The last few days were an absolute whirlwind with a trip across a continent to bring home our newest family member, Cuba!
I am enjoying my time off work with him, and wanted to share with you his socialization checklist for the last three days…
Meet friends Chris and Melanie Waggoner
Visit vets’ office – meet new vet (with facial hair), two techs, approximately 6 visitors during appointment. Very nicely behaved, tolerant of all examination procedures
Bath! – doesn’t like this so much
Wearing a harness – could care less, he hardly noticed it was on
Wearing a leash – a little awkward, tripped over his leash a lot. Decided a leather leash makes a fine chew toy.
Soft-sided crate – he was an absolute angel in his crate! On our long flight (5+ hours), he only barked twice, one time he barked two times, the other time he barked five times and then was quiet.
Riding in an airplane (in a crate) – again, fantastic. Quiet and relaxed the entire trip.
New foods – baby food (beef and beef broth), low sodium-turkey (hey, I was desperate. The airlines are unfortunately not cool about you bringing raw on the plane, ice cubes
City traffic (‘Frisco and Phillie) – he ignored this like it wasn’t even happening
Long car ride home – slept most of the way. Two potty stops on the trip home. Three successful, reinforced potty trips between when my flight arrived and when we arrived home.
100+ people in the airports, including many children, many pilots, flight attendants, and TSA staff in uniform, a few people in wheelchairs, men with facial hair, people of various ethnicities, people wearing sunglasses and funny hats, etc. He was happy and confident meeting all of these people and enjoyed his rock star status at SFO especially.
1 small, friendly, vaccinated small dog – was more focused on the children present, friendly with the new dog
1 slightly peeved Chow mix (Her Royal Chowness is warming up to him nicely now, thank goodness!) – they sniffed each other, then Mokie chose to ignore him.
Dad! – Cuba wanted to ride on dad’s lap the whole way home but couldn’t for safety reasons while Jim was driving. Snuggled for a bit before going to bed in his crate.
Ahab the three-legged cat – he likes barking at the car. Ahab is not impressed.
Sleeping in crate by himself – slightly vocal at first, calmed and went to sleep after approximately 15 minutes)
Kong – got some of the canned food out, gave up quickly. Mokie finished the Kong.
Bath (he got messy after his Tuesday bath playing in his food with his remaining littermates!) – not a huge fan, must do lots of desensitization while he’s young (and relatively small). Vocal and trying to get out of the tub at first, calmed nicely and was quiet by the time we finished his bath.
Children – 1 girl (age 6), 2 boys (age 4), 1 boy (age 2), 1 boy (age 4.5 months) He was great with all the kids today. He had just woken up from a nap when my infant nephew arrived and was a bit crazy, so I tethered him.
Riding in grocery cart at pet store – we didn’t want him on the floor at the pet store because he is not fully immunized. He rode nicely in the cart, was very mellow and enthusiastically greeted friendly fellow shoppers!
Approximately 10 new people at pet store
5 new women (“aunties”) – they all loved him. The feeling was mutual, obviously.
1 medium-sized, well socialized friendly adult dog – he did well with Leila. They sniffed each other, but did not play. He did watch Mokie and Leila play for a while, but was not ready to participate. Leila did growl when he approached her while she was chewing a bone (in dog land, possession is 10/10ths of the law), and he backed away nicely, which I reinforced.
Bully sticks – he loved his! As much fun to roll on as they are to chew, says Cuba!
Pots jangling in the pot rack
Kids splashing in the pool (not splashing the puppy)
Rock and Roll music
Neighborhood dogs barking
Male neighbor (large, gruff voice, wearing a hat) visiting with wife, treats, and 8 week old JRT puppy at the fence
Marrow bone – another big hit. I think the fact that they were frozen soothed his gums.
Woolly tug toy – he goes bonkers for a wool bone-shaped tug that’s nearly his size
Large nylabone – ignored initially. I put a little ground meat around it and froze it, now he thinks its a great toy!
Hurley dog toy – he likes barking at this and rolling around with it in his mouth
Kiddie pool – he loves this!
Stairs – is confident, but wobbly. Needs support and careful supervision so he doesn’t fall down!
Clicker – not yet making the connection
new treats – canned dog food (95% venison Instinct), Red Barn food roll, 1/5 hot dog cut into 30 treats (used five), small cubes of cheese, licks of yogurt, Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried raw (duck duck goose formula), bit of TikiCat canned foot that he went nutso over – very tiny bits of treats – maybe 8% of his total caloric consumption today, all was human grade and all was relatively healthy (except for the little bits of hot dog which he only gets for outside potties), did use raw dinner for training treats as well
Dinner – Nature’s Variety lamb patties (raw)
Handling – head to toe – teeth, gums, roof of mouth, ears, eye examination, belly scratch, butt scratch, “manly bits,” tail, all paws lifted, held, lightly squeezed, each nail examined, introduce brushing
Practiced trade ups, resource guarding prevention exercises, hand feeding, tethering, “Be a Tree” to address nipping/ankle biting
Practiced very brief controlled separation – leaving the room with and without Mokie while he is tethered (approximately 30 seconds). If he vocalizes, wait for quiet before returning. Also practiced leaving Mokie for brief intervals while I took the puppy out. Distress vocalization minimal, only heard once for three barks, returned after ten seconds of quiet, rewarded with woolly bone toy.
Puppy bonus: Prezzies from Aunt Donna DeVoist of http://www.wyldepups.com/ (Wylde Pups Lure Coursing and Gentle Dog Training) Loves his new puppy Kong and Wellness Turkey Jerky treats!
Day 3 clickable behaviors
Lay on bed
Picking up toys in his mouth
Carrying me his leash in his mouth
Stillness for handling
Backing off when another dog tells you to
Lay down on mat
Let new person touch you
Let other dog sniff you
Going up one stair
Going down one stair
Tugging on a toy
Chewing on appropriate items
Voluntary “check ins”
Walking near me
Four on the floor when greeting
Letting other dogs or cat sniff him
No. sits offered – approximately 4 dozen
No. downs offered – approximately 3 dozen
No. voluntary settles on mat – approximately 1 dozen
Percentage of these three behaviors reinforced – 95%
Ratio food:life reinforcers – 2:1
Common Puppy Problems Observed – Solutions and Responses
Mouthiness – he likes to bite skirts and gnaw on ankles or fingers. Has redirected nicely to appropriate chew objects without complaint. Once he did nip my skin hard when we were playing tug, which immediately ended the tug game and all interaction temporarily. Biting a human during play is a deal breaker! Clicked for kisses or soft mouth.
Barking at the cat – Redirect to play with toy or call puppy to me for play and treats
Barking at Mokie – I’m fairly laissez-faire about this. Mokie’s got it under control, and will either walk away from him or give him the “if you stop now, I won’t have to make you stop” look, which was all that he needed! She is fair in her corrections of puppies, which are always of the lowest intensity needed to get her point across. Generally, a look is all she needs.
Approaching other dogs when they are chewing a valuable object – very mild correction from Leila (low growl) was perfectly timed and of perfect intensity, he backed off and sat immediately. I’m also pretty laissez-faire here. If Leila was actually aggressing unfairly or with more force than was necessary to create the distance she needed, I would intervene, separate and feed both dogs for classical conditioning, adding gates, increasing distance, or using other management tools and protocols to prevent recurrence.
Late night crazy/chasey/biteyness – tether for time out (and my sanity) with a marrow bone
Favorite toy so far? Cuba says leather leashes are the best for chewing! He’s also rather fond of paper bags.
Notes to self:
No long, fluttery skirts until puppy has some impulse control
Seems to have tactile preference for natural chews and toys – bully sticks, marrow bones, leather or wool toys. Unfortunately, his love of leather extends to our couch and loveseat. Need leather or suede toys for this boy!
Nice play drive. Loves tug and to pick things up in his mouth and chase you with it. Should be easy to install both of these as potent life rewards and build a nice retrieve.