Well Duke has been a perfect puppy. This week he has been spectacular! No unwanted chewing or destruction, he’s been listening, settling quickly and walking brilliantly on the lead. He’s still a little over excited around people and other dogs but that will come. The one thing with re-homing a dog is that you aren’t aware of all the experiences they have had and they can come with bad habits. Happily Duke is slowly losing bad habits.I’m addicted to “It’s me or the dog” and have been using some of the training techniques from the programme. I even ordered Victoria Stilwell’s book. I like the training methods as they are science based and I’m a big lover of positive and negative reinforcement. Sound aversion works really well with Duke when it comes to bad behaviour and the call back technique works beautifully when there isn’t anyone about (we are still working on him coming back when there are distractions). The training uses owner-friendly techniques that aren’t too complicated and even a child could follow the advice.
Duke responds pretty well to clicker training IF another dog isn’t around!
We had a puppy play date on Wednesday with a Husky cross Rottweiler who is a similar size to Duke. The play date was brilliant!! Duke and his new friend got on fabulously; at first Duke was a little scared despite being the bigger of the two boys and kept letting out a half yelp half bark. After they had established who was in charge (not my wimp Dukey) they were following each other around playing and jumping on each other. It was pretty cute! Duke found a muddy puddle and eventually the two of them were in it. The next play date is already scheduled. We often struggle to get Duke together with other pooches as owners are a bit scared of his size , even though he’s a total softy. He had such a great time and was exhausted when we got home resulting in a quiet afternoon and evening with him sleeping for most of it on my lap. He doesn’t seem to have been socialised in his early life so he isn’t always sure of the rules.
We also took Duke to my grandparents’ house. They have a small King Charles who Duke does bother a bit too much and as we want to be able to take him there when we visit, he’s having to learn to leave the dog alone. He’s getting there though!
We also decided to tackle the beach again, a place where he often gets over excited and can’t listen to commands. The weather gave us a great opportunity to head down as it was damp and cold so therefore less busy on the promenade and even less busy on the sand. We put him on a long line and distracted him with a tennis ball if other dogs or people came into view; Duke’s getting really good at fetch! And he behaved really well on the long line.
Duke’s newest trick? I can now drop food on the floor, tell him to leave it… and he won’t touch it!!! I’m pretty impressed.
Lots more training to do but I’m sure my perfect pooch will get there. He seems happy and that’s what is important to me.