Monday, October 15, 2012

First day at home and at daycare (10/12/12)

Chimera mostly slept through the night, though if I got up to go to the bathroom he would wake up and start crying. I went ahead and pottied him both times, and the first time he cried again when placed back into his crate, but the second time he gave only a whimper before settling down. I had him in the bathroom with me while I showered and he cried the entire time, since I was on the other side of the curtain. As I went about the morning, I practiced gating him into a room with me and then leaving for very short periods (less than one minute). As the hours went by his stress response was a little bit shorter and a little bit quieter.

We played a lot and I started teaching him to wrestle with my hands like Dragon used to. He is allowed to chase and bite my hands on cue only (the cue is mock growling at him), and I use frequent breaks in the game to teach him to get excited and then to calm down -- an important life skill.

We did our first short clicker training sessions, starting on free shaping go to mat and luring a fold-back down. I also did name recognition exercises: call "Cai!" and immediately put a treat right in front of his face. We continued "pup pup pup!" recalls.

He met Jasper the cat and immediately started trying to play with him: playbowing, barking, and jumping around. Jasper growled at him and jumped onto the furniture to get away.

In the afternoon I headed to my work at a dog daycare. Thankfully Chimera only whined a bit when put into his crate in the back of the car. Once at work I introduced him to a year old Cavalier mix who plays nicely with confident puppies, and they hit it off right away. After ten minutes of playtime I brought him to the lobby, where he could stay with me, penned in by the counters. (Some of my shifts are as the receptionist.) There were three old, mellow dogs hanging out behind the counters as well, and he wasn't intimidated by them at all. He was a bit subdued by all the new experiences together, but was able to cope well enough that he didn't tuck his tail or hide. He quickly tired out and spent most of the eight hour shift sleeping, often at my feet. I woke him up here and there to introduce him to clients and have them feed him tiny pieces of cheese.

On the way home he was totally quiet. Jasper stopped growling at him but still avoided close interactions. At bedtime fell asleep with just a few whimpers. There were no potty training accidents this day. His left ear was flopping down all day, even though it'd been nearly erect for the three days I saw him in Oregon. Hmmm...

New socialization experiences:
sleeping in a crate
making associations between the clicker noise and treats, and his nickname and treats
meeting a cat
meeting lots of new people and getting petting and cheese
meeting big dogs, and playing with a dog who is not a Papillon

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