Duco van het Kumtichshof

Name: Duco van het Kumtichshof
Rasse/Race: Schipperke
Geburtsdatum/Birth Date: 11.06.2004
Bilder/Pictures: http://parts-unknown.com/gallery/duco
Duco Picture

13 Feb 2005

8 months 6.3kg (13.9lbs).  Well we moved, we all live in München now.  Still on the 4th and 5th (5th & 6th American) with no lift.  This place only has 1 real room with a seperate door.  The bedroom or Duco's room depending on how you would like to describe it.  We installed 3.5m (11.5) horizontal feet of wardrobe with mirrorred doors (so he cannot jump up and grab our cloths) in the bedroom.  Duco has a new black friend who looks friendly but will never come out and play, despite Duco's persistant efforts.  We told the airline he and his bag were 5kg and they looked at him an decided to let us take him on board.  He likes his new apartment, the upstairs area gives him a wider running space than ever before.  At the moment there is no door to the bedroom, so I just have a couple pieces of his little gate that I put out as the door to that room for when we leave the house.   He is pretty good, but untrustworthy when there are other dogs around.  He is still very sweet and friendly, though he still thinks gets to jump up on all women who look at him with a friendly look.  Men he is more reserved with until they actually start playing with him.

Duco loves the snow.  He loves to run around in it, sniff it, no problem doing his potty business in it.  Though one moring we had 40cm (16inch) of snow and Duco ran off as usual to go jump in it and realized it was deeper than him.  He looked at me sad and confused and jumped out of it.  He tried going in a couple more times, but did not like not being able to see where he was going.

To my amazment last weekend he managed to stay at home alone without and accident for 10hrs and he hadn't pee'd for 12 hours.  I was very happy that he could keep it that long, I suspect that is going to eventually become our normal routine, but I was happy to see he could already do it.

12 Dec 2004

6 months Old 5.6Kg (12lbs).  He has now been to Munich again (Lufthansa btw just considers your dog another peice of carry on baggage and the weight and size requirements for carry on apply and no extra fee).  His list of commands is doing pretty well: sitz, aus, platz, rolle, pattycake, bleib, geh weg, fuss, komm.  He was sick once again, this time witha cold.  He had anti-biotics, anti-phlegm, and cough-syrup.  He hated the cough syrup but it does a lot of good.  He is pretty reliable as long as he is not near other dogs.  He still doesn't always greet other dogs properly, he just goes up and tries to jump up on them.  Twice now other people dogs have run away from their owners to come over to him, both times I have just picked him up and walked away.  Not sure what about Schipperkes attract a little too much attention.

Two weeks ago we went and visited two other Schipperkes here in Berlin.  Wootz and Winnie.  Winnie was pretty small, Wootz was pretty large, apparently they both went well overweight after being castrated.  Their people reduced their food by 30% but it didn't realy help.  Duco loved playing with them, at least Winnie (the young one at 6 years old) Wootz didn't like playing chase that much.  They were fun, Wootz is much broader built than Duco or his father.  My current theory is that Belgian Schipperkes look more like mini-groenendael than other Schipperkes.

At Welpenspielgruppe Duco is a star for obedience.  After he gets a chance to play with the other dogs he can even obey commands while they are around.  His best friend is Angelie a Groenendael who is excactly (to the day) 1 month younger than him, however she is much larger.  Duco can take what looks like a tremendous amount of abuse and comes back for more.  Though if another dog really plays too rough with him then he stays away.

28 Oct 2004

19 Weeks and 5 Kg (11lbs).  We spent the last several days in Munich, Duco immensly enjoyed the Englisher Garten.  His eating has been funny, first he had worms, it was bad enough that he coughed up 4-6 10cm (4inch) round worms.  I was wondering about those hic-ups and vommiting in the middle of the night.  We got him some medication, 3 days of pills (that he loves by the way) they are little white flat ones, that he gets half of per day.  He still didn't like his food, but he loved the ant-worm pills.  He is currently on Eukenuba Puppy small, he loved it at first, but now only likes it if I pour some boiling water into it.  I have him down to eating twice a day, roughly 12 hours apart.  I tried mixing rice in with his food at the Vets suggestion to help with his digestion.  I think that is what made him a picky eater.  He loved the rice and how it made his food a little bit softer.

08 Oct 2004

17 Weeks and 4.3 Kg (9.5lbs),  27cm (10.7 inches).  Went to the vet again today, he still loves the vet, he wants to run into the office and then jumps up and down when he sees his vet and the assistant.  He had his blood taken today, he is being tested to see if he has adequate Rabies anti-bodies.  Hopefully he will, but I don't know when I will get the results back!  This is part of the procedure so he can visit England: Microchip, rabies vaccine, blood test to show that the vaccine worked.  He complained about being held tight, but didn't really care when he was stuck with the needle.  He likes being able to snuffle around the vet's office and he gets yummy paste and a chew.  I wish I could figure out what that chew is, it is white, it becomes soft when wet, but he doesn't appear to be able to chew through it like a rawhide.  He no longer shows any signs of fear at puppy play group (though there is an out of control Briard that he should be afraid of) he still is nervous of large dogs when off the leash, I wish he would show some reserve while on the leash as well.  He doesn't understand when he can and cannot play.

He is now in the creative mischief phase.  We leave him alone in the bedroom, for up to an hour at a time.  This is part of hist training, as next year we will probably both be working in an office and it doesn't make sense for him to be in a crate all day.  He will try and do things that he would never do when someone is watching:  pull down a pillow from the bed, pull clothing off the shelfs (and the second shelf which is 1m (3.3feet) from the ground), chew on his carrier tag (dead now).  Sneak under the bed.  He also is becoming better capable of understanding verbal instructions, but is more willing to try and not do them now and then.  He is also beginning to show interest in dogs genitals rather than just their noses and bottoms.

I tried clicker training, I can get him to understand that as soon as he hears the click he gets a snack, but I am incapable of doing the shaping thing.  I guess I need to see someone do it in real life.  I can do shaping behaviors with my voice, but not with the clicker.  I do "kalt" (cold), "warm" (warm), and "Ya!!!" (Yeah) and I can get him to find toys or go someplace, but no luck with trying to do that with the clicker.  He is very lure trainable.  His order of preferred rewards:
  1. Play (get time to play a game with you and a toy)
  2. Food (get a treat)
  3. Praise (Just be told "So ist Brav")
  4. Touch (Rubs on the chest or side of the neck)
Taska thinks he is going to grow a quite a bit more.  I don't know, I think he is near his max height and he will put on a bit more weight in the next year.  His newest tricks are he can find two of  his toys, but he gets confused by the names.  He can find Taska.  He also is learning "rolle" or roll over, though he generally needs the treat lure for that, and he is not sure if he should come back to his belly or stay on his back (or roll back onto his back).

21 Sep 2004

Well it has been a while since I wrote.  Duco is going on 15 weeks old.  He really knows "sitz" and that command is pretty strong.  He has had chances to go Welpenspielgruppe and he enjoys it.  He is getting better about understanding how to interact with other dogs.  The program leaders do an excellent job of making sure that dogs behave well.  An innappropriate growl or overly aggressive play and the dog is on its back (with no other dogs near by) until he submits and then he praised strongly for behaving well.  Some people think this type of approach is 1) dangerous (could get bit) 2) mean.  Watching someone with excellent timing doing it, I don't agree with either of those.  If you are fast and hold the dog properly you won't get bit, and if the dog really submits and then gets praised he actually comes up very playfully and happy.  Duco has been to Welpenspielgruppe twice and loved it both times.  He is tougher to handle when other dogs want to play with him, and he is supposed to be on leash, but that alone is a good exercise.  Also it is much better for puppies to get a chance to play with puppies.  They never get that serious.

Duco is very good at most training topics in the house, but he is very interested in other dogs.  That has actually decreased in the last week.  He still wants to look at them, but will accept that he has to just sit or lie down and ignore them at times.  He considers people "safe" and will run between the nearest person's legs if he feels nervous about another dog.  He prefers dogs that are roughly his size to play with.  I think he also prefers to play with black dogs.  Funny puppy.

As for house training, if  kept to a low activity level (though not asleep the whole time) he is doing pretty well with 5 hours in the morning between bathroom breaks, with open access to water.  I have begun decreasing the size of his lunch so it is a little bit smaller than breakfast and dinner, since I am planning on reducing his number of meals per day as we go on.

07 Sep 2004

Got Rabies shot (2.9KG - 6.4lbs) today, met some of the smaller neighborhood dogs.  Duco is tired and a little sore where the shot went in, he didn't complain much about getting it, but now he been "under the weather."  Last weekend we got to go the Zoo (yes dogs can go on a leash.)  We all had a lot of fun, even if I spilled 0.5 Literes of beer down my shirt.  Then the next day he was being pretty silly with with a chili.  Earlier last week he got to play with a 5 month old Doberman.  She was big and fast, but Duco was trying to cut the circles she was running around him to try and chase her.  He went 7 consecutive days with no accidents in the house, with 3 hour intervals.  Doing pretty well, and he gets his daily alone time so hopefully he won't become that neurotic when we both have to work out of the house again.

30 Aug 2004

Today was the Tierartzt (Vet) visit.  It was a bit of a mix-up.  The really really really good Vet is taking a several month break while she has a child, so there is a young woman who is standing in for her.  Duco got his second set of vaccinations and Rabies.  The problem is he is not yet 12 weeks old, so he shouldn't have his Rabies shot, and do go through the process of getting him into England he needs to have a shot after he is 12 weeks old and then be tested that he is producing anti-bodies 30 days later.  Instead he to an all in 1 shot, he can go next week and get more Rabies vaccine, then he will be able to go to Puppy Play Group.  In the end I don't think that is a big deal. He took his shots very calmly.  He didn't appreciate having his ears investigated but mainly he just wanted to chew on the instrument.  He didn't squeak getting his shot or his microchip.  He was 2.67 KG (5.9lbs) today.  The microchip is a bit harder it is a large needle, but I was feeding him "Vitamin Paste" while he was getting his shots.  He squirmed but didn't bark.  He loves to lick this little plastic nubbin on the stainless steel Vet table.  Not sure why, but he thinks it is great fun.

He has gone for a maximum of 2 days with no accidents in the house, but I do keep stretching him longer and longer.  Now he can go 3hrs fairly reliably inside, but I am pushing him to 4 hours.  He spent 90 minutes alone on Saturday, but he was a wreck when we got back and had peed on his bed.  Normally he can go 30 minutes no problem alone, sometimes and hour we need to keep working on that one.

He is a total cuty.  Two little girls yesterday wanted to play with him (6-9) but he was scared of them, but he wanted to play with them.  So he would go between my legs and jump out run to one then when she would reach down to pet him he would run back between my legs.  Funny little doggy.

We have been taking our bathroom walks both with and without leash.  If he is at all slow in responding without his leash then he gets it back.  He goes crazy playing now and then.  He just has to play with everything, he has a toy and runs around with it but then he trips over another toy and has to put that one his mouth and run around with it.  He is beginning to understand fetch in our bedroom all 2 M (6 feet) of fetch that he does, but his beginning to realize he has to bring me the ball for me to play with him.  He does play Formula 1 (Nascar for American readers) where if I lie down on the floor he will just race circles around me as fast as possible.

16 Aug 2004

Well Duco has had his first week.  Sunday (15.08.2004) was his first day with no accidents in the house, though he did go pee 7 times, and poop 3 (all outside).  Sunday was the big day of the week, we went to Potsdamer  Platz, where he got to walk on metal things, see an enormous mass of people (most of which were friendly and wanted to pet him), he walked on a metal grate, he visited a fountain which he was frightened of at first, but was interested when the little water spouts went off near the edge.  After that we went on a walk in Tiergarten without a leash.  He was very good at following with the occasional whistle to know to speed up and the "raus da!" when he left the path.  Though he seem to think the walk was the best thing in the world and wasn't interested in snacks or his toy.  On Thursday we went to vet to check on what needs to be done when, transporting a dog to the US is relatively easy.  The dog must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 day prior to travel to the US and have documentation to show it.  If we want to take him England, then the rules are more complicated.  He must 1) have an ISO microchip,2) have rabies vaccine, 3) must have a blood test 30 days later showing it has taken effect and then six months after that he is permitted to travel to the UK.  So we have an appointment to go to the Vet on 30 Aug 2004 and get the rabies vaccine and the micro chip, then we will go back 30 days later and get the blood tests done.  Duco was 1.85 KG (4 lbs) on Thursday at the vet.  So far Duco has begun to understand: sitz, platz, komm reasonably well.  Not reliable, not proofed, but will do them at home and in some other locations.  He also comes when we whistle.   He sometimes will play fetch but doesn't understand the command.  He is doing OK.  I can spend an hour alone if he is in his kennel and be pretty happy.  He let me sleep 8 consecutive hours last night (though I am not giving him water after 19:00).

People on the street really love him, he turns heads all the time.  I know puppys are cute, but he really does more than the standard puppy.  Most people think he is a Spitz.  I think Schipperkes are great dogs for Germans.  They respond well to the German style of training (a bit more forcefull than what is popular in the US these days) they look a bit wolfish (that seems to appeal to at least the Berlin aesthetic for dogs), and are small and therefore can do well in apartments.  Also having a Shepherd dog personality makes them a good fit for how many Germans think dogs should behave.

8 Aug 2004

Duco came home!  Taska and I still cannot get out of Brussels efficiently to save our lives, but this time we had no problem finding the Hotel or the Claeys' home.  Luc was out at a dog show, but we still got Duco.  His two brothers and one of his sisters went home the day before.  He is a very sleepy little puppy.  He was the largest of his litter and we were told "still the largest" when we picked him up.  He also has a talent for sleeping while being jumped on.  On the ride back, he didn't like being directly in the sun, but he did like climbing up on Taska's left shoulder and peeking backwards.  He did drink a little at the rest areas, had one potty break (on grass), didn't get sick in the car, but he was tired, hungry and thirsty (but still cheerful!) at 19:00 when we actually got home and settled down.

He already loves his little cage kennel.  He runs into it when he is nervous or tired.  I havn't heard him bark yet, but he makes funny noises while he sleeps.

Yes he has a tail, he even likes to hang it down some of the time, but he tends to put it curled up when exploring or chasing.

18 Jul 2004

We went and visited Kennel "het Kumtichshof."  We drove with a rental car to Belgium on Saturday stayed the night at the Hotel Atlas.  The next day we drove in the morning to Tienen to visit the Kennel.  It was very nice, it is in the countryside, near railroad tracks, so these dogs I doubt will have much angst for loud noises.  We looked at the puppies, the parents, the other dogs on the premises.  The puppies were only 5 1/2 weeks old and mostly just wanted to sleep.  There was one bitch left over from the previous litter from about 1 month earlier.  She was similiar in size, but was 8 weeks and rambunctious.  We chose the biggest boy of the litter; he has a tail and was the most attentive to us, and when his cousin would jump on him he showed no fear, just kind of sat there and took it.  One of the others was a little bit nervous of the black whirlwind of a cousin. 


Kommandos/Commands List
Schipperke Observations/Why a Schipperke