She’s been with us for going on nearly two months, and life is anything but routine. That said, our work/life routine has started to settle back into the pandemic-lockdown-normal once again, which is to say that over are our two weeks of unstructured slothing around the house with literally nothing to do but eat and ponder life. The pup has continued to grow bit-by-bit and tackle new skills brought on by more challenging requests.
c’mere a minitt
We have this fun game we’ve been playing. I ask the pup to come see me so I can pick her up or lead her somewhere we need to go. She runs around like crazy avoiding me and hiding, bum in the air and tail wagging, so that I can’t. I’ve introduced a brand new game to her over the last couple weeks called “Co’mere!” It’s simple. I say come here (which comes out more like “co’mere”) and if she walks up to me and let’s me take her by the collar she gets a treat. I admit, it’s less fun than the old version, but we’ve had a great time actually going to other rooms in the house.
wuk wuk wuk treeeet!
Walking has not come naturally to the pup. The pup’s pal (we’ll call her S) who lives a couple blocks away is only about a week older than she and S has been tackling walks of three or four kilometers for a month now. We on the other hand enjoy sitting on the asphalt and contemplating a walk rather than … y’know … actually taking one. I did some research and discovered a loose-leash training strategy to encourage heeling and walking. We’ve been testing it out on short strolls for the last week (and luckily the weather is cooperating!) She gets a lot of (tiny) treats, but we’ve had some solid 8/10 quality walks this past week.
A couple weeks ago we hung a bell at the back door. The idea is that the pup learns to ring it when she wants to go outside. Training hasn’t been as tough as we thought it would be, but it has taken the full of those two weeks to get her into the habit of understanding that ring-a-ling means that the door opens and she can go out. It’s only been in the last two days or so that we’ve hit a milestone of deliberately pawing the bells (followed by a sly glance back to us) to show that she gets the signal. Trouble is, as we train this we want her to ring to go out to do her business… but she’s figured out that we’ll let her out no matter whenever she rings. In a word: playtime!