Archive for the ‘PRODUCTS WE LIKE’ Categoryby Northernmost on June 1, 2013 in Daily Life, Dog Toys, Hilary, PRODUCTS WE LIKE, Wilder with No Comments
It has now been a week since Wilder arrived in Sweden and what a great week it has been! Wilder has settled into his new home in no time and much is thanks to Hilary, who has been a great “play nanny” to Wilder, keeping him busy and loved all week. Apart from a visit to the beach with Tuisku, a forest walk with Titan, and a visit to town today, Wilder has spent his first week in Sweden mostly in our home and garden, getting used to our daily routines. I’m glad I bought a big supply of toys before he arrived, as he and Hilary have had a blast playing with these KONG and rope toys all week
The Five Knot Rope Toy is great for sharing.The only downside is that it quickly gets grubby when left out in the garden. We pop ours in the washing machine and let them air dry. And if they get too grubby we replace them with new ones, as these toys are luckily among the more affordable.
Quality rope toys are great for itchy gums.Wilder lost two of his baby teeth today
This was the biggest rope toy we could find – it’s very popular with our Mals but not 100% durable. After each play session there are pieces of blue yarn left in the grass.
The KONG Stuff-A-Ball is Hilary’s favourite, she picks it up and makes Wilder chase her around. Since this toy has two rope ends it is good for two dogs sharing.The ridges are designed to clean the dog’s teeth and the toy can be stuffed with yummy snacks to make it even more appealing.
The KONG Extreme Goodie Bone made from ultra-tough black rubber is a big favourite with most of our dogs but so far Wilder hasn’t shown any interest in this toy. Right now he doesn’t like the smell of it but I don’t think it will take long before he realises that this toy is FUN
Wilder hasn’t shown any interest in the KONG Dental yet either. Maybe this toy
is still a bit too big for him?
The KONG Tails is popular with our Mals but if a heavy chewer is left unsupervised with this toy for too long, the blue “tails” will start to break off. Instead of being available to the dogs on a daily basis, the KONG Tails is better used as a treat during training, or as a toy to bring along to puppy class.
Hilary is a great teacher, she gets most pleasure out of sharing her toys with her friends.
It’s been a good first week :)
Here’s an opportunity to learn what every dog owner and breeder should know about canine reproduction, anatomy and reproductive physiology, including the pros and cons of having your dog spayed or castrated. On May 3rd, 2013, the University of Minnesota is starting up a 6-week long online course called Canine Theriogenology for Dog Enthusiasts through Coursera for anyone who is interested. You can sign up from any country and it’s completely free!
The course is led by Dr. Margaret V. Root, DVM, PhD, Dact, a licensed theriogenologist (animal reproductive specialist) and Vice-chair of the department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Minnesota.
Much of the material for the course will be taken from her book The Dog Breeder’s Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management (ISBN:1-4160-3139-1). It’s also recommended that students look up Canine Reproduction: The Breeder’s Guide by Phyllis Holt (ISBN 978-1-57779-114-0), a book that is often referred to as the “dog breeder’s bible”.
According to Coursera you do not need to do anything special to prepare for the course but participants should have a basic grasp of biology and general familiarity with dog anatomy and normal dog behavior. For a more detailed presentation of the course, visit Coursera’s website.
Coursera (//) is an educational technology company that works with universities to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and other areas. In April 2013, Coursera co-founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller were named 2 of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
Fredrik’s new skis arrived just in time for Easter so he’s been trying them out on daily trips along the coast this long weekend. After having skijored with a pair of budget combo skis (mix between cross-country and skate) for the last few years, Fredrik decided it was time for an upgrade. His new skis, Breidablikk from Norwegian Åsnes, are especially made for skijoring with a dog in backcountry conditions. They are wider than ordinary skis and lack the metal edges that most other touring skis have, and that could potentially injure a dog in an accident. They are also very cool looking – even though I would of course have preferred a Malamute on the front rather than a blue eyed husky
Maybe we should ask Åsnes to create a Malamute edition of Breidablikk for 2014?
We had a nice picnic by the coast on Easter Eve – wearing sunblock is a must this time of the year!
Titan enjoyed his one-on-one with Grandma.
Lyra found a mermaid. Who do you think is prettier?
A snow roll before it’s time to go home.
With the goal of keeping my mum company on the trail, Fredrik and I brought only one dog each on this picnic trip. I still had to stand on the brake not to overtake my mum (who was skiing without a dog) but for the most part we were able to keep the same pace. Lyra and Fredrik travelled faster so they did some exploring on the ice while waiting for us to catch up.
Lyra is always eager to go…
It’s been a BEAUTIFUL Easter here on the northern coast of Sweden.
Three products that we like and always try to have at home are Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil, Diarsanyl and Allerderm Spot-On. Like most dog owners we have tried a number of different products over the years but always come back to these three, as they really work.
Gemma, with three products we recommend.
Diarsanyl from Ceva is the only product we use for an upset tummy and we bring it along when we travel and have it at home when we have puppies. Since our dogs like the taste of this paste it is easy to administer it directly in their mouths. We find that it stops loose stools and diarrhea really fast and works better than any other product that we’ve previously tried.
Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil is an Omega-3 supplement that we add to our dogs’ food during autumn and winter. The results are clearly visible; paw pads that were dry and cracked have healed and their coats look really healthy and glossy and the colour is richer than ever. As the saying goes – beauty comes from within.
Allerderm Spot-On from Virbac is a skin lipid complex that we use on our girl Leia who for many years was troubled by recurring hot spots (moist dermatitis) due to her house dust mite allergy. Since we created a special living quarter for Leia (and her buddy Thunder) in our barn, and started applying Allerderm, she has been virtually free from hot spots. If your dog has itchy skin, hot spots, seasonal allergies or other types of skin problems, this product is well worth a try. You can read more about Allerderm in the Allerderm Spot-On Detailer
We buy these products from our vet or order them online from www.vetzoo.se Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil is currently available in Scandinavia while the products from Ceva and Virbac are available in many countries worldwide.
Titan’s coat has a lovely shine this winter. He’s a dark sable & white and this year his colour looks richer than ever. We’ve been adding omega-3 fish oil to our dogs’ food on a regular basis since the summer and are really happy with the results. Not only do their coats look great but their paw pads are also more supple and we no longer have any issues with very dry or cracked pads. However, something we’ve learnt about fish oil is that it needs to be introduced gradually in small doses as a too sudden introduction can cause diarrhoea, especially if the dog has a sensitive stomach. After a gradual introduction it is important to give the recommended dose (and not less) as this is critical to achieving the desired results.
When selecting a fish oil, we look for an oil that is free from detectable traces of mercury and unsafe levels of PCBs, and that contains a high percentage of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. We recommend that you read the label carefully when selecting a fish oil and also compare different products.
Our boy Titan is so used to the taste of his fish oil that when we forgot to add it to his kibble yesterday, he didn’t touch his food until the mistake was corrected. Our dogs have us well trained! ;-)
In pet shops you will sometimes also find omega-3 made from ground flax seed. However, the omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seed oil are in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and dogs cannot directly use the ALA but must convert it to the type of fatty acids that their bodies can use, i.e. DHA and EPA. Since many dogs do not make the conversion effectively, most experts on canine nutrition recommend fish oil as the best source of omega-3 for dogs.
We buy Dr. Baddaky’s Fish Oil from our veterinarian or order it online from www.vetzoo.se The product is currently available in Sweden, Denmark and Norway and will soon also be available for dog owners in Finland and the UK.
Among the gems in my collection of second hand books is a children’s book called “The Smallest Puppy” written by daughter-mother team Margaret S. Johnson and Helen Lossing Johnson and published in 1940 by Harcourt, Brace and Company in New York. A handwritten dedication on the flyleaf reveals that the book was a Christmas gift to Donna Jean from her uncle Kenneth in 1945. That was 67 years ago…
The main character in “The Smallest Puppy” is a Malamute puppy called “Bena” who wants to be a sled dog but is told that he is too small to work on the team. The story itself is very sweet but the main attractions of this book are the illustrations, as they were inspired by real life Malamutes. In the acknowledgment page the authors thank Mrs. Milton Seeley of Chinook Kennels, New Hampshire, for her courtesy in allowing them to use her Alaskan Malamutes as models for the drawings in this book.
For a “Malanut” like myself, it’s fascinating to know that the Seeleys’ historic Kotzebue Mals inspired these illustrations. When the book was published in 1940, the Alaskan Malamute had only been recognized by the AKC for five years.
Margaret Sweet Johnson (1893-1964) and her mother, Helen Lossing Johnson (1865-1946), are well known for their children’s books about dogs and other animals. They often chose to feature breeds that were relatively unknown to the public and their books remain popular because of the realistic breed portrayals and beautiful drawings which clearly present the characteristics of each breed. In “The Smallest Puppy” I particularly notice the Malamutes’ big feet, their strong and well-muscled rear legs and broad heads with correct ear sets. Some of the dogs seem to lack stop, not sure if that was characteristic of the Malamutes of Chinook Kennels or if this detail of the Malamute head was particularly difficult to reproduce. The moral of the story is that the Alaskan Malamute is a sled dog of the north that is not suited for life as a house pet. I wonder if the book inspired Donna Jean to become a Malamute owner later in life, and if she remembers receiving this book for Christmas, back in December 1945.
It’s been rather quiet on this blog during the last couple of months and one reason is that I have been totally immersed in a 900-page book about Malamutes, dog care and canine education and can’t stop reading! Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders is an impressive tome written by Canadian breeder and canine instructor Ruth I. Kellogg. Published as an e-book on CD it contains more than 1300 photos and illustrations and, as a wonderful surprise for me personally, our own Malamute family is represented in the book through Hilary’s handsome and accomplished sire Jake. In addition to the written book the disc set contains three DVDs with instructional videos featuring Malamutes of different ages displaying their skills. Well, you can imagine I have been busy! While I have not yet finished reading the entire book, I can say with confidence that this work is different from anything you have seen before.
Ruth Kellogg has been involved with Alaskan Malamutes since the 1970’s and has written numerous articles for different dog magazines, as well as published two books about different aspects of canine education; Happy Dog! Canine Behavior and Basic Training in 1989 and Educating the Happy Dog in 1994. She has also been writing a column for the Alaskan Malamute Club of Canada’s newsletter, Malamute Review, for many years. Based in British Columbia, Ruth breeds Alaskan Malamutes under the prefix Inharmony. Some of you may have read her insightful articles in The Malamute Quarterly and The Alaskan Malamute Annual, many of which are based around her experiences of maintaining a group of ten Alaskan Malamutes “in harmony” together.
The new book, Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders: Understanding dogs, their care, and Canine Education, came out this fall and is based on 35 years of experience of breeding, educating and living with Alaskan Malamutes. It is aimed at both the novice dog owner (of any breed, but particularly Malamutes) and the more “seasoned” Mal owner who is looking for a better understanding of the canine psyche and nature, life passages, pack life, language, health and development. At the core of this work is the principle of benevolent leadership. Ruth wants us to develop a deeper and happier relationship with our dogs, through a better understanding of their needs and nature, and through better training techniques.
“The philosophy behind all my writing and teaching is: As a dog’s owner becomes more knowledgeable and understands him more, the better the chances are for the dog to become and remain a Happy Dog”.
Ruth I. Kellogg
The largest section of the book is dedicated to Canine Education and covers all aspects of educating a dog, including a detailed step-by-step educational program starting from the new born puppy and ending with the skills that a two-year-old dog should be able to master.
I will post more comments about this very unique and inspirational work when I have finished reading it. Right now we’re having fun trying to teach our dogs some of the fun tricks that are included in the Inharmony Alaskan Malamutes’ Foundational Skills List. Realizing the scope and level of skills that Malamutes can be taught, Fredrik and I are starting to wonder what we have been doing with our time??
If you want to explore this book yourself and begin 2013 with a whole new set of ideas for training and educating your dogs, Happy Dogs with Benevolent Leaders is currently available for purchase on Ruth’s website www.inharmonymalamutes.com
The dogs’ fall shed always takes me by surprise. Just when I think our Malamutes are starting to look good after the summer, and are growing their coats in preparation for winter, they start shedding again. Luckily the fall shed isn’t anything like the shedding they do in spring, often they will just shed the undercoat and keep the guardcoat intact. Still, some grooming is needed also during fall.
A grooming tool that I really love is Chris Christensen’s 27mm T-Brush. This lightweight pin brush is made of beechwood and the clever design means you don’t have to work with your wrist at a constant angle but can relax the hand and wrist while brushing. When you have more than one dog to groom (in our case seven) using an ergonomic brush makes a huge difference.
I really like this brush and what’s even better – the dogs love it! The polished pins glide through the coat nicely and are gentle on even the most sensitive skin. We use it on short coats like Titan’s and on long woolie coats too. You can buy this excellent tool directly from Chris Christensen or from online retailers. In Sweden the brush is available from www.hallon.info
Check out the video below to see how much our boy Titan enjoys getting brushed
Last weekend we took part in an interesting and inspiring BAT workshop organized by our local dog walking & training group. BAT stands for Behavior Adjustment Training and is a method developed by American dog trainer Grisha Stewart who is the owner and founder of Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle.
In her book Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs (2011) Grisha Stewart provides dog owners with useful tools for training fearful/and or reactive dogs. The BAT method encourages you to learn about the canine language in order to be able to identify your dog’s calming signals and utilize these in training. When training your dog using the BAT method, you work with your dog and give your dog a chance to learn to control his environment through peaceful means.
If you are already used to clicker training and/or positive reinforcement, the BAT method provides the next set of tools that will take your training and relationship with your dog one step further. The BAT method is very easy to learn and we especially recommend it to Malamute owners who are dealing with fear issues, frustrated greeters or aggression. And it does not have to be a dog-to-dog aggression problem that you are dealing with, as this method works equally well for training a dog that has a fear of an object, or is uncomfortable around strange people or kids, or as a gentle technique for socializing puppies. You can learn more about BAT by visiting the BAT website or BAT for Dog Reactivity on Facebook.
Two good books: Köttbullelydnad by Maria Ahola (2008) and Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs by Grisha Stewart (2011).
The workshop we participated in last weekend was led by Maria Ahola from Furface Hundskola in Enköping in Sweden. Maria is the author of the popular book Köttbullelydnad (2008) (In English: Meatball Obedience Training) and was introduced to BAT when she attended Grisha Stewart’s seminar in Sweden earlier this year. We really enjoyed listening to, and learning from Maria, and recommend her training classes to anyone who is interested in using dog-friendly training methods that help dogs gain confidence and social skills.
A happy dog meeting at the training class. Our dog training group began as a socialization group mainly for Bernese Mountain Dogs but has grown to include not only our Alaskan Malamutes, but also a Cocker Spaniel and some terriers of different breeds. What all dog owners have in common is a desire to train our dogs using positive methods only.
Maria Ahola is one of the initiators of the Swedish campaign Yellow Dog which has gone viral and quickly spread around the world. Maybe you have seen this symbol already on the internet or have come across a dog in the street with a yellow ribbon on the leash? If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on the leash, please do not approach this dog, as the ribbon indicates that this dog needs space.
A dog can wear a Yellow Ribbon because:
- The dog has health issues or is in training.
- The dog is a rescue dog being rehabilitated.
- The dog has had a previous bad experience with another dog or simply does not like close contact with other dogs, even if they are friendly.
- This is a bitch in season and thanks to the yellow ribbon owners of male dogs can find out without having to get too close.
The choice of yellow as the signalling colour can be compared to how yellow is used in traffic lights. Unlike the colour red, which would indicate “stop, don’t come near my dog!”, yellow means; “please stop and ask me if it is OK before walking up to my dog with your dog/kids/treats.” We think the campaign Yellow Dog is a great idea and are hoping the concept will soon be widely known and respected.
Our new wind chime is now in place and is making beautiful music in our garden. We ordered this pretty Malamute chime from DesDeni’s Spirit Wind Songs in Florida who create handcrafted chimes of dogs and horses and some lovely customised products too.
Des and Denise who are behind DesDeni Wind Songs are also the owners of Hilary’s sweet brother Kona. In this photo, taken by Sue Fuller, Kona and Hilary are sitting next to each other in the middle, Kona is the slightly larger of the two. The name Kona is short for Tokonave, an Apache word meaning “heart of the mountain“. What a great name for a Mountain Home pup! His owners Des and Denise are both canine instructors and involve their dogs in a wide range of activities. You can see many photos of Kona and his friends in their Fun Gallery.
As a nice Friday surprise, a copy of the new edition of Barbara A. Brooks and Sherry E. Wallis’ The Alaskan Malamute Yesterday and Today arrived in the post today. I bought the first edition of this book ten years ago but just had to order this second edition too, because guess who is featured on the back cover?! Our Hilary – Mtn Home’s Northernmost Hiking Hilary!!
In addition, the front cover features a photo of Hilary and Titan’s grandfather Ch. MACh, U-CDX Arcticdawn’s Guardian Spirit UDX, WTD, WLD, WWPDX, “Atka”, who is the first Dual AKC Champion Alaskan Malamute. Congratulations to breeders Sue and Roy Fuller and Raissa Hinman for having their dogs selected for this comprehensive book on the breed.
The Alaskan Malamute Yesterday and Today can be ordered from Alpine Publications.
Ch. MACh, U-CDX Arcticdawn’s Guardian Spirit UDX, WTD, WLD, WWPDX, “Atka”,
expertly handled by breeder/owner Raissa Hinman.
Yesterday I took the trio for a ride in the beautiful low fell area surrounding the village of Näkkälä. The temperature was around -2C when we left home but due to the wind chill factor it dropped down to -20 C about halfway into the trail. Must have been the first time ever that I wasn’t geared up for the weather. Dressed for spring, I was like a frozen icicle when we returned home in the evening.
My small team of Malamutes – Tuisku, Gem and Titan.
At least I didn’t have to worry about cold feet as I was wearing these fantastic boots. If you’re looking for something warm for next winter I can highly recommend the Swedish Jörnkängan. These boots are handmade and quite pricey but warmer than any boot I’ve tried so far.
Three happy tails :)