Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


GG models her own tee shirt for the pupperotzi cam.
Hmm.... what can this mean?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And A Good Time Was Had By All!

PetsMart was busy! Our friends Guinness and Maizie were there, and so was a little white dog named Stella that looks alot like our up-North pal Popie. GG met some puppies and some dogs that are smaller than she is and she did great! She met a few new hoomans, too, and made friends with them. We walked past the birds, the reptiles and the hamster habitats and GG didn't turn a hair at any of them. But when we went past the cats, it was a different story. WHEW! GG gave the cats some unwanted attenshun that Mom had to put a stop to because the cats didunt appreciate it.

Then we went to the grooming salon and GG got her nails done and I got lots of treats from the trainers 'cause they hadn't seen me in awhile. Mom said GG was a perfect lady in the salon. Here are some pickshures of our trip. Mom says we will go back again next weekend so that GG can meet more people and dogs. 

It was alotta fun today and we both slept alla way home but we can't wait to do it AGAIN!

pedicure in progress. See how good GG was?

meeting a Popie puppy

all tuckered out!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


TODAY we are going on ANAVENTURE! 

Me and Mom and Dad and GG are going to the pet supply store. It will be GG's first time there. She is going to get her toenails dremeled down. That ought to be fun! I can't wait to see what GG thinks about the dremel!

GG contemplates the definition of "dremel"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Explanation

Y'all know that I, Mom of Hooligans, am a retired (mostly) dog trainer. Along with our Jack, I taught basic obedience and Therapy and Service Dogs. And y'all know that sometimes people write me with training questions. Also, my husband I do Airedale Rescue Volunteering as well as rescue of other four legged Hooligans besides Airedales. That means that we are always looking for ways to pay for extra vet bills for fosters, gas money for transport, and other things that lucky dogs need when they are rescued.

Recently, we've had alot of communications from people who want to know what kind of dog toys to buy, what books to read and things like that. We generally buy most of our books and supplies through online shopping. And we thought, this might be a nice way to raise a little money for our Rescue work. SO... deep breath here because I don't want to offend anyone....

At the bottom of our howlinghooligan blog there is now something called an "astore" ( store) that will show you book titles and dog accessories and supplies that we use for our own dogs. If you decide to buy one of these items and click through our link to do it, we will make a few dollars here and there that will add up to pay for things that our rescue work needs in order to continue.

Everything in The Happy Hooligan astore has been tested and approved either by the humans at Hooligan House or by the dogs. We hope you don't mind this commercial message.



On Feb 16th, the Howling Hooligan sent out an announcement that GG was ready for adoption. Less than 12 hours later, we received this response:

My husband and I have been loving the stories on GG’s fast progress and patiently waiting for her to be ready for adoption. We would love to adopt Miss GG. We live in Texas and have a female Airedale and two children ages 12 and 10. Please let me know what steps we need to take in order to get this ball rollin’ so Miss GG can come live in her forever home with us.

Since then, Hooligan House has been in a frenzy of excitement. Phone calls and emails and digital photos have flown back and forth across the miles. Airedale Rescue in Texas is helping coordinate the adoption application. The veterinarian references and personal references have checked out as GREAT.

The home visit is scheduled for this weekend. And, while all this was going on, we got 3 more applications to adopt GG! One family is in Florida and one is in Louisiana and one is in Alabama. Those apps are also being followed up and home visits are being scheduled for them. We don't know for sure who will be approved to adopt GG yet, and although there can be only one forever home for her, the other applicants will have good things to look forward to. They will go on a waiting list for Airedales that come to us in the future, or they may be matched up with an Airedale who is waiting for love in a neighboring state.

The very most exciting thing is that all these applications are from people we have never met but who are following our blog. There’s no way for us to know how many followers we actually have, but we appreciate all and every one of you so much! You have forwarded the blog stories to your friends and families and you have made a joyful difference in GG’s life. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sissy is at THE VET today!

Sissy has an ouchie: an abcessed tooth. She is at the vet's office today and Dad will pick her up in a little while. The office closes at noon on Wednesdays and Dad doesn't get off work until 4:30 today, but it's okay.You know you live in a small town when the vet calls your Dad and says, "Sissy will be outside in a locked kennel. I will leave the key to the kennel and a bottle of antibiotics under the mop bucket at the back door."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Dear Mom of Hooligans,

I just adopted a three year old Weimaraner named Rocky. He's sweet and affectionate and I love him to death but he doesn't walk well on a leash. He almost pulls my arm out of the socket. What kind of leash should I get for Rocky? My sister has a retractable leash for her beagle mix.

Congratulations on adopting a great Hooligan! Even his name says "Hooligan"! I foresee alot of happy challenges in your future. As to leashes aka training leads, the one I swear by is a six-way leather leash that has been used in European schutzhund dog training for many, many years. You can use it several ways, but what I like most about it is this: It fits across your upper torso and attaches to the dog's collar. This will keep Rocky beside you so that he has no option but to walk at your heel, with you giving him an appropriate treat reward every so often. Plus, it will leave your hands free. I bought my leads many years ago at a dog show, but I believe you can order these from Just be sure to get one that is leather and is six feet long.

I never recommend retractable leashes for any dog. NEVER. EVER. Don't buy one. I have seen too many owners use these the wrong way and just let their dogs wander wherever they want to, as far away as they want to. It allows the dog the opportunity to annoy other people and other dogs and it also can cause horrid injuries to dogs. The retractable leash is in fact like a wire that can get wrapped around a dog's leg and slice it like a knife. It can do the same thing to human flesh. Big dogs can break a retractable leash with no problem at all, just snapping it like a string of thread. Stay with a strong, six foot leash like the 6-way lead I mentioned above. It's safer and it's reliable.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dad's Holey Hankie


THiS iss MAGGIE! I FyNULLy goT to comPOOTER all By Myseff aND noBuddy iss wATCHING!

Yesterday ouryard was soaken wet beecoss of rainrainrain alladale long. We cooddint play out there for long. Well DUKE and BUDDY ddnt want to play out there for long.
I wass liken that rain, me. But they wanted to get outta rain so we came bak inna houss and wass habben a borren ole morning until me and Duke got the grate idea to tteach Bud how to do the Airedance.

Only Mom says Airedances don’t beelong inna houss and she fusssd and made uss stoppit.

Then we deesided to snoop around in the dog den to see if there wass anny spilt food on the floor. There wassent so I went counter surfing and I got inta trubble for that too.

IN a few minnutts Buddy saw sumthen red on toppa da kitchen tabble. He dossent like red and he goess after it every time. Whitch he did again it wass a red dish towel and he pulled it down and it was sittingg under a pan and when Buddy yanked the red towell it made the pan come down too and it clanged and banged and Mom jumped and yelled and blamed ME for it becoss I had just been counter surfen a few sekunds before when she looked through the door. 

She put me in TIME out and DUKe hadda come too even thow he wassent even inna kitchen when it happenned. Dales get blamed for EVERYTHING around here.  I think Duke told yhall one time that the hoomans think Buddy issa little PRINCE!

Here iss a exsample. Buddy even went and foun one of Dad’s clean hankees in the laundry basket. He picked it up and rann inta the den with it and tried to get Dad to play tug. Dad just said, no Buddy, all my handkerchiefs have holes in them from your teeth and the people at the office make fun of me. He took the handkerchief away from Buddy and that was all that happened! Buddy laid down at Dad’s feet like a real good boy. GRRR.

After awhile the little prince got bored and wannedd us to play with him. He play bowed and wagged and finully began jumpping at us. He iss like a bowling ball when he jumps on us. I think Mom tole you that once, too.
Affter Buddy bowled into me a couple of time, and made me grrrowl he started in afta Duke. Duke doesn’t play bowling and he stood up and gave Buddy whut for which of course got us in trubble all over again. Then me and Duke looked at each other and got the best idea of all.

It wass still raining outside but you know when a dog hass to go, a dog hass to go. Me and Duke ran to the door and barked and of course here comess Buddy too. He ran right up between us and bowled us away from the door. But we didunt snap at hm this time. Dad came over and opened the door so the DOGS could go outside to take care of their bidness. When the door opened, Buddy almost broke a leg running outside into the storm ahead of me and DUKE. He just hass to be first, in everyTHING.

BUDDY ran out into the storm and me and DUKE just sat down. And grinned at each other. And stayed dry. GOTCHA!

The Dale who AAARRROOOs last, AAARRROOOOs best!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Our Jack is probably close to 14 years in human age. He's been with us since 2002 and was an adult when we adopted him. He's a little slow getting up, and very slow walking... unless there's a strange dog on the other side of the gates and then Jack finds enough energy and agility to put up an impressive vocal and threatening performance. But most of the time, he just meanders through his golden days and we all try to anticipate his needs so that he stays comfortable.

One of the things that's going on as Jack ages, is that it's difficult for him to make up his mind what a command means. Or possibly, he's just thinking that he's old enough to make his own decisions now and has earned the right to decide when to come inside from the yard. Often when my  husband or I open the front door and invite the dogs back inside the house, Jack will wobble to his feet and then stand there for several minutes looking at us while he ponders the situation.

This morning, while the dogs were outside, a heavy rain started to fall. DH went to the door to call the dogs and get them inside before they got drenched. Everyone except Jack came running in out of the rain. Jack slowly, agonizingly lurched up on his back legs, managed to stand up, took a couple of steps forward and then stopped. He either wasn't sure what to do or wasn't sure he wanted to do it. DH called to him a couple of times while GG stood in the doorway and watched. The rain started falling harder and Jack still stood there. 

Finally, GG ran back outside into the rain and went over to stand beside Jack.She pressed up against him, then walked with him over to a bush where he lifted his leg. When he was finished, GG escorted Jack to the front porch and up the steps and into the house. Now he is snoozing on his orthopedic bed in the master bedroom, while GG lies just outside the door. 

Great story, huh? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

She's Ready for Adoption!

GG is ready to find her forever family!

Here's what you need to know about her: My best guess at her age is around 2 to 2 and a half. She is leash, crate and house trained. I have her on a feeding schedule which basically keeps her elimination times very routine. She is still nervous about sudden noises and movements, but she recovers quickly. She loves other dogs and she loves our grandchildren (boy and girl ages 9 and 11). I do not know how she is around cats. I recommend that she goes to an Airedale experienced home with one other dog. 

Please share this post with people who might be interested in adopting GG. To start the adoption process, read GG's story and/or donate to Alabama Airedale Rescue visit the following site:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pack Integration

At Hooligan House, we believe in creating positive relationships between dogs and humans, one relationship at a time. You won’t see this technique on television, but we have tremendous success with it.

GG was afraid of everything and everyone when she first came to us. She had to be helped into a car and picked up and carried out of it. Her tail was constantly tucked tightly under her belly and she walked crouched down low to the floor. She wouldn’t eat her dinner or do her business if anyone was watching her. She shivered when she was touched and she wouldn’t look directly at other dogs.

We kept her away from our dogs for several days. We spent time showing GG that human touch is a good thing, and that every time we say her name it means that something nice is about to happen. Soon she would walk to us as soon as we said her name, and she learned that coming to us meant she would get a bacon-flavored treat. After about 6 days, when she had learned to trust us, we introduced GG to Jack.

He’s thirteen years old, a retired therapy dog that used to help me teach puppy obedience classes. He welcomed GG and then basically ignored her. He was courteous but not boisterous, and she learned that he wouldn’t run and play with her, but was a pleasant companion.

Two days ago, we brought Sissy outside to meet GG. Jack and GG had been hanging out for a few minutes beforehand, and when Sissy came out, she just walked up to GG, sniffed her, and that was that. They played chase for a few minutes, drank water together out of the bowl, and did a perimeter patrol together.

Last night we fed Sissy, Jack and GG at the same time. Their bowls were placed so that GG’s bowl was approximately six feet away from each of the others. In the following photos, you’ll see that Sissy’s and Jack’s tails are up while GG’s tail is still tucked. That’s a good signal for her to be sending at meal time. By tucking her tail when she’s eating, GG is telling the other two that although she is concentrating on her own bowl, she isn't taking ownership of it and she isn’t thinking about their food.

Sissy and GG

GG and Jack

In a few days, GG’s tail will go up while she eats. At the moment that occurs, she’ll be telling Jack and Sissy that she’s confident they aren’t presenting a threat to her food. All three of them will finish their dinners and then they’ll swap bowls to see if there are leftovers their pals may have overlooked. Bowl swapping after eating is a dog community thing. When it happens, GG will be positively integrated into a pack with Jack and Sissy.

While this is happening, we’ll introduce her to some other carefully chosen well-mannered dogs. This way GG will learn that it’s fun to be friendly with dogs outside your pack. It’s all about relationship. GG is learning how to build positive relationships and she is developing good meeting and greeting skills to help her in the future.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Teaching An Adopted Dog to "Sit"

Dogs that have been living on the street or in a pound facility are not usually relaxed or trusting enough to sit and lie down in front of strangers, whether those strangers are human or other canines. Depending on the dog's mental state, clicker training (where you see the behavior and click to reinforce it) can be an effective way to train the sit command. If you have a newly adopted dog that is fearful and jumps at every sound or movement, however, you'll need a different method.

Terriers frequently require different training techniques than other dogs, but what I'm about to suggest will work for any dog. This is how we are training GG, our foster Airedale, to sit.

The easiest and quickest way to teach "sit" is to let your adoptee see other dogs doing it for a reason. This is often called putting the behavior in context. The best reason for a dog to sit is so that he can receive a treat. If you have another dog that already knows the sit command, you won’t have a problem teaching it to the new dog in your family. If you don’t have another dog, find someone at a local park who does (*not a dog park!) or get a friend who does have such a savvy dog to help you. And take a training partner with you who can hold your dog’s leash while you are working with the other dog.

You’ll be using treats and hotdog wieners are great for this project. Space the dogs about eight feet from each other so there won’t be any difficulty with treat possessiveness. Have your partner hold your dog’s leash. Then give each dog a small piece of the treat without asking either one to work for the reward. The next time, go to the other dog and tell her “SIT!” When she does, give her a treat and praise her with “Good SIT!” Be sure to put the emphasis on the command.

Repeat this three or four times. Then return to your own dog and let him see and smell a treat in your hand. Do not say anything. Just hold the treat out where your dog can see it and wait patiently for the canine light bulb equivalent to turn on in his head. If that doesn’t happen within a couple of minutes, go back to the trained dog and repeat the Sit exercise with her. Then return to your own dog and try it again. This technique works fairly quickly because hotdog wieners are a smelly, moist, tasty incentive. When your dog does give you his first Sit for a treat, praise him in a quiet voice. The second time he does it, praise in a louder voice. The third time he does it, praise him as though he just walked on the moon.

Now that your dog has the basic understanding of the command being communicated to him, practice “SIT” in every room of the house. It’s important for Fideaux to understand that "sit" means sit no matter where you say it.

* Save the dog park experience for the time when your dog is completely successful with his basic obedience skills. He'll be more confident and less likely to be reactive if a negative situation arises.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Update on GG's Training

Hi to all our Friends!

Things have been very busy at Hooligan House. GG and Jack and Duke are getting along very well together and GG has been proclaimed "officially potty trained"!  HURRAH! The tether technique does work, if you work it. And we did, 24/7 until a couple of days ago when she started showing us that she wanted and needed to go outside to do her business.

While we were working on that Very Important Problem, we also began training GG to "come" to us on command. That's a little trickier to teach an adult rescue dog than it is a puppy.

Puppies come to humans out of curiosity and playfulness, so they are easy to teach. The best way to get an adult dog to come to you is to gain that dog’s trust. And you can’t do that by barking commands and raising the household stress level. Instead, each and every time the dog is near you, reach over and scratch behind her ears or gently scruffle her chest while you repeat her name a few times. Offer her treats and say her name while she is eating them. After a few days of this, when she hears you say her name she is going to perk up and look at you. A couple of days later, she’s going to come to you when you say her name. The first time that happens, pet her gently and say the word, “Come” in a happy voice. Continue working with your dog this way and she’ll learn the come command without even realizing she is being trained.

GG now turns and looks at us expectantly when we call her name and then comes trotting over to us to have her ears scruffled and receive a treat. She even does it off-leash, while playing in our fenced yard. We vary the reward so that sometimes she gets a tasty treat and sometimes she gets a backscratch. She enjoys both equally, so we are checking the "come" command off our list. Good GRRLL, GG!

In other news, Duke has weathered the first thunderstorm since his new crate arrived. He did very well, and we didn't find any evidence of physical trauma in the dog den. Of course, he and GG were howling and crying to get to each other when I got home from the office that day, but that's not a sign that anything was wrong. It's just how Hooligans roll.