Our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Emme, is now just over 6 months old. WOW! I can’t believe how quickly they grow up and are dogs all of a sudden. Where did my fluffy little puppy go? Thankfully, the weather around here has finally turned, and SPRING has arrived (occasionally!). But the snow did all melt, and we are able to get outside a lot more. So many more things to SNIFF and EAT it seems.
TRAINING: We are starting a couple classes soon. A Basic Obedience class, as well as a Puppy Agility Foundation class. I am looking forward to these, as Emme needs a lot more socialization and distraction training. Our loose leash walking is going really well – she doesn’t pull TOO MUCH anymore, and seems to have stopped the biting/jumping thing she was doing. We still have problems when we encounter other people or dogs, but that is just a work in progress that gets better little by little. I hope the classes help with this.
Housetraining is moving along. We have accidents once or twice a week. Emme visited my parents for a week while I was on vacation, and relapsed a bit, but I think that by the end of the week, she was doing much better. She still never potty’s in her crate or cries in the middle of the night, so I am very happy!
BITING: The puppy biting has improved a bit I believe! What a relief! She does now have all her adult teeth in, which I think helps. Also, she must finally be getting the hint that biting us makes us GO AWAY, and that is not what she wants. I do allow her to mouth my hands some if she is being gentle; as I think teaching her to have a soft mouth is important.
PROBLEMS: Right now my biggest problem is that Emme gets excited when we are outside playing fetch, and sometimes that excitement boils over and she wants ME to play with her, as opposed to the toy (although she LOVES to fetch). What I have found now that works the best is to pick up her leash real short, and head off telling her to “walk nice.” We trot out for a while until she settles, then I make her sit, and try to get her to fetch again. It usually works. (She is always on a leash, as we do not have a fenced yard – if we are playing fetch, she’s on a 50ft long line.)
THE CATS: We continue to wait for peace on this front. I think it is a long time coming. Emme and our youngest cat, the Bengal, Cosmo, get along pretty well. Emme is MUCH BETTER at not chasing him, and trying to eat his head (she’s not really, but it LOOKS like it). She will follow him around the house a lot, nibbling on his ear a bit. We do have to keep an eye on her but it is much improved. They still do play a bit now & then, but we watch carefully so Emme doesn’t get over-excited.
The other cats though… They still spend most of the time in the bedroom when Emme is out & about. None of our other three cats will tolerate her being very near them, and she would dearly LOVE to give chase. Everybody seems happy though, so that is what counts! We are going to work more on getting the cats out in the living room playing, while I hold Emme and keep her calm so she can learn to be calm when the cats are around.
I’m looking forward to seeing Emme get out in the lake. So far, she’s just put her paws in a bit, but I’m sure she’ll be swimming in no time! Stay tuned…