• Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    by David Allen
  • Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction
    Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction
    by Robert F. Mager
  • The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior
    The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior
    by Benjamin L. Hart, Lynette A. Hart

    This book includes super helpful graphs describing 56 common dog breeds in terms of 13 traits, including playfulness.

  • Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog
    Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog
    by Carol Lea Benjamin

    My favorite book on dog training.

Thoughts on instructional design, my dog, and life

Saturday
Dec292012

Charley Piddles

Charley on his bedWe have a command in our home, LET’S TAKE A NAP. When I had Cientos, this command meant Cientos was to run in to his crate, next to my side of the bed, and Lina was to run and get on the dog bed at the foot of the bed. (Since Lina is officially my daughter’s dog, her crate is in my daughter’s bedroom.)

I tried this for the first time today. I asked Lina to get on the bed, and Charley to go in the crate. Right away there was some confusion. Charley sat down next to my side of the bed. Duh. I should’ve anticipated this. I hadn’t verified whether Charley is crate trained, and Charley’s bed is at the foot of the bed. A little insecurity on Lina’s part, a lot of insecurity on Charley’s part. OK, plan B. “Lina, in the CRATE”, “Charley, on the BED.”

Lina obeyed just fine, but I had to pat the bed and coax Charley. Still, he wouldn’t move. In fact, he did this mule, planting feet thing. He gets into this mode that I just haven’t found a solution for yet. He won’t do anything, won’t budge, he’s shut down. I don’t know what he’s expecting but it doesn’t seem to be a pleasant thing.

I finally got him lying down on his bed, after much coaxing. And then I discovered he’d piddled.

What happened? Charley seems to be prone to either nervous or submissive peeing. He’s four years old, I wouldn’t think he would have this problem, but maybe it’s temporary, because of all the newness in his environment over the last weeks.

It’s possible Charley’s general insecurity, not knowing what to expect, is understandable and just requires patience and time. It could be I stumbled upon a pattern where in the past he’s been physically moved into place. I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about this some more. How could he possibly object to going on his bed?

Friday
Dec282012

Initial Observations

Charley and Lina

Charley has started licking Lina’s face. That usually shows submissiveness. It was Lina who licked Cientos’s face. On the other hand, Charley puts Lina down roughly if she gets close to a toy he’s playing with. She snarls back, freezes, then, once Charley turns away, she does her wiggle butt dance. He wags his tail and rubs up against me for pets. It’s like Lina is being submissive to Charley & Charley is being submissive to me. I would expect Charley, being male, to be dominant over Lina, second to me, the alpha pack leader, but the licking Lina’s face doesn’t seem to fit.

When we come home after leaving the pooches in the garage, with access to the yard, they’re both outside. Before, we’d come home and find Lina and Cientos curled up in the garage cubby seemingly exactly where we left them. I suspect Charley goes out to explore and Lina follows, or it could be Lina entices him out (she is quite a temptress). This makes me think Charley has enough confidence in his new surroundings to be curious.

On the one hand, Charley seems to have beautiful manners. No getting in to the trash, jumping up on counters. He will fetch a toy endlessly, intensely running after it and bringing it back to me. He doesn’t try to steal the toy or make me chase him to get it. He seems to really enjoy chasing it down and bringing it back to me.

Yet, when I try to use fetching a toy as a reward for doing something he doesn’t particularly like to do or seems to have a bad association with, like responding to the COME or DOWN command, he acts confused.

Similarly, food treats seem like more of a distraction to him, at least at this point, than a reward. (Of course, Carol Benjamin writes, in Mother Knows Best, that food treats are always a distraction….)

I guess at this point, I’m just not sure what to make of Charley.

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