Day 1 Sunday May 2 2010
We go and get Ellie from the breeders. The ride back is mostly whining in the beginning. She gets used to us very quickly and the later part of the ride home includes some napping and play. We brought a crate with us and some toys. Only one accident in the car on the way back. My car has rubber mats so it was an easy cleanup.
Upon arriving home we take her immediately to the back yard and place her in the area where I want her to go to the bathroom. This worked very well with our last two pups. She quickly picked her own spot and perhaps my location was a little far from the back door. I’ve had to be quick at first to get her to go outside.
It was early evening so I fed her and took lots of trips outside. We have a fenced in back yard but no trips outside are unattended. This first day is wary exploration of the new surroundings. We play to tire her down hoping all the excitement will assure a goods night sleep for all, although I am prepared to loose some sleep the first few nights in order to get the crate and house training started.
Lots of trips outside this evening still she urinates in the house a couple of times. I have watched her closely and was able to catch, correct and take outside immediately. Hoping this will speed up the house training.
We play some more and work with the crate. I get in the front of it and coax her in. She’s in and out finally she gets in and lays down. She falls asleep and after a few minutes I shut the crate door, cover the crate with an old bed spread and we all go to bed. It’s around midnight.
Two o’clock she wakes us crying. Investigation reveals she’s urinated in the crate. Note I got a full breed size crate, with a divider, and placed the divider half way back. Probably still too much room for a puppy her size. A third of the distance to the back proves to be much better. Back outside, clean up the area with odor neutralizer and some more play. Thank goodness she can play full blast for about fifteen minutes and then crashes. She falls asleep and I place her back in the crate just like before waiting till she is settled before shutting the door. This time I stay in this room (bedroom is too small for crate or else I would have put it in there).
Two hours pass and she again wakes up crying. I take her outside to go to the bathroom. All pooping has been outside. No problems there. Back inside we play till she tires and again put her in her crate for another two hours.
Note: we left water out for her all night and decide that pulling it up an hour or so before bed works better.
Day 2 Monday May 3, 2010
She awakes about six and after going outside I feed her. She eats well, goes out to the bathroom and we play outside for awhile. I make sure she defecates which is at this point 15 minutes after she eats. I would have liked to take a couple of days off to work on the house and crate training but both my wife and I have to go to work.
She is already getting at ease with her new people and surroundings. We play till it’s time to go to work and I put her in the crate. No time to wait until she is ready to sleep, she is crying pretty good when I go to work.
I work close to home so I take a break at ten to go and check on her. She’s quiet when I get there and perks up when she hears the door opening. She urinated in the crate so we go out first taking time for some running and playing before back in. Gotta get back to work so a quick clean up and then she’s back in the crate. Crying while I leave.
Get home at 5 and she has to go to our veterinarian for first check up.
I carry her in my lap to the vet’s office. It’s a short distance to the office and because she just woke up she’s real quiet on the way over.
We have been going to this vet’s office for about 30 years now and because we have been there a lot over the last year and a half with our aging dogs (the last who went through chemo treatments for lymphoma so he was there every week) I was feeling pretty proud bringing in Ellie.
She made the rounds to say hello to everyone, even the doctor’s mother was there and got to see and brag on Ellie. She is damn good looking. She checked out fine, got her next round of booster shots, a combo flea and heart worm treatment and I got instructions and questions answered. Next shots in three weeks. We can start switching food.
Evening was pretty much same. Some playing outside until taking care of business then back in to play some more trying to tire for longer sleep.
Day 3 Tuesday May 4,2010
I sleep in the bedroom till 4 when she’s starts crying. I wake up and take out (my wife went to bed a 1 so they went out then). Come back in and holly cow where did that sweet little puppy we picked up Sunday go. She is obviously feeling more at ease. She is exploring everywhere. Places I didn’t think about when prepping for her arrival. She is cranked up so I just make some coffee and go with it. She winds out about 6, I get ready for work and crate her crying.
I am not feeling well so I come home after and hour at work. We keep working on the house training and miss a couple of pee breaks because of not following a schedule. Take one break to go get a new brand of food and crate her. She cries and after three times correcting she settles down.
Evening start mixing a little of the new food with the old food. Go out for some play, relief and back in for some play.
Day 4 Wednesday May 5, 2010
Get to sleep until about 3 when she wakes me up. I take her out and a little play we both fall back asleep on the couch until 6. I go to work and back at lunch where she’s had an accident in the crate. I take her out and then clean her up before cleaning the crate. This is the only time this week she defecates in the house / crate.
Other than this one accident the day goes well. I am starting to get the idea about her schedule and we’re doing pretty good. Occasionally peeing in the house (twice all day I think).
I take her to bed with me (she’s going to wind up there anyway) and my wife who goes to sleep an hour or two after me takes her out one last time and crates her.
Day 5 Thursday May6, 2010
We all slept till 6, when I heard her get up. I think she’s really getting used to the crate and us. We go out eat and go out some more. It’s amazing to see her breed showing through already. Right at dawn we go to the back of the yard and some birds are in the tree. I look down and she’s pointing. Although I am not a hunter I can appreciate where these breeds come from.
She’s getting real mouthy and she reminds me a lot of out yellow lab pup fifteen years ago. She is getting into everything, exploring every little nook and putting anything in her mouth.
The house training is going well and she only has one accident in the crate during the afternoon stretch. She does cry a little once in the crate but settles down after a couple of corrections before leaving.
I have been devoting every free minute to watching and working with Ellie. I think it’s paying off. She is starting to go to the back door when she wants to go out and the crate is getting to be a comfortable home for her when no ones home.
Still getting this hard mouthing. She’s biting both of us and corrections do not seem to be doing much good.
Follow the same routine going to bed. Ellie and I go to bed and my wife takes care of her before putting her in the crate.
Day 6 Friday May 7, 2010
Pretty much the regular workday routine. She is very comfortable with the crate now and rarely cries unless she needs to go out. Another full nights sleep (well six hours from midnight to 6).
Food switch has created some loose stools. I called our veterinarian and he says yes it would likely be the food change. He prescribes some meds and I pick them up in the afternoon. He just saw her and knows her health. Man we have a great vet.
Evening is the same routine lot’s of play going out when needed.
The wild behavior continues. She is biting pretty hard and showing some destructive behavior (chewing on furniture, books, etc). Continue to correct, I guess I just have to keep at it.
She tires around 11 and we go to bed.
Day 7 Saturday may 8, 2010
Good nights sleep. Ellie and I get up at six, go out then get something to eat. Nice day we go out in the back yard and run around trying to head off that frantic energy. I am out of shape and me thinks she tires me first.
Get to spend all day with her. We start to work on ‘sit’ and ‘come’ commands. She runs after me in the yard anyway so I just start saying ‘come’ and plenty of praise. The ‘sit’ command we work on in the house with treats. She is a true Labrador and pretty easy to train on commands. Now let’s work on the corrections. she’s still getting real mouthy and my hands are showing it.
I get in some good photo sessions and start using my hot shoe flash in shaded areas. This lets me set the shutter speed at 250, fast enough to catch her in action. I learned how to shoot continuous shots (I have had this camera for three years now…). Also this is the first time I have done some manual settings on the flash, pulling it down 1/3 and 2/3 Ev so I can get her true fur colors. I have to wear her down first and then I get down on my belly for the shots.
I have to run out for a while but get back by 9. We spend the rest of the evening playing, going out and relaxing.
We are down to about one urine accident a day and it’s still my fault. Still switching the food as advised and there is mix of formed and soft stools.
We have one late night play session where it gets a little rough. The corrections do no good and I pay the price. Getting a little discouraged I start thinking about our yellow Labrador fifteen years ago. Same type of behavior and I’m beginning to believe it’s not the dogs but Me. This makes a lot of sense and I plan to try some changes on Sunday.