Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Fouche Way - Week 1

The "New" Maggie

One week after visiting Brandon for the first time, it's almost as if we're living with a different dog.  She walks behind us on leash and hasn't gotten overly hyper in the apartment AT ALL.  The mouthing is almost completely a thing of the past.  Maggie doesn't seem to miss her plush/squeaky toys or her balls and ropes.  She is totally content hanging with us or chewing on a deer antler when we're together.

The fact that we can now walk Maggie without feeling like a water skier is huge.  She's in a crate four days a week for a good amount of time so we like letting her go out and stretch her fantastically muscular legs as much as possible.  She's become fun to walk.  It's just nice being outside with her now.

As far as her indoor behavior goes, there are no more "oh goodness, we can't control the dog" moments,  She has started to become overly hyper only a few times in the past week and each time, we shut it down so fast that she normally stops, submits, and proceeds to lay down or sit patiently and wait for cuddles.

Our relationship with Maggie has changed and much of it is due to us changing our interactions with her.  We don't rough house and we don't play fetch but we DO get an insane amount of cuddle time and overall, a very calm and loving pooch.

And most importantly, now that we feel Maggie is listening to us and following directions most of the time, we can do all of the fun things we want to do with her like planning a camping trip!


  1. Tell me this--does that trainer believe you shouldn't use squeaky, stuffed toys, balls etc. at all, or just limited use?

    1. He believes that squeaky toys amp dogs up and put them in "prey drive" mode...same with playing fetch. For him, the only toy that doesn't do this for dogs is chewing on antlers or bones.

      We're on the fence about playing fetch because the dogs really seem to love it but we have noticed that doing none of the above inside the apartment has made a huge difference. The problem used to be that she would get so excited inside the apartment and we couldn't calm her down, then she would start biting us and wanting to rough got hard to handle. Now, she knows that inside is quieter and the only play is wrestling with her brother.

    2. I suppose part of the challenge is you have a puppy! Both our dogs were two when they arrived in our home. I can't imagine not having a variety of toys around for our younger fosters, though. It did get them amped up but that allowed them to use up their energy and settle. And Madden NEEDS to be able to play fetch, that's her exercise in addition to walks! She gets a little serious swimming and retrieving the frisbee and does not always want to drop but we are working on it.
      I can see how it would put them in "prey drive" mode and I can see wanting to avoid that but I don't know that I could take away their squeaky toys! Our pups are pretty limited in how often they play with them anyway simply by choice.