Molly’s Diary – Week 1

August 21, 2016

Let the fun begin!

Now that Mitch is two years old, we decided it would be a good time to add a new puppy to our family. Her name is Molly; she is a very cute 9-week-old black Lab. She is very sweet and after a supervised introduction at our home, we are happy to see that she and Mitch get along really well and are going to be great playmates!

For the first week, we let Molly settle in without starting any training with her. We did, however, introduce her to her crate right away. To help make her crate a happy place to be, Molly is fed all of her meals in there.

We have decided to use two crates, one in our kitchen so that when we can’t supervise her she can be in her crate and still be among us as we go about our daily routines. The other one is upstairs in our room, alongside the bed. This has worked out well as we are able to hear her when she wakes up during the night ready to go to the bathroom. We can get her outside quickly and reward her for going, and there is no clean up for us. She is only able to wait around 3 hours in between potty breaks at the moment, but she does her business quickly and goes straight back to bed with no problem.

The first night when bedtime came around, Molly did cry in her crate. This is understandable as she was used to sleeping with her mother and litter mates before we brought her home. To help with this, I put one of my t-shirts (it had been worn) into her crate with her. This seemed to comfort her and she soon snuggled up and settled down to sleep. She has been great since. On the night that we had a thunderstorm I played Through A Dog’s Ear quietly on my iPad; Mitch finds it relaxing. He and Molly then slept soundly through the storm.

Now that Molly has made herself at home and is comfortable, it’s time to introduce some training. Armed with my clicker and some of Molly’s kibble from her daily ration, I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and watch out of the corner of my eye, knowing that Molly has followed me and will inevitably sit down at my feet any minute now.

I wait for a minute – there it is, her butt touches the ground – “click.” I hand her some kibble and so the “Sit” behavior is in progress. I am repeating this with Molly 2–3 times during the day. She is a quick learner. Another thing we have began teaching her is to touch the hand target – this will then be used to teach Molly to come when called.

Other things we have been working on during the past 2 weeks:

  • Potty training – Molly is starting to learn that she should go to the bathroom outside and is letting us know when it’s time.
  • Drop it – teaching Molly that not everything is okay for her to have in her mouth.
  • Food bowl exercises – to prevent future guarding and to learn that a hand coming towards her food bowl is a good thing.
  • Settling in her crate – when I leave Molly to go out she looks forward to a special treat of a KONG which has been frozen with a smear of peanut butter in the middle.
  • Getting ready for the vet – Molly did very well at her visit with Dr. Rob Sanfillipo on Wednesday. She had her shots and still loves him.

Some things Molly has been working on:

  • Playtimes with her big brother are the best thing ever.
  • How to get up the stairs on her own at 7 weeks of age.
  • How to get back down the stairs at 9 weeks of age.

Check back each week to see what Molly has been up to and what new things she has learned!