obligatory dog blog...

Eh. It's been a long time coming.

You all know I have 2 dogs.
Two rambunctious, nosey as hell, spunky, disobedient, firecracker, comedians who turned out to be the best companions I could ever have. These terrors are not for the faint at heart, let me tell you that. And if the pet you own is supposed to be a reflection of the owner's personality, well... wow is all I have to say about that. Point well taken. How does anyone handle dealing with me?! Hypothetical.

Along with this playful personality comes intelligence. I'm not talking about the intelligence that most people say their kids have [yes, that was a dig], I'm talking about intelligence outside of human context. As in, I'm not going to lay around waiting for you to keep me entertained... I'm going to FIND something to keep myself entertained with [searching for photos of when Riley decided she wanted to "read" the Sunday paper].

Miniature Schnauzers are #12 on the intelligence list. There is a difference between "Mini", "Standard" and "Giant" Schnauzer... in a way, the bigger the dog, the dumber the dog, so to speak [Is this true for people as well? hahaaa]. Number 12 puts them into the category of "working" dogs, which if given a new command, the dog will typically have it mastered within 5-15 repetitions. The dog will also respond to a command about 85% of the time on the first try. Will elaborate below...

From all the training I've put the dogs through [whether in a class, or stuff I've taught them on my own], this figure is incredibly accurate. There was a major difference between the girl [Riley] and the boy [Tinsley] however. Of course there was. The whole Mars/Venus thing clearly doesn't just apply to people ;)

Oh, sorry...
Riley (Female, Cropped Ears)

Tinsley (Male, Natural Ears)

Ok, where were we? Oh yes... Riley was very quick to pick up on all her commands [somewhere around 5 repetitions] but she has major food drive [again, very much like some people], so if she knows there is a treat at the end of it, you can get her to do just about anything [ask if I can get her to crawl into a storm drain. Kidding?]. Tinsley on the other hand could give a crap about the food aspect. He's all about the praise... the "that's a good boy!" and the rubs. It's much harder to get him to do [much of anything] tricks cause he just doesn't give a $hit hahahaaa And this is how you know he's my husbands dog ;) Typical man. He does have great ball drive though.

In terms of obedience, that whole thing about the dogs obeying a command on the first try about 85% of the time, agreed. I'm only annoyed 15% of the time when they don't listen. Only? Tinsley is a lot more obedient than Riley though, I will give him that. He's definitely more of a come on the first command kind of guy. Riley is pretty headstrong and independent. And that's how you can tell she's my dog ;)

The dogs also have a bit of an "enhanced" vocabulary. I'm totally not the crazy dog lady so re, but I do talk to them in a "non-traditional" way. Kind of how I talk casually to most people [if I like you enough to let my guard down... which is RARE]. I have my professional speak, and I have my more casual/relaxed speak. Don't act like you don't code-switch. You know what I'm talking about... wiki that if you need too ;)

Common phrases: "sit", "stay", "wait", "drop it", "shake", "roll over", "down"

A few of my "enhanced" phrases: "get/go away", "leave me alone", "boo!", "stop staring at me", "get back", "move/scoot over", "foot of the bed", "get off the bed", "don't even think about laying on my pillow", "leave it alone", "play nice", "go get her/him", "bring it back", "hurry up", "would you wait!", "get in here", "outside NOW", "high five", "cookie time"... and the list goes on, because for some reason, it's like they understand English and body language. The cool thing about these phrases is that they work well on the husband as well ;)

This is for anyone who has dogs/has a new dog/is thinking about getting a dog, and is curious about the durability of commonly seen toys at Petsmart or Petco [or any pet retail store for that matter]. I seriously feel like I've tried them all. Petsmarts profits went up for the first year we got Riley. She was tearing through toys faster than I could pick the stuffing and stuffed toy limbs off the floor! I'm much better with the toy buying now though. Riley is just as content with an empty milk carton, and that's basically FREE!

Riley is a "heavy" chewer, Tinsley is not. [See above section referencing him not giving a $hit]. If you leave Riley to her own devices, she can and will open the seam [seamlessly] on a stuffed animal with no problem, carefully remove the stuffing and take the squeaker out of it. And then she'll eat the squeaker and the stuffing, leaving no evidence behind hahahaaaa [You might want to review the section above on food drive!] Tinsley will sit back, and be the look out. He won't, however, warn her that I'm on my way back into the room with a squirt bottle :D The look on her face when that cold spray of water thumps her on her rump = priceless.

So yeah, this is their toy bin. Yes... just toys.

They also have a crate for rawhides which is on top of the bin (a must for a chewer) and another for their grooming tools. Oh, there is also a drawer in the bin for their sweaters that they NEVER wear, because, oh yeah, they HAVE FUR! A built-in sweater. What a concept.

Boy, how I digress.
So yeah... all this dog stuff is super cute.
But here's the stuff that will last. It washes and wears very well. It has survived Riley and has a story to tell and the scars to prove it.

So this is the ball drawer:

And here is the stuffed animal drawer:

Now, from all the toys (and there is much more that I didn't feel like collecting from the backyard)... these are the best in terms of use, durability, washability, etc.

For the heavy chewer... these are indestructible:

Kong Balls of all persuasions. The 'jack' shaped one is really fun :D
Oh... and I love how they have little bite-sized balls for small dogs! The ones with the squeakers are the BEST!

Anything rubber, that squeaks... are you seeing a theme here?

And an honorable mention for this section. Again, Kong seems to dominate. The problem with these balls is that the squeaker is really hard to press on, and because these toys are supposed to be "indestructible" they are hard as hell. When a dog gets bopped upside the head with this... trust me, they will be very reluctant to play fetch with this nonsense again.

For the intelligent creature, who likes to have their mind stimulated, these are fun

Very cool, because these toys, made by Plush Puppies (purchased at a local feed store), have an elastic pouch on them that allows you to place squeaker toys inside. They come with about 3 balls. You can also purchase extra bags which can be used for fetch if the pouch thing gets old :D The balls are surprisingly durable and wash well.

But again... if your dog is destructive *cough* Riley *cough* do NOT leave the trouble maker alone to their own devices.

R.I.P. Mr. Platypus and Ms. Porcupine...

Oh... and an honorable mention from this company...
This toy has a built-in rattle AND a squeaker! It's also easy for the dog to grip.

For the lazy sap... this stuff makes a great pillow.

Lamby's are the BESTest! Adorable. Washable. Squeaky :D
The little ittie bittie pink and blue one is Riley's first toy. Ok... well, not exactly this one, but one that looked exactly like this. She ate the first one.

R.I.P. mini lamby #1. Damn you dog!!!

Coleman, also makes pretty durable, stuffed toys that are fun as well. The racoon (in the photo of the stuffed animal bin) is also a Coleman toy. It is Riley's absolute FAVORITE. Probably because it looks just like her :D

For the small dog with an endless appetite, these are pretty cool:
[If people had to chase their food... can you imagine this obesity problem] hahahaaa
Sorry... just finished listening to some stuff on the obesity crisis on NPR.

The toys on top you can just drop dog food inside. The bottom two, you load small treats into the sides/middle. I usually use mini dog biscuits or liver treats (gotta make them work for it!).

And the last honorable mentions...
I'm not opposed to these... I'm opposed to purchasing them! I can just make this mess myself! It's just fleece cut up into strips and tied together. Fool me once!

The ball is much better than the tug-of-war toy... the 'tug' basically untwisted after a few plays, and didn't hold it's shape at all. 'E' for effort though ;)

So all in all, the massive picture load is why it took me so long to get back to this blog. But this turned out to not be too bad :D

Sorry if there is any weird formatting drama or typos, etc. I really can't be bothered! hahahaaa :D I did my best, I swear.

On to the next blog!


  1. I enjoyed this and laughed quite a bit. I have a Schnauzer-Terrier mix and love her sooo much. She's the greatest. She does rip her soft dog toys to bits, ripping from the seam, too, lol.

  2. Glad you enjoyed that :)

    I always find it interesting how dogs can rip toys open from the seams and then pull all the stuffing out! Endless hours of entertainment :)