Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lots of trips outside, and being left inside.

Whoops, need to catch up! It's been a busy few days.

On Sunday, Chimera and I drove an hour and a half to visit my parents. They live in the suburbs and have a fenced backyard, so my dogs always love hanging out there. (I do not have a backyard.) My parents were of course quickly won over by Cai's adorable looks and playful personality. And Cai loved my dad! I hadn't realized that my dad is so good at playing with puppies, but he immediately got Cai running after toys and chasing his hands.

We also paid a visit to my aunt and uncle and their 72 pound mutt. Normally I wouldn't let my tiny puppy interact with such a big, active dog, but Tori is well-trained and quickly figured out how to play with Chimera while lying down. Under close supervision, we let them play for an entire hour.

Cai spent a little time crated at my parents' house while I napped. He did not have any potty accidents in either home. What a great socialization day! My dad took lots of pictures for me but I haven't received them yet.

On Monday we took a field trip to Berkeley's busy Telegraph Ave. There are always "scary" homeless people as well as young punks loitering about. Cai gave a couple of people the evil eye but was easily redirected. Mostly he was interested in sniffing the ground and picking up EVERYTHING that fit in his mouth. We stopped here and there to practice sit, down, and circle work.

Tuesday was a relaxed morning, and for the first time I put Chimera in his crate and drove away. As far as I could tell, he slept quietly the entire 30 minutes I was at the grocery store.

Today was a day off, but I arranged my day as if I were leaving for a couple of hours to do dog walking. (Starting next week, that will be the norm for us!) In the morning I took Chimera to the Berkeley Marina/Cesar Chavez Park for his first off leash trip to tire him out.  Even though it was off leash, he's at that puppy stage when he is scared to leave my side, so he stayed right with me. There was almost no one else there, since it was a dreary weekday, and he didn't encounter any other dogs or people. He just milled around at my feet, sniffing and eating plants. I used boiled chicken when we did practice recall, and he was VERY motivated by it. We also practiced sit, down, and circle work.

When we got home he got breakfast, played with Jasper, chewed on a bully stick, and then started to fall asleep shortly before noon -- right on schedule. I put him into his crate and he settled in right away. I went outside and I didn't have anywhere to go, so I locked the door and sat in the car for a couple of hours, reading a book. At 2 pm I snuck back into the apartment and was able to take a shower without Cai waking up, until I was finishing up and had a coughing fit, which alerted him that I was back and surely doing something very interesting. He started barking for attention.

Since then we've had a relaxed day at home. I thought that he would be full of energy after napping for two hours straight, but he continued to alternate between napping, chewing quietly on a bully stick, and playing for short bursts.

Every time we are outside we are practicing leash walking. He is showing some understanding of coming back toward me if he runs forward and reaches the end of the leash. Honestly I am lazy and not bothering to reinforce walking next to me, but he's a big sniffer and doesn't pull very often. Potty training has been going well -- we went a few days without accidents until this afternoon.

I use his food for training and we've been slowly making progress with a few tricks, especially going to his mat. I'm trying to shape a variety of object interactions to build up his repertoire of behaviors. I have to remind myself to do short sessions. I've finally disciplined myself into COUNTING OUT just 10 treats to hold in my hand per activity. We've been working on handling and grooming more than anything else.

His ears are both halfway up. The bases of his ears are erect but then the tips curl forward. Can't take the cuteness.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Horses and Halloween.

I overslept so we missed the Saturday morning puppy social. Chimera slept through the night without any potty breaks, since I was sleeping so heavily. He lasted from midnight through almost 10 am.

We took a trip to a horse stable and riding arena which is close to my favorite hiking area, Redwood Regional Park. There are often horses on the trails, so I want him to be comfortable with them before we start hiking. We started at the far end of the parking lot. I gave Cai treats both for looking at the horses calmly and for looking at me. We moved closer each time he was relaxed and not paying much attention to them. We ended up just a few feeet from the arena fenceline. Cai took the whole thing much more calmly than I was expecting. Giant beasts! With people on top of them! Making funny noises! Yet he was unconcerned. That's my boy.

When we were very close and he was bored of looking at the horses, we even praticed lie down and heeling/circle work!

We came home with just a little time to eat and rest before we headed out again to Point Isabel, a huge off-leash open space, and the annual Barktoberfest dog costume contest. I had planned to make Cai a panda outfit for Halloween, by using fleece to make black leggings joining over his back, but because I was sick and exhausted I ran out of time. Instead I put him into Dragon's blue tutu harness. It was big around his middle, but looked okay.

Pretty ballerina!
Look at those doe eyes.

There were a lot of people and dogs at the park, so we stayed on leash and off to the side. I didn't let Cai interact with any dogs or people; we just watched the action from a distance.

So much to see!
Back at home, I've been crating more as I do chores in and out of the apartment. Previously I would take him with me when I went outside to do the laundry, garden, take out the trash, etc. Now he's comfortable enough in his crate that I pop him in, and he might whine or give a couple of barks, but is quiet and settled by the time I return. He was calmer about the whole thing with each repetition.

The neighbors upstairs are having a Halloween party. I took Chimera by the front entrance so that he could see a crowd of people and hear them all talking at once. A couple of people appeared out of the shadows and he got a little nervous about them, but quickly recovered and approached to say hello. I didn't take him up to the crowd of oddly dressed people because that would have been too much for him. But the good news is that his fear period looks to be waning, since he was less alarmed at noises and people today. Now to sleep in the crate while I go to the party. In an hour or two I'll wake him up and take a trip to work to give him another bath before we visit my parents tomorrow.

East Bay Nursery, handling work.

Today's socialization field trip was to the East Bay Nursery, my favorite place to buy plants and soil. Many people fawned over Chimera, and he approached a few of them with a more outgoing attitude than usual. Good boy!

After work, I had one of my coworkers do handling work with him, focusing on touching his face/ears and then his feet. Then I had another coworker, a man he doesn't know well, simply bend over and feed him multiple pieces of food.

13 weeks old today, and both his ears are making a valiant effort at standing up!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pictures, and training update.

After the obedience lesson yesterday, Chimera and I napped, and then my sister visited. Cai already loves Auntie Agnes, because she's always excited to see him, but handles him in a gentle and dog-friendly way.

He likes to lie on our feet while chewing.
 We spent the evening catching up and giving Cai lots of love.

How could anyone resist that face?
Sleeping on a duffel bag.
Today I had to leave him at daycare while I hiked with client dogs. I'm hoping that in a few weeks he'll be able to stay at home while I'm out for a few hours. This afternoon I put him in his crate when he was tired, and he slept while I showered and then went outside and gardened. He was still sleepy when I woke him up and pulled him out. I will be crating him and leaving him alone for longer periods soon, or for short periods when he's more awake.

A couple of pictures from daycare, blurry because they were taken with my camera phone:
The terrier mix is one of his best buds.
On our way home from work, we stopped at a local pet store and I let him walk around and sniff, and we did a little heeling practice. He got treats from the store owner.

The rest of the day was spent quietly at home. He played with Jasper a lot. We did a number of little training sessions -- handling, go to mat, lie down, dumbbell, failed foot targeting, nose target, jumping up and hitting an open drawer to close it, don't eat the treat container, putting front feet on a balance disc, and rewarding sits when he offered them. Lots of fun stuff! I need to start working on crate games and tooth brushing.

Fear period, and first obedience lesson with Denise Fenzi.

Chimera looks to be going through a sensitization or "fear" period. Two or three days ago, his demeanor changed slightly but suddenly. He became more worried about odd noises (stops and stares longer, and his body is stiff and uncertain), and a handful of times he has growled and alarm barked at people who appear suddenly or are hard to see in the dark. I'm taking care to encourage him when he is worried, and redirect him to something fun -- either playing with me, or (if appropriate) saying hello to the person and getting treats from them. This is something that should pass soon, and unless a traumatic event happens when he's more sensitive, hopefully will have no lasting effects.

He isn't particularly affiliative with unknown people anyway. He's not scared usually, but he'll go up to sniff them and gather information, but doesn't care to stay for petting. I don't mind that at all, as long as it doesn't turn to shyness, which is nervousness or fear about approaching people and being touched. I have friends and visitors give him treats to create a positive association with meeting people, and give him a reason to accept petting. When we're out and about, I praise him for calmly watching people as we move along.

Yesterday we had a lazy morning, and then drove across the bay to have our first obedience lesson with Denise Fenzi! Denise is one of my dog trainer idols -- she has been very successful in competition obedience (and recently mondio), and nowadays she does it with entirely positive methods. Dragon and I took a handful of lessons from her and I was very happy with her coaching and our progress. This time we did a 30 minute lesson, and as usual we accomplished quite a bit!

We talked about different forms of play that Chimera might like, and practiced. Being a healthy puppy, Cai loves to play, but there are certain kinds that are more useful long term for training and carrying into the ring. We played tug, wrestled with our hands, and had him chasing a rabbit fur toy around.

We started teaching Cai to heel, but having me step ahead, bend a bit down and to the left, and make encouraging noises. When he (of course!) ran up to my left side, I praised and treated, and turned to the right so he could have another opportunity to earn reinforcement. He caught on quickly, until I was able to take one or two steps with him tagging along. We did some front crosses and practiced on the right side, too, since Cai will need that for agility. This is an easy-peasy way to teach the dog that it's fun to be at your side.

One of my weaknesses with Dragon was getting sucked into teaching and refining lots of behaviors at home, but being lazy about taking them on the road. Denise pushes people to start proofing against distractions early, to teach your dog that it's fun and worthwhile to pay attention to you no matter what is going on. I hope to do a better job of this with Chimera. This easy heeling game was an eye-opener for me -- we can do this anywhere, at any time!

We did a quick clicker training session with a dumbbell. That's something I can do on my own, now that Chimera is more operant. In fact, we've done two or three follow-up sessions already.

We did a few restrained recalls. Cai came flying right to me, as fast as he could!

I showed Denise his progress with the fold-back down from standing, and he offered sits here and there (that's not on cue yet). She said that we could start working on getting him onto a platform, and on putting his front paws onto a disc. (I tried doing this with a round coaster tonight, but he kept scratching at it and trying to mouth it. I need a bigger, heavier disc.)

Cai and I both had a good time learning from Denise. It was also a good socialization experience for him, as he was in a new place with a new person.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lazy day.

Another lazy morning, sleeping in to try to recover from the flu. At this point I've been coughing and hacking almost as long as Chimera has known me. I bet he thinks these are just the normal noises I make. It's actually nice, because my last Papillon (Dragon) was unsettled by coughing. If he was in the room when I coughed, he would get up and leave.

Before work I clicker trained Cai to climb into a basket with all four feet.

After work we repeated that, then I turned the basket upside down and shaped him to climb on top of it.


Here are some random pictures:
I see you.

Creative sleeping.

Aww, lookit those legs.

Jasper started playing with Cai a few days ago, and now they've been playing multiple times a day, just like Dragon and Jasper used to. It warms my heart. Jasper is very, very tolerant of Chimera doing obnoxious things like biting his tail or pulling on his ears.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Home Depot, training update.

Work today, though I was able to leave early since I'm sick. We went to Home Depot and walked around for 40 minutes. I didn't take any pictures this time.

I reinforced him every time he happened to walk next to my side (either side). If he pulled on the leash I would stop until he turned and moved back toward me. He kept picking thing up in his mouth. I tell him "trade" and then stick a treat in front of his nose to prompt him to drop the item. At the end of the trip he was starting to look at me and drop the item when I said "trade", if it was something he considered low value.

He is starting to become operant!! That means that he knows that he can offer behaviors to elicit positive responses from me such as treats and petting. I've been capturing sits for the past few days, and today he was often sitting and staring at me, and then giving little barks in frustration if I didn't respond. ("This is supposed to get me treats and attention! Why isn't it working?!") While we were working on his nose target he offered both sits and downs. With mat training, he now quickly goes to the mat and sits or lies down on it as soon as I put it down on the floor. This is where the exciting training really begins!

In the evening, for the first time, he willingly lay down on my lap and went to sleep.

We had multiple potty accidents in the apartment today. I blame the fact that I'm less alert because I'm, well, sick as a dog.

Beach, grocery store, visiting friends.

I am still battling the flu. Yesterday I decided to let myself sleep in. Of couse I got up during the night and toward morning to take Chimera out to potty. My alarm was set for 10 am. I slept through it, and didn't fully wake up until 1:30 pm, when Cai started whining a lot and peed in his crate. Thank goodness that I had the day off from work. But I am amazed that Cai was content with lounging in his crate for so damn long. What a good puppy.

Of course, once I let him out, the monster emerged. I gave him breakfast and then we headed out for a field trip. Our first stop was the tiny little beach at Emery Point. Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

This would have been a great place to let him off the leash, since it was so tiny and enclosed and there was no one around. Unfortunately it was a no go because my voice was completely gone and I couldn't call him.

The fun wasn't over yet! I needed to do some grocery shopping, so I brought Chimera out to the front of the grocery store before stashing him in the car while I shopped.
Riding the elevator.
Corn husk tug toy.
We came home, took a nap, and then drove to San Francisco to visit Auntie Agnes and some friends. He ran around a bit, but was still tired after his big trip.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Puppy social, choose to heel, early bedtime.

Today was one of my super long workdays, so no field trip. However Chimera did get to attend our Puppy Social! He mostly played with a tiny yorkie who is 20 weeks old and fierce and wore him out. He spent the day in one of the dog rooms rather than in the offices. I talked to my boss and we agreed that the flea infestation must be in the offices, rather than in my apartment. (Though I'm still glad that I treated our home to prevent them from settling in here, too.)

After work I took Cai into a small penned area and did a "choose to heel" game, walking in a big circle to the left and rewarding him every time he happened to come within two feet of heel position. After a little while he seemed to catch on, but I kept going for too long and he lost interest. Very common training mistake, and one that I am not immune to.

I put Cai into his crate a bit early for bedtime. Usually I let him run around and be crazy with his toys until he passes out. I could see him slowing down so I went ahead and put him away. He's done a bit of whining off and on, but not too loud, and he's trying to find a comfortable sleeping spot in between the fits. He needs to learn how to calm himself down.

Both ears are making an attempt to stand up, but failing halfway.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Downtown Berkeley, and still battling fleas

Chimera is 12 weeks old today!

He accompanied me to a bank in downtown Berkeley this morning. I kept him in my arms because I was afraid that he might pee or poop on their floor. He was calmer than I expected about being held for so long.

We walked down Shattuck Ave, a busy street, for a couple of blocks. We passed by a group of homeless people sitting on benches, and Cai got weirded out by a backpack underneath a bench. I stopped and crouched down, offering him a sense of security, along with praise and treats for bravely moving closer toward it. After a moment one of the homeless men, who had been singing and playing a guitar, moved closer to us and Cai started barking at him, too. Again I encouraged him to investigate and offered lots of treats without forcing him closer than he could handle. Cai didn't quite cross over to being comfortable but he was less alarmed by the end. I gave the man a tip for letting us hang out with him.

Multiple buses drove by, and Chimera handled it well except when he was already on edge because of something else, like the guitar man. A few motorcycles drove by and he got scared of the noise. He bolted and hit the end of the leash. Thank goodness for the security of a leash and well-fitted harness! I would kneel down and call him over, and he would put his front paws on my lap and calm down somewhat.

On the way home I stopped by a picture opportunity I'd been eyeing for months now:
Chimera is HERE!!
At work again, he got two afternoon play sessions which quite wore him out, and he was a good boy until about 7 pm. At that point he started barking out of boredom/frustration. I think that until he learns to handle the quiet time better, I will have to move him to the "quiet area" of the center in the evenings.

I had to give him yet another bath because he was once again covered with fleas after work. They must be in the offices, but none of the other office dogs have been getting them. I had planned to hold off on giving Chimera any toxic insecticides until he was older, but it looks like I have no choice.

Once home, he zoomed around and then peed on the rug. 30 minutes later, he started to sniff around and squatted to poop without alerting at the gate. Phooey! At least I saw him squatting and was able to pick him up and rush him to the potty box outside.

Jasper the cat has been extremely tolerant of Cai's rude antics. He completely ignores Cai when he's walking across the apartment and Cai jumps on his back. Today, for the first time, Jasper flopped over in Cai's vicinity and batted at him when Cai approached. It's the same "is he defending himself or playing?" behavior that had started off Jasper and Dragon's friendship.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More flea treatment, and trip to OSH.

Chimera is experimenting with offerings sits at the gates when I leave him rather than whining. I like this. I'm rewarding it.

I haven't taught him to sit via luring or shaping. I've simply captured it -- here and there, I praised, petted, and/or gave a treat when I saw him sitting. Today he had a lightbulb moment and started to offer sits and stare at me. He's also trying to figure out how to get the treats from me during formal training. He's coming around to the training game.

The brown at his left cheek is more visible every day.

Yesterday morning I was fighting off a little cold and slept in. He was a very good boy, didn't whine or fuss, just kept changing positions in his crate. Unfortunately, because I slept in and it was a work day, we didn't have time for socialization field trip. (My goal is to do at least one trip every day while he's in his critical socialization period.)

After work I had to give him yet another bath (his third in five days) because he was covered in fleas again!! He was more fidgety this time. I blow dried him for the first time and he tried to climb up my arm from the grooming table but otherwise tolerated the drying.

Today I left him at daycare in the morning because I had to be out of the house for a few hours, and he's not ready to be left alone in his crate. When I was done with my errand I took advantage of the empty apartment to do a thorough flea treatment -- vacuuming, spraying, laundry. I stopped by the pet store on my way to pick up Chimera and found a flea repellant I felt comfortable using on him. It contains only a few essential oils diluted in purified water. I sprayed it into his coat and rubbed it in. Cross your fingers that this takes care of everything.

On our way home, we stopped by Orchard Supply Hardware. It was near closing and the store was almost empty. Cai was more interested in eating things off the floor than in smelling any merchandise. There was a pumpkin and hay setup in front of the store, and I put him onto the hay to walk around on a new surface. Inside, he stopped to watch two male employees. One of them was carrying a large wooden spool of rope, and after watching him for a moment Cai started jumping up and down and barking with a mixture of excitedness and nervousness. I called him and he came with me and forgot about the man. The second employee was standing on a ladder, and Cai just observed him and then lost interest.

Just cruising around.
 We got in some good leash walking practice. Usually Chimera doesn't pull much and just moves with me, but this time he was pulling to reach stuff on the floor. My rules for polite leash walking are:
1) If you feel tension on the leash, move toward me and then we will proceed together.
2) Don't switch sides behind my back. Some people teach that as an agility thing, but for me it's just about the leash not getting tangled around me.

Right ear is down again.
Back at home, we finished up the laundry and he took two trips to the tiny, hot laundry room with me.

He's such a good boy. Almost nothing fazes him. His alone training is coming along, slow but steady. He clearly indicated to me when he needed to poop by going to the gate and whining. And he's so, so cute!

The fur at his spot arranged itself into a heart shape today. How cute is that?!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fifth day: crate backsliding, fleas AGAIN (10/16/12)

As part of teaching Chimera that it's okay to be left alone, I gate him into rooms with me, and briefly leave and return. He's not doing as well with this as he does with the crate. It's probably because I only crate him when he's tired, so he settles down quickly, and hopefully associates the crate with sleeping. He's worst when I'm showering in the morning. He's full of energy, locked into a tiny room, and I'm separated from him by two barriers (the tub wall and the shower curtain). He yaps and screams almost the entire time I'm showering.

Used his breakfast for another formal clicker training session. He was more interested in getting the food than he had been in previous sessions, and for the first time seemed to intentionally orient toward the mat. "There's something going on here that's just out of my grasp..." We started working on a nose target to an extendable rod. We also did a lot of work on reaching for, touching, and massaging his ears in exchange for food. You KNOW that people will be doing that all the time, for his entire life.

He's taken a liking to the electrical cord from my speakers, so I sprayed it with NaturVet's Bitter Yuck. I had the horrible idea of touching my finger to my tongue after spraying, and the taste nearly made me vomit. Chimera's reaction is not nearly as strong, but it does deter the monster.

For socialization we headed to the parking lot to Walgreens and Farmer Joe's (a local grocery store). We walked through there to a busy street, and walked up and down half a block. Again he saw lots of people, cars, and buses. He watches some people longer than others, but generally is happy to walk among them with me. Then he quietly waited in the car while I did my grocery shopping.

At work he wasn't able to get as much special puppy playtime as before, and he ended up bored and full of energy in his crate at the end of the workday. I took him out to potty and used my last break to give him playtime, but I had to no choice but to let him bark for the last hour of my shift. I talked to my boss and we will try to make sure that he gets enough playtime to be fully tired out. (Fortunately it really doesn't take much puppy wrestling to tire him at this point.)

Because of that we had some backsliding with his ability to rest in his crate. I stopped by another store on my way home from work, and he was barking when I got back to the car. Right now he's only half-settled in his crate despite being sleepy -- he keeps whining and shifting positions. I hope we'll be back on track soon.

Before we left work, I checked him for fleas, and found and killed three. At bedtime I did not see any. I'm pretty sure that he's picking them up at the daycare. Crossing my fingers that we don't have an infestation building in our home...

Fourth day: vet visit, fleas again (10/15/12)

Found two fleas and more flea dirt on Chimera in the morning. Boo!

He had a check up at my holistic vet clinic. He clamped his mouth shut when the doctor wanted to examine his teeth, but otherwise was a good boy and got a clean bill of health. He got his second distemper/parvo shot and was sent home with a homeopathic liquid to prevent/treat vaccinosis. It's been easier to administer than I'd expected. I put a piece of cheese or chicken in the palm of my right hand and in my fingers I have the dropper. I hold him in my lap with my left hand. When he reaches forward for the treat I stick the dropper into his mouth, squirt, and immediately follow it up with the treat.

I stopped by the post office on the way home, leaving him in his crate in the car. He was quiet as I left and returned.

Once home, I pulled out the big, loud vacuum cleaner so I could clean the carpets of any fleas or eggs. First I moved the vacuum back and forth without turning it on. Cai came over to investigate but quickly lost interest. I turned it on once he was across the room. He startled, but slowly approached again. He got excited if the vacuum moved in his direction, and would bark at it with a combination of excitement, playfulness, and nervousness. However he also felt calm enough to chew on his bully stick, chase his toys when I tossed them out of the way, and even lay down to rest.

I left him alone in the apartment three times to put his bedding and my blankets through the laundry. The first time, he was quiet, and looked like he'd been wandering around to look for me when I came back through the door. The second time he cried a little. The third time, he was sound asleep in the kitchen with the radio on, and didn't wake up when I left or returned.

Later we were back in my room and he once again went to the gate and whined and then lay down in front of it. I opened the gate and we headed to the front door to go out, but I should have carried him instead -- he ran to a corner by the front door and peed. Darn it!

At work, he played with his Cavalier mix friend again, and slept quietly in a crate behind the front counter. After my shift I gave him his second bath, and washed off found two fleas.

At bedtime I switched his crate from the side of the bed next to the wall, to the open side. After a few more nights I will try putting it on the ground right next to the bed and hope that he's still relaxed at night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Third day, part 2: puppy shower (10/14/12)

On Sunday evening, seven friends came over to meet Chimera and celebrate! The idea to throw a puppy party was inspired by Dr Ian Dunbar, who recommends them as a way to socialize puppies to lots of people at once, particularly puppies who aren't yet leaving the home because they're not vaccinated. (Obviously I'm not worried about that part, since Cai is already going out and about.) I don't have guests over frequently, so the more important part, to me, was getting Cai used to people knocking and coming in through the door. Dragon used to growl and bark when he heard knocking because he was nervous about the sudden commotion, and worried about who might come through the door. Better to take care of these kinds of things while the pup is still in his critical socialization period!

At the beginning he was super energetic, and was running around, playing with his toys, and being an adorable active puppy. Sherry and Jacques the Papillon were the first to arrive and of course he again tried to play with Jacques, who jumped onto the couch to get away. All the guests cooed over him, with his giant ears and his fluffy, soft fur. I asked some of them to practice reaching for him and/or picking him up and giving him a piece of boiled chicken, which he went nuts for! After an hour or so, he crashed and ended up cuddling with the guests on the couch. Of course, after they left, he felt well-rested and was running around again.
Cuddling with Julie.
There was another instance of resourse guarding -- he was chewing on a bully stick and someone touched his back, and he whipped his head around and growled. I had her and another guest then practice reaching over and feeding him boiled chicken as he was chewing on the bully stick. He quickly lost interest in the chewie and just mugged them for treats.

In the evening I put him on my lap, from which he tried to escape. I want to be a lapdog! I noticed that he gets hot quickly -- he started panting heavily. After his first bath (on the previous day) I had put a coat on him because he was shivering, and again he quickly warmed up and started panting. I guess his thick puppy fur keeps him warm.

I put him in crate while I sat at the computer, and he immediately settled down to sleep without me having to stay by the crate. I was even able to go to the bathroom without him stressing. Hooray for crate training progress!

His left ear is still floppy.

Third day, part 1: trip to Lake Merritt (10/14/12)

Had our first potty accident, dang it. Amazingly, Chimera alerted at the gate blocking the doorway of my bedroom when he needed to poop. He ran over it, did a funny hop, gave a little cry, and then went to the corner and squatted. Since this was bizarre behavior, I had an inkling he might need to go out, but I happend to be holding a very full, hot mug of tea up to my face and couldn't get to him in time.

Did a little formal clicker training -- go to mat. No lightbulb moment yet. Practiced luring a down. Always working on name recognition (to "Cai") and recall (to "pup pup pup!").

This was our first day off from work together, and I decided to take a Big Trip. We drove to the subway station, walked around there for 20 minutes, then took the subway to downtown Oakland with Cai in his carrier, walked 10 minutes from there to Lake Merritt (a popular walking route), and then back home on the subway. I overestimated Chimera's energy level. After the 20 minute walk his energy was already waning. Once in the carrier he quickly started to doze off, even with the subway jolting us this way and that. When we hit the grass by the lake, he stretched out and didn't want to move farther. I sat down with him and we watched people going by, and after a while he fell asleep again. I ended up carrying him back to the subway.

Resting in carrier.

Lots of new socialization experiences!!
Saw lots of people of all types, including meeting a gentle 3 year old boy and a shy 5 year old girl.
Two people rode by on Segways, a few on skateboards, and lots of people on bikes. One electric scooter and one girl on rollerblades. Lots of joggers.
A handful of dogs.
Peed in a new place and on a new surface (woodchips).
Cars driving by, and a couple of very loud motorcycles (which were the only things that scared him during this whole trip).
Walked over a wide-set grate and his legs fell through. I picked him up and he walked on without worry. Later he walked over another narrow-set grate without even paying attention to it. Also walked over manhole covers.
Saw and heard pigeons and seagulls.

People watching.
Right ear is up again!
Also noteworthy: he ate two new food items from my breakfast plate: bacon (both before and after frying) and scrambled egg. When we were outside he got ahold of a Mystery Item. The moment I leaned toward him he ran away and hit the end of his leash. I walked my hands up the leash and he started leaping and spinning to keep me from taking his prize away. Usually I avoid confrontations like this, but I couldn't yet tell what he had in his mouth and he wouldn't drop it in exchange for a treat, so I pried his (surprisingly strong) jaws open and got the Mystery Item out. It turned out to be a small nugget of horse manure from the compost pile. Yum.

Resting under my leg.
He agreed to nap in his crate while I was on the other side of the room as long as I sat by him for a while first. After two hours I woke him up and of course took him out to the potty box to pee. Shortly after that, he again ran to the gate and shrieked. I jumped up and took him out again, and he pooped in the box! Yay! He has also twice indicated that he needed to pee by going to his pen in the living room, which has a potty box inside. Both times I put him into the pen and right away he used the box. He is basically already potty trained, in that he has a preference for peeing and pooping in those places rather than on the floor, and gives an alert which shoes that preference. I can't take credit -- it's all thanks to his breeder Karen Baird, who diligently helped her puppies learn to use litter boxes instead of soiling all over their pen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Second day: first encounter with a child, and visit to Safeway (10/13/12)

Intense socialization begins!!

My part-time roommate was home and his eight year old daughter was visiting. She reacted to Chimera as one would expect an eight year girl to react -- super excited, wanting to pet him and play with him, and repeatedly squealing, "He's so cute! He's so cute!" Cai liked playing with her, especially when she started crawling around on the floor and making high-pitched noises and he got to chase her around and jump on her. The beginning of a beautiful friendship, and a great start to socializing with children.

New friend!
You play like a puppy!
I spent much of this morning redirecting him when he tried to chew on loose pieces of carpet and electrical cords. Forunately he's developing a strong interest in his bully stick and dehydrated duck foot.

Mmm, bull penis.

I left for work early and drove to Safeway for a Puppy Field Trip. We walked across the Safeway parking lot and one block down a busy street of a shopping district, then back the same way. New socialization experiences:
lots of people, many of them carrying shopping bags or wearing backpacks
shopping carts moving and rattling
lots of cars driving by at a close distance

At work he played with his Cavalier mix friend again and a new Jack Russel Terrier friend. There were three dogs behind the lobby counters again, ranging from forty to about one hundred pounds. He had more energy and spent some time yapping at them and playbowing and bouncing around.

With Belgian Sheepdog.
Trying to play with a Leonberger mix.
Chilling with the Boxer.

One of my coworkers noticed a flea on him. I gave him a bath after my shift was done and found one more flea and one red spot of flea dirt. I bathed him thoroughly but moved through the process slowly, to make it as least stressful as possible. First I placed him into the tub and started filling it with lukewarm water. He paced and tried to jump out. When the water was a couple of inches deep, I got his body wet by scooping the water up with my hands. He didn't mind this part. I then used a shower head to spray him thoroughly. Shampooing again was slow but thorough, and then the final rinse off. We have a blow dryer at work but I just towel dried him, again slowly but thoroughly. He seemed to like the massage.

New socialization experiences:
Meeting more dogs and more people who fed him cheese.
First bath.

At home, he still whined and then cried if I left him behind a gate, but there was a short pause between my leaving and his starting to worry. He really doesn't like being gated into the kitchen and wants to escape to the living room. (Interestingly, both Dragon and my previous dog before him hated being gated or tied down in the kitchen as well.)

Only a few quiet whimpers when put into his crate for bedtime. No potty training accidents on this day. Left ear was still floppy. Something about the California air or water?

Look at those shameful ears.

Chimera's feats of strength and agility:
At the beginning of the bath, he launched himself about eight inches over the side of the and onto the floor four feet below. I grabbed for him and partially broke his fall. He landed on his side but was unhurt. I placed him back into the tub and he immediately tried to jump back out. (I was ready that time!)
Frustrated at being stuck in the kitchen, and seeing that jumping against the gate and crying wasn't working, he grabbed the metal xpen panel with his teeth and dragged it backwards six inches.