Tugger Tails

October 2006

October 20th 2006 9:04 am
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Tugger is now 1! He's grown into a very loving dog.

Totally house broken....and the crate has been taken down and put away now for 3 months. He sleeps at the foot of the bed---and is a long sleeper....going from 9PM until 4:30AM when we get up. On weekends...that changes to 6AM and he could still stay in bed until 7AM if we let him.

He's a total baby.....whines and cries when he doesn't get his way. You can tell he's an only child! LOL!

He's a bit "chubby", which we can't understand because he's not a big eater. He's still picky about his food....but eventually eats what is in his dish before 8PM. He's got a sensitive stomach.....so he's on half a tagament a day. Also, when he drinks water, especially a lot and fast.....he'll burp---and he'll throw up at times. Other times he just burbs. Cracks us up....

His favorite: "Wanna go for a ride in the car?" He's beside himself in excitement. Screeching and howling---he runs in circles until we get out to the garage. We got him a "doggie car seat"....and it belts him in and gives him a boost to look out the window. He's very well behaved when we get him in the car. He sits on his seat calmly while we buckle him in and he gets frustrated until the car moves. (This is also true at red lights!!! He's just likes to "go!!!!")

His favorite time of day.....is bedtime. He tells US when he wants to go to bed. At 8:45PM, he gets his sponge bob......and then starts to pace and whine. He sits patiently outside the bedroom door until he's allowed in the room and settle in very quicky to bedtime.

It's amazing how much he's turned into a creature of habit. Workdays...he is told "vitamin" and goes directly to his pillow in the kitchen so Richie can give him is tagament. (This started when he was watching us take our morning vitamins---we figured he'd know that it was his turn, too!) At 4:45 AM, once again, he gets his sponge bob and waits for Richie to come into the kitchen and Tugger sits and snuggles with his "Daddy" until Richie goes to work. Once Richie puts him down--he goes back to his pillow in the kitchen....Richie will give him a "be a good boy" treat.....and he's settled in until almost 8AM when I leave for work. I get home at noon to take him out....and I'm home at 4:30....but Tugger has separation anxiety and whines for 5 minutes---literally hugging us and kissing us when we return home. It's takes a few minutes to settle him down. He loves the backyard which is gated/fenced in.....and spends a lot of time out there running and "hunting" for things.

He knows the word "no" now....and listens very well--once he realizes we mean business.

All in all--it's been great to have a dog in our home. Such company for both of us (even when Richie does yardwork---Tugger is outside watching). He's not so much a lap dog...but he's a snuggler who likes to have some part of him touch at all times.

 

March 2006

March 24th 2006 7:12 am
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Tugger is almost 6 months old! And I feel 60 years older!

I forgot how trying it was to care for and train a puppy! My goodness....it's WORK!

Tugger recovered very well from Giardia back in February.....and we're relieved to find out there is no damage to his liver function due to the meds he had to take. He's also lost most of his teeth....except for one eye tooth.....the bugger! The new ones are beautiful....and so white!!! It's funny to see him resting and his lower teeth sometimes show thru...almost like he has a slight underbite.

We also have Tugger neutered on his 5th month birthday. We wanted to get through this stage sooner than later....and he bounced back brilliantly! (He had it done by laser...so the healing was much easier!)

Now we just need to curb this puppy of his biting. He's brutal!!! He's awesome with children.....and strangers.....but with Richie and me...most especially me...he's still a nipper and a growler. He does it strictly for attention....but for the most part, he's very good.

We have a behaviorist coming to our home to train us how to work with the dog....give him more guidelines with which to live by....and help us curb the biting habit. Also, he's helping us give commands. On Sundays, we take Tugger to PetSmart for Puppy classes. We're thrilled to see him get along with and enjoy the other dogs...and at the same time learn a new "trick" or command.

I'll be happy once we get him to be more disaplined when it comes to potty training..... we finally put the pee-pads outside on the deck..hoping that he'll go to the door and try to get out to it. He's still not giving signals for pee....but still bites and tugs when he needs to do his duty.

Tugger also loves rides in the car, now. We got him a car seat to boost him up so he can see out the window. He's loving every minute of our drives. All we have to say is "Want to go for a ride" and he's at the garage door!

All in all, he's a well adjusted puppy.....90% of the time...he's the best dog! I just need to get through the last 10% of his puppy stage......give me patience!!!!

 

February 1, 2006

February 1st 2006 3:50 am
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Well....much has happened to our Tugger in the last month. He started puppy school.....and was doing very well. He was one of the smallest dogs in the class, but not the youngest (at 12 weeks old) and he loved every minute of his time at class. We went on Saturday afternoons for one hour at PetSmart. His favorite part was seeing the other BIG dogs....sniffing, playing and just getting familiar with dogs in general. We started introducing him to rooms in the house that he's not been in before and when he abuses the "treat"....he's been given "time out" for 30 seconds. He's also still a biter....and does not like the word "no" at all (or -- let's just say, he refuses to listen to the command!). Through training, we're working on hand signals. Yet--the biting continues.

Last week, Tugger started to push away his treats. Giving us the nose-nudge. We thought this was strange...but then, his poop started to get weird.....much more loose. We had a scheduled appointment on Friday at the VET, so I didn't worry too much. However, before going on Friday, he had two terrible poops---one of which was the ickiest green, stinky and slimy. At the VET, they tested it and have found nothing in his system. The VET advised us to take him out of puppy training until he's 18 weeks old and to keep him only with us in the meantime. He's on meds to harden his poop/kill off any bacteria---and we added rice to his kibble (Puppy Chow) to see if it would harden his stools. By Saturday afternoon--he stopped eating completely. No treats, no kibble, no rice...nothing. He did drink water, though. Ironically--his personality is still the same. He's just a bit more tired/lethargic when getting up. And his stools are still "soft-serve".

By Sunday at Noon, we freaked and called the VET. Brought another sample of his stool and they still found nothing. They put him on Science Diet I/D for a week to see if things improved. All I can say is---he's eating. Nothing much else has improved (and it's now Wednesday). He's finiky....eating only one sort of dog treat--and when he finds the kibble mixed in with the I/D...he eats around it.

On a good note---he's practically house trained. He goes to the door and lets us know when he needs to go out. We are still crate training him.....but when we're home, he's out and about--so it's nice to see that although the pee-pads are on the floor, his choice first and foremost is to go outside.

He's a loving dog.....and wants to be with people all the time. He gets whiney and sad if we're home in another room while he's in the kitchen. Hence the introduction to other areas of the house.

Hopefully, we'll be adding much better news as the days go on. I'm thankful that they haven't found a terrible illness.....but as a new dog owner, I'm most concerned that he's digestive system is not working well.

 

January 1, 2006

January 1st 2006 6:50 pm
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Tugger has been growing both physically and mentally in the past week. It's amazing to watch him do something new--or see him progress on his own.

My Mom and I took him to the vet on Friday. What a road trip from hell that was! Thank goodness my mother is not afraid of dogs....because we had no restraint for the car...and she held him the entire 15 minute ride. He wailed and wailed......and nipped at her out of fear. She's terrific, though--and just kept on him with tough love. (Holding him and telling him he was such a good boy.) Got to the doctors.....he's now 12 weeks (3 months) on January 2nd and he's 9 pounds 6 ounces. He's practically doubled in size since we brought him home!

We're having a tough time with the "No Bite". He tends to want to play rough....and the vet advised that we need to be consistant and continue with our no bite talk. Richie worked on him for an hour on New Year's Eve....drilling it home. Tugger has become softer when he bites now--and gets aggressive only on occassion (which we're learning--it has to do with tired or potty time.....).

His appetite is very good.....and he's drinking his water....and lots of snow. He LOVES the snow!!! It was fun to see him prancing around the fresh fallen snow this AM. (New Year's Day).

We bought him a travel crate/kennel made of nylon and set it up in our kitchen along with his other metal crate. We'll be using that now to take him to the vets and other car trips. He seemed to not like it yesterday---and today, he's even taken a nap inside it.....all on his own. So he is adjusting.

Tugger has learned that he gets a "special" cookie if he hops into his crate when Richie and I need to leave the house. He's adorable....racing in there without being told. He also gets "special" treats when he does special tricks. We're attempting to get him to lie down. But he's so confused when he sees the treat--he just sits and gives paw. I guess he figures he should only be a one trick puppy.

Tugger also loves to run. We had him on a long leash and took him for a walk. Half way around the block---I saw my brother back at my house with my niece. She walked up to us......and then we couldn't get Tugger to come back home-he wanted to finish his walk. So I told my niece to start running and Tugger would follow her. Sure enough....she raced home and he was right on her heels! (Of course, I was holding the leash....and got completely out of breathe from running as well!) It's fun to see him get that kind of exercise outside, though.

We're happy to have one more day this weekend so that we can continue to train and work with the dog....and play with him, too. He's been both a toughie....and a delight.

 

December 27, 2005

December 28th 2005 3:31 am
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Tugger was excellent today -- with me. Unfortunately, he's a terror with my husband. He has been biting him and tugging at him both morning and night. With me--he snuggles, sits, gives paw and responds to his name. I think he's going to start spending more time with my husband so that he can respond to him a bit more.

Still can't break him of doing his #1 over by my livingroom doorway. We have all his papers at the back door--which is in the kitchen, but he heads in the opposite direction--towards the livingroom and squats there. Regretfully, we put papers down there, because I just can't put up with the mess on the floor.

Friday we go for his 3rd shot. He'll be able to start going to puppy school once this happens....and hopefully we'll get some more training in a positive direction.

 

December 25, 2005

December 25th 2005 7:00 pm
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Tugger's First Christmas!

Tugger had a great day today. First, we got up and he has a smaller crate so he's being easier to train. He goes right to the door and his leash when he comes out of the crate. (Let's all clap hands!!! YEAH!!!)

Tugger also has found the door when he want to go out side to do #2. He's not making a fuss, however, so we're fearful that we may miss one of his signals that he nees to go out. We're getting used to him though.

He had his chance to deliver Christmas presents in our neighborhood. We live in a cul-du-sac, so my husband took him around to the neighbors this morning. We find this walk really tires Tugger---and makes him more calm.....and he sleeps good.

Tugger spent a part of this morning in the car, too...and he enjoyed it. We drove about 45 minutes to do the cemetary run.....visiting my husband's mothers gravesite and then another 20 minutes to my father's gravesite. Enroute home, he started to pant. We thought he was getting dehydrated....so we stopped so he could lick at the snow. But--he didn't need to....so we just continued home.

He was crated in the early afternoon while we had dinner at my mothers. When my husband came home at 1:30 to feed him and walk him---he was very calm and not biting at all. My husband did notice, however that he was getting a bit cramped in his new crate---after all his bed takes up 3/4 of it. Later on in the afternoon, we decided to see how laying on the rug in the crate would help him stretch and we removed the bed temporarily. When we got home later on tonight--he was sprawled out on the rug---and seemed happy. Tonight-we put his bed back in the crate so he could snuggle.

He ate very well.....and hasn't been drinking all that much, though--but we've been encouraging him to drink drink drink. He's getting so big....he's definitely in a growth spirt.

Tugger is now all snuggled in bed ..... and overall had a very nice day.

 

December 23, 2005

December 23rd 2005 6:17 am
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Today, Tugger has been very good. He was less jumpy and aggressive when trying to play. He even let me walk around with him for 15 minutes holding him without wanting to be put down. He's been affectionate with me and Richie and playful with his new toy-the braided donut. He even went to the gate to let me know he wanted outside....and did his #2's quickly once we got outside. Not bad for 11 weeks old. Of course, he spoiled it all after we came in and went over the the doorway between the kitchen and living room and squated to pee. Passing the pee papers we had on the floor as you enter the kitchen. Guess he still has some learning to do.

 
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