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!