Friday, July 13, 2012

Arranged by Size

Tess' Triumphs

Tess' Triumphs

Okay, I confined Shadow, Tess (and Sammy) in my office with me this morning in anticipation of the cleaning ladies' arrival.  When the ladies entered, I put leashes on the dogs and took them for a walk.  I got a couple of "intruder" barks from both dogs, but no extended noise from either of them.  Tess pulled a bit on the leash as we were leaving my office.  We took about a 20-25 minute walk.  I am not stressing so much about them walking right at my side and am simply correcting too much advance movement with a slight snap of the leashes (actually, I let the leashes go slack so the dogs' sort of correct themselves.)  Shadow (the ultimate advance guard) has become a model citizen on the leash since Tess joined the family.  I thought it was a pleasant walk since I wasn't constantly stopping to correct their position, untangle leashes, etc. 

Returning home I put the dogs in the pool enclosure (our only fenced area) with their water, while I watered the plants.  Because Tess played in the hose spray, we remained outside for about 20 minutes for her to dry off a bit.  She took this opportunity to start rough housing with Shadow which often starts her irritating bark.  I didn't say anything, didn't push/pull her off of Shadow, didn't use a penny bomb or noise distraction of any kind (all of which I do on a regular basis...oops) but simply use the static pressure on her collar.  She gave up almost immediately and dropped to the deck where she dozed for a few minutes.  I was happy, Shadow was happy and, presumably, Tess was happy.  Can it really be this simple?  I am waiting for her to dream up some new tests for me while she's napping!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thursday night puppy class Tess introduced everyone to her annoying "yippy" bark.  This is usually reserved for Shadow when he has a toy that she wants or when she wants us to respond in some fashion.  This sound is very different from her "intruder" bark which is reserved for deer and people that are in her yard or near her house.  Kris and I came home a bit humbled and ready to improve our behavior and correspondingly Tess' as well.

Miraculously, we had a new puppy on Friday.  She was quiet, sweet and textbook responsive by sitting promptly to get her food, go outside, play with toys, etc.  She gave us many opportunities to stroke her and was absolutely perfect.  This was a great day following a trying week with Tess who was quite sick with diarrhea/vomiting on Monday and Tuesday.  She was a bit startled by the thunder today.  She barked at the first big, rumbling clap and then curled up next to us on the sofa while we watched some TV.

This morning, I knew immediately that the perfect puppy would be making a limited showing today.  She has been very wound up since she was sprung from her crate this morning.  Our resident deer has been compounding the problem by refusing to leave the yard for more than 30 minutes or so.  We did get in a session of "get it/thank you" this morning, but it probably wasn't effective because she was moving so quickly from one toy to the other.  One thing that has improved dramatically since our first puppy class is the leash pulling.  She is much better on the leash when she goes outside to relieve herself.  I give her a larger area to move in than when we are out for a walk.  I also managed to walk both dogs through our little neighborhood without either or them pulling against the leash.  She seems quite unsettled, and I think it may be due to the restricted diet the vet has her on because of the diarrhea.  I suspect she's hungry.  Frustrating for me is that she has peed in the house twice today, despite going outside a few more times than normal (because of the deer agitation.)

Hopefully Sunday we will have some more successes!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Homework Week One

We have been working on red light/green light since last week's class.  Both dogs (yes, Shadow is being "trained" too) are now sitting before the door opens to go out or in and before they get fed.  Tess picked up on this a bit quicker than Shadow, but after 8 days his butt hits the ground first every time!  The people (me) have to work on giving affection at the green light only...

We have been tethering since we brought Tess home and we are now freeing her a couple of times a day - when I know she is channeling her "inner calm."  We are trying to establish a regular schedule of potty breaks, but we aren't there yet.

Tess has really developed into a leash tugger, so that is my other priority.  She gets really frustrated with the stops and starts and direction changes, but after two days of concentrating on this she is improving.  I have limited the distance we go so I don't get too frustrated and so she has a greater amount of success.  Shadow, who has always pulled to be first, is suddenly the model leash walker.

We are also working on eye contact for treats and it is going well.  Tess is more responsive to her name when we call her.

Tess will be 14 weeks tomorrow and she weighed in at 17.1 lbs at the vet this week!