training

Niva, So Far

We’ve had Niva a little over a month now, so I thought it would be fun to put my thoughts into a post on how she’s doing.

Husky and girl laying in grass together

Niva is a really wonderful dog. I feel like I could just end the post there, ha! She has a great, friendly, and fairly submissive temperament. She’s not even slightly sassy. She’s all sweetness! 

Niva is amazing and very patient with Sadie, and it’s such a blessing and a relief to know they get along. 

Husky and toddler laying together

Sometimes I can’t believe she’s still a puppy at only nine-months-old because she’s pretty well behaved!

Yes, she sometimes jumps when she’s excited, pulls on the leash when we walk, does some hardcore begging/food smuggling, and occasionally knocks Sadie over in the yard, but she hasn’t chewed much, doesn’t need to be crated when we leave the house, and is relatively calm for a puppy. 

Husky and girl sitting in grass

We brought her home on a Monday and she went into her first heat on Thursday. So glad that’s done and very thankful for hardwood floors!

She also escaped our fence twice in less than 24 hours when we first brought her home. Since then, she hasn’t escaped anymore, though! She caught on quick with house training, which was surprising (in a wonderful way!) since she had never lived in a house until she came home with us. 

Black and white Siberian husky

While huskies are known to have a high prey drive with small animals like cats, she has been very good with Malcolm. She definitely likes to hunt, though. Last week she caught and killed a bird in our yard and was casually eating it. 

I’m not sure if I have any big plans with her as far as showing her/training her to be a therapy dog/etc. She’s pretty big for a husky, at a little over 50 pounds and less than a year old, so I don’t know if she fits the breed standard for showing. She is beautiful, though!

Black and white Siberian husky with blue eyes

As far as training, I definitely want to do some obedience classes with her once things are re-opened from COVID-19, but I’m not sure if we will pursue therapy dog work. She absolutely has the temperament to be a therapy dog, but huskies are a lot harder to train than other breeds. They definitely have a mind of their own! We will see.

In the meantime, she has become such a source of joy to our family and has healed my heart in so many ways since everything that happened in the past several months with Lola and Mavis. I’ll never be able to replace those two, and we didn’t adopt Niva as a replacement, but she has been absolutely amazing. I guess this post was just a longwinded way of saying that I’m really thankful to God for our sweet pup and that we all love her a whole bunch 🙂

Mavis at Five Months

Mavis is five months old today!

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

She is growing like a weed! As I mentioned in a previous post, Mavis is almost the size of my parents’ adult cocker spaniel, so Jimmy and I are thinking she’s going to be a big girl. Just the other day, I ran into one of my clients and he said Mavis’ paws look like big snow balls. I was cracking up!

New Things

  • She’s losing teeth left and right. Earlier this week, I noticed her front canine teeth were both loose and by the end of the day they were gone. So weird!
  • She now knows: sit, down, leave it, park it, sit-stay, down-stay, and come.
  • To earn her food each day, she works on her commands and does puzzles like this one, or uses this food dispensing ball.
  • She is getting much better about being held since the attack. YAY!
  • She did well during her first trip to the groomer. They told me they were just going to bathe and trim her to see how she would do, but gave her a full cut since she was taking it in stride.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

Likes

  • Food of any kind
  • Chasing leaves
  • Playing fetch
  • Playing with Malcolm
  • Snuggling with Lola
  • Meeting new people
  • Pet sitting with me–she runs straight to the other dogs instead of cowering in fear like she used to!

Hard Things

  • Some nights she gets up once or twice to go to the bathroom, but that usually happens only once or twice a week.
  • She’s amazing off-leash in our yard, but has chased a rabbit twice and I thought I lost her. We are working hard on a solid recall and I’m begging Jimmy for a fence. Right now, I either have to watch her like a hawk or put her on a tie-out.
  • She can now jump on the couch, which she’s not allowed to do. She still does it all. the. time.

Golden retriever puppy and cocker spaniel puppy

Happy Things

  • I love taking Mavis to work (pet sitting) with me. It really tires her out, she and the other dogs get socialization, and it’s fun to bring her along.
  • Lola and Mavis now share a crate (Lola was never crate trained, but loves Mavis’ crate) and it’s adorable to see them snuggle.
  • Mavis is doing well in her training classes and graduated puppy level I a few weeks ago. The trainer is helping us to focus her training towards therapy work, which is really fun to learn and practice.

Petco Positive Dog Training Level I Graduation

I think that sums things up. Mavis is such a sweet, happy pup and I’m so glad she’s part of our little family!