Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Dog is a Climber

Now over 40 pounds, Gunnar has developed a new bad habit, reaching up on to the kitchen counters.  We've laid land mines for him in the form of socks or such tied to penny bottles, but he has learned to ignore them.  Even worse, while Mary was making a batch of cupcakes, he stood up to the counter and got himself a taste of lemon curd cupcake batter. 

When grizzlies get accustomed to human food, they relocate them.  Not an option here.  Any thoughts?

The climbing / jumping isn't limited to the counters.   He seems to have increased the frequency and diligence in jumping on members of the household.   We've tried to react by shuffling our feet into his body and pushing him backwards, off balance, but that hasn't stopped the behavior.

Anyone else dealing with this issue?   Any tactics that might work?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Taking the Dog Camping

For over 30 years our group of Wisconsin friends has been going for a week of camping at Rock Island State Park off the tip of Door County.   With our children all grown or working, it looks as though our caravan this year may be limited to just my wife, Gunnar and me, a seemingly more manageable total than when our 4 children accompanied us.  I can anticipate the obvious pitfalls, such as coming prepared with enough plastic bags.  We'll need to keep Gunnar on leash a lot, as the island has a lot of poison ivy, so there are definitely areas where he can't be left to his own devices.  Raccoons are the only critter that we have encountered on the island, so we'll have to take care with the dog food.   Other than that, does any one have any suggestions or warnings from your camping experiences?  Gunnar is not a barker, so I don't think we'll have to worry about campground courtesy issues.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Shredder

I'm wondering if anyone else is having issues with their dog destroying stuff.  We're not having so much of a  problem with him trashing the house, but he'll tear the bedding in his crate into little pieces.   Leave a towel out?   He'll gnaw on that and tear it apart.   Gunnar's also partial to small rugs.  Seems to like to gnaw on them and pull the yarn out.   We've removed most of those rugs from the house.  Spraying stuff with the bitter apple deterrent hasn't had much impact.

Playing catch with a plastic Frisbee is similarly frustrating.   Gunnar isn't at all good about dropping an object.  He finds more sport in gnawing on it, literally tearing it into tiny pieces of plastic, which if digested, I'm assuming would not be good.  Tennis balls are objects to be similarly torn apart.  He hasn't punctured one yet, but he's good at stripping the green fuzz from the ball.  We're told by friends that this is normal puppy stuff and that he'll grow out of it.  Sigh!