I wanted to share with everyone our first week with Brownie. I will continue to send little updates which will probably be just a little short email, but since this is his first week, there's so much to say! :) If anyone wants to be off "The Brownie update list", just let me know - Brownie and I won't be offended!
First, to summarize, we really love Brownie a lot! We've had some ups and downs with him but mostly ups! He is really great and we are so happy to have him.
We set up a lot of rules for him in the house which he seems to respond very well to. He is prety stubborn with "come" (he only comes halfway unless we have a treat lol) and we are still working on sit. We ignored him a lot the first couple of days and he seemed to do really well. He bonded to me very quickly (more than Scott) and was very comfortable with me by the second day. He snapped at Scott in the beginning when he put the harness on and bit him once (but not really a bite - just used his teeth gently to move Scott away). Now, however, Scott can put his harness on and do anything else to him, although he is still more bonded to me. He does seem to really like Scott though.
In the first couple of days, we had two scary incidents with him—probably because I pushed him too far too soon. Both involved him being in the crate and me putting my hand in there or taking something out of the crate. He went into a psycho frenzy of growling, lunging and teeth. To be honest, it was pretty scary and I knew I couldn't show him that by using that behavior he would get his way. We immediately changed some things we were doing with his toys and crate and claimed possesion over all of them. For a few days, we only let him go in the crate when we opened it and then made him wait until we said it was ok. I would basically sit on top of the crate and block it as if to claim it as my own.
Then, each time he went in, I would move his blanket for a second or touch him and then walk away. It really seemed to work with him and now we are able to let him in the crate when he wants and be able to take out anything in there or move him around. With his bones and toys, he knows we can take them anytime we want, as we worked on that too.
At this point, we can do anything to him. Today was his first bit of rain which he proceeded to run all over after drying him self. It was funny. He lets us dry him off and clean all his paws. I can roll him over on his back and rub his tummy. I also picked him up for the first time 3 days ago.
I also gave him his first bath in the tub! I was very proud of him. I put a bunch of treats in the tub the day before and let him jump in and out. The next day I did the same thing and closed the shower curtain and he stayed in there. I just used a bowl of warm water and an oatmeal and tea tree oil shampoo and made it as quick as possible and gave him treats throughout. I could see he was not thrilled but he did it and even waited until I said it was ok to jump out. After, he ran around the house like CRAZY and I realized why and was so proud of him. He had so much nervousness and pent up energy during the bath (even though I took him for a long walk right before), that instead of using it to be aggressive with me during the bath, he released it in a more positive way. (I know - I am such a proud dog mom! :-)
He is getting a lot better with walking on the leash and doesn't need as many corrections to just walk by our side. He also now waits to go to eat from his food bowl when we put the food down until we tell him and he waits for use to enter the house first.
He doesn't bother us while we are eating or beg for food - well... except for those eyes! We are feeding him one cup of dry a day (Innova) and we mix it in with his old food, and he also gets one "medallion" of Natures Variety raw frozen food which he loves. And of course, plenty of snacks!!!
So as for his health, we took him to the vet on Tuesday. He saw one of his new dog friends there which was nice. As I suspected, he pretty much freaked out on the examination table and they had to tie his muzzle shut with gauze and pin him down until he gave up. I remained calm as I knew what to expect from his early "episodes". He calmed down soon and did well.
He got a Leptospirosis vaccine and a heartworm test and tested his stool which came back negative. They did a skin scraping to make sure he didn't have mites, which he did not. He has been scratching all over (not crazy but definitely more than normal) so I hope he is not allergic to any of his food. They gave me Panalog cream for the redness/bumps under his neck, and that combined with leaving his collar and harness off in the house has been working great and it looks sooo much better. For his general itchiness, the vet said it could be seasonal allergies so we will try different things.
She gave him Temaril P which has seemed to help a lot although I am not thrilled with giving it to him as I hate giving him something with a corticosteriod. But he is on a small dose and will be tapered off slowly from it. It is helping so that's good.
He has been great with housebreaking and no accidents in the house...until yesterday. We were pretty upset (at ourselves) because we didn't realize he would have to urinate more frequently because of the medicine and he couldn't help it. We felt pretty bad that we didn't take that into account. Normally, he has never shown any inclination to urinating inside.
As far as leaving him in the crate when we leave it was going very well. We are very careful to make sure to ignore him a few minutes before we put him and and also when we come home and to do everything calm and quietly so he will not have separation anxiety. But recently, (and especially on days we spend lots of time together) he started whimpering or barking a bit when we walk out. We are pretty nervous about that as we want him to be calm and relaxed in the crate when we leave and not to have any separation anxiety. We always take him for a walk before he goes in. Leaving him with a greenies bone or other longer to eat snack seems to help and we also started leaving the radio on. If anyone has any suggetins with this or if we are doing anything wrong with it I would be glad to know. When I come home, he is so excited, and it takes all my energy not to run up to the crate, open it up and pet him like crazy. He is so happy and it is so cute. I really love him!
We have been going on lots of trips to meet other dogs and walk with them and he enjoys it a lot. When he is walking with another dog, his tail is up and wagging. Today, I am taking him on his first playdate with two dogs inside their house. We were going to go to the park first but it's a rainy crummy day! :( I will keep him on the leash at first there to make sure he doesn't urinate inside as there will be lots of doggie smells in there.
Wow... anything else! lol. That's it for now I think. Oh, and a few days ago he played with us for the first time! We threw his bone and he would run and get it and run all around us and roll over and have us pet his tummy and wrestle with him. It was s-o-o-o-o cute and funny. And by the way, everyone agrees that it seems like he is mixed with French bulldog.
Robyn, Scott & Brownie
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