I think I (FINALLY) found something that will make/keep Luci from chewing through anymore of the lattice on the deck. It’s a mixture of lime juice and vinegar. I tried the Tabasco and vinegar mix and that didn’t work. She actually liked that combination and I think it encouraged her to lick on the lattice and tear it off the deck. Saturday afternoon I was desperate to try something that would make her stop and keep Hubby from killing the poor little dog. I dug out an old bottle of Bitter Lime that I bought years ago to keep Goldie (my previous lab) from digging at a hot spot on her front leg. To test my theory, I got a stick that Luci had chewing on and sprayed with the Bitter Lime and gave it back to Luci. She took the stick in her mouth and then dropped it when she realized that it tasted "yucky". I sprayed a paper towel that I had with the Bitter Lime and gave it to her. Again, she dropped it and gave me that "That’s yucky" look. So I sprayed all the places that she had been chewing. When the bitter lime ran out, I went to the grocery and bought some vinegar and some lime juice. Did the same tests and she still gave me the "That’s yucky" look. I think I might have a solution. Of course, I realize that I may have won just a small battle and the war won’t be over until she’s about 2 years old, but at least I’ve got a weapon that works!!
I also started "refresher" training of some of the stuff that she learned in puppy obedience class. Mainly the "Come" command. If I have to accept the fact that she’s going to get up in the middle of the night to go potty, then she’s going to come to me when she’s done so that I’m not out in the yard chasing her around to get her to come back inside. I’m also tired of playing mind games with a dog to get her to drop something that she knows she’s not supposed to have. Like rocks, sticks, unknown metal objects she finds in the yard – stuff like that. So we’re working on "Come," and "Drop It" for an our every night. The funny thing is that she’s does all the commands flawlessly when she’s got on the training collar and I have the training leash on her. The minute I drop the training leash or I take off the training collar, she’s forgets everything we’ve worked on. Aaaarrgghhh!!!
Hubby keeps telling me that it shouldn’t be this hard to train her. It wasn’t this hard to train Blacky. I’m sure that we will finally get Luci trained, but it’s going to take a lot longer and be a lot harder than it was with Blacky. Luci and Blacky have totally different personalities. Blacky is a very eager-to-please, obedient, sensitive dog. He rarely, if ever, misbehaves. If you raise your voice at him, he looks like you’ve broken his heart. If we raise our voice at Luci, he slinks away like he’s the one in trouble. Luci is a stubborn and independent thinking lab. The good part, though, is that she loves doing the training. I just need to find a way to make her behave once the collar is off.
Before I go, I have to share my latest Luci story . . . We were getting ready for bed last night. Blacky and Luci had just come inside after their bedtime potty trip. I told the dogs that we were going to bed and to go upstairs. They left the kitchen and I followed behind them shutting off lights as I went. I walked into the living room and reached to turn off the light when I noticed that Luci was sitting on the couch. Big as life just like she belonged there. I don’t let the dogs on the couch at all ever and I told her "Get Off, Now!" in my firmest mommy voice. Okay, it was the firmest mommy voice that I could muster without busting out laughing. Only Luci would think that she should sleep on the couch.
I have my hands full with this one.