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Discussion Starter #1
So 3 weeks have flown by since we picked up Ursa the mini at 10 weeks.

First of all...omg...what a sweetheart she is. Honestly I was afraid of getting the puppy blues but she has been SO sweet and clearly adores both me and my daughter, which has made terrible puppy toddler behavior much easier to deal with. She’s SO cuddly and I am currently writing this as she’s snuggled up to me on her couch blanket. The highlights of my days have been when she does her sleepy puppy streeeetch and turns to gaze at me while I work. In other words puppy blues may be held off...for now lol.

Funnily enough, the vet thinks she is a brindle pup. While the breeder said “dark sable”, I get the impression since the color was a surprise from the breeding (neither parents were brindle), they weren’t breeding for it, maybe they didn’t have much experience with the odder colors. I love her look now but wonder if it’ll fade.

She had her 12 week vaccines so she’s been able to get out and about in earnest. Unfortunately we live in a very urban area so there’s a lot of traffic noise. Plus, on weekdays due to work I can only take her on longer walks either early morning or evening. Since it’s still winter that means it’s dark. So very often in the evening her favorite pee spot outside our apartment building is in shadow and she’ll start yelping in fright (I think?). I’ve tried using high value treats (chicken) for outside only to lure her, but am not sure it’s making much difference. Any tips would be great as I really want her to be comfortable outside! I think she was exposed to lots of indoor things before I got her, since she’s pretty easygoing with a lot of household thumps and noises that my old dog would’ve freaked out over. But being born in Dec in Canada means she was probably taken out only a handful of times... and definitely not exposed to city things.

The other things we’re really working on are separation issues and potty training. I’m currently working from home but that won’t be forever once the pandemic ends. I’m not sure how to approach this but I’d like to be able to run errands and things easily without her freaking out.

I am also aware she’s overdue for a grooming. Unfortunately due to covid they just allowed grooming services so it’s been difficult to get an appointment due to the build-up of demand...

Her in the middle of a bite-the-bed session lol:
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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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- Brindle: I can see the brown stripes on her, so it's a possibility. I had a male who was also a reverse brindle (predominantly black), and he faded to blue by about 4 years old. Another member posted a photo recently (within the last 6 months or so) of her brindle parti whose brindle areas faded to silver.

- Impulse control - I cannot say enough about the importance of training impulse control and calm demeanor as a puppy. Games like Look at That, Leave It, and the Relaxation Protocol go a really long way to raising a calm, controlled adult dog, and it's never too early to start.

- I'm not clear on why she's yelping. Is it the cold? Dark? Lack of experience outside? I would approach training going outside the same way we typically encourage people to train car rides: start small and reward, reward, reward. Make a fun game of it. Perhaps start by walking down the hall to the elevator, so that she looks forward to leaving the apartment, and build the behavior from there.

- Separation Anxiety - Again, start small. The Relaxation Protocol can be a good starting point, as it will desensitize her to you going to the door, turning the door knob, opening the door, stepping out of sight, and returning. Do you use a crate or X-Pen?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
- Brindle: I can see the brown stripes on her, so it's a possibility. I had a male who was also a reverse brindle (predominantly black), and he faded to blue by about 4 years old. Another member posted a photo recently (within the last 6 months or so) of her brindle parti whose brindle areas faded to silver.

- Impulse control - I cannot say enough about the importance of training impulse control and calm demeanor as a puppy. Games like Look at That, Leave It, and the Relaxation Protocol go a really long way to raising a calm, controlled adult dog, and it's never too early to start.

- I'm not clear on why she's yelping. Is it the cold? Dark? Lack of experience outside? I would approach training going outside the same way we typically encourage people to train car rides: start small and reward, reward, reward. Make a fun game of it. Perhaps start by walking down the hall to the elevator, so that she looks forward to leaving the apartment, and build the behavior from there.

- Separation Anxiety - Again, start small. The Relaxation Protocol can be a good starting point, as it will desensitize her to you going to the door, turning the door knob, opening the door, stepping out of sight, and returning. Do you use a crate or X-Pen?
- Wow I have to look up “reverse brindle” now? This color rabbit hole doesn’t end!

- Thanks for the suggestion. We’re training on leave it (lol her wrigglebutt and impatient whining is too cute), but I’ll look up the other two as well. She definitely gets the nighttime crazies where it’s like she’s playing with a ghost.

- She’s ok with going outside during the day now. She’d prefer not to be next to heavier traffic but now tolerates it instead of panicking. At night though that flies out the window—she’s very scared of the dark! One night was both windier AND dark so it was extra terrifying for her so she wouldn’t pee outside. :( She cried until we went back in, then immediately peed in hallway.

I started out with an ex pen but found for potty training it was easier to keep her leashed indoors, and use her crate. She is crated at night in my room which I move out to the living room. I move her to the crate when I need to go run errands, but the neighbors report that she cries. She quiets down after a bit usually but then sometimes it goes on for a while.
 

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Same idea with acclimating her to the sounds of city noises. Start slow. The releasing of the bus breaks, the sounds of the garbage trucks, the ups trucks, a loud muffler, the rolling sound of the trash bin... You can expose her in small doses, 5-15 minutes. She can't stay inside forever.

Literally just stand outside your apt complex or someplace on the block and just watch the world go by. Get some training treats from the pet store or try using her kibble. I don't think you need to use top shelf treats for this, chicken. Your not rewarding the fear, rather that treats/food = good/okay/comforting.

There's kind of a comfort to fear gradient. Calm to frantic. Youll get a better feel for this overtime, sensing your furbabies comfort level. Don't go from zero to 100 real quick, but maybe from like zero to 25%... Then just hangout there and feed treats.

She's probably still carryable. You could walk around the city with her in your arms and let her see the world from a safe place, mom's arms. (And bask in the ooohs and awwees of a cute puppy... You have to show her off a little ;). Duel purpose).

Basil's a SPOO and by 12 weeks she was too heavy to carry. But, what I mentioned is exactly what I did with Basil to acclimate her to city sounds in Seattle.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Same idea with acclimating her to the sounds of city noises. Start slow. The releasing of the bus breaks, the sounds of the garbage trucks, the ups trucks, a loud muffler, the rolling sound of the trash bin... You can expose her in small doses, 5-15 minutes. She can't stay inside forever.

Literally just stand outside your apt complex or someplace on the block and just watch the world go by. Get some training treats from the pet store or try using her kibble. I don't think you need to use top shelf treats for this, chicken. Your not rewarding the fear, rather that treats/food = good/okay/comforting.

There's kind of a comfort to fear gradient. Calm to frantic. Youll get a better feel for this overtime, sensing your furbabies comfort level. Don't go from zero to 100 real quick, but maybe from like zero to 25%... Then just hangout there and feed treats.

She's probably still carryable. You could walk around the city with her in your arms and let her see the world from a safe place, mom's arms. (And bask in the ooohs and awwees of a cute puppy... You have to show her off a little ;). Duel purpose).

Basil's a SPOO and by 12 weeks she was too heavy to carry. But, what I mentioned is exactly what I did with Basil to acclimate her to city sounds in Seattle.
Thank you! I did try some of these (you’re totally right, the amount of attention she gets is wild) and I think they helped. There is already marked improvement and she doesn’t seem to mind a moderate amount of traffic now. I notice she’s much more confident when it’s me and my daughter walking her (vs just me).
 

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All of my puppies have been nervous about going out at night. I think their instincts, just like ours, tell them darkness is dangerous. Taking her to the same potty spot at different times of day should build her confidence.

I used to take my current dog, Galen, out to watch traffic when he was a puppy. I loaded my pocket with treats and found a nice sunwarmed patch of sidewalk to plop down on. I started out holding him on my lap, letting him peek out from under my coat while he ate a few treats. My lap became his safe spot. When he got bored and wiggly I let him explore around me the length of his leash while I watched for noisy vehicles. Any time I saw something unusual approaching - a motorcycle, a truck towing a landscaping trailer, a big semi with jake brakes, etc. - I would start shoving treats down Galen's throat as fast as he could swallow them. Sometimes the power of the scary truck overwhelmed the power of the treats. When that happened I just let him burrow under my coat until the scary truck went past. With enough exposure he stopped being alarmed and began looking forward to these picnics.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All of my puppies have been nervous about going out at night. I think their instincts, just like ours, tell them darkness is dangerous. Taking her to the same potty spot at different times of day should build her confidence.

I used to take my current dog, Galen, out to watch traffic when he was a puppy. I loaded my pocket with treats and found a nice sunwarmed patch of sidewalk to plop down on. I started out holding him on my lap, letting him peek out from under my coat while he ate a few treats. My lap became his safe spot. When he got bored and wiggly I let him explore around me the length of his leash while I watched for noisy vehicles. Any time I saw something unusual approaching - a motorcycle, a truck towing a landscaping trailer, a big semi with jake brakes, etc. - I would start shoving treats down Galen's throat as fast as he could swallow them. Sometimes the power of the scary truck overwhelmed the power of the treats. When that happened I just let him burrow under my coat until the scary truck went past. With enough exposure he stopped being alarmed and began looking forward to these picnics.
The treats approach is exactly what I’ve done! I notice that in that outing I may not necessarily see much improvement, but then the next time I take her out it’s already so much better. Puppy brains are funny.

I think I might just be expecting a lot out of a pup at 14 weeks. It’s been so long since I had a puppy, and a long time that I had an adult dog who was poorly socialized. She had a very long walk through the park today and met all kinds of people and dogs (including a giant Newfie!), and was generally a calm, happy and playful puppy. Her fear of night is already much better too. I should probably relax and stop helicopter mom-ing!
 

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The treats approach is exactly what I’ve done! I notice that in that outing I may not necessarily see much improvement, but then the next time I take her out it’s already so much better. Puppy brains are funny.

I think I might just be expecting a lot out of a pup at 14 weeks. It’s been so long since I had a puppy, and a long time that I had an adult dog who was poorly socialized. She had a very long walk through the park today and met all kinds of people and dogs (including a giant Newfie!), and was generally a calm, happy and playful puppy. Her fear of night is already much better too. I should probably relax and stop helicopter mom-ing!
I think you are doing exactly the right thing to notice concerns and ask about them right away. It's a lot easier to address a small problem in a puppy before it turns into a big problem in a big dog.
 
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