Re: "Ike" goes camping

6 replies [Last post]
OmegaWolf's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-04-11

It was a beautiful Friday afternoon.  We were learning the ins and outs of the "new" 21-year-old RV we'd just purchased from our next-door neighbor, busy as bees trying to thing of and load every possible pot, pan, drink, tarp, tent we could think of.  It simmered in the dark recesses of my mind:  How could I break to my wife the news that I desired Ike to come along?  After all, it would provide a fantastic socialization opportunity, to say nothing of bonding.

Well, it came: just blurted it out "I want I'ke to come."  Hemming and  hawing ensued:  "The last thing I need is another kid to watch, beside the three we already have.  He'll bite the kids!  He won't behave!"

I began fixing his kennel, a cheap "freebie" from when my sister adopted another dog.  I cut a couple of small blocks of wood and drove a screw through them to secure the plastic case around the swinging grate door.  Due to complications, this took over 45 minutes, but got done.

Reluctantly, the wife accepted the fact Ike was going with us.  I reassured her I would take care of him.

We made the seven-hour drive in the RV to the campsite.  Ike was very good and quiet the whole ride, spending part of the time in his kennel and part out moving around.  We arrived.  The rule for the campsite was on-leash, so we tied him to a long rope whereby he could still come mingle with the people gathered around the fire pit.  He was very polite to the strangers there.

He and I took many walks/short hikes together, sometimes with the kids, sometimes just him and me.  We met another Dobe, full-grown; he handled that meeting very well.  There was one scary incident where a black-and-brindle pit bull, getting out of the back of a SUV, saw us walking 50 feet off, escaped his owner's grasp and made a bee-line for poor Ike, who already exhibits fear of other dogs.  Fortunately no fight ensued, but Ike was clearly shaken for several minutes after.  I did not baby or coddle him, but kept walking as though nothing had happened.

He did nip at my son - a playful sort of nip - and made a tiny scratch on my son's lip, drawing blood.  This brought condemnation.  I tried to explain that my son, 4, was putting his head on Ike's back.  As Ike views him (incorrectly) as a lower pack member, Ike didn't appreciate this domination gesture.  We are working on this, but the incident was a setback for Ike.

He did bark at other dogs, but not at people with one or two exceptions.  Both nights were pretty sleepless due to rude campers drinking and making a ruckus.  The first night a couple of drunk folks were making their way with flashlights to let out some beer, and Ike perked up.  We were in our tent at the time, so did not see but we could hear.  Ike was right next to us, but outside on his rope.  They began taunting him: "Hey, puppy.  That's right, bark!"  He did begin barking as they showed (to him) a potential threat.  I was proud of this.

On the whole, my wife was impressed too, as Ike did not present nearly the trouble she had feared.  As he was by my side almost constantly throughout our trip, it was an excellent bonding opportunity.

We did get home just in time to be only 15 minutes late to our first puppy class, where he got some quality socialization time with other dogs and offcially kicked off his puppy kindergarten training.

That's our update.

cthomas's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-07-13

Sounds to me that just the thought of it makes her feel  overwhelmed! Maybe you can reassure her that you will help out with Ike AND the kids and you will do your very best to make sure she has a great time and will also get to take a load of as well. After all that's what vacations are all about. just remember you will really need to step up your game and help so next time she will be more than willing to go. That would do it for me. Good luck!*fingers crossed*

rgreen4's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-26

Well, if he doesn't bite the kids at home, why would he bite them on the trip? Depending on where you are going, he may be a bit of a distraction and you will definitely have to keep him on a leash/tie line when outdoors. After all, you once described him as a ball of teeth and fur (a description I do like). As you have become aware, others may not feel your affection for Dobies.

OmegaWolf's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-04-11

He does bite the kids sometimes.  My other post on the subject was incorrect, and was corrected by my wife who is home all day.

He plays very rough and is only beginning to realize that he can hurt people.  I don't mind it, but I'm a grown man.  For the kids, OTOH, it is a problem.  We are working hard on this, and have to use a muzzle part of the time.  Any advice appreciated!

rgreen4's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-26

The first thing to do is for you to cease allowing him to play rough with you. If you permit him to play rough with you and put teeth on you, then it is difficult to teach him it is not permissible with the youngsters. It should not be permitted with anyone.

If Ike violates the ban by jumping on you, simply turn around, and suddenly instead of being favored by being recognized by you, he is now now longer in the favored position (in front of Alpha). At the same time, the kids should be warned against starting rough play (tugging or pulling on him).

Always remember, what you start Ike may finish with the youngsters, and what the youngsters start, Ike will finish.

OmegaWolf's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-04-11

Good point.  I hate having to tell him "no" all the time, but I supposed it's not much different from raising children.

Q Tip's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-03-22

Pet Profiles

How cool you took Ike camping, Sounds like you had a great time. I love walking with my dog.... although its getting a bit scary sometimes when i call him down from the sand dunes he comes racing over like a steam train. I stand my ground...all 50kg of me hoping that he stops in time. Mostly he does but sometimes dosnt make allowance for the skid factor on the sand :)