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2000:  Living Through History
2001:  Starting a Movement
Another Year, Another Rant
Forty Years Ago
Making a List, Checking It Twice
Oh, the Pressure!
2006: Doin' the Puppy Mash Again

Virgo: Hebrew Rising

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"A" !!

22 November 2007

Dog experts (I think) say that to reprimand a dog, a loud, sharp sound is very effective.  Some suggest putting coins in an aluminum can and shaking it or pounding on something as a noise which will instantly get a dog's attention.

That made a lot of sense to me, but my problem with the can suggestion is that after I used it the first time, I'd put it somewhere and would never be able to find it again.  It would detract somewhat from the immediacy of the correction!

They also suggest using some sort of vocal reprimand that works better than "no," since that word is used so often.

I don't know how I came up with my reprimand, but it works pretty well.   When one of the dogs is doing something she shouldn't I just yell "A !!" (sounds like Fonzie's "A," but clipped off sharply).

Works like a charm, even on the puppies.  It gets their attention instantly.  They may go back to the bad thing they were doing, but it does temporarily stop the action, long enough for me to praise them for behaving themselves, however briefly.

I've been doing this for a long time now and pleased with how well it works.  It's MUCH more effective than "NO!"  I think that's probably because the sound is much more harsh.  If you think about it "no..." even if said angrily has kind of a soft sound to it, but "A!" is a harsh sounding sound.

With Luna's entrance into the family, I have begun to realize that Sheila is trying to be a mom, or at least to keep the puppy under control.

Lizzie and Luna play-fight a lot.  It gets pretty loud because Lizzie is a loud play-fighter.  If anyone were to come upon the scene they would think that the dogs were actually fighting, but they aren't.  They are just playing very realistically.

But Sheila doesn't like it.  As the play begins to escalate, she lets out one very loud bark and both dogs stop and go their separate ways for a bit.

I finally realized that she's being ME.  She's saying the doggie equivalent of "A !!"...and it works!  It's very funny to watch.  She watches the fighting, then come up close, barks once and moves between the two other dogs.  (I suppose this is the behavior of a herding dog, but I like to think she learned it from me.)

Luna has finally adjusted to sleeping in the cage.  She howled a couple of times last night, but settled down quickly.  I leave her with some toys in the cage with her, and a "kong" filled with pet treats for her to figure out how to get to.

This morning she woke up and there was the usual play-fighting in the kitchen, which Sheila broke up while I was making coffee.

Then I looked at Sheila.  She had gone into the cage and picked up a rubber chew toy.  She stood in front of Luna and tossed the toy up in the air, then stepped back while Luna ran for it.  When Luna dropped it, Sheila picked it up and threw it for her again.  It was just so cute to watch. 

Sheila has become a good "mom" for the puppies around here.  She doesn't really like the little ones, but as they start to become more mobile, she becomes very gentle with them.  Lizzie wants to play and especially when the little ones first start getting into everything, her patience with them is very short.  It's funny because she was just wonderful with the Rainbow puppies.  Some of my favorite photos of her are with her lying on her back, puppies crawling all over her.  But she hasn't behaved that way with most of the subsequent puppies.  I think she gets jealous of my attention to them.  Lizzie is a sweet dog, but it's always been all about Lizzie.  "Notice ME!  Pay attention to ME!"

But Sheila doesn't really play, she keeps watch and she protects them.  I give her special treatment for it.  Like now, for instance.  I lock myself in my office because puppies always get into trouble here.  But Sheila is allowed to come in and sleep at my feet.  She likes to be here, and it gives her a break from "babysitting" for awhile


2 of the Rainbow Puppies


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