Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I'm on here for a hot minute, I might as well introduce the latest member of the family... Paya!

first day home, around 9 weeks
Paya lap.JPG

9-10 weeks
bed.jpg


14ish weeks
IMG_20210117_095036049.jpg


20 weeks
IMG_7345.JPG


Stinkin cute, isn't she? After raising Brae, Paya seems relatively tame. But she was the feistiest one out of her litter of nine. The rest of them slept on the foster's lap - she continued to parkour. "Not that one" I decided :). I originally was going to pick her sister, who showed great drive but a better off switch. On adoption day though, I didn't love her sister's structure in the rear. So we went for the crazy one with a heavy sigh. Well, I had all of Brae's equipment still ready. So crate, pen, drag line... everything is in play. She is overall less of a raw nerve than Brae is. But she is still a lot of dog. Like Brae, at 12 weeks of age was raring for more after 1 hour training/play sessions. 4 mile hikes? No drop in energy from beginning to end. Unlike Brae, she was able to hang out in a pen from day one, so some natural settling ability. Not great settling ability, but it's there. In contrast, an acquaintance of mine owns her brother and he's one of the laziest dogs she's ever met. So it just goes to show... I know how to pick'em :)

Paya's a joy to train and easy to live with after the first month of adjustment, mostly for me and my sleep schedule. The biggest barrier is Brae's medical issue (see other thread) so I am not letting them play and basically do two completely separate dog routines. The biggest things I will need to look out for as she matures is leash reactivity and over arousal. But she is so motivated that high value and flirt pole trump everything else in the world. Plus, I've been incredibly strict about her socialization so she hasn't gotten the chance to receive too much reinforcement from other people and dogs.

Training vids, of course:

excuse my expressions; I was trying to figure out if the camera was positioned correctly and filming



Those of you who remember me may understand when I say - she is my dream dog in many ways :) I know for sure with Paya and Brae my life will never be boring. And I am absolutely going to be clotheslined by a giant stick one day soon with both of them on the trail. Also, do not let me get another puppy for at least 6 years. Maybe 10. Also, my next puppy is going to have the energy and temperament of a potato.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,523 Posts
Such a sweetie! Is she another dutchie? I'm not great at the shepherds, especially as pups lol. Nice to see you again and hear an update!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all!

DaySleepers, she is not a shepherd but I have been asked by various strangers if she is a malinois mix, hahaa. I deliberately avoided getting another working shepherd. Don't get me wrong - I ADORE them and would like to have one in my life at all times. Just not two at once :D. I wanted a medium drive, medium size, female. I got at least two of the three criteria.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
6 months old, around 30 lbs. She is a GREAT little dog. Extremely responsive, but very alert and zippy. I've been allowing her and Brae to play indoors a few times a week, since Brae doesn't seem to get hurt if he doesn't do full-extension motions. It's great to see my strict routines pay off - first time in two months I let them play, I watched as they self regulated and mirrored for 40-50 minutes. I am still very restrictive with Paya's routine with Brae for many reasons, but I absolutely see the payoff week to week.


264267
264268
264269


Some things I adore about Paya -
She is extremely sweet! Brae is an apple pie, but in a very pushy and needy way. Paya is just sweet in the way you'd picture a sweet dog to be. I can physically do anything to Brae but he WILL escalate and think it's game time. I can flop down with Paya, pick her up, smother her, and she'll just melt and ooze onto my lap. She also does the frog leg thing where both her hind legs stick out while she's on her belly. ADORABLE.

She has a healthy balance of confidence and fear. Coming from having two males who were overbearingly confident (which has its perks too), it is refreshing to have a dog who will do appeasing wags and low-head face licks to a dog before going crazy on them, as opposed to my boys who would immediately go to posturing or pushy play. Paya has a cautiousness when approaching new situations but great recovery. As an example, she slowly backed away when I first whipped out a dog sleeping bag and pretty much tossed it next to her. But within 5 seconds or less she was crawling into it. Or when she met the vet for the first time, she immediately approached but was a bit cautious and then melted into the vet's hands. That 10% higher cautiousness or fear does lend itself to situations like - she did panic and lunge away when a blaring ambulance zoomed past us on a crosswalk (then recovered immediately, took treats, and kept walking like nothing happened). But fear is normal and she counts as the most fearful dog I've owned so far, and to any observer she still presents as a confident and over the top dog.

Bright, quick learner. There hasn't been a skill that she hasn't picked up in a few training sessions. She's a bit spazzy so this surprised me some. I am not formally training her nearly as much as I did my other two, but she did pick up on some complex skills like precise rear paw targeting.

She has a pretty alright off switch that is only getting better, and is an easy keeper in general. Paya graduated from pen to tether setup and she can tolerate any schedule with no difficulties. I can sleep in, I can give her a lot of exercise, I can give her a little exercise, and she will do normal puppy/adolescent stuff in her space or in her crate. She doesn't fuss. She doesn't get into things she shouldn't (on the confines of her tether), is house trained, and doesn't freak out as Brae moves around the house. In contrast, I couldn't tether puppy-Brae because he literally would chew on the chain tether -completely calmly- because anything and any material was game. I say "pretty alright" instead of "great offswitch" because I have SEEN puppies and dogs who are even better at settling. And for all that I just wrote, Paya is still vigilant. She will go from dead sleep to at least perking up if I, say, move from the living room to use the bathroom.

She's so freakin' cute.

-----------

Some behaviors I am looking out for -

Leash skills. She has always been showing steady improvement but of all the areas people generally work with their dogs on, loose leash walking has been the hardest. For Sor it was recall. For Brae it was settling. She actually walks great on leash, but it requires the most mental effort from me to keep the reinforcement high.

High arousal/prey drive to chase. All of my dogs have had high prey drive. It is high on my list of criteria when selecting a dog. But prey drive is so complex and different. Soro had very intense moments of high prey drive - tug and fetch, in that order. He could keep going and was still a 'play anytime' dog, but would show lower intensity as we played. And when he was done, he would be very relaxed and scent oriented. Overall, very easy to hang around outside. Brae is pure intensity and no satiation, but extremely focused. He could play with one toy forever and I have never seen him tire out on tug or fetch (but also in that order). Paya loves tug and fetch, like I can get her to play anytime. But her prey drive in general is less focused on one activity or object. She might go hard for one toy and then completely lose interest BUT not be satiated. I know her well enough now to know that she is seeking the next moving thing. So as an example, if I play fetch and tug with a soft roller disc, she is 100% into it but I stop the session purposefully after a few minutes. In contrast, I have not seen a satiation point for flirt pole - pure movement. So I can see where this can lead to trouble. I see the propensity for leash reactivity, running up to distractions from a great distance, etc. She has not been allowed to practice any of those behaviors, but I have worked extremely hard to keep it that way. I'm leaving room open for the potential that her prey drive may change as she matures. I can see her becoming a 'fetch crazy' dog. Her spring pole motivation has naturally gone up a tiny bit (but she's not into spring pole as much as Sor or Brae). But I also wouldn't be surprised if what I see is what I get when she matures.


Overall, she's absolutely fantastic. How I lucked out with 3 out of 3 dogs, I'm not sure. It is such a privilege being able to see a puppy grow up, see my hard work pay off, the whole nine yards. But, as I've said while raising Brae, I'm working HARD, and I know my criteria are sky high. If I look at my Brae thread I mention a few times how easy it was. This is not easy, even though I know what I'm doing. I absolutely think Paya is a very 'normal' high energy pup. But high energy and high arousal are still that.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top