Duke has made it through his 3rd week of joining our household. On the whole he has been fabulous; he’s obedient roughly 70% of the time, the remaining 30 he just seems to be fed up of what he’s been told to do or he’s too distracted to listen. I think this is a breed thing though as I was warned that Mastiff types and Rhodesian ridgebacks are not a fan of repetitive actions and the hunting instinct can make him ready to chase or be distracted by small fluffy creatures.
The hubby has been away so it’s just been me and Duke, Duke is definitely missing my husband… he seems to be crying quite a bit while looking out the window. He has also taken on the role of guard dog a little, until recently I hadn’t heard him bark more than twice but this week he’s been barking at the postman and other strangers who approach the house. I’m definitely hoping this is just for this week! It’s nice having his company though and Duke loves a good snuggle. I’m used to my husband going away, he’s in the army it’s been happening our whole relationship, but the last 6 months I’m used to having him around so I was feeling a little sorry for myself on the Monday and Duke served as a great distraction. The first night I slept downstairs (because I was being daft) Duke spent most of the night cuddled up watching films with me till he decided it was time to go to bed and he padded off to his bed. I did wake up at 3 am to a doggy nose pressed against mine but he headed back to his bed after I went back to sleep. We are successfully leaving his crate open at night with no destruction.
We are still having issues on the lead, he’s a puller. We do have a mouth harness which is supposed to stop him from being able to pull but he hates it! He also looks a little ticked off when I put it on him the poor pickle. He doesn’t really pull on the extendable lead unless there is a distraction, unfortunately a distraction can include anything from a bird to a person to the wind.
My best friend came to stay on the second day and to be honest he has been better than expected. At first he did… the politest way of putting this it would probably be: “try to assert his dominance” on poor Becky. Despite not being the biggest dog fan she was a total pro and didn’t panic even when he was jumping up at her. I don’t think she was quite prepared for the amount of trumping that dog does. But I also I definitely think she finds Duke cute (you would be mad not to!). Eventually he got used to her presence and stopped being a bully and even enjoyed cuddling up to her. Its quite funny watching someone else being squashed by him when he tries to be a lap dog!
We have changed his food to James Wellbeloved which is more expensive but he seems to enjoy it much more! I’d rather spend the extra money and have a happy pooch.
Duke still likes to stretch out on the window sill where he watches the people and I get greeted on the Pad estate by children asking “is that you dog who lays in the window?”. The only problem is he’s found his voice so sometimes likes to bark at people walking past or delivery men.
He was very excited when the husband arrived home. Never seen him so excited, in fact he got so over the top he head butted the wall! He seems to have bonded really well with us. More often than not snuggling up if we are on the sofa or following us around the house.
I’ve also managed to successfully bath him twice (the mud and rain have been awful lately) each time he’s been good but sulked for a good half hour after! He’s definitely a good sulker! He’s also a lot cleverer than we give him credit for.
His mouthing and nipping has gotten a lot better which is great – almost no nipping now. He’s a lot gentler when playing tug of war and fetch. He’s sitting and waiting for his food as well as for his lead to be taken on and off. We are working on him not jumping up and on recall.
Puppy school next week!