Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dog blog

When we adopted a German Short Hair Pointer/Chocolate Lab cross, I researched the cross, and not the individual breeds. Turns out one of the characteristics of Pointers is they are boisterous and have a long "puppy" phase. You know when people say their Labs calm down after a couple years?  Well, apparently he did not get that Lab trait.  He is like Tigger. When I get home he barks at me because he is so excited to see me (they are very devoted) but he bounces next to me which results in him barking in my ear, which is not a great way to come home from work. I can tell him to go get his ball and he often will go in search of a toy - if he can't find one he has been known to bring bucket lids, 4 foot long sticks, or any other weird thing he determines is a toy. He is so boisterous that we can't allow him to walk around the house because his tail knocks into things. Have I mentioned his tail? I have never seen a dog that can be so destructive with just a tail. And he wags it with so much energy that he can give me a bruise.

For the last couple of months I have been talking about how much I HATE this dog. It all came to a head last weekend when he knocked G down for the 3rd time in as many days. I admit it - I yelled, I cursed, I vented (sorry P) and threatened to give the damn dog away.

Once I calmed down I realized something needed to be done. One of my pet peeves is dogs without manners, and Murphy has more bad manner moments than good ones. So I decided that I DO need to make an attempt to like him and make him into a more well behaved dog. Have you heard the phrase "a good dog is a tired dog?" Well that is my goal. Obviously I can't do anything during the day when I'm at work so he is left to his own devices. Apparently Pointers need vigorous exercise every day (or they get bored and destructive which is obvious by all the holes he has dug in the yard and the pots, gloves, toys, etc.  he has chewed up), more than just being left outside with the other dog to play all day. Now that it is light when I get home I am going to try and let him in the field (with the animals put away of course because Pointers AND Labs are hunting dogs) and throw his ball until he is so tired he gives up.

Speaking of exercise - another characteristic of a Pointer is limitless energy. So maybe my aforementioned plan won't work, but at least it's worth a try. And after 30 minutes of ball chasing and me giving him treats when he brought me the ball and dropped it, he was getting pretty consistent. But then he got tired of ball chasing (maybe it was because I kept throwing it in the ginormous puddles in the field and he was tired of being wet?) and took off, nose to the ground, hunting for something. And then he and Opal (the dog that I LOVE) ran and ran and ran around the field.

I do hope that one of these days I love both dogs equally. But for now I will settle for loving one and liking the other. I've got a lot a work ahead of me.