9.2.17 Lola seems to have turned a corner. She is calmer and less bitey. I think it is due to exhaustion given her exciting new regime of walks twice a day on the school run. Her walks are erratic affairs. She sniffs around then starts walking forwards a bit then runs as fast as she/we can then stops suddenly. It’s not the most efficient way of moving but I don’t mind because I’m hoping she will come on runs with me.
Lola seems to have learnt that she needs a toy in her mouth when she gets excited. This morning, although she did grab my dressing gown a few times, for old times’ sake, she mainly pursued me with the toy of the day so I could pull her around whilst she bit down on it. Last night we had some guests here who were a bit reserved with her, albeit friendly, so she grabbed her toy bone and lay down calmly next to them. When some other guests came who were clearly into dogs, she reached up to them (ok, jumped up at them, but I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt) and became much more animated.
I’m feeling more affectionate towards her now that she isn’t biting me as much, and is spending a fair amount of time lolling around recovering from her walks.
Where things haven’t yet improved is in terms of having any particular voice control over her. She basically rarely does what I ask her to do unless she wants to. I blame some of this on the fact that the treats available to her are fairly limited as she is less than 3 months old so I can’t bribe her effectively. Another factor is that I’ve mainly been trying to deal with her at 5am, a time when I am unable to use a strong or loud voice, either in the garden or in the kitchen. A whispered ‘stop’ or ‘come’ doesn’t really cut the mustard.
The main reason is probably that I haven’t trained her particularly well yet, largely because I have no idea what I’m doing with dogs. She does recognise the word ‘outside’, albeit accompanied by me walking to the back door, which is a bit of a giveaway. What she won’t do is ‘drop’ anything on demand. In fact, she is more likely to run off with anything she thinks I would rather she dropped.
Lola has also outfoxed us in terms of ‘Lola’s corner’ in the garden. She has started digging there so now when I take her outside I head towards Lola’s corner but veer off randomly to keep her away from digging, so she is generally weeing anywhere on the lawn. She has decided by herself that she prefers to poo on the gravel by the side of the conservatory, or under the acacia tree next to it, which is out of the way and we’re generally fairly happy about. It’s a bit like an extended litter tray.
Charlie and Amelia are really getting on well with Lola now. In fact, I think she play bites me more than anyone else. She has become quite calm with Charlie in the mornings. This is partly because he is coming down a bit later and she has used up her play-biting on me. In fact, having thought that having a puppy around would be good for Charlie as he wakes up so early, sometimes joining me at 5am, so he would have something/someone to play with, ironically, it has been good for Charlie because the idea of being mobbed at 5.30am has, as Shakespeare would say, given him pause for thought, and he has opted to stay in bed until 6.30am, which has resulted him actually sleeping more. This does leave me as chief play bitee but at least Charlie is sleeping longer in the mornings.
So, apart from the fact that I have almost no control over her, I think things are going pretty well with Lola now and I’m hoping we’re past the most extreme of the very early days.