Monday, January 30, 2012

This and That

On my way home from church Sunday afternoon, I passed a car going my direction that had a Great Pyrenees dog in it.
The car was a Honda Civic, about the same year as mine, but a 4-door version.
The dog was standing in/on the back seat and he took up the whole car.
His shoulders nearly touched the roof.
His tail dusted the right side window and his big black nose bumped against the left side window.
The lady driver had installed some wire bars behind the front seats so a big snoot could not intrude and distract the driver.
That dog was really big.

I do not believe that Sally will get that big, but I have already been pondering how to transport her when she becomes full-grown.


Sunday was a bad day for Sally the Dog.
While she was generally well behaved regarding biting and jumping around, she failed her potty training - TWICE.

Each time, she was let out of the house not to be allowed in until the next meal.
I do not know what got into her to fail so badly, but she did.

As a result, I go through mental cycles of loving my dog and wanting to get rid of her.
It is tiring to try to train her ALL THE TIME.
I want to love her and spoil her in some ways and have her lying around to just observe me (like she did when I was working on her dog house) like Woof did when he was alive and we lived together.
But Sally is still too much a puppy.
Needing to chew something almost constantly and wanting to play biting games.
It is clear that she still is testing me to see who is the alpha/leader.
I have news for her - I control the food.
Everything else is secondary.

I have basically given her the yard to guard.
Right now it is the back yard, mainly.
But I have wondered if, after she matures in a year or two, to allow her to spend time with me in the front yard off her leash.
Technically that is illegal in the city, but once she gets settled down and trained on what/where is her territory (which I think she understands already), she will likely not roam too far from me.
I base this on how she behaves in the dog park.
While she runs around and chases the other dogs, she rarely goes farther than about 50 feet from me.

I noticed my sister's dog do a similar thing when she let her loose in a fenced school yard.
The dog ran about 100 feet away from us, stopped and looked at us and then charged back to where we were.
From then on she circled around us never farther than about 30 feet or so.

Sally takes spells of being bratty from one moment to the next.
While walking in the neighborhood on the leash, she will ignore my gentle tugs on the lease to move on from sniffing some disgusting morsel she has discovered.
But I can whisper her name and she will respond, with no tugging on the tether required.

My concern is that Sally has no fear of cars yet.
She occasionally tries to chase them, but I restrain her from this.
I am also trying to teach her to wait before crossing any street.
She sort of gets this, but is not consistently good at it yet.
And sometimes her trainer forgets to enforce the "wait" ritual before giving the "okay".
Come back in a year to see how we are doing.

Dinner tonight was steamed chicken breast and pork and beans, of which Sally the Dog received small portions and some of the flavored juices mingled with her kibble dog food.
She seemed pleased.

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