like to write about body language, to be precise ear language.

If you want to understand dogs, it helps if you know what to look for. You can start by reading our ears. We dogs can move our ears in a lot of different ways, no matter what shape they have. It is easier to read this by dog breeds with big ears, like German shepherds. But when you know where to look, you can also read the flappy ears of breeds like labradors. Look at the root of the ears, where they are attached to the head.

Basically, there are three major positions. The first one is when we are alert and interested in our surroundings:

Body language alert

You can see both dogs (the German shepherd is my friend Boss) have their ears turned forward. When we look like this, we are ready for action: playing, running, guarding, anything.

The second position is for situations when we do not feel too sure. For instance when we are impressed by another dog, cautious or scared of something. Then we turn our ears backward and stick them to our head, as flat as possible.

Body language submissive

The dog on the left is lying on the ground and moving her ears in a position that tells the black dog: okay, you are the boss (for now). The black dog is not feeling too sure either, her ears are flat as well, although she is dominating the one lying on the beach (notice she is almost stepping on her, another sign of body language I will write about later). This probably is because the picture was taken by Nicoline, my personal trainer, and Nicoline told the black dog to behave. The black dog was busy dominating the other one, but while doing so thought ‘uh-oh this might not have been a good idea with Nicoline so close’. This happens a lot to dogs, especially the not so smart ones: they act first and think later.

Notice that the lab next to the black dog is totally relaxed, ears in a neutral position. But hey, he is a very dumb lab. He probably did not get what was going on, thinking about balls.

Then there is the third position, I will call it neutral. It is when we are relaxed:

Body language apprehensive

Mind you: this can change very fast. We dogs react to our surroundings almost immediately (that is, the smarter ones), so we can go from neutral to alert to submissive in a split second. When you want to understand us, you have to be a good observer. But that is the fun of it, right? Never a dull moment.

Of course, these are just the three basic ear positions. There are a lot of other ones, for special occasions. I for instance have a wide array of positions, which I use as I please. This one is for when I feel hungry and P is eating something that smells lovely. It is something in between alert and neutral. Of course in this situation I am very alert (food is my top priority), but I do not want to give the impression of being too pushy. That is why I wear my ears like this:

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This is for when I want something really, really bad:

Being very sweet

And then there are dogs that have a body language that is beyond any description. Like this one. What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine:

Body language your guess is as good as mine

 

I’m back!

Hello there, I am back! M and P returned from their holiday and Nicoline brought me home. There were some interesting new smells in the house, coming from the luggage of M and P. I smelled lobster and sunshine. I really, really want to go with them next time, because lobster and sunshine are two of my favorite things! I can’t believe they enjoyed it without me.

But I won’t be cross for too long, because I had a good time with Nicoline. We were a huge pack, I was together with twelve other dogs! Some of them became my friends. I played a lot with Boss, a big mean German Shepherd Dog. He is still growing and getting stronger every day. I really like to challenge him. This is a picture of him, together with the older German Shepherd in our pack:

Boss

Boss is the one on the right. In this picture they were singing, I don’t have a clue why, it was absolutely horrible to hear. I bumped into Boss to stop him and he resumed playing with me.

Another dog I really like is Flynn. This is him:

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He can give you a very odd look, as you can see. I discovered the right response to this look:

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I had a good time, but I am glad to be back home. At least I have my own bed now (at Nicolines place we swop beds all the time), with my very own snoozebag. And I can blog again! Like I predicted, Nicoline did not allow me on the computer. She thinks dogs shouldn’t blog, tssss.

Good & bad news

I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that M and P are going on a holiday without me. I can’t believe they are doing this, but the inconvenient truth is: they are. Their bags are packed and ready. The good news is I am going on a holiday too and stay with my personal trainer, Nicoline. I will stay with her and her dogs. It will be fun, we will go to the beach and the forest every day, for hours and hours!

Playing

I am afraid I will not blog during this holiday. Nicoline is an old fashioned person: she thinks dogs should eat well, sleep well and be outdoors a lot of time. She won’t allow me to work on the computer. So I am sorry, but you will not hear from me for some time. The good news is I will have a lot of fun and probably have loads of nice pics to share with you after my holiday, because Nicoline is very good at making pictures. Like the one above (this was last year, with my Staffordshire friend Dibbus).

I am sure I’ll have an awesome holiday with Nicoline. I’ll tell you all about it when I am back home!