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Archive for March, 2009

Lexie: big update

Posted by --- on Tuesday 10 March, 2009

Lexie has now had her first season and is settling down quite well in the house – normally you don’t know she’s there except when certain people visit. Some people come and I can control her, other people come and she goes into the bathroom out of the wayor she’s a nightmare jumping all over them. She still grunts and groans at everything which seems quite comical at times – it’s as if she’s complaining but I’m sure its just coincidence because she even does it in her sleep. She’s not barky really unless someone is around the back of the house and even that depends on whether she recognises who’s coming in. She cries when she hears DHS’s car pull up!

She is still upset by other dogs (barks, growls, lunges) even barking on the telly sets her off and we no longer go to training/behaviour sessions (it was working out way too expensive to keep trying all of these methods and also there have been personal reasons that I am unable to go). A neighbour has very kindly given us the use of a canny collar to try to enable us to walk her. I’ve only tried this once last week as I’m unable to go out much but am even struggling with it as she bounced around that much that she managed to slip it off her nose. I turned around and went home because I was advised that unless she behaves, she doesnt get a walk. Unfortunately, I don’t think she learns anything either. DHS thinks the collar it’s brilliant and says he has no problems with it – he used it for 3 days in a row which is the only time he’s walked her – but we have very different ideas of how to walk her. I don’t want her to be in front at all. DHS is happy for her to put some tension on the lead – he also has never been to a training session, or read a dog book/website or even had anything to do with a dog before Lexie! He is besotted with her and she follows him around like a shadow. Yes, I am the “top dog” in our house as far as she is concerned but it’s him she wants to be with. If he goes into another room, she follows, if he goes out she sits by the door; when he stands, she’s by his feet and she watches him all the time. He works away most of the time so you think she’d bond more with me but she hasn’t. DHS is also 6′ 2 and well built so he can cope with her pulling and lunging. I’m not. I’m almost a foot shorter and she has already injured my shoulder in one incident where she jumped at a cat running past and actually spun me around and pulled me over. My shoulder only has to have a slight jolt now and is very painful. I would love someone to teach me/her how to walk. I’ve tried halti, canny collar, stopping if she pulls, changing direction (she bit me when she got frustrated with this one when she was younger…).

She is still destructive and is sleeping in the porch which is only 4′ x 2.5′ as she has ruined the table and chairs in the kitchen as well as doors, door frames, corners of walls, books, anything she can reach of the worksurfaces, the radiator… you get the picture. There is a utility room off the porch and if we forget to lock it (yes she can open doors, including the back door so we have to remember to keep the gate/doors locked…) she will take things and chew them. She did it last night and we now have 3 pairs of shoes and a bucket less. She also chews the door and frame out there, she shredded the carpet, managed to completely destroy the cat flap and proceeded to chew the door which is now boarded (for the second time as she chewed the first board off!). She will occasionally toilet in the porch too (on her bed!) but never in the house now so I’m assuming it’s because there is no one to take her out at night but would have expected her to be clean overnight by now (she’s 10-11 months). She makes it known that she wants to go out by keep poking you with her nose, or pestering you in some way. She also does the same if she wants a drink but if you walk in the kitchen and ask if she wants a drink or toilet she either goes to the sink or the back door.

She also gets overexcited with the children if there are no adults around and will growl and bite so they tell me. She also tries to take food from them if I dont monitor them (they’re almost 11 so not very young children) I’m not sure what this is yet as they (kids) have also said she gets on the furniture. Could be putting them in their place or could be play. I’ve been told by several trainers that she tries to be dominant. When she actually plays with another dog (long story and this is long enough!) she will pin them down and stand over them or try to mount them. I was also told that its a sign of dominance that she struggles with control collars of any sort because she doesnt’ like being controlled whereas I thought they were just uncomfortable or unusual to her. What do I know? Im not a dog specialist? There were other things that have been pointed out to me but to be honest, I can’t remember right now.

Anyway, I think thats all for now though will probably remember more later.

Oh yes, one thing that I’ve taught her that impresses people is that she knows the difference between down and settle down (settle over on her hip, down like a sphynx) . I can get her to go to settle but cant get her to go back to a sphynx down. I know loads of dogs can do this but I’ve never known one personally and it’s great when we have visitors and I make her settle by me and drop the occasional treat to keep her focus on me and not the visitors. Its also good when DHS has come home and is trying to watch the telly of an evening but can ‘t because she wont leave him alone. She wont follow commands from him, but I say settle once and she lies down, settles down and goes to sleep. It’s great! Oh and one more thing – she is a pain but she is gorgeous! I had to get that in. 😀

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