Here is the video compilation of Orso’s rounds in the agility and obstacle course. The video is just over 3 minutes and it is absolutely worth watching! Don’t forget to turn up the volume on your speakers for the full effect! Thanks, Mary, for sticking around to video us! To visit Mary and Bravo Dog Training online, click here or go to http://www.mybravodog.com/.
Here is the 6-minute video compilation of Orso’s AKC junior puppy match. The patient lady handling Orso for us is Sheila Lieberman of Loving Obedience Dog Training in Miami. The judge with the great attitude is Dr. Cindi Bossart of Animal Hospital of Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks, Sheila & Dr. Bossart, for a great first time in the ring for Orso!
Orso had a lot of new experiences today; so did I for that matter! Our day started VERY early. We were in the Jeep driving to TY Park in Hollywood by 8am. Orso barely had time to digest breakfast, so I spent the greater part of the ride worrying that he would get car sick; thankfully, he was fine. We met up with Sheila at the park at 9am and went through all the logistics of getting Orso entered into his Junior Puppy Class. The event was organized well and there were many tents set up by rescue organizations. It was great to see so many well-behaved dogs in one place! We met a fellow Cane Corso owner named Marcos who had a 5 month old puppy that he had purchased from Red Rock Canyon Cane Corso in Las Vegas. This handsome fawn male puppy was in the same class as Orso. We also met a few other people who were there with their Cane Corsos! It was so cool to see a group of people at the event who own and love Corsos!
On the other hand, there were MANY people who did not know the breed, so we had the opportunity to introduce and educate them about gentle & loving breed. It was interesting to see how many people have a misconception about the breed and would state with conviction how it is an aggressive fighting breed. We were smart (and patient) enough to recognize that they were confusing the Cane Corso breed with the Presa Canario breed. We respectfully, but sternly, cleared up any misconceptions that were thrown in our direction.
Orso’s puppy class finally went on late in the morning. Sheila was wonderful and handled him for us. I am so grateful that she did because I needed to watch and learn today. Orso was up against the other Corso puppy that I mentioned earlier. As expected, Orso didn’t trot as needed, but he definitely did not disappoint the spectators with his lively gallop and struggle to show the judge his teeth. The judge was Dr. Cindi Bossart, veterinarian and owner of Animal Hospital of Ft. Lauderdale. She was very patient and sweet with Orso and even helped him out in the ring. Thanks, Dr. Bossart for your kindness. Orso took second place and we all enjoyed the experience immensely!
Most importantly to note is that we are very lucky that Sheila Lieberman has taken such a genuine and personal interest in us and we thank her for being so generous with her time and knowledge! Sheila owns Loving Obedience Dog Training in Miami.
Once we were done with the AKC Match, we walked around the event grounds and visited some booths. Our favorite booth was the “A Joy Wallace Catering” booth where we indulged in the BEST pulled pork sandwiches we have ever eaten! They were amazing! With our bellies full, we started making our way toward the Jeep. We almost made it, but were distracted by a ton of commotion coming from what looked like an agility & obstacle course. As we approached it Orso went nuts! Dogs were taking turns, one-by-one, chasing a plastic bag attached to a string on a track that would guide them through the course. Being a farming & hunting breed, this was right up Orso’s alley! This boy has some huge prey drive!
Once we got close enough to the ring, we realized that the person in the ring with her dog was Mary, who will be working with Orso for 2 weeks in her home in December! We were so excited to see her! She finished her rounds and came out of the ring where she very subtly convinced us to give it a try. We didn’t need much arm twisting on this one! I spoke to the guy running the course and asked him to take it easy speedwise since Orso is only 19 weeks old and he agreed to cooperate with our little guy’s age limitations.
Orso and I were allowed to “walk the course” before our actual runs. Orso didn’t seem too phased by any of the obstacles at all. When it came time to do it for real, he was a riot! I have never seen this dog move so fast! It was unreal! He got to do the course twice and was awesome! Mary also stuck around to video for us! Thanks, Mary! To visit Mary and Bravo Dog Training online, click here or go to http://www.mybravodog.com/.
Orso was simply exhausted after all this craziness and truthfully, Gus and I were ready to get out of the sun. We loaded Orso into the Jeep and headed back down to Miami for a snack at Scotty’s Landing in Coconut Grove. We were there only long enough to have a few beers and fish dip before heading next door to The Chart House for oysters. Luis, our waiter, and Diego, the executive chef, were very hospitable and allowed us in despite their no dogs rule! As always, Orso was a perfect gentleman throughout his celebratory lunch! See below.
Below are some of our favorite photos of the day. In a separate entry, I will upload a video compilation of Orso in the show ring with Sheila and a video compilation of Orso in the agility ring with me. Enjoy!
Today started at Sheila’s house with a quick conformation class and a run through of what we should expect to happen tomorrow at the AKC match. Orso still can’t trot, so we don’t expect to win. We are going for the experience and to get him in the ring. We were at Sheila’s house for only a little while and worked on standing and pretending we were in the show ring. Mouse and Luna helped out too. We all got into an imaginary show ring and ran around – the neighbors were definitely amused! We handled Luna and Mouse and Sheila had Orso. It was very cute! Unfortunately, there were no free hands to photograph or video the circus act, but below is a short 45-second video of Sheila working with Orso. By the way, that handsome Jeep in the background is our official canine family vehicle. Some families buy minivans, we bought a Jeep!
Now that the weather is cooperating and we are getting less rain in Miami, it gets easier to have more “beach days” with the dogs. As soon as we were done at Sheila’s, we headed over to my parents’ house with Luna, Mouse & Orso. They LOVE going there! My parents’ yard is substantially bigger than ours and their beach has such a nicer slope than ours does, so it only makes sense that we would crash in on them whenever we can. Like last time, the 3 of them ran around like a bunch of lunatics. Once they settled down, I took some time to work on Orso’s swimming skills. He is not confident enough to go far into the deep on his own, so I ended up in the water with him. Not really what I was planning and I certainly wasn’t dressed for it, but it was the only way he’d swim out far. It feels good to know that he trusts me enough to swim out to me. Mouse also helped by hanging out with me in the deep. Orso’s a great swimmer so far, even though he gets a little worried in the water and thrashes sometimes. Since I am right next to him, I try to just level out his body by giving him a little lift under his belly area. As soon as he levels out, he seems to relax and continues to swim around comfortably. We ended the swimming lesson with some confidence building in the form of shallow water fetching.
The day ended with a doggie bath assembly line. Luna, Mouse & Orso all got very thorough baths when we got home. It’s so nice to be able to cuddle up to clean furkids at the end of a fun day!
Below are some of our favorites photos from the day. Enjoy!
I have received some questions about dog nutrition; in particular, what I feed our 3 furkids.
Luna and Mouse are fed Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Adult Health Recipe and have been eating this for a couple of years now. They eat once a day – at night – and their food is sometimes supplemented with raw meat & bones, egg yolks, an occasional tablespoon of high quality oil, cooked oatmeal, raw veggies, fruits, brown rice and warm water to mix. Mouse eats 4-5 cups daily and Luna eats 2-3 cups daily, depending on their level of activity. They are not on any dog vitamins or powdered supplements. They are never fed from our plates – and thus do not steal or beg for food EVER – and we do not give them scraps. They get Interceptor once a month and are not vaccinated. Instead, our vet administers vaccine titers yearly to ensure that they have not been exposed to any disease.
Orso is fed Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe and has been on this food since he was old enough to consume dog food. As of today, he is being fed 2 times daily, down from 3 times daily. His breakfast is 3 cups of food and his dinner is 2½ cups of food. We occasionally supplement his meals with cottage cheese, raw ground turkey or Gerber baby food (beef, turkey or chicken ONLY – no veggies or fruit!!!). Orso also is given 2 different supplements with his feedings – Prevention Plus Complete Nutritional Formula and Nupro. Since we are working a lot with him on training and developing his food drive, we are constantly giving him training bites. We use Wellness Just for Puppy Mini Soft Treats or Bil-Jac Liver Treats, both high quality training treats. Orso has been getting his required puppy vaccines and will soon get his rabies vaccine. However, going forward, Orso will not be vaccinated unless mandated by local ordinance (such as in the case of rabies, and even then it’ll be the 3-year vaccine) and will be administered vaccine titers annually. He has already been started on Interceptor once a month.
All 3 dogs are fed using elevated feeders to aid in digestion and avoid any undue stress on their joints. Orso is also using a Durapet Slow Feeder to slow down how fast he finishes his meals.
We have made our decisions about our dogs’ wellness routine, which includes nutrition, vaccination and supplementation, based on research. Vaccines and disease have been linked. Traditional commercial pet food and disease have been linked. Low quality supplements and disease have been linked. All of our decisions are driven by research. There is a plethora of information on the internet, which makes educating yourself very difficult and confusing. Also, the marketing dollars spent by most of the big-name commercial dog food companies, such as Iams, Purina & Science Diet, make it very attractive to believe that your pet is receiving top quality pet food – research and investigative reporting strongly indicate otherwise.
For a glimpse of what really goes into commercial pet food, including “4D” meat, which means the animals used in the food are dying, dead, diseased or disabled (this also includes the use of household euthanized pets), consider reading this book: Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food, by Ann N. Martin.
If dog nutrition and holistic wellness are topics that interests you, The Whole Dog Journal is a publication that is very informative with regard to proper care for pets, including annual recommendations of near-human grade dog food. This publication and the folks who put it together are doing their best to educate dog owners on proper and holistic care. Below is the cover photo of The Whole Dog Journal’s 2010 list of approved and recommended dog foods.
Orso’s thoughtful veterinarian, Dr. Robert Pane of South Kendall Animal Clinic, was kind enough to save for us the December 2010 issue of Dog Fancy Magazine, where the Cane Corso breed is featured in its own 3-page article. The article doesn’t seem to show up anywhere online, so I tore it out of the magazine (sorry, Dr. Pane!!!) and scanned it in. To read the article, see below or click here and an Adobe file will open up for you in a separate window.
The Dog Fancy website does have a cute 5 question quiz on the Cane Corso breed that you can check out by clicking here or go to http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-quiz/quizpage-4424.aspx.
This is an event announcement! Orso is having his first puppy match this Sunday, October 31st, at TY Park in Hollywood. He is not old enough to show for points, but this will be a great experience for all of us nonetheless. He will be showing in the Junior Puppy class, which is for puppies 3-6 months old. It is an AKC sanctioned match, so he will be showing in the working group. Sheila will most likely be taking him in the ring for me because we prefer that his first show experience be a positive one. For more information on the event, see below.
From the 93 Rock website:
93 ROCK, The Gulfstream Rottweiler Club, and Gulfstream Guardian Angels Rottweiler Rescue invite you to TY Park in Hollywood, Sunday October 31st, for the 17th Annual All-Breed K9 Oktoberfest to benefit dog rescue. Join a great crowd of well-behaved/well-socialized leashed dogs, their families and other dog lovers for day of music, showcases, demos, activities, doggie races, pet adoptions, prizes, and the yearly $1,000 raffle. The event is from 10am until 4pm. Admission is only the standard park fee of $1.50 per person. All dogs must wear their rabies tag.
Planned Activities Include:
Canine Good Citizen testing
American Kennel Club sanctioned matches
Dog games & activities
Pet costume competition
Rescues & adoptions
Children’s bounce house
Parade Of Rescue Dogs
Here is the link to the AKC Sanctioned Match being hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Dog Club: http://fortlauderdaledogclub.webs.com/eventsactivities.htm.
Overnight, the mole foam we had on Orso’s ears to help reshape the front flaps fell off, along with all his fur on the tips. This meant that he could finally get wet and have some swimming fun! He goes out with us almost every day to run errands and have lunch or dinner, but we had not been able to take him back to my parents’ house to go swimming because his ears are always either taped or mole-foamed or stitched up. With his new “ear freedom,” we were free to have a beach day with him, Mouse & Luna.
We diligently packed all our necessary items – water toys, towels, flip flops, treats and most importantly, the camera – and loaded everyone into the Jeep. We spent almost 3 hours at my parents’ house! All 3 dogs were running around like maniacs in and out of the water, racing around the palm trees, jumping off and onto the dock, it was awesome!
I took 433 photos! When you are shooting action and you have 3 moving subjects (Orso, Mouse & Luna), it is impossible to get the perfect shot without taking numerous sequential photos, thus the hundreds of photos taken. One of these days, I might get lucky and someone else will handle the photo taking so I can come out in a few too!
Below are a bunch of my favorites from today and a gallery of most of the photos!
Orso and I went to Pet Costume Party today, which was hosted by Sabal Chase Animal Clinic. Sheila invited us to come along so she could see how he behaves around other dogs; in this case, all the dogs there, except for Orso, were in costume and it was chaotic! We kept telling people that he was dressed up as a show dog. Below is a video clip that shows a few of the dogs that were there, including a Mexican Hairless that looked hilarious in her costume! Enjoy!
It’s official, Orso has the jaw strength of a baby dinosaur. There are photos of Orso in the manager’s office of the local PetCo. Every week, I go through the mission of purchasing toys for Orso to keep him engaged and his toy drive fresh. This is great and all, but the toys don’t last more than 20-30 minutes, at best. It goes something like this:
Yvonne: Look, Orso, a new chewtoy!!!
Orso: Wags tail with enthusiasm. Performs tricks to obtain desired new toy.
Yvonne: Good puppy! Don’t break this one!!!
Orso: 15 minute lapse. Hmmmm, if I chew from this angle, I can tear off chunks of the industrial strength toy.
Yvonne: Watching intently to make sure there are no signs of toy debris.
Orso: Got it! Broke it! I won!
Yvonne: Orso! Give the toy back before you cause yourself an obstruction and $5,000 in vet bills!
Next day, we have to walk ourselves right back into PetCo with receipt, toy, original packaging and any debris we managed to salvage, all collected neatly into a grocery store bag. We don’t really have to say much to the cashier anymore, they just call the manager, who already knows why we are there. We have literally gone through almost every toy PetCo sells!
In the spirit of saving other puppy owners some chewtoy grief, the ONLY two toys that are still in one piece are made by Nylabone and are pictured below:
Tonight was Orso’s first conformation lesson with Sheila Lieberman of Loving Obedience Dog Training. We were supposed to head out to the weekly conformation class that is hosted by Sandy Herzon and the Miami Dog Club in the FPL parking lot, but Sheila thought we would be better off starting him one-on-one at her house. I totally agreed, especially since I didn’t want to make a complete fool of myself in front of all these Miami show people!
At 7pm, Sheila, Orso and I had our first conformation class in Sheila’s driveway. I had spent all week gathering different types of conformation show collars and leads for tonight. The truth is that I have no idea what he is supposed to wear in the ring, so I came with a box full of different things, including a couple of collars that Mary Majchrowski from Bravo Dog Training mailed me. Thanks, Mary!
I also came armed with treats, or “bait” as Sheila likes to call it. Orso is just learning the stand command and I haven’t been very successful in getting it to stick. He LOVES the sit command and seems have taken quite a liking to the down command, but the stand command needs a lot more work. Orso’s lesson was about 10 minutes long and I am not sure which one of us learned more – him or me. I definitely know that Orso has a ton of respect for Sheila. He was acting up at the beginning and she straightened him out real quick!
It sure is! Well, sort-of. Orso turned 4 months today and he celebrated in style with a new “going out” collar and leash, a bag full of 6 different Kong toys, 4 boxes of training treats and his first visit to the dog park in Coconut Grove. His birthday events started yesterday with a visit to his Auntie Adriana, who has a big, grassy yard that we played fetch in, a shopping spree with me at PetCo followed by Pet Supermarket and a long late lunch at Casavana, a local pet-friendly Cuban restaurant. Along the way, he met lots of nice people and showed off his wonderful manners and obedience skills. Today, the day started bright and early at 8am with a drive to Coconut Grove for breakfast at Greenstreet Cafe. We then went to the dog park on Shipping Avenue for 2 hours! It was his first time at a dog park and he did great. He was confident, but respectful of all the other dogs. Funny enough, he had no interest in playing fetch or any other games. I think he was just taking in his surroundings; I am sure it was overwhelming, especially with 20-30 different dogs all around him. Below are a few video clips from the park.
After going home for a few hours to recharge and feed lunch, we took off again to Smoke’t BBQ in South Miami for the Battle of the Bands live music face-off. We stayed well into the night and Orso didn’t seem to mind. He was curled up in his travel blanket snoring away! Afterward, we headed home to feed dinner and go to bed. It was a full weekend for Orso and he was happy to escape into his crate for a good night’s rest.
Orso and I had a meeting with a wonderful young lady today, Mary Majchrowski who owns Bravo Dog Training in Broward County. We met Mary through Dee at the BBQ she invited us to back in September. Orso will be staying with Mary for 14 nights in December to reinforce all the training he has been getting with Dee and me. She also has conformation experience, so it’s a great way to bring both areas together, especially since January promises lots of dog shows for Orso!!!
I ran into a dilemma recently. We love to travel and always leave for the holidays. This has never been an issue with Mouse & Luna because Nichelle stays at home with them while we are gone. She has her own room in the house and keeps a key and gate card year-round, so we can take off whenever we want to and not stress about displacing the dogs. This year, I made our holiday plans before our breeder had announced the arrival of Orso’s litter. When we brought Orso home, we knew we would have to reconsider our travel plans because he was going to be too young at 6 months of age to stay home without us. It’s not that Nichelle can’t take care of him, it’s that we are home with him most of the day and she works, putting Orso in an unfair predicament. We are not comfortable with him spending all day crated while we are parading around the world for the holidays. So, in early September, we agreed that we would still travel for the holidays, Nichelle would still stay with Mouse & Luna, but Orso needed to be left with someone who will be with him almost constantly AND work on his obedience. This is where Mary comes in!
Mary follows the same obedience training principles that we and Dee love, which is positive reinforcement and food marker training. We do not agree with the traditional “crank and yank” way of training dogs and refuse to put Orso through this. Today’s meeting with Mary was an opportunity for Orso and Mary to meet and a chance for all of us to discuss expectations and realistic outcomes from his 2 week stay with her. By the time we left our meeting, Mary had taught Orso how to stand on command! Thanks, Mary!
To visit Mary and Bravo Dog Training online, click here or go to http://www.mybravodog.com/.
Orso got his stitches out today! YAY! His ears look beautiful and have healed exceptionally well! Thank you, Dr. Pane! Photos to come soon! By the way, he weighed in at 53 pounds!
Founder & Owner