Pandora: 63 cm, 32 kg, 23 month old
My girl has grown up
She is sneaky and smart and funny and crazy … and very neat.
Just by coincidence did I see her discreetly licking the floor and then herself. By luck I found out that she was in heat!
My little puppy is no longer a little puppy.
Now I have to protect her from all the big, bad, ugly boys out there.
She hasn’t seen uncomfortable up to her heat or anything. I mean, Pandora always act a little silly and unpredictable. So it has not affected her much.
If you think I’m a little crazy here, I can tell with my old dog I always knew when she was getting in heat. She seemed in pain and unhappy a couple of weeks before.
As Pandora is weighing a little too much, we talked to our BARF advisor in the barf shop about it. He suggested that we tried to feed Pandora every other day instead of every day. She would then have to have the double amount of food, but chances were that she would start to burn off fat from her body.
It didn’t work very well and the change in her everyday life made her uncomfortable. That was when she took another bite of the new sofa.
She seems to be a little autistic when it comes to major changes in her life.
So we went back to the old way. She is just getting an even smaller amount of food every day. Unfortunately she also gets a lot of goodies as we train so much, but I’ve found my bike in the back of the barn, we train obedience and agility now, so perhaps we can get her (and our self) more fit.
Insecure or deaf
A change was actually five steps backward.
During the winter she got so good at the call back commands. It felt almost like an ordinary dog, y’know Labradors and Shepherds. The breeds that stick around and find their human interesting.
Now it’s spring. The snow is finally gone and all the great smells are back, birds are twittering and nature is calling. Calling a lot louder than me, ‘cos it gets harder and harder to call Pandora back when we are out for a walk. For half a year we have been training with other dogs and her ‘escape when you can attitude’ was almost gone. Well, now it’s back.
She chases birds, deer, hares and catches mice, worms and what-have you. And she give a … whether we call or not.
And then I had an experience.
Last time we went training she had to do a ‘search’ for a man.
The guy stood in the rim of a small forest and I send Pandora forward with a ‘search’.
The goal is to make her bark, and I don’t have to tell you that barking is not a wolfdog’s preferred language, so she didn’t bark.
He tried to tease her with some goodies, but didn’t give her any. I stood ten meters away, and then Pandora turned her head looking at me as if she needed help. I wasn’t fast enough so she looked at me again. Insecure of what this strange man wanted from her. Too late I walked towards her. She gave up on me and on him, like she was thinking: I can’t trust my mom, she won’t help. I leave!
And that was exactly what she did.
Ran off. It took half an hour to get her back. All the time she was like five meters away from us, but didn’t react to me offering goodies, smacking my lips, turning my back to her, fiddling with toys, trying to look like I just caught a rabbit. Nothing. She stared at me like I was an idiot.
We got hold of her because she wanted to play with another dog and the owner grabbed her.
Was she disappointed in me?! Lousy leader, I was, letting her down like that.
And I learned that though she is a tough little one, she’s not that tough at all.
I know it from when I get angry at her in the house. I point my mouth and open my eyes wide and stare at her. Not a sound is uttered, and she gets very submissive. I just never thought of her insecurity out in the field.
But she has good days too. And there are more of them than bad once.
Remember in the beginning when she was coming 20-30 % of the time? Now she’s coming 85-90 % of the time.
Last week we started at agility again.
Pandora wasn’t at all as crazy when we met with the other dogs as she was last autumn.
A small dog , about half of Pandora’s size, quite cute, is a little aggressive. Emma, her name is, would very much like to be the queen of the team. And she was last autumn. Last autumn, Pandora would have laid herself flat on the grass in submissive attitude. But not this spring.
Pandora took a look at Emma, sticking her nose to Emma’s nose and said: Yeah, you might wanna be in control, but you won’t control me.
No aggressiveness, no growling, snarling or anything. Just Pandora’s self-awareness and self-confident attitude. Then Pandora turned her back to Emma, and the ‘never spoke again’.
The trainer looked at Pandora and said: Wauw has she matured since last autumn.
And she has, of course.
To the story comes, that last summer, our wonderful breeders, van Goverwelle, warned us that a mature female wolfdog, can change temper severely. A wolfdog who’s been kind and sweet can become a very aggressive grown up female.
We have feared Pandora changing her gentle disposition, but now I don’t think it’ll happen. She must be in her most vulnerable stage right now been in heat.
The agility field wasn’t very difficult, and too easy means too boring, to Pandora.
She did the first run perfectly, the next she skipped a few jumps. Then we tried to run from the other end. Twice she skipped a few things. But I knew she could do the field, so it was okay.
And yes she did it without a leash. And yes she ran away once, and hey! I could call her back! With goodies and a luring voice she came back within a minute.
– Wauw has she matured, the trainer said again.
Pandora will never be a fast agility runner, but when it comes to intelligence, she might be the cleverest.
The challenges in the agility sport is very much her style.
I promised pictures of the toothpaste sessions. Here they are.