We’ve made it to week 2 and I have to say he’s come along leaps and bounds literally, he appears to have practically doubled in size from when we got him, or he’s just found a way of stretching across the sofa more efficiently.
Let’s review the top 5 problems of last week and see what progress we’ve made:
- he eats everything – he still continues to eat everything and to be honest reading up on it online, that’s not going to change. So if it’s grass/moss, leaves, dirt etc I leave him to it now, if it’s holly, stones, my flowers or deposits from other animals (a particular favourite) I obviously still intervene.
- toilet training – much better, switching to being proactive rather than reactive has made everyone’s life easier. We have a solid routine, as soon as he wakes up we go to the garden. He has a drink of water, I call him over to the latrine (with a treat), he very rarely uses it of first asking. He wanders around the garden has a pee (sometimes remembers to get back to the latrine), then usually within 10 minutes has a dump. I clean it all up get the worst of the piss up with paper towel and pickup the number 2’s with toilet paper and flush it down the loo. When he does hit the latrine he gets a ton of treats. Once he’s done we either play or go back inside (usually to play) dependent on the weather/mood. That’s the routine we don’t deviate and since we’ve started it the ONLY mistakes where when I didn’t follow the routine. I still have to carry him to the garden, because he struggles to get down 2 steps (even though he routinely throws himself off the sofa now, which is much higher), that and I believe he would have too many accidents on the way.
- night time – huge improvement, the routine is 11pm we go to bed, I take his collar off he gets in his crate and goes to sleep. He wakes about 5 in the morning, he will pee probably one or two times in the night on the pads in the room. I still let him wander around the room at night, but that’s more down to the heat than anything – he does prefer to lay on the cold floor in this weather. He now seems reluctant to poo on the pads, I’m guessing he’s got much better control over his bowel movements than his bladder. He will start to get restless and whine. I’m going to change this routine tonight to again be more pro-active, that is close the door on his cage, set an alarm for 4:30 to get up, take him out, go back to bed till the morning. He’s not a huge fan of getting up in the morning I almost have to drag him out of the cage.
- the smell – we gave him a bath on the Saturday and although there is an improvement, there is no way of avoiding he smells like a puppy. He wasn’t a huge fan of the bath but gritted his teeth and bared it. We also cut his nails as they were like needles by this point.
- separation anxiety – much better. Over the week I’ve regularly disappeared from his view for several minutes at a time. He tends to yelp a few times and that’s it, I have never returned to him when he’s been barking or whining. He’s bonded much more with Wen now as well so if she’s in the vicinity he doesn’t think he’s been abandoned anymore.
So overall a huge amount of progress in a single week. I grant you it felt like a year, but you take your wins where you can. I’m genuinely surprised by the progress he’s made, he’s also learning the basic commands:
- Come – still a challenge when he is distracted or in some instances just being plain belligerent – e.g. he’ll stare straight at you and then make a point of ignoring you.
- No – I’m fairly sure he knows exactly what I meant but would rather carry on doing it anyway.
- Sit – if anything it’s his go to move after being called, nailed sit.
- Down – fairly new basically involves putting the food on the floor so he has little chance, will typically only do it if starting from a sit position. Need to mix the commands up a bit.
- Paw – always happy to throw a paw in your direction, easier than down in many respects. The only issue on calling him you now get a sit, paw, down movement at at once where he anticipates the next commands.
- Stay – early days and he hasn’t really got a handle on it yet.
The main focus for this week will be to nail these commands down, get to a pro-active night routine and increase the accuracy on his toilet.