Our Great Dane Princeton looked guilty when we came home and discovered that he had chewed up some door knobs while we were away. He totally destroyed the door knob to the closet!
The guys at the hardware store thought it was hysterical when we took it in to find a replacement. They had never seen anything like it!
Princeton watched us replace it with a doleful look that seemed to say, "Sorry, I didn't know these door knobs were hard to fix."
Why did he do it? And how can we stop our dog from chewing the door knobs in the future?
We used to keep Princeton in the crate or the backyard when we were out. But he got a pressure sore on his elbow from lying on hard surfaces, so we started leaving him in the house. Note: If we put a pillow or blankets with him in the crate, he shreds them.
Keeping him indoors where it’s carpeted seemed to work at first. Then we started noticing a few tooth marks on the door knobs. It seemed like a small price to pay. He had his favorite NylaBone chew toys with him, but he chomped on door knobs anyway.
Suddenly one day when we were gone longer than usual and he got less exercise than usual, Princeton escalated to full-scale war on door knobs!
The only solution we found so far is to keep him in the crate or the backyard again when he is home alone. (Thankfully the sore on his elbow has healed.) Any other ideas?
The good news is that Princeton had his sixth birthday today (April 24, 2014). Happy birthday, big boy!
Princeton is still looking great on his sixth birthday, April 24, 2014
My Great Dane Princeton got into some big Christmas mischief this year. He thought the Christmas lights were really cool -- so he started pulling them off the tree and dragging them across the room!
Fortunately there was no damage done. I took a photo of the scene right after the dog unraveled the Christmas tree.
Actually I think he got the lights wrapped around his head when he was scratching his face on the Christmas tree. We caught him trying to use the tree as a scratching post to itch his face both before and after this incident. He was alone in the room with the tree when it happened, so we don’t know for sure.
My Great Dane Princeton celebrated his 4th birthday on April 24 with a new Nylabone and new photos posted here. He’s still playful, but Princeton finally seems grown up -- like he doesn’t bark at everything that moves anymore. He figures out if it’s a friend or a stranger and acts accordingly. Yay! He likes to spend more time in the house close to his humans now, although he still prefers to spend a few hours a day alone in the backyard sunning himself, ready to bark at dogs and deliverymen who pass our home.
Birthday boy looking cute for the camera
A year ago our Dane was still recovering from his river accident, but you can see from the photos that he is looking stronger and happier now. His paws are all healed and he can walk and run perfectly, although some toenails never grew back. (It makes clipping his nails easier!) Princeton has been a lot healthier this year because we stopped walking him off-leash at dog parks, rivers or anywhere else. He only gets super-durable toys. Life is probably more boring from Princeton’s perspective, but at least he is alive and safe. We still have a lot of fun around the house, in the backyard and on the leash.
Princeton looks back to say, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains”
When I say something that Princeton really likes, he stares intensely in my eyes as if to say, “Yes, yes, YES!” Usually he does it when I say words like “walk,” “go to,” or “park.”
But the other day we were listening to Josh Groban singing “You Raise Me Up,” and Princeton keyed in to the lyrics. (Yes, my dog is that smart!) It was the word “walk” that first caught Princeton’s attention. But he stared deep into my eyes through the whole song. I like to think that it expresses his feelings toward me:
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to WALK on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.
Often I’ve been frustrated by Princeton’s strength pulling against me on the leash. But this song helped me see that my dog and I are strong together.
Until recently Princeton has been a giant dog who gave tiny, stingy little kisses. Usually he wouldn’t kiss at all. I trained him to kiss on command for a treat, but he would almost never kiss to show affection. Once in a great while he let the very tip of his tongue touch my skin for a split second.
For three years we kept trying to show him that we LIKE kisses. This week it was like he finally got it. One day I got seven kisses from Princeton! Every time he gives a kiss, he has a proud, happy look on his face, as if to say, “I finally figured out how to express love to humans!”
Princeton stands on another "mountain" with a much smaller friend
Princeton (born April 24, 2008) is a happy, fun-loving Great Dane. He came to us from a breeder when he was 8 weeks old. He was born through a love match (unplanned breeding) of two Harlequins. His beautiful coloring is called “merle mantle” or Merlequin. He is a purebred AKC-registered Dane with champion European lines.