Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life with a baby, I mean a BeiBei.

For the past few days we have been seeing more and more of BeiBei's personality.  She seems to be recovering from the grief of leaving her family and starting to get more comfortable.  The first day we had her, she wasn't playing much, and just wanted to be held.  Chris was worried she was going to be a wimp and not have a lot of personality, but I think she was definitely just in shock from leaving her littermates.  She's becoming so playful and fun, but she still has that sweet cuddly side.  She LOVES people.  She wants to be around us constantly.  If she's playing with a toy, she'll bring it over and play with it in your lap or on top of your feet.  She's gonna be a good dog!
I am getting a little worried about her separation anxiety though.  We are crate training her, and she does great when we're home and we put her in her kennel for naps, or if we leave for a little while and she's in her kennel while we are gone.  We covered her kennel with a blanket and put a sound machine on the heartbeat setting and left it in the room.  This has made ALL the difference!  We also put a puppy edible bone and a soft stuffed animal in her crate.

But when we go to work for 8 hours, it's too long for her small bladder to hold it to stay in her crate.  We can't come home to let her out, so we have to keep her behind a baby gate in our sunroom and leave out a pee pad.  But, when we leave all day and leave her free in the sunroom, I think she cries and cries and cries.  When I get home at night I can hear her crying before I even get to the door.  I don't know if she cries all day or not, but it breaks my heart to think that she might.  From what I've read dogs feel much more secure in their crates, so I guess she feels super insecure out in the open in the sunroom (but I don't think she's figured out she can freely go in her crate).
This morning I read about it online and started working with her on her anxiety about being separated from us and staying in the sunroom.  Here's the site I read online.

I leave her in the room, shutting the gate and saying "I'll be back" (which is supposed to become a safety comfort cue for her).  I give her a treat and leave (she ignores the treat because she is going ballistic barking and wining).  As I'm walking away I keep saying, "I'll be back".  I go out of sight and wait a few minutes, and when she calms down just a little I come back calmly and go back inside the gate with her.  I don't make a big deal greeting her, and although she gets really excited and jumps all over me I wait for her to calm down and remain calm.  I've repeated this 5-6 times until it was quiet as a mouse in my house!  She's starting resting and relaxing instead of crying and yelping.  Each time I left her I waited a little longer.  Finally an hour later when I left for work I shut her gate and she stayed back and relaxed chewing on a toy.  She didn't even follow me to the gate or jump up.  I left and never heard a peep from her!  The website linked above and here explains why I did what I did and says to keep working with her all week.  I hope this will help her to relax while we're gone and not feel abandoned!!!  I'm so proud of our little pup
She looked just like this when I left this morning...

To backtrack a little, here's the low-down on her set-up.
We have a little sunroom in the back of our house off the kitchen.  This is now Bei-Bei's crib.

Her kennel is under the blanket under this table.  It just BARELY fits.  
The major players...

bowls from IKEA
We're feeding her Purina Puppy-chow, which was reccommended by the breeder we visited, and the family we bought our dog from.  We're keeping it in old trash can we had in the basement (but this won't last long because she's almost figured out how to open it)...
 pee pads...
The major PLAYers...

She LOVEs those bones, whenever she chews something she's not supposed to I firmly say no and then stick a bone or a toy in her mouth instead.  I hope this works!  We play fetch constantly with the other items.  The bottle is so fun.  She loves the squeeky noise it makes when she plays with it and it bounces all over the place when it slides out of her teeth.
I'm trying not to give her any toys that resemble household items (blankets, shoes, etc.).  This may confuse her and make her want to chew up OUR blankets and shoes.  I read something that confirmed this idea.  (I know a bottle is a household item, but it's disposable anyway!)

We have gotten a lot of great tips from this magazine/book we picked up at the pet store called Puppy Training Basics.   It's by Popular Dogs Gold Series.

I'll leave you with a few more pics..

Thanks for reading,


  1. ya'll are such great parents!

  2. She's a cutie. I know y'all are amazing parents!

    Also, I love the orange rug by her little space.

  3. Your doggie is sooo precious, sara! the name is awesome, too. Hope you guys are doing well :)

  4. Walkers!
    I am envious of your new parenthood role! What a perfect little daughter y'all "produced"! Gonna call you soon!


  5. Congrats on the puppy! I have a bichon-poo that looks exactly like BeiBei, but just smaller. You seem like such amazing parents and so thoughtful! Take a look at this website...and maybe consider feeding her something besides Purina. It's actually a terrible food for dogs...especially growing puppies. (I came across this in my research for my dog)....

    It rates the dog food based on nutritional value. Purina has a very, very bad reputation for not making their food in the US, along with Eukanuba, and Pedigree. Also, the Nutrident bones do not dissolve well in their intestine, nor do rawhide. Make sure you give them Bully sticks, from beef in the USA. We are the only country that has standards on how they process the dog food.

    Good luck!



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