Thursday, February 28, 2013

6 Months: Training - Day 47

Emma and Attitude in my recliner.
There is nothing light a fuzzy Labradoodle beard stuffed into your eyeball to start your day.  At 6:30 AM Emma stuffed her nose into my eyeball and promptly began wiggling all over me to wake me up - a clear sign she needed to go out.  I didn't disappoint her.

It's Wednesday and I had two evaluations of dogs at The Ruff House in the afternoon and four hungry dogs and one hungry cat to deal with.  I quickly showered and then went about getting the animals cared for.

Emma was in great spirits.  She was running through the house charging the Dachshunds and cat, bouncing off of me and Max and generally causing puppy chaos in our home.  Mornings in my home are not quiet.

Her morning lesson went extremely well with her starting Target training on the board and moving to the cabinet in the kitchen on her second session.  She was bold and ready to learn and was fine with the entire adventure until she pushed the cabinet door shut in the kitchen and it made a sharp bang.  She flinched, but didn't retreat.  I gave her lots of treats and praise and smiled at her.  Though she only shut the door a couple of times, each time it banged she flinched.  Clearly I need to work on that.

When it came time to leave for my evaluations I went through my "I'm leaving routine" and tied off cabinets and closed doors and picked up items I didn't want chewed.  Emma was ready this time when I opened the door and shot out like a black bullet.  It took a bit, but I caught her up and started to leave.  I wasn't half a block away when I realized I'd left my purse in the house.

As I came up the ramp I heard the chorus from in the house.  Emma, Attitude and Dieter were howling!  I laughed and walked in, picked up my purse and left. I think they were all so stunned I'd walked back in that they completely forgot to howl as I left.

My appointments went longer than expected with the second person not leaving for over half an hour after our appointment was done due to her transport running late.  I worked with her dog, a very excitable BC mix while we waited.  I was becoming concerned, since this was the longest I'd left Ms. Emma alone in the house and wasn't sure what I would return too.

What I returned to, almost 4 1/2 hours later, was three happy and calm dogs.  Emma was the only one who didn't leave me a suprise on the floor.  Attitude had peed in the middle of my floor and Dieter had marked my Glide Rocker.  Its a good thing I love dogs.

Since I was running so late, I skipped training with her lunch and just fed it to her.  It was 4 PM on my return (I had left at 12:30 PM) and dinner in my home is normally around 6 PM.  I decided to delay dinner, but didn't want her belly so full at night she couldn't hold herself through the night.

We ended the night with training and cuddles.  I was too tired, after all I had done for the day, to do this blog post, but thankfully, today I can catch up on the posts and update you all on how she's doing.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 5 Target.  As stated before we are working on her closing a cabinet door.  I worked with the training board again and could see even more control when pushing the door shut and she was now consistent in shutting it on the first push.  I worked half her breakfast on this behavior with the board and then took her into the kitchen.

I placed a strip of orange tape on the door I was training her on and clicked her for touching the tape while the door was still shut.  After several times of this, I opened the door slightly and had her target the door again.  In the end, she pushed the door shut twice.  Each time it banged she flinched, but she didn't run away or stop working for her food.

Later in the day, while she was laying by my recliner, I opened and shut the door with a bang several times and praised her for just laying there and watching me.  I'll start doing more of that with her to help her understand where sounds are coming from and that they won't hurt her.

Lazy Leash

Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Lazy Leash.  In this step Emma is to keep the leash loose for a few seconds while we stand and then take a few steps with me with the leash loose.  We worked in the house for this lesson.  Emma is a master of the loose leash in the house, so I also focused on her staying to one side of me and not crossing behind me or in front of me.

She did extremely well and I'll need to take this lesson outside and work on it to improve her loose leash walking.

I have noted her owner carries her when she brings her to my house.  She will carry her into my home or out to the car when she picks her up.  I don't know if she does this all the time, but it is important that Emma not be carried everywhere.  If they can't work on keeping her on a loose leash due to time constraints, then put her on her harness and walk her, otherwise, ensure she's walking loose lead and on one side of them (I am teaching left side) when walking on a leash.  She can't improve on this skill if she is not practicing it.


Where did this wild dog come from and where is the quiet and polite Emma I remember? She's racing through the house and finding something, anything, she can to get into.  She discovered my Spider plant tastes good (thanks Victoria for showing her that) and that if she put he paw on Max's face it starts a wrestling game.  She's discovered she can get into my lap and have her muzzle in my eyeballs in two seconds flat and she's discovered she can get a lot of interaction out of the Dachshunds if she pounces on them.  Who is this dog and where did she come from?

Truth is, I have been expecting this.  Busy Emma is being a teenager and many owners find themselves at this age wondering what happened to the sweet, quiet puppy they had.  It happens to parents too.  As the infant becomes the toddler and moves to childhood, pre-teen and finally surly teen they begin to wonder who the stranger in their house is.  For humans this question is asked for years; for us puppy raisers only a few months.  The puppy has stopped being a puppy.  Emma is a teenager and rearing to go and smoke cigarettes and drink beer.  Lord help us all!

She's truly fascinated by the cat and anything outside of the yard.  She's noticing sounds for the first time and reacting to them.  A commercial on the TV has a door bell in it and she barks like a mad woman whenever she hears it.  My dogs, who never react to that sound, come out of their naps barking in support, but clear confusion as to why she started.  Any sight of a human, cat or leaf outside of the yard sends her into non-stop barking fits outside.

I didn't realize that today was late start day for the schools and when I let them out at 9:20 AM the children were lined up like pins on the other side of the street.  Emma lost her head and began to bark, which sent the entire crew into barking fits.  I called my dogs, who stopped and returned, but had to go and get Emma to stop her barking.

She's also hit the "I don't wanna come in" stage in life.  She was racing nicely for the front door up the ramp, made a sharp left and zoomed over my dirt pile and away into the darkness the night before.  I couldn't help it, I laughed.  A few minutes later, realizing she was alone in the dark, she came to the door, but she clearly told me she wasn't going to comply this time when I called all the dogs in.

And she's chewing - a lot.  She's shredding toys and eating leashes.  She chewed threw a $40 dollar leash in the 10 to 20 second intervals I looked away from her while tethered in the office.  I would look at her and she'd be happily chewing on a bone and glance away and look back and she'd be chewing on the bone again.  When she stood I could see the destruction she'd done to the leash during the times I had glanced away - I can't safely use it for a dog weighing more than the 22.2 pounds she weighs now.  Looks like I'll need to replace my tether leash shortly.

This stage of life will last until she's almost 2 years of age. It's the "I can't wait for you to become a dog" stage of life I have faced with each and every pup I have raised from infancy.  Welcome to destroyed personal items and strange comments, such as "get off the Dachshund!" and "spit out that plant!" stage of life.

I would recommend not leaving anything you don't want her to eat on the floor at this point.  She's eaten more plant matter (the cat shreds, she eats) in my house in the past two days that I thought possible.  I think my most common question of her this week has been, "Now what are you eating?"

I love dogs, honestly, I do!

Level 1
StepCompletedCompleted CompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

No comments:

Post a Comment