Saturday, October 27, 2007

Times are changing

Another week and I can't believe how much Sonic is changing. His appetite has gone from non existant, where I was lucky if he'd have more than a couple of mouthfuls for dinner, to ravenous where any food he gets is devoured like it is his last meal. Which of course is great news for training. So our morning training sessions have evolved to a whole new level where he offers me sits and downs in rapid succession along with barking at me if I don't reward him quick enough! I'm not a big fan of luring behaviours as I much prefer a dog who thinks for himself so I'm really glad that I waited until he was ready. I've also raised the criteria when we play with toys where he must sit before I throw his toy for him whether he is in a down or a stand. His retrieve is also going great and he brings it back 99% of the time. At training this week we did our first few restrained recalls which were fun. He is happy for someone to hold him but as soon as I call his name he goes ballistic and races after me as fast as he can. Then we have also been practicising me grabbing his collar while rewarding him. There is nothing more annoying than needing to grab your dog suddenly and he ducks away from you. The only other thing I have introduced at this point is getting him to interact with objects. I'll randomly choose an item from around the house, be it a box, washing basket etc and click and treat him for interacting with it. I don't care what he does as long as he offers me something.
Riot has decided that Sonic truly is great fun and they play all the time. Riot will happily lie on his back while Sonic crawls all over his head and they both enjoy great games of tug. I was hoping they'd get on as none of my other dogs will play with Riot. The old farts have just never been interested in a proper physical game with him. But the best thing is that even when Sonic is full on playing with Riot, I can call him out of play and get him to play with me. Hooray!! One thing I have learnt however, is not to leave Riot and Sonic home out the back together when I'm at work. I tried it once this week and the backyard is still recovering. So Angel is back on the job as designated babysitter.
Also on the plus side is that he is regularly sleeping through the night with no crate accidents for me to clean up in the morning. I can't say how relieved I am to be able to get a full nights sleep without having to get up. He will generally make it to about 5ish so although an early morning, it's still better than 2am wake ups.
Then on a final note Sonic had his first 'official' visit to the vet yesterday for his 12 week vaccination. He handled it really well spending most of his time trying to give the vet kisses. All was good and he came away with a clean bill of health which is excellent news.

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