Monday, February 27, 2012

Johnny Royal

Johnny entered the mk9 program the week of Feb 20th 2012. He was pretty banged up with multiple infected bite wounds that cover a good amount of his body.  As scene in his bio the word on the street is that Johnny was attacked by another breeder male over a female. The worst part of this was that Johnny's "owner" instead of getting him medical treatment, he high tailed it out of town and abandoned Johnny in a house for an unknown period of time with out food or water.  Left him with a mattress n a fish tank, what a great guy!!

Thankfully, a very kind person got word of where Johnny was and got him out of the house and straight to the vet. - We are extremely thankful for this caring person! If it wasn't for them, Johnny would not be with us today.

Since Johnny has been with us it as been nothing but love for this boy.  A Bath, good food, warm bed, compresses for his legs, and lots of attention from the mk9 crew. The only thing Mr J is not liking too much is his crate and being away from everyone.  But we all know every pup that comes into the mk9 program needs structure and a schedule.  So you can kick n scream all you want sweet Johnny, your cute face is not going to get you to do as you will around these parts of town.

Johnny's little crate tantrums are decreasing as the hours go by.  Which is excellent!  We are taking notice to him settling in more and becoming curious of the other pups and the strange kitty that has been stalking him when he is not looking.

We can not wait to see this little dude all healed from infection and start to come out if his shell.  We have a very good feeling he will be stealing the hearts of many and loving every minute of it.

Mk9 web designer, hard core animal lover and tallest mk9 member Dave
with Miss Raisin Pheobe (strange kitty) & Johnny Royal

Mr J meets more of the mk9 family and Josie's foster parents,  Miss Sarah & Marcus.
Johnny likes to watch lil D' do his thing through out the day. Dylan is very active, but respectful of the new pups

Johnny with his biggest fan Derek and his favorite part of the morning.

Johnny, as you can see is fitting in nicely.  We are looking forward to sharing his progress updates with you all.  We hope you check back in to see what his new adventures will be, who he meets next and how this once unwanted pup finds his forever family to share the rest of his life with. When that day comes it will be a bitter sweet day for us here at mk9. We are already head over heals for this little dude as we are for all of our awesome dogs waiting for their chance to be adopted.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Helping Josie Come Out Of Her Shell.

Every dog needs a little something different to come out of their shell and learn how to be a dog.  The majority of the mk9 rescue dogs come from not the best of situations leaving these dogs without guidance, without socialization skills and without homes and families to make them feel safe.  Josie came to us not too long ago but in a short time she is taking steps to better days and it is all thanks to #1 her foster family for their patients, HARD work and drive to see her succeed.

Here Josie is getting ready to meet her foster bother Toby for the fist time. They have been on a  rotation and even though they are going on walks with one another they were never to meet until Josie had time to adjust to her surrounding. With pit bull dogs SLOW is the best way to introduce two new dogs. Esp if one has just come from a crappy situation. 

When we do introductions we do not allow the dogs to charge one another or go nose to nose. Nose to nose is an unnatural way for dogs to meet and could cause some problems if one is dog tolerant.  So what we do is start walking with the 2 dogs. A handler for each pup and distance far enough that they can be close but not too close. Toby at first was a little stand offish but as we kept walking... and walking .. and walking you could see his body language start to change. He started accepting that Josie was near by.

 After both dogs started to feel more relaxed around one another we moved them in close and started asking them to "Look" and "sit" - work for treats. They were also rewarded for allowing the other dog to be near.  Keeping a dogs mind stimulated and focused on us at this time doesn't allow the dogs to "think" for them self and possibly get over worked and upset. It teaches them to focus on you and to let them know that you have the situation under control.

 We worked the dogs by each other until we started seeing each dog come out of their shell in their own way. For Toby he started to give that pit bull smile and his body loosened up. For Josie she started feeling more confident to remove herself from our side and get closer to Toby and accept that he wanted to be friendly with her.

One of the things Josie does not know is the "sit" command.  Her foster parents are working on this with her every day. Some dogs take a bit longer depending on their confidence level.  Mind you when Josie came into our program she was shut down and had no drive for food or toys.  So helping her understand how to do a simple thing like sit on command was not as easy as you may think.  Josie was even at a point to where she was afraid to go outside. We started putting the Thunder Shirt (as shown in the photos) on her before she left the house and so far it has been helping. She doesn't go crawling back to the house dragging her poor foster mom behind.

We are actually using Toby to help Josie come out of her shell even more and to learn how to be a dog.  We work Toby around Josie so she can watch him do his thing. Toby is a pro at sitting for treats and Josie is picking up. With a little guidance from us, praise and a reward Josie is learning to sit!!

Now that Josie and Toby are feeling more comfortable with one another and everything to this point has been nothing but positive interactions we are stepping it up a bit an allowing them to play.  We asked Josies foster dad to bring out a toy. . .

Toby - "A ((TOY)) DID I HEAR YOU SAY????"

Bringing an object into the mix can be a tricky thing. You must know your dogs to attempt a toy play time. Tobys parents know their boy inside and out and Josie has shown no signs of "dog aggression" or dominance. So we had a feeling this would turn out to be a fun time for both and maybe even help Josie  personality come out even more. If you are going to attempt this MAKE SURE you have someone with you that knows what their doing with an exercise like this and also the play MUST be observed at ALL TIMES! If the pups get a little two rammy then the play time needs a time out. You ALWAYS want to end a meet n greet on a positive level. There will always be more time for play so don't push your limits on a good thing.
Let the playing begin!!

This didn't last too long.... or we should say this TOY didn't last too long.  So we picked up the pieces and ended this play session on a great note!! With some additional Love letting them know they both did a good job at keeping the piece. 

After the two relieved themselves we headed back into the house for some water and some down time.
Josie does not like to be left alone so going her in her crate was an ordeal to say the least. After our training session, mind stimulation exercises and some physical play time Josie walked nicely into her crate and Toby made sure he stayed by his new friends side.

Josie likes the idea of Toby being around and settled down quickly. It did help that we moved her to a slightly smaller crate then the one we had her in. The one she was in she would pull at the door, scratch at the floor and have a panic look about her. The smaller crate seemed to give her comfort and easy which is what we are looking for in helping this girl progress.

Josie still has a long way to go before she is home ready.  Her foster family is working on behavior training, basic obedience training and socialization every day. Slowly but surely Josie will adjust to every day life and she will find that it is ok to be alone because we will ALWAYS come back.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Update on our Newest Rescue Dog(Josie) will be posted in the next day or so.
Check back in to see how this extremely sweet girl has been doing since she has been with us for the past 2 weeks.

We will fill you all in on how the Thunder Shirt, Tie downs, The other pups in the house, a tight schedule, positive social experiences, the amazing patience of the fosters & managing separation anxiety through clicker training are helping this girl come out of her shell and enjoy how to be a dog.

Josie came into the mk9 program extremely shut down. . .Not even knowing how to sit and was even at times to afraid to go out of the house. There was sadness in her eyes but she also looked at her people with admiration n love.

Josie was found abandoned in the woods with 10 puppies (5 did not make it - but she did not leave their side). The kind people that did find her ended up finding the puppies homes before turning Josie into Blue Chip Farms. The sad thing was even tough these people intended on doing the right thing they took her puppies away from her way too soon due of lack of knowledge. Taking puppies away from their mother too soon not only causes the mother great grief but the puppies development and social skill will suffer and could cause behavior problems as they grow into adults.

We are very grateful for foster homes such as Sarah, Marcus, Maria and their furkid crew. Without them Josie may not have the chance to enjoy life and "just be a dog"

Josie journey is just beginning. We will keep you filled in on her new achievements as the weeks go on and we will also let you know when this amazing girl is ready for her own forever home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rescue Dogs Morning Routine - Joey

We start our day off pretty early. Alarm goes off for us around 5:30am every day (even on the weekends).  We don't mind getting up at this time esp in the summer months because it is light out and letting the sun into our home gets everyone up and ready.  During winter months we have to wake up the rescue dogs even after the alarm goes off.

After we get ourselves squared away and the coffee is on we take all the dog out for a short morning walk for them to relieve themselves and back to the house we go. We start our routine with our longest resident  which at this time is Joey.  When Joey gets his breakfast we ask him to work for it with the nothing is free (< click to see video) routine.

After he finishes his breakfast we take him for a 30 - 45 minute hike around our local woods to get some extra morning energy out. The quiet one on one time allows him to focus on us while we work on some basic commands. (Look, sit, come, down and "walk nice" or heal).

After our morning walk we head back to the truck, load up and set off for the downtown area towards several destinations to expose Joey to different people and sound situations (no other animals for our morning outings - that will be another time).  We aim for busy places with people of all ages, places that are surrounded with cars and trucks coming and going and just about anything or any place we can expose Joey to that will be positive.

Where are we going today??
The trick with all of these places is to make sure EVERY interaction is a positive one, so bring a pocket full of your pups favorite treats as a reward for staying calm and accepting people in a friendly manner. When you are out n about by this time you should know your dog, you should know what will set him or her off.  Make sure you take in all of your surrounding so you can see things coming before your dog does.

For example Joey gets upset over big rig trucks so we keep an extra eye out for them, when we see one coming we quickly get Joeys attention and start working him in the opposite direction. . .LOOK, sit, down, sit, walk nice...the trick it to keep him moving and focused on US until the truck passes. If we see him getting over stimulated because he hears or sees the truck we move faster and don't give him a chance to even think about the truck. In no time it's gone and he gets extra treats and love for dealing with it so well and staying focused "ON US".

The best part of our outing and Joeys FAVORITE thing is when people "want" to meet him. He LOVES the attention and everyone he has met so far has been so wonderful with him, giving him a great experience which in turn sets him up for the next person he comes across.

Joey meets the guys of AxelRad an awesome print shop in Kingston Pa
The guys from AxelRad Screen Printing allowed Joey to come into their shop, meet the crew and check out the machines that were making funny noises and sounds he has never herd before.  We were not sure how he would handle the loud noises but Joey did very well. YAY JOEY!!

Since Joey was staying nice calm so we left the shop on a good note and off to the next place.  The next place is one of our favorites because the people are so awesome with our dogs.  The place is Starbucks in Wilkes-Barre  where we held our Zombie PinUps and Pooches Event and always load up on Vanilla Chai Latte with Soy milk. YUM

Joey loves the ladies of  Starbucks and took in all that was going on around him.  The SB Wilkes-Barre location is extremely busy with all different kids of motor vehicles and people.. Some of the people walked by and just smiled, some walked by and stared and a few even stopped to say hi for a quick second before they went in for their coffee. Over all Joey had a great morning and all the experiences were POSITIVE so back to the mk9 home for some Kong Wobbler Time ;)

Get those pups out n about and remember if your can not control your dog. . .control your atmosphere.
Socialization is SO VERY IMPORTANT. If you ca not do this every day aim for every other day or even set aside one FULL day for nothing but socialization. Not only does it help your dog but it shows people that you are a responsible pit bull owner and your dog... which is a pit bull ... is AWESOME!!!!
Happy socializing all!!
Much love all.

Fun tip. . dress your dogs up in cute or funny things some people that may not be sure about a pit bull will definitely pass a smile if they are wearing wings, flower lays or a funny hat. ;)