Now that I am raising our new puppy, Ramble, I thought I’d from time to time write a “Ramblings” post about life with a puppy and what I am doing with Ramble and what he’s doing. This first post is one I started to write about a week and a half ago, but stopped mid-sentence– something I I expect may happen often with a puppy in the house. Some of my posts may be well thought-out; more are likely to be a series of rambling thoughts jotted down in spare minutes. It’s not that Ramble is actually taking up all my time and attention, but as a New Year is starting I am hoping (intending) to spend less time on my computer and more in the wonderful, rich, real life of my home and family, and friends, and pets. And having a puppy should help me do just that.
Ramble, our new Siberian Husky puppy, is here! He’s actually not officially ours yet, as I am babysitting for him and his brother Simon this week while their breeder is away, but he already seems to know he’s my dog. When Simon and Ramble (formerly “Garfunkel”) are running around tackling each other and wrestling, Ramble often comes over and sits in front of me, looking up for pets. So sweet! Of course he gets a smile and snuggle every time he does that. I’m really glad to have them both here; it’s good for them to have the exposure to a new place, and it’s surely helpful for Ramble’s adjustment to being in our home to have his brother here with him for the first few days.
At this point I have not been using any treats with Ramble. I probably will eventually, most likely for recalls around distractions (like the great outdoors), but for now I am capitalizing on his enjoyment of affection and attention.
Yesterday I started crate training Ramble and his brother Simon. Actually Pat, their breeder, started the process by having a crate with the gate removed in the puppy pen, so the pups could get used to going in and out of it. (It is such a gift to both puppy and new owners when a breeder does that!) Sometimes Simon and Ramble chose to nap in it, demonstrating a dog’s basic comfort with sleeping in a confined space. At any rate, by yesterday Simon and Ramble were starting to get pretty boisterous while playing in the expen set-up I have for them, and I knew I would soon be uncomfortable leaving them unsupervised, even in the expen. They’re getting bigger and faster, and when they bump into the pen it moves a bit. They can’t knock it over or climb or jump out… yet, but I wanted to start getting them comfortable being closed in a crate.
For starts, I began feeding them in separate crates, opening the gates as soon as they were finished eating. Then yesterday afternoon I closed them in crates after they had eaten, played, peed, and pooped and were just starting to lie down and snuggle up for naps. Predictably, they whined and cried a bit when I crated them, so I covered their crates with towels (hung over masonite boards that extended beyond the sides of the crates, so the pups couldn’t grab the towels through the openings) and looked at the clock. Simon settled down within a few minutes, but Ramble kept up a fuss. After about ten minutes I waited for a moment of quiet, then let him out and took him to the papers. He tried to get me to pet him, but I calmly redirected him to the papers, where he sniffed for a moment, then peed
And that was as far as I got before puppies, holiday activities, and family called me from my computer. Stay tuned for more Ramblings…