Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Graduated!

Hi there! Sorry it has been so long! Being a graduate student, a full time worker and a doxie mom has kept me VERY busy. So much has happened in the past few weeks, so let's start from the beginning.

The good- potty training has been going better than expected! Both Doppelbock and Mackenzie are really getting it. Every morning, my fiance would take them outside and they would go no trouble. The colder it was, the faster they would go. Doppelbock began to whimper at the door which meant that he had to go outside, and I was so proud.

"I'm a good boy!"

However, it couldn't last forever. They still went potty, but they barked every time. At everything. Loudly. All of a sudden, Doppelbock decided that he needed to bark at every person or noise. Dogs were ok, however, he wouldn't bark at them. We worked on this with him in class, and he got a little better but not much. To make matters ever worse, Kenzie would join in the fun! Only, Kenzie growls at dogs and loves people, which makes our dogs unapproachable by anyone. The trainer assured us this was their angry adolescent phase, and we just needed to work with them and they would be ok. I have actually had to resort to my dominance gestures for really bad dogs, and they seem to be responding to these very well. Now I can get them to stop, but it takes awhile. So now the hard work begins. We need to take them out as much as possible to get them used to people and dogs. And the neighbors have to learn to turn up their TV sets every time they hear our door open...

"We're cute, mama!"

Oh, and the chewing. How can I forget the chewing... They chew EVERYTHING! I have lost baseball cards, shoes, books and everything else you can imagine. They won't stop; it is like they are possessed by gerbils! They have learned that they can hide their chewing out of sight so the only way I know when they are doing it is if it gets too quiet in the house. Here is a good example of a series of pictures taken by my fiance after he got out of the shower.

"What the...?"

"I didn't do it..."

Despite being holy terrors, Doppelbock and Mackenzie both graduated puppy class with flying colors! Doppelbock spent the last class getting friendly with everyone in the store, and Mackenzie tried to eat her graduation cap. We learned that no matter what, they are still puppies. We need to be patient with them and work with them and help them learn to be good dogs. In just a short period of time, Doppelbock has learned "sit", "come", "down" and "drop it you little..." Kenzie has learned to placate us just enough to get treats. If dancing in a circle is how she gets her nibbles, then that is what she will do.
"I'll even eat my hat!"