Big week for the Meme, she had her first hike with our furry friends Frankie and Gracie (not shown)! I know I said Meme should be on a leash ’cause she has wandered off before. However, with two people and five dogs on single track allows for lots of opportunities for her to wrap herself up around a tree. Since most dogs like to stay in a pack, and boy did we have a pack, I let her off leash for awhile to practice recall.
In the woods off leash I usually use “this way” or “with me” instead of “come”. For the most part I do not need to interfere with their sniffing time as long as they are close by. I use “this way” at trail intersections or if I am to change direction and only use “come” when I need them at my side. I am happy to report Meme always came running when I called out “this way”. Whether she listened because she wanted to or following the other pups, either way I was happy 🙂
“this way” Meme
A few tines I did call “come” and look what happened…
It wasn’t all fun and games. Sometimes Meme likes to play rough and doesn’t like to give up. I learned neither does Gracie, she gave it back to Meme in dividends. Thankfully Gracie knows how to show who is the boss without really biting but making lots of growl sounds while mouthing. Of course this brought out my girly scream, which has yet to be helpful in any situation. What can I say, I scream when I am scared. We separated the girls and for the rest of the hike they were leashed.
My boys never play rough and are quite content just hiking and sniffing. I am not sure how to stop the rough play. Gracie has proven not all dogs are going to be tolerant of her rough housing. Any suggestions of what to do?
Meme is a 3-year old Bassador, which is a crossbreed mix between a Basset Hound and Labrador Retriever. She has the body of Lab but stocky like a Basset, also like a Basset her front paws turn inward and her ears are held in the flopped position. Her rather long tail spins like a propeller when she gets really excited while running; I cannot wait until I can catch it on video.
She tends to lean towards Basset over Lab traits by being an independent thinker, which at times makes training challenging. Meme is very smart but the Basset is a very independent dog breed. Bassets were bred to hunt independently of their handlers. She fully understands basic commands; she can appear to be stubborn. In our training sessions, she has given me the look like “I know you asked me but…”
Having Meme has made us learn different training techniques to keep training sessions fun. We have learned about nosework games to appeal to her scent seeking abilities and flirt poles to use play over food reinforcements. She responds well to praise, treats, and play.
Meme gets along well with other dogs, she loves her toys and others too. We haven’t exposed her around cats, but since she has hunting instincts I am leery.
She is highly active and a go-getter. We take her on daily hikes in the woods, but she needs to stay on leash. Her constant need to follow scents makes her a wanderer; once she is on a scent nothing will distract her. If we knew how long we would have her, I would sign her up for an agility class. Her speed would make her good at flyball. (You can read more about flyball at Sarah Hoisick’s Blog.)
When Meme isn’t in full-tilt go mode, she is extremely cuddly. She loves curling up while we are watching TV. Very loyal girl, she isn’t one to hang out in the other room by herself, she likes to be in the same area as her people.
Meme is crate trained and house broken.
If interested in meeting and possibly adopting Meme, them please fill-out an online adoption application via www.sadiemaefoundation.org.