Category Archives: Puppy problems

Wake up, wake up, wake up!

I am not a morning person.  I like to wake up slowly and without a lot of noise.  I need a cup of coffee (or two) before I can form a coherent sentence.  My family knows this, even Maisie and Annie know this.  Annie learned to embrace Maisie’s habit of sleeping in. Up until 6 months ago, we all had a very peaceful morning routine. And then along came Winn…NewfGirlsWeb-125

I knew the first few months with a puppy would be rough.  Puppies have a lot of demands and need constant attention.  I was thrilled when I woke up one morning and Winn had slept all the way through the night!

For the first couple of months we kept her in a crate at night and she would wake up around 5:30 or 6. I learned that I had a few minutes to gather my wits when she would start squawking while playing with a toy. She was between 4 and 5 months old when we decided to let her try sleeping outside her crate.  Overall, it’s gone very well.

As Winn has gotten bigger, she has also gotten more rambunctious in the morning.  Most mornings I wake up to two huge paws slamming down on the bed somewhere near my chest.  She will start to pull herself up and with that comes the bony elbows, usually in my gut.  Before I know it, she launches her heavy body on top of me and starts snuffling my ear and kissing my face. She’s huge, her paws are huge and her head is bigger than mine.  It’s a lot to take in for anyone, much less a non-morning person like myself. It’s also impossible to ignore her. She pounces around and it’s like having a toddler jumping on the bed, singing “wake up, wake up, wake up”!IMG_3428

On many mornings, my husband (who is a morning person) will let her out and then Winn will come bounding upstairs for round 2.  While she’s waiting for the magic hour of breakfast time, she will repeat the process of the paw slam, the bony elbows and the body launch only this time she will snuggle up next to me, roll over onto her back and wave her legs around.  While she’s wiggling around and waving her legs she makes all kinds of noises that I assume are commands to “rub my belly, rub my belly, rub my belly”.

Poor Maisie, she’s not a fan of this wake up call either but Annie, who doesn’t want to allow this crazy puppy to get all of my attention, usually rushes over and begins barking in my face. It’s hard to remember the days when it was just Maisie and I, staggering down the stairs together and taking our sweet time getting ready for a new day. This is my alarm clock now and as aggravating as it might be, I also love being greeted in the morning by these two enthusiastic girls. It’s time to get up and face the day!IMG_3379

It all started with the newspaper…

Bailey was my first Newfoundland and she loved to work.  I taught her to bring in the paper and this was her daily job.  Her ritual was to bring in the paper after breakfast, the reward was her dessert.  Believe me, if I waited too long to open the door, she let me know!  When the paper was late, there was no relaxing until she heard it hit the porch.

I noticed early on that Winn exhibited many of the same personality traits and this is one of the first things she learned.  Since we don’t get the paper daily anymore, training opportunities were sporadic. I worked with her 3 or 4 times and it didn’t seem like she was getting it, I assumed she was too young.  About a week after our last attempt, I opened the door to bring in the mail and completely unprompted, she spotted the town paper, raced down the steps and grabbed it to bring it into the kitchen.  I couldn’t believe it!

14 week old Winn learns to bring in the paper:

The trouble is that once she figured out that she got treats for bringing in the paper, she began bringing me other things that she found around the house.  Close to meal time, she will sneak off and find things to bring to me in hopes of getting a tasty reward.

Empty food bags or containers:

Boxes intended for recycling:

Treasures stolen from the kids’ rooms:

Water training items:

Things that I set down while doing a task (a remote, a stir stick and packing tape).

And most obviously, empty food and water bowls:

Oh, what have I done!

Please don’t smack me in the face

and other things I say to my puppy.

I love Winn’s huge paws, but good grief it hurts when she pounces on me when she’s hungry.  She tends to do this in the morning, after she goes outside to do her business.  She will come up to me, crawl across my chest and take one paw and hit my face.  Then she will get closer, essentially pinning me down and smother me with kisses.  It’s very sweet but too much the first thing in the morning and I’m encouraging her to stop with the smacking!

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My view every morning.

What’s in your mouth? I must say this 10 times a day.

Where did you go? I taught her to bring in the paper which she loves to do because then she gets a treat.  She can be very quiet when she wants to be and will sneak off, cruising around, looking for something to bring to me to get my attention and to hopefully get another treat.

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She goes looking for socks, and is always so proud when she finds one.

I try to give her other jobs to stimulate her working dog desire to bring me things.

And finally, please, please stay out of the paint!  We seem to always have a project going on, and often times paint is involved.  Her affinity for paint started when we were at my mom’s house and I wrote about painting with a puppy.  This summer we have been touching up the paint around our back deck and she found a plastic container filled with paint that had been placed among other paint cans.  I had let her out while I was in the kitchen making my breakfast. In just short of 2 minutes, she made a colossal mess!

Do you catch yourself saying funny things to your dog?