Treadmill Dog, Hank

DSC_0008It sure has been a long time since I added a post to this blog!

Hank is a Blue Tick Coonhound. Ever since Hank arrived to join our household in March of 2010, he’s been a handful. He was about 4 months old back then and full of energy. He’s grown bigger since then, but hasn’t lost his puppy energy. He’s incredibly playful and quite intelligent, much to his detriment, unfortunately. He know how to climb the gate downstairs to get upstairs. He’s demolished a few DirecTV remotes, a cordless phone, 2 computer mice, and the cover for Pennie’s Kindle. He chewed the drywall off the corner of a wall downstairs, chewed the wood baseboard molding in a number of places, thinned the leg of a cabinet, and demolished the plastic tray in his kennel. The orchids downstairs are at the back of the highest shelf as he can reach them pull them over and chew the foliage. Most recently he bit through the thick cable for Pennie’s computer keyboard, shorting it out. Nothing has been safe from him. Each evening I typically take him out to the back yard to play for a minimum of 30 minutes – no matter the weather – to try to burn up some of that energy. Pennie also takes him outside at least once during the day for play, too.

On at least 3 occasions, we’ve been close to finding a new home for him, but we love the goofy guy, so we continued to put up with his behavior in the hopes that he’d grow out of it and settle down. We tried a number of things to get him under control – most were unsuccessful. A few weeks ago, we decided that we needed to take action or he would need to go. Pennie called a trainer and he came over yesterday afternoon to work with Hank (and us). One goal that Pennie had was to get Hank on the treadmill. The trainer told us that it would take 5 minutes or so and he knew that Hank would do well. He was right. Those first 5 minutes were a tad stressful for Hank, but he settled into it very quickly. The photo above shows me with Hank for his first treadmill session with me. Pennie worked with him this morning.

To say that the training was successful would be an understatement. I know that we will need to diligently continue working with him, but so far he’s been awesome with the things we learned yesterday. First of all, he’s on leash most of the time now, even in the house. It allows me to wash the dishes, put away laundry, etc., without needing to wonder what Hank is getting into while out of sight for a minute. It allows us to correct behaviors with a brief tug to the leash. In the first hours of having him on leash we are able to make him wait to pass through a door. And we’ve not had to yell at him for bad behavior. We’ve got much more to work on, but I am confident that this intelligent and loving dog will get it and so will we.

As I type this, Hank is curled up on the dog bed in my office. He’s snoring peacefully

About Stephen Boots

I spend too much time at the computer, but I also share responsibility for the care of our dogs and cat with my lovely wife, Pennie. I have been honored with a Microsoft MVP award since October, 2004.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Treadmill Dog, Hank

  1. Laura says:

    Love this story so much! So glad that the treadmill helped Hank, and you and Pennie have a wonderful companion, for a lifetime!! Good luck!!

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s