We’re trying to bring Amber into the house at least a couple of times each day. We have a gate across the doorway to our office to contain her, at least a bit. The first thing she did was find Molly, who was trying to sleep in her bed at my feet at my computer area. Molly wasn’t too pleased, as Amber kept coming back and trying to lick her and get her to play, but she only growled a bit and didn’t freak out.
Amber then found a tug of war toy beside the bed Bambi and Molly shared. She immediately picked it up and allowed my husband to take the other end. A rousing game of tug o’ war ensued, with Amber pulling, whipping her head, getting more and more into it. My husband would let her have it for a bit from time to time, but she would bring it back to him.
I think dogs instinctively know to use their weight as leverage. She already pulls hard!
Here she is, celebrating victory.
We’re definitely making progress on several fronts.
- She likes her crate. She doesn’t protest when we put her to bed at night, closing and securing the door. She gets into the crate voluntarily when she wants to take a nap during the day. She doesn’t want to mess up her crate, so she is learning to control things until we take her out in the morning. She hasn’t had an accident on the porch in a couple of days now.
- She definitely reacts when we say her name. She is starting to “come” a bit. She is still on the leash, of course, but the leash is one that has the really long self-winding strong cord, so she can get about 15 feet away at times.
- She is biting and nipping less. We’re making a point of going out to simply sit with her and cuddle several times a day, stroking her all over, touching her paws, her ears, under her chin, etc.
- She is barking less. She has quite a piercing bark, so if she doesn’t stop within a minute, we close the door. We’re able to leave the door open more and more now.
- She loves to chase a ball and bring it back.
- She’s learning to ‘sit’ while we put her food bowl down.
- She’s learning the words “off!” and ‘no!”
- She knows that when we say “Good Girl!” she usually gets a treat.
- She’s walking on the leash better now. We’re walking the perimeter of the ‘civilized’ part of our yard several times a day. She is eager to take a walk and takes an interest in lots she sees. She isn’t fighting the leash so much, and is tolerating the harness a bit better, though you would still think she has fleas when she stops to kick at it.
We think this is good progress from the 13th of May, when we adopted her. It’s a good thing she has a pretty good attitude and seems to want to please us, because she is supposed to be 80 lbs or so when fully grown. We want her to have good manners with us and with strangers and other animals long before then. We plan to take her with us places, meet other animals, etc., so we won’t have to worry that she won’t behave when it’s important.
I’m still waiting on the book “everything labrador” or something similar so I can find out what we’re SUPPOSED to be doing!