Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Nippy puppy

As a puppy, Ruby is prone to the odd bout of excitement where she loses the plot a little. She does sometimes jump up at me, snapping and grabbing my clothing but my reaction tends to work pretty well. I just stand up and slowly keep walking towards her, staring. She usually stops more or less straight away and then lies down at my feet. I then give her a toy to chew on and praise her for chewing it.

This doesn't seem to work as well for every member of the family though. We are all being consistent with her in making it clear that any kind of contact on our skin with her teeth is a bad thing. I regularly see advice that suggests 'yelping' in mock pain and then ignoring the dog. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. I get the yelping thing. It gives instant feedback that tells Ruby that she has caused pain. The idea being that she regulates the use of her mouth and if she DOES use her teeth, she uses less pressure so as not to invoke a yelp.

In some cases, especially when she has a hold of clothing, the 'yelp' response seems only to increase her excitement. I guess it's a puppy thing so I'm not particularly concerned. The main thing is not to encourage or reward her for such behaviour. I'm sure as she starts to get a bit older, she will learn that dog teeth and human skin are not a good mix.

Last night was much better - poop wise. Ruby had not soiled in her crate at all and when we got up at "zero crack sparrow fart", she went outside and did her business like a real pro. She did poop on the conservatory floor later in the day but it's vinyl so it cleans up nice and easy. Again, the consensus is to 'ignore' these little infractions and heartily praise her toileting in the right areas. 

That said, I did try 'hedging my bets' today, by putting the night time litter tray in the doorway in the hope that Ruby would feel able to use it rather than go on the floor if our excursions to the garden were not timed properly. Well...it worked....kind of......

She used the litter tray alright:

Hmm..this is interesting. I wonder if I can sleep
in it....or eat it.
But not in the way I intended. She grabbed the puppy training pad and started tearing it up, then sat in the tray and played in it for a while. Oh, and she tried to eat it as well.

Never a dull moment with the little darling.