Thursday, July 16, 2015

After Leader of the Pack Training (Mark and Rodeo)

Stephen here: Wow. Yogi was a very different dog when we picked him up from two weeks at Leader of the Pack in Portland. He is a much more balanced packmate. He is very alert and well behaved. The huge question is when to get him neutered. Our contract with our breeder says not before a year. Mark, says between six months, (Yogi is six months old now), and nine months. This is something to think and pray about and perhaps we will open a discussion with our breeder.

He is still full of beans and we like that. Right after we picked him up and before we got him in the seatbelt, he reached over and hit Everclear - Father of mine, which was a bit below the belt, but we could tell he was joking.

Yogi, seems to be smaller than he should be. We are feeding him enough high quality food. I honestly do not mind. I would love him the same if he was 130 pounds and will love him just as much if he ends up at 90 pounds. Both Kathy and I would like to avoid having an obese dog.

When we brought him back home after two weeks, we took care to remind him of the schedule we have here. We wake up early in the morning so he can do his business and then we have quiet time. We also re-introduced him to his toys. He is slightly less interested in his puppy toys, that might be a function of age.

Mark says, not to allow him on the furniture. We don't follow that exactly. Out on the back lanai where the pack gathers to unwind he has his own plastic lawnchair with a mat. That chair is always Yogi's space. Last night Yogi played a Diane suggestion on his iHowl player, Leonard Cohen's Dance me to the end of love.  That was extraordinary! Then he picked his Hallelujah, it is not the best  rendition I have heard, but great backup vocals. Cohen's hat remains me of Tom Waits and I certainly need a fix. Think I will spin the Closing Time album till it is time for my call with Mason.

Back to Yogi and the furniture, inside, we do not allow him on the beds, but he is allowed to join us on the easy chair in the living room when he is invited. That will get interesting when he gets older, but we are up for it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In home training with Mark and Rodeo in Portland

Dear Mark and Rodeo,

I am excited to be going back to my forever home, but I have to admit that I am a tad nervous about the out briefing between you and Stephen and Kathy. Thank you for spending two weeks together with me for in-home training. I am very excited about everything I have learned. Anything I can learn to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test is great. I had my first class Monday, June 22, 2015 and it didn't go so well.

I was supposed to Sit Stay when someone came up to shake hands with Stephen, but I kept jumping up. I don't think this was entirely fair, the person that came up was Nikki, my trainer for Petco Puppy 1 and Petco Puppy II. I was excited to see her, I think that is understandable.

Stephen thinks I should work on my walking skills. In my pack we have three kinds of walks. There is Heel, which is OK if I get a treat or two, I usually do that with Kathy. There is Walking, that means we cover some territory, I get to put a few things in my mouth, especially sticks, but I cannot sniff every blade of grass and may not chew on my lead. I am learning to speed sniff. Walking means I may not get to meet every person or dog we encounter and I am not supposed to bark. I really enjoyed walking with your pack in Portland. Finally there is off lead. Stephen and Kathy only let me do this in safe places like Banker's Spit Private Dog Park and our back yard.

If it is OK, please do not tell Stephen and Kathy about my barking problem. That cut me to the quick when you started calling me Sir Barks a Lot. Rodeo, can you explain this to Mark, sometimes a dog just has to bark. Thanks for the photo, it will always remind me of boot camp.