I've been trying all day to get Belle off my mind, with very little success.  I'd like to know more about her and how to fit her into our pack.  Mostly, I want to make sure we can make her happy.  I'm trying to figure out how she would do with the fact that I have two homes and travel between them often.  Also, I have a 3 year old male Golden and I know they would love running together but how do I manage that?  My other two dogs are older and really would just accept her.  I'd love to be able to make this work but only if it's the right thing for her.  Can anyone give me some guidance?

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Karen & Nancy,

I went to five different web sites with kibble reviews.  Orijen and one other were in the top rated category in all five sites.  So then I went through user feedback.  There were a number of comments on the other food that it had been acquired by a major corporation and that the texture and content had recently changed.  On the other hand, there was no negative feedback on Orijen other than the fact a high protein diet can be tough on the stomach and digestive track on some dogs.  

I like their attitude.  We're going to produce a dog food with human grade inputs and a diet balance appropriate to the carnivore background of dogs.  Then we'll charge what we need to to make a profit.  Orijen Adult is not cheap.  A large bag is $78 at my Mounds Pet Food Warehouse.  I have read that because there is less filler in the food that the portions can be smaller.  It's too early for me to tell on that issue.

To keep things in perspective, our dear departed Coco subsisted on a diet of tuna and sweet potatoes.  We're not talking about somebody's dog food.  We're talking about cans of tuna from the canned meat section of the supermarket and sweet potatoes from the produce section.  That wasn't cheap either, but he was allergic to every dog food we tried.

So we are weaning Belle over.  Assuming we don't run into problems with her digestive track she will be living on rocket fuel within a month or two.

As for scent and nose, we haven't done much yet.  I've focused more on hearing because it is more directional and when she is off leash in the dog park direction is important.  If she is going to feel comfortable roaming, she needs to know where I am and that there are no obstacles between me and her.  One of the issues we have is that Chari is allergic to perfumes.  So that limits our scent options somewhat, although we grow a variety of herbs in our garden and most have distinctive smells.  Belle has excellent cognitive (mind) mapping skills so inside of our house we haven't needed to mark obstacles. 

But I think if we do develop an agility course, putting different scents on different obstacles would make a lot of sense.  With a blind dog you can't use hand signals to direct them to what you want them to do next.  So it will have to be voice commands.  That means scent will need to be used to mark the obstacles.  How do you get a dog to jump over a bar when she can't see the bar?

I couldn't use scent in a competitive setting, But that's not why I want to give her agility training.  Rather it is all about overcoming her fears and giving her the opportunity to enjoy running and competing, something I suspected she hasn't experienced in some time.

Tom

I can attest to the fact that you do feed much less with Orijen than with most other foods, because it is more nutrient dense, and therefore, it does end up costing less than foods that appear to be much cheaper when you just look at the price on the bag. My food group members have also done actual cost-per-day comparisons. 

It's untrue that high protein diets can be hard on a dog's digestive tract. Protein is the easiest of the three macronutrients for a dog to digest and utilize. Much easier than the other two alternatives, which are carbohydrates and fat. :) 

Karen,

It certainly makes sense that a canine is going to have less stomach issues with a high protein diet than one with significant amounts of fat and grain.  I suspect some of the Orijen comments about stomach issues were from owners that took their dogs through a major diet change cold turkey.  That's why I'm weaning Belle over.  Right now I'm 2/3 Purina and 1/3 Orijen.  

It is also reassuring to hear from an expert that it takes less food quantity on Orijen to maintain a healthy weight.  I'm not exactly in a controlled environment here.  When Belle came to us she was getting 1 1/2 cups of Purina One twice a day.  But I've substantially increased the amount of her exercise, so I suspect that food quantity would need to go up.  In addition we are using Orijen freeze dried beef treats as a training tool.  That adds nutrient value to her diet.  Food cost isn't an issue here so whatever is is.  Thank you for your help.

Tom

Here is another site you might enjoy.  http://www.doodlekisses.com/

Yes, Doodle Kisses is where the DRC actually started. Great great site for all things doodle, and the smartest doodle owners around.

You and Belle already have a little fan club on Doodle Kisses. I'm sure they'd love to meet you and hear about her:

 http://www.doodlekisses.com/forum/topics/saw-that-belle-was-adopted...

And here's the link to my Food group on DK: http://www.doodlekisses.com/group/thefoodgroup

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