Archive for August, 2009

Update on puppy Rubi

This is from another of Willow‘s crew – puppy Rubi‘s family. Thank you so much for the update!! I love to hear how well she is doing…it seems that Willow’s pups are really smart!!

Rubi outsideSweet Rubi is getting so big. Her legs are growing and growing. People are shocked to find out how young she is because she’s so big. I make it a point to tell people that she’s a rescue. They’re shocked and tell me what a beautiful dog she it. Lets rescue more!!! 🙂 Rubi loves to go on walks and loves to play in the yard. She knows “sit”, “down” and “lets go” (instead of “come here”). She’s a really smart dog and we’re so proud of her.

She also loves her naps. She makes these grunting sounds when she lays down and goes to sleep. So cute. Oh, and those “puppy dog” eyes are to die for.

Rubi chew toyShe does like to chew, chew, chew and eat whatever she can pick up. The bitter apple spray seems to be working mostly. Her 9-week vet visit went great and got a clean bill of health from the doctor. She’s still learning all the sounds and isn’t so sure about other dogs. We are working on that. She loves kids and still needs to learn that her teeth are sharp and they hurt.

Rubi napsShe now sleeps through the night with no accidents and we hope this continues. She loves to eat and eats way to fast. We got this ball to put in her bowl and that has slowed her down about 20 seconds. We tried the bowl that has little compartments, but she figured out how to flip that over and spill the food all over. Any tips would be great for that. We’re really lucky to have such a well-behaved puppy and a quick learner. She’s our little cuddly lap dog…soon to be big lap dog.

I’ve attached a few pictures. There’s so many to choose from.

E- and D-

A little puppy Sugar

Here we have a note on puppy Sugar from Willow‘s group…

Sugar is doing great, she plays real hard and then crashes for a couple hours. She has had a few accidents in the house and I don’t know if she knows how to let me know when she needs to go potty. I’ve been reading on your website about cleaning with the natures cure (actually the product is Natures Miracle …and it is!)  and I will try that, because she definitely goes to the same spots where she went before. I have a silly question that maybe you can help with. She loves to go out for a walk on the leash but it takes us an hour just to go down one block because she stops and stiffs and trys to eat flowers, plants and other things she shouldn’t. How do we get her away form these things, I don’t want to pull her so I usually run a little to distract her, if you have any tips that would be great.


I am so happy things continue to go well! Yea!!

You know, some people have found that putting a bell or a small wind chime on the door for the dog to ring works…you teach them to ring it by making sure it is at “nose” level and then you ring it every time you take her out. Within about 2 weeks she will get the hang of it and ring it when she wants to go! Then you must always let her out when she rings, even if she was just out, just so she makes the connection. Then after a few weeks of that you can be sure she understands it. It is a pretty cool way to have your dog let you know she needs to potty without barking at you.

About the walking…puppies are like kids – they need to explore to understand their world. This exploration also helps their brains develop, so don’t be so quick to shut this down. Try to make some time for exploring and some time for walking. I find it a good idea to get out the door in a controlled fashion (dog at your side, not out in front of you) and keep that position for the first 10 minutes of the walk. Then give the command, “go sniff” and let her leash out to the full length so she can explore. Then after a few minutes of that tell her, “Let’s go, in close” and reel her in and start walking again for another 10 minutes, and then repeat. You will find that she gets the hang of those command words eventually. Like all training, it is all about the consistency and repetitions.

Let me know how this works out!


Progress report on Jessa

Here is a follow up note and progress report on Jessa as reported in a post a few days ago. Looks like things are looking up for them!

Yes, we are using Nature’s Miracle to clean all of her accidents and it definitely does work. The only spot she repeatedly pees in is by the door through which we go outside to potty, and those–I believe–are the “true” accidents…the times when she really was trying to tell us she needed to go but we missed the cues. Otherwise, she’s not a repeat offender in any one spot. I doused the couch with Nature’s Miracle after the incident and then took the cushion covers to the dry cleaners (which I’d been planning on doing anyway, cuz they were kind of stinky), and both seem to have done the trick.

So far this week, she’s doing terrific!! She has been really well-behaved, save a few crazy moments. She’s responding incredibly well to being gated in the hallway instead of crated. Even our dog walker noted a change in her happiness level. So that’s been good. And she has had only ONE accident. Yesterday, my husband had to work, so it was a normal day of alone time until the dog walker and then again until I came home from work. She seemed to be okay in the hallway, but it was pouring rain when the dog walker came, and Jessa refused to make outside. Our dogwalker left us a note saying she tried her best, but Jess wouldn’t go. So when I came home there was a dried puddle by the “going out” door. So I silently cleaned it and took her right out. I wasn’t upset at all, because I knew it wasn’t her fault. We had a nice walk and a fun romp at the dog park and she was great the rest of the night.

I’m purchasing the Easy Walk Harness today, then, as I’ve only heard great things about it, and I think that’s really the second key thing we need to work on. She’s gotten really good, though, with sitting before we walk out the door—she even did it without any prompting yesterday (only once, but still…it’s a start!!)—and she’s REALLY good about waiting on the steps for me to say it’s okay to run up or down. So it’s just the tugging that is the necessary correction to make.

All in all, things are on the up and up. She overall seems much happier and more fulfilled. We’ll see how she does next week when it’s a full work/school week for me and J- and she’ll be on a regular schedule.

I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again for all your help and advice!!!!!

Yea! Success! Now just keep up the good work. Expect progress to improve, take a step back, and improve again as you find the perfect “recipe” for success. But it seems clear that you’ve gotten a handle on most of the frustrating problems and for that I am so happy. Keep me posted!

Willow is having trouble adjusting

I received a note from the family who adopted Willow and is having some trouble adjusting. Here is her note and my response:

I need some guidance on some issues with Willow. We have some major potty training issues. I have been walking her on a leash outside to go to the bathroom. I try to take her out 6-8 times per day and usually she goes, but she is still peeing in the house. I have limited her to the main floor, but she continually pees in the living room. Even outside it is hard to get her to go sometimes.

She hates the rain and doesn’t want to go. She’s also still scared of the wind and strange noises. She’s generally very skittish about everything. She’s still scared to death of my husband. He’s trying very hard to ignore her and just puts his hand out for her to sniff him. Today we tried putting peanut butter on his finger and she actually licked him for quite a while. We’re going to try that for a while.

She’s also chewing up a storm. We have toys for her but she loves to chew anything in sight. I try to exercise her outside, but she doesn’t want to play fetch and I have some foot problems and can’t run after her. She is jumping on the kids and tends to “clothesline” them with her outside leash so they are somewhat scared of her. Any suggestions on these issues would be greatly appreciated. We just love Willow to death and she is very attached to me and the kids, but we need to make some progress on these issues. I am looking into a training class. Thanks so much!

I’m gong to try to answer all your questions, there are a lot here! But first of all I’m glad you are in love with her. She is a sweetie and I think once you get through this all you will all be fine. But this will take time – remember to think in terms of months rather than weeks. Most of the rescue dogs I have had take a full year until they feel really “part of the family”

First of all, have you made sure Willow doesn’t have a bladder infection? Also, did her stool check come back clean? I would definitely rule out any physical cause for the accidents. A few of the puppies still tested positive for coccidia and whipworm at their 9 week check ups so it is likely she may still be infected, as she was the one who came with those parasites.


Some thoughts on submissive urination

Submissive urination…ah yes. You’d be surprised how many puppies do this but if you understand why it makes more sense. Puppies in their first two weeks of life are physically unable to eliminate on their own. The mama dog has to stimulate them to do so as she cleans them. This makes sense when you think about how the mama has to keep the den site clean to avoid predators, it is easiest for her to just ingest the waste. So one theory is that puppies have a “hold over” response from those early days and when they are feeling unsure or want to tell someone they are truly submissive, they will pee a little. This can become a problem for dogs when the owners see it as a reversal of house training and punish the action. Think of it from the puppy’s point of view – they are trying hard to show good manners by telling their big strong owners that they are no threat, they are ok with their submissive position in the pack. And as a result of this they are punished! It must make them SO confused and of course it just intensifies the behavior as the puppy tries even harder to convince the person of their willingness to be submissive.


Update on puppy Koda

Here is a note received from Koda‘s family (from Chloe‘s group)…

Koda had also received the last of his vaccinations. He weighed in at 32lbs.! He is shedding his soft fuzzy fur 🙁 and is growing a longer coarse hair down his back and tail.

We enjoyed the pics of Angel. She is so cute! We hope to come to another playtime soon. We also are getting in the back to school routine.

I still would love to know the dominate breed of these pups….foxhound may be a possibility….some are white with beige also. People think Koda is a golden retriever and I just tell them its a going to be a “surprise” what he will grow up to be. He’s got the look of collie, chow, lab, retriever….you name it! I love that they all have the white tip on the tail and white paws like Chloe.

Koda is just a sweetheart. We have settled into a nice routine. He is no longer in his crate at night and we block him off in the kitchen when we leave during the day. So far he has done well. He has eight of his adult teeth and looks so cute with his big boy teeth!

However, he has developed a problem with “submissive urinating”. When one of us comes home or someone comes over or he sees another dog he gets so excited that he pees. The doctor said he will grow out of it. He said not to make a big deal about coming home, have people bend down to him, and build up his confidence with other dogs. It seems to me he is pretty well adjusted and confident, so it may be he’s just too happy…??

So, Kristin any suggestions …….? Your last post had to do with urinating…so I just had to ask : )
Hope you are enjoying some time to yourself and your family.