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24 May 7, 2006

Posted by merp in Animules, Pisco!.
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Yes, he was six months old last Thursday. If 1 month=4 weeks. Aaron says it does not, that he will be six months on the 17th.

dog!

His growth rate is slowing, checking in at a mere 31-33 lbs on the bathroom scale yesterday. But he clearly has a ways to go yet. Ears seem permanently flopped – Lisa says that an akita or shiba would have erected their ears weeks ago, so she thinks there’s a floppy eared dog in his heritage somewhere. In all other ways, though he seems so spitz-like, and especially Japanese-spitz-like that I wonder if he might just have idiosyncratically lazy ears.

Aaron took him out to the Physics Ranch yesterday for the best day of his life so far. The physics guys were digging a trench out to drain a pond, and Pisco just got to run in the woods around all day, play with people, freak out in the tall grass, and eat lots of random things on the ground. He came back covered in mud and slept for about 15 hours.

Training is going well. We’re near the end of our second Moongazer session and have signed up for a third. It’s nice to have something for all 3 of us to do once a week. Fritz doesn’t get to go, but I don’t think he’d like it much.

Biting (as a mode of greeting people – and cats, and dogs) has been an ongoing problem – Lisa says he’s a “special needs” dog in that respect. He is certainly the only puppy in the class who still bites the teacher regularly. It’s not vicious or especially aggressive – he’s just under the mistaken impression that the best way to get close to someone you like (i.e., everyone) is to get parts of them in your jaws.

In the last couple of weeks especially he’s really been improving. He almost never does it with us any more and tries to restrain himself around other people – but they’re so yummy!

In terms of obedience training, he understands a lot.
Which is not to say he’s always on board with the plan.
negotiation

Here are the words he knows now:

Strong
* down
* sit
* come
* flop (lies on his side with his head on the floor)
* finish (move to sit right at person’s left, ready to heel)
* stand (from sit or down, but then has to immediately hear “stay” or “off” or he starts walking away)
* stay (while down)
* off (in class or for a treat)
* heel (trot along side a person, on a short leash; still pulls a lot with A for some reason, not me)
* go get it (i.e., fetch)
* bring it back (fetch part II; A doesn’t use this)
* where’s the frisbee? (if, in the middle of game of fetch, he loses the plot)
* go find Aaron/Tanya
* all done (release command, usually for flop, down, stay, etc.)
* go-o-o-o! (after the evening walk, this is the signal, with clapping, to hurtle from one end of the apt. to the other at top speed, slamming into walls and skidding around corners. The mood and timing has to be just right to get it started, but burns that excess energy right off! Plus, highly entertaining.)

Good, but inconsistent
* will sit at the door as it’s opened waiting for release rather than charging through
* bow (from a stand, front elbows to the ground, back legs straight – usually needs treats to do it)
* crawl (scoots forward in a down to vacuum up a line of treats; doesn’t do it much without treats. It’s really cute)
* away (move around the person’s right to end up in “finish” position at person’s left)
* stay (while standing or sitting)
* off (in real life)
* drop it (yeah, right. Well, he does understand it, and if it’s in his interest, he’ll do it)
* up (like, jump up on the couch or into the car, or up the stairs at the kiddie playground – which he loves to do – not a really necessary command, but we’re prepping him for agility. He’s totally doing agility classes!)

In process
* paw (essentially, “shake”–there are all kinds of reasons you might want a dog to offer a paw, though – untangle him, clip his nails, etc.)
* asking to go out to pee, or at least responding to question “do you want to go out?” (but would he ever not want to?) We have no more peeing accidents, but it’s always got to be us remembering to take him out; he rarely asks.
* left and right (since I can never get them straight myself, I hardly feel qualified to teach him effectively, but it’s in the Moongazer lesson plan)

He’s a matzoh-lovin’ fool.
matzoh
(Thank god someone will eat them.)

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