Having a puppy again has come as a bit of a shock to my system. Having two is a bit mind blowing but I'm going to focus on Naga and lessons remembered and new lessons learned. Naga is the Great Pyreneese I found in December, four weeks miserable and discarded with her litter mates. Now, to be honest I was considering a pyr to go with the flock. To be more honest I wanted an OLDER dog. Not an infant. I got an infant. Who doesnt think crates are nice at all. In two decades of animal control, dog training and fostering this is the loudest crate objector to date. EVER. If I'm ever certain I know everything about training dogs or dog behavior I'll probably be dead because there's always more to learn. We learn. Dogs teach. When we become complacent a teacher comes along.
With the responsibility to teach the new one, not only what I think I know how to teach, I have to learn to teach those things I have little practice with in LGDS. Like protection vs playing a chicken to death. But this whole farming thing is a journey in learning new things.
I know a few things. Communication is essential. Since I am supposed to be the one of us good at the spoken word I get to teach all the words, and what they mean in the way of position or meaning. NAGA means the badger-headed q-tip that bites. Naga also means if you look at me, there's likely something in my pocket for you or a toy or game about to happen - pay attention kid. IN THE HOUSE - means there's cheddar inside the door thing. Better Go NOW means, go NOW, outside when directed - for pay. If it's IMPORTANT to me I PAY for it with food and praise.
But if there were anything I'm working hard on remembering it's all the things NOT TO SAY. NOT to repeat endless strings of NO. NOT to call the puppy when A: the puppy doesn't know come, B: May know her name but doesn't want to come, C: when the only result is then that I have to GO GET HER, because to repeat yourself is to become a boring, ineffective nag.
You know the people, sit, sit, SIT SIT I SAID SITTTTTTT!!!! And only then does the dog sit.
So I can't run off at the NO, and I am NOT repeating myself, and I am teaching LEAVE IT. Not no. Leave it alone, can be applied to many things. Puppies get confused when the trash can is no, and the couch is no, and the drywall is no, and the socks and shoes and toes and and and are all NO.
But wow all the things I WANT to say.... Naga it's raining and freezing and the middle of the night come IN. Naga IT'S POURING ... PLease??? Naga, you are literally soaked to the skin and hate to be toweled, come in?. Naga OWWWW that's my__________ fill in the blank. Naga it's 10 degrees and foggy, do we have to check the edge of the yard now? Dog, normal canids SLEEP at night. That's my toe, not a rawhide. Wow ow, who gave you python fangs??? Those WERE my underwear!
On the up side she's a thinker, she's calm everywhere but the crate, she will lay down and watch and sniff chickens. She's eating breakfast with them now. She is house training readily with a mix of expen, sleeping with the big dogs or with me and persistence. Now she just needs an older bladder. She loves tug and soccering balls around and actually has some ball drive. Naga, I need that finger. Sure, there's acewrap and bitter lime on the recliner couch handle and some of the rattan baskets have recieved attention but the joy and frustration of what is said and isn't hardly compares to puppybreath, growing great bear paws and that amazing stare.
Joy unlooked for, joy none-the-less.
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