puppy

Pupdate with Picspam

So we’ve had Arya for 3 months now, and she turned nine months old on Tuesday. I thought I’d do a happier update for a Friday afternoon.

In general, she is absolutely wonderful. She’s smart, sweet, and happy. She seems to be My Dog, and follows me from room to room. She loves playing with other dogs, frozen stuffed Kongs, and sleeping.

She think she loves the cat but she’s not entirely sure, due to him being a cat and therefore an asshole 50% of the time. Sometime he is very very nice to her and she gets excited and wants to play and then he flips a switch and smacks her around and hisses and leaves her very confused.

Her only real flaw is that she will. not. stay in a crate. She destroys them. See evidence below: she bites the bars of the door, pulls the bars off their cross-bracing, then either slithers through the hole (crate #1) or shakes the latches loose (crate #2).

Leaving her loose has not been without its flaws, either.

In fact, this week, the day after I got the call about Tristan’s new drama, I came home to find that Arya had knocked down an extra doorbell ringer and chewed it up a little bit. I couldn’t find the battery. She’d also eaten an entire bottle of dog breath mints. Cue an afternoon spent in the waiting room at the vet trying to slide into an appointment spot for an x-ray, and 30 minutes on the phone with a poison control hotline checking the ingredients of the breath mints.

She’s totally fine, and she charmed everyone at the vet office. We had a long conversation with a behaviorist on staff, who says we are doing everything we possibly can in regards to crate training, and she does not present as an anxious dog, just a smart and willful one.

So we are now considering options: keep puppy-proofing in succession, or start a from-scratch separation anxiety program of 4-6 weeks, during which time we’d board her during the day and work on counter-conditioning and positive reinforcement when we’re home with her. Decisions, decisions.

She loves the beach.

She loves my parents’ dog Willow.

And boy,

does she

love

sleeping.

9 thoughts on “Pupdate with Picspam

  1. What about the second from the top, lying down in the grass?

    I still tend to say Boxer/Lab when I'm out and about with her, because it's anyone's guess. She's definitely got *something* bully in her, from the look of her head/jowls and chest.

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  2. Mmm. I mean, you never really know! And I'm stereotyping. But that one doesn't do it for me. Something about the proportions. I look forward to seeing her in person again!

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  3. Hrrmph with the crate. What about putting little carabiners on the door to keep it closed so she couldn't jiggle the latches open? And/or getting her out for intense exercise pre-crating so she learned to be chill when in the crate – or, rather, she'd be too tired to perform shenanigans for too long, and maybe hopefully give up? Or what about a bigger crate with thicker metal/stronger welds? I don't know if the metal differs between the different sized crates, but it would make sense that it would? Kenai is in a great dane sized crate now because it gives him a little more room to stretch. He grew up in smaller ones initially.

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  4. She loves to put herself in tiny balls, preferably with her nose under her tail. It's a bit weird!

    She can be a little whirling dervish when she wants to be. Sigh.

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  5. We tried carabiners – she broke them. Granted, they were the smaller keychain kind, not really the climbing/high test kind.

    She gets 3+ hours of walks per day: morning, noon, and night. Whenever possible with running and/or playing with other dogs. Honestly, when we're home with her she sleeps 80% of the time. She is not your typical high energy dog! I think it's more about calculation than it is about shenanigans. She knew exactly how to bite the bars to weaken the door.

    I tried to see if there were crates with thicker bars and/or stronger welds and it was really tough to get a sense for that online. New crate definitely had stronger welds on it. Sigh. They do make a crate that's well-night indestructible but then I worry that she'd break her teeth! (Also, it's $300…)

    We might go a size up next time. Maybe that would help. By the books, the sizes she destroyed were a smidge too big for her – rated for 60 or so lb dogs and she's barely 40.

    We're going to try again in a few more months, hopefully when she's further along in her chilling out/focus training.

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