The nightmare on Mill Street

26 11 2009

Facts: 61 cm, 26 kg, loosing fur, changing to winter coat.

Exhibiton visits
Last Sunday we went to Brørup, Jutland to see an exhibition.
My friend and her baby Jack Russel were attaining the exhibition. We were just watching.
I did it mainly to make Pandora get used to many dogs at once.
We arrived around 11 am.
When we opened the door, still in the lobby, she sat down shaking. She couldn’t see the other dogs, but she could smell them.
Last time we went to an exhibition was when we saw Rolf, Xtreme and Uno. At that time, Pandora was so preoccupied with the boys that she didn’t recognise that she went in to the big hall with a bunch of dog. This time she was on her own, wide awake and very much on foreign ground.
But after 10 minutes she pulled herself together and went into the hall with us. In the beginning she wanted to greet every one dog in there, but soon she figured out that it wasn’t possible. After a while she calmed down. Of course she was curious, but she could control it.

A very tired Jack Russel baby

A very tired Jack Russel baby

Hairdressers battle
Oh my. I must say that dog owners are different. Of course they are. For all four hours we were there we watched a couple with their two Yorkshire Terries nursing them, combing them, putting bows in the hair and so on. I couldn’t help wondering why they were not hairdressers by occupation. Weird dogs with clothes, trench coats, jumpsuits, you name it. A special puddle like dog was being treated like a queen, hair spray, trimmed to the last ‘straw’ with a scissor, powdered and perfumed. The dog was obviously used to it. It sat completely still.
Pandora sat down and watched in her ‘give me time to see this’-kind of mode. To her big surprise the puddle suddenly moved and Pandora jumped backwards in chock. I bet she thought it was a teddy bear.

Slaves in line
We went outside where there was a competition in obedience.
That was (of course) completely different breeds. Wauw, what some of these dogs could do with their human J
Actually I have thought a lot about starting obedience training with Pandora but after watching the combatants for a while I got quite disillusioned. A lot of these dogs don’t act like individuals –  but like slaves.
I’m sorry. I don’t like it. And it always makes me think that these results are not just based on respect and joy but also on fear and force. I think I’ll try to train Pandora in some of these disciplines but I’ll never use force or physical punishment. If we can’t go far enough without that, we’ll just have to NOT be no. 1.
Anyway, I hate the word: Obedience.

The nightmare on Mill Street
Well, well, Tuesday we went to ring training to see how Pandora would behave among so many other dogs.
Ehh, she went crazy. She wanted to play with each and every one of them, but fell particularly in love with the enemy, an 8 month old Irish Wolfhound named Otto.

The teacher said it was all right that Pandora was a little uptight as she was so young. She did have the time of her life and it was very good for her. We will definitely go again.
But a funny little happening was as we had just arrived and a woman came over to me and said:

“Can I ask you what kinda dog that is?”
“It’s a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog” I replied, not without pride.
“Which means a breed between a wolf and a …?”
“German Shepherd” I answered.
“Isn’t it a nightmare?”
I was really surprised of her comment. A nightmare?
“No she is not”, I replied wanting to tell all sorts of good stuff, but she just turned on her heel and left.

Rude, I thought. She actually insinuated bad things about my dog. How could she?
I was also surprised of myself. I was really offended. Perhaps I was too sensitive, but really …

At least I brought a very tired dog home that night. But as we came home it was like she couldn’t really rest. She was wandering around in the house. Not crossing any speed limits, but just shuffling from room to room.
(The ring training is arranged by the Danish Kennel Klub, and cost 30 D kr (app. 5 Euro) for one session.)
(NB! Mill Street is where we live)

pandora the nightmare

Pandora the nightmare

Terror for half a year
This last week she has definitely been working herself up. Monday she tore a teddy bear to pieces, Tuesday she managed to push a glass full of chilli to the floor so it smashed to small fragments. Both while she was alone. Luckily she didn’t get hurt or cut herself.
My farther’s conclusion was: “From a dog is four months old until it’s a year old, they will try to rip things apart. After that, they might calm down.”
I bet he is right. It fits the terms of the dogs need to get independent.
I can feel now that I have to be more consistent. There can no longer for instance, be times when she can jump up and other times when she cannot. If she should be allowed to jump up it should be by a given order.

Ups
Last night, my husband had to go into the city to a meeting. As he left I thought he had closed the gate to the street.
Later on I let Pandora out of the front door to do whatever a dog does in the dark and after 5-10 minutes I called her in. That was when I saw the missing fence. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I had just seen a very big truck pass by.
But the darling dog was standing in the middle of the garden, not paying any attention to her possible freedom. Thank god (or whomever).

The week to come
Friday we’ll go swimming again. It’ll probably be the last time with the instructor. After that, we’re on our own.
Sunday is the big exhibition day. We are very excited but our expectations are not too high. But I don’t really care as long as I have such a lovely dog.

Pandora the movie star

Pandora the movie star





Weekend’s up

20 11 2009

Friday. Time for the blog.

Next week will be busy.

Tuesday I have made a registration for Pandora and I for ring training. Next Sunday she’ll go to the exhibition in Hedensted so I think a little education will be in place.

Last night we went swimming again. It turned out very fine. She didn’t love it, but she didn’t hate either. She was swimming several rounds without panic but as we came home later she was extremely tired.
Next time will be the last time with instructor. After that she’ll be able to swim with our guidance alone, the instructor estimated.
He is, by the way, completely crazy about Pandora. He keep saying how beautiful she is (and she is) and just like all other people with dogs as professional subject, he is fascinated and must know her behaviour compared to other dogs.

I have been looking into some training classes for Pandora. I would like to train something. I need a little inspiration. The dog is clever and I myself is an old dog training instructor, but even I need new inspirational ideas.
I think IPO and obedience training would be great (even though I hate the word: Obedience). So in this weekend I think we’ll start up a little.

This was a short blog but I guess next week we’ll have a lot to tell.

Ups. I forgot to tell that we are going to WATCH an exhibition sunday in Brørup, Jutland Denmark. My friend is going with her Jack Russel and we go to watch and learn. And we have also commited ourself to a ring training session tuesday to get a little insight in what to expect nex sunday. I’m getting a little nervous already. And it won’t be Pandora that messes things up, if so. It’ll be me.





Pandoras blog – by Pandora

19 11 2009

I guezz thiz blog iz about me therefore I’ll write thiz time.

Last night mom forzed me to take a walk in rainy, windy weather. Ztupid humansz.
I tried to hide under the sofa but I am too big.

Later in the evening the catz were fed with delicate tuna. I tried to reach them, but I am too big to go through the cat flap zo I almozt got ztuck.
Finally – while I waz trying to exercise my deliciouz body – I fell of the bed, tore the sheet apart landed on the floor with a bump and hit my head on the big chewing bone I had earlier in the day because mom waz afraid I would get bored in the ztupid weather.

Pandora deliciouz body

No comments

Tonight I’ll go swimming again, mom sayz, but I’m not sure I remember quite what that is. If it iz what I think it iz, why don’t we juzt go bathing in the stream behind the house? Or dip out feet in the water bowl in the kitchen, like I usually do? Hell, even the bath tub will do!

I also have complainingz to do. Can someone tell my people NOT to wrap me up like a spring roll!
On our evening walks I get wrapped in a black harness. Around that I have a screaming yellow waiztcoat with zome reflecting stripez on. Darn, I look like I am wrapped in catz with rectangular eyez – and as if this wasn’t enough I even have a blinking collar with red light around my neck. AND IT ITCHES!
Please mom, can’t we just go through the neighbour’s gardenz so we can avoid the traffic?

I don’t understand people. Mom sayz I am really good at ripping, but it doesn’t seem like she is getting very happy when I rip things like the ceiling inside the car, the sofa or the curtains. Why does she say that I am good then?

Let me know if you have similar experiences with your human.

Best Regards, Pandora van Goverwelle

Pandora van Goverwelle

Pandora van Goverwelle





Milestones

13 11 2009

Facts: 60 cm, 24 kg.

The BARF-page has been updated with Pandoras notes.

Barfing  for a month – Status
Last weekend it was 1 month ago since Pandora stated BARFing. We went to a 1 month-check with a vet. Not the same vet as first time, but with a guy who, himself have a Saarloos (a wolfdog originated from a Eurasian wolf and a German shepherd, but breeded in Holland).
It was nice to meet a vet who understood and knew the wolfdog breed. He said Pandora was very beautiful, no longer too thin, great temper (trustful and sweet) and the lack of muscles that had a comment the first time was all right, she is still young.
Her fur was a little dry so we increased the amount of lamb fat in her food. Everything else was fine.
“Remember, he said, you’ll have to have one more before Pandora gets 22 month old.”
We told him that she is socialized a lot and have other very good friends to play with, but the vet said that it would be good for her to have one of her own breed to be with.
I think that this rule is more important to the Saarloos Wolfhound than to the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog who has a different temper and better socialization skills.
“Also remember, he pointed out, you have two month left to teach her to go by train and bus and all the rest of the things she has to get to know.”
All righty then … we’ll have a train ride and a bus ride next weekend.

Swimming again
After last weeks disastrous experience in the swimming pool it was with a certain kind of scepticism we went to the pool again yesterday. But hey! She swam!
After one more try and without anyone in the basin as we thought was needed, she began to swim.
She only panicked for a few seconds.
Still we were all to busy to take pictures, but soon she’ll be calm enough I think. We’ll go swimming next Thursday, too, and then I think she’ll be more self confident, and she might even begin to like it.
It’s going to be nice to have a dog that can swim next year when the water in the lake and the sea gets warm enough.

Safety in the dark
As winter comes closer and the days get shorter, the need of safety increases. Pandora now wears a safety waistcoat with reflectors and also a collar with blinking red lamps when we go out at night. The latter makes her look like a UFO or a selfmoving Christmas tree, but it is nice to be able to locate her in the dark as she is set free to run in the fields.

The Ripper
This last week she has been destroying a lot of paper. Paper is her favourite and boxes, magazines, kitchen paper – you name it – are torn to little pieces. She is also still biting our hands if she is excited or plays. She doesn’t bite hard but her grown-up teeth don’t give one a lot of pleasure.

Otherwise she is just plain beautiful and teenager crazy.

Pandora ripping paper

Pandora ripping paper

Pandora in the eveningsun

Pandora in the eveningsun

Pandora mornings

Pandora mornings





The mystery about the creaking floor board

10 11 2009

Facts:

60 cm, 24 kg. She has reached her minimum height. She is 6 month old.

• The Facts About …-page has been updated

• The Growing Stages-page has been updated

Most mornings I go upstairs to our attic to iron my clothes as our ironing board stands there. And Pandora follows me. She has done that since she was three month old and we could no longer keep her downstairs. She is good at climbing stairs.
At the attic the floor is old, made of wooden boards and one or two of them are creaking when you step on it.

This creaking sound has made Pandora look puzzled and astonished for quite a while now. She simply cannot figure out what kind of animal that’s living down there. It isn’t visible and it never comes up.
Weird – and amusing.

Pandora observing the creaking floor board

Pandora observing the creaking floor board

Doesn’t everybody love wolves?
So far I haven’t met anyone who thinks Pandora is more frightening than cute, but it might happen. I meet so many people who find her beautiful, sweet and fascinating.  “I would love such a dog next time” they say. “I bet you would” I think.
Ones I met a guy who wanted a Czechoslovakian wolfdog because then the dog could “beat the a#¤% out of the two Pit bulls further down the street.” Not the best of reasons to buy a Czech. Sometimes I meet guys who think she is a real ‘tough’ macho dog. Other people just want a dog like her because she is special and beautiful.
Luckily this is not the kind of dog you can buy on the next corner.
My boyfriend and I (husband, sorry) are of the opinion that we’re proud of our dog and we want to tell how sweet she is, but we don’t really want everybody to have a dog like her because in the end she needs to be taken care of in a special way. This dog will be you nightmare if your evenings are spend on the sofa or if you don’t understand a dogs language. It’s good that it is a little troublesome to get hold of this breed (at least in Denmark). But on the other hand, those who want a Pit bull terrier will get it although they are absolutely not qualified at all.
What can I say: take care of your breed and always tell the truth about its positive and negative qualities. No matter what breed it is.

From a kennel or from private owners
I have had a dialogue with Regitze under the ‘About’ page where we talked about a dog’s background.
It made me think of the difference it can make whether your dog has been raised in a kennel with lots of dogs and few people, or if your dog is from a private owner or a small kennel where all the dogs are treated with much physical handling every day. I guess that – just as with humans – you can get very different dogs depending on that. I think that dogs being of a dominant and ‘strong’ breed, should be physically handled, touched and caressed form the earliest days, preferable day one of their life. The longer the puppy is without people in their closeness the more difficult it’ll be to get to know it and teach it things.

Swimming
Uh oh, I promised to tell about Pandoras swimming ‘lesson’ last Thursday.
Ah hm.
It didn’t go very well. My intention of taking pictures was completely unrealistic. The swimming pool is 6 x 3 meters. And Pandora walked on the side of the edge all the time. She hated it.
She was wearing a lifejacket with a handle on the back, but she was put in the basin alone. That was a mistake. She went in three times and every time she hated it.
She didn’t show any signs of fear, she didn’t shiver or tremble but she just plain hated it.
The instructor even fell with the dog falling on him as she tried to escape.
He was a very kind man though.

We will go again next Thursday. This time she will go in together with the instructor and he will wear a wet suit. If that doesn’t calm her, she won’t go again. I bet that if we went into the pool with her, she would calm down completely but that is not allowed.
More about the ongoing experiment in the next blog. Poor creature.

This is NOT PAndora swimming, but it is the pool she was in

This is NOT Pandora swimming, but it is the pool she was in

A small note of the small dog inside of a big dog
Pandora has now reached her minimum height. But inside she is still a little puppy. When she crawls around on my back as I lie on my knees on the floor. When she’s standing on the sofa,  jumps up and put her paws around my neck and lick me in the face, or if I lay on the couch and she walks on me to tell me she wants to play.
But she is also getting very clever. With  a little help from a goodie she can SIT, STAND, LAY DOWN, CRAWL, ROLL, JUMP UP, SHAKE PAW, GO BETWEEN MY LEGS, FROM SITTING IN FRONT OF ME – WALK AROUND MY BACK AND SIT BY MY SIDE. This is a lot of commands she can suddenly understand. COME is definitely improving and she can run free in more and more places.

Her track is good. She actually doesn’t care about the goodies anymore, she just wants to do the track. Yesterday she followed the track app. 30 cm. to the left of it because the wind had blown it sideways.
Clever girl.





Hallow wedding and birthday

3 11 2009

Today it is Pandoras 1/2 year old birthday!

Facts: 59 cm and 23,5 kg.

Hallow wedding
Last Saturday the 31. October my boyfriend and I got married.
In the daytime Pandora was taken care of by a very good friend of mine. It all went well according to my friend. Nice day and evening.
Pandora’s best friend Bandit came in the afternoon with his ‘parents’ so they could play all evening. We had 17 guests but the dogs were behaving very good and well-mannered.
Late in the night both dogs were very tired and fell asleep almost in each others legs.

It is now obvious that Pandora only plays with bigger dogs like a Rottweiler, a Labrador and likewise. When she meets smaller dogs, she so wants to play but she is too rough. She is now 59 cm and looking quite grown up.

Playing
Her grown up looks even fools me. Sometimes I forget that she is just a little puppy inside, though she is so tall. She still has a lot of puppy behaviour and I think she cannot figure out why she is so big when she is so small inside.

It seems like the little changes we have had in the training routine: sometimes using the clicker, almost never shout, always trying to be ‘worthy’ of her attention, has given us an even better dog. She is happy all the time, and she is much better at coming when called.

Last weekend we played RETRIEVE with a ball and GO FIND with my boyfriend. Each of these exercises we only did 3 times. But she loved the GO FIND-rehearsal though she cannot yet bark on command.
This weekend we played SEEK with a ball hidden in her lamb skin carpet. It took her one try to understand what the deal was. Then we played it three times but stopped before she got bored.  We also played ROLL AROUND last night using goodies. As she lay down I moved the snack just in front of her nose and over her back so she had to roll to reach it. 4-5 times, then I stopped. Now she knows what that is and we can play it again soon.

The dark time
In Denmark we changed back to ‘wintertime’ last weekend which means that it’ll be dark even earlier the coming months, so now we have to do our evening walks in complete darkness making playing more difficult. We must be a little creative.
I laid a track for her last night when we came home from work. It was at least 30 meters long and it had grown dark before we could start it. She did very well. She got a little unconcentrated the last 2 meters, but she went all the way to the end and afterwards she stuck her nose in the ground, sniffing her way through the lawn to find more treats. As we came home she slept for 3 hours – exhausted.

My friend
How come I dislike the word ‘obedience’ so much? The more I work with Pandora the more I dislike the attitude of ones dog being ones slave.
My dog is my good body and companion. I also know that a lot of people might think of me as a softie, but I have always been close to my dogs. I had a neighbour once who was almost annoyed of the fact that my dog followed me everywhere.
I would also never choose to have a dog that couldn’t stay in the same room as me. For instance denied access to the living room or have to live in the utility room. What kind of family member do you offer that to?

Future plans
We have now entered Pandora to an exhibition the 29. November in Hedensted, Jutland, Denmark. Pandora will go as a young dog (puppy) and she will probably be the only Czechoslovakian Wolfdog  there so she will get some prizes, but we are also very curious to what the judge have to say about her.

Pandoras birthday present
Thursday we will go to the dog swimming pool to teach Pandora to swim. We do that because she loves water but never got to swim this summer. This way she’ll be ready for spring as the water gets warm enough. This is not a needed thing, this is the mom and dad being curious 🙂
More about that in the next blog.

Pandora looking out of the window in the morning as we leave.

Pandora looking out of the window in the morning as we leave

Pandora and Bandit tired after playing

Pandora and her best friend Bandit tired after playing

Pandoras view these days. Autumn is here.

Pandoras view these days. Autumn is here.