Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Doggie Etiquette

The neighbors down the street have a couple of dachshunds–one about 10 years old, and one about 3 years old.   I had been contemplating getting Jasmine acquainted with her “sisters in dogdom,” so one day last week, we walked over to the neighbor’s house and introduced Jasmine to Amy and Jodi.  The neighbor dogs naturally barked and tried to assert their territory (and in the process, scared Jasmine a bit), but in a moment or two, they were doing doggie sniffing introductions in an effort to make friends.  Jasmine would have none of it.  She cowered, tail tucked between her legs, and practically held her breath until we went away for our walk.

The next day, we tried again.  This time, the dachsies were a bit less territorial, and only barked for a moment.  They then went into sniff mode.  Jasmine still wouldn’t calmly let them sniff her, but she later calmed down enough to sniff them.  Progress.  We sat down on the sidewalk for a few minutes as I got acquainted with the dogs, and Jasmine became calm enough to lay down and relax.

We’re going to continue to stop by to say hello whenever the neighbor dogs are out.  It’s good for Jasmine to socialize with other dogs…hopefully, the experience will help her learn doggie etiquette for other dog encounters.

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Obedience School Graduate

Jasmine graduated on Saturday from the beginning obedience class at A Dog’s Life.  We are so proud of her!  There was a little contest to see how many behaviors/tricks the dogs had learned.  Jasmine could sit, stand, lay down, get up on my lap, get off my lap, spin and point with her paw!  WOW!  We were so proud of her!  She also found out that some of her inhibitions about the class were because of the hard surface on the floor.  She doesn’t like laying down on hard/cold surfaces.  We put a towel down for her, and she miraculously performed her tricks without a hitch!  Good doggie!

After class, we went and visited Jasmine’s foster mom.  Jasmine had a ball.  She romped with the current foster dachshund (Roxanne) and some terrier puppies.  I haven’t seen her run and play like that before…such a lively little girl!  Jasmine’s foster mom told us about her playing with her own pups as well.  Jasmine even got Roxanne, the foster dog, to play!

I’ve been thinking about giving Jasmine some other safe opportunities to be socialized with other dogs.  We have neighbors across the street with two Dachshunds, so I took Jasmine over today.  In the past, Jasmine has been very afraid of the other Dachshunds…they charged at her a couple of times.  Today, she was not happy with being sniffed, but she tolerated it well, and the other dogs gave her space when they saw her not being too friendly.  I think with time, Jasmine will have some friends in the neighborhood!

We continue to work on her training and socialization.  In fact, I’m about to leave to go run errands…a perfect opportunity for a car trip for my Jazzy girl!

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Training Treats

Jasmine is getting more into treats these days.  When we first got her, she wouldn’t eat anything but soft treats.  These days, she enjoys biscuits, freeze-dried liver, rawhide chewies, etc.  However, Jasmine has taken to Simon & Huey’s Soft Training Treats as well as poached chicken as her favorite staple training treats.  I like the Simon & Huey’s treats due to their size, their “tossability”–they bounce when tossed on the carpet–and their simple ingredients (Oat flour, honey, canola oil, garlic, plus whatever ingredient is used for the flavor, including chicken stock, cheddar cheese, etc.).  It doesn’t hurt that Jasmine loves them (one of the very first treats she really loved) they are easy to carry and use and easy to store (freezer).  We have tried both the White Cheddar and the Chicken flavors.  However, real meat is always a high-value treat, and we use the poached chicken in obedience class.

We originally found the soft training treats at our local doggie boutique–Gussied Up Dog Boutique.  Yes, it’s a shameless store full of foo-foo doggie items (clothing, cute leashes and collars, treats, bowls, toys and, these days, Halloween costumes).  However, it’s also one of the few stores around here that Jasmine is more then welcome to enter.  She was terrified the last time we went, though.  I think the sensory overload from too many scary costumes had her reeling.  Even chicken jerky didn’t calm her fears, so we had to leave the store.

Jasmine still loves “training time.”  She gets all bouncy, her ears perk up, and her eyes shine with the glow of treats to come.  🙂  Now, don’t you wish all your kids would be so eager to do their homework?

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Three Month Anniversary

Today is Jasmine’s three-month anniversary as a member of our family.  She has come a long way, but still has a long way to go.  However, she’s finally healthy, she’s into a daily routine, and her personality keeps emerging as new situations arise.

This Saturday is our last obedience class.  Jasmine knows “Sit” and “Down” really well and she comes to me (most of the time) on command.  The rest of it…well, we’re working on it. 🙂  I know she’s a smart one…she also knows “Walkies,” “GoForRides” and “Treat.”  Ooooh…good doggie!  Tom has been working with her as well, and we’ve been tag-team training her.  She now looks to him as the “Treat Man.”  It’s progress, but she still cowers around him and won’t let him get close unless she’s in a scary and unfamiliar situation.  With me, she’s a trusting and loving dog.  She treats Tom like he’s the enemy, waiting to pounce on her at every turn.  😦  I just think time (and treats) will help change her attitude, but it’s frustrating at times.

Three months.  It seems like so much longer!

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Bone!

Jasmine has been showing more interest in toys and chewing, so I thought I’d get ahead of the game and get her some things to keep her occupied.  She likes rope-toys and things she can shred 🙂 as well as things to chew.  I brought her to a business meeting one day (the person I was meeting with is a dog-lover) and she got her first taste of rawhide–love at first chew.  So, home came a bag of small rawhide chewies.

I gave her a chewie yesterday, and after a few minutes of destruction, she decided she was done.  However, instead of just leaving it on the floor, Jasmine decided that she had to hide her “bone.”  She was with me in the home office, so she looked for nooks and crannies to conceal the bone.  It was SO cute!  She’d hide the bone, then go and search for it.  She would then move it to a new location and search for it again.  She did this again this morning–such a fun and entertaining exercise!  I’m sure that if I allowed her to take the chewie outside, she’d bury it.

It’s so great to see her acting like a regular dog.  She runs and romps with me on walks, she wags her tail in anticipation of a training session (treats are mandatory, of course), and she refuses to go into the kitchen (her safe enclosure) when she knows I’m getting ready to go out.  Go Jasmine!

She has also learned “Sit,” “Stand” and “Down” thus far.  “Stay,” well that’s going to take a might bit longer.  She also comes (to me) when called.  Good doggie!

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Lap Dog

We’ve started a new morning routine.  I was having trouble with getting Jasmine to “go” every morning, so hubby is taking her out before he goes to work.  He then leaves her in the kitchen along with her breakfast.  I get up, get dressed and go into the kitchen to start the day.

After I go in, I go and sit down near the kitchen sink with my back to the cabinets.  Jasmine runs up, tail wagging, and hops onto my lap for morning pets.  She then jumps down, eats her breakfast (she won’t touch it until I get there…that’s another issue), and then hops back into my lap.  More pets, and I’m off on my routine (breakfast and to my home office).

Jasmine is getting more affectionate and more like a “normal” dog.  She’s starting to play with her toys, she is chewing on dental bones, she hams it up for treats…oh it’s so nice to see!

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The Inner Dog

Jasmine’s real “inner dog” is starting to come out. When we first adopted her, we were told that the dog we were taking home was not the dog we would eventually get. Well, that’s starting to really be true. Jasmine is starting to let her personality show…including that cute little doxie spirit.

Sunday morning, Jasmine crawled into my lap for the first time. I was sitting on the rug on the kitchen floor giving her some pets and a bit of cheese, and she just up and crawled on. In the past, I’ve placed her onto my lap so she could get treatment for her ears (placing in ear drops), but on Sunday, she just wanted to snuggle. It made me so happy that she loves and trusts me enough to do that. This morning, she did the same thing, but only after doing a happy dance for me after I came into the kitchen. Wagging tail, smiling face, perky ears. Oh what a way to start the day!

Part of her coming out of her shell is the fact that the things we counted on (housebreaking, for one) are not assured. She was on her “best behavior” before, and we now have to start some training and socializing over. We are now vigilant about house training…no unsupervised moments for her. But since we’ve started watching her like a hawk, we haven’t had an accident. We need to figure out how to teach her to signal us when she needs to go, but we’ll give it time.

This week has been full of activity. We went to the vet one more time on Thursday. Jasmine’s ears are clear of infection, and the vet now thinks that Jasmine’s recurring abscesses are due to a cyst in her paw. The abscesses are not harmful unless they don’t clear up on her own or her paw becomes tender/infected. So, we’ll just have to put up with the paw and monitor if the swelling becomes painful or doesn’t heal. The good news is that the abscesses don’t seem to slow our little girl down. She’s now starting to run with us during our daily walks. There’s nothing cuter than seeing a dachshund run!  After the vet, I took Jasmine to the Five Paw Bakery in Los Altos.  We got some yummy dog cookies (complements of the owner) and a dog harness.

Saturday afternoon, we took Jasmine to her second obedience class. The regular instructor was there this time, and we voiced our concerns to her about the first class. She was MUCH better than the substitute instructor, so I had a better feeling about the whole thing. We also had a lot more personal attention–everyone did. Jasmine is now great at “sit,” but still needs work on “watch me” and “stand.” This week’s commands are hard ones–“stay” and “down.” “Down” is particularly hard to teach dachshunds since they’re so low to the ground as it is…we’ll see.

After class, we took Jasmine to a cocktail party! I was a bit reluctant to take her, but I thought it would be a good socialization experience for her. I had made some poached chicken as a “high value” treat for training, and we took that with us. Well, the chicken was her “ice breaker.” Everyone she came into contact with gave her chicken, and she did SO well. She took food from everyone. What a long way she has come since our first day home. I’m so proud of her!

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