a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Olio

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Gate photos

I added photos to the baby gate discussion from the other day. Be sure to go see those teeth--

Head 'em up, Move 'em out... Rawhide!

Here's another trick I've heard over the years. If you have three dogs, put out four identical toys, four identical chews, four identical bowls of food, and so on; this allegedly stymies jealousy, resource guarding, and fighting. With Jake and Remington, it didn't matter much: They fought regardless, and usually (we suspect) over me--and although I'd often like there to be multiple versions of me, there usually aren't. There have been a couple of pressed-rawhide chew toys lying around for a while, which Tika and Jake have periodically worked at, but not continuously.

Well, apparently, as far as Jake is concerned, Puppy is a major threat to the rawhide security of this nation. All of the last 3 times that he has landed on the puppy (I think it's 5 times so far in 2 weeks) have been because he thought she was trying to abscond with "his" rawhide. The last time, she was actually trying to get *around* him without going near him, because I mistakenly thought that Jake was following me when in fact he had sat himself down right in the passageway between me and Puppy. When I turned around to try to get him to move, he saw the puppy behind him and Bam! he went for her and I did a flying tackle on him but he already had her bowled over and shrieking. Poor puppy has been pretty much terrified of him for three days since then--over what was, to her, an unprovoked and undeserved attack. I'm a little worried about what this is going to develop into as Puppy grows up. I'm not comforting and petting the puppy; I don't want her to think she's being praised for being terrified. I am certainly trying hard to manage the space between the two of them.

Jake: Looking innocent (or perhaps ever-vigilant) with his hoard of rawhide chews.
Anyway, so I put out *six* pressed-rawhide toys to try to knock that pressure down a bit. Did this help? In a word--carnfounditno. Remember, if there is a national security threat towards the rawhide supply, one must hoard all the rawhide and stand guard over it to ensure the public good. I have to periodically empty Jake's cache and redistribute the bits around the house. The other option, I suppose, would be to pick them all up and have none around the house. But, hey, where some moms of human toddlers use TV as a babysitter, I'm not too proud to use rawhide chews as doggiesitters.

Soooooo cuuuuuute Boost in her pre-wet-and-muddy days.


Yes, yes, when training a puppy, one must *always* discourage behavior that one doesn't want a big dog to partake of. For example, lick the nipping and the jumping issues in the bud while the bud is still tiny and malleable. So, for example, if the puppy crawls into the laundry basket full of clean laundry and is sooooo cuuuuute, don't let it get to you, don't run and get your camera and start taking photos and making cooing "isn't that cute" noises, because you just know that the next day it'll be pouring rain and the puppy will be sopping wet and muddy the next time that you go into the laundry room with the puppy behind you-- Not that I have any reason for mentioning that possibility--

Tubie Thing™ gets a few nanoseconds of puppy attention.
One is also always supposed to have an approved-for-puppy toy at hand to substitute and praise for whenever the puppy gets into something on the F-list. For example, if every time you throw lint or a used dryer sheet into the wastebasket in the laundry, and the puppy sticks her head into the wastebasket to grab it and pull it out, give a firm "No!", remove the bits of lint and doghair from the dog's mouth, and quickly produce an Official Tubie Thing™ Dog Toy and encourage the puppy to play with it. Repeat forty-eight times because everyone knows that extremely intelligent Border Collies find the texture of lint more appealing than that of Tubie Thing.

Work Update

Nope, not going to Alameda, either. Have been trying to update my official company resume. I hate working on my resume. It's mentally and physically exhausting. I have to take many breaks to clear my head and to relax.

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