This past week, Chris and I have been dog sitting our friends’ dog Jax while they are on vacation. I’ve mentioned Jax in previous posts since he and Zara have played several times together. They had gotten along well in the past, so we figured it would work out, with the hopes that they would tire each other out! Chris and I have also watched Jax a few times in the past and he’s an easy dog to care for since he is very well-behaved.
The first night and following morning Jax was a little hesitant and kept looking for his owners after they left. He wouldn’t play with Zara at first even though she desperately wanted to. He’s been like that in past right after they have left, so I knew he would settle down eventually.
Since then, they’ve gotten along pretty well. I think the best way to describe their relationship is that of a big brother and little sister. Jax is three years old, and as the big brother, I don’t think he really likes Zara too much, but he tolerates her and enjoys torturing her a little. Zara, as the little sister, constantly wants to play with her big brother and pesters him by barking or pawing at his face. They play best when they have a toy between them. The past couple days, they have mainly been playing with a plain knotted rope. We start the game by throwing the rope, and Jax usually gets to it first. Then Zara bounds after him, trying to snatch it away. Jax whips back and forth, trying to shake her off. Eventually Zara gets the toy and then they play tug of war for a while. This cycle repeats once one of them gains control of the toy. Sometimes it spirals into snarling and snapping matches between them, which are playful for the most part. Five days and no one’s gotten hurt yet, so that’s a good thing. :)
The video below illustrates their usual routine.
Jax has been a perfect gentleman since he’s been staying with us but Zara has gotten a little more obnoxious. The past couple days, she’s gotten increasingly more jealous of Jax any time we give him attention. If one of us comes home and tries to greet both of them, Zara will start jumping on Jax and biting his face. It’s kind of funny that she’s jealous but also annoying. When I feed them, they are separated by a baby gate, but if Zara finishes first, she will go over to the gate and start yelping at Jax. I guess this is what happens when another dog comes to stay at a spoiled, attention-loving vizsla’s house. :P Zara also seems to have developed some of her pointing/hunting instincts the past couple days. When she and Jax are playing, she will freeze in place and stare at him with her tail erect. Then, all of a sudden, after several seconds or minutes, she will bolt over to him and pounce. She kind of looks like a cat.
It has been nice to have them tire each other out. Last night, after playing all day, they were both exhausted by about 7:30pm, so it was easy for us to go out to dinner. I also took them to the neighborhood dog park yesterday morning (Zara’s first time) and it was fun to see them running full speed. The dog park we went to is not usually very crowded, and for a while, we were the only ones there.
We have Jax for two more days and after he leaves, I think Zara is going to miss him, even though she may not like to admit it right now. ;)