My day starts with wet noses, and ends with tails
Introducing my dogs to the "LADIES OF HIVE"
The day before yesterday I wrote a small introduction about myself for the new “Ladies of Hive” community. Today I would like to introduce my dogs and tell a little bit more about my three monsters. Since they are often a topic of my blogs, and if possible the most important thing in my life at the moment. I hope you'll like it.
I will now limit myself to the dogs that I currently have. At a later date I will probably tell you something about the dogs that unfortunately can no longer be with me.
But now a small introduction to my 3 monsters as I affectionately call them.
Starting with my oldest girl MYLA
She is 11 years old and I have known her since she was a little puppy. When Myla was less than 7 weeks old she came to live with my sister. And when she was eighteen months old I took her over from my sister due to circumstances. I will not go into that further. I'd rather tell about what Myla and I have achieved together. And that is a lot!
Myla is not a big malinois. But she makes up for that with her character. She is a very sweet social dog, but she is not a weak dog. And Myla was wild when she was young, and very strong on top of that. In addition, she is just as stubborn as she is sweet. Whatever Myla wanted, Myla would do. That's how she thought, and often I have had to 'fight' with her. I've had to pull off tricks that I never thought I would have, but it often came down to being smarter as Myla. And that was not always easy.
Passionate and enthusiastic
I was always used to going by car and taking Rowan and Myla and then going for a walk somewhere, often it happened that we got back to the car, Rowan jumped nicely in the car, but Myla just stubborn like a donkey stood outside the car and watched from a few feet away. Catching her was of no use. That didn't work out. Bribing with a candy didn't work either, and she was too smart to be lured into the car with a toy. I once spent an hour together with a friend of mine in the open car. We had 5 dogs together, 4 were in the car and Myla was the only stubborn donkey outside the car and looked at us from a distance. When we walked over to her, she just walked a meter further away. When we started playing with a ball she came along enthusiastically, but as soon as we threw the ball in the car she turned around and went back to her safe distance. Well… long story short. I had to understand and convince Myla that I was worthy of her listening. And once my little girl was convinced everything changed. She started to listen, she wanted to work for me, she wanted to give me everything and do everything I asked of her for me. And now she is 11 years old… she is just as passionate as when she was 3 years old and that change in her character took place. She still wants to give everything every day. Only now it is I who slow her down a bit, because at the age of 11 she starts to have some small problems. Her hips aren't very good anymore. She can no longer cover the really long distances at her former pace. She still wants to go for a long walk, but if I let her do it she will just keep running and then suffer from her hips for the rest of the week.
Wise and social
She's still a cuddly dog, she can't stand it when I raise my voice, she's sweet, she's social and when visitors come, Myla with her gray face will be the first to greet you with a friendly sniff without being intrusive. She is wise and often understands me without words. And she helps me raise the other two. She puts a brake on Lana and has given Skipper a lot of support in his first weeks. My little Myla girl. I hope she can stay with me for a long time!
From Myla we then go to Lana!
And what a difference that is! Lana didn't come to me as a puppy either. She comes from a shelter and what she went through will forever remain a mystery. That it will not be good is clear to me by looking at the scars she has. Lana was estimated to be 3 years old when she came to live with me. And where I always thought that with Myla I had a dog that was stubborn and obnoxious… after half a year with Lana it became clear to me that I was wrong. Myla turned out to be a super easy dog compared to Lana.
I wouldn't miss her for the world.
If I had to describe Lana with words it would be… Stubborn, recalcitrant, disobedient, hyperactive, stubborn, annoying, annoying, and at the same time, very sweet, loyal, and a loving dog all the way. I wouldn't miss her for the world.
Not a dog for everyone
Lana is a 10 year old Dutch Shepherd. In the seven years that she has now lived with me, we have achieved a lot despite everything. I got to know Lana and had to acknowledge that she just has her limitations and that I have my limitations. Lana is a very reactive dog, probably from her past which I don't know. But the fact is, she really doesn't trust anyone in the beginning. And she dares to bite. That makes her potentially dangerous. She has learned to trust me and fully accepted me as her owner… but that also makes her very protective of me. I can't let her off the leash what I normally prefer to do with my dogs. It's just not an option with Lana. As soon as she sees someone coming from a distance, she starts protecting me. It doesn't matter what I do or what that other person does. She sees everything as a potential danger and she must and will prevent it. Which would result in her lashing out at passing walkers, cyclists, joggers… anything you might encounter. After seven years of training with her, I was never able to get that out completely. As long as she is on the leash, she is fine because then she knows I have her under control, but if I let her go, it would immediately go wrong because the direct control is gone.
A contradictory dog
But that's outside the gate. Once you get inside the gate and she notices that I'm okay with it, then that same Lana is your biggest friend who wants to crawl inside you and be cuddled. Very contradictory, I would almost say, she's a real woman… Lol
Lana's watchful nature also makes her a source of annoyance. She must and will bark at literally EVERYTHING that passes by, and that is still impossible to unlearn after seven years. I am not in favor of negative training in it, so I will never use a power band or similar. Luckily I live really in the countryside of a small village and no one else is bothered by her barking, so we came to a tacit agreement. That I accept her barking to some extent and that she knows when to stop. This works best.
She's also a great source of joy
Although this may sound negative, I can still end very positive. Because besides the fact that Lana can be a source of annoyance, literally EVERY day is also a source of pleasure because of her crazy tricks. And her tireless energy. She's smart like no other dog I've ever known, she's incredibly loyal, she's a fun dog and has a lot of humor. Not one single day is boring with Lana around me. And I love her with all my heart, just the way she is.
Now the youngest pack member.
The handsome fellow Skipper! Not even two years old and already in his third house. But this time it is a forever home for him. He came to live here in February. And since February I have been working with him every day to get to know him and ensure that he gets to know me. What I do accept from him, what I don't accept from him. How far he can go and playfully learn the things that are important to me. That is going quite well and in the past six months we have already achieved a lot together.
Our first encounter he bit me
Skipper is a dog who was insecure when he came in here. And the first encounter was a bite on my hand. My own fault, by the way, so I never blamed him for that. He was insecure, and reacted violently to seeing Myla who I had with me.
Major problems with other dogs
It is only logical that he was insecure when you consider that he is still so young and should have moved several times anyway. I don't know why he had to leave his first owners. But I know why his second owners had to relocate him. Skipper has major problems with other dogs when he is on a leash. And that was a big problem for his second owners as they live in a busy residential area in the middle of a city. It was great stress for poor Skipper every walk and for his owners too. Because a German Shepherd that is about to bounce is not that easy to handle. So they looked for an address for Skipper where he could be relaxed and where he did not have to be completely stressed every walk. A quiet environment where he doesn't have to encounter other dogs with every walk. I can offer him that possibility here. In that respect, life in the countryside is not so bad.
He loves to learn
I now know from Skipper that he loves to learn things. He is intelligent, mischievous as a young dog should be in my eyes. But also obedient. He does not run away when I walk with him off of the leash in the forest and is attentive to where I am. Ballgames are his hobby and it is the greatest reward I can give him. I just have to take into account that he thinks he has to hold TWO balls in his mouth at the same time. Swimming is his second greatest hobby. Preferably in the filthiest ditch he can find. Oh well… as long as he enjoys it, I enjoy it too!
He communicates really well
Skipper is also a dog who thinks for himself, and who makes it very clear what he thinks he needs, and who lets me know what he wants. He accepts a “NO”, but not just like that. His character is now starting to develop and I notice that he is trying to move up in the pack. He won't be challenging Myla anytime soon, but Lana is a different story. If Myla has a ball, Skipper will make no effort to take it away. If Lana has a ball ... it won't be long before Skipper has taken the ball from her. He will not steal food from Myla, he will wait until she has finished eating before checking whether there is anything left behind. With Lana, I have to make sure Skipper does not push Lana away and eat her bowl empty.
Taking it slowly with training
In the meantime I have also become acquainted with the strength of Skipper and the strong reaction he has on other dogs. And that reaction is very strong indeed. But despite the fact that he reacts very strongly, he remains accessible and I can still calm him down as long as the distance is still great enough. In this we slowly go one step further so that he remains calmer until we can pass other dogs normally. A workout that will take a while. And maybe will make my arms a meter longer. But that doesn't matter. It needs to be done, but we have the time.
As long as he can be there with me everything is fine for him
In the six months that Skipper has been living here now, he has stolen my heart with his naughty young dog pranks, with his loyal character and modesty. Because that is also a part of Skipper. When he just came here he was not yet willing to give his confidence, now that has completely changed and a playing teddy bear has emerged who likes nothing more than playing, frolicking and cuddling together. Everything is fine, as long as he can be there where I am.