Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Fast and furious

Ruby is growing fast. Already I'm finding myself looking back at photographs from a month ago and thinking that I can barely remember her being THAT small.

We're making some progress with training. She sits and lies down pretty well on command although she still tends to ignore me when focused on something. I've also been getting somewhere with 'stay'. I've found this a harder nut to crack, mainly because it essentially involves telling her NOT to do something. In the house she is getting really good at it. I can command her to stay and she will lay on the spot while I walk back a good 5 yards or so. I will then stop and maintain eye contact for up to a minute before walking back to her. Only when I get back to her will I give her praise for staying. It's sinking in I think.

Look at my tongue. Big, isn't it?
The walking on the lead saga is continuing. She does pull a lot when at the roadside and it got to the point where I became a bit worried about her damaging her throat. I've tried all kinds of things including distraction with treats, pulling up and in with the lead, talking to her to keep her attention, commanding to sit, wait etc.....nothing has worked. She becomes incredibly focused on the road and the vehicles on it and even with the tastiest of treats, she just moves around it as if to say, "get that food out of my face".

The latest harness we have got makes things much easier. It is much harder for her to pull and it will soon check her. Eventually I want to go back to the collar but I think I'll wait until the training has kicked in a bit more.

Ruby has had two visits to dog training now and we are going back again tomorrow night. To be honest, it's benefitting me more than the dog. The trainer is good at picking up on little things such as when I called her. I was crouched and as she ran towards me I leaned forward and to the side to give her the treat. The trainer spotted this and advised that I use the treat to 'lure' her right in to me before giving her the treat. That way, she would get used to coming right up to me rather than stop 2 feet away.

Toilet training is having its ups and downs. She is good with the poo side of things (unless we are REALLY not paying attention). But when it comes to the pee, she can often just run into the conservatory and immediately squat and pee before we have any time to react. We still take her outside regularly but she can be out for 10 minutes and do nothing but pee as soon as back in the house. There is some progress having constantly praised her every time she goes outside. I can often now tell her to "go pee" and she will do it. So overall, I think we are getting there. I have to remember she is still only a 4 month old puppy.

The walks around the estate are interesting as I have discovered so many people with dogs. I never noticed how many other dogs there were until I started taking Ruby out. Mind you, I did only tend to drive in and out of the estate in my car. We met a really unusual cross breed last week. It was a BC / Akita cross. It looked more like an Akita than a collie and belonged to a couple and their 3 young kids. I have to say I wasn't convinced about having such a dog with small kids. If it has the Akita dominance and the collie drive, it will be a real handful.