Today’s post was supposed to include a video of my brilliant puppy. It didn’t turn out quite as planned.
For starters, I forgot to do something with the kids. So, predictably, they showed up within a few minutes. Since this is not unusual and I usually work through it, I figured those of you with kids might as well see what you’re in for, and those of you without kids can be grateful for how good you have it.
If you make it through the full seven minutes, you can see the following:
1) Lyra is rewarded for recalls with toys. Sometimes she is rewarded with the opportunity to work, but that doesn’t go very well because of the distraction situation. Eventually she’ll get used to distractions, and will work regardless.
2) Lyra is learning to put down toys, in order to take the dumbbell, so that I can reward her with a good interaction with the toy (rather than simple ownership). This is very exciting for me! Normally I teach this at a much older age, but she started teaching herself so I ran with it.
3) Most of the time, Lyra does what she pleases. That’s fine. She’s 11 weeks old, and there’s no reason to stress her. I want her to love to work, and to come to work with full choice. The periods when she ignores me or does her own thing will go down dramatically in the next month or two, until she won’t leave me at all. It is noteworthy that she always stays within about 20 feet, whereas earlier in the week she would go much further on her own. She wants to be with me and her family.
4) When Lyra has had enough training, she starts biting. Once this starts, the session is pretty much over. I try to ignore the biting and remove her from my body and clothing. Then I’ll pick her up and take her inside to end the session. The other time she bites a lot is when I am walking or when she wakes up in the morning. I’m fairly patient about this, since I recognize that this trait will be redirected to activities that I do want. She will outgrow these behaviors within a couple of months, and will bite more appropriate objects. It’s not worth making a big deal out of it.
On anther note, Lyra had an excellent socializing day. My seven year old Chris “shared” her for show and tell. She was brilliant. The kids sat in a circle and she walked around the circle calmly visiting all of them. Honestly, it was stunning to see. She’s an old soul inside that little body.