Friday, November 9, 2012

Week 17 - Lousy

I was a terrible mom this week and took almost no pictures of Maddie. Almost all of these pictures were taken on Sunday (the last day of week 17).  It was just such an awful week of feeling like crap while I got through a terrible cold.
Maddie did lose her first tooth.... See!  See! (picture above)  I even found the tooth on the toy she was playing with and then promptly lost it.  Dang it!  By the end of the week she had lost another tooth on the other side.  Such a big girl!
Fell asleep while chewing a bully stick.

Speaking of size, Maddie weighed in at 31 pounds at the beginning of the week and ended up at 34 pounds by the end of the week.  The second weighing was not on our usual scale so it could be off a bit.  Everyone says how big she is going to be.  Yikes!  I hope not.  She really should end up in the 60 - 65 pound range once fully grown.  That is definitely bigger than Riley and Seven (50 - 55 pounds each), but should not be so big that she starts to lose athleticism and agility.  Travis was 68 pounds and he was plenty agile and awesome.
Weather continues to be very mild and kind in Georgia so we were able to patio dine once again.  Maddie is going to make Stephen and I fat with all of this eating out, but we are doing it for the puppy.  Ha!  It has been so good for her though. Also, took Maddie to Home Depot again and her first time to PetSmart.
Maddie and I took our first obedience lesson on Sunday.  I had not worked with my obedience instructor for a couple of years since I had not really been doing any obedience since Riley fractured her hock.  So I was eager to show Maddie off and Kathryn liked her a lot. She, of course, thought she was beautiful and loves her sit as much as I do!
It is always so good to get an expert's opinion.  Having never trained a puppy before, I have to be careful with my expectations.  But one of the things I do not like and do not wish to become a habit is that sometimes Maddie trains like a slug.  And she likes food, but she does not seem to LOVE food. One treat does not seem any better than the other despite how awesome my other dogs think it is.  An example of her sluggishness is that I might place a treat on a target.  Point it out to her so she knows it is there and even if after several repetitions she is still walking to it.  Drives me crazy.  You are a greyhound... RUN!
Also, I found that the one treat that Maddie does LOVE is canned dog food.  So I do use it for important things like recalls, but I consider the treat to be one of my top, high value treats so it is not something I want to use for basic training.  I want to save it for when she has to work extra hard at something.
So for our obedience lesson, I wanted to make sure Maddie was especially food motivated.  I fed her extra at dinner the day before and a teeny tiny breakfast the day of the lesson.  She spent the morning hours in her crate until 11:00 AM.  And it worked really well!  She was very energetic, playful, moving faster, and more food motivated than usual.
My trainer suggested that I hand feed her everything anyway.  Even if I am not asking for her to do much, she believes it still should come from my hand.
Well, even though I had only tried this once, Maddie seemed much more engaging the rest of the day.  Even after I fed her an extra large dinner, she was still wanting to do more and was very food motivated, so it is something to keep playing with.
We have also had two excellent weeks of house and crate training.  I think we finally have a good routine.  I offer her a serving of water appropriate for a puppy bladder after each time Maddie pees. I take her outside 1 - 2 hours later and then offer another serving of water.  If she seems especially thirsty, I will give her a 2nd serving and take her sooner and will keep that up until she is no longer finishing the offered serving.  It just forces her to pace herself so she isn't needing to pee every 10 minutes.
We also keep switching dog foods and I think the food we were feeding the week Maddie had all of those accidents was making her extra thirsty.  She has not had that raging thirst since then.
I have been feeding Maddie more and more raw food for breakfast.  A couple of chicken necks, an egg, raw goats milk yogurt, or whatever meat or veggie mixture we have going on that day.  Once her permanent teeth are in, I will start feeding Maddie more challenging raw meaty bones and feed a 100% raw breakfast. Maddie's parents do well on the raw diet so I imagine she will do well also.
That pretty much wraps up week 17.