Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Day 9


It looks like Saturday is going to be the day for us to bring my new dog home. I spent some time this morning at the pound with "the dog of my dreams that I want to name Bo, but my husband doesn't" and really had a nice time! He isn't as big as I thought he was and is a complete mush-head! It is not that he is not intelligent because he did everything I asked him to, he just wants to spend his life being right next to me and being loved. He isn't demanding of affection, but just really enjoys it!

We went for a short walk together and he enjoyed being out of the pound, but wasn't rammy or anything like that. He doesn't know how to heal yet but isn't "a puller" on the leash either. He responds very well to vocal instruction and praise, so I don't think we are going to have to use treats to train him. All he wants is a kind/gentle word and a good petting and he will do anything I want, basically. He isn't house broken, which is a challenge, but I think he is aware enough that it isn't going to be a huge problem, which is good. He never really took biscuits from the woman who has been caring for him but I think that has more to do with the way she was giving them to him. A lot of people try to give treats using a pincer grip with their forfinger and thumb and having the dog nip it out of their fingers. There are two problems with doing this. First, because of the way they are holding the treat, the dog feels like it is taking the treat out of your mouth. In a dog that doesn't have a propensity to nip, they will generally take it out of the hand and drop it onto the ground and leave it there. This is what my dog did when the woman caring for him offered a biscuit. The second problem with this is that in a dog that has the tempermant to be a "nipper," people who do this are encouraging and rewarding the nipping behavior in their dog. By taking a buscuit, breaking it in half and offering it to the dog from a flat, open palmed hand below his mouth level, most dogs will accept anything you want to feed them...unless they really find it unappealing. This is what I did with my dog and he ate six of them right up. Problem was that he then expected me to hand feed him his breakfast because he thought that was a really good deal! When he realized that was not going to be an option, he decided he could still feed himself.

I saw no indications of any nipping or biting behavior with this guy at all. Snarfeling with his nose is another matter. He has a lot of boxer in him and drinks everyone and everything in with his nose. How much of that we will be able to adjust, I'm not sure, but it is something we will have to watch with young children...and ice cream cones. Basically, the most overwhelming characteristic I noted with him is that he really loves to be loved and wants nothing more than to have someone to spend time with doing whatever. He's also very young and acts very much like a baby still, which is fine, he's just a big baby as opposed to a small one. We stopped several times while walking, by his preference, because he just wanted to be reassured and rest, which is fine for now. I think that was more of the baby in him than anything else. His canines are still not quite in yet, so he actually may be younger than thought or the malnutrition may be causing some developmental delays which is okay because intellectually he is very alert, attentive and responsive. We're just going to really have to ensure great nutrition for development from here to adulthood and keep an eye to the bones and joints once he reaches adulthood and exercise is going to be a part of that.

Now, it's time for me to do some packing as we are leaving tomorrow night for North Carolina. I can't believe all of this is happening so fast but things fall into place like that sometimes...well, at least this time. Don't know if I will be able to blog through our travels, but will try.

Happy Wanderings!

The Writer...and her dog who is almost here!

1 comment:

cosmiccowgirl said...

ooh, he's just a baby dog! How cute! Must be less than six months if the canines are not in yet. He'll have some growing to do yet, then, but plenty of time to train him not to pull on the leash before he is so big that he could pull you down without even trying. The behavior he shows on the leash sounds very typical of a young pound puppy - he missed out during his pivotal socialization period, most likely, so developing confidence will be key. Good luck!