Monday, December 6, 2010

Lola and The Doggie Door

My dad decided to try a doggie door for Otis and Bear this winter.  It is much easier than opening the door every 5 minutes letting them in and out and in and out.  I think many of you know what I am talking about.  None of the dogs, including Lola, have ever used a doggie door.  So it required some teaching.

I stood outside and my dad was inside.  We showed helped each dog through the door and they all got it.  Well kind of.  Bear figured out how to go in and out.  But he had some issues getting back inside through the doggie door.  It was hard for him to push himself up on the ledge and then through the door.  But he could do it if he needed to.  Otis had a few more issues.  If we pushed the door open for him, he would go in and out.  But he would not use the door if he had to push it open.

And then there is Lola.  She had it down after a couple of times.  She loved it so much that she would stand with half of her body inside and half out.

She was content.  She could be in both places at once, no matter where the action was.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lola and Bear - Part 2

Here is what happened the second time Lola and Bear met.

When we get to my dad's house everybody is excited.  Lola can't wait to see her Otis and my dad, and Otis is excited to see me (and kind of excited to see Lola).  And now add Bear into the mix, who is excited because there is a new person and dog.  We knew from the get go, that we both needed to watch Lola and Bear closely.  We did not want anything going on. We let them smell each other and could tell immediately, that they were both acting uneasy.  (My dad and I both know Lola's queues and could tell she was uneasy.  Which is not a normal thing for her)

We finally realized Otis was not helping the situation.  (Poor Otis, he is stuck in the middle.)  He was somewhat excited about what was going on and that seemed to make Bear and Lola more excited.  We moved Otis inside to see what would happen. Lola and Bear sniffed each and then just left each other alone.  One step in the right direction.  Or so we thought.

Later, Lola and Otis were chasing the ball.  They both love this.  And while we were throwing the ball, Bear started getting excited.  He started getting into the mix.  As he was doing this, we realized he was very uneasy about Lola and Otis playing.  And it got to the point where started going after Lola in an aggressive manner, and we had to separate them. Bear seems to think that the playing is aggressive and reacts as it is an attack of some sort.

After this happened, we decided that we needed to try something different.  So we decided to take them for a walk together.  This actually went really well.  They would walk right next to each, bump in to each other, and even have there noses touching while they were smelling things on the ground.  And there were no problems.  And neither one was nervous.  Both were very happy to be on a walk.

Going forward, we will keep working on getting these two more comfortable with each other.  We think walks are a good way to start and work from there.  But we know it it will be an on going process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lola and Bear (Mr. B) - Part 1

I introduced Mr. B to all of you a few weeks ago.  And first things first, Mr. B has been given a new name, Bear.  I am not sure where Bear came from, but he is responding to his name and seems to be fine with it.

If you remember, Lola and Bear were not fast friends.  When we first met Bear he was nervous and unsure of Lola and went at her a couple of times.  And then it starts to snowball.  It is strange though, because this has never happened with Lola before.  She has always been good with other dogs.

I think it comes down to Bear never really being socialized with other dogs.  (Obviously not his fault.)  99% of the time he is good with Otis,  but I think part of that is Otis. Otis is such a low key dog, and for the most part could care less out about other dogs.  But when Lola gets mixed in, aka high energy, we think Bear is overwhelmed and does not understand that Lola and Otis are playing and not being aggressive.  And when Bear sees it as aggression it leads to Bear snapping and going at Lola and then it snowballs.

So over the past month, Lola and I have made a couple of visits to the crew.  And it has been interesting. 
Come back tomorrow for the story of the second time they met.  (It would be a really long post if it were all in one.)

And now the picture.  If you notice, Bear has now taken over the couch and will not give it up, and Otis is stuck on the floor.