Wednesday, January 14, 2015

That Irresistable Dackelblick

How can you say no to this Dackelblick from Jenny? Mind you, all Dachshunds have this typical look, that's why the Germans call it "Dackelblick". Irresistable, don't you agree?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weather good or bad

Last time we had our obedience training, our trainer Tonja made us realize that it's ok if we don't feel up to walking our dogs in the terrible weather - we needn't feel guilty if our dogs aren't the walk-happily-in-the rain types and prefer to stay indoors. Yes, Jenny is certain pleased about the news. She prefers to snooze on rainy days. I walk her till she has done her business and then we head home when the weather is bad. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jenny's Snuggle Bed

Not a new idea, I'm very sure, about snuggle beds (aka sleeping bags) for dogs. Certainly new for me to make this myself. It occurred to me how to put the pieces together so that the cover is the right side up and not all messed up when sewn together. I made a super tiny sample before stitching the actual pieces together. There's nothing worse than unpicking sewn stitches.

There is obviously room for improvement, I am thinking of making a new one with a raised edge at the back so that she won't slip backwards. You can see in the first image how she is slipping down if she doesn't go under the cover.

Jenny trying out her new 50" snuggle bed

The cover is made with fleece on the inside

Handle for carrying

Tufting with fabric buttons

Friday, November 28, 2014


Jenny curls up to sleep on her "blankie"

Wow, we have from spring-like to almost sub-Artic temperatures within this week! With the windchill factor, it feels like -4°C instead of 2°C. I know it's even colder in some parts of the world but hey, it's still pretty darn cold to me!!

Jenny agrees fully with me, I'm sure. She definitely prefers to stay indoors, curled like a cooked shrimp on her "blankie", when it rains or when the temperature dips below "normal-for-humans-like-me".  During this morning's walk, we met Schröder, a 12-year-old black Dachshund-Cocker mix and Jenny had a few minutes of playtime with him, enough for both of us dog owners to forget about the cold while watching them fool around. Schröder announced most clearly when he had enough from the youngster.

No, I don't put a sweater or cape or those doggy outfits on Jenny. I'm not keen on those outfits for our pets. It's not natural for dogs to wear a sweater. They are born with their own "sweaters" which is called fur (except for the, say, Mexican Hairless, which I can fully understand their owners putting on a warm outfit when it's too cold for the Mexican Hairless to deal with). Their resistance to the cold is affected when we make them wear the "unnatural sweaters". Dogs in the wild will probably have a good laugh at our dogs in the doggy-outfits if they ever saw our dogs in suits.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rose Among Thorns...

No, Jenny's not getting married! It's a curtain...
Oh boy, it's been another couple of months since I blogged about Jenny, I'm terribly busy with endless home projects. One of which you can see in the image, it's the curtain that I sewed for our newly bought used caravan. Yup, that project is eating up my time...

Recently at our weekly dog obedience class, I realised that Jenny is the only female in the group. There are about six owners, me included, with eight dogs in our group. Anyway, three males got into a tiff and Jenny rushed to see what was happening.

Tonja, our trainer, later explained that by being the only bitch, Jenny ran to inspect the fight and was probably eyeing the strongest winning male for the possibility of fathering her off-springs. Naturally, she's not going to be getting any babies now or in the future. I do not intend to have her castrated at all.

So, yes, in a cartoony-way, one can imagine Jenny whipping out her smartphone and snapping pictures of the fight...paparazzi-Dackel...

None of us panicked when the three male dogs got into a tiff with each other. One owner gave a shout to break up the argument between the boys and they each walked away to their owners. Yes, definitely way cool from us dog owners.

Looking back at our first class, our dogs and we have come a long way. The first class was total chaos. Now, our dogs walk off-leash next to us - not formal heeling but within one to one-and-half meters in our vicinity - without any dog goofing around. Recall is also no problem. I'm the only who uses a whistle to recall my dog. The others prefer to simply call their dogs during recall. I like the whistle as I don't have to yell my head off plus it's a neutral "call" to the dogs. Whether I'm relaxed or panicked, the whistle does not give you away.

Right, more later! Have a great day and week!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life-long training

Ever realised that it's a life-long training for our dogs even if you have gotten your dog to do what it's supposed to do? It doesn't mean that once your dog has learned to sit when given the command means training is over. We literally have to train the dog till the end of its days - ever have your dog give you that naughty glint and ignore your commands? Yes, that's what I mean with regular and life-long training as all dogs will try ever now and then to see if they can cut corners with us or even take the upper hand. Though, our dogs train us just as much as we them!

Watch Jenny do three roll-overs in the video before she takes the snack from my hand!

We go to a group training (dog training) once a week where there are five owners with six dogs (one lady has two dogs). Our group has been together since the beginning of this year. Classes are held in the woods and every two months or so, the trainer selects a new venue - though always in the woods. I have to say, from Jenny's reaction, she is just as enthused about meeting with her "classmates" as well as I do! It's always fun to watch how the dogs react with each other upon unloading from the cars and the progress we all make each week.

I can't say how long we will be with this group, I enjoy it thoroughly and realise that it's like going to kindergarten for my dog. She learns as much as I do by watching the other owners with their dogs and generally you learn how to read other dogs as well as your own better. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's been a long time...

...since I last blogged about my Dackel ("Dackel" means "Dachshund" in German in case you don't know yet). I have had a family emergency which made me literally dropped everything I was doing. In any case, Jenny wasn't neglected -  no, that will not happen. There will always be someone taking care of Jenny when I'm occupied with other urgent matters.

Jenny turned two this June and yes, she's maturing beautifully. She has a lovely character and personality. Well, she sure knows how to melt your heart, she has what the Germans call a "Dackelblick" - literally translated meaning, "Dachshund blick or look" - one can hardly say no to her when she gives you that gooey look. Which doesn't mean that she gets her way all the time! 

We have "curbed" her hunting instinct pretty well - it has been almost a year ago when her hunting instincts were jerked into action by the calls of the marmot while we were trekking in Kleinwalsertal (the German and Austrian alps). Luckily she was on leash and wasn't able to run after the marmots. 

I have spent the past year training her hard. Training her to be obedient and come upon recall. She walks off-leash quite well - considering she's a dachshund and not a golden retriever, I'm pretty happy with the results so far - and comes upon recall quite reliably.

We, i.e. Jenny and I, attend obedience class once a week. You can see how Jenny lights up the minute we pull into the parking lot - our obedience classes are held in the woods - she can't wait to get out of the car to meet her class buddies!

Jenny and her "Dackelblick"
how can one refuse her with that look?