Puppy Socialization Diaries – Days 33 and 34

Days 33 and 34 offered Jim and I much nicer weather for Labor Day adventures with my two favorite pups.

Day 33

We were tempted to go down to the creek, but decided we would take the pups to a place we haven’t been to in a few years, Salt Springs State Park over the border in Pennsylvania.  Salt Springs is a lovely, wonderful place with lots of trails and beautiful waterfalls.

While getting ready to go, I grabbed Cuba’s harness to put on him before crating him up in the van.  Although it fit perfectly well the day before, it was suddenly too small.  No big deal, there was still a bit of room to take it out and I knew a Small/Medium harness would not last him forever.  I made the harness as big as I possibly could, and it was still too small!  While I know I take an awful lot of pictures of Cuba, I can’t help but wish I had some time-lapse photography of the night between days 32 and 33, it was like someone sprinkled him with doggy Miracle Gro before bedtime!

Regardless, I refused to go down to the classroom on my day off to trade his harness in.  Not only did I not want to go, but doing so would have added about forty minutes’ driving time to our trip.  I begged the excuse of greenness and fuel economy and went scouring the house for something he could wear instead. I didn’t want him to have to wear his martingale collar out romping around, so after much searching, I found a collar.  A light blue, patent leather collar that belongs to Mokie.  One that says “SASSY” in big, blingy, crystals.

Poor, poor Cuba.  Perhaps I was imagining it, but I think he was a bit mortified at wearing Mokie’s hand-me-downs.

We got the dogs out of the van and were immediately rushed by a large, handsome (and ridiculously overweight) black lab in a choke collar.  His owners were nowhere to be seen.  Lucky for us, he was very friendly, although Mokie was none-too-happy about being on the leash while he followed us around.  We made tracks and hit the hiking trails quickly.

Cuba spent most of the time dragging his leash behind him, although we did have to leash him up when we were on some pretty treacherous trails for safety.  He got to romp around in the field, splash in the creek and the pools at the base of the waterfalls, and run through the forest.  He loved it!  I also found some great fallen trees which presented impromptu body-awareness challenges, so we practiced having Cuba walk on and turn around on them.

Cuba probably only met about ten new people this day, but went home exhausted and crashed in his crate while I made Jim and I some delicious home made macaroni and cheese.  Other than the tugging and fetching we did later that night, that pretty much wraps up day 33.

Day 34

Day 34 was lovely but didn’t feature any really new experiences.  Jim and I took Mokie and Cuba out to the creek at Brenda’s for some hiking, swimming, and stick fetching.

Cuba and I did five, three-minute training sessions at home.

Session 1:  Name game, “Play Doctor” (poking and prodding Cuba with “weird stuff” in exchange for clicks and treats)

Session 2:  Leave it

Session 3:  Recall games

Session 4:  Settle on a mat

Session 5:  Using targeting to teach “crawl” and leg weaves