Sadie at 4 Months


I cannot believe how big she is getting. Remember how small she was when we first picked her out?


She's lost that puppy face - definitely getting her grown up girl face and body now. As of a week ago, she was 25 pounds. She has huge, meaty paws (which everyone says means she'll be a big dog),


and this adorable curly-cue at the end of her tail:


She graduated puppy class last week, and has started on the beginner level, which is essentially a repeat of puppy, but our trainer (she's the only trainer in our store, and our store was voted best in the region for training) said that beginner is best after puppy, as it is stricter and will reinforce what she learned at puppy training.

Speaking of what she has learned - she's really smart. Anything new we teach her, she picks up so fast we can't even believe it. She sits, lays down, shakes paws, will wait when you give her food/water until you say "ok,", and she's starting to roll over. She does "leave it" very well - I've done this with both treats and toys. She will also respond to come about half the time. If you hold up a specific treat (these peanut butter ones that Shannon gave her), she'll run right into her crate without you even having to tell her. She knows to go potty outside when we go out (but she's not housebroken yet, and she's had I think 3 accidents in her crate). She will, however, go all night in her crate without any accidents; the ones she has have been during the day.

For feedings, as I mentioned she will sit and wait for us to give her the ok to eat or drink. This only took maybe 2 days to teach her, and she'll even do it for Summer. Good girl! We feed her with these dishes/this stand:



And inside her food dish goes a stainless steel silver ball, which slows down her eating.


We feed her in the open, and we pet her and touch her while she's eating. This we had to start doing because she initially guarded her food (growled/snapped at Brad when he tried to touch her food during mealtime). She overcame that very quickly by doing the above.

What I find tough with training her is changing behaviors she's already learned. Such as getting her not to bark, not to jump up, not to chew. She's much better about chewing US than she was when we first got her, and she doesn't bite, and is NEVER vicious. But she will sometimes use her teeth more than she should. Also, pulling on her leash. When we walk her, we use the face harness, and she walks very nicely with that. However on a regular collar or the martingale collar, she pulls SO hard. We may look into some private classes with our trainer (big bucks, unfortunately) to work on these negative behaviors if needed.

 Things that I've found do work for the negative behaviors - banging a pot with a metal spoon to startle her, or saying "EHEM!" very loudly. The pot has been especially effective at getting her to stop barking, and has reduced her barking, for the most part.  These, by the way, are not taught by the trainer as effective methods, but the loud noises have come up in class for other instances, and we decided to try them at home, as the time out method (where you put the dog into another room during a tantrum or bad behavior) does not really work for us, based on the setup of our home.

We've started trying out using a potty bell for her - right now still in the stages of taking her over to the bell and shaking it as she noses it before going out to potty. The plan is for Brad to hang the bell (we got the hanging ones, which may have to be replaced by the counter, push bell type) and see if she will ring it herself.

Finally, I've started taking her for a walk during my lunch hour. Previously I was just letting her into our backyard on a leash, but our backyard has a multitude of "tasty" things that she wants to eat, along with an abundance of bees, which I don't care for (to say the least - a few weeks ago I would go out dressed up in FULL bee protective gear - a mosquito net over a hat over a hoodie, with heavy jeans, gloves, socks, and sneakers, sprayed down with bee repellant). The walk is much nicer - I don't feel trapped in the backyard with the bees, Sadie gets to do her business, and she's not eating everything in her path. Plus, it's nice exercise for the both of us. :)

4 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, she's such a big girl now! She's so pretty!

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  2. She's so cute! A Golden, right?
    Our Lab should be close to 2 now (he's adopted so we don't really know for sure) & he still chews on us really bad. He doesn't mean to bite us but gets little bits of skin & it hurts like heck! & leaves horrible bruises.
    For distraction, you might also try a few coins in an empty soda can. When Bentley is barking or doing some other "bad" behavior, we shake the can & he immediately stops & looks at us.

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    Replies
    1. I need to try the soda can thing - I have heard a few people mention it. We were getting content with banging the pan but a few cans around with coins in them would be much more handy. I'll try it! Thanks! :)

      Bentley is an adorable name :)

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  3. WOW..She is looking so pretty and so grown up. I remember her as a puppy.

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