Settled

And just like that Figgy finally passed that point that we finally have our groove down. Those first couple weeks with a puppy are rough, they are so young and know absolutely nothing – everything is new to them and they have to get used a lot of very stressful things without having a support or communication system yet. Figgy has been very opinionated about this, and she’s not the easiest puppy, that’s for sure.

Still, things are finally coming together and we are both much happier now that we have a routine and know each other better. We are still working on developing our communication, but we can now do the basics. She knows how to let me know when she needs things without throwing a giant fit, and I can now read and anticipate what she will want. She can now chill in her crate in the car, in the living room and at night. I’d prefer not to have to use much crate time, but she is the Pee Machine, and can’t use x-pens. She likes the really big wire crates, but not the smaller hard sided ones. She really enjoys being outside, which makes things way easier.

She is better about the pee thing, and when she is inside as long as I take her out about every 5 minutes we are good – but that obviously requires direct supervision. Good thing she’s pretty darn entertaining to watch, that girl can GO. She can also nap and has had no issues sleeping through the night. She lets me know if she needs go out with a very sweet little whine – no giant hissy fits anymore. I have no grand expectations of her to housebroken any time soon, but she is a clean dog, she doesn’t want to go in her crate, so I’m hopeful she’ll eventually grasp the concept. She’s really good at going outside, as she will stop and squat ANYWHERE and ANYTIME. She doesn’t care if it’s on the concrete, grass, rocks, carpet, hardwood, dirt – the girl is not discriminating.

Figgy is still very annoying with the dogs, and even Haku will tell her off – but they still don’t HATE her. I’m amazed what puppies can get away with when they’re border collies. Fig can always be found cuddled up right with them if they’re napping on the porch, they are remarkably tolerant of her. For now. She was actually humping Haku’s head the other day – I can’t imagine this is going to fly when she gets older. I assume she will stop trying to constantly jump on their heads and bite their legs once she gets older. Hopefully. The dogs still tug with her (though it’s not their idea), and usually just give her the toy – she has total puppy license at the moment, except from Bright, who has been laying down the law (in a fair way), and I haven’t tried to stop her. Fig DOES listen, but she doesn’t really take it personally.

Fig remains super sweet, she LOVES everyone – she’s going to be just like Fred when she’s older, constantly wanting to say hi. She’s really sweet though, she loves the cuddles and at the moment isn’t over the top with her greetings. We’ll see if that changes. I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger and today I turned her over to two young girls to baby sit while I was teaching – she just let them carry her all around – such a good girl.

Fig is smart, I think. It’s been hard as she’s been so not into food that we haven’t done much formal ‘training’, but she picks up things incredibly quickly. Like she waits at doors and when I go to open her crate instead of pummeling it like a maniac now jumps back as she knows that will make the door open. If you just give her a mild, “Hey, leave that kitty alone,” she actually listens! She has learned to be very gentle with the kitties, and even groomed Fizban. And for some reason the cats are not afraid of her at all, despite the fact that she’s a very busy, active, loud puppy. Dragon thinks she’s perfectly harmless, Fizban actually likes her, all the cats mob around when I’m trying to train her. And she will occasionally chase after a cat or smack them, but even then, they just don’t seem to take her seriously. Really weird, they did not have this response to Leia, and not even to Aja. Not complaining though.

As for training, I feel like we had a breakthrough today where Fig was actually pushing ME to work with her. Suddenly she was offering behavior and really engaged and having a good time. She still doesn’t really understand how it works, but I felt I finally had a dog that wanted to play. We haven’t worked on anything new, she has very lured waves, spins, down and paws up. However, she has kind of taken rollover as ‘hers’ and is offering it in both directions and looking damn cute about it. Fun to have that breakthrough, hopefully it continues. I thought I was going to have break out fancy treats to get her into the game, but I think while she still doesn’t really care about the food, I think she thought the interaction was fun. I have been holding out and not giving her raw, so she’s been a little more into the kibble. Mostly I get it into her by putting small amounts in her crate during the day that she finishes up. She likes chewies though!

She loves to play, when she’s super jazzed up she’s a ridiculous tugger. She’s been happy to switch toys, chase ‘dead’ toys and is starting to bring toys to me to play. She doesn’t really have a preference at this point, she seems to like balls, tugs, stuffties, frisbees, plastic bags, water bottles, shoes, sticks – you name it, she’ll play with it. That girl is a party.

Nice to feel like we’re over that first big hump. I think she likes me and is starting to trust me. Things that border collies don’t necessarily do right out of the box like some other breeds. Now, she would still just walk away with anyone and never think of me again – but she may always be like that. Definitely a very London trait! But she’s starting to think I’m pretty fun, not just the lady that stops her from doing what she wants to do.

Oh, and it helps that she’s ridiculously cute! Her ears are looking adorable and she’s been gaining weight like crazy – they grow so quickly this age!

 

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