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Posts Tagged ‘training’

Dog walking and socialising progress… I hope

Posted by --- on Tuesday 2 September, 2008

I had to get out of the house today and so did DDJ so we took Lexie out for a test. She was better, (maybe it’s just evenings?). As she is pulling I put a halti on her and decided to take the plunge and walk to our local supermarket – if she behaved too badly I decided I was going to walk straight past it!

In our street, she barked at a couple of people that passed us, barked at a dog in it’s garden and set half the local dogs off barking! Then a friend spotted me and was walking the same way so walked with us. We walked to the supermarket and she barked at a couple of people but was irritated by her halti so didn’t know what to focus on first. She was watching people and throwing her head about, trying to pull backwards, trying to take it off with her front paws and occasionally spotting someone but it was all done mainly without barking. My friend was walking up to town and seeing as we were now in a really busy carpark without her barking or lunging I decided to go too. We went to the busy town centre and on to the main bus station. A few people were commenting on the “pretty puppy” which I was pleased with as I was expecting the devil dog stares. One lady asked if she could stroke her so I asked the dog to sit and she happily accepted being stroked. Then a man with a dog came up. I knew she’d bark and was half explaining it to him as she spotted the dog and barked but it was definitely play. I was pleased and told him how nervous she normally was and he said his dog was very good with other animals. So I let my dog approach to sniff and as she stretched her head forward slowly the other dog lunged and grabbed at her face. Lexie was fast enough to move but she still got bit on the mouth and yelped and hid behind me and DDJ. Then the guy said he’d only had this dog for 3 days from a rescue centre so didn’t know it would do that ( I wonder why he said it was good…) Lexie recovered quickly though and after a minute or two, kept looking at the other dog but the other dog stood curling her lips at her.

We continued our walk and she was good. She had a few more strokes – she rolled over on her back for a lady in a wheelchair – and all but one asked her to sit first. The one guy stroked her and I didn’t see it coming. One minute he was walking past, the next he was crouching by her. It startled me but she handled it well.

On the return journey, she walked quite well. It’s difficult with the halti as she was trying to get it off a lot of the time but she was less interested in people. I was a bag of nerves as we stood at the traffic lights waiting to cross back towards the supermarket as there were people both sides of us but she just sat. I was impressed and some people passed us in their cars pointing at her and smiling; I felt so proud! It started to rain on the way back so we got a bit wet and I’m not sure if it was because she was getting wet but she wasn’t so feisty with the halti on the way home and as we came into our street she didn’t try to take it off once, nor did she pull! I’m so glad because the last thing I needed today was her playing up I am emotional as it is.

It was at 2pm when we got home, she went to the toilet when we got back and since then all she’s wanted to do is sleep. It wasn’t that long a walk, maybe 3 miles there and back. I’ve had to drag her outside to go to the toilet ever since but she’s only been once and gone back to sleep in the kitchen. She’s very quiet and I don’t know if it’s the walk, or if she picking up on the emotions in the house or maybe she is missing Pepsi. I know she was looking for him all morning and when I’ve taken her out she looks for him and waits looking at the top of the fence for him to come over as he normally would.

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one problem after another… barking at people now!

Posted by --- on Tuesday 2 September, 2008

I’ve just come back from her walk and she was awful. Her new “trick” is to bark agressively at anyone walking. I’m not sure what she’d do if they get close as she sounds quite nasty and most people don’t get close. In fact two men crossed the road to avoid her. It’s embarrassing. I don’t know why she’s started doing it. She barked at our neighbours as we left the house but as we share a drive, we had to walk past them, neighbour C was ok, he just walked up and stroked her (she jumped up him) but his partner and two small children walked as far as possible away and she just kept barking at them. The little boy looked terrified. I said he could come and say hello to her, as did his dad but he wouldn’t and can you blame him? I was getting dirty looks off people she was barking at and I’m not surprised. I made her sit, I stood in front of her facing her to block her view and was saying “enough” in a deep gruff voice but she just tries to look around my legs and continues to bark with her hackles rising. She was pulling me all over too. I kept stopping and she is learning a little. The last 15 or so times I stopped she came back to my side (or around the back of me). It was hard though because the cats follow! DFS followed and bought Pepsi back but Whisper just ran away from him and appeared out of a driveway further along our walk. I keep trying to chase them off but they only run a few paces and are back but it drives Lexie crazy!
Back to barking, I know I need to socialise her more but I don’t know how or where. Where can I go where people wont mind a jumping, barking German Shepherd? I’m sure our local Asda wouldn’t appreciate me sitting outside scaring customers! Plus, I’m so rmbarrassed when she barks at people or dogs. I’ve read on forums where people say things like “it needs stopping now” or “I wouldn’t let him/her get away with that” etc but how do you stop it? I know it needs to be nipped in the bud right now, I just need to know how to do it!

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Lexie update

Posted by --- on Monday 1 September, 2008

Things aren’t going too badly at the moment. Yes I’ve had days’ when I’m pulling my hair out but others have been good. Housetraining is the same. I get up to mess though to be fair, it’s getting less and I’m better organised. The gloves are by the door, the mop is set up the night before with clean water etc, and the air freshener is next to the gloves!  Day times are the same in that I’m up and down all the time – 27 times in just over an hour and a half I counted one day – but I don’t get a mess when I’m home! It also depends on the cats. Today the cat has been in the house asleep so Lexie has only asked to go out 4 or 5 times in 7 hours and been every time. Other family members say they have real problems and that the take her out, she stands there and then toilets on the kitchen floor when they come back in – I don’t know what they’re doing different.

I’ve tried the heel work a few times and with better rewards (the liver treats) she is a bit better. I don’t know how well I’m doing though as I’m as new to this as she is. I’m keeping up the sits, downs, examining etc but I struggle with stand. She can’t stay off her backside!

She’s also developing her guarding insticts. I tried to take her for a walk – my new frustration! Trying to get her to walk next to me is a real battle. I do stand still if she pulls but she just stands at the end of the lead too, she doesn’t slacken it in the slightest, she’s not interested in treats at all when we’re out and she always barks at other dogs. I’ve tried walking backwards when she pulls, which works for about 20 seconds, I’ve tried going in the opposite direction and then turning the way I want to go after a few steps (never the same amount) but she is wise to that and just goes around me! I don’t really want to use a halti yet as I really want to walk her without one. I also had to contend with the cats that had decided to follow us on our walk if we walk from home (which I wanted to do as she is scared of the car and I don’t meet people with dogs off lead). This wouldn’t be half so bad if it didn’t drive the dog crazy trying to get to them – I no longer existed for her. So I gave up and bought her back. DFS tried another night and again, the cats followed and are too much for her. Now she’s started barking at people. I don’t know why. It’s happened twice but we haven’t been out much. I suspect (no idea what Im talking about here!) that it’s fear barking? as once was when we had a pair of joggers come up behind us and the other night it was two men walking behind us in the dark. SHe also barked at my nephew who was banging on the glass lounge door (and I know I shouldn’t say it but its easier if he stays away from her as he’s a nightmare and will not do as you ask -which includes not hitting my kids…)

On Friday night it was the first night of the L&DTC classes and I really liked it. I took DSL and DDJ with me expecting it to be on for an hour and it went for more like 3! I thought DFS was at home with Lexie so when others left to get back to their pups I thought I was ok – he was out. Poor girl was on her own all that time and missed toileting and her evening meal as I didn’t get in till gone 10. Back to the club; it seems really good. There were several classes enrolling that evening so there were a lot of people though half of them won’t be in our class. I’d also gone to the wrong venue (!) so when I got to the right one I was late and was a little confused with who was who and what was happening but we caught up. We will be starting with the puppy class this friday aiming for our Kennel club good citizen pet handlers award , then puppy award, leading to bronze, silver and gold. The club also offers classes in agility, flyball, competetive obedience, and heelwork to music. I’m excited but nervous. I asked about going to the obedience show they put on this weekend, I felt a little cheeky as it was my first night and I probably looked over eager but they were great. I went both satyrday and sunday. I wanted to be there early saturday but we had other things to do but DDJ and I went from 3 till 6 and on  sunday i only went to buy a few things. DFS came with me which was nice but had to get back to take DSL back to lancaster (he’s decided to stay home which I’m pleased about as long as he gets motivated!). Watching the comptetition made me more eager to learn to train Lexie but I don’t think I’ll ever be that good. they were there qualifying for crufts – can you imagine me at crufts? lol! I think I’ll stick with going to wednesdays at EGSC but will keep to show training and ask the trainer about other things I can do instead of obedience –  I think doing two obedience classes at the same time will be confusing with different paces and different methods.

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cooking liver treats

Posted by --- on Thursday 28 August, 2008

In an attempt to entice Lexie to heel, I’ve made these for her this evening. They are cooling now so will try them tomorrow.

Liver Brownies [adapted from this website]

1 lb liver
1 cup of corn flour
1 tsp garlic power/granuals or 1/2 tsp fresh garlic

1 – 1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour
1 egg

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  • Puree liver in food processor or blender, add garlic and blend for a few seconds more to mix
  • pour into mixing bowl
  • Add egg
  • Add corn flour,
  • Add flour a bit at a time until you have a stiff mixture, (I used just over 1 cup).
  • Pat and spread out on a baking tin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until dry.
  • Cool and cut into squares.
  • Refrigerate or freeze.

Update: Lexie loves these and will even ignore the cats mostly for these! Now that’s saying something!

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It’s not all bad

Posted by --- on Saturday 23 August, 2008

It’s been hard for her tonight because she has an upset tummy; I’ve no idea what she’s eaten different over the last couple of days (maybe the 4lb of soil she dug up from under my lawn didn’t agree with her!). I’m sure though that she was trying to tell me she wanted to go out tonight. It was hard because she was bouncing about and kept going to the door, I let her out and she urinated but the cat was there so she chased him about and I bought her back in. She was acting odd so I asked if she wanted to go out again. She ran to her bed then ther door. So threatening that if she was after the cat again I wouldn’t be happy and would bury her down the garden (yes I know all she hears is “blah-blah” but I felt better!) I took her out. She bolted to the gate to see if she could spot Pepsi (one of the cats). I said “ah-ah, toilet” and she turned to me, sniffed the floor and did it! I went balistic and showered her with good-girls, fusses and a treat.

Ok, going through my posts I realise I moan… a lot! It’s probably because I type away on here as a release. I feel much better when I’ve finished posting and I forget that other people read it! Just to show that this week hasn’t been all bad I can tell you that apart from our heel and attention failures, she has learnt (sort of) to stand, she has learnt to catch (using popcorn so I didn’t take her eye out!), she is doing ok with retrieve (her best ever today even getting her ball out of a bucket of water), she leart the command “leave it” and I can throw treats on the floor that she will not touch unless I tell her “okay”.

Since we’ve had her she’s learnt: Sit, down, wait, eyes (to examine her eyes), teeth (examine teeth), open your mouth (let me open and examine her throat and already been useful twice for removing a plastic bottle top and a huge chunk of rawhide chew), ears (examine and clean), feet ( examine pads, etc), watch (look at my  face – holds for around 5 seconds now before I treat), ermm I’m sure there’s more that I can add. Oh yes, do your feet (lets me wash or just dry her muddy paws) We’ve sort of got better with the car athough she still doesn’t like it. She’s also used to the hairdryer, she’s better with having a bath but she hates the shower. And she’s probably learnt tons more that I didn’t want her to! ;p

She is like a shadow, she is always (unless I go out of the way) within 3 foot of me. She tries to squash under my pc chair that she could fit under it 3 weeks ago; now she wont but she tries. She loves cuddles and rolls over to have her tummy rubbed and her back legs go ten to the dozen if she’s stroked anywhere from her chin all the way down her tummy! She gets that excited when I talk to her sometimes that she falls over her big floppy feet in an effort to get closer or have a tummy rub or lick me! She has learnt to accept the cats too. She chases them but she is playing and if they come in the house they can take her bed and she will move out of the way or try to share it with them. This was yesterday:

I need a bigger bed...

I need a bigger bed...

Excuse me, can I have a little more bed?

Excuse me, can I have a little more bed?

Oh no, now he's licking his... well you know...

Oh no, now hes licking his... well, you know....

Food? Yep count me in!

Did you say food? Or was it just "cheese!"

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frustrated

Posted by --- on Thursday 21 August, 2008

I know she’s a puppy but today she’s drove me mad. I got up this morning to the normal 6 wee’s and 2 poos (why does she wait till we’re all in bed?!) which is starting to wear thin.

Then on to todays training… I tried several times today to do the heelwork training which is our home work. The first time I took her on to the yard before her breakfast thinking she’d be hungry so easier to get her attention. I took Ag (arden grange) as she loves the stuff. Anyway, she wasn’t interested in anything I was doing. She could see a fly or a leaf or one of the cats would walk up to her. She was sniffing the floor or pulling on her lead till I got frustrated and was on the verge of dragging her back into the house. I tried later with garlic hot dogs but the same happened. I tried before her tea with the same result. Getting on towards supper time I thought I’d try again. It was getting dark outside but I thought it would be better with fewer distractions. It was even harder! She didnt want to go into the garden and was acting as if she was scared, ears back and kept looking at the bottom of the garden and trying to run away. I couldn’t get anything more than a flick of her ears if I tried and she was almost dragging me back to the house. It was a little unerving as something was spooking her. I came back in. I tried later in the kitchen which went a bit better but I’ve only got 4.5 feet of floor to work in and my lounge is the same. The lack of space made it very difficult and she wasn’t enthusiastic. I want my dog to be like the puppies you see on youtube! How do I get her attention if not with the food I’m offering. I’ve spent a small fortune on treats or food to use as treats. Today I bought bacon so I’ll try that.

On to my next disaster. I tried to take her for a walk to the new local pet shop. On a side note, I think I’m boycotting it. I went in there last week for some frontline but they don’t keep it, then I wanted something else another day, I forget what it was now but they didn’t do that either. Today I wanted conditioner or something for her dull coat but they don’t stock it. I was even more frustrated by the staff. I was trying to read the bottles on the shelf with L crying by my feet and jumping around trying to get to the rawhide chews that are in open boxes at floor level… I ask you?!…. anyway a lady walks past behind me and L goes to jump up at her. I turn her around and stand over her so she can’t. The woman walks off then comes back and as she walks down the aisle she’s talking to L saying what a good boy (yep..) she is etc. L is going bananas and I’m trying get her to back off and trying to make her sit; that was a waste of time. I manage to turn L away but the woman went to the side of me. I ask her to ask L to sit before she greets her so she’s not bouncing and calm. She doesnt her. I ask her agian and point out that she’s wearing a white jumper “oh its ok” she states. I disagree and explain that other people may not think so and that I’ve already been told off for not being able to control my dog (by a staffy owner when L was barking at his dog). She tells me thats terrible so i repeat my request that she asks L to sit before fussing her anymore. I am trying to explain about having a dog that can greet people calmly again. She is fussing her while L is bouncing all over her and then throwing in “ooohhh sit down. sit down, sit!” while L continues to bounce all over her and completely ruining my sit command – arghhh! I changed the subject and dragged L away. I asked about conditioner. She went to fetch the resident groomer and blow me if she didnt walk up to L and fuss her for bouncing though to be fair she did ask her to sit once i’d explained but to be honest its way to late then. Finally another member of staff walked past while i was pretending to read the back of the bottle the groomer had recommened (the most expensive one on the shelf) and as she walked back she did the same as the first woman! I’m trying desperatly to keep my dog away and they march up to us. I was quite short with this woman and just said “look, would you mind asking her to sit before you stroke her” but she didn’t even look at me, carried on stroking Las she jumped up her and then walked off smiling and saying what a lovely dog… So sod em, they’ve just lost a customer and will someone please tell me how the hell I get people to go away!

Ok the actual walk now… That was fun: not! She will not walk on a loose lead, she is continually trying to get in front or to the right of me which is even worse if I’m walking with someone. she pulls across in front or behind or through my legs! She walks off in front too. I’ve tried what the trainers say – yeah i carry food treats but she isn’t interested. To start I was shoving one in her mouth with a “good girl!” if she was by my side but she was dropping them or spitting them out. I also try stopping and then when she looks at me I turn and walk a few paces in the other direction before turning back the way I want to go. Apart from looking a right idiot walking up the street and losing any street cred I may have ever had, it takes me three to four times as long to get anywhere. Plus she’s cottoned on to it and as soon as we walk the other way she quickly walks around me and back to face the way we were going! As we got close to home there were two men walking about 8 norfolk terriers. She went ballistic. Hackles up and barking. I was yanking her around making her sit and shouting no and one man was trying to shout at his because a couple had risen to the challenge. I wanted to aplogise but was concentrating on keeping L away. As we got around the corner, S was there and he started to call L. I wasn’t happy and said, would you not call her to you as it’s hard enough as it is and I’m sick of it adn don’t think I’ll take her again. His response was to get rid of her then… Oh yes, it was raining too!

Tonight after the disappointing heelwork training I tried to teach he stand again. I tried luring in the house (no distractions, windows closed so she can hear the cats or talking or anything) with yummy garlic sausage. As I lured, she watched my hand, snapped at it while it was close but wouldn’t follow the treat. Then she went and lay on her bed. So I try to sound exciting, make clicky or squeaky noises till she comes and repeat with the same results. I throw her bed out the way and but she just leans against a cupboard. So i pull out the clicker and her supper. With peices of AG I lured her off her backside and c/t. I managed 4 but each time she wanders off to her bed and I have to try to get her back. So I’m frustrated with that too.

Then theres housetraining which isn’t going too well either. Apart from the mess this morning which I get every day, I get it throughout the day on the floor if I’m not on the ball. She does know her toileting command I’m sure so we go out regularly. I’ve taught her door manners but it means I always go out first even in the rain and if I don’t go out, she want’s to come in. So I keep a brolly by the door and we go out whenever I think of it and every time in between or so it seems. She also goes out whenever I see her by the back door. Often when I say “go toilet” she’ll sniff, turn around and sometimes do something. But often she goes out and runs to the gate to see if she can see one of the cats or she actually spots the cat or a fly or a leaf etc. So she has 2 minutes maximum now and back in. But the amount of times she comes in and wee’s on the floor is crazy and drives me nuts! Luckily it’s only been once today but I’d tried her outside and there were no distractions and she didn’t even bother looking she just kept sitting. So I walk in the house, walk to the lounge door, turn around and she’s done it! I actually cried. Stupid I know but I did. It seems like a long frustrating day today. I know about crate trianing but I just dont have the space for a crate. I also know that this is just a bad day but I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall with her. My whole life seems to be taken over by her and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere or doing it right.

Then there’s the fleas. I don’t know if they’re from the dog or the cats – i presume both but I’ve never seen them before and now I’m doing everything I can to control them. Poor L has quite a few and she’s tried several over the counter treatments which I also treat the cats with. Me and the kids have emptied their bedrooms because they were getting bitten up there (that has to be the cats as J was letting them into her bedroom via the window). I’ve been vacuuming regularly, I’ve also bought a steam cleaner and steamed the carpets, also treated with a household flea killer that is supposed to work for 12 months stopping all stages, I flea comb L every day. She is not allowed in any other room except the kitchen which is tiled. The cats aren’t either. I’ve washed all thet pet bedding at least once and she’s still covered in them! Today I bathed her again which she hates. Then tonight I applied frontline which I’m told is the best. Lets see shall we? I’ve also been to ikea and bought 3 cheap desk lamps (£3.99 each) and have made flea traps which I read about on the internet last night. When I combed her today I actually watched the fleas drown! I never before and was squashing them but today I took her outside in the drizzle, put her lead on and attached her to the fence and tried to comb her and treat her at the same time.She wasn’t impressed but I was amazed and got a cruel satisfaction out of watching each flea drown in the bowl of water. If I caught a flea I dunked the comb in the bowl and the flea drowns in a second or two! Definately the way to go if you comb. Ok, its morning again so I’m going to take L out to go to the loo but I doubt she’ll go as she went an hour ago. Then I’ll paper the floor, check the flea traps and report tomorrow! I’ll change the post date on this to before midnight so its posted on the right day but its actually well past 2am again. NN X

PS – oh yeah I took out insurance on all three of them for £21 from Pet-insurance.com and the tattoo transfer of ownership papers came back today.

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Wednesday training at EGSC

Posted by --- on Wednesday 20 August, 2008

What a night. It bucketed it down, we were running late and rushing, the dog threw up in the back of the car, the kids Aikido class started late, making me late for the dog club.  Then again, it didn’t start till 8:30 anyway. Things were better this week. L. has gone from being really nervous to being embarrasing! She was barking and lunging at the other dogs and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was trying to turn her around and shout no at her but she was manouvering around my legs.

I felt a bit better in the ring and had things explained more this week. a great chap (no idea who he was) showed me how to hold the lead (thumb on top, short tight lead that lengthens or shortens to keep the tightness), how to walk her around the ring with a taught lead getting her excited,  how to stop and stand her, how to walk her around the other dogs. As I said, it made sense. I think as I enter the ring, I’ll say “showtime” to L. so she knows she’s ok to pull etc. I need a break/release command…

Obedience was ok. i’m not sure what i want to do and Sam asked me what i wanted but i don’t know. I said to go with formal obedience and then if it’s not what i want, asked if it was ok to change; she said that was fine. she showed me how to lure L. towards me and around to my left leg using a lure and saying “heelwork” as she comes around. she showed me to walk (setting off with the left leg) and treat when she was focusing on my hand – it looked simple… She said i could step it up on saturday to include distractions if i managed to continue doing small sessions 2-3 times a day.

The breeder was there tonight which was lovely to see her. sam suggested I ask her if L was good enough to show so I did. Nikki said that she’d said when we bought her that L was the one she was going to keep out of the litter (which she did) and went on to say that although it was too soon to tell yet as she is so young and her adult teeth need to come in etc, she was watching her tonight and she looked lovely and yes, good enough to show! I was really pleased, I’d love to show her just to see how she’d do.

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how to deal with dog aggression

Posted by --- on Tuesday 19 August, 2008

Well after a great walk the other day, tonight didn’t go so well. We walked at the local wildlife park and after doing the full circuit and only encountering one other dog – which she barked at – we stood watching the Canada geese come in and land on the reserve. It was lovely, the sun was starting to set and we were relaxed and happy. A woman came up and started talking to us about all sorts. J was pointing out different birds and L was watching the weird things on the water that made strange noises. I was vaguely aware of shouting before a staffy came out of the blue and jumped on Lexie. He mounted her and pinned her to the floor. She was squealing and trying to get away. She’d flipped onto her back and was making a terrible racket. I was sort of frozen. It was all happening in a split second but seemed to go on forever. The staffy was mouthing her and looked like he was trying to bite but she was kicking up with all four legs and somehow managed to get up and spin towards him. I was shouting at this woman to get her dog off my dog and she was calling his name. As she got close, she grabbed him and marched off in the other direction all in one movement and without a word. She never looked back, let alone apologised or waited to see if L was alright. For all she knew she could have been injured. I was crouching by Lexie trying to check for injuries. The woman that was talking to us was saying that she didn’t know why i wasn’t shouting abuse at the other dog owner and demanding at least an apology but the other woman went off so fast and turning to see where she was, I could see she was quite far away and almost running. Maybe she was shook up or upset? Or maybe – as I’ve been told – I’m too soft and shouldn’t feel sorry for her or make excuses for her as she was probably not bothered. I was shaking, poor J was shaking. Lexie was covered in dirt and wet where the staffy had slobbered on her trying to get hold of her. I wanted to cry but didn’t because of j. We got in the car and came home. Writing it down now it seems like nothing; at the time it was horrible.

Coming home I felt like I should have done something. Should I have grabbed the staffy? Was he playing ? I don’t really think so but I don’t know. I feel like I let Lexie down and should have protected her more. I feel like I should have been stronger with J watching me and should have stood up to the woman and said something though what and how when she didn’t stop I’ve no idea. I was still shaking as we got home. J said she was scared, felt sick and also a bit angry. I felt the same. Its really put me off walking Lexie. I’m not aggressive or confrontational. I feel sick at the thought of it and thinking that I’m going to have to deal with this when I go out has put me off. Its not the first time, although it’s the worst, and she’s only met other dogs a few times. I@m not being judgemental as I was a staffy owner and my staffy was as good as gold with people and dogs, but each time this has happened (3 and she’s only been going out for 2 weeks) its been a staffy. No wonder she barks with her hackles up as soon as she sees another dog. I wish I was braver so that I could too! Why aren’t there laws to stop this? There should reintroduce dog registration for all dogs. There should be some conditions about having to train your dog or at least go to a session where people are taught the care basics – dog law, dog control, dog feeding ( I spoke to a neighbour who has no idea how to feed her pup), grooming, etc. It could even be like driving a car where you need to pass a test (nothing major but basics of care etc). Maybe with a little knowledge less dogs would be abandoned or less injuries occur.

I also think there should be a law about breeding. I think all pets should be neutered/spayed unless the owner registers as a breeder. I don’t agree with this whimsical breeding of animals; thinking it’s a good way to make cash. Not caring about the quality of the breed, the health of the parents or offspring, the homes they go to or the life of the animal. My breeder would have Lexie back at any time if I had a problem (not that I’d let her go back!) Maybe a sytem to register as an owner and or breeder or else have neutered pets would reduce unwanted animals (be that dogs, cats, rabbits etc) and improve the health of some. I know many poor cats that are pregnant before they are 12 months old and continue producing litters of kittens without homes to go to until the owner can afford/be bothered to get them neutered or they continue to be a kitten factory until they die. My own elderly cat’s mom died years ago despite being only 7 months older than her. She went blind at only 6 and looked so old. It might be other factors but I always put it down to all the kittens she had when she was young.

Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box now. I could go on for ages with this. It really annoys me that people are irresponsible owners. I don’t blame the staffy today. I blame the woman who let it off the lead. nuff said! 😉

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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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