Chuck 11wks

Two weeks of Chuck!  The little guy is really settling in nicely.  Lance still loves him and the opportunity to bark more and play chase me and even Vito is starting to play him!  So far Vito has only played with Chuck at daycare and a tiny bit out in the yard, but in the house he is being much more accepting with fewer grumbles.

Potty training is well, work.  But Chuck is going much faster outside and I've been able to eliminate the use of treats as at least Chuck can now multi task by peeing and having a stick in his mouth at the same time!  I am wondering if he has a bladder infection though as he leaks a tiny bit while he is sleeping and at other times.  I don't think he's peeing more often then a puppy should but I'm also just happy that he doesn't have to pee 4 times an hour like Puppy Vito.

Still picking up everything in the house, especially any paper.  He loves showing it off to us though and wags his entire body as we call him over!  Chuck has a very solid grip though and I will need to start working more on a drop it cue.  So far we have been trading objects for toys and he has had only one lesson in drop it during a tug session.

Training focus this 2nd week:
Chuck has been doing great with respecting me and the dogs around food!  I no longer need to do any body blocking and don't even need any treats as Chuck keeps a good distance from the others' food dishes.  I can even train Chuck with his bowl of food on the ground next to me without having him try for it.  This is really a huge thing for my family as it means I am slowly able to start training the other dogs again!  While I am working Lance and Vito he is still right underfoot which is stressing Lance out a lot but at least he has been sitting nicely and not trying to grab their kibble out of my hand.

In his training sessions I introduced "go mat" and quickly shaped Chuck to run over to his mat about 5 feet away and do an automatic down.  I have just started to work on duration and will add the verbal cue shortly.

I also started "touch" which is his foot target.  He will go step on a coaster from 4ft away and I am now introducing the verbal cue.  Chuck was very cute the first couple sessions as I have been doing a lot of rewarding for offered downs so Chuck thought he was supposed to lie down on the coaster.  He quickly realized a paw was being rewarded but would still lie down next to it and then pick up his paw to place!

Chuck has been getting pretty good at pivoting in front of me on his little pedestal so he has now had a few lessons in pivoting to heel.  Chuck was very confused at first since I wasn't moving with him but I think he is just now starting to get the concept of following the lure while keeping his front feet on the pedestal. 

Leave it, sit, down, and nudge my hand have all gotten better.  I don't think he knows any verbal cues yet though.  And I realized that I have done very little this week with crate games in our sessions but I am at least requiring him to wait now in real life before he can come out of his crate.  Hopefully I will remember to work more with crate games this next week.

I have also just started to shape a retrieve.  Mainly just clicking Chuck for nosing an object and now just for open mouths.  He has somewhat of a play retrieve but when food comes out Chuck has zero interest in playing.  During play I use lots of encouragement and lots of playing tug and he is starting to learn to come to my hand.  I really like playing tug to teach retrieving as it really gives the dog a reason to come back to you AND a reason to come back all the way to your hand.  If you just throw the object again or use food you often run into the dog anticipating what comes next and starting to drop the object earlier.  When the dog is focused on playing tug it is about interacting with you so not only do they want to bring the object in really close they also start tightening up their grip in anticipation of tugging!  So while I do formally train a retrieve with treats, it is so nice to also have a dog who loves playing tug.

Mango  – ( June 13, 2010 at 8:09 PM )  

That Chuck will go far with such a wonderful home school. Training with a ferret, no less. Now that is what I call distraction.


Kristi W @ Life at the Chateau Whitman  – ( June 14, 2010 at 11:10 AM )  

He is doing so well! How long would you estimate that you work with him each day?

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( June 15, 2010 at 7:56 PM )  

I try to train him with his lunch whenever I can, couple times a week, and his dinner each night. Each session is about 5-15min long.

Ninso  – ( June 16, 2010 at 4:10 PM )  

Wow, you've really done a lot in two weeks! That's awesome!

Cinnamon  – ( June 16, 2010 at 4:57 PM )  

Chuck sounds like a fast learner. Mint hasn't leaned that much.

Yes, there are four levels in the CGC program of New Zealand Kennel Club; Foundation, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Our friend Honey the Great Dane is the only Great Dane who has achieved the Gold!

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