Monday, September 16, 2013

Settling In

They say it takes a dog a couple of weeks in a new home before its personality comes out. Peter has been here two weeks last Friday.

GRA Peter

Peter has a new friend, which periodically is stolen by his housemate, Silver.

Silver doesn't want to play with it. She just wants to take it away from Peter.

Peter likes his squeaky toys. He's okay with stuffed toys, but the squeaking is the important part.

Peter's Friend

There are some things we're still working on here.

  1. Jumping on new people. We've worked on that. He hasn't done it lately because I've been on the ball and headed him off. I think one solution is to turn Peter sideways to someone who wants to pet him. Hold him by the collar, and let the person approach and start petting Peter from the side. Letting the person pet Peter while Peter still has four feet on the ground may be the best way to prevent the jumping and teach Peter that he'll get petted if he stands still.
  2. Leash walking with another dog. Peter is very good when he's the only dog you're walking, but he's clueless if there's a second dog being walked by the same person. He seems oblivious to the leash, and he'll clothesline the other dog or walk into the other dog's leash and choke himself and then turn and look at you as if you're doing it all wrong. Also, I've been walking him on his SEGA leash, which is a 6' leash. I used to walk Silver and Sam on 4' leashes, and I'm going to start doing that with Peter and Silver to see if that helps keep the dogs from getting tangled so much. ETA: Wow! 4' leashes are the cure for constantly tangled leashes. I should have tried this two weeks ago!
  3. People who are eating. He comes toward your plate, you tell him no. He keeps coming, so you push him back. He thinks for a minute, then circles you so he can come in from the other side. When he sees food--his or mine--he becomes deaf to commands and totally fixated. (But he hasn't growled or threatened when I've touched his food dish or reached for a Kong to help him get food out of it.)

He needs a firm hand: if you give him an inch, he'll take a yard--in everything. If you ever let him eat from your plate, he'll think every meal is his; so if you want to give him people food, make sure he eats it from his own dish, not yours. If you walk him past an open car door, he will get in--even if you were just opening the door to get something out of the car. If you let him snuggle next to you, he'll insist on getting as close as he can--then start shoving you with his feet so he can get more space. If that starts, make him get up (you can take him outside for a potty break), then come back and establish your space again and don't let him get so close. I've used the Dog Anchor to control how close he can get to me. He can get within a foot or two when I'm working or sleeping--close enough that I can pet him, but not so close that he feels I'm in his territory. He's on the Dog Anchor at mealtimes to make sure he doesn't crowd Silver at her dish. I've let him off the Anchor sometimes and let him roam around the condo. He's stayed out of trouble, but I don't let him do that if I'm not able to keep an eye on him. When he's home with Silver, both dogs are muzzled. When he's home alone, he's crated, and I'm still muzzling him in the crate to be sure he won't hurt his teeth chewing the wires. He was home alone for about 7 hours on Saturday (7:30-2:30), and he was fine--sound asleep in the crate when Silver and I got home.

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