#puppyproblems

Sweet Oakley Mae, what are we going to do with you?


To say that Oakley had a rough couple of days would be an understatement.  Let's set the stage, shall we?  It all started Thursday evening when lots of rain rolled in (praise! -- I love thunderstorms and we needed it!).  The puppies are usually pretty good with thunderstorms though neither of them really like to spend much time out in the rain doing their business, can you blame them?, despite their fond affection for water, but they go.  Point of Clarification: Jetta always goes.  Oakley goes most of the time.

We always seem to have a little more trouble with accidents when it rains for what I've narrowed down to be three reasons.
1)  Oakley does not enjoy going potty in the rain.
2)  When it rains we have to take the girls out in the front because the backyard becomes a mud pit, thus Oakley has to be on a leash.  Why?  Because homegirl cannot be trusted off a leash, except at the lake house where she's mainly allowed to run free because her angel sister always comes when she's called, making Oakley follow.
3)  I'm fairly certain Oakley looks and listens for any reason to bark... which distracts her from the main goal of pottying.

Even if it's rained only for a short period of time, we end up having to take the girls in the front for several days.  The trees we love so much in the backyard aren't overly conducive for letting the copious amounts of sunlight needed in to dry the swamp up.  Here's where poor Oakley has some trouble.  Oakley can't be trusted outside the fenced in walls of the backyard off of a leash because she has a tendency to take off in the direction of barking dogs, dogs she can see, people walking, etc.  Unlike Jetta, whom you can call off and stop her in her tracks, Oakley pretends she is deaf.  Pottying in the front proves challenging because while she can't quite take off like she could unleashed, she trolls and listens for anything that might need her immediate attention, taking her focus off her main objective... or our objective I guess.  If nothing is happening and she can't see anything, we make it out unscathed and with full success, but if something catches her attention it's so hard to reign her back in to focus.  Maybe this is the German Shepherd in her.

Secondly, Oakley is persnickety about where she does her business.  Seriously... the yard is not that big; just pick a spot!  If you don't give her enough time on the leash you might as well forget about no accidents... which is not fun to consider while you're standing in the rain slowly getting more and more soaked.

When we're not having to mess with rain, Oakley is better and we accidents are few and far between.  Praise the LORD for that.  However, she barks... a lot.  She'll look out the window, at nothing in particular sometimes, and just bark her little furbaby head off.  This weekend I put her in the crate twice because she WOULD NOT STOP BARKING at the little kids across the street playing in the bounce house.  Apparently, Oakley is a fun Nazi, or maybe she wanted to join, but instead OM spent some quality time in the crate with the bedroom door shut where she continued to, you'd never guess, bark.

When we go on walks she tends to do the same thing.  She does really great, especially if I keep her a little behind Jetta so she doesn't tug as much, until we pass barking dogs, dogs in their yards, people with dogs, people without dogs, tiny humans, etc.  True story, this happened on Friday evening after the girls had a long day inside due to the rain and were getting pretty rambunctious, we went for a walk.  Both girls wear harnesses which started when I began running with Jetta, Pre-OM days.  I felt badly about tugging on Jetta's neck when she would stop to smell things on our runs and decided it was better to avoid pulling on that sweet girl's neck at all.  Thus, the harness.  We decided a harness was a good bet for Oakley too, especially if her walrus sized paws were any indicator of the size she would evolve in to, it would save both her, and us, from getting hurt. 

Anyway, Oakley still has a little trouble with being on the leash and going around trees.  She's gotten the hang of it for the most part except when, you guessed it, she becomes distracted which happens a lot near the park since people are always there playing soccer or softball.  We hadn't had a tree incident in quite a while, and I figured with such few people out due to the weather we wouldn't have one then either, but nevertheless, Oakley Mae saw a 3 on 3 soccer match happening and wanted to be in on the fun so she tugged as hard as she could to get over.  When she saw she could go no further she went around the tree and started to trot in the direction we were headed which was problematic because she was now wrapped around the tree.  In a effort to help OM learn, we've been tugging on the leash on the other side and walking towards the trees in hopes she'll go around.  OM was not in the mood for this and decided instead to pull herself completely OUT of the harness.  I kid you not, folks.  Gleefully she ran over and interrupted the soccer game and then upon my calling her to come back came back.  Thankfully I grabbed her collar because she was trying to dart out of my grasp.  What a turd!

Lastly, our sweet baby border collie loves to jump.  We have tried kneeing her (lightly, I promise) in the chest, turning our backs to her when she jumps, spanking her with the rolled magazine, etc, to no avail.  Spanking her, yelling at her, and putting her in the crate only make me feel like a lousy parent, and she doesn't seem like those things really impact her all that much.

Needless to say, we are scoping out puppy training courses this week!  Homegirl needs some obedience lessons to match her sweet personality.  She really is a sweet girl, and she's still a puppy so I know some of the obedience should come with age.  She is also an excellent snuggler, and she's cute as all get out.  The other night I drew a bath and walked away to check on laundry while the tub was filling.  When I came back Oakley Mae was standing in the tub, water to her shins (if dogs have shins) drinking the hot bath water.  It was so stinking cute I couldn't be mad!  She hopped right out and waited for me to wipe her paws, then walked away like "nothing to see here, people".  Heart melted.



Know of any awesome places to get this Marley-&-Me-Wannabe trained?  As much as I love the girl, I do not want to write a book about our lives together later called "Maybe We Should Have Named you Marley".
Yes, Oakley would totally do this.

2 comments:

  1. I want to take the puppies to north bark this weekend and while I'm there I'm going to stop by west Plano Petsmart to let them visit Ashbi's old trainer - you can come with if you want to talk to them about training (and get the $10 off! ��) I think it's $108 with the coupon for 6 weeks of training, then at the end of the course they give you more coupons if you want to go to the next level :)

    For the barking, what I've heard is to first try squirting her with a spray bottle that has water in it - we used to do that with coco (she barks at everything and nothing), or you can get an empty soup can and put coins in it, tape up the top and shake it when she barks. Or what my mom currently does with coco - get an airhorn. Coco hates it so much that now all my mom has to do is yell "HORN!" And co stops haha :)

    And the other thing I've heard is to not yell at the dog when it's barking because the dog just thinks "OH EVERYONE IS YELLING! IM YELLING TOO!!!" ;) I have to tell Michael to not yell at the puppies when they start barking - it's the knee jerk reaction hahaha

    I hope some of that helps & let me know if you want to go to Petsmart with me!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cute Blog Tay, I love you and the "girls"

    -Ryan

    ReplyDelete

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