Friday, March 12, 2010

Butterfly, Guard Dog (and "Why I love blogging.")

Thank you for all of your comments on my last post about this dog. They were so much fun to read.

One comment, in particular, was very helpful. Jody, who blogs at The PawPaw Patch, said "He looks like a pure bred Leonberger to me. Fairly rare. My inlaws had a Leo, he was beautiful, very gentle for his size and I would do just about anything to be in your shoes right now! They do have a very heavy winter undercoat that needs brushed out in the spring." Unfortunately, Jody's in Maryland. She has a beautiful property that he would love.

But her comment gave me something to go on. I contacted all of the Leo breeders near us ("near" being a relative term since there are none in Idaho) and none have sold dogs that would be his age, but they all agree that he is, indeed, a Leonberger, which brings me to "Why I love blogging".

I've never heard of Leonbergers. I assumed he was a mutt, a cross between a St. Bernard type and, well, probably a labrador. Everything's a cross with a labrador out here. Now, not only do I know what he is, what his behaviors are likely to be, and what his strengths are, I have breeders looking for a good home for him. So, Jody, thank you very much!

About where we stand with him now...

He's decided that this is his home. For now, until we find him a new home, his name is Butterfly. You know, because he's so tiny and graceful.

But Ains was insistent. I pushed for a more suitable name like Orion or Hercules.

He's a lovely dog - very much a puppy still - and has started some guarding behaviors. First he decided that he needed to guard us against our goats. That led to a lot of barking that we were unable to stop until we were able to convince him that they belonged here. Now he barks if anything gets near their pen. I really like that.

Then he decided that he needed to guard against the cats. Big no-no. Those cats do more around this place then almost any of our animals and they are protected by me, thankyouverymuch. He got the message fast, but his original behavior led to a problem I hadn't expected - apparently our cocker spaniel is a classic bully. When he was a puppy, he tried the pounce-and-play with the cats and got a claw to the nose. Ever since then, he's been deferential to the cats - until now.

All of the sudden, I have a nasty little dog who thinks he has backup in the form of a huge dog. He'll go after the cats when they're laying on the patio chair or walking across the lawn or even playing near the kids, and by 'go after them', I mean that he actually tries to bite them. I am dealing with that behavior now.

So back to Butterfly.
He's quickly worming his way into hearts here.

But having him stay here messes up some plans. I don't want more than three dogs. If he stays, and my daughter gets the chihuahua she's been saving up for (Danni was right about that), that's three dogs. Because this one,

he's going to be around for awhile.

So that means no border collie for me. And I'm missing having a border collie very much.

So we're having Leo breeders look for a home for him and we're taking care of him until them. And training him. One chewed library book and one roast pulled off the counter ("Your horse for a dog doesn't even have to jump up, he just walked by and pulled it off!" said my husband who had cooked it.) is enough. So training has been happening. And trying to find something for him to chew that he likes - so far books are the only thing, and I don't want him chewing books - what dog doesn't like bones?


Goodwife said...

I've never heard of that breed either, and I agree, blogging is wonderful! He is a beautiful Butterfly and I hate to bring it up, but you are gonna have some heartbroken kids if you find him a home........looks to me like he's already found one! :)

Sarah said...

I know, Goodwife, I know. Aargh!

richardschulzeca said...

Big dogs are the best! My wife and I looked at getting a Leo to replace our Great Pyrenees when she died. We were adopted by another Pyr instead.

Jody M said...

You're very welcome for the information. Isn't blogging great?

I hope it all works out, whichever way it goes, He's beautiful.

We hope to get a big dog someday. Right now we have a 16lb yorkie (huge for a yorkie) who thinks he's a rotty.

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

He's lovely and you seem to be training him well! I have to admit to laughing at the bit about the roast. Hopefully he'll make a great companion for you guys, but if he goes to a new home you did a great job

Shan said...

My Sheltie is crazy about library books...I think it's all the different people-smells on the paper. Mostly he just chews the corners though, never the entire book.

Thanks for your comment on Half Soled Boots...nice to have someone new about the place!

sugarcreekstuff said...

When our dog was a pup, he went through all the old baby toys until we found out he LOVES laundry detergent jugs.
We rinse well and kick it for him in the yard. He doesn't eat it, just shakes and chews it. The nice thing is he gets a new one every month and the mangled one goes in the recycle bin.