Little Butters has come far over the past week. She has done well with her obedience (she has even become more compliant with Down though it takes a bit of convincing still). She has also become more accepting of the dogs. If she starts barking on a walk her people should remain assertive and give her a little correction to remind her that she is supposed to be in a Heel command.
Pictured is Butters snuggling with Ace, the Pitbull. Ace is a very sweet and patient boy but 7 days ago Butters would have screamed and thrown a fit at the end of her leash if he had come within 5 feet of her. While it may take some time for her to accept new dogs, especially if they aren't as sweet natured and patient as Ace, she is genuinely curious about other dogs and it is her fear that stands in the way of her making friends.
The best way to get her to bond with other dogs has been walking with them. Ace has been very concerned that Butters didn't like him so he quietly followed her on all the walks or else tried (without much success) to get her to play with him. I believe his persistence paid off, though she still won't play with him.
Even though Butters is very small, indeed she is the smallest boarder we have ever had, it is imperative that her owners commit to making her new obedience a life style. This means timing praise appropriately and being fair with corrections (but giving them nonetheless) when she needs them. Sensitive dogs, like Butters, do very well with consistent discipline and leadership. Without it she may backslide and become shy and combative again. I will miss this little girl, she is a special dog who has come out of her shell more than I expected
Well, sweet little Ruby goes home tomorrow. She has done so well over the past 7 days and she will be thrilled to see her people again. I think more than anything she will miss her friend, Ace, who has been her playmate this week.
She now knows the commands Heel with Autosit, Sit, Come, Down and Place while she is wearing a leash. She still needs a correction here and there, especially for Down, but she is knows the word "no" now and is responsive to it. She needs discipline because her attention span is still very short and she still has a LOT of puppy antics left. Her playful spirit is still very present and she will try to manipulate her way out of work if she would rather play.
The task now set to her family is to practice. She has the foundation and she needs her family to have high expectations of her or she may backslide into old habits. But with practice, firm upholding of the rules, and a sense of humor, this little pug will be charming her family for years to come.
Butters is so cute on her Placemat! She curls right up and is most happy to stay put so long as she has a blanket to snuggle in. She is sometimes tempted to ooze onto the nearest lap but with practice and firmness she will stay put.
Her Heel/Autosit is pretty good but she is still toiling with Down. I know she can do it and will be back at it tomorrow. She prefers to hunch up and kind of scrunch instead of of properly laying down but seeing as before she simply refused to budge when asked to lay down I have accepted the scrunching so long as she lowers herself to her elbows on her own but continue to encourage her to go all the way into a laying down position. Chihuahuas are famous for their stubbornness and so it takes patience and understanding when teaching one. Especially one with such delicate sensibilities.
Her Come command is pretty spot on. She sometimes asks to be picked up instead of sitting but it usually just takes a verbal "no" reminder and she sits back down. She has kept her crate clean and I think the cold has helped in her potty training. She has learned that the more quickly she goes to the bathroom the sooner I swoop her back into the warm.
I made her a little neck protector to keep the collar from pinching her. Country life does not agree with her delicate skin and I think some lotion is in order here pretty soon.
Tomorrow there will be no blog post because of the holiday but rest assured that Butters will enjoy the day with her normal exercise and training workouts and she will also get to watch the parade with my husband and I. She has a special fondness for my husband and likes to wile away her down time being doted on by him.
I wish her family a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving tomorrow!
What a clown this little girl is. She genuinely enjoys working though she does pout when she gets the answers wrong. When she gets the answers right, however, she is quite difficult to contain! If my praise is too exuberant she becomes overcome with a fit of what the director of National K-9 called the "silly wiggles." So her praise needs to be calm or else she gets too happy and starts celebrating, thus breaking the command she was just being praised for performing.
The one command which I will allow her to celebrate is the Come command. It is so important that that be a happy thing that once she sits in front of me after the Come command is given she and I throw a little party and she has so much fun bouncing and enjoying herself that Come has become her favorite thing.
Down is much better, as is her Implied Stay. She is not 100% on them and likely won't be when she goes home. Her family will have the job of making her practice and having high expectations for this smartypants.
What I was not expecting was for her to do so well with Placemat. She was on her mat for 45 minutes today with her little chew bone and was perfectly happy. I was able to leave the room without her trying to follow. I had her on a long leash because the first time she tried to go off of her mat she ran from me and so the leash keeps her from getting to play the "chase me" game. I will wean her off of needing the leash over the next 2 days.
Tomorrow Ruby will get her normal workouts but there will not be a blog post because of the holiday. I hope her family has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Well Butters has decided that I am her safe place out at the farm. She wants nothing more than to be in my lap in order to grumble at the playing dogs from a safe distance. I allow this because I don't think she feels very secure any where else other than in her crate. However, she must walk everywhere still and she is getting better about doing that. She can walk around the dogs and even share a water bowl without snapping. She did not like it when she accidentally got knocked over by Ace as he clumsily bounded through the kitchen.
Her obedience is going alright. We have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to Down. She Heels and Autosits like a champ, and she comes when called. She does fine at Implied Stay. But Down she just braces herself and refuses to budge. We will push this hard tomorrow because I think it is coming from a place of stubbornness and not confusion.
I am going to fashion her a little neck protector. Her skin is so sensitive and thin that she is sometimes getting pinched by her collar and I don't want her to be uncomfortable. It will be a small sleeve (likely cotton) that fits like a scarf on her neck and it will just keep her from getting pinched. She has not had a single accident yet while she is here and so I am going to give her a bit more freedom tomorrow with her water bowl and see how she does. She isn't a fan of the cold and I think that has helped her learn that as soon as she goes she gets whisked back in to the warm.
Tomorrow, as I said, we are going to try to push Down again and we are going to try our hand (paw?) at Placemat.
Silly Ruby had a great day. She got to play with Ace and she learned Down. She told me she understood what I was asking her during her second workout because whenever I told her "Down" she would start pouting and feigning deafness. Just a few pops on her little collar and she began to see the logic in just laying down when asked to. She added a new spin during her last workout of the day by simply laying down whenever we stopped. She thinks she is so funny! She would lay down and wiggle and look at me as if to say "neener neener neener!" but after the workout she was Heeling/Autositting, laying down, doing well with Come (though there is still a little bit of jumping up that needs to be smoothed out) and doing better with Implied Stay though that is still very difficult for her.
We are also working on the word "OFF" for keeping off of the furniture. We have employed a squirt bottle to help her understand the exact moment of her transgression. She is now staying off the furniture while I am in the room but still hops on to get a better vantage point when playing with Ace, who is much taller than her.
Tomorrow we will see what she retained from today and we will make things a little more challenging. I also think she is ready to start Place which I anticipate will be a great challenge for her because it requires self restraint. She is a good little girl who keeps training fun with her sense of humor.
Sweet little Butters does not think much of her leash. She took about five minutes of pitching a royal fit before she decided to Heel like a lady. She struggle in the cold and so it was difficult to get her to sit on command on the chilly ground but she was autositting by the end of the day. Her Implied Stay is pretty good but if something startles her she tends to dart around.
She is a bit calmer around the dogs but she still snaps at noses if someone is too curious.
She has kept her kennel clean and has not had any accidents in the house. Her food and water intake are scheduled as are her potty times and this has helped. She also is supervised anytime she is out of her kennel.
For day two Butters is doing just fine. We make sure she gets plenty of lap time and snuggles. She is slowly coming out of her shell.
BOING! BOING! BOING!
That is how Ruby likes to live her days. She has such a perky little attitude that even the cold doesn't seem to get her down. Today she learned Heel/Autosit and we started Implied Stay (hardest thing ever) and Come.
Her Autosit is far from perfect but she gets it. Mostly she just gets so wiggly when she gets the answer right that she wiggles right up and then has to be reminded to sit.
So far Ruby has had no accidents in the house. We are letting her have more freedom in the house but her food and water intake is strictly scheduled and her potty times are also pretty set.
So far I am very happy with her. What a good day two!
Sweet little Butters just has no idea what is going on right now. She is a very nervous little Chihuahua who almost looks like she might have some Italian Greyhound in there too. She is here for 1 week of basic obedience training and some socialization with other dogs.
So far she has been very quiet and scared of the other dogs here, understandably because they are all huge and confident in their home (or in Ruby's case friends with the big dogs and so feels pretty safe here). She hasn't made one peep even though at home she is known for barking at other dogs. If Ace the curious Pitbull gets too close she will snap at his nose but she can't really do any damage other than hurt poor Ace's feelings.
Tonight we have mostly just been letting her relax though we have insisted that she must walk everywhere she goes in the house or in the yard, no carrying, though she is allowed in a lap as soon as she is done walking. Her formal obedience training will begin tomorrow. Tonight she is helping my family play cards by sitting in laps. We have decided she is a good luck charm.
Her owners have said that she doesn't like her crate but she dives right in here, possibly because this place is so scary and new.
I hope she settles in and feels more comfortable soon. Tomorrow we start with Heel/Autosit and we will see how far we get.
Ruby is such a perfect little girl. She is the quintessential Pug in that she is clownish, charming, and knows exactly how to "cute" her way out of trouble. She has become fast friends with Ace the Pitbull and watching them play is possibly the most entertaining thing to happen here for a while.
She is here for some basic manners and to learn obedience. She spent the night playing and getting acclimated to the house and learning the rules (like not jumping up for attention, no play biting, and waiting patiently for things like food bowls or doorways). Tomorrow the real obedience work begins with Heel/Autosit and we will see where we go from there.
This is a special dog who is right now rooting around for her bone in her bed (she doesn't know that her bone is underneath her bed, not inside it) and if she still hasn't found it by the time I am finished with my computer work and emails I will take pity on her and show her where it is. Silly Ruby.