Update On #PuppyPenny

Today she has been with us for two whole weeks!

To start with, the silly girl had a stick stuck across the inside of her palate this evening – for the second time in just a few days!
I wonder if thats a “thing” with her…?
She rubs at her mouth and face furiously when she has a stick stuck, and it hurts her, but because she hasn’t been “handled” since she was tiny like Riddick and Lennox have been, she freaks out if I try to help her and it takes two people to restrain her and one to open and reach into her mouth to get the stick out!

I took her sterilisation stitches out whilst she slept on Sunday afternoon without waking her, and she’s healed beautifully – all the scabs are now gone too. Now her hair just needs to grow back properly.

We’re getting to know her real personality now.
She does this funny little squeak when she yawns, and she’s quite vocal – often for no apparent reason! I don’t mind watch-dog-barking, and if she does bark with Riddick and the two older girls, we go and see what they’re barking at, and we tell them both “Good dog. Okay. Enough.” They’re then happy they did their job and they don’t go on and on and on trying to tell us they’ve seen or heard something.
I discourage noise during play though, because that can escalate into a fight just because of excitement. She does not like the squirt-bottle so its proving to be an excellent deterrent for naughtiness. And its great for when she’s out of arms’ reach as the jet of water goes quite far.
She is definitely asking to go outside and we haven’t had an accident in the house in at least a week. If we don’t notice she’s gone to the door to ask (if its closed) she will come to us and get our attention otherwise.

She’s definitely learnt what I want her to do when I say “speak”, and her lips get all puckered and cute and gives me the side-eye when she does a “speak” with a comical howling bark.
She loves to chase the 4eva ball when I throw it for Riddick, but she hasn’t worked out how to pick it up yet so Riddick still gets to bring it back to me each time. I don’t think it will be long until she gets it though.
She’s quite mouthy, today she was playing on the floor with Lennox and then got up and walked over to me on the bed and bit me on the foot! Not a bite to try and be nasty, more of a don’t you want to play move, where she took my foot in her mouth and firmly but quickly applied pressure like she would to Riddick or Lennox! I shouted a startled “no” but she had already let go and she looked very sheepish.
She’s eating her food alongside Riddick or Lennox without growling – which is great. I still stay with them and keep an eye on them when they eat and I continue to touch her and her bowl and talk to her while she eats. For treats in the kitchen she’s good too, but elsewhere in the house she gets a little food-aggressive and we continue to work on it.
Because she wasn’t taught to be submissive from puppyhood, she’s now feeling the need – in her adolescence – to assert dominance over the other dogs. I discourage it every time I see it, but we had one small incident between her and Louise which has shifted the “pack dynamic” a little, and occasionally if she’s on the bed and I don’t stop it in time she’ll growl at the other dogs if they approach. She responds very well to correction and instruction so I’m sure this will stop in time.
She’s also slowly learning to “sit wait” when I go to open a door. She has a habit of rushing through any open door at full tilt and the first few times it caught me by surprise! This means I have to be extra careful opening the door to go to the car or to let people into the house because she barrels straight past me. Thankfully she has Riddick and Lennox to copy with a lot of her behavioural learning.

She still cowers very easily, and I suspect that will take a long time for her to forget to do.
She’s wary of sticks and watches me very closely when I’m using the pooper scooper, but I don’t try to force her to like it nor do I make a fuss or try to soothe her. I do what I am set on doing, and if she walks alongside me when I’m holding it I praise her with a calm, quiet “good girl”.
Plastic shopping packets also make her nervous, so every now and then I walk around the house and the garden with a packet in my hand, shaking it a little and waving it around – no fuss, its just “normal”.

She sleeps on our bed with us, sometimes joined by Riddick who, and her favourite place to nap is on our pillows!


About Angel

We have 4 cats who live exclusively indoors, we have 4 dogs live mostly inside, and we are Guide Dog puppy raisers for SA Guide-Dogs!

Posted on January 8, 2014, in behavioural conditioning, Penny, puppies, the dogs, training. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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