Friday, January 8, 2010

Trucker Week 1

Trucker seems to be adapting very well to his new home and family.  He is very good with kids and if I could just train him to not only pick up their toys but to also put them away, we would be in business.  This is one of his bad habits, but really for a stray he is doing great. 

He also tends to bark, but generally it is when he is afraid (loud plow trucks last night) or when he wants to meet another dog or person.  So we are working on that, encouraging him when he looks out the window with no barking and tell him 'no' when he does bark.  Sometimes you have to distract him if the neighbors dog is out in the yard.  We will continue to work on this. 

He has had several accomplishments.  He now can walk up and down the stairs, yay!  He has dropped on command a couple of times.  He almost knows 'down'.  He is getting really good with 'stay' and 'come'.  He definitely knows his name.  He shies from the beeping invisible fence.  He walks very well on leash and Jeff says that he seems to be trained to 'heal'.  He hasn't attempted to get on the couch or the counter for two days (we have only had him six).  He now can pee in the backyard, he seemed to only want to pee on walks which is tough. 

I felt really bad about saying this last night, but he seems to be more well-behaved than Trooper.  Trooper was really good, but some of his bad habits we were never able to conquer.  He was a freak when you walked by other dogs and even got away from  me a couple of times which was scary.  We constantly had to worry about him running away.  He would eat anything on the counter (I am sure Trucker would also), and even lit the stove once when I forgot and left brownies on the back burner.  He didn't burn down the house or light himself on fire, but he did melt a perfectly good teapot.  Trooper jumped and was aggressive on meeting new people and dogs, and I hate to say it, but he was a humper.  Trooper also ripped to shreds any toy we gave him within minutes.  He would swallow whole most of them, even raw hides or toys supposedly made for aggressive chewers.  The only toy we could really give him was a Galileo Nylabone and that was basically concrete.  Oh, but I miss him..

Jeff is worried that if he is too good and when he gets older he 'won't have any personality'.  Au contraire, my friend, in personality he is not lacking!  I took him out in the snow and ran around with him, fun!  I can't wait to let him off leash in the backyard.  He is going to have so much fun terrorizing the squirrels, birds and cats that come into our yard.  Birds I like, but I could do without the squirrels, I won't comment on the cats.   He needs some neighborhood dogs to play with on a regular basis.  There are a few dogs in our extended family who he will be around several times a year, but he probably needs to have some doggy dates to keep up his socialization. 

I am now able to recognize that Trucker is a dog.  He is not my child.  He is most certainly a part of my family, but he ranks well below Jac and Mia.  I think with Trooper I always projected my human feelings on to him.  For instance, if he was begging I thought I would hurt his feelings if I didn't give him something.  That is just crazy.  If anything he would respect me more and consider me alpha if I didn't hand over the biscuit!  Poor Trucker, he is getting the raw end of the deal with a more mature dog owner.  But hopefully this means we can let him off leash in the backyard soon and he will be able to go to more doggie friendly places than Trooper.  In the end he will not miss the biscuits, or the hamburger or the cheese or the carrots that Trooper used to love.

I will give you another update soon.

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