Archive | August, 2013

Our contest? Well we have our first loser and we mean that in every sense of the word

10 Aug

We may have mentioned before that we’re internet dog group joiners. If there’s a dog group, we’re probably a part of it. If it’s a discussion board? Heck yes! We’re there.

A totally accurate representation of our Facebook friends.

Most of the time these are good places with good people who really just want to help others and maybe pick up some tricks for themselves along the way. You can find really great advice, tips, tricks, deals, steals and recommendations for trainers, products, clubs etc that can be difficult to acquire on your own without spending a small fortune (Or a large one).

Probably immoral, but genius

There are however pitfalls of these groups, the first and foremost being of course, being sucked into petty arguments over absolutely anything under the sun.

“I don’t care if they’re synonyms! Put down your book of words and blindly follow what I say you *bleep blurp bleep* monkey fister *bleep* scallywag *blurp bleep bloop* atomic Communist!”

These arguments are in a phrase, annoying as shit.

Yes Agnes, they’re really damn annoying.

Really it’s our general annoyance that caused us to make our ‘Don’t be an Asshat’ trick training contest but sometimes, and not as rarely as we would hope, someone goes ahead and pushes an argument to such an extreme it surprises even our cynical little hearts.

We also root for the sun.

Without revealing all the details, after a “Pointless Methodology Argument (TM)“* someone involved in the discussion explained that she had in fact been to <trainer under discussion>. The next day she awoke to a message from someone she inexplicably enraged who wished death upon her dogs… yes you read that correctly.

Our reactions exactly.

This group in general is prone to some melodrama and usually that’s just mildly entertaining/slightly annoying but really? We may be ridiculous bitches, but we don’t make that shit personal. If you make it personal, you’re an asshat.

Yes creepy Facebook jerk. You are an asshat.

You’re basically a leisure suit made out of cravats, Hammer pants and bad life choices.

Whoever did or does that kind of thing really needs to take a minute, pause and reflect on their actions. Personally speaking, there have been some great dogs lost this month. Wishing that kind of pain on anyone is just plain cruel. We’re so incredibly unimpressed.

Great Job.

Think before you hit enter. Karma is a bigger bitch than we are.

JJ

*The more refined yet still annoying sister of the Pointless Internet Argument.

Dog Economics: a.k.a. Why I need to delay painting my cardboard box until next summer.

9 Aug

It may surprise you to learn this but things do in fact cost money.

I know Don. We were confused too.

Some things that cost a weird amount of money? Dogs. Even that free puppy* from a fellow Dog Snob will still cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars in the long run or if you’re unlucky, in the short run too.

“They see me rollin’. They hatin'”

You may think you’ve budgeted for dog basics (food, routine vet care, etc), but in case you didn’t know, shit happens.  And in the dog world, shit happening is usually quite expensive.

We’ll need to repeat the calm part.

Have a dog with absurd allergies (we’re looking at you Mr. T), prepare to spend way more than you ever thought buying organic goat meat for raw feeding.

Braced!

Have a dog with behavior problems? Better save up for that behaviorist, which have initial consultations often starting around $200.

First question: Is the head spinning all the way around normal? Second: will he just grow out of it?

Feel like taking a fun class with your dog?  Get out your credit card.

One more class and sloth is going to need to make some room.

Want to compete? Pfft.

We don’t go to compete…

Does your dog have a touchy stomach?  Prepare to sell your first born child to the vet to cover your bills.

The budget will never be that tight… maybe.

Oh yeah, and if you live in a major city?   Be prepared to pay even more for basic services than your friends in small towns.

She got me throwin’ my money around.

According to a few sites we found, including this one, the average amount spent on dogs yearly is between $580 to $875.  Um…what?  Did they mean per month? Every three months?  No?  Well then… we feel silly.  The only way this makes sense to us is that there are a whole lot of “zeros” averaged in there to skew the average.  The three of us only wish that our yearly average was anywhere in that range.

All of it… on your dog. Do it now.

Back to that competition thing and our noises of derision…Want to compete with your dogs?  Oh dear. Better take out a loan.Conformation is it’s own little realm of poor long-term financial decisions. Chalk is surprisingly expensive, after-all kids..

Is it really cheating if everyone does it?

But… let’s take a look at Obedience because it’s something we know a bit about. We’ll start with the absolute basics for the average novice competitor for a year (or something like that because we’re not all that scientific. Fang did most of these estimates, is painfully cheap and in a cheap area so Busybee nearly had a stroke reading the prices)

Dog: We’re going to assume the dogs are bionic, indestructible and able to survive without food.

Probably the cheapest pet you’ll ever have.

Classes: $80 per 8 weeks. 6 Sessions a year (48/52 weeks approx) so $480 per year for the minor-keener. If you want to train with an expensive trainer or you live in ‘not the sticks’ it goes into price brackets we don’t like to think about (and that BusyBee would rather not talk about because it might make her wallet weep more than it already does).

They can shake in the corner from trauma though. Documented fact.

Floor Time: Live somewhere with shitty weather? We do! So the indoor space with actual floors is a godsend, but it’s not a free godsend. $3 if you’re willing to share but if you want the whole space, $20 an hour.

You’d think it would be this special but it’s not.

Training Equipment: Think your old collar will work? Ha! We could tell you’re new! $350 in a year seems like a lot until you begin to add things up. Utility articles, dumbbells (Try 3 when the first two don’t fit), leashes, collars, tugs, balls, long-lines, crates**, treats, PVC (The miracle plastic) and the list goes on. This isn’t even including anything special. We’re talking bare bones basics here. The good news is, it’s all reusable… at least until you have a dog of a different size…. *sigh*

A metric fuck-ton of stuff. Not to be confused with a fuck-ton which is about 204 fucks less.

Trialing: Entry fees start at $20, if you’re in a cheap area. Averages in other areas are in the $22-28 range. Gas, lodging, food, parking (Conformation shows charge for parking and it’s never cheap.), emergency fund that is inevitably spent in concessions at any large trial. There are also those optional titling classes which are oh so tempting to add to our alphabets, and the Wildcard classes where you can train in the ring (sort of, not really, don’t shoot me.).

That’s one way to enter all the classes. Cloning!

Miscellaneous: Rule books, books in general, notebooks, seminars, videos, mental acuity training (Don’t laugh it’s real), Fun Days, Show-and-go’s, Match Shows, Buddy Training, Petco because when you train in their stores they’ll give you dirty looks if you don’t buy *something*.

And the kitchen sink… in case you didn’t get that by the picture.

For a dog to finish a UD (Essentially the last of the basic stream obedience titles as the rest require multiple classes to qualify for), it must be shown at least 9 times with qualifying scores. That’s 9 times where nothing goes wrong enough to have issues. Assuming the trial is literally down the road, you have a perfect run and you never need to spend money a CD to a UD has an opening price range of $200-300. Utility is called Futility for a reason. Some people can do it in 9. Most people do it in many many more.

But at least the bar has been set a little lower

UDX requires qualifying in two classes in a single trial, 10 separate times. The nice part is they charge you a little bit less for two classes. It’s still $30+ but it’s better than $50. A single UDX is therefore about another $300.

OM/OGM/OTCh titles increase those numbers exponentially and we do mean exponentially.

Depressed yet? We are! And they say obedience competitors are cheap…

Fake it ’til you make it.

On the bright side you can sometimes win money, assuming you’re the best that day. If you’re lucky your entry fee is covered. If you’re not lucky, you get a handmade piece of braided polar fleece to be destroyed in under 38 seconds. Why do we do this again?

Excelsior!

So what is the moral of the story?  Dogs are expensive.  Doing things with your dogs is even more expensive.  Why aren’t they allowed to be claimed as dependents on tax forms??

We could get behind a drool-tax ‘cuz that’s just gross.

*Potnoodle’s got foster puppies and somehow Fang may wind up with one. Because four dogs aren’t enough apparently.

**Fang has two of the Noz2Noz crates which are lovely and great and Z has destroyed both and the cheap emergency replacement. She now goes everywhere in the metal pet crate. She is why we can’t have nice things.

But that blue one is a destroyed crate and the idiot sticking out is Z.

How To Avoid Being a Dog Snobs Blog Topic aka Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Ownership

7 Aug

Want to be a decent dog owner?  Or at least not be “that asshole” that all other dog owners hate and vent about on our blog?  Great.  We’ve created a handy-dandy list of do and don’ts.  We like lists.  And Indian food.

Do’s

1.   Learn basic dog body language

While we are glad our dogs can’t actually speak (can you imagine the secrets they would spill?!), their body language does a pretty good job of indicating how they are feeling.  Do yourself a favor and do some research. A little Wikipedia goes a long way.

2.  Know your dog

Related to “Do #1, please don’t be that dog owner who is in “in denial” about their dog.  Some dogs do not like other dogs, some dogs don’t get along well with children, some dogs hate men, and so on.  Knowing your dog and its limitations is key to avoiding potentially dangerous situations.  We understand that everyone wants to think that their dog is perfect, but we actually have a lot more respect for people who acknowledge their dogs’ limitations than those individuals who insist their dog doesn’t have any.

Not just a river in Egypt

2b. Knowing your dog isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. The number of times we hear ‘He’s a rescue’ or ‘She’s just a puppy (at 7 years of age)’ as an excuse for bad behavior is downright shocking. We acknowledge that many dogs have issues, but not working on those issues is frankly lazy and doing an incredible disservice to the dog. Not every dog has to go to the dog park, but they should, even as a long-term goal, be able to work to the point of not attempting to murder every Shih Tzu or postman in their path.  If it’s a problem, work to fix it.  if it’s not a problem, don’t worry too much about it. Simple? Yes.

3.    Always pick up dog poop

No one wants to step in it, or look at it, or stand near it.  Not even other dog owners.  Don’t be a jackwagon.  If you can’t deal with dog poo, don’t get a dog.

Natalie Dee, we love you.

4.   Train your damn dog

Training is what you make of it. Your idea of training and ours may differ, but some things are universal. If your dog jumps on me, steals my lunch, and calls me a bitch while you merely stand there in slack-jawed idiocy, you’re an ass.

Kisses!

5. Take care of your dog

Dogs are high maintenance creatures. There is more to it than food, water and shelter. It can feel overwhelming at points, but there are some necessities that you cannot get away from. If your dog needs to be groomed, either groom it yourself or pay someone who knows what the shit they’re doing. Your dog have pus falling out of its face? Take it to a vet. Is your Chi 48 pounds? Get it some exercise. It’s not rocket science, but it is practical to learn what’s panic-worthy and what’s shrug-worthy.

Fat is not a goal; it’s a journey.

6. Be Courteous

We may be bitches but we’re polite bitches. Being nasty to newbies, strangers and fellow dog-enthusiasts, while occasionally called for, is rarely going to pay off in the long run. Discretion may not be the better part of valor, but it will keep you from getting the stink-eye from the hundreds of other dog owners entirely unimpressed by your assitude.

Exactly

7. Lead by example

If you’ve procreated, please teach your children these rules. Here at the Dog Snobs, all our dogs love kids (similarly sized, sticky, and prone to dropping food -what’s not to love?) but not all dogs do and that’s something to be respected.

Hmmmm...

Hmmmm…

Don’ts

1. Let your dog invade another person or dog’s bubble.  

You know how we feel about this

2.  Molest another person’s dog without permission

Try to alpha roll our dogs, correct them, or feed them that cooked chicken bone because you heard bones are good for dogs, and you will get bitten.  Not by our dogs, but by us.

We like cake almost as much as we like our dogs.

3. Be a know-it-all

It’s okay not to know the answer. Insisting your way is the one, the true, and the light (especially if it’s your first dog) will illicit a lot of eye-rolling and shaking heads. You’re one different dog away from being proven wrong. Keep that in mind the next time you’re slamming someone who disagrees with you.

4. Believe everything you read

There is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Harnesses are bad! Harnesses are good! Kibble is the devil! Raw Feeding gives dogs food poisoning and kills titwillows! Use some sense, critical thinking, and a coin to pick what advice you follow or don’t. We don’t pretend to know-it-all (Know-it-most, sure, but all is a stretch) and we still learn new things from just being around our own dogs as well as dog-people.

5. Take it personally

Someone is always going to call you an asshole. In some cases, those someones may be us, but really we don’t know you, likely never will, and really despite it all, we’re not all that invested in your life. It’s not you, it’s us.

Fine. Maybe, it’s you.

 

**What did we miss?  Anyone want to confess to breaking one of our rules?  Share below!**