Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pretty Boy Savage

For the last few days I have been really working with Savvy again on his training. I'm reading another book on training which concentrates on the concept that he needs to see me as the "alpha dog". While I have always practiced some "dominance" training (for lack of a better word) with him, I'm implementing other ways of showing him that I'm the boss. For example, I'm now walking him next to me instead of pulling in front of me, and he's understanding the "heel" command, which we had never tried before. In addition, we're walking at least a half-hour every morning and another before I go to work in the evenings.
I made it clear to R. that we can't tolerate any nipping or chewing our arms and hands, and absolutely no jumping up on people, which only started recently. We're using a choke chain instead of his normal collar to give me a little more control regarding pulling on his leash. Things seem to be working out slowly but surely.
It's so important that Savage (as a big, exuberant puppy) learns good manners, especially around our resort guests and bar customers. He is now 108lbs and over 32" at the shoulder and is not going to be able to get away with behaviors that people wouldn't even bat an eyelash at if he was a smaller dog.
On a side note: The other day I was playing with a friend's dog (healthy, kibble-fed) and noticed the dog had very "doggy" breath (I can't think of a better term to describe it), though not really offensive. I realized that Savvy has never had bad smelling breath, in fact you can't smell his breath at all. Maybe this is a result of feeding him a raw diet. I've heard other raw feeding dane owners mention this, but I never gave it much thought before. Just an observation.
Regarding the picture in this post: Yes, I did paint his nails. Took me 8 months before I did it, but I think he knew it was inevitable. I could almost see him rolling his eyes!


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