Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dane And Doxie

At a dinner for our family and friends Savage got introduced to Boots, an 8 week old Dachshund. It's hard to believe these two even belong to the same species! They weren't allowed to play together at all, Savage being so big and excited, and the little puppy being shy and small. Savage was a complete pain in the neck at the cook-out, trying to get his big nose onto people's plates and later insisting on playing horseshoes with the guys, which was not only annoying, but dangerous for the puppy. He spent a lot of time leashed next to me and I spent the whole get-together concerned about him. We are quite a pair!
I'm now trying not to cut him any slack on training, even through this teenager phase, but it's still difficult. Puppy training has now evolved into puppy/boyfriend training, since I want R. and I to be consistent with what we're teaching Sav. A few of the rules I keep stressing are: No feeding from human's plates nor when humans are eating (hopefully will minimize begging); Playing with, tugging, or chewing on leashes is not allowed; Puppy must wait for the command to get out when the truck door is opened instead of charging out the door immediately; Absolutely no jumping up on people EVER; No nipping or chewing on hands, arms or legs, even when excited (this proves to be the most challenging, considering this is how R. and Savage have play-fought since he was young, and yes, it did and does drive me crazy!); No nosing into the garbage can or picking anything out of it; and pretty much anything else a puppy could do that would be fun. LOL. I think R. is understanding the consequences of not training consistently and is beginning to follow my training instructions, even if he isn't seeing the immediate payoff.
I'm also having a hard time getting people to understand that Sava's on a specific diet. While he is carrying a little extra weight I have been giving him smaller portions and no treats from anyone but me, so I can count them as part of his daily food ration. Apparently the general public's view on puppies is that they grow so fast that you should feed them anything they want and their weight will even out. If I took feeding directions from family and friends I would end up with a perfectly round great dane! I also think that people here are not used to seeing great danes, and the dane's slender look is viewed as "skinny" to most. A person that has only owned labs would think even the most fit greyhound is starving because they are not used to seeing a dog with that sort of build. Arrgh!! People with endless opinions absolutely exhaust me!


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