Today we received Eli's AKC Canine Partners certificate, as well as a letter from my neurologist stating his approval and support of me having a service animal to assist with my disabilities.
Eli and I spent about two hours working on some skills today. He wore his training vest on leash with me outside this morning. One of the neighborhood children startled both of us by running from around the corner of our building. Eli listened immediately when I told him he'd barked "enough" and, though shaking and a bit worked up, he sat and enjoyed a friendly petting from the boy.
We practiced "come" and "sit", which Eli's mastering, and began adding "stay" and "down". I had to use a Victoria Stillwell trick to get Eli "down". I had to coax him with a treat to crawl under my leg. Once he was in the "down" position, I used the clicker, praise, and the treat to let him know that he did what I wanted him to do.
I've begun using cues during playtime that may help with executing commands in the future. I ask him to let go of his toys by telling him "drop", and when he becomes overly excited and grabs hold of me he gets a quick "uh-uh" and a look of disapproval from me. He seems to be recognizing that. I'm doing my best to keep consistent with that approach when he gets into things he shouldn't. Eli has no idea what I'm talking about, but I do tell him "bring it" when we play with toys to let him know I would like the toy back, too.
One great point from our first weeks together is that Eli is doing a remarkable job with good behavior while inside his carrier. I am very pleased with his progress in the carrier, as this is the main way he accompanies me.
Eli had a bath. He was not happy about it. The more baths he gets, hopefully he will start to warm up to the idea of getting clean. On Monday he will be meeting our veterinarian for the first time. I can't wait to bring him because I have been trying to weigh him using my food scale. It's not working out too well.
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