Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 9, Life with Lady

Wow time sure does fly when you are having fun!

Lady is now about 6 months old, and has lost all of her baby teeth.  She lost the last two top canines on Saturday and the new ones are already about half grown in.  She has also put on a fair amount of weight, weighing at least 30 pounds now.  Her grip when playing tug is very strong, and is of course one of her favourite games.

She is so very smart too!  She loves to put balls into plastic tubs, carry the tub around (with the ball inside) and then tossing the ball still holding the tub in her mouth.  Lady also enjoys using blankets and such to bury her balls and then 'find' them again.

I have caught her picking up my husband's hockey stick and trying to hit her toys around using it. She will even pick up a glove or another toy and use that to whack her toy balls and then chase after them.

Lady is now for certain house trained.  She had to be left in the house for 3.5 hours last Thursday, and when my husband returned there were no 'treasures' left anywhere for him to find.  We are very proud of her :)

One day going down to the mill and checking out the river, my husband took along the camera.  Here are some shots of what he and Lady saw.  She soooo wanted to catch that goose!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life with Lady, Week 7

Lady by now has lost about 8 teeth I think. She is definately happier now that things are proceeding nicely. I have found that most often, within a day of losing a tooth a new one is already showing in it's place. She still likes to have a frozen tomato and one of her berry ice cubes after the loss of the tooth. She is currently getting ready to lose the 4 canine teeth. Those are the ones causing her the most problems, as the roots are the longest and take quite awhile to reabsorb. We all are anticipating the relief she will be feeling once those are gone.

She has also had at least 4 molars grow in, and I will be checking regularly to see how many more are there.

She does not like it much when I am away from the house at work, and greets me most enthusiastically when she sees me again in the evening. It is all cuddles and groans for about half an hour then she settles. I think that will change slightly when spring gets here. She will have so many new things to sniff that she will be quite content.

My husband heard on a radio show on CBC regarding training dogs that two methods seem to stand out from the rest. One is called 'click' training. That is when you get a clicker, and whenever she displays appropriate behaviour, or even the beginning of it, you click. As time goes on she will automatically do that particular thing and be much easier to control when it comes to jumping on people, doing tricks, or even just letting people know when she needs to go outside.

The other thing of interest was training her to be where you want her when you are out on walks. I like having her right by my left side. So what a person does it take a spoon, put peanut butter on it, and freeze it. When taking her for a walk, hold the spoon exactly where you want her head to be, and after a few 'spoons' she will naturally walk there. She will 'remember' the good feelings/tastes associated with being in that spot that you will no longer need to use the spoon. I am thinking of trying this starting this week. I will let you all know how it turns out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life with Lady, Week 6

The teething process turns out to be over pretty quickly. She has lost about 4 of her incisors now. She still wimpers a bit and gets quite frustrated that she can not hold on to her tug toy as good as before, but is much happier now. I even managed to get a tooth! I have a tiny glass vial charm that I had saved from a few years ago, and put it in that. I know, a bit weird, but then again I still have some of my son's baby teeth and he turns 20 this year!

Lady is pretty much house trained now. She has only had a couple times where we did not get up early enough in the morning and I do not hold her to blame for that.

Over the next 4 weeks I am not going to be able to spend as much time with her as I would like, I am working 4 days a week. I am very happy for my sake about the extra day of work, but Lady is not going to be impressed with it. It is for the best in so many ways though. Plus, eventually when my husband goes back to work she will be alone for 9 hours until I return from work. By then she will be 7 - 8 months old though. So hoping things will go smoothly.

Lady and our cat Leo are getting along Very well now! I have found Leo purring and rubbing up against Lady quite often. No taking of naps together as of yet, but one never knows if they cuddle up at night. I hope to get a picture of them together someday soon.

Here are a few pictures of her playing with her 'jug' in the back yard.  As you can see, she loves it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life with Lady, Week 5

Things have settled down a wee bit, as Lady was teething pretty intensely. It is so sad, to see a puppy in distress and not be able to either explain it to her, or to help much.

Add this to the fact that she is growing very quickly, and the result is not much sleep for anyone involved.

We did find out a few very interesting things, however. Lady loves frozen raspberries, frozen blueberries and frozen cherry tomatos. Rather than going out and buying her a puppy teething ring (made from who knows where and who knows what), I started making her ice cubes with raspberries and blue berries in them. It helps take down the inflammation in her gums, sooths aches and she gets a 'treat' when the cube has melted.

I wonder how long it takes for the teething process to finish?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life with Lady, week 4

On Monday, when my husband cleaned out his garage, he found one of my son's frisbees. After cleaning it off, I discovered that it was in perfect shape, and took Lady outside in the back yard to show her how much fun it can be. She would chase after it and get so confused since it did not fly the same as when you toss a ball. It was hilarious! After a few tosses she learned very quickly to watch it and change direction as it did. I do not think it will be long before she learns to guess where it is going and start catching it on the fly.

She is now going most nights without any accidents. The only time she did was when we were so tired neither of us got up at our regular 5:30 wake-up time. She felt quite embarrassed, I could see it in her eyes.

Last night, she was cuddled up with me in my chair and I started saying 'Hello, Hello". She immediately got up and ran over to the door, looking for something. She came back to me, looking quite sad. I was not sure at first what was happening and did it again. My husband laughed and told me that I was using the same tone of voice as when I say "hello Leo" (my cat). Turns out, she was expecting to see Leo! She really adores him and tries so very hard to get Leo to play with her.

Later on, when Leo came inside for the night, Lady took one of her toys (a plush parrot squeaky toy I made her) up to Leo and dropped it in front of him. She then backed off a few paces, and layed down. She wiggled her butt a few times and whimpered. Leo just looked at her and the toy and did nothing. Lady wiggled forward a bit, and nosed the parrot towards Leo and wiggled her butt again. Leo finally batted at the parrot a couple of times and that was just what Lady wanted. Lady got so excited she barked and jumped up, and of course Leo took off like a shot! That of course started a chase around the house for a few minutes until Leo jumped up on the dresser in the washroom where I keep his food.

It does seem that they are becoming fast friends. I wonder if this summer I will find them sprawled out on Lady's couch outside, asleep in the sun?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life with Lady, week 3

Last week, Lady discovered that chasing a lid off of a coffee can or a ice cream pail is loads of fun.

I take her for walks about 3 times a week right now as I do not want to confuse her training. Since my hubby uses slightly different commands and he takes her out in the bush it is too much potential for confusion. When he walks her, she is let off the leash quite often, and he uses a longer leash. I prefer to go for shorter walks and use a shorter leash. I find it easier to control her and that is important since we meet lots of people on our walks. She has learned to stop at every intersection and sit until I give her the go-ahead. She will even look both ways at times.

Near the end of the week she managed to go 3 days without having an accident in the house over night! We were so proud of her. She got an extra treat at the end of the day (of course she had no idea why).

Lady discovered a new toy. She took possession of one of my old flower pots. It makes a lovely sound when rolled around on the floor or chewed on. She also loves to pick up one of her other toys, and put it in the flower pot and carry it around that way. I wonder if she can be trained to put away her toys at the end of the day?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life with Lady, week 2

Lady started learning to catch a gently tossed ball and to bring it back for us to toss again. She loves going for long romps in the bush with my husband and is getting over her fear of meeting other dogs. She still loves to jump in excitement although the words 'down' and 'sit' are starting to work.

We changed to feeding her twice a day now, and it was a bit easier helping her to go outside rather than just 'letting go' whenever she needed to. I believe she started to recognise the signals of when she needed to go.

Her favourite outside toy is a (very well cleaned) oil jug, that she chases along the snow. It slides so very well and can be picked up by the handle. I wonder what she will do come spring when it gets mucky?

Lady went to visit a farmer friend of ours with my husband and she had a wonderful time. He is a cattle farmer and I believe she felt like she was home again (being raised on a cattle farm). She loved playing with the cats and being able to run about in and out of the barn.

She was given a wonderful treat, a nice bone that she managed to drag around even though it was huge! It definately helped her with her teething and she was quite content staying outside in her area for hours at a time chewing on it.

She made friends with our cat Leo, and they now have an 'understanding'. It was so nice to see that they did not turn into growling fights, I was a bit concerned about it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life with Lady, our Aussie Lab mix puppy

I have decided to do a bit of a diary on Life with Lady. Mind you, it has been about 5 weeks now since we got her, so for the next little while these posts will be about what had happened then. As time goes on I will be able to catch up to what is happening more currently.

Week 1:

We took Lady to the Christmas family party on Christmas day, and to be honest I was a bit leary about it.

We had her only a week and a half and she was far from trained to go visiting. I worried for nothing however, as everyone loved her and we just made it a habit to take her outside every 40 minutes or so 'just in case'.

It went very well, she did not beg during meal time and there were no 'treasures' left for my brother-in-law and his wife.

We were still feeding her 3 times a day at that point and my husband was trying to figure out the best time for her evening meal. He wanted to give her enough time for sleep and still wake up early enough to help her prevent 'accidents' inside.

She was leash trained at this point and we had finally found an actual harness that fit her after I modified it a bit.

She had learned to play fetch by this point although we still had to work on her bringing it back for another toss. She also loved to play tug with me.

One evening she was a bit bored with her toys, so we came up with a new one for her. It certainly proved an hour of laughter, and she figured it out very quickly. We put a golf ball under a round plastic container on the floor and moved it around. Lady could see and hear the ball, and she wanted that ball! She pushed it around on the hardwood floor for about 20 minutes, and then finally pounced on it, right on the edge. It popped up and the ball rolled out. Lady was very excited about this and wanted us to put the ball under the container again. Within 5 minutes she had the ball out again.

Next, we put a lid on the container and it took about 30 minutes that time for her to figure out how to take the lid off. She then proceeded to pick up the ball, and drop it in the container and bring both back to one of us to put together again. She is such a smart dog!