Tuesday Topics 19 - Doggone Discouraged

Although yesterday I posted 9 awesome things that Cabana does well, I could just as easily have come up with a list of things Cabana doesn't do so well. At the 9 month marker, I am realizing that our time left with Cabana before she enters formal training is getting short--and there are still so many kinks to work out in her behavior.

Cabana is much better at walking with a loose leash--but if there are any cats, dogs or humans within a 200 yard radius, the loose leash goes by the wayside. We can't even follow a person walking ahead of us at a comfortable distance because she stays in her alert mode, trying to catch up with the person.

We took Cabana to a 4th of July party, and she did fairly well overall. But she still greets our friends way too rambunctiously, wanting to jump and nibble all over their hands. Even when I am completely ready and expecting these behaviors, with my hand on her collar to give the corrections, she persists in doing it almost all the time.

And even though Cabana is very good in the house, after all these months, I still feel like I am not used to having a dog. No matter what else I may be doing, a portion of my brain is always "on", thinking about what Cabana is doing, where she is, how long it's been since she's been out to do her business, whether there's water in her dish, what does she need from me....During "normal" times, I can handle the added distraction of having a puppy. But when my life gets busy, like this week is, the added stress makes me feel like the circus performer who's spinning plates on pointy sticks--and any second, they're all going to come crashing down.

Thankfully, I feel like I am not alone in my discouragement--misery does love company! In reading other puppy raisers' blogs, there seems to be a bit of a malaise--maybe it's a combination of midsummer blues or the crappy economy or all the celebrity deaths? What do you do when you've got the doggy blues?

Ally, Teddy & Kira  – (July 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM)  

Trade puppies! If that's not an option (like it wasn't for me...) I try and just "chill". Take a half hour and put the dog in the crate and don't worry about her (another thing I couldn't do with Eola /grin/), do something relaxing. I like to put the puppy away for awhile and just bring Teddy and Kira in and watch a calm tv show and do their grooming or take them on a nice slow walk or bike ride. Getting my mind off the frustrating pup for awhile definitely helps but sometimes you just need a break! /grin/ I think it has a lot to do with summer time and it being oppressively hot (everyone gets a little grumpy or crazy, including puppies) along with the economy! And the age Cabana's at right now doesn't help much! And don't worry, you've probably still got around 5+ months with her!

Becky  – (July 7, 2009 at 12:32 PM)  

You are incredible! Puppy raisers are my heroes. Thank you for what you are doing. I have reaped the benefits of 2 year old trained guides so can't imagine what you are experiencing. I think though many can relate to what you are describing and its okay to need a break and at times to feel like she is driving you crazy ... especially when your week is SO busy. I love that you share the joys and the challenges - we have them both.

Poppy The Puppy  – (July 7, 2009 at 1:14 PM)  

I agree - put her in the crate when you need a break. Or do something fun where your expectations of her are lower. We will be going to the beack more with Pop. She gets flexi leash time and gets to really be a dog. I also work of fun stuff - FIR usually.

Is sending her to work with your hubby an option? It would be good for her to learn that life as well as give you a break (I take Wednesdays off from Pop. Its only one day, but it gives me a break.) She also becomes the responsibility of whoever didn't have her at work at the end of the day. So, he gets all Poppy duties tonight while at home and I get them tomorrow.

You can also utilize our puppy sitter as needed. :)

Sarah, Tara, Annie, Sammy, and JD  – (July 7, 2009 at 5:43 PM)  

Yeah, seems like at that age there are more problems than solutions and you think that they will never be ready. Keep being persistant and one day it will just click with her. we all have our days and yeah, put her in a crate for both your sakes and its nice because you know she's not getting into anything and she knows its quite/rest time,

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (July 8, 2009 at 7:20 AM)  

Yes, I need to utilize the crate a bit more. I tell myself that I need to--but somehow, I just never do. My issues are showing!

No, Cabana can't go to work with my husband. There are people at his work who are deathly afraid of dogs. Also, his job is very busy right now, and he'd find it very difficult to concentrate with Cabana there.

But thanks for the encouragement, and I will try to do something different with Cabana today, whatever that may be--crate time, different outing or walk, maybe a new toy. I think sometimes just doing something different can break us out of our rut.

OSU 98  – (July 8, 2009 at 7:46 AM)  

Give yourself a break! Take a minute to recognize all the good things you do for Cabana. And also remember she is a 9 month old lab puppy whose exuberance is beyond words. Do your best to keep managing her and one day, she will shock you...and all of a sudden she willjust "get it". And at that moment, realize all the things you do to love her, nurture her - and discipline her - have come full circle.

Bell and Kimberly  – (July 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM)  

I GO TO THE BEACH AND TAKE BELL OFF THE LEASH hahahaha ~ it's the only place she's free. I've honestly in my entire life never had a dog (meaning my parents dogs too while I was growing up) that has been to a training class. I'M IN NO WAY SAYING THAT THEY AREN'T WORTH IT.. HAHAHAH JUST THAT I'VE NEVER USED THEM. I would love to with Bell but I haven't been able to make the time as of yet - with my new readymade family hahaha (boyfriend has boy6 & girl8) it's really wild entering into a family and a wild dog but.. I'M LOVING EVERY BIT OF IT.. AND EVEN WHEN BELL DOES ALL THE BAD THINGS SHE DOES.. SHE'S A DOG AND THIS IS HER LIFE TOO :) . HAHAHAAH - maybe I'm too easy on her! I let her get away with most everything except BITING AND JUMPING ON PEOPLE.. that's a no no no.
Thank you for stopping by our blog. She is getting big huh!? I'm soo sad I miss her puppyness she'd cuddle more and stuffs but I love her. She's actually given our bed back.. She decided on her own that she's too big now..
Good Luck Cabana pup.. you're pawesome..

Bell & her mama (Kimberly)

Lisa and Ellie  – (July 8, 2009 at 6:38 PM)  

First off, discouragement happens. I think it's the puppies way of keeping us humble. Ellie will do something brilliantly one week, then the next day be all puppy brain. I second what everyone else says about the kennel. It's okay to have your time too. And, as she gets older - you'll look fondly on those quirky times.

Martha G  – (July 8, 2009 at 8:41 PM)  

I'm kind of where you are, if that helps. Ardella hasn't been to a sitter's in over a month and I'm ready for some time away - not a long time - just a little. It's like having young children. My husband is going away for a few days soon and I'm panicking thinking I'll have Ardella alone all those days!

I recommend crate time - it really does help!

Anonymous –   – (July 12, 2009 at 6:27 PM)  

Hello Cabana!

I also love chasing cats and squirrels! And I jump on people when I greet them.

But Mama and Dada are teaching me to be better.

I am not going to be a guide dog - what a cool job!

I am just a normal family dog - my Mama calls me her furkid. My Mama and Dada rescued me from the pound! They are very good to me - I even have my own blog!


Lots of licks and woofs,

Puppy Dog

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