Friday, May 31, 2013

Puppy Fun

Today Rundle was the most playful he has been since he has arrived here.  There is nothing like a puppy to keep you laughing.  Rundle likes to run and was doing laps in the yard as fast as his little legs could take him.  He loves toys and is happy playing with me (he loves to chase and tug) and he is also happy playing by himself.  He chased a water bottle around for about 10 minutes tonight - batting it, pouncing on it and chomping it.  He is a very entertaining little guy.

Playing Tug With The Camera Strap
Besides all the fun, puppies are a lot of work.  You really can't take your eye off of them for a second - I don't want any potty accidents or any inappropriate chewing.  Rundle is getting pretty good at running to the back door to go outside to potty.  I still make sure I am taking him out lots and watching for signs that he might have to go - it will be a while before he is reliably letting me know he needs to go out, but he is catching on.

We continue to carry on with normal household activities and Rundle got to help with the housework.  He chased and barked at the vacuum and tried to catch the mop.  He thinks that anything that moves is a lot of fun.

We did some more socialization stuff too.  Nail trimming was on the agenda, which didn't phase him at all.  Rundle also got to run through the agility tunnel - he didn't hesitate to chase a toy though it and later ran though on his own.  He has been for several car rides to see new faces and things.  This weekend he should be meeting more new people as I asked everyone to let Rundle settle in a few days before he had a ton of visitors.

As for more formal training, we worked on 'sit', 'no mugging' and 'recalls'.  Recalls with a puppy are fun and generally Rundle just follows behind me anyway, so I am adding in his name as I run away and then we play when he catches me.  I am just trying to make coming to me as fun as I can.  We practice this every time we are out in the yard.

We also did some crate work.  Rundle is good in the crate at night and in the car but he needs to learn it is okay to be in the crate when he is alone.  So, I am working on making the crate a good, safe place where he can relax.  He gets put in his crate with a stuffed kong and I leave the room.  I am only leaving for a very short time then I go back to tell him what a good boy he is and let him out.

Rundle was introduced to the metal scent articles today.  I want him to be fine picking up metal articles so I brought one out for him to play with.  He picked it up, carried it and chewed on it without a second thought.  Metal objects can be difficult for some dogs to want to pick up, so if Rundle is fine with metal as a puppy, hopefully it won't be an issue as he gets older.
Playing With The Metal Dumbbell

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Introducing .... Rundle!

Rundle has officially been a part of our family for two full days now. I picked him up Tuesday from the breeder's house and we had a long trip home - 4 hours on the plane and 2.5 hours by car. He was a great little traveller and slept most of the entire trip. I suspect much of that had to do with the sudden stress of unfamiliar surrounding, but he doesn't seem to be affected by any of it.

Yesterday was Rundle's first full day home and we kept things a bit quiet. He is learning where the potty area is and the household schedule. We spent much of his first day outside on the deck. Rundle got to hear traffic noise, airplanes, thunder and the lawnmower. He doesn't seem to be sound sensitive at all as he was not startled by any of the noises.

Today has been much of the same - gentle introductions to what goes on in our house. Rundle also got brushed today - he didn't mind at all and thought the brush was a fun toy. I started conditioning the clicker today so that we can start some clicker training within the next few days. We also practiced "your butt must be on the ground if you want a cookie" - he did well with that and now we have much less bouncing and much more sitting.

After my first couple days with Rundle I am still getting to know him but I have formed a few first impressions. So far he likes toys - he likes to chase them and to play tug. He will bring a toy back if you encourage him. He carried my keys around yesterday, so he doesn't mind picking up metal.  He is so-so about food right now. He loves his meals but is not over the top crazy about treats. I have only tried a couple different treats and nothing I would consider high value.  So far it is looking like he will have a nice balance between food and toy drive. I want to foster both, that is why I am not using really yummy treats right, now as Berners tend to be much more food driven than toy driven and I don't want Rundle to decide that food is the more interesting of the two.  So far Rundle seems to be a medium energy kind of puppy. He likes to run and play but he can also settle nicely when he is held or petted. In a few weeks I'm sure I will have a better idea of what his energy level will be like.

So, for the next few days we will be concentrating on house training and basic puppy manners. He already has a healthy respect for adult dogs, so that is good. We will start some clicker work and continue to foster his play drive. Mostly we will be getting to know each other and developing a relationship and bond.