Showing posts from December, 2011

Counter Surfing

Wolfie loves to counter surf with everybody for the Holidays.  He normally doesn't do it during the rest of the year and I don't want it to turn into a regular thing!

This is the time of the year that we have a whole lot of things going on.  We also have a lot more food out and about that we might not be watching.  We also have guests over who are just leaving stuff around.  Our house has become a giant buffet for Wolfie.

What we have to do is to first understand Wolfie's concept of food ownership.  If food is left unattended for a long period of time (you our your guests have food on a coffee table, but aren't actively eating) or you abandon the food (physically walk away from it), there is no longer a clear picture of ownership. 

Remember, in the wild, the Alpha Wolf would be the first to eat the killed hunt.  The Alpha Wolf would then walk away from the food, indicating that he was done and that the killed hunt is now available for everyone else.  It it is natural tha…

Wolfie, the Holidays, Family Coming to Visit...

I can just about handle Wolfie when everything is normal, but the Holidays and all my "wonderful family" is coming to visit.  How can I keep my sanity?

The Holidays are always a crazy time, especially for all of us down in South Florida.  It seems that our guest rooms and every sofa in the house now becomes a Hilton for relatives from up north.  All our routines are messed up and our lives are turned upside down for about ten days to two weeks.  Since Wolfie likes things calm and consistent, this is not a good time for him.  Here are some ideas: When your family first starts to arrive, have Wolfie somewhere else during the initial "meet and greet time".  Bring Wolfie in to meet everyone after they are settled and have stopped arguing who gets to sleep where.  This will be a time where the adrenaline is lower and Wolfie will react calmly when greeting everyone. Tell everyone not to "make Wolfie nuts".  No "run-run, yell-yell, jump on me-jump on me"…

Who can Wolfie Jump On?

I don't mind if Wolfie jumps on me, but it is now the Holiday Season and I don't want Wolfie to jump on Aunt Minnie...

It was always so much fun to have Wolfie to jump up.  He would get so excited and bark and lick!  I didn't care if my clothes got a little dirty with dog hair or I got a little slobber on my pants.  Wolfie wasn't really big as a puppy, so that "blind tackle" didn't really hurt...

Oops!  Wolfie is now big and things hurt!  More importantly, some of my friends and guests don't like Wolfie to jump on them.  Even though Aunt Minnie is a dog lover, she is 90 pounds and 87 years old.  She can break.  What do I do?

First of all, you have to understand that dogs need simple rules to follow.  You must now tell Wolfie that it is wrong to jump on anyone.  Wolfie must understand the rule of "don't jump, period".  No jumping on you, your friends who like Wolfie to jump, and everyone else who would rather Wolfie not jump on them.  Her…

Wolfie Just Doesn't Listen, What Are Some Clues?

Wolfie just doesn't want to listen when I talk to him.  Is he stupid or deaf or obnoxious or what?  Should I just give him a kick when he doesn't listen?

No, he is not stupid.  No, he is not deaf.  No, he is not obnoxious.  No, do not kick him!

The problem is that you don't understand how Wolfie talks.  There are several levels that dogs use to communicate with other animals (you included), and we are going to discuss one of them now.

One of the ways that dogs communicate is to use their vocal cords.  We use our vocal cords to form words, phrases, sentences, etc.  Dogs use their vocal cords to create sounds.  We sometimes call them "growls" or "yips", or "crys", etc.  In any case, they are unique sounds created by Wolfie when he wants to use his vocal cords to communicate.

Now comes the difference between Wolfie and us.  As I said earlier, we use words and Wolfie uses unique sounds.  We can create and understand thousands of words and sounds to me…