Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 22

We were up early this morning as today is my first day off to work with Bear in the house. We didn't walk yesterday and it was very hot and heavy outside so I wanted to be sure to get a good walk in this morning. Bear was more than ready, and as I walked out the door and looked back, there stood Willie looking at us and wondering why he couldn't come too. There was no reason, except that he's my husband's dog and my husband is the one who does fun stuff with him. That's changing, and so is the fact that Bear is "my dog."

As the days are passing, an interesting thing is happening in our house. The dogs are starting to show us that they each and both want and need to be with both my husband and me. The Vet is great for rough housing, giving the stern backup when I need it and just hanging out. I'm great for cuddles, walking and going "hurry." Increasingly, they are looking to both of us for instruction and having their needs met and, as we are working as a "team" on this, they aren't getting away with so much inappropriate behavior, especially Willie. He's actually developing a nice personality!

One of the biggest changes we are seeing in Will is his voice. He has a "play voice" that we had never heard before. We're hearing it a lot now and we're also not hearing a lot of the "snarly voice" that he grumbled with all of the time. He really was a grumbley dog who was very snappy and snarly. Thankfully, that part of his personality is receding and this other dog is starting to come out who is really quite a pleasure to be around! We still have set backs, but they are quickly corrected and Will is learning that if he wants to do fun stuff, he needs to be nice.

A development we're not quite used to is what happens when we get home. It used to be a situation where the dogs attacked the door whenever they heard one of the cars pull up. Walking in was always a challenge because there would be jumping, and BJ was 98 pounds of 3 year old Lab jump, scratching and really loud barking. That's not happening so much anymore. Bear and Will are glad to see us, but there isn't any barking or jumping and we can actually open the door without forcing the dogs back. Its nice to come home to this!

So, our walk this morning went very well. I did spend some time working with Bear on basic obedience yesterday, mainly heeling and sitting, which really paid off during today's walk. I was actually able to chat with the neighbors as they drove down the hill to work. The dogs just sat and waited patiently until I was done and we'd continue on. It is so cool to be able to do that, to have them under control and working with me instead of going all over the place! Bear is still having a problem with distractions and focusing, but is getting better by the day. He's still young but I think by the time he is a year he is going to be incredible!

This is my first day to work since we got him and I'm a bit nervous. I'm going to be gone for 7 hours, roughly, so I'm a bit worried about what I'm going to arrive home to. Its going to be what its going to be though. Four days a week of my working outside of the home is not going to kill him and he can learn to "hold it" until I get home...I hope. We do have a crate for him, but I don't want to go there unless absolutely necessary. We did pick up extra paper towels at the store yesterday, so I'm prepared for the worst. Hopefully it won't be a problem.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dogs, Bear and Willie


Irene said...

Yeah, seven hours is a long time for holding it in. You better make sure he is quite empty in the morning before you leave. I hope you don't have wall to wall carpeting. Tell me you don't. I wonder what those two will be up to while you're gone. You should install a webcam and spy on them. All the Überhund does is sleep. I'm sure of it. It's his favorite pastime.

~Marie~ said...

I always make sure Peanut gets a walk when I am going to be gone all day before I leave. That way he is empty, and tired. :-)

Good Luck!

Therra Cathryn said...

I had 9 rescued dogs in my house at one time. I crate-trained them all to great success. Crate training is soooooo easy and the dogs grew to love their crates in every instance. It got to the point where I never took most of the crates away as they reached adulthood, making for a crowded and funny looking house, I gotta say. They would always go to "their" space when they felt they needed to and this is where they would even sleep at times, but as they got older the door was kept open. I had one dog who kept all of "his" treasures in "his" crate always...It really saved my floors and kept things from getting chewed up while I wasn't there. I do understand not wanting to keep a dog in a crate for 7 hours while gone however...I used to max it out at 5 hours on occasion and never had a single problem. If I lived closer I'd come take them out during the day for ya! Good luck with it all and let us know how it goes!