So Duke has been with us 5 weeks. He is definitely a wonderful dog. A cheeky and slightly crazy puppy who has definitely come a long way in such a short time. A ridgeback cross mastiff his size is often intimidating to some but he really is the softest dog possible. And to be honest he is a bit of a chicken!! He seems to have bonded well with us and settled really well.We have a new method of feeding in our house! We have a large kong which the dog has to tip and roll about in order to get the biscuits to fall out. The best thing about this? It keeps him busy when we are out; the worst thing? It’s a bit of a noisy contraption when he’s throwing it about to get the last one or two biscuits out. It’s definitely a big dog owner’s best friend. The Kongs are fabulous as they have a wide range that can be filled with treats and tid bits but the dog has to use their brain in order to get them out which helps to avoid bad behaviour and can be a distraction while you’re not at home; preventing destructive behaviour and barking or whining (I did my research and it definitely seems to work for us!). I will recommend their product range to anyone with a dog as there is a wide variety and they really do work. Impressively they don’t come with a massive price tag. Worth every penny.
After taking his crate away last week as he wasn’t using it, we have brought it back into the kitchen. Although he hadn’t been sleeping in it when we took it away, a few days later he had begun to cry at night when we went to bed. Bringing the crate back has helped. He moves from the crate to his bed when I get up in the morning and has a little fuss and attention before going back to sleep. His tail wags sleepily as he receives the affection but he seems happy to continue snoozing until the husband gets up. he has decided he is not a morning dog and prefers a lay in… that is unless we have had a busy evening the night before and are hoping for a well-deserved lay in ourselves, then he wants to play as early as he can with the noisiest squeakiest toy he can find. He’s still cute either way, so I will forgive him the wakeup call.
Duke likes a good snuggle and spends a lot of his time trying to herd me to the sofa in order to sit down and cuddle him. However he is still not quite aware of his size so spends a great deal of time trying to fit on or in spaces not made for such a large pooch! I came in from work the other day and he decided he was going to try and sit on my lap, the problem being that I was sat on the coffee table at the time! He definitely likes to join me for a nap or chooses to lay across me when given half the chance. He makes a good feet and back warmer. Last night he took the biscuit by jumping into the husbands seat as soon as he got up in order to get his head on my lap.
When not trying to destroy toys he has discovered a love of playing fetch. Giving the ball back is the part of the game that he becomes perplexed with, often just shoving his snout with the ball into my hand (but not letting go) or trying to play tug of war with it. He does have a realisation and drop the ball sometimes. Occasionally he will throw it for himself by standing on the sofa and dropping it off, causing it to roll across the living room. Daft dog… or not so daft as that’s quite smart! We have also thankfully discovered some toys that appear to be Duke proof! They have survived the week… which until now was pretty rare. After weeks of expensive toys, a raggy from Tesco and a chew from Wilkinsons are winning! He would make a good toy tester as he often tests them to their limits.
I cleaned the carpets this week and surprisingly he wasn’t scared of the carpet cleaner… but wasn’t impressed with not being allowed in the living room while I did it or with the lack of attention while I tidied upstairs. His fears seem to be reducing which is brilliant as he was scared of everything when we first took him home.
Although we have cracked walking on the lead, we are still working on staying calm while out running with me but he’s making progress. We still have a few training issues: he can get over excited and mouth our hands, arms and elbows! But he is getting better and better as well as softer. So we just have to continue to be firm with him. I’ve been doing some research to find the best way to deal with this one! We also need to work on him jumping up because that drives me crazy.
I never thought rehoming a dog was going to be easy and he does have some bad habits but to be honest having such an amazing pooch does make it worth it. And he gets better all the time, even if sometimes he’s as daft as a shoe brush.
As I type, he’s begging for attention by sitting behind me and resting his head on my shoulder… So I think it’s time to play fetch.