Turkey Tracks: August 31, 2022
Jackpot: Days 3 and 4
Today starts day 4.
JACKPOT WAS DRY LAST NIGHT!
And, HE WENT UP THE INSIDE STAIRS!
And, HE KNOWS HIS NAME!
We had a strong downpour this morning, so I took him out before and after that event. Early morning was a soft, misty rain, which did not stop his morning pee and poop. The turkeys were calling in the woods, and that distracted him at first.
He has learned to come and touch my open palm when I call “Jackpot, come here.” And I’ll always use those exact words combined with a hand signal. Of course he hasn’t been 100%, but mostly he is now. Accomplishing his ALWAYS hearing my voice and coming is a process that involves specific training actions on my part that make his behavior a fun game where he gets a lot of praise for doing this work WITH me, like a job. When he is 100%, we will be a team that works together reliably.
Yesterday I was able to mow and do all the laundry—either with him or when he was napping (which he is doing right now as I write). I was able to hang my sheets on the line while he napped and retrieve them with him at my heels. He was fascinated with my moving the mower to the back of the house and was happy to stay on the deck while I mowed that part of the lawn. I did the rest of the mowing after lunch when he was napping, exhausted, in his crate. That’s the only time I crate him during the day—and that will be just while he is a puppy who needs constant watching right now in order to learn the rules of the house.
We hiked the Erickson Trail again yesterday—and he was off leash all the way until the end, when he decided to take an unapproved excursion into one of the meadows at the edge of the trail. It was an opportunity to reinforce that he could not ignore my voice. BTW, there is NO punishment of any kind involved. The method just insists that he hear my voice when he is nearby or away from me. Eventually, he will run to come touch my hand with joy, as it will be a fun thing to do.
I learned this method from an older book called SMARTER THAN YOU THINK (Paul Loeb). My last three dogs ALL came every time, anywhere when called, and could “stay by me” at my side. AC Slater could also “back it up” when I needed him to do that, like at the door or at the edge of a street.
Here’s a little video I took this morning. This little boy is a happy creature. He brings the ball back to me and “drops” it when I say, unless he “puppy” forgets when he drops the ball away from me. Eventually, he’ll bring back a ball thrown outside and will “drop” on command. It’s all play for him and meant to be totally fun for both of us.
He’s also learning to receive and give affection. I get more and more kisses every day, and he always naps near my chair or my feet.
He tried to jump on the bed yesterday—but isn’t big enough yet to make that leap. And he’s too young and too new here for me to use his radio collar. He’s too puppy to handle the rock walls—AC used to go up and down the sheer drop of the front wall boulders like a goat. JP needs to get much better control of his body to attempt anything beyond the grass. So I keep him with me when we are outside.
It’s a bit after 10 am now so I’ll close and see if the storm bands have passed and we can go out for a walk.
PS: the WordPress theme I had been using was very old and had been retired—so I suddenly started having all sorts of trouble. The WordPress help people helped me find a new theme—and I think it is mostly installed now. I will need to do some more editing along the way maybe, but the posting problems are now gone.