Red Bank Ace in the Hole "Arlo"
Puppy name: Gopher
Arlo is a rural dog in New Mexico. He lives with a family and another ES, Sadie.
September--3 months old
He slept in his crate in the boys' room last night with no problems and has already had a very active day even though it's not even noon yet. When a couple of the kids and I walked through our pasture this morning, Arlo was right there walking with us.
Yesterday, Arlo was in the yard by himself for a few minutes. Sadie was in the house with the kids and me. Mark, my dh, had gone over to a shed and was mowing some stuff but Arlo didn't know he was over there. Arlo went on the alert once he realized someone/something was out there. He was in protection mode and barking until I opened the gate and let him see Mark, then he went running over to greet Mark.
When both Sadie and Arlo are in the house, Sadie doesn't have much patience with him being rowdy. I think she actually growled at him! She'll follow him around and you can tell she's telling him to settle down. I have had to put her in my bedroom while he's in the living room or she'll spend the whole time being the policeman to him. They have played together some and Sadie really acts like a pup when they play outside. Mostly, we are keeping them separated so Arlo an bond with the kids.
This morning, I worked with him some around the cats and kittens. Sadie has really laid down the law with him and even ran him off the porch because he kept messing with them. This morning, whenever he took off towards them intending to chase, I gave him the "aaack" noise and he would stop. I'd call him back to me and praise him for coming. A few minutes later, he sat beside me as one of our adult cats came around my legs. Arlo did very well sitting still and just looking at Bear while I petted Bear and introduced him. Arlo went back to eating and Bear walked by and Arlo just looked at him but restrained himself from giving chase. I do love the calm personality as our Sadie is totally calm and laid back and very sweet. She puts up with Arlo playing with her for a bit, then has her fill of him biting her ears and cheeks. They get a little time together but not alot.
I can see such great potential in him already and we are more than thrilled that he's here!
Lisa in NM
End November--6 months--welcome to adolescence!
I have a couple of situations which have occurred and would like to know how you would handle them.
Last night, Arlo was messing around and not going to his crate for bedtime which he usually does with no coaxing. My 8 year old son took Arlo by the collar to get him to go to son's room. Arlo growled at son which concerned dh quite a bit. Do I teach the child not to grab the collar or teach Arlo to not growl when his people grab his collar? Is this a submission issue?
Arlo has never jumped into our vehicles when we have wanted to take him somewhere. I intend to work with him on this using treats to encourage him to load up when I tell him. In the meantime, dh has picked Arlo up to load him and Arlo has either growled at or snapped at dh each time. Is this also a submission issue and what do we do about it?
He's as big as Sadie now and we're expecting he will soon pass her in the size department.
When picking up a puppy or dog, always pick them up with one hand under their rump to support their weight. Arlo's loathing of the vehicle (and the trampoline) was caused by being picked up with two hands around the ribs, which hurt him. This is what I believe started the growling...Arlo may have thought that her son was going to pick him up and hurt his ribs again. OR Arlo learned that growling works when he did it because of pain.
At this point, I advised the Martin's to get really consistent with the rules and make Arlo behave. Teenage dogs are a lot like teenage kids and they do a lot of pushing to see how far they can move those rules.
Dh gave Arlo a very firm scolding last night when he growled at our son. I think he has exhibited similar behavior when the kids have tried to pick him up to put him on the trampoline with them. Dh did it one time and Arlo enjoyed himself but when the kids picked him up, he growled or snapped at them or something. Your mom had told me that the kids needed to be the source of good things so that he would really bond to them. We have done that except on rare occasions when the kids weren't around and he needed to be fed. We always make him sit before he gets his food, treats, etc. but we haven't worked much on the down/stay. My daughter was messing around with him yesterday and would tell him to sit I think and then would wave her arm and he would go on his belly. He did it a couple of times so we may be able to run with what she has started. She's nearly 13 and taller than me so she's probably a good choice for working with him.
Arlo hasn't wanted to get in the Suburban since we first got him but at that time, he was too small to jump in. He has gotten carsick a couple of times but they were early on. We took him woodcutting recently and had him getting in and out of dh's Toyota so I need to follow up on that now that he's got the physical size to jump into the truck.
February 20, 2008
Arlo has been doing well. A few weeks ago we had a situation that had to be handled. My boys, ages 7 and 8, had begun playing football in the yard with Arlo. They did it every day and Arlo had fun playing with them. But, he was jumping up on them a bit and using teeth at them or on them. He wasn't responding to them telling him "no" or "down". Finally, my youngest son came in with two teeth marks and a little blood on his belly. The marks weren't punctures, just the shape of the teeth imprinted on his skin with blood on each shape. So, I decided it was time for a little intervention.
I told the boys to start playing again like they had been and I would sit by watching with a stick in my hand. A couple times Arlo jumped up towards the boys and I told him a firm "No" and used the sound everyone uses for no (have no idea how to spell that!). After a few more minutes, Arlo made a pretty strong lunge upwards towards one of my sons, he may have put teeth on his arm, I don't remember, but at that moment, I brought the stick down on his hind end and gave him a firm scolding. One swat was all he got but I think it made an impression! I don't hit the dogs, I use tone of voice and facial expressions, so I think I surprised him. I felt it was very important to communicate that no aggression towards the children would be allowed, even in play. I don't think he has tried to use teeth or jumped up on them again.
I had one other instance where he would not leave Sadie alone while I was outside the yard with both dogs. He just kept grabbing her by her collar to the point that we couldn't even walk because they were getting tangled around my legs. I kept telling him "no" but he'd go back. Finally, on one of his passes around my leg to grab her neck, I kicked him in the butt and told him "no". That was that! We walked all around the pasture with no problems.
These are the only two times when he would not respond to voice commands after repeated attempts. I think I surprised him both times. He looked at me like he was shocked but the behavior was never seen again and right after each swat on the butt, he was his usual happy, bouncy self. I so rarely use a strong tone with Sadie, that's all it takes when she's done something wrong. She took off toward the highway this morning. When she heard the tone in my voice, she slunk back to the yard trying to avoid looking at me. It was almost comical but I was relieved to realize she knew I meant business.
I bought a package of bologna yesterday as my dad swears he can teach any dog to do any trick using a package of bologna. Arlo definitely was a fan of it when I tried a piece with him.
We are planning to order baby chicks in a few weeks and hopefully get set up to have a couple of goats so Arlo should have some new training and some new jobs on the horizon.
I better get going, lots to do today!
Lisa in NM
Breeders Note: Kudos to this owner who did a *great* job in finding the amount of force that it takes to get the point across to the dog! Her other dog is more sensitive and responds more to her voice and is more in tuned with how she feels. Apparently, it takes a bit more to get Arlo's attention. I hope he will become more responsive as he grows out of adolescence.
April 19, 2008
He's doing really great! Loves going with the kids when they head out on their adventures. They have taught him to get on the trampoline with them. On two sides of our property, there have been herds of cows belonging to two different ranchers. When they are near the fenceline, Arlo makes a mad dash and lets them know they better stay back. A couple of times, he slipped under the fenceand we had to call him back but overall, he is really good about staying on our side of the fence and just barking and running.
He is also being introduced to chickens. Our chicks were 4 weeks old Wednesday so they aren't running around outside yet. At this size, I think Arlo would think they are great fun to chase and grab with his mouth so we are keeping them in a wooden pen with a heavy screened panel on it inside the kids' playhouse. Arlo gets to have supervised visits but not much contact with them. We may be getting our first goat in a few days so he should meet other new animals soon. He was barking up a storm the other day so I looked outside to see what was wrong. A cardboard box had blown out of the back of our truck and was traveling across the pasture. It finally stopped at the fence but Arlo wanted to make sure I knew something was out there that didn't belong. He's acted the same way with birds that he determines shouldn't be in his airspace.
I better get off here and get busy. Thanks! Lisa in NM