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Everything posted by coffeegirl

  1. Thanks, Ruth! Those are great suggestions. I'll see if I can get her to sit or lie down when she wants to see people. She's very consistent about those at home, but I'm dubious about "puppy brain" in the moment. But I know it won't happen overnight; we'll just keep trying. And yes, there's a heck of a lot of joy in all of this. One thing I did on the walk today was just turn around and back her up when she strains at the leash to see people and walk the other way. It's more awkward if the person is squealing and rushing toward her (this is apparently a thing!) but I had some success with it when they were just walking up sanely. Sometimes I wonder if I should limit the engagement *a little,* choosing routes accordingly. I mean, what's she going to think when she's no longer an irresistible puppy, but a lovely dog? She may wonder where all the squealing went. Hopefully she won't care by then, and she'll be more preoccupied with frisbees or whatever. Perhaps in the meantime I could try to look more intimidating myself. You know, shave my head and wear spiky leather clothes. When my friends ask, I'll just tell them people wouldn't stop squealing at my puppy and it was no good for her training. Desperate times, desperate measures... We went on a busier street today to the vet, and her desire for wonderful strangers was at war with her discomfort with the heavier traffic noise. But in the end, people won. So that's a bonus to this "problem." You're quite right, it's an incentive for them.
  2. I totally agree for everything else, but with this, I'm kind of flummoxed. Please help me out? What should I do in this context? We're walking, she sees someone ahead, she starts to strain the leash and go crazy...wagging, crouching, "pet me! pet me!" Do I pick her up? Herd her the other way (same way I taught her loose leash)? It's more difficult because she's a bit nuts at that point, dying to get to the person. She doesn't seem to care how her neck feels. And then, the other person sees this and starts talking to her, effectively encouraging her to ignore me. It's kind of tough. I wonder whether she has developed the self control to concentrate and actually do what I want her to do at this point. It's one thing when she's just randomly pulling, quite another when she's got a sharklike intensity on getting to a person... Same goes for jumping. She doesn't do it much at home, because we've trained her out of it, but with strangers on the street, they think it's adorable and the strangers and I haven't established the relationship for me to tell them to turn around, tell her to sit, etc. like we do at home. I guess we could avoid going out during the more congested times until this is under control...but it happens even when we only see 2 or 3 people. In principle, I totally agree. It's very charming now that she's so wee, but this would not be a good way for a bigger dog to act.
  3. You're right. I'm totally taking this as permission. I'm really curious as to how those things work. And CaptJack, thanks for that. The group I'm interested in practices in a church basement, I believe (in the winter). So I agree: I bet the rules are flexible. I think part of it is that we are a big-ish boisterous family (of 5) with lots of chatter going on all the time, so the words are fast and furious and the whistles are quite distinct and just for her. On that note, Carmen went to her first impromptu party last night. I walked her down to a friend's house, and we meandered to another friend, and before we knew it, there were 8 or 9 new people there and a gorgeous Portuguese Water Dog. He was such a doll to her, like a kind grandpa: it was a perfect intro for her to strange adult dogs. However, unlike our usual walks on other days and times, this was her first Friday night in the neighbourhood, and the sidewalks were quite congested with people out for the evening (especially young couples on dates) oohing and ahing over her. She's quite brilliant with the loose leash walking now...except when someone wants to say hello to her. Then she can't wait to greet them and pulls ahead. I'm indulging this for now, since she seems to love all the humans, but at some point I guess I need to help her stay calm in such situations. She's not even 12 weeks yet, though, so I'll let her do her baby thing? Is there any drawback to letting her just bask in all the attention for now? It seems to really stimulate her (she does excited pee sometimes) but she also seems to love it and seek it out. It's downright awkward for me as an introvert. At any rate, all that social butterflying really tired her out, and she slept from a blessed 10pm until 6:45 am this morning. (See afterparty photo)
  4. I've been using a generic whistle (the lips kind) for some recall, especially to get Carmen's attention when we're out on a walk. (We started walking on the sidewalk yesterday!) I actually prefer it to calling her name for attention over and over. She picked it up immediately and has a really good rate of attention with it. Only problem is... I forgot I randomly "happy whistle" around the house. So there I'll be, puttering around the kitchen, starting to whistle a tune, and... "Hey! I'm here! What is it? Huh? Huh? Treats? Yes?" Oh. Oops. And oops two or three more times (that's the problem with habits). Poor girl. Hey, while I'm here, quick question: I probably won't be trying any herding with her (I just can't get out of the city enough to pursue it), but I'd like her to come to a (instrument) whistle once we do off-leash in the future. I can't mouth whistle loud enough for this, even though I've tried to copy Youtube videos explaining how to loudly whistle. I think it's because I have a slight tongue tie. Anyway, does anyone have a favourite recall whistle? I know most of you use the shepherd's whistle, but I would be a big poser using that. It's tempting, though, learning looks fun. We'll probably be trying agility just for fun at a community place down the street. Do they use whistles at all?
  5. Ha! Indeed. Well, she's sleeping 10-6 now. I plop her nonchalantly in her crate, cover it up, and that's that. I wake her up in the morning, and my husband's glad not to be lonely anymore. What a difference a week makes! I didn't really have an option of letting her just cry it out anyway. I share a wall with neighbours in a row house. Thankfully, she's also now fine with being plopped in her crate for an hour or two and she doesn't make a peep until I let her out. However, today we sort of went backwards with the peeing in the house during the day, and yesterday wasn't so great either. I guess she somehow got a wire crossed, and I'm sure it will work out eventually. (It's also possible I'm just stopped watching her like a hawk when she started improving, so now I need to backtrack a little.)
  6. Will do! We'll figure out between now and then what she likes best and keep that thing especially aside. Thanks for that excellent idea. So far, she's not exactly a connoisseur. She kinda likes everything. We've done chicken hot dog, boiled chicken, cheese, wellness lamb treats, liver treats, and she seems to really like them all. Also husband sneaks her bits of chicken and beef when he makes dinner (the man has become a seriously hopeless pushover for this one). However, she had some runny poo two days ago, and I figured between switching her food (the breeder's food was not readily available here, and she gave us an alternative: Origen puppy) and the variety of treats, maybe it was too much on her tum. We cut out the hot dogs and cheese for a couple of days, and it seems to have resolved itself. Maybe a coincidence and she was just adjusting to the food. Do they generally have bigger problems with hot dogs or dairy?
  7. Carmen went to her first puppy socialization class last night. It was fine, but I was a little annoyed that they rotate the 4-week series by theme weeks, and this week it was "unfamiliar things and sounds" so they intentionally tried to throw scary things at them, and it was three of the five puppies' first week there. Sort of trial by fire, kwim? A "meet and greet" situation would be much better, but I guess this "series" approach works better for their scheduling, and it was just our bad luck to get the week with: vacuum rolling skateboard recording of fireworks But she actually did very well, considering. She had an initial period of hanging out under a chair and taking in the scene, and then got really curious about the other puppies (mostly designer doodles of various sorts, so really gentle and her size, even though they were older). There was one insane Boston Terrier puppy trying to jump on her (and everyone else) but Carmen looked more confused than frightened by that and stood her ground even though he was trying to grab her face. (The trainer didn't let that go on for more than a second before restraining the Boston pup). Carmen seemed to like the other puppies (well, their butts anyhow). But she was the youngest there, so she did spend some time under the chair, lying there calmly but attentively watching everything like a Sphinx, tuning the ear satellite dishes to various points around the room. She has a regal bearing that looked a bit, "judgy," and occasionally intense, like she was observing weaknesses for future murder plans. But she was not unreasonably nervous at all, which I was really relieved about. We treated the whole time and while she seemed glad to get home, she was not the worse for wear. However, during the fireworks recording (they were trying to prepare the pups for upcoming Canada Day which can get really loud around here) she lost interest in eating her treats, which meant she was clearly stressed, but she didn't whine or try to escape or anything. So I'm counting that a win. So...so far...I'd say her personality is confident, alert and adaptable. She's smart as a whip and adjusts really quickly to a changing environment after an initial period of caution. She figured out what was scary and what wasn't (she was game to investigate the expandable tunnel, for example). She's also extremely cuddly, but not velcro. She does her own thing around the house, is frenetic and energetic, she'd chew up the whole house if I let her (thanks, bitter lime spray!) but if I put her in my lap in front of the TV, she curls up and likes to burrow her head as far into me as possible and clearly loves it. Her favourite place in the evenings is right between my husband and me on the sofa. (Husband was adamant that dogs don't go on the sofa before this, but she has bewitched him utterly.) Carmen was the biggest in her litter, so maybe that explains some of her confidence and adaptability? I'm no dog expert, and certainly not this kind. And of course, she's a baby, so things will change. But so far, that's her in a nutshell. Edit: Also, she has a one-tipped-ear thing going on that is quite charming. (pic)
  8. Thanks everyone! She slept from 11 until about 5:30 last night. Then 6:30. I tried the arm dangle, but she insisted for me. Then she didn't seem like she was in a particular hurry to pee when we went out, but...meh. She eventually did. In the ice storm. (Hear the violins?) It's incredible--the babies used to do the same thing. Dad would easily get away with things they wouldn't let me do. Next life, I'm coming back as the Dad. Still, it could be a lot worse! I'm grateful she's doing 6 1/2 hours or whatever. However, I'm not like some of you hearty farm people (yet?). I like 8 hours, so I'm still feeling it. But now I no longer feel guilty she's not going out every 3 or 4. So thanks for that. Lovannah, I had heard of the bell thing but just assumed it was too advanced for her now. I'm going to try it now, thanks!
  9. Thanks so much. This is what I needed to hear: it's fine if it doesn't work, I just didn't want to hurt her, or take advantage of her keenness to please. I can really see her wheels turning: she really does try to figure out what you want and do it. I realized yesterday that she was trying to signal she had to pee from her xpen, by whining and pawing at her water. I couldn't figure out what she wanted, then she peed, and I just thought...wow. I think this is because our ("Oh!") shock when she has an accident (we know we're not supposed to react, but we fail sometimes) she's figured out where the right place to pee is already and didn't want to do the "wrong" thing. So I don't want to push her now because she's so little and she's trying so hard. Except for giving our slippers back. We can just go screw ourselves then. She has to draw the line somewhere.
  10. Our setup was always to have Carmen's crate in the living room where it's going to live permanently. (It's in an unobtrusive spot.) It is within reach of our fold-out sofa, so I've been sleeping there this week. I've been putting her to "real bed" around 11 or 12, after a pee, then she wakes up at 3 or so, and we go out, then I put her back in the crate. Then she sleeps until 6 or 6:30, and we go out again, only this time, I don't put her back in the crate. She just curls up under the sofa bed and doesn't wander. (As long as all the lights are out. And yeah, I realize this is probably honeymoon pup behaviour.) Carmen grumbles a little when she first goes in the crate (not really whining, and not barking or crying, just grumbling), but I dangle my hand through the grate, and she licks it and goes to sleep. We have been crate training in the daytime (with no crying, only treating) and she can stay in without complaint for an hour or two now. We do that once or twice a day. So last night, Dad took over the night shift so I could get some connected hours. As was the case with our human babies, Dad always seems to push the envelope a little, and here's what happened. He put her to bed at 11 as usual after going out, dangled his hand and she settled as usual, only he misunderstood me (or "misunderstood" me) about the 3am part, and instead of taking her out again, he dangled his hand. So she just grumbled/mewed a little, then went right back to sleep.... Then slept until 6. So that means she didn't pee for seven hours. Is this going to hurt her if I try this and she does it again? She didn't cry when he did it, she just mewed a little and went right back to sleep. The crate was dry in the morning. I thought their bladders weren't developed enough for this? Wouldn't she cry if it really bothered her, though? I don't know what to think. It seems a little mean to me to not take her right out, but if she's ready, maybe she's ready? Insights? Experiences? I just need to know if I should try it again. Of course if she cried or didn't settle right away, I would take her out. But I don't want to give her a bladder infection or something. Physics are physics, after all. PS--Carmen is just over 9 weeks. Also, she is totally capable of crying loudly. She can make a big fuss when I have to go upstairs for something and she sees me go, and she did it when we first started using the x-pen (we pretty much solved it that day with treating/training), and when we first tried the crate when she didn't go in by herself. So she knows how to howl it up when she wants to; we just try to avoid situations where she would.
  11. Well, either you were right or you totally jinxed us. I'm just gonna go with jinx, so thanks a lot. She's full of beans now. But the upside of that is her sleep is getting better. She slept 6 1/2 hours straight last night, and I got that sinking feeling I remember from newborn babies when they do this, where you realize how many hours in a row you just slept and you look in the crib (in this case the covered crate) and make sure they're still alive. One question (for anybody): We have lots of neighbour kids. They are well-behaved, but little kids. So sometimes loud and a bit rambunctious. We had two over yesterday, and the kids were good, and Carmen seemed to enjoy it, chasing them around. I limited the visit to about 10 minutes. I told them that's as long as her little brain can process new things. Does this seem like an appropriate exposure to kids? Is there anything else I should keep in mind? Obviously, I'm watching them and they're not doing anything to hurt her, just getting her really excited. I did notice at dinner in her xpen, she was trying to kill her toys (as she always has) but this time she was really jumping and barking at them. I wondered if she was offloading a little excitement. So I thought I'd ask if the idea with kids and young puppies is to get them together asap, or wait, or...(there are different accounts online, and border collies may be different)?
  12. Thanks. And yes. Ultimately, they're not wildlife, they're our pets. So we're part of the equation, right? I brought this up with a friend yesterday who was also supportive: Me: I just feel like maybe I could have done something more mature... Him: What could be more mature than setting a firm boundary? That's all you did. Me: Well, it didn't feel like "setting a boundary." It felt like selecting the least violent option, at best. The one that wouldn't involve police. Him: See? Even that is a mature decision. Much more mature than if you'd smacked her. This is mature from every angle!
  13. Bill Murray's face is perfect as the straight man to this bit.
  14. We had this problem with a very non-aggressive dog who was cornered and nipped a dog at a dog park. She never had a problem with this at all before, and never did again. She was a real sweetheart her whole life. Anyway, I wasn't there, but my husband was, and he said there was no sign of damage at the scene, but the owner got in touch with us anyway and said he had a vet bill. Despite who was at fault, we paid the (not too expensive) bill, but before we released the money, we had our lawyer draft a letter in case the person came forward with "complications" or whatever. That was enough to never hear from that guy again. So I don't think it's paranoid to think about this sort of thing. Especially in a big city. People can be both opportunistic and weird, and so it never hurts to cover your bases. If I ever go to the dog park, I'm going to go when no one is there. Odd hours, or when it's raining. Otherwise, it's the trails for us.
  15. Hi Mara, I think you're right, even if it was a little protective (hypothetical) they should know how to work with people. Petside manner? I'm sure I didn't just coin that. Today was the first day Carmen was introduced to the cello (my son plays, we had been holding off, but he had a lesson). I treated her the whole time, and she clearly thought it was a bit scary, but she just ate her treats in the other room and did okay. She was very sociable with the teacher. The upside of all of that is the cello teacher told me about the vet she used for years, who she said was wonderful, and works in house calls? I looked him up and it's true! So I'll be looking into that. Pretty cool.
  16. Thank you, GentleLake. That's a great idea to have some low-key, treat-laden visits to the vet. Whichever way we go with it. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in myself for letting that nonsense go on so long. But when it's happening, it's really hard to stop it, especially when it's so unexpected and they're playing the authority card this way. I was actually looking forward to the visit, and didn't expect it to be such a disaster, so I was totally unprepared to confront anyone. And yes, at the time, shouting, closing the crate and walking out was the least dramatic image floating through my mind. There were...others...believe me. ha.
  17. Gcv- Oh, I know not to count my chickens. Or puppies. Today we got lucky, but tomorrow's always going to be another day. But right now, it's all humour! It's like she's making fun of us for thinking we knew how it would go. Like tonight, she fell asleep in her crate all by herself. All I had to do was shut the door. How am I going to crate "train" her if she keeps this up? I've watched so many youtube videos... Or we'll just crack up as she prances across the living room with a giant red kong bone in her mouth like she's the teacher's pet in dog class. She's just ridiculous. This is our neighbourhood vet that we use with our cats and we used with our last dog before he died. They were okay before, but they have had a lot of turnover, and I can't say I really know anyone there anymore. We've been fortunate to have very healthy animals until our dog died of cancer, and that went pretty quickly, so we weren't in the office much. Still, I think they'll be surprised we're leaving and why.
  18. Hi everyone, I haven't popped in to introduce myself or anything yet, but I've been lurking for weeks. I feel like I know a few of you already... I didn't know what event was going to make me finally post. I assumed that it was going to be about barking, or maybe too much puppy teeth, or crate training, or... But yesterday our wait was over, and we brought our 8 1/2 week old puppy home. I was prepared. I had the crate, the x pen, I had been poring over Patricia McConnell's book (and a bunch of training books, Mary Ray, etc.), I even got a cordless doorbell to call the (teenage) kids so we didn't have to shout up the stairs and startle her. I was ready for almost anything. And...I got a perfect cartoon puppy. Happy, full of energy, friendly, beautiful. I warned the kids in advance not to try to cuddle her too much, because we're monkeys and they're wolves, etc., but Carmen insists. Turns out, she's a huge cuddler. Not only that, she is so eager to play, and she loves her toys, and she knows just what to do with them. But puppies are puppies, so I prepared for the sleepless night next to the crate. We went to bed at 12. She whined and barked a little for...90 seconds, calming down when I put my fingers through the crate and left them there. Then she just went to sleep. She woke at 3, peed (outside!) right away, then came back in and went right back to sleep. I think she woke again at 6, but she didn't ask to get out of the crate until 6:30. That was shocking... No mess in the crate, either. She caught on to toileting today and has almost done it all outside today (only two little pee slips.) This was from a dog that had not been outside before (I think yesterday was the first time she saw the sky, it made her quite nervous, but she loved going out that night when it was dark.) We bought her from a reputable farm breeder, but this is Canada, so the puppies were exercising indoors. I think maybe she's got an off switch already? She tears around the yard at top speed, checking out every single thing in the yard, but then she comes in and sleeps on my foot. I've barely used the x pen, because she's just not much trouble. Most of the time, she entertains herself with her toys, killing them all ferociously. She'll take a break for a nuzzle, then trots back off to play. It's honestly a bit eerie. So we did a vet check today (the breeder contract said we had to in the first three days). And it turns out, THAT is what I'm writing to fume about. So: She's in the cat crate, she's really frightened but I'm calming her down okay, (it didn't help that the vet was on a busier street than she's probably heard in her life, coming from a farm) and the receptionist comes over and does this: PUPPYPUPPYPUPPY! WHO'S A CUTE PUPPY?! Grabbing her face and mauling her little body in the crate. After I had been there stroking her, soft low voice, trying to get her to stop shivering. Me: She's really nervous... Me: I don't think she likes that... Her: (To me) It's okay! It's REALLY OKAY. PUPPYPUPPYPUPPY!! More of this. And I'm dying, but the vet's gotta come any minute, right? I put myself between this woman and my dog, while she's chattering on at top volume about how her sister loves border collies, bla bla...SOOO CUUUTE YEAHHH! (more groping) and I am insinuating my body between them as much as I can, but she is not taking hints. Finally we get to the vet. Who, among other things, hasn't heard of Baer testing. (Carmen has 1 white ear, and hears me fine, but maybe I'd like to get it checked?) The vet is trying to sell us puppy food, even though the breeder said this food (Great Canadian Dog Food) was good for puppies as well. We go through the exam, puppy is terrified, and while the vet is droning on about something or other at length, Carmen's trying to crawl into my shirt. She's freaking out. I say, "okay, can we go over all of this at the vaccination visit later? I think she needs to go home." So after the little mini-confrontation with the receptionist, I figured at least she'd leave my dog alone now long enough to get out of there. But (see title of this thread). She starts back up again as if to prove her point. PUPPYWHOSAGOODPUPPYYEAHYEAH (reaching in her crate, I had put her away!) pulling on her head. Then she asks if she can take her picture, and I say..."I think she's had enough for now..." and she insists, "it's for the file!" And starts to grab her. But my puppy is cowering in the crate, and she reaches PAST me to pull her out. Roughly. Like she couldn't see or feel that the puppy was terrified of her and she's SCRAPING her on the crate. So I lost it. "I DON'T LIKE THIS!" I shouted it. And the receptionist jumped back. I closed the crate right up and rushed out the door with my dog, leaving my husband there, literally holding the bag. Ha! He paid, I got her in the car, we're never going back. But seriously, what is wrong with people? And how dare she say, as if she had some kind of authority, "It's REALLY okay." It's REALLY MY DOG, lady, you don't know her, and I tried to tell you nicely. So there it is. My story. After reading you guys for weeks, I felt like someone here would lend some support that I'm not overprotective. It was really awful. My poor puppy ran all of her stress off around the yard when we got home, clearly not herself, and way overexcited, then passed out cold under my chair. She's been up and around and seems okay, but now she's passed out again. The only question I have is that she's starting to get a little obsessed with her reflection in the (black, shiny) piano. She tries to figure out how to get behind it. Should I be concerned? It's cute, but I thought fixating was something to watch, yes? Is this the shadow thing? For now, I think it's okay? Thanks guys for all the useful info. This site is so valuable as an archive, not to mention the service you're all doing for the integrity of the breed. And thanks for reading my long, rambling story. Here's a puppy pic for your trouble.
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