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Last weekend at the Nashville Pet Expo, Gracie Lu and I had the pleasure of listening to a talk about the importance of Doggie DNA Testing from Celebrity Dog Trainer and Pet Expert Harrison Forbes.  And this evening, I had the opportunity to interview Harrison Forbes directly about Doggie DNA Testing, Shih Tzus and Dog Training. Harrison Forbes, originally [...]

Celebrity Pet Expert Harrison Forbes at the Nashville Pet ExpoLast weekend at the Nashville Pet Expo, Gracie Lu and I had the pleasure of listening to a talk about the importance of Doggie DNA Testing from Celebrity Dog Trainer and Pet Expert Harrison Forbes.  And this evening, I had the opportunity to interview Harrison Forbes directly about Doggie DNA Testing, Shih Tzus and Dog Training.

Harrison Forbes, originally from Jackson, TN – two hours away from where I grew up – has always had a love of animals and an interest in dog behavior, from the time he was 8 years old and started working for a dog trainer who owned a small kennel in Jackson. His friends and good connections allowed him to be around great trainers.

He has over 25 years as a dog trainer and animal behaviorist, and his experience has propelled him to become a pet expert and popular radio and TV host. He’s appeared on  national TV shows, including The View, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, and more. He’s even trained dogs for Hollywood films – including Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Rainmaker”. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “Dog Talk.”

He’s a pretty impressive guy. He makes Gracie Lu daydream of the day when she will become the world’s most famous shih tzu! And get to meet famous people, too!

Adorable Gracie Lu Shih Tzu in the Grass

Chatting about Shih Tzus

What I think is even more impressive about Harrison Forbes is the fact that he owns a Shih Tzu! He’s a muscular, manly guy and yet he owns the most adorable, fluffiest Shih Tzu. Meet Abigail Elizabeth, the 9-year-old Shih Tzu. She’s been around the raising of his kids and is a mellow, sweet girl.

Pet Expert Harrison Forbes and Abigail Elizabeth, His Shih Tzu

Photo Credit: Harrison Forbes’ Facebook Page

“I know a lot of shih tzus and the range of temperaments and behaviors is really wide. Our dog, Abigail is on the mellow side and easy going. But I have friends who have shih tzu who are bouncing off the wall, barking nonstop and wild,” Harrison said. “Part of that is genetics with the combination of the atmosphere the shih tzu is accustomed to.”

Like Abigail, Gracie Lu is pretty chill and relaxed. She is not a barker, except when it comes to other dogs. The moment that Gracie sees another dog, she goes crazy, barking – even aggressively and tries to run over to them. But when she gets close to another dog, she quietly sniffs them without any aggression or trouble. But the moment that the dog walks away, Gracie begins to growl and bark again. This behavior worries me, because Gracie Lu is such a wonderful dog in all other situations.

I asked Harrison about it, and he said, “This is fairly common among Shih Tzu. It’s a very aggressive call to play that is over the top. Abbie does the same thing. She sounds like a maniac, and then she goes up to them and she’s fine.”

Black Lab loves his Shih Tzu sisterBecause Gracie grew up around a black lab – do you remember Bo? – and now we live 400 miles away, she misses that.

“Dogs are pack animals. There’s a void that she misses and that can be frustrating. She’s barking at other dogs ‘I want to play,’ but they can’t play and that is frustrating. The barking is out of frustration,” Harrison explained.

To help Abigail with this exact same problem, Harrison took her to a doggie daycare, where she was around other dogs for eight hours a day. The socialization helped and mellowed her out.

I appreciated his advice and will be working on getting Gracie Lu more socialized with other dogs in the future. In the meanwhile, we will work to perfect the “High-Five Trick.”

Teaching Gracie Lu Shih Tzu How to do a High Five

Doggie DNA Testing

I didn’t know much about Doggie DNA testing before listening to Harrison Forbes’ talk, but it’s interesting to learn how advanced research has come in this field.

For many years, DNA testing only came from a blood test performed at a vet’s office. Now, it’s a simple cheek swab that you can do in the comfort of your home. You can buy a Wisdom Kit or one from Petsmart, Petco or from other retailers.

“Finding the DNA history of your dog can help predict behavior and the possibility of genetic problems that certain breeds have. From a behavior standpoint, it can help you predict the predisposition of behavior. If you’ve had a dog for a long time, DNA testing can help you understand the WHY to their behavior,” says Harrison.

A dog’s ancestry can influence your dog in many ways. Interesting traits and behaviors, like digging and barking could all be related to the dog’s breed or combination of breeds. It can help you understand more about why your dog does certain things, and help you create a tailored training regiment to suit his needs.

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Thank you to Harrison Forbes for taking time out of his schedule to chat with me. Tune into his new show, starting on August 14th, Pet Talk with Harrison Forbes, a one-hour talk show all about pets -including celebrity pet interviews, Ask the Vet, Ask the Trainer, and other interesting segments. We are super excited about it!

Adorable Gracie Lu Shih Tzu Hanging Upside Down

Hi! from the Nashville Pet Expo 2014

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Hello from Nashville! You haven’t seen my fluffy face in such a long time, because Mama has been super busy. She just launched a eco-friendly and organic pregnancy and baby store – Preggie Baby Boutique and she’s been super busy working on that website and fulfilling orders and all that fun stuff. I’ve been helping with the “de-stressing” part [...]


Adorable and cutest shih tzu ever, Gracie Lu
Hello from Nashville!

You haven’t seen my fluffy face in such a long time, because Mama has been super busy. She just launched a eco-friendly and organic pregnancy and baby store – Preggie Baby Boutique and she’s been super busy working on that website and fulfilling orders and all that fun stuff. I’ve been helping with the “de-stressing” part of it. Licks, cuddles and snuggles make Mama feel so much better, especially after a hard, overwhelming day!

Anyway, back to me!

Over the weekend, Mama and I visited my grandparents this weekend. Grandpa, Mama and me went to the Nashville Pet Expo! It’s a free event with lots and lots of exhibitors from all over. I think they have it every year, and it sounded fun so we went!

So this event is FREE and they let you bring your dogs! Mama carried me around in a baby sling, because she didn’t know how I would react being around so many other doggies and people. (That can be very stressful on a little doggie!) I was very happy to be in the sling, and I just looked at all the sights around me.

They bring in big name speakers and celebrity dogs to this expo. Shorty Rossi – aka the “Pit Boss” and Hercules made their appearance at the Pet Expo, along with Horrison Forbes, the Celebrity Pet Expert. Their was a costume contest (which I missed because it was too late in the day, and we were there earlier in the day).

There were so many different dogs there – big dogs, little dogs, and medium sized ones. We saw some huge Russian terriers (but didn’t get to snap their photo), along with normal breeds we see every day. Here are a few of the cute doggies we snapped photos of!

Adorable Chihuahua

Boxer with head on His owner's lap

Black Labrador Resting

Look at this cute pooch wearing a pink tutu (with hearts on it) – Mom totally wants to get that tutu for me. I would look super adorable, though I would hate every second of wearing that outfit. This was one of the exhibitor’s booths. I think they were a doggie store, selling collars. Look at all the colors and styles on that rack there! (AND her pink stroller! How neat!)

Adorable Dog in Tutu in Owner's Arms

I was in a baby sling but we saw lots of stylish doggie strollers that pet owners had!

Mama and I ran across this very cool booth. The Darling Dog Portrait Co was offering to take FREE photographs. They had a box of dress-up clothes for doggies, and you could get dressed up. Of course, Mama couldn’t help but make me dress up.

Darling Dog Portait Co

So here we are. I look so sad and pathetic, but yes, that is a Cinderella Tiara and hot pink feathers that Mama made me wear. So humiliating but at least Mama had a good time at my expense. I have started to detest getting dressed up, but my Mama still likes to make me — sometimes… when I put up with it.

Gracie Lu Shih Tzu in Princess Tiara

After my humiliating dress up experience, I got treats (of course!) Some of the other booths were from dog bakeries and doggie stores. Look at their tables full of healthy dog snacks and treats. Doesn’t it make your mouth water?

Nashville Pet Expo Booth

Nashville Pet Expo

We wanted to spotlight this booth, because we think it’s super cool. Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit, which offers foster homes to dogs and pets of soldiers who get deployed overseas. Isn’t that so cool? The dogs are taken care of by foster families while their owners are away fighting for our freedom. We love the idea.

dogs on deployment

This was another cool booth we saw. It’s Pinups for Pitbulls – a calendar of beautiful girls and their dogs, and it is all about raising awareness to rally against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Breed Discriminatory Laws (BDL). Cool, huh?

Pinups for Pitbulls

At the Nashville Pet Expo, we also saw lots of doggies from rescues who needed homes. Like this adorable pup from Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee. Isn’t she adorable? We wish we could have adopted her. She’s so beautiful.

Rescued Pom for Adoption from Small Breed Rescue of East TN

All in all, we had such a fun time and hope we can go again next year!

Loving Moments with Mommy #MilkBoneLove

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I love my mommy, and I know she really loves me – even when I am trying to bite her and hide under the couch, because I am no longer happy to model in clothes anymore. Sometimes, I do give up though, since I love dog snacks. Mommy went to Ireland for one whole week, [...]

I love my mommy, and I know she really loves me – even when I am trying to bite her and hide under the couch, because I am no longer happy to model in clothes anymore. Sometimes, I do give up though, since I love dog snacks.

Mommy went to Ireland for one whole week, and when she got home, I barked and ran around, all excited. And she even got me the cutest toy! My boyfriend Louie has one too, but his is green and very much destroyed now because he is the # 1 toy destroyer. I am loving this pig, and how awesome is it that she brought me a dog toy that came all the way from Ireland? And I got two new outfits – which I am currently in revolt and do not want to wear! A puffy dog jacket and dog pajamas. Here’s a photo of my new pig.

Shih Tzu Love [click to continue…]

Safety as a Doggie on the Road

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I don’t know how many of you know how often I am on the road. Since I go to work my Mama every single day, and we sometimes go to Nashville, TN on the weekends (a 320-mile road trip), I am a doggie on the go. So when you say, “Who is that doggie in [...]

I don’t know how many of you know how often I am on the road.

Since I go to work my Mama every single day, and we sometimes go to Nashville, TN on the weekends (a 320-mile road trip), I am a doggie on the go. So when you say, “Who is that doggie in the window?” You should know it’s me! Gracie Lu the Shih Tzu staring out the car window!

Gracie Lu Shih Tzu at Car Window

I stay safe on the road, though. I have a doggie car seat that I’m always in. It lets me look out the window at eye-level without getting on my tippy-toes. I’ve gotten so used to my car seat that when Mama takes it out and then forgets to put it back in, I whine and whine and cry and cry. I just don’t know what to do with myself. I just love my car seat. I used to sit in the middle console but Mama decided that was too dangerous… So we got a car seat.

Shih Tzu in Car Seat

Now if I were driving a car, I would like to meet this very handsome Subaru salesman – Grant Weber, the official Subaru Canine Sales Associate. Watch him in action in this really fun – doggie themed commercial – http://bit.ly/WW7C2Y. I especially love the part with the doggie driving the dirty mailman car.

Mr. Weber is the star of this really cool Subaru Dog Tested Facebook app that lets you do all kinds of fun stuff, including create a doggie license! Here is my dog-approved license!

DogDriverLicense

It’s a really neat app, and lots of fun to play around with! How do you like my license? Don’t I appear all official now? So if the doggie police pull me over in my Subaru, I won’t get in troubles!

Subaru is also hosting a REALLY cool Rafflecopter contest that you can enter to win money! First place winner gets a $350 Visa Gift Card and the Second Place winner can get a $150 Visa Gift Card! How cool is that!

You have to like the Subaru Facebook Page to enter, and you have four other chances to enter to win. You just have to either tweet about the giveaway, use their online Facebook app, watch a subarea commercial, or share a Subaru commercial… or any combination of each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck pals!

This post is sponsored by Subaru. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign, but GracieLuShihTzu.com only shares news for things we support.

Tough Gracie Lu Wants a Subaru

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It’s not easy being this cute and with my new leather jacket, I feel like I’m as tough as nails. So, when Subaru and their new Dog Tested. Dog Approved™ campaign, to celebrate the love between dog owner and their dogs, Mama and I were on board to help! (Since I am Mama’s #1 Lovebug, we can [...]

It’s not easy being this cute and with my new leather jacket, I feel like I’m as tough as nails.

20130209-193631.jpg

So, when Subaru and their new Dog Tested. Dog Approved™ campaign, to celebrate the love between dog owner and their dogs, Mama and I were on board to help! (Since I am Mama’s #1 Lovebug, we can attest that there’s nothing like the unconditional love that doggies and their mamas or daddies share!)

And now I think I might want a Subaru to show off how cute and what a hot tough doggie girl I am! (I even bet my handsome boyfriend, Louie the Shih Tzu will find me super hots in a Subaru!)

It’s not easy being a dog and shopping for a Subaru. I do feel bad for the sales person, Grant Weber. I love this Subaru commercial – especially when the doggie gets distracted by the sexy feline cat! (And when the doggie swerves off to chase the squirrel! Hehe! I would totally do that!)

Subaru has also just released a pet-friendly Facebook app for dog owners. This app has cool little functions like “Subaru Dog Matcher,” to help you figure out what Subaru would be perfect for your dog’s breed and age. You can even create a personalized driver’s license for your dog. And you can also create photos of your dog driving a Subaru to share with pals.

This post is sponsored by Subaru. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign, but GracieLuShihTzu.com only shares news for things we support.

Are You Watching the Puppy Bowl Tomorrow?

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Mom and I aren’t huge sports fans. Mostly, because mom is a girl and a very girlie one at that. (Which is why, you will notice that many of my outfits are pink or a variation of pink.)  So, it shouldn’t surprise you that we do not watch the Super Bowl. Ever. This is how [...]

Mom and I aren’t huge sports fans. Mostly, because mom is a girl and a very girlie one at that. (Which is why, you will notice that many of my outfits are pink or a variation of pink.)  So, it shouldn’t surprise you that we do not watch the Super Bowl. Ever.

This is how I feel when I watch sports. Very sleepy. And fluffy, but mostly pretty sleepy.

Sleepy Shih Tzu with Paw

And this is how I am when we are watching the Puppy Bowl. Excited with my two front teeth showing!

Smiling Shih Tzu

Did you watch the Puppy Bowl last year? They had two of the cutest Shih Tzus trying to play football last year. They were super cutes! But all the other doggies were adorable, and I bet the “players” this year will be just as cute. (But I already checked the lineup. Doesn’t look like there will be any Shih Tzus representin’ this year. Bummer!)

This year, there is a really fun and interactive way to watch the Puppy Bowl IX (airing on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3PM Eastern Time).

The Puppy Bowl Co-Viewing App, presented exclusively by Subaru. As you watch the Puppy Bowl live on TV, the Puppy Bowl Plus app (that is available for download on your tablet or mobile devices, only on Feb. 3rd) offers you additional content to interact with and engage with. From cool facts to exclusive photos to trivia and polls, this app works in unison with the broadcast of the Puppy Bowl. So, the sounds of the Puppy Bowl on TV will trigger activity on the app. How neat is that?

Here is a screenshot of the app:

Screenshot of the Puppy Bowl Plus Viewing App

 

Also, because Subaru is a sponsor of the Super Bowl, this app will also pull in Subaru’s Dog Tested. Dog Approved Content based on spots appearing on TV. If you haven’t seen any of Subaru’s commercials and photos aimed at pet owners, you should check them out. They are really creative.

Here are my two favorite photos from Subaru’s Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign.

 SubaruDogTested_Keys

SubaruDogTested_Paco

And check out my favorite commercial teaser video from Subaru. Now that would be my dream car – a backseat loaded with delicious treats! It is called “Tailgate” and the slogan is “Plenty of room for cargo. Precious and otherwise.” Cute, huh?

This post is sponsored by Subaru. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign, but GracieLuShihTzu.com only shares news for things we support, and we love the puppy bowl! 

 

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