Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet Whitey


Whitey is a shy girl.  She's unsure of strange people... especially men.
Who can blame her, really?

Whitey was supposed to go "to camp" and hang out somewhere else so she could learn that the world is not as scary as she thinks, but they can't take her for a little while yet.  I said I would be happy to have her come hang out with us.  After all, dogs who aren't so sure about the big scary world have come to be my specialty.  I just really like working with them.  It's as good for me as it is for them in many ways.

 So, when we left Minnesota, Whitey came with us.

Whitey got her name because she is registered as "(Kennel Name) Executive Digs".  The whole litter has the word "Executive" in their name.  For Whitey, Executive Digs = White House, hence "Whitey".
Her sister is "(Kennel Name) Executive Action" and goes by Monica.  I'll let you put that one together yourself.  :o)

  At first, when we got home, there was some less than acceptable behavior exhibited by the king of the house.  He and I had a serious "talk" about it.  For some reason, the "talk" didn't really get through to him, though.
Because Bailey is older and I know it is hard for him to accept some aspects of change in his life, I cut him a lot of slack whenever I can.  This is not one of those cases.  
I would never bring an adult male into the house to challenge him, but Whitey is a young submissive female who has not (and will not) posed any challenge to him whatsoever.  It is completely unacceptable for him to be nasty to her.  
So, yesterday morning, when he decided to cross the line again, I grabbed him and put him in the crate while we (Whitey, Lilly, and I) played outside.  He was mad, very mad.  He attempted to throw a fit - we ignored him.  This is not something I would necessarily suggest for every dog (especially for a dog who doesn't like to be crated since it is essentially being used as a sort of punishment) but it was just the ticket for this situation.  It became very clear to King Bailey that if he crosses the line, I will be very angry and he will be put in jail while we play without him.  
It has not happened since. 


Whitey has a very nervous personality.  She has a tendency to get herself worked up and build on her own fear (or at least that's what I've observed so far).  Below, she has heard a noise in the hallway which caused her to stare at the front door, pace, and stare at the door some more.


I have found, just as in other cases like her (including with the king himself), that basic obedience is an essential key to breaking negative focus.  By asking something of her, I can not only break her buildup of nervous energy, but by adding a happy calm voice (and engaging other dogs who are not in any way concerned about the sound she heard) I can show her that there's nothing to be concerned about.   "Watch Me Drills" can be good for this as well, depending on the situation.
 It can be a long process (and one that usually results in treat containers being strategically placed about the house) but it can also be extremely effective.
  By the end of the king's "obedience career" I was actually able to work him though mild thunder storms (which completely terrify him) when we went to obedience class.

Today, we took a trip to the pet food store and to the vet to pick up Bailey's medicine.  She did extremely well at both.  (I decided not to have anybody actually approach her just yet, but she did hold her ground and look at a number of men at the pet food store without any panic, which is wonderful.)

One thing's for sure, this girl is incredibly sweet.  It's going to be hard for me not to fall in love with her.


Meanwhile, Lilly is STILL exhausted from our long weekend at the dog show.  There have been 4 places you can find her since we got home Sunday evening:  Asleep on the couch, outside going potty (or curled up in a hole going right back to sleep instead of going potty), on her mat eating, or asleep on my bed.



  1. You're doing such a great job with Whitey!!
    When you're done with her, I'm telling you, you won't be wanting to give her back!
    I'm glad the king of the house isn't mean to her anymore. He sure has learnt his punishment.
    Lilly is just too cute!!!!!

  2. Aww, poor Whitey - she is a beautiful girl, and lucky to have a good friend in you.


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