Flux and I have been quite busy learning all about his new world and how fun and exciting everything is! Here’s what we worked on our first week:
Wednesday: AIRPLANES ALL DAY! He happily met 3 security guards who just HAD to pet him. He got treats for resting quietly in his crate. We explored two family bathrooms and got treats for hearing toilets flush and hand dryer noises. After he got home, he met: Karin, John, Josh, Liz, and Ray as well as his new doggie siblings, Gina and Sulley. He learned about the HORRORS of rain (where he grew up, it’s been mostly snow since he was born) and puppy murdering collars. That night he was really tired and slept well in his crate, getting up once to go outside to pee.
New people met: 11 New Locations: 5
Thursday: Our first full day at home! We had left Gina at Karin’s house because she was likely to be unimpressed by a puppy and he needed time to adjust to his new house. My mom came over to visit, so he got his first introduction to having guests over to the house. He greeted her enthusiastically and was happy to eat her cheese. We started working on sitting while I eat as his current strategy was to continuously throw himself at me in hopes of getting closer to the food. He picked up on this quickly and now readily offers sitting when he wants food. Later in the day, we went with Karin to the park and then to the science center downtown. It was very cold and a long walk from the parking area so I carried him for the most part. He happily saw strollers, running children, bikes, many people, flapping flags, construction equipment, and wagons. He was mildly concerned about the traffic (there was construction and we had to walk pretty close to a busy road. After some time to watch and earn cheese, he was significantly less worried. Up by the museum, he walked around a bit greeting the families coming in and out before we all got too cold and decided to go home. At home, we all might have been very tired and fell asleep on the bed. Flux stayed with us until he had to pee at about 3am and then happily went back to sleeping in his crate.
New people met: 7 New locations: 2
Friday: Demo Dog! Karin and I have been working with a local service dog organization to increase and improve their positive reinforcement based training. Part of the curriculum is having the trainers learn on more experienced dogs not in their programs so they can get feedback about their training more quickly and learn with less pressure.
Flux was volunteered to work in this role as he was a great bridge between clicker savvy dogs and their current dogs. I intentionally hadn’t done any “real” training with him as his little brain is taking in a lot of information and I wanted to build some bond with him first, so he was a great blank slate. We worked on the introduction to matwork and this little puppy was quite a show-off. In front of about 30 people he’d never met, he not only learned to go to his mat happily and quickly, but also started offering a down! Good puppy! After the demo, he got to meet several of the trainers and was very confident in general. He was worried about the fake dog statue, but as soon as one of the other dogs walked over to it, he wasn’t worried at all anymore. After that, he got his first trip to the training building and being crated while we worked. He was very whiney, until we put him by other dogs. Then he quickly quieted down and went to sleep. Housetraining is still a little bit of a struggle for us because it is very cold/wet and he’d much prefer to use the tarp that’s folded up in the kitchen. Admittedly, I could pick up the tarp, but it is significantly easier to clean so I’d rather have the accidents directed towards that anyway.
New people met: 15 New Locations: 2
Saturday: We woke up early for a trip to a dog training facility near Marietta for a weekend “vacation.” He experienced a long car ride on windy country roads, and just slept the trip away without any problems. He was fearless at exploring the large training field and agility building. He ran through several tunnels and explored all the other equipment as well. Saturday night, we left all the dogs crated in the cabin while we went out to dinner. He had a Kong, a frozen Kong, two chew toys, a soft blanket, and a crate cover. Everyone was quiet very quickly, and was asleep by the time we were back from dinner. Some late night romping and then he was perfectly happy to sleep in his crate in a completely new place.
New people met: 1 New Locations: 3
Sunday: We spent more time exploring the agility building including the tippy boards (they are FUN to run over) and other contact equipment (he tried to give me a heart attack by running up the a-frame). We also practiced some recalls to tug, which were beautiful! He got measured (10.75”) with agility wickets and was a champ. He met a very puppy friendly cat and the owners of the facility without skipping a beat. He also did a few BAT sessions with the bigger dogs and was interested, but wanted to keep a safe distance, so that was allowed. No need to rush things and have him get scared. He is a puppy who likes to sit back and observe for a little bit, then approaches confidently once he’s watched everything.
New people met: 3 New Locations: 1
Monday: Christmas at Dad’s House! He went out to my dad’s house, where he acted like the perfect angel the whole time. Met everyone happily. Sat for food in the kitchen, slept quietly in his carrier through dinner and on my lap during game time. Quickly and easily bathroomed outside in a new location.
New People met: 4 New Locations: 1
Tuesday: First day of school! Flux gets to come with me to puppy day school. Here he’s learning all sorts of important skills that will help him later in life. He’s learning how to crate quietly even when I am around and activity is happening (a small struggle for him), how to play well with other dogs, and basic skills. He got to meet two dachshunds, Duncan and Gwen and had a blast playing with Duncan. He was a little unsure during his first play session, but by the second session he was fully into the game. He went on a short walk around the complex and worked on shaping skills with Karin. He went home after I finished teaching my classes for the day and insisted he WASN’T tired. A quick chew on a bully stick and a cuddle fixed that and he basically slept all evening.
New people met: 4 New Locations: 1
New People - 40
New Locations - 15
Accidents Inside - 16
Cute Pictures Taken - 300+ (mostly of him sleeping)