Puppy Play

Don’t be fooled, this is a stuffed English Springer Spaniel we bought at FAO years ago.  Sadie loves to run across our bedroom and pounce on it.  She plays with it like it’s a real dog… really entertaining to watch.

The weather continues to be warm and sunny here, so we had a number of outside play sessions.  Sadie made friends (through the fence) with our two neighbor dogs.  She runs up and down our fence line with a black lab and loves every minute of it!  She’s not so sure about the bulldog… he’s a little too barky.

The carrot pieces I used as treats today in our training sessions worked really well.

We practiced 3 separate times today.  Short sessions for the first 2, maybe 10 minutes each, and the last session was 30 minutes.  She got better and better after each experience.  No loud crying, still some whimpering, but much more calm and relaxed.

I like the idea of carrots because it takes her a while to chew and eat them so I can get back out of the room before she notices and they have much fewer calories and fat than traditional treats.

Basically I put her in the crate and told her to be quite (nice, but stern) and I left the room.  I went out of sight and waited 15 seconds.  Then I returned with a carrot piece and told her ‘good girl’ and ‘be quiet’, then I left again.  I increased the time gone by 15 additional seconds each time.  I stopped at 2 minutes away for the first session.  I repeated the same concept the second time but I stared at 30 seconds and repeated 2 minutes more frequently.  She whimpered, but quieted down and laid down, too.   I was happy with her progress, when I put her in the play area with a chewy, while I prepared dinner.  She eventually realized I was gone and stated to whimper.  I told her ‘quiet’ from the kitchen and she settled down.  After 15 minutes I rewarded her with a carrot piece and went back to finishing up in the kitchen.  When I was done I gave her a final carrot and let her out with the ‘good girl’ praise.

A few more days and I think she’ll be good on her own while I run errands and miles.  🙂

Sadie had a few good evening play sessions with this guy.  We call him Jack (the rabbit).  It really wiped the excess energy out of her!  I’m hoping it translates into a good night’s sleep for all of us!  🙂

Future puppy owners, I totally recommend this toy.  It’s called a Kong Wubba.  Brilliant!!  It has 4 ‘tails’ that are great for teething puppies.

http://astore.amazon.com/taiwag00-20

I wrote this post last night and I wanted to add how the night went.  It was great!  I did expand her crate size because she likes to stretch out when she sleeps and she hasn’t peed in the crate at night.  She was tired when we went to bed.  She still got up twice, but we had solid, quite sleeping hours in between the potty breaks!

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