Monday, November 28, 2011

Shopping, treats, training, Puppiness

I took Tucker down to a shop in our town called Molly's Pup-Purr-Ee to find Tucker a new harness.  The young woman in the shop was enjoying herself thoroughly with him.  Getting Tucker to sit and giving him a treat.  He was excited to get treats and attention.  Well of course!

I picked out a royal blue and green plaid harness with the style name of "Yarmouth Plaid" made by Up Country.   Yarmouth is near where my daughter's fiance's family have their family run motel so I like the link of names.  Not to mention I have a thing for plaid on Shelties.  Our Jessie had a red plaid harness and he always looked so dapper in it.

I feel much better using a harness with Tucker in case he slips out of the collar while we are out.  Everything away from home is new and exciting but can be questionable too.  He doesn't seem scared just that he may not know what an object is and jerk away.

I have Puppia harnesses for Stewie that fit quite well for the small guys or girls.  Collars slip right off Stewie's wide neck.  Once we were walking in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and I looked down and Stewie was nowhere in sight with the leash.  I looked back and he was standing there puzzled and confused.  That scared me so that I decided a collar was not for walks, but only for the tags.  Puppia makes so many cute harnesses and patterns that is impossible to choose. Of course I can say the same for Up Country.

It's been so long since I did Dog Training Classes that I wonder if they have changed in 11 years.  I see so many poochies with Gentle Leaders or other types of harnesses versus Choke Chains.  I am really excited to start the training classes in early January.  I love seeing all the different types of dogs and their owners.  I wish we could have done the Puppy Classes but it's not that big a deal.

In the shop today a Boston Terrier came in and then a small white pup.  Tucker was happy as could be.  I think he would have loved to stay there and hang out.  I didn't bring Stewie since it can be enough to handle Tucker at this point without having the potential tangle of leashes in a store.  I'll bring Stewie another time.  

I think Santa Paws will be bringing a new collar for Stewie for Christmas.  But shhhhhh don't tell!

Barbara Woodhouse

So now we are set for some more walkies.  Did you ever watch the TV series "Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way" back in the 80's?   Tim and I use to watch Barbara Woodhouse's show every time we could find it on the TV.  We loved to hear her call everyone to "Walkies!".  I wonder if I can find that series on Netflix?   Just to hear her would give me a big smile.  It seemed like all the doggie owners were in dire need of training and the doggies would look at them confused.  It really is the dog owner/trainer who needs the training!  If every dog training class would take a movie of their class and play it back as part of the lesson I am sure it could be invaluable to everyone.  How do we talk to our dogs?  How do we stand?  Our body language says as much to them as it does to another person.  How often do you see a meek person who decides to pick a breed that they haven't a clue about let alone train?  The trainer picks up that dog's leash and instantly the dog responds.  

Let's face it.  Pups at 4 to 6 months can be quite full of themselves just as they have begun to grow into the body they will have as an adult dog.  The large dogs get strong and the little ones unmanageable.  If they haven't had any training beyond that age you have a pup into a dog that gets shoved into the backyard who becomes even more unruly.  So sad.

Me wild?  Huh?

A biggie that I need to work on with Tucker is when I am getting his and Stewie's food out of the bins in my pantry.  Tucker goes crazy to have it as soon as he can.  He jumps, barks, repeat....oh boy.  I have put him in his puppy pen to keep him        out of the pantry but he still is jumping up and down and barking.  He is getting pretty good with waiting after I have the food and put it in front of him.  He waits till I say "take it!" though I wouldn't say he is 100% willing to do this.  Any suggestions?   I'm thinking I need to get him to sit before I even open the bins or put food in their bowls.  Stewie is such a gentleman, sitting patiently.  He knows the ropes quite well.  He looks at Tucker like he is some crazed dog who is living with him.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Tuckered out after a walk

Whoo hooo!   We got to go for a real walk with Tucker!!!  On Thanksgiving Tucker got his third shot so we could officially stroll among other poochies.  

First walk was in the neighborhood which is semi-rural.  Stewie was as usual, happy as could be to take a walk and actually tail wagging happy to have Tucker walking side by side with him.  I had both dogs with two leashes and I had to do a bit of changing leashes between my two hands.  So cute to see Tucker sashaying along with Stewie.  He would look over every once in awhile as if he was saying "Wow, where are we?"  We walked for about 20 minutes then headed home.  We saw my husbands truck get ready to turn up the steep driveway and Tucker started getting excited.  He knows his Daddy's truck.  He barked in greeting and of course he got a welcome response.

Yesterday my husband and I took him on the paved trail in our town called the Ironhorse trail.  Ages ago it was the old train route till they removed the rails and made it into a trail.  Tucker was with me and Stewie with Tim.  Now this trail can get busy with bikes, baby strollers, joggers, skaters as well as walkers.  Tucker definitely got all of that as well as children and adults that wanted to give him lots of puppy love.  I felt bad for Stewie who was sadly overlooked.  Normally on a walk he gets lots of attention.  

What Tucker had a fear of was the bikes that zoomed by.  He didn't expect the whoosh of them and would stop or do an about face behind me and stare.  He got a bit better towards the end but this is something we can work on to get him use to sights and sounds he has not been around.  We passed the high school football field which had a loud kids football game going on which he didn't care about. 

On the bright side it was a lovely Fall afternoon, just the perfect temperature for a stroll.  He sniffed to his hearts content and loved being out with Stewie who led us along.

I need to get him a harness for these walks as I worry he will slip out of his collar if he does a quick back up on me.  I tried on one we had but it was too big and Stewie's Puppia harnesses are too small.  

He was such a good boy in the car sitting next to me on the back seat with he and Stewie.  He just lay there or sat up wondering what we were going to do.  We can't wait to get back into our long hikes like we use to do with Annie and Stewie.  Tucker has a whole new world about to open for him of sights and smells!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday #2

What do you play with?

Seeing as how the kitchen floor is strewn with Pupparoo toys all the time, I thought it would be a good idea to have a place to put them at the end of the day.  Tucker however, felt that this was just a new toy to chew on and could have cared less of his toys inside.

He chomped it, dragged it around, sat in it, stared at it and then chewed some more.  I have one of these in our "Man Room" (the TV/den room) and he chews on that one as well.

I was looking for new "real" toys for the pups too.  Tucker loves this bottle!  At first he didn't know what it was but it was fun to drag it around as it clunked on the floor.  You can add treats at the bottom where it unscrews open.  I use his puppy food, and the idea is for them to figure out how to get the treats out.  Let me tell you, this is a toy you can't leave down all the time.  He gets crazy with it!  He won't let it be.  He sees the treats, he smells the treats, he must have the treats!  He already is getting the idea that if he puts it in a doggy bed he can get it upside down or tilted and the treats trickle out.  Then he proceeds to pull the pad off the bed searching in desperation for his prize.

Stewie doesn't seem interested except for the treats.  It is more Tucker's size and I thought, should I buy two of different sizes or just the one.  In the end I thought I would see if Stewie would do anything with it or ignore it.  He ignores it for now.

Since Annie died, I have a hard time getting Stewie to play like he use to.  He doesn't want to play the games we use to play with the stuffed toys.  He and Annie loved playing "keep away" and "fetch" with their toys.  I hope that in time he and Tucker will make their own games together.

He isn't to happy with Tucker's "herding" games, which is to herd Stewie.  All those with herding dogs know how it is deeply instinctual to do this herding up of balls, people, anything that moves.  Also Tucker is getting faster when he runs so Stewie is figuring out not to run so he doesn't get the dreaded nip and run.  Poor little Stewie....

Stewie doing his sun meditation on the deck

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My daddy sure is great!

My daddy is sure great.  He likes to play with me on the floor with my toys.  I really like my purple spider which has a loud squeaker and long wiggly legs.

Daddy likes to take me outside to run and jump.  I go so fast, around and around in circles then jump and stop.  We go to the chickens who I don't know if I like them or not.  They stare at me and I stare at them.  

I run in the leaves back and forth.  They are so deep I have to leap and run!  I try to get my brother Stewie to play but he still doesn't want to.  How do I get him to play?  He shows his tiny white teeth at me and gives me a dirty look.  I keep on trying because I know he wants to play, because he wags his tail at me and sniffs me and I sniff him.

He knows something that I know now.  That when mommy feeds us, I have to sit quiet which is REALLY hard to do.  She tells me "Don't touch" when she puts our food bowls down.  Oh I want to eat it so bad that I can hardly sit but I am trying because Stewie sits still and waits till she says the magic words "Take it!".  Then we jump on our food!  Yowza!!!!  

I have so much to learn but lately I don't always want to.  I use to come when mommy called me and I would get a treat.  I really liked that!  Now I get distracted by a leaf, or a smell or I just don't know, I don't want to come.  I heard mommy say to daddy that they can't let me "get away" with any shinanagins.  What?  They said I may be behaving like a little kid seeing what I can get away with, like not coming when they call.  Huh?  There is SOOOO much to see and smell though!  The thing is, that they get me anyway.  I have to come in when they say so.  

I wonder if my brothers and sisters have to do what I have to do?  Hhhhmmm....well it's time for me to go to bed.  What?  Dad says I can watch a football game with him.  Yipppeeeee!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Yesterday was sunny in the morning.  A perfect time for a kitty sunbath in the living room.

Quiet time, and low and behold, Leela came out of our bedroom where she hides!

Luna worships the sun......

Wait...who's watching us?  Oh my kitty whiskers, it's him!  The yapper!   Maybe if I hiss he'll go away.....Sissssssss!  Go...go...go chew on a bone and leave us alone.  Oh bother, I'll just ignore him. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday #1

I love to be in Dad's lap

I've never done Wordless Wednesday so here is #1 of many more!

Monday, November 14, 2011

In and out

I think that Tucker looked so funny with the doggie door.  Half in and then half out he just thinks this "toy" we set up just for him is great fun!

Tucker could do this all day if we let him, but as I have said before, he is not trustworthy with his house training.  He will GO out on the deck if we don't watch him like a hawk.  

Stewie's opinion is less than enthusiastic of Tucker using "his" door.  I think he preferred it the way it was as an escape door before we taught Tucker to use it.  Sorry Stewie!  Every time Stewie goes in or out Tucker follows him.  

So that Stewie doesn't get thoroughly annoyed with the little (oh...Tucker is bigger) guy, I give him an out of the kitchen pass to run off to the rest of the house where Tucker is not allowed to go freely.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Teach me and I'll teach you!

Today Tucker is 12 weeks old.  These past 4 weeks sure went by quickly!  We all have learned a lot about each other and puppy love does cast a spell to make us bond.  Who can resist those puppy dog eyes?

Last week I brought Tucker into the Vet's office to hand over his fecal (another story), bring in the shot record since we gave him his shot and also to weigh him.  At 8 weeks he was 6 pounds, 10 ounces and at 11 weeks he was 8 pounds and 8 ounces.  Nice going Tucker!  

So what have we both learned?

Tucker has learned to sleep in his crate all night long.  (Thank you....)

Tucker is learning to sit, come, wait, take it and down.  Some better and some need more practice.  Treats make it so fun.  We all chuckle at Tucker when we say "Tucker come!" as just before he gets to you he does this hysterical leap in the air.  I don't know if he thinks this is part of the come or what.  

Tucker is learning that brushing him is going to happen.  He isn't wild about the brush but we try to make it pleasant as we can.

Tucker is learning where to pee and poo though he has a ways to go.  Still he has been really good in the house but the back deck is an issue.  Well, it is outside...confusing for him I think.

What have we learned?  You can't leave the potatoes and onions in their baskets on the pantry room floor.  Who knew Tucker would have a thing for sweet potatoes.  So now I have to figure out how to deal with this because that door is always opening and it is in our kitchen where we like to let him play outside his puppy pen (after he pees /poos).  

I did set this photo op up.  I had to because it is so cute of him sneaking the sweet potato to Stewie's bed.  He does it very quietly and it is heavy that sweet potato!  Ahhhhh.....

Tucker waiting to take the sweet potato
Tucker with his prize!

We learned that you have to be on your toes to get him outside to go potty even when you just want to sit down and relax.  No ifs, and, or buts about it.

We learned that Tucker needs lots of play time of running, jumping, sniffing, and more running.  

We learned that cuddle time is very important too.

We learned that it will take time and TLC for Tucker and Stewie to get to accept each other.   Tucker wants to be a buddy really bad but Stewie is slower. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Luna checks out what that yappy dog likes

Luna decided to loll in the tunnel when Tucker wasn't out on the deck.  She liked it!  It was warm inside, and perfect for rolling around in...ahhhhhh.  Not bad for hiding in too.

Then again, the rail on the deck gives a nice sunbath option, a great view and safety from the pupparoos!  This has got to be a Classic Luna pose.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

King of the Butcher Block Island

Tucker, Tucker, Tucker....since day one he has been excited about our Butcher Block Island (BBI).  At 8 weeks he could sleep under it but had problems climbing up on the first level.  That didn't last long.  Then he would clumsily climb up on it and lay there.  Next it was the jump up.  Now he hurls himself up there and acts like he just climbed Mt. Everest!  He looks down on those upon the kitchen floor like he is the King.  Stewie has never been interested in the BBI unless something falls from the heavens above.  That's what the BBI is for.  To look up and await a gift.

Tucker hasn't learned that yet.  For now he is content to lay on the wood and look out.  Or sometimes he runs around the kitchen and flies through it with leaps and bounds.  

Did I mention that Tucker is like a big ole' Teddy Bear?  He loves to be loved with hugs and kisses, then like a little kid he is ready to rock and roll out of your arms.  Zoom!  Off to tackle toys!

Here's Stewie and Tucker sort of playing.  But really Stewie is telling Tucker that the road kill chipmunk is his.  

This is Stewie with the his look he gives Tucker a lot.  Oddly he wags his tail at the same time.  Mixed message?

Lastly a photo with Stewie and his "I would love a biscuit" look.  I like his happy face much better than the snarly one.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Puppy Manners

Puppy manners are in order.  Mr. Tucker has decided to test us all, including Stewie who is doing a grand job of letting Stewie know that it is not acceptable to annoy him for too long.

Indeed Stewie is beginning, do I dare say, to sort of get along with Tucker.  He wants to be in the kitchen when I have Tucker out of his puppy pen.  He sniffs and allows to be sniffed.  He does not want to fully play but I think great strides have been made.  

Back to puppy manners.  In the beginning puppies are adorably cute at whatever they do.  Then they get mischievous with the games.  An example of Tucker is after he goes and does his "business" he was so easy to pick up.  Now he wants to play the game of chase and run.  As in get me to run after him.  Nope.  Will not play that game, because we know that I will lose this one and he will be smirking the whole time.

So what to do?  Collar and leash.  Yes, we have used the collar and leash but not all the time.  Out in our front yard yes, but the backyard had been fine.  Till know.  It's time for him to learn who is "Alpha" in this house.  Human family first and Stewie next.

Now he gets to follow around with me on the leash and learn to sit or down quietly.  To do this you need to make sure you have some toys or chewies for a pup to amuse himself with while you sit, as well as a pad for them to lay on if it is bare floor.  He gets to hang out with his "Alpha" human family so he isn't lonely.  Most of all to make sure play time is followed by this because pups do need to run and go crazy to burn off some burrs under the saddle.

With the change in weather I think I will take him out on the leash because there is nothing worse than running down a wet or possibly muddy pup in the wee hours or at night.  Get it over with and back into the warm house.

I also have started with sits and come.  He is getting the sit down as well as come.  Treats really help the process.  Little treats like a piece of his kibble.  

It's coming back all the dog training I have done with our Pupparoos....all coming back. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Housetraining at our home

Puppies and house training may seem daunting but preparedness is the key.  Having brought many a pup into our home over the years we have finally gotten it down to what works.

#1...Puppies that are 8 weeks old have to go potty a lot.  That means that for the first couple of nights you will need to take them out at least twice.  They'll let you know...did you hear the whimper?  Get up!  Put your slippers and robe on and whisk them to the lawn.

#2...Make sure you have a crate for them to sleep in at night.  Keep them confined in this and they will not soil it.  They don't want to sleep in their soil!  After those first few nights they will start sleeping longer and you will have to get up less times.  Tucker was sleeping from 10:00 PM till 6:00 AM by one week.  Yes!

#3...Have a puppy pen in addition to the crate.  I keep the crate in our bedroom and the puppy pen in  the kitchen which is on tile floor. If you have a floor you are concerned might stain, use a round plastic table cloth that covers the entire area under the puppy pen with flocked backing on it (not the cheap ones that are just plastic).  The pen can hold his bed and some space for romping in.  Oddly enough he has not even soiled in that space.  I bought puppy pads thinking that if he went in the pen he would hopefully do it on them.  Tucker just wanted to chew the pad so I stopped using them on day 3.  A waste of 20 bucks since I bought the larger package.

#4...Take them out often.  Every time they have played for awhile, before they eat, after they eat, after they drink, after they wake up...take them out often and you won't have to clean up after them.  Really!  We go to the same area on our back lawn.  This is especially important to establish from the beginning.  Every accident that Tucker has had my husband and I blame ourselves.  We didn't take him out when we should have.

#5...Have a word or phrase for when you want him/her to go to the bathroom in their place.  I have been using the phrase "Do your business!".  I also have used "Go potty!" as well.  Praise them when they have gone.  Let them know how proud you are of them!

#6...At the beginning carry them out.  Don't expect them to walk outside and not pee on your floor.  They will.  We are now at almost 3 weeks of having him in his new home (he is almost 11 weeks old) and most of the time Tucker can walk (run!) outside with his soon-to-be buddy Stewie.  In the morning I carry him out from his crate since it is dark and I am still sleepy.  I am teaching him on the return inside the house to "Go to the kitchen!" and he does!  He runs right in...well a few times he got distracted, but most times he runs right in.

#7...In our kitchen we have two inside openings.  One we can close off because it has a door but the other is the entrance to the kitchen.  My husband has rigged up a gate that swings across that opening.  After Tucker has peed / and or pooped he gets the freedom to hang out in the whole kitchen with us (not alone yet)!  He loves this as he has room to really run around and play.  He scatters toys everywhere to his hearts content.  We watch him because he is still a pup and has to earn this privilege of being in the full room.  Every 1/2 hour we run outside or if he has been playing real hard.  

#8...We also have a sliding screen door and a deck that is fully enclosed  (about 20 feet off the ground).  We have a kitty / doggy door and taught Tucker to use this in one weekend.  He really likes to run in and out.  Constantly.  Same deal as the privilege of the kitchen with the rules.  Now he has made some boo-boos with accidents without me getting to him in time so I may have to limit the door access.  Then again with winter coming the door will be removed anyway so it won't be an issue.

#9...Feed them at the same time every day.  Right now Tucker is fed at first thing in the morning, 12 noon and 5 o'clock.   Feed in the same place.  If I will be out for more than 1 hour I will leave a small half filled bowl of water in his puppy pen.  I don't like to leave one in their all the time as he just makes a mess with it.  He always is given time to drink water as I have a large dog water container in my kitchen for our kitties and Stewie.  Feed a high quality food.  There stools will be smaller and better formed.  They won't go all the time either.  I am feeding Blue Buffalo now and am very happy with it.  Tucker loves it!

#10...Don't let your pup have the run of your house until they have been consistent at going outside.  They need to earn this reward.  Try bringing them to other rooms either on a leash with some toys and a blanket and keep an eye on them.  Take them out often...every 1/2 hour.  If your room is fully enclosed and you are willing to get up and take them out often they will really feel special being with you in a "new" place with your full attention.  Don't expect house training to be fully done for many months.  Some breeds are slower and some are faster.   You want them to be good.  If you find that accidents are happening too much step back and restrict their space. 

#11...Be patient and consistent.  Praise them for being a good puppy when they go outside.  Better to take them out often than to clean up a mess.  I keep a container of Green Works Wipes in my kitchen to wipe on the floor after I have cleaned an accident up with paper towels.  Just don't let your puppy lick this.  Dry it with another paper towel.  

Good luck and before you know it they will be fully house trained!

Fall Leaves

The leaves are falling from the trees in front our house.  We've been taking Tucker out there with Stewie for some collar and leash time.  With hubby's suggestion, though I don't like them, we are using our extendable leash.  It does work nice as he can run and romp without the restraint of a 6 foot lead.  I try not to let it get to the end because of the potential jerk (that's why I don't like them).   

He's finally not always thinking about the collar or the leash and just play.  So many different smells, textures to walk on.  I've tried to get him by the chicken coop which he doesn't seem to want to do.  So I pick him up and we watch them.  

This has been a good way for Stewie and Tucker to play.  More like tolerate is how Stewie feels.  He knows just how far to stay away from being pounced upon!  

So funny to watch Tucker in a pile of leaves.  He wasn't sure of the feel then he decided it was just fun to bury his nose in and try to chew on the leaves.  I throw them up in the air which he thought was fun too.  

Stewie hasn't been into photo-ops...