Easter with lots of Frisbee practice

We had a lovely and relaxed Easter weekend with my family, who came to stay with us. The dogs were really well-behaved, likely because Eden got tons of exercise (and because Pyrrha is almost always easygoing at home).

Easter weekend

My dad, as I’ve mentioned before, is who I got my great love of dogs from, and he loved being with the girls.

Easter weekend
Dad and the girls.

Dad played several daily games of Frisbee with Edie, and I daresay her skills are improving demonstrably. Dad trained Dublin, their neighbor’s lab, to be a consummate disc dog. And as I’ve mentioned before, Dad just seems to be able to “speak dog,” despite the fact that he’s never done any kind of formal training with a dog. They just always seem to understand each other perfectly.

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Watching Eden has also made me realize that she’s the most herding-dog-like of any German shepherd I’ve met or watched. The intensity, the focus, the stalking postures, the quick circles, even the barkiness all strike me as hallmarks of dogs who are actually supposed to be herding sheep. Even my Dad said, after playing with her for a while, “I wonder if she has some Australian shepherd in her…” — referencing our childhood Aussie, who had a lot of herding drive.

Easter weekend

Unsurprisingly, Eden bonded VERY strongly with Dad over the weekend. As soon as he stood up to do anything, she was at his side, giving him this intense stare, waiting for him to make a move to the back door. When he and my mom left, she started to whine when he got in the car to drive away.

Easter weekend

Pyrrha, my little self-contained lady, prefers to be a spectator of the sport.

Easter weekend

Or, she is just the grubby fan in the stands (who, in this case, found a bowl with tiny bits of biscuit dough left unattended):

Easter weekend

What a weirdo.

Regardless, it was a great weekend. It’s fun to see Eden’s blossoming disc dog prospects, even if it’s only for a fun way to wear her out at home!

Have you ever had a dog who worshiped the Frisbee? What were some things you learned to develop disc dog skills?

“Boarding” Roland for the week

This week, we are dog-sitting one of Pyrrha’s best friends, Roland. She, of course, is delighted. And they have been wearing each other out!

Our boarder Roland, all tuckered out after a walk. #sleepypup
Roland, worn out.

I think Rols is missing his family (especially his human dad, of whom he is particularly fond), but he has been settling in nicely. He seems to prefer men, so Guion is really enjoying all of the doggy love from Roland (something he still rarely experiences from Pyrrha). Roland, meanwhile, tolerates Pyrrha’s antics, and they like to play bitey-face under the table whenever they’re inside (which can often prove dangerous to human limbs).

Dog sitting Roland for the week! Pyrrha loves having her BFF around. #puppylove

You’d think I’d know this by now, having a rotating door of dog friends and fosters, but I am always surprised at how truly individual each dog is. Roland has his own set of quirks and habits, just like every other dog. It’s a good reminder that we can’t always be so universal in our approaches to dogs; a tactic that works for one dog may not work for another. Every canine personality is so complex and unique — rather like people.

This little buddy is right at home. #dogsitting #doghouse
I think he looks pretty sad here. Like, “Ugh. Why am I still here with you people? And this crazytown shepherd??”

That said, here are some little traits of Roland’s that we’ve noticed.

Cute Roland Quirks

  • Softest, silkiest fur! This little dude has to have had a lot of spaniel in him (I see Brittany, because of the eye color; what about you?). I don’t think I’ve ever met an adult dog with such silky fur.
  • Whining. We haven’t had a dog who whines around, and it always surprises me, because I think he’s been injured or is in great distress. But Roland seems to whine even when he’s happy. Or maybe for attention? Demand-whining (like Maggie was referencing, except it’s much quieter than demand-barking!)?
  • Not a fan of the crate. But we’ve been treating him for going in, like we do with all the dogs who live with us, and I think he’s getting used to it.
  • Does not like going outside. This is a weird one to us. He seems fine being in the backyard once he’s there, but he really balks at having to go from the sunroom into the yard. I’m not sure what the fear trigger in the sunroom is, so we’re investigating.
  • As previously, mentioned way more fond of Guion than of me. This is especially cheering to Guion, because Pyrrha vastly prefers me (and Rainer before her). He’s basking in the attention from Roland.
  • Gentle and calm on walks. We met three little kids yesterday who were really interested in the dogs. They were very polite, and asked if they could pet the dogs. We let them pet Roland first, because he’s so easygoing, and he was great with the attention, and then, when the kids asked, I let them slowly approach Pyrrha. She licked their hands and cheeks, which was nice, and then I let Pyrrha back up and give her some “breathing room.” Overall, a good Pyrrha/child interaction, which is something we always celebrate! I think Roland’s calm demeanor may have helped her loosen up in the presence of three little kids.

Early morning pups. #doghouse

Overall, Roland is an easy keeper! We are happy to have him for the week, and we know Pyrrha is as well.

Have you ever had a live-in dog “boarder”? How did that experience go for you and your dog(s)?