Bourbon has been with us for a more than a month now and she has been keeping me and Rugby busy! There are lots of lessons Bourbon needs to learn to get her started on the path to becoming an enjoyable companion. Here are some lessons that she has started already. Almost the entire list is a work in progress, and will be through puppy-hood.
1) Go potty outside and only outside. This is easier for both of us if you ask me to go outside. I would say she is at about 75% now. Hopefully the number keeps going up!
2) Be quiet in the crate. Your gremlin noises are not cute. It is a little funny though… when I’m not trying to sleep. Now, the only time she yells about being confined is during the day when she thinks she is missing out on some fun. She is quiet at night, and quiet in the car. And sometimes quiet on the sidelines. Sometimes.
3) Go in the crate on command. This she almost has down. Switching her to raw food helped tremendously. She is crazy about her food and couldn’t get in the kennel any faster!
4) Drink without spilling the water bowl. Keep your feet out of the bowl all together, please. We upgraded from your average bowl to a no-spill bowl in the kitchen. The exercise pen that separates the living room in two has a pail hanging on it. She has a hard time spilling either of these bowls. Was also able to catch her trying to spill the bowl outside, and yelled at her for it (twice). I haven’t seen her try again since. Phew!
5) Sit still while I change your ear posts. This was an easy once since she loves when I mess with her ears. Rub her ears and you will soon have a sleeping Doberman puppy.
6) Sit still while I dremel your nails. Bourbon has some lungs on her and screamed and screamed about the dremel. Each time we have had the dremel out, she has been better. Yesterday we dremeled nails with no screaming and no wiggling. Yea!
7) Come when called. This will be a work in progress for a long time. She was doing really well with it, then finally got smart enough to realize she didn’t *have* to, so she has been dragging a line everywhere so that she learns that come is not optional. She needed a couple days as a refresher, and has been good ever since (with lines still on).
8) Walk on a loose leash. This is easy to do when I am walking her by herself, and not so easy to do when walking her with Rugby, since she likes to tangle him up in her leash.
9) Give. This one was really hard at first, but has gotten much easier and when she is feeling particularly cooperative, she will practically spit the toy out at me.
10) Tricks! Introducing her to basic obedience commands and some fun parlor tricks to get her brain juices flowing. Once she understands what I want from her, she does well.
Outside of this list, we have been socializing, socializing and socializing some more. She is a bold puppy and loves to go places and see things. The more people she meets, places she goes and situations she experiences, the less stressful life will be for her later on.