Spring, finally

10 03 2010

The snow is melting and I have been reassured that grass is actually green. I’ve almost forgotten.
It’s still cold at night and there is still a lot of old, dirty snow laying around, but in the weekend we saw the first Snowdrop flowers.
It’s been the longest winter in Denmark for many many years.

Pandora observing ducks

Pandora observing ducks

Busy schedule
Pandora has had a hard but good week.
Last Saturday we started training in a Boxer hound Club.
Obedience (yes, I know, I’ve said it before – I hate that word), later we’ll train track and defence work.
Pandora was somewhat restless and curious the firs 15 minutes. She wanted to play with the other dogs. But after the worst energy was burned off, she could actually walk straight in the leach.
The instructor thought she was very clever. I tried to tell him that she normally walks very fine in leach. It’s the presence of other dogs that causes hearing problems.

Anyway, we should also rehearse recall. And anyone who has read this blog knows that ‘recall’ is still a foreign and very exotic language to this dog.
It took several minutes to catch her after I released her, but what the heck. So did to all the others.
This was puppy training so it was so NICE that all the other dog owners had the exact same problem 
We’ll return to training next Saturday.

Sunday we went to the dog forest for the third time.
Pandora enjoys it so much. All these doggy friends and without the leach. Superb!
She is so sweet and forthcoming to all the other dogs that she immediately gets new friends every time.
Two male dogs tried to jump her. I wonder if she is coming into heat soon.
1 ½ an hour there and we had a very tired dog.

Alone at home – again
Monday she has been alone at home for 45 minutes.
She has been taken care of full time for more than a month now, because of her accident where she cut her paw. But now it’s over.
She must learn it again, and it’s hard.
This first day she has torn down a shelf with kitchen aids. It’s spread all over the floor but luckily she has not been hurt.
It is very difficult to foresee what she might destroy next time.
This shelf is probably fallen down because she has stood on her hind leg with thr forepaws on the shelf and it has broken down because of her weight.
The last two days she hasn’t ripped anything apart.

Sometimes she’ll jump the windowsill just to look out of the windows.
We have no curtains anywhere as she eats them.
Everything is moved, like books, remote controls, glasses, paper towels and so on, but there is often something we haven’t foreseen.
Like a shelf.

This poor shoe was alone with Pandora for 5 minutes

This poor shoe was alone with Pandora for 5 minutes

Swimming
Wednesday we’ll go swimming again. It has also been delayed because of her wounded paw.
In a few months we’ll hopefully be able swim in the lake instead of the swimming pool.

Ring training
We still ring train on Tuesdays and last time she was a lot more calm than usual.
I must say that the visits to the dog forest is helping her to burn out energy and to overcome the needs of ‘kissing’ and playing with the other dogs.

Admired
She is often admired for her wolfy look.
In the dog forest there is always some people who things she is the most beautiful creature in the world.
Now that she is 10 months old, I can actually begin to explain why she is different from other dogs.
Her stubbornness, her body language and her sounds and noises.
Luckily the trainer in the Boxer club was full of understanding to the fact that she is different and not the ordinary ’slave’.

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Sleeping beauty and the track

14 10 2009

(This blog is written a week ago and a lot have happened since. Next blog will be about BARFing)

Facts: As last time
We love mornings
Waking up with a sleepy dog. Mostly she’s lying in the foot end of my bed. Lazy, small eyes, yawning. Everything stupid she did yesterday is forgiven. The night takes the badness away. She is gorgeous.
And now, as we leave her in the morning, there’s no panic. Actually this morning she would hardly get out of bed.

Ten days ago I laid a track for her. All made up be shrimps and salmon.
(Before we started at all, Pandora tried to wear her track harness half an hour or so, to get comfortable with it so it wouldn’t distract her on the track.
)
Careful if there is a lot of wind the track will actually blow sideways (or wherever the wind comes from)
Leave it for at least 15-20 minutes the first time to make the grass leave some smells as it starts to putrescent. When the dog gets older and hard core to do tracking a track can be several hours old, even days.
Don’t EVER punish your dog, don’t shout, don’t do ANYTHING negative as the dog follows the track. You can ruin months of work, or even destroy the dogs ability to walk a track ever again!


Without the dog

The track was app. 10 meters (30 feet) long.
 I use wooden Chinese chopsticks to mark my track (natural smell, no bright colours) which is important so I can guide the dog in the EXACT direction in the beginning.
 At this first track, I took very small steps so that one footstep would touch the next. I did it at a lawn with well grown green grass. No obstacles were distracting (such as dead birds or more exciting obstacles – whatever would be more interesting than salmon?). For every 5-6 steps I put shrimps or salmon on the ground. As I know that she is very good at using her nose, I bend the track just a little. When I left the track, I made sure not to cross it again.


With the dog

After 15 minutes or so I returned to the track with Pandora wearing her track harness.
I showed her the beginning of the track and just few centimetres in I had left the first piece of goodie. Now she kind of understood that here was something exciting.  All the time, I showed her with my hand near the grass saying: seek, seeeeek in a soft tone, but animating.
 At this first track I almost showed her every bite I had put on the grass. She was a little unconcentrated, but then again she had no idea of what was expected from her. She ran around, and crossed her own track a couple of times.
The last few metres she started to react as she had understood the deal, but then the track ended. 
At the end of the track, a little more salmon was waiting, and she had millions of praises. Good dog, so clever, beautiful …


Track no 2

Yesterday I laid a new track. 15 metres long. Salmon and raw beef. Again marking every 1-2 meter with a wooden chopstick.
First she was a little confused again, then it was like she remembered! Ouh, meet!
And then she did an almost perfect track. Finding every bite on the ground. Of course she ran around herself a few times, but she didn’t miss a bite, she walked the exact perfect direction (and for every finding  I ‘clicked’ the clicker). A the end of the track a huge bite of salmon was put, but she didn’t want to end the track, so she follow my footsteps for several metres where I had walked as I left the track.
All the way home we walk in the side of the street and she couldn’t stop sniffing in the grass. It was like she suddenly had an urge to use her best ability. Sniffing. Using the nose.

The rest of the evening she was relaxed and calm. I had a walk with her later and she walk perfectly in the leach.
Right by my side, and sitting everytime we stopped to cross the street.
 It was obvious that the stimulating track gave her something important, and that it kind of took the stress out of her.
From now on I’ll lay tracks for her often.
The next 10 days we’ll be away from home together with her, so there’ll be lots of time to play, lay tracks and so. I’m really looking foreward to that.

Worries and food
I have made a discition to change Pandoras food as soon as we get home form our holyday.
 Right now she is getting dry food. Expensive, with the right amount of protein and stuff, but she drinks so much water and she pees indoor. Last night and the night before, she peed indoor 5 times – in the evening!
 That’s crazy. That’s too much. I’m afraid that she’s getting ill and loose too much weight.
I’ll look a little more into BARF (raw meet). It kind of appeals to me because she’s ‘half’ wolf. More about that next time.

A tired dog

A tired dog





Good dog, good week

5 09 2009

Facts: 50 cm, 15,2 kg. 4 month old.

And what does she do when she’s alone?
Thursday I spend the day free from work. I went to the doctor to get my knee examined. This gave me the opportunity to let Pandora be home alone I as I went home I parked my car at the neighbors house  and sneaked home. I was so curious to see what see what she was doing. I sneaked up to the window (I bet some passing cars thought I was a thief sneaking in) and I look in, and see: Pandora was laying at the couch quit and calm. Awake and observant, but not uncomfortable and uneasy. Thank god she wasn’t trying to break down any doors or smashed any windows. It made me very happy and took a burden of my shoulders.
Great discovering.

The cage
Next, we bought a cage for her as mentioned in the former letter.
Now she has chosen to use it when she wants to be left alone. She walks into it when she has a particulary good bone or wants to eat in peace. Also great. The cage is a positive thing, not a jail.
Two days ago she tried again to get through the cat flap and she got stuck.
She wined and screamed like she was beaten. One of her legs couldn’t get through and I didn’t know whether to pull her back in or push her out.
Finally I got her free from the trap and we couldn’t help laughing at her. I think she is now completely done trying to get out that way.
The funny thing is that she doesn’t understand that she is growing. How should she know?

Ignorance
Few days ago I went to my boyfriends work to pick him up. One of his colleges reached into the car to pet her, but she totally ignored him.
“She is very reserved and shy” he replied.
But no, That’s not it. She just wasn’t interested in him.
That is one of her wolf reactions. If she is not interested she ignores whatever it might be. No aggressiveness just ignorance.
To people who doesn’t know her it might seem that she is shy, perhaps seconds from being aggressive, but really she just isn’t interested!
It’s the same behavior when I call her and she ignores me because there’s a million other things that are more interesting.
Ignorance is bliss, they say. To her it’s true.

Hearing or not
Just a short note to tell that we sometimes meet up with some guys and play music.
It doesn’t seem to be a problem to Pandora to lay in the middle of it all as we play. Drums, bass, guitar and singing, very loud. I don’t understand how she can stand be in the middle of it, but she can.

A little show off
This week (7. Sept. to 13. Sept.)  Pandora was chosen as Dog Of The Week at the danish United dogs-homepage. Cool.

http://dk.uniteddogs.com/welcome

Visits
This weekend we are invited for dinner at some friends. And Pandora is invited too.
Very good friends indeed. Also to Pandora.
Hope she won’t have any ‘accidents’ in their house.
A nice weekend is waiting for us. I just cannot seem to spend enough time with her.
She’s a darling.

Pandora in her new cage

Pandora in her new cage

In the middle of the music

In the middle of the music





Use your doggy language

17 08 2009

Second week with Pandora alone at home wasn’t too successful either, but also not worse. She still hates it, but as she is picked up after two hours alone by my parents she isn’t alone for very long.
I’ll give it two months to normalize and there are indications that it is possible.

First: Now she can relax in the car as we go shopping and leave her for half an hour or even an hour. When we return, she’s laying on the back seat resting. That’s a good sign. It means that she is ok with being alone in the car even though (or because of?) people are passing by all the time.
Two: Her stomach seems to have become a lot better this last week, my parents noticed. Could indicate that her stress level is falling.
Three: She finds it easier and easier to be alone in another room than us. Or laying in the garden while we are indoor or vise versa.
We haven’t given up yet.

Tooth broke
Pandora had an accident the other day. As she was jumping out of the car, my parents dog tumbled over her by accident and Pandoras snout hit the door frame and one of her baby canine teeth broke. She hardly made a sound. Only the tinniest ‘eerv’ left her mouth. I’m so happy it was a milk tooth that broke. She has no problem chewing anything after this. But Wednesday we are going to the vet to get a rabies vaccination and the vet can look at the tooth then.

Barking
Pandora has begun to bark a lot. It’s not completely at dog bark, but she makes us smile because her bark is very deep for such a small dog.
She is always barking in protest.
If I tell her NO to something that she really wants, she barks in frustration. Like I am very unfair. It’s very funny but we also try to teach not to bark at us as she may look or sound frightening as she gets older.
This is also a quite funny situation as I have started to bark back, growl and show my teeth. And she respects that!
She actually got terrified the first time.
Doggy language is a good language to know.

Bathing
Yesterday she went into some really nasty stinking water at the lake. At home she had to have her feet washed. This doesn’t any longer cause a lot of sounds, only an urge to escape.

The girl is growing
Now 11 kg and 43 cm.
She is charming everybody. Even my mother in law.
“I just love that dog” one of my friends said the other day. And our neighbour likes her and always greet her with hugs and smiles and she likes him and greets him with smiles. She smiles with her ears (laying them flat down) and her black lipped mouth always looks like smiling. He seams to be a ‘real’ friend to her.

Learning
This week I’ll spend a lot of quality time with her. As she grows she needs to learn more stuff and I need to be more strict.
Barking on command is about to become possible. (But not needed – just for fun).
She needs to learn “lay”, “get down” and “here”. Especially coming by command is extremely hard as she is sniffing to everything on her way. I don’t know if she hears my but she sometimes look like I am the least interesting thing on her way.
Staying at our ground is also essential and will not be a problem to learn as long as no other dogs passes by.

Wednesday it’s rabies vaccination day, and that’s only to make it possible to travel to Sweden.
More about that next time.

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair





Home alone feat. Pandora

10 08 2009

First week with the doggywolf in the house – alone!

First day:
I had a call at my job from a neighbour I’ve never talk to. She told me that she had a puppy locked in her garage and she thought it might be mine.
Hurry home from work, having all sorts of wild unpleasant fantasies about broken glass, cut up dog, blood all over and so on.
But no.

The dog simply taught herself to open the kitchen door inwards and go through the outer cat flap again.

Buying hooks for all the doors and fix it in the evening before next day.

Day two:
Pandora stayed  at home as long as she should. 1 curtain was ripped apart in desperation to get out, no inventory was touched.

Day 3, 4 and 5, one curtain ripped a day, no inventory ripped. This shows her eager to get out, which makes my heart cry.

Because of her unwillingness to be alone I’ve made the arrangement with my parents that they look after her from before dinner, and till we arrive from work in the afternoon.

They have a very sweet Labrador boy at 4 years and the two dogs play with much joy and amusement.

So until now, it has not been a success to let Pandora be alone, but not a completely disaster either.

This weekend we went to Aabenraa  in south Denmark.

To our big surprise we met another Czechoslovakian wolfdog at a medieval market. A 11 month old female. She was very beautiful.

Unfortunately did I not get neither picture, nor address from the owners which annoys me now.

To my big surprise we also met 3-4 people who actually knew what kind of dog Pandora is. Somehow people close to Germany know this dog better than the rest of the country. Maybe because there’s a lot of wolfdogs in Germany compared to Denmark.

As for Pandora:
She got a million compliments. Both to her fascinating wolf like look and to her mild and ‘smiling’ behaviour. She really is a darling around other people and dogs.

She met a huge Grand Danois/Broholmer boy, weighing 60 kg and with a head as big as half of Pandora herself.
No fear!

She stole his delicious meat bone and growled at him after that. Very funny, but very no-go.

She saw fireworks, ran in the rain and slept between us in thunder and lightning.

No fear!

She now weighs 11 kg and is looking more ‘adult’ or teenage like.

13 weeks old, being a teenager

Pandora 13 weeks old

Observing sheeps

Observing sheeps