Sunday, 25 March 2012

Down, boy, down!!!

Portuguese Water Dogs are an active breed.  Before we got him, hubby and I did lots and lots of research.  We got him, primarily because it was one of the few dogs that hubby was not allergic to.  But, we also knew that they needed lots and lots of exercise.  Needing a lifestyle change, hubby and I decided to kick start our healthy habits and pretty much use the dog to get healthier.

Dogs need to be walked.  They don't care if it's sunny, rainy, snowy, or if it's the end of the world...they have to go out.  Therefore, hubby and I knew we could never use the weather as an excuse not to get out there.  Actually, in the 10 months that we've had our puppy, we can honestly say that we've spent just as much times outdoors, as we do indoors.  Our TV consumption is down to a minimum, we wake up early...and as a consequence, go to bed early.  Hubby had lost 30 lbs, suits that I bought 10 years ago fit me perfectly, and 14 year old son now plans walks with his buddies (as opposed to sitting n front of the TV playing video games)

Pup is still in a pain in the butt, though.  Anyone that has been following my blogs for the last 8 months will know all the trials and tribulations I've gone through.  For the most part, pup is starting to calm down...with one exception. He JUMPS!!!

Once again, hubby and I had done plenty of research before settling on a PWD.  Everything we read stated that this particular breed is very agile, and, it likes to jump.  In fact, that is one of the primary traits of this dog.  At home, we've trained him not to jump on us or the furniture.  When people come over, he does run to them, but once we've instructed our guests to ignore pup for the 1st few minutes, then pup just walks away.  The big problem is when we're out walking the dog (which in our case is very, very often).  He'll see some poor unsuspecting jogger and run to the end of his leash, all the while trying to jump on them.  Because he's over 55 lbs now, the momentum of his run and jump also propels me forward towards the jogger.  I usually get very dirty looks from the joggers because from their point of view, it looks like I'm actually steering my dog towards them and encouraging the jump!!

He doesn't only jump at joggers.  He also jumps at other dogs.  Not so bad when the other dog is taller...but a bit of a disaster if the other dog is shorter.  A taller dog will be able to take my pup's weight...but a shorter dog kind of turns into a pancake.  They get angry and start biting at pup's tummy.   This gets my pup excited and then he wants to play!!  The other dog, however, having been flattened, wants to kill!!  Not the best combination for play-dates!!

Pup also jumps at little old ladies..maybe because he can smell their frail bones.  I've had many a dirty look from these ladies that think I'm sicking my pup on them on purpose in order to rob them!!!  The worse, of course is other dog owners.  Let me explain.  We don't give our puppy treats, but there are legions of dog owners out there that carry bags and bags of treats.  Well let me tell you, one whiff of those bacon, chicken, liver treats is enough to send my pup into a frenzy.  He's constantly jumping on these poor unsuspecting dog-owners.  I try to get him off them, but the leashes always end up getting tangled and pup's nose is usually right up the other dog-owners pocket!!

Yesterday, he jumped up on a 5 year old girl.  They were the same height when pup was on his hind legs.  He kind of put his paws around her so she couldn't  move away, and then he decided to take advantage of his position by proceeding to "hump" her.  I spent the next 15 minutes trying to explain to her father that my 11 month old pup was neutered and really had no idea what he was doing!!!

I've looked up ways to get pup to stop jumping up.  Advice ranges from putting your knee up while he's in mid-air, to grabbing his front paws and walking him backwards.  Yeah, I'm trying to figure out a way to tell that to the joggers as they run from me, or the little old ladies who are trying to swat me with their purses!

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