Everything under control
- Gender: Male
- Birthday: 5. May 2008
- Origin: Herberstein, Austria
Update 15.12.19: unfortunately, Kaspar lost his pack member Aragorn today and is currently alone.
Everything under control... but control is not everything!
The alpha beast of the Black Pack is very attentive, nothing escapes his gaze. But when he starts his passionate howling with Shima and Aragorn, or dozes off in the shade close to both, you realize: it's not just about controlling. He wants to protect his friends and he takes care of his pack.
Unlike his peers, Aragorn and Shima, Kaspar is still relatively dark. He has only become a little lighter on the stomach and, in the meantime, also on his head in isolated patches. His yellow eyes still stand out clearly. He is relatively tall, quite slim and well proportioned.
... with conspecifics
Kaspar is - though smaller than Aragorn - the "boss" in the black pack. As a "control freak" he has everything in view. Often Kaspar stands between his pack and the fence to keep a close eye on the visitors. Then he keeps his head down and stares at the people from his amber eyes. We call this the "Kaspar-Gaze" which means "up to here and no further". Supported by the fence, he is always successful, and the visitors usually do not penetrate into his kingdom. Whenever Aragorn and he are separated, usually through tests, he has to make sure that Aragorn can remember that he is the boss when they meet again. To achieve this he makes himself big, growls at Aragorn and sometimes grips his snout. Aragorn willingly submits and after a few moments the matter is cleared up again.
... while learning and interacting with us
Kaspar cooperates well and usually has a great desire to work. In the "Learning Set" he aims strait for the right shape with the underlying treats as soon as he is released. Then he forcefully kicks away the object, eats the treat, and comes back to the trainer. For most tests, he is the one who understands the mechanisms first. In a cooperative effort, he was the only one of all our wolves who understood almost from the beginning that he needs a partner to solve the task and has to somehow pass this on to his pack members.
... with strangers and objects
With advancing age, Kaspar liked it less and less that "strange" people come into his enclosure. With his hand-raisers as reinforcement he still has no problems in contact with strangers. Only he decided at some point that he just does not want to work with "new" people anymore in direct contact. He is still the good old workaholic as always, either through the fence, or with his hand-raisers, and he is happy when he has something to do.
With foreign objects he has no problem. On the contrary, he usually finds them so interesting that he has to examine them with his teeth. The big red gymnastics ball from a test, which is about the reaction to unknown objects, was abruptly bitten to death by Kaspar. In an attempt to find out "how far our wolves understand mechanisms", he unceremoniously destroyed the box with the many strange levers to get to the treats hidden inside.
... in puppy age
At 4 weeks our little male in the pack had decided that he does not want to stay small! He ate and ate - preferably all the time. That's why in the first few days he gained the most weight from everyone!
Kaspar was not always easy, he had a real wolf-like nature: for him, nothing was easy or clear, he always had to think about his next move and see an advantage in it for himself. He observed very closely what was happening around him and only when he was sure that his authority was not in doubt, would he decide to join in.
Whether it's playing, training or experimenting or just a treat from an unknown person, he was very cautious, but also very ingenious.
He has often surprised us with his ideas. To work with him required a lot of patience. The best method was and is just to wait until he cooperates.
For example: he was about 6 months old when he decided not to participate in experiments anymore. The treats, however, were tempting, so he kept coming back to the test room. But as soon as we wanted to start an experiment, he suddenly lost his concentration, ran back and forth, started running, climbed onto tables and chairs, tried to bite through the door or shut down the computer. We decided to wait until he stopped and focused on us - two and a half hours later he was ready to work with us. Since then he knows exactly: If he comes into the room, he also has to concentrate, or he gets no treat!
Now he often takes a long time to decide if he wants to come to the test room. As soon as he has decided to do so though, he works with enthusiasm.