Ok fans, I need your help. The little one has been pretty good today, but I am having a bit of trouble. First of all, her crate is her bed area, and the bathroom is her time-out spot. During the day when she is alone or not technically in time-out though, where do I put her? She sleeps in her crate because I put her there, but she is not a fan of that and I don’t want it to become a punish area. I put her food in her crate and don’t lock her in, so that she is used to going in there without being forced, which is about the only time that she goes in willingly. She doesn’t really go in without some sort of incentive, which means that at night, when it is time to calm down, I am not sure what to do. She does whine when I put her in there in the evening, but she seems fairly comfortable with it after a little while. So here is the way I see it: when she is behaving badly, or gets too riled up, she goes in the bathroom (time-out). When I want to get her used to the crate or when she is not behaving badly but needs to be confined, I put her in the crate. I am afraid though of making her uncomfortable with it by being in there when she doesn’t want to. If I put a Kong with peanut butter or some other special treat in the crate, she will pick it up and drag it out. When I put her treat in there before I left today, she went in and didn’t mind being locked in there until about 20 seconds after I left when she started whining. Isn’t that a punishment?? I am confused as to the lines between punishment and regular training but it is hard when you are trying to do multiple things at once (house training, crate training, anti-separation anxiety training etc.). Any advice and help would be appreciated.
So this morning, she didn’t actually bark or yip when she had to go out which was a rather pleasant awakening. A small little whine was all it took to get me up and understanding that she needed to go. In addition, when I came out of the room, she didn’t freak out and get frantic which meant that I didn’t have to sit and wait for her to calm down before letting her out. She waited patiently while I dressed and was remarkably calm while I got organized for the walk. She did her business pretty quickly but she has started to decide that once she is done, it is playtime. When Kimba is walking with us, sometimes they don’t go at the same rate so I don’t think it is appropriate for them to be jumping around while the other gets done (not that it is appropriate for them to do that on the leash anyway). Today, during lunch, she decided that she was feeling lazy so she plopped her little self down on the ground and wouldn’t budge. Staring up at me from her back as if to say “nah nah nah nah nah nah”, I could see that I was being challenged. A short tug (and drag) helped me realize that she had no intention whatsoever to get up. I braved the teeth and picked her up to set her on her feet, where she stayed (thankfully). Only a short minute of distraction and we were back on track.
My solution for the leash-playing thing is to keep each dog allocated to her own side when they start so that they are unable to interact. Eventually Georgia’s attention wavers and she stops trying to leap onto her cousin’s back. I have to say that is one great thing about puppyhood…ADD! Today, it didn’t fail.
I decided to give myself a break today, so she has gotten a lot of time to get used to the crate. I have left her for half days several times and today, after about an hour of walk and play during my lunch break, I think she is prepared to stay for longer. Ultimately, my parents won’t likely have to leave her for that long, but I would rather she be prepared for it in case it happens, than be an issue with anything over 3 hours. She will definitely get plenty of playtime later, but I thought that some time “alone” would be good today.
I learned that I will in fact have the little monster until Thanksgiving (previously, there was skepticism about my parents travel, and of course a standing offer to take her off my hands if it got to be too much), but I am happy for the experience. It is so hard to imagine the trouble and effort that goes into a puppy without actually having experienced it. I had been considering getting Kimba a playmate, but I am glad to have gone through this before I decided to commit. Are you looking at getting a puppy soon? Find out if there is one you can puppy-sit. Even a few days of this will help you understand what you will be in for and if you have children, it will help them realize that they aren’t all just cute little self-sufficient fuzzballs. Also, please remember that puppies do bite EVERYTHING. Until you teach them otherwise, they will get into your clothes, furniture, trash, carpet, and even your children. Make sure that your kids are old enough to not be harmed by them and if they are not old enough, make sure you keep them out of puppy’s reach. They are usually jumpers (as I learned with the toilet paper incident yesterday) so even if you think it is safe, it isn’t. Let’s hope that I have puppy-proofed better and the rest of the things in my apartment survive the journey. Stay tuned to see if there are any more casualties…