Aaron asked for some photographs of Chief, so I posted a few here.
I guess I should write a little bit about Chief, to go along with the photographs. I know everybody loves their pets, so I’ll try to keep it short and stay objective :).
We were without a dog for about 3 years, during which time the boys bugged us for another one. Aaron was the most persistent. So, on Aaron’s 16 birthday we went to the pound and got a dog for the family.
The boys named him Chief. The middle school they attended had a teacher named Chief Hill, so Chief was named after him. The vet thinks he was about 1.5 years old when we got him in April of 2007. We don’t know what breeds he has in his mix. I think he has some Boxer. Also, he has a ‘ridge’ that raises along his spine when he’s riled up, so I think he has some Rhodesian Ridgeback or Thai Ridgeback.
He has really turned out to be a great dog. He has a wonderful temperament. He is very friendly with people, kids, and dogs. He loves to run and jump. He is an amazing jumper. In the house he is well behaved and doesn’t get on furniture. He has a strong chewing instinct, but we keep him well supplied with chewing bones, so he doesn’t chew anything else. He is very easy to train. Here are his tricks:
- He heels very well with and without the leash.
- Stay. When we walk him I tell him ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. Then I walk away about 100 yards. I turn around and say ‘come’ and he comes flying – as I said, he loves to run.
- Doggy Door. He goes out the doggy door on this command.
- When he comes to a door he stops and waits before going out until I give him his release command, which is ‘OK’.
- Fetch. I tell him to sit and stay, and throw the frisbee or bone or tennis ball. He stays until I say ‘fetch’. He doesn’t have a strong retrieving instinct. He gets tired of it pretty quickly.
- When walking him I say ‘heel’ and he heels. I put the leash on. When we get to a place he can run I take his leash off. He stays until I give him his release command (‘OK’), and then he takes off.
Mary Ann was the least receptive to getting another dog, especially considering she was only here for the last years of our last dog’s (Rufus) life, which were pretty difficult. Now, she is the most attached to Chief! She plays keep away with him. She throws the bone and then hides. He fetches the bone, and then goes in search of her. It’s pretty funny, but I guess you have to be there :). He also follows her around.
Chief’s sense of smell doesn’t seem to be very strong (e.g. compared to a hound dog), but he has great ears. No matter where he is in the house, if we say ‘walk’ he comes running, and gets excited. We have to say codewords instead of ‘walk’. When we whisper, he thinks we’re going for a walk.
We can control him pretty well with voice commands. However, when he sees another dog, there is no controlling him. He takes off like a rocket!
Of course, there are all the annoyances that go with having a dog, but I won’t go into those. He can’t help himself – he just acts like a dog!
Here are the pictures: