Alexis

 

05/17/08: I think that we have decided on Alexis as a name for Orange Collar Girl. Alexis means “defender, protector.” She seems to be settling in and is content as long as there are people around. If no one is in the room where she is, she doesn't like it, even if we are right across the dog gate from her! She loves to play with us, and we have to keep putting toys in her mouth to keep her from chewing on us! She plays hard, then needs to take a long nap, which she is doing right now. Here are a few pictures of Alexis. ~ Ann (Virginia, USA)

 

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05/21/08: The boys enjoy her a lot, but the younger two are more wary of her because of her puppy teeth. I think she thinks they are her litter mates. I am having to crack down on her and not let her grab their ankles. I am also trying to tell the boys not to run from her because this just makes her think that they want her to chase them. Of course, they wouldn't mind that if it didn't come with the teeth! I have been surprised by Nathan (age 7) because I thought that he would have been the one to mind this the most, and not know what to do, but Alexis and Nathan must have some sort of “arrangement” because she doesn't usually go after him, and if she does, she listens to him. It is interesting to watch. [Photos below at 9 weeks.] ~ Ann

 

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06/02/08: Because we are trying to train Alexis to use the bathroom in one section of our yard, if possible, we have been taking her out on a leash... I have switched from free choice feeding, to feeding her three times a day. It has helped tremendously in the house breaking; well, I am getting house broken!! alexis10Rick usually lets her out first thing in the morning. About 1/2 hour later, I feed her about 1 cup of food, then take her outside. She almost always has a BM then. Since she is on the leash, I praise her for going, then lead her away, tie her up for just one minute while I clean up the pile, then let her loose to play in the yard. It seems to be working fairly well. She isn't diving at her piles anymore! I don't know what she would do if we missed a pile and she found it later. I think she still might eat it, but at least it isn't her first thought anymore... I also feed her 1 cup of food at noon, and 1 cup at night. I had her in to the vet yesterday because I was fearing that an ear infection was starting (and it was, so I was glad I caught it in the early stages), and I asked the vet about how much she should be eating. She said that 3 cups for now is fine, and that soon she should go to four cups. I actually ended up giving her 4 cups today. In the 2 1/2 weeks since she was first at our vet, she gained 6 pounds. We go in again this Thursday... more shots I think? They will also recheck her ears.... I hope to eventually go back to free choice feeding once she is house broken, but we will have to see...

 

As far as house breaking goes, I am not sure how to get to the next step with her. If I always take her out alexic20as soon as she wakes up, and when she finishes eating, as well as any in between times when I think she may need to go, she does fine; but if I miss taking her out, she will just go in the house. I don't know how to get her to let me know when she needs to go out. I was very pleased today, however; I had just let her out because one of the boys was playing outside. I saw her go off the deck, sniff around a little bit, then go trotting down to "her spot" and use the bathroom. No leash, no one calling her to go down there, she just did it on her own!! Yeah ~ we are making some progress!!!

 

That is interesting to hear about Sopheara and Ruby [now known as “Dixie”] (both are cute names) and the poop eating! It will also be interesting to see what all of the dogs are like in a few months! What kind of assistance will Ruby [Dixie] be? I think it is so fascinating that dogs can help people in so many ways! My vet gave me a website for people who do therapy work with dogs. I haven't had a chance to look into it much yet, but I will look into that in the future.

 

The nipping problem comes and goes. She really does like to bite. I know that it is in play, but I have really had to crack down on her when she keeps being rough. She then will back up and bark at me like she is sassing and has to have the last word. When I took her to the vet yesterday, she wasn't happy about it, and she kept gnawing me on the arm, but she was extremely gentle. She would nudge me in the face and neck and whine. I think that she just wanted to be reassured, and was trying to tell me "how bad it was." On two occasions when I had been gone for a couple of hours, when I got back, she kept rubbing up to me, mouthing me gently, and whining as though she had to tell me how awful it was that I had been gone, and she was happy that I was back. These times are so precious!

 

As far as the nipping goes, there are times I don't really know how to handle her because she doesn't want to take no for an answer. alexisI, too, used to play rough with Misty, and she used to nip me gently, but unfortunately, her puppy days were so far back that I don't remember how long she had the rough puppy nipping, or what I did. I do remember when Misty would start getting rough, I would get one of her toys and divert her attention to that. When I do that with Alexis, she often will switch her attention to the toy, but many times she won't and still wants to go after my arm. I have tried to grab her by the scruff of the neck and say "no" but even that takes quite a few times before she will stop. She just wants to play rougher. There are times that I have to just walk away and stop the play. Do you have suggestions other than just waiting for this time to pass? I know that some of it has to be dealt with now, and some of it she will outgrow.

 

We have gates in the house so that she can't go upstairs (except at night when she sleeps in her crate in our room), or in the other downstairs rooms. From the kitchen or the hallway she can look through the gates to where we are, so she isn't really alone. She is such a people dog, though, that for a long time she would jump up and bark and cry because she wanted us to be with her. I have worked with her on that, and she now does very well. She almost never jumps on the gates anymore. If she wants to be by us, she will come to the gate and lie down as close to us as she can get then fall asleep. Usually, though, she will just look for us, see where we are, then go find one of her registers to lie on to get the cool air.

Thanks for checking up with us! I am looking forward to seeing all of the other puppy pictures on the web too! ~ Ann

 

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