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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
I am loving Saffron. She is an awesome dog and very confident so a little different than Sage.
I need some help with a few things. First, I apologize I haven’t been on here much. Work got busy and weather is now dark at about 4pm so not enjoying winter and it’s cold. My mom has fallen twice in the past 2 months and I live a big $175 ferry ride away and it’s stressful. I just got lifeline set up for her yesterday, at least.
Anyways, I think I am not doing as good a job as I would like.
1) I started Susan Garret’s crate games because she doesn’t love her crate in the day. No problem at night next to me. Is sleeping when I get home in her crate in day. Not great when I am home and crate her. But, I haven’t had much time lately and she was doing great but now won’t sit when I open the door and doesn’t want the treat. Any thoughts? The program says to use higher value treats but I used bacon tonight. My only thought is that tonight Sage was around and it was too distracting.
2) Re: Sage: Saffron wants to play with Sage all the time and he doesn’t always but in the evening he does. I don’t know how much freedom to give her and time to do that. I worry that she is starting to not have me as the center of her universe... So how to keep me more exciting (??) and how to keep them separated without making her I don’t know what to say other than unhappy? Tie downs work okay for a while while making dinner, but not all the time.
3) Any suggestions for an after work routine? I can come home twice in the day for mini walks so it is fine for a puppy. But, when I get home at 4:45 I find it challenging to meet both of their needs and I can’t decide which training to focus on at 4 months? We have done of course sit, stay, leave it, down, come, some relax on a mat (but not every day). Then of course there is getting them used to the grooming, brushing, etc...

What would you do for most important for a puppy with another active dog in the house? Puppy is definitely more dominant! But adorable and otherwise everything going well. OOps, except for 3 indoor potty accidents this week (some sort of regression? I thought it was sorted!)

Thanks so much! It’s better than it sounds and I love them dearly. Just having a rough week:afraid: Jen and Sage and Saffron.
 

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Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. No advice I'm afraid as I have just one dog but can and will put y'all in my prayers tonight.
 

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Hi Jen,

I'm sorry for all of the stresses you have experienced this week, especially with your mom :( I am having a little trouble comprehending what exactly your issues are with Saffron and Sage. It sounds to me, and I may be wrong, like Saffron is getting crated a lot and that's why she's not wanting to go in her crate during the day, especially if you're working most of the day. I used a combo of crating and baby gates to give the spoos a break from each other, but also give more freedom than just a crate. As far as training, I think socialization is the most important thing at this age. All of the obedience stuff is good too, especially stay and leave it (and I would also train for "drop it"). Other things you can do when you get home besides just giving them love are playing with a flirt pole and playing fetch. Potty accidents should subside in the next month. Both of mine were about 5 months old when they were reliable.

Hang in there! Puppies are HARD no matter how wonderful they are!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Jen,

I'm sorry for all of the stresses you have experienced this week, especially with your mom :( I am having a little trouble comprehending what exactly your issues are with Saffron and Sage. It sounds to me, and I may be wrong, like Saffron is getting crated a lot and that's why she's not wanting to go in her crate during the day, especially if you're working most of the day. I used a combo of crating and baby gates to give the spoos a break from each other, but also give more freedom than just a crate. As far as training, I think socialization is the most important thing at this age. All of the obedience stuff is good too, especially stay and leave it (and I would also train for "drop it"). Other things you can do when you get home besides just giving them love are playing with a flirt pole and playing fetch. Potty accidents should subside in the next month. Both of mine were about 5 months old when they were reliable.

Hang in there! Puppies are HARD no matter how wonderful they are!
Thanks zooeysmom.
Saffron is crated while I am at work (except for my two breaks) so I don’t really crate her in the evening. I could try baby gates so they both have an area — I’m kind of open plan but it’s given me an idea. Sage has rarely in his life told off another dog so he just lets Saffron get away with being pesky.
Yes about the socialization - Thanks, I feel reassured. That part I know I am doing a good job at. I really like that part which is probably why I worry about the obedience. We do play a lot also and I take her to my friends’ houses with little kids, to work, to the dog friendly hardware store etc. She has even had a few sleepovers with friends who have other dogs and cats. She’s a social girl naturally as well and had a great breeder who raises awesome puppies.
I think I am just trying to find ways to give Sage a break:)
And thanks for the reassurance about potty stuff. I was probably not attentive this week and distracted with my personal stuff going on.
 

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I think you are doing an excellent job under difficult circumstances, and agree with Zooeysmom - plenty of time for more obedience training when she is older. Baby gates would certainly help give Sage a break if he is too easy going to tell her when enough is enough, although I would let them play and not worry too much about her losing focus on you for a while - as the source of treats, food, cuddles and lots of other good things you can afford to let him help you entertain her some of the time! I would be ready to step in with a fun game when he begins to show signs of wanting some peace - tug, flirt pole, Which Hand is the Treat in?, etc. A game which my dogs love and play happily without excessive competition is Hunt the Treat - it is my go-to game in bad weather when walks are just not possible.

I found when raising puppies that I sometimes got so caught up in trying to get everything right - food, socialising, toilet training, teaching good manners, etc, etc - I forgot to just have fun. Sometimes you just have to get down on the floor and play and be silly - try a play bow, and then let Saffron choose the game. I think that way she will find you even more fun than bouncing at her big brother!
 

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My kitchen is the one rug-free room and is easy to gate. My puppy was with me during evening dinner prep. I have dog mats in there also where the dogs wait for their meals. My other dog is 25 pounds and my spoo quickly outgrew her, plus at 7 years old not quite the energy of a puppy. My puppy could stay in the kitchen to give the other dog a break.

‘Find it’ games are great for wearing dogs out mentally. The foundation for nosework training was searching for treats in boxes (I did this for quite some time, waiting to get into a formal class.) Place about half a dozen boxes on the floor in one room, one will have a handful of treats. Confine both dogs (I use the kitchen, it could be crates) and release with your command (find it/search). When they locate the treat box, drop more treats into it for an extra reward. My dogs get super excited, especially that they have to take turns.

We play ‘tricks for treats’ in the evenings. Initially it was difficult for one dog to stay on their place (bed, couch) while the other played (okay, this took quite a while to teach). But they are nearly perfect now. It really improved their ‘stays’. The tricks vary from short heeling, rally exercises, spinning on an overturned dog dish, my older dog puts toys into a basket. Even group stays! This is where I introduced agility contact 2-on 2-off behavior and some of the new rally exercises. Soon you’ll be ready for the AKC trick dog title!

I also am at work all day, with just one break at lunch. I prepared frozen kongs for my puppy to enjoy in the kitchen while I prepared my lunch. This continues to this day, but I mostly used stuffed and frozen femur bones, and my older dog gets one, too. I do this after every meal. In the morning it gives me time to relax with a cup of coffee. At other times, just a few minutes to myself.
 

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I will add my voice to those who think you are doing better than you think. I would not worry too much about obedience training other than the recall, leave it and drop it, and loose leash manners. Focus on housebreaking (some pups will not develop enough neuromuscular control to resist the pressure to go until they are 6 months or a bit older) and social experience.


Definitely try to make a non-crate based way to separate Sage and Saffron and send special time with each of them separately along with doing things where you have them both present.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. I am feeling better after a better night’s sleep and I was able to take a day off work. It turns out I was brewing a bad cold and have tendonitis to boot!
I will just focus on having fun and doing the fun games after work. It’s just too busy mid-week. I was trying to “get stuff done” and doing too much.
But I do think I need baby gates and will separate the living room from the kitchen. I can have one either side if needed when I am home and want them to be out and about.
 

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Oh I do hope you can ward off that cold quickly!
 

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I have nothing to add to the excellent advice others have given. I do hope you feel much better soon. You have a lot on your plate, especially with concerns for your Mother as well. I have been in your shoes so can totally relate.

Hang in there, be kind to yourself you are doing a good job, both as poodle Mom and loving daughter.
 

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Hey JenandSage, Sorry to hear it has been a difficult week!

Just know that Saffron was my inspiration earlier this week when I was grooming my puppy, Aero, who is her age. I looked at Aero's pictures and saw how "ragged" his topknot looked and pulled up Saffy's picture as I was grooming him. I love her face and eyes and wanted him to look like that.

The expen has been the best thing ever for us since I have 3 adults with varying tolerance for a puppy. I like that I can put it right in the middle of everyone but keep the puppy separated when needed. Rex ( German Shepherd ) is too tolerant of all the antics, Dewey ( the other poodle ) won't tolerate anything except a strict rule follower, and Josie is old and I don't let a puppy annoy her. A majority of the time everyone is great together, but a couple of times a day I have to use the expen for all of our sanity.

Sorry to hear about your mom. I am the person in my family who is in charge of taking care of my mom in her assisted living facility. It can be really, really tough.

I agree with ZooeysMom, in that socialization is the most important thing right now. I have to work really hard that I don't become lazy in that most important area. Sounds like you are doing well!!

I constantly tell myself, like fjm says, to enjoy my puppy! There is so much to teach but it does goes by so fast.
 

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I sure hope I can add something of value! I was an anxious new puppy mom and I think I was too focused on obedience rather than relaxing and enjoying the simple things like potty training (out every hour). I too am a Recaller with Susan Garrett and I was a "lumper". I didn't break the games she provides into small successful steps and then I'd get frustrated. Had to go back to the critical core of her games and take it slow and enjoy them. I found that if something wasn't working it was ME that wasn't communicating in the right way to my little guy, not that he didn't want to please me. Also, as far as being his universe, he is so social that everything on earth seems to have been created for his pleasure and I'm in there somewhere. If you are a Recaller, go on her site and go to the facebook page or the chats and put your questions out there. The members are very supportive and helpful with hints! Keep us posted!
 

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First let me say I am sorry for everything your going thru especially with your mom. I do know how that is. I cared for my mom 8 years before she passed away. But looking back I'd do it all again. I have the "caretaker" person in my family so I"m always doing for someone, now even neighbors. LOL I think you are right on track with Saffron and you are doing it all right. The socialization is so important and you have that..the rest will all follow in time. I concentrated on potty training and sits etc. Renn did not get enough socialization. He was a bit fearful and I didn't push it. He did get better with time but is not where I want him to be. He is still rather annoying when it comes to others, he gets wild jumpy and barks. Now it isn't always and again it isn't everyone. We still have a lot of work to do. I haven't been great on getting out and I'm not getting better. He has stepped on my toe so many times that now in addition to my bad knees and ankles, I have a dislocated toe. Yeah me. I will need surgery at this point to correct it which is a 6 week recovery (no walking). Geez with a total knee I was up and walking (well sort of) the next day. Anyway I putting it off till I can't walk anymore. You are doing a wonderful job with her, she comes from a fabulous breeder and has a good foundation. With all her social skills she is acquiring you will have one awesome dog. Give yourself a break and just do what you can, it will happen.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. That is a huge responsibility and would be stressful for anyone, even without work and two dogs. I am 72 and not at all sure what I will do if I need help, and not wanting to be a burden.

What you are saying here is making me reconsider getting a second dog.

Sending strength to you and positive vibes to your dogs to get through this and be good for you so you don't get over-stressed!
 

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Hey JenandSage, Sorry to hear it has been a difficult week!

Just know that Saffron was my inspiration earlier this week when I was grooming my puppy, Aero, who is her age. I looked at Aero's pictures and saw how "ragged" his topknot looked and pulled up Saffy's picture as I was grooming him. I love her face and eyes and wanted him to look like that.

The expen has been the best thing ever for us since I have 3 adults with varying tolerance for a puppy. I like that I can put it right in the middle of everyone but keep the puppy separated when needed. Rex ( German Shepherd ) is too tolerant of all the antics, Dewey ( the other poodle ) won't tolerate anything except a strict rule follower, and Josie is old and I don't let a puppy annoy her. A majority of the time everyone is great together, but a couple of times a day I have to use the expen for all of our sanity.

Sorry to hear about your mom. I am the person in my family who is in charge of taking care of my mom in her assisted living facility. It can be really, really tough.

I agree with ZooeysMom, in that socialization is the most important thing right now. I have to work really hard that I don't become lazy in that most important area. Sounds like you are doing well!!

I constantly tell myself, like fjm says, to enjoy my puppy! There is so much to teach but it does goes by so fast.
Thanks StormeeK!
That is so cute you looked at Saffron’s picture. She is so adorable. You have a lot of dog antics to deal with as well.
I tried an expen for a bit but I probably didn’t give it enough chance... Saffron would have her front paws up and bang on the side and cry. So heartbreaking! I tried some things but it probably would have taken longer than I could tolerate to get it sorted.
Of course this week I am finding them working well together and Saffy doesn’t bother Sage very much and they are both chilling out while I cook dinner. I am going to set up some baby gates though as I think it is overdue - I can have them separated and it will also keep them from running to the front door when someone comes.
As for my mom I am not the closest geographically but I am the nurse so I can navigate system best.
Unfortunately she called 911 again this morning because she was having trouble breathing (has chronic COPD so not unusual). Anyways she is totally stable, just using oxygen and they are keeping her there. It might be home oxygen time!
I actually feel relieved she is there next few nights. She is actually close to my brother in the hospital!
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. That is a huge responsibility and would be stressful for anyone, even without work and two dogs. I am 72 and not at all sure what I will do if I need help, and not wanting to be a burden.

What you are saying here is making me reconsider getting a second dog.

Sending strength to you and positive vibes to your dogs to get through this and be good for you so you don't get over-stressed!
Thanks Kontiki! this week has been much better and the good parts (which I didn’t write about last week when I wasn’t feeling so positive!) are that they do entertain each other and play well together sometimes. If I can let them off leash in a big area they chase each other around and get tired. That part is really nice;)
 

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First let me say I am sorry for everything your going thru especially with your mom. I do know how that is. I cared for my mom 8 years before she passed away. But looking back I'd do it all again. I have the "caretaker" person in my family so I"m always doing for someone, now even neighbors. LOL I think you are right on track with Saffron and you are doing it all right. The socialization is so important and you have that..the rest will all follow in time. I concentrated on potty training and sits etc. Renn did not get enough socialization. He was a bit fearful and I didn't push it. He did get better with time but is not where I want him to be. He is still rather annoying when it comes to others, he gets wild jumpy and barks. Now it isn't always and again it isn't everyone. We still have a lot of work to do. I haven't been great on getting out and I'm not getting better. He has stepped on my toe so many times that now in addition to my bad knees and ankles, I have a dislocated toe. Yeah me. I will need surgery at this point to correct it which is a 6 week recovery (no walking). Geez with a total knee I was up and walking (well sort of) the next day. Anyway I putting it off till I can't walk anymore. You are doing a wonderful job with her, she comes from a fabulous breeder and has a good foundation. With all her social skills she is acquiring you will have one awesome dog. Give yourself a break and just do what you can, it will happen.
Thanks! Yes, awesome breeder. SHe is just a cool and amazing dog. We went on a walk with friends and three other dogs yesterday in the pouring rain and she had some off leash time on the trail. Right now her recall is 100% (?!) and she was up at the front with the big dogs! No hesitation. Everyone just kept saying she is such a special puppy:)
Sage still is jumpy at greeting people he knows. I fear she will pick up the bad habit! Work to do on both!
 
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