Friday, March 30, 2012

4th Annual Weiner Hunt

Looking for something festive to do with your pup his weekend? Well, look no further because the 4th Annual Weiner Hunt is sure to do the trick. 

What is a wiener hunt, you ask? A wiener hunt is like an Easter egg hunt for kids but instead of kids, it involves dogs, and instead of Easter eggs each dog gets to track down and eat tasty bits of hotdog wieners.  Your pup gets to stimulate his mind while searching for a yummy treat and you get to enjoy the show.  It’s a win win! 

What if your dog is food aggressive, you ask? Not a problem because each dog gets a private hunt in a secured area, making it perfectly safe and enjoyable for everyone.  Also, each hunt is timed and the fastest 3 hunters in each size category win a prize. 

In addition to the wiener hunt, there will be ‘red carpet’ photos, dog and human vendors, adoptable dogs, raffle prizes and more.  Proceeds benefit FOCHP, the Friends of Orange County Homeless Pets dog and cat rescue.

The fun takes place on Saturday, March 31st, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Camp Bow Wow.  Camp Bow Wow is located at 1431 N. Daly St. in Anaheim.  For more information and to reserve your pups wiener hunting spot, call 714-533-2267.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Quick Escape Is Closer Than You Think

Need a weekend escape?  All this rainy weather may have you a feeling a little cabin feverish.  And it doesn’t help when rainy weekends make the dog antsy and destructive from boredom.  Luckily, you live in California; and one of the great things about California is that bad weather is never here to stay. 

With spring in the air, and green everywhere, now is the time to get outside and make the most of those beautiful sunny days.  It’s time to give yourself a break from the day to day bustle and get out and see what’s going on in your neck of the woods; literally.  

The Inland Empire has a treasure trove of hiking trails, from Temecula to Big Bear, just waiting to be explored.  The best part is, your four-legged pal can join you and explore too (on leash, of course).  Just be careful not to bring any new friends home with you.

5 Hikes You Can Enjoy Locally

1.       Fairmount Park, Riverside -  This multi-use park features a couple of lakes with trails for walking and hiking as well as areas for other activities such as a playground, tennis courts, picnic areas,  and a golf course.  This local treasure was designed in 1911 by the designers of New York’s Central Park, Olmstead & Olmstead, and is sure to please, offering a little something for everyone in the family.  Located at 2601 Fairmount Blvd. in Riverside.

2.       Louis Robidoux Nature Center, Riverside -  This park offers several hiking trails, many of which take hikers around Sunnyslope Creek.  There are other trails which take hikers to Schroder’s Pond, Burnt Pond, or the Santa Ana River.  Additionally, this park has several educational bridges highlighting the native animals and plants of the park.   Located at 5370 Riverview in Riverside.

3.       Skyline Trail, Corona – For hiking or biking, some of the best views of Corona can be can be seen from this little known trail which leads to the Cleveland National Forest.  Located on Skyline Drive (off Lincoln Ave, turn right onto foothill, the entrance is a little hard to find) in Corona.

4.       Pine Knot Trail, Big Bear -  This moderate 6-mile (roundtrip) hike gives you an little more of a physical challenge while rewarding you with a breath taking view of the world below.   Parking is located at Aspen Grove (just off Highway 18, past the Big Bear Dam and Mill Creek Road) in Big Bear.

5.       Cougar Crest Trail, Lake Arrowhead -  This 5-mile (roundtrip) hike is a not for the faint of heart but well worth the views.  Located off Highway 38 (on the left side, about 2 ½ miles east of Fawnskin) in Lake Arrowhead.  

You never know what great trails can be found in your neighborhood until you go out looking for them.  So put on your boots and grab the dog, it’s time to get out and explore your neck of the woods.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celebrate St. Paw-tricks Day with the Pups

This Saturday, March 17th, the 20th Annual ‘Walk with the Animals’ will take place at Fairmount Park in Riverside.  Hosted by the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center (formerly the Riverside Humane Society) and put on each year in an effort to raise money to help care for the thousands of homeless animals they take in each year.  
Participants are encouraged to bring their dog(s) to join in the 1.3 mile walk around the park as well as family and friends of all ages to enjoy the activities and entertainment afterward. 
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., along with a pancake breakfast, and the walk begins at 9:00 a.m. After the walk, all are welcome to participate and enjoy activities such as ‘Kiss the Blarney Dog’ – Kissing Booth, Doggie Costume Contest, as well as special kid activities.  There will be exhibits, boutiques, baked goodies for sale (human and canine), and local rescue groups to check out.  Entertainment will include The Muttley Crew K-9 Team and Butler Fearon O’Connor School of Irish Dancers.  Low cost vaccinations and microchipping will be available as well, if your pup is behind on his vaccinations or you have been waiting for a more affordable chance to get him microchipped.  
Whether you can or cannot participate in the walk this Saturday, you can help raise funds or give a donation through  So far, 73 teams have helped raise over $14,000, but that is only about ¼ of the $50,000 goal.  The smallest amount can make a difference, so give what you can to help support your community and its homeless pet.
For more information about the Mary S. Roberts Pet AdoptionCenter, or to see dogs and cats available for adoption, check out their website.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mastering the 3 basic commands - Come

Getting your dog to come when call is more important than just being able to scold her when she has done something wrong.  In the event of an emergency every second counts and you want your dog to come when called, right away.  “When Maui gets out of the house, off lease, she thinks it’s an opportunity to play chance.  She will keep running from me if I go after her,” says Arlene Patrick of Corona.  “When we lived in our first apartment she got out and I had to chase her all the way down to the shopping center.  I was so angry and scared at the same time, I didn’t know how to react when I finally got a hold of her.”   
You are on a walk and your dog comes out of her collar to go chase a squirrel; or your dog ran out the front door and right into traffic on a busy street.  There are hundreds of scenarios where your dog’s safety is at risk and coming when called can make the difference between life and death (and your sanity).  
Correcting these bad habits takes time but believe me, the time is always worth it.   Set aside a time to practice learning (or re-learning) commands like “Stay”.  Keep the sessions short (10-15 mins.) and make it a positive experience (happy tones and rewards).  Rewards can consist of treats, toys, praise, or even a game.  Whatever motivates your pup to work and keep working is a good tool.  If you are using treats as a reward, be inconsistent with the rewards and don’t give a treat for every correct action.  Using an irregular reward disbursement schedule will force your dog to pay attention instead of anticipating your next move.  And lastly, remember that all dogs learn at a different pace.  Have patience and don’t give up.  No dog is too old to learn new tricks.
Learning (or re-learning) Come
These steps will help reinforce the “stay” command while teaching your pup the new “come” command.
1.       Tell your dog to “sit” (and/or lay “down”) and then “stay”.
2.       Take 2 – 5 steps back then say your dog’s name and “come” – or whatever command you choose (example: “Sweet pea, come”).
3.       When she comes to you, reward her immediately and praise her with “good come”.  (Replace “come” with whatever command you choose, but be consistent or you will confuse your dog.)
4.       Repeat steps 1 – 2 several times, taking 2 – 5 more steps back each time. 
5.       If you so choose, you can train your dog to sit each time she comes and to stay seated until you give her a release command (such as “release”, “go play”, or “carry on”). 
Mastering the Command:
Once your pup has the “come” command down, switch things up by:
1.       Hiding around the house and calling her to “come” find you. 
2.       Interrupting her play (especially at the dog park) with periodic “come” commands.
3.       Using an extra-long leash on your next walk or trip out in public.  Let her wander off in front of you and call her to “come” back. 
Remember to reward immediately with praise when she does come.  Positive reinforcement will create a more reliable recall.  Happy Training!