Ebon is one of the main recurring topics seen on this blog. He is my dog. Though not the first one I have had in my life, he is the first one that I can truly call "mine."
For more on Ebon, check out the posts tagged with his name.
Ebon is a black mismark Labrador retriever from field stock who was born on January 14, 2005. I actually received him from his breeder free of charge when I was a Junior in high school (long story). I knew him nearly from birth, and I am glad I was able to go through such an experience. It's amazing how he changed from a tiny whimpering ball of fuzz to the handsome, lean, eighty-five pound fellow he is now. His parents (a yellow father and a chocolate mismark mother) were working duck dogs, and he definitely has the instincts it would take to follow in their footsteps. However, he has not been trained to do that job and instead is my loyal companion. He follows me everywhere and will do anything for me if I ask him to. He was eligible for AKC registration when I got him, but I decided to not register him. He is neutered.
Ebon's coloration is a near constant topic of fascination to me. Though at first glance he appears solid black, he does have very dark red markings on his legs. Mismark Labradors usually will have markings that are far less subtle than this, but Ebon inherited his mother's hint of red. My best guess is that he's a black and brindle who happens to have an awful lot of stripes.
Overall, Ebon is quite healthy. However, like so many purebreds he has had his health problems. When he was a puppy he had chronic ear infections, which luckily cleared up around the time he reached the age of two. He has not had an infection since. More traumatic has been the discovery that he is epileptic. Again, luckily, the seizures are really quite minor and he does not require regular medication.
For some time now, I've been making references to what I feed Ebon. He eats kibble. I've addressed kibble in general as well as specific foods that I have tried. This category also includes canned, home made, and raw foods, though these are unusual additions to his diet.
For more this subject, see the posts tagged "dog food."
I blog fairly regularly reviewing dog items of all sorts. This category is basically any item other than dog food, including treats and chews. Many have proved to be great for Ebon and some of which have turned into my favorite dog things.
For more on this subject, see the posts tagged "dog things."
|A very dirty Ebon at the dog park|
As often as possible, I try to take Ebon out for more than just a simple walk. These are what I like to call our adventures. So far, the list of new places I have taken him since I started this blog is getting a bit long. These are usually parks or trails, but occasionally another interesting trips makes it into the mix.
For more on this subject, see the posts tagged "adventures."
Ebon's Trick List
One of my favorite things to do with my pets has been teaching them fun tricks. I have taught numerous tricks to several animals at this point, including some to a cat. However, Ebon is my trainee of choice, and he's the sort of dog that lives to please. I use only positive training methods with lots of treats when he's first learning the trick, and then lots of love and play once he's got it down.
Here's the current list of commands he knows:
- Here (come)
- On Your Side (basically play dead)
- Head Down (place head to ground when in On Your Side)
- Roll Over
- Shake (left paw)Paw (right paw)
- Touch (nose to hand)
- Spin (counterclockwise)
- Other Way (spin clockwise)
- Balance (treat on nose)
- Catch (catch treat from nose)
- Stand Up
- Up (stand on hind legs and touch hand)
- Come Up (jump onto surface)
- Go Bed (go sit in dog bed)
- Kennel Up
- Load Up (get in car)
- Gentle (take treat, etc. politely)
- Easy (move forward slowly)
- Watch Me
- Get Your Ball
- Get Your Toy
- Go Get It (basically Fetch)
- Bring It Here (clapping is the alternate command/signal)
- Drop It
- Weave (through polls)
- Hup (jump over hurdle)
- Through (weave through legs)
- Wipe Wipe (wipe paws on mat)
- Paws Up (put paws on indicated surface)
- Sad Puppy (lower face to floor, either in Down or Bow)
- Push Push (close indicated door)
- Take It (take offered item)
- Hold It (keep item in mouth)
- Shake Off (shake to dry, useful after bathing and swimming)
- On By (ignore distraction and keep walking, usually used for squirrels)
After a long training break, I'm working on training and/or re-training a number of tricks:
- Say No (shake head)
- Shy (turn head away)
- Carry (carry an item in his mouth)
- Walkies (carry own leash) this one is taking a while to shape!
- Open It (tug on rope to pull door open)