Friday, April 23, 2010

Capitol Columns


The old US Capitol Columns seem to support the April sky at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. This picture was taken with a Nikon D70 and Nikkor 28-200mm f3.5-5.6 AF hand held.  I used a sepia action in Photoshop to create this effect.

Posted via email from Ethan Hall's posterous

Friday, February 26, 2010

Short List of Recommended Dog Toys

Here is a list of safe toys that dogs love:

  1. Kong - It's a modern classic with many uses.
  2. Nylabone Dental Dinosaur - Great alternative to rawhide or bones.
  3. Push-n-Play - Just a big ball that dogs love to herd around the yard.
  4. Ball on a String* - Great for interactive play/training. Helps focus drive.
  5. Tug* - From a small recall tug to reward obedience to a long "bite tube" for tug-o-war. This is a great way to interact and play/train your dog.

* Toys 4 and 5 are both meant for interactive play only. When play is over these toys should be put away, not left with the dog.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Iwo Jima Memorial

The first flag was raised on Mount Suribachi by US Marines on February 23rd, 1945 almost a month before the end of the battle for Iwo Jima.  The photo, which the Iwo Jima Memorial is fashioned after, was taken by Joe Rosenthal.  Rosenthal’s photo is the most reproduced image in the history of photography.

This is my reproduction:  The Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, VA taken about twenty minutes after sunrise on September 9th, 2007.  I used a Nikon D70 and a Nikkor AF 60mm f2.8 Micro mounted on a tripod.  The photo was taken in RAW format and developed in Adobe Lightroom.

Posted via email from capk9's posterous

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Low Threshold Defense Drive (Fear Aggression)

Dogs that lack confidence often times feel threatened by seemingly innocuous stimuli and then act out in a defensive manner. Barking, biting, growling, showing teeth, etc. are the most common defensive reactions. These same dogs will bond very closely to their families (both human and dog). These types of dogs are often perfect with their families but far from it with others. It is important to be patient and consistant in working with defensive dogs.

When we work on these issues we approach them on three fronts:

-Obedience (so that you gain better control and "lead the dance". This also gives the dog structure on which it can rely.)

-Socialization (so that the dog gets more positive experiences in all environments)

-Correction/Reprimand (to show the dog which behaviors are inappropriate)

Part of the overall solution is having the people gain confidence in handling the dog. This is an important aspect since the dog seeks your leadership. When a handler is nervous or even just indecisive a dog reacts instinctually... in these cases, defensively.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Few Simple House Training Tips

A few simple things can make house training your dog much easier.

Using a crate will help in a number of ways. Confined to a small area, especially one where they eat and sleep, dogs will avoid eliminating for longer periods of time. It is a good practice to confine the dog to a small area like a crate when he or she is not being actively watched.

Keeping to a regular feeding schedule will keep the dog regular. Take the dog out the same door to a specific area on a consistent schedule. This helps the dog build a preference for where he or she eliminates.

Take the dog out on a leash for five to ten minutes. Use a word or phrase such as empty or hurry. If the dog empties then take a short walk or play with them outside. If the dog has not emptied them return them to the crate and try again later. By rewarding the dog for eliminating quickly the dog does not learn to hold out to get a longer walk.

Reward the dog with praise, food and/or play as soon as they eliminate.

Correct the dog swiftly and meaningfully when they are caught in the act indoors. Take them outside firmly and begin to praise immediately. This will make clear the difference between wrong and right.

Do not punish the dog after the fact. No, "rubbing their nose in it".

Be consistent. Dogs need a routine.

Be patient. House training progress is often slow.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Dog's Attention Span

A common mistake made by everyone from the professional trainer to the average pet owner is training a dog for too long at one time. Under normal conditions the average dog has an attention span of around 15 minutes. During this attentive period a dog is more open to learning and less resistant to control. Beyond the 15 minutes dogs actually become mentally tired and begin to avoid and resist the handler. Young puppies, older dogs, dogs that are just beginning their training and anxious dogs often have even shorter attention spans (maybe five to ten minutes). Dogs that are more experienced with training, and dogs with high drive for food and/or a toy will tend to have longer attention spans. Other factors can effect a dogs attention span. Hot weather can drastically reduce the amount of time a dog remains attentive. Distracting environments will also reduce the dogs attentiveness. Conversely cool weather often lengthens the time a dog is open to training. By training a dog within his/her attention span success is compounded and progress is optimized. Keep training sessions short and sweet and training will be fun and successful for the dog and handler/trainer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to add a rescued dog to your family

When adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue there are a few things that can help create a smooth transition.

If you already have a dog or dogs it is best to introduce the new dog to the current dog(s) one-on-one in a neutral location.

Bringing the new dog into your home for the first time let them acclimate gradually. Be patient, it may take a couple days to as much as a month for the new dog to feel comfortable in it's new home and with its new family.

Provide the dog with a crate. This gives the dog a safe place it can go to be alone. A crate also allows you to slowly immerse the dog into your everyday life. By confining the dog when you cannot watch them you will limit unwanted behaviors from becoming habits in your home.

Do not make excuses or apologies for bad behavior because the dog was abused or neglected. You are giving the dog a good home and should expect good behavior.

Establish the rules of the house right from the start. Show them what you want and praise them for good behavior.

Start obedience training. This will help you to develop a trusting relationship with the dog while giving the dog the structure of your leadership.

If you see problems get help from the rescue and or a trainer right away. The longer you wait the harder the problem will be to fix.

Enjoy the new member of your family.