Saturday, October 26, 2013

Peter's Status

He does stairs well. We practiced today on my spiral stairs--scary to most dogs. He was fine going up until the last few steps; I let him stop and think about it and he finished up well. Then, coming back down, he needed some encouragement to start. But he was fine with going down and, unlike my previous dogs, he doesn't try to speed up at the end of the stairs and leap to safety.

His most recent flea and tick (Frontline Plus) and heartworm meds (ivermectin) were given on October 7.

He's crated when I'm not home, and he's muzzled in the crate. I scatter a half-cup of kibble in the floor of the crate and he gets the pieces in through the holes in his muzzle. When he gets a Kong, the Kong has his regular kibble (about 1/3 cup), then yogurt at the top, then it's frozen. So his "treats" at my house mostly have been his kibble, which seems to have done well for his digestive tract, because we haven't had to deal with an upset stomach. Currently, the kibble is Iams in the green bag. There are higher rated, more expensive foods out there, but Peter and my own dog have done well on this food, which they both like. Aside from the kibble, he's been getting a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin every night (canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling; check your grocery store's baking section for canned pie fillings--it's usually there instead of in the canned fruit or vegetable section). The pumpkin is the first thing he eats out of his bowl at night. And he's been getting half a raw turkey neck at least twice a week; the uncooked bones are soft enough to help with cleaning his teeth, but because they're uncooked, there's no risk of splintered bones.

Breakfast: 1 cup of kibble.
Noon: 1 Kong. (Kibble in his crate can substitute for the Kong, if you won't be home.)
Dinner: 1½ cup of kibble. (Or less, if he got kibble in his crate and a Kong.)
Bedtime: 1 Kong.

That bedtime Kong (or a kibble snack) is what has made it possible for me to sleep until 9 or 9:30 in the morning. If he seems calm enough in the crate not to need muzzling (he's chewed the wires some, although he hasn't bent the wires or tried to get loose), he could have a Kong in the crate instead of the scattered kibble.


Ready for the freezer. That's a little dog biscuit tucked into the peach yogurt.

He likes squeaky toys. While he silenced the squeaky in one toy here, he didn't shred the toy and pull out the stuffing. (Yet.) He likes to chew on hard things. He's chewed on a pair of my shoes, on a hair brush (handle was wood), and on a vacuum cleaner attachment (plastic with bristles). When I've caught him, he hasn't objected when I've taken things away from him, and he can be diverted to something he's actually allowed to chew. He's shown no signs of food aggression, and I've been able to reach down and move his bowl, take a Kong from him (sometimes kibble gets stuck, so he lets me bang the Kong until the kibble breaks loose), and take toys from him. I consider turkey necks a high-value food item, and I haven't tried to take one from him. I let him eat those in peace.

He's not cat-safe. (Or squirrel-safe.) He's not to be trusted with small, fluffy dogs, and I'm not sure how he'll be with larger, non-greyhound dogs. So far, he barks at them, but he shared an earlier foster home with non-greyhounds. I'd proceed with caution in that regard. If he starts barking or growling at dogs he sees on a walk, I've just walked him in circles until he's calmed down, and I haven't let the small dogs get close enough to be in danger. Typically, I walk him on a 4-foot leash rather than a 6-foot just because he and my own dog tangle themselves up on the 6-foot leashes. There haven't been any episodes where he's gotten sight of "prey" and suddenly lunged for it. Usually, he sees something interesting (a slow-moving squirrel), and he gets his ears and tail up and sort of trots along, all hopeful-like. Meanwhile, I'm telling the squirrel to get itself up a tree and I've held Peter back until the coast is clear. He's seen cats on a couple of walks and he stares at them. Cats in my neighborhood know not to run or move fast when they see my dogs, so nothing has triggered his chase instinct here.

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