Keisha’s first Christmas

Keisha toy
Keisha opening her toy Christmas morning

I haven’t written in awhile.  Christmas went well.  The tree was left standing, and I only had to re-decorate the bottom of it because Keisha runs under it sometimes, and the only ornament that was broken was by me!  I don’t think that’s toobad at all!  I even decorated the side of the kitchen counter and Keisha didn’t bother it at all!  I’ve been very impressed!

On Christmas morning my mom called and I sat in front of the tree while I was talking to her to open our gifts.  I helped Sophie open her stuffed snowman that my mom gave her, and then I let Keisha out of her crate.  I put the short leash on her to keep her from diving into the gifts!  She had been wanting to get at them when I was putting them under the tree the night before!  I gave her the gift my mom sent her and she ripped it open herself.  She tore at the paper and then shook her head really fast so the paper flew off.  It was a stuffed gingerbread man that smells like gingerbread!  She loves it!  It actually smells really good.  My mom also sent them a huge box of treats in the shape of a dog house.  It has ten bags of treats in it.  That should last them awhile!

On Boxing Day my uncle and cousin came to visit.  It was the first time Keisha met them and she was so excited I had to keep her in her crate for most of the time they were here.  Sophie was really excited to see Uncle Glen again too! 

I’ve noticed that Keisha is growing out of her biting stage lately!  I’m so glad!  She use to try to bite everything!  Now when she’s really excited she will still bite at my hand a bit, but she mostly licks now.  I think some of it has to do with working on targeting with her.  I use my hand as the target because I thought that I could teach her both the targeting and teach her to not bite at the same time.

She has also learned “sit”, “down”, “come”, “stay” and we are working on “heel”.  She will have “heel” completed really soon and we are continuing to work on staying for longer periods of time.  I know it might seem like a painfully slow process, but I am making sure she knows one command and has a really good grasp on it before moving onto the next.  I need her commands to be “solid” when I start teaching her guide work.  Over the weekend I’m thinking about teaching her take clothes out of the dryer.  I thought this would be fun for her, and that it’s easier to start with than teaching her to pick up something and bring it back to me.  It’s in a smaller area and she is just the right height to reach inside of the dryer now.  I’m trying to decide if I want to use “get” or “take” with her though.  I taught Sophie with “get”, but I’m thinking I will use “fetch” with Keisha.  It will also be a word that sounds a lot different than “give”.  She will also learn to “find” things, but I think “find” and “fetch” also sound different enough to use and not confuse her.  She love playing fetch and will bring her toys back to me, so it shouldn’t be too hard to teach her to do the same with other things.

 It’s almost 3am and Julian will soon be calling me, so I guess I better go for now.  I’ll write more about how Keisha is doing with the clothes and dryer later.  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

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Potty training problems

flexi leash
Keisha taking herself for a walk with Sophie’s FlexiLeash

Keisha is doing great!  She has learned how to sit, and is learning how to lay down.  She’s very smart, and we are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of her!  The only problem we are having is teaching her not to pee in her crate!  She doesn’t seem to care at all if her crate is wet.

Her crate is right next to the door that leads to the patio.  I have a litter box outside the door that Sophie uses, and if Keisha is put out there the first thing in the morning she will pee there.  If she is left out there long enough she will also pee.  The problem is she don’t understand that her crate is not a good place to pee.

When she pees outside I praise her a lot, give her one of her favorite treats, and she gets to play.  She realizes this because when she pees, she runs inside to get her treat.  When she pees in her crate, I tell her “no” and put her right outside.  She will usually hold it, but after awhile she will go.  She also pees a little outside and acts like she’s done, but as soon as she goes back into her crate she pees.

I have the divider in her crate and it’s only big enough for her to turn around in, but she will still pee and lay down in it.  I tried leaving the puddle in her crate, and thought that if she realized that it wouldn’t be cleaned up right away and that she had to lay in it she wouldn’t want to do it, but she just wined for a minute and layed down in it!  I even tried letting ehr out with Sophie so she could watch her, but then she just wants to play after watching her intently for a few minutes.

I cleaned out her crate with stuff that takes odors away, but that didn’t work either, so the next step I’m thinking of trying is to teach her to go on some paper that will be put in the far end of her crate, and gradually move it outside.  I hope something works soon!

Someone suggested that she could have “learning difficulties”, but I know I don’t have to worry about that!  She can learn other things easily, but is just having some problems with this.  The same person also suggested that some dogs are impossible to housebreak, but I think any dog can be trained if you know what motivates them and can find something that works for them!  I’ve just got to find out what works for Keisha.

I was reading about how puppies can’t physically “hold it” until they are at least 12 weeks old.  She has another couple of weeks to go until then, so I’m not too worried about it yet.  I’m sure things will work out fine.  I was also reading about the Misty Method of potty training for puppies.  If puppies of that age can be potty trained, I’m sure Keisha can!

And that is why her nickname is “Stinky”!