Friday, January 28, 2011

Adjusting to a new life

Sunni's first time out in the field,  on a foggy morning  walk.

Sunni meets the retired gang on the other side of the fence - they're grumpy.  But she was right back at the fence two seconds after this!

Another walk in the afternoon - Sunni found the tunnel.

This little gal is quite a powerhouse for such a baby


What a happy face!

There are so many adjustments to life with a new puppy - and it is mostly for the puppy!  Since Sunni was born in the winter in Canada,  she has grown up inside because  it's too cold to go out!  But this little girl is not bothered by anything and is a brave explorer.  In the morning I took Sunni  for a walk out in the agility field and the yards around the house.  She got to meet the retired gang through the fences and I let her play with Flint just a little inside the house.  I don't let my puppies mingle with the adults for quite a while.  The number one reason is I want the pup to bond to me and not the other dogs.  I am not raising a pet, I am raising a partner.  And I don't want the puppy to terrorize the adult dogs either.  It's not fair to them.  I will give her some limited time with other dogs.  She will  learn her social graces and be socialized, but until she learns that I am the most fun and important thing on the planet,  her time with other dogs is limited.  And really, I am a lot of fun :-) 

The first few days with my new puppy is about bonding.  She did have to stay in an expen for several hours.  This was the hardest thing for Sunni.  She just traveled from Canada to California, got separated from her litter mates and the humans she was used to,  and she is not used to being alone.  I did put another dog in a crate near her, but it is still a huge adjustment.  I did this several times during the day.  She wasn't very happy about it and is quite vocal!  But such is life little one.  Of course she was really glad to see me when I came to let her out and we played and I took her for more exploring around the place.  Bonding!

I have never had a winter puppy before.  Sunni was raised inside so she was used to going on papers.  So I got some of those puppy pads.  This is a new experience for me and so far I like it.  You know, getting up in the middle of a winter's night and going outside with a puppy that isn't used to going potty outside  - well, you could end up being out there in the cold for a long time LOL!  So the pads are working great for that.  And Sunni is pretty good about finding them.  For an 8 week old puppy it is pretty amazing really.  Of course she is just an infant and piddles happen.  I bought a lot of paper towels :-)  Right now I won't say anything about an accident off the pads.  In a bit I will just catch her in the act and put her on the pads.  As soon as she gets out of her crate I put her on the pads and of course praise and reward when she goes there.  When she is loose in the house I watch her constantly.  Sunni is easy to predict when she has to go - she gets very busy and starts sniffing and looking around.  When I see her do that I take her to the pads.  She must always be in the same room I am in.  If I can't watch her every second,  she goes in her crate.  No unsupervised puppies  - ever.  I'll update on the potty training as she progresses.

I'm not going to do much else with Sunni for the next few days.  I am going to take a lot of pictures and enjoy every moment of the cuteness!  I am already in love with  this puppy!  I will write more about her personality and antics in my next post.