Tuesday, January 29, 2002

New Dog Day 8

Backfill: Nov 16 '03 For 2 days now I've taken just the short .7-mile walk because I didn't want all that pulling. Of course I *know* that I shouldn't be walking her for long distances every day & allowing her to develop more bad habits before I spend time training her, but she sure needs the added energy-spending and I just don't have time to always do separate activities for her & the other dogs. That's part of the commitment, and actually would probably be even worse for a young puppy.

Today was better; she got excited when we walked past yards with other barking dogs but not frantic. We didn't pass dogs on the other side of the street, so I didn't have to deal with that.

I happened to be near the living room while she was wandering loose, and the mailman came. Jake started woofing, and she popped her front paws up on the windowsill and--just looked! I praised her like crazy, petted her, told her what a good girl she was the whole time the mailman was there & she was just looking. So there's hope-- If I can keep my dogs quieter, especially. (Actually this has been good because Rem & Jake have been barking more than I'd like before Tiki/Tika/Pika/Tikki came home, so I'm working harder on making them think about barking.

There wasn't much new today--I'm desperately trying to put in hours on a project so I didn't play quite as much with the dogs. Remington's feeling neglected, but Wed. is agility nite, so maybe he'll last until then. I left Tika out of her pen for 2 hours starting at 8pm while I concentrated real hard on the computer, and she was a very good girl--she got her rawhide bone that gina gave her & gnawed quietly on it almost the whole time.

She gets distracted from her toys pretty easily. Jake and Rem have always had their own toys that they preferred, but on many occasions (especially if they were new toys) they just lurked around waiting to steal the other dog's toy. Tika *always* wants what the other dog has. Doesn't matter if I give her a toy first and then Jake, or first Jake and then her, she wants Jake's. Doesn't matter if they're identical (e.g., tennis balls). She wants Jake's. Mostly she'll keep bringing back the toy I throw for her, but sometimes not & then I have to keep her away from the other dog while I go get her toy. As soon as I get it & throw it again, she comes back to it, so it's not like Remington was/is.

Jake is getting additional play sessions a day beyond what he usually gets (although usually it's just him playing and now I'm splitting the time with Tikki), so overall I think he's pleased.

Rem has sniffed at her occasionally the last couple or 2 days without his lip rising, and he doesn't seem to mind when she follows him around the yard, but he still lands on her with a big snarl if she gets in the way at the wrong time, like pushing between him & me when I was putting food into the bowls. I've still seen no sign from her of pushing back on the boys, although she's still young. I just have wondered for a long time whether Jake has shaped Remington's understanding of how to interact with other dogs, and whether now my boys will shape her understanding in an unfavorable way. I just don't manage to get out with my agility friends & let the dogs socialize/play in a "normal" way.

Today--no running & whining along the fence by the dog, no barking (i can't remember any except just after I'd been gone for 5 hours, got home & let her out, and everyone was jumping & dancing around & she barked "wow!" a couple of times at me with a big grin. No shrieking about other dogs.

And she's going thru that tunnel in the yard so much now on her own, and leaping over the 12" jumps as she runs around.

In all, it was a good day.

I'm really realizing how helpful it is to have trained dogs around. She really does imitate them easily in places where they are well-behaved--like not rushing out thru an open door, or sitting while all the leashes are put on, or staying in place while the food bowls are put on the floor. She's smart & would learn on her own, but I'm positive she's picking up the behavior from the boys in lots of cases.

Still havne't firmed up a name and am still playing around with Pika/Tika/Tiki/Tikki. The latter as in Rikki Tikki Tavi--I think I thought of that as she was once again making the rounds of everything in the house. It's been 8 days and she still sticks her nose into every corner, onto every piece of paper, every crevice & crack, every edge & box & chair leg. And in the yard, when she's not playing like crazy, she's checking out every piece of grass, every leaf on the shrubs, every corner of concrete. So Rikki Tikki Tavi was a mongoose, but the descriptions seem apt--"It is the hardest thing in the world to frighten a [mongoose], because he is eaten up from nose to tail with curiosity....'There are more things to find out about in this house,' he said to himself, 'Than all my family could find out in all their lives.'... He spent all that day roaming over the house. He nearly drowned himself in the bath-tubs, put his nose into the ink on a writing table...and climbed up on the big man's lap to see how writing was done....Then Rikki-tikki went out into the garden to see what was to be seen....'This is a spendid hunting-ground," he said, and he scuttled up & down the garden, snuffing here & there..."

Anyway, enough, I'll settle on a name when I decide for sure, but today I'm thinking she's a good thing.

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