Friday, October 16, 2009
At the risk of anthropomorphizing my dogs, I must say that I’m amazed at Cody’s love for her puppies. I say this because although she has limited time with them, perhaps an hour of contact with them, she still trains and cleans them up and cleans up after them. She stays away from them partly from choice and partly because I separate her from them, especially when I want the puppies to play without her interferring.
She is a bit rough with the puppies, and when she’s around rolling them on their backs and holding their heads, they try their best to get away from her by running under the nearest piece of furniture and emerging when they see that the coast is clear. Now she’s lying down quietly and keeping a watchful eye on her offspring.
Puppies use their mouths to explore their world, so it’s natural for them to bite things, including people’s hands and feet, but that’s not to say that we must ignore those sharp teeth. Distracting the offending puppy from this illegal activity with toys works well. It also works when the pups bite up articles that are not dog toys, like our shoes and furniture. I use a squeaky toy, especially Froggie, when he’s available because that toy remains a favorite in my household even among the adults.
I have also adopted a method Cody uses to stop the puppies from biting her legs: place my hand over the top of their head and hold their head to the floor briefly. I do this a bit more gently than Cody so as not to make the puppies squeal, but they get the message. At this stage, however, lessons have to be repeated because they little tikes forget very quickly.