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Posted on 03-17-2013

Well, we are one week in. I have decided that terrier is really slang for "terrorist". The Norfolk Terrier was originally bred as a ratter in England. They are short, sturdy, friendly and fearless. Little Rue has stayed true to character. She will run through tunnels, climb on steps, fetch any toy but as for friendly, she is happy to see you, wags her tail but if you reach to pat her ... watch out, she BITES.

Crate training came very easy to her. The 6-hour car ride home likely helped a little. Most of the time she settles comfortably in her crate and sleeps well in her safe little den. There have been a few episodes of screaming when she would rather play than rest but my years as a veterinarian and mother have taught me well to ignore screaming. Amazingly, she eventually settles down and all is quiet. I have a kennel in the kitchen, one in the bedroom and one in the TV room. Not the nicest of decorations but it is a great feeling to be able to eat dinner or do laundry without having to worry about what Rue is doing.

Housetraining is also going well. There have been a few episodes at the clinic when we got distracted and did not take her out soon enough or missed the cues. Those were our fault, not hers. Last weekend she was in shock to learn that I would take her out to this cold, snow-crusted area to potty but she caught on very quickly. Now she only goes on the snow. What will happen when it melts? Just think of all the great stuff I will have to remove from her mouth. My dog run is pea gravel! Inside I am ready for Spring, not so sure now that I have a garbarater on a leash.

We went to Superstore today, watched the cars, carts and doors. She enjoyed climbing on the window ledges and cart bottoms. Lots of people were saying hi and patting her. I can't believe she didn't bite anyone. Socialization is one of the most important things in the raising of a puppy. It is important to choose safe environments where other dogs have not eliminated. Parvovirus is a real concern for puppies who are not fully vaccinated, there has been an increase in cases with breeders suggesting vaccination protocols that do not protect their puppies. Puppies have died, so it is important to keep them safe. I think parking lots are great, there is so much noise and activity and I don't know of anyone who walks their dogs to eliminate in the parking lot of the grocery store or Canadian Tire.

We have spent the day working on handling. Contrary to popular belief, many dogs do not like being patted, handled or hugged. The good thing is that with training, they can learn to accept and even like being touched and cuddled. Biting is one of the most common complaints from my clients. I always tell them to say AHH as if they are hurt and turn away and ignore the puppy. It works for many but what do you do when it doesn't seem to even phase them... you counter-condition the behaviour. Do not hold their muzzle, flip them on their backs or pin them to the ground. They may allow you to then touch them but it will be out of fear of what you will do, not out of respect. Then what happens when it is a stranger or a toddler? So, with that in mind, Rue and I worked on being touched. With a treat in her face, I was able to pat her, play with her ears, roll her on her back and touch her feet. She actually seems to like it. She starts to associate patting with good things. Some dogs will think a good thing is a special toy. With Rue, it is food.

Last week I said that Rue needs to meet 100 people in 100 days, I thinks we are probably at about 30 so there is still a long way to go. The trepidation of getting a puppy has not passed yet. One moment she seems so sweet then the next I wonder what I have done. I guess life is like that, it is the challenges that make

us the way we are. So I think I have my challenge cut out for me. Please drop by and give her a pat with a treat ... if you dare!

Jake Morrison said:

Hi Rue and Dr. Rice! Hey Rue, I am a Terrorist too, but I looove to be cuddled and carried and scratched - all the time, when I am not out catching mice. I caught 5 mice in the last 2 days, it has been fun to chase them. Hoping to get up there soon to say hello, don't bite though, I have never done it! Jake

2013-03-21 03:57:02

JENNIFER MORRISON said:

Nice to meet you today Rue - what a lovely, cute and cuddly young lady! I did not bring my boy Jake today as I was doing some errands, but i will next time. You were very nice and thanks to the gang at Fletcher's for introducing us!

2013-03-22 18:57:41

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