Puppy Training

I’m still not sure who is getting trained, us or the puppy.

She can sit, will stay for a little bit and will come if she is interested. She still puddles on the floor but she seems to be asking to go out but we aren’t recognising the signs until after the fact and then it ‘oh, that was what she wanted’.

She is learning our habits better than we know them, and gets thrown when we change them. I had a sleep in this morning, she refused to do anything until I said good morning to her. My husband tried to take her for a bike ride and a walk but had barely left the house before she fussed and wanted to come home.

Yesterday I was having issues with my words, at one stage when I could speak coherently I said to my husband that perhaps I should train her in non verbal cues as well. He stated that when I am non verbal, my body language is gibberish and my motor control is shot as well so that plan may have to be scrapped.

She has three outside toys. A ball, a woven rope whose form is pretty much a ball on a loop, and a plastic dumbbell with a rope through it which was bigger than her when we bought it but the smallest size it comes in. Ball play is pretty obvious. We throw, she chases and if she brings it back to where I am, I throw it again and the process repeats. The dumbbell is the rough play toy, rough tug of war, growling (mostly by me, she is very quiet). The woven rope is gentle tug of war or throw / fetch. When we go out to play I lay all three toys on the ground in front of me and she choses the toy to play with. We play until she gets distracted or I have something else that needs to be done.

She is getting over the biting me stage, she never bit my husband and I have to admit the bites on me were more of a gentle chew but even little puppy teeth are spiky. I can lay on the couch now without getting my hair chewed. Oh yes, she is a spoilt puppy and has the run of the house (sometimes limited to certain rooms at a time). She is too small yet to jump on the couch by herself so we have some makeshift stairs for her. If she is misbehaving or playing rough on the couch she loses stair privileges (we move them so they are the stairway to nowhere) and that really makes her modify her behaviour. Being isolated from her pack (even if she can still access our feet) is a terrible, terrible thing.

She is learning to sit with me quietly while I read. The amount of thinking and processing she requires means I need more down time to rest my thought processes. A little puppy needs constant supervision on some level, lest you want a floor full of puddles and other surprises and things chewed. She is happy with one handed absent-thoughted scratches as I hold my book with the other hand and lose my thoughts in the words on the pages.

She is incredibly social. I took her for a walk around the block yesterday. There was a lady walking by and she didn’t stop and admire and say hello and poor little Maiz was just about devastated. ‘Wait, there’s a people, peoples wuvs me’ (sorry family saying from my daughter when she was little and in trouble for something). And people do stop and talk to her and ask if they can cuddle her, and admire her and she does become the centre of attention wherever she goes. If I didn’t trust my husband implicitly she would be the ultimate pick up puppy, whatever your persuasion.

My husband asked me yesterday if I loved Maiz. I said, ‘yes I do’ and he asked me how I knew. I said I would miss her if she was gone, and even if she is frustrating me and driving me to distraction I want her to be with us. He said he loves her too. I asked how he knew. He said Maiz makes him feel the same way our daughter does. I’m sure there is something there of strong, independent, intelligent women, and I’m sure our daughter understands because she has puppies too. Maiz isn’t her puppies’ aunty though, because she is younger and it would confuse the puppies to have an aunty younger than them, even if they are all adopted, we have to call them all cousins.

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