Today we’re definitely going to discuss the teeth issue. I don’t mind dog teeth on me – in fact, if she’s going to be a Service Dog, she’s going to have to put her teeth all over me and my stuff. I DO mind her drawing blood. Scuba’s been telling her off left and right, which Stitch has been taking very well, backing off, remembering the circumstances, trying to be more polite the next time. So the next time she hurts me, instead of just prying my flesh loose from her teeth, I growl and give her a finger-poke on the side of her neck. She bites again, harder. I bark NO! at her and finger-poke harder. Stitch bites harder and growls. I grab a handful of neck-scruff and lift her up by that with most of her weight held with my other hand under her ribcage. I look her right in the eye, snarl KNOCK IT OFF! in my nastiest voice and give her a tiny shake. And she goes off on me! Her voice gets deep and she swings her teeth around trying to get at my hand. How DARE you?! I am the Goddess Stitch, Queen Of The Universe! For this she gets a slightly bigger shake, an even bigger bark, and I let a bit more of her weight onto her scruff. I’m looking tough but I’m having a hard time not laughing at the audacity of this 9-lb scrap of attitude. The second time, she yelps and relaxes. I put her down. She comes back and bites my hand again, but gently this time, so my hand wrestles with her.
A billion times more today she bites too hard, but she listens when I growl and backs off.
There is a kitchen, a dog room, a dog door, two stairs, a back porch, a kennel pen and another dog door in between the living room and the yard. A long way for an 8 week puppy to go. Today she started leading ahead of me on the way to the first door. I’m very impressed. Since she’s obviously understanding where she’s going and why, I’m using the cue – Go outside, Hurry up.
I’ve set up a small ex-pen around our tiny kitchen table. There’s a large dog bed in it, a water bucket, and some toys. She’s found the dog bed on her own and goes there regularly for naps during the day. At bedtime, I move Scuba’s crate so the door points directly into and right against the ex-pen with Scuba in it. Scuba’s not going to be thrilled about this, but I need her help. Scuba goes in the crate and gets a cookie. I toss the second cookie on the dog bed, put Stitch in the pen and lock it up. Immediately turn out the light and cross my fingers. Holy cow, not a sound after the cookie crunching! Both dogs go to sleep and Stitch wakes up to pee at 5:30. Life is good.