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Archive for July, 2008

OMG I hit her :(

Posted by --- on Friday 25 July, 2008

Well I was woken up at 08:10 this morning by the phone! It was S to see if I was up but I was impressed it was quiet! K gave L her breakfast and she was that settled with him touching her while she ate that she lay down! I took pictures. She’s found her feet today and wanted to play but I’m not sure what games to play with her. She keeps three toys. Her squeaky bone, her spiky ball and her furry Frisbee.

She discovered she can get under the gate today when whisper was playing her up thorough the posts. I don’t want to permanently fix wire to the gate so I’ve tied it on. I’m sure it will only be a week or two before she’s too big to get underneath so I can remove it then.

I spent a few minutes trying to get her used to the clicker again at around 10:30. Armed with James Wellbeloved Pure Incentives (fish) and a few pets at home puppy food (PAHPF) but she isn’t really interested. I think to get her used to it I need to find a food she really loves – apart from her DUCK which is gone in seconds! Her food has arrived and I struggled to get it into the freezer. It’s a minimum order but it’s a good price. I could do with someone going halves with me so I don’t have to empty our two freezers to try and make room for dog food! When clearing out the freezer to make space, I found the liver treats I made ages ago. I tried lexie with them but she doesn’t seem that interested. I also tried tuna which was a bit better. I want to give her a treat that she says “wow! I want another one of those, what do you want me to do?!” I did try to lure her into a sit and a stand and c/t for each repetition (5). I am also saying the words I want to use as she does the action. So far I can think of sit, down, ah-ah, go toilet, good girl that I’m using. I think she knows good girl is a reward because she often wags now when you say it but it’s always accompanied with excitement and lots of fuss.

We had half an hour in the car today. For the first five mins I sat in the back with her reading the KC puppy training book and dropping the occasional treat, then I moved to the back seat and left her in the boot. I gave her her spiky ball ( I think I’ll call it spiky! The KC puppy training book says to find toy names that and with ee) and a few bits of food. I sat on the back seat reading for another 5 or so minutes then got out and walked to the front, opened the door and closed it, then went back to the back seat. I left it another few minutes and then got out and went to the front and started the car and then moved to the back seat again. The problem was the heat because it’s a hot day again today and she was panting and uncomfortable. Leaving the car running, I went and fetched a drink and gave it to her in the boot with me standing with the door open. I also found a few PAHPF and gave her those. I went and sat in the back again. Then K came out so I asked him to sit in the back while I reversed up and down. The problem was the heat because it’s a hot day again today and she was panting and uncomfortable. As I sat in the front, she started jumping up the back seat and whinging. I went up and down the drive twice and she did sit but was whining so I left it at that. I will try again tomorrow.

I smacked her today and felt terrible. When we got out of the car, I took her to go to the toilet (“go toilet” is going to be the phrase) and she just lay down in the shade. She came in the house and started to wee as she walked in the door so I ah-ah’d and with a quick pull (not hard) on her collar ran outside saying “want to go toilet?”. She went out but lay back down! Pepsi came through the gate and I noticed his eye was swelled shut but lexie had noticed him first and shot up to run at him. It’s all a game to her but she’s too big to bounce on them, plus Pepsi looks injured. I was calling her and trying to grab her (which is a mistake I know but I sort of flapped) As she ran at him the cat tried to bolt but couldn’t get up the fence so he ran past her to try to get to his outside bed under the porch but again, he misjudged it and she cornered him and grabbed him by the tail and started to pull him. Before I knew it, I’d smacked her bottom (which was the only part I could get too!); not hard but I did it. She let go of the cat and plonked her backside on the floor, turned her head to look at me then walked off and lay by a plant pot in the shade. I felt awful even though it worked. I don’t know what Pepsi has done but his eye is closed up completely and looks quite swollen.

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Theres nothing like a howling puppy to wake you up!

Posted by --- on Thursday 24 July, 2008

She did it again this morning. 6:30 and she was howling the place down worse than yesterday. It sounded like she was ramming the door too. I left her to it and tried to sleep (I’m not going to bed till between 2 and 3 at least!). it wasn’t happening but there was no way I was getting up with her. She did go quiet for 10-15 minute bursts but in the end K got up and I heard him go to the loo then put the ps3 on and didn’t take her outside. Then I heard him tell her off so I got up. She’d poo’d and wee’d on the floor (poo on paper!) but s had already said she’d done both on the floor when he’d got up too and she’d had a poo outside at 2:20am. The rest of the day hasn’t gone too bad as far as housetraining is going. She does wee in the house but as soon as she starts now I say “Ah!”, take her collar and walk her outside; if I’m lucky she finishes out there and I give massive praise. I’m taking her out after meals and stuff but she isn’t going to the loo that often so I don’t take her out hourly now.

She tried a few new things today. She ate other dog food (puppy complete from pets at home that I had in the cupboard) which she loved; I don’t think I’ll feed it to her but can use it for training. She tried cheese (mild), a carrot and ice cubes. She didn’t seem keen on cheese, played with the carrot but loves ice cubes! The clickers arrived so I started trying to charge them. I’d click and treat and repeat but I don’t think she got it at all. I will try again tomorrow. Neighbour D. called me over the fence to ask how she was and asked me to take her round to see her again. I did and she met C., a neighbour from up the street. I like to have somewhere to take her on her lead that she likes so was glad to do it. C. was a little bit loud and gruff with her and I didn’t like it (lots of oi’s and poking her etc) but I suppose it does her good to come across all types of people. Later on, s came in and said neighbour B. wanted to see her. His granddad used to breed GSD’s (though he called them Alsatians as we used to) and he wanted to look her over. He said she was nice but she was “cow legged”? or something like that meaning that her back legs were “knock-knee’d”. The people from across the street also came across to meet her and we stood outside for about half an hour. Two staffy’s went past on the opposite side of the road and this time she didn’t bark though she was really interested. We also had a couple of really loud motorbikes go past and she didn’t take any notice really. Again she just went to sleep. When it was late I remembered I needed to get some cash to pay for her food delivery tomorrow. She was sound asleep but I called her (she responds to me definitely now but I’m not sure she knows her name. I try to say it as she comes towards me with massive praise when she gets here) put her on her lead and walked to the shop. I want to take her with me wherever I go! I carried her across the road and again by the shops because of all the traffic and people but it was a bit quieter as we came away so she walked back. She is a little unsure of driveways. Where we live all of the gardens are walled in but as semi-detached we all have a shared driveway. Often she would stop dead when she got to the open area so I encouraged her a little and she ran forwards. At the moment there are no lead rules except that she doesn’t walk in front and I go through gateways etc first. I keep the lead in my left hand with it as loose as possible and I try to guide her to my left but she’s all over the place and I’m just letting her get used to the lead and the noises first.

She is getting quite excited around the cats and tries to bounce, chase or bite them. She’s just playing but the cats really don’t appreciate it and they run away. I really don’t want to push them outside but think she’ll hurt them so I’m not sure how to react.

She is good with her meals. We take it in turns feeding her. The kids probably feed her more than I do but she’s good with them. I make sure they eat first by preparing her meal (to get her attention) then eating a biscuit. She will whine a bit but sits and waits, whereas the first day she was jumping up at them. She is really, really good! While she’s eating they talk to her and touch her and her food bowl but she’s fine about it.

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Introducing Lexie

Posted by --- on Wednesday 23 July, 2008

The pup woke me (and the kids but no one got up) this morning by whining and crying (it sounded like she was yelping in pain) loudly at about 6am. This continued on and off until I got up at around 8. I assumed the kids were downstairs and she was doing it to go in the lounge with them; I was wrong she was just crying. She went berserk when I came down (we have a glass kitchen door so she can see you come downstairs) and it was hard to ignore her as she was jumping up the backs of my legs but I did my best. She’d wee’d and poo’d on the paper that is permanently (obviously changed if it’s soiled) by the back door so I had to try and clean it out of the way to take her outside – not that I thought she wanted to go to the loo. I was right; she just followed me outside and lay down on my feet! So I came in, still ignoring her, got myself washed etc and made a coffee. I prepared her breakfast and pretended to eat it before giving it to her. I don’t make her sit because I haven’t taught her sit yet (will start tomorrow) but I do make her wait by keep picking the bowl up until she stops lunging at it and me. Yesterday she was howling and jumping up at it. I’ve arranged with TPMS to have her food delivered this Friday. The prices are much better than I thought and works out to less than 50p a day for the DUCK including delivery. I haven’t calculated the Arden Grange. I haven’t got to grips with her pre-toilet behaviour at all yet and S just takes her out and stands there till she goes. I want to ask that he waits 2 minutes (which I read somewhere ages ago) and brings her back in if she doesn’t do anything because now she wants to go out all the time to play. But I can’t. I’ve already said “try to make her wait as you go through a door so that you go first” and about not letting her jump up and ignoring her when she cries. It’s not going well; he really doesn’t get the training things and gets quite annoyed with me for saying anything. We already now have 10 different sounds for each thing. She’s getting told to come, sit, off, down etc she doesn’t know the words; I’m worried she’s going to pick up bad habits and getting confused! I know it’s early but she is also learning from the second she came in the door and it’s just making my job harder. He wants her already trained and I haven’t even started. Plus we all need to be consisted or it will take forever!

On a good note, we have finally got a name for her. Lexie. None of us could pick one we all liked and this is one that none of us mind. It means “mans defender” so S is chuffed with it… I’ve booked her in to the vets for her next vaccination and to be micro-chipped on Wednesday next week at VP but am dreading the car journey. I’m not sure how to go about getting her used to the car. The breeder suggested I take her out often but on long journeys that she feels pups cope with better. She’s the one with all the experience but I thought short ones would be better because she might not get chance to be sick and therefore not associate the car with vomiting. The breeder seems to think she’ll grow out of it anyway but to leave it a couple of hours after food and not too much water. The Disco is going into the garage tomorrow though to have some work done so I hope it won’t take long.

I bathed her this evening after we had tea. She didn’t like it very much and cried the place down towards the end but I cleaned up her belly to keep an eye on what looks like a rash (flea?) and cleaned the mess out of her tail. I’m not sure if it’s fleas; I’ve put some “spot on” on her just in case. I took the kids to aikido tonight and s looked after her. He put her on a lead to try to water the garden but said it was impossible and he walked her out to meet us in the drive on her lead when we got home. He’s most impressed that she did two wee’s and one poo outside but he sat outside with her all the time I was out so she’s not really learning that’s where she should go, she’s still just going wherever she is standing. She is odd though and twice this evening she’s followed me in to the house, walked over the newspaper and wee’d on the first tile. I should be watching for it really but she does it as she comes into the house or within a couple of minutes and it looks like she’s sitting. It is frustrating because she’s just come in from outside. The second time she did it S was most irritated. He didn’t say anything to her but told me that it p’s him off! She’s been much more active and nippy tonight too now she’s finding her feet. I expected it but I’m not sure how to deal with it. I tell the kids to yelp and walk off or stand up if she jumps on their legs when they sit down but how do I explain it to the cats?! She makes a bee line for them when she spots them and she’s in the right mood and I know she is only playing but she is way too big to bounce all over them. She is bigger than them already and in a few weeks she could really hurt them. She responds quite well to “ah-ah!” but I don’t know how long for and I don’t want her to stay away from them, I just want her to be calm around them. At the moment I either clap or “ah-ah!” to distract her or give her a toy – which she tries to run off out of the way with. I wish I could start puppy training at the club right now. I’ve ordered some i-clickers from ebay which should be here soon so I’ll see how she goes with that. I know she is food motivated – well she loves her dinner – so I’m hoping she picks it up quite fast if I can find something she will work for. I gave j a few Arden Grange and I had a few and we took it in turns to make squeaky noises to encourage her to come and saying “Lexie!” when she ran towards us with a treat, a fuss and a “good girl!” then the other one of us would call her. We only repeated it about 10 times altogether as she is very easily distracted. I’m still trying to get her not to barge past me through doorways. If I can, I get to the door and stop dead as she runs behind me, then I slowly walk backwards towards her to make her back up. Often she will back up then sit and look at me though she is really fast with doors. I thought I’d pop to the loo while she was asleep and I came out of the bathroom and walked back to the kitchen. Then spent a couple of minutes looking for her before it dawned on me that she could – though how I don’t know – be in the bathroom and there she was! I’ve no idea how she got past me without me seeing her and how I never shut her in the door either I don’t know.

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Day one – nine weeks old today

Posted by --- on Tuesday 22 July, 2008

Well what a day for the pup it’s been today but she’s coped amazingly well! J and I went shopping this morning to the new local pet shop and bought her a nylon lead and collar, toothpaste and brush, a fleecy bed and a few toys. When we got home I tried her collar on and she didn’t flinch! She didn’t scratch or bother with it so I’ve left it on. Not only that but I tried her lead later in the afternoon and she was ok with that too. She had a little blip when she realised she was attached to something and she pulled back a little bit but otherwise she was ok. She noticed Taz (my elderly cat) and barked at her so we need to work with that and her housetraining isn’t getting off to a good start as she mostly wee’s in the middle of the kitchen, avoiding the paper by the back door. Once or twice, I’m sure she cried before weeing but we missed it. She absolutely loves her food! She is eating a product called DUCK excellent (translated) mixed with Arden Grange as recommended by the breeder. To get her used to hands by her dish, I tried dropping bits of other food such as cheese or ham but she leaves the “treats” in her bowl and gulps the rest down! She seems okay with hands but so did Molly for the first few days. I also introduced her to being brushed which again didn’t really bother her. Let’s hope it stays this way because I think it’s just early days…

This evening I was outside with the neighbours and S bought her out on her lead. The breeder said that now she has had her first vaccination, we should get her outside asap to socialise. She said that the vets recommend they stay in till so many days after their final vaccination but socialising is more important and there isn’t that much evidence that there is a high risk. I find it very scary to let her on the floor just in case she gets something nasty and asked S not to take her to the park he was going to walk to because of all the dogs. It was a surprise when he bought her out but she was fabulous! We ended up being outside for a couple of hours. Lots of people wanted to fuss her, one or two wanted to pick her up; she met an elderly lady with a stick (next door neighbour D.) who we passed the lead to and the pup was quiet and calm, and she also met several other women of various sizes and hair colour including a drunken lady, a couple of men and lots of kids of ages up to 10. Cars were going up and down past her, pushchairs, bikes, etc. Our kids, S and our other next door neighbour C were playing ball quite close to her with their friends, S and the kids were play fighting, screaming and running around and she just wasn’t fazed at all! If I’d seen nervousness or anything to indicate it was too much for her, I’d have taken her in the house but she lay or sat quite happily watching it all, sniffing the floor or trying to chew the stones on my neighbours drive. In the end she fell asleep so it shows how well she took it. It’s amazing when you think that she was in kennels which were in the back garden of a house that is at the end of a country lane. So although the breeder was good with handling and socialising, she hasn’t really been in the house much and many of these encounters were probably her first. At one point she had a glitch when a dog walked past on the opposite side of the road. She went off barking with her hackles up. I stepped in front of her to block the view but she kept darting around my legs. This is something we need to work on too; it’s odd because she was fine with Whisper and Pepsi ( my young black cats). Whisper got in her bed with her! We didn’t come back in the house until around 11pm and she flaked out. She doesn’t go far from where you’re sitting. We really need a name for her now but still can’t decide.

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The patter of not so tiny feet.

Posted by --- on Monday 21 July, 2008

It’s half past one in the morning and I’m sitting her typing away with our new arrival lying at my feet and snoring into my toes. Her warm breath is leaving condensation on the floor and her eyelashes are tickling my foot – I don’t want to move!

Yep, our German Shepherd pup has moved in. I keep looking at her. I can hardly believe she’s really here! After deliberating for all this time and looking at several breeders and puppies, we pretty much bought one on the spot! She’s 9 weeks old tomorrow which is older that those we’ve been looking at and she was in a kennel not in the house, which again is not what we’ve been looking at but she looks just how I wanted her to. Also, after travelling all over the country looking at potential pups, we found her at a breeder that lives in the midlands the same as we do who also recommended a training club that she attends! Being close meant that it wasn’t far to bring her home but she didn’t like the journey. She was drooling almost as soon as we set off and I was hoping she wouldn’t vomit because I think she’ll associate the vomiting with car journeys but she ended up being sick just when we were two streets away from home!

She has settled quite well now. She met the boys (cats) who were completely unfazed. Whisper was following her around rubbing around her, he’s such a fantastic cat. She was getting a bit bouncy but he just takes no notice. She wasn’t impressed when he sat on my lap and she started crying and jumping up; I wanted him to stay but he started to struggle and jumped off. I hope she doesn’t learn that she can get him to do what she wants if she jumps at him. Pepsi kept his distance but he’s not so social with dogs. Whisper went and settled in the box I’d made up for the pup until I chucked him out of it! She didn’t attempt to either get him out of join him in there. She was ok when I stroked her while she was eating too although she did turn sideways a little. Also, when she comes to you, she tries to put her front paw on you. If you try to put your hand on it, she moves it and puts hers on top again and will keep trying to put it on you if you move. I’m not sure if this is a test of leadership or not? She loves her food and was crying for more as soon as she realised it was all gone! The breeder – who I thought was brilliant – gave us plenty to keep us going for a few days but I forgot to get the details of the food. It’s a raw meat product mixed with Arden Grange. If she’s as food motivated as she seems it will be a huge help with her training. Her tummy sounds a bit unsettled at the moment but that’s probably the turmoil of the move and leaving her littermates and lovely warm kennel to be stuck with us in this weird noisy kitchen!

So far, she seems wonderful! She follows you everywhere you go and as I started off saying, she lies at your feet. Now everyone has gone to bed, when I walk around, she follows me and lies where I stand. I’m not sure whether to start as I mean to go and just leave her to settle for the night now or get the camp bed out and sleep here with her to settle her in. I suppose I should go and leave her to settle now she’s been sleeping for a while. S will be up in 4 hours so it’s not too long for her to be on her own. Ok I’m going to lift her into her box and go to bed.

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