Puppy Socialization Diaries: Day 6

Today I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to take Cuba out for socializing, but I think we did pretty well with what time we had to work with!

New Environments

Training Classroom – started to introduce a-frame!

Walking on blacktop, plastic wrap, and rubber matting

Steve’s property – orchard, woods, pond

Walking through marshy/cat tails

Riding in a new crate in the car

Chewing a Kong in his crate with a very hungry Mokie and Leila staring at him – no resource guarding noted.  In fact, he wagged his tail!  He was either happy to see them or secretly thinking, “Jealous much?!”

Played Thundering Rainstorm c.d. while he was relaxing, practiced massage

LOTS of gunshots in the distance – Cuba ignored them all!

New Toys

Kong water Wubba

Braided fleecy rope (very long!)

Braided boiled wool tug

Soft, rubber frisbee

Flirt pole

New Treats


Bits of string cheese

Venison liver

“Easy Cheese”

New People

Four new women, one new man

Second visit with Nicole

New Animals

One adult male Pit Bull Terrier (his favorite new dog of the day)

One adult male West Highland White Terrier

One adult male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Second visit with Leila

New Husbandry

Being combed – he slept through the entire grooming!

Being rubbed down with towel

Massage gums and inside of mouth

Touch all over body

Light pinching on various parts of body

Light tail tugging

Ear massage/wipe out

Eyes examined

New Play

Today was not the first time Cuba met my star student Leila but it was the first time he and Leila played together!  Leila is a German Shepherd/Jack Russell Terrier mix and is Mokie’s favorite friend.  Leila and her mom Nicole came for a visit and play date.  The dogs hung out at the house for a while then Nicole and I loaded them all up in the van for a drive to my business partner’s Steve’s house.

Mokie swam her Chow heart out chasing sticks, as is her wont.  Her and Leila have a funny “fetch relay race” where Mokie swims out to grab the stick, swims to Leila in the shallows, drops the stick, which Leila then brings to Nicole or I to throw again.  While no treats were a potent enough reinforcer to get Leila to swim previously, the opportunity to hang out with Mokie did the trick and soon Leila was a swimming fool!

We then took the dogs for a hike in the woods.  The puppy stayed with us nicely off his leash and had fun chasing the girls around.

He fell in the mud when we returned to the pond, so I waded out with him and supported his belly while he paddled around until the mud was washed off.  This last part happened about four times in the hour and a half we were at Steve’s.

Upon returning to the house, Mokie and Leila played zoomies, their favorite game.  Cuba watched, barked, and play bowed, trying to chase them but giving up because they are much faster than he.  I brought out a long home-made fleece tug and gave it to Leila, who loves tugging with other dogs.  Soon, Leila and Cuba were tugging together!

The tug game came into the kitchen.  This time they were playing on the linoleum with the boiled wool snake toy.  Cuba was tugging so hard he actually dragged Leila, over twice his size, across the floor!  After much tugging, they did a bit of wrestling.  Leila told Cuba with a yelp and avoidance when he used his teeth too roughly.  He backed away nicely, at which point she’d resume play with him.  After that, Leila took turns zooming with Mokie and tugging with Cuba for the rest of their visit.  Blissfully, he is now passed out and tired.  Hooray!

New Training

Clicking Cuba for watching, but not biting, when skirts and dresses flutter.

The name game!

Began shaping go settle on a mat.  Almost ready to add the cue “relax”

Capturing voluntarily going into the crate

Clicking and treating for staying (standing/sitting/or lying down) in the bath tub

Clicking for kisses/any soft mouth

Wiping jowls with a rag (hey, this isn’t my first Saint!)

Click and treat for rolling onto his back (“belly up”)

Other Excitement of the Day

Rolling in mud – again!

Definitely noticing the connection between behavior and click as well as click and treat.

Lots of generous reinforcing Mokie for waiting politely during puppy training sessions.  If she attempts to butt in and/or resource guard training momma, the puppy and I promptly leave the room for a thirty second training session.  Reverse psychology in action!

No potty accidents!  We did have an accident yesterday, our first.  Totally my fault, since I fell asleep on the couch with him tethered to my side.  I brought him out for a potty break, cleaned up the mess with some Nature’s Miracle, and took him to bed.  No sense punishing a dog (at all, generally) but certainly not an unknown amount of time after the fact, especially when it was my fault!  Note to self:  roll up a newspaper and smack yourself in the head for management FAIL.

Cuba is FANTASTIC in his crate!  He immediately lies down to relax in his crate now.  No stress vocalizations in a few day makes for happy puppy and happy puppy momma!

I am enjoying how sleepy this fabulous day has made him!

My floors may be dirty, but my dogs are happy.  I have my priorities straight!