It’s been awhile since my last update on the Reece-meister, so high time I post a few things!
Lets see, Miss Reece will be 16 weeks old on Wednesday already!! Wow time flies!! We have had her since 8 weeks, but it sure doesn’t feel like 2 months already.
Personality wise, I don’t think we could have asked for a better mix. She is mellow around the house, plays independently with her toys, watches the cats, and of course follows me around. She just sleeps in the car and has no issues visiting new places, about the only time she kicks her energy up is around dogs and new people, she is a social butterfly. House training and crate training weren’t a problem at all either (although I have that down to a science after so many pups over the years).
The cats and her have worked out their balance and the felines go about their day like any other now (outside of hopping baby gates). I am still keeping half the downstairs sectioned off so the cats have their own toys and space, and the pup is in an area I can monitor (puppy teething time!). Now if I could just get Mia to stop bringing her toys into pup zone it would help….soggy paper balls just don’t work well.
(Bayou sneaks onto Reece’s bed occasionally. Reece has trouble containing her excitement at having a buddy sometimes, but most of the time they work out a healthy distance and all goes well with some ‘mum’ intervention)
One thing about cats and dogs is that the cats should always be seen by the dogs as the ‘higher ups’ so to speak. With the size difference and such, you never want dogs thinking they can physically put a cat in their place. Dexter and Bayou established right out the gate they ran the show and Reece totally gave them distance. Mia on the other hand wanted to play, dashing away in play chase causing Reece to think of her more as a fun toy instead. After a few weeks, Mia finally held her ground and actually told Reece off, and now the felines are fully in charge
If you saw my post on the treats, especially the video, you can see that Reece is very respectful of the kitties even when food is involved. Conversely though, I do ask the cats to give Reece her own space at mealtimes.
I am clicker training Reece on some things, which is going better now that she is getting older. We have started the beginnings of formal fetch training with the clicker, which is at least cute to watch.
Our next challenge is leash work. Not having all her shots, we were limited to the amount of exposure to new dogs and busy places we could go. I did expose her to A LOT, like several stores where dogs were not at, some outdoor restaurants, friend’s houses, and we walked almost daily at a nearby school playground. She loves to go down slides, has no problem with all sorts of surfaces and new things like tunnels and bridges, and she has even been around something as loud as a concrete truck in action with no problems.
Now that she has completed her shots, I can get her out with more dogs and work on her leash behavior around them (she just wants to play with every dog, of course). If you ever adopt a puppy, studies have shown that socializing before 16 weeks is EXTREMELY critical in a dog’s development, so low risk excursions are a must even if they haven’t had all their shots. Their ability to adapt to new situations goes down drastically after that 16 week mark.
She met my mom and step dad’s dog not long ago, and that went really well. Their dog Bandit has some bad back issues and even post surgery he is not very mobile. He can walk, but is unstable, and by the end of the day is usually pretty tired. Reece and him wanted to play, so they worked it out in their own way
(direct link to video)
She is a goofball at heart, and I hope she keeps that as she grows up. Watching her play with her toys always cracks me up, and is going to break my bank as I come home WAY too often with new items. The funny thing is, a plastic bottle provides more fun then just about anything else. Here was some of her antics with a cat toy I gave her (luckily she is very gentle on toys still)
(direct link to video)
This week we are going to start work on swimming. In Colorado its a bit hard to find places in town to swim at that don’t involve a busy dog park. I would like her first few swimming excursions to not be overwhelming, plus the park waters are pretty heavily infested with giardia and her gut seems to be a little sensitive right now. So today we are taking a trip to an indoor dog pool for a lesson. She will probably have a blast!
Well, thats about it for now. Lots of training to go, but we have come a LONG way in the last couple of months. From a crazy crocodile when she arrived to just a laid back pup who takes everything in stride!