Puppyhood Struggles

Yesterday was a soggy and sloppy play day.

I love spring, but I’d like it more if the ground was dry.  🙂

Sadie had a few very fun and muddy play sessions in the back yard.  Giving her a bath seemed like a waste, since she would just get dirty a few hours later.  I used this old towel to clean her up and some puppy bath wipes on her paws.  They are sort of like baby wipes, but formulated for dogs.  They get the job done for days like today.  Sadie is very agreeable to being towel dried, you just have to watch the need to chew.  I usually put a toy in her mouth and it makes for faster work!  She is very compliant with being on her back, letting me play with her ears and feet!

I went to the pet store yesterday and bought a puppy Nylabone and a traditional puppy Kong for Sadie.  The Nylabone went over very well for the first 15 minutes.  It was the shiny, new toy.  🙂  Then it faded into the back ground.  I was hoping it would be loved like the rawhide.  Not quite.

I bought the Kong for a longer treat while she is crated when I run errands.  I filled it with peanut butter and put it in the freezer.  We gave her the Kong while we went to the gym last night.  I made a few “first-timer” mistakes.  Go figure.  🙂

I wanted it to be a special treat associated with the crate, so I waited until right before we left to give it to her.  I tossed it in the crate and she jumped in and we were off.

When we returned, it was clear that she did enjoy it for a while.  She licked it half way down.  Her bedding (towels) was overturned, which tells me she did some crying and digging after she lost interest in the Kong.

My mistake was in not teaching Sadie how to use the Kong.  I read about that this morning in searching about Kong stuffing ideas.  But, it turns out that was a bit of a blessing.  You shouldn’t fill the Kong with just peanut butter because that amount of peanut butter can give them a tummy ache.  This morning I played with Sadie and the Kong to get her interested and to show her how to chew it and squeeze the yummy stuff out the end.

I am going to try again today with a new stuffing recipe.  I plan to put her dry food (lunch) in the Kong and “seal” it with some mashed banana.

I am hoping, with a daily routine of me leaving, she will get more comfortable being alone (and learn we will come back).  Daisy loved the “oh, they’re leaving” treats.  Hopefully, Sadie will too.

Our sleeping schedule is still a little off.  She goes to sleep great and sleeps for a few hours.  Then a potty break, no problems there.  The problem is that she gets up every hour or so starting around 3 am.  I know she doesn’t need to potty, but I take her outside, she will go pee, and then right back into the crate.  I think she just wants to be with us. I am torn with letting her cry at 3 am.  I don’t want to ignore potty cries and if I don’t let her do anything else, I’m hoping she will outgrow this phase – sooner, rather than later.  But, part of me thinks she likes the contact with me.  I should let her cry, but Marcus has to actually function at work the next day… so I try to get her to quiet down.  I think Friday will be the night I see what happens when I let her cry it out.  If she keeps us up, at least it’ll be a Saturday that we are exhausted.  Who am I kidding, I am exhausted!  🙂

She has been running into the family room and laying in her plush dog bed when we first get back into the house from the early am potty breaks.  I’m going to try to put that in her crate to sleep on tonight.  It’s a long shot, but maybe she’ll be more comfortable and let me sleep.  🙂

The catch is that the divider needs to come out of the crate to fit the bed.  She is not peeing in her crate, so fingers crossed it stays that way!

It’s funny how you block out the puppyhood struggles once your dog turns into an adult.  I need sleep!

Sadie hopes your day is ‘rawhide’ good!

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The Rawhide Controversy

Like finding the best dog food, the controversy over rawhide has sent me Googling.

I have read a lot of articles about the concerns with rawhide.  My vet sent me researching again after giving us free samples of rawhide.  He gave us 2 C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews. This is what I found out about C.E.T. when I looked online.

C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews, features the exclusive Dual Enzyme System, are made from select beefhide to combine a natural antiseptic plus abrasive action for clinically proven plaque control.

Product of Mexico, MDF for and dist. in USA

I don’t love that it is a product of Mexico.  I have read that “made in the USA” containing only “USA beef hide” is the only rawhide you should buy.  “Select beefhide” is a little vague.

The problems a dog can suffer when they chew rawhide include digestive problems and choking.

Of course there are lots of sites that list the benefits of chew toys, which include rawhide.  A dog’s behavior benefits from chewing because they have an outlet for a natural desire & need to chew.  Chews also help to keep a dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh.

The rawhide risks still worry me.  But, Sadie LOVES them and has not had any digestive problems.

She has an intense need to chew.  She is teething and still has her baby teeth.  Chewing is good for her mental & physical health.  We do have a number of rubber chew toys that she likes and chews on, but not nearly as enthusiastically as rawhide.

Chew toys save our fingers!

and shoes!  Sadie likes to pretend my slippers are a stuffed animal.  Ah, not ok.  🙂

I am currently letting Sadie enjoy her free rawhide.  I’m not sure I will buy more.  I only let her chew them under my direct supervision.  I only let her chew it for 30-45 minutes, once a day.

If you let your dog chew rawhide, you should make sure you pick the correct size & shape for your breed.  Our vet recommends the flat strips because the knots on the round chewies are a choking hazard.   He also likes flat over rolled because rawhide can swell and expand in the stomach if ingested.  He said that a rolled piece, swallowed, can block the intestine more than a flat piece.  {Not sure I feel any better about swallowed flat pieces.}

All of the literature recommends buying USA beef hide.  Foreign hide can have a lot of risky chemicals on the hide that are bad for your dog’s health.

I also discovered that compressed rawhide is safer than traditional rawhide because of how it is produced.  It is a denser, tougher bone.

Two final recommendations.  Do not let your dog enjoy the rawhide for more than 2 hours of chewing a day, to decrease the risks of digestive upset.  And, for dogs that take a while to finish one rawhide, throw out after a week of chewing, due to dirt & bacteria.

Take the bull by the horns!

Potty Training

We just had a serious accomplishment this morning, so I decided it must be blogged about!  🙂

Sadie rang the potty bells, I took her outside and she went poop!  I know, it’s a bit TMI, but I’m so proud of her {for ringing the bells}!

Sadie has only had a few accidents in our home and most of those were our fault.

Here are the things we have done that have been very successful with Sadie:

We take Sadie out to potty right after she eats a meal, wakes up from a nap and during/after a big indoor play session.  These activities seem to leave her needing to go, regardless of the last time she went potty.  This means that sometimes she goes out twice in a 60 minute time period.  I know at 10 weeks old, she should be able to hold her bladder for 3+ hours, but that is in a resting state, not during vigorous play.

When Sadie is playing, we watch her carefully for the ‘sniffing’ signal that means I’m about to pee.  I interrupt her (sometimes that means I physically pick her up) and tell her we are going potty.  After potty breaks, she can resume play.

I try to be proactive with the potty breaks.  I am taking her outside A LOT.  The idea is to teach her she can only potty outside.  After a few days of these excessive outside trips, Sadie seemed to understand and would walk to the door when she needed to go outside.  Any accidents she had were because we didn’t see the signals.  Enter: Poochie Bells.  I saw these in a magazine and of course, googled them!  🙂

So far, I love them.

For the first few days, I would take her paw and hit the bells and say ‘ring the bells to go potty’ and I’d take her potty.  Then I introduced the magic weapon – treats!  🙂

I held a small treat up over the bells and told her to ring them to go potty. (I made sure to do this when she did have to go potty.) When she rang the bells, I gave her the one-bite treat and opened the door.

Down the stairs and potty we went.

Then we went right back inside and I gave her another treat and tons of praise.

Of course, she re-rang the bells to get another treat.  No immediate treat, but I opened the door and we went back outside.  I knew she wouldn’t potty, but I told her to.  She started to “play”.  So, I picked her up and brought her back inside.  No treat.  She rang the bells a few more times and I stopped what I was doing and took her out and right back in.  The third time, she did actually potty, so I gave her a treat as soon as we were back inside.  I want to associate the bells with potty only.  Once she learned to ring the bells, I stopped treating the ringing and only treat the potty.  I learned, it is best to keep some treats right by the door for a fast, easy reward.

I have only been using the potty bells for a few days and I know we will still need a lot of practice.  I’m hopeful that in a few days we will hear the results of this training!

I am using a different door to take her outside to play.  I’m not sure this is important, but we have two doors very close to each other, that both lead to the backyard, so it’s not inconvenient.  I don’t want her to hear bells ringing unless we go potty.  I do hang the bells on the door, so they ring when the door opens & closes.  You could hang them on a hook next to your door.

I’ll let you know how this progresses.

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

Sunday Surprise!

Tail Waggin was awarded the Stylish blogger Award by Brown Dog CBR!

We are really excited so many people are taking the time to read and follow Sadie’s journeys.  Thank you!!

I am supposed to share 7 things about us and nominate 15 blogs, that we love to read, for this award!

First, here are some great blogs we are following, in no particular order.

1.2 Brown Dawgs

2. Oscar the Pooch

4. Fetch

5. Living the Lebbon Life

6. Two Little Cavaliers

7. Doggies and Stuff

8. Tales and Tails

9. The Dog Park

10. My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much

11. American Dog Shopper

12. The Thundering Herd

13. Chunyo”s Corner

14. All Things Dog Blog

15. Success Just Clicks

And now, 7 fun things about Sadie.

Sadie

1. has the cutest spots on her muzzle.

2. loves to play frisbee.

3. just discovered that the yummy fruits are stored in the refrigerator.

4. will sit in her crate when she wants a treat 🙂

5. loves to “eat” sticks, leaves… anything that falls on the grass if fair game!

6. whimpers when she is really tired.

7. loves when Dad gets home from work!

Sleepy Saturday

Sadie loves to spend time with Dad.

Sadie and I lounged around most of the day.  She had little bouts of play, but nothing outside.  It was cold and rainy.  Better snuggle weather than play.

Sadie’s big project was trying to jump up onto the couch by herself.  She even tried a running start, but she just can’t quite make it up.  Of course, we give her a boost, she is allowed on the furniture.  Frankly, I don’t think it even occurred to her that she wouldn’t be allowed.  She immediately tried to gain access to the couch when she first came home.  🙂

As we napped on the couch, I considered that maybe I was over exercising her.  She seemed perfectly happy to be a couch potato today.  She proved me wrong around 6pm.  She woke up and had dinner and was full of energy to burn.  I took her outside and she ran circles around the back yard.  We came into the house and she terrorized her toys for 2 hours.  I took her back outside twice during that period and she did even more sprinting.  Lesson learned… she likes and needs all the outdoor play I have been providing her.  It is currently 8:20 pm and she is zonked out on the couch.  Energy expelled.  Whew.

I feed Sadie her food off of a glass pie dish.  I like using this because it is easier for a puppy to eat off of a low dish, but the sides keep the food in while she pushes it around.  We used a cookie sheet for Daisy, but it was so big, she ended up standing on the sheet and getting food in her paws.

I know potty training is a little early until puppies are about 12 weeks old, but since Sadie knows she is supposed to go outside to potty, I decided to start the training now.  I want to teach her to ring these bells when she needs to go outside. They hang on the door handle and I have her hit them with her nose or paw each time we go out to potty.

Home Is Where the Dog Is

If it takes until she is 12 weeks old (or longer) to really sink in, no harm done.  But, there have been a few times she has tried to tell us she wants to go out, but we missed the signals.  She doesn’t whine, cry or bark.  She moves from one door to another to get let out.  It’s much easier to hear bells!  I will not ring the bells when we go out to play… potty only.  I am going to try to be very consistent.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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

Playing in the Rain

What a fantastic Friday!  Sadie has made some great progress in the last 24 hours.

I left the house for 2 separate errand trips and left Sadie in her crate with different treats to keep her busy.

Trip #1 was to the boring dry cleaner & grocery shopping.  I left Sadie for just under an hour with a Kong puppy bone.  The ends were filled with peanut butter.  I put the bone in the freezer to harden up the peanut butter.  It is a trick to make the treat last longer.  I know she loves it, but it makes a mess.  I had to wash the crate blanket when I got home, it had peanut butter spread on it.  Maybe because I filled both ends?  Another tip about this treat – I bought a natural peanut butter made by Jiff that is low sodium with no additional weird ingredients.  It was half the price of the Kong peanut butter and all natural.

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

Trip #2 was to the bank and Target!  Love Target!!!  I had to return the 2nd crate I bought there, it was too small for a full-grown Sadie.  I found a better quality crate that was the correct size plus free shipping from Amazon.  A no brainer.  This time I left Sadie with her chewy.  I only give it to her in her crate so it is special.

Sadie did better in her crate each time I left.  Both trips she was crying a little when I returned, but it was not out of control.

As soon as I put the new crate together in our bedroom, Sadie went in and fell asleep.  I was tired too, so I shut her door and laid down on the bed.  It took me awhile to turn off my brain, so by the time I was drifting off, she woke up.  But, she is really taking to the crates.  I am very glad we have one on each floor of our house.

I put Sadie in her crate while I made dinner.  She did great.  I let her out while I made a special treat for Marcus.  In Canada, near our cottage, they are called Chelsea Rolls, in the States we call them sticky buns or cinnamon rolls.

Sadie has been doing well letting us know when she needs to go potty, so I wanted to let her play in our family room while I was in the kitchen.  But, she loves to go upstairs and wander around and play, so I needed to gate off the living room and close the kitchen door to prevent her having access to the stairs.

She played for a while in the family room and I even saw her sitting in her crate.  Then she started bringing her toys into the kitchen to play.

Eventually she got tired and curled up next to my feet and went to sleep.

She was out cold… I wanted to empty the dishwasher, but I didn’t have the heart to move her.  Ok, I didn’t really want to empty the dishwasher.  🙂

A severe thunder-storm rolled into town after dinner that brought torrential down pours, lightning and thunder.  Sadie did not have a problem with any of it.  I was standing outside with her, waiting for the after dinner potty to happen, in the crazy elements and she was acting like it was no big deal.  She had no sense of urgency… prancing, sniffing and of course picking up sticks with her mouth!  🙂

And, how did sleeping during the night go?  Fan-freaking-tastic!!  Can you hear the angels singing?  LOL!

Sadie went into her crate at 10pm with NO crying.  (I went to the gym after dinner and ran 4.5 miles and proceeded to drink a lot of water.)  I actually woke up at 12:30am thinking ‘oh great, Sadie is still sleeping and I have to go to the bathroom!’  🙂

We went out at 12:30am and she went right back to sleep.  She woke up at 4:30am for another potty and then went right back to sleep.  She did get up at 5:15 for breakfast, but I’m hoping daylight savings will push that to 6ish soon!  🙂

Brave Little Lady

Yesterday was a day full of more ‘firsts’.

I was so happy watching Sadie dragging her toys into her crate and playing with them… on her own.  This was not prompted by me at all.  There was a little sigh of relief from me… this is going to be ok, she likes her crate.  🙂  Yeah!

Sadie also met her first visitors yesterday.  And she loved all the attention.  My “oh, sorry” moment – Sadie picked up a friend’s shoe and ran off into her crate with it.  I guess she was showing them how much she loves her new crate, and shoes!?!

After the exciting morning, Sadie settled into a nice afternoon nap.  She really loves to snuggle up next to you and subtly roll over, asking for a belly rub.

I left Sadie down stairs while I ran up stairs to put the wash into the drier.  I’m still working on building her confidence in being alone.  When I turned around with an arm full of clothes, she was sitting next to my feet!  She has been too little/scared to climb the stairs by herself.  Apparently, she got over the fear!

She demonstrated her new knowledge for me when I took her back down stairs.  I think she loves being able to use the stairs!  We also practiced going down the stairs.

This is a little scary, Mom.

She got a lot more confident going down once Dad came home from work.  She charged down the stairs after him… ‘hey, wait for me, Dad!’

I am really glad I bought these stair rugs.  I ordered them a few weeks before Sadie’s arrival, knowing she’d struggle slipping on the hardwood treads.

I am tired this morning.  Sadie got all riled up before bed last night {blame Dad} and she was a little upset when it was bedtime.  She settled down after a few minutes of crying, but we need to build in a ‘quiet time’ before we go to bed so she isn’t so hyped up when she goes into her crate.  I’m struggling with our schedule.  I think we play too much in the morning and she sleeps too much in the evening.  She sleeps for a few hours after bedtime, but after her first potty break, she seems ready to be up for the morning.  She’ll go back to bed, but wakes up every hour starting around 3am.  I get up around 5 am with her for breakfast and a she plays with her toys.  I want to change this to more like 6:30am, but it’s hard listening to her cry after 5, knowing Marcus has to go to work in a few hours.  It’s funny seeing her sleep right now… this is what I was craving at 5 this morning!