September 2, 2014

Don't worry, Momma, I GOT this!
White Dog said, "so today starts the training in seriousness?" She, of course, was referring to Zsofia who was about to step up to her first taste of total freedom.

Nearly since the day the Darker White Dog arrived we have  been gently working on positive reinforcements of things like no biting, sit please, and leave it...and she has done remarkably well considering she is just about to turn 2 months old. "Come" still requires a pull on the leash she drags and often is viewed as an invitation to play tug rather than to recall.

After baby proofing the under-deck and surrounds over the weekend. We decided that some free time to gallop and explore the secure yard would help her burn off her increasing energy, get some exercise, and learn from watching the rest of The White Dog Army.

Steve took Zsofia and Sachi outside. Taiko followed through the dog door, as did Puff. White Dog hopped up on the bed to watch through the glass doors. He led our baby girl down the ramp and waited for her to take care of business. Then he asked her to sit as he undid the leash.

Untethered, she sat and watched as Steve tossed the tennis ball not too far. Sachi chased after it and brought it back. He did it again and again our Little Man returned the ball. Steve let her sniff the ball and then rolled it out in front of her...no interest. BUT she did excitedly follow Puff to the back of the yard and checked out the stand of bamboo.

Steve was prepared to chase the Little One down to bring her in, but when he walked up the ramp and called her, she came trotting up to the door. This she has repeated several times across the day for both Steve and Candace. A wonderful surprise, and one not matched when she is indoors.

Back in the house, Steve dropped the ball on the living room floor where Sachi caught it on the bounce. When he got up and walked away, Zsofia suspiciously went to it, stretching out a paw to touch it. It did noting. She sank to her belly and began the process of chewing off its yellow covering.

The whole world is an adventure to the baby and it is a perfect time to introduce concepts that will grow into true training sessions. She is smart and we believe that a properly challenged and stimulated pup is a happy one.

One debate still open is whether Zsofia is ready for doggie door training. On the "Yes" side is the fact that she is pretty quickly understanding the concept of pottying outside. She give signals when the time is right and as long as we don't fail her, she does well. She is just about Sachi's size and weight so those are not real factors. On the "Let's wait a bit longer" side is my feeling that she is not quite ready to be unsupervised in her comings and goings. She may be as big as Sachi but she has little life experience and despite baby proofing there is still much she could fall prey to.  And I would certainly be more than nervous about her roaming outside at night. Right now that portal is a mysterious thing that she does not explore and I think that waiting for her to be naturally curious might be a sign she is ready.

Ultimately The White Dogs will be her best trainers and protectors...I can see that already. And maybe it is just a momma thing, but for now my heart says, "she is growing so quickly maybe we should try to prolong puppyhood a few more months. She is only 58 days old for goodness sake!"


meowmeowmans said...

That picture of Zsofia is beautiful, as is your description of how her integration into the WDA is going. We know you will all figure it out with love, as you always seem to do. Hugs to you all.

Random Felines said...

good luck with the fetch thing - we learned from the Army of Four that Sibes don't fetch. :) But... are you going to need a bigger dog door??

Brian said...

We think the smart little one will catch on real quick!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We agree,, he is smart and will do wonderful!