Friday, May 30, 2014

Conor Takes the Cake!!!

Written by Conor fka CP Hubble

Conor fka CP Hubble has a new Favorite toy!

Well, Hello There!  Conor here, though you probably remember me as CP Hubble – yes the one who hopped over the fence in the deep snow (That was fun! He-he-he-he!) and made my Foster Mom think I got “lost” for a bit.   I knew where I was, so I wasn’t really lost - I just wanted to see what it would be like, living in a different home, that’s all.  Well, I can tell you now: there’s no more fence hopping in my future!  I’ve found the most Perfect Forever Home and the most Wonderful Forever Dad so I’m putting down roots right here!

Conor has had a smile on his face…
…since he first looked into Dad’s eyes!

My Dad and I live near a college campus and we love to go there for walks and to meet all kinds of people - and get fussed over by all the college kids!  I also made friends with the security officers at the college.  They usually come out of their office when they see us walking on their monitors, but if they don’t show up, I go to their office door to see where they are.

Conor and Dad give Day Care a try…
…and it turns out to be Fun!

Dad took me to try out a place called “DayCare” so I could meet and play with some new dog friends.  It was lots of fun!!! We had a game of “Bobbing for Hotdogs”, and we had a birthday party for one of the dogs, and I made good friends with a Beagle!  I made friends pretty easily with other dogs, but they kept reminding me to “curb my excitement” - whatever that means!  Dad liked looking at the pictures they took while I was there, and he said we can go back again every week!  I hope my Beagle friend comes back too!

Dad was very impressed when I showed him my super prey drive and Spiderman skills.  I literally climbed up the bark of an oak tree in pursuit of a squirrel!  Dad had me on the leash so I didn’t get very far, but far enough to show Dad my true Cairnacity!  He had never had a Cairn climb a tree before, so I was glad to give him a good demonstration!

Those Canadian Geese are another story, however. I kept watching them carefully while they were grazing on the athletic fields, and I decided they were making too much of a mess.  The next time there was a large group of geese, I took action!  I used my deep bark and stood on my hind legs and barked at them.  That did the trick!  The geese took off and I felt so full of power!  Of course, when they flew above us, they let loose a fleet-load of goose-poop and I was completely astonished!  I never saw anything like it, falling out of the sky!  Thankfully, none of it hit me, but my Dad wasn’t quite so lucky…  Well, now I start looking for those nasty geese when we walk throughout the campus, and if they are flying above, I stand on my hind legs and give them a piece of my mind!  Dad wears a hat now, just in case…

Conor “flocks” Dad for a Birthday Surprise (note the hat!!)

On Dad’s birthday, I had him "flocked" at 6:30 A.M. when we went out for our walk – Surprise!!  I was pretty sure being greeted by 20 plastic flamingos was better than those old geese!  I even went crazy barking at them, and they did not make a mess.  It was a good surprise – better than cake!

My Dad says that I have a “wonderful personality” and that my behavior is great.  I think he likes that I’m so affectionate and love to sit on his lap while he’s reading or working on the computer.  I’m also very willing to go in my crate and have a little quiet time when Dad is busy.

Of course, Dad isn’t always on the ball…  One morning he had placed his bagel on the kitchen counter when the phone rang and he had to go in a different room to find the portable phone.  When he got back, the bagel was mysteriously gone.  He looked to see if he had put it into the toaster, but it was no where to be found.  Well, later that night, while Dad and I were sitting in the TV room, he noticed that I would disappear for a while and then come back with crumbs around my mouth…  Well, a thorough search revealed pieces of bagel tucked between couch pillows, under Dad’s bed pillow, in the back of my crate, and a few other strategic locations…  For some reason, Dad doesn’t leave food on the kitchen counter anymore when I’m around!

Dad hosted a big gathering over Easter with family and friends, and he worried about me being a bit overwhelmed, but it all worked out!  I went from person to person and jumped to give them kisses, and once I jumped into one person’s lap and sat with him for awhile.  I showed Dad that I was really a good boy!  There was that one time when I really wanted to take the stuffed bunny from that three year old, but I traded it pretty quickly for some new toys of my own.  Even when the three year old kept trying to pick me up (and then drop me!), I was very good and just figured out how to avoid her.  After everyone left, we were happy to get back into our routine!  We took our walk then I just jumped up on Dad’s lap and we both fell asleep in the recliner - A perfect way to end the day!

Thank you to all of the great Volunteers at Col. Potter who gave me a chance to be Happy Forever with the Greatest Dad in the World!

Read my CP Intake Story:

Weekly Pinteresting Picks

Irish Wolfhounds via Dawn Townsend

This week's "Pinteresting Picks" shows a variety of pins you'll find on CP's boards.   Just click on the links below to check out each pin.  Feel free to re-pin or share with others.  Just click on the red "Pin it" button right on the pin.  

Col. Potter now has over 2,900 followers on Pinterest!  If you aren't one of them, please check us out at:  and follow us on Pinterest!  CP has over 60 boards covering a variety of subjects from the useful, such as behavior and training, health and nutrition, and cool pet products, to just plain fun, like great pictures of all kinds of dogs - especially Cairns!

Happy Pinning!
Your CP Pinster

Friday's Funnies!

Off the Leash

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Creating a Meaningful Partnership with Your Dog

Teddy fka CP Sir Albert Found an Excellent Dance Partner!

"…Excellence is not always judged by external measures.  Hold tight to the excellence within your heart, for when it exists, free of ego and outside pressures, the joy of the dance itself shines through."    Suzanne Clothier

Dances With Dogs

The Dance of a Willing Partnership Between
Handler [or Owner] and Dog is a Joy

Linda Tellington-Jones uses a beautiful analogy to describe her approach to working with animals: she sees the interaction between human and animal as a dance.  For me, a good working relationship with any animal is like a wonderful dance - smooth, joyful and the result of two partners who clearly understand each other.

Of the two choices presented below, consider which "dancing partner" you would prefer.

Partner A has high hopes for you as a dancing partner.  As the music begins, you are not sure of what is expected, but you're willing to try.  You make a few mistakes, and begin to hesitate.  Your partner growls and roughly grabs your arm, telling you in an increasingly louder voice what you are supposed to do.  Your arm hurts, and you are beginning to be afraid.  You make more mistakes, and your partner becomes angry and frustrated.  You are desperately hoping for the music to stop.  When the dance finally ends, he stalks off, muttering about your stupidity.  You are upset, and not sure you want to dance again.

Partner B has high hopes for you as a dancing partner.  As the music begins, you are not sure of what's expected but you're willing to try.  You make a few mistakes, and begin to hesitate.  Ignoring the music, your partner slows down, and with a smile, explains the basic steps again.  He takes it very slow, until you've got it right.  He cheers your success, and shows you the next few steps.  Each time you succeed, your confidence soars.  By the time the music stops, you're eager to learn more, and look forward to your next dancing lessons.  Your partner is very pleased with your progress, and comments on what a bright student you are.

None of us would willingly choose Partner A.  But what makes Partner B so wonderful?  He knows the value of a willing partner, and is able to help you become a willing partner through the use of some basic techniques:

  • Recognizing your hesitation as confusion, not stupidity, stubbornness or defiance;

  • Being flexible as a trainer.  Although his initial goal might have been a flawless dance in perfect rhythm to the music, he sees that you are not yet up to that, so he changes his goal in order to help you learn;

  • "Chunking down" the steps for you so that it is easy for you to learn and succeed at each step;

  • Encouraging you by making it pleasant for you to work and learn.

These techniques are the hallmarks of any skilled trainer or teacher.  A willing dance partner is neither dominant nor submissive, but relaxed, confident, and able to follow a clear lead.  Within the dog-human relationship, the human usually takes the lead.  After all, he's the one who knows which dance is being danced, i.e., that the focus is on the tango and not the cha-cha. (Notable exceptions are tracking and Search & Rescue work, where a clear understanding of subtle signals and body language helps the human follow the dog's lead.)

The thrill of a great performance, whether by a horse and rider, a dog and handler, or two dance partners, is the unison of two into a smooth and effective team.  The dictionary defines teamwork as "work done by a number of associates, all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole."  This is achieved by clarity in communication, response to the subtlest of signals and a willing partnership.

There is no joy in dancing with a reluctant partner, or dancing at the command of an imperious partner.  While compromise is a necessary part of partnership, handlers should be very clear about the level of enjoyment expressed by their dog.  If you are looking for the utmost in willingness in any activity, your dog must enjoy the activity as much as you do.  Almost any dog can be trained to perform the basic mechanics of any exercise.  Joyful participation in an exercise comes from the dog's spirit, pride in his work, delight in showing what he knows.  And your enjoyment and excitement about an activity can be contagious.  If your dog does not naturally find an activity enjoyable, you must be willing to find a way to make it so, or accept the level of performance offered by a reluctant performer.

I find it incomprehensible when handlers complain about their dogs' performance (or lack thereof) while readily admitting that the dog hates the particular activity.  Invariably, the sentence ends with, "But I really want this title.  All I need is for the dog to do it three times successfully, and then I'll be happy."  Focused on a goal that is meaningless to the dog, the handler fails to understand that sometimes the greatest act of love is to let go of personal goals for the sake of the relationship.

Equally incomprehensible is the handler who willingly acknowledges that they lose their patience, or get easily frustrated, or choke under the pressure of competition, or tense up and stop breathing in the ring BUT are unwilling to do anything about it!  Critical to any partnership is the ability and willingness to work on yourself, outside of the demands of any activity or partnership.  This is particularly true in the dog/human partnership.

Whatever your individual issues may be, if they are negatively affecting on your canine partner, you owe it to yourself, your dog and the partnership to work to resolve or at least minimize the effects.  Try hypnosis, counseling, Tai Chi, meditation, yoga, biofeedback or whatever suits you to learn how to control and improve yourself, but be realistic about your responsibility to the partnership.  Dogs are generous, forgiving spirits, but they can't always give more to make up for shortcomings on your side.

Whether it's ice skating, ballroom dancing, doubles tennis, barrel racing, kayaking or dog sports, choosing a dance partner requires some basic information.  In my mind, the dog/human partnership is very similar to a human/human partnership with one very important exception: the dog cannot make an informed decision to participate and thus is always a draftee, not a volunteer. This puts greater responsibility on the handler to be fair.

Awareness of your skills and limitations as well as your partner's

What do you do best?  What do you enjoy?  What do you find less enjoyable?  What emotional/physical/intellectuals assets and liabilities do you bring to the partnership?  Do you choke under pressure or thrive on competition?

Accurate assessment of the kind of partner you need

Are you compulsive about training and need a partner who knows when to say "enough"?  Are you reluctant to train frequently, and need a partner who urges you on to practicing as you should?  Do you want to reach the pinnacles of achievement, or will you be happy with an adequate performance?

Honest assessment of your goals as a team

What will be required to achieve those goals?  Do both you and your partner have the necessary skills?  Are both of you equally committed to the hard work necessary?  What happens if you fall short of those goals?  How will that impact the partnership?  What happens if the partnership does not work?  How will you alter your goals?  How will that impact the relationship?

The pursuit of excellence is a wonderful idea.  At its best, any partnership seeks to find the indefinable spot where each partner has given their best, and together, the highest abilities of the partnership are brought to bear on a given goal.  It may not be Olympic level performance.  It may even seem laughable to those looking on.  But excellence is not always judged by external measures.  Hold tight to the excellence within your heart, for when it exists, free of ego and outside pressures, the joy of the dance itself shines through.

"Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Clothier. Used by permission of Suzanne Clothier. All rights reserved. For more information about Suzanne please visit"

Read More Training Tips from Suzanne Clothier:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at! All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

 A big shout out to Meatloaf for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lost CP Cairn in Cleveland, Ohio!

Corrigan fka CP O'Dougall

14 pound Cairn Terrier, named Corrigan, neutered 8 year old male, Wheaten with Silvery highlights.  He was wearing his collar with his Ohio dog license, a rabies tag, and a third tag with his name and phone number on it.  Also Col. Potter tag # 2525.

He dug his way out of his fully fenced yard near the intersection of Lorain Avenue and W. 47th St in Cleveland, Ohio 44102 on May 15th 2014.  There is a reward for any information leading to his return home.

Any and all help is appreciated!

TOLL FREE Col. Potter Lost Dog Phone Line
(866) 506-7461

Darby Wins the Roses!!

Written by Darby fka CP Gentry

Darby fka CP Gentry has been Home for Two Years!

Hello to all my Col. Potter friends!  Darby here, fka CP Gentry, celebrating my 2nd Gotcha Day!  Actually, it was really on May 5th, which happened to be Kentucky Derby Day two years ago (and how I got my new name!), so I’m stretching out the celebration this year, hoping we’ll have another Triple Crown Winner to make my day even more special! 

My Mom and Dad are very special!   They didn’t worry because I was an older Cairn (about 8-1/2 years old back then).  They decided I would be just perfect because they both worked and felt they couldn't devote the right amount of time to a puppy.  In addition, Chia, the dog they already had, was an older rescue, about the same age as me!

Darby and sister Chia relaxing on the verandah

Chia is a 10lb. Border Terrier mix, and she thinks that she rules the roost.  Well, I don’t mind so much, letting her think that.  I sort of fell in love with her as soon as we met, and I’m fine deferring graciously to Her Majesty in all things.  Chia has a “mysterious and checkered past” Mom says, which results in occasional anxiety issues, but I have no anxiety about anything, so I’m a good influence.  Mom says that my gentle and happy attitude have actually calmed Chia down and made her much happier and relaxed over the past two years.  I think that makes me the true Alpha, but we’ll keep that little secret between us, OK?

Darby’s coat is healthy and all grown out!

When I first arrived, I had a terrible skin condition, with lesions and hair loss.  My Foster Mom, Monika, had worked wonders with me to get me on the road to healing, and my new Mom and Dad took over from there.  After a couple of rounds of antibiotics, a major food change, and regular grooming, my skin healed completely after a few months, and now my coat is thick and gleaming!  My vet can't believe I’m even the same dog she saw when Mom and Dad brought me in two years ago!

Mom thinks that I’m the sweetest, most well behaved little boy in the whole world, and she finds it hard to believe someone would ever give me up.  She is very grateful, however, that they did the right thing by calling Col. Potter so I could find my way to my new Forever Home!

Darby and Chia cuddle with Mom on the verandah

I cuddle right up and snuggle all the time, and give many, many kisses to Mom and Dad.  I even occasionally let them discover a trick I’d learned in my “former life” - when someone cared about me and worked with me – before I got frightened of them picking me up.  I don’t know how to explain what happened to scare me so bad, but Mom and Dad have really taught me that I can trust them completely, so I’m a little hesitant now, but I’m not frightened by them picking me up.  My first major breakthrough was only after about three months, when I rolled over to ask them for a belly rub.  It made them smile so much, I know it made them happy!

Darby and Chia take Dad for a walk

Mom says that I am so well trained that she has taken to calling me "Mr. Regular" just because I give her a soft little "errr" almost every morning - at the same time - to let her know I want to go out!  I’m also so obedient, I even dropped a rabbit I caught once when Mom sternly told me to do so – which was a real shock to her! She says she has never had a Cairn do THAT before!  The rabbit even survived, by the way...

Darby and Chia doing some yard work…

Chia and I have our own wonderful huge fenced yard with trees and bushes galore, and we get to chase off those pesky birds and squirrels daily, and we keep the neighborhood cats on alert.  Apart from snoozing on the verandah with Mom and Dad and Chia, my favorite spot is to camp out by the front gate.  This is where I get to "protect the yard" from those people and dogs without Terrier passes who dare to walk by.  I am an excellent watch dog!  Mom and Dad even installed full length glass doors in the bedroom and dining room so I can keep an eye on things while I’m in the house.

Darby has his doubts about the big water...

I’m a terrific traveler too, and I settle down right away to snooze during our long trips to northern Wisconsin.  We have a cabin on the Wisconsin River - and lots more squirrels!  I don't like that "big water" thing, however, and I would rather that Mom would stop going swimming in it!

Mom and Dad say they can't imagine life without me – and I feel the same way about them!  Adopting an older dog was perfect for them, and I fit in like I’ve been here my whole life.  Even though I’m now 10-1/2 years old, I am very healthy and I know we will be a happy family for many years to come.  Mom says I should urge everyone not to ignore the many benefits of adopting an older Cairn!

Darby and Chia waiting for cookies

Thank you Col. Potter - all of the great Volunteers - for making this and many other happy stories possible!

Now, Go California Chrome!

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.)

 Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Sammi and Wendy

Maya and Lilly

Kasey is 6 years old!

Foster Katelyn

Rye and Roxanne

Foster Gonzo

Foster Annalize

Foster Tarquin

Cairn Coco and friend


Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Funnies!

Off the Leash

Thursday, May 22, 2014

No Problem! 10 Training Tips that Work!

“Control the dog and you control the situation.”  CP Roxanne shows how important it is to have a good lead and harness for training.
"Understanding why your dog does what he does, and how to handle the situation correctly can help resolve problems quickly."    Suzanne Clothier

10 Tips for Problem Behavior

10 Basic Rules that will Help You Teach Your Dog More Desirable Behavior

At one time or another, every owner has to deal with problem behavior.  Understanding why your dog does what he does, and how to handle the situation correctly can help resolve problems quickly.

Here are some basic guidelines that apply to nearly all problem situations:

Control the dog and you control the situation.  By putting on a training collar and lead, you can control the dog.  For many dogs, their training equipment means business, not playtime, and this can help in a problem situation.  A dog who is on lead cannot run away or chase people or other animals, and his owner has a chance to help him understand what he should do by guiding him with the leash and collar.

Be positive.  Instead of saying "NO", try giving your dog something positive that he can do for you, such as "Sit", or "Heel".  This positive approach means you can praise generously for his good actions, instead of simply yelling at him. For example, a dog who jumps up can be told to sit, and helped if necessary, then praised for sitting.

Allow a dog to be a dog. Often, what owners consider problem behavior is simply normal dog behavior that they find unpleasant or annoying. For example, digging is a natural canine activity but distressing to a garden proud owner. Instead of scolding for what comes naturally, it might be kinder to set up an area in which you have buried small treats to make it more attractive than the rest of the yard, and praising your dog for digging in "his" garden.  Whenever natural behaviors conflict with what you might like, be creative and see if you can find an outlet for those interests and activities that is suitable for you both.

Be consistent.  It is unfair to the dog to change your rules depending on what you're wearing, who's visiting, or the kind of day you've had.  If your dog is allowed on the furniture, he will be confused when you yell at him because Aunt Bess is visiting and she doesn't think dogs should sit in chairs!  If he's allowed to jump up when you're wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, don't be surprised if he can't tell the difference between that and your best evening gown.  Whatever your rules are, keep them consistent.

Have your dog earn what he wants.  While everyone needs a few freebies now and then, your dog will not think you are a wonderful owner if you play with him, walk him, feed him, and pet him whenever he demands it.  In fact, this often creates problems since from the dog's point of view an owner who can be "trained" this well is not one who deserves much respect.  Teach your dog to say "please" by sitting, laying down, or following some other command before he gets what he wants.

Be clear.  Owners often confuse dogs by changing the words or commands, repeating them over and over again, without showing the dog what is meant, and worst of all, assuming that the dog understands.  When in doubt, gently show your dog physically exactly what you mean, giving the command at the same time so that he can associate the two.  Use clear, matter of fact commands when addressing your dog, and be sure that your praising tone is excited, enthusiastic and upbeat.  Remember that while we use words to communicate, dogs are masters of reading body language.  If your body language tells the dog one thing, but your voice tells the dog something else, chances are he will believe your body language.  This is why people who bend towards their dog and shake a finger at them while scolding "No, no, no" often receive a playful bark - their body posture is much more like a dog inviting play than a dog who is annoyed or angry.

Exercise, exercise, exercise!  The most common cause of problem behavior is boredom and a lack of sufficient exercise.  While you work or go out, your dog has little or nothing to do, and his need to exercise will not go away.  A familiar yard or house is boring, and few dogs exercise on their own without interaction with their owners.  Take the time to play with your dog, jog with him, walk in the woods, swim or take long brisk walks each day.  A tired dog is always a well behaved dog!

Provide mental stimulation.  Dr. Roger Abrante's suggestions regarding using 1/3 of your dog's diet for treats to be earned during training, 1/3 to be given as usual in a food bowl, and 1/3 to be "hunted" (try a Buster Cube, an ingenious toy which the dog must persistently work with to receive a few kibble at a time. Even a border collie will be amused by this for hours! Buster Cubes are available from your local pet store or [online].)  This "home alone" 1/3-1/3-1/3 program helps your dog expend some energy and provides much needed stimulation.

Understand your dog's genetic heritage. Whether you own a Doberman or a Beagle, a Samoyed or a Westie, it is important to understand what your dog was bred to do.  Owners often forget that the behavior that prompts a dog to run or stay close, hunt or guard, chase and kill or herd, work with people or work independently are all the result of generations of carefully selected traits.  Research your breed's history, and talk to people who understand your breed's characteristics.  You may find that Rover's tendencies, while annoying or amusing, are precisely what makes him what he is.  You can then decide how best to work with your dog's instincts and where you need to concentrate training efforts.

Train your dog.  Every dog should have basic manners, but dogs are not born knowing how to behave.  Take the time to train your dog on a consistent basis using kind, positive methods.  Find a class near you whose methods and philosophies you like.  If faced with a behavior problem you can't solve, ask people you trust for a recommendation of an experienced trainer and get professional help fast.  The sooner you begin working on a problem the sooner you will have it solved.

"Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Clothier. Used by permission of Suzanne Clothier. All rights reserved. For more information about Suzanne please visit"

Read More Training Tips from Suzanne Clothier:

Buster Food Cube