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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 Dianne and Dulcie on June 16, 2013 at 9:03pm

Barbara - we SO went through these stages!  Fortunately, Dulcie is small (36 lbs.), so the Gentle Leader worked wonders on her, and I still use it when we go for public walks.  However, to give you hope, at about 15 months (she is about 17 months now), I saw a DEFINITE change - I would be watching TV and realize that I had a sweet doodle lying beside me with her head in my lap.  She had never really been a cuddler before that.  The jumping up part  now only happens if I don't walk her or exercise her a bit.  She has gotten much better about not chewing/tearing things up also, although we still crate her when we are not at home.  They are just so full of life, you have to love them even with all the headaches that can bring!  But, it does get better!  Hang in there for a few more months!

Comment by Barbara Holloway on June 16, 2013 at 8:42pm

Thanks, Beverly.  Luke turned 11 months old five days ago, so you would think he would have quit this by now, but he hasn't.  He weighs about 75 or 80 pounds.  When it first got bad, I went to the local pet shop and he told me he needed a Gentle Leader and he could not get it on him, he is so strong.  People at Petco have tried and failed and when he was neutered, the Vet and her assistant both tried together and couldn't do it.  (I don't think he liked it much!) I have settled for one of those halter leaders and a separate canvas collar that is supposed to work wonders.  Neither of them does, but I have a separate leash on both and never leave home without an attitude that makes him think I am bigger than he is, so it helps.  NOT good, but getting better.  I live in a very small beach town where people never see each other and then Memorial Day comes, and the town explodes.  Think this is making it harder on him.  Definitely harder on the people that live here all year long.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on June 16, 2013 at 8:28pm

Barb, I don't know how old Luke is, but Eli is only 5 1/2 months and Chesney is 3.  It takes a long time for a dog to reach maturity and some more than others.  But love him anyway, praise him when he obeys, and discipline when he doesn't.  He's sure cute and I'll be in time you'll be amazed at how good he can be.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on June 16, 2013 at 8:21pm

If he's large enough to be pulling you on the lead so that you can't hold on to him, I would suggest a Gentle Leader Head Collar. Because he is collared at the head and not the neck, any attempt to pull will stop.  When Eli is jumping three feet off the floor, I stand firmly with arms crossed, no eye contact, no voice and no touching.  He stops and sits.  Of course as soon as I break this stance he goes back into the behavior so it takes a few times.  I would suggest practicing with people you know.  I always need to get Eli's attention first before I can do anything with him.  This all came about when we got Chesney, our golden retriever.  He was impossible to take on a lead or control outside the home environment.  Obedience classes were where we found out about the gentle leader head collar.  It has saved my arm and helped me control him when encountering others.  It's a shame that such a loving dog isn't always appreciated but they are large and not everyone loves them the way we do. I really had to practice daily with Chesney but it has made it so much easier to work with Eli who is much smaller than Chessie was at the time.

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