There is still hope … and such

6 08 2014

Summer. The hottest in many years. Wolfdog owners will know that this is not the favourite season of the year for our breed.
It’s quite a while since my last post. The more stable and reliable Pandora gets, the more difficult it is to find crazy stories to tell.
This should actually be a comfort for those with young (below 3 years old) wolfdogs. Are you struggling with your dogs obedience, have patience. There will come a day.

czechoslovakian wolfdog watching at lake

Observing

 

Training

For about 3 years we have been doing clicker training. The basics of this kind of training is using only positive learning.
Never on the training court have I needed to verbally correct, yank or otherwise stop Pandora during these training sessions. Therefore both Pandora and I are always looking forward to the training sessions, and Pandora is so vigilant and observant, that you could almost think she was a ‘normal’ dog. Meaning: easy trainable.

Actually the last couple of times the instructor has wanted to show something in ‘class’, she has asked Pandora and I to show how it should be done! Crazy! We are in the top of the class, who would ever have thought that? 3 years ago we were the absolute bottom of any class!

And then … sigh. Our clever and wonderful instructor Lene Frahm is taking a break for the rest of the year.
To train her own dogs! What’s that about?? 🙂
Anyway, there’s a small risk that she takes an even longer leave and what are we supposed to do then, Pandora and I? I have to train now and then with others.
I mean, we train almost every day on smaller bases. In the kitchen, on the walks, whenever. But now and then we need company and inspiration.
So I have decided to participate in a course which will make me an instructor in clicker training.
It is quite expensive, but guess what? I may bring the girl with me, and that makes it worth all the money.
I’m supposed to start in September, and after that, I’ll let you know.

Too much of a bone

Now and then Pandora gets a HUGE bone. It must be the thigh of a cow or something, dried or smoked. Anyway, she doesn’t really get happy for these. She gets worried. She starts crying and you can actually see the concern in her eyes.
‘What am I supposed to do with this, y’think? Where should I put it?’
She’ll enjoy it for one day or so, and then – if she gets the chance – she’ll dig it down.
That’s what happened one day we were sitting at the terrace. She had found the bone in the living room and now she came into the garden with it.
Sneaking. In stealth mode, she hid behind a bush and started digging. The logic is: If she can’t see us, we can’t see her.

After the digging she used her snout to cover the bone in the dirt. This took quite a while as it was a big bone.
The work done, she walked away and came over to us, sitting on the terrace, just to make sure we hadn’t seen anything.
Her snout was very dirty so I brushed it and discovered a huge abrasion on the rubbery part of her nose. All the black was gone and the blood was oozing through. Poor girl. So much hard work and then an ugly and annoying wound.
For two weeks she had a scar in bright pink. Luckily it finally turned black as it should, but now we are very aware when she gets a bone.

three czechoslovakian wolfdogs with bones in the garden

Friends and bones

Camping

Summer and camping. First we went to the western ocean, to Rømø (Roemoe) a small island with the best beach in the world. We have been there many times before.
Last year Pandora was afraid of the waves. This summer she didn’t care.
Do notice that, as we are talking about a change in self confidence even after she has turned 4 year.
Anyway, we had the camper very near a water post. This meant that people were constantly stopping near our place to pick up water. Also a lot of dogs walked by.
This was a great exercise for the girl, as after 5 hours she didn’t bother about anything any more.
As you can see on the picture (of our very lopsided tent) Pandora is lying in front of the tent with no leash, just relaxing.
So wolfdog owners: there is still hope!

czechoslovakian wolfdog in front of tent

Rømø Camping, no leash

Camping 2.0

The week after we went camping with Rolf, Uno and Xtreme. We went to the Scandinavian Animal Zoo to see wolves amongst other things. The goal was Kaloe and Kaloe Cove, to see and photograph the castle ruin there.
This time we were just camping with a tent, not the camper.

3 dogs and 3 humans in the tent at night and it all went very well. The only downside was the heat. It was so hot that we hardly managed to do anything in the middle of the day, but I hope it’s not the last time we are taking a trip like that together.

czechoslovakian-wolfdog at top of the castle

A princess at the top of the castle at Kalø Vig (Kaleo Cove)

Friends – not for the touchy

We socialize all the time. With wolf dogs, other dogs and people.
Dariusz is Pandoras’ ‘baby’. She’s known him since he was a little one, now he is a BIG one.

One day when Dariusz was visiting, Pandora got ill and was vomiting.
What are friends for? Dariusz and Pandora shared the puke and ate it all up. Cheers!

Mouth water, the best there is

We went for a swim in our lake. On our way back we met some people with 3 dogs. One of them was a New Foundlander. The big dog sweat and was drooling, heavily dripping on the ground.
We nodded ‘hello’ and walked on, Pandora next to me in her leash. You could actually follow the trace back from the New Foundlander as its mouth water was visible pools at the side of the road. Pandora saw some mouth water hanging from the grass and took a big ‘slurp’ and ate (drank?) it.
No wonder dogs get ill!

Visit from Freybug

We met him last year as a small puppy, now he was a young boy about Pandoras’ size.
Neither my husband or i was there when Freybug arrived to our place. It was Auntie B who welcomed Freybug and his ‘dad’.
For some reason Pandora got extremely angry at Freybug. If she was insecure without her humans or something tricked her, we don’t know, but he was told to ‘stay away’ in a very harsh tone. Snarling and barking at him.
As I arrived a few minutes later, we decided to take the dogs for a walk. And within 5 minutes there was no longer any problems. Some misunderstanding had happened when they met, and then it was over.
It was nice to meet Freybug and his ‘dad’, who (the human) has a very positive attitude towards his dog.

czechoslovakian wolfdogs, male and female

Meeting Freybug

Camp

In June we were invited to a camp arranged by Auntie B and Johnni from Sealand.
We were in need of time as we (Cirkus Sort, our fire show) had been performing at the big CopenHell festival. For 3 days Pandora was taken care of by Auntie B. It’s the first time we have been away from Pandora for so long. Luckily we knew she were in the best of hands and the solution was so much better than bringing her to a kennel.
After three days we met our girl at the camp, where Auntie had taken her.
It was a very happy – but tired – girl that met us.
That day I had promised to tell about clicker and motivation training. I used Pandora to show what we could, but she was extremely lazy. She did a ‘fetch’ in the slowest possible way, but she did it.
I hope the people participating did understand the effect of clicker training after all. They seamed positive, at least.
The next day I told about doing tracks, and everybody did a track with much success.
The camp also had a visit from a well know wolf expert Freddy Worm. He told about his wifes training of a wolf, which she had brought to obedience training.
Freddy is such a nice person, and his stories about wolves, you could listen to forever.

Back to work

Now our holiday has ended and I am back to work with Pandora by my side.
It’s still hot outside so she is pretty relaxed. all in all it has been a wonderful dog summer. with lots of friends and socialization. The most important thing in a wolf dogs life.

Bye for now, I’ll write soon I hope. Enjoy the rest of  your summer out there.

czechoslovakian wolfdog upside down

Wasted

 

PS. Photos

I’m actually very bad at remembering taking pictures. Especially because my husband takes photos on all our trips. If you want to see more pictures from our holidays and daily life, please visit Pandoras’ Facebook, where you can see all the gorgeous photos of her and her friends.

https://www.facebook.com/pandora.wolfdog





I have to tell you this!

21 08 2013

Sometimes fantasy cannot compete with reality.

I our nearest city we have a shopping area. Stores lie side by side. Car equipment, clothes, Pet shops, furniture etc.

Today my husband went into the city to buy a (for a man very important) gismo in the car equipment store. He brought Pandora along, leaving her in the car as he went for the shopping spree.

Pandora is in heat. When in heat I feel instinctively that I cannot trust her the same way as usual.
She gets a little restless, lacks attention and seems to have her mind somewhere else. Probably in the neighbours garden.

Break out

This afternoon, she complains a little as my husband leaves the car, Pandora often whimpers a little when left.
But today, as soon as ‘daddy’ is out of sight, she starts working.

Throwing herself against the cage door several times to shake the handles loose. She has succeeded once before a couple of month ago, so why not again?
Soon she’s out of the cage and in the main of the car.
A small opening between the window and the doorframe has been left open. She starts to work on that, too, and finally the window opens enough to let her out.

The nearest shop? The Pet shop!
The well-known paradise with all the goodies, bones and toys. Pandora’s been there many times.
She enters and before anyone understands that this dog is WITHOUT a human, she steals the biggest goody in the shelf and runs back to the parking lot.
People from the shop follow her as she crosses one of the biggest and heavily trafficked roads in town, and vanishes into a small wood.

My husband leaves the car shop and is surprised to meet three people in the parking lot that ask him:
– Do you by any chance own a dog that looks like a wolf?

After chasing the crazy girl for a couple of minutes, my husband finally succeeds and captures the culprit.

I am now indifferent whether I should laugh at the theft in the pet shop or feel terrified because she crossed a potentially deadly road.
I think I’ll choose the first as nothing happened.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog Pandora van Goverwelle

Pandora van Goverwelle, thief and culprit

New training and experiences

Though Pandora is in heat, she did surprise me last night as we went to training and she was so very alert and clever.
We started this seasons ‘click and motivation’, tricks and positions based on Dog dancing themes.
We tried dog dancing in the spring and found it challenging and educational. (The correct term is actually Heelwork To Music — HTM)
Pandora found it funny too, and since we haven’t been training for about two month, Pandora is now very motivated.
Everything went well last night, she obviously learned stuff and went all the way without getting unconcentrated after half an hour.
I was proud as a Olympic winner when we went home with a fabulous experience.

Wolfdog camp and rescue training

In June we had a private wolfdog camp. The first in Denmark in many years.
Me and Dariusz’ daddy Arne planned the camp with help from Auntie B.
Everything went very well. The dog owners thought it all worked out well.

The highlight of the weekend was a surprise event I had arranged Saturday afternoon.
All dog (we were about 13) went to a Rescue training site for rescue dogs.
I can still feel the longing for that day.

This was Pandora’s training paradise. Climbing into burned out cars and houses, finding people buried in piles of bricks, searching rooms filled with soot and old stuff. All these things she did so well. No fear of heights or moving platforms. It was like a miracle.
The combination of using: the snout, the intelligence and the body, was like she was made for exactly that.
Oh, how I wish we could train that way instead of obedience and meaningless stuff.

Guests

Lately we have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time together with Rolf and his two gorgeous dogs, Uno and Xtreme.

Pandora, Uno and Xtreme by the lake

Pandora, Uno and Xtreme by the lake. Photo: Rolf

Uno being 8 years old and Xtreme 5, is great company for Pandora. She has now reached adulthood herself and doesn’t need to play all day long. A few minutes of trying to kiss the boys every now and then, and an occasionally running in the meadow is perfect. These three dogs together hands found peace and relaxation between them. They enjoy each other’s company but can also work separately.
They have been swimming, playing, traveling, been with us at museums, in parks, in the forest and so on. Treetop walking was a funny experience and again Pandora did it without hesitation.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog tree top walking

Pandora, tree top walking. Photo: Rolf

It’s very exciting to watch the differences between the three dogs. The quiet and calm Xtreme, the energetic and ‘I’m right here’ Uno. Pandora is something in between.
But also what differs the sexes. What the boys do and what the girl does. How they interact and what sort of signals they use.
It has been a very entertaining and educational time.

Two weeks in June, we took care of Dariusz. For a while we had four dogs under our roof and it wasn’t always easy, especially as the two males, Dariusz and Xtreme didn’t actually love each other. But it went out fine, also.

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs sleeping

Pandora and Dariusz sleeping on the sofa

Now we’re back to normal. My husband goes back to work in September and Pandora will go back to her routines.
May you all enjoy the late summer.

REMEMBER you can follow Pandora on:

Facebook: Pandora van Goverwelle
Twitter: @PandoraWolfdog





Angels, friends and The Devil’s Island

10 06 2013

About angels

Two years ago auntie B came into our lives. She send a poem about her beloved Cember, and it brought us together, that autumn, and we have been friends ever since.
(read: A poem and a goodbye)

From the first day, she was one of Pandora’s favourite humans. And Auntie B totally lost her heart to my wolf princess, and who can blame her?
This spring Auntie B decided to leave us and go back to the capital in hope of getting a job.
The financial crises which has changed the life for many people all over the world, had got to us and caused this heart-breaking farewell.
From taking really long walks two-three times a week, the three of us: Auntie B, Pandora and I, we are now just Pandora and I.
B has been gone for two months now, and really, I thought I had adjusted. Until last Sunday as I went home from training together with Pandora. I had laid a track for her, and as I drove home it was like Auntie B should be in the car seat next to me. She was there last summer.
And the memory made me cry all the way home.

Well Copenhagen, our capital is placed at the eastern side of Sjælland. The island we, in everyday speech, call The Devils Island. Actually you could translate Sjæl land into soul island, and the island stole our soul mate Ms. B
We have seen Auntie B three times since she moved to the capital, so it’s not like we’ll never see each other again. I think Pandora finds it quite weird that her favourite human has changed flat, and visiting B is a whole world of new smells.

All I can say is that Auntie B has become our angel. The one who always loved Pandora and who always listened and offered comfort or a good reply to difficult human problems.
We miss you, Auntie and you don’t have to hide your wings.

Kissing Auntie B

Kissing Auntie B

Visiting Copenhagen

As I said, we have been visiting Auntie B since she moved away.
And last time we were so lucky to meet with Rolf, Uno and Xtreme whom we haven’t seen for two years. It was so wonderful. We also met Fenrir and his ‘father’ Steen. Also Johnni and Kazan was there. It was very joyful days for Pandora who was the only girl and therefore capable of playing with all of the boys with no problems at all.
One thing that we observed with this gang was, that Fenrir, 8 month, wanted to play with Pandora. Xtreme, 5 years had a special interest in Pandora, but Pandora was only really interested (the love material way) in Uno.
Uno must be considered the Alpha male wolfdog in this pack, and Pandora considered herself as the Alpha female (there were no competitors anyway).
Whenever someone passed the garden on the sidewalk, or when Rolf and I walked with Uno, Xtreme and Pandora, only the two ‘alphas’ reacted to ‘danger’ or strangers. Xtreme and Fenrir could relax and did so, confident that the ‘alphas’ would take care of business.

A white German visitor came by

A white German
Followed by: Uno, Xtreme, Pandora and Ferir
(No dogs were harmed under photo shooting 😉 )

That’s how I interpreted it and the observation made me proud as I feel this breed still speak ‘wolfish’ and understand each other and every ones business in the pack.
The photos below are taken by Rolf who is such a clever photographer.

Auntie B, Pandora, Xtreme, Uno, Fenrir

Auntie B surrounded by: F.L.
Pandora, Fenrir, Uno and Xtreme

Pandora, 4 years, status

I can’t believe that Pandora turned 4 May the 3rd.
My girl is way too old. Soon, in 12-14 years she’ll die of age!
I hate that time takes small but deadly bites of my loved ones.

My 4 year wolfdog is so very different from her at the age of 1-2 and 3 years.
Pandora now can stay in our garden without constant observation. The garden isn’t fenced in but she stays and has done so for a year. We do of course keep an eye on her, as with a wolfdog you can never say never.
Pandora can sometimes walk without a leash in the street, but here she’s not completely stabile and never will be.
But she can be let loose and won’t run away and when I call her, she comes. Every time now. It may take a minute sometimes, but she comes.
She can do agility without running away. Actually she is pretty good.
She can leave the cats alone, even if they run in the garden.
She doesn’t often jump up of people anymore, but it slips occasionally.
Her favourite sport is still doing a track and she is magnificent.
She doesn’t really bite things to pieces in her daily two hours alone. And then … only a month ago she destroyed a plastic bowl, moved our pillows around and tore a carbon box to pieces. Nothing serious, but the restlessness in a wolfdodg will never go away I think.

Pandora van Goverwelle by Rolf Larsen

Pandora van Goverwelle by Rolf Larsen

I love my wolf princess. Every day with her is a blessing and she makes our life a lot brighter in the darker days.

REMEMBER you can follow Pandora on:

Facebook: Pandora van Goverwelle
Twitter: @PandoraWolfdog

 

 





My girl and me … and Dariusz

1 03 2013

Well, not much new happens when you’ve got an almost four year old dog, but I’ll update you anyway.

A new cat

Today, this afternoon we’re going to have one more cat. We lost our beautiful Oden half a year ago and Shiva, our feline female has way too much energy for her own good. Now she’ll get at friend.

I’m very excited how Pandora will react. When she came to the house four years ago it took two YEARS to make her and the cats respect each other. Hopefully it won’t take this long this time.

Breeder? NO!

My warning on this blog, you can read under WARNING!, well it seems this guy has decided to spit out wolfdogs to complete defenceless people.

So far I have been in touch with three of his buyers. People who now have a wolfdog but think the bought a Labrador. I cannot say it clear enough: Stay away from this guy. It is so completely idiotic to sell Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs as ‘easy’ dogs. That is disrespect for the breed and a very unsympathetic way to make money, which seems to be all he wants. Thank god I also know of people who chose not to buy from him.

From now on, I’ll be in constant fear that these new owners don’t know what they are dealing with and therefore will create bad dogs with bad temper. Why the hell make puppies when all you can do is ruin the breed?

The Love

My girl has a boyfriend.

The small, cute wolfdog Dariusz is no longer a small cute puppy. He is a big, gorgeous 73 cm tall teenager.

I loooove when my girl and her boyfriend meet and they scour the areas together. Especially our grave pit is a paradise for these two.

czechoslovakian_wolfdogs_grave_pit

Dariusz and Pandora scouring

Then they walk or run shoulder by shoulder, sniffing to the same plants, bath in the same small ponds and then kick each others arses.

They are the perfect couple and it is so obvious that this is the same breed, they talk the same language.

I must say though, when these two wolfs play, people around them think they are in heavy fight. They always greet each other standing on the hind legs, showing teeth and snarling. That is real lov!

Often they are misunderstood because of thier rough play and sounds, but they are really harmless.

Allergy

I told about Pandora’s allergy some time ago.

By now we have tried homeopathy, change of food and lately we ended the vaccination program from te vet.

Nothing has helped.

She is now on Medrol whit is adrenocortical hormone and not very good for the body. We try to only medicate her Sunday and Wednesday, and that is perfect, the doctor says, if just the body get a free day in between, she won’t be hurt. Oh my god, my little girl.

I’ll keep looking for solutions the rest of her life. Any ideas are welcome.

I could have danced all night …

Here it comes. We are going to attend a course in Dogdancing.

People look at me and say: A wolfdog dancing??

Well I haven’t told Pandora that dancing is girlie, and that music to training sessions is a no go, so she’ll think we are doing funny things just for her so who are YOU TO CARE (husband?) 🙂

As Pandora is very good at clicker training, Heelwork to music ( which it’s also called) is going to be fun. It’s just a weekend but we look forward to it. I’ll let you know all about it when we’re done.

Intelligence

Two things I’ve seen since last time:

Winter, dark, almost black nights. Pandora sees all. When we go for our evening walk, at a specific point we turn left via another road. Twice this week, a person was walking behind us. Far away, hundred meters or so.

When Pandora and I turn left, she observes this person whom has not yet turned our way. She can hardly walk as she has to look at him, observe him. The exact same second that man walk straight out, NOT turning our way, she stopped paying attention to him. That means she knows he is no longer a thread and she knows which direction he is heading. Smart!!

One day we were having a cosy time on the couch.

Pandora was licking a small plastic bowl with whipped cream (Well it was weekend), the bowl starts to slip over the edge of the sofa. Then Pandora takes it in her mouth, gently, like this was the most natural thing in the world, she moves it back to sit in front of her legs.

I cannot describe how controlled this look. The movement were so gentle and conscious, like a humans controlled moves.

My girl never stops to amaze me.

Czechoslovakian_wolfdog_LOVE

LOVE!





Pandora goes to Hollywood

16 06 2011

There’s actually a lot to tell since the last time, but I’ll stick to one subject.

Model casting
Four weeks ago, I was called by a woman, Melanie, who was casting animals for films.
She asked me if Pandora could act as a wolf in an art movie.
I was very honest and didn’t promise much about Pandora’s skills. After a little talk back and forth, Melanie decided to come and meet Pandora, and see if we could persuade her – Pandora – to do different things, such as barking on command.
Melanie also wanted Pandora to ‘stand’ on a command made from a distance.
Good luck with that, I thought.
Two weeks ago, Melanie came by and we worked with Pandora for a couple of hours.
Honestly? Not too promising. She couldn’t stand when asked, she couldn’t even do that at our training hours so why should she this day?
Barking on command was hopeless. Actually the film folks wanted her to howl like a wolf, but although she often howls, it’s always little ‘give me attention’ howls and not the humongous ‘give me the moon’ kinda thing.
Anyway, Melanie prepared the film crew that they would NOT get a Labrador, they would get a wolf, with all the difficulties included.
And they accepted that.

Surprise
Two days after Melanie had visited us, Pandora barked on command for the first time. I tell you, I was sooo proud. Hell, I still am.
And two days before we went to record the film, she was able to ‘stand’ on command with the order given from a distance.

‘Hollywood
Last Monday we, Pandora and I, went to Melanie’s home on Zealand (Sjælland). Here we met her dogs, and Pandora had a very weird reaction to a bearded collie.  I’ll write about that in the next blog.
We stayed overnight, and went to the film set early the next morning. We got out of bed at 6 o’clock in the morning. At 9 o’clock we met the film folks at a small filming area near an old air base.
Pandora was let free and she went from one person to the next to say hello. She like and accepted every one, and they were all very kind to her. Several of them said: Wow it crazy how much she looks like a wolf. They were really impressed with her looks.

czechoslovakian-wolfdog_watches_cameracrew

Pandora watching the camera crew and their equipment

Treadmill and green screen
And then we started filming. Pandora’s first task was to walk and run on a treadmill. I had thought she could do that easily, as she tried that last summer. The difference was that last year it was a treadmill specifically made for dogs. This was an old conveyor belt, probably one of those used at the check-out in the supermarket. And it was painted green. Actually a lot of the recordings were made with green screen, and the treadmill had to fall into the background.
It took perhaps 30 minutes. Then Pandora could use the treadmill alone with no no one helping her or holding her (me or Melanie). She could walk and she could run. The recording was made.
Luckily the film people, especially the producer, was very patient with us, so I never felt any rush or stress.
After that, Pandora had to run through the green screen area. No problem. Then she had to jump in the green screen area. First she jumped about 60 cm. Her own height. Then she jumped 1 meter and they were very impressed with the height she could jump. Watching the jump in slowmotion afterwards was actually pretty impressing.

czechoslovakian-wolfdog on the set

Pandora on the set

Blood
On our way to meet the film crew, we went by a butcher and picked up 15 litres of lams blood.
After the green screen recordings, Pandora was going to be recorded in a natural environment. We moved the location to some high grass. Melanie laid out a blood trail in the hope that Pandora would follow it. The crew wanted to film Pandora form the behind, running. I don’t think they ever got the good shot; she was far gone every time she was let loose.
Then she had to eat an animal.
The crew had got three minks. The first was soaked in blood and looked very dramatic. Pandora took one look at it and said: Predators don’t eat predators (Carnivore carnivore), and she never gained any interest in the mink. Clever enough, I had brought a lot of her food with me from home, so the raw turkey neck and the tripe was then soaked in blood to make her interested and make it look dramatic. (Thank god she’s a BARF dog).
At that time she hadn’t eaten in 48 hours.
I knew I had to starve her to be able to control her just a little during the recordings. It had worked so far.
She ate all right, but not too enthusiastic. Melanie took blood in her hands and put it on Pandora’s snout to make her look dangerous and evil. At first Pandora accepted it, in the end she hated the blood. I could see that she felt dirty and wanted to clean herself. But she accepted our mistreating of her in a way that almost made me feel guilty.
This red-faced wolfdog being unable to clean herself, unable to get away from the cameras that she saw as five huge, black aliens, staring at her with their one eyed faces.
But in the end, she also resigned to that, laid down and ate her food with cameras up her nose.

Blood blood and more blood

Blood blood and more blood

The final shots was Pandora staring into the camera, no problem.
Pandora running towards the camera, no problem.
Pandora looking evil. Problem! Pandora isn’t evil.
But the camera man had some good ideas and made her look fabulous.
Final shot was Pandora walking through water to record her paw and footsteps through the water. It  looked amazing.

The movie
The movie, well I don’t know what it’ll be about exactly. It will be previewed the 3rd of September at an art gallery called Gl. Strand on Zealand (Sjælland).
I expect to get access to the final film, which will probably also be put on YouTube, and I’ll post it as soon as possible.
There were also camera people from hour national TV attending the film set. They were making a ‘movie behind the movie’. And perhaps they will air the result in September, too.

Hollywood-Star-Pandora

Pandora van Goverwelle

Experience
But so far, my girl is a movie star. She has always been a star in my life, so that changes nothing, but I learned a lot.
We usually train obedience for 1 ½ hours and agility 1 ½ hour every week. This Tuesday Pandora was working approximately 7 hours. We were on the set from 9 am to 5 pm with only one break.
Tricking her, luring her, I could make her do stuff I’d never thought she’d accept.
She worked so hard, and though she left the set a few times, it was ok. She came back and did the job.
Training intensively had paid off. I’ll never again say that she cannot learn fast, ‘cos she can.
I have even gained hope that we will attend some competitions this autumn.
Pandora is fantastic. She’s a constant surprise and my expectations are often too low.
Sorry Pandora, you are fabulous!





Tweenager

19 04 2011

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.

Pandora Czechoslovakian wolfdog and wiener dog kissing

Big, bad boy kissing my girl!

BARF
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.

Agility
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.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog watching with crooked head

Hey man, can I join ya?

Czechoslovakian wolfdog licking round sink for toothpaste

This taste good, dad, real good!





… a great taste in shoes

27 09 2010

It’s a long time since I wrote last time.
Summer is over, so no more swimming in the lakes and soon we’ll have to keep the door shut if we shouldn’t let the heat out. But for now the weather is still fine, and the door is open all day so Pandora can go in and out. And for the last two months, she hasn’t been wearing the long leash that used to keep her in the garden.
Now she can go free and she doesn’t jump the fence to escape or anything. We are very proud of her. The fence is so low (60 cm/24 inches) that it is no challenge for her to jump. But she doesn’t. Great!

Training camp
Pandora is a teenager and that means: rebuilding the top floor.
Some days she trains perfectly. She is clever and learns a lot. The next day I can’t get her attention at all.
Most of the things she learns right now, stays in her head, though.
And that’s a relief.
Two days ago I went training with her near by. Just me and her at a huge football lane. She was very good. First we trained all the sit, stand, lay down-things and afterwards I took off her leash and did all the same things again and she did so fine.
The goodies theses days are chicken cubes which she likes very much, but soon we’ll have to learn to train without as many goodies.
Now we have been training obedience in the new club for 6 weeks. The 7th November we are going to a ‘test test’. Meaning we should try what it’s like to go to at competition. Hence the intensive training these days.
I did that a lot many years ago so I am familiar with it, but it’s good to try again.

Agility
Three weeks ago I said: No more agility after this season.
She understands all the obstacles but she is not interested in doing the exercises fast.
She is slow, curious about the objects and takes her time to do stuff.

The tunnel for instance.
She had been running through it four or five times, but then she decided that it was boring.
She stopped in the middle of it to examine the material, the smells and ‘what is in this tunnel for ME’.
This made the tunnel roll sideways. That seemed to frustrate her.
She left the tunnel, but after that, she didn’t want to go back in. She wasn’t afraid but it was like she said: I’ve been there, it’s not for me.
I managed to get her through a couple of times but she was reluctant, as if I had tried to feed her with fruit instead of meat.
I don’t need to tell that the Labrador, the Border collie and the German Shepherds are doing very well. But Pandora is neither, so it takes a lot of patience.
I need to tell myself that she’s doing well for a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Sometimes I forget that I have trained German Shepherds and it was a lot easier. And if I compare Pandora with other CsW’s I’m sure she’s doing excellent, actually.

The last few times she has been doing better and better. At the final lesson for this season she was so clever and could do things I didn’t she could.
She did a whole ‘beginners’ field and didn’t run away or try to avoid any of the obstacles. She did it perfectly twice. Then she ran away, but came back and did it very well one more time.
So wolfish, actually. 🙂
The season is now over. No more agility before spring.

Right now I don’t know if we’ll join the team again, but after much consideration I think we will. Not because we want to go to competitions, but because it was very good for Pandora’s obedience skills, too. The agility taught her to work on ‘her own’, several meters from me. And that was quite amazing to see her graduating from ‘running away’ dog to ‘I can do this if I like’ girl.

 

Czechoslovakian wolfdog agility training

Pandora agility training, A board

 

 

Czechoslovakian wolfdog agility training

Pandora agility training, jump

 

 

Czechoslovakian wolfdog agility training

Pandora agility training, the tunnel

 

Talking wolfish
Pandora is a fresh little one. Especially as we go to bed in the evening, she wants to play, bite our hands and won’t go to sleep.

Here’s the trick:
Tummy rubbing
I cuddle and caress Pandora in a calm, slow and gently way on the bare skin on her tummy. That relaxes her a lot.

Mommy sounds
I also make small, squeaking sounds like if you are really satisfied or pleased, like lying in a wonderful soft bed. These sounds remind the dog of the mother comforting the puppy and it works very well on Pandora.

Alone at home
Pandora is still home alone the first three hours a day. And sometimes she still bites things to pieces.
If she has been playing or training hard the evening before, she doesn’t.
If she had a quiet and a little too boring day the day before, she will find stuff to bite in.
Now my husband makes a little treasure hunt every morning by wrapping some goodies in a cardboard box and put it somewhere in the house for Pandora to find.
It is shredded when we come home and it obviously keeps her occupied, as we no longer find any other things bitten and torn apart anymore.

Girls like shoes
A have a little riddle here:
Who’s walking with shoes but do not wear them? Well you guess.
About the eating things stuff, Pandora has managed to ruin at least 5 pair of shoes this summer.
The shoes stand on the floor in our utility room. Once in a while, she has stolen a single shoe and brought it to the lawn at the back of the house for further examination. She enjoys the dissection of the leather.
It’s our own fault if we forget to remove the shoes out of her reach.
But the weirdest part is that last month she stole a shoe (I didn’t see it, though) and now it’s gone. Completely gone. We usually find the shoe or pieces of it, but this shoe is gone. Vanished.
I wonder if I’ll find it next summer buried somewhere between the roses and the lavender.