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!