Pandoras Box

24 03 2010

Pandora has a box.
She ’must have’, right?
Actually she’s got two.
In the boxes, all kinds of good stuff are waiting to be picked up by Pandora. The boxes are filled with goodies like dried pigs ear, dried lounges, salmon chips and so on.
The fur kid doesn’t want any of it.
Sometimes she takes an ear, starts to walk around in the house. Frustrated and unhappy.
She is whining and complaining.
Then she wants to go out, and outside she’ll dig a hole, put the treat in it and cover it again.
What she cannot eat, she stores until another day (when a green, bad-smelling ear is delicious).
Sometimes she stores raw meet in the corner of the sofa!

The bone yard
These mornings it’s getting light outside earlier and earlier. Pandora rises with the sun, and sometimes I can hear her, in my light sleep, that she is chewing a bone somewhere in the house.
This morning as I got up and went to the kitchen, Pandora had collected all her accessible bones and spread them on the kitchen floor. I’m impressed. She has never done that before, but she must have had a great time finding them.

(She has approximately 117 more in the Pandora Boxes).

Pandoras boneyard

Pandoras boneyard

We have been to the training lessons three times now in the boxer club.
We have also been training a little in between and it is obvious now that she has learned stuff.
Sit, walk in leach and following in all directions, slow walking, running, stand.
All these things are getting so much better by the day.

Two days ago when I came home from work I laid a track with some cat food. We discovered by coincident that cat food was perfect for recall, so why not use it now and then.
The only problem is that she is barfing and mainly eats raw meat and I don’t want to ruin her stomach.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog walking a track

Pandora's tracking

I hope I don’t jinx anything, but I have a vague feeling of her recall improving.
I cannot call her in if I’m standing upwards and bend over, reaching for her.
But if I sit on my knees she puts down her ears, smacks her lips, eyes get small and she comes.
Big thing.
All signs of subjecting are there which in the end should also go away and be replaced by a self-confident dog.

Holiday and a new car
Next week it is Easter holiday.
This will give us time to fence the entire ground to stop the out-breaking dog from … breaking out!
Wednesday next week, will go get a new car with room for the fur kid in the back. It’s going to be so nice to have a car where the ceiling ain’t eaten 😉

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.

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.

Is there a human inside?

23 10 2009

The temperature in Denmark is dropping.
It’s autumn now, the leaves are turning into yellow-brownish and the days are short.

We can no longer let the door be open all day, it’s too cold.
Yesterday Pandora barked for the first time because she wanted to go out and pee. Great!

Our two cats are now coming into the house again although Pandora is there. She still chases Shiva the female cat occasionally, but the other cat Odin has figured out that if he lies still (superciliously on the dinner chair) Pandora simply do not know what to do with him so she leaves him alone.

Dominant brute
These days I am studying a lot of wolf background to get to know my dog better. I see the ‘light’ over and over again as the books describe the almost exact way I have trained my dogs so far. Not being a dominant brute seems to be the main keywords which suits me fine as it was never my style.
I have always trained my dogs by playing with them. I feared in the beginning that Pandora would need a tougher way of training, but it’s not the case. All the things the ‘old psychology’ dictated to show your domination, turns out to be rubbish. Such as:
Eat before your dog – well we don’t and we never did. It makes no sense anyway.
Make forbidden areas/furniture in the house – Pandora can be where she wishes to be except on the tables. Just like any other ‘animal’ in the family.
Walk through the door before your dog – Why? I couldn’t wrap my mind around that and remember it even if my life depended on it.

And I could go on. In my life with animals mutual respect has always been the issue. I don’t do things TO my dog I do things TOGETHER WITH my dog. To get her respect I have to be exciting and inspirational, just as other people have to be exciting and inspirational to get my attention. It’s quite logical.

The ‘difficulties’ with Pandora is her individuality. She’s not stupid but she can ignore things totally if she’s on to something else. Certain things are easy to teach her, other things seams to be so not interesting that she plays deaf. But with ‘tricks and treats’ I can lure her into the game.
I would never ever punish her physically and I discovered that starring into her eyes is enough punishment.
Another important thing is the way we socialized her from day one. She has met more than 30 dogs she could ‘talk’ to and she has at least 3 regular play pals. She has also been socialized with as many people as possible, and she meets other people every day and has at least 10 people who’s not afraid of her and can handle her – also playing a little roughly.

The human in the dog
Let me point this out: THERE IS NONE!
As mammals we have similar behaviour in many ways. This gives us a good base for understanding each other. But we have different bodies and therefore different body languages and visual appearance. Showing my teeth means smiling, when the dog shows its teeth it’s almost never a ‘smile’ etc.

Your dog never gets in the ‘assertive age’ or does things to provoke you; your dog is maturing and trying to stand on its own four feet just as any other teenager.
(See the sub site: Chronological Stages)

Your dog doesn’t need cakes, ice cream, chocolate, candy or any of those things it would never find in nature.
Confession: My old dog loved pizza, but Pandora has never tasted it and she never will.

A dog has fur!
Which is smart, it’ll make the dog resist cold wind, snow and rain. Your dog DOES NOT NEED clothes!
(Except for few breeds that needs a little help in the winter). Your dog DOES NOT see itself as cute in at pink pyjamas or a laced skirt.

Your dog doesn’t need to be carried around in a bag. It has four super designed legs to walk on. Let it!

Conclusion: There is just as much human in a dog as there is dog in a human. We are individual beings, behaving differently. Respect that!

We’re all in a box
A funny thing about humans is that we are just as predictable as any dog or breed.
Looking at which people chooses which dog breeds, tells us a lot of things.
It seams like those who chooses the ‘natural’-looking dogs (with long snouts, upright ears and long tales) almost never buy pink collars with rhinestones, fluffy footwear or velvet leaches to their dog.
On the other hand a lot of moloss owners buy a huge leather collar with spikes, call their dog Tyson and cut their bleached hair short. It’s really funny. Just go to dog exhibitions and see for yourself.

This was a bit different blog and I might have offended some people with my opinions, but I’ve seen so many pictures of dogs dressed up to amuse people and it disgusts me. Sorry.


Pandora watching washing machine

Pandora watching washing machine

Pandora watching a stuffed wild boar

Pandora watching a stuffed wild boar

Pandora hiding – tired of people!

Pandora hiding – tired of people!

Pandora in Jutland

21 10 2009

Facts: as last time

Clever girl
She is now much better at coming when she is called. Every time I call and she comes I give her a treat and/or much gratitude.

She now sits, lays down and walks by my side when told to.

A short note on BARFing
We are now BARFing (eating raw meet) or she is I should say. (See more about BARFing elsewhere at this page). It has become her well.

Holiday in Jut-land
As many will know we have a huge LEGOLAND in Billund Denmark. Me and my boyfriend and two other went there in week 42 to do a fireshow every evening that week. And of course Pandora went with us. It gave us a lot of time together. Some days I laid a track for her, and she does that very well now. The last track was 60 meters long and pretty difficult. Crossing a small street, through leaves and long grass.

When we went to do the show she slept for 40 minutes in the car. It all went very well until the second last day when she almost tore the entire car apart. She tore down the ceiling and bit in the sun screen. Luckily we are going to have a new (used) car in the spring.

Pandora in LEGOLAND
Pandora in LEGOLAND

Since then she’s been in the car alone as we were doing some shopping. No problem. I guess she got bored and perhaps she was freezing a little.

We also had a wonderful trip to a forest near the Gudenå (the longest stream in Denmark) and she enjoyed herself for an hour, sniffing, digging and chasing shadows.

A tired Czech is a happy Czech they say. So she must have been very happy.

Meeting friends
Sunday we went to a dog exhibition and met Rolf with his two Czechoslovakian wolfdogs. That was a very nice experience.

Not alone were these dogs amazingly beautiful but they also obeyed Rolf’s commands which gave me the hope that somewhere inside of Pandora there is a dog of good material 🙂
(Not that I ever doubted that).

Pandora watched the two males fight and play and several times she ran away with her tale between her legs in sheer fright of the sight of these two giant dogs growling and barking. But in the end she was also curious and couldn’t resist coming closer and join them.
The younger male (18 month old) Xtreme was the one she was less afraid of. He also invited her to play. She obvious liked him but it was like she had a secret admiring for Uno the older dog (4 years old). His ‘coolness’ made her watch him on a distance but she hardly ever went close to him. He was too unreachable. And no doubt: All the time she was the small one and Xtreme had much fun telling her, it seamed. Finally he had someone he could bully.

A hundred dogs
The played on the lawn for a good half an hour or more and then we were invited into the exhibition indoor. In LEGOLAND Pandora had done what she could trying to pull my arm off every time she met another dog. At the exhibition there were more than hundred dogs so I guess she realized that she couldn’t overcome to be ‘best friend’ with each and every one of them. The result was a calm dog laying on the floor next to Xtreme and Uno. And she was worn out. All that playing and fright took her last energy away.

It was a great day. Rolf took some great photos of the three dogs and later that day he won second place as Best Dog In Show with Xtreme. Well deserved, though he deserved no. 1 of course – but I guess everybody think that about their breed.

It was also nice to meet a person who loved and cared about his dogs so I didn’t feel stupid or too geeky talking about the love of my life all the time 😀

Pandora playing with Uno & Xtreme
Pandora playing with Uno & Xtreme

Pandora in an exhibition
We have now decided to go to the next exhibition with Pandora in November. I’m just curious to see what the judge think of her, as we – of course – think she is gorgeous. She’ll go as a puppy in the show and that’s fine as I have never done an exhibition before and I might very well be the one that screw things up.

Back home and missing someone
We went back to our own home Sunday night with a tremendously tired dog. Holiday was over – back to normal.

Monday Pandora was left alone again for 3 hours before she was picked up by my parents. She was a little sad as we left the house

in the morning, but already Tuesday she had accepted the situation just fine.

The weird part was that even though she had her playmate during Monday she seamed a little sad and apathetic Monday evening. I could swear that she missed Xtreme and Uno.

I am certain that she understood that they were of her own kind and she understood their body language so well.

I hope we meet the three guys again so we can all enjoy some time with them.

Stars rising
Talking about her ‘stars’ she has only earned stars these last few days. She has been so clever, sweet and cute.

It’s like she sometimes have days where she suffers form severe brain damage and then she turns and becomes quite fantastic. And for every time she comes back to ‘normal’ she is becoming even better.

There must be a lot of hormones racing in her body right now and there will be for a long time ahead, but it’s all right. She’s a darling and after 9 days together with her 24 hours a day I miss her like crazy when I go to work.

Sometimes I even feel a little sad that I come home to a tired dog when I would love to take her for an exploring walk, but she is young and we mustn’t wear her down. Weekends are when we have fun and quality time.

Pandora in Strib by Rolf Larsen

Pandora in Strib by Rolf Larsen

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