Saturday, January 9, 2016

Stealing our hearts, etc, etc!

Getting bigger and bigger.
Dylan turns seven months this week.  She is 46 pounds and almost as tall as Bailey, our retriever.  With the holidays past, it is time to get ernest in our ongoing training.  I'll admit, during the latter part of December I became a bit lax and after todays walk, it shows.  Dylan demonstrates many of the traits pointed out in our puppy raiser handbook.

Barking is now on Dylan's menu of no no's.  She is not an excessive barking dog, but usually joins in when Bailey starts the show.  The command to correct this is not "Shut UP!"  As this just reinforces their barking by you joining in on the barking.  We need to use the word "Quiet" then quickly distract them.  We're working on this command.

Another area that we humans do is comfort our dogs during times of distress or anxiety.  They whine or bark and we say, "it's ok" and sooth our dog.  It seems that sort of comfort would be a natural response here, but it tells the dog, "Hey, I can get attention this way".  And, its for the wrong reason.

She does demonstrate some good qualities.  She sits/stays before eating  up to one minute or longer.  Her formal "Come" is getting better.  Distractions are an issue on our walks.  Another dog goes by and Dylan is in instant play mode.  We are going to ask GDA for help on this one as I seem unable to correct this behavior.

Lastly, it is noted in the manual that at this age labs are into crime.  Stealing whatever you deem valuable becomes their most enjoyable part of any day.  Think about it.  Your puppy is playing quietly but being ignored.  Boredom quickly sets it and what better way to get the pack involved in play time then to steal something that doesn't belong to them.  Glasses, socks, remotes and in Dylan's case, Chris' bras becomes a game of chase or hide and seek. Seems she can't get enough of this game.  When we witnessed this while she was playing with Bailey, we thought, "playing keep-a-way is so cute." We should have read ahead in the manual.  

After reading the manual Chris said, "Dylan is right where she's supposed to be, stealing our hearts and stealing our things".


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