It has almost been a year since Pilot was given to me, September 10th, 2013. He and I have been through quite a bit since then. He loved going to work with me while I worked at a local greenhouse for a short time, but when the greenhouse quit for the winter, he quickly learned to cope with staying at home all the time. However, he takes any chance available to jump in the vehicle with me for a road trip. He loves sticking his head out the window or the back of the pickup while we are driving to let the wind blow in his face.
Pilot is a firecracker full of energy! If I were a jogging/running person, or an agility guru, we would be a match made in heaven! Unfortunately for him, I only walk and hike. He loves to explore, so the time we spend hiking is well spent.
When I stopped working at the greenhouse in October, I had to find another energy and mental outlet for Pilot. So we got into trick training and obedience. This proved to be a real challenge for the both of us. Pilot is whip smart, but he has the greatest of difficulty focusing on any one thing for too long. So, I started using meal time as a time to teach him to calm down, wait, and focus. He quickly picked up on the "all good things come to those who wait" proverb.
He likes playing Frisbee (for about 15 minutes, then his attention span goes *bye-bye*), so I also started using that, along with tasty treats, to reinforce his manners. I would refuse to throw the Frisbee until he sat, laid down or, later, rolled over. Then I would treat him and/or throw the Frisbee. Now he's a pro at "Stay", "Sit", "Down", "Roll Over", and we are currently working on nailing down "Spin".
I did have a teeny-tiny agility course set up for him to run during spring. He LOVED that course until we took it down when the weeds started getting bigger than me. He likes jumping up on things, climbing things, running through things, and learning how to navigate stuff. Honestly, I think he would be a great agility dog star. I posted a short video in April of him doing some of his agility, if you would like to see it.
As far as personality, Pilot gets along with everybody. He has been very well behaved and gentle around the elderly and disabled, and he just adores children. He also gets along well with other dogs, even those that are known to be a bit mean and grumpy. The first thing he wants to do with another dog is play, but he has learned to sit down, wait, and smile at the other dog until it warms up to him.
On the other hand, rabbits and small fuzzy animals are his to chase, bite, and kill. He will tolerate the pet rabbits being outside of their cages, as long as I have my eye on him, but I dare not turn my back to him or the pet bunny will be NO MORE!
Birds tend to be an interesting subject with Pilot. He ignores the chickens, and he watches the adult peacocks from a distance, but littler birds are just a ball with wings for him. He has killed more sparrows than I care to count, and he killed one of our baby peacocks when it was trying to fly. He just snatched it right out of the air (yeah, that was not one of our better days). He also wants to chase cattle and horses. Thankfully, I have been able to drill a very strong recall into him, which has saved us both from a few accidents more than once, but I still keep him on a strong lead whenever I know we are going to be around cattle or horses. Goats and sheep don't seem to bug him too much, but this could be because our little lamb and our goat have whipped his rear and taught him some manners.
So, aside from digging holes in the yard for his bones, and tearing up whatever toys get accidentally left outside, he's a pretty good boy. And he is super cute when he howls with the coyotes at night. He does! He sits in the middle of the yard, raises his head, and howls with the best of them!