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We're back....  And we want to wish all the fathers out there, "Happy Father's Day"!

It's hard for me to realize this much time has passed and I have written nothing.  I think Luke was doing so many "not so good" things, that I couldn't think of anything good to say.  Still have a few more problems to work out, but I realized yesterday how far he has come.  I put on a blouse that I had not worn for a long time yesterday and realized it had a hole in it.  That is when I realized it was one of the ones Luke ruined when he went through his eating anything that moved when it walked across the floor phase.  We survived and moved on.  Then I realized that he had not drawn blood (playing) for a very long time and I had also forgotten that interesting phase and moved on to the next.  Right now, we are going through what is hopefully the last - and to me, the worst - phase and I have no idea how long it will last.  The blouse yesterday made me realize that I will keep him forever, no matter what, but I won't miss this part.

He has developed a very happy outlook on life and when we are walking he wants to play with everything and everyone we see, whether I can control the leash and they want to be played with or not.  Last night I threw a ball that landed in the middle of the kitchen floor.  He went airborn about 4 feet away from the ball and landed right in the middle of it.  He really showed that ball....  Sad part is that parents of little children and even the parents don't much care for that. 

Somehow, in my vision of how life would be with Luke, I saw us walking slowly into the sunset or sitting quietly, watching the sunrise on the beach, etc.  His vision is my hurrying up so he can find someone or something that will appreciate his Tigger impersonation before he tries to lick them to death.  Was told by the breeder this would pass with time and exposure and to enjoy it while I could.  I can enjoy him in the house with his ball and even see the humor, but not outside when we are walking and he wants to run and play with every person, dog, bird, or ladybug he sees.  I am open to suggestions...


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Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on June 17, 2013 at 11:58am

By the way.  Everytime Mark comes home from a walk, I ask him if Pemon was a good boy.  I just never know what Mark is going to tell me.  Most of the time it's good, but sometimes Mark tells me how Pemon was jumping on the children down the street. 

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on June 17, 2013 at 11:56am

Hey Barbara and Luke!  Welcome back.  When you didn't have anything good to say about Luke that is when you should have written to us!  Maybe we could have helped you in some way.  As Jo Bill, she use write all the time in tears, but we got her through it.  I'm glad Luke has gotten over some of the other common puppy stages that each and everyone of us has experienced at one time or another.  He has gotten to big and he is just beautiful!  I see he still love "Snickerdoodle".  Pemon is 3 years old now and he still gets very excited over other people, stray cats and believe it or not, leaves blowing in the wind.   Sometimes I don't know how Mark controls him.  His latest favorite thing to do when he goes for walks now is to pull neighbors tree branches from their piles and drag them home.  Some of them as long as 8 feet.  Our neighbor down the street is real pleased because then she doesn't have to get rid of them, they end up in our yard.  LOL  Mark told her, he just can't seem to train Pemon to return the branches.  LOL  But we are here Barbara.  Now just think of this.  One of our newer members Marie is having her baby Doodle flying in tonight.  She is going to be going through a lot of what you did and you maybe a help to her.  LOL  Our Doodle Family Community is not only about funny stories and pictures, we are here to support each other.  Hope we will be seeing more of your and Luke.  Hugs, Grace and Pemon

Comment by Beverly and Eli on June 17, 2013 at 6:00am

Barbara, I'm so happy you were successful getting the gentle leader on Luke!  And everyone is right, you are on the cusp of better days with him.  We all love puppyhood but adult dogs are a Godsend.  Good Luck!

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on June 17, 2013 at 12:20am

Barbara, first off, welcome back! I was so happy to see a post by you and photos of ex-little Luke! :) 

Secondly, so glad that Kathy, Beverly and Dianne have given you such helpful tips and above all, that they're working and that Luke is responding to them! 

Only thing I will add is that it does take a while for them to settle down and "mellow" but it happens and then you miss like crazy the puppy months and the "phases". I promise you. Same as Kathy, I had bruises and teeth marks covering both my arms when Pedro went through that phase and people asked me what was happening... but it passed. Pedro is 5 years old now and he still likes to play and run and bark (oh he's never stopped being so vocal!) but he slows down and tires out quickly and the settles down for a nap. He cuddles, lies down on the couch (the one where he wasn't supposed to be allowed...) and puts his head on my lap. He looks at me with those big soulful eyes and he melts my heart. He is loving, friendly, affectionate and intelligent. Puppyhood went by so fast, now that I think about it... 

I know. Hard to believe, eh?

Hugs Barbara, hang in there! And loving paws from Pedro to his buddy Luke and to you!

Comment by Barbara Holloway on June 16, 2013 at 11:21pm

Kathy, thank you for the extra tips.  You will think I am crazy, but I was so excited, I put it back on him (with no objection from him) and we have been practicing walking with it out on the deck.  He has not tried to get it off the way you described.  He has eaten through 4 of those halters and he tries to get the Gentle Leader in his mouth and chew it off.  When he tries, I just change directions or do some of the things I learned when he took lessons like telling him to sit, stay, down, stand, etc., etc., etc., which takes his mind off chewing on the Gentle Leader.  He did great!  The exercise you talked about it the most important thing I have found with Luke.  Not being able to walk him as much as he should have been, I found a dog park 40 miles from here and we go at least every other day.  It is really a bother to go that far, but makes a huge difference.  When he gets through running and chasing other dogs, he is not nearly as much an obnoxious puppy as he normally is without it.  Now that I will soon be able to walk him more and more and tire him out, we can get rid of a few of those trips.  I am just so grateful I can't tell you.  I knew Luke and I would make it together because we both are too stubborn not to, but for the first time, I feel like it may happen a whole lot sooner.

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on June 16, 2013 at 10:58pm
That is wonderful Barbara! Glad it worked. You will probably have to keep starting over for a few times but it will work. The other thing the trainer taught me was when they put their head down and start pawing trying no get the Gentle Leader off, don't yank them back up, just keep "annoying" them with repeated short pulses upward on it. They soon stop rubbing their nose on the ground. Also never correct a Gentle Leader while you are walking with anything stronger than a pulse on the leash. Good luck.
Comment by Barbara Holloway on June 16, 2013 at 10:43pm

I AM IN SHOCK! I watched the video a couple more times and got out the Gentle Leader I had from one time when I thought I could do what they couldn't do, a bag of treats, and got it on him just fine.  First he just laid there, but couldn't resist getting up when he saw the leash and he hates it, but we walked.  I would have hated to have been inside his little puppy mind, judging from how hard he tried to get it off, but next time will be easier.  Bad as this was, I was in control and that is something he is not used to.  I quietly gave all the right commands while we were walking and when I did, he would quit fighting it and do what he was supposed to do.  You guys are the absolutely best in the whole wide world!!!  THANK YOU ALL...

Comment by Beverly and Eli on June 16, 2013 at 9:34pm

The trick with the gentle leader is to get it over his nose first, then clip the back.  Chesney actually sits patiently for me while I put it on him.  It's just become routine, but it wasn't at first.  I haven't needed it with Eli YET.  Keep trying.  When you are successful he'll have a fit because he doesn't like it, but you can win this one.  The are energetic dogs.  Even Eli paces for a while before he settles down for the night.  He will come down stairs and leap across the bottom four steps.  Amazes me.

Comment by Barbara Holloway on June 16, 2013 at 9:32pm

That video is amazing!  I am going to go get another one first thing tomorrow and start all over with it!  Someplace I heard or read that at this age (around a year) they have the mental ability and creative thinking of a 5 or 6 year old child.  I have owned a pre-school, taught kindergarten and also first grade and that was one of the best statements I had heard.  I totally switched my thinking, training, discipline, etc. and he's just another kid that goes to time-out until he settles down, etc.  No raised voices and lots of positive reinforcement and that has really made a difference.  Thanks for the video - Luke will do anything for treats and will do nothing if he thinks he is being forced and I'll bet that works! 

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on June 16, 2013 at 9:12pm

Here is a video link for how to get a dog to wear a gentle leader. It is a lot of work and takes time and a whole bunch of patience, but it does work.

Spencer at not quite 11 months is also being quite a challenge, and an embarrassment on a leash despite the gentle leader. I have bruises and teeth holes in many places (not because he bites but he jumps around and bangs me with his teeth). All I can say is that I vaguely recall Elliott doing many of the same things, and I remember people at work asking me what happened to get all the cuts and bruises. It passed, as you are saying you hope it will. The hardest part for me is making sure that he gets enough exercise. I am exhausted when he is only getting warmed up. He is so much better behaved when he is tired. 

So know you are not alone, and know that it will pass. Like you mentioned, the memories of the bad parts fade quickly and you move into the good times. Spencer also knocks small children down, and their parents don't like me much either - only difference is their parents are my kids!! LOL too bad.

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