During the day, while I’m at work, Poppy spends her day with my elderly parents. She is usually kind and gentle to them, and doesn’t demand much attention. Recently, there was a day where she began pestering Dad. She found him in the laundry room, and began demanding attention by jumping next to him and head butting him.  He tried to settle her, and finally went into the attached garage, continuing his current task. Poppy followed him into the garage. I have trained her not to do this without permission, so this was definitely acting out of character. Again Dad tried to settle her. Then he went out the back garage door to take some trash to the bins. Poppy followed him out there, still head butting him. Defeated by her antics, he decided that he finally needed to bring her back into the house.When he returned her to the living room he found Mom struggling to push her transport chair across the room. She had been worried about how long Dad had been out of the room, and had set out to find him.  Poppy saw her struggling and in distress, and had gone to alert Dad. She had been bumping him, and head butting him on one side and then the other side for a good ten minutes, trying to tell him something was wrong. She finally succeeded in bothering him enough to get him to return to the living room with Mom. What a good girl! I am pleasantly surprised.

 

Watermark635809720172790857October 2015

In January and February Poppy made her foray into the AKC world of Conformation Competition, with mixed success. One day she would strut around the ring like she was made for Show, and the next day she was all puppy, bouncing around the ring like she was a yo-yo at the end of a string. Some family illness kept us close to home from February until late Summer, so we utilized our time with weekly Conformation classes. We both had a lot to learn about walking and trotting around the ring. Poppy learned the proper show “stand,” and I learned to “show off” my sweetheart. I also spent a lot of time learning to bathe, blow dry, clip, scissor and groom for the  show ring. (I’m not a professional Groomer, so I’m really reaching for something beyond my grasp!)

For those of you interested in showing your own Poodle as I am doing, be advised that most Poodle owners have their dog professionally groomed and handled. So I stick out like a sore thumb. That’s alright however, because I’m doing this for my own entertainment and relaxation. It has been on my “bucket list” since the time I could walk!!

In September we walked back in the show ring. There had been many improvements since February and our re-entry in September. I thought I did a really good job on her cut, and realize I still have a lot to learn on the “spray up.” Poppy handled herself very well; I was really impressed. When the day was said and done, we got a nice picture to show for it!

Also in September, Poppy and I took more classes and she earned her CGC! congratulations Poppy!

Getting Poppy ready for a Show in February 2015

November 2014

Poppy has just turned four months old and, having completed her puppy vaccinations, can now begin her social life.  In other words, let the fun begin!

Now is an excellent time to find another puppy owner to make play dates with, or to join a puppy training class. Up until now, Poppy has been learning how to interact with the adults in our household, and she is very adept at that now. However, visiting children last week gave her cause for pause. She was quite timid for most of the first day. Actually, her trust of them came very slowly, but the important point is that it did come. She is still more comfortable with adults, but will accept children now and with a bit more exposure, I’m sure she’ll love them. Remember, as you are taking your puppy on outings, that  everything is new and have plenty of patience. Things we take for granted, like a bag suddenly blowing by, or a set of stairs to negotiate, are new and possibly very scary to a puppy. While being careful to not reward the frightened reaction, do give her plenty of time to get used to the newness of each situation. Let her sniff, touch and accept or even move reject the foreign object. Try not to force anything or anyone on your puppy, but to let her accept new things at her own speed. Do however, give her many opportunities.

Poppy at 8 months

February 2015

This month I want to touch on grooming. Poppy is in a Show Clip and that means I comb her every day until I’m sure she’s tangle free. During this process I spray her coat lightly with just water or with a leave in detangler like Ice on Ice. This is to discourage the hair from getting dry and breaking while I comb her.

If your poodle is in a pet trim, the hair is probably much shorter all over. In that case you can probably get by with combing and brushing about every three days or twice a week. Use a pin brush, not a slicker brush, and a wide tooth comb. The brush will do most of the work, but it’s essential to finish by combing thoroughly all the way down to the skin.

Like us, our poodle have hair, not fur. A shampoo formulated for hair is more appropriate than one formulated for fur. If you take your poodle to a groomer once a month, ask for a mild shampoo for your dog’s normal coat. If your dog has a dry coat, you can even ask for a oil treatment. In each case you can always follow the shampoo with a conditioner for a soft, tame, easy to comb coat.

Grooming your poodle at home by yourself is certainly possible. You can order specialty shampoos for different coat types from many different site, or simply buy a mild shampoo at your drug store. Don’t forget the conditioner! I bathe my dogs in my shower stall with a “telephone” type shower nozzle and handle. I use a grooming table to blow dry and clip my dogs, but for years I just used the floor!

There are many books on clipping and grooming as well as DVDs for purchase and videos on Utube.  My advice is to start with the best pair of scissors, clippers and set of trimming combs that you can afford, and a very simple cut. Don’t fear making mistakes for you will learn from each one, and the hair grows back quickly. Then have fun. For me, one of the best parts of grooming your own poodle is the many different cuts and looks you can give them! But every good cut begins with a well combed, tangle free Poodle.

 

Poppy still hates the rides in the car, but she no longer gets sick! She used to get a little nauseated during our trips, but just opening the window a bit seems to have cured that.  Now she lays quietly in the car. I can’t say she’s loving it, but it no longer upsets her. If your puppy gets car sick, and this is quite common, start with very short trips only about 5 minutes long. That will usually not give your puppy enough time to get sick. Do this every day if possible, lengthening the outings by 2 or 3 minutes each time. Make sure your destination is pleasant: a walk in the park, at the beach or just in the neighborhood. If weather permits, leave a window open about 2 – 3 inches. Fresh air in the face will do wonders.