Saturday, June 18, 2011

Briar at 7 Months Old

Our dear Briar is growing up. Next week, he will turn 8 months! Briar has been enjoying his trips to Posh Pets and getting spiffied up at the groomers. He is in an intermediate class at Pet Smart and I hope he graduates with flying colors. After that, I would like to enroll him in a therapy dog program to futher his training. He has such a great personality that I think he would excel in something like that. Basil, on the other hand, just likes to sleep on his favorite chair - enjoying the kitty life.
Here's Briar just back from the groomers. He had his hair trimmed just a bit and he looks great. His straggly puppy fur was trimmed to the length of his adult coat so he is more uniform all over. He looks like a big round puff ball- too cute.
Briar is good size - he's still growing, too. I can't pick him up anymore but we love to sit on the floor with him and scoop him up and hold him that way. He still loves to be on his back and I can hold him and pet his tummy - he loves that!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Briar Aced his test at Puppy School!!!

So, I'm one proud fur baby mama today!! Last weekend, I took Briar to market days and he was just wonderful. He still pulled a bit too much on the leash but for the most part he was a living doll. Then, I went to Pet Smart to get some bird seed and kitty food. He was doing well but was very distracted when over stimulated by other dogs or come a pet trainer......"Ahem! Excuse me, miss...has your dog been to obedience training?” Me: "Oh, no...Not formally, but he's very smart and a fast learner." Trainer: "Well, we offer classes and he would be great in the beginner class." Me: thought to myself, why beginner?

So.....being open minded....walk over to the training section of the store....meanwhile Briar is just perfect mind you. So, I take a look-see. $100 for beginner classes $100 for intermediate $100 advanced, and so on.

Beginner...what is that about, I think to myself....
Your puppy ages 6 weeks to 6 months will learn to sit, stay, down, etc. Well, I know Briar already does that so I simply ask the trainer...could he not go into the intermediate class??

Yadda, yadda, yadda...he must test with the trainer....sigh. I make an appt. for Thursday at 6pm just so the main trainer can assess my Briar and determine whether or not he is worthy of skipping a grade (so to speak).

Now it’s Thursday….Enter Briar and me after a long day at the office (both of us). We meet up with the trainer with his own dog who he's training. We enter the "class". Trainer says Briar must pass by executing one word commands with no delay, such as sit, down, stay and come. Whew....let's do this!!!

“Briar”, I state: “SIT”...Briar sits. Bravooooo my heart sang! “Briar, DOWN”....Briar goes down. Hurrayyy!!!! “Briar, STAY”.....Briar stays as I keep walking and pacing backwards.....Yes!!!! Even the trainer said that distance stay was more advanced than the beginner class! Hee hee!!! “Briar, COME”....and he came!!! What a special boy! So very smart! I just love this pup!

An all star, through and through! He skipped beginners and advanced right into intermediate. What a delight.

After testing out of the beginners class, Briar and I went into town where pups are allowed and celebrated with a glass of wine. We met some new folks and had a dandy time. Such a wonderful day for our dear Briar! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Goldendoodle's First Day at the Groomers

I read that it's a good idea to send your goldendoodle pup to the groomers around six months to establish good habits. It's important to establish a very positive and fun habit with the groomers so they are easy to groom in coming years.

I found a wonderful groomer at Posh Pets! She's fantastic and really took great care of Briar. The only thing I wanted for him this trip was a bath, blow dry, ear cleaning and nail trim - just to get a good rapport going.

I dropped him off at 9am and picked him up at 2:30 - and when I picked him up I hardly recognized him!!! He was so fluffy and soft...such a handsome boy!!
Here we are on our way to a local festival to further his socialization skills. My goal in taking him out is for him to get used to being around people in farmer's markets, outdoor festivals, and the like...without being a total spaz! Briar has a lot of energy and I'm working with him to tailor his energy in certain surroundings.

The outing went very well - we sat and enjoyed a nice glass of wine outside a local wine bistro. He got a lot of attention, mostly from people who were totally shocked he's only six months old! I heard a lot of horse and pony jokes - one person even asked me if I was going to put a saddle on him and ride him home. Geez.

The neat twist on this outing is who we met! Briar sparked a lot of conversation and one of those conversations led us to meeting our neighbor of 9 years - we had lived here all these years and it took an outing with Briar to serendipitously meet! That was neat.

After a long day of making friends and learning how to be a good boy in public, Briar came home and took a very long and restful nap on his favorite spot near the fireplace. He loves the cool tile as he naps.

....speaking of naps.....I think Briar's life style is contageous. Make lots of friends, be cheery, and nap I could get used to that!

Briar Got Neutered

Briar turned six months at the end of April! He's growing so fast! Well, we made the appointment with his vet to schedule the neutering and we scheduled it just after his six month birthday. He did so well! Here he is on the way home - he looked so cute in his cone hat I had to turn around and take a picture. He had so much energy when I picked him up he hardly knew what to do with himself! Getting in the car was a bit of a challenge with his cone hat - but after many bangs and bumps I loaded him in and off we went.
When we got home, he banged into just about every wall (I have a lot of touch up painting to do!). Basil just stared at him and was by his side for the whole day. I think Basil really missed him and really has formed some sort of bond with him. Although they don't play - they certainly spend a lot of time together and really are aware of each other in a familial sort of way.
Briar was never bothered by his cone hat - it's as if nothing could weigh down his very happy spirit! He just keeps on truckin along - cone and all! Here he is showing off his smile.
Although, the back of my legs are very bruised from the run in's we had with his hard awful cone - I'm glad he never hurt Basil with it. Basil watched over him and Briar kept a safe distance when wearing the cone. So sweet.

10 days later, the hat came off! Briar really had a great time playing in the grass without his cone!
Briar being a silly boy in the grass!
Ahhh, no more cone!
Life is good when you're a pup - next up....the groomers!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yesterday, I took off my sneakers and put my socks within the shoes just in case I needed to quickly put them on again. Next thing you know, Briar has a sock in his mouth running around like a goof ball and then the phone rings...I get the phone...forget he had the sock and moved on. Then...I went to get my shoes and find both socks missing and NO where to be found. I think....he ate them. :(

Why would I conclude he ate them?? Well, here are some hints and clues: I found remnants of my underwear on the lawn where he does his business. He also coughed up a whole pair right in front of me after his breakfast. Briarrrrr!!!!!! And...I found a pair on his bed. Geez...I better not have anyone over or surely I'll be mortified.

"Oh goodness...he's just a pup", I tell myself sipping on some pinot. "You'll miss this when he's an adult"...I console myself. But for now - he's a mess! lol!

I think back on my beloved Buddy and try to remember if he used to do this - and of course he did...and of course I miss him and I miss everything about him. With that thought and my fond memories of my beloved Buddy - I giggle and hug my little wily guy. Why not? Life is short - drink pinot and hide your socks and underwear!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Briar's 5 months old!

Time flies when you are raising a puppy! Briar is such a good boy - he has really grown into a beautiful well adjusted pup. He and Basil co-exist with no trouble at all. Briar comes to work with me anytime I can take him. He travels so well in the car - it's so easy. He is very smart and observant, too.
Briar's about 50 lbs now...last time we were at the vet he was 43 lbs and that was weeks ago. I used to be able to carry him, but when I try to now I can really only carry him for a minute tops! Briar loves being outdoors with us while we garden - he loves piles of soil, digging his nose in the soil, running with garden tools in his mouth and loves to play chase. He is a very lively pup that observes and notes everything. Set something risk losing it to Briar's trickery.

Briar's favorite pastimes, chewing his pig ears, his squeaky toys, running, jumping, lounging while we watch TV, and rolling on his back for belling rubs. He's adorable and tends to have a smile on his face. His hair still sheds and we are hoping as his baby hair sheds his newer tighter curled hair will shed less. The curliest part of his fur is on his back nearest his tail...the curls are so dense!

Briar reminds me of a fun loving sesame street character - just a great fun friend to have around. He lightens up any mood and reminds us not to take life so seriously.

I'm eager to see how big he'll get - he seems to have a lot of growing into his paws to do! His paws are very wide and big. He has perfect teeth - they are perfectly straight, aligned and white! His chompers get complimented during vet visits, too.

He still tests me when he has his leash on and over time we will get better on the leash - but for now I'm enjoying him being a puppy...especially when I look back at his pictures and see how fast he's growing up and how fast time flies!

Basil celebrated his 2nd birthday at the end of March. The comfort level between the two is increasing as time goes by. Life is good in the Basil and Briar house :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weeks 14 & 15

Briar tuned 15 weeks yesterday. His back is up to my knee so he's a lot taller. His head can clear the coffee table so he's able to see a whole lot more than he used to. He's a very active puppy and still learning each day. He has established his favorite places to nap (on the marble by the fire place, next to the shower in our bathroom, and in his house). His favorite toys are his stuffing free weasel with dual squeakers, a large furry ball that's the same color as he is, and either his squeaky piggy or elephant. His very favorite treats are EVERYTHING! The pup just loves any treat we give him...but especially a pig ear before bedtime.

We took Briar to Gruene for his very first public outing. I felt he needed to be around more people in order to further his social skills. Briar doesn't listen to us as well when a visitor comes over...due to his over excitement! So, I decided to get him acclimated more to people and learn to follow directions,even during exciting situations. He got a lot of attention from small children his size. He likes to jump right now so we practiced sitting when meeting new people. Lots of people confused him for a labradoodle and he got lots of smiles. We ended our outing by getting take-out from the Gristmill and eating at the picnic tables outside of the Vineyard. It was very nice and he was so good (tossing him treats every so often helped, too).

We are still working on Briar "asking" us to go outside to potty. I think Briar overly relies on us initiating the outing for potty time; so...when he needs to go, he's still not sure how to ask us. Needless to say, we've had a few accidents these past two weeks. I'm hoping we can work on this some more this coming week and help him develop an asking behavior. Once he's outside, he goes very quickly and seems to do very well understanding what to do when he's out there. I've just got to get into a system where it's more obvious when he's needing to go.

How is it going with Basil? Well, Briar is learning to not react to Basil as much. This makes me happy. Basil, on the other hand, just loves taunting Briar. Hopefully the two will just coexist in bliss. I am looking forward to the weather warming up some so we can spend more time in the garden together. I think both Basil and Briar will be great gardening buddies :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 13: Training the Puppy to Ride in the Car

Well, last week was all about road trips for Briar, who turned 13 weeks last Friday. I started by "loading" the back of the car with treats so when I placed Briar in the area of the car I want him to travel in he found lots of fun suprises. This immediately associated the back of the car as a comforting & fun place for Briar.

As I drove, I would toss back treats and continued to tell Briar he was a good boy. I would start by tossing back a treat every 30 seconds or so...then as time went on I faded the treats to every minute, every three mintues, every five minutes, etc. The second time he went for a car ride, I hardly used treats at all. The third time, I only gave him a treat at the beginning of the ride and he was fine the rest of the time. If Briar stood up I would tell him to sit and when he did he would get a treat. Things worked very nicely - probably the easiest training session we've had with him. I think he's just at the age where he's very ready to learn and get established in a pattern.

I've taken Briar on outings with me a few times now and he's been happy riding along with me for 30-45 mintues at a time. He's really a fast learner.

This week Briar also became more comfortable climbing the stairs. He was shy at first but now he's handling them like a champ. We haven't had any accidents in house this week, so that's looking promising, too!

Briar loves to express himself by barking, especially when he's under the bed....something we are still trying to work on. He loves to hide under there and chew our phone cord...ugh! Briar loves to chew our phone cords. I've been sharing my husbands phone charger since Briar ended my phone chargers life while we weren't looking. He's a stinker sometimes - but very manageable if he's always supervised. As a matter of fact, I just pulled him from under the bed right now! Little stinker.

He is a fun loving puppy who keeps us on our toes ALL the time. Basil loves watching him. Even Basil can't resist keeping an eye on Briar - he's our family clown. Well, he's at it again...I better go and fish him from under the bed! Briaaarrr!! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Goldendoodle Pup Week 12

Well, we've made it to week 12! Exhausted as I type...trying hard to recall the ups and downs of the week...Let's just start with this morning. Briar made it through the night without soiling his bedding. It seems; however, he's not consistently able to achieve this every night. Also, should he hear either of us wake up at some point in the night, he cries and barks. We simply allow him to bark it off and go back to sleep on his own, but the added sleep disruption has been hard on us.

We learned Briar doesn't like the rain so much. If it's raining outside, he'd rather find a room to pee in! If we insist he go outside he pees right outside the back door on the concrete hoping not to have to make it out into the wet grass. Yesterday, he found the only dry area on the deck and peed there! He walked along the perimeter of the deck under the awning and peed! Goofy dog! I'm not really complaining...I dry dog coming back in the house = a cleaner house! I'm sure in time, he'll get used to it and run in the wet grass.

Briar is a very sneaky little pup. I know exactly when he's got something he shouldn't have by the way he excitedly runs through the house with his new little "find" in his mouth. Typically, it's a rolled up sock he thieved out of the hamper or underwear left outside the shower. It is quite funny but tiresome all the same. He really loves to sneak a slipper to his bed and roll on it and get ready to chew into it - luckily, we are right there to stop him! I'll be happy when he outgrows this chew stage...he wants to chew the legs of furniture, corners of baseboards, edges of area rugs...that's why it is key to keep him under supervision at all times. One minute he can be right at your feet and the next in another room trying to get into something! He does keep us on our toes, that's for sure.

Briar is still the size where he can fit under the bed and sofa. It has become a game for Briar to dash under things and get as far away from reach as possible and bark and exert his inner self. It is very funny (and annoying), and it can wear you out when he's doing it during inopportune times. We laugh and know that it's just a matter of time before this little hideaway will no longer be his - I'm sure one day we will see him wedged half way wondering why he can't squeeze under things anymore, lol!

How's Basil? Well, Basil simply tolerates Briar. He certainly does not want to be touched by him or played with. He does like to watch him, tease him with his prominent tail, and run very fast past him to get a reaction! Briar, for the most part, is very good at leaving him alone and letting Basil be Basil without getting into his business. Once in a while, he can't help himself and Basil will warn him with a very loud HISSSS! I don't really blame Basil since right now, Briar is a crazy mess when he's running around flopping around and mouthing everything unpredictably. Looks so unrefined to the cat, I'm sure.

Briar is mostly hyper and spastic in the mornings and evenings. During the day, he is much more mild mannered and easier to train. Each day gets a little easier but we still are completely worn out by the end of each day. It's funny how this little pup infused this home with constant action. He's a good little pup, though and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Goldendoodle Pup Week 11

Briar turned 11 weeks this past Friday. How he has matured in just one week! We are successfully mastering commands such as "sit", "give me paw" "down" and "stay". We still have more work to do on "stay", but there has been significant progress.

Basil is also more tolerant of Briar and watches him most of the day. I keep Briar's food and treats in the closet just under the stairs. Each time I leave that door open to start feeding Briar...Basil comes to chew into the treats. Every time!

Briar seems to be potty trained...I just don't trust him 100% just yet. I'm waiting for him to be a bit more confident in letting us know he would like to go out. I think this week coming up will be the week he surely gets it. We have him out of his crate/house most of the time and resort to it at night or when we run errands. Otherwise, he's out and about with us in the house. We find ourselves having to pay very close attention to his subtle hints indicating he wants to go outside. He quietly sits by the back door so if we aren't paying attention, we risk ignoring his cue. He does use the bells, just not consistently. Still, I'm very impressed how fast he caught on when we put the bell system in place. At the very least, it helped him with the association.

Briar is much calmer than he was last week and the weeks before. This makes me very happy, since I was really getting worn out on all the puppy chasing and redirecting! He's also biting less and when he does, it is not as hard. Those little needle teeth are finally wearing down! I sometimes allow him to bite my hand so I can teach him when a bite is too hard. He is a very good responder...all I have to say is "Ah" and he stops and looks at me and either discontinues biting or softens his actions. I feel this is a good exercise, just in case he decides to play bite with Basil.

He also went to the vet again to get his parvo booster. The vet said he was the cutest client she had seen all day. The ladies at the vet's office just go ga-ga over him. We are lucky to have such wonderful and well mannered pets, lol!

This week, I plan on taking Briar to work with me to get him socialized a bit more. Over the weekend, I set up a second crate/house in my office so he can feel comfy when I'm in meetings or busy.

Basil is happily curled up on the bed beside me as I type. I just love his soft purs. He is a very special cat and I'm just so glad he seems to be adjusting well to his new brother.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Friendship On The Horizon

Basil and Briar are getting along so much better since they first met two weeks ago. I guess it is true, give the cat a couple weeks to adjust and they may just become best friends. Here's hoping!

Today, as I sat in the living room, I turned around when I heard something fall off the counter top in the kitchen. I saw Basil on top of the counter looking down at Briar as he just swatted down the top of a Champagne cork to the floor to see Briar's reaction. Of course, Briar loved it! I had to take it away of course and replace it with another toy...but, wow! Progress! Here's teamwork between the two...should I be nervous? Are they going to conspire against me and work the system to their benefit? Lol!

I'm just relieved to see them getting along rather than fearful of each other. Basil is such a good brother. When Briar cries, Basil is there to watch him. It seems to work because when Basil goes to Briar...Briar stops crying. They love sharing treats, too. I'm telling you - offering treats one at a time while soothing them really works in sending the message "good things happen when the other is near". Now, they take naps within a foot of each other...not touching yet...but this is progress, for sure!

I only look forward to turning around one day and seeing them curled up next to each other. Ahhh...what a great day that will be!

Goldendoodle Pup Potty Trained at 10 weeks!

Such a proud Mama today! We tried the bell system (where you hang bells hanging from the door knob of the door you use when letting out to potty) and it worked within a day. Briar tuned 10 weeks yesterday and like clockwork, he is potty trained. Amazing.

I asked a person at PetSmart what the starting age was for puppy training classes (when I was at the desperate stage of seeing the little rascal as a ball of fur with teeth teeth teeth!) and she said 10 weeks. She said their training program prior to 10 weeks wasn't beneficial due the little pups not being developmentally ready to absorb the training. Well, the last two weeks, I worked my tail off trying to get Briar to learn "Sit" "Give me Paw" "Down" "Stay" and "Outside". Now, as if magic has occurred, he can fulfill all the instructions perfectly - on demand - every time. What a little genius!! My two weeks of blood (literally, his little teeth are vicious), sweat, and tears have paid off!! Yay!

Now...if I can just get him to learn that ringing the bells are only for going potty, rather than taking a romp outdoors playing with sticks and rocks, lol!