Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gearing Up For School

Today is Zoe's big day; her first day of "school" at Field of Dreams!!  I attended orientation Wednesday night, and learned more about their training philosophy, and was given a list of things to bring.  I was impressed by their positive approach to training, and their gentle reminder that our dogs are just that, dogs.  They think, communicate, behave and learn differently than we do as humans.  It can be easy to lose sight of these facts, particularly when dealing with dog-related challenges.  I'm looking forward to obedience training with Zoe, and perhaps more importantly, helping her overcome some of her discomfort in new situations.  You never know, she might surprise me and have a great time!

Among the items I've prepared:  a collapsible water bowl, a couple of toys, our clicker that FOD provided, tasty treats and a houndie tote to carry all our stuff.  As a training aid, Field of Dreams suggested hotdogs cut into very small pieces, no larger than raisins.  We aren't accustomed to sharing "people food" with our dogs, so this should be interesting.  They also said that we will go through a lot of treats, especially during the first classes.  I'm planning to take two hotdogs tomorrow.  I simply cannot imagine little Zoe consuming more than two hotdogs, and definitely don't want to make her sick.

One of my top priorities tomorrow is Zoe's safety.  She's going to be in an unfamiliar situation surrounded by other dogs, and while it's never happened before, the thought of her slipping out of her collar has crossed my mind.  To ease that concern, I decided to buy a harness for Zoe to wear when training.  After having to exchange the first one for a larger size, I think I've got it right now.  Zoe doesn't seem to mind the harness, and has worn it around the house a little to get used to it.

Since she has a harness now, and a collar, I decided to pick up a cute, new tag for her while I was at PetSmart.  

(On the back is our phone number.)
I think we're ready to go.  I'm looking forward to the new experience and lots of fun with Zoe.  Before class, we're going to stop in at the vet for a quick nail trim.  I have a feeling that Zoe won't see the fun in that, but it definitely needs to be done.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and thanks so much for visiting!!

We're excited to participate in this week's Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!  Thanks, as always, to the Hop hosts, Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume.  Happy hopping, and happy weekend too!


  1. Zoe promises to be brave and have a wonderful time.

  2. Clicker Training is fun! When I take my golden pup to class I bring 2 turkey hot dogs sliced longways into quarters, then diced to the thickness of a checkers piece. I also bring an equal amount of rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, sliced off the carcass (no bones!) to the same size.

    There are days my < 50lb pup will go through it all! Of course, it completely takes the place of one meal.

    Good Luck, Zoe! She's a beautiful girl. :)

  3. Thanks for linking up. Have an awesome weekend with your beautiful baby.

    Felissa, Davinia, and Indiana

  4. I'm guessing you'll actually be too busy to get pics, but let us know how she does. Good luck today ladies! :)

  5. Zoe, you're going to do great! We get training treats, which are about the same size as raisins, so if the hot dogs don't work out, you can try those. I can't wait to see how it goes.


  6. We are excited for you! Hope everything goes well and that you get what you need out the experience. We will send some paw prayers for Zoe. Everyone is nervous on their first day of school!

  7. Good luck at school, Zoe! You certainly look prepared! And after all - you're going to get HOT DOGS! How awesome is THAT?!!!!!!!!

  8. Zoe's going to be fantastic! I was nervous about taking Jack to classes too, as he'd never been socialized, but I could literally see the excitement taking over every week as we walked in to the classes. Also, that collar tag is so cute!

  9. First day at's scary, but all the other puppies are going to love you!
    Oh yah and HOTDOGS!!


  10. I'll bet you have fun learning new stuff. I think Mama should take me to school too!

  11. I'm sure you and Zoe will have a great time.

    Most dogs love hotdogs. If you want them to be a little less greasy, you can bake the pieces in the oven at about 200 degrees for an hour. At least some of the grease will cook off and make them neater to handle.

    Good luck!

  12. Woof! Woof! FUN FUN Training. Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  13. Zoe, you look wonderful for your 1st day at this school! I bet you'll have lots of fun and you and your Mom will learn a lot. Hot dogs are sooooo good. I get them when I go to school too.

  14. Good Luck at school Zoe!! - Learn lots!!I know you will be Best in Class 2011!! Have Fun!!

  15. We are sure you will do great at school, Zoe. You look you're so well-prepared, so enjoy it and have fun!!!

  16. You can do it Zoe! Have fun and can't wait to hear all about it!

    Your pal, Pip

  17. Stopping by to say hello! Have a super weekend!

    Doreen, Kiko, Millie and Riley

  18. Stopping by from the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!

    Good luck with obedience training! I know Luna looks forward to going every week and it's good that you are thinking ahead to Zoe's safety.

  19. miss zoe is gonna do awesome at school for sures!!
    my mama uses the hot dogs for trainin' treats when i'm at school, too. she also brings a second trainin' treat (like liver treats or little pieces of cheese) just in case i lose interest in the hot dogs. like that will evarrr happen. heehee.

    the booker man

  20. We hope you have a great time at school!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  21. Good luck in class! I'm sure you'll have a blast. We use hot dogs too, and the dogs go nuts for them... they are salty though, so bring lots of water her to drink.

  22. Mom has done everything to prepare for class,Zoe. I hope your first day went well, and I know it will get easier for you as it become more familiar.

  23. Hi Y'all,

    If you're worried about her tummy with the hot dogs, Hawk has food allergies so we use his dog food for treats.

    I have to back off treats too because he gets so excited he grabs my hand with the treat! That's when the clicker with toy reward comes in handy.

    I like to use a treat pouch either fastened to my belt or a belt loop or clipped on my waistband. Some of the girls prefer to use the apron style because it will hold the toy too and any other accessories you want.

    Y'all will have a great time. Hawk loves it and I like socializing as much as he does.

    By the way I was on another blog which was talking about Field of Dreams too.

    Can't wait to hear about it!

    BrownDog's Momma

  24. I hope that class goes great! It sounds perfect - positive training is the way to go.

    One trick that I learned about treats is to mix kibble with the high quality treats (like hot dogs). The kibble ends up smelling like the hot dogs so Zoe will be much more excited about it than usual.

    That saves you from giving her too much fancy food for her tummy!

    Can't wait to hear how it went!

  25. Hope the first class went well (and it does sound like the program has the right attitude).

  26. You two look very prepared. Best of luck one your first day of class! I bet she will surprise you ; )

  27. I hope the first class went well!


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