Day 7: Puppies First Bath

Hot dog we finally made it! (sorry couldnt resist another pun.) In one week we have managed to go through two collar clips (courtesy of Missy), cleaned up poop and pee in the house, had their first walk, their first tussle with the vaccum cleaner, their first dog fight, our first case of barking at a dog on the tv screen, some diaherea, a knocked over lamp, a carboard box that didnt stand a chance, some shoes were attacked, one clawed up couch, their first bath and ALOT of energy. We survived! Cue the fan fare!!!

So the day started out pretty normally. Practiced just the basic commands with them (as I will do on Day 8) as they have been more stubborn than usually these past couple days. That went alright. Belle was much more oblivious than Missy when it came to training but thats nothing new. I havent found that one thing that sparks her attention and keeps it. Not toys or treats or praise or funny noises. Her attention span is so miniscule it is almost non exsisitent. Daniel is working with her on that via (believe it or not) staring contests. He just holds her there and makes her stare at him. Its completely harmless and it looks a little silly but believe it or not it seems to be working.

Late afternoon was upon us and it was time again to take the puppies out for a potty break. Daniel was able to make it home earlier than usual which was awesome. Therfor he helped me with their potty break by grabbing one of the leashes. Perhaps he shouldnt have. You see although he has raised dogs in the past they were all with the help of his father and mother who did most of the work on that during that day while he was a child off in school. so im sure to him it looked like obediance just happened. He is a much smarter man than to actually think that but he does seem to assume the dogs learn at a much more rapid pace then they do and he assumes they pick up some commands on their own, without even being taught. I dont mean this as an insult and he hasnt admitted to assuming any of these things but his actions this afternoon have driven me to the conclusion that he is assuming some off the wall things about our dogs. You see when we let them out side our neighbors let their dogs outside at the same time. I was worried at first because the first time our German Shepherd, Belle, met their black and tan coon hound, Sweetpea, Sweetpea was not a fan of her. Alot of growling and snarling and pulling Belle off of her. Belle just wanted to play but that black and tan was not having it. However this was only their second encounter today and for no reason at all Sweetpea did a 180. She was more than happy to play with both dogs and they wrestled around at our feet. It was adorable. My husband stood their talking to our neighbor about just everday stuff when suddenly he says, “I wonder how they will do off the leash!” Mind you I have mostly been working with both to come when whistled at indoors. Except for potty breaks we really havent practiced outside where there are more distractions because Im not yet confident in their indoor ability and outdoor will be much harder to master. For some strange reason though I took the bait. I thought, “Hey if we only let one off the leash then we can catch it if something happens. Besides that dog will just follow the neighbors dogs around who are trained to come when called and go outside without a leash. This could work” So I nervously agreed to my husband’s request. He chose Belle. Although she has a shorter attention span for these kind of training excersizes she is less hyper than Missy and I guess he thought that gave her more of a chance. He eased into it by putting the lesh on the floor and stepping on itif she tried to take off. It seemed to work so I tried it with Missy. The leash came out from underneath my foot and off she went!!! It took a couple tries but we got her off chasing her new playmates around and back into my (not so) capable hands. Still my husbande proceeded with Belle positive that she would be different. He uncooked her leash and watched her go. She ran after the neighbors dogs, towards the woods in the farside of our backyarde, in and out of both neighbors yards, and then we whistled. Oh my poor baby! She was deaf! She was suffering from spontaneous deafness! We whistled over and over again and she wasnt coming! She must not hear us! SMH. we shouldnt have known. It was common sense and we should have known. Not only did she run rampid and ignore our commands but she was instantly a bad influence on our neighbors dogs leading them farther int othe field than they normally go and chasing them closer and closer to the woods. Then out of nowhere just as my husband and a friend was closing in on Belle she decided she was bored with the woods and made a mad dash for the road! Straight towards all the moving vehicles she went as her mom stood their holding back Missy and panicking that my baby would get run over. A couple houses down some neighbors had a few dogs in a fence and Belle proceded to mock them by running back in forth right in front of their fence. In her defense they had it coming. Those suckers have been barking at her and Missy and taunting her during potty breaks all week! I would find it hard to do my busniess if someone was barking at me too! Unfortunately, that house was the last on our street and therrefor right next to the busy road. As long as she kept doing laps around the fence we had a chance of catching her.  It didnt work. She saw my husband coming and mad a dash for the road just as a car was coming. I had a heart attack. Well, almost. It felt like it anyways. At the last minute she changed her mind, ran past the boys, and madea beeline for the treeline. The neighbors dogs happily followed. Apparently she was the ned ADHD leader of the pack and she couldnt pay attention to anyone or anything for more than a few seconds. After what was proabably 30 minutes or more of chasing Belle was finally back in the house where she belonged along with a very jealous Missy. We all had our excersize for the day. But we didnt leave without renewing our plans with the neighbors to check out the local dog park together. Perhaps this weekend? We will have to see.

I dont have much to fill you in about as far as the evening goes only because we went out to eat then went grocery shopping and needless to say the dogs did not accompany us. Especially after those shenanigans. We did, however, have great fun when we returned. I say this with just a dose of sarcasm. Tonight we attempted bath time with the babies. First up was Missy. I believed she was a bath virgin. When we got her she seemed clean and well groomed but I suspet the simply wet a sudsy wash cloth and cleaned her that way. Not us! Go big or go home remember? We brought her upstairs and filled up that bath tub so it hit just below her knees. I hope I dont have to explain why you dont fill up a bathtub to normal heright when washing a dog. Once it was filled Missy was in. She fought a bit going in but that didnt work. When she was in the bathtub we took our hands off her to see what she would do. The poor dear face planted! She tried to get a running start towards the wall (what she planned on doing once she got there I have no clue), realized she cant run in water with a soapy bathrub, slipped, and lost her balance. Dont worry she didnt hurt herself. She just gave us a good splash thats all. Still I thought it best she learn frst hand why its best to stand still when getting washed than try to fight with her to hold her down the whole time. Turns out we wouldnt have had to. After that experiance she was thuroughly freaked out. She didnt know what this wet contraption was but it was NOT letting her run. She spent the rest of bath time shaking her little butt off. She laid her head on the side of the bath looking up at me with those puppy eyse. “Why would you do this to me? What am I being punished for?” My poor little angel hated batht time 😦 Thankfully she is short haired so she dried off fast and was on her merry way.

Next us was Big ol Belle.I picked her up and brought her upstairs since (for safety reasons) they had been trained not to go up the stairs. Our stairwell is narrow and they could easily trip and hurt someone while pushing past them when going up and down. I didnt want to risk this so up until tonight they had never been up there. Belle of course tried to use brute force to get out of the tub. She almost made it out once! However she was not as scared of the water as Missy was. She sat down a few times and even layed down once in it. However her tale was minus its normal wag compacity. Actually there was no wagging at all. She seemed content but still nto happy to be there. More like she knew what had to be done and was willing to cooperate to make that happen. Fine by me. Made things alot easier. But both dogs did try to run away from the water when it came time to rinse, smh. Turns out Belle is scared of the hair dryer too. Since her fur is much thicker than Missy’s I thought about trying the hair dryer to see how that would work. It really didnt do much for her but it was worth a shot. Its ment to dry hair not fur. When that air hit her in the face she slapped herself. She tried to run away from it. Note to self no hair dryer next time. Overall? Except for some soaking wet clothes our wash time was hastle free 🙂

Thats it for these puppy tails! Tune in this weekend to see how the day at the dog park turns out 🙂

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Day 5 & Day 6: Why I Didnt Post (and my view of america)

First of all I hope everyone had an awesome halloween. Right now i bet your hyperactive kids are eagerly digging into the abundance of candy driving you and the walls they are climbing up, crazy. Still I got to see quite a few adorable little ones waltz around in their costumes like they really were the princes and princesses they were dressed up to be. It almost makes me want to pop out a little boogermaker of my own. I love children but I am what you would classify as an overplanner and Im afraid children dont quiet fit into that plan yet. we will get there though.


DAY 5:

I got some upsetting news that kind of just made the rest of the day go by and slow motion. Im afraid I didnt do anything training wise with the dogs on this day. You see my husband just got back from a deployment to afghanistan in August. We knew that we were due to PCS in March but we didnt know where yet. Not long after my husband got back we found out our next duty station would be Fort Huachuca (pronounced wat-chew-ka) and our report date was March 10th. Now for those of you that arent down with the military lingo, PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station. This is when a military member is relocated
from one duty station to another or a move. On average (dependent upon your MOS) an memeber of the United States Army (HOOAH!) will move every 2 1/2- 5 years. Alot of times its every 3 but it depends alot on the unit your assigned to, your duty station, and again your MOS. MOS means Military Occupational Specialty. Basically your MOS is your job. What most people forget about the military is they are all soldiers but in addition to be soldiers trained to fight for our country, they are also trained for a specific task to help sustain the line. An MOS would be the civilian equivalent of say a cook, or a mechanic, or a dectective, or a lawyer, ect. My husbands MOS is a mechanic. Originally he was going to be sent to a very small base with a non-deployable unit. The unit is basically the company. Theres alot of different kinds of companies with different jobs in one city. same goes for different units on one military base. and within that company there are different people trained to preform different tasks. When I found out we would be stationed in Huachuca, Arizona I was thrilled. That ment that for about 3 years my husband would not be deploying. Hes had a hard time adjusting back to the staqtes since his last deployment 3 months ago so a 3 year break sounded pretty nice. It also fit perfectly into our timeline of when we wanted to start having kids. Things were looking up!

Then yesterday we found out his duty station had been changed. He will now be going to Fort Stewart, Georgia with a unit that has a deployment cycle. The unit he will be with is actually one he ran into while in afghanistan with his current unit. Since they were deployed the same time he was their dweel time will expire about the same time meaning my husband will be up for another deployment in about a year.

Something you must know about me is my father was, and still is as a matter of fact, in the United States Military himself. Hes due to retire soon but of course they are going to squueze on last deployment out of him. He will be leaving 2013. So basically my husband deployed 2012. Dad 2013. Husband 2014. My stress level is at its maximum. My worry now is constant. I hope they will all make it home okay. Our service members sacrifice so much, their own lives. Whether they make it out alive or not military isnt just a job, its a lifestyle. An unfamiliar lifestyle that all who sign up are willing to undertake for the sake of their country. Willing to spend their whole lives moving from state to state to country for just a few years at a time with no control over where they go, when they deploy, what kind of house they live in, nothing at all. Then the families have to move their children from school to school the wives try to hold down the household, kids, and a job while their husband is in another country fighting a war that most people dont even support anymore being told every day how they shouldnt even be over there not knowing if they will live to see the next day. To make matters worse most of our soldiers make LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE on a daily basis. (dependent upon rank of course). Junior enlisted officers actually qualify for WIC benefits if they have a kid. So basically the governement is saying you work for us. we set the standard. but our employees cant meet the standard so heres some extra government aid. thanks for all you sacrifice here and abroad.

Ok im off my soap box now. I dont mean to complain so much. Honestly I just want to shed a light on what military life is really like because honestly it doesnt seem like america appreciates it at all anymore. I dont know what happened to our flag waving american pride over the years but I havent seen even a glimpse of it since 9-11. Do we really have to face a catastrophe just to be reminded how much our soldiers in every branch do for us? and our fireman? and our policemen? what happened to this worlds appreciation for one another? You dont have to agree with the politics of this country to be a proud american. You just have to believe in the values this country was founded on. Our principle are what make us different from every other country out there and our pride is what moved us forward. We believed in ourselves so we were willing to push harder than any other country. We lost faith in ourselves and look what happened! China is in the lead. Before you know it all elementary schools and highschools will be offering that as a second language instead of spanish. okay okay im off my soap box this time. Promise.

Day 6: Well Halloween happened. we passed out candy, got my husbands paperwork in order for his duty station change, watched scary movies, and of course made an awesome dinner. As for the dogs? STUBBORN! both of them! it was driving me crazy. suddenly Missy thought it was okay to sit on the coach and sh!t on the floor while Belle thought it was a great idea to start biting and jumping. She is not showing aggression but getting just a little too playful. I had my hands so full during the day keeping them in line that I didnt even get a chance to teach them anything new.

Sorry for the lack of a doggie update my friends but we will be back on track on Day 7.  Ihope you tune back in 🙂


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Just sharing our halloween ex-fear-iance ;)

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Day 4: WHO PASSED GAS?! (and their training today!)

Belle and Daniel

—-Ok so let me start this day off with a BUYERS BEWARE memo. You know those Beggin strips that you see advertised on the commercials? The one where the puppy chases the smell all the way to the kitchen where his owner is holding a bag? where hes saying “bacon bacon bacon baconnnnnn!” over and over again? Yeah well Purina was right, the dogs LOVE them. What they dont tell you is it gives the puppies diarrhea and really bad gas. At least thats what I have found. I bought a bag of Gravy Train treats from my local dollar store that the dogs love that dont mess with their stomachs beforehand. So I think from now on Im going to save my wallet and my nose by not buying Purina Beggin Strips. Some puppy stomachs are different from others but this is my experiance. Nothing against Purina personally, I have talked to alot of my fellow dog owners who have fed their puppies Purina Puppy Chow or Purina Dog food and for some its the only thing that doesnt upset their dogs stomachs. For me? My babies love that brand 🙂

So there I was minding my own business, writting yesterdays blog when one of the two was attacked by the case of the serious flatulance monster. I still dont know who it was but let me tell you…. never again. It was so bad I had to leave the room a couple times.This went on all day!!! It made me so naseous. Im just glad I kept my food down. Honestly, since my angels havent had a change in their diet since they were born I dont think its the Purina Puppy Chow. They dont show any sign of sickness and the odds of them both being sick at the same time is small. We dont feed them table scraps so my only other guess is the treats Iv been using to train them with. So at the end of the day we went back to the dollar tree and picked up the budget friendly, butt friendly option.

However, despite the nastiness we made AWESOME PROGRESS! Starting the day off Belle was being stubborn. She was non responsive to her name, jumping all over Missy when I was trying to train her, and wouldnt even come when whistled at. On a side not the isolation method didnt work. I will have to try something different. When I put Missy inh the bathroom to train Belle she wouldnt be quiet. When I put Belle in their Missy wouldnt stop running over to the bathroom instead of paying attention to me but Belle wouldnt leave Missy alone if she was out while I was trying to train her. To top it off she was definitely our troublemaker of the day. While Missy did slip out of her collar during a potty break and had to be called back inside Belle tried tearing up the white fluffy rug, was digging at the large area rug, biting the corner of the coffee table and wrapped her leash around my bare leg first thing in the morning when I took them out for a bathroom break. It gave me an incredible rope burn. Joy.

Overall though we had a productive day. Since Belle was acting up I decided to take her out for a one on one walk. I thought maybe the bonding time between the two of us would make her more responsive to my training. It worked. Not only did she do good on the leash, and not bark at the dog who passed us on the sidewalk, she learned a thing or two. Today, Belle learned to shake hands, play dead, come when whistled at, her name, settle down, and hug! She reviewed sit, lay down, stay, good girl, and no. Missy learned to shake hands, hug, come when whistled at, settle down, and go to bed! She reviewed her name, sit, and stay. I tried working on go to bed with Belle but since she is not treat motivated it was extremely difficult. She isnt even close to getting it yet but over all they made great progess. But a positive training method and a lot of patience. I try to make the training sessions a game for them so we can both enjoy ourselves instead of it being some kind of serious matter. I dont use force or really any kind of physical contact except for when im petting them and praising them. I will note that I think its important to rub your dogs neck and back every time they come when called. This reinforces the habit of coming within arms reach when they come to you instead of just stopping right in front of you. Missy and Belle both sit on their own now when i get the leashes out. they stay still for the most part while I put theirs on. Im very proud of their progress. We have got a bright future ahead 🙂 For now? We’re just taking it one bark at a time. Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow to see how we handle : THEIR FIRST BATH (bum bum bummmmm) <- scary music

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Day 3: Not The High Heels!



So today was just hectic. It wasnt our schedule as much as it was our dogs. We had a nice lazy sunday indoors after a long night of partying. My husband and I went to a halloween party and had a little too much fun. We wanted to recooperate but had never done it with two energetic puppies in the house. We were in for a big surprise. We spent most of the day chilling in the living room with the rest of our family, Missy and Belle. I was worried when we decided we were getting two puppies Daniel would pick a favorite and before we even got them I had a feeling it would be Belle (He loves german sheppherds). After the way things went yesterday I think my fears were confirmed but Missy brought it on herself. He loves them both, dont get my wrong but tornado Missy definitely blew through the house yesterday.

Missy was into EVERYTHING! She was doing laps around the house, knocked over the trash can from running around so much and just would not settle down. We took them out numerous times throughout the day and let them run around and it wore Belle out but not Missy. Yesterday she was the energizer bunny from hell. She just kept going and going and going. Ok thats a bit of an exaggeration. She is way too cute to be from down under but she was quite the terror, I’ll give you that.  She was jumping all over the walls, all over Belle (who didnt mind one bit), all over the chairs and the stairs and us. On top of that her name tag got caught in my fluffy plush bathrobe and broke it. Not her fault she was just excited but it was impossible to get it off of her high energy self without cutting my fingers. So now we  have to replace her tag asap. SMH. Did I mention she kept jumping all over us? I dropped a hair claw on the ground and before i could pick it up Missy made sure she did.She then proceeded to do laps around the living room with it before stopping to lay down and give it a good chew. Good thing those are so easily replaceable. She didnt break it but she did leave marks. Then to make matters worse she would NOT listen to the commands.

The best part was she peed on my husbands work boots. Lovely. We had just taken her out like 10 minutes prior! We were heated. I prefer to used a firm tone with her and timeout if necessary but Daniel prefers the back handed approach. He says theres nothin wrong with giving the dog a good swat when she deserves it. If you can give your kids spankings why cant you give your four legged ones a little love tap when they need it? I guess I cant argue with that logic. I DO NOT agree with people that smack their pets so hard the potty themselves or have to go whimpering off in a corner but if you swat the sparingly and just enough to get their attention I have found they do resond to it, they do learn, and they are right back at your feet panting and licking five minutes later. So for all those animal activists out there who stand on thewir soap boxes and try to tell me im hurting my dogs pysche but physical discipline can back off. Im not hurting my puppies at all. They arent scared of me and love to play with us and each other just as much after they have been corrected.

Anyways, now that I have said my piece, back to the story. Missy peed on my husband’s combat boots. He didnt like that. He gave her a firm talking to and a little thump on her back. She had been yelled at so many times that day for getting out of hand that instead of laying down under the coffe table at our feet she would put herslf in timeout by laying under the dining room table on the other side of the room for 5 minutes before coming back to lay down beside us. After yesterday she really did not want to come when daniel called her. She was cautious but he wrestled around with her, layed down with Missy, and showed her he still loved her she just needed to learn right from wrong. Then 10 minutes later she ran over to the shoe rack and decided to make my new nuede Steve Madden pumps her next meal. REALY?! ugh! I was fuming! All in all I would have to say this: Ladies and gentleman, we’ve got ourselves a trouble maker. Tommorrow we start back with training. Thats it for this bloggie doggie! Thanks for reading 😀

P.S. I’ve found it best not to be stern with the dogs right after you call them. Get into that habit and they wont want to come when called. Even when they do something wrong you can say their name and then “no” they can still hear and understand you without having to stand right in front of you. Always praise them and congratulate them for coming when called while training them. Thye need to learn their name and “come” go hand in hand. They both mean run towards ther person calling you and good things will happen.

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Day 2: Puppies first walk

My babies 🙂

Well today was a pretty relaxed day. We slept in a little bit. I dont think Missy and Belle’s blatters appreciated that. They were very excited to see us when we came down stairs to let them out of their kennel. So excited that Missy pissed herself twice before I could even get her leash on her and out the door. On my favorite area rug….. ugh. I really need to invest in some better puppy pads. Like I saide the arm and hammer one I bought are a piece of crap. No tear technology my butt. So we let them do their business and than Missy and Belle thought it would be a very fun game to try and see how quickly they could tangle up their leashes and each other. I did the leash dance as best as I could crossing and uncrossing my arms, dipping, and weaving. It felt like a mix of the macarina and the cupids shuffle. As much as it tried it didnt matter. The puppies were so tied up in each other that I had to pull them back in and unhook them to get their leashes fix them. Insteda of calling them in and both of them running Belle ran inside all by herself while Missy got drug along with her limping and hopping because the leash was around her leg. She tried so hard to get untangled she ran straight into the side of the house. Silly dog! They spent the rest of the morning wrestling and running around each other. Im glad they get along so well but Missy really needs to stop humping Belle. Thats taking it too far. I dont hump in front of them they shouldnt hump in front of me! hahah 🙂 The good news is though throughtout the day Belle finally understood that she could come back inside. No problems anymore 🙂

Belle is a cuddler. She will come right up night to you and kiss you and snuggle against you. It is the sweetest thing. She is just one big ol teddy bear. She also likes to be the center of attention though. Whenever I would call Missy over to give her some TLC Belle would come running, shove Missy out of the way and demand to be petted with those puppy eyes. I love them both and this just cracked me up.

Even though Missy humps Belle (to show dominance) she doesnt seem to be the dominant one when it comes to food time. I feed them each a bowl 3 times a day (unless we get up late, then two). Missy’s recommended amount for her age and breed is 1 cup and Belle’s is 1 & 1/2 cup per meal. I think whoever decided that likes there dogs all skin and bones. As much as mine run around and burn off calories this just wont do.

Missy seems to be teaching Belle that its ok to jump on us when shes excited. We will have to break that habit. Missy will spend alot of time laid down at my feet but isnt as much as a cuddler. She likes her personal space when she is relaxing for as hyper as she is and if you try to mess with her she will just get up and move. Overall they are both very happy dogs but we will have to schedule a vet appointment soon to make sure they are happy and healhy dogs. I want to make sure that Belle is UTD on all her shots and that both get their rabies and heartworm treatment.

Both pups are getting braver with the kitchen. They now think it is ok to step foot in there. I dont want them getting into that habit because when I am cooking I am all over the kitchen and need my space. They wouldnt be in the way now but when they get older as big of a breed as they both are this could be a problem down the road. When it comes to training I have noticed that Missy is more treat motivated while Belle is more praise motivated. I still am not sure how I will train them both at the same time as they seem to distract each other but I am thinking one on one training with the both of them could prove to be a good idea. Belle is a little better at listening the first time around but doesnt always understand what im trying to tell her while Missy gets it right away but Is so hyper that it takes her much longer to comply.

Whenever Belle hears the neighbors dogs bark she thinks she should start a conversation with them. A little aggrivating but we are working on breaking her of that habit. Our walk today was no different.

We spent a few hours today walking with the puppies and they LOVED  it. Belle wanted to stop and talk to every dog in every yard and Missy wanted to run circles around our legs. Still it was nice to have a walk with my husband and our two babies 🙂 The leaves were falling all around us and I think its safe to say we both built up our arm muscles by the end of that long walk but thats ok. They havent been leash trained and that was the first time they went on more than just a potty break together. It took them awhile to realize they didnt need to tug the whole time but we rationed their leashes until they realized if they werent pulling us and tugging constantly they would have more room to play.

Over all it was a great day with good progress and the dogs have wamred up nicely to their new homes and new family. Since my husband works 5 days a week I have decided weekends will be “Reinforcement days” where we just review training they have learned since living with us. So 5 days a week we will tackle new subjects and two days of rest and review. They will be some sweet smart obedient little pups in no time 🙂

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Day 1: Iv really stepped in it this time

my babies

Belle and Missy

Today Missy got so excited to see me come downstairs she peed in her kennel. She hadnt gone all night. She almost made it outside! Well once she got outside she went 3 more times. I stepped in one. It wasnt pee. *Barf*

It was raining today all day which really interfered with our plans . I wanted to go on a jog with Missy and hangout at the dog park with our next door neighbors and their three dogs. It would have been nice for her to get some socialization. Oh well. She will get plenty tonight when we pick Belle up.

So Missy spent most of her time napping. Theres a little white fur rug under my coffee table in the living room. She has decided this is her spot. She layed there on top of my feet while I spent my time job searching for something temporary before the move like maybe an online job, filling out surveys that I will supposedly get reimbursed for, checking email, facebook, and writting my most recent blog post. She was very comfortable there and we took turns doing that, doing chores around the house, cooking, and training. Missy has gotten “Sit” down to a T. We worked on “stay” today and she is progressing very rapidly. Without distractions I can walk into another room come back and she will still be where I left her, sitting and waiting. She isnt consistent with it yet but she knows what she is supposed to do. Now, it just takes practice. Upon my husbands request I have been working on “down” a.k.a lay down with Missy. STUBBBBBB-BORN. She rarely wants to listen to that one and attacks my hand and face when I say it. I think, she thinks lay down means “pounce and aim for the face”. my face is not pounce proof. this is a problem.

She now knows what “good girl” means as well as “no”. For some reason she has an OBSESSION with the kitchen. Last night she would walk up to the threshhold and just stare. I noticed her doing it again this morning while I was cooking breakfast. At first I thought it was because of the food. But all throughout the day whether I was in there or not she would walk to the kitchen stop and stare. Lights on or off it didnt matter. Missy has some kind of fixation with that room. She seems willing to go in there but its almost as if she has been trained not to. I wish I could take credit for this but I cant. However, I have been praising her for stopping and using her knack to not go in the kitchen to help with the “stay” training by telling her to “stay” everytime she stops and sits at the threshold. shes doing it anyways so its like reinforcing the word for when I practice it in other areas of the house.

So far we have “sit” “no” “stay” and “good girl”. Missy is beginning to understand “take it” and “drop it” with her toys! Our focus right now is to lay down, get her better at responding to her name (obviously) and nip her jumping habit. Especially, when people are sitting on the floor and shes aiming for your face with jaws wide open. So the honeymoon is over you guys. This jumping and not listening when I call her or tell her to lay down has got to stop. It will be okay though, Patience is a virtue my friend.

I have noticed she also likes to run in and out of her kennel on her own. she seems to like it there until the door is shut and we are walking away. Then the whinefest commences. She also thinks that the fly that came in through the back door today and wont stop flying around is a toy. fine by me as long as she fetches!

I wonder if theres a critter in my kitchen? Maybe thats why shes interested? Hmmmm…

Obviously with it only being the first full day we are still having trouble with accidents in the house. I tried puppy pads because I have seen them work for my neighbor but I think we bought a different brand. Missy has decided the puppy pads are so much fun to shred into little tiny pieces! “Oh joy! Confetti!” -Said no carnival cleanup crew, ever.

NOTE TO BUYERS: Arm and Hammer puppy pads DO NOT work!!! maybe try to find some that are thicker?

I found out today she is very playful with other dogs. She spent alot of time running around last night and for one of our potty breaks this afternoon with the nieghbors puppies.

When late afternoon came she had to go in her crate while we went to go pick up Belle from a veteran owned horse rescue center where Belle’s foster dad worked. How sweet! Belle was alot bigger than she looked in the picture we recieved! She was also ALOT calmer than I thought she would be. No barking and she took to us immediately. She was an outdoor dog before we got her so I wasnt sure how she was going to take to the house. After a nice long talk with her foster parents we took her home. Unlike Missy, Belle loved the drive back. It only ended up being about 45 mins give or take. She spent most of the time either layed down in the back seat (taking up the whole thing in a full sized pickup!) or standing and looking out the window with her tongue hangin out and tail wagging.

When we finally got to the house her mood changed. This was her first time ever in a home. She didnt want to go inside. I took my husband holding Missy back  and me practically dragging Belle in the house to get her to come inside. Even aftre we shut the door she just stood there for awhile while Missy excitedly jumped all over us and her. She finally had a sister! I was hoping Belle would warm up to her. It didnt take long. At first Missy wouldnt even let her eat but by the end of the night they were going on potty breaks outside together and running circles around me taking turns chasing and tackling one another. Belle definitely thrives outside. Even now when we take her out she is happy to go outside and run and then lay down when she gets tired but that big old pup will NOT come back inside by her own acord. Not with whistling or treats or toys or praise or even chasing after Missy. I dont know what to do about that one yet but Im hoping it will just take time.

Belle does love Tv though. This is the first time she has ever seen one in her life and this wide screen is just blowing her mind right now. My husband played COD (Call of Duty) and she tried to dodge every single bullet! Silly girl! She loves to lay on our unofrtunately expensive rug but I dont mind. As long as theres no serious accidents on it I will be fine. There is white on the rug…. lets see howthat goes. Missy keeps growling at her to try and get her to wrestle but she is not having it until you pull her ear. Thats her big no no. Missy found that out the hard way. They love each other already though. I couldnt be more happy. Daniel worked with them both on commands (at the same time!) while I was typing this and I did my best to ignore him and the dog. Since they have all day with me 7 days a week and only 2 days all day with Daniel its important that he spend some one on one time with them whenever he can, whether Im there or not. Surprisingly, they both did very well as they practiced sitting and laying down.

When it was time to take them outside Missy was ready to go! Belle on the other hand doent understand yet that unlike with her previous owners she IS allowed inside. It took alot of coaxing and quiet a bit of dragging unfortunately to get Belle back inside. I hope its just because she was trained not to come inside and it doesnt have to do with her feelings about the house. We need to get more toys for the dogs. Missy settled down in the kennel with her new kennelmate Belle and we all slept very well. No barking or whinning! This wont be as crazy as I thought 🙂

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Day 0 : Intro + The First Night

The trainer

This is Me

   Well, my name is Savannah Barker (no pun intended) and I am a first time pet owner. Yet for some reason My husband and I decided if we were going to do this we might as well go all out. So we will be the proud owners of two (hopefully) very smart puppies named Belle and Missy. Belle is a full-blooded 7 month old German Shepherd puppy her rescuer found on the side of the road in front of his house. We found him on craigslist. Missy is a 4 month old BorderCollie/German Shepherd mix. One of the adoption agents at the shelter she was at found us on craigslist and sent us the link to their page with Missy’s information. Let me explain, since my husband and I have been searching for an addition to our family on and off for 3 years we have been doing alot of looking in that time. We tried petfinder, local animal shelters, pet stores, bookoo, newspaper ads, ect. The thing that finally worked was craigslist but not in the traditional route. Sure at first I did what thousands of other users do. Simply log on and look for a puppy. But that didn’t work out so well. See some people were charging too much, alot of people didn’t have the breeds we were interested in, some lived too far away, or decided they wanted to keep the dog and many let a bunch of people apply for the dog and then seemingly randomly chose one. One owner even said we could have a siberian husky/timber wolf mix until we were in route to pick her up only to find our someone had beat us to her. Like some kind of cruel first come first serve basis. A rat race and a twisted joke. That was the last straw for me about a week or two ago. I was done. I broke down in tears after three years of looking and being disappointed for various reasons, I was done. After a few hours of being upset I picked myself up and made one final attempt to get the dog of my dreams. I posted my own ad on craigslist. I was selling myself. You see I posted an ad with a picture of my husband and I with the title “Loving couple wanting puppy”. I explained our long search and many heartaches and exactly which breeds were our favorites as well as which breeds we could not take due to the rules of the military installation we live on. I pleaded with the fellow craiglist-ians (new word?) that they would find it in their hearts to help us on our search for our new four-legged friends with whatever information they had or could find. At first I got a few emails reminding me that petfinder exists (duh!) and to check my local animal shelters (double duh) and the dangerous of dog breeders screwing people over and puppy mills selling to stores. SERIOUSLY? Do you need to state the obvious? But by the 2nd and 3rd day of having my ad on that website my email was flooded with responses about puppies from all breeds and personalities and colors and shapes and sizes! I was ecstatic! I know had almost and dog I could think of right at my finger tips. All we had to do was chose. The emails that stuck out the most were the man with Belle and a worker at an animal adoption agency with Missy. Not knowing if we would get either we applied for both. We assumed considering how flakey strangers had been on craigslist that we wouldn’t be bringing home Belle but the adoption clinic was making us jump through so many hoops with Missy and pay such a large amount that we didn’t know if we would get her either. Anxiously we waited. Come to find out we got a response from both people saying they would be honored to have such a wonderful family take their puppy home. How could we choose on over the other?! So we didn’t 🙂

Last night we picked up Missy. After 3 years of my husband and I talking about and searching for a puppy we found Missy (pictures later) a GORGEOUS BorderCollie/German Shepherd mix. Does that make her a Border Shepherd or a German Collie? Or does it make her a Border German?? You guys decide.

Anyways, Last night we met Missy for the first time and picked her up thanks to a “local” animal shelter about an hour and a half a way (with traffic). Her original name was Abby but since my husband and I personally know too many people with that name we felt it needed to be changed. It has been less than 24 hours since we picked her up last night (aprx 6 pm) and she already seems to be taking to her name as well as the word “sit”.

She doesn’t know any of the basic commands and is not potty trained so as a first time pet owner and now loving mother of a four-legged 4 month old I have my hands full. I am currently in between jobs so I have the whole day to teach her these things. I will be moving in a couple of months to another state so it feels pointless to start another job with the holidays coming up and a major move right around the corner. I miss making my own income though but thankfully I will have my hands full. I will be potty training and really just training two puppies at the same time. Agh!

I have never so much as owned a cat, snake, lizard or ant, let alone two puppies at the same time! I did try to sneak a lizard into the house once when I was 8 though. My dad didn’t like that. Turns out my older brother screams like a little girl. But back to the story.

We picked up 4 month old Missy last night from her foster home and she was SO excited to see us. Man that girl can jump!!!! She was running all over the place and playing with toys and licking and jumping. I was as excited as she was. I have been waiting my whole life for her, my first puppy! I was practically in tears as I tried to hug this energetic fur ball. She was perfect 🙂 When it came time to go and she was still doing laps around the room I asked her if she wanted to go home. Her ears perked up and she charged right at me! Tail a-wagging and tongue out of mouth of course 🙂

Then we got in the truck. This would be the longest ride this dog had ever had in her life and to top it all off it was with strangers she just met calling her a name she didn’t even know yet. Needless to say, she spent the entire ride with her head on my lap as my husband drove us home. She just looked up at me with those big brown eyes and all that energy was gone. Missy was so nervous!

Once she got home however she was back to her energetic self. She didn’t have a single accident or any kind of sickness on the ride home and went outside as soon as she got out. This was looking promising! Then we let her inside. she piddled on my brand new $300 area rug. Come on! Really?! She had a couple of accidents throughout the evening but this was to be expected being in a new home with strangers and no other dog around like she was used to. Tonight we will fix that when we go to pick up Belle 🙂

Since we got back so late we really only had time to take her out a little bit, work on the command “sit” with her as well as her name and have some play time. Within 30 mins she was able to sit. Within an hour she fully understood the hand signal as well as the word.

I decided to train her with the “guess method” as I like to call it. I will be using this training with all of her commands as I have found it to be extremely effective. It is positive motivation. I don’t know what the actual name of the training method is but for lack of a better term that’s how we will be referring to it from now on. The guess method is basically this. I will use a word cue as well as a hand signal with every command. Whenever possible I will use a hand signal that allows me to conceal a treat. I will do training in 5 minute or less periods multiple times throughout the day. Puppies have short attention spans so keeping it short and simple ensures success. repeating the process and staying consistent seems to help. The object of the guess method is this: With a treat concealed in my hand she doesn’t know if I really have one or not. She hopes I do but she doesn’t know. Sometimes I will, sometimes I wont. It becomes a guessing game. She knows the object of the game is to do what I want in order to get a reward. Sometimes the reward is treats, sometimes playing with her toy, sometimes its just lots of praise and attention. Some rewards work better with certain dogs than others do. Although she loves playing with her mossy oak squeaky toy during training she gets most motivated by treats. Still, I don’t always have a reward in my hand and It’s not always treats. This helps to ensure that I don’t get her in the habit of getting food every time she does something good. That’s one expensive habit.

So this method seemed to work last night with learning her name as well as learning to “sit”. I will continue to work on the “sit” cue today with her but with a twist. Today I will focus on her sitting for longer periods of time giving me a perfect transition into “stay”. I find it best to practice training indoors first then taking the training outdoors when it seems they have mastered the basics of that cue. outside is alot more distraction and scents and fun things to do making it harder to obey. If she does not have that good foundation before hand it will be extremely hard if not virtually impossible to train her while outside.

Last night ended with her meeting the neighbors three dogs. There are two puppies named Sweetpea and Shianne. They have an older dog named Zeus. Sweetpea is a black and tan coonhound, Shianne is a german shepherd, and Zeus is some kind of chihuahua mix. Iv never seen such a big chihuahua! They all got along extremely well, especially the puppies. They tackled each other and played and just had a great time. This is good news for me because my neighbor is often outside in the backyard with her dogs when I step outside. They have gotten to the point where they don’t need the leash and come when called. I hope to get to that point with Belle and Missy by the end of next month if not sooner. This will be extremely difficult. I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. For right now I’m just simply documenting from my own experience with what works and what doesn’t.  Missy, my husband, and I ended the night with a movie and then bedtime. Missy doesn’t know the vocal cue “go to bed yet” or the fist closed on finger flick i plan on using as a hand signal. So it took a minute to get her into her crate. She did go in and out of it on her own multiple times that evening before bed though so we think she’s taken to it very well. However, when it came time for us to turn out the lights and go upstairs while she slept in her kennel in the living room…. that’s another story. She barked and whined and moved around in her cage. My little Missy was NOT having it. We stayed firm with her though. It was so tempting to have my little love bug sleeping in bed with me but that was one habit we did not want her or Belle to get into. Maybe she will sleep better tonight with a kennelmate. Still even with all of the fussing it only took two trips downstairs to get her to settle down. One by me and one by my husband. That is with the next door neighbors dogs and their next door neighbors dogs barking up a storm when we went to bed. So over all? I’m very proud of how she is doing and look forward to the training ahead. For right now? My angel has fallen back to sleep all sprawled out at my feet.

Tune in tomorrow to see how today, Day 1, turns out 🙂

This is Savannah Barker saying thanks for reading Doggie Daze 😉

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Hello world!

So WordPress says I should use this First post to introduce myself. I think thats wack. But I will say this much. I am hoping that this Blog will somehow help dog owners and maybe first time owners figure out how to train their dog or simply share with them the joy and frustration and inthe end great reward of dog ownership. We wouldnt be the same without them ❤

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