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Monday, 25 April 2022


 When we brought Peppa into our lives, we knew it would be necessary to get her used to grooming. So we did our best, and she's used to being up on the table getting special attention (and extra special treats) every evening. Fortunately, she loves it. We did come up with the theory that she had seen her mum and dad being groomed and thinks it's part of being a grown-up dog. Who knows what goes on in the clever little head?

She's more clever than we thought she would be, and has trained her people pretty well. Here are some of the favorites:

1. Jump appealingly up onto the human's legs and allow said human to stroke your head and tickle you behind the ears, at the same time slo-w-ly, quie-t-ly stealing a handkerchief or  tissue from their pocket. If tissue, tear it to shreds and enable them to get some isometric exercise bending to collect the shreds. If a handkerchief, mouth it dramatically as if you're going to swallow it and might subsequently need to go to the amazingly expensive Animal Emergency clinic. Wait until the human races to get you a super-nice treat and willingly 'give' the hanky to them in exchange for the treat, and get praised for being so co-operative.

2. Whenever you see a baby gate left ajar, race into the forbidden room and ostentiously wait in the doorway for the command to come 'this way' and receive a treat for your obedience.



3. Go out into the backyard and bellow at the top of your voice at any movement in the adjoining apartments and wait for the command to 'come'. Race in and get a treat. 

I suspect she's working on a few more commands for the humans to obey. I'll report when she has us even more under her control. 

Oh, and now that I have a close look at that photo I posted, I think I'd  better get off this computer and do that grooming. Obviously today was a rather exciting and messy playday.


Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Lovely rain

 I was beginning to wonder if we were slipping once again into drought, despite the predictions that La Nina would give us a wet autumn (or some such thing that I don't quite remember). But the lovely rain has come and is staying all week.

Which brings me to the subject of dog-walking. I remember our vet once saying a dog must at least 'leave the property' each day. Well, in a most unusual event, Peppa didn't go for a walk today.

We did walk yesterday, even though it rained all day. We went to LaTrobe University and walked around under the shelter of the raised walkways. I wouldn't normally go there, but it was a holiday - Easter Monday - and I thought it would be okay. 

Having no walk today has proved Peppa is adept at entertaining herself. She has spent the evening jumping all over us and trying to drag our jackets off, racing out the back and barking piercingly at any movement, chewing anything within reach and generally being annoying, to be frank.

I realised it was my fault for not giving her the opportunity to go out today. Lesson learned. However, it did also make me realise that we're not doing enough training to allow her to use her intelligence. So, later this evening, we spent twenty minutes training.

She surprised me. We revisited: weave between my legs/sit (and wait for the release word)/ walk nicely beside me on my left/ find a treat hidden at the other end of the house/ drop/and...best of all, free shaping where I put an empty cardboard box in the middle of the kitchen and praised any looking at the box or touching it with her nose.

I'll admit I've been underestimating her and forever comparing her with Penny, who was a delight to train. It turns out Peppa, too, wants to use her brains. It's just that she's not really in the business of trying to please the humans. She lives with us, not for us. I guess we should have known this, having read up on Lhasa apso personality traits before she came to live here.

Now I'm going to look back through my old posts to look at the training we routinely did with Penny. A great reason to revisit Penny's lifetime with us. It will be sad but worthwhile.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

helping in the garden

 Autumn is  my favorite time in the garden, and I think Peppa is also enjoying her first autumn in this world. Here she is helping us install the new wormery tower under one of the apple trees. 


Some household members seem to think the new wormery is too colorful, but I love it. Here's hoping the worms enjoy coming and going through the holes under the soil. I was thinking of using it to process pet poo, but after a little research I decided to go with my reservations, as it's in an area where we grow food. I still think the only thing we can do with Peppa's poo at this stage is put it in bags and drop it in the rubbish bin.

One site I looked at suggested putting it in the household toilet and flushing it like human waste. I'm not sure about that either. On the other hand, it would save on plastic bags going to landfill.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

 We've enjoyed the first two episodes of A Dog's World With Tony Armstrong. In the most recent one, called 'Super Senses' , he looked at studies that investigate whether certain breeds have common behavioural characterists. They concluded that this is probably true to a certain extent, but individual experiences and individual personality traits also play a part.

Well, given that we had researched Lhasa Apsos before we bought Peppa, I suppose it should  be no surprise to us that she's so completely different from our beloved Penny, who died in 2019. 

We didn't realise at the time that Penny was a dream dog in terms of her trainability. Peppa is more of a challenge, to say the least. If she's out walking and sees something interesting, she's deaf to any human voices and impervious to the lure of any treat. 

So it might be quite a long time before we'd trust her off lead. On the other hand, it's wonderful that she's quite happy to trot along with us on lead, and as we have a big yard, she gets plenty of chances to zoom around. 

She is an independent learner, though. There's one room she's never allowed into (haha! she says, I'm quicker than lightning, so try stopping me slipping in when you open the baby gate.) She's decided if she creeps in when you aren't aware, she can sit at the  gate and wait to be given the command to emerge, at which point she gets a nice treat.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

 Just a quick update on Peppa to keep this  blog alive. She's had ongoing issues with her eyes, but a couple of courses of medications seem to have settled the problems for now, and keeping up with the facial grooming helps. 

We're bemoaning the fact that she's not well-trained, and today I thought, 'Well, whose fault is that?' So off on a short training walk in the street, with lots of high-value rewards. She was great. She does get a walk every day, unless the weather is really against us, so it's not as if she doesn't get lots of stimulation. But sometimes it can be easier to let her just roam at the end of the lead. Lazy humans!

In general, she's a delight. If you don't mind sock-stealing... 

As you can see, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth:

Sunday, 9 January 2022


 Our neighbour has a cat. He wants to be near Peppa, and in fact wandered right into our house the day after Peppa came to live with us.

Peppa loves him. But the problem is that he won't let her come very close. One day, when Peppa was tiny, we went for an on-lead walk along the street and he accompanied us by walking alongside us up on the tops of the fences. 

Peppa had conniptions and it was pretty nightmarish trying to stop her strangling herself on the leash. 

Things have settled into a sort of truce, where he strolls around the perimeter of the house and she races around inside, looking out the windows or trying to bash her way through the screen door, if the wooden door is open. It's fun for her and entertaining for us. Sometimes I wonder what will happen when he eventually decides to let her approach him.

Well, today I discovered that she  can play happily with a friendly cat. We came across  a cat lying on the edge of a footpath when we were out for a walk, and these photos show what a lovely time the two of them had together:

So perhaps Mr Next-door and Peppa will get to play together sometime in the future.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

A lhasa apso puppy having fun in water

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 Peppa had her first experience of water play two days ago and again today. I had read that lhasa apso dogs don't like water, but we thought it was worth a try.

It has continued to be hot this week, so we  wanted to get out the old pool Penny had loved. We put a sprinkler into it, so that the water was moving but not deep. 

I found an old footstool that had flat legs that we thought  would not damage the pool floor.



An additional box outside the pool acted as a step for getting in.

It was fun!