January 6th 2014 11:14 am
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Well, on January 1st, the first day of 2014 was not a happy one. We went to the beautiful Dog Beach here in Huntington Beach CA and were having a great time with Lexi and Amber when Lexi decided to pick up and swallow a fish hook that had washed up to the sand. Not two minutes of not following them and watching like a hawk and this is what can happen.
A woman told us almost immediately that our dog had a fishing line hanging outside her mouth. We tried to pull on it thinking it might be stuck in her teeth but that was not the case. One good pull caused her to vomit up bloody vile and I screamed in vanquish thinking my little girl had vomited up her stomach. We took her immediately to the Emergency Vet and they did an X-Ray. The fish hook was an inch long and wedged inside her stomach with the fishing line still attached. If we hadn't pulled on it the hook may have digested to her intestines and we would have lost her for sure.
The surgery was finally done and we got a call from the Doctor at 7pm that night. She spent the night and we took her to her regular vet the next day for monitoring. It has now been almost 6 days and she is running around with 12 staples in her stomach from the incision. We have to keep her and her sister from playing too hard and licking the wound. THAT is a challenge on the rough housing since they both LOVE to do that and Amber was missing her sister for several days. The dynamic between them and how Amber knew Lexi was sick was something to watch.
PLEASE watch puppies every second when they are loose off the leash... no exceptions! Especially if they are min pins as they tend to pick up everything! They are extremely smart but not when it comes to swallowing foreign substances. We had no idea how much we loved these dogs... well, we know now! The good news is that they are really good about "coming" when off leash and have a huge attachment to mommy and daddy.
Good luck in 2014 and may your dog or dogs NEVER swallow a fish hook!!
December 18th 2013 2:29 pm
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Long time no blog... but that is because our lives have been so hectic and having two min pins definitely keeps you busy!
Lexi and Amber finally passed, after two tries, the initial puppy training at PetCo with learning to sit, stay, heal, lay down and roll over. Min pins are stubborn dogs and it takes them feeling like they "want" to do the tricks or listen to your commands... they just don't do it because they are loyal to their owners.
Lexi is the low dog on the totem pole still and Amber has become very dominant in the relationship. It has been quite a struggle because Amber prevents Lexi from playing with toys, sometimes eating, popping in the right places and just plain doing what she wants. We are working on using the "LEAVE IT" command to stop Amber from displaying this behavior.
I bought a great book "At the End of the Leash" and would highly recommend it for any dog owner. It really dispels misconceptions about the communication between a human and a dog. We have learned so much from that book and our trainer, Ginny, at Petco. Amber does still poop or pee in the house and that is a constant battle. They are sleeping in the crate in our room but we do let Lexi come in the bed if Amber keeps growling at her and she can't make a comfortable bed in the crate with her sister. Then we let Amber in the bed in the morning for an hour or so.
Again, they are like children and love to put ANYTHING in their mouths. We have to watch that constantly and went through a couple scares when Lexi ate some corn in a plate on the table when we weren't looking and then last night ate a piece of paper and felt bad for quite a few hours. We dread that one day they will digest something really bad for them. Amber actually caught and ate a Yellow Jacket bee... really! She was so sick after that even though she threw it up.
Well, Happy Holidays to all the Dogsters out there!!! Don't get them TOO MANY treats... keep the dogs weight down but enjoy the time off and fun that comes during this time of the year!
September 26th 2013 12:33 pm
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While we are taking Amber and Lexi to PetCo training classes once a week, we are finding that both dogs are dog aggressive when on the leash. Amber is especially shaken whenever a dog gets close-by while they are on a leash. Yesterday, a very nice lady walked by our home with a black mixed breed that she had just rescued. We had just finished our walk and Amber went CRAZY so I had to pick her up. Lexi barked but when we put her down, she sniffed and made nice with the dog and we watched her closely. The dog was docile and wagging his tail and very nice. Lexi started wagging her tail also so we let her go until we saw some hair standing on her back.
Amber shook like crazy in my arms the entire time. I want to understand how and why this happens and we need to nip it in the bud while they are young. I have never had a dog like that so it's been tough and a bit embarrassing. I do see that she has lots of fears of other dogs and believe that might be the problem. I know the breed of min pins are difficult in socialization with other dogs but we are determined to overcome this issue and get them to a nicer nature with other dogs.
Other than a pooping incident by Amber in our Master Bathroom.. which was a tough one to handle, things are going pretty well. We have class tonight... and will bring up the leash aggression issue and hope they have an answer, other than signing up for more classes, for us.
September 19th 2013 9:39 am
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Well, Lexi and Amber are five months old and here is what is happening. Let's start out with the positive. Both sisters know the commands of "sit", "lay down", "back", "spin around", "come", "NO", "be nice" and pretty much where they are allowed to go in the house. They are NOT potty trained as yet and have peed in their crate and in the kitchen floor a couple times. We are perplexed about that issue and working on it everyday.
Each puppy has a very unique personality and set of strengths and weaknesses. Lexi is the smart and curious sister and gets into lots of things she shouldn't. She does dig a lot and misbehaves when she wants to do something that her Mom and Dad don't want her to. She gets bullied by her sister Amber so that might explain some of her defiance in listening to what we tell her. She is NOT a good walker yet... unlike her sister Amber. She tends to pull a LOT. It's like she thinks she will miss something if she doesn't get there first.
Amber is a dichotomy, because at home she is the dominant dog who bullies her sister by telling her when to eat and poop and sometimes, where she is allowed to go. She intimidates her quite a bit... but, when we take her out with other dogs, like the dog park, she is the most afraid. Unfortunately, last weekend she was attacked by two dogs at the dog park and I had to rescue her. It was SO scary! She screamed like a little girl and it was horrible to see and hear. I felt so bad for her but I wonder if it was done because she is so afraid of other dogs. She tends to cower next to one of us or even another adult at the park. We want to get her over this because she needs to be more social with the dogs. Lexi is really good with other dogs.. curious and cautious.. but confident.
I wish we could have access to the Dog Whisperer at our home to understand the pack mentality of these Min pins because they seem to have a unique set of obstacles and complications. My previous dogs were not as difficult to train. The peeing in the crate is the most difficult to understand. Lexi did it and it was at night but she didn't bark or cry to go out, she did that AFTER she peed. ?????
Well, the training and patience (while very low at times) continues... and we do know we are in it for the long haul so, someday, they will be very well behaved. It also seems that they are more hyper as they get older... I hope that doesn't start a trend. I think it's the stress when we scold them.. it does stress them out.
August 22nd 2013 12:14 pm
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Well, it's been almost 3 weeks with Lexi and Amber and the main issue is that they are fighting so badly every chance they get. Once the fighting started, Lexi - the more submissive girl, started misbehaving also. Lexi started pooping in the wrong places and being very hyper when it was sleepy time at night. Last night got a bit better and we break them up when it get ugly with the resident "NO!".
I swear we have said "NO" so many times in one day! But, it appears this is part of the pack mentality where one of them will be the alpha dog between the two of them. Amber is larger by just a small amount and seems to be more aggressive so she will probably win out. I just hate to see them bite each other so aggressively. And the pulling of the collar is so scary because I have heard of puppies dying from being strangled during fighting with another puppy.
Other than that, Amber is doing pretty well on the potty training. Lexi seems to poop in the wrong places when she is upset for getting in trouble. They also are trying to see how far they can push us but we have stuck our ground. My boyfriend has experience in training Doberman's so he said a Pincher is a Pincher... it's the same type of tough love training.
Oh! Almost forgot -- they were left alone a couple times and it went pretty darn good! A bit overwhelmed the first time... but the second time it was longer and they slept most of the time. We left on the TV for sound and that also helps.
August 16th 2013 11:27 am
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This blog is actually for both Lexi and Amber - two Min Pin sisters that are just over 4 months old and were rescued recently from a wonderful rescue team of ladies that pour their heart and soul into finding homes for small breed dogs.
First of all, puppies are TOUGH! We didn't sleep one wink the first night because Amber had diarrhea and pooped in her crate. We agreed we would exchange getting up every 2-3 hours for them to poop outside but we didn't make it since Amber was sick. The 2nd night was better after Amber got medicine and we put the gate around the open crate with a puppy pad. Lexi is learning potty training much better than her sister but has more anxiety issues. She really hates being away from her Mom and Dad but, at some point, we have to both go out without them. And she has her sister to keep her company but that isn't making a difference just yet. We both are home a lot as we work from home so there might be some spoiling that is not helping in the puppies training. But, we will take one day at a time.
Other challenges are the wonderful plants in pots on our deck and in the backyard that have all fallen somewhat to the wrath of the pups. I fed them tiny carrots today in the hopes that they get their veggie fix and leave the plants and grass alone. We also put the plants on higher ground and will use chicken wire to prevent the eating and digging. I am checking on them every 15 minutes or when I hear barking so it's been a bit exhausting but the love and kisses we get are well worth it! I do hope we are training them correctly.. I think so. We are stern but not mean and we have probably never said "no" more times in one day in our lives!!
Amber is the top dog but Lexi is challenging her and they both fight for Mommy's lap on a regular basis. They enjoy sleeping and cuddling with almost any female and play with all visitors. We want to bring them to puppy playtime at PetSmart soon so we can start the socialization of them. They have one more set of shots before they can be around adult dogs. After that, we will start the "walking" part of the training.
I am still trying to figure out if I will allow the natural (non-surgical) propping of their ears. My boyfriend, taped Ambers ears and I got sick to my stomach watching her get so annoyed by the bandage on her ears. But, the breed really looks great with the ears pointed up. It's a challenge for me to overcome. Anyone that can speak to that.. please help me out! Each friend has a different opinion with some of them even getting very upset when we mention the natural way of doing this with giving them calcium and pining up the ears with tape and a soft cylinder. Let's see how this goes...