Nine days ago, I walked out of an animal shelter with a new best friend and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I first saw Zag sleeping in the back of a kennel away from the other dog, Domino. There was no information about him, but he seemed interesting enough to meet. I asked about him up front and they immediately brought him into a room to meet us. He was super pleasant taking treats calmly and politely. Some dogs are pretty vicious when it comes to snatching a treat out of a hand. Not this one. He’s a gentleman.
I put him on hold until the we could introduce him to my parents’ dog, Watson, a King Charles Spaniel. The next day, we came back to do the introduction. Watson, who’s normally pretty growly around other dogs, seemed to at least tolerate this one. They wandered around sniffing each other with Watson occasionally growling out of jealousy. They got along well enough that I adopted Zag and took him home.
He’s four years old. We know he came from an outdoor kennel in Texas. He may have been in the kennel his entire life. He may or may not be house trained. He doesn’t seem to know any tricks. He hadn’t seen carpet, cushions, stairs, dog toys, or glass doors before. That’s about all we were able to find out before adopting him.
What kind of dog is he?
We were told he’s a lab mix. He certainly looks a bit like a lab, though he’s a bit smaller. It could just be that he’s a little underweight. That said, Gemma, a friend I met in Seattle, showed a video of him to her friend who suggested he might be a Plott Hound. I had never heard of this, but after some searching, Zag certainly seems to fit the description and looks quite like a Plott Hound with slightly smaller ears.
Why name him Zag?
His name at the time was Riot, though there was some confusion about that. Some people thought it was Ryan. He didn’t answer to either at all. Now, his name is Zag. I named him that because he tends to zig zag across streets and it also happens to be the name of a character in a favorite movie of mine. After a little over a week, he answers to Zag.
I’m starting to train him as best I can. I’ve already signed him up for a course that will teach me a few things to teach him. It will also help him socialize with other dogs. So far he can sit, lie down, fetch, and he’s starting to like his crate. He likes his dog bed and knows to go lie down there when we’re eating or I’m working. He also goes on walks like a champ. Most of the time the leash is slack. I’m going to slowly increase the length of his walks so he can build up a bit of muscle and ultimately start going on hikes with me.
I do need to find him a treat he really likes because after ten to twenty minutes he’s no longer interested. That makes it a little hard to continue. Any advice on training or treats?
He loooooves meeting new people and he does it well. He doesn’t jump up and, while his tongue is going, he doesn’t care if it actually licks anything. He just rubs up against a person like a cat to get some good pets in.
I don’t think he knew how to play with other dogs yet. Thankfully, after a single session with my friend Nami’s dog, Bucket, he seems to have picked up on how to play. He’s a sharp one.