Dog trains man

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ear Nibble Prohibition

Viva is almost done with the cone-of-shame after her eyelid surgery. The stitches will be removed in a couple of days. But impatient Viva feels healthy already, and she can't understand what this new and evil ear nibble condom is doing on her head.

I can't feel anything ?!?

Oh yeah, this is so good, so, so good. Purrr.

We'll soon be back in the good old days.

Kenzo did smuggle in some ear nibbles through, he is actually getting the hang of how to beat this cone-of-shame. Maybe he misses giving ear nibbles more than Viva does receiving them. Soon we'll celebrate the end of prohibition with some old-fashioned and full-fledged ear nibbles.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hovawart TV: Hovie Zoomies

Heban gives an excellent display of the Hovie Zoomies. Ready? Set. Go!

Heban is a Hovawart with a blog, and although he writes mostly in Polish, you'll find a lot more fun video's of him. Have a look.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yikes, It Is Alive

Finally, the Great New Year's After-Party is here. The Pet Blogger Challenge!

To be absolutely honest though, we are, like Viva on the picture, a little hangover when we look at the results. We didn't reach our goals from last year. We didn't even come close.

The thing is we achieved the opposite of what we set out to do. We wanted engagement and put stats aside, what we got was doubled stats while scoring an all time low on the engage-o-meter. What can I say? I am definitely not complaining.

Can you still remember what sparked the whole Pet Blogger Challenge event? In 2010, Amy and Edie had a feeling of being bullied by their blogs - here and here. That's exactly how I now also feel. The blog seems to follow it's own path, despite of what I intend it to do. Maybe this blog is doing more than bullying. Yikes. It is alive. This is creepy.


Let's give the blog a final chance to start listening, so let's go to this years questions:

1. How long have you been blogging and provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.

We have been blogging for 2½ years. As long as there have been Pet Blogger Challenges, last years post is here.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

My secondary goal around travel was a wild-card anyway, as I didn't know how our travels would evolve. And as it turned out, it didn't. But I still had my main goal which was to have fellow Hovawart lovers engaged with the blog. Have them write for the blog, comment and discuss. In short, more engagement.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

I loved the contributions we got from Hovawart lovers for the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardy. I can't thank Kelsey, Nolan, Astrid, Deanne, Marc and Cheryl enough for participating. They are some of the most popular reads on the blog, Kelsey's post even made it to the top 10 of most read posts. Their contributions are so important for people to get to know the Hovawart, based on real-life stories and experiences, and not by the usual fairy tales you hear.

I'd hoped for a lot more though, probably my expectations were too high.

And on the bright side, the engagement was there, it just didn't take place on the blog. I had some controversial posts, like "Why The Hovawart Must Never Become Popular" and "The Forgotten Hovawarts", that were discussed a lot on Facebook, in forums, and got me the highest numbers of private Facebook messages and mails ever

4. How often do you post?

Ah, my weak spot. On average I only post once a week. We really have to remedy that.

5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?

I still blog as the spirits moves me. I try to find a good balance between keeping my readers interested and to continue to enjoy what I do. Although I write as the spirit moves me, I "publish" in what appears to be a more scheduled rhythm. I think some type of schedule is important if you want to keep your readers interested.

I have one - very selfish - measure to determine if a topic is "post-worthy". Would I like to write about it? Have an urge to say something about it? Need to express my opinions? And, would my readers possibly think it is interesting? Other than that, it should be about dogs.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your tips for staying on top of it all.

It usually takes me an hour to write a post, and another hour to edit it. Even for the Hovawart TV series, which in itself is just a video and a caption, I spend an hour just to search, watch and select the video. Some posts are tougher though, and need more research. In which case I write them finished in the weekends. A couple of posts even took me the whole weekend to finish.

I have a number of blogs from which I always read every post. They are on my blog roll, so a couple of times a week, I go through them and read what they posted. I have a wider selection in my reader of other blogs I stumbled upon that I skim through once a week. I try to keep the number of blogs below 50 at all times, as that really is my limit.
In all, I think the reading also takes around two hours a week. So in total, I spend at least 4 hours blogging and reading every week.

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

Something I always struggle with. The measure of success for us is how much searches on Hovawarts send people to the blog and how long they stay. Or even better, return. And best, if they would contact us with a question, or leave a note they appreciated the blog.
Of course in the end, it all leads to more traffic, and although it is a number you can't draw many conclusions from, it is the strongest indicator of how the blog is doing.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

What a great opportunity. What always is nagging me is there tend not to be a lot of focus here. We post in a wide range, like cute pics and video's, write about BSL, puppy mills and of course Hovawarts. And everything in between. Do you think that is positive thing? Or does the lack of focus actually works counter-productive?

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

Definitely BSL. July 2013, the BSL laws in Denmark are taken under the loop and there is a danger 13 more breeds are added to the banned breed list. But it also gives an opportunity to have the whole BSL madness repealed. Our goal is to play our part in getting BSL repealed.

The other goal is already decided by you, my readers. I received requests for more frequent and regular Kenzo and Viva updates. You really want me to blog more about them, the actual stars of the blog. And true, I blogged only 31 times about Kenzo, and 29 times about Viva. A very thin harvest for 2½ years of blogging.

And finally, I really have to get my act together and post multiple times a week. Maybe when I start blogging more about Kenzo and Viva, that shouldn't be so difficult after all. They shower me with daily tidbits already.
That should be feasible, even for a creepy blog that is alive. I hope it is listening this time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Top Spot For The Top Dog

Viva's favorite place to sleep is an old carpet we have in our spare room. Kenzo occasionally uses the dog bed in the room too. To give Viva some extra TLC in the post eyelid surgery days to come, I set up a camp bed for myself over there.

Hey dad, thanks for the upgrade of my room, glad you guys keep me company.
You really shouldn't have done that, so kind of you.

In return, I insist you take the top spot on the carpet.

Why doesn't that make me feel like the top dog?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Showing Off Our Waistline

Of course, you are the judge if there really is something we can show off with. And to explain why we suddenly became exhobitionists over night: we are joining the Show Off Your Dog's Wastline Campaign over at Jana and Jasmine Rade's blog Dawg Business.

Look at that waistline:

When you have a look at the infographic on Jana's blog, you can find out if that's an ideal waistline or not. I am blurred when it concerns Kenzo and Viva, they are always ideal to me. And while you are over there, read more why it is so important to keep an eye on your dog's waistline. Jana can explain it a lot better than I can. Knowing Jana, it is probably very important for your dog's health.

To close off with some facts. Viva was obese when we got her, her weight was 50 kg. She is now on a stable 43 kg, which seems a lot for a Hovawart lady, but she is a tall girl, so her waistline is a much better indicator than breed averages. Kenzo had opposite issues before his neutering, as he stopped eating because of all those love bugs in his stomach. He was even down to 39 kg, but after his neutering he is now on a stable weight of 43 kg.

Now show off your dog's waistline.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Am I A Hova Now? Or Half-a-Hovawart?

No Viva, just the Wart on the inside of your eyelid is gone. It annoyed you so much, we asked the vet to remove it for you. You don't need a Wart to be a Hovawart. Even without it you are still the most gorgeous ever Hovawart, sweetie.

So it was kinda like very expensive plastic eyelid surgery?

I'll expect a whole lot of Kenzo TLC the coming days anyway

Viva had a small wart - already as long as we have her - on the inside of her eyelid. Lately it started growing and annoying her, and yesterday the wart was even bleeding a little bit. So the wart had to go. Our luck was that we finally have Viva's health in such a good shape, that there was no additional risk to let her undergo surgery. The stitches can be removed again in 10 days, until then, we take extra good care of her.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hovawart TV: He's Back

Remember that fearless toddler opening a car hatch full of Hovawarts? He's back on Hovawart TV! Now in a scenery that matches the season.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Never Leave Home Without It

Treats, water, cell phone, doggy bags, and ... I think I forgot it. Now the real question is, does my mistake go unnoticed?

Hey there, dad. Thanks for carrying it, can you get it out of your left pocket now? Thanks.

No? Right pocket then silly, you know it should be in the left. Come on, check it please.

You didn't....

How could you!

Nope, Kenzo didn't forget. Never leave home without it.


Monday, December 31, 2012

What You Liked Best About Kenzo In 2012

On this last day of the year we want to celebrate some of the posts you liked best on this blog during the year.

Thank you for stopping by Kenzo and Viva's blog in 2012 and making us laugh, think and feel supported by all the encouraging comments you left behind.

We hope you keep coming back in the new year.

The posts you selected as the best by reading, sharing, and commenting the most, are - ordered by popularity:

1. Pet Friendly Travel Outcasts. Based on our encounter with a fellow outcast, and why us outcasts should enjoy traveling with our fearful dog too.

2. Victims of a Hovawart Puppy Mill. This horrible Hovawart puppy mill is still in business. Some of the victims tell about their experiences. 

3. Why the Hovawart Must Never Become Popular. Popularity comes with a high prize, and I wonder if it is not best for our Hovies, to remain hidden in obscurity.

4. Open letter to Mette Gjerskov. The letter I wrote to the Danish Minister of Agriculture and Animal Welfare. I got a response the discriminatory breed laws will be looked upon, but nothing like that has happened yet.

5. The Forgotten Hovawarts. A dive into the breed history of the Hovawart. I particularly like this one to be among the ones you liked the best, it is a subject I find fascinating.

6. Wizards Kelsey and Nolan, and their Hovawart, Ethanah. Written by Hovawart newbies Kelsey & Nolan, and an awesome kick-off for the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry series.

7. There Is a Time to Think and a Time to Act. Sharing Kenzo's temperament test and trying to understand him a little better, is probably also what I like to do best.

8. The Cat Behind The Dog Blog. How the legacy of a cat sparked the birth of Kenzo's, and now also Viva's, blog about dogs.

9. The Fearful Dog Therapist Strikes Again. One of those zen moments with Kenzo and how he interacts with other dogs.

10. A Week Under The Wings of a Guardian Angel. This is my personal favorite. Getting to learn Kenzo better - even after 5 years - and a milestone for how our bond has grown.

That's it, are some of your favorites among the ones on the list? Have a Happy New Hovie Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hovawart TV: Hovie Fairy Tale

Winter, puppies, Hovawarts. Pinch me, is this heaven?

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