A Couple Observations

Just couple of observations. There really isn’t a whole lot that’s terribly new.

I wonder if teething has started yet? She likes to chew on her toys of course, but she doesn’t like softer rubber puppy things so much as she likes the sterilized bones, Nylabones, and things like that that area bit harder. The funny thing is though, she has a pretty soft mouth, all things considered. She hasn’t actually destroyed anything, apart from getting open a couple of stuffed dog toys that then got thrown away, and that was a while ago. In fact, her leash got in her crate with her while I was napping, and I can see a part that got chewed on a little, but the damage is very minimal, nothing to really compromise the leash much if at all. She picked up an SD card that somehow fell off the desk, and no problem, it was intact (I got it very quickly). She likes to pick things up and carry them. She’s picked up one of Alena’s shoes a couple times, on her way out to park, and dropped them somewhere on the ramp. Same with slippers. She got a sock once or twice that she wanted to play tug with. The good thing is that she’s not obsessive about things, and I’ve been able to get things away from her easily enough and without complaint.

She does another interesting thing, too. Most of the time, she noses the bell at the door, tor anyway, she rings it, even if just barely. Sometimes, maybe half the time though, she goes one better. She’ll jump at the doorknob. She’ll jump then at the handle to the screen door, and she can almost make it. I reckon she has some idea of how the door opens and wants to open it herself.

Seems to me between these two things, we might be able to do some service dog tasks for fun. I definitely wanted to work on a fetch anyway for when I drop stuff, but that she’s interested in opening doors as well is kind of neat.

Waiting to eat is also coming along really well. Now, I only have to start the exercise over just a couple times, and even so, no more noise.

We’ve also determined that it isn’t being left alone that bothers her when I leave. It’s *me* leaving that bothers her. Melanie, Alena, Melanie’s aid, and all the critters (and I) were downstairs yesterday, and I had to go to the drugstore. So I put the Hildabeast in her crate. When I walked out the front door, she put up her usual protests. So I moved her to the upstairs crate. That one’s a plastic crate, and I think she might feel more comfortable there, because I gather she put up less fuss for less time, because when I got back, she was still pretty quiet.

In addition, I believe that when we went for haircuts and grocery shopping on Wednesday, she was able to hold her bladder the whole time.

We’ve had several attendants come in for Melanie, and a couple of them claimed to be afraid of dogs. Hilda acted the same with all of them, which is to say, excited, jumping (another thing to work on), unfailingly friendly.

Puppy classes start on Friday. I’m kind of excited about that.

Growing, Changing, And Noisy Meal Times

Wow. A month. I’ve had her a month, although a short month, because February. It’s amazing how much Hilda has grown in just a month, and how much she’s changed. She makes less noise for less time in the crate now, and she’s mostly decided that I’m not a chew toy. When she decides to pay attention to me, she’ll sit, at least some of the time. She’s mostly got that parking happens outside, and all the accidents have been full bladder or too much excitement and an emptying bladder. I’m starting to catch on, meaning that I’m pretty much catching her right after she’s done the deed. And, usually, it isn’t much she’s let loose either. i call this a win. No puppy poopy in the house since the second day either. Definite win. I wonder idly, however, if puppy poopy is usually softer than adult dog poopy. Hilda’s is, though it’s still able to be picked up, but yeah, pretty soft. One friend opines that GSD’s have softer stools than labbies, a thing on which I have no opinion.

I’ve had a lot of this and that to do this week, and today was the first pretty nice day that I could go out for a walk around the block with Hilda. I don’t know if it wore her out or not (I suspect not), but it sure wore me out! Pretty exciting stuff for a puppy…she was over here, and over there, and behind me, and circling behind me, and getting kicked in the nose from being right behind one foot or another, and hey, what’s that over there, and jumping. We’ll get the hang of this sooner or later.

Mealtimes. Oh, mealtimes. My goal is to have her sit for a second or two waiting for a release phrase before she eats. I’ve been having her sit, and then immediately giving the release as soon as the bowl hits the ground. This week, mealtimes are getting a little harder. Now, I want her to sit, and stay seated for even just half a second before the release. The first time I introduced this, she barked and yowled like someone pulled her leg off. And I thought, mealtimes are going to be noisy for a while. We’ve got things down to a little whine, only four days later, and she’s actually sitting with a minimum of restraint. I started with having the bowl up, then when she sat, I held her back as I put the bowl down. If she jumped and carried on, we started over. Eventually, once I got a sit, and relative quiet, I’d let her go. I think she’ll have this down shortly.

Vet check at 12 weeks has her at 19 pounds, 8 oz. She’s getting tall! The teary eyes are probably just from dirt, since puppies get into pretty much everything, and the vet sees nothing to worry about. That left ear is starting to stand up straighter again most of the time. I’m also noticing that her fur is starting to change, being coarser down her back and tail, and longer on her chest and the backs of her hind legs. She’s still got a lot of downy soft puppy coat too, but I can definitely see that that will be on the way out. Also, maybe I’m crazy, but her head is changing shape, too. Earlier, it was more round…hard to explain. Now it’s getting longer from back to front, more like what I usually expect for a GSD head.

I’ve also discovered that, while you can definitely handle her feet as much as you like, the clippers make her a little nervous. And she wants to try to take the brush in her mouth. However, a bully stick (yes, I know what those are) makes everything better. You can brush or clip or what have you as long as she’s got one of those to chew on. If that will help with positive associations, well, all right then.

Puppy kindergarten starts on April 10.

And that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.