Miss Millie’s Favorite Things
Let’s looks at Miss Millie’s Favorite Things. For those of you who have had the privilege of meeting Miss Millie you know she is a bit of an odd duck. Some of that is from the breed, Portuguese Water Dogs are a bit of a dog anomaly, but most of it is because she is just a weird little dog. I love her dearly and she is totally awesome in every way, but weird nonetheless.
All that said, here are some of her favorite things. You may notice a trend….most of her favorite things involve her working not playing. As a working dog she thrives on having a job or something to do.
Miss Millie has a gentle mouth, she doesn’t like the rubber or hard bumpers. The cloth ones work the best for her, but for the long term she will need to adjust to a rubber or thicker bumper. I ended up using bright colored duct tape, as well as a bright colored floating line, so they were easier to see in the water. I did this after she couldn’t see the bumper during a trial and we failed the exercise.
You can pick up a purple or cream one from 4myPWD.
The rope is Miss Millie’s favorite exercise. The first time she saw the rope she nearly lost her mind trying to figure out what to do with it. It was amazing to see how much of the water work is just known to the breed, much has to be taught but they innately know.
After much trial and error, including purchasing premade float lines I ended up making her one myself. I did this because the rope on the float lines was pretty thin, generally 3/8”, which qualifies for a water trial.
However, she was having a problem holding it. I get the irony of this since she has a gentle mouth and only likes soft bumpers. Remember I said she is a weird little dog. I am using a 3/4” floating line with three floats, two are small and one is 4” in diameter. The floats aren’t as important for size but she likes to grab on to them occasionally.
While you aren’t allowed to use a life jacket in a water trial, I use one for most of the year for training. She also uses her life vest when we are on the Standup Paddleboard. I really like the Ruffwear Float Coat. It has held up over the last five years and she seems to be really confident wearing it. Plus, it is very easy to grab and hoist her up on to the board or boat.
The most important thing to have at home for agility practice are weave poles. These are the hardest to learn and require the most practice. After trying a couple of different types of weaves these are our favorite. They are easy to set up, have minimal number of connections, and hold up well.
These particular weave poles aren’t suitable to training the channel method but they do work for the 2 x 2 method. Miss Millie was trained in the channel method but Mr Magoo will be trained 2 x 2, purely because of the weaves that I have available.
In order to make weave poles a bit more challenging eventually you will want to add jumps. I like these jumps because they are the most similar to competition style jumps plus they are a bit sturdier. Which if you have a dog that can crash through something it is nice not to have to put the entire jump back together.
Yes, there are some toys that Miss Millie actually plays with, not many but a few. One of her favorite is snake. Her particularly snake is no longer made but the one listed in the KIT below has proven to be a good replacement.
The only other true dog toy that Miss Millie plays with is Lambchop. She has giant Lambchop and small Lambchop and both of them are loved toys. In fact, she hid one from Mr Magoo the other day because he was chewing on the tongue. Small Lambchop has squeakers in each foot and the belly which is why I think she loves it so much. It can be extra annoying for human ears, but it is nice to see her be a dog.
Miss Millie also plays with rope toys that have loops on one end. Most dogs and humans would use these for playing tug, Miss Millie uses them to open and close doors. Throughout my house I have different rope toys hung on doors for her to open and close. Fortunately, she only does it on command otherwise I may not be leaving them out.
In addition to her traditional wire crate Miss Millie uses her soft sided crate nearly every weekend. This isn’t a crate for a dog that is prone to breaking through or out of things. It is, however, super handy for trials and traveling.
Even though Miss Millie is quite young she LOVES her AKC Orthopedic Bed. She has one in her wire crate as well as one that fits her soft crate. That one gets used less frequently because she gets too warm but she loves it when we travel.
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Miss Millie’s Favorite Things