Sunday, March 22, 2009

Update on Delilah

Some of you might be wondering how things are going with the new Siberian Husky puppy. Frankly I'm wondering that myself. I'm beginning to think this particular breed is a bit too spunky for us old folks.......well, maybe age has nothing to do with it. Even Lindsay seems to be getting frustrated, so maybe we're not a genetic match.....who knows. Let's just say that life here is more complicated than expected.

Delilah the devil dog is definitely living up to her new handle. She likes to get wired up around dinner time and bounce off the walls. The worst part of this is her very oral idea of entertainment. Those sharp puppy teeth are no fun. At least for us.........and my furniture and carpet, I'm pretty sure she's having a blast.

Dave's idea of correcting the puppy just winds her up all the more. He likes to act like he's an expert when he really has no idea about the proper way to train a dog. Then there's me........I've never claimed to be much of a dog trainer. However, if I'm going to survive this puppyhood I think I'm going to have to get on the stick and learn. Delilah is more than willing to be top dog if I let her. What a wreck that would be.......

Delilah gets so wound up, I've even tried putting her in her crate for a time out. She gets so distressed she poops all over herself. That doesn't seem to be the right answer. And frankly I'm not sure what really is. What seems to work one day is totally ineffective the next. I think it just depends on her mood. God help us if her mood is ever bad........

I think my biggest concern is that Delilah won't outgrow this behavior. I can understand the urge to bit any and everything has to do with teething. But the lunging with her teeth has me concerned. I have visions of an adult dog needing to be muzzled every time she gets excited. That wouldn't be any fun for her or for us.

Puppy classes for Dave and Delilah don't start until the first week of April. Fpr me that time can't come soon enough. Getting someone besides me to show Dave the "right" way to deal with the dog will surely be more effective. He just sort of shines me on............and I know his inconsistency is definitely part of the problem. So maybe in all fairness it should be "Delilah the devil dog and her trusty sidekick, Dave!

For the continuing story of this puppy's reign here.  Delilah's Competition

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  1. she is an adorable pup. I know from experience that those huskies are unique personalities. They are bred to be independent problem solvers and to survive in tough conditions. That said, the puppy classes will help I'm sure. They are great dogs once you get past the "testing my patience" stage.

  2. She is really a lovely little thing, though. I bet you and Dave and Lindsey will get this cutie figured out and she'll be a good family member.
    My fingers are crossed.

  3. I'm no expert either...but I'd like to put a question to you. What do you do when one of your young horses does something naughty, like suddenly lunges at you, teeth first? I don't know about you, but most people I know give them a sharp slap to say "wake up to yourself". I'm not saying start slapping Delilah the devil dog (lol!) of course! My boss has a beautiful border collie dog and he has no manners at all. He'll bark all day, and she'll just whistle at him, as if he's meant to know what that means.

    Try and put yourself in her shoes...err, paws. She wouldn't know why she was being put in a crate. As you know I have a lot of dogs, and they're all working dogs. If I didn't keep them in line, well I don't even want to think about it, hehe! Just think Delilah is a child, or a foal even. Just a bit smaller! ;D

  4. Hi! I'm fairly new to your blog, but I'm enjoying it very much. I also have an affinity for Arabians and now that I'm a "grown up" I finally have one of my own! I've really been enjoying reading about all your beautiful horses. A thought on Delilah the mom got me a great book by Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, where he talks a lot about being the pack leader. I have two high-energy Weimaraners (both still very young) and some of his tips helped me to correctly channel their energy. The book is called Cesar's Way, and it's a fairly quick read. Good luck with her! ;)

  5. Pin her to the ground. Top dog in the pack wouldn't put up with it and would grab her by the neck and forcer her to the ground and then hold her there until she submitted. Do the same. Obviously you don't want to hurt her, but you can pin her down and lay on her until she quits wiggling. Give a sharp very mean NO when she does something 'wrong' and if she keeps it up, pin her. Do it while she's small, she'll learn quick. Trust me, it's much easier to do that when she's tiny compared to when she's 100+ pounds.

    I had to do that to my new LGD Max when he first arrived. Max weighs close to 200 pounds. Imagine little ol' me pinning that dog to the ground... Well, I did manage it, barely, and now he doesn't challenge me anymore.

    She's a cute little thing. Puppy class will be a good thing too. Most of it sounds like normal puppy behavior, but nip the challenging in the bud. :)

  6. She looks adorable, if that's any consolation! I know nothing about huskies but from Ranchette's description, they sound a bit like Rhodesian ridgeback - you kind of have to win them over, can't "train" them to fit a mold. It sounds to me Delilah needs to get her mind all tired out. Is there any activity you could integrate her into where she would be of use? Can she join you for rides? That works wonderfully with Sheba. I also worked hard to find her a good play mate so that she could have an outlet for all the excess energy that I am not able to respond to!

  7. She's really cute. I'm sure the classes will help as long as everyone sticks to the program they teach.Good luck.

  8. How much exercise is she getting? Huskies are very, very active and smart, and they can get frustrated and mouthy when they've got pent-up energy.

    For the crate, you can try buying a Kong (I'd suggest the black ones, which are stronger, since Huskies have pretty good chewing abilities!), stuff it with wet dog food or peanut butter, stick it in the freezer and give it to her only in the crate. The cold will help her teething, and if she only gets this very special treat in the crate, she'll soon start to think of the crate as her favorite place to be. Of course, don't start off leaving her in too long at first. Just about five minutes or so, and then gradually increase the time over a few days.

    Puzzle toys are good too. Like I said, they're smart, and they get frustrated when they're bored. But yeah, lots and lots of exercise will help.

    If she's mouthing you, try yelping loud enough to startle her. If she stops, praise her and give her something that's appropriate to chew on. If she doesn't, walk away from her and ignore her, or put her away in another room, so she learns that mouthing you makes all the fun stop.

    Of course, these are just suggestions. I'm a professional dog trainer, I hear this same problem all of the time, so don't worry! You aren't alone! The good news is that, if you can handle it now, it's temporary. Think of this as your dog's Terrible Twos.

  9. I've happily had dogs all my life, but..isn't it amazing that a dog...who is a far site smaller than our usual trainee...can melt us into an uncertain mess???
    I'm dealing with some issues with our new dog that has me running to seek the aid of our local people trainer for dogs! lol
    I guess now I get to feel what it might be like to need help with the horses.
    Good luck with your little cute bundle of energy!

  10. She's absolutely adorable! Still, I understand your frustration.

    When Morgan was little, we had the nipping problem. A good friend (and professional dog trainer) suggested that when she nipped us we should 'yelp'. Since this is what another puppy/dog would do. When we tried it we were surprised. When we 'yelped', she would immediately stop and look at us like What? It didn't happen overnight, but by being consistent at showing our displeasure by 'yelping', she soon quit nipping. By yelping, I mean we would go Oww! in a semi-sharp tone, like it hurt ;p

  11. But look at those EARS!!!! LOL - I about had it with Wrigley too but then one day he finally grew up!

    Good luck and I think you are doing the right things with doggie school.

  12. Another quick thought...maybe you could start training Delilah for a job around your place? Most dogs (especially high-energy ones) like to have a job to do & she could probably really help you out, carrying supplies, etc. They make really cool doggie backpacks that you can fit quite a bit of stuff into! That might be one way to channel her energy!

  13. I am with some of the other commenters. The Dog Whisperer is a GOD SEND!! But anyway...we have a bulldog puppy and the man who sold her to us warned us that they are crazy hyper until they are two. Either he lied to me or we got a broke dog....she is really good She is six months old and has manners, but...I did what the dog whisperer said to do.

    The holding them down and kneeing over them works. That shows that you are dominant. My puppy would bite and lunge at my kids and I had them do that when she would act up, and now she respects them a lot more.

    I also would correct her by taking my fingers and "jabbing" them into her neck, kind of like how another dog would do if they would snap at dog. Does that make any sense? I don't do it hard, but just enough to get the puppies attention, to make them look at you like, "WHAT THE??" Dominant dogs will put the other dogs in their place.

    Dogs don't do well in time outs. I have found that A LOT of exercise is what solved a lot of our problems. We go for daily walks and then have play time in the back yard. A fun game is to take three plastic cups and put one treat under one cup, and let your puppy find which one has the treat under it. That is a good one for dogs who like to use their brains.

    But now I am just going on and on....exercise is a must. And I put a lot of bones hiding around my house too. That way my puppy always has something to chew on, where ever she is.

    I also had her attached to me with a leash so I could always see what she was doing and so she couldn't eat my furniture.

    Good luck!! Puppies are a lot of work!! Just give her time, I know when they get older they are very loyal wonderful dogs. Maybe take her to a doggy park to play with other dogs???

  14. I don't know much about training dogs so I guess I don't have any advice for you. We haven't had a dog for thirty years! Wow, where did that time go?! I do think the puppy classes will make a huge difference.

    Come on over and see the horses we rode in Puerto Rico. Not the best quality but they sure did a good job. Wish I'd had time to go again but there just weren't enough hours in the day.

  15. Our friends breed them and they're beautiful and fun to visit, but that's too much dog for me. Then again, any puppy is too much dog for me. Fortunately, all the ones we have wandered into our lives past that stage.

    Good luck, and have a cocktail.

  16. Puppy obedience classes and LOTS of exercise! Huskies like to work and run!

  17. Age has to do with it. Delilah's age anyway. She's a puppy who needs training and exercise, and lots of it! being a working dog breed and all. If she mouths you, yelp a loud yelp, let her know it hurts and it's not alright. I also suggest if there is some kind of park or something to take her to, to get some of her energy let out, do that, and also have like a strong 100 ft rope, and put her on it and let her run freely and wildly for 30 minutes, or until she's all worn out. When ready to go home, call her, or whistle to her, or just make yourself SOO exciting to her, that she just HAS to see what all the excitement is about. Once she has come back to you, reward her with LOTS of praise and a toy. If I were you guys, I'd take her out to exercise twice a day. A.M. and P.M. I've seen where a man and wife had their doberman with them at a dog park or something like that, and the dog got loose from his collar, and was running towards another dog aggressively, to do who knows what, and the man called the dogs name and IMMEDIATELY the dog turned around and was running straight back to his master. How amazing, if he did not have that recall, he might of been sued for what his dog was about to do!... if Delilah mouths at all, yelp. Also, if shes biting/chewing things, like the carpet say "AH AH!" in a loud pitch and when she stops say "good" in a sweet tone and give her something else to chew and play with. She's either bored or teething, and a toy or chew bone will fix both. Your right, crating is not the right answer at all. Being crated for a time out will never help her release all the energy she has, being a working dog breed, she needs all the training and exercise she can get. Exercise and training is the answer. Just like an Arabian horse, no exercise and training equals .... well you know!

    Let her be a dog, but not the top dog, because then she will be calling all the shots and telling you what to do! and your right, what a train wreck that would be! a serious train wreck.

    You need to let her know her boundaries and exercise her.

    By the way, what IS Daves idea of correcting Delilah? lol.