Happy (7-week) Birthday, Scout!

Fall blew in to our neck of the woods on Sunday. The air was suddenly so crisp, with that slight chill. Time for scarves! At least for me. For Scout, Fall means more leaves, which she adores chewing on (though we try our best to discourage this habit). The wind had all sorts of new and interesting scents in it. I can already tell that Scout’s hunting lineage has granted her a world-class nose. She finds sniffing to be an immensely engrossing activity. If only it was as interesting for B and I…

Today is Scout’s birthday—seven weeks! I figure when you celebrate your first milestones in weeks, then each week should count for a birthday. Our little tyke has grown practically overnight it seems. I looked at her on Sunday and thought, “Where did those big paws come from?” Suddenly she has big puppy feet! I wish we had weighed her the day we brought her home. I am amazed by how much larger she looks after just seven days.

This weekend brought a lot of firsts for Scout. To start with, we had her first play date with a friend from work and her family. (OMG, did we really not take a single picture? We are so fired.) Their chocolate lab was humorously shy around Scout, but Scout didn’t seem to mind. She really loved the children. She chased their little girl around and around (chase is one of Scout’s favorite games right now). You would think this would wear Scout out, but after a brisk two-hour nap, she was back up and at ‘em. Where do puppies and children get the energy, and would they mind sharing?

Another first was a bath. We were curious if Scout’s water-loving genes would kick in at this young age, and the answer is: not quite. When I lifted her over the edge of the tub and down into the one inch of lukewarm water B had filled the tub with, Scout’s toes were spread so wide you would have thought she could walk across the surface. She assumed we’d put her in a big water bowl, and proceeded to drink as much bathwater as she could (because of this, we didn’t use soap to clean her off. We didn’t know what a bunch of soapy water would do to her digestive system). We’ll have to keep trying the water thing. Scout’s mother loves to swim, so I’m sure she’s got at least a mild interest hidden somewhere inside. She loved the toweling off part, though. Full body massage? Yes, please!

And as for Scout’s sleeping schedule, I am super happy to report that she’s started to only wake up one time a night. (Remember when she did it on Friday night, and we thought we’d killed her?) It appears that it wasn’t a fluke! She only asked to go out once Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, which is way easier on me than the three times she was previously doing. Also, she did really well today while B and I were both away for work. I checked on her twice, and both times she was very calm and relaxed. She hadn’t even bothered using her puppy pads. I’m contemplating taking the puppy pads out of the crate altogether next week and seeing how she does. I’m really hoping that her eagerness toward house training isn’t some cosmic tease and that she actually is this eager to please, though it will still be some weeks before we really feel 100% comfortable in the housebreaking regard.

The next thing we need to figure out is how to get her to stop the nipping. Fingers and toes are so exciting to her, but she’s got pretty sharp baby teeth and that’s a big no-no habit to us. I’ve heard that lemon juice is the trick, so we’ll try that next.

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3 responses to “Happy (7-week) Birthday, Scout!

  1. S October 5, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Hi puppymakes4! I recently stumbled upon your blog because I was searching for puppy-related sites =) Zeno, my maltipoo just joined our family too and he too likes to nip. We’ve reduced that bad behaviour by yelping and/or ignoring him when he gets too rowdy. So far so good! Hope it helps!

    There’s one major problem we haven’t been able to completely eradicate though. Zeno whines when we put him in his playpen (we put him there when we can’t watch him in case he gets up to mischief), and in the morning to wake us up! Does Scout whine too? If so, how do you guys deal with it?

    – S

  2. puppymakes4 October 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hi S! I wish yelping loudly or ignoring was working on Scout. We’ve had some success with ignoring her when she gets too rowdy, but the yelping thing seems only to encourage her! A friend of mine said that her vet recommended that whenever they nip, to immediately squirt some lemon juice (from the little plastic lemons) into their mouths. The vet said they hate the taste of it. She had success breaking her lab of nipping this way, so I figure we’ll give it a shot.

    We use a playpen, too, and LOVE it. We use it for the same reason: when we can’t keep an eye on her and need to be doing other things. Scout does whine on some occasions, and we’ve found that as long as she doesn’t get too worked up, we can correct her with an immediate SHH! and NO!, and she will calm down in a few minutes. We make sure to correct it at just the right time–sometimes even at the exact same time that she’s crying. The only caveat is that if she starts to REALLY cry and do her little howl, we know she has to go to the bathroom. We’ll take her right out, and make sure that it’s a potty break and not play time. When we come back inside, it’s straight back into the playpen. She has caught on to the “I don’t get what I want when I cry” lesson pretty quickly, but it took some patience early on.

    Also, we make sure to give Scout some supervised time outside of her crate in the morning before we put her in the playpen. In this way, we’re rewarding her for being good in her crate, and giving her some freedom. I hope this helps! Good luck with Zeno!
    -A

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