Ike's first night was an absolute breeze! I brought his crate into the
bedroom, and put it right next to the bed. He cried for a few seconds
until I let him lick my fingers through the door, then he calmed right
down and went to sleep. Slept until 1:00, then whined a little, so I
took him outside. He really had to go (good boy!), then we came back in
and slept until he cried again at 6:00. Went out, did business, came
back in and I asked him if he minded if I slept an extra hour. Why, not
at all, he said, I'll just go back to sleep in my crate right next to
you. Slept 'til 7:30, got up and had breakfast, went outside, then came
in and played with us for 45 minutes, got exhausted and is napping again
He is a real joy to have around, very eager to please, catches on
quickly whatever you want him to do. And a real snuggle bunny, he LOVES
to cuddle and give kisses. He's a little scared about going into the
kitchen, he's heard those very scary pots and pans rattle in there
before, and is pretty sure they're monsters. Also, it's kind of echo-ey
in there compared to the carpeted living room. He come's into the
kitchen if we're both in there though, it's worth risking the scary
noises getting him to be near us!
Today we'll try going for a ride around the neighborhood in the car,
followed by lots of praise so he knows he did a really good job of
Well, I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write you about all
that Ike has experienced the past few days. He has really been having a
great time. Cynthia and I spent a few days at my Mother in law's beach
house. Ike had lots of new experiences, like running on the beach and
tasting seawater. He kept running down to the surf and tasting the water
which was freaking me out because I know it's not good for him (I'm
going to post a letter to the list to see if anyone else has a
"Sea-Dog"). I brought water with us for him to drink, but he kept doing
it. My mother-in-law says that every dog she ever had did that when it
was little, then smartened up later, so maybe it's ok.
He met lots of new people, because we have to walk a couple hundred
yards to get to the beach and the way is all lined with houses where
people came out to see him. Also, he met a lot of folks on the beach,
everyone wants to say "hi" to him and he laps it right up. He met a
little girl about three years old named Kelly one day on the beach, then
the next morning I was walking him down again and I heard this tiny
little voice coming out of a house saying "Hi Ike! Hi Ike!" It was her,
calling to him through a screen door, which was locked, so she had to
run and get her Mommy, who was still in pajamas to let her out to see
him. She sat on the ground and Ike got in her lap and licked her face
and wiggled his butt, and they became fast friends, meeting several more
times in the next couple days and always spending at least five minutes
socializing, usually more like fifteen!
I sure wish I had Ike back when I was a single man- It's not only
three year olds that come up and want to pet him! He's a real "babe
He is doing extremely well walking on a leash, very close to an actual
heel, just naturally without any coaxing or training, I know it's too
soon for a formal heel. The first time I put him on the leash to really
walk (he had been dragging the leash a lot to get used to the feel ahead
of time) he did a remarkable imitation of a big game fish fighting for
it's life for about 10-15 seconds. I called him "Marlin" for the rest of
that day! Then, after that he walked right along side of me with head up
and tail wagging, off to make friends! Much easier to get him tired out
now that we can take walks on lead, he really loves it, and so do I.
Tonight, as we were walking around the neighborhood, we saw some little
Foo-Foo dog tied up in it's yard, and when it saw us it started running
back and forth barking, if you could even call it barking, it sounded
like it had emphysema or something. Ike tucked his tail and got all
'fraidy-scared! What a wuss! Ten minutes earlier he had met my neighbor
walking his BULL-MASTIFF and had acted boldly (no physical contact, I
know he needs more shots first), then he wimps out when he sees a dog
that would lose a fight with Toto! Go figure!
For the most part, he is getting much braver, climbing short flights
of stairs, not scared of the kitchen and it's noises anymore, and very
outgoing towards people. He sat on my lap tonight totally transfixed by
the movie "101 Dalmations", all the barking and whining held him
completely rapt. I enjoyed watching him a lot more than the movie.
He has been sleeping through the night wonderfully well, sometimes
he'll cry to go out once around the middle of the night, them he's fine
until 7:30-8:00. Very nice!
He has been much better about biting lately, we took away a couple of
soft toys that he was really rough with, biting them without restraint
and doing the dominant humping routine with, and replaced them with a
ball to retrieve and a squeaky dumbell. We stay off the floor whenever
he gets bonkers, maintaining a more dominant posture sitting in a chair.
A couple times when he was really nuts, we gave him a little shake by
the scruff of the neck with a firm "No!" and he simmered right down,
seemed to understand perfectly that he had gone too far, and behaved
more like a gentleman. Like the old saying goes, the most important
question to answer in dog training is "How shall I say this to my dog?"
Once he understands what we want, he is quite eager to comply.
All in all, while he certainly keeps us busier than we are used to
being, he really is a great joy to have around. Always in the midst of
things, curious and happy, until he gets exhausted (about every two or
three hours) and drops down right where he is and takes a nap. How we
look forward to those naps!
Thought you'd like to know that Ike has been to his first KPT class
as of last night.I forgot to mention in it my reply to your e-mail
earlier today. Everything went very well, and he made a lot of friends.
He had a great time while he was off lead, but when he was on he kind of
freaked out because he wanted to go and play with the other pups. Kept
pulling at the end of the lead and practically choked himself.
There was a young Cocker Spaniel there who was very aggressive. While
rough housing with Ike, he would put Ike into a submissive posture (on
his back with legs up, which Ike did willingly enough, he doesn't seem
to care who's boss as long as he can play) but then he would get really
rough with Ike, and then Ike would start fighting back until things got
pretty rough. Linda Briggs, the teacher of the class had to grab the
Cocker a couple of times by the scruff of the neck and give him a good
shakedown, which would calm him for a few minutes.
Ike generally liked to run around and make friends with as many dogs
as possible. He was very outgoing, and couldn't have been friendlier.
Not the least bit aggressive or nasty, just full of fun and wiggling all