Carrying Things Around
Two bones now, Spence? Taking one bone outside is not good enough for you? You silly puppy!
Out on a Walk
Spencer calmly watches a Golden Retriever walk his owner. It had been raining for days. The pup did get some form of exercise every day; we walked in the rain and used the treadmill, but it was still less than is normal amount. When the rain finally let up and we got out for a nice walk it took a little more effort to keep the pup heeling on a leash. He had energy to burn and he wanted to go. Considering that, however he did fairly well passing other dogs and people. He got a little overly excited over a jogger who came up from behind us, pulling a little toward the jogger as they passed, but a tug and a "hey!" put his focus back on me.
We stacked firewood on the porch for the first time this year and Spencer seemed to think it was just a bunch of new huge bones for him to chew on. No, no, no puppy, the firewood is not for you to chew on. Give me that. Although I had sent him away from the wood several times something kept drawing him back to it. The wood must have smelled awfully good to him.
I gave him one of his rawhide bones, but he was not interested. So I took the bone and put some salmon oil on it, a supplement for dogs which contains over 15 omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in it. That did the trick. The bone was tastier than the wood. I'll be working on getting the pup to leave the firewood alone.
The pup is doing quite well for only 6 months old. He has no problem passing most things. What he needs work on is passing moving bicycles, joggers and people who greet him excitedly. He will pull toward bikes and joggers as if he wants to run with them. I am going to have to work on exposing him to more moving bikes and joggers and ask him to ignore them.
As far as people go, if the person is relatively calm when they greet him, he does just fine. However if a person talks baby talk to him and gets him excited he will pull toward the person as he curls into a submissive ball and turns in a circle with his head low, usually pushing into the person's leg. While this is a submissive gesture he cannot be allowed to pull toward anything at his own free will while on a leash. I was very proud of him this past week when he spotted some people he associates with excitement and was about to pull toward them to say hello. I had stepped in front of him with perfect timing and was able to cut him off. I then made eye contact with him and used a hand signal that meant to stop or slow down. Spencer kept his eye on me without pulling as we walked up to the people. He was much calmer while getting petted since we had approached calmly. We will be working on this as well. This is a difficult one as his behavior is greatly affected by the humans around him, which is something I often do not have control over. Several times a week, I have to ask humans to please not encourage him to jump up on them or climb on top of them as they bend down to pet him. When the human explains that they do not mind him being on them I have to explain that I do mind because he is being trained not to jump.