Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Great Dane meets horse

A horse stands next to Princeton

When people see my Great Dane Princeton, they often say, “He’s as big as a horse!”

Well, a real live horse came to our local dog park recently, and guess what? The horse was a LOT bigger!

Princeton is used to being the biggest creature around, so at first he was scared to meet the horse. But both the horse and rider were very friendly.

They stopped right by the fence and the horse lowered her head to sniff the crowd of dogs that came to sniff at her. Later I took Princeton out on the leash so he could get "socialized" and learn to stay calm around a horse.

Everything that the horse owner said about training his horse was the same as how I trained Princeton. We both showed off how we can say the command "back" to make them step back, and “turn” to make them turn around.

A nice dog owner snapped a photo. As you can see, a Princeton is not really as big as a horse!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy birthday, Princeton!

My Great Dane Princeton turned two years old today!

We got him **FOUR** of his favorite squeaker toys -- shaped like a spiney pacifier. Yes, he’s still a big baby who loves his pacifier, aka his “binky squeaker.” He doesn’t like any other toys as much, so we just got him lots of his favorite.

We also got him a kit for making an impression of his big old pawprint, now that he’s full grown (I hope). People often come up and tell me, “Wow, he’s big even for a Dane!” And it’s true -- at least 36 inches at the shoulder, with a super-long neck. Reminds me of a giraffe. The pawprint gift is really more for me. I’ll let you know how it goes when we try to press Princeton’s paw in the clay.

(Update: The putty was so stiff that it barely made an impression when 125-pound Princeton stood on it. Kind of a rip-off. I wouldn't recommend it. We're going to try making a plaster cast of his paw print on the beach someday.)

I can hardly believe it, but people at the dog park are starting to compliment me for having a dog that is "respectful" and "gentle"! The ones who know Princeton better just laugh when they hear that.

You can see Princeton in action in these new videos at the Arroyo Seco river and bike path in Los Angeles.

His favorite game is running in the river while carrying a big stick in his mouth…

Here he races on the bike path at top speed, stick in mouth. He zooms out of sight and back in 23 seconds What a racer!

You can get a better look at Princeton during one of those rare moments when he slows down to walk in the river…

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giant dog, small car

Princeton fills the back seat of our compact car
People are shocked when they see my giant Great Dane Princeton riding in my small Honda Civic.

“Get a bigger car!” is a common joke from people who see us coming and going from the dog park.

Princeton doesn’t seem to mind. He likes having the whole back seat. He seems to enjoy riding back there, hooked to the seat belt with a doggy car harness for safety.

He often rests his snout on my shoulder while I drive!


PS in 2016:

Even at 8 years old, Princeton tends to bark and lunge during car rides when we pass another dog or a skateboard. Car rides with our Great Dane are made possible by a car harness that attaches to the seat belt for safety and a blindfold called a "Calming Cap".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Great Dane loves furnace in winter

Princeton stretches out near the wall furnace for maximum warmth

On these cold winter days my Great Dane Princeton spends as much time as possible lying near our wall furnace.

Last winter he was a puppy and the cold didn’t seem to bother him. Now that he’s reached the ripe old age of one and a half years, he LOVES to stretch out and sleep near the heater all day.

He especially likes the one in the hallway where the heat gets trapped. I snapped some photos of him stretching out to enjoy the warmth.

My previous dog, a Dane mix, didn’t act like this until he was more than 10 years old!

Princeton doesn’t like the noises that the furnace makes when it first starts heating up, though. The scary furnace sound make him bark.

I’ve read that purebred Danes are very sensitive to the temperature (both hot and cold), and it’s certainly true for Princeton.

He’s also mellowing out and being a lot more obedient in every way. What a good boy!

“Don’t bother me -- can’t you see I’m trying to get warm?”