30 June 2010

{29june2010: park time}

I don't know if it's the acupuncture making Dar's qi (chi) flow or the cool temperatures we've been having but her energy level is OUT OF CONTROL.  Our hour plus long walks don't tire her out at all so I decided to take her to the dog park after work yesterday.
Westcrest park is a great one because it has the off leash play area and a trail that loops around so between play sessions we can walk the loop to rest her from playing and still get exercise.  (There are even trails outside of the off leash area, but we have yet to explore that part yet.)

Darwin was playing with this husky who decided to try and hump her... I told his owner she'd get him off, but his owner back there quickly put his leash on him and took him away.  I felt bad for him.

There was another Dane at the park too!  It's funny how quickly Darwin will run over to say hi to another Dane.  They played a quick game of bitey face (they look so ferocious), but Darwin got distracted by that little pug in the background who kept biting her ankles.  Each time she got bit she'd almost sit on the pug and the pug would keep going after her.  It was kind of funny, but I'm sure Darwin didn't think so so I took her away.

Even an hour and a half at the park, play time and walking four loops didn't tire her enough and she was up at 530 this morning wanting to get out and do something.

Thanks for all your suggestions on the fireworks + barking issue.  We ordered a Thundershirt to see if it will help.  Almost all the advice that was given was to ignore the barking and praise her when she stops.  But we can't just let her bark since we're in a small condo and her barks are really loud.  It's especially a problem if she barks late at night when our 3 year old neighbor is most likely in bed.  We've been working on our "no bark"/"shh" command, which works sometimes, but we still haven't perfected it.  She was barking this morning at some random noise outside, so after our "shh" or "look at me" commands weren't getting her attention I took her to the bathroom and put her in there for a bit (I was in there brushing my teeth) and we let her out after a while.  I've been watching a fair bit of It's Me or The Dog and Victoria seems to use the "removal" technique quite often (removing the dog to another room for a few seconds when they bark) and I think I'll be trying that out with Darwin, especially for her barks at random noises.


  1. Too bad the Sibe owner didn't take advantage of the opportunity to teach his dog. Oh well. Bad behavior is ALWAYS an opportunity for training.

    By the way, I am not a fan of ignoring a behavior like barking (ignoring a chewing puppy is quite effective because it WANTS your attention - deny what it wants). I think a quick correction (Shh or, even better, a "touch" (NOT hit, touch - watch a dog pack and they touch each other all of the time)) is far more effective. But I do agree that praising the behavior you want (quiet) is the best way.

  2. Looks like you had a fun time at the park Darwin :)

    Good luck with fixing Darwins random barking. Sometimes picking the way to help the problem can be really hard as it all depends on the dog, the reason it is displaying the behaviour and how much consistancy you can give :)

    I'm sure you will figure it out :)

    ~Laur, (Lexi and Jasper the Danes)

  3. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see Darwin back to enjoying fun and games! Since you watch Victoria's show, look for the one she did on dogs that are afraid of thunder and lightning. It's got precious information and suggestions. I've looked for it once but failed. I hope you succeed.

  4. Mr. B used to be a barker, and since we also live in a Condo it's just not nice for the neighbors. We used a water bottle and would squirt him in the face when he barked. It doesn't hurt..but no one wants to be shocked by water in the face. It worked for us.

  5. Mom thinks you're doing all the right things for Darwin!
    That park looks like TONS of fun! I see TWO Sibes in there! I hope the red one was more mannerly than the one who tried to mount you! I'd LOVE to meet up with you in the park and run, run, run together! Wouldn't that be so much fun!!?
    I'm glad you're feeling so much better!!! YEA!!!!

  6. Wow Darwin...what a week for you! You got to meet your grandma and aunts and you got to go to the dog park! How exciting! I must tell you that we laughed at that picture of your grandma when she fell during your game of chase. What really made us laugh was that your Mom (we are assuming she was behind the camera) actually took the picture of your grandma on the ground....silly! Sounds like your grandma is a good sport!


  7. Ok, that park looked like so much fun! I would love to play with you and all those pups! :)

    I think you're doing a great job working with Darwin!


  8. Was DINKY the fawn dane at Westcrest in the photo with Darwin? Just asking because he attacked our dane a few weeks ago (apparently 'protecting' the other dog that was with his family, I'm told). Ended up with an infection and multiple bite wounds. Kind of surprised they'd take a dog like that to the park if that's the case, and wondered what your experience had been. Our dane (8 months old) doesn't seem as traumatized as us.

    Have you gone to any of the great dane meetups yet? Had one at Westcrest last month and Edmonds Bch Park last weekend.