Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just the Right Amount of OCD

Larry came home on Friday with Stewie. Our Boxer Pete met Stewie first thru the fence and after a half hour of running and barking we finally let him into the fenced area. Pete plays and greets hard. There is a lot of growling, boxing and butt sniffing. All normal dog behavior but to someone on the outside, Pete looks ferocious.

Pete was a rescue and has had his issues. He's come so far. We are on day two of having Stewie home and a lot of Pete's behavior challenges are disappearing in just this short time. Stewie is trained to respond to door knocking. He runs between the sound and Larry to alert him to the sound. In the past, Pete would have been plastered against the door barking like a maniac at who ever was on the other side. Today we had a huge breakthru. Pete did what Stewie was doing and all we got was little yips out of him. No real barking.

For the next several weeks, Stewie gets treats when he responds to a sound. Our job right now is to teach him where the sounds are that he needs to respond to. It's a game to him and the treats will gradually be phased out. He does not get treats for basic obedience. Just the game of hearing the sound.

Both dogs today had a great time playing in the yard and Stewie is so attentive to Larry. It's amazing to watch and I'm sure the bond will get tighter as Stewie learns what Larry needs. Stewie is very much a puppy and has so much energy. He got a long walk today, lots of yard play and he and Pete have been chasing each other non-stop. If you have a ball, Stewie will not stop for hours. He also loves stuffed animals and has swiped a few of the kids toys that were left on the floor. Although he doesn't know the difference between his toys and the kids a simple, "leave it" is all that it takes for him to move on.

The gross thing is that despite the Frontline, the ticks here have been horrifying. We pulled at least 6 off the dogs and several off ourselves today. Cockroaches and Ticks really are my worst-they completely make me sick. Crawling nasty things.

That's all for tonight. We are wiped out after a long week, trick or treating and soccer finals today.

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