Frequently Asked Questions
We've received a few of questions in our guestbook (and in person) and would love to address them. This is the place we'll do so, so if you have something you would like to know, please feel free to ask! We'll try to address most questions we get, and we do check in frequently.
FIRST OF ALL: We want to thank you so much for dropping by and leaving so many thoughtful comments for Parker. It means so much to our entire family that you take the time to leave us a note. It's obvious to US that Parker is a wonderful gift, so to have confirmation from all of you is especially wonderful. So thanks!
Please let me know when you add to the site.
First of all, thank you for coming in the first place! We've added a Subscribe! link so you can sign up to be notified when we update. While we would love to send out alerts every single time we add things to the site, we don't always do so as it might annoy people... because.... we always have things add! We'll try to limit our email alerts to once a week at the most, but feel free to check back often because we might add a few surprises here and there without spamming your inbox and causing a jam!
How did you train Parker?
We use a "positive reinforcement" training method, which simply means that we reward desirable behaviors (praise, cookies, tennis balls or favorite toys) and use "management techniques" and the withdrawal of attention to prevent behaviors we don’t want. One of the greatest things you can do with your dog is sign up for an obedience class. We've had years and years of experience with dogs, and it's amazing what you will learn by taking a course to understand animal behavior. It's also a great way to bond with your dog or puppy.
There are classes available in most cities, and it's important to check them out to see their techniques before signing up. If they show compassion in their training methods and lots of praise, it's probably a good place to go.
What treat do you reward him with?
You can purchase training treats in most stores. They are about the size of a dime and great for rewards. It also allows you to reward your dog more often without worrying about overfeeding. The training treats we use are a combination of small training treats, as well as Solid Gold Lamb Jerkey and string cheese. While Parker will work for minimum wage (dry training treats), the token treats are the lamb jerky and the cheese -- he goes crazy for them!
What do feed Parker & Reser?
Parker & Reser are both on Nature's Variety Prairie Kibble -- Chicken Meal & Brown Rice. It's also for all life stages.
How do you make their doggy cakes?
Here's a favorite recipe (we have many):
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
Mix flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8" round cake pan and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let cool. For icing, you may puree cottage cheese in blender, or we used peanut butter, which gives that highly-amusing peanut-butter-effect! ;)
How can my dog be a therapy animal?
First we recommend trying to get your Canine Good Citizen: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/index.cfm
If you and your dog are successful, there are a number of animal assisted therapy organizations out there. Parker is registered with Pet Partners. There are quite a few others you may want to look into (this is not a complete list):
Love On A Leash
Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society)
Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TD Inc.)
Therapy Dogs International (TDI)
How often and how long do you brush Parker and Reser? and How much and how often do they shed?
Well, we try to brush them once a day. It's best to keep up with it rather than have a huge project once a month. Goldens are big, big shedders. BIG!
I am saving up my allowance for a golden of my own. Is a female better or a male, or are they just both the same?
The first thing I'll say is that having one dog is a lot of work. Having TWO is even more work! And it's more than just the "start-up" cost. It's maintenance, dealing with unexpected emergencies, vet bills, etc. With that being said (I could go on and on), regarding males or females... it really is personal preference. Of course is would vary by genetics and what traits gets passed down to each litter, which is one reason to really do your research when looking for a golden. One major difference between males and females -- females are "Love me! Love me! Love me!" and males tend to be "I love YOU!" We've heard this description many, many times, and it does seem to ring true. Of course, each dog's personality is different so.....
How do you choose your breeder?
We always support rescue! If you can, please always look into rescuing a dog in need of a forever home. If you are specifically looking for a puppy, there is nothing wrong with going to a responsible breeder. Stay away from backyard breeders!!
One great way to find a good breeder is to go to a dog show in your area. They'll show all types of breeds at big dog shows. Talk to the handlers. Many breeders will be there. Some things you should look for once you find some potential candidates: look at the pedigrees. You want to avoid any inbreeding. Check the health records. Have the parents' eyes, hips, etc. been checked? We sometimes look at titles of the dogs; are they Champions, etc? One thing you want to do no matter what: talk to the breeder and tell them exactly what kind of dog you want. If you want a dog who will run with you, be active, play with you, be your sidekick -- tell them that! If you are looking for a dog who won't be hyperactive, TELL THEM! I cannot stress this enough. Most good breeders will be able to help you find a good match.
*It is also important to note that your dog will NOT come trained. If you want your dog to know basic obedience (and let's face it, you do) it comes with a lot of hard work and dedication. It's not as simple as handing him over to someone who can train your dog for you either. Part of what will make your dog amazing is if you spend time with him, bond with him, learn how to teach your dog and understand their language. Imagine visiting another country where you don't speak the language and you are just trying to exist. It will take work to learn how to get around and if you don't try, it's easy to get frustrated and give up. Your dog doesn't speak your language. The whole idea behind training is to find those instances where you CAN communicate with your dog. Your dog wants to know what you want out of him. He wants to please YOU, and that means you will need to learn how to communicate with your dog and learn how to properly train him. The main point I'm trying to get across -- please know what you are getting into when you decide you want a dog. It's not easy. It's a commitment. It's not cheap. BUT if you do things right, it's soooooo worth it!!!
How did you train Parker?
This is a loaded question. It's kind of a long, drawn out answer. The first thing to remember is to make the experience a positive one. Be patient; the dog will not get it right away. Reward, reward, reward! Be consistent. Keep the training periods somewhat short; you do not want your dog or puppy to get burned out. We ALWAYS suggest taking your dog to class.. we happen to take Parker to Pup-A-Razzi and he LOVES it there. Training should be fun and the dog should enjoy it. If he's not, you won't get very far. If you have specific things you are looking to learn how to train, feel free to drop me a line and I am always more than happy to try to help, or find out for ya! :)
*Please note that while we LOVE people to sign the guestbook, it can sometimes be difficult to reply to you in that format, especially if you are looking for a reply. Please always feel free to use the Contact link! We do our best to answer any emails we get.