a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Chip trial day 1

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chip trial day 1

SUMMARY: Getting accustomed to each other; figuring out bed time.

Backfill: Added March 30

Chip (Chipper) is here. Arrived about 4:00 and I needed to leave shortly for my company's annual holiday party. (Yes, really.)

Owner and Chip came into the house on leash. I had put Boost behind the gate in the living room so that he wouldn't be overwhelmed coming in. Tika was out of sight, but showed up as Owner and I were chatting. That meeting went OK, so I unhooked his leash to see what would happen, and mostly he looked like he was sticking around; he seemed slightly concerned but not cowed by any means. So I stepped around the corner to let Boost loose; had to convince her to come out (I think she thought she was supposed to stay there), and when I stepped back into the kitchen, there was a big yellow puddle on the floor.

Owner didn't see it happen, either, because I think he was paying attention to me. I assume that it was a stressing Chip, since neither of my dogs have ever done that when other dogs have come into the house. Quick cleanup with paper towels and Nature's Miracle.

At one point, Chip popped up to his hind legs, paws on the edge of the stove to sniff; I was able to grab him quickly and say, "I don't think so!" Probably not an issue really, but something to keep an eye on until I'm positive.

Then we went out to the back yard. He checked out everything briskly, and marked everything briskly, too. Had a brief entertaining interlude with Mr. Triceratops while Chip tried to decide whether he was a real critter or not. Sorry, didn't have my camera out for that amusement, didn't want the distraction.

Owner left Chip's crate--a huuuuuge Varikennel from when he used to have a Catahoula. Some toys, bowls, bag of food, leash. After we both watched Chip for a bit and I asked what I could think of to ask, then Owner left fairly quickly, or, he said, "I'll start to cry." Chip has had a good home but we'll see whether I can maybe give him a bit more.

He went into his crate easily on command, I gave all the dogs Guard The House Goodies, and went out for the evening.

Came back about 3 and a half hours later, let him out into the yard where he did his business. Then I kept him on a short leash attached to me while I did a few things around the house, checked my email, and so on. He whined quietly a lot when I wasn't actually doing anything. He got petted when he lay calmly next to me and other times, too. He is SO soft.

Boost seems to mostly accept that he's here. She's looking for more attention from me and I'm trying to give her at least equal attention. She seems somewhat interested in his existence but is trying not to show it. He's definitely interested in her existence and follows her around when I let him off leash in the yard.

Tika is not happy; she actually exposes her teeth with a snarl when he comes close to her face, especially if she's right next to me. Never have seen her do that to another dog, but obviously everyone's a bit tense at the moment. He's good and backs off but I'm mostly trying to keep him away from her (he wants to make friends) and giving Tika plenty of loving, too.

He ate his dinner when I gave it to him, so he can't be too stressed. Eats slowly, though. Wow, when have I ever had a dog who eats slowly?

But he uses the same gentleness when taking treats from my hand, how nice compared to Tika! Even gentler than Boost, and she's pretty gentle.

Bed time: Set up the 24"-high x-pen with his bed and my dog throw about 2 feet from my bed, up against the dresser. He didn't want to be even that separated from the rest of us. He whined, tried cautiously to climb out, which I discouraged, pushed at the (unlatched) end of the pen, which I discouraged. And then, SPROING! He was on the bed! Jeepers creepers! I grabbed him and convinced him to go back into the xpen. Yes, I do have a taller one, but I just want him to get the idea of confinement with minimal trappings, as it's so much easier. He didn't want to settle again, whined, and once again, SPROING! He was on the bed! It's as if he levitated from within this little space, standing right next to the x-pen, across the space between, and up onto my high bed. I can't even tell you how he did it, and I was watching!

Yes, I think that this dog could do agility.

He stayed in the pen this time after I put him back, but kept whining and didn't want to lie down.

Then a funny thing happened. Boost jumped off the far side of the bed, came around, looked at him curiously for a bit, and then lay down on the floor between me and the x-pen, so that her nose was just a little way away from him. Then he settled down with his nose against the x-pen closest to her. I have no idea what her motivation was, but I'm very grateful to her. (She has never slept in that location before, ever, that I can recall.)

He might end up on the bed with the other dogs eventually (sigh), but for now I want my dogs to understand that this is still their place, and him to understand that I make the rules.

Eventually Boost ended up back on the bed, he stayed in his pen, and everyone slept, more or less.


  1. He is very cute. I hope everything works out.

  2. Congrats on the new addition. He is a cutie!Good girl Boost!
    Sophie did something similar when we first brought Swyatt home. She has free run of the room at night but she would sleep in her crate next to him until around 1am and then move to the bed. Every night for 7 months, she would start the night off in her crate next to his crate. Something she never did before. After 7 months, she went back to her routine of sleeping everywhere else in the room but her crate. LOL

    1. Dogs are amazing, aren't they! I don't know why it always surprises us when they take care of members of their own species, but it is a wonderful thing to see.