Tag Archives: Behavior

Mr. Innocent

This is the second bowl that Zeke has “re-sculpted” since we’ve had him. It has looked like this for quite some time, I just don’t care anymore.

I don’t know when he does this. We never leave the bowl in the crate with him and go away anymore. The bowl comes out and the Nylabone goes in the crate if we are going away. When he’s in his crate for a brief time after meals, I don’t hear any noise. I don’t think he even had any canine fangs left by the time he mangled this one. (They were broken off in attempts to escape the crate when we were away.)

Although Zeke still sounds like a wild child, and I suppose he is, he is much improved from where he started. He is a good companion and relatively obedient. He does get into things but stops when we tell him to. So although he is a work in progress (aren’t we all?) things are at more of an even keel.

Here is Mr. Innocent at a friend’s house with me.

Foster Dog Zeke, Day 5

Needy Zeke laying on my foot.

I knew things with Zeke would not be smooth sailing all the way. No dog is perfect and as time goes by little quirks always come out. 

Zeke appears to have mild separation anxiety. I knew that every time one of us left the house and came back, even for 5 minutes, he would jump all over us. He is so ecstatic to see us that you would think we had been gone for days. 

Well today Zeke was alone for the entire afternoon. I came home and let the dogs out of their crates. Zeke’s chest and front legs were covered with drool. After putting the dogs outside and letting them back in, Zeke drank a large amount of water, and then repeatedly launched himself at me for affection. I ignored him and went about my business so as not to reward this wild behavior. He then launched himself to stand on our cherry dining room table where I was sorting mail. I’m afraid this did elicit a yell from me of “What are you doing, get down!!!” I’m only human. I was shocked rather than angry though. So I put him back outside, then let him back in to start again. Things went much better this time and he calmed down after a bit. 

I still think Zeke is a great dog. He probably didn’t have these problems before he was turned into the shelter and went through losing his home and family. With a little love and kindness he will work through this. 

I do want to caution against just repeatedly telling an anxious dog that it’s ok. Once, so they hear that your voice is calm, is fine. If you say over and over that’s it’s ok, the dog may think that you are telling him that his fear is ok. Be careful what you are reinforcing. 

Being anxious is tiring!

A Tired Dog Is a Good DogĀ 

This is the face of Baxter. He is tired after a day with frisbeeing and a long hike. What a precious face it is. He is a high energy dog. But he is all tuckered out and peaceful. 

This is Cassius the greyhound. He is also tired out and peaceful after sharing all that activity with Baxter. Cassius is also a very high energy dog which is not typical for a greyhound. 

This is Shelby. Turns out I don’t have any pictures of Shelby sleeping because she rarely does sleep during the day. She is too busy running our home. But she does it in a calm and well behaved, if controlling, manner. 

Our dogs are generally well behaved and pleasant. At least that’s what people tell me and I tend to agree. Just like all “kids” though, you can tell when they’ve been cooped up inside with insufficient exercise. They get barkier (more than normal) and they tend to get underfoot and become pesky. 

Then we must play what we call “the indoor games”. This involves one particular toy that stands on end and daddy kicks it down the center hall of the house. Here they are waiting for the kick. Whoever gets the toy first wins. They shake it for a while and then return it to daddy for the next round. There is never any fighting and everyone knows the rules. Mostly Shelby wants to bark at the other two to tell them how to behave. Once in a while she wins too by getting the toy first. And this game involves LOTS of barking by all dogs involved and those not involved bark too. Foster girl Kammie likes to hide beside the couch and bark at the players. Things become so loud with the barking and yipping that we now wear ear plugs during the game.

The point here is that a tired dog is a good and happy dog. If our dogs were not tired, I have no doubt that they would find other ways to expend that energy. They would likely resort to chewing, snapping, endless pacing and other sorts of troublesome behavior. 

We have high energy dogs. Those are the kind we prefer. But along with choosing that type of dog, comes the responsibility of filling that need of expending the energy.  If not, you are headed for trouble. I fully believe that in the wrong home, our dogs would not be well behaved. They would be trouble. 

That is the case with most of the foster dogs we have had. We tend to specialize in fostering the troublesome ones. They turn out to be wonderful dogs once they have some structure, behavioral boundaries and lots of exercise. 

So remember, a good dog is a tired dog!