Yes, Elsa has been a dream dog. My husband and I were discussing this just last night. As I crawled into bed I noticed my sheepskin slippers that were between Elsa's legs on the floor. This of course was what instigated the conversation. At six months of age she had been given the run of the house; pretty amazing. She has not touched anything; this in itself is spectacular. She is much like Tilley in that Tilley never, would never, ever touch something that did not belong to her. So how has this happened again? How are we so lucky?
Training, right from the get go, I was Elsa's constant shadow. "Nope, not that; yes, you can have that." Feedback and redirecting to her two baskets full of toys. Even still with all of the training I thought that she'd do something. The only thing she has touched is a few pieces of stick from a fall decoration. But that one is understandable, she chews sticks in the yard.
So I stared at my slippers there between her legs; got up and tucked them under my night table. Why? I didn't want to jinx my little good as gold angel. But it gets better, oh yes............just the past few days I've seen some very cool stuff and I have to say that I am impressed. Yesterday I was mussing about the kitchen when a cutie orange rolled off the table. I had stuff in my hands so made a mental note to pick it up later. A bit later I came back into the kitchen to see Elsa standing staring at the orange. She looked at it, looked at me then back at the orange. I bent down and picked it up telling her what a good girl she was. I know that she was puzzled about this one; I've actually given her an orange to play with in the backyard. (We have an orange tree) I threw it for her until it was broken open and no longer useful as a ball. But this orange was in the kitchen and she knows that the kitchen belongs to me.
Later in the afternoon I went into my bedroom and as usual Elsa was following me. I went into the bathroom and when I came out Elsa was standing staring at something. I looked to see what it was. It was a water bottle cap that was just under the edge of the bed; clearly within her reach but she just stared at it. This time with the praise I gave her a reward for not eating it. What was going on? Was she showing me these things? I know she is crazy smart but has she taken it upon herself as a new "job?" Maybe.
As most of you know we have breakfast in bed almost every day. We share a snack with the dogs and it is a time that we all enjoy. Yesterday morning as I was heading out to the gym I noticed the breakfast tray that had been left on top of our hamper; it was nose level for a Standard Poodle. There were a few pieces of toast and cheese left on a plate. I decided to leave it and see. It was all there when I got home.
Then later in the day as I was tidying up I ran upstairs to find Elsa sitting in front of my husbands night table. She sat very still and stared straight. When I came in she looked at me and then back at the night table. There were treats on the night table, easily within reach once again. They were left there from the morning when Luke did not eat them. I praised her once again and this time she got several treats for not helping herself.
When you instill rules and regulations you expect them to be broken from time to time; especially by young rambunctious dogs. Elsa is really showing me her stuff now and I am truly impressed. She is smart as a whip; crazy smart is how I usually explain her intelligence level. We have been very lucky with Elsa but in all fairness to the work that I have implemented; there has been a great deal of rules and regulations implemented. Of course there are dogs who are much more difficult but that just means that you have to stay on top of them longer. Some dogs will always have a weak spot; be it the garbage, underwear or toilet paper.
Chewing things can be a very dangerous thing. It sort of goes with having puppies but if you give them enough of their own things and make it clear what is and is not to be touched; they eventually get it. Making everything clear is essential in the "this is mine" "that is yours," training. Black and white, dogs don't do well with gray. When you add a new dog to your home; get on the rules right away. Dog's do not come equipped with the knowledge about what they can chew and destroy and what they are not allowed to.
It is our job as a canine guardian; we need to teach them, instill the rules and regulations of living in your human world.