Friday, October 3, 2008

Day 40

I received a question in my last post from Irene about crates that I need to address here. (Hi Irene, and don't feel bad because you're probably the only one who knows what a Leonburger is.) Putting it very simply, a crate is a small cage. People here in the States have them in their houses and we keep our dogs in them when we are away and sometimes at night, so that the dogs don't destroy the house. Here is a picture of the "crate" we have for Bear.

Here is a picture of the pen that Bear spent a little over two months living in with one 20 minute walk everyday.

This is the view from our front porch.

I have issues with confinement. I admit it. I really do. It probably has something to do with being swaddled as a baby. I don't know. What I do know is that putting Bear into the cage really bugs me a lot, as does leashing. When we go for walks and the like, I don't mind the leash. What I do mind is that every time Bear goes outside, he is on a leash or a tie. (We have a cable run out front we used for Willie and BJ when they were pups during hunting season.) We have never had a dog that we had to do that with consistently and I'm not sure we need to do it with Bear or if I'm just doing it because I know he has the Boxer in him, I had that experience with the family Boxer as a kid and I'm responding to that and Bear's size in giving him absolutely no freedom. We have also never had a dog so destructive that we felt the need to "crate" when we were out of the house. BJ did go through a real chewing period but not with the living room furniture. He went for smaller stuff.

Bear was chewing up the living room furniture.

The other issue is that hunting season is coming up and dogs that run who are as big and as powerful as Bear get shot. All of the neighborhood dogs know that they are to stay home unless they hear the coyotes going or they are with their owners. Bear doesn't have that distinction yet and probably won't until he's been through a winter...which he hasn't yet because he was born last spring...and is still a puppy in a very large body.

I think the issue here is that "very large body." Because he is so big, I'm expecting Bear to act like an adult and it just isn't there yet. He is still a pup, just seven months old. Off leash, with no visitors, he acts like a pup as well, hanging close to me and playing with Will. I can't rush maturity, but I can mold a pup and working from that mind set might do me better right now.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear


Irene said...

I can see how you don't want your furniture to be eaten up and then I see the need for crating. Will you crate both the dogs or just Bear? I mean, they won't keep each other company in the crate, will they? I suppose you will give him lots of rawhide bones to chew on while he is in it. I suppose he is having teething problems.

~Marie~ said...

I only crate Peanut when I am not home. I used to be uneasy about crating, but I supposed that I just got used to the idea. As a puppy crating was mandatory, but sometimes I let him stay out of the crate and just shut the room door. I have not let Peanut have run of the house while I am gone, and I don;t think I will. I have nightmares that I will come home to a sick or injured dog. He can be vary mischevious.

saratogajean said...

As long as you don't use the crate for punishment, it can actually be a very positive place for dogs. A "safe" spot.