Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bum Nips and Crate Tricks.


Today we went with Dave to the training area where his obedience course starts on the 1st of September. It's an old football pitch, so is really massive. After some time two other dogs joined us, a Golden Retriever and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Retriever was very chilled and just walked about but the Ridgeback really loved to run so was a perfect play-mate for Dave. They chased each other like mental around and around until the Ridgeback got too excited and nipped Dave's bum. The only problem is that the Ridgeback's jaw is massive and a nip is more like a chomp. Dave ran under the bench and was pretty scared for some minutes. Then it started to rain and we all went home.

Aaarg, my bum!!

* * *
We have always thought that Dave had no problems in being left alone in the apartment as he never makes any fuss when we leave or when we return. Just to make sure that he was okay we filmed him and it turns out that he's not so relaxed after all. After 10 seconds he tried to escape the crate! He managed to open one lock very easily. After around 12 minutes he relaxed/gave up escaping and only took to howling every now and then. So, it seems we have some work to do with separation anxiety...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reverse Houdini.

Previous readers might recollect Dave's Houdini style escape tricks but apparently getting out of things is not his only skill. The kitchen cupboard doors close quite tightly but not tight enough. Dave's claw, twisted at a certain angle, pops the door open, giving access to 15kg of dried food heaven! This little trick was discovered after we came back from a walk. He normally goes into the kitchen to drink some water as I'm taking my shoes off and on this occasion I thought 'That water sounds awfully crunchy'. Lesson learned - if it sounds suspicious, it is suspicious.

Talking of lessons learned; frogs are always fun to pick up but they taste nasty, so now, instead of picking frogs up in his mouth, Dave prefers to stand on them.

We are always pleasantly surprised at how silent Dave is, he rarely barks. However, last week at a local dog park, a little terrier with a football obsession became deafened as Dave howled at him like a mental thing, desperate for a play-pal. The terrier was not impressed.

Recently I've been rewarding Dave with blueberries fresh from the forest during our walks. I have been rewarding myself with them also.

Some random pictures...

There's something in there!
Waiting on blueberries to be picked.
High bum.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Want My Dave TV!

Dave is now an international TV star!

After 30 minutes in the green room, where he demanded gold snausages and Champagne, Dave was ready for his appearance. The crowd ahh-ed and ooh-ed as Dave blessed the lens with his image, it was a moment that will go down in history alongside the first moon-walk. Everyone knows where they were when Dave was on TV.

* * *

Dave also met some horses but wasn't so sure about them.

Then he took the bus home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Houdini Dave.

It's been a couple of weeks since the last Dave post so there is quite a lot to get through...

We did try running Dave alongside a bicycle, he seems to find it OK, I think Elisa was more worried than he was. It's hard trying to steer with one hand! We're considering getting a dog-bike attachment thing but we'll do more test-runs first.

In the last week we've had two guests at our place, Dave has been totally fine with both of them, no problems with a stranger coming in.

Last Saturday I took Dave kayaking with a friend. After a slightly stressful start Dave seemed okay with the whole thing but as he was sitting/lying on the bottom of the metal kayak he became quite cold and was shivering after 20 minutes. He needs a jacket of some kind as he also started shivering one evening when it was raining quite a lot. He liked to look over the side at the water which made me think he was about to jump overboard but he only once put his feet up on the edge of the kayak.

A life on the open waves.

Point! Dave saw a squirrel in a tree and became absolutely transfixed by it. A real pointer at heart! Even after some days he still looks up into the trees at the same spot on the path.


Coming home late one night from a walk Dave suddenly jerked to the side and made a strange noise from fear! Apparently it's not only humans that are scared by clowns. The 4 foot high, plastic GB ice-cream man that stands outside the local shop is enough to scare anybody in the daytime, never mind in the dark!

Yesterday we did some outside clicker training and it went really well. After running Dave around some time I went through some commands. Sit, come, follow and stay are all becoming quite solid. Sometimes he lies down instead of just sitting as he's so keen to get that snausage!
After some time we think he's going to be a very obedient dog as he loves getting tasks. After just some minutes training he carried a newspaper to Elisa and was very pleased with himself!

We've noticed that Dave can be a little nervous/cautious. For example, if we move our arms suddenly in a large movement Dave sinks down to the floor and becomes worried. Whether this means he's been abused in the past or just gets a little fright, we're not sure. He is still quite young so it's to be expected for him to be a little unsure about some things. Otherwise everything is okay, we've had no problems at all!

As to the Houdini Dave: we left Dave alone in his crate for a couple of hours and when we opened the door upon our return, we were presented with a Dave standing in the hall to greet us!

The side door to his crate had been left unlocked. After checking the flat we were happy to find no wet spots or teeth-marks anywhere. It looked as if he'd been sleeping among the shoes in the hallway, perhaps they carry our scents the strongest?! He doesn't seem to mind being left alone, we always listen for dog noises as we approach the flat and through the keyhole at the front door but it's always silent within.