We no longer have Axel. He did not work out. Once he got over his shyness, the biting began. Then came the growling at Ari. Then came the peeing whenever company would come over. All this in addition to the fact that no matter what techniques we have used to housebreak in the past, when used with him, he just wasn’t getting it. We gave it a month. He was getting worse, not better. So, he now has a home on 30 acres of land where he can poop and pee wherever he wants and he has other dogs with which he can get out his angst. And he doesn’t have a screaming toddler on his tail all the time.

I think we have found that this might be as much of a case of training our son as it is training a dog. Also, since Axel left, Ari has been much calmer…more like the child we want around the house rather than this whirling dervish.

We are scheduled to get a Boerboel puppy around summer time of this year. She will be a lot younger and easier to train and will grow up with Ari instead of being on the way to adult, like Axel. However, we’re going to play it by ear at this time and see how Ari is reacting. We might hold off for a later litter of pups if it means being able to get Ari to a place where he can handle being around animals more easily and calmly.

Since I’m on the topic of Ari, I’ll say that we are moving forward with having him officially assessed for autism at the suggestion of his school. If he does get a diagnosis, it opens up a lot of doors for us in terms of additional programs and treatments that are funded (which is a big deal to us right now). On a brighter note, he’s progressing with every day that passes, so we’re thrilled.

16 thoughts on “Dogless

  1. Linda, I’m sorry you had to let the dog go, but you did your best and it sounds like it all worked out for the best in the end. I’m glad Ari is progressing so well! (((HUGS)))

  2. I’m glad to hear that instead of abandoning a pet at the humane society, you were able to find a home for Axel that fit his needs.

    I’m also happy to hear about Ari’s progress and the possibilities for funding for his treatment. It’s so easy to resign ourselves to a grey situation and lose hope of God adding any color to our lives. It’s such a surprise when a 64-pack of Crayola Crayons just shows up out of nowhere.

  3. Go Ari! It is amazing how our tax dollars can actually do some good. My own son is in Early Start and will be getting 3 types of therapy a week for 2 years and we don’t have to pay a cent. This is great and he is already improving so I can’t say enough good things.

    Ari is my #1 favorite boy name but my husband nixed it because it reminded him too much of Ari Fleischer. Ugh.

    Sorry to hear about Axel not working out but I hope whatever doggie comes next will be sweet and loving.

  4. Good luck with the testing, Linda. Funding aside, I hope for the best possible result of the tests for you and your family.

    Boerboel? Sent me right to Google. OMG! That is a huge animal. Wow. And I thought my old Kuvasz was big. Wow. Can’t seem to stop saying that. Good looking animal, though.

  5. Thanks!

    RP – Loki was a Boerboel. We just love the breed. In fact, I just started a Boerboel Blog. The only pic I have up there for now is of Loki as a puppy, but you get the idea. It’s still in its embryonic stages as blogs go. I think it will generate some really interesting info about the breed though.

  6. I emailed my wife the results of the Google search. Her reply:

    I think I can handle the dominant owner thing.
    Still, we’re NOT GETTING A DOG
    This year.

    Just like that in that format. So, I can hold out hope. I’m just not sure a mastiff would be my choice at this point. I sure do like those Bernese Mountain Dogs, though. Maybe even another Kuvasz. A boy can dream, can’t he?

  7. Bernese are GREAT with kids. Their lifespan is just so short. Though, many people in the Boerboel world think that the 12-14 year lifespan is a joke. Obviously, with Loki only living 5 years, we have been party to an experience much different from the norm. But still…we opted against a Bernese because of the lifespan and health issues. The Kuvasz seems just as rare as the Boerboel in many ways. Interesting description of them. They seem to be the same with regard to children, as in they are good with family children but not good with any other children. That’s actually one of the few things I don’t like about the Boerboel. Ari and Josh will never be able to freely invite their friends into the house without making sure the dog is put away first. Loki was so incredibly tolerant with Ari, but really the epitome of a prey driven dog with any other kids.

    So, 2006 is out for you? When was the last time you had a dog? What kind? Have you had a Kuvasz?

  8. Last time we had a dog has been some years now. Our last one was a kuvasz. Our experience was that while he was great with kids, all kids, very patient and very tolerant, I would not want to see what he would have done if some other child, say, took a swing at the Girl Child. What worries me about breeds like these is that they may be lawsuits waiting to happen. Especially the Boerboel. The description there about beware of letting him run around or get out the front door because of what might happen to people outside was not comforting.

    I grew up with Great Danes. I’d like another of those, too. Sort of.

  9. Well, yeah…Loki was like that. We really had to watch him with other people because he was so protective. He really did border on aggressive sometimes. But, the breed is constantly being worked on to alleviate some of these issues. Also, we were very used to dealing with him and other people and ALWAYS kept other people out of harms way with regard to him.

    Females are known to be a lot more calm, which is why we’re getting a bitch this time around. She’ll also be smaller. We hope she’ll top out at around 110. You know, the bigger the dog, the bigger the expense if they are ill. Loki’s chemo just about bankrupted us near the end. Though, if that happens this time around, we’ll at least be earning decent salaries by that time. It just killed us emotionally that the only reason we couldn’t keep him alive longer was finances.

    So, the Kuvasz…you and your wife had the dog together? Is there a specific reason she wouldn’t want a dog this year? Is it the new baby coming?

  10. P.S. We almost bought a dane puppy instead of adopting Axel. In retrospect, we should have. I think our experience of another dog would be less tainted right now.

  11. Yeah, we got him when we graduated college. She doesn’t want another dog right now on top of having a new baby, exactly.

    The thing that worries me about this dog is the unplanned accident. If someone comes into your backyard, for example, to fetch a ball, and gets hurt.

    I’m sorry about the chemo, Linda.

  12. I know what you mean about the unplanned accident. I think that’s a risk taken with more dogs than just these big breeds, though. I’ve known poodles that were more viscious than Loki. We have always posted signs on every side of our fence warning people to beware. Most children I know ring the doorbell and ask YOU to get the ball anyway, even without a dog or the sign to go with it.

  13. No, its true. The problem is that an insurance company is going to deny coverage if the breed is known to have issues. A poodle or a golden doesn’t come with the kind of rep that a rottweiler or a doberman has, for instance. And that’s the problem. Whether you are on notice that there could be a problem based solely on the nature of the breed where you couldn’t be with a golden or some other soft mouthed breed.

  14. Boerboels dont have to be that agressive to others.
    I socialized my boerboel named Loki by taking him everywhere.
    My girlfriend works in a hotel and she took him to work the first day.
    Loki met hundreds of people and he is very gentle to new people.

    but don’t get me wrong , you cannot break in to my house , because without one of the owners present , he will eat you alive…

    Check Loki’s daily adventures on

    Kind regards,

  15. We socialized the hell out of Loki. With any big breed, but especially BBs, you don’t really know what you have until they are 2 – 3 years old. Plus, Loki was an intact male until he was 3, I think. So, a lot of the behaviors he had were not changeable. It didn’t matter, though, because he was our baby. Thanks for the web addy…I’ll check it out.

  16. Before i got Loki I had a american stafford (tyson) for 13 years.
    He was my best friend , everybody warned me that they where very agressive and that he would eat me when he got older.

    I think the dog reflects the behaviour of the owner.
    Usually If the owner is balanced and calm then you get a balanced and calm dog.

    Now is the question , what is calm in a boerboel .
    He can squash me while being very calm LOL!!!!

    Kind regards,

    Paul and Loki

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