Saturday, May 4, 2013

Playtime, reactivity, and developmental update.

Yesterday I took Chimera with me to the Puppy Playtime I host in Dublin. He's not a puppy anymore, but it seemed like he would get along well with the puppies who were there. He was a hit. He LOVES running as fast as he can, and getting chased by the other dogs (so long as they're not catching up and nipping him).

The Small Dog Playtime followed the puppies, and one dog came. It was a seven month old that had not been around other dogs since the family brought him home from the breeder's. Cai did so well. (Thank goodness he'd just been playing and running and had gotten most of his energy out!) The other dog was excited to see him, but didn't know how to interact normally. He just barked and barked and bounced forwards and backwards. I rewarded Cai for looking at me, and he quickly stopped paying attention to the "weird" dog and did LAT, some fronts, and heeling on both sides. I was very proud of how calm he was!! After forty-five minutes, the other dog was slightly calmer and braver, but it'll be a long road for him to gain social skills.

This morning we went on a trail hike, and encountered three dogs. Again I was proud of my little guy! He was still immediately reactive when he saw them, but I was able to redirect him 80% of the time, and he ate treats. I'm always happy when he eats treats while outside, especially in the presence of new dogs, because his interest in food fell dramatically at the same time that his reactivity started. We are making progress!

In the afternoon I put him in his crate and left for six and a half hours, the longest I've ever left him. He was happy to see me when I returned, but it was the same level of excitement as when I've been gone for just one hour. After greeting me, he settled down to chew on a bully stick. Even though he's with me nearly all the time, he's able to handle staying home in his crate so well. That had been a worry of mine! He didn't pee the first time I made him go outside, and waited for a second trip. So his bladder control is quite good. We're still working on poops, though.

He bounced around and play-attacked the cat, but settled right back to sleep when I put him back in his crate less than an hour after getting home. What a good dog! He is nine months old now.


  1. Wow, way to go Cai! I am always THRILLED when Albee will eat any type of food in the presence of other dogs. He regularly refuses or spits out even his favorite foods, sometimes even when there's nothing overtly exciting going on. It's enough to make me tear my hair out! At least now that he's gained some self control around other dogs I can ask him to do certain behaviors (like sit, or stand-stay) and he can usually do them, even if he won't eat. (Every day I mentally send huge thanks to Susan Garrett for helping me become the cookie!)

    1. Yes, it takes another reactive dog owner to understand the excitement over a dog taking treats, haha! Albee has come such a long way (I remember your early posts!) and you and he are among my role models!