This Chief, that is.
Fun fact, I’ve never raised a puppy before. I’ve had a ton of dogs – mostly part time – but never a puppy.
- Choochi (it’s a Thai name) was a family dog but I was very young and not involved in her raising
- Exo belonged to a guy I dated when I was 19 and he (the dog) hung out with me all the time while Bruce was at work
- Kip – the best dog in the world – came via Chuck. Chuck and I only lasted a couple months but Kip was in my life for seven years until the day he died in my arms.
- Marvin belonged to a housemate, he was a great dog
- Blue – my big baby – was adopted when he was 2 1/2
- Chicky, stolen from Tabby, was full grown when I absconded with him
- Scheissehund, 3 1/2 when I adopted him
- Chief, 9 weeks old and doesn’t know a thing
I can’t say that having lived with seven dogs prepared me in any way to have a puppy. Having actual human babies really helps (as far as not having a nervous breakdown when he pitches a fit in his crate) but I am learning as I go. I’ve read the Cesar Milan and watch the Zak George videos on Youtube.
Cesar is great but I feel like I am failing as a human being all the time. Maybe working with all those deeply disturbed dogs has lessened his opinion of the human race, but it seems like all his advice comes with some kind of scolding. Zak George has a lighter touch and really great videos.
Loony, who is the self-proclaimed expert dog trainer hasn’t done much but I’m giving him a pass because we really do have a shitload of animals and he hasn’t divorced me … yet.
So how’s it going? For one, Chief is the cutest thing ever.
It is really fun showing him the world and giving him all the experiences that Blue and likely Scheissehund never had. My hope is that it will make him a well-adjusted family dog.
He’s easy to train, he already has the sit command down. I want to teach him all kinds of tricks like shake, roll over, and sploot on command.
But for now my most desired trick is potty training. Ugh.
Each day he’s getting a little bit better. The first couple of days was pretty much me mopping up pee everywhere I went. Part of the problem is that I don’t sit still enough, Chief follows me around (like a puppy) and pees any old place he wants. But when I’m working on the computer – like the other day when Sideboob came over for a work day – he naps at my feet. I take him out when he wakes up and he pees and poops pretty quickly.
I’m figuring out when we suck at the potty thing and it’s mostly when I’m distracted, like when I’m making dinner or when the kids are around. Yesterday I put him in his kennel and he whined like crazy but since I’ve done the whole sleep training with my kids, I know that he isn’t going to be scarred for life just because he isn’t getting his way.
The problem is that he pooped in his kennel so that was a huge mess to clean up. But the rest of it – the regular outings, the lavish praise, the “high value” treats when he potties outside – I’m on it. He definitely knows that going outside is a good thing, but it doesn’t stop him from going inside. Hopefully he will be ringing his potty bell and peeing on command before the year is over.
Fortunately he has that cute thing going for him which makes it easier to deal with all the cleaning up.
Here’s Chief play fighting with Minx. He plays pretty rough but she puts up with him.
Chief and Scheissehund having a go at it. I was surprised to see how well SH handled having a puppy around, they seem to enjoy playing.
Sometimes it looks like this to me …
The 3-way wrestling matches in my lap are the best…
L’il Minx is doing well, she is ingratiating herself with Loony like a champ.
As you can see, she is very helpful…
So when I’m not cleaning up pee or laundering poopy kennel bedding, I’m living large.
Many of my neighbors have puppies so Chief gets lots of playdates without the chaos of the dog park.
At least Chief is a good sleeper. The first few nights were restless but we have a good routine. He goes into his crate next to my bed without much whining and sleeps until around 4:45 when he wakes me up and we go outside.
After that I let him cuddle in bed with us until everyone gets up.
He has to spend time in his crate every day so he gets used to being alone, otherwise I fear he will turn into a separation anxiety dog.
I love potty training advice, or any puppy advice, so keep it coming.
For my motivational memes of the day, I found this lovely reminder.
On a related note …
And finally some more truth from Loryn Brantz …