I thought I would just do a little post about how Olivia has been.
- Dog Fight -
So the first thing I wanted to update is about the dog fights that my dog and her "brother" had been having previously.
So great news! No more fights between them, and Olivia is back to her old self. I have no clue what was going on but after a month she's not been challenging or fighting at all. Both of the dogs have been play fighting and roughhousing just fine as well.
Things are back to how they were with my dog pestering (we are working on this) her "brother" and he has asserted himself back as the dominate one. Last month I noticed he refused to appropriately correct her after the fights occurred, but he seems just fine now. She takes the corrections appropriately as well.
So all in all I think it must have been a brief period (she just turned one) of challenging him, but it seems the order has been fixed and all is good.
- Leash Manners -
So I did post about my dog having poor manners after around a year of walking (since she was 4 months old) and things are going well!
I bought a Lupine No Pull harness as a last effort before trying some methods I wanted to stay away from. Guess what? It works!
I still use treats while walking and I do leash correct her when she's being crazy. Seems both of us are way happier. I think she likes the directions she gets (she loves to please) and I love not getting my arm yanked off! It was a bit awkward at first since the harness makes her walk funny when she pulls (like she has three legs) but it seems to have done the trick!
My dog has never been one who just listens with commands or treats, she has to have some sort of consequence with things. I know that sounds weird but if you met her you'd understand. So having something to remind her when she's out of line has helped us both out tons! She seems much happier on her walks now!
Shes already walking at my side 90% of my time now, I let her sniff flowers and such for however long she wants so sometimes flowers are more interesting then staying at my side. Fair enough since it's her walk, not just mine.
Overall the harness gets a 9/10 from me. Only reason for not getting a 10/10 is because I think the harness could trip her, or hurt her leg badly if she hadn't stopped pulling. I like it, and it's the best harness we've tried.
- Couches -
So this is not something I've actually touched on, but here goes nothing!
So my dog has a habit of eating everything she sees. Plastic, paper, soccer balls, couches, etc.
We recently brought in a new/old couch (almost 20 years old) and my dog when she was little ate our loveseat made of leather. I didn't reprimand her hardly at all and so I blame myself for this issue we are going through.
So I left home to go to my dads for a night as I do every 2 weeks (my mom takes care of my animals while I'm gone.) I get a text that my dog has eaten part of the leather couch, and I come home and she ate 1/4 of the cushion!
My dog does miss me when I'm gone since I'm definitely her person by all means, I'm the only one who can get her to listen 90% of the time. However my dog has never been one I've pegged as having separation anxiety. Heck I left for 1 whole week for a law enforcement career camp and she was super happy to see me when I came home, but she wasn't destructive at all.
I heavily discourage her chewing on the couches for obvious reasons, but specifically the leather couch. She already has a "dog couch" of our other leather couch, so I was hoping she'd leave the other one alone. I don't care as much when she gets the cloth couch (since I can sew it) but I can't sew leather! So now the cushion is part Monster High duct taped.
We were using bitter apple spray (I doubted it would work in the start) worked for one day, then she liked the taste of it. Moved on to using diablo tacobell hot sauce, worked for a week then she likes the taste of it. So now I'm at the point of just keeping an ear open to save our couch.
So anyways we are working on getting her to stop eating the couch and she has been better. If I see her eating/chewing/licking it then I will tell her to leave it. She usually comes over pretty submissively and cuddles, she doesn't like getting in trouble (I don't hit my dogs, she just doesn't like my tone I guess.) Then leaves the couch alone for the time being. I usually give her a chew toy or something after.
I'll update if she eats the entire couch or if it survives.
- Food -
So we've switched a lot on food for this girl. I'm 16 so I make decent income for my age (I don't have to pay rent, or other bills) so I pay what I need for her food.
So initially when I first got her I feed her kirkland puppy (which I'm sure is not healthy.)
Then I switched to Orijen puppy food. Which she did great on, and her poop was solid and all that. However when we switched her to the adult formula we put our other dog on it. He got itchy skin, flakes, constipation, and a few other things. So we ended up switching later on because of this.
So we switched to Acana which I was hesitate about because the ingredients weren't as good as Orijen. However it turns out she does great on it! Her appetite is that same (shes still a pig for anything that she can eat) and her poop is solid, black, and small. Which is way better then even Orijen. The only one she can't have is the fish one, for whatever reason fish makes her have to go every 3 hours.
So now I'm thinking of just going all out raw. I have to do a bit more research but I'm just not super happy with the food I feed even if it is one of the top brands. I put more thought into my dogs food then I do my own haha. So that's the next step after Christmas break. If it's more then $70 a month I may discontinue it and move back to kibble, we will see.
- Attitude/Agression -
So this girl has come so far!
When she was little I kid you not at 2 months old she would bite me. Not playing, not landsharking, but full on I'm going to harm you. With lots of work she has grown into a much less fearful dog, who does not try to bite me when I brush her, or pet her. Ya you heard that right when she was a teeny 11 pound 2 month old she would bite me for petting her.
We believe she was not handled or socialized to people or dogs in her first 2 months of life. All the puppies were shy and pressed up against the kennel and had not want to play or interact with people. They could not pile high enough on eachother on the very back on the kennel. She is a rescue so not a breeders fault.
So now she loves attention! She's not the kind of dog that wants to cuddle with you, shes more of a lay at your feet kind of girl, has been since she was 2 months old. If I say "come give me a hug" she'll cuddle right up and press against my body and give me kisses. Same thing if I say "come give me kisses."
She loves playing games, I'm constantly having to come up with new ones for her. We do tugging, staying and tossing a toy in the air, find it, dig, let go (in terms of tugging), and of course fetch! These are just the ones we've done in the past week, trust me their more!
The other day I picked her up to weigh her (the vet stresses her out, so I weigh her one a scale while I hold her) and she let me! My dog has never liked getting picked up (when she was little she'd try to bite my face) and she has officially now trusted me to pick her up!
At first she was a little unsure of me picking her up (a small growl, not aggressive) then after I assured her it was ok she just let me lug her around. After she knew what I was doing she just stayed still for the whole minute I picked her up for! So proud of this girl! She weights 61 pounds right now on an empty stomach!
- Visitors/Strangers -
So if you followed our previous account you'd know my dog is not socialized (we are still working on this) and hates strangers coming into the house.
So in October I sat with my dog during Halloween with lots of treats. She barked at the first visitor, and after words would come to me on command! No barking at all! My mom had full conversations with people while Olivia was still clearly nervous she trusted me to keep her safe. It was wonderful!
Now when we have people knock she will bark to let us know, but as soon as I pull her away she knows the drill! It's been so nice to say the least!
The other day my brother had a friend over and so I kept Olivia in my room. My brother and his friend talked loudly and screamed and she just layed down and took a nap! It was lovely! I only used 3 treats or so throughout the whole 4-5 hours he was there!
On our walk a few days ago she was 2 feet(!) away from a MAN (she doesn't like men) who was talking loudly on the phone and slamming his car door shut and you know what she did? NOTHING! It was amazing! Normally when someone talks she starts to low growl or bark and she did nothing this time! I called her back softly and she couldn't have cared less about the guy!
On our hikes she does amazing (always has in stores/hikes) we can be 1 inch literally away from someone and she doesn't care. She just wants to continue hiking.
- Breed -
So I've been gathering what I think her breed is now and here are my guesses. She's getting a DNA test this summer (I have to get a summer job first) so I'll update then for sure.
Obviously she's part German Shepherd (I'm 100% sure on that)
I'm 90% sure she's part Labrador
I'm also 90% certain she's part husky
She also I'm sure has way more but these are my almost positive guesses.
I'll have to record her sometime but she talks, argues (constantly) and howls. She has endless energy no matter how many miles we go, and can run super fast.
I know these may sound like GSD things but I assure you it is very husky not GSD. If she's not part husky I'll have to start questioning everything in existence. If she is indeed that would explain ALOT of behaviors that we had/are having issues with.
Funny thing was is that the only breed I didn't want as a first time dog was a husky mix. I think I've jinxed myself haha.
I think that's all I can think of for now. If you have any topics or questions I'll update those to!
Here's her instagram in case you don't know what she looks like
All in all I'm 100% proud of this girl!