Lainey! Levi!

We have our Lainey update from Cindy!

"It is so much fun to watch the development of these puppies! This has been an interesting week - Lainey is much more independent and vocal, fussing and talking to me when she wants something; and she is starting to bark:) She is growing and her short coat is now gray AND wavey.

She is still sweet and gentle, just more mature. She loves people but is somewhat reserved and a little fearful of strange dogs (barks at them when walking down the street, etc.)

We had a very fun reunion this last Sunday with our friends Peggy and Randy who also have a dog from M/A's B litter - as you can see from the picture we had all ages of berners here to play and we didn't even get 2 of them into the picture! All of the dogs had a great time despite the rain."

Love Lainey heart

Cindy -- what are you doing to help her be more comfortable when she sees other dogs?

And you are probably wondering who the heck Levi is -- well, he is from the E for East Litter so Asia's littermate and a full sibling to Zed, father of the plumpies -- did you follow that because there will be a quiz! His mom, Erin, sent this picture of him from when he was also a gray puppy...

Isn't that the sweetest picture?!

Hope your day is going well!!! Dear Husband is home with ALL the dogs today so think well-behaved thoughts for all them (the dogs, that is ;)...


by Barb on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:19

I'm looking at the group shot-how many of them are sitting the same with their legs turning out. The one with a lot of white-looks like Lainey! Who is that.? And Gracie 2nd from left with the man in red? So is the one on the end Bree? I recognize Mika, Heidi and Lainey of course.
I agree with the increasing independence!!

by cousin Julie on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:24

Thank you Cindy for the update and pictures. So happy for you. That picture of Levi just melts my heart to the point of tears. I have many pictures of my Berner with my son. My son is now 24 and my beloved Berner is gone, but these precious images live ive on...wish I could bury my face in the furry nap of his neck and thank him again - the dog not the son....well, the son too....

by cindy heintzberger on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:41

looking at the picture - left to right - Skye , Gem, Hannah, Heidi, Lainey, Mika (Skye and Hannah are littermates 6 mos. old and Gem is their Mom) Gracie and Bree wouldn't cooperate...

So far when meeting other dogs we are just backing up to give Lainey more "safe" space and are not pushing her at all, just letting her watch. We are not having luck with giving her treats when she sees other dogs yet as she is too nervous to take the treat. We will keep reinforcing the positive and letting her see lots of other dogs from her safe place at a distance. Any other ideas?

by Carol Kracht on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 18:50

Just my two cents...I would act completely happy, confident and cheerful around other dogs, I would walk her past the other dogs and just engage her in light happy talk even if she will not take food, I would not push her, but I would not let her out of it either, I would have as many friends with friendly dogs as possible come to the house and watch your other dogs interact happily with them (assuming they do? ) I would sit by dog parks on the outside of course, at dog training classes etc... , bring steak if you have to and hope she will take some treats, but I would NOT reward any backing away behavior- just ignore it if possible and if she makes even one attempt to move forward- click and treat or praise. When walking by barking dogs- don't stop and let her stare- redirect and keep going if possible- do not go over to the dogs, but do not run away either if possible. Lastly, you can ignore all this and just do what Mary Ann says to do! Grin.. She may be going through a phase- hope so as shy is my least favorite trait in any working breed, though I see it often in the "Doodles"- Golden Doodles, Labradoodles etc...but I also believe we have to work with what we get and no pup is perfect even these awesome, well socialized plumpies. Just don't give up and say "She is just shy"- makes me crazy when folks do that...You and she can work through this I am sure! Carol in CA- with Because of Dogs- working with folks and their dogs every day on things like this!

by Lisa K on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:43

What a wonderful group shot! And that last pic? Tears, of course! M-A, you have helped me into the weepy time of my life, apparently! ;-)

by cousin Julie on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 13:48

Cindy, where does Skye live? My son just met a berner named skye...just courious. My son is in southern california and the family is in aviation.

by cousin julie on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 13:52

Not the place aviation, the business...

by cindy Heintzberger on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 15:52

Probably not the same Skye... she lives in petaluma ca and her mom is ppa CPA.

by Jill on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 19:25

Thanks to all the plumpie owners for sending updates. The plumpies are adorable! I heart them and wish I knew how to insert a red heart.

by Elizabethanne on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 23:37

My guess is that when Lainey/Pippi will not take food it is because she is already over her threshold. I would not put her in a circumstance where she will not take food. Why not work her at a distance from dogs where she is comfortable? If it's a football field away right now, then so be it. What's the hurry, right? Maybe have her sit in the car and just observe what's going on around her. Throwing a dog into the deep end of the pool or flooding them is dangerous. Not only will it not work, but your pup will learn that you cannot be trusted to keep her safe. (Not saying you are doing this, by the way!) Being chill is a great strategy. Kay Laurence calls it "I'm not bothered." I think that phrase conveys the perfect emotion for the handler. Puppies often look to us for our reaction, if we're not bothered, they will see that. That assumes, of course, that you are working your dog at a distance at which she is comfortable. Floods - a bad fashion statement in pants and a bad strategy for training. :-)

by Marti Simons on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 08:44

I second what Elizabethanne says. If she won't take treats then turn around and walk the other way. And keep walking, thinking cheerful happy thoughts (anxiety goes right down the leash), I used to tell myself all the extra calories I was using up going further than I expected. ha ha! I know some people feel that turning and walking the opposite direction is rewarding the dog for barking, but once they stiffen up or start barking they are being flooded with adrenalin. They aren't in a thinking mode, and more barking is just going to ramp them up more so the best thing to do is remove them from the situation. When you think you are far enough ask her to sit and then treat her for sitting. The treat is really to see if she is thinking again. If she won't take the treat go further away. Etc. When you get far enough away you can play the bar is open/closed
game. When she can see the dog she gets treats, turn around walk away no treats. See the dog take a step treats the entire time, turn around no dog no treats etc.
Purna went through this stage as a young pup and she is totally fine with dogs now. Goes to daycare with me when she is not in season, and has even been used as a test dog.

by Carol Kracht on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 09:26

If you walk away every time she is afraid she thinks that is the right thing to do- .I do agree not to go up to the thing she is scared of, but stop at the thresh hold and work with her there or just walk on past at a distance, but not walk away.... If you have a kid who is afraid to swim do you just say ok and never ask him to try to at least put his feet in the pool?...Anyway, I know this is the age of never asking a dog or a kid to do much they don't want to do ( Yet, don't we all have to do some things we are afraid of?- that is real life and it helps to have a great mentor to show us the way) but I think a compromise can be just fine. I worked with horses long before working with dogs and if we just never asked the horse to move forward when they didn't want to we would never have moved at all in some cases, so each day we would ask the scared horse to do a little bit more, and generally he or she did....Anyway, I am sure it will all work out as Lainey is mentally a solid puppy and has had a great start in life- very important! Good dogs and good kids can come from lots of different upbringings and one must do what one is comfortable with as the dog will know if the owner is not happy with the technique-grin...Best wishes....

by Marti Simons on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:23

When the dog is barking and won't take treats it is over threshold, flooded with adrenalin and not thinking. Your choices are to hold your ground, the dog will likely keep barking and continue to over arouse. Move towards the other dog, flooding it further or simply pretend your plan was to turn around anyways and cheerfully walk in the other direction. I did this with my dog Purna for a brief period when she was a pup. If you are quick and your timing is good you can turn around before the dog over arouses and turn it into a game. If not you are not harming the dog. Forcing any animal to deal through fear, especially a young animal is not the optimum training tool in my book. I retrained several horses when I was younger and dealt with a lot of fear issues. Tiny steps before it is frozen. When frozen retreat. Worked for me.

by Cheryl Brickach on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 13:27

My now six month older Berner pup went through the same thing as a baby puppy. We tried not to make a big thing of it and also utilized puppy play groups - this allowed her to gradually get used to bigger dogs as she was also growing. Now that she's pretty big herself, she doesn't seem to have any type of dog fear any more. In fact, yesterday she got to be the big dog with a much smaller 4 month old Malinois and it was fun to watch the Mal overcome her fear with Zurri.

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