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His Name is Streifen

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and basically…. He owns us  – his family.  Most people own their dogs, but it’s kinda weird with Streifen. It just seems more appropriate to say he “owns” us.  Because of this little fact, I thought it would be nice to introduce you (my readers) to him early on in the life of this blog.  So here is the story of Streifen and how he came to be such a HUGE part of my (and my family’s) life and take over so completely.

Being a dog trainer, I’m around lots and lots of different breeds of dogs and I fall in love with the majority of them.  One day a lady, her daughter, and their puppy walked into a Puppy Class that I was to teach.  Little did I know,  from that point on, my life and the lives of everyone in my family, would be forever changed – all because of that little blue spotted Great Dane puppy aptly named Sky.

Sky was around 4 months old when they started class with her and boy was she CUTE!  Great Dane puppies are just adorable cause they’re all legs and ears for the longest time.

Sky at four and a half months

Miss Sky when she was around four months old.

People get to know me when they’re in one of my classes and they learn really quick that I truly love dogs and care for them as if they were my own children.  This often leads to me “babysitting” their dogs for them when they want to go on vacation and don’t want their beloved furry child sitting in a crate at a boarding facility or vets office.  And it led to that with Sky, which led to me falling hopelessly in love with both her, and Great Danes in general.   It wasn’t long at all before I KNEW I had to have one!  Had to.  Just. Had. To.

Approximately a year later, Sky’s furry mother and father were bred again and well… yeah – I HAD to have one out of this litter.  Had to. Just. Had. To.

Streifen 3 wk puppy

Daddy and his boy

And so my dear husband agreed and we picked out our boy from the litter when he was a tiny 2 weeks old.  We knew one thing, and that was that we wanted a boy.  When we looked over all the puppies available from the litter we immediately recognized the fact that this little fella had a stripe straight down his nose, just like his big sister, Sky.  That was it.  Love at first sight – for all of us.

We had picked out our gorgeous puppy, but what to name him?  We knew we wanted a German name, since Great Danes are actually German Mastiffs, but we didn’t want a typical German name – like Hitler or something.  Oh no.  And I prefer unique names, when possible…   So the consulting with friends started and the search for the perfect name to give to our brand new baby boy was on!   Back and forth, and on and on, and finally, my best friend found the PERFECT name for him – Streifen!  Pronounced with a long i.  The word Streifen is the German name for stripe – and a stripe is what both he and his gorgeous older sister have straight down their noses.  Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that a more perfect name would be impossible to find.

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8 weeks and growing every day!

And my little baby boy grew…

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Streifen and his big sister, Sky

And he grew some more.  He and his big sis, Sky, loved getting to hang out together when we “babysat” her.

The bigger he became, the stronger the hold he took on all of our hearts.

first bday

First Birthday!

And yes, we did have a real birthday party for him, complete with a cake, presents, and hats – which he is proudly wearing in the above photo.

There is just something about a Great Dane that steals your heart so completely.  You’re the owner of a puppy one day and then before you know you’re owned by that same puppy and you know that you’ll never be the same.

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Streifen – 1 1/2 years old and still growing…

So, now you know a little bit about the boy who holds our hearts in his, not so little, paw.  This won’t be the last time you’ll hear about him though… One thing people discover rather quickly about me is that Streifen is one of my most favorite subjects!   He brings us such joy that we like to be able to share little bits of him when we can.  🙂

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Streifen sitting in Daddy’s lap – 2 years old

Do you have a dog you adore?  Comment and let me hear about them!

To Begin With…

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I’m a firm believer in using Positive Reinforcement Training methods.  However, way back when (as they say), I originally learned to train in what is now considered to be the old fashioned way, or traditional method, where the dog learned to “obey” or else it faced some sort of punishment – usually a jerk on a choke chain or pinch collar.  Basically, you “asked” the dog to do something, such as heel, and when it tried to explore or do anything other than walk right at  your side, you would give a quick jerk of the choke chain or pinch collar to let them know they’d made a “wrong choice”.  It didn’t matter that the dog had zero idea what “heel” meant in the first place.  The idea was that the dog would eventually figure out how to not get it’s neck jerked or pinched by doing what you wanted.

Thankfully, people have since learned that there are much better ways to train dogs.  Dogs naturally want to please us and will, provided we use a little bit of our intelligence and figure out the best way to teach them what it is we’re wanting them to learn in the first place.  A dog that is motivated to learn will enjoy the process so much more and therefore be much more reliable.  Plus, it’s just a lot more fun for even us humans when everyone, including the dog,  is having a good time.  🙂

I, and my dogs, are so very grateful to be using the updated Positive Reinforcement Training methods these days and no longer using tired old methods that don’t work as well and certainly do not lend to anyone’s enjoyment.

I hope you enjoy the time you spend here with me and all my furries!  Please be patient as I work to get this blog to where I want it to be.  I’m still not totally sure about the theme, never mind everything else there is to work on with one!  But hang out…. it could be fun 🙂

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