1 Week of Chuck

Chuck finally started sleeping through the night on day 5.  Previously he decided that he would need to pee at 1am, poo at 3, and then pee at 5.  Every night.  Thanks for that Chuck.

I actually broke down and started using treats for potty training.  I have never been one to potty train puppies with treats, mainly because I don't think it's neccessary.  I'm always right there with the puppy, praise like crazy, and since you take the puppy outside so often the simple management teaches the puppy where to go.  If they don't get many opportunities to go inside the house then they don't learn how good it feels to relieve themselves inside!  I still believe that but I broke down anyway.  Little Chuck is obsessed with eating sticks.  Obsessed.  He could have just woken up from a nap, drank a ton of water, played a big game of tug, and basically done every other thing in the world that would make a normal puppy pee and Chuck will hold it if he's outside.  But there is one thing that will trump his love of sticks and that's food.  Of course now the other reason I don't like treats is coming true, Chuck pees just a tiny bit and runs to me with glee expecting his treat.  Smart alec.

I was dead on about Lance and Vito.  Lance pouted and growled at any little thing for 3 days and now he just loves the little dude.  Still not completely comfortable but they play a lot and Lance hardly ever yells at him.  Vito is majorly pouting.  Lots of grumbling and looking pathetic but he is letting Chuck *gasp* actually sit next to him now and then.

Loves the ferrets.  And is scared of them.  Opie is being his typical naughty self and biting his nose every chance he gets.  Opie does this with any new dog visiting the house so I'm not surprised.  Chuck loves trying to play with them but then doesn't quite know what to do when they pay him any attention.

Training Focus this first week
Mainly I have been working on getting Chuck to respect me and the other dogs around food.  Starting when I dish out all of the food, Chuck gets handled kibble for sitting and a body block for jumping on the containers.  I train him first and then for the first couple of days I did not training with the other dogs and simply gave Lance and Vito their food, one at a time.  Chuck was body blocked and then rewarded with more kibble when he sat and didn't dive bomb the other dog.  More of the same when I ate as Chuck would try and fling his body onto the coffee table or couch.  We made huge progress in this aspect as while I still need kibble on hand to reward the sitting, I don't need any body blocks and am no longer dispensing kibble out like a pez dispenser!

In his training sessions Chuck has been learning to offer sits and downs and I have just started to use hand signals and verbals.  He has been started on doggy zen which has now morphed into a tiny leave it.  I always need to warm up slowly with this, but Chuck can now leave food that is dropped in front of him.  Hand targeting and eye contact games have also entered his repitore as well as shaping games.  I can't say that Chuck really understands that he controls the click but he is slowly offering behaviors.  Mainly we have been shaping going into the kennel and waiting inside, and then the start of pivoting on a box.

We did 3 little outings this week.  To the pet store, to the vet for Lance's chiropratic appointment, and to the obedience club for the older boys' classes.  Chuck was super in all places with great attention even with other dogs and people going past.  I am doling out treats like crazy right now and Chuck is eagerly sucking them up and ignoring everything else.

Pepper  – ( June 5, 2010 at 4:26 AM )  

He's pretty cute Laura, and very waggy & happy! I love when Vito was watching him with a somewhat sullen expression on his face, poor wee guy haha.

Lauren  – ( June 5, 2010 at 8:43 AM )  

Oh my goodness, you are going to kill me with this little guy. I have puppy fever from watching that video and I NEVER get puppy fever! The video of him playing with the ferret is adorable!!

Training my Mammoth  – ( June 5, 2010 at 8:15 PM )  

I'm absolutely in love with Chuck!

We tried being Puppy Raisers for the Seeing Eye when I was younger. We got a black lab puppy named Arctic. Unfortunately we got him a few weeks after we returned from a vacation. We had a Golden Retriever who got boarded at the same kennel as my grandparent's Pomeranian. Whoever dropped the dogs off (I was like, 10, so I have no idea) marked that the dogs should be boarded together in an extra large run. Except the Pomeranian tormented our Golden so badly that he never got over his issue with smaller dogs, or apparently, puppies and we had to return Arctic. It was very sad, but a few years later there was an article about him in a local paper. I'd like to try that again one day. It's such a fantastic experience.

Thanks for your comment on my agility post! I was thinking of staying to the right of the jumps too, but usually my push is better than my pull. I figured if I stayed to the right and tried to pull her to the teeter, she'd be halfway up the A-Frame before I could stop her since it would be right where she was looking. Oh well! Something to try next time.

I can't wait to hear more about all your animals' adventures. I love the video of him playing with the ferret too!

Lindsay  – ( June 5, 2010 at 11:16 PM )  

LMAO! For the first part of the video he looked like a little terror on four feet! It totally cracked me up to see him with the ferret.:o) I'm really impressed with the training! He looks like he's doing so well already!

Honey the Great Dane  – ( June 6, 2010 at 3:13 AM )  

Oh, Chuck is SOOOOO lucky to be starting life with you! What wonderful skills and attitudes he's going to gain. And in a house full of different pets too!

Sounds like he's doing fantastically with all this training - wish all people did this much with their puppies - a lot of people still seem to cling to the old idea that you can't train a pup until 6 months old! Or that you need to do all the (boring!) Obedience stuff first before you start teaching "tricks" and other thing s- they don't realise that all of it is helping the dog to learn & develop skills and bond - to a dog, "heeling" is as much a trick as Bedding or Spinning in a circle! :-)

I think like you on the no treats necessary for toilet training - but I can see why you decided to cave in for Chuck! To be honest, I think dog training principles should be flexible (what a lot of trainers don't seem to get - they treat it like a religion and can be pretty "fundamentalist" about it!) - and what works for one dog or situation may not be suitable or practical for another. Why struggle for ages with one method when another is faster & morre effective?

It was funny hearing about the dogs' reactions! :-)


achieve1dream  – ( July 6, 2010 at 7:12 PM )  

He is sooooo cute and so smart! You are doing so great with him. I love the part at the end where Vito is watching you crate train Chuck. :) Too cute!

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