Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Puppies: Prison Break, part 2

Part of socialization for puppies includes exposure to the world (not just people or dogs.) They have to hear things like loud trucks, sirens and the dishwasher so they learn that the world is not a scary place. Having the crate in the kitchen has been good because they can run to it when they're afraid of something. Within a week it had become a safe place (in this case, safe from the vacuum cleaner.)

It's also a place for treats. Getting puppies used to the idea of a crate being a good thing can be done through their tummies. They get a treat and are told they're good puppies each time they go in so they learn that it's not a punishment. Boy will do anything for a treat. He will take a treat out of Girl's mouth if he can. At nine weeks, Boy began to run into the crate just to see if we'd give him something.

They were visibly bigger inside the crate, and I had to remove the pad in the bottom because they chewed one corner and the stuffing is coming out.

Now, at ten weeks, they are doing a lot of mirror sleeping and it's really cute. The crate has worked out pretty well.

Until today. See, there's a weak spot on the front zipper where someone chewed last week and it doesn't close properly. So we just plop them in through the top hole and keep the front zipped (this is becoming a problem because Boy is so damn heavy.) That's worked for about a week now. Based on the title, you can see where this is headed, right?

I came home from my bloodletting and probing to find pee all over the floor and two puppies happily sleeping on the tile. They broke through the weak spot on the zipper. I don't know if it's fixable yet. I've been busy cleaning up urine and walking two puppies in the rain. I forgot a bag and had to dig through a neighbor's recycling bin to get a newspaper to pick up some poop and walk with it until I found a trashcan. Good thing it's trash day.


Cat, Galloping said...

man, these puppies are a lot of work! i can tell you're going to be an awesome mom to your future human baby too.

Motel Manager said...

We originally adopted two puppies and had them in soft crates with zippers, which they managed to get out of repeatedly. We ended up switching them to hard crates, and those worked better. (We also ended up giving one puppy to a friend of ours because she was in the market for one and we were overwhelmed. We are a bit retarded, you see.) Anyway, I am totally a believer in crate training, and our dog definitely sees the crate as his safe place. He runs in there whenever he thinks we are going to do something bad to him - e.g., give him a bath.

They are so cute!!

Irish Girl said...

Uhm, may I offer some assvice? 2 dog owner to 2 dog owner.

You're gonna need two large metal crates. Soon. I know they are expensive but unless you'd like everything in your house destroyed it is a worthwhile investment. When my lab was a pup, I thought she was ready to be left out of her crate (Side note: the crate which she *did* use as a potty, then dug at the poop so it was splattered all over the wall and floor. Fun surprise when arriving home from work.) for a quick trip to the store. Not so much. Because in 15 minutes she ripped up the carpet, chewed the dresser legs, ruined two window coverings, and scratched up the door of the guest bedroom where I'd locked her up. She's old now and doesn't need to be crated. But our younger mutt, he still does, and he sleeps in there All. The. Time. Right now even.

Man they are cute though. It's almost unbearable.

How's the cycle going?

Beagle said...

Those pups are so very very cute!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good Luck to you!

Ella said...

Thanks for stopping by. I too just got a puppy, to help me get over IF issues. It's good training for a human baby - or at least I keep telling myself that. Those puppies are ridiculously cute btw. We are trying the crate train thing but our pup seems to have a mind of his own. He's 6m onths now and believe me when I tell you it does get easier.

Angie said...

I love your puppies, so cute!!!