Monday, November 3, 2008


It is funny how a variety of traits and characteristics come together to create a personality. Even though I aim to choose similar type greyhounds, it is amazing how different each can be.

Katie is friendlier now, but she was quite aloof to begin with. People thought she was shy, but in reality she just didn't give you the time of day including me at first. She is more engaging now, but generally you have to engage her first. She isn't going to beg for your attention.

Travis, Reagan, and Riley were/are naturally much more outgoing and sweet. However, like Katie, Travis did not want to be rewarded with physical praise. They both wanted/want treats and toys.... and you can love on them later..... training sessions and dog shows were not the place for it. That is an important training tip. I see it all of the time. People hugging and rubbing on their dogs as a reward and the dog's face clearly says otherwise (especially small dogs). I love a back rub as much as the next person, but there is a time and a place for it. Your dog may feel the same way. Keep that in mind.

Recently, I have figured out that Reagan does appreciate praise. After getting her treats, she seems to like it if I take a few minutes to scratch her itchy neck, cuddle, and fuss over her. She likes to be close even in public. I suspect that Riley might be more like Reagan, but I am not sure yet.

Reagan also likes to body slam. Travis would chest butt, but Reagan pretty much comes at you with full force and bounces off. Ouch. I have to be careful. Katie would never do something like that and Riley is a more traditional, excited jumper. We have to work on that.

Riley is very distracted relative to the others. That is natural when a dog is taking in a lot of "firsts". But I do find that she is much more stimulated by the environment (smells especially) than any of the others ever seemed to have been. I think she will require some additional work in that area.

All four love toys. Travis loved to run laps with his bumper. After a few minutes, he would start into a session of fetching. He was a born retriever and retrieved for the reward of the next throw.

Katie loves to destroy toys. To save money, I made her a deal that I would trade her a treat for an unharmed toy. That turned in fetching. She loves to fetch toys and would do all day if I would let her.

Reagan likes to leap into the air to catch toys. Like a lab, she will take off as soon as I pull my arm back for a throw and run ahead for the catch. Her toy drive has increased considerably and like Katie she likes to trade the toy for a treat.

Riley is a mixed bag with the toys. The others were so easy to teach retrieving. Riley either has very little toy drive or too much, but I see it starting to level off in the middle now. The others quickly learned to put the toy in my hand, but Riley has a knack for dropping it a split second before I take it. Slowly but surely, she seems to be getting the idea. Despite the different toy drive, I think Riley might be fast and reckless in agility like Travis. I hope so, but we will have to wait and see.

Then you have cute quirks. Travis would sometimes bring a toy (low value, stuffy skin) to the back door for the last turn out for the night. There is just something cute about him standing there with a toy he never got to take outside. Riley likes to carry towels and fleece blankets to the back door.

Reagan likes to go to bed early (7 or 8 PM) and will ask to go to her crate. She will get grumpy if we make her go outside one more time. None of the others seem to ever be grumpy.

Reagan is also the only one that clearly asks to go outside. She will cry, bark, and yodel in your face. Katie will ask, but she is more sutle with too much friendliness. Katie also pees on cue ("tee tee") and will fake if she does not have to go. Travis never asked to go out. He could hold it forever.

All four love cats..... but inappropriately. Reagan is probably the most likely to succeed at cat safe if I had to pick one. I kind of think she would back off if a cat dug its claws into her face. The others.... not so much (Katie says "yum" while staring at the cat on the driveway in the picture above).

The differences keep things interesting. I will never understand why someone would want to clone their dog. The surprises, the unexpected, and the triumphs are exciting.