Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Lesson In Manners

As Samba's puppies grew she interacted closely with them and taught them some basic manners. We kept most of the pups but Gibson left us when he was twelve weeks old and we heard that he made the adjustment easily. The next to go was Gracie, but she was eleven months old when she went to her new home.
Many puppies and kittens are separated from their mother at six weeks and sometimes even earlier. They don't have the time to benefit from Mom's teachings. I personally think twelve weeks is a good age, but I've gotten puppies as young as four weeks simply because there were no other good options. Sydney and Mackenzie were six weeks old when they came to live with us. Their original owner wanted to get rid of the puppies and wasn't going to consider keeping them around any longer.

The girls are adorable and are getting along pretty well with the other dogs. We have a couple exceptions that we're working on. They are, however, little hooligans who need to learn some basic manners. Rob and I have been trying to teach them a few things, but they need to hear it reinforced by another dog. Sebastian has voluntarily taken on the job of teaching Syd and Mac how to be good little dogs.
The little girls have a nasty habit of jumping in the faces of the other dogs. None of the others like it, but they've been very patient. I've been correcting them when they do this, but they really needed a dog to tell them to stop. In the last few days Sebastian has decided to teach them.
Here they are greeting Fudge and Sebastian in the back yard.
They immediately started jumping all over Sebastian.
First he warned them to stop, but when they didn't heed the warning, he decided to convince them. Some of these photos may look scary, but we watched closely and he not only didn't hurt the puppies, they never even squealed. What's more, they came back for more.

He actually has Syd's head in his mouth, but he didn't hurt her. He did exactly what a mother dog would do, took her head and firmly pushed it down to show dominance.
These two are tough and didn't give up easily, so he repeated the lesson until he got the result he wanted.

Finally, submission.

 OK, now that you know your place in this pack, we can play.
All in a day's work.
Sebastian's lessons are starting to pay off. The girls are beginning to show some respect to the older dogs and though they forget now and then, they are starting to be calmer and easier to live with. Thank you Sebastian, you're a good foster dad.


rottrover said...

Sebastian! What a guy!! You appreciate what good fortune it is to live at chez portie, and you want the girls to be respectful as you have. Can you come visit us? Otto may need an intervention!!


SissySees said...

I call Sissy Sis-ma, because she's a natural, and so benevolent. Sebastian is clearly Dad-Seb, because he doesn't get hung up on the tolerance part the way Sis-ma did - and still does. I'm so glad he - and the pups - found you.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the surpising ones make the best parents, its good the girls have some to watch over them and they can look up to for advice, Hummmm that Sebastin is quite a catch!!!!

Your Pals
The Mad Scots

Marjie said...

Hooray for Sebastian. He is a wonderful guy; you are so lucky that he found you!

Jan said...

I love how dogs are not the slightest concerned with positive reinforcement.

gMarie said...

I'm glad that Sebastian has volunteered to teach them. He isn't the new pack leader, however, right? Didn't Norma Jean win that election?

Maybe they are creating sub-packs. Will they do that? Anyway - I'm glad they are learning manners and how to be good dogs. And I agree 12 weeks is just about the right age. We got Beau & Lucy and even Abby right at 7 weeks. g

Ruby said...

Yea Sebastian!! Now, can he come over here....Ma says I need some reminders...WHAT????

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Great to see the workings of the pack. Roxy grabs everyone by the throat skin, if any dog tries to correct her, she thinks it's a game. Mostly she plays with other puppies who play the same way! Bella and I, Daisy, have taught her not to play like that with us.

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

Tammy said...

Great series of pictures. Living in a small pack myself, it has been very enlightening seeing how they work things out. Sometimes it is hard to stay out of it. I really admire that you let this play out,and know the little girls will be far, far better dogs with these learned lessons. So many people would jump right in and 'save' the pups, and then they would wonder why their pups/dogs were such brats and then have serious fights on hand when the pups got older. ;-)

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Sebastian, you are taking care of the fatherly duties very well. Mom says she thinks between 10 and 12 weeks is a good time, but yes, there are exceptions. In your case, you at least have plenty of other dogs to provide the socialization that is so essential in those early weeks.

Tsar did a great job when he sent you Sebastian.

Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Piappies World said...

That's great work for Sebastian. Syd and Mac are lucky to have him around. Sometimes, we do have those within us Piappies but we only get the fun part. We still got to work on our discipline. Don't tell Piappies Mom we told you.

Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Max, Wai-Pai & Forgie

Jo's World said...

The very best dog we ever had (behavior-wise) was a Golden/Yellow Lab mix that stayed with her Mom until she was 12 weeks old. She was a beauty but more than that, the most mannerly dog I have ever known.

The Mom Dog does a bang-up job of teaching these little guys, just like Sebastian is doing.He found his job!

Jo and the petz

Molly the Airedale said...

Way to go, Sebastian! The girls will be thanking you one day!
Could you please come to our house and teach my sassy sissy some manners too, please?!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

How Sam Sees It said...

I always loved having an older dog to help teach the younger pups. Even housebreaking was so much easier. We do worry when Sam is gone - Monty is such a great goof. We hope he will step up in the role as big brother for the next pup that comes.


Kim said...

Good boy Sebastian! Every puppy needs a good uncle to teach them the ropes. And, oh my, those gorgeous puppies are growing up fast!

bichonpawz said...

Great Job Sebastian!! Sometimes it just takes a dog to show another dog!! They will learn...they are just takes a bit longer! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Well done Sebastian. Hey mate, can you come over here and sort Stella out. She's always jumping up and grabbing my chops and she thinks it's funny. Sigh. No worries, and slobber, Rory (and Stella)

The Race Against Time said...

Its a natural way with animals...even though it might look scary to some people, animals are the best teachers to their young. We as humans will never get it their way.

Seb is doing a great job... and how wonderful of him to take on the task of teaching the girls.

Syd n Mac are growing up beautifully!

charlie girl said...

I've been through this twice, and an older dog is wonderful for teaching manners. Good Luck Sebastion!

Life with Wrigs said...

Sebastian is such a patient, yet persistent teacher. He will turn those girls into model canine citizens. :-)

Susan and Wrigs

Lapdog Creations said...

Love all the playtime pics!