In case you were wondering, the answer to “How long can a puppy bark and howl?” is “Half the bloody freakin’ night”.
At least I think she’s starting to relax and figure out she lives here, anyway. She’s now following along with me on leash with only little encouragement.
Anyway, putting all three of the dogs in the crate together yesterday morning seems to have helped with Hilda’s barking a little, but that was because Leno and Fiona were barking instead. Yes, Leno. Mr. Barks Once a month whether he needs to or not is now barking at the puppy. Even more this morning. I think he’s telling her, “Back off, junior.”
Anyway, I tried something with the crate, both downstairs and the second half of the night after I moved the crate to next to my bed. As I slipped on some ice yesterday and was a little sore from that, I didn’t really think lying on the floor again would be a good idea. Anyway, string cheese. I didn’t have proper training treats, I will have tomorrow, so I used tiny pieces of string cheese. When she was quiet, or remained quiet for a while, i fed her tiny pieces of string cheese through the closed crate door. Now, she seems to be mostly fine if I’m within string cheese distance. I reckon this is progress. BTW, it isn’t just the crate. It’s also tie down. I had to put her on tie down to clean up when she peed in the big communal crate this morning. At least that’s easy to clean, but she peed in there yesterday while I was feeding and parking Leno, and Alena cleaned but did not spray the crate floor. So this morning, she walked in and peed before I could stop her. So had to put her on a tie down to go get paper towels and clean it up, and she made her usual ruckus. It might be that she doesn’t like me getting too far away. It might be she doesn’t like being confined, although I think it’s more the former than the latter, since she only barks and howls like that when confined *and* she perceives I’m somehow out of reach. If she’s frustrated at not being able to go further than the end of the leash, she whines and grumbles a bit, but that’s it.
I also yesterday made the mistake of letting her off leash to play with a ball. I think she wasn’t quite comfortable getting it into her mouth, because she ran after it, then ran back to me without it. Then when I threw it again, she ran off and took a dump in a couple places. Which got cleaned up of course.
Yesterday and this morning, we started to introduce “sit” and “down”. Just with a lure of a toy. Down got at least introduced this morning, when she just plopped down to get the toy as I moved it. I think she’ll pick up on both just fine.
We also started to introduce lying down by my chair at the table, just by putting her on a short leash and stepping on the leash. No big deal there, except maybe this morning she’s a bit more wound up.
We’re also trying to get her to not bite on things. Mostly nothings like me. Mostly by yowling in pain and then giving her a bone or other chew. Or, in the case of the leash, carpet, whatever, taking it away and then giving her an appropriate thing to chew.
She actually rolled over for a belly rub this morning.
One thing they don’t tell you in the books is how you’re supposed to deal with the following two mutually exclusive things.
Thing #1: Always keep your puppy attached to you, in a confined small area, or in a crate.
Thing #2: While crate training, start with short sessions and work your way up to longer ones.
OK, I can do thing #2 I reckon. But during the times I can’t have her attached or with me, then what? Because you can’t just wait to stick her in the crate until you can have a nice controlled set of short sessions.
I’m glad, or at least hopeful, that puppies are resilient. Because I’m sure I’ll get something wrong and have to fix it later.