Day 8 Sunday May 9, 2010
Good nights sleep for everyone. Ellie and I wake up at six go out, eat, play some, take a nap and then go out for some exercise I run back and forth the length of the yard. One of the of the Many reasons I like having dogs around is walks and getting in better shape. She’s full of energy and spirit. It is taking more laps each time to wear her down.
Today is Mother’s Day and Ellie gets to meet Grand Mama today. We have a great mid afternoon meal of large shrimp, lobster tails, succotash and salad, delicious! Other than the initial meet and great Ellie did well with Grand Mama. Ellie kept trying to untie GM’s shoes. Actually Ellie has been going back to the bedroom and sleeping on one of my teeshirts next to the bed and sleeps through most of the visit.
Two pee accidents discovered later as we’re walking bare footed through the house. Other than that she’s been out a lot today. More photos, getting the hang of this and try some actions shots while she’s running to me. The light is mixed so I am going to have to work on them later or work on my technique another day.
She has gotten obsessed over a piece of carpet that is worn on the side. She is determined to eat all the padding underneath this. Correcting a focused sport dog (unfortunately she’s focused on something else other than me). Thinking more on my theory from last night about me being the issue I calm down and simply block her with my feet and body.
Some fierce protests and she quickly looses interests and goes somewhere else. Interesting! She gives me more chances to practice this and I continue to deflect her. I don’t look at her just block her with my feet and legs. Each time it gets easier. Of course I finally settle the issue by covering the place with a throw rug but the blocking works in other situations also. If she starts to bite me I just release her and ignore, amazingly it works like a charm. She quickly looses interest, and I feel more in control. She seems to respect this form of correction I’m getting a better response from her. Along with some additional exercise today she is doing real a lot better on the behavior
Day 9 Monday May 10, 2010
Another uneventful evening she sleeps through till 6. Actually I wake up at 5, make some noise and she remains quite in the crate. We stay on the morning schedule, go out, eat and go out some more. I get some coffee going while she eats. She eats slowly, savoring her kibble like a gourmet would. Go out and run around to tire and then back inside for some quality napping. I’ve learned to do all my work during these nap sessions.
I have today off from work. We work on the basic commands ‘sit’ and ‘come’ some more. I change over the kibble completely to the new. This proves to do well for the digestive issues.
I am loading the puppy Kong with little treats and trying to get her to see that she can work with it getting the treat out if she works long enough. While surfing the net I ran across someone that suggested putting peanut butter in a puppy Kong and freezing it for a trip. I try some peanut butter in the lip of the Kong and Bingo she’s all over it. Keeps her occupied and challenges her for a good ten minutes. Hey she’s a puppy with a short attention span.
The behavior work is going well. She still responds to the blocking technique and looses focus quickly and quicker with repetition. There’s a place by the refrigerator that she is licking and licking and licking…. I started blocking her in the morning and after four times if she is doing it and I walk up she stops and backs off. I think I am understanding the Dogwhisper..energy thing. You have to approach setting boundaries like a parent dog would do. Basically emotionless when you do the correction. Ellie loves some clogs that my wife has out. They are extremely light weight and she loves to get them and bring them out to the living room to chew. I put it back made a couple of touch corrections, good energy or attitude, and it worked. Very little nipping or mouthing today and only when she was tired, kinda like a baby or an adult getting cranky when bushed. Well she is a baby at only nine weeks today.
I really like taking care of her. It is very satisfying to see some progress and response instead of a couple of days ago actually getting frustrated at her in her frantic energy fits. Poor pup, just needed some direction. I know what kind of dog I have here, a pure bred sporting dog. I’m also willing to invest the time and effort it is going to require to train her.
Day 10 Tuesday May 11, 2010
Everyone sleeps all night well and I think I am finally getting caught backup. Normal routine in the morning, out immediately after getting out of the crate, back in to eat, then back out to walk around and go to the bathroom. I have to crate her while taking a shower and she cries a little but after correcting once she settles down. We go back out for a stretch, then back in the crate no complaining.
Work day so Ellie spends most of the day in the crate. I get home at lunchtime and we have a short break to go to the bathroom. Back in the crate no crying.
Home from work, oh boy is she telling me about not being around all day. We go out and play, get some running back and forth, then back in the house to each some supper. A little indoors play and then back out for some additional running. Seems to take her a little longer everyday to wind down. We go back in and that’s it. She’s whooped and goes into the bedroom to lie down. I’m getting good at working in the brief period when she’s sleeping.
She gained two pounds this week. I can tell she’s gotten taller. A couple more weeks and she’ll be a handful. A little mouthy today but some corrections work well.
Day 11 Wednesday May 12, 2010
Good night sleep, she’s getting so used to the crate she goes in and lies down when tired. Same morning routine out of the crate, outside immediately to do bizness, back in to eat and then back out for some exercise. My wife puts her in the crate while I’m taking a shower and I hear a little crying. We go back out before I leave for work.
I get home a half hour late for work and she has pooped in the crate. I hear her crying before I get into the house and see that she’s got it everywhere in the crate and she wants out. I take her out, clean her up ( mostly on paws), then clean crate and wash the bedding. We go back out to make sure she has emptied out this time. The schedule is very important but the half hour delay was unavoidable. Poor girl.
Home after work, we go outside and run a good half hour before going back in to eat again. Back out for some more play and bathroom. She is getting real good at letting me know when she wants out and I do not hesitate when she signals.
Continue to work on sit and come commands and add down command. She catches on extremely quick and although I start using treats to teach I intermingle commands without treats and just praise so she will not get into the habit of just doing commands for food.
She is still mouthy and gets me a couple of times real good. Once on the bare ankle…ouch that really hurt. If I’m not lying down on the floor with her I can quickly get up and ignore her. If I am on floor playing with her I’m toast. Got a good inch long tooth scratch on my arm. I don’t understand the dog whisper energy thing but the corrections do take better if I remain focused and calm.
She winds down around 11 after some indoor play. Off to bed….
Day 12 Thursday May 13, 2010
We are getting pretty regular on the schedule. So far no accidents in or out of the crate. She is going to the back door when she needs to go out. Schedule was same as any regular work day.
Up at six and out immediately
Back in to eat
In door play
Back out to play and exercise
Crate till lunch ( a little more whimpering today)
Outside at lunch
Back in to eat
Outside for walk (it’s getting hot already here)
Back in crate till after work
Immediately out when I get home from work
Back in to eat (I change clothes while she’s eating)
Out for some running
Indoor play / outdoors till 8:30 and she’s out
She’s finally getting used to the new food. I’ve been letting her drag around a lead that they use at the vet (loops into itself). I need to have her used to a collar and lead in a week as vacation is coming up and she will not have all her puppy shots yet. She gets to go anyway she’ll just have to hang out inside most of the time.
Ellie is sleeping well and I can see she is growing. About three pounds up since we’ve picked her up she is longer and taller as well. I am challenged to stay ahead of her already when we run in the back yard.
Day 13 Friday May 14,2010
My wife had today off so although the schedules stayed the same someone was home to play and tend to her during the day. I’ll not rehash the schedule as it’s remained basically the same since I got it through my head.
The one thing I need to figure out is how to channel that wild energy these pups get. I know if I can figure out some way to channel this energy I can get good exercise for her and wear her down so I can get her calm. Then I can work on obedience training. Once her shots are up to date we’ll be able to do some long walks and runs but until then I have to give her an outlet so no destructive habits form. She’s clamping down pretty hard on hands and arms, I’ve got the puncture wounds to prove it. I’m keeping calm, although it hurts like hell.
She is ready for bed around 11. I take her in with me and then my wife puts her in her crate around 1am.
Day 14 Saturday May 15, 2010
Wow it has been two weeks with Ellie. We are getting along wonderfully. I would declare her house trained at about ten days. I pretty much supervise her at all times when I am home and with her. I think it is crucial to get the boundaries set now rather than when she is full grown. She is much easier to handle at this point.
The key for me is learning patience. I was reading some more on the techniques of Caesar Millan in his book ‘How to raise the Perfect Puppy’ and gave them a try this morning with great success but I had to be patient and wait for her to ‘get it’.
The situation is this, she loves to run in the bedroom and come running out with a shoe, plop down and start to chew it. With great frustration I have been taking it away from her with a ‘no’. This does no good at all. Today, on the advice of Caesar, I knelt down with the intent of ‘that object is mine not Ellie’s’. I just stayed there until she finally made eye contact. Shortly there after she release it and started playing with one of her toys. I waited, picked it up slowly and took it back to the bedroom. All of this was done non-verbal and very gently. Damn it works.
In addition in the morning this being Saturday Ellie and I went outside to work on some retrieving to channel some of that Lab energy constructively. The rest of the day was pretty normal and everything just keeps getting better.