A Dog Trainer Gets a Puppy - Days 1 and 2

It looks like Professor Chaos (or Kaos) is going to be the puppy’s name.   My wife, the breeder, and several friends mounted a lobbying campaign for Chaos, but it didn’t seem right to me by itself.  Professor Chaos, on the other hand, has a cuter ring to it for me.  I think we may settle on it today.  I’m trying it on for size throughout the day.  He’s been an absolute joy so far.  He’s a lover who always wants to be touching someone (human, dog cat, whatever).  He’s already bonded to me with particular intensity, but he loves my wife as well. 

Much of the last 48 hours since he left his mom and litter-mates has been pretty text-book.  There’s a lot of important stuff going on with him already.  He got a great dose of socialization both days.  In the last 48 hours or so, he’s experienced:

  • 30 new people – most of them children
  • 2 new dogs
  • His first 2 cats
  • A variety of surfaces including: grass, gravel, concrete, wood chips, dirt, and playground equipment
  • The sight and sounds of cars, trucks, semis, trains, banging dishes, and a variety of noisy tools
  • A collar and leash

We introduced him both to our somewhat grumpy 12-year-old Terv Maggie and a dog who’s here for a board and train with parallel walks in an area likely to be a very low infectious disease risk.  After the walk around, we took off leashes and let them meet off leash in the yard.  We had a can of Spray Shield on hand just in case, but all intros went smoothly.  Our board and train is a sweet but overly exuberant 3 year old lab (shocking, I know) whose play style was a bit much, so we’ve limited their interactions until we can raise little Chaos’ confidence a bit with gentler dogs.  We closely supervised cat introductions, but mostly let our veteran cats handle it.  Our house is always set up with baby gates and strategically placed furniture to allow multiple feline escape routes.  Initial meetings went more smoothly than any introduction of dog or puppy to our cats ever has.     

Chaos is learning very quickly that "eh! eh!" means that he can't have whatever he is currently investigating.  We constantly supervise him and every "eh! eh!" is instantly followed by someone stepping in between him and whatever trouble he is getting into.  At least the first worked that way.  He seems to respond quite nicely to just the sound now.  He easily redirects to one of the many appropriate chew toys littering our floors.  I try to keep his toys in a basket in each room so that he has a designated spot in which to go looking for toys, but so far I’ve been a bit lax about that.  They’re all over the floor.  Still, they’re a nice variety of toys (plush squeaky toys, kongs, a couple of synthetic bones, a large ball etc.) and we’ve puppy-proofed pretty well, so he’s quickly learning to enjoy them and ignore the few items we’ve consciously left out to begin his education, like shoes. 

He learned to sit in response to a hand signal with only 5 or 6 food lures.  He also caught on quickly that biting us makes us not want to play with him.  He already has pretty nice bite inhibition, although he occasionally tries to gnaw a face or pull some hair.  Those should be easy to fix through a momentary withdrawal of attention.   

He’s settled on a place that he likes to pee in the yard, although it isn’t the one that I encouraged.  We’ve had two accidents – one in the first hour he was home after I couldn’t get him to pee outside.  The second was when I was slow to get my shoes to take him out during the night.  I’m not too bright when I wake up every 3 hours during the night to take a puppy outside. 

Spending time alone in general – and crating in particular – are going to pose a bit of a challenge with our little man.  We’re also already having to address persistent attention-seeking behaviors and issues with restraint.  I’ll get into those in another post in the next few days.    

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