Wednesday, September 4, 2013


GRA Peter

He's serious about toys. On the bright side, he'll surrender a toy--although I wasn't foolish enough to try to take one while he was in mid-frenzy.

GRA Peter

He likes wool. (I'm a knitter, so this is not a good thing.) On the bright side, he surrendered the wool when I reached for it. (On the not-bright side, he followed me to see where I hid it away.)

GRA Peter

He likes to chew things. In his last home, he chewed wooden furniture, which often is a sign of separation anxiety. Here, he's chewed the contents of his Kongs, he's ignored a Durable Nylabone and a deer antler, and he's chewed the wires of his crate. That last one is a big no-no.

Since he's not chewing the Nylabone or antler (even with peanut butter on it), he's not naturally a chewer. Since he was chewing furniture when people weren't home and he's chewing his crate here, it's clearly separation anxiety. But the crate chewing here has only happened when I've been home, and I've stopped the chewing at this point by muzzling him when he's crated. He hates the muzzle, but that's better than letting him damage his teeth. When he's crated and I'm here, he's a bit noisy (whining--not barking). But when he's crated and I leave the house, he doesn't get noisy, so apparently his noise-making only happens when he thinks he can persuade me to get him out of the crate. (So far, he's been disappointed on that front; I'm not going to let him out at night because he wants to cuddle and sleep with me, and his next owner might not want that.)

Meanwhile, I've stopped using the ex-pen. He's not going to stay in there, and he's going to hurt himself getting out. I have a Dog Anchor (they don't make these anymore, but it's the same idea as this Pet N Place with Paw Anchor), and I've tried hooking him to that to keep him from wandering around. Unfortunately, he's an idiot about his leash and winds up with it wrapped around his back legs, so that's not going to be a way to keep him out of trouble when I'm not here. Eventually, it may be safe to leave him loose but muzzled, but for now we'll have to stick with crated and muzzled. He'll have some alone time Friday, as Silver and I leave him home alone while we go to a Pope High School football game Friday evening. We'll see how he is after that. I think he might be fine in his crate when there's no one around to let him out.

He's fine on leash--unless he sees someone. He gets hyper-vigilant when he sees other dogs (he sometimes growls at them, but he doesn't bark and he can be turned away while the other dog is still at a distance). But he gets crazy when he sees a person. He wants to meet the person (whether his intended target is interested or not), and when he gets to a stranger he jumps up and puts his feet on their chest. I need to work on correcting that behavior, but I'm running out of volunteer victims in my neighborhood, and he hasn't jumped on me since the first day.

He's not cat safe, not small dog safe, and possibly not other-breed safe. (He hated my neighbor's Aussie on sight at 40 paces.) He's not scared of thunder or noises or anything else that I've noticed. He doesn't react to sounds on the TV or the laptop--not even the sound of other greyhounds. He's respectful of my girl, and when she growls at him, he listens. He's made no effort to pee in the house, but he marks Silver's pee outside (or tries to--his aim is awful). He's not jealous of Silver: doesn't mind when she shoehorns herself between him and me. He's fond of his food, but hasn't been possessive about it. He wants to cuddle. If you're on the sofa, I think he'll want to join you there; I usually sit in the floor to work, and he wants to curl up next to me. We've started clicker training; he had diarrhea the day he arrived here, but I think that was stress, and I think his stomach can handle some richer training treats--in moderation. Today we played "touch the cup" for training.

Silver and GRA Peter
I'm filling Kongs, Silver is watching, and Peter is waiting patiently.*

And he's learning to sleep late. In his former home, everyone got up at 6am. On the off chance that his next adopter won't want to get up that early--and because I don't want to get up that early--I've got an alarm that goes off at 8am, and I'm liable to snooze until 9. He was noisy at 5:30 the first morning, but he's getting better about being quiet until I get up.

More Details: He had ivermectin today (heartworm preventative) and Frontline Plus (flea and tick preventative). For food, he's getting a cup of kibble in the morning, a cup of kibble in the evening, and a quarter-cup of kibble in each Kong (two Kongs a day), with vanilla yogurt on top, then frozen. He gets two teaspoons of Missing Link Hip and Joint formula a day. (The "hip and joint" is for Silver, but he might as well have some too.) He's not clever about the Kong, and if the ingredients are packed too tight, he gives up. Current kibble is Nature's Recipe Venison and Rice formula.

*Here's a tip: if you have a dog that wants to hang out in the kitchen while you work, provide a comfy resting place right outside the kitchen, where the dog can watch in comfort. I didn't have to teach Silver to stay there. She used to stand right behind me in the kitchen (where I'd trip on her), but once the rug was in the dining room, she moved there to supervise.

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