Friday, May 20, 2011

Love Wrapped in Fur

It is evident that Eli and I have developed a bond. Even as I sit at my computer to balance the checkbook or type up a blog, Eli sits in his bed with his toys and all I have to do is look over at him and he looks back at me. I love to see that he already has the desire to "check on me."
We have had a great week of going potty outside. My limitations certainly make it difficult to catch him and get outside every time he has to go. Even so, he knows to use the training pads.
Eli and I have practiced the Name Game at least 76 times this week thus far. When I say "at least", it's because I don't always go to my notes to mark it down. I am sure we will get the remaining 24 practices in prior to Puppy Kindergarten class tomorrow morning. His response to me saying his name is incredible!
The method of using marker and treat rewards in intervals to hold a sit has gotten better this week. It definitely works better for Eli to not receive the treat reward. However, he has gotten better at realizing that I want him to stay sitting until he hears my marker to "release" his hold.
Leash walking is going beautifully. Eli rarely tries to go a different way, but when he does I stop and remain turned in the direction I want him to walk until he complies. The only time I am finding that he tries to insist on his own direction is when he wants to go inside after he potties. I have been using the marker and reward when he pees outside and have been taking him into our apartment afterward to reinforce that he did what I wanted him to do outside. He has not yet pooped outside, though. When we are inside, I keep him on leash as he sniffs around, then we head back outside to finish going "potty." That is when he gets antsy outside and insists on going back in. I don't know what it is about that part of going potty, but he refuses to do it outside. I started to take some of his feces outside to show him that they are outside and that it's a good thing that they are outside. Hopefully he will get the picture soon. When he does insist on going back in the apartment, I insist that he "sit" calmly at the bottom of the steps before I bring him in. This is just an added thing I am implementing to let him know that I am in control and if he wants something he has to earn it.
Eli is the most loveable dog! He is even trying very hard to get his big sister, our Lhasa Apso, to love him. He won't quit, either! Our diva is beginning to warm up to him on her terms. She lets him know when the love is unwanted. Eli needs to learn to respect that.
Eli had a big week of socialization. He's been at the farm around all the horses and does very well. I can not imagine what a horse looks like to this three pound little pumpkin! The horses blow on him, which is so funny. Again, I have to picture being Eli getting blown on by the nostrils of a horse. I can only relate it to being in a warm wind tunnel. I wish I knew what he was thinking when it happens.
He was also reunited with two of his litter brothers this week, as well as his sire, dam, and "weird uncle Max." He only saw the latter three through a baby gate, but had a wonderful time playing with his bigger litter brothers. Yes, Eli is the smallest of the litter. Amazingly small, actually! His litter brothers are solid and probably at least twice Eli's size. Eli is 'delicate'. Seemingly much more fragile than the others.
Eli's on the left. The middle one is now "Clifford" and lives with our friend. The one on the right found his home with my dad. His name is "Mister Wrinkles." It was a little heartbreaking to separate them. Chihuahuas are like potato chips ~ you can not have just one! However, Eli is a working dog and too much playtime with other pups would be detrimental to his training. We will get together with the other boys occasionally, I am sure of it. Of course, there will be opportunities to play with Aunt Delmi, too, over at mom's house.

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