It's September now, so we've had the dog for just over 5 months, and shes' about a year old now. Time for an update.
The picture is Pickles at one of her favorite past times, running with a stick.
As just a reminder, we got Pickles unexepectedly back in early April. She was stuffed in a cage (literally, she could not move) at the Jamestown Flea Market. The guy just wanted to give her away, and the rest is history. She is a part blue tick, and supposedly part Lab. I can see the Blue Tick in her, just from her appearance, not so sure about the Lab. Maybe in her ears.
At the time she had never been inside a house, and had never worn a collar, had probably never been in a vehicle except when she was squashed in that cage. I don't know if she had been physically abused or not, I bet she was ignored. I'm also fairly certain she missed some socialization along the way, with other dogs and other people.
So after 5 months, the pros and cons of Pickles.
- She is housebroken. As housebroken as a dog can be. Pretty good for a dog that had never been in a house for the first 6-7 months of her life.
- She doesn't bark at random things anywhere near as much as she used to. She'll still bark if a dog (or a person) comes into the yard, but she doesn't seem to bark at the squirrels and birds and things like that as much. As long as they move along, and don't cause any trouble....
- She can sit & stay very well, especially if treats are involved.
- She does very good on walks, as long as I keep control. We can walk past other animals and she doesn't go crazy - its a different story if she's in the house or out on the porch and a dog comes by, but when she's on a walk out of her own territory, on a leash, she's pretty cool.
- She's crate trained - lots of times she goes in and lays down on her own
- She plays with the Rottweiler across the way
- She's learned a couple of games
- Sit-Stay; she sits, I'll place half a dog biscuit across the room, or on my knee if I'm sitting down, and she stays until I say 'ok'. Then, it's gone.
- Guess which hand: She sits, then I put a dog treat in one hand, hold out both hands (closed) and say 'guess which hand!'. She always gets this on either the first or 2nd try. It's funny. If she guesses the wrong hand and I open it, she stares at it in disbelief for a second before going to the other hand.
- Catch Bread / Eat Dirt; She sits, then hold out a piece of bread (or dog treat) a few inches above her nose. Drop the treat, she should catch it in mid-air. If not, you get to say, eat dirt. She think's its great fun, and either way, she wins.
- Roll over; In this game I throw a dog toy, usually across the room, she runs, grabs it and brings it back. She doesn't like to give, so rather than fight her for it, I just flip her over. She gets up and comes back for more. Eventually she lets go, I grab it and toss it, and we do it all over again. We do this till she gets tired - she expends a bit of energy in this game.
- Sometimes Pickles acts like an autistic ADHD teenager with shotgun.
- Pickles has a lot of fear, and I don't know why. But you can see it. She barks at dogs and people because she is afraid of them. She's also afraid of little children, much more so than older people. However, if she actually goes nose to nose with a dog, or a child, or an older person, she's generally pretty meek.
- Loud noises scare her.
- She bites while playing. I've actually never seen her bite anything in anger, but she definately bites when she plays. I don't know how to stop that. I have a couple of small scars and some torn clothes because of it.
- She is extremely exciteable when people come over.
- She jumps on people, I'm not sure how to stop that either.
- She grabs random things and piles them up somewhere, so you have to be careful what you leave laying around in dog reach. The TV remote is still functional, but that's about all you can say for it, it has been thru the Pickles mill. Paper, telephone books, cloth, rugs, you name it, if she takes a notion, it's gone in a flash.
- I can't trust her to come when called. The best she usually does, is come close.
- She will not leave the cat alone. Our pore ol' cat is 16 years old or so. So we've fixed a place where the cat can go but Pickles can't. The cat has the run of the house, Pickles does not. Over time, maybe that will change, but for now, that's the way it is.