Puppy Update: 1.5 Years Old!

by Melissa R. on April 29, 2014

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EmmeI am not sure how it happened, but my “puppy” is now 1-1/2 years old! That means she is almost TWO! I wonder when I will stop calling her my puppy? Probably never. We’ve come a long way in such a short amount of time though, so let’s update.

BIG GIRL! Emme is now uncrated during the day while I am at work. She stays in the “dog bedroom” where her crate is, but loose. Most days when I come home at noon and after work, I find her snoozing on the (people) bed. She also seems MUCH more eager to go downstairs to her room when I say it is time for work now. I feel a lot better knowing she can lounge a bit, look out the window, etc., instead of being in her crate. She is crated at night, so a bit more time out of the crate is good for her. PLUS! She has graduated to roaming free while I get ready in the morning; previously, she was crated because I couldn’t watch her all the time and get ready for work, too. We make sure all cats are accounted for and in “their” part of the house (gated off) – and Emme has been pretty well behaved.

Speaking of… THE CATS: Well, we haven’t had TOO much progress here. Very minute progress maybe – Emme does respond to a firm LEAVE IT, and has been seen nosing a cat cautiously if the cat is not running away (that’s the problem). Mostly the cats stay in their gated off part of the house if they know puppy is around. It is a little comical how they “know” when I go downstairs to let Em in… they hightail it to their part of the house. I really wish the cats would attempt to come out more – when they do we try very hard to keep Emme calm and happy so she learns chasing the cats is not the goal. Our Bengal kitten, who Emme was pretty friendly with – passed away unexpectedly so we are missing out on that interaction, but I do believe he taught her how to play gently with a cat so I have hopes.

EmmeTRAINING: Em has enjoyed two days of Doggie Daycare a week all winter with the hopes that it would help her reactivity issues and socializing with other dogs. She really loves it and I have seen improvement in her behavior. It was a very long winter with very few leashed walks, so we are re-training a bit for leash walking. We have been taking a Rally class this spring, which has been GREAT! I have been so impressed with Emme’s attention on me and in the ring; we are signed up for a trial in May. Hopefully, it will go better than our very bad attempts last year.

PROBLEMS: She is still a jumper – she has SO MUCH enthusiasm, she just can’t help herself! We are trying our best to ignore, body block – not acknowledge it or try to anticipate and move away or show her what the thing is in our hands she so desperately NEEDS to see. Em is also still VERY mouthy. Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt and it seems to be more of a play/comfort thing, but we try to discourage it as much as we can. We do still have leash-reactivity issues we need to continue to work on the best we can.

Overall, she’s a GREAT PUP! Lounges on the couch when nothing is going on, never has potty accidents, loves her crate, generally doesn’t get into too much trouble (knock on wood!), and is a constant source of laughter. We are looking forward to a great summer!

Emme
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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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