Thursday, June 3, 2010

Manners Minder

As temperatures rise, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the dogs cool in my Honda Fit when we train. There are too many windows and not easily covered with reflective tarps. I was getting tired of putting a big dirty box fan and hot, panting dogs into my nice car to fog up and smudge the windows while drooling on the interior. That is why I have a van. Reagan, ready or not, it is time to get back into the van.

Along with soundproofing, we made a few changes for Reagan. We took out everything that makes noise. Nothing hangs on the walls. No key chains or extra keys jingle from my key. We replaced the wire crates with soft sided crates.And we have employed this little gem.... the Manners Minder.This invention holds kibble and dispenses it via remote control, at a set number of seconds, or at random intervals. It can dispense 1 piece of kibble or multiple pieces of kibble. The settings are endless.... good thing Reagan is one of my kibble eaters.My preference is to use the Manners Minder to dispense kibble to Reagan with the remote control when encounter rough roads or are passed by other noisy vehicles. It allows me to keep my eyes on the road and my shoulder in the socket. In the past, I would toss treats to Reagan, but the repetitive motion did not feel healthy for my shoulder. This little machine keeps Reagan focused and entertained on our trips with just the press of a button.

The Manners Minder has been very useful for local trips. Reagan is always very excited to go and loads willingly. She is most nervous when I start the engine, back out of the driveway, and leave the neighborhood.... I am not sure why, but she will leap to her feet and circle around. She appears to settle down after a few minutes and then will occasionally have bad moments. All in all, she has managed our trips to and from the agility field and training building fairly well.

10 comments:

Malika said...

Very clever! Hope it helps her settle in more and more. Good luck!

Sandy ~~~ said...

OOOOOOOOOO....I want one. I don't know if I need it for anything but it would be cool to have one to use. I love gadgets...can you tell?

jcp said...

think of what fun it would be if you could attach the remote to a computer.. Then you could setup a webcam and watch them as you treat them remotely from work :)

Muttsandaklutz said...

Brilliant!! I never would have thought of that.

KF-in-Georgia said...

Sam wants to know if they make a Manners Minder that dispenses french fries. Or popcorn.

Seriously, if we did more travel than we currently do, I'd be looking into one for Sam. Something that distracts him from oh-my-god-I'm-riding-in-the-car-and-I'm-gonna-be-sick could be very useful.

houndstooth said...

I've heard of those things, but I didn't realize they had so many options! She looks happy as a clam in there!

Marie said...

Wow that is amazing! I didn't realize they made such a thing. (I only knew about the kong dispenser) Thanks for the heads up. Glad to see it is helping!

Lindy MacDuff said...

I wish we would have had one of those back when we had Sophie. She was a nervous rider. Well, we'll be better prepared the next time we adopt. =)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

The behaviorist told me about this gem. I don't think it would work for car sick dogs as they probably would not want to eat anyway and they may throw up if they did eat. Reagan is just startled and nervous, but is not car sick.

I think the primary use was to use it to teach dogs not to jump on your guests.

Ingrid said...

Interesting, i have not seen these before, very nifty idea.

As Reagan is nervous, anxiety wise, maybe some clicker work may help here too? Works extremely well with high anxiety/nervous floaters in horses so may help Reagan in some ways.

She may need to be in an calm-balanced state (not excited) before approaching the car, or anything associations with the car, so anxiety is not building up prior the loading process.