Monday, May 18, 2009

Update: Collars and barking at mail carrier

Princeton on a grassy path -- still wearing the old leather collar (taken before he ripped it apart!)

Many thanks for all the great comments about collars on my last post. For now my Great Dane Princeton is following Hsin-Yi and Honey’s method -- just wearing the choke chain. We transferred his ID tags to the choke chain and he wears it all the time now.

It’s working out well because the leather collar used to get in the way when I walked Princeton -- because I use two collars to walk him, a Halti and a choke chain, with a leash in each hand to steer him. As Hsin-Yi noted, it also looks nice because it doesn’t interrupt the line of his neck. And it’s certainly strong and waterproof. However, it looks like he may outgrow his 24-inch choke chain soon!

Also thanks for the comments about training Princeton to stay calm when the mail arrives. I am keeping him in another room or outside when the mail comes, and it’s making life a lot more peaceful. I know that we need to set up practice sessions with other people dropping papers through the mail slot. But that will be in the future. For now, I’ve got all I can handle just with leash training and other basics.

Update on July 12, 2009
This problem escalated and Princeton broke a window. Click here to get all the info in my new post “Our dog broke a window.”

Update in 2016:

In the end we took the advice of readers here and just used a so-called "choke chain" or "slip chain" as his permanent collar.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Urgent: Leather vs. nylon dog collar?

My Great Dane Princeton broke his leather collar today!

I was trying to train him not to attack the mail slot when the mail comes. I tied his leash to our entertainment center and told him to stay after I saw the mail carrier in the distance. Oops! Princeton couldn't control himself when the mail carrier reached our doorway. His desire to attack (protect?) was a lot stronger than his old leather collar, inherited from my previous Dane.

Does anyone have advice about the best kind of collar for a Dane? He plays in the water almost every day, so maybe that weakened the leather. Maybe nylon is more durable?

Let me know soon because we’re probably going shopping tomorrow to buy him a nice new dog collar.

Hey, maybe somebody has some ideas about how to stop him from going ballistic over the mail, too.

My big boy sure is getting strong!


Update in 2016:

In the end we took the advice of readers here and just used a so-called "choke chain" or "slip chain" as his permanent collar.

Update in Dec 2016: Princeton is still using his collar and leash, but he's slowing down and seems achy when he gets in and out of bed. We just bought him the Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs (Sleek Edition).

I wish I bought it for him when he was younger because the foam has a 10-year guarantee. They even have a bigger "giant size" Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed -- with a headrest.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We’re fabulous!

Princeton jumps high to reach a branch

This blog is honored to accept the “Your Blog is Fabulous!” Award from the Danes World Blog. Many thanks (and dog kisses) to Mindy Lu and her beautiful Dane Sasha.

I especially enjoy the Danes World Blog because it is written from the dog’s point of view. I have fun finding out what Sasha the Dane thinks about life. They make me laugh, too. I’ll sum it up with one of Sasha’s favorite words: “BARK!”

In accepting this award, I am passing on the honor to some of my favorite blogs:

Danes Down Under
Abbey has tons of adventures with her Danes Chelsea and Shiloh. The photos and links are incredible. Abbey was the most devoted and enthusiastic of the earliest visitors to Princeton’s blog. Thanks, Abbey!

Reflections of a Dog Mom
Allison’s Merle Dane Waldo looks and acts a lot like my Princeton. What fun to follow his life. Allison leaves lots of great comments here, too. Thanks, Allison! Her blog already has lots of awards, and it deserves another.

Isis Isis Ra Ra Ra
Michalea has a witty blog that includes photos and stories about her Danes Reese and Merlin, as well as her chickens, her travels in Egypt, and much more. Michalea also happens to be one of my oldest and best friends in real life. We lost touch for a while, then discovered that we each had Great Danes in our lives! Michalea has even met Princeton in the flesh. She and her blog are truly fabulous. Thanks, Michalea!

Simon Says Great Danes
A breeder of Harlequin and Mantle Great Danes does this fascinating blog with practical advice and lovely photos.

Super Not So Mini Cooper
Janelle’s handsome Dane Cooper is like Princeton’s twin -- a Merle Mantle who is almost exactly the same age as Princeton. I enjoy comparing notes by visiting her blog full of photos, facts and stories.

That Mutt
Lindsay’s That Mutt Blog offers many good challenges that inspire me, such as take your dog to “30 new places in 30 days.” It’s the only blog on this list that isn’t about Great Danes, but it’s too good to miss. Dogs of any breed are covered here.

Big Honey Dog Blog
The Big Honey Dog Blog is truly impressive. Great Dane Honey and her human Hsin-Yi have amazing adventures including competing together in dance competitions. They also gave our blog an award recently. More about that in a post coming soon. Thanks, Hsin-Yi!

For those receiving the awards, here are the rules:
1. Do a post naming (and linking to) the blog that gave you the award.
2. Pass on the award by naming and linking to 7 other blogs.
3. Go to these 7 other blogs, tell them that you are giving them the award, and invite them to visit your blog to pick it up.