Teaching Sit

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Today I worked on re-enforcing the “Sit” command with Bentley.  He already kind of knows it, but I really wanted to hammer it home, and make sure he starts to get the difference between “Sit” and “Down”.  Bentley’s a really smart pup, so this was actually hard… for me.  He would anticipate what I was asking and give the behavior before I even asked for it!  But you never want to have your dog dictating when he gets treats/food.  Just because he sits nicely doesn’t mean he gets something, I have to ask for it first.  Food and affection must always be done on your terms, not his.  Keeping him leashed during the exercise helped because I could then get him to stand back up the times when he sat without me asking or gave me “Down” instead of “Sit”.

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Book Review: Ain’t Misbehavin’

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Ain’t Misbehavin’: Why Good Dogs Do Bad Things and Why You Should Change Your Behavior

This book is written by Dick Wolfsie and Veterinarian Gary R. Sampson.  Mostly it is told from Dr. Sampson’s point of view.

The book deals with a few areas of behavioral problems: Aggression, Anxiety, Housebreaking, Destruction and Other misbehaviors.  Each section has several anecdotes from the author’s clients and the resolutions he suggested for their problems.

An over-arching theme throughout the book is that dogs need lots of exercise, usually far more than they are getting, and that you want to do your best to set up your environment so that you don’t set the dog up for failure.  E.g., If you have a notorious chewer, don’t leave things lying around for him to chew.

I found this to be a very quick read. The different clients’ stories were entertaining to read, and it was fun trying to guess the root of the issue or the resolution before it was revealed by the authors.  This is not, however, a book on training your dog.  While the author recommends giving a dog commands often, this book has no instructions on how to teach your dog any commands. If your dog is having an issue similar to one of the stories in this book, perhaps you will find a new way of dealing with it by reading this book. If not, consult a professional.

Clicker Training

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Started work on some clicker training with Bentley.  I managed to record the training session, but unfortunately I don’t have the resources to edit the video just yet, so you’ll have to endure it in its raw form!

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Bringing a puppy home

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pre-grooming

Bentley on the car ride home, pre-grooming

Meet my new dog, Bentley!  Bentley is a 7-month old…. well, I was told he is a Yorkie-Poo, but aside from the  black and tan Yorkie coloring, he doesn’t really look like it.  Quite adorable though!  I picked him up from the animal shelter after work last night.  Turns out I’m already Bentley’s 3rd owner.  And he’s not even a year old!

Originally, I wasn’t planning on keeping his former name.  But the first time I went to see him, I actually saw a Bentley on the road (not a common sight around these parts) so I figured it must be a sign!  Other names I had considered were (Han) Solo (he’s scruffy-looking, after all, but it could sound to much like “No”) and Wicket (which sounds too much like Wicked, and I don’t want to give him any ideas).  And really, Bentley rather suits him somehow.

First thing I did once I’d picked him up was whisk him off to Petsmart to get groomed. Learned quite a bit about my new puppy on this trip.  He loves to jump up on people. (need to work on that)  He has stitches from getting fixed, thus they couldn’t bathe him.  He had some mats in his fur, so they had to shave him down fairly short.  And Bentley is apparently REALLY mouthy.  So much so, that they weren’t able to trim the hair around his face at all because he kept nipping. (REALLY need to work on that)

Once we got home, I promptly took him for a walk, hoping to wear him out a bit before bed.  He’s fairly good on a leash, but he wants to chase deer and bark at other dogs.  Bentley is either starved (not likely) or super food motivated. He goes crazy for treats.  And when I gave him some kibble, he practically inhaled it.

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After a month-long search…

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Who knew it could be so hard to adopt a dog?  Granted, I was being picky.  I want this dog to be accepted by my mom who is the most picky person on the planet.  So I had some strict criteria.  It had to be a small breed.  Small dogs go extremely fast.  It had to be “cute and fluffy” which in this case generally meant a breed which had a style of coat that could be groomed into what is known as a puppy-cut.

I’d emailed a few different rescues about dogs I came across on Petfinder.  But each time, someone had gotten to the dog before I had.  I volunteer at the county kennel, and even there, a dog was snatched up before he was even finished being groomed.  (poor baby had to be completely shaved, he was so matted)

In the end, like many things in life, it was  all about who you know.  Mentioned I was looking for a dog to my trainer at the gym.  Then when another member said “know anyone who wants a Yorkie-Poo?” she in fact did know someone!  Unfortunately, the timing was a bit off.  The woman wanted to get rid of the dog quickly since it had inadvertently bitten her 4-yr old (small breed puppies and toddlers DO NOT MIX).  So she had already had someone from a local shelter pick up the dog to foster him.  And even before they got the dog up on the shelter website, there was interest in him!  I was one of a few applicants, so I was worried this would lead to another dead end, but I got an email today that I was chosen to adopt the puppy, and I’ll be bringing him home tomorrow or Friday!

Stay tuned, pictures and video and lots more to follow!