Monday, April 05, 2004

Oh yeah, Ela finally got him to "down" without food tonight! How about that?

He likes greenies, the green 'healthy' treats. Pput a hot dog or sausage in front of Mojo and it's obvious that the greenies are just OK. Nothing motivates like hot dogs.
It's been 15 days since we got Mojo. It seems like he's been with us for so long, and it's only been two weeks. These older pictures were dug out of Ela's emails.

This is when he was really, really small.

This is March 9, less than a month ago!

March 19. He's looking more like himself now:

Oh yeah, one last weirdness: ever since we switched to the disposable pads from the litter, Mojo now sits down to pee. He'll just sit down on the pad and do his thing. Very strange.

Ela got some toothpaste, and is now brushing his teeth daily.

We trimmed the hair from around his eyes, since it's starting to block his vision. That was Friday, I think?

We also trimmed the hair on his butt, because poo started getting stuck to it. Yuck. That was a handy tip from the breeder that we should have followed from the beginning.

A bummer thing is when Mojo gets older his puppy coat'll change to a normal coat. We kind of like the puppy coat.

We met another havanese while walking today. He's in the complex next door. Funny, one thing I've noticed is when you meet someone else with a dog you ask the dog's name, but you don't necessarily ask the person's name. I now know 2 of my neighbors' dogs name, but have no idea what the person's name is. For the record, the dogs are Sam (the havanese) and Bo (Beau?). I also know the name of the woman at the driving range's dog: Riley.
This is something that happened either sunday (4/4) or saturday (4/3): Mojo finally figured out how to go down stairs! We showed him a few times, but he always jumped off the lower stairs. That would obviously be bad if he was somewhere near the top of a staircase. But he can now climb down in a controlled manner!

He does have trouble with the stairs at home, because they're a bit too small for him (his margin of error needs to be pretty large not to tumble down). Outside, though, the stairs are more his size. At the park he was going up and down the stairs like he's been doing it forever. Yeah!

So far, he can go up and down stairs, and knows his name, sit, stand (only with a treat), down (sometimes), drop, come here, let's go, uh-uh, tummy rub, up, bring (kind of), outside, run (maybe), good dog, 'no bite', and 'go potty'. Of course, he knows 'no,' as does every dog. We're working on 'speak' and trying to get him more consistent on 'down'. He doesn't really know heel, though we repeat it a lot when we walk.

He knows the name of some of his toys, too. "The bone" is the rawhide bone...any of them. 'rope' is a rope pull toy. 'booda' is the blue booda.

I think he finally figured out the "back in a bit," since he was OK when we went out - but it definitely needs more work. We just started with "go to bed," so he doesn't really recognize it yet.
Oh, Mojo's gotten better at housebreaking. He has an accident every other day now. I'm not sure if they're really accidents.

We also got a squirt bottle, for "discipline at a distance." It works! I think he sort of understands what's happening, because first he hears the squirt bottle then he gets wet. He hasn't figured out that we're squeezing the trigger. But it has stopped him from assaulting Ela's slippers.

We got our washable puppy pads on Friday, but haven't tried them yet. The disposable pads really are working.
Here are some more pictures of the Mojo:


Here's Mojo in his crate. The blue thing is his booda.

Pictures from the park!

Saturday wasn't any big deal. I realized that unlike normal working couples who leave their dogs during the week and spend time with them over the weekend, we leave our dog at home over the weekend and spend time with him over the week. How about that?

Nothing of note Saturday. We're starting get him used to us going away for a while, which sort of worked today (sunday). We went to lunch, and when we came barking. Huh. It seems like if he sees us leave he behaves better than if we leave while he's asleep.

Today we took him around with us in the car. We went over to one of the parks here and he got to walk around and meet a bunch of the park-goers. Then we found some open space and ran him until he was tired and panting. He got hissed at by big white ducks, and handled all of that fine. He likes people more now; he'll get excited and his tail will start waggling back and forth and all. We took him to a driving range, and he sat patiently while Ela and I thwacked balls. A trip to Lowe's was a bit nerve racking for him, because he was in the cart. Amazingly enough nobody noticed the small white dog in our shopping cart.

A funny thing that we found out is he loves air conditioning. When the AC in the car is on, he'll stick his face right into the stream of air and start biting the air. It's really funny, and he got really annoyed at us whenever we stopped...because the AC would turn off! So he'd be hot, lying there in front of the cold air, and suddenly it would stop. He'd be like "hey, turn that back on!" Silly dog.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Oh, he also likes the cardboard toilet paper rolls. The big Bounty rolls are just too big.
I'm not sure why, but the blogger archive stuff doesn't seem to be working. I'll see what's up with that in a bit.
Naptime again. The guy sleeps like crazy. We also found out from the Eukanuba website that he should be eating 1.2 cups of food a day(!). We've been giving him 1/2 a cup a day, but he's run out of food for the last 2 days (2 or 3 days?). Time to feed him more.

We've also officially switched his treats to the lamb sausage stuff. It's just as much as a pack of hot dogs, but he likes it better (if you can believe it). They do dry out really quickly, so don't cut the whole thing up into pieces.

We also tried the "Old Mother Hubbard" bac'n'cheez biscuits, but Mojo refuses to eat them. He actually refuses to have anything to do with them. He won't even play with them - they're not even good enough to be toys. It's back to Petsmart for these guys.

Today is also "heartworm dose" day. The vet gave us two things to feed him: a syringe full of something, and a pill. Mojo slurped the syringe contents right up, and ate the pill like it was a treat. I was wondering how to get him to eat the pill. Some books say pop it into the back of his throat, but hey, what if it goes down his windpipe? Not to worry.
Mojo just discovered the plastic file box under my desk. He was trying to dig into the side for around 10 minutes, then retired to his den, pooped. Very strange.
One funny thing that I forgot to mention is Mojo's prepare-for-sleep habits. He likes lots of head support, so he'll pull and dig at his bedding (a towel) to get it into shape, then droop his head over it. He does the same thing with the blanket on our armchair. It's bizarre, and kind of amusing, that it takes him that long to get comfy. That's why he likes the booda so much: it fits right under his head.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Wow, Mojo's a different dog today. He hit 9 weeks, and he's back to his old self. His old self, of course, was not trying to take over the household. We tried the "walk the dog with a loose leash," and he seems to have gotten the point. Plus, he went in the litter every time and climbed the stairs twice (well, three times).

I'm not sure what this means, really. Was it just the end of the fear period? Was it just some weird thing? Or is that stage something that's latent, waiting to pop out if the opportunity arises?
Another good day/bad day. The good day lasted until around 9pm or so. Mojo was great, we left him alone, and though he was barking when we came home he was OK.

Then after 9 he woke up from a nap, and peed on the floor. Huh? Then at 10:30pm Ela brought him to the puppy pad. Nothing, but then he walked over and peed on the floor again. What was going on?

Yep, dog trainers know what happened - Mojo was trying to take over as the alpha dog. We had been lulled by Mojo's compliance and were cutting him too much slack. We also were cleaning up his pee in his sight, which is supposed to be a no-no (Ela doesn't believe this whole theory, but I think it fits). Basically, Mojo was acting like the top dog - peeing where he wanted to, doing what he wanted to.

I told him to drop his rawhide bone, and he refused. When I took it away (by prying his lips open) he growled. Whoa. He went off towards the kitchen, and squatted down to pee, and we stopped him in time by yelling his name. Yeah, I know it's bad, but at that point he was just annoying. That stopped him, and I carried him over to the litterbox/pads.

Then he got put through the "learn to earn" program, which is what we did as a puppy. No freedom, no toys, and everything he gets he gets after we make him sit or otherwise bend to our will. I gathered up all his toys, and put him through a training excercise - sit, stay, come here, give him a toy, tell him to drop it, etc.

He got worse when he needed to go to the bathroom again. He went upstairs, and refused to pee or poo on the pad. It was like he was a baby again - he'd hop out, we'd put him in, he'd hop out, etc. Eventually he peed, then he poo'd, with lots of growling and trying to escape. Then he went to bed (we put him in his crate).

The lesson? That the alpha dog stuff isn't bullshit in the dog world. It's unbelievable that our now 8-week old (4/1) puppy was trying to run us. Those behaviors in the books are real. I felt like someone on "good dog u" asking Jay (or whatever his name is) for help - "our puppy freaked out on us, what's the deal?"

I'll ask the trainer more about it on tuesday, or at least what we should do if it happens again. But for now, it's back to strict supervision. Sigh.

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