Indefatigable (Translation: Pain in my Ass) Oscar

This is Oscar.  He is a bad dog.

Image

 

We bought Oscar in France back in March 2012, a few months before moving back from Switzerland.  We had just put down our Dachshund, and though HH wanted me to wait, I couldn’t live without another dog, and I was determined to find a running partner.  I did my research, searching for a non-shedding breed with plenty of energy.  I settle on the Wire Haired Pointing Griffon breed and knew it would be perfect.  High energy, non-shedding, wash-and-wear, born to hunt but happy to just be with its family…sold!

When I met 10-week old Oscar, it was love at first sight.  HH thought he was ugly and strange-looking.  I thought he was the most perfect puppy I had ever seen–and given that he had one undescended testicle, he was 200 euros cheaper.  Discount!

Oscar then…

Image

 

Oscar now…

Image

Oscar sailed through his international move and passed basic and advanced obedience classes.  He is an angel.  I almost think he could be a therapy dog that visits nursing homes, because he has the sweetest and most gentle temperament—but he suffers from two major issues.

He is a major crotch sniffer/bell ringer, which I can’t imagine would fly with the elderly.

He pulls on a leash RELENTLESSLY, especially if he sees a bird or squirrel, which seems to happen every few seconds in our neighborhood.  Haters gonna hate, hunters gonna hunt!

I can give up on the therapy thing, but the pulling is a major issue for my running plans.  He drags me down the street, all 60 pounds of him, and by a mile or two in, my arm is killing me, my whole body is out of whack and I’m feeling barfy because I’ve been sprinting.  Also, he NEVER gets tired, no matter how long I try to stick it out.

I’ve tried various chest harnesses and the Gentle Leader.  Nothing works.  When I give the correction and his body/nose turns toward me, it’s almost like he just gives me a smile like, “Cool, huh?” and keeps going.  I even bought a belly harness that was guaranteed to lift him up by the stomach back near his hind legs when I jerked on the leash.  All it did was inspire him to start bounding and pushing off with his front legs.  He is just too strong.

When I walk him, he will heel for short periods.  He knows to sit when I stop walking, and he knows the commands for left and right turns.  But he will NOT heel for runs.  Ever.

Until this past summer, he wasn’t really old enough to run with yet, so our runs were sporadic and exhausting.  Then over the summer, it was easy to just leave him at home.  He was too overheated to run anyway (he’s very French, and the extreme Midwest temperatures are too much for him, I think.)  But now, it’s gorgeous, and the beast needs more exercise than he gets from just chasing little Stella around the house.  

I tried a leash of last resort today–a waist belt.  The belt attaches around my waist, so I don’t have to use arm strength to try and keep him under control.  I crossed my leash-free fingers, and we headed out for my first shake-out run since last weekend’s kickass half marathon.

Heaven!  I just went ahead and let him go in front of me.  Most of the time, he stayed over to my left side but up in front.  He was pulling, but I didn’t feel it nearly as much since it was against my whole body and not just my arm.  Even better, he still listened to my left and right turn commands, so we navigated the route perfectly!

They see me rollin’

They hatin’

Image

 

We ran an easy 2.75 miles, and I was able to keep the pace I wanted (that is, SLOW) instead of being forced along at his desired 7:00 mile.  I am so excited.  The leash and the pressure didn’t bother my back or anything, so I’m hopeful that I will have a constant running companion in these upcoming winter months.

Even better than the run?  Seeing a tired dog relaxing in the family room…

Image

 

Good dog, Oscar!

Songs to Run To With Your Dog:  Been Caught Stealing by Jane’s Addiction, She Wants to Move by N.E.R.D., Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Indefatigable (Translation: Pain in my Ass) Oscar

  1. I hope this picture of those little angels is framed somewhere in that gorgeous house of yours! Glad you found a leash that works, what a good boy:) Oh and that rug is GORGEOUS, why haven’t I seen that yet? LOVE IT!!!!!

    Love you Oscar and Stella!!
    Aunt Tiffany

    Like

  2. I’ve thought about using a leash like that to take my boyfriend’s crazy shepherd mix for a run, but I figured it would just make it easier for her to drag me down the street!! Where were you able to find it?

    Like

    • I think I found it at Petsmart or at a local pet store. I bought it a few months back but was worried about being dragged and looking like an idiot, so I’ve just been holding onto it! It really did make it so much easier since my body weight took the brunt of it instead of my arm. It also was easier running than it was walking…he dragged me just a little when we were walking, but nothing too embarrassing!

      Like

  3. I had to stop reading after “one undescended testicle”. Too funny!
    We got our mutts at a shelter. They were strays someone picked up. One is very smart, one is as dumb as rocks! When I walk them people ask their names. “This is Bailey, she’s the smart one. That is Guinness, he’s an idiot.” Haha

    Like

    • Guys don’t need those anyway, right? He-he. My guilty heart has to point out that Oscar is our first and only purebred, except for the dog we had to put down. Our other dog is a rescue dog that we got as a 4-month old…part Dachshund, part evil, and actually quite a bit smarter than Oscar! Go mutts!

      Like

  4. Oscar looks like he should be an amazing companion for a run, particularly when the streets are a bit quiet. I saw someone running with a dog on a waist belt and also wondered if the dog might tip them over, but perhaps since you had success too, it is the best solution. Although I guess that the more you run with Oscar, the stronger he will become. Hopefully he will just realise that he needs to match your stride and pace if he wants to be part of the running pack. I look forward to hearing more about your running adventures with Oscar.

    Like

    • I bet you do…such similar breeds! My waist leash seems to be working okay so far, but I will definitely look into the Roamer if it doesn’t hold up. Thanks for the recommendation! I just have so much fun when he is with me, and it’s so good for him too :-).

      Like

  5. Thanks for sharing! Your dog is so handsome! I have a 4 year old German Wirehaired Pointer, Milo. I’ve been running with him since he was 10 months old–using the Ruffwear Roamer. It works great! I must note that he did pull me hard today and started running in the opposite direction, and snapped the belt on it. The new version of this has a metal belt clip, so I know what I’m ordering tomorrow. I live in Minnesota, and there are plenty of running trails here, but I do need to keep him on the leash–otherwise, he would be swimming in every single body of water!!

    Like

    • Thank you! Oscar is an absolute gorgeous sweetheart…and since writing this post, we have mastered the waist leash and now run regularly together. He is doing much better about not pulling when he sees birds, but all bets are still off if a squirrel crosses our path. Nature just has to win out! I can’t have him off leash either…his instance to chase is too strong. If my leash ever breaks, I will definitely order a Ruffwear Roamer…the waist option has truly made all the difference for us!

      Like

  6. Pingback: Product Ho: Spending My Money So You Don’t Have To | Maybe Marathoner

Your turn to talk!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s