I almost feel bad calling today’s post a “DIY Tutorial”. I don’t think I have ever made anything easier. I’m pretty sure projects this easy are cheating, but this one is for all those DIY-Lovers-at-Heart who see all our regular how to posts and think “I can”t do that”. YOU CAN DO THIS. Anyone can make these ridiculously easy DIY Dog Collar accessories. Anyone.
Once Upon a Time, the Felix believed that the camera would steal his soul.
Does anyone else remember the year that our Christmas Card shoot was a total disaster? This is just one, of many, times that I tried to create a nice photo memory and failed. My iPhoto library is a testament to how many crappy photos I have taken of this dog. Thanks a heap, Felix.
Do you know why our blog is called ‘Kol’s Notes’, even though it was inspired by sweet Felix?
He was the WORST dog to get a picture of. He wouldn’t sit still. He wouldn’t look at the camera. All attempts at a successful photo shoot were thwarted by Felix’s own refusal to co-operate. I tried begging, pleading and bribing him to work with me, but as it turns out, none of those things are successful dog training strategies. If I couldn’t get a half decent photo of him, I knew he couldn’t be the spokesdog for our blog.
Lately, though, I’ve been noticing that Felix is much more relaxed in front of the camera.… [read more]
One of my favourite things about going to BlogPaws is the chance to meet so many other fabulous bloggers. I am super excited to be meeting up with Cat from the popular YouTube channel Nailah Bone and the Adventures of Puppy and Cat this week.
Bandanas are such a great way to help your dog get a little festive without going full blown costume. We love them and we’re so excited to be sharing this easy tutorial that Cat created for a DIY Dog Bandana.
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DIY Dog Banadanas
by Cat of the Adventures of Puppy and Cat
I’m not big on dressing my dog up. Nailah has worn some Halloween costumes, has a coat for when it’s under 20, and she’s even got a rain coat (my dog hates the rain). But besides those special occasions she’ll usually be found going au natural… except for her bandanna.
I love doggy bandannas. They’re cute, simple, and fun to match with a dogs leash and collar. Niles used to have a couple when she was in her adolescent stage but after being bored with the offered fair, I can only take so much paisley, I gave up on them. When I moved in with my mom things changed. She’s a pretty accomplished seamstress and always willing to help me out. So when I asked if she knew how to make this doggy fashion item she happily informed me she did.
I was excited! But maybe a bit too excited. Before I knew it Niles had a doggy wardrobe that nearly rivaled mine! She had bandanna’s in almost every color and pattern imaginable. If there was a holiday we were sure to have one to match it, even seasons were covered! She was my doggy fashionista!
As time went on I started matching her bandanna’s to our video themes. If we were making decorated PB cookies for the holiday’s she’d be wearing her winter sweets bandanna. Was spring in the air as we were making an Earth Day DIY? Then she’d have to be sporting her cherry blossom one. You get the picture, I was obsessed and apparently other people noticed. I got a request from one of our YouTube subscribers for a How To on making them so I decided to do just that.
How to Make A Bandanna for Your Dog
To make your own custom made dog bandanna you’ll need some fabric of course, thread to match your fabric, scissors, pins, measuring tape, and a sewing machine. Once you’ve got all your items rounded it you can start crafting! The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on how big you want your bandanna to be. You can either go with the pattern we’ve come up with, will probably fit dogs from 20 lbs to 60 lbs, or you can make your own. If you decided to cut out a custom pattern you’ll need to measure your dogs neck, leaving enough space for you to squeeze a finger between their neck and the tape. You’ll also need to add on some extra length so that you’ll be able to tie the bandanna on when it’s done.
Once you’ve got your pattern you can get to work on the fabric. Fold your pattern and place it on top of your folded fabric on the desired section. Then you’ll need to secure it in place with some pins.
When you’ve got everything pinned down you can get cutting. Since we don’t like having frayed ends on our bandanna’s, and we imagine you don’t either, we suggest leaving about 1/4 inch of fabric around your pattern. This will allow you to create a hem and keep your work of art from getting tattered from daily use.
Speaking of hems, it’s time to make one! Fold over the excess fabric and pin it in place. The trickiest part here is getting the bottom corner and the ties of the bandanna to stay. When you’re folding these parts pretend you’re wrapping a present, one fold should go under the other.
Now that we’ve secured our hemline it’s time to sew everything in place! You’ll want to have your stitches as near the top of the hem as possible, making it impossible for the fabric to flap around.
Once the final stitch is in place you’re ready to outfit your pup with their new bandanna.
If you need more visuals on how to create these doggy fashion accessories make sure to watch our video!
We hope you and your dog will enjoy this cute little craft!
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Do you dress your dogs up in bandanas? Will you share a picture in the comments?
Cat is dog Mom to a high energy herding dog, an Australian Shepherd, named Nailah. With a dog that needs to have her mind and body worked on a daily basis, obedience training, stimulating toys, exercise, and nutritious treats are all part of what Cat considers to be a balanced lifestyle for her pet. Since she view these things, along with other fun dog mom projects, as more of a necessity than a luxury she has found herself driven to create many of these items on her own, making her a DIY kind of dog mom. Get in on puppy and Cat’s adventures by following them on Facebook, Twitter, G+, YouTube or Pinterest.
You guys, the good weather is coming.
Actually, here in BC, the good weather is here. I know that there are some of you out there that still have snow and so I totally get it if, right now, you want to throw rotten fruit at me. In my defence, the good weather isn’t like, every day, we’re still get more than our fair share of rain and mud, but the nice days in between are breath taking.
The best part of the good weather is being about to get out and really enjoy it with your dogs.
In the summer we do a whole lot of walking in public parks and dog friendly spaces, and yet, many of the places I would love to go are off limits to dogs. As much as I hate that not all public parks are dog-friendly, I also understand.
Play parks and ball fields are meant for kids to hang out at and I can see why some parents are reluctant to see those spaces shared. After all, tiny humans are always putting their hands in their mouths and rubbing their faces and eating dirt. Who wants to wonder if someone’s dog pee’d in that dirt a few minutes ago? Plus, off leash dogs and free-roaming kids can be a recipe for disaster unless everyone is dog & kid savvy.
If we want to see more public spaces designated dog friendly, we have to be respectful in how we use those spaces and hey, in exchange for a little more prudence on the part of dog owners, I’m hoping parents can do us a few favours too. Let’s all work together to make public spaces safe, fun and functional for everyone, OK? ( ♩ ♪ And I think, to myself, what a wonderful woooooooorld ♪ ♩)
Sharing Public Parks: Tips for Parents & Pet Owners
Dog Owners make sure your dogs are using designated potty spots. There is nothing worse than an owner that lets their dog pee all over everything. I’ve seen dogs lift their legs on benches, swing sets and randomly in the middle of ball fields. Not only is this unhygienic, it’s gross and rude. If you’re planning to hang out near an area where kids play (like the playground or the ball park), take your dog for a walk first and make sure they go elsewhere. (I hope that) it goes without saying that if your dog uses the bathroom somewhere they shouldn’t, you should make an effort to wipe it up. (I carry a small packet of disinfectant wipes for this purpose. <-affiliate link). No matter where your dogs goes, pick it up. No exceptions. Ever.
Parents teach your kids to be dog savvy. Sure, my dogs are very friendly, but any dog can get freaked out when a small person rushes them squealing and waving their hands. I can only control my dogs as well as you can control your kids. Let’s work together to make sure no one gets hurt.
Dog Owners Respect leash laws. Let me say this again, RESPECT THE LEASH LAWS. I don’t care how well behaved your dog is or how solid your voice control is, a law is a law and when you wilfully break this one, it makes us all look bad. And while we’re on the subject of leashes, can we please toss the retractable ones. These leashes are dangerous at the best of times, let’s not risk using them in spaces where small children could get hurt.
Parents, I know that snacks are an important part of keeping kids happy and preventing melt downs, but for the love of woof, PLEASE, if your child spills, clean it up. Your “no big deal” handful of goldfish crackers will end up with my dog vomiting and then three weeks of itching, hot spots and my shouting “leave that alone” as he licks at his red, sore open welts. I am begging you here.
Dog Owners, if you have a ball obsessed dog, train a “play ball” command, so that they don’t go after every ball they see. Small children are a prime target for canine ball thieves. Train your dogs that running and flailing is not an invitation to chase, jump or maul people. Teaching your dog to play these games on command only makes the park safer for everyone.
Parents keep control of your kids in off-leash areas. Allowing them to snack and run around in these areas is asking for trouble and someone is going to get hurt. Make sure any behaviour inside the off leash gates is first and foremost, dog safe.
Hopefully, if we all make a few small adjustments, we can share our public parks and green spaces in peace. After all, we’re all paying taxes and trying to do the best we can for our dogs and children. Let’s work together to make the whole experience easier for everyone.
What’s your biggest pet peeve about sharing public parks? What can be do to make sharing these spaces easier?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m working on training with Koly & Fe, I never seem to have enough hands.
I have huge respect for the clicker training people because I can see that the method works and how good it can be at reinforcing good behavior, but let’s be honest, I am no where near coordinated enough to make that work. I’m always dropping the clicker and groping for treats and, in the end, I abandoned the clicker like an old theme park. It only works if you aren’t too clumsy to use it.
When I saw this DIY Treat & Train Apron tutorial I was instantly wowed.
Holy woof you guys! Maybe if I had one of these I wouldn’t have been a clicker school drop out! This apron would be so handy to have and not just while training. I can see myself using it while I craft to keep treats (for bribing Kolchak to knock it off) close at hand, on walks while we’re training and working on Felix’s leash reactivity and while I’m in the kitchen cooking.
Check out the full tutorial video from Puppy & Cat (aka the lovely Miss Nailah Bone) and make one for yourself! I think I’m going to try it.
You can find more great video tutorials from Nailah and Cat on their YouTube channel, Nailah Bone!
Have you ever sewn something to make you life with dogs easier? What was it?
I love doing themed photo shoots for every holiday with my dogs, but buying the props and accessories can get pricey. I love making these simple and fun DIY Easter photo props for dogs and having a bit of holiday themed fun.
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Back in February, I shared these pictures of Koly and Fe on the Kol’s Notes Instagram feed.
They look thrilled, right? I tell you guys, I slept with one eye open that night. I was totally afraid that Koly would shank me in my sleep. Not afraid enough though, that I didn’t want to try it again the very next chance I got.
I knew Easter would be the perfect opportunity to create a couple new photo props for dogs and have a little bit of fun at Kol and Fe’s expense.
The good news that I want you to have a little fun at your dog’s expense too. This time around, I’ve created a couple of printable templates, so that you can try this at home. (You totally don’t have to use them, this is so simple that you could drive for you but just in case you’re not feeling very crafty, my templates will take all the guesswork out of it.) It’s so easy to do and it makes a great project for kids and not so crafty people.
Here is what you need:
- 1 sheet of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper
- markers or crayons
How to make your dog an Egg Head in four easy steps:
- Trace an egg shape on three 12 x 12 piece of white scrapbook paper and cut it out (Click here if you want a printable template)
- Decorating your egg with coloured markers or crayons – don’t worry about making it perfect. Part of the charm, is it looking rustic and hand-drawn.
- Cut a hole in the centre of the egg for your dog’s face.
- Place it on your dog’s face and photograph away! (Kol’s Note: Step four may require liberal doses of treats and an incredible amount of patience.)
I mean how could you even resist doing this to your dog? Doesn’t Kolchak look ridiculously adorable?
It would make my whole Easter if you guys would take EggHead photos of your own and share them on our Facebook wall or on Instagram with the hashtag #eggheaddogs
Annnnnd check back one Wednesday because there is NO WAY I would let Felix escape this
insanity holiday fun! He got a DIY photo prop of his own.
There was a time when the Casa de Kolchak dogs had a collar for every occasion.
We had red and green ones, collars with bunner, bright beachy collars, birthday collars, so many orange and black Halloween collars. It was a mania. Hi, my name is Jodi and I have a collar shopping problem.
When we moved into the apartment, I did a huge purge, getting rid of all but a couple favourite collars. till, every time a holiday rolls around, I get a pang of longing for the old collars and I have to resist the temptation to run out and buy a few collars.
Do you want to dress your pet up for special occasions, but don’t want to store a ton of collars? DIY Dog Collar Decorations are the solution.
I mean, how CUTE is this little fabric four leaf clover? It was so easy to make and so easy to convert into a collar decoration! Once I had sewed the four leaf clover shape, I cut a small strip of felt in the same colour, folded it into a loop and sewed the loop to the flower. (Pictures coming this afternoon – SOME idiot left the camera battery die. I’ve got to talk to Kolchak about remembering to plug that thing in!)
Do you do anything special for special occasions? A pretty collar? An extra special snack?
Kol’s Note: This post is sponsored by Dognition. While we were givne the service free of charge in exchange for sharing our opinions, it is our guarantee to you that will only share products and services that we stand behind and can give our 100% honest opinion of. … [read more]
When you have a dog-reactive dog, you spend a whole lot of time avoiding other people.
I don’t want to brag, but over the years, I have become a dog walking ninja. I have an excessive amount of practice darting around corners, criss crossing the street, and walking faster or slower to avoid crossing other dogs on the street. If you’re like me and you also happen to suffer from Bitchy Resting Face this can lead to a whole lot of people thinking that you are deliberately avoiding them just to be rude. This is my cross to bear.
The weird thing about Felix is he wants to meet those other dogs, he just lacks the necessary social skills to do so appropriately.
We’ve been working on Dr. Sophia Yin’s foundation exercises for leash-reactive dogs since September and I’m pleased to say we’ve made a lot of progress.
Not enough that we’re ready to try on leash greetings with other dogs though.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I consider it a pretty woofing amazing day when we see a dog across the street and Felix keeps his cool. Getting within a half-block of a dog on the same side of the street is a great day and when a dog popped around a corner, out of nowhere, last week and all Fe did was one indignant bark it was cause for excessive and over-the-top celebration. I may or may not have danced in the streets.
I wish things were different and that my dog was ready for normal social interaction, but he’s not.
He’s the strange kid on the playground eating paste. He’s the awkward teenager, creeping in the dark corners at the dance. He’s the adult making weird jokes because he’s nervous. He’s a good dog who was never taught the skills to excel at on leash interaction. His humans failed him once. I won’t fail him again and so, we walk, keeping our distance. Slowly, gently creeping towards the ultimate goal of a day when I don’t have to practice constant vigilance, scanning the horizon for real or perceived canine threats.
Until that fine day, if I pass you in the street, look a bit panicked and dart in the other direction as fast as I can, take pity on me. I’m not a bitch; I’m just looking out for my dog.
To the women and the cute pit bull that live at the other end of our street, I totally hear you when you shout that your dog is friendly. I know you think I’m scared of her. I’m not. She’s beautiful.
To the elderly lady who walks her chihuahua with her walker, I see that look in your eyes when we cross the street to avoid you. I would love to chat and hear all about your dog. I love love love that her leash matches your coat and that the flower on her collar matches the one on your walker.
To the cute guy and the Shiva-look-a-like that waved from across the field last week, oh man, I really wanted to come talk to you. How you doin’? Would it be weird to hand around the dog field without my dog, hoping he comes back? (Probably, right??)
And yet, I’m not alone.
Last night on our walk, we suddenly found ourself barely 20 paces from a woman in blue and a little grey terrier. For a split second, the owner and I locked eyes, both a little panicked. As quickly as it happened, we both snapped out of it. She did a 180. I crossed the street. We headed in opposite directions, breathing a sigh of relief that no chaos had ensued. I glanced back over my shoulder, one time and she was looking back to. She smiled and nodded. I waved. It was a moment of shared understanding between two dog owners that are used to being looked down on and feeling like we haven’t done enough to correct the behaviour of our “poorly trained” dog. That may be as close as we ever get to one another, but last night I made a friend.
I feel you lady in blue. Our dogs may not have social skills, but they are good dogs and we’re trying to get better.
That’s what it’s all about folks. Trying to get better. It may be slow. It may not be easy, but it’s progress and that’s all I can hope for.
Does your dog need a little WOOF Support in dealing with their fears and phobia like my Felix? Check out Oz the Terrier’s post today and all the great posts linked up to the WOOF blog hop. Each one has wisdom, knowledge and most of all, understanding in dealing with fearful and reactive dogs.
Train Your Dog Month has come and gone.
I started January with some pie in the sky goals about teaching Kolchak to love the dremel. The weekly grind has long been something I dread. A moment that, though necessary, drives a wedge in the bond between my dogs and myself. No wonder we all hate it. Still, nails must be managed and guillotine clippers terrify me, so the Dremel is the only way.
Knowing how much nicer our lives could be if the Dremel were less hated, you would think I might have put in a bit more effort. I suck.
That this month, we made a little progress on our ultimate goal, but not much. Kolchak is slightly more comfortable having his paws handled. The Dremel coming out, though still loathed, is not the cause of a major dust up. I did join a group that has issued a weekly “nails” challenge to keep me focused on the long term goal. We didn’t totally slack off, but we didn’t rock this challenge either.
The truth is that this month, there were other things that just seemed more important than nails.
- The weather has been beautiful, if somewhat chilly, and we explored the neighbourhood working on leash manners and Felix’s leash reactivity. (Which there has been a HUGE improvement in.)
- I’ve been working to make Casa de Kolchak more cozy and dog friendly, including upholstering Kolchak’s favourite chair. This is a gift that keeps on giving to pups and humans.
- In an effort to better understand my dogs, we’re taking the Dognition tests to discover more about how they think and what makes them tick. We should be done this weekend and I can’t wait to share what we learn.
- We’ve been going through the toy box and trying to weed out the toys we love and the ones that could maybe find a more loving home (or a shallow grave in the dumpster.) The bonus is that we got to play a whole lot this month.
While we didn’t achieve our training goal, I think we achieved the spirit of Train Your Dog Month.
After all, isn’t the whole exercise about spending time with your dog, increasing your bond and being a great pet parent. I think we did that, even if we do still dread the Dremel. So, with all due respect to our Amazing Train Your Dog Month Challenge hosts at Something Wagging, Rescued Insanity and Alfie’s Blog, I’m calling this month a success – even without any training in it.