Welcome to the Family Pup

A house without a dog is lacking – it’s hard to explain the type of void that exists after your dog dies, but you know that it’s there everytime you walk through the front door, accidentally drop food on the floor, or come across an old toy. It’s been a rough few months of transition in our house after losing Greta, and we were very hesitant about bringing a new dog into the family until just the right now.

Apparently, that time is now.

We just completed the adoption paperwork on the newest, and youngest member of The Elliott House – Phoebe!

Puppy smiles are the best smiles!

Phoebe’s story  didn’t start out as the happiest. She came into an Austin shelter as a tiny puppy with a wounded front leg, Demodex mange, and Hookworms. The wound on her leg was caused by some sort of bite, which became infected and spread to her bone. For a while, it looked like she may lose the leg entirely, but after months of antibiotics and a few weeks of physical therapy, she’s made a lot of progess. The infection has been cleared up and she’s beginning to put some weight on her leg. She still limps and forgets to use the leg at times, but it’s progress!

Phoebe is 5 months old and about 45 pounds. The shelter thinks she’s an Anatolian Shepherd mix and will eventually be 60-70 pounds when full grown.

Despite everything she’s been through – you couldn’t ask for a sweeter, or happier puppy. The downside – she’s still a puppy and because of her health problems is a little behind in obediance training. She can sit and she’s crate-trained and almost housebroken, but that’s where the training stops. We now have to work on the chewing problems, mouthing, barking, chasing the cats…and the chickens, etc.

Any helpful puppy training tips out there? The cats/chickens are not enjoying the constant games of chase…



3 thoughts on “Welcome to the Family Pup

  1. I’m sorry about Greta 😦 But you’re absolutely right, every house needs a dog! Or two. Or three…I love Phoebe! She’s beautiful! Training tips: reward her for anything you want to reinforce, ‘actively ignore’ her when she’s doing something you don’t want (operant conditioning). Dogs don’t reason like people, you’ve got (at most) 2 seconds to praise her (or punish, by which I mean not giving the dog your attention, never ever any physical punishment). To stop her chasing something you don’t want her to chase: redirect her attention to something else (chase you, let her catch up with you, have a good play with her favourite toy and a treat). Chasing chickens is so much fun it’s hard to compete with it, thus the high value reward (play with you, toy, treat). Try clicker training (even without the clicker, the rules are the same, the clicker sound is good as a cue).


  2. Congrats on your new family member. I hope they’re right about being part Anatolian Shepherd. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend getting her used to being bathed, brushed, etc, while she’s small. If she gets that big then it’ll be really tough. We have a dog that is my daughter’s and she got her when she (my daughter) was 12. I was letting her do the training (or not) and it was more of the not. Now she’s a full-grown overweight Border Collie/Australian Shepherd cross and we can’t get near her to bathe her, brush her, put tick drops on her, anything like that. Boy, did I learn a lesson the hard way, LOL.


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