Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Still Losing Teeth

Sorry not to have posted for a few days.

Petey has been losing more teeth. He still has one baby canine left and the poor little guy is barely able to pick up a ball. I don't think it's fair to ask a puppy to learn new stuff when his mouth hurts - I know I don't learn well if I'm in pain. Besides, I'm always concerned that a dog in pain may attribute that pain to something in his environment. If that something is a new thing, I worry that he may associate pain with it, so I'm careful about how I expose him to new things.

Therefore, I haven't been introducing new exercises or taking him to new places, but we have been continuing on the exercises we started before he started popping teeth right and left.

I have stopped using the sit command when stopping, and he's doing pretty well on the automatic sit - it's hard for me to reach his butt before he plops it on the ground all by himself. What a good little man! He now gets very excited at home when he sees me take out his training collar and bandanna. Yes, I do insist that he sits like a gentleman.

That little correction that Nugget gave him shook us both up, I can tell ya. He's still careful around Nugget, but just today I started seeing Pete soliciting play from him. Pete had a pretty wild play session with Piglet yesterday, but even though there was quite a bit of enthusiastic wrestling and noise, I didn't see the ferocity from Pete that I had before, and when I told him to quit, he did. Good boy! My Sugar Baby is pretty fixated on a ball (a Jolly Teaser Ball), and if someone takes her ball away, there's hell to pay. Well, he took her ball yesterday in a fit of puppy silliness and she yelled at him (oh, how she can scream!). It took him a moment of her screaming in his face, but he very deliberately lied down and rolled over. It was kind of funny because I'm used to seeing the submissive posturing offered quickly and naturally. This looked like acting to me.. "Oh, that's my cue to lie down and roll over... Let's see... first I slowly put myself on the ground and then... " LOL

The best news is that he figured out that it WORKS. I'm teaching him a new phrase with that..."BACK OFF."

We've been blessed with a couple of days of wonderful weather so we have gone out for some pretty long walks, teething or no teething. The neighbor's cat provided an excellent distraction on Sunday. We have a little roundabout with a grassy area in the middle just a few houses down from me, and I headed him there to do some heeling in grass and spotted the cat. He spotted us, too, and headed for a patch of shrubs. I figured if I heeled in circles around it, sooner or later he'd bolt, and I was right. Petey took off in a mad charge as I dropped the slack in the lead and headed in the opposite direction. He gave himself the biggest correction he's received so far, but just like Nugget's correction, it was effective. As soon as he returned to heel position, we stopped and he sat and I praised him enthusiastically.

Now, if he would only lose that one last canine tooth. Poor little guy can barely carry a ball right now.

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