Toby – Life with a new puppy

Formally known as Red Mallow Pepper – A Hungarian Vizsla

Archive for May, 2008

Training having some effect… (Week 19)

Posted by Admin on 6, May 2008

or are we just getting used to Toby:-)


What a busy 10 days.  Hubby was in USA all last week, so it was just Toby me in control.  Teenage daughters were more trouble than helpful, but thats another story.

Toby is coming along in leaps and bounds.  His plus points are:

He is brilliant and getting in his “bed” (crate).  He never complains and is very happy to be left alone.  The same is true in the mornings, he does not bark etc to be let out of his crate and just sits happily waiting for some-one to come into the room.

He is eating his food like a really hungry hunter – he was skipping the odd meal, but now eats the lot with gusto.  He is brilliant at sitting and waiting for me to say “take” and will allow me to put my hand in the bowl without biting or growling etc.

He is still eating sheep poo, fox poo, rabitt poo etc.  If he finds something unspeakable he tries to roll in it – its gross :-(.  However, he does seem to be eating less (or maybe I am learning to steer him clear of it more).  I spend forever saying “drop it” which he will do – but only when a) he feels like it and b) when he has decided he’s finished with whatever it is I want him to drop.

Toby deserves a gold star for this.  He will do all these of these commands instantly and always (well almost always) perform on demand.  He has improved hugely in this area and now will do this even in the outside world with all its many distractions

Another triumph for Toby – when I first put the lead on him he thinks he should help me by carrying the lead in his mouth – this he does for the first 50 yds.  Then he will happily walk to heal whilst on the road.  Once we enter a field he tries to get ahead of me and pulls the extender lead but always comes back to heal when forced to.  He rarely pulls on the lead and is a super duper star 🙂

This is a bit hit and miss.  He will come when called, but charges straight past me 8 out of 10 recalls.  Other times he rushes up and sits down (which is what I am taught teaching him to do.).  Other times he is completely deaf, dumb and blind to this instruction – we need to spend more time on this one sadly.

After that glowing reports, sadly he is not perfect just yet and here are the areas still to be improved:

Toby NEVER STOPS BITING :-(.  I am sure he is getting much better and biting less often, but then I look at my right arm and realise that this cannot be true.  The only time he is not chewing a stone, biting my arm, chewing his toys, eating leaves etc etc etc is when he is asleep.  He never stops – NEVER EVER.  His bite is now very soft.  However he always tried to bite/chew me when I put his lead on him –  for the last few days he has not done this, so he really is getting better

This is not going well at all!  Toby sees other people and just cannot resist the temptation to say hello.  Muddy paws, soaking wet, slobbery chops – you name it he jumps.  All the shouting and pulling in the world does not seem to help.  We are working on this one, but its not easy as “outsiders” think he’s cute and bend down to him, which he sees as an excuse to jump UP at them.  I am sure his “puppy permit” will run out soon as people will not be so keen as he gets bigger.  Also jumping in the face of other dogs is going to wear a little thin and they will not be happy – will he ever get out of this habit I wonder?

Toby can now reach all of the work surfaces in the kitchen and feels its his duty to lick them and try and steal anything on them (food, dishcloths, teatowels, cutlery etc).  I must say the word “Toby OFF” a million times a day.  I push him down but he still thinks I can’t possibly mean not to jump up.  He is spending as much time on 2 legs these days as 4 🙂  All the shouting OFF and pushing him down in the world has no effect whatsoever.  This is driving me crazy but will keep at it – surely he will understand one day – won’t he?

THE SOFA – We decided that, as with our previous dog he would not be allowed on the sofa, he has his own “bed” right by the radiator/sofa and its thick, warm and cosy as can be. I have NEVER EVER seen such determination in either a human or a dog to get onto the sofa.  Somedays I feel like the England goalkeeper, guarding the sofa and moving from one end to the other to keep Toby off.  He then races off into the kitchen so that he can so the charge of the light brigade and comes charging into the family room and dives for the sofa.  IF he makes it onto the sofa, he pushes himself into the corner and curls up or puts his back to me (I think he has a childs mentality that goes ..”if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me…” )  HE absolutely refuses to move.  I then try and get hold of him and he growls and bites and is very unhappy to be moved.  He is at his worst with me, but even hubby fails to keep this dog on the ground.  Much shouting, pushing him off etc seems to be failing.  Last week whilst on my own I was on the edge of giving in and just letting him have a chair of his own.  I decided not to be beaten and will working on this one – this is the hardest.  HE IS VERY VERY DETERMINED ON THIS ISSUE.  When I hae reached the end of my tether and say “thats it – in your bed,” he then jumps onto his blankey for 2 minutes (i think just to catch his breath for the next onslaught)..  I am exhausted So far Toby is winning this battle.

So, overall he is coming along in leaps and bounds once we solve the biting and jumping issues we can concentrate on his personality and the joys he brings.

I had forgotten just how much hard work, tears and joy a puppy brings into your life.



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