Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Violet Has A New Friend

My sister, Jackie, got herself a new puppy. He is a pound puppy - your typical "pit bull" puppy which basically means he is a mutt with physical characteristics that classify him as a pit bull - for what that is worth. At the time of this visit last weekend he was 8.5 weeks old.

Marley is a blue brindle with crazy ears

So our biggest challenge was obviously Violet. She met Marley last Wednesday on neutral ground (my dad's house) and it was an instantaneous hit. Violet immediately loved that puppy and wanted to play with him. By the end of the play session they were playing off leash with lots of good doggy body language: lots of hip and shoulder checks, play bows, and lots of give and take (I come get you, now you come get me). 

The negatives were that Violet doesn't adjust her play style for a small puppy. Meaning she plays with Marley like she plays with Sadie and when you are an 8 week old pup that can be intimidating. He handled it well enough though. Another negative was the resource guarding. I came ready with some treats to reward Violet for her good behavior but that back fired when she started resource guarding me. They played lovely until he came near me (and cookies) and then she told him off. So cookies went away and that improved greatly.

Overall I declared Wednesday to be a huge success. She has never taken to another pup so quickly. Though to be fair, I'm not exactly allowing a ton of interactions between her and other young pups either. 

On Friday Jackie came down with Marley and the happy play time continued in our back yard. Then we brought it inside and as expected Violet began to resource guard everything inside the house from the puppy. To be clear she wasn't interested in hurting the puppy, which is key because with her dog reactivity, that is always in the realm of possibilities. She just wanted to firmly tell him everything in the house belonged to her!

We separated the house to allow both pups to cohabitate without stress to either one. Violet was a little stressed but calmed down relatively quickly. Every so often we'd take everyone back outside to have happy play time, then go back inside but stay separated to keep the happy vibe going. I tried to treat Violet with cookies for good behavior but that back fired again with Violet increasing her resource guarding so once again, cookies had to be removed from the situation as a reward. 

By the 2nd day Violet and Marley had some good, positive interactions in the house. They even played together a bit! I plan on taking all of us (myself, husband, and sister) back to UCLA Dog for a private session so we can have continued success with Violet and Marley in the same house. With their help and all three adults in the house on the same page I feel confident we can help Violet overcome her resource guarding issues.

Here is a fun little video of Violet and Marley playing. Note the happy play bows. If you listen closely you can hear Violet chirping. Last time she did those happy playful chirps was when she was a puppy herself playing with Sadie - if that gives any indication with how happy and excited she was. Marley was a little overwhelmed at times which you can see when he runs and takes a break from the excitement by running into bushes for cover. But then he shakes it off and goes running after Violet. Give and take. Overall, it was great.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

That is one adorable puppy! <3