Teaching Amber “Place!” has been a lifesaver for us. Left to her own devices, Amber leaps around hounding poor Molly, making cats jump, hiss, and spit, and generally causing havoc. She is doing remarkably well now – after an initial “HOORAY! I’M HERE!” run around. Being in her place allows her to spend a lot more time inside, getting away from the heat, and being inside with the other animals and the people. She has several toys on the bed, and seems content to watch what’s happening around her. We all get a bit of quiet time – a very welcome thing.
I’m really amazed that, other than a few lapses, she stays on the bed, even though a cat may come in the room and meow to get up in my husband’s lap, or Molly goes in and out, etc. She knows this will be strictly enforced, but the being included in the family seems to outweigh leaping around limits.
I also make it a point to go to the corner of the bed, where I can get down on the floor beside her, with the aid of the couch. She knows that it’s then okay to come sit in my lap, bring a toy, love the mama. A happy time for us, to be sure. :0)
Amber has decided she likes Molly’s bed under my computer counter. She goes in and out over and over, stepping on my feet, making my chair swivel, squeaky toy in her mouth. She thinks it’s a great game.
I think we’re over the hump on her digestive problem now. She has remained playful and happy throughout, but is now almost completely back to normal. I’m going to start giving her a bit of puppy food again and we’ll see if that’s a problem or not.
She is spending more and more time with us inside. We taught her “PLACE” (the big bed in the living room) and she either plays contently or goes to sleep, over and over. She and Molly sit together on the bed, or Molly chooses to sit elsewhere, but isn’t freaking out. Amber is dive-bombing her less over time.
One of her favorite things now is for either my husband or me to come over and sit on the floor beside her ‘place.’ She knows it’s then okay to come sit with us, play, and love – and we do a lot of that.
This morning we worked on “DOWN.” She didn’t want to cooperate at first, but changed her mind when she discovered she got a cookie if she was down. We’re working on SO many things all at the same time. One of the important things now is to take food from our hands without teeth. I’ve found that if I touch her eat, she will take the treat more gently. Who knew?
We keep reminding ourselves, one day at a time.
Meanwhile, I’m making sure that a couple of times a day, Molly and I sit together. She’s my lap dog, and she loves it. I don’t want her to feel she’s getting lost in the shuffle of training the new puppy.
We’re making some progress on teaching Amber to stay on the dog bed in the living room while we’re spending time together in the living room. She’s really antsy, but she’s getting the idea. It’s to all our benefits, because this allows her to spend much more time with us. Otherwise, she’s busily driving Molly nuts, dive-bombing her, licking her, trying to get her to play, putting a paw on her, or chasing her, if Molly won’t settle somewhere. There’s also the issue of one or more of the cats taking exception to her chasing them.
We say, “PLACE!” and lead her to the dog bed, making her lie down, and then saying, “Good Dog!” and giving her a treat. We might have to repeat this a couple of times, but she’s getting the idea!