The New Regime

So, Wednesday night the dog behaviorist came to our house to discuss our puggle problem.

They are cute, but kinda naughty evil.  More importantly, they are totally out of control.  So I went with the person recommended by Laurie to see what we could get worked out.

I’m not gonna lie, I totally expected the lady version of Cesar Milan (please tell me you all know who the Dog Whisperer is).  That guy actually irritates the crap out of me, so I was kind of dreading the whole experience.  Instead we got a very nice woman who was very honest with us about dogs and children (she has both, which is helpful).

First of all, the puggles are too ridiculous for obedience training.  From talking to her, it sounds like the amount of constant correction would be too much for us and for them.  I’m ok with that as long as we can teach them to stop being such pests.

Meanwhile, some people seem to be struggling with the new rules.

So the new rules are as follows:

1.  Puggles get fed once a day.  This is successful in that they are only getting fed in the morning, but they are throwing some mighty tantrums at night these days.  The know 6 PM used to mean dinner time and they aren’t adjusting well.

2.  Puggles get fed from toys instead of bowls.  The toys take anywhere from 5-45 minutes.  We ordered a bunch of Amazon that will come tomorrow and we’ve been rotating the 3 we already have.  This is really fun for them and is keeping them out of trouble.

3.  Puggles must “potty” (I hate that word) before they can have a walk.  We need to teach them that walking is walking and running outside for 3 minutes is a perfectly reasonable bathroom break.  I am not going to want to walk the little weasels for 30 minutes 3-4 times a day on maternity leave.

4.  No puggles on our laps.  This is so that they are used to it before the baby is here and we can’t have them on our laps.  It feels really cruel, but I know I won’t want to have to chase them off with a baby in my arms and I’m sick of them stepping on my stomach as my lap is disappearing.

5.  Puggles have to learn to be independent.  This involves a system of puppy gates (that we need to set up) and toys.  They have to learn to hang out by themselves while I’m behind a closed door or gate.  And puppy and baby only go on the same side of a door or gate if I’m right there.

6.  Games have rules.  No more letting Delilah bark at us and bean us in the head with tennis balls.  Now when she wants to play she has to drop it and sit before we will throw it.  This is both the most successful and most frustrating new rule.

7.  Dogs get walked on Gentle Leaders.  No more pulling.  I’m too pregnant and clumsy to get dragged all over the place when they bolt.  It was getting dangerous.  Luckily, our trainer came back over last Friday and Gentle Leader trained them for only the cost of the Gentle Leaders.  I heart her.

8.  Ignore Delilah.  She’s an attention slore.  As such, we have to ignore the barking and anything she does that is bad that isn’t out right destroying our house/stuff/person.  She will do anything to get our attention and make us do what she wants.  And now, just for some controversy, I’m going to point out that this is the puppy version of cry it out.  Oh yeah, I went there.

(I have no idea what if any opinion I have on cry it out, but unless your name is Kara or Mandy, I probably don’t care what your opinion on the subject is)

9.  Baby stuff gets set up as soon as we get it so the dogs can get used to it and realize it is boring.  This includes things like turning the swing on so they get used to the sound.

10.  Dogs can only continue to sleep in the bed if the baby is not going to sleep in the bed.  I genuinely do not feel comfortably with my baby in the bed since I’m a heavy sleeper and tend to thrash and roll around, so for now puggles still sleep with us.  I don’t regret giving them this.  Husband was sick on Sunday so we slept in instead of going to church and I woke up curled around an adorable little Delilah.  Sometimes I still need that time with her.

So that, in a nutshell is the new regime.  We spent close to $200 on the trainer and Gentle Leaders and then another $100 on toys and feeding toys.  We need to get a few more puppy gates

So parents, did you stop seeing your dog as a family member/child when the baby came?  I hear that will happen, but it seems unfathomable.

Anyone else ever used an animal behaviorist?  Any other rules you think would help us out?

Has anyone ever run their dog on a Gentle Leader?  I think I could actually manage them with one, but I’m not sure how safe that would be.