Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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Dog-sitter Notes

By Fred
Some notes for our dog-sitters this weekend. Thank you in advance.

Berkeley gets two cups of food in the morning (around 5:30 or 6am) and two cups in the evening (usually around 5:30pm). Have her do a sit-stay while you put food in the bowl. She won't be this nice again until the next feeding, so enjoy her for a minute or so. Have her in a down-stay before you put down her bowl. Step back and make sure she stays in down-stay for a while. Then say "Take a break".
We leave a big bowl of water on the floor all day and until around 6:30 or 7pm.

Bathroom Breaks
She typically poops once in the morning after she eats and once in the late afternoon. She is mostly house-broken but accidents are still possible. If she approaches your door and then looks back at you, it's more than just s suggestion--it's a warning.
If your yard is fenced and puppy-proof, you can let her off the leash outside. Otherwise, give her a long leash while outside for a break. If she doesn't go in a minute or so after you say busy-busy, she probably won't.

Bed time
Generally she has her last potty break at about 10 pm before she goes to bed, and we get up between 5:30 and 6:00am, but she adapts well to a different schedule at any time. She loves her crate and will sleep or nap whenever it is convenient for you. I sometimes give her a single kibble of food after she gets in the crate, just so it is a fun place.
She may attempt to wake you very early, just to make sure that you don't forget to wake up, and she will use an incredible variety of weepy, whiny, happy little squeaky sounds, just barely loud enough to hear. If you respond to any of those sounds in any way, you might just as well get up because she will not let you sleep again. Don't worry--if she needs a potty break, she will make a distinctive loud noise to let you know, and she very rarely does this.

Berkeley is fond of rocks, socks, toilet paper and many other things that she's not allowed to play with. Kongs and rubbery toys don't seem hold her interest for long. She like the tough fabric mesh toys. Without a chew toy she sometimes paces around the house like a lion looking for a wounded animal.

(When you are approved to go.) She's very good in restaurants, except when there are bits of food on the floor. When you first sit down, have Berkeley go into a down-stay, then step on her leash for a few seconds. She will typically rest through the meal with her head on your feet--cute.
Movies are a definite possibility--she did well in the last one. She is pretty good in stores but may try to pull you around, so don't take her if you are in a hurry to get something.

Berkeley can get nosey if allowed to wander free in your home. By nosey I mean that she could destroy something. She's never torn up any furniture, but there's always a first time. If she refuses to stay in the same room with you, try putting her on a tie-down. Gentle play is best with her. If she engages in naughty behavior (scratching, biting, barking, chewing, teasing, bullying, hair-pulling, etc.), give her a firm No and quit playing with her. If she persists in her naughtiness, she may need to take a nap in her crate.

Fun Things
Ask Berkeley to sit-stay, then walk out of the room. If she follows, take her back and do the sit-stay again until she stays without you in the room for several seconds. (It helps if you can see her but she can't see you.) Then say "Berkeley, come" and she will run to you. Like most puppy things, she thinks this is fun but gets worn out with it after a few times. Then on to something else... a walk around the block is fun.

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