You want pretty? I give you pretty…Kenai 23 wks old.
Okay, I deleted the post I wrote earlier, because I don’t want to hear about the less than fun goings on this weekend anymore than you do. There’s the wild BB behavior, Mom’s depressiveness, Kenai’s tummy troubles, my brother’s garbage… the only thing normal is Emily’s typical 2 year old stuff. Not fun, but normal at least. It’s all a mess, and I’m tired of it, so fooey on it.
There, how’s that for a bugger off to one’s troubles? I’m planning a day of play for Kenai, with as much fun as possible in it. I have no idea what we’ll do, or where we’ll do it, but it will be fun and somewhere else. Maybe a trip to the hardware store, or a run to Walgreens. There’s always a walk in the park. I’ll just make it up as we go, how ’bout that?
Kenai uses our playtimes, massages, and public outings for stress relief: a kind of puppy detox. He’s been a little shy on that this week, with the both of us physically low. I’m looking forward to group obedience classes, just so we can have some fun together. If he acts like a gufus and won’t sit for awhile, I don’t care! It’ll be a new experience for him, having all those other puppies and dogs around. He’ll adjust.
I just hope there aren’t alot of “problem child” pups, because Kenai soaks up whatever energy is around him very easily. With any luck, there’ll be lots of happy and easy going furballs. Tail wagging and kisses are hopefully on the menu, since Kenai enjoys attention. I enjoy his attention too… XXOO
He’s gotten so big on me. He’s pushing 90 pounds now, and almost tall enough for the “Dane couch plop” the breed is so good at: butt on the seat, front feet on the floor. Just a couple more inches, buddy, and you’ll have the technique down! As fast as he’s growing, that shouldn’t take long.
His ears have been untaped since Monday, 6 full days now. I stuck a piece of tape on the inside of the ear this morning just to straighten the tippy wilts, and it seems to be doing the job. Yippee! Maybe his days of itchy posts and puppy antlers are done. He’d like that, I’m sure. Me too, little big wumpus!
I let his nails get a little long, so I’m cutting back a little more every few days to move the quick of the nail back. Shorter is better for dogs, being much less likely to split or pull loose a nail. That hurts. I’m even getting him used to a nail file for the heavy duty human acrylic nails. It smooths the cut ends. He doesn’t care for it, but I prefer not having sharp edges hit my skin!
And a half-bath is coming up for Kenai today, at least in the plans. I plan to use a bucket and sponge to lather and rinse his legs. If he handles it well (yeah, right), we do the same for the torso. We have this fancy shmancy doggie shampoo that smells so nice and conditions the coat. He needs to be shiney puppy, not stinky boy…At least he likes getting brushed and dried off.
Well, I hear my neice screaming downstairs, so it’s time to get outta Dodge. We’ll go for a run in the field, and try the puppy bath. Then it’s dry off the rest of the way upstairs and hop in the car. Funner is better…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 15, 2008
Kenai, my gorilla in the mist, 23 wks
Oh dear, Kenai’s back to antibiotics. His pooty problems restarted this week, and aren’t responding to the probiotics, the fiber, plain canned pumpkin… sound familiar? So we give Metronidazole a try, since it can also kill protozoa and other nasties puppies pick up. But after the last antibiotic gave him a bit of colitis, I have to watch out for colitis again. I’m told that the amino acid L-glutamine helps protect and repair the mucosal lining of the bowels. Guess that means a trip to the health food store.
All the cooties Kenai has been treated for are frustrating, but not too surprising really. BB doesn’t have the same tummy troubles, so it can’t be the food or water. Kenai gets exposed to all kinds of environments with his training and socialization, that his brother doesn’t. And living in the country, his field and yard have traffic from innumerable wild beasties. I keep telling myself that it will build a really strong immune system in him.
If only he’d stop eating ickies in the field!! We’ve worked on “leave it” and ‘come”, and he’s much better about it, but still, he’s a puppy: no such thing as perfect obedience from a 23 week old puppy. Kenai’s darn close to it, though. Unfortunately sometimes he ignores the leave it and gets to the critter poop before I get to him. He once even tried to roll in it. Doggie ideas about grooming are not exactly the same as ours…
If he was a human kid, I would wonder if he’s doing this just so he can get his peanut butter more often. He’s a PB fiend, my little big puppy. A spoonful of sugar may do it for Mary Poppins, but peanut butter is the medicine delivery system of choice for Kenai. He knows where it is in the pantry too! Doesn’t matter how awful something tastes, if you put it in peanut butter, he’ll eat it.
Kenai’s also getting the TLC for his sore back legs. We do the Tellington touch, and gentle massage on them. I’ve limited his run time, which he doesn’t like. (I don’t either, since he gets bored and restless without enough exercise). The right hind leg seems the most sore, along the Achilles tendon and hock joint. The coming rain isn’t helping either of us today. Poor kiddo. Growing up is an uncomfortable proposition for Great Danes at times.
Despite the poopy problems and the sore legs, Kenai still enjoys his indoor play, and manages not to be too grumpy about his discomfort. His happy play is so much fun to watch, I can’t help but join in! He decided to play soccer with me yesterday, tapping the tennis ball in my direction so I can roll it back to him a few times. Then it’s pick up the ball in his mouth and leap about. When he’s ready, he’ll toss the ball up in the air, chase it down, and do it all again. Puppy soccer!
Our games of tug have evolved a little too. I still refuse to loose, so I’ve made tug part of a “let go” and fetch game. He’s able to get his feet up to try and knock my arm loose, so I’ve gotten really fast at switching hands! Didn’t work, toffee toodles! And from time to time I do a “puppy stuck” tuggie game, where my hand has the baby from behind and between his front legs: he can’t get either the baby or himself loose. Just a little reminder who’s bigger and stronger. Maybe he won’t notice I’m not!
He has tried returning to the keep away games with me, which means I need to bring out the clicker and treats. No keep away, love. Not when you’re a service dog and need to retrieve things I drop. A lot of it is the competitive stuff between him and his brother. But it’s carrying over, which is normal for puppies. They have to learn there’s different ways to play with different people and dogs, and need reminding of that from time to time.
Kenai’s ears are almost done with the taping! Yay! I took the tape off Monday, and only the tips are drooping now, so instead of a full post taping, I’m going to try using only a strip of tape inside the ear. The base and ever treacherous middle fold are still standing so cross your fingers. I really hope for his sake that’s all we have to do for the remainder of the time it takes for his ears to stand. The posts and wrapped around tape has to be itchy, and getting it all off isn’t much fun for him.
It is unbelievable that next Tuesday, Kenai and BB will be 6 months old. How’d that happen?! He was this tiny little tank of a puppy I could pick up and cart off, now suddenly he’s tall enough to be petted while I’m standing. It doesn’t seem possible that my rhino baby has been here for four months. I’M AGING!! AAAHH! Okay, old lady fit over…
It’s really gotten dark outside, and the trees are blowing around pretty hard. I think our trip to the vet might be postponed until later. I don’t like the way the sky looks, so I’m going to close up here and go downstairs to check the local news. One of the skills you acquire living in Missouri is the ability to recognize wall clouds and the strange green cast of a tornadic storm. Time to go.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 13, 2008
Kenai and his wildflower patch, 23 weeks old
We have a brazen spike buck that lingers in the field. Okay, we have two, but one of them is an actual deer. He’s there each morning and evening, nibbling away. Kenai stands and stares at him, and the deer stares back at Kenai for awhile, then returns to munching. I’d give anything to know what they were thinking about each other!
Since I don’t know what they’re thinking, I’ll just make it up and enjoy the dialogue…(Deer) “Boy that one’s puny”, “Grow up kid, before you try taking my field”, “How’d he get his face blackened?”. (Kenai) “He has 4 ears, only 2 of them are taped”, “How’d he get so big?”, “Talk about skinny legs”, “Why’s he eating trees?”
Our critter encounters are good practice for the “Look At That” game, from the book, “Control Unleashed”. He’s never pulled or tried to go chase anything (he always goes out on a leash). But Kenai gets transfixed and I sort of vanish into the less visited regions of his brain! Stimulation but not wild or reactive is how Kenai responds to animals other than dogs.
I still have to quietly get Kenai’s attention at times to click and reward, which isn’t part of the technique. But he’s looking back at me more often on his own when he sees something thrilling to his puppy brain. He will follow the “lets go” command to walk back to the house without any trouble, deer or no deer. If he looks back at the deer, he gets another click and treat when he turns back to me.
I’ve been so much happier with our outside field runs since we started using the exercises in the CU book, and having little “practices” before I unleash him. I don’t get concerned when he’s absorbed in the smells of something, because I know he will turn and do a zoomie right back to me soon, running to the delighted sound of a clicker.
I’m enjoying it again. We can stick in a “come front” here and there while playing. I can laugh at him and unusually only have to get close enough for a leave it once or twice. The playtime is paradoxically more structured, yet a lot more relaxed!
Monday was a tough afternoon for Kenai. It started off with untaping and cleaning his ears, then moved on to toenail clipping. He tolerates it, but doesn’t like it at all: patient but pouty. The ear massage and baby powder on his tummy afterwards seems to make it worth the indignity, though. He had to nap after all that.
Evening wasn’t much better: We were downstairs, and those two knucklehead littermates were after each other’s toys and parts and I got really tired of the teeth, ya know? It’s not always ugly though. Sometimes they can crack you up, before you have to scold them.
Kenai may have figured out a way to settle the disputes without getting in too much trouble: Tuesday afternoon, BB was biting his butt so Kenai stood up, and sat on his brother’s head! Pirate puppy became pancake head…the really funny thing was BB didn’t move for about 10 seconds.
He just lay there, lanky legs hanging out to the sides, his entire head smushed into the couch cushions by an 80 pound sack of puppy concrete. I was laughing too hard to be convincing with my displeasure. Talk about a “look at that”! You know BB was trying to decide how his butt biting game had gone so horribly wrong…
So like most people, I’ve got some success and some struggle going on! I really am glad to have this blog, because it makes me put the “stuff” in perspective, and consider more carefully what I feel. We all have a tendency to shoot off our mouths, myself included. Writing about Kenai’s life makes me think about it more objectively. And it records the good stuff, too. Everyone needs a record of their success to look back on and gain confidence from, right?
It’d be brilliant if I could reach a point where I could walk into the room every time and have this calming strong energy that just settled the dogs down. Wouldn’t it be great if I was a dazzling and luminous Dog Whisperer? Ah well, I have to work at it: try this, try that, and find what works best. Except for sitting on their heads…
The boys are now 23 wks old, and it seems my week long streak of bad luck with the camera has gone away for awhile. There are times I can’t get a decent pic of Kenai to save my hide, and then there are times I can’t get a bad one. It’s not skill on my part: I’m a point and click kinda girl, and glad that digitals can just be deleted instead of burning all that film. So along with a nice crop of volunteer daisies out back, I got a nice crop of pics for Kenai and BB’s blogs.
I must confess to being lax with my concrete butt boy’s service dog outings the past few days. It’s gotten seriously hot and humid here, and his tummy troubles have resurfaced again. So we’ve just been hanging out alot. I can’t start his weight bearing task training until he’s 18 months old, and considering he’s not quite 6 months, I’ll grant myself the slow and easy pace of this week.
I know, I know, consistancy and frequency is drilled into puppy training heads but honestly, Kenai is doing fine. His group class starts next week, and I have no doubt that he knows his commands. Class is for fun, and for socialization. With training service dogs, slow is fast. Do it once, do it right, and that only happens by taking the time.
Besides, it’s summer, and they aren’t called the “lazy, dog days” for nothing!
Human learning doesn’t run at a steady and unchangeable pace, and neither does puppy learning. They learn as they grow: in spurts. Dog’s aren’t grown until at least 2 years old, so what’s the horrendous rush to have their Good Canine Citizen test passed at 8 or 9 months old? If Kenai is 7 months or 10 months, he’s still got ALOT of time after that before the “in training” patch comes off.
We got time…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 11, 2008
Kenai’s sniffy down stay, 22 wks. At least he’s down!
Each dog has a personality that is their own. A dog will have the habits common to all dogs, like sniffing hiney for a greeting, or the posturing that is their language. A dog will also have the traits of its breed, like beagles vocalizing, or bloodhounds following a scent trail. We’ve bred dogs to have certain traits that furthered their hunting, retrieving, or guarding skills. Despite the fact that most dogs are now bred and bought today for appearance more than function, those traits are still there.
Anyone who bought a sweet collie for a family pet will know the traits are there, as soon as the dog started “herding” their kids, nipping at heels and barking. Or bought a terrier because they were small, only to find they hunt squirrels and the family cat! Some breeds have had the “talents” bred out as much as possible. Mastiffs for example were once ferocious war dogs, bred to guard and kill humans. Now they are big gentle buddies.
Great Danes were created to hunt bear and wild boar. I don’t know of anyone who uses them to hunt anymore. Pains have been taken to make them a true “gentle giant”. But the traits are still there! All of my Danes were great “nature” program watchers. I’ve had to change the channel when an angry bear showed up on the TV! Just last night, Kenai kept an intent eye on the lion pride we were watching a show about, and at all of 5 months old, he growled when the leopard jumped towards the camera. The instincts are still there!
Danes are terrific dogs if you accept their peculiar habits and needs. They are huge, and that requires some consideration of logistics: they’ll scrunch into a passenger seat, but there aren’t car restraints big enough for an adult. So they need to learn to lay still in the back seat, or the load shift could overturn a subcompact!
They need big stuff. Big, expensive beds take up lots of room in a small apartment. A 10 pound bag of food won’t last a week, so you’ll be buying high priced kibble in bulk. (Cheap food causes growth problems—don’t pinch pennies there!). Bones don’t last long under the punishment of those big strong teeth, either.
Obedience class is a big necessity, since you don’t want a giant 170 pounder swinging around like an overexcited Jack Russell. Dane brains are big: you have to keep them entertained or they do it themselves, and you may not like it. An untrained Dane is a giant problem child!
As a breed, they do the “Dane Couch Sit” on any piece of upholstery. The butt goes on the seat, and the front feet are on the floor. They do slobber, so wiping towels just come with the territory. Getting them out to potty in the rain is a “push me, pull you” affair more often then not. Curiosity about the contents of your fridge is genetic. The ability to check out the steaks marinating on the counter must not be overlooked. Drinking out of the sink is a possibility, too!
If you want to know what a Dane is capable of, so you can decide what NOT to let them do, read the funnies: Marmaduke is a typical Dane. A little exaggerated but the potential is there…
On top of the breed habits, each Dane will have their own idiosyncrasies. Kenai now loves his massage: ears, feet, and shoulders are the best. His eyes are gentle and observant, and the signals he gives when stressed or curious are subtle. You have to pay attention, if you want to “talk” with Kenai. He loves the little toys made for tiny dogs, preferably the ones that crackle instead of squeak. And he can gnaw down a big assed bone overnight.
Kenai likes a firm bed, rather than soft ones, and if the couch isn’t available, he’ll bypass a bed for the carpet. He has his “2 step stretch”, where he stops and stretches on the second step of the stairs. Twice a day runs in the field suffice for his exercise. If he doesn’t get quite enough run time, he is restless, but not unruly. He’s a tolerant dog, with a calm nature, and a sensitive spirit. Even mild corrections can hurt his feelings.
Now BB is a different pup entirely. He only wants ear rubs, and his feet left alone. He doesn’t do stairs. His eyes are tremendously expressive, and one glance lets you know what he’s thinking. Twice a day romps are NOT enough, and if he’s bored he gets downright undomesticated! He’s not naturally a gentle playing puppy, and can easily get carried away with his fun. He prefers BIIIIIIG toys, big enough to swing about, and he will nibble the same bone for weeks. He’s a lot more reactive than his brother, barking when startled, and doesn’t like the noise and suddenness of children. (That’s going to be worked on!)
BB is frighteningly intelligent, and will do anything for treats and affection. He is a higher energy, higher excitement puppy than his brother is. Make it an exciting game, and BB’s up for it. Kenai’s brains are kept to himself a lot: he learns very fast, but doesn’t make a big show of it. He’ll take stuff in stride, and just do what he’s learned without a big fuss. He has a tendency to want to decide if he feels like doing something…
When BB’s hungry, he whines and scratches and makes a commotion about it. Kenai will be restless awhile, destroying a bully stick in 20 minutes, then go and sit on the kitchen bed for an hour, getting up to come and stare at you occasionally. I’ve had dogs similar to BB before, but Kenai’s subtlety is a brand new experience. Working with him has had a learning curve for me!
Kenai doesn’t give alot of room for weakness, in terms of my attitude. If I’m whiney or pleading, he doesn’t respond to a command. He’s a very gentle and easy pup to live with, but he has a fine line between being firm and being harsh with a correction. Too harsh or too often and he gets depressed for a long time! Too weak or irritable in my approach, and he does whatever he wants…
Kenai’s kinda like a baseball player with a small strike zone: accuracy is a must!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 10, 2008
Kenai resting his rump after a few good rocket runs, 22 wks old.
Kenai has had a fantastic morning yesterday, mostly because I had a fantastic night’s sleep. Gone is the boredom of the past couple days, from rain and me being sick. I actually slept, all night, really deep. Yay! It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for a person.
It was Saturday and that made it puppy fun day. So we began our morning as always, with a trip to the patch of relief first thing, then a bowl of puppy food. After an hours’ digestive time, we swished the door and had a run.
Friday’s run was a wash out, but yesterday morning’s was a blast. He’d get 30 or 40 feet away, look up when I called his name, then unleash a rocket run right back to me for his hugs. Only twice did I have to go shoo him away from something. He started acting just a little squirrely after the second time, so I thought I’d fix his little puppy wagon.
I headed to the garage, and hauled out a push mower. There are areas where my big mower can’t get to, and since Mom’s not been cutting them, the weeds are some four feet tall. It was a heck of a job, and far from neat and tidy, but they’re down and can be trimmed up better later.
Kenai ran around behind me while I pushed it, hiding from bits of junk after getting beaned a couple times. He figured out he doesn’t get hit back there, just I do! So with that chore done before the temperature matches the humidity, we hooked up his no pull harness and had ourselves a heel practice where I’d cut.
I was thinking in the shower, which can be dangerous, but I did it anyway. Kenai had heeled so well, and after all the exercise, I decided it was time to slap on the service vest and go have lunch. We needed dog food anyway, and there’s a café place in the same center. Why not try?
I’d planned on sitting outside with Kenai, but Mom wasn’t about to. She marched right in an asked the manager, who liked the idea. So I put my faith in Kenai’s state of puppy tired, and in we went. We ordered, found a booth and had a seat while we waited. It was the first time Kenai’s ever been inside a restaurant!
One thing I need to work on became clear right away: Kenai did not want to sit or down against the booth. I had to work to get him to sit, but the down came easily (strange). Nothing could convince him to get up against the booth. Luckily the section was empty, so having his tush a couple feet away didn’t cause a problem.
Sits and downs in tight spaces need a little practice at home. I didn’t fuss with him about it there. I was more interested in how he would heel, and down stay. He can’t be expected to whip out a “no problem” performance first time!
He heeled so well: did his left and right turns beautifully, stopped when I did, and even slowed his pace when I said. Not a single pull on the leash. (That was a good thing, having a soda in my sore and swollen hand). Eventually I won’t have to tell him what to do as much, but that’s in the future.
The manager came up and spoke to him, and Kenai broke his down stay (awww, shucks). He’s still little, but that’s another thing we need to work on for awhile. Time to mature will help make that easier for him. Considering he’s all of 5 months old, Kenai behaved like a champ! I’m glad we did go inside.
I wouldn’t know what to work on if he didn’t have a couple little mistakes, right? Just sits/downs in tight spots and holding a down stay when people come. Honest to goodness, that was the only things he did “wrong”! Now that’s a GOOD BOY, little buddy.
After such a stellar puppy performance, I took everything off but his collar and let him play in the puppy store. A lady and a young girl came in, and he was quite the gentleman. But when a whole family of kids came in, I put his harness back on, in case he got too excited. They loved watching him play with a new toy, and he got all kinds of attention.
That was all any of us could take, so it was home we went! Wow, I was tired. Kenai’s head hit the bed and that was all folks. He was snoring in under 5 minutes. Mom sacked out too. I wasn’t far behind…There were 3 acres of grass up to my knees in need of whacking down. Napping was a prerequisite.
Unfortunately, I didn’t bounce back from the day’s activities, so the most fun Kenai had was making supper with me. The grass had to wait for this morning. I didn’t last long, and went to bed at 9:30pm. Darn chronic fatigue…buddy boy didn’t get a second run outside. A new bully stick had to suffice.
Something brown and fuzzy didn’t let me sleep all night this time. 2 am, and he woke me up, then went and laid down for a nap. I can’t tell for sure if he’s too hot or too hungry. Or too onrey, just wanting attention. We didn’t get much touch time yesterday, or the day before.
It is awfully hot up here in my bedroom. We get all the heat in the house up the stairwell, and also from the attic which has an access door in my bedroom closet. I’m hoping to have the money this month for a portable AC to put up here. The thermostat downstairs is on 71 degrees but upstairs my fancy shmancy Galileo thermometer says 78 degrees, even with the windows open. It’s hard to sleep through that.
Or Kenai could be hungry. He has this habit of going to the kitchen and laying on the bed to wait for his food. He goes out there all by himself as early as two hours before feeding time. He was getting too heavy on the amout of food that kept him satisfied, but if he gets too hungry, he gets loose stools.
I’m thinking about cutting back his digestive enzymes. Maybe they’re just helping his digestion a bit too much! Normally Danes will eat less when the temps go up for the summer. I could add some extra kibble to his last feeding, and see if that holds him. Uugg, he’s a little old for 2 am feedings…
So this morning’s itinerary includes the usual breakfast, down time for puppy digestion, a good run, then Kenai has to stay inside with Mom while I use the big mower. I got 3 acres of scrubland instead of yard and field. After that, who knows! Any bets on me and a nap?
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 8, 2008
Everyone knows I can do a sit stay. Would ya get the gunk out of my eyes and let me have a drink, now? It’s humid out here…Kenai 21 wks
Cruddy day for us, yesterday in puppydom. We had to sit out a tornadic storm Thursday night, so the four pack was together on the couch until 3 am. Then I stole BB’s twin mattress next to the couch and crashed until 5 am. Hard on the system… the weird night time accomodations seemed to throw the pups off schedule too. Danes generally get bent out of shape when their routine is disturbed.
Being sick to my stomach Thursday, and the sleepless night that followed beat me up pretty bad: I’m hurting and very very tired despite not doing much of anything Friday. Kenai’s sore legs are bothering him too, so he got a nice long puppy massage. He’s losing some of the extra insulation, and the ribs are starting to come into view again. But the cut in kibble is bothering his tummy when paired with some new training treats. Sorry kid, my fault.
And wouldn’t ya know it’s the weekend again…another wild and stressful weekend will hit about 8 am today. My 2 year old neice was sleeping when Mike brought her last night, and he kept her downstairs asleep all evening. So we got a small reprieve. But she has an ear infection, so today is likely to be filled with screaming and fussing. Bless her heart, I had tubes in my ears when I was her age from all the ear infections. Poor baby, it’s miserable.
I don’t know that I’m up for it, though. Could I have a couple more Wednesdays? I’d even take a Tuesday or two. Bah, humbug. Well, brighten up Harmon, and deal with it. Positive attitudes go alot farther in reducing the stress, right?
I know better than to make plans for what kind of day I want, until Kenai’s been awake and I get some idea of what mood he’s in… When you want a quiet day, puppies invariably give you a crazy one. When you feel like having fun, they’re sleepy and lazy. They do have a way of making you change gears.
Kenai’s gummy bear nickname is about over, since I can at least see all his big boy teeth above the gums now. Have to find another new one to laugh about. Swatty snot? He’s gotten awfully fast with those feet…reminds me, I need to teach him “no feet” commands, so he doesn’t lay one on Emily.
Yesterday’s outdoor play wasn’t much fun, since it we dodged outside between rain storms. I was really suprised that he didn’t want to come in when the thunder and light rain started. I had to make him because of lightening, but getting him to stop the runaway game took awhile. He really didn’t want to come in.
Having the little bitty leashed practice sessions before tuning him loose seems to have taught the idea that paying attention outside is important too. He has made a game of coming when I call him, looking up and having a good hard rocket run towards me while the clicker goes off. He’ll run past, then turn and get his clicks on the way back, followed by hugs and tushie rubs as a reward. Then it’s off to explore some more.
He likes that come and go game! I like seeing his eyes all bright, even if they do have allergy gunk in them. (Pollen counts are high). He was awfully bored yesterday, only getting the one short play time in. He’s got a tired “mom”, and I wasn’t up to much fun, with all the rain. He whined some but what can ya do? I just gave him rubs and we made supper together.
I’m working on a new page about doggie phobias, like the storm we had last night. It’s not quite ready, but I’m getting there so check back. I can’t seem to sit and work on the computer for extended times without setting off a migraine since I cut my Lyrica dose. Patience with puppies, patience with me…
I’ve also been needing the cane more lately, darn it. It’s a pain to mess with when you have a leash and a puppy and a clicker and a treat bag. I need a third hand. Or to lose the cane. Usually it’s the cane, since I haven’t grown appendages! Sometimes a third eye would come in handy, too. Part of having a service dog, though, is learning how to juggle your stuff AND theirs.
But there’s progress on the pool front, finally. It’s been sandblasted, so that part is done. Now if we could get some rainless, not humid weather for pouring the concrete steps! Can’t pour concrete in a thunderstorm. Or paint it for that matter. We’ve gone with a medium blue so it looks all deep and refreshing when you’re starting to melt in the sun. I’m no candybar, but I do tend to wilt…
Chelsea the Dane’s blog had a 7 item list of good dog owner habits that I really liked. It’s rather inspired me to play around with one of my own. I think I’ll get one fleshed out and maybe make a page of that too. I know patience has to be on it. Awareness too, of your own emotional state. My blahs go straight down into Kenai’s observant eyes, in no time flat (flat…pardon the pun).
Respect? Yeah, ya have to respect what a dog is capable of and isn’t. Maybe acceptance is a better word. They will try their best for you, even if it isn’t what they really want to do. Joy is a biggie on that list. Dogs are such joyous creatures. They run like the wind and play with a rock and repeat whatever makes you laugh because joy is the stuff of puppy life. Any excuse to have fun will do! Take it away from them, and you’ve lost something vital.
Well, it needs work so I won’t bore you, trying to drag along with the slower circuits of my brain after a rough few days!
One of the funniest things dogs do is what I call “snooting through the carpet”. They put their nose flat down and do these short little bursts of sniffing. I’ve always wondered why. Looking for a snack? Checking out what was there? Maybe some pot roast hit the floor there? Who knows…
The transition back to a four pack has not gone too well for the boys. I believe we have a problem developing. Twice now, while I was making Kenai’s food, when BB came in the kitchen, Kenai growled and snapped at him. I will immediately correct, and it’s a seriously dominant correction. Then I make Kenai down stay until I put his food down. Hasn’t helped.
Where the devil did that come from?! I can pick up his food and he backs away, Mom can, heck even 2 year old Emily can. But BB gets the growl. Dammit, I don’t like that. And I don’t like that BB is fiercely protective of toys and Mom. Kenai can’t go up to her without BB swinging around snarling. Then Kenai brings out the teeth in return.
So we have a spitting match going on again between our two males. I’m not entirely sure how to proceed about it. We had a pair of male littermates once, but Shabah never cared about who was top dog. Right now, both the boys want to be top puppy. I’m just glad they aren’t females, because those disputes can get really bloody, as I’ve been told.
There are 3 camps of thought I’ve encountered about squabbling dogs: one is to just let them fight it out. Not allowed at my house. Another is to decide which of the two I will let have status over the other. Uh-uh, don’t like that either. The third is to clamp down on both of them, and teach them that nothing is “theirs”, it’s all mine, and I can give it to whomever I wish.
The last one suits me better. Not because I’m a queen bitch type, but because it creates a pair of submissive dogs (in theory), rather than a submissive and a partly dominant dog. Question is how, and which of the puppies is setting off the whole business, or is it both?
I’m leaning towards BB being the instigator. I can walk Kenai past him without reacting to the snapping and wildness. Unless teeth hit flesh, then Kenai has to be hauled off before he does damage. BB seems to be a bit wild at times. I think he’s bored, and needs more exercise, but that’s not up to me to get done.
He was possessive long before Kenai got nasty about his food. I love BB and I make Kenai back off and wait while I work on BB’s leg for his PT or just give him attention. The more I think back, the more I realize Mom hasn’t done the same to BB: she doesn’t approach Kenai much since BB’s been home, and he misses her. He looks over at her alot, and when BB’s in the expen he wants to go and sit next to her.
Last night I mentioned it, and she gave him some attention while Beebs was in his expen. Kenai soaked it up, and was really happy for the hug and a smooch. He got so happy he started playing with a crackle toy!
I’ll be asking around for suggestions, and would love ideas from you readers. My plan of attack is to bring a screaching halt to BB’s possessiveness of Mom, but that’s not up to me. Mom has to do that. I want Kenai to get the idea that if another dog is directing crap his way, a human deals with it while he doesn’t react. He can’t react to other dogs as an SD. And BB needs to get the idea that Mom isn’t “his”.
This food guarding of Kenai’s is coming to an end, too!
So you can guess how tense the two brown babies are with each other right now. Wouldn’t it be nice for them if they could be brothers without being buttheads? Just hanging out peaceful like, and chillin’?
I think Kenai being an “only child” while BB was gone, and BB getting so much individual attention at the hospital is was re-started this nonsense. We had it settled after an intense bout when they were younger. Here we go again! I was really hoping to put off the dominance nonsense until they were closer to pueberty, but appearantly not.
Well, I’ve got to go empty the junk my brother piled in my truck last month and left, so I can get it inspected. I didn’t realize my tags were expired, so that’s first thing Monday. I have to get tags so I can get my big mower on the trailer and up to be fixed. Mike bent up my blades using it in the feild after I asked him not to. I know where the holes and high spots are, but he did what he wanted and now I have to scrape up the money to fix it.
I gotta cut the grass soon! It’s knee high again, with all the rain we’ve had. Pretty soon the snakes will be getting into it, and that could be a problem. So ya’ll have a good weekend, and I’ll blabber some more later.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 7, 2008
Kenai in his service vest at my birthday dinner 5/31/08, @ 21 wks old
Yesterday I took Kenai’s collar off upstairs as usual, and he was naked puppy! No collar, no ear tape, just a buff beauty in the buff. Au natural, my boy was. (As opposed to au gratin the night before when he was in trouble with brother!)
A nudist boy lounging in his boudoir, complete with sqeakers, squawkers, bones, and soft furnishings. The only thing missing was a harem. He won’t have one of those, since the necessaries will be missing when it occurs to him that he needs one.
We had a visit from a professional clicker trainer, to help me fine tune the techniques. Timing is rather important, so I wanted to be sure I was getting the idea down. Come to find out, I had figured out the basics on my own, from a book, in less than two weeks—that was a shot of confidence for me.
The time Kenai and I have put into his therapeutic touch and look at me exercises have really paid off. He is animated and enjoying himself again!! He went through the full gambit of heel, sit, down, stay with attention, come, leave it, up, stand, let’s go, let go, fetch, and wait for a solid 40 minutes. With a smile on his face, too. It was the best “practice” we’ve ever had. Ever. Paws down.
We have found out how to approach things together, Kenai and I. The past month has been a very sad and worrisome time for me, and him. I feel like some giant, crushing dump truck has been rolled off my chest and heart. I can breathe, and Kenai’s JOY is contagious.
It was joy, too. The fun of it all was more than he could contain. I just stood there and laughed when he paused during the evaluation to toss around a stick and play. It was the best moment, the best. He came right back on his own after about 90 seconds, dropped the most lovely auto sit, and we had some more fun!
He finally laid down and called it quits because he was too hot and wanted to rest awhile. MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK! I’m sure Joanie’s gentle and serene energy really helped, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her. She was a gift from God, when we really needed one. The whole day was a huge reassurance that I wasn’t a doggie training failure now and would be the rest of my life, ya know? How dark my life would be without a happy hulk on the couch next to me.
Kenai and I are signing up for basic obedience 1 and 2 tomorrow. It’s really just for fun. A girl and her dog fun. The reinforcement of obedience commands is almost a “by the way” for me. At the end of the two courses, the training club will administer the AKC Good Canine Citizen test for us.
It isn’t as detailed and challenging as some tests out there, but I would lay down the $2000 I paid for him that there isn’t a test on the face of this earth my boy couldn’t sail through by then.
How silly of me to not even look at clicker training before. Except to look down my nose, anyway. I was so sure I didn’t have the energy, I wouldn’t like the noisiness, I this and I that…dufus human! Guess there’s still some ideologue left in me after all. Put me on the Letterman show for stupid human tricks, I deserve it.
And speaking of stupid human tricks, I’ve let Kenai get a little too heavy. He’s not rotund by any stretch, but still it’s just a bit too much weight. His ribs aren’t visible, even lying down, and he’s got sore joints because of it. He’s suffered a cut in rations, and doesn’t like it much. Such are the troubles of a Great Dane pup.
You’ve got to keep them lean, even if that means they’re hungry, or they have problems. If not as pups, then as old-timers. The joints can’t take it. Mine are not doing well with the weight I’ve put on since the thyroid disease set in, so I can grasp the concept.
Kenai and I both can pack on a pound a day, only he’s supposed to during growth spurts. The only growth spurts I have are sideways, and only when somebody’s messing with my medications. I wish I had his ability to burn it off. Wouldn’t that be a Christmas in July gift? (Are there Christmas in July sales in other parts of the world? Just curious.)
All Kenai wants for Christmas in July is his teeth. He’d gnaw the head off a goat if it would hold still. It’d be a chore too, since he has one big molar to chew, one canine to poke, and most of the itty bitty front teeth to nibble with. The rest are either just coming up or not quite showing yet. Uh-oh…a new nickname has arisen: “gummy bear”!
“If you pick up nourishment along the way, you’ll be strong when the walking is done. If you pick up stones, you’ll never finish, carrying all that weight.”
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 4, 2008
Kenai the slobber face, 22 wks old.
Today Kenai and BB are 22 weeks old, or 5 ½ months. Happy birthday guys. Does that deserve a special treat? Sure, why not. How ’bout we go to the ice cream store and give ya a little lick or two. Okay, a Dane sized lick…
If you’ve never had a Dane, then the first thing you buy when you get your puppy is a slobber towel. It’s summer now, and Kenai’s jowels are plentiful, so the slobber is too. Have it in your hand while they eat, because they move fast, swiping the mess right over your good clothes. Kenai learned to hold still for “pretty mouth” at nine weeks.
Kenai’s impresion of Cujo the movie star will improve as the summer goes along. They can blow bubbles with that stuff, too. I’ll try and catch a bubble blowing session for you this summer. Slobber is a lifestyle.
With their size, Great Dane pups can make it hard to remember that they really are just babies. I’m glad I don’t have to find diapers for my 80 pound Kenai baby. That could be interesting, watching him shred the diaper on his butt. They make doggie diapers for incontinent dogs, but by the time they need them, they can’t really get to them back there.
To give those of you who’ve never had a puppy before some idea of what a theme park ride they are, let me tell you about yesterday. It was a typical “puppy” day in the life of a 5 month old: well behaved for awhile, and not well behaved for awhile, then back again!
The morning was smooth as silk, Kenai all dressed up and showing off, and the evening was rocky road. With a pair of littermates, that’s a double dip of rocky road, thank you, nuts included.
Kenai and I went for an outing to see how much the Tellington Touch and positive training has improved his loose leash attentiveness on the walk. Vest on, too, with the Easy Walk harness underneath. I don’t expect him to be looking at my face when I call his name in public, or ignoring the surroundings yet. Not yet, it’s only been a few days, after all.
We warmed up at the post office, which has both a busy parking lot and a nice wide strip of grass. Using the European leash, I had both hands free for treats and a clicker, but he didn’t want the treats. Too many other new smells for the same old treat to compete with. A “good boy” and some loving touches were fine by him. He wagged his tail.
I started by walking casually, just a girl and her dog kind of thing. A pleasure stroll is what it began as. I used “go left” and “go right”, as well as “stop” (and the resulting “back” if he stopped a step later than me…), simply so he could get into the groove of being aware of my movements.
He heels on the left side, and right turns are tougher for him to follow, so I switched the leash from between us to his outside. The Easy Walk harness clips in front, so I effectively had a rein… if he’s gonna be called a horse, he might as well have the accessories!
He wouldn’t sit, so that will be the focus of another outing in a week or so. I wanted to concentrate solely on his being aware of when and where I’m going. That’s all I wanted Kenai to think about, so he isn’t distracted from it by the other commands. Just me and him moving is all, until it is instinctive and fluid. The niceties can be added later, like fancy decorations over the frosting.
TOLD YA we were going back to the very beginnings.
I was so pleased with him! It didn’t take long before the affection and flat out simple old fashioned enjoyment of having a nice walk with “Mom” took over. And I stopped needing to use words for the most part! We had so much fun, I wore my legs out.
When they started getting too shaky about 30 minutes into it, we settled ourselves under a shade tree and took a break. Wouldn’t ya know I forgot the slobber towel…Kenai sssttrrreettccchhed out on his side, slobber trail behind his moving head, and did a perfectly doggie thing: he ate grass.
When I was up to getting up, we went back to the car and looked for a second spot that was different. We wound up in the lawn and garden section of Wal-Mart’s parking lot. Still no sits or treats, and there was more sniffing about. I just kept walking and rewarded when he caught up. But I could count on my fingers the number of words I had to use the whole time!
I was beyond exhausted, and so far over the moon I wouldn’t have touched ground the rest of the day, if the swinging puppy moods hadn’t brought me to earth. After a long post-lunch nap, Kenai and I went downstairs and the very first thing that happened was BB went wild, scratching and biting and being a butt.
Kenai isn’t the kind of pup to back down from that, or beyond using his extra 20 pounds to just take the toy away, (whether or not BB’s still attached to it…). So the dueling manly men were sent to their corners, again, and again, and again, and again…grrrr.
They’d behave for a short time, then here we go once more. The knuckleheads kept it up until I was getting frustrated despite my best attempts not to, and that’s never effective.
Even the Pope could lose it after an evening of that. Kenai was as put out with his bro as he’s been in a long time, and I could see a Great Dane sized tanking was about to happen. Should’ve taken the rhino babies out for an evening run…
I calmed down and decided to teach the local testosterone factories a lesson or two about estrogen. Kenai was pinned to the couch with a finger “bite” to his neck on my left, BB had the same thing to my right, and nobody moved until they were limp as old lettuce. Meeting with Jesus delivered.
It was quiet for almost 40 minutes after that. When the first signs of “I wants that toys” appeared again, I fed my bull elephant and took him up to bed. Enough for one day. I was too tired for hyper-puppy-needs-a-nap anymore. We then swung back to good boy mode, and had long satisfying cuddles, Kenai and I.
That’s how it goes in puppyland. At five months, they’re the canine equivalent of a human 3 ½ year old child, and have the same habits. They’re potty trained, but can make a grown woman cry…
“I had always loved Rumor, but my plans, expectations, and dreams for him had gotten in the way of really getting to know him.” –Leslie McDevitt, Control Unleashed
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on June 3, 2008