My (Non) Protective Dogs

Let’s start by explaining that Toby barks at everything, and I mean everything. The mail truck outside, the dog across the street, if you bang a dish too hard. Seriously everything. It is one of the reasons I am working with a private trainer for him.

Long story short, I finally decided on how I wanted to landscape the new flower garden I want to put in, so my Dad decided he would come up and help me. He wasn’t leaving New Jersey until super late and was expected to arrive about 3 a.m. I knew this was going to set Toby off, so I kept my bed room door open and was prepared to get up and deal with it.

Well, my Dad opened the garage door, came in the house, unloaded his car, put away some items in the fridge and put his bag down in his room, and that’s when Toby and Maddux decided maybe they should get up from under the covers and give a half-hearted bark.

Really, boys? So much for a protection! And, then, they did a repeat performance this afternoon when this happened:

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An Athlete’s Mom

Maybe my title isn’t exactly correct, but it is what I felt like. There was a USDAA agility trials about an hour from my house. Since I want to do agility with Maddux, I thought it would be good to take him and watch.

I felt like the equivalent of a parent taking their little leaguer to a MLB game and saying, “one day, that can be you.”

First off, finding this place was an adventure in itself, but once we got there, it was so much fun!

Maddux did great as a spectator. He played with some of the other dogs there, and I used the time to do some obedience and trick training with him while we watched.

The people we met were super nice, too. I asked one of them about the sport and any suggestions she had. She suggested we start with CPE, or Canine Performance Events, after we start taking classes. But, what I didn’t’ know is that you can’t compete until they are at least 15 months old. Maddux will just be a year old in June, so we are on a good timetable.

I was so afraid I was going to miss the window for getting him started with agility, but she explained that the dogs there are all ages, spanning anywhere from two to 12, which made me feel much better.

After agility we took Maddux on a day of running errands. It wasn’t exactly planned like that, but it’s how it worked out. We stopped at a local nursery to pick up plants for the garden, Lowe’s to pick up paint and more flowers, two different pet stores, three grocery stores and a craft store. He was a big hit at Lowe’s while I was picking out paint, but I think he was a little leery of the shopping cart, and couldn’t’ get comfortable.

He was super exhausted by the end, and when I stopped at a different Lowe’s because I forgot something, Maddux absolutely refused to get out the car.

The only thing I feel really bad about, is Toby. I wasn’t sure how the agility situation was going to be, so I left Toby home. He actually could have come with us. At least I know for next time.

Have you ever tried agility, or competed with your dogs in other categories?


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One of the Cutest Things Toby Does

I’ve explained this a billion times, but I finally got Toby to do the full body crawl on camera! He usually stops as soon as the camera turns on.

It’s like a crawl up my body and it’s so adorable.

Well, see for yourself –



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Separation Anxiety or Boredom?

I had to go get my car inspected before work yesterday. I put Maddux in his crate, because I wasn’t 100 percent how long I would be gone and I don’t 100 percent trust him yet. 

This is what I found when I got back. 


He chewed a pretty nice hole in his crate mat. The funny part, if there is one here, is that he didn’t destroy the whole thing, just the actual foam. And, he did it through the opening that is there so you can wash it. 

I’m not as worried about the crate mat as I am about what this means. Was he board, or was it the beginning of separation anxiety? 

They both spend a lot of time with me now that I work remotely, and while I have always been concious that this could occur, I am going to be extra diligent. 

I’ll soon put together a list of tips, so if you are going through this, too, maybe it will help. 

Has your dog ever experienced separation anxiety? What did you do to help it? 

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While You Were Gone 

My Dad was watching Toby and Maddux while I was on a business trip earlier this week. 

I got this photo on Monday morning. 

It was the first time he left Maddux out of his crate in his room. Usually, he leave Maddux in his crate. They were doing great. 

Monday afternoon, I got this photo. 

While my Dad was outside, Maddux chewed his newly refinished end table. Needless to say, my Dad was not happy. 

When I got back late Tuesday night, the boys were of course jumping all over the place happy to see me, and all Maddux wanted to do was play.

As soon as I sat down, he brought over his toy and dropped it next to me. 

Funny story. I am so used to sleeping with them that I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday and went to change positions, but before doing so felt around for the dogs. There was a second of panic and “where are they”? I had totally forgotten I was in a hotel. 

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One Exhausted Dog 

We did a session with Toby’s trainer at 7pm on Friday night, and, well, he was mentally and physically exhausted. 

This is how he was sleeping on my bed later that night.  


He was sleeping in such a weird position! What’s some of the weirdest positions your dog sleeps in? 

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I am Not Putting My Butt on That

My dogs are spoiled. I am the first to admit that. However, Toby’s recent actions, are just ridiculous. 

The patch of, well, non-grass because it’s the only area we could clean for them to go during the terrible winter, is bare. 


Toby refuses to poop or pee here. He pulls until he gets to a nice grassy area. All I can think of when he shoots me a dirty look is, “I am not putting my butt on that!” 

He’s so picky where he will poop. When he was a puppy he didn’t poop the whole time we vacationed in Maine. As soon as we hit the New Jersey state line, he pooped at the very first rest area. 

Is your dog a picky pooper, too? 

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Under Construction 

Yep, you really are reading My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much. We just, look a little different. 

After years of putting it off, I finally found a reliable company who transferred all my content from Blogger to WordPress. And, without losing my photos! That was a big thing for me. Comments, likes, page views…I could deal with loosing that. My photos? Not so much! 

Yeah, I know, why did it take so long? That’s a story for another day, but in the meantime, we are back able to blog and I’m excited to be using this platform. 

That said, it’s going to look a little “plain” for a while as I learn how to navigate this. While I’ve used WordPress many times before, it’s all been set up previously for me and there was a help staff. 

It’s just me. 

Please bare with me! I do most of my writing on the go, and from my phone. Sometimes there are issues. I promise I’ll try to figure them all out, eventually, but right now I am just happen to be able to share our adventures with you again. 

What blogging platform do you use? Any tips? 

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Twitter, Twitter, Tweet!

Hey all!

Just a quick update.

For those of you who follow us on Twitter, you might be wondering what’s going on — no more @Toby_Pup?!

Yes, and no.

Let me explain.

When we started out on Twitter it was just for fun, and I didn’t even have a blog, never mind work in the industry. So, I used Toby’s name.

But, as I got more involved in the pet industry, and started tweeting about overall pet industry issues, including marketing and business items, it became clear we needed a change.

You might have noticed that we still have the same photo, but now our Twitter handle is @PetBizMichelle. It just more accurately reflects what our feed is about.

I hope you will still join us!

And, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Instagram! Oh, and stay tuned, there are a lot more changes/projects coming up. Can’t wait to share. :)

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Dog Training: Tricks Training

We spent the majority of yesterday — five hours to be exact — at the local kennel club at a tricks class. 

What a ball! But, also a lot of work. I know my brain hurt by the end, and I am pretty sure Maddux felt the same way. 

He is used to being around a lot of people, but he has a new habit of wanting to bark at everyone, and every dog, he meets, because he wants to play and get their attention. 
It is habit, we really need to break. And, quickly. 
The class itself was great, even for a beginner like me. There were a lot of experienced dog trainers and hobbiests in the class, and Maddux was by-far the youngest and I was by-far the least experienced. 
We started with simple things like touch, targeting and praising them, and then moved on to harder things. She also made us use clickers, which while I know about, I have never used. 
The good part? The trainers all said Maddux will be wonderful for teaching tricks, because he is smart, is a dog that always needs something to do and is super smart. 
The bad part? I was getting just as confused as he was with what to do. So, I need to work on my training. It is something I never did with Toby, or our dog growing up. 
So, this sure is going to be an adventure. 
I didn’t get to take a lot of photos, but I did get pictures of this….

Done laughing yet? Go ahead and take a few minutes to get it out of your system. 
Yes, I know it is pretty funny, so let me explain. The goal of the trick was to have them sit and then throw rings around their neck. Well, once Maddux got comfortable with the rings, he wanted to put this whole body through the ring, and wear it like a dog tutu. 
It was very funny.
Do you work with your dogs on tricks? Any tips or advice? 
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