Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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.

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