So Far So Good

It’s time for a long overdue Pickles update.

Pickles is now 5 months old and weighs…a lot. He goes to the vet next week for his last round of puppy shots so we will have another weigh in. I honestly have no idea what he weighs at the moment. I’m guessing somewhere around 60 lbs/27 kg. He eats A LOT. I recently discovered that he’s eating a lot more than I thought he was due to a cat food addiction. He seriously needs to go to cat food aholics meetings.

Hello. My name is Pickles and I’m addicted to cat food. It’s so bad that my human is going through 16 pounds of cat food a week…

I wish I was kidding. We have a number of cats and buy 2 large bags of cat food a week and since Pickles has discovered the cat food he’s emptying all the cats dishes at night while everyone is sleeping. This is on top of his 2 cans of wet dog food a day, 7+ cups of dog food, cheese stick, frozen pumpkin cube, and ton of treats from training. After talking to a number of bloodhound owners I have learned that most bloodhounds are on a “see food diet”. They see food and they eat it. I now understand where the term ‘chow HOUND’ comes from… He’s a growing puppy and as long as his metabolism can handle it I won’t worry too much.

Speaking of hounds, I assumed that because Pickles is mostly Great Pyrenees, that he would behave as such. WRONG! The more I learn about bloodhounds the more I realize that he take after both breeds almost equally. The funny thing is, that the bloodhound and Great Pyrenees traits together make him so “extra”.

 

I’m going to share my thought processes of how I picked Pickles. I wrote about this before in my post Introducing Pickles.

I need a large dog for mobility work. What large dogs can do mobility work? 

Does Google search and gets the following list:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Standard Poodles
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Many of the so-called “Bully Breeds” or bully breed mixes
  • Dogs from the Molosser family of breeds – Great Danes, mastiffs, livestock guardian breeds

I added the following dogs to the list mostly because they are large dogs

  • Saint Bernard
  • Husky/Malamute
  • Akita

I started eliminating dogs

  • Husky/Malamute
  • Akita – The vet that I used to work for said they eat cats. I have cats.
  • Saint Bernard – Too much drool. GROSS!!
  • Labrador Retrievers – Want bigger
  • Golden Retrievers – Want bigger
  • Standard Poodles -Not a poodle person and not big enough
  • German Shepherd Dogs – Want bigger (I could name it Dogmeat though…)
  • Rottweilers – Don’t want to deal with the crap that people are going to give me for being a “mean” breed.
  • Doberman Pincher – Need bigger. Also would be a pain in the ass to get one without cropped ears and docked tail
  • Newfoundlands
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs – Need bigger
  • Many of the so-called “Bully Breeds” or bully breed mixes -Don’t want to deal with the crap that people are going to give me for being a “mean” breed.
  • Dogs from the Molosser family of breeds – Great Danes, mastiffs, livestock guardian breeds – What the hell is a Molosser dog? Does another Google search and finds this:

I WANT THAT DOG! I suppose I better research it…

Stubborn? I can work with that. Independent? That means it can make it’s own decisions…intelligent disobedience. I can work with that. Seriously, everything that was listed as a “negative” trait made the breed more appealing for me.

After I did some reading up on the breed I went looking around on the net to see what I could find to get an idea of cost. I found a few people within an hour of me with puppies for sale that I contacted and started asking questions. The person with the Pyrenees/Bloodhound mixed was more open to talking to me and having one of her dogs be a service dog. She told me that a couple puppies from previous litters had gone on to be service dogs for disabled veterans. Promising…

I continued my search on the net for local dogs. I looked into the breeds that I hadn’t marked off and kept coming back to those Pyrenees/Bloodhound mixed puppies. Being part bloodhound I decided that I could put it’s nose to work in allergy detection. I did very little research into bloodhounds. I knew that they worked as drug sniffing dogs and in search and rescue. I decided that meant “trainable” and I was good with it. I told a friend of mine that my puppy was in that litter. It was a gut feeling.

I made arrangements to meet the puppies and there he was. My Pickles.

He is stubborn and smart and so “extra” (Extra Pickles XD). I love him to pieces and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. He follows me around the house at an almost perfect heal (was not taught to do this) and leans on me when I start wobbling keeping me from falling (something else he was not trained to do). He knows when I am having dizzy spells and won’t let me on the stairs (something he’s picked up on his own). I decided that it’s probably a good thing he’s a stubborn as me after the first time he did this.

I read somewhere that Great Pyrenees dogs instinctively know when an animal is injured and takes care of it/protects it. I have had several Pyr owners verify this with anecdotes of their own. I guess to him I am his “injured animal”. I’m okay with this and later I will mold these natural behaviours of his a bit.

He is current in puppy obedience class at Petsmart. I love our instructor. She’s worked with Pyrs before and knows how to work with their stubborn streak and getting past that breed trait of not trusting strangers. He is doing well in class. I have also been working with him on my own. So far he knows:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Leave it (doesn’t like this command)
  • Paws up/Up – front paws get put on something
  • Touch
  • Paw – the equivalent of ‘shake’
  • Walking on a loose lead
  • Off (another command he isn’t fond of and does under protest)
  • Spin

We are working on:

  • Stay (this isn’t going so well)
  • Give it (also not going so well because he has decided if there are treats involved nothing is going in his mouth)
  • Scent training (having a hard time getting him to focus on the scent and not the treat rewards)

House training is hit or miss right now. We’ll get there. He is learning to ring a bell when he wants out.

He’s smart and stubborn and weird and the perfect dog for me. I think he’s going to make an awesome service dog.

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