Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Chronicles of Louis the VII Rottweiler

Louie has been doing really well and becoming more and more comfortable in his new home.  He started intermediate obedience class last Saturday at the local Pet Smart and is doing good. 

We do find things out about him everyday as he experiences new things.  For example, The Husband found out in the middle of class yesterday that Louie might have issues with tall men in white baseball caps when he put up a big ruckus when he saw a tall man in a white baseball cap (although he was wagging his tail through all this a mile a minute)!  He has shown some hesitation with men in the past but has never put up a fuss.

We still have not been able to cut his nails.  He put up a major fuss at both our regular vet and at the local Pet Smart vet.  The technician at Pet Smart has to 2 rescue dogs, a dobie and shepherd, so she knew what we were facing.  All they did was bring out the clippers and he went ballistic.  His nails are not a huge issue yet so we are taking him for daily walks on the concrete to help keep them trim.

Those of you with rescue pets, don't you wish you knew about your pet's past?  We have been carefully watching Louie and how he reacts to things and have pieced together this scenario:  He was kept in an outdoor kennel with his dad, while somewhat trained and treated good, he was only played with once a day with a tennis ball and or possibly driven someplace to place with the tennis ball (dog park or field).  We don't think he was socialized real well.

Louie is really a good dog, he is learning everyday and becoming more comfortable around people and strange situations.  If he would let someone cut his nails he would be close to perfect.  Maybe someday, after all we haven't even had him a month!


So far Louie hasn't any more encounters with Gus, but we keep a very close watch.  I cleaned Gus's pen today while he roamed the yard (Louie was inside).  Here is where Gus lives:

It's 8' x 6' and located in a nice shady part of the yard (has morning sun).  He spends most of the day under the bush but I put up the umbrella to provide a little extra shade at midday over his water.
When I put Gus back in his nice clean pen he made a beeline for his bush.  I came out a little while later to get a picture and couldn't find him.  I had to get down and look hard under the bush but here I found him.
Burrowed under the fresh hay, keepin' cool ....................


  1. Gus?? What are you?? come out and show yourself!!

    It's so interesting what a dog's behavior can tell you about their past. We know Ruby was kept in a backyard by herself for 4 years, but we also know that she must have been let into the kitchen and given food out of plastic wrap -- like cheese -- on a regular basis. She knew that sound all too well. Also, it's almost impossible, though getting better, to get her to go outside when we leave the house for work. But the trust has built steadily and she LOVES us!! And we love her right back :-)

    BTW, Ruby thinks Louie is very handsome!

  2. Re nails pop over to Roo's blog as last week, they came up with an excellent solution. Have a great Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Hi All, we're so glad Louie is settling in so well. Our old girl Kara (a cocker spaniel) who we had from 8 weeks old never liked having her nails cut. Even though she had them trimmed from when she was young, she never got used to it and would wimp and whine when it was done. Maybe Louie just doesn't like the feel of it either. Take care and hugs to all. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

  4. I'm happy to read of your adventures with Louie, showing me that there is life after loss. I can imagine how odd it is not to know your dog's past...

    As for the nails, we've dealt with some major nail divas around here. For K, I used the super-yummy treats (like freshly cooked chicken). At the beginning, I'd treat her when she just let me touch her paws. Then, after multiple sessions of just touching her paws and treating her, I touched her paws with the clipper. Then, I touched her nails in particular with the clipper (with treat rewards). Finally, eventually, I clipped a nail. I jackpotted her with her entire breakfast after that one nail. For a pretty long time, I did one nail a day, just before a meal. I'd put the meal on the floor, then I'd clip the nail, and then I'd release her to eat. You can see how this progression is going. About a year later, we reached a point where I'd just trade her one piece of kibble per nail.

    For R, we bought a device called a "Mannersminder" ( We'd put it in a mode where it released a treat at random intervals that averaged every 5 seconds. We let him get engrossed in it, and then he'll let us do *anything* to him because he's so obsessed with it. To our surprise, K had no interest in the Mannersminder so it's definitely something that works for obsessive high drive dogs but not for all others.

    Sorry to go on and on but I thought that our experiences might give you ideas that will help with Louie.