Tuesday, August 3, 2010

my boys!

Play with me!

Oscar is doing well. We are slowly getting to know him and figuring out what he needs to become a well-adjusted and happy pup. So far this means:

No fewer than two walks daily, at least 20 minutes each. Today he got an extra trot around the block after yoga, before work. Beagles have lots of energy and need lots of exercise to stave off sassy behavior (which comes from boredom). I have been running home at lunch to let him stretch his legs.

Stuff to play with while we are gone, and clearly defined boundaries so he can't go pee in the basement. I've read that small dogs can confused basements with "outside" because it seems secluded from the family, and that they hide if they are learning that peeing inside is unacceptable, but haven't developed the communication with us yet on when he needs to go out. He wants to go out to play more than anything, so its been a lot of trips outside, walking around, and then back inside, only to go out again 10 minutes later. It's a hassle now, but it'll be worth it in the winter when he is (hopefully) fully housebroken.

Beagles are adept climbers. This little 18 pound dog climbs over a standard baby gate like nothing. He doesn't jump - he climbs like a freaking spider monkey. He have to stack two standard gates to keep him in his room during the day and use a taller 3 foot gate to keep him out of the basement.

The vet says he has some seasonal allergies. So I've been giving him claritin. It seems to be helping so far. Apparently in dogs, allergens cause them to have itchy skin (instead of a stuffy nose, hayfever, etc).

Kennel at night, which is going well. Never force your dog in the kennel. It is really tempting to do so when I'm tired and he doesn't want to go to bed. It needs to be a place they associate with relaxation and happy things, so they will go in willingly; otherwise it will become a stressful event every time he needs to go in. (Stress = sassy) Oscar wanders in and out sometimes, but I still need to bribe him with a treat at night. I show him the treat and then toss it inside the kennel. He goes in after it and sometimes tries to grab it and run out right away, but that behavior has been decreasing the last couple nights. Lately he has just been sitting down to enjoy his snack. He is very good at night, doesn't cry or whine (except for a little if we are up for a while before bed, but really not much at all).

The nose knows! We have to be careful when we cook now to clean up afterwards (before bed at least) or the poor guy goes nuts trying to figure out why the kitchen still smells like bacon and he can't find it. Since his kennel is in there it only seems fair. Beagles are in the bloodhound family and have even more sensitive noses than a lot of dogs.

That's it for now. Oscar out!