Monday, October 15, 2007

eden's first week at home

Understandably, this was a very Eden-centered week for me. I was getting to know her better and instilling some basic household rules in the little pup, all the while trying not to neglect everybody else.

Eden is very, very nice. I guess the nicest thing about her is her almost total lack of fear for well... pretty much anything. She plays with the big dogs, she However, this very lack of fear is also something that I'm afraid may get her into trouble.

She is willing to please, she is both food and toy motivated, although, being the little puppy she is, she often loses focus. I'm doing a lot of play retrieving and just plain playing with her at this point to strengthen her drives and lengthen her focus. I am not obsessed with teaching her perfect heelwork by the time she's 6 months old or anything of the kind. Basically, I just want attention and the ability to play with me on my terms with any toy I provide.

And of course, she gets into trouble. One thing I know know very well by now. If you have the slightest suspicion that your puppy may need to go pee (but tell yourself "no way, she just peed 30 minutes ago").... your puppy NEEDS to go pee. Go with the ever so slightest suspicion or you'll be wiping dog pee off the floor. She gets her little puppy teeth on just about everything and has to either be confined or supervised. Supervising is tiring. Right now I am watching her meander between a row of binders on the lower shelf of the bookcase and her toy. And I have to get up to suggest the tug toy is a better idea...

I'm back and she's playing with the tug toy. Little puppies are cute but ..... oh so tiring. But now I'm starting to suspect she might need to go pee.

Yep, she did.

Eden had a lot of firsts (well, or so I think)this week. I took her for a tram ride and a bus ride to see how she'd cope. She did just fine. She met a very well-behaved horse and lots and lots of variously behaved dogs. We went to a pet store, several parks and visited a couple of friends' houses (for short periods of time).

The biggest mystery about having a puppy is not knowing what it will grow up to be like. I'm really not sure how much of my dogs is me, my work with them and how much is them. Even the two older sibs are total opposites of each other and, after all, they have the same genes and were basically treated the same way when they were pups. What's more, I did not guess correctly what they would be like as adults when they were pups, which is still a source of jokes among my friends and the owners of the other sibs. Maybe this is what's making me a bit apprehensive about Eden. I still have absolutely no feeling for what she'll be like as a grown up. Will the focus develop? Will the strong retrieve drive stay? Will she want to please? Will she be obnoxious? She's not now, of course, she's sweet and cuddly, but who knows. Will I catch certain bad habits in time to stop them from developing?

I remember with Uma I got this conviction that this is THE puppy who can achieve ANYTHING I want from her when she was about 4-5 months old. But then, I had Uma right from the time she was born, so maybe it will take longer with Eden. And, after all, why do I need to know this? I know she most certainly will be unique and I'll love her no matter what she's like. But I cannot stop looking for signs of things to come.

Here's a short vid of Eden targeting:


Lisa said...

That's precisely the sort of thing that I obsess over with Finesse. What *is* she going to be like?

Can she be as good as Dust? Does barking at shadows indicate that she's unstable and neurotic or is it just a little fear period to work through?

Dogs definitely have unique, individual personalities but I'm *sure* that a lot of how they turn out is very much influenced by our interactions with them.


Flirt the Squirt said...

I had such a hard time characterizing Bodhi's temperament as a puppy. I am still uncertain what it is, except to say that he is thoughtful, smart, devoted, and mellow. So what I did in one blog was just list behavioral observations. So later I could go back and see if those behaviors were indicative of the temperament that he settles into as he grows up. I know one thing about him though, he's not Flirt. He isn't the anti-Flirt either, he's very much his ownself. I imagine he's got a lot of his sire in him.

It's that nature v. nurture thing. I just can't figure it out.


Johann The Dog said...

I often wonder how Grace would be now with me if I had her from 10 weeks, instead of her growing up wild with a pack of dogs for her first 6 months.

Surely I would have much more of her attention than I get now - but maybe not; guess we'll never know.

One thing I do know is that both Johann and Gracie, never really changed from the time I got them - Johann at 12 weeks, and Gracie at 7 months. They are just more mature, more confident, and learn more quickly, but they have so much of the exact same personalities traits (good and bad) as they did.

Someday I'm going to try a pup, now that I know more....poor pup!

Flirt the Squirt said...

How about an update on Eden? How is she doing? Have you figured out anything else about her?