The New Regime

So, Wednesday night the dog behaviorist came to our house to discuss our puggle problem.

Whatchoo talkin' about, fool?

Whatchoo talkin' about, fool?

They are cute, but kinda naughty evil.  More importantly, they are totally out of control.  So I went with the person recommended by Laurie to see what we could get worked out.

I’m not gonna lie, I totally expected the lady version of Cesar Milan (please tell me you all know who the Dog Whisperer is).  That guy actually irritates the crap out of me, so I was kind of dreading the whole experience.  Instead we got a very nice woman who was very honest with us about dogs and children (she has both, which is helpful).

First of all, the puggles are too ridiculous for obedience training.  From talking to her, it sounds like the amount of constant correction would be too much for us and for them.  I’m ok with that as long as we can teach them to stop being such pests.

Meanwhile, some people seem to be struggling with the new rules.

Ahem, is there some part of "no dogs on your lap" that you don't understand? And this picture really was taken on Saturday, so he was supposed to know better. Oh, and that red bear? I got that on clearance at Target after V-Day 2 or 3 years ago and she is obsessed despite the lack of stuffing and the eyes having been torn out.

So the new rules are as follows:

1.  Puggles get fed once a day.  This is successful in that they are only getting fed in the morning, but they are throwing some mighty tantrums at night these days.  The know 6 PM used to mean dinner time and they aren’t adjusting well.

2.  Puggles get fed from toys instead of bowls.  The toys take anywhere from 5-45 minutes.  We ordered a bunch of Amazon that will come tomorrow and we’ve been rotating the 3 we already have.  This is really fun for them and is keeping them out of trouble.

3.  Puggles must “potty” (I hate that word) before they can have a walk.  We need to teach them that walking is walking and running outside for 3 minutes is a perfectly reasonable bathroom break.  I am not going to want to walk the little weasels for 30 minutes 3-4 times a day on maternity leave.

4.  No puggles on our laps.  This is so that they are used to it before the baby is here and we can’t have them on our laps.  It feels really cruel, but I know I won’t want to have to chase them off with a baby in my arms and I’m sick of them stepping on my stomach as my lap is disappearing.

5.  Puggles have to learn to be independent.  This involves a system of puppy gates (that we need to set up) and toys.  They have to learn to hang out by themselves while I’m behind a closed door or gate.  And puppy and baby only go on the same side of a door or gate if I’m right there.

6.  Games have rules.  No more letting Delilah bark at us and bean us in the head with tennis balls.  Now when she wants to play she has to drop it and sit before we will throw it.  This is both the most successful and most frustrating new rule.

7.  Dogs get walked on Gentle Leaders.  No more pulling.  I’m too pregnant and clumsy to get dragged all over the place when they bolt.  It was getting dangerous.  Luckily, our trainer came back over last Friday and Gentle Leader trained them for only the cost of the Gentle Leaders.  I heart her.

8.  Ignore Delilah.  She’s an attention slore.  As such, we have to ignore the barking and anything she does that is bad that isn’t out right destroying our house/stuff/person.  She will do anything to get our attention and make us do what she wants.  And now, just for some controversy, I’m going to point out that this is the puppy version of cry it out.  Oh yeah, I went there.

(I have no idea what if any opinion I have on cry it out, but unless your name is Kara or Mandy, I probably don’t care what your opinion on the subject is)

9.  Baby stuff gets set up as soon as we get it so the dogs can get used to it and realize it is boring.  This includes things like turning the swing on so they get used to the sound.

10.  Dogs can only continue to sleep in the bed if the baby is not going to sleep in the bed.  I genuinely do not feel comfortably with my baby in the bed since I’m a heavy sleeper and tend to thrash and roll around, so for now puggles still sleep with us.  I don’t regret giving them this.  Husband was sick on Sunday so we slept in instead of going to church and I woke up curled around an adorable little Delilah.  Sometimes I still need that time with her.

So that, in a nutshell is the new regime.  We spent close to $200 on the trainer and Gentle Leaders and then another $100 on toys and feeding toys.  We need to get a few more puppy gates

So parents, did you stop seeing your dog as a family member/child when the baby came?  I hear that will happen, but it seems unfathomable.

Anyone else ever used an animal behaviorist?  Any other rules you think would help us out?

Has anyone ever run their dog on a Gentle Leader?  I think I could actually manage them with one, but I’m not sure how safe that would be.


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
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18 Responses to The New Regime

  1. emily says:

    You mean you don’t want to know what I have to say about “cry it out”? Well poop. I’m curious, why only feed the dogs once a day? If someone fed me once a day I’d murder them by lunchtime. I know that if I didn’t feel Pippi in the evening, she’d never leave me alone. She already starts having a panic attack a hour before dinnertime and her stomach growls really loudly.

    What’s a Gentle Leader? It sounds like something I should have. Either that or I get my arm sewn back on one day when Pippi decides to bolt after something that’s actually not imaginary for once.

  2. Nita says:

    Morgan (aka Mr. Dawg) runs with me in a Halti collor which is very similar to a gentle leader, but which worked much better for him due to the shape of his snout. The gentle leader did nothing. The Halti worked something just shy of a miracle. So, in short, yes, you can run with a dog on a gentle leader type collar. He has been seen running with the Lucky 13’s a few times in that collar so others can attest to its effectiveness.

  3. Amy says:

    Sadie’s gentle leader was my best Christmas present last year!!! 🙂 It has made a huge difference in how she walks when it is on. No more pulling! I haven’t tried running with it yet, but based on how she walks with it, it would work well.

  4. aprilvak says:

    You dared to mention ‘cry it out’ on the interwebs? I’m popping some popcorn. This could get good.

    I hope this training keeps you from having dog/baby problems. We tried a lot of stuff to work things out here, but I think the biggest problem was Abby being too mobile for him to get used to her. It probably would have been a lot easier with an infant instead of a toddler, at least with our dog.

  5. Army Amy says:

    I like the rules, but considering the fact that my dog is snuggled in my lap right now, they’d be hard for me, too. I used to say that I didn’t want kids until Geronimo was dead and gone, but I’ve been hit by baby fever, so I guess we’ll see.*

  6. Kara says:

    A. Cry is out is awesome. Embrace it. Life is hard and dogs and babies need to learn to stand alone. 🙂

    B. I’m a REALLY strict dog owner. Peanut is pretty well trained, which is why she runs so well with me.

    C. Shunning is powerful. Never underestimate the power of a good shun.

  7. I run with someone who uses the gentle leader while running with no problems.

    When we had Bungee she was a disaster of a dog. We did all kinds of behavior modification on her so she’d stop destroying herself and the house when we were gone. She’s AWESOME now, but for a while we really thought we’d have to get rid of her. We did a lot of the same things you guys are doing, ignoring, bathroom before walks, teaching her to entertain herself, etc. Good luck!!!

  8. Aww! I love the tone of this post. I think it’s awesome you brought in a dog behaviorist. Smart move, mama!

  9. The 10 commandments of puggledom have been set. You have some serious patience. I have a feisty Jack Russell and understand. It’s amazing what people can make a profession out of:) I sincerely hope for the best, I am too naughty and probably not the best at disciplining. They give you those eyes!!:)

  10. Kate says:

    I have employed the CIO method with my dogs and find it works amazingly well – but only with me. My mother will not do it and so the dogs have learned that they can behave one way around her and a different way with me. This is the reason dog discipline in our house is just a sh*t show.

    I’ve heard (but obviously don’t know) that if you buy a baby doll and make it a point to greet the “baby” before the dogs they’ll also get used that order of operations. But I think I’d feel like a tool with a baby doll so I pretty much just say that to make you laugh.

  11. Mandy says:

    We were pretty strict with Cassie from the get-go, so we’ve never done an animal behaviorist. She definitely has had an adjustment period with Avery, so maybe we should have. 🙂 Cassie is still seen as family, but she’ definitely lower on the totem pole.

    CIO – my view on this may change, but at the moment Avery is too young. When she cries it’s because a need is not met. Speaking of, the little monster…er darling is crying right now.

  12. Abby says:

    Seems like a great idea to start working on this now instead of waiting until the baby’s born. I often wonder how our dogs will respond when we have kids (one will be great, one may be tough, is my guess).

    The one who may be tough has used gentle leader for about 5 years. He doesn’t pull as much, but he still hates it to this day 🙂

  13. Michelle says:

    I’m glad to hear you are keeping the pups. My friend had a baby and didn’t take the necessary precautions so she felt that she had to give the pups to her parents. I hope that your puggles get along well with the new little runner.

  14. I’m glad to hear the puggles are going to stay a part of your family – I worry about that with mine! But, I can’t imagine my life without them. 🙂 You know I love the snugglies! Maybe I can come walk them for you once in awhile once the baby comes? In the evening? I miss my little buddies!

    I think they will adjust to the changes in time. I am glad you called in a professional – that is a great decision! I’m looking forward to hearing more about how the dog training goes!

  15. kat9365 says:

    I have some opinions on cry it out for babies but I guess my name doesn’t fall into those 2 restriction so I’ll keep them to myself 😉 (aka post them on my own blog). How is the doggie training going? We made a lot of changes for ours, but they were pretty easy going dog beforehand. now travis is revolting a bit by stealing the baby toys. to be fair though, peanut has been stealing and chewing on his toys, so maybe he thinks they’re sharing?

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