Baby Thor

Baby Thor

Training Thor

In January 2010, Thor, a 5-month-old weimaraner, came crashing into my life.

Here, I will outline the steps taken to train him to be a well-mannered dog,

to do agility, and to perform some service dog tasks.

At five months, he is pretty wild.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Naming Thor

One of the good things that Thor learned in his previous home was name recognition.  He knows his name and runs to me when he hears it. 

I've been looking over Thor's AKC registration paper and thinking about giving him a more formal registered name.  Since he knows his name and has a good association with it, I don't want to change it.  Normally, I make it a policy to change the name of a rescue dog so they get a fresh start.  I don't think that's necessary with Thor.  I'm thinking of making it Thoreau which has good associations for me because of Walden Pond.  My sister says it's too "regal" of a name for a goofy dog.  She likes Thornton.  I told her that Thor is only goofy because he is a puppy, but he will grow into any name. 

The article in Dog World (March 2010), uses the following words in describing weimaraners: aristocratic, courageous, intelligent, elegant.  And from the AKC Complete Dog Book: friendly, fearless, alert, and obedient.

I'm thinking "Lakewood Thoreau."  Lakewood is the informal name of the neighborhood where I live.  I like the connection to nature in keeping with Thoreau.  And, of course, Thor was the god of thunder which suits him, too.

I can't let the subject of AKC trip by without a word of criticism.  According to the AKC standard for weimaraners, the tail MUST be docked  (a non-docked tail is a disqualification in the breed ring) and the dewclaws MUST be removed.  I swore to myself years ago that I would not own a dog that was docked or cropped.  I think it is outrageous that the AKC requires the maiming of certain breeds.  I also think that both tails and dewclaws have specific purposes, especially in a performance dog.  I suspect that dogs without them are at a disadvantage when jumping and turning at speed. 

It makes me want to cry when I look at Thor's docked tail, hairless where the cut was made.  And I wonder if, like human amputees, dogs who are docked and/or cropped feel phantom pain?  Has anyone ever looked into this?

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