Is it a full moon or something? This morning at about 4:30, Ayla decided to break out of her crate. Don’t know if it was us being careless with the side door on her crate or if she’s getting smart enough to open it herself (not my favorite scenario to be honest) but we are definitely going to have to start checking that much more closely. Especially since we are planning to start her crate training sessions next week and she will be sleeping in the living room (hopefully). We definitely can’t have her breaking out then because we likely wouldn’t hear her until it is too late (only noticed her this morning because she tried to jump on the bed with us) and I don’t really look forward to coming downstairs to sleeping puppy on the couch.<

Otherwise it has been another one of those sort of rough days. Ayla is challenging me more than ever. Jumping up on me, biting at my clothes, hands, socks, shoes…anything she can get her mouth to. Honestly I am just about ready to lose it. I don’t want to be her litter mate or play toy so I’m looking online to try to find some techniques to help us through this period. And if that doesn’t work, I will definitely be lobbying for a personal trainer to come out and help. At this point it would seem that it’s best to have some one-on-one training with someone before we try her in a class because I just don’t know if she would behave…although most of the time she’s around strangers she acts like a little angel…makes me look crazy of course but I’m sure they’d see the real her if they got to know her well enough.

So today I will be working on something new with her for training…at lunch we will be doing the following which I found on FlyingDogPress.com (which no longer seems to be around):

PUT FOOD UNDER YOUR CONTROL – Free choice feeding is a poor idea for dogs who are not by nature meant to nibble all day. At specific times, you feed your dog, and use this time to make him really work for his meals. Remember, you may be giving him a hundred or more “training opportunities” in each bowl – make him work by sitting for just 2-3 kibble in his bowl at a time.

Have him sit, put 2-3 kibble in his bowl, and insist that he stay sitting until you tell him “OKAY, Eat”. If he moves or jumps toward the dish, calmly put it back on the counter for a minute or so, then try again. When he will politely sit and wait, allow him to eat the few kibble, then reach down, take the bowl, move a few feet away, ask him to sit (and WAIT), put the bowl down in the new spot and repeat with a few more kibble. You can work with this all over the house & yard, expecting him to sit and wait politely in all rooms before receiving a few kibble. The 10-15 minutes to “serve” a meal in this fashion is time is well spent.

If he decides he’d rather not eat rather than play by your rules, quietly put the food away and then try again at the next meal. Dogs will not starve themselves. It may take up to 4-5 days before your dog decides that he values his food enough to work with you on your terms. If this seems a little heartless, think hard about the reason this step is necessary – you have allowed your dog to get dangerously out of control, and he has either bitten someone or threatened to. A biting dog is not only a huge legal liability, but sooner or later, may have to be put to sleep. Being firm at this stage could save your dog’s life.

Of course there is no telling what will happen this weekend so I am a little hesitant to start something new with her today but then again every little bit should help and if it takes an hour to feed her at least she should be learning something and hopefully we will be able to work it out really well next week. This weekend we have to go to Munich for a family birthday party and since Ayla hasn’t had her shots and just doesn’t seem ready for a scenario like that, we will be taking her to the breeders on Saturday around noon and then picking her up again on Sunday afternoon. The breeders decided to keep the other female puppy of the litter and also have a black male left so at least Ayla will have some pups to play with and perhaps she will regulate her biting a bit afterwards. We can only hope that she will behave herself during this time since they have enough to worry with already. We don’t want her to make us look bad either ๐Ÿ˜‰

I know she is still a puppy but these aggressive behaviors definitely don’t seem like a good sign and I really want them curbed before it becomes a real issue. She is growing SO fast that we can’t risk her not learning to behave and then we end up with a 120 pound dog who pulls us down the street on walks, jumps on me when I walk through the house and tears up more of my pants with her biting and tugging. On a positive note, she does seem to be doing a bit better with “off” and “leave it”…now we just need to find the best way to end the tug of war sessions which she starts, remember not to play her games of chase and get the baby get here soon so we can stop her from going upstairs to chase the cats.

Anyways, wish me luck and pray for my sanity and patience with her ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend…

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