Monday, February 6, 2012

Natasha's First Time in House

Here are photos of Natasha's first time in the house! A big step, but one that made me again realize just how far these puppies have to go. The entire process started when I went into the pen with some venison bacon pieces. The puppies were going crazy trying to get to the treats, crawling and jumping all over me, even Nevada didn't hesitate to come right up. I spent a few minutes petting Natasha, Nora and Nina while giving them bacon. They were all doing well with the petting and I decided this was the moment of truth for Natasha. I picked up her and held her calmly. She was not happy and would not take any bacon from me while I was holding her. I carried her into the house and put her in the ex pen in the kitchen, and let her calm down a moment. She never tried to bite or mouth me, but she was clearly scared. I let my dog Noel into the room and that cheered her up immediately, almost an instant transformation. Suddenly she was up, wagging her tail, and taking treats from me again. I only kept her in for a short time and during that time she was calm, took treats and seemed pretty relaxed and surprisingly comfortable being indoors. However, when it came time to take her back outside, she was not happy being picked up again and would not take treats while she was held or carried. When I put her back down in the pen with the other puppies she ran into the dog house for a moment. I spent a few more minutes in the pen giving the puppies treats and Natasha was back to normal again quickly, wagging her tail and jumping on me for treats. Nina and Nora did terrific with the petting today, I was petting them repeatedly all over their backs and sides and was even able to reach over Nina's back to her other side, as long as I was giving them food. I didn't feel either of them were quite ready to be picked up yet though. After seeing how negatively Natasha reacted to being handled, and given that she has been the "front runner" from day 1, it demonstrates just how far these puppies still have to go. This week will be all about body handling for Natasha, Nina and Nora, as well as practice picking them up (which will be the hardest) and hopefully by the end of the week starting to pet Nevada. I won't be bringing any of them indoors again, until I can get them more comfortable with being picked up. I will try an experiment tomorrow with our Pug Jack, bringing him in the puppy pen with me and picking him up and giving him treats, then putting him down again. It may help the puppies to see a dog being picked up and happy about it.

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