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Discussion Starter #21
This week has seen some big changes for Percy. The biggest being that yesterday she was introduced to a litter of german shepard pups that are about 10 days older than she is. A friend of mine had two ready for me to pick up and take to a neutral spot - new to both Percy and the two pups. They said hi to each other in typical puppy fashion - let me get in your space and put my head on your shoulder and climb on you, and smell you. Her initial reaction surprised me - it was either fight or flight, and she chose fight. Well, at least to stand her ground. I never thought I'd see a 4.5 week old puppy bristle up, tail stiff and straight up, body totally stiff legged. But Percy was. My heart sank - the last thing I want is a reactive dog. So, I let the pups interact, occasionally I interceded if it seemed like Percy had no escape. It was a stressful day, but looking back over the videos I took I saw that. while she held her ground, she never over reacted. And the gsd pups seemed to know she meant business and left her alone, for a time, anyway. I have about 2 more weeks of (hopefully) daily visits and after that with the pup that the gsd breeder is keeping back. I am really grateful for this opportunity, after seeing how the lack of having littermates has affected Percy.

Today's puppy play date (training) went better. Still a fair amount of snappy attitude by Percy, but only if puppy teeth made contact with her skin. Otherwise she allowed for the pups to put their paws on her, put their faces in her face, put their head on her shoulder. Yesterday she'd have had none of that. She also had a couple of times where she initiated a chase or contact with another pup (usually short lived, but it was nice to see some confidence on her part).

She has not been as easy to get on dog food as I was hoping. Even moistened with goat's milk, chicken broth, canned puppy food. Last night I tried a different approach. I dumped all of Allie's food on the floor of the whelping pen and let Percy join her mother for a meal. That seemed to work well, so I will continue doing it.

Percy also mastered the stairs going in and out of the house - well, mostly, as much as a 4.5 week old pup can - up and down. I take her outside for potty breaks and for the most part have been able to manage that part of her life well.

She LOVES LOVES LOVES her pheasant wing. OMG. I don't think there is any need to worry that she won't like birds. Next week will be our introduction to a dead chukar and I am looking forward to seeing how that goes.

Looking forward to seeing what the next several days present to us. I know one thing, I wouldn't wish a singleton pup on anyone and sometimes I regret not putting her with another litter. Hopefully at the end of 3 months, I will change my mind, but overall I still feel that it would have been better for her to have brothers and sisters. (Sorry Allie)

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Discussion Starter #22
Day three of her 'pseudo littermate' introduction went better. She was still standoffish and snarly when teeth touched her, but she also 'tried' to play with her new buddies. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to expose her to some other puppies. She's a super confident, tail up kind of pup, so having access to these guys is really important. Today will be day 4. It was great to watch her try to pile up on the other puppies when they were sleeping. She was seeking physical contact with them.
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I agree with KwickLabs. Her interaction with older and bigger puppies seems to be on schedule and not worrisome. If she feels comfortable enough to lay down and sleep with them (sleeping is such a vulnerable state of body and mind), she is doing great? Plus she's such a dang nab cute butterball.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
She is definitely much improved in 5 days of exposure (basically about 10 hours total). She still doesn't really know how to play, but she tries occasionally. We will continue for as long as we can.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
6 weeks old.

As with any puppy, you'd expect a lot of changes in a week. Having a singleton, it seems like there are more things than normal. Some good, some not so goo, or at least that seem a bit more like a curve ball.

After 8 days of 'visitation' with her pseudo littermates, Percy has finally rounded the bend. Yesterday I really wondered if it would ever happen. I watched her interactions with the shepard pups and it seemed like no real progress was being made. Occasionally she would try to interact, but as soon as they tried to play back, she became reactive and snarly. I almost hung up the hat. Almost. The only thing that made me want to continue was watching her sleep with them. I felt like she wanted to be part of the litter, but just didn't know how, unless everyone was sleeping. LOL.

Today was a milestone breakthrough day. It was the first day I saw her just be a puppy when she was with the shepard pups. She raced around, she play bowed, she bit ears and tail and got bitten back. And NO snarling (not that I felt was because she was feeling threatened by them, anyway). It was such a huge relief to finally get this breakthrough and I am glad I chose to keep at it with her. I will continue this for her until the puppies are off to their new homes.

Potty training has been a breeze. She hasn't messed in the pen in a long time, except at night on the pee pad. She really sets up a racket when she needs to go outside, and fortunately I can tell she means 'business'. LOL

Weaning... ugggg... today... finally.... I feel like she ate enough solid food that she doesn't absolutely have to nurse, although I will let her tonight before we go to bed. Allie still likes to be with her and so I just keep the onesie shirt on during the day. It is good for Percy. I can hear them playing in the night and I know she is learning things from her mom that she would probably normally learn from littermates.

Also - started conditioning her to a reward marker and she picked that up quickly. Pretty fun to watch the lightbulb go on when she hears the word 'yes'. :) Finding a reward that worked was a bit of a struggle. A couple of days ago she completely turned her nose up at hot dog pieces. LMAO.

I will say one thing - this pup has no lack of confidence. Some pups show tentativeness when put into a new area or location. Not this one - all she wants to do is go check stuff out.

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