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!





World Beauty

30 06 2010

Facts: 13,5 month old. 32 kg. 63 cm.

We went home from The World Dog Show in Herning last Friday after much excitement and many new friends.

Wednesday evening we went to the Givskud Zoo together with 10-12 other Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs (CsW) and their owners.
A woman told about the gray wolfs (North American/Canadian) in Givskud Zoo.
She didn’t tell a lot though, but our primary goal to be there was to meet other CsWs and to see the dog’s reactions to the real wolf.
Well Pandora couldn’t care less.
Whether they were dogs or wolfs, she didn’t pay attention to them at all. The wolfs weren’t too interested in the dogs either.
As we were dining a woman asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how nice to meet her. We are friends at Facebook.
(To those of you who doesn’t know, Pandora has her own Facebook profile. Sometimes I help her with the writing, though.)
And then I recognised the woman, Birgitte – and we had a long, good talk.
A very nice person who had been the very first owner of a CsW in Denmark back in the days.

Canadian grey wolf

Canadian grey wolf in Givskud Zoo

Back to the camping area and enjoy the evening before Thursday morning where Pandora should attend the real WDS-show.

Thursday

Here we met a lot of CsWs but we only talked to a few owners.
(It seems like it’s the owners of these dogs that are shy and reserved, not the dogs.)

Both Morten (my husband) and I were wearing T-shirt with the print: ‘Pandora van Goverwelle’ and a woman came over, poked me on the shoulder and asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how very funny. I am from Holland and I used to work in the van Goverwelle Kennel. I know Pandora’s mother Kahjah.
She was very pleased to meet one of Kahjahs puppies and it was very nice to speak with her.

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs everywhere

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs everywhere

After that we went in the ring and got ‘Excellent’, and no. 3 Junior (– out of three, so I don’t really know how she would rank if there had been others.)

We also saw the Saarloos Wolfhound which looks so much as the CsW that you have to look very carefully to spot the differences.
But a good trick would be to look at the tail. The CsW mostly have a straight down or happy lifted tail, while the Saarloos keeps its tail between the legs. A beautiful dog, almost as beautyful as the CsW :-).

Saarloos wolfhound

Saarloos wolfhound

We bought some goodies for the girl in some of the uncountable shops for dogs, amongst other things a big rubber ball – it was so big that she couldn’t bite in it … until we heard the well know sound psszzzee after 3 minutes. That’s how long it lasted.

Here Pandora tried a treadmill (running machine for dogs).

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in treadmill

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in treadmill

Then we went back to the campsite and enjoyed the evening.

Friday
Next morning we went to the special exhibition for Pandoras Club (cattledogs and shepherds).

Pandora attended the exhibition and the judge was very meticulous which was nice.
It was less nice that she said that Pandora were too fat and needed to loose weight.

Exhibition in KHKG, czechoslovakian wolfdog

Exhibition in KHKG

In all other descriptions she was close to perfect. That made me very happy as the judge is a CsW breeder herself, and though we only (and for the first time) got ’Very Good’, I could use this statement so much more than the one for the day before at the ‘real’ WDS.

After we had attended the ring, a woman came over and poked me on the shoulder and asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how very funny. I often read her Blog.
And I was very happy and proud. How great it is that people came to see exactly her and meet the CsW.
A lot of people came just to see this breed as they had heard about it, but never seen it.

After the show we went back to the campsite, packed down and returned home.

And the weekend offered a very lovely weather and the tired Wolfdog, filled with impressions.
Her need for socialization with other dogs was covered the next few days.
She had met Divo from Germany, Azar from Sweden (whom she fell in love with), and her good friends: Cember, Xtreme and Uno.

Pandora and her new friend Azar

Pandora and her new friend Azar

Well home, the summer came and with the summer, the opportunity to swim.
But more about that in the next blog.





Happy New Year

4 01 2010

Facts: 29 kg. 63 cm, 8 months old.

The first snow
December then 15. we went to a concert in Copenhagen and Pandora was for the first time, left in a kennel for the night.
We had our concerns but if she could be there over night we would have this option in the future. Not a solution we would use very often though.
Next morning at 8.30 I parked the car at the kennel. Longing to see Pandora. A whole night without her? Terrible.
A little snow was falling and I was thrilled that I had taken the day off to be with Pandora.
Pandora wasn’t particularly excited to see me; she was desperate to get OUT! Being in a cage for so long? Not nice for a wolfdog.
The caretaker said that she had seemed unsatisfied with being trapped. I was just glad she didn’t whine or cry when she saw me. Her need of freedom was so much more important to her.
As we drove home (only 3 km away) the snow started to fall, thick and beautiful.
It was so funny to see Pandora observe it for the first time. First she tried to catch the snowflakes, then she shook her head as snowflakes hit her ears, and then she didn’t understand the concept that if she used her paws to catch them on the ground, the flakes would melt.

Pandora in her very first snow

Pandora in her very first snow

Two ours later the snow was laying thick all over. A beautiful landscape, and Pandora started to figure out what it was all about.

Pandora two in snow hours later

Pandora two in snow hours later

Later that day her best friend Bandit came and played with her in the snow. He stayed until next day and it was one tired wolfdog we had the following evening.

Pandora and Bandit playing in the snow

Pandora and Bandit playing in the snow

Xmas and new year – the fearless wolf
We had a quiet Christmas evening with just our parents. Pandora was surely wondering why a tree had to be in the living room. Great though, that her people had left nice, shining glass balls all over the tree to play with.
They were soon moved away.

Holidays were used on the fur-kid, talking long walks, playing in the snow and sleeping on the sofa.
The day before New Years Night, we were invited to dinner at some friends. Pandora was also invited and her best friend would be there, but also a dachshund. (Wiener dog).

She respected the little furry one. Her observation was probably that the dog was small and therefore should not be bullied. She actually showed signs of maturity.
We went by train to and from there. She coped with the one hour long train ride very well. On the way home she was so tired that she fell asleep on the seats.

Pandora sleeping in the train

Pandora sleeping in the train

New Years Night she managed to steal a big lump of our dinner, delicious beef tenderloin. Luckily we had enough beef so we could just laugh about it.
At 12 o’clock we went out to see the fireworks. Pandora came along by her own free will. She felt absolutely NO fear. She looked up, saw the crackling, colourful fire, and if she could have shrugged her shoulders, she would have. She didn’t care at all.
Clever, cool girl.

Exhibitions coming up
In January we will attend 3 exhibitions. She still goes as a puppy this month. After that, she’ll go as Junior and get new competitors.

Growing up
Suddenly one day I thought: It’s a long time ago since she tried to bite my hands or feet. She doesn’t do that so often anymore. And now it’s only when we play.

She also does not have ‘accidents’ indoor any more. If she has to go out she starts to breathe heavily and whimpers a little.

She met a little Irish wolfhound puppy before Christmas. She treated it so gentle and nice. Now she understands that she is bigger and older and must be careful.

Wolfish
We talk wolfish now. The more I know about the language between wolfs, the easier it is to communicate with Pandora.
Of course we shout: NO or DOWN when she jumps to the kitchen table, but if I’m really mad at her (if she runs to the street or eats another pair of shoes) all I need to do is to look her in the eyes. Staring. After a few seconds she’ll run off, with her tail between her legs..
I show my ‘forgiveness’ by smacking my lips and looking away. Immediately she’ll come back to me to check if she is let back in to the pack.
This is very effective, but I try not to use it too much. We are still a team and corporation is to prefer.

Speaking of this, I must recommend Shaun Ellis from England and his fascinating studies in wolfs.

http://www.wolfpack-management.com/

Wolf-do’s
And the fur girl also does more and more wolfish things.
She always buries bones or other big lumps of food that she cannot eat. If she can’t go to the garden, she buries it in the sofa.

Holes are important. EVERY hole we see as we take our walks is examined. If it is small, she’ll make it bigger. Last week she almost caught a mouse in its hole. Funny to watch.

She opens doors. Now we have to lock the doors. She has no problem by opening it inwards either. If she wants to go out, she’ll go out.

Next
She must learn to be with minor children. She is afraid of children below 12 years or so. It could be that they look her in the eyes or it could be that she has hardly been with any before now.
Ring training continues. We still have a lot to learn.

Swimming continues. Mostly for the fun of it.
Soon we’ll be able to attend Agility or other kind of training. That’ll be good.

So far, we just have to get through the winter without being too bored.





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





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.





Is there a human inside?

23 10 2009

Bingo
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.

Link: http://www.moloss.com

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!





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