Monday, September 29, 2008

The Pool Boy

Somebody looks guilty...

Look who went in the pool!  

Guess what!??  My dog is now a swimmer.  Well, technically, he is a wader.  I was able to coax him into a pool after a hot and tiring walk, and then he decided he sort of liked it!  He even jumped in by himself!  In fact, after we'd played a while and I was on my way in, I looked back and saw Brillo run and jump into the pool and then get out again. HA!  He's a WATER DOG!

Here he goes again...

Today was an excellent learning day for my little student.  I have been reading some new puppy books, and each of them talks about clicker training.  This is when a little handheld thumb clicker (noise maker) is used to reinforce desireable behaviors.  Whenever Brillo does something I ask him to do, or whenever he engages in behaviors I like and want to see again, I click the clicker and give him a tiny training treat (tasty food tidbit).  It took all of about two clicks before he learned "sit," and it took another two clicks or so to learn "come."  I even give him clicks if he is just playing quietly, or acknowleges me when I call his name, or walks over to say hello, or gets into the pool, etc., etc.  When he does something I don't like, like bark or run around like a mad man, I turn my back and ignore him.  So far, we are making loads of progress.

Attack from the sea...our dog is a SEAL!

When we are walking, I have him stop and sit at each intersection.  He's so good at it!  He's even getting good at walking by my left leg and ignoring and/or quickly recovering from distractions. He's such a good boy!

Another training tool I am trying out istying him during the day.  What this means is, instead of putting him in his room or his playpen when we are inside, I leash him to me.  That way, I always have my eye on him, and he can't go in another room and chew or potty.  Today, he was very good and just laid on the floor while I watched Fox News!

Oh, before I sign off, I have to tell you what happened to him the night before last.  We were up at around 0300 for a potty break when he decided to play with a bug.  He always plays with the doodle bugs, so I didn't pay much attention.  Well, sharp and pitiful yelps and cries alerted me to the fact that the bug was no roly-poly, but a BEE!!!  Poor brillo was stung in the foot, and it HURT.  The poor little guy didn't know what to do and didn't know what had happened to him.  He ran to me, and cried and limped and bit his foot.  I grabbed my puppy book to see if there was anything I needed to do (there's not, unless he's allergic, which he isn't).  I picked up the little guy and sat with him in his room.  He was crying like a little baby, and I just massaged him until he was able to go to sleep.  Pitiful little poochie!  I felt so sorry for him, but there was nothing to do for the pain.  Maybe next time he'll leave bees alone.  I'm just glad it got him in the paw and not the nose, considering he had stuck both of them in the bee's business. 

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