Settling in with Eden

She's a weird one
She’s a weird one.

This little puppy is crazy and awesome. I think we love her already!

Eden is settling in beautifully, and even after just a week with us, she’s really adapting to our lifestyle. For an adolescent (she turned 6 months old on Sunday), she has a surprising amount of self-control. But she’s still packed with joyful energy and rambunctiousness!

Goofy girl

She loves playing in the backyard with Pyrrha and exploring. Her retrieving drive is HIGH, and she wants to play fetch with you all day long.

Prancing around the yard

The girls are getting on very well. Pyrrha is very tolerant of her adolescent antics, and I’ve been proud of how Pyrrha has shown patience and restraint. There are occasional times, as with any young dogs, in which we need to enforce some “time outs” during wrestling sessions, but overall, they’re doing a great job coexisting. They eat morning meals side-by-side peaceably, and then at night, they eat out of food toys in separate rooms. (I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to do food toys in the same room; I think Eden would get all of the food!)

The girls

Eden is sleeping well and doesn’t cry anymore when she goes to her crate at night. I’m impressed with how swiftly she’s adapted; she isn’t bothered by anything.

Edie sniffing

She got to experience her first dusting of snow with us, which she thought was a real thrill:

Eden's first snow! #eatingagourd #ournewpuppy #charlottesville
Eden’s first snow! Chewing on a pumpkin stem.

With our previous fosters, most of whom have been shy, we took it easy with the exposure/socialization for the first week, and instead let them get settled with us and our house. Eden, however, has no such compunctions; this girl wants to get out and see the world! Accordingly:

Things we’ve done with Eden in the week that she’s been with us

  • Visited Petco. Everyone was a friend! Nothing was frightening to her.
  • Took a (very cold) walk to the river, where we watched ducks by the shore.
  • Took a long walk around the neighborhood.
  • Took a walk to the downtown mall, which is our Socialization Central (people, babies, kids, dogs, strollers, homeless people, street musicians, etc.), and she was GREAT! We took Pyrrha too, with lots of treats, and followed many of your advice about one reactive dog/one non-reactive dog. Having Eden lead worked well, and Pyrrha did not have any reactions. I was also managing Pyrrha very closely and keeping her far away from any triggers, but Eden didn’t pick up on Pyrrha’s anxiety at all, and Pyrrha even seemed to let her worries slide toward the end of the walk.
  • Ran an errand with Guion in the car.
  • Had a play-date/crazy dinner party with Fiona and her human parents. Fiona and Eden played beautifully together; they both have a similar energy level. Pyrrha was kind of a bully to Fiona, however, so we kept her separate for most of the night. I’m not totally sure what that was about; some of her behavior seemed to be taking advantage of Fiona’s submissiveness, and some of it seemed to be her efforts at “policing” the young’uns. Either way, it’s something for us to watch.
  • Hosted a little gathering at our house with about eight friends; Eden got to meet them all.
  • Introduced her to food toys and given her meals out of them.

What we’re working on with Eden

  • Not jumping on people when they come in the door (instead, sitting or standing while being petted)
  • Not barking to announce her presence to the neighborhood when she goes into the backyard
  • Not jumping on counters
  • Not crying with excitement when we open the crate door in the morning (instead, sitting and waiting as we open the door)

We signed her up for an obedience class with our favorite trainer, which will start in a few weeks. It’ll be really interesting for both Guion and myself to work with a fearless dog. I’m looking forward to this new challenge!


15 thoughts on “Settling in with Eden

  1. Congrats on your new addition. She’s gorgeous and sounds like a lot of fun. Let me know if you find a ‘cure’ for the “announcing her presence” bark… Coulee has a problem with that too. 😉

    1. Thanks, Wendy! Yeah… I have no idea how to train out of the “announcing myself to the world” bark. She doesn’t do it as much (or ever) if Pyrrha is out in the yard with her; she seems to feel that if Pyr isn’t barking, then she probably doesn’t need to either. Will be asking our trainer about this one. I’ll be sure to share if I learn anything!

  2. Haven’t had the chance yet to comment on your lovely newcomer! Congratulations with Eden!! Seems like she’s settling in just fine and she looks adorable! Good luck with her, I think Pyrrha won’t mind having a forever friend at all!!

  3. Abby, one resource I wanted to share for the crate stuff… I love Susan Garrett’s Crate Games DVD. The whole point is to build drive for the crate in a fun, all positive way so that dogs actually choose to be in their crate. It also teaches that nice “sit to be let out” behavior you mention wanting. I watched it recently and am planning on giving it a go with my Sheppie as soon as I can find the 3 hours she recommends for the very first session (after that they’re short… but that first session seems like a doozy).

    Anyway, figured I’d share!

  4. Isn’t it amazing to see how unique each dog is? I have a fearless foster dog right now, a beagle mix. It’s an astonishing difference from two previous fearful hounds we’ve fostered.

    Sounds like Eden is doing great. Keep the stories coming.

    1. Thank you! I’ve seen pics of your new ones; SO precious!

      We’ve been having her sit in the crate, and then treating her when she’s calm and quiet; we don’t let her out of the crate (opening the door all the way) until she is quiet. It can take quite a while at first, but she’s learned the protocol rather quickly, now that we’re doing it every day!

  5. Wow! It sounds like things are going phenomenally well! I’m so happy to hear that everyone is settling in so nicely, and I’m seriously excited to follow along with her puppy antics. Incidentally, we’ve never been able to feed everyone with food toys in the same room… they get far too curious about what the others have and get in each others’ faces.

    1. Yes, we’re the same with food toys; Pyrrha gets reign over the basement, and Eden has the large master bathroom to contend with. I tried it for a few minutes in the same room; no way was that going to happen! Eden has to be in everyone’s business, especially when food is involved. :-p

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