Daily Archives: August 25, 2011

Back to “normal”

For years, Jay and I have had a morning routine. I get up with the dogs, let them out, feed them a light breakfast of kibble, make tea for the humans, and we all go back to the bedroom to talk and relax before the day begins. The dogs get up on the bed and snuggle with us. It’s a nice way to start the day.

The puppy changed all that. He insisted on half an hour of solid exercise every single morning. Once he arrived, I took them all out, but only Elly and Dancer got to go back to bed. Rush and I spent a half hour playing and training, until he was ready to go back into his crate for a nap while Jay and I had a cup of tea. Not quite the same experience.

This morning, without even thinking about it, I got up, let the dogs out, fed them breakfast, made tea for Jay and me, and got back into bed. Rush lay down at the end of the bed. Dancer stretched out next to me. Elly stretched out by Jay’s side. We talked about the situation in Libya (Jay lived in Braga in 1969, when Qaddafi came to power). We talked about the hurricane. I completely forgot about having to train Rush before I could relax–and Rush lay at the end of the bed and relaxed while we talked.

He’s come so far, so fast. He pees on cue, and not in the house. He lies on his mat in my office while I work. He’s calm in his crate at night and sleeps until 6:30 in the morning. He sits on cue. He can wait to be released from a sit for five or ten seconds. He doesn’t annoy the big dogs nearly as much as he used to. He can hang out under a restaurant table while I eat, calm and unworried. He walks really nicely on leash (as long as he doesn’t see other dogs). His SIT, COME, WAIT, and name recognition are excellent. He has a nice nost-to-hand touch and a nice front paw target.

Looking at my list, I see that I still need to work on grooming behaviors (paw holding for dremeling, enjoying brushing, accepting clipping, muzzle holding, teeth exams), restrained recalls (which he really quite dislikes), bite inhibition (although it’s pretty good, it’s not great), and a rear foot target. He’s also really distracted by other dogs. DOWN and STAND are not yet on voice cue.