update, Christmas 2006

Our boy Jake came to us a few months ago, when his owner's son-in-law had intervened to find Jake a new home. Health issues had forced Jake's "Mom" into residency with her daughter's family, and Jake's behavior problems had made him an unwelcome guest.

Jake had two documented incidents of biting behavior and was generally suspicious of strangers. His job in life -- according to him -- was to protect his owner and to be the general buttinsky of the neighborhood. Jake certainly was loved...adored even...but was not provided the essential leadership and discipline that is necessary to raise a balanced dog.

People that know Eskies realize that if you give them the proverbial inch...they will take two miles. And, the fact that they are an amazingly beautiful and smart breed is quite often their downfall. Eskies were bred extensively in the 1920's from many of the European spitz breeds, by P.T. Barnum, who used them in Circus acts. They were bred for their beauty, as well as intelligence, quick wit and agility. Sadly, these latter characteristics are the ones that get them jammed up.

Eskies as a breed need a lot of exercise, requiring that their owners develope a strategy to channel their considerable mental and physical energy. In many cases, if owners do not provide them a proper job...they will appoint themselves to one. In Jake's case, his job was to protect his home and hearth, by any means necessary.

And so, I was looking for a good deal of dog competence in Jake's adopters as well as some willingness to participate in his rehabilitation process. When I received the application from Rita and Ed of Connecticut, I was blown away! These folks have years and years of rescue, obedience and training experience with such tricky breeds as Dobermans, Siberians and Greyhounds. And they have experienced much worse behavior in their rescue roles than Jake could ever dish out!

I was excited to meet these folks and was impressed, indeed! They have turned Jake into an agility competitor...successfully giving him a job that is much more rewarding for him than getting into everybody's business. After a period of adjustment...Rita and Ed have worked wonders with Jake. The proof is in the pictures!

And, they continue to work with Jake on his "quirks" and are still seeing consistent improvement. Here are some of Rita's reports:

January 25, 2006


Just wanted to let you know how Jake was doing - He spent November 30 at the Vet for a full check up. There was concern that he might be diabetic. He was drinking large amounts of water, panting a great deal and also vomiting water. However, it turned out he had a kidney infection. We went home with antibiotics for 14 days. He had an X-Ray for the lump on his back and she could find nothing to explain this. After several days with a warm compress on his back it seems to have disappeared. He behaved well at the vet. His temperature was taken with no problems! Was not muzzled or sedated. The vet techs all wanted an opportunity to take him out! Only women at this vet's office! A special diet that is easy on the kidneys was recommended and he is doing great. Does not even look like the same dog. He has lost weight and is much more active. I recently took another urine sample to be checked and all is normal.

His behavior is another matter - -

I took him to Morning Star Farm to have a special behaviorist observe him and give me suggestions on how to handle his behavior when people visit. He is very much at home at my house or Ed's house, travels well and even has gone out without a leash in Ed's yard and at the park, but I was very concerned about visitors at my house and not at all prepared for his poor behavior. She gave me some great ways of handling him with visitors which have worked out well. My son visited last night as well as a friend and I was quite pleased with him. We still have a ways to go, but I am optimistic. He is very intelligent and learns quickly.

Last night he attended his second agility class. He's a natural for the course and equipment. Has no fear of anything and again learns quickly. I've never been to this type of class before but it was suggested by the lady at Morning Star Farm. Although he does well on the course his behavior is a definite concern. Can't seem to get along with any other dogs or people!!!! We spent half the class last night dealing with his behavior. Fortunately, the same lady teaches this class and suggested it for him to learn proper behavior as well as have fun on the course. She seems to think he has improved a lot since she first saw him in December and is sure he will continue to improve. There was only one other lady and dog last night and they were very patient with Jake and his obnoxious behavior.

Jake's behavior at home with me and Ed has been super and he and Casey are very close as well. Casey still rules the house. Jake has had no accidents in the house, sleeps all night on the bed and has only eaten one sock. He is very attached to me and will not leave my side. Ed has been very much involved with basketball this season but is determined to come to at least one class to see Jake on the agility course.

Jake still has a little weight to lose but I'm sure he will take that off this summer when he can get out more. I also think that he was carrying extra weight because of the kidney infection. He is much slimmer now and no longer sluggish - he even seems taller! - a very handsome dog. Now if he could only learn to behave!!


March 21, 2006


Jake's agility pictures attached. He is now in the intermediate class and still seems to be having a good time. Still working on his behavior problems but he has improved a great deal. The last 2 pictures are in the Newspaper this week in the photo gallery of Perfect Pooches. I couldn't resist sending in both Casey and Jake.

Keep in touch,

May 30, 2006


Did you get Jake's agility pictures? I've been looking forward to seeing them on your web site.
Jake's behavior continues to improve. He has completed several agility classes and I am looking forward to more later. I am discussing other classes with the trainer from Morning Star Farm to help with his behavior problems. She has several suggestions in mind. Also, I may be moving soon and hope to have enough room for my own agility equipment - Jake just loves to work on the equipment!


September 12, 2006


Jake's behavior continues to improve. He walks well on a leash using a gentle leader and will let bicycles, skateboards and baby carriages pass without issue. He will even let me talk to people outside. Still not happy with new people in the house but will settle down after proper introductions. None of this would have been possible when I got him. Watching "The Dog Whisperer" has helped a great deal as well as a lot of patience. I don't think this dog was socialized when he was younger. It's really too bad as he has a great personality. At the vet and when he is boarded everyone falls in love with him and he is very well behaved. The girl who watched him when he was boarded didn't want to give him back and the vet techs fight to be the one to take him out.

Feel free to send his pictures and progress reports to his previous mom - she might enjoy hearing how his is doing!


Update, Christmas 2006


Happy Holidays from Casey and Jake!

Jake graduated from Dog Obedience II last Saturday. I was so proud of him. He was the only one who could do the long "sit, stay" and "down, stay". He actually sat quietly in the corner as well while people and other dogs worked across the room. He still has a ways to go, but has made amazing progress since we got him last year.

Christmas pictures of Jake and his little sister Casey attached. They both sat for pictures without a problem.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season,

Ed, Rita, Casey and Jake