So today I have Betsy Beagle and her new sister, Dolley staying here for the weekend. I also have Bella who comes here for in-home daycare on Tuesday and Thursday. This is the first time Bella and little Ms. Dolley have met so of course I wanted to be extra vigilant during the introduction – and in general during the day. Bella’s dad dropped her off while Ruari (my 9-month-old) was napping, allowing me to go in the backyard with the dogs and Kiera (who can hold her own and manage herself), and focus on the introduction. Bella’s dad joined me and so rather than video I chatted with him about dog interactions. As I suspected though, Dolley being a puppy was mostly submissive and preferred to stand back and watch more than get in and interact. The introduction overall went well though, and there was only one correction, when Bella started to correct Dolley because she was being possessive over playing with Betsy. It was only slight but I gave a quick verbal correction and Bella backed off.
I’m actually going to do this entry as mostly a video diary and will post the videos at the end of the day in chronological order with added notes I might want to talk about after each video.
- Kid toys vs. dog toys
- Balancing kids & dogs
- Age relating to kids & dogs
- Normally would not let hyper play in house with dogs
- Kid overwhelming puppy
- After initial intro of Bella and Dolley (Bella’s dad watched the initial introduction)
- Dog interactions
- Puppies usually have submissive introductions and take a bit to feel comfortable
- I don’t allow collar grabbing during play
- Have plenty of resources in a multi-dog home
- Still, dogs always want what the other dog has
- Kid & dog tug
- Dolley is still at the watching phase
- Betsy & Bella playing
- Dolley & Bella play
- How to balance encouraging confidence and not clinginess, but also recognizing signs of when a dog is too nervous
- Reciprocal play
- Balancing kids & dogs play time
- Giving dogs breaks from each other
- Rules can be different
- Ex: one dog allowed on couch but other not
- Bella being cute with baby through the play pen
- Bella and Betsy with kids and dogs in general with kids
- I make them stop licking the baby immediately if I see Ruari doesn’t like or want it, and if she doesn’t mind then I just make them stop when it starts to bother me
- INTERESTING – Dolley gets possessive over toy with Bella
- (actually after watching the video again Dolley did go a little overboard with her correction)
- NOTE: In the ‘dog’ world Dolley would have had her little butt kicked for doing this and she would have learned her lesson about where she stood in the pack. Most of the time in a ‘wild’ pack there would not have been a lot of damage done to her but it might have looked and sounded bad. It is very possible that if I had allowed that to play out the same would have happened – it would have looked and sounded bad but no damage would have been done – however I don’t want to find that out! I talk a lot about the human world being different than the dog world and so in the dog world for Bella to ‘put Dolley in her place’ would have been appropriate, but in the human world we don’t want the dogs fighting. In addition I would not want Dolley to have a bad fight association at such an age. She is at a stage of development where certain things could imprint on her very strongly – so a very fearful event could cause her to have severe problems with that particular event for the rest of her life. Bella can be also be a bit full of herself so it’s not necessarily a bad thing for her to learn to play a little nicer. So I did not want the fight to occur in the human world for many reasons. But it just took a little bit of intervening (voice and presence) to diffuse the situation.
- Note: Though I would not immediately worry about some type of ‘aggression’ problem with Dolley right now – all dogs have their triggers – her behavior is something to note and pay attention to as she develops. It took some guts for a puppy her age to step up to a bigger, older dog – gut again to repeat myself, I’ve seen plenty of puppies reach their trigger and get onto another dog. Overall my opinion of Dolley’s personality is one of being an extremely sweet dog with people, pretty confident overall, and a little go-getter when it comes to playing – but I am seeing appropriate play behaviors with her. She plays a lot but she is also a love with her sister when they both get tired.
- Dogs playing
- How dogs give cut-off signals – Quin & Bella
- NOTE: Some dogs don’t read any signals well and some give very poor signals and there is everything in between. I often work with dogs in play group situations to help them learn signals and this is one of the things I have been working on with Bella. It’s easier to help a dog learn to read signals better but it is much harder to help a dog learn to give better signals but this can also be done.
- Betsy & Bella playing
- Bella sits on Betsy’s head again!
- Bella gives me kisses
- Just before this video Betsy and Bella were playing casually while laying down but Betsy yelped all the sudden (she was fine)
- Bella wants to make it all okay but goes way overboard and gets all hyper, then pisses everyone off even more
- Talk – Dolley corrected Bella because she didn’t want to play
- Teaching dogs to follow cues of other dogs
- Dolley’s interesting potty tendency
- Kiera bossing the dogs
- Betsy wanted Quin’s bone
- Rule of possession with objects & other dog wanting it
- Kiera being challenging (to me!)
- All 3 kids and the dogs – CRAZY ;)
- Working with Dolley puppy and Ruari baby
- Correcting Kiera for inappropriate interaction with dogs
This video was having trouble downloading. I will check it tomorrow and see if it’s up properly.
- Last video
- Ruari got bowled over a little
- (Kiera is whining in background to be dramatic)
- Talk to Elly about what she did wrong – It’s a constant learning process for everyone and little bumps occasionally occur
- Energy got too high
- Talk to Elly about leadership and petting dogs
- I like when Kiera tries to boss the dogs (It helps establish/ enforce her leadership over them – I still often have to step in and help the dogs listen to her or let her know when her bossing is not necessary).
- Elly gets Bella hyped (Ruari is now in my arms)
- Doggy tug
- Note: Lilly my Pitt does not spend all day in her kennel when other dogs are here. I rotate everyone around from backyard, to dog room, to inside the house, to kennel time.
Thursday was a fun, yet tiring and busy day. I love these days though. I love trying to balance my love of dogs and having them in our lives and my love for my children. Funnily enough, I thought doing a video blog might be easier than writing – it wasn’t lol.
On a personal note – I am really feeling much more self-confident and back in my element after both getting back to work regularly and also taking the meds I am on right now. I have had several people tell me I should not be as open as I am about my personal life. For a lot of my younger years I tried to follow the advice of these people – my husband being one of them. I do understand their point and reasoning, and I definitely and obviously respect their opinions. But then, not too very long ago, I realized I just need to do ME! I need to be who I am and not make any excuses or apologies. I AM an open person; it’s just how I was made. So if that ‘exposes’ some of my ‘weaknesses’ – to me, so what! In my opinion they aren’t weaknesses anyway – well not weaknesses that someone could prey on or use against me – 1) because I am aware of these weaknesses and 2) because they are ‘weaknesses’ that everyone has. Everyone doubts themselves at times. Everyone thinks maybe they are not qualified enough to do something and EVERYONE is at least a little unsure at times. Part of why my clients love me is because I am true – they see the passion in my face, they share all the passionate aspects of my life because I am open with them about it, they know I truly care about them and their dogs because they know I AM such an open person. There is no façade with me.
The girls are still really enjoying daycare. We are going on a month now and Kiera still asks if it’s daycare day. We are not quite ready financially to add in Monday but I hope by the end of October we will be. I miss writing my book. I have five and ½ chapters done (first draft of course) and it’s always in my head wanting to burst out, but it’s just too hard to find the time to get everything done right now and write – that is if I want to actually sleep at night – which I technically still don’t get a full night of because Ruari still wakes up for a middle of the night bottle. (I’m not complaining one iota, just pointing out that I relish the sleep I DO get.) I also want to continue writing my handouts and need time to do that, so I’m ready to add in Mondays at least mentally and emotionally. I also slip in just a little ‘me’ time daily by reading every evening after I get the girls in bed and before I fall asleep myself – this is really nice and one of the things I look forward to after a hard day of work/ home/ kids/ crazy! (I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series right now.)
Hope you enjoyed and/or even better, learned something from these videos. Please feel free to comment or ask me a training question! firstname.lastname@example.org