It’s ICY out there in them thar hills! Well, no hills, but the sidewalk? Yes! It was bad all day yesterday, and this morning, I knew it would be also. Last night, so that I could make my way carefully to the frozen grass, I didn’t have the dogs on leash. They’ve been good about my calling them to come, and I hoped my faith in them would be warranted. They were great. Did their business, came in, and we were good.
I wanted to do the same this morning for the same reason. I had Max’s training collar on, so I figured I could use it if I needed to to correct him. But that doesn’t mean a puppy might not make for the hills. Well, no hills, but the cornfields. Even if they’re not cornfields right now.
They’re always really good first thing in the morning, do their business and we go inside. But they’re always on leash, no fenced-in yard.
So it was a risk, but I had to try it because they need to go right away and I couldn’t risk walking fast on the ice.
So no leashes, we went out. Both raced out, slipped a little on the ice, but their paw pads do better on it than my shoes, and they did their first business, pronto, perfect. But then they headed for the house. But then wouldn’t go in. Because they still had to go. Max was headed across the back patio, and I used the collar and told him to come. We don’t ever go in that direction in the dark. Only sometimes in the daylight. He came right back.
So, I told them, “Let’s go potty,” and we headed across the icy sidewalk again and then they both went into the grass to do their second business of the morning. Tanner stayed close by. Max disappeared into the dark where he likes to go when it’s light out. I had to be so patient, trust in him, and not use the collar to make him return when he was probably in the middle of doing his business.
When Tanner was done, I praised him and he came running to me and I lifted him into my arms and praised him some more. Then here comes Max out of the darkness, racing to greet me. Halleluiah. After only 2 training sessions with trainers, and lots of training at home, it worked, and I figured this would be like way in the future. Not that I’m going to do this all the time because I’m afraid they might get bolder about getting out of my sight. But in an emergency–like this business with the ice, I’ll have to risk it. I don’t want to break something and end up not being there to care for the puppies.
Puppies at Place with their hair rubber banded. Tanner’s was done for the first time. It lasted maybe an hour. His hair is still fairly short. But I wanted him to start getting used to it. Tanner goes to Place, all the time. He sits there and waits until I tell him to come. I can move about the kitchen, move halfway into another room, go into another room now, and he will stay in Place. Max, no. As soon as I move away, he gets off. And ironically, it used to be the opposite. Tanner wouldn’t stay put. But Tanner’s a REALLY fast learner. He is really attentive and watches me to see what I’m going to do. So he’s more easily trained.
I give them kibble for treats, often training them with their food, rather than just feeding them for the two times a day. They just wolf down their meals otherwise and I’m afraid with giving them treats all the time, they’re going to be overweight. And I’ve been giving them praise, or having them do several things to earn a treat: Place, Come, (they automatically sit), Shake (they give me a paw–Tanner actually loves giving me his paw and does it almost with every time I come to give him a treat for doing anything, Place, Down), Down, Circle. Circle is clockwise. My daughter asked if they will go in the opposite direction. So I started working with them on that. Around, for a different key word. Tanner immediately got it. Max–still working with him on that. It’s like his body just doesn’t want to go counter clockwise. But he’s done it a few times. The problem I have is that he doesn’t get it and he wants the treat, and Tanner’s trying to get it. But we’re starting to figure it out and we’ll have it down soon.
When I put them down for bed at night, I say: “Bedtime, Kennel.” They race for the kennel, sit, and wait for their treat. 🙂 But the biggest thing is if I can let them go out with me without their leashes. I struggle to get them on in the morning while they’re wanting to greet me. Tanner used to be so awful and without his rabies tag yet, trying to find the ring on his collar was horrible. But now, they’re much better. Max sits and behaves. Tanner still is super excited, but he’s much better about holding still for the most part, so I can get his leash on. I stopped letting them out of the crate and just leash them while they’re in the crate. I learned that after I was attaching a leash to one, and the other got out and went to the bathroom on my tile floor. But we went from 7 pm to 5 am again, so they’re doing great. Oh, and the guy came about the duct work to have more airflow and the puppies were sooooo good. They didn’t bark, checked him out, were just the best. He said he’s so used to the dogs at the homes he visits being unruly and wild, barking and such that he was really impressed with them. We watched as Max lowered his head to Tanner, and Tanner stood still watching him. I told the guy I wished I’d had my camera. When I get it out, they’ll stop the play, but it was precious. Then the two attacked, but in a cute way.
Okay, so then the other really great news is that I finished A SEAL Wolf Diving for Trouble!! I’ll read it one more time, since I still made changes on it and any change can mean I make new mistakes in typing. And then have to turn it in on Monday.
In the meantime, I’m giving it a rest so I can look at it with fresh eyes and so I started proofing Call of the Cougar audiobook. And then I need to put Phantom Fae in print form. And then…yes, it all stacks up when I’m just goofing off. But so I don’t worry about the deadline book, I’m working on She-Wolf next.
And, my editor sent me the revised cover for the Silver Wolf Christmas. The first, he was holding a gun, Christmas was so muted, you couldn’t tell it was a Christmas book, and the wolf was just one eye off in the corner. Since my wolves weren’t running around with guns, this story is really big on Christmas, and my readers love seeing the wolf as much as the guy on the cover, I asked for some changes. I usually love them the way they are, but this story is really humorous, more lighthearted, and the other cover didn’t do it justice. So they sent back three ideas. I tried to show it here, but couldn’t. I sent to some of my beta readers because they’ve read the story and know what it’s about and we all picked the middle one that has more of a Christmas look to it. Plus, more snowy, which the whole story has snow in it. 🙂
Okay, I’m off to listen to more of Call of the Cougar. I think I have listened to about 3.5 hours. I have 4.5 hours to go.
Have a super Tuesday!!!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear: Website: http://www.terryspear.com
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