OK, so I know the week isn't over yet, but I don't have school tomorrow (staff development day) so in a way it is. As the title suggests, Don and I have had a great week. He's really coming along and finally showing some progress with his house behaviors. He's been a lot better this week about not stealing objects. Today, my mom said he did really well while I was at school. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am using a more verbal form of correcting him in which I step on his dragline, then shake his collar and say "KNOCK IT OFF". Quite effective. Also, I been watching him even more carefully than usual this week, keeping him on tie-down unless I can watch his every move and constantly staying within reach of him.
Even better, I took a new approach to his dog distractions this week— and it has worked wonders. On our walks we encounter 1 to 2 dogs, which means that Don does not have much of a chance to get his walking-calmly-past-dogs behavior down. It is very important that he gets his dog distractions under control as this will be tested a lot in formal training. My new approach? I decided to walk Don in the most high-dog distraction place I could find- our town's fabulous dog park which is always swarming with people and their dogs. It's a very well maintained park, with a giant grassy field in the center and a really nice walking path around it. On monday, I took Don for the first time and we walked around the outer path. I was really surprised at how well he did. Using the food protocol and lots of talking to him, I was able to get him to continue walking past the other dogs. Yay! Lots of treats for Don. He is getting better everyday on our daily dog park visits. Now, he is even calmly walking past running off leash dogs, and when another dog approached him yesterday he sniffed him without getting overly excited, then continued when I said "lets go". Of course, there are times when he has a bit of trouble, but I think I have found the key to working on his dog distractions!
Don is one tired pup after our dog-distraction excursion.
Today, Don had to go to the vets to get his sore on his elbow checked out. The vet said it was a pressure callus, and that he had laid down on his side too hard. So, during the 3 weeks it takes to heal, he's supposed to sleep only on soft surfaces. Lucky dog! He weighed in at 64.4 lbs- he's getting bigger every day.
Afterwards we went to a frozen yogurt place (they didn't let us bring Don in, so we left and went to a different ice cream place), then because it was so hot we went to Toys R Us to buy Don a kiddie pool, and get the new ipod touch case I wanted.
Don swam (more like tried to dig the water out of the pool) the rest of the afternoon. He was a bit wary at first, but I put some kibblesicles in (ice cubes with kibble) and he had a fun time bobbing for ice cubes. He also liked playing with a plastic gallon milk jug (GDB approved) and raced around and around our porch.
Don in his new submarine themed kiddie pool. He loved sticking his snout under the water and blowing bubbles.
In the end Don decided to leave the swimming pool and his Goughnut for the milk jug.
Time to dry off!
My principal called the other day, he said he was worried about Don being a distraction and Don relieving, but that he might be able to bend the rules for a day or two. We are having the principal of another teen raiser in our club who took his dog to school talk to my principal about how it went, so hopeful that'll go well.
Hope everyone else is having a good week!