Teaser for the forthcoming Oyster Lexicon.

These are the commands that Lulu has learned so far:

  • Sit
  • Stay (sort of…she’s still too excitable to stay for long, yet)
  • Go lay down (again, sort of – this is supposed to get her to lay down in her crate, but she conveniently forgets this a lot)
  • Down
  • Leave it
  • Settle (working on it!)
  • Off (This is new)
  • Lulu/Come (although I just realized I need to do more work on this one.)
  • Cookie (sometimes this works as an all-purpose word to get her attention if all else fails)
  • Out
  • Walk
  • No

I’m reminding myself of this, because I’m having a lot of trouble with getting her to leave the cats alone. If I’m with her, and we’re near the cats…she’s excited, but if the cats stay still, she manages to contain herself. The minute they move, though…it’s on. And she’s so big, and the cats are so tiny…it worries me that she might one day catch them OR destroy my entire house in the effort.

So, the list above focuses me. I need to concentrate on the following:

  • Come (probably most important)
  • Leave it (when it comes to her getting distracted by other animals or people)
  • Settle
  • Off

I also need to work on general manners, like getting her to let me lead the way out the door, making her “ask for permission” before coming up on the furniture (so, like an “up” command once she’s calmly sitting next to the furniture or the bed)…and we’re still working on the excited puppy-biting and general hyperactivity at certain times of the day when she just seems to get completely out of control.

Counter cruising has been an occasional issue. She managed to grab a stick of butter when I left her along for a few minutes the other day. Normally, she never leaves my side – so this is something that might come up more as her separation anxiety decreases.

We also need to work on separation. I’m hoping I can find a good doggy daycare that will work with her once or twice a month so I can get a break and she can get used to not having me around all of the time. Right now, if I try to put her in the yard for a few minutes so I can compose myself or until she calms down, she INSTANTLY jumps on the door and claws and barks loudly…and she’s so large I worry she will break through the glass. It’s REALLY frustrating. But these things I feel like I can manage. These things seem like puppy things that she will outgrow. She’s already naturally outgrown her habit of crowding the door. And she will lay patiently outside of my room if I shut the door.

On the bright side – her leash manners are steadily improving (as long as she doesn’t see other dogs). She came to me already trained to not defecate or urinate while on walks, which I’m finding to be a really nice habit. And it took me like 1 hour to train her to not sniff every single thing she encounters on the walk. She’s super super sweet and affectionate (if a bit clingy) COMPLETELY housebroken. And really a very fun, silly, sweet puppy.

I knew having a dog was going to be a lot of work. This week has been the most difficult yet. I’m getting great exercise teaching her manners and helping her get her energy out by walking almost every night, throwing the ball around for her, and giving her lots of good things to chew. I just miss my kitties, and want so badly for them to feel comfortable in their home again. Patience. Patience. Patience.

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