Gracie has been with us for one week now. Based off of this short time with us, I'm labeling her the loudest puppy I have ever had. Gracie likes to let her opinions be known and at 8wks of age most of her opinions revolve around the crate. From my previous experience, puppies usually scream in their crate for what feels like the longest 15 minutes of all time. Then they shut up and fall to sleep. But Gracie has mastered the art of grumbling while lying down and thus can make noises for hours.
On the positive side, I can see that Gracie doesn't have real anxiety issues and thus is making improvement quickly. The first time I fed her breakfast in her crate she almost went on a hunger strike at the indignity of it all, but then quickly remembered she was a Labrador. Gracie is now being decent at being crated at certain times in the afternoon and during the night. What remains to be conquered is being quiet after the early morning potty break and during the evening while I'm teaching classes. I'm hoping another week of work will quiet her resistance and give me some more sleep.
Gracie is also proving to be a calm and extremely cuddly puppy. She is content to sit in your arms all day if you let her. I thought I'd be more disappointed at her calmness, but I admit it's been a very nice change from Bubba! I'm still hoping some more pep develops as her personality starts to shine in the upcoming weeks. Gracie is one of the most confident puppies I have ever had. At first her cuddly nature deceived me as I took it for nervousness, but the moment you set her down on the floor she is extremely bold. Gracie will walk up to any person, dog, or object to say hi and if I don't hold her leash she is immediately off exploring. I have never known an 8wk old puppy to be so willing to head off on their own, even going so far away from their human that they disappear from sight!
Training wise, we are working on the following:
1. Crate games :) - offering going into various crates, staying in with the door open, and learning a release word.
2. Sit and Down- lured at first, now offered sits, and trying to get offered downs.
3. Shaping to objects- Getting Gracie to offer standing in, on, and going through objects
4. Leaving the food dish while training- I train with the food dish on the ground, so Gracie is learning to get over it. Slowly :)