Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Howliday Mischief!

Recently during our Holiday Photo Shoot, the girls got a little bored!

 Let's play!


"What!? I'm not doing anything!"

Luckily they didn't destroy anything!

Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

SPIKE Dog Treats Review & Giveaway

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic week! We are super excited because I have a new treat review to share with you! I was recently asked by Petcurean if Zoe and Phee would like to try their Spike treats. I've heard great things about Petcurean before so I knew the girls would be excited to try their treats.

Petcurean is a fantastic company where they create premium quality, nutrient-rich food for both dogs and cats. They also offer a selection of all natural treats as well! The company was started when two good friends got together and decided to open a small family owned operation in Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. They were driven by the idea that pets deserved better food that was made with the same love and care as we put into preparing meals for our own families.

Spike Dog Treats are made with premium quality meat proteins, anti-oxidants and “superfoods” like chia, pomegranate and kale, all lovingly prepared by your friends at Petcurean, who promise you that SPIKE contains only all natural ingredients. Their treats do not conatin any by-products, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

SPIKE Grain Free Venison Jerky treats are made using premium quality, grass-fed venison and all natural ingredients. Spike Jerky treats contain superfoods chia, pomegranate and kale which makes them nutrient-rich, high in fibre and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!

Ingredients: Venison, pumpkin, molasses, whole chia seeds, pomegranate, kale, mixed tocopherols  (a source of Vitamin E).

SPIKE Grain Free Turkey Jerky treats are made using premium quality, cage-free turkey and all natural ingredients.  Just like the venison treats, the turkey jerky also contain superfoods chia, pomegranate and kale which makes them nutrient-rich, high in fibre and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Ingredients: Turkey, pumpkin, molasses, whole chia seeds, pomegranate, kale, mixed tocopherols (a source of Vitamin E).

Zoe and Phoenix both loved these treats! They were super excited to try them. They are a jerky-like consistency but are easy to break apart into smaller pieces with minimal crumbling. Both of my dogs considered these to be high value and I will be breaking them up and using them for training. I would definitely get these again and I would recommend checking them out!

ZoePhee was provided with two bags of Spike Jerky Treats to try in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated. All opinions are my own. Petcurean is not responsible for the content of this blog post.

ZoePhee is partnering with Petcurean and hosting a giveaway! One of our lucky readers from the US will receive two bags of random Spike Jerky Treats! Enter by following the directions on the giveaway widget. The giveaway is open to residents in the US age 18 or older. I will run the giveaway for about a week and I will contact the winner by email. Winners are always randomly selected by the giveaway widget. Please see the full terms and conditions located on the giveaway widget.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Snowpocalypse 2016

We've recently had some snow storms here! 

It wouldn't be so bad, it's only a few inches but Portland wasn't prepared for it.

There was a lot of traffic and stranded people.

Phoenix was super excited when we took them to go play in the snow.

Zoe wasn't all that thrilled about it but Phoenix loved playing ball in it!

Yay! He threw the ball! 

Do your dogs like the cold?

~Coats are the Extreme Warmers by Hurrta and our review is forthcoming~

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

That one time when Zoe stole her Treat Bag!!!

Road Trip!!! 

A long time ago, before we had Phoenix, I got off work early one day and decided to take Zoe on a short day trip to the beach. I left her alone in the car and she stole her treat bag from the front seat! Luckily, she couldn't get it open!

Sneaky dogs are sneaky! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hurtta Photo Shoot BLOOPER!

Zoe doesn't like to catch things, a lot of the time she will close her eyes and duck. 

My husband was throwing the dogs snow balls and we caught this hilarious photo!

To see our review on the coat she's wearing please go here: Orange Summit Parka Review

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Orange Summit Parka Dog Coat by Hurrta Review!

Keep Your Dog Warm, Dry & Visible with the new Orange "high viz" Summit Parka! 

The new "high viz" Orange Summit Parka Dog Coat is finally in the US! Hurtta is an amazing company that offers outdoor gear and coats for dogs. They are one of my most favorite companies to work with and we were so excited when they asked us to review the new orange parka! We've reviewed the Summit Parka in the past and it was our very first experience with dog coats from Hurtta. The Summit Parka is still one of my most favorite coats that we've tried!

Zoe and Phoenix spend a lot of time running in forests, fields and rivers. We love to hike and be outdoors but this time of year can be difficult with it being cold and rainy. My dogs do not appreciate being cold or wet. It can also be scary out there with all the hunters roaming around. Keeping my dogs warm, dry and safe is paramount. I have to make sure my dogs are completely visible and I'm so glad that Hurtta has come out with my favorite coat in a bright "hunters safety" high viz orange. 

My husband is also a huge fan of these orange coats, he feels like they are easy to put on and he likes the color. My husband does gets a little tired of all the pink stuff I choose for them and he prefers more gender neutral colors on them when he walks or hikes with them.

The Orange Summit Parka has all the same great features of Hurtta coats, it protects your dog's most important muscle groups, it protects their chest and sensitive abdomen area. The coat has a neck cover for added warmth and protection. The design of the front leg holes for added protection. The coat features a re-closeable opening on the back to feed a leash through to a harness (on sizes 12"-35"). The two smallest sizes has an integrated harness (on sizes 8" and 10"). My favorite feature on the Summit Parka has to be the adjustable back length. There are drawstrings that help you to shorten the coat to the perfect length to fit your dog, even if your dog is in between sizes, as my dogs generally are. 

The coats are made with Houndtex laminated outdoor fabrics. That means that the jackets are smoother, softer and quieter than many other jackets. This really improves the comfort of the jackets and is helpful for dogs who are not used to wearing clothing. The inside of the coat is a soft fleece lining and between the fleece and Hountex outer shell there is a thick insulating layer. These coats are definitely designed to keep your pooch warm on cold winter walks or on frigid morning playing ball on our northern coast! These coats are light weight and really promote freedom of movement, my dogs were able to jump, run and wrestle as if they weren't wearing anything at all.

 These coats are water proof, dirt resistant, machine washable and feature high visibility 3M reflectors!

We've tested these coats in pouring rain, in the forest, in the snow and on our super cold, northwest coastal beaches. The Summit Parka is a fantastic, versatile coat. It keeps my dogs warm, dry, clean and safe with the highly visible colors and 3M reflectors. The coat is easy to put on the dogs, has great coverage, the convenient opening to attach the leash is very helpful. We are visible and safe when we walk at night or sharing the forest with hunters. The parkas are generally the first coat I pick up and pack when we take the girls on trips. 

The Summit Parka is still my favorite coat from the Hurtta line. I always recommend this coat to all of my friends and I would highly recommend you all check it out too! You can also follow Hurtta on facebook as they often run their own contests and giveaways!

If you would like to see some Hurtta coats in action check out our video: Snow Day for Zoe and Phee! (Review on the Extreme Warmer coming soon!) 

ZoePhee was provided with Summit Parkas in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are my own. Hurtta is not responsible for the content in this blog post.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Positive Reinforcement: The Training Gift that Keeps on Giving!

So I haven't posted on the Positive Pet Training hop in a while. I've been so busy with work and helping people train their dogs, I just haven't had much time for blogging.

This month I feel like I really do need to participate since the theme is "The Gift of Positive Training". Throughout my journey with my dogs, we've had challenges with both dogs; Phoenix with her fear related people and dog-dog issues, Zoe with her prey drive and resource guarding. Discovering positive reinforcement and force free methods was definitely a gift for all of us. We've all learned how to communicate better and Phoenix in particular has given me the gift of patience and extra empathy. Working with both of these dogs has opened up a whole new world for me and they've helped to get me into the career that I actually want to be in. One of my training videos on YouTube actually helped me get my job! If that wasn't a gift from my dogs, I don't know what is!

I've learned how to work through a lot of issues and also figure out how to manage other issues. Recently with all my "teacher training", I am learning how to effectively use positive reinforcement to coach my husband through a new issue that has come up between him and Phoenix.

Phoenix has had a fear regression, she is afraid to be handled by my husband. They were at the park without me around two weeks ago and I guess she ate too much grass. When they got back into the car she started puking. My husband had to grab her to get her out of the car without getting puke all over her and she was traumatized by the accidental "rough" handling. Since that incident Phoenix hasn't wanted much to do with my husband.

Phoenix will not allow my husband to wipe her paws, put her pajamas on or do any sort of touching where something is being done to her. Petting and playing is still okay with her. We are incredibly lucky that Phoenix just tries to flee versus fight. My husband is understandably frustrated with the whole situation. He feels like we've had her for so long that she should just be able to deal with things. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a man where he was wrong and you had to tell him he was wrong? LOL!!! Yeah... that went as well as could be expected. I am also learning how to communicate better with my husband about dog stuff.

Don't touch me!

So I've had to bust out my new-found coaching skills and it's been going okay! I'm trying to my best to pick out behaviors my husband does that I like to praise and coaching him through some behavioral training. My husband gets to do all the fun stuff, like feeding, treats and play time. I've also been coaching him through counter-conditioning Phoenix to him touching her. My bosses and my mentor are tickled that I've been using my calm "client voice" on my husband.

I think with a dog like Phoenix, who probably wasn't socialized as a pup, definitely was not handled and went through previous trauma before we got her, things will always be more difficult for her than Zoe or any other "normal" dog. She took a long time to trust us and in some things she obviously still doesn't trust us. We still have some work to do with her and I think my husband is realizing that he has to be more involved with it. Phoenix has taught me so much over the years and I think she will probably end up teaching my husband a lot, too!

Positive Reinforcement training techniques have definitely been a gift to us! It's the gift that keeps on giving as I am always learning something new and able to continually help my dogs. It's a gift that I try to give to others as much as I can, too!

What have your dogs taught you lately?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Super Fetch on Cannon Beach!

One of Phoenix's most favorite tricks that she's learned is to "frisbee flip". Generally we make sure this trick is very controlled. We were super surprised that she flipped for her ball on the beach! Even more shocking that I captured it with my camera!!!

Phoenix loves playing fetch!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grandma Lucy's Pet Food & Treats Review & Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic day! We are super excited because we have a new review to share with you. We were asked by Grandma Lucy's to review some of their treats and do a giveaway!

Grandma Lucy's is a fantastic family owned and operated business that started around 16 years ago when Lucy, the owner's 11 year old English Cocker Spaniel, became extremely picky about what she would eat. She had developed food allergies that prevented her from eating just any treat. They tried a lot of treats on the market but Lucy wouldn't eat any of them. After doing a lot of research and numerous conversations with veterinarians and pet nutritionists, they began to home cook Lucy’s meals and treats. Surprisingly for a dog that had become very picky, she loved her home cooked meals and treats. The next step seemed natural, they wanted to be able to share their healthy food and treats with other pet owners!

Grandma Lucy’s was one of the first companies to introduce 100% human-grade pet treats to the pet food market! The company uses only human-grade ingredients from trusted restaurant suppliers, most of their meat is sourced in the USA and there are no ingredients from China. If it is not good enough for human’s to eat, it will never be included in their food or treats – Grandma Lucy’s pets eat better than people!

Grandma Lucy's "nose-licking" good freeze dried Chicken Singles is the first treat that the girls tried! Phoenix was super excited about them and couldn't wait! These treats are a single ingredient treat. They are made from 100% USA sourced chicken. They can be fed to both dogs and cats, which is a huge plus for me since we have both!

If your dog has a problem with chicken, the singles line has other proteins which include: Liver, Pork, Ocean White Fish, Tuna and Sweet Potatoes.

100% USA sourced Chicken
Hormone and Antibiotic-Free
Single Protein Source
No By-Products or Preservatives
All Natural
Made in California 

Both Zoe and Phoencix really liked these treats! They consider them to be high value and they worked really hard to get them. These treats would make an excellent training treat, they break up easily. Since they are freeze dried there was a little bit of crumbling but it didn't make too big of a mess.

The next treats we tried are the oven baked Organic Banana & Sweet Potato these treats are made with 100% USDA certified organic, human-quality ingredients in Grandma Lucy's bakery! Bananas are high in potassium making them good for the heart, kidneys, bones and nervous system. Sweet Potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, and high in antioxidants. They are also an excellent source of Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. There are no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners and the treats are free of hydrogenated oils and trans fats

They also offer: Pumpkin, Blueberry, Cranberry, Apple, Peach and Coconut in their organic oven baked line.

Ingredients: Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Organic Sunflower and/or Organic Canola Oil and/or Organic Palm Oil, Organic Brown Sugar, Organic Cane Juice Syrup, Organic Banana Powder, Organic Sweet Potato Powder, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Soy Lecithin.

The girls really loved these treats too! These treats kind of remind me of animal crackers. They smell really good and break apart easily. There was some crumbling with them but it didn't bother me. I could use these as a bedtime treat or even for rewarding simple trained behaviors.

Overall the girls liked both of the treats we tried from Grandma Lucy's. I would definitely try other flavors and I would get these again! We would recommend checking Grandma Lucy's out and giving them a try with your pets!

ZoePhee is partnering with Grandma Lucy's and hosting a giveaway! One of our lucky readers from the US will receive the treats we tried! Enter by following the directions on the giveaway widget. The giveaway is open to residents in the US age 18 or older. I will run the giveaway for about a week and I will contact the randomly selected winner by email.

ZoePhee received treats from Grandma Lucy's in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Favorite Portrait!

This is one of my most favorite pictures that I've taken of Zoe! I took this at the dog park a few months after I got her. Back then she was still afraid of the camera so I was lucky that she would even look at it!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fit Dog Friday!

I haven't done one of these posts in a long time!! 

I got some neat photos of Phoenix running on the beach, showing all her muscles and how fit she is!

I love this dog! I honestly couldn't believe how focused she was on  her ball and playing with us!

"Throw the ball!!!!"

The beach is one of our most favorite places and I really wish we could visit more often! 

Do your dogs have a favorite place to visit?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope you all have a wonderful, drama-free holiday!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Phoenix is the best! Reactivity and Other Updates!

If you've followed my blog for a while, you will know that Phoenix has struggled with some "reactive" issues. She's never been a dog who barks and lunges a lot, so I've struggled with coming up with some sort of label for her. Isn't weird how we humans need to label everything??? Mostly, I just try not to.

Anyways, what I am realizing, after spending a lot of time with other more experienced trainers and bouncing ideas of them, is that Phoenix struggles with "proximity" issues. She is uncomfortable when certain dogs get into her bubble. Most of the time she's actually a completely normal dog. She just gets worried about rude dogs who don't respect her space and she's a little nervous with new people.

The past two weeks have been insanely busy for us, we went to the snow, we went to the beach and they've been hiking. We've been having so much fun but my favorite trip by far was the beach. Phoenix did so awesome. She was super excited about playing fetch and she had a blast. At one point 200lb mastiff ran up to us and Phoenix didn't even think about snarking at him. She was so good. I have tons of photos and I'll be sharing them with you guys soon!! In the meantime, enjoy this funny video of Phoenix "in drive" for her ball. She was side stepping, heeling and walking backwards! It was so funny!

A video posted by Lauren Miller (@zoepheedogs) on

Then yesterday, because Zoe has been feeling a little under the weather, Phoenix filled in for her at my work as a decoy dog for a reactive dog class. She was a little tense at the start of it but by the end she was relaxed enough to lay on her side and chill out. She was really good and I was so impressed with how well she did.

That's about it for our updates! We've been super busy but things are going really well! I'm really happy about where Phoenix is at the moment with her behavior and training. I realize that there will always be set backs and she won't ever be a perfectly social dog but I am really starting to accept her for who she is and work with her where she's at.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Snuggly Sunday!

With all the rain, the girls are taking advantage of the time change and getting some extra sleep! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

PAW5 Wooly: Snuffle Mat Review & Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic week! Today I'm really excited to share a new product with you! You guys all know how much I like promoting puzzle toys and enrichment for dogs and I was super excited when PAW5 asked me to test out and review their newest product! The PAW5 Wooly is their "official" snuffle mat! What is a snuffle mat you ask? Read on to find out!

The PAW5 Wooly is the newest way to provide environmental enrichment for your dog. It engages your dog's powerful sense of smell as they snuffle, snort and sniff their way through dinner! The wooly combines their natural foraging instincts with their dinner to keep their minds busy and entertained by using their most powerful tool: their nose!

  • Encourages natural foraging skills
  • Simply Challenging: Easy-to-fill and fun-to-use design
  • Fully machine washable
  • Handwoven from pre-consumer fabrics
  • Perfect for any breed, any age, any size
  • Sustainably handmade from upcycled materials
  • Durable construction

A dog's greatest gift is their nose - it's thousands of times more powerful than our own, because dogs evolved as natural foragers - finding morsels of food among grass, bushes, and brush.  Engaging your dog in this natural scent-driven scavenger hunt during mealtime makes them happier, healthier, and enriches their day! PAW5 products are designed exclusively for dogs and their unique natural needs.

Zoe and Phoenix have both been having a fantastic time using the PAW5 wooly for their mealtimes and I've also been using it for training! It's very easy to drop a few treats in the Wooly and then as they finish the last treat, I recall them away from it. As they get really good at this, I will start to call them away before they are finished with the food. It's a simple and easy technique to get some recall practice in, especially on rainy days! I was taught this technique by my mentor at work but Kikopup also has a video on it and you can find that here: Kikopup: Come When Called

When the PAW5 Wooly is not in use for the dogs, I store it in it's original shipping box and it doubles as an awesome cat bed! My cats have actually been fighting over who gets to use it as a bed. This was not PAW5's intended use for this thing but it's pretty funny and I figured you guys would get a laugh out of this! I sure did! All the animals at my house are enjoying the PAW5 Wooly in some way or another. It's a fantastic way to give dogs enrichment and a great training tool as well. I would recommend checking the PAW5 Wooly out!

I would like to offer a chance for one of our readers to win a PAW5 Wooly. The giveaway is open to US residents age 18 or older. The giveaway will run through the next week and I will contact the randomly selected winner by email. See the widget for the full terms. Good luck!

Monday, October 31, 2016