Pixel is an amazing puppy, sweet as can be, likes every person & every dog & just is full of personality. She is also an extremely high energy puppy & very smart, both of which have made training her challenging. I have also made some mistakes along the way. These factors are what led me to decide to hire a trainer to help both of us!
Here’s what we needed/need to tackle:
- Housebreaking: We’ve had some difficulty with this because I let Pixel use wee wee pads for too long due to the bad winter here in New York. This meant that she never had to learn to hold it, so she didn’t grow her bladder. Now at 9 months, we are doing what should have been done at 5 months, but, better late than never!
- Leave It/Drop It: Pixel likes to pick up little treasures she finds on the streets. In the city, that can mean many things. Her favorites seem to be chewing gum (I had no idea so many people chewed gum & spit it out on the sidewalk!) and cigarette butts. But she is willing to give anything a try – she is a pug, after all!
- Jumping: As mentioned, she loves EVERYBODY & she wants to play as soon as she sees anyone. Most kids that see her want to say hi, and I really didn’t want a dog that knocked little kids off their feet. Not a way to be popular in the neighborhood!
Of course there are other things we want to work on, but those are the majors. After two sessions with Jenny at Give Paw Dog Training, we have made some great progress. The housebreaking has remained challenging, but we are slowing expanding her hold time, but Pixel has really taken to the drop it/leave it in exchange for tasty treats. Since pugs are so food oriented, the will pretty much do anything for a tasty treat.
During our last session, we learned some leash walking techniques. I know what you’re thinking, you just put the leash on and walk – if only it were that easy! First, Jenny had us switch to a front clasp harness which immediately helped with Pixel’s tendency to pull. Then we worked on me keeping Pixel’s attention while we walked, so she didn’t pick up everything on the street. See us in action below:
We are making great progress, although my little puglet is definitely filling out a bit!
Yesterday I was outside in the front area with Pixel and she picked up a rock in her mouth. This happens roughly 9 thousand times a day (I’ve learned to carry tissues with me so I can wipe my hands I have to put my fingers in her mouth so often).
At that moment, this guy walks by and stopped to look at her – “That’s the problem with puppies, you need to muzzle her” he says to me. I do not judge those that choose to muzzle their dogs, I don’t know why they are doing it, but i will give them the benefit of the doubt that they felt it was the only & best option.
I will not muzzle my dog. One, she’s a pug – a notoriously gentle breed; two – she’s a puppy, this is what puppies do – it isn’t about aggression, it’s about diligence; and three- how the hell do you muzzle a short nose dog anyway?!
Seriously, put a muzzle on it!