Leo is One!

Leo is already one year old!  Time flies!

Here are some pictures of our little whirlwind of naughty (so-christened by a friend from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab forum).

Baby Leo:


Leo today:


Leo still enjoys agility, and though this picture is from the early fall, when he was younger, he’s still just as eager to run through a tunnel or over a jump, or go over the A-frame (his favorite!).

Leo in the tunnel at his agility class

Leo in the tunnel at his agility class

We’ve found agility to be great for general training too–in some ways!  He got off leash one day on a walk, and my heart stopped–there have been too many lost Kai.   So I said “let’s go” which we say in agility and pointed the direction I wanted him to go and started walking, and he came running, and sat.  I clipped his leash back on.  Good boy, Leo!

Of course, he also sees most of the furniture in the house as part of an agility field now, and happily jumps and climbs on things whether I want him to or not.  I think he’d have done that regardless; Kai Ken are climbers.  But now, at least, he’s quick to jump off something if I want him to, as he’s used to watching my hands and responding to commands.


Leo in a rare moment of repose (on the back of the sofa)

He starts a new group class tomorrow:  advanced obedience, which is only really as advanced in that he had to have another class before it.  I don’t think he’ll enjoy it as much as agility–at 1 year old, he is still puppyish in many ways, including impulse control.  I don’t think he’ll enjoy stays, for example.   But it will be good practice, and then we’ll go back to our agility trainer later in the spring.

I took him to a loose leash walking seminar recently too, because he pulls like crazy.  They used a gentle leader head collar on him, which worked quite well.  In fact, in about 5 minutes he had stopped pulling, and was heeling like a champ.  One of the trainers remarked to the other how smart he was, and how clicker savvy he was, and how he watched my hands so attentively.  We talked about his agility class, and how good he is, and just as I was congratulating myself for having a brilliant boy, the trainer suggested a change of venue.  We went outside.  Leo saw some agility equipment and started pulling like a sled-dog, even in the head collar.  All semblance of focus on me was gone.  Ha!  Now that’s more the Leo I know!

Why do we call him the whirlwind of naughty?  Because he’s always into something:


Like that!  He just jumped right up on to the table in front of me, because wow, that mouse looks tasty!  (Leo loves to chew plastic).  He’s also a crafty little planner:  he often checks things out to figure what he wants to steal, and then if I go out of the room (even for a minute!), he’ll grab it.  This means he can’t ever be unsupervised, because he’ll get into something!  Library books, cameras, phones, my kindle–these are all favorite targets.

I think he wants to read.  Maybe he’s heard that Toby writes and he wants to try too!


The Nihon Ken forum? I have things to say!


Thoughtful Leo
















But naughty or not, he’s a wonderful dog.  He gets along with the other dogs, and is a little peacemaker.  He is smart and funny, and more loving than the others, and he is endlessly entertaining.  He even tries to charm the other dogs into giving up things he wants (like the toy Bel has) and though it never works, it is fun to watch:


Silly Leo

Happy birthday, Leo!  We’e so lucky to have you in our lives!

And thanks to Brad and Jen Anderson at Yamabushi Kennel for entrusting him to us!


Merry Christmas to All…..

Leo’s first Christmas at the House of the Fox Dogs, and I think he enjoyed it!

There were lots of interesting things to look at and unwrap:


And at first, even Bel had fun–what’s in this bag?  (There were dog treats in there–a gift from my mother).


But the holidays can be stressful, too, especially when others climb all over you in a rush to get at the presents.


And then Bel starting getting a little anxious:


Leo was enjoying checking out the stockings, but Bel thought, When will it ever end?


Leo loved it!  He loves the limelight too.  Bel?  Not so much.


Handsome Oskar had to have a timeout with his presents upstairs.  Oskar doesn’t share well, and at some point he decided he should have ALL THE THINGS.


I’ll be good now, I promise!

He had taken his Himalyan chew upstairs, and was torn between coming down to be with us, and guarding his chew.


Toby had his chew and a quacking duck toy in his room.   He came in to investigate the wrapping for a bit, but decided that he would prefer to spend the holiday alone with his stuff.   We could hear him quacking his toy merrily from his room.


Toby says “Hmmm…..nothing to eat.”

Bel had been in and out several times by then, but still seemed to be anxious, and was now frozen in front of M’s chair, where she stayed for most of dinner:


Bel says “the holidays are so stressful.”

Leo decided that holidays are about eating ALL THE THINGS and decided that he was willing to eat anything and everything, including brussell sprouts and then salad:


Leo says “That looks tasty!”


Leo says “Lettuce! My favorite!”


“Hey, what about me?”

Overall, Bel was less than thrilled with the holiday.  Either that, or she was just stuck:


Oh god, is it STILL Christmas?

But the rest of us had a lovely day.   And we wish you all wonderful holidays, and peace, blessings, and abundance in the new year!


We’re Back, with a New Addition

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog.   Life got in the way–I was working full time and in school part time, and simply didn’t have the chance to do much of anything beyond that!

However, school is done, and work is busy but manageable, and so it’s time to update The House of the Fox Dogs!

First, there was a new addition who appeared here in May:

Leo at 8 weeks

Leo is a Kai Ken, one of the six native Japanese dog breeds.   The Kai Ken are considered one of the medium sized breeds and were used for hunting boar and deer.  They are sometimes called Tora Inu (Tiger dog) because of their brindle patterning, which looks like tiger stripes.  The Kai Ken are not a recognized breed by the AKC, but are registered in Japan with the The Kai Ken Aigokai  (Kai Ken Preservation Society).  Read more about them here .  Leo comes from Yamabushi Kennel, formerly in Taos, NM (and now in Flagstaff, AZ).   Leo is from the breeding of Akashi and Ayu, whose photos and pedigrees are available on the Yamabushi page.  You can also find plenty of information about the Kai Ken there

We were not expecting to add a fourth dog, but I’d gone up to Taos to meet the Kai and fell in love with them, and when there was a puppy available, we talked it over and decided to take him.

Leo is a very handsome young man now, at 7 months, and is a good friend to both Bel and Oskar:

Leo and Bel

He is about the same size as Bel right now, and last time we weighed him, a few months ago, he was 30 pounds.  He’s quite different in temperament than the Shibas or Akita, which makes him a good fit for our house.  He’s not at all dog reactive, and in fact is quite a little peacemaker–he wriggles on his back and gets very puppyish if there are squabbles in the house.

He’s also quite active, and loves to run and play.  He’s been through a puppy class and an agility for fun class, and is starting to work on agility more seriously, now, as he really seems to enjoy it.

Leo in the tunnel at his agility class

We’re quite happy with him, and feel he is a wonderful addition to the pack at the House of the Fox Dogs.

There have been some other changes in the dog world, which I’ll get to in future posts, but right now, let this return to blogging also be Leo’s introduction.   The other dogs in the house are doing well, and we’ll be returning with more posts soon!

Leo on the sofa