Puppy Socialization Diaries – Days 37 – 42

As far as my blog is concerned, getting a puppy while I am finishing up developing a new dog training course for the Karen Pryor Academy was probably not the brightest idea.  Between classes, private consultations, business consults to help some fellow professionals grow their pet businesses, blogging and writing articles for a number of other companies and organizations (RBDT is my favorite, but alas, does not earn me a paycheck – directly, anyway), writing this new course, framing a Table of Contents for a new book I’d like to start writing this fall, planning for a seminar we have coming up and raising a puppy, I haven’t really had a lot of spare time for recreational blogging like updating the puppy diaries.

In short, it’s not you, it’s me.  I just haven’t been able to part with any one of the four hours of sleep a day I’ve come to rely on.

Therefore, I’ll just be summing up the last week for you guys instead of doing the daily breakdowns.  Thanks in advance for understanding!

New People

Lots – estimated at least two hundred – men, women, children, senior citizens

New Environments

This was a week of “tours” for Cuba.

We did a day of “touring” local shops that were dog-friendly – pet stores, Tractor Supply, Endicott Feed & Tack, Agway, Home Depot, and Lowe’s

We did another day touring local veterinarian’s offices, dropping off brochures, pamphlets, business cards, promotional materials, coupons, etc.  Lots of treats, new friends, and no bad stuff happening on our visits will make Cuba a happy dog at the vet’s office!

We had another day when we visited three schools (the elementary school down the street, Binghamton East Middle School, and Binghamton High School on lunch breaks, recess times, or when the school was getting out.  As none of these schools allow dogs on the premises, we’d hang out across the street, playing “look at that,” “listen to that,” and having any kids that wanted to greet Cuba give him treats as they scratched him.

Aside from our three touring days, Cuba also got walks at the senior citizen’s center down the street and the psychiatric treatment facility up the hill.  These visits weren’t very productive for us, as the cold, damp weather lately has meant that not as many people are out and about as there were in sunny August.  He only got to meet two patients at the senior citizen’s center and about six at the Psych Center up the hill.

Not as many pictures as I would have liked to take.  Since I had both dogs by myself for these trips, I was more focused on reinforcing their good behavior, juggling leashes, clickers, treats, poop bags, etc., than I was with photography.  Anyone have an extra hand they’d be willing to barter for some free lessons?  Let me know!

While the classroom doesn’t technically count as a new environment, he did have some interesting new experiences at the classroom last Friday, when I met with three of my colleagues down at our facility to sound check the equipment for the Kathy Sdao seminar coming up this weekend.  Lots of squeaky feedback through the speakers as we figured the microphone out, moving speakers and chairs around, and Steve climbing up on chairs to secure the wiring.  He also got to see his friend Cleo, a beautiful long-haired Whippet.  Cleo’s the first intact female he’s met that was recently coming out of heat.  Cuba got a little “humpy” but Cleo fairly put him in his place (good girl, Cleo!) with a well-timed snap and that resolved the issue.

Other Dogs

Cuba’s had continued play opportunities with a number of dogs that he’s already met.  In the last week, he has made a few new friends at the classroom, including a beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog, a lovely Doberman, and one ridiculously cute Pit Bull mix puppy named Whiskey that he just adores.  Now I see why my puppy clients love class so much – play really tires puppies out and tired puppies are mellow, snuggly puppies.  Win!


Lots of work on:

  • sit
  • down
  • stand
  • handling – opening mouth to inspect teeth, inspecting bottoms of paws, ear and eye cleanings, practiced eye drops with distilled water, squeezing toes, poking with pens (like an injection), tail and ear pulls, massage, Tellington Touch
  • grooming – brushing, nail trims with dremel, combing, spray bottle, powder applied and brushed out, etc. (we need to do a bath this week for sure!)
  • spin in both directions
  • crating on cue
  • biofeedback for relaxation
  • capturing:  lip licks, kisses, play bows
  • leg weaves
  • Buja Board, tunnel, A-frame, walking through ladder, lying down on “table”
  • shaping “back up”
  • training informal retrieve

Other exciting puppy news
Cuba is getting so big!  He’s nearly as tall as Mokie now, and has almost doubled both in height and weight in the last month since we got him.

This weekend, Cuba will be one of the “demo dogs” working at Kathy Sdao’s seminar.  He’ll be coming both days, and I’ll have both Mokie and Cuba at the seminar with me Sunday.  Should be a great socialization opportunity for all three of us!  I’m so looking forward to seeing Kathy, who is one of my favorite presenters as well as my favorite people.  There is still room if any of my readers would like to attend, please use the contact form on this page for more information!

We’ll also be pet sitting for some friends with two lovely black labs this weekend.  Their property is so lovely, it’s one of our favorite places to spend time.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some hiking through the creek.  I also get to play “look at that” with Cuba and our friends’ chickens.  If I have time, I’d like to do a little clicking with the chickens as well!

We did have some setbacks with potty training this weekend.  After three glorious, accident free weeks, I failed to manage as carefully as I should while working this weekend.  Needless to say, back to reinforcing every appropriate toileting behavior and tightened those management protocols back up until we’re on track again!