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Puppies — 9 Comments

  1. The dogs look very healthy and happy and I wonder whether they are growing faster than your store of tomatoes and zucchini.
    We have been through the nail trimming rigamarole and have also done one at a time. Wait a day, and do another. It gets faster over time. For the early days, we’d do one clip and one treat with lots of praise.
    Another issue is using a comb to brush them out. Ours shed like — well, Northern breeds should — and the job is never finished. But in early days, we’d do as few as 3 brushes, followed with a treat and that was it. Eventually they figured out they liked the feel of the brush and we could do most of their bodies, followed by just one treat. It took a year.
    With the car, you’re on it. If the car represents good things, like a place to go run (with treats), then they’ll eventually treasure seeing an open door. One wouldn’t want to only take them in a car to the vet. Leave them guessing, but also leave the majority of car trips ending up in fun things. If they don’t want to get into the car, it could be because the car is intimidating, or jumping up is. If the former, perhaps walking them to and around the car (on a leash) but not having them get in. Then walking them to the car while it’s running, but not get in. If the latter, perhaps a ramp? (esp if they are going to soon be too big to get in.)
    The look of starvation will be a lifelong thing, as you know. One thing we do is force them to sit while the food bowls are put down. They could run around all they want, but eventually they get clued to the fact that the food bowl is not going to be set down until they sit down. This takes much time, and yes, in earlier days if we could just get them to stand still, we’d take that. But over time we increased standards. Our two now automatically sit down when taken to their (one-and-only-place-for-eating), and then only approach the food bowl when we give a hand signal. The foster is learning this, slowly (he’s a Golden Retriever). Did I mention this takes time? It’s food, a major driving force for them. For us, it was a major effort to stand there balancing food bowls while trying to get them to sit. 6 months? More? It seemed like an eternity. But eventually…
    And of course, the work never ends… ours are remarkably adept at attempting to ignore rules. But at least it’s not like the early days… daily reinforcement of rules is much easier than 4-5 years ago. “Keep hope alive!”

  2. I forgot to ask: do they get to meet other dogs? Dog park? Play dates with other dogs? That kind of socialization can do wonders for pups as they observe each others’ owners’ standards. (Assuming those owners are not motorcycle gang members teaching their dogs to attack — we’ve seen that at a dog park here, actually.)

  3. I’d add that if you give them dry food “on demand” and feed them either wetted kibble (I wet Cora’s with chicken broth or beef broth or whatever meat broth I’m using to give her some variety) or kibble with shreds of meat/canned dog food mixed in at meal times, they won’t be so starving hungry at meal times and their weight/blood sugar will be stabilized. Like TikiPundit, I make Cora wait for the bowl to be set down – if she starts to lunge toward it, I simply lift it up again, repeat the command, “Wait” and start to lower it again. It took her about two lifts to realize that lunging doesn’t work. They are smart, especially when the reward is dinner.

  4. Oh, and I like praise more than treats when trying to get a new behavior established. Cora didn’t like being brushed, either, but I did it ever so gently at first, with lots of praise and reassurance, then with increasing vigor when she figured out that it feels good. Now I can really be firm with the brush and she leans in to the bristles!

  5. Those puppies are lovely! They looks so cute cuddling each other. I still don’t have a dog because my boyfriend hasn’t bought me one yet this kind of dog breed is the one I want to have, ohh I so envy you. Great job by the way, they looks so healthy and cute!

  6. Try feeding them their meals in the car – then they want to eat so will hop in – I have had to do this before with dogs reluctant to hop in the car. I used to open the back of the station wagon up and put down the bowl of food in there for Lucy to eat.

  7. Christine, they are a handful – but fun… usually…
    TikiPundit, I can now work them without physically separating them. They know that they each get a turn and to not try to play with the one on the leash. I think a lot of this would be easier with only one puppy – or with one puppy and an older dog. But, this is what we have, so… we’ll enjoy it – usually. There’s just always so much to do. And, no, we don’t have dog parks here, and I’m afraid the locals would laugh themselves silly at the idea of a ‘play date’. Our neighbor walks their dog by everyday, though, so there’s some exposure. She won’t have anything to do with them, though…. We try.
    Zoomie, I don’t think food on demand would work with them. It did with our Alsatian, but Emma, (the puppies great aunt) would have eaten herself silly. We had a weight problem with her, and had to be very careful. I don’t want the puppies to get fat. As to making them sit… one does, then the other jumps up…. it will take work.
    Flyer printing, they are cute and fun – I hope you can get one soon ;-))
    manningroad, I’m going to try feeding them in the car – when I can get access to it without mon mari’s trailer in the way
    Meredith, so far the butterflies aren’t in any danger LOL