Another very large day for a very small puppy! One of the things I wish I had a record of was all the different experiences Lu had as a baby, so I’d know what ideas worked and what maybe didn’t. So here I want to document our initial adventures, socialisation outings or incursions, and general puppy shenanigans.
As far as Socialisation goes, today Loki met 9 Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier puppies at my friend Sarah’s house. At first he was a bit unsure (WHY SO MANY!?) and then as he settled in and began to explore, the play was on. He did very well at terrier wrestle-play, and it was very different play to the chasing he’s doing with Lu. I consider this an excellent experience. It definitely shows that as soon as he’s vaccinated, I’ll be wanting to introduce him to lots of friendly dogs though, because he’s at his least confident with dogs.
Obviously he’s having plenty of car-rides, and sometimes these are on dirt roads, too.
After all the play (about 2 hours of playing), we came home, then did some gardening. It started to rain, so he had further exposure to rain and then, we were really lucky because a thunderstorm moved overhead. The little champ didn’t bat an eye and continued playing with Lu and helping us with the mulch. During this, he’s hanging out under the wheelbarrow, climbing on an upside down slippery kayak, helping Nic with the shovel, climbing on grass clumps, and generally having a wonderful time.
Since I’m making play my focus, we played with garden gloves, some bark, a half rubber ball thing that Penny had that Lu loves (and he was VERY keen on that, too) and hands, we ran back and forth and I tried getting him to do a sort of beginners retrieve, which he did, twice, but then he realised he was very very tired and just looked puzzled by the whole situation.
Tomorrow, I think we might go to a forest where dogs maybe technically aren’t allowed so it should be pretty safe especially if we go off-trail (we’re the only morons I know who do this so I think it will be ok). And we might try and hit up a farmer’s market with him in a shopping bag so people can meet him.
Since I’ve begun to lay the foundation for shaping and tricks, I’m actually just going to put that on the backburner for the minute.
Instead, we’re going to focus on:
- playing: everywhere and anywhere, and with anything. This is made a little harder by not being vaccinated so unable to play ‘out and about’ but I’ll make a concerted effort to bring a blanket along, get him out and PLAY.
- retrieving: this doesn’t seem to come as naturally to him as it did with Lu but I think with practise we’ll get there, especially if it’s tugging/playing, then me running off
- sprints together, running, sprinting. Again, made difficult by lack of vaccinations, but I think school ovals should be ok, up at Silvan and at Wright Forest there could be some chances.
- just playing with stuff around – wobble boards, around food containers/other objects (preparing for cik/cap)
- playing in water (need to find some, but I’d love him to be a water dog, too)
- socialising: going everywhere, meeting everyone.
- crate games.
I think I’d like to continue using the clicker – maybe I could just use it sparingly…. not sure how. Click for calm/ignoring behaviour around cats, click for good crate behaviour (staying in when door open, etc). Something to think about.