Enjoy distress – Obe’s progress

““Eragon looked back at him, confused. “I don’t understand.”
“Of course you don’t,” said Brom impatiently. “That’s why I’m teaching you and not the other way around.”
Christopher Paolini, Eragon

Obeand Dan April292013 008
Marking is fun, more interesting than you…and see I can lift my leg the whole while.

We’re at week five and Obe is great – lovely sits and waits and downs and kennel ups and targeting and reasonable heeling, coming, standing, fetching, catching, sit pretty, paw…and not so great sometimes – he’s more interested in marking territory (a feature of intact maleness), gets inspired and goes air bound with some paw contact (oh well) or decides that keeping something is better than any trade offered, which means I must run away and become the higher value prize.

I’m trying to make sure he’s ready to do the transfer to my daughter, so instead of the nice pattern we’ve established I’ve changed things up by putting him in a different room in a different crate with different bedding for down times. Gone to waist ‘hands free’ leash, and both more and less freedom during play times. Too much pattern on my part and he can feel comfortable ignoring me at certain times and I don’t want that during this time of his life. So I’m doing more hiding on him, added a whistle for signaling to come, increased the sitting still duration and made the tosses longer and finds harder.

His main, non-desirable, habituated behavior when I got him 5-weeks-ago was barking in confinement. Which even though I expected him to re-try some things again when I changed things up, it’s still frustrating, disheartening and irritating when they show up. Bark, bark, bark, howl, grumble, pummel the crate gate, bark, bark, bark, pummel…and since he’s now next to other dogs that live here they are a bit irritated at his hijinks – hey, me too. Happily, even though it’s irritating, these little tantrums of ‘old’ behavior are fairly short. And each time this problem gets extinguished by not getting rewarded and quiet does get rewarded, it’s less likely to show up again in a ‘new’ situation, so onward.

Obe is 7-months, 2-weeks old still in a chew cycle, but it seems to be declining (not that I’d trust him with a pillow). The conflict he seemed to arouse in my other dogs is being managed and on the way to resolved (Max is dealing with him very well, although this morning their playing ended up bonking me in the knee with a body slam…arghh. With Jazz I’ve had them doing in tandem obedience games and she and Obe are very good at focusing on the game and not each other.)

The temporary return to winter weather is…well, arghh! too. There were a lot of things that would work better if we didn’t have a return of hard, crusty snow and sleet with mud underneath. SnowydayMay22013 005

Basically the time crunch is the issue…but knowing that otherwise I’d just keep on training, so I’ll keep on training and it will work out.

When you know better you do better.”
Maya Angelou


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