Day 23, April 29, 2023
We started the day with another trip to the furniture market where Chai voluntarily approached and got fed by two more strangers.
The furniture market is great for puppy in-store training!
Food hand positions: a common vocabulary
Back home, I worked on the meaning of different food hand positions:
+ I use a particular hand position for luring that means “follow my treat until I release it.”
+ A closed fist means “stay away from the food.”
+ Food in open flat hand means “take the treat.”
Developing a common vocabulary about food hand positions makes a HUGE difference for future training!
… and more exciting things!
+ Both dogs worked on our platform game and Chai worked on positions.
+ Chai also went through the Walmart corridor and into a corner convenience store in the puppy backpack.
+ We practiced the “brush” announcment.
+ … and finally, we practiced passing the two Pitbulls who are tied up to the left and right of the street I have to walk in order to get out of the plaza I live!
Today was a BIG day for a puppy – I just wanted to get a few things in before dropping Chai off for her first overnight stay with Scarlett tomorrow! So today included more action than usual. More on passing dogs and overnight stays in a separate post!
Day 24 – April 30, 2023
Today Chai will go to stay a few days at Scarlett’s. We made sure to get the puppy crazies out by visiting Las Islas before dropping her off.
Left: the calm before the storm. Snuggly morning pups! Right: fun at Las Islas for Game and Chai.
The tired pup got her nails done before being dropped off: “Claws” announcement and clipping nails! The back ones were easier today.
On the way to Scarlett, we quickly stopped at Petco to pick up food for the week. It was a different Petco than the last time – but wow, Chai strutted in and out through those sliding doors like a pro! Go puppy!
Being looked after/spending nights with people who are not the dog’s primary caretaker in places that aren’t home: something to practice from puppyhood onwards!
It’s important to me that a foster doesn’t get too attached to me. Ideally, we’d be doing this with all our puppies, not just fosters: having someone we trust look after them for a few days now and then. If you don’t have that option, just dropping them off with a dog friend for a few hours or overnight is also enormously helpful. I am planning on repeating this experience in the future so Chai gets used to staying with other folks every now and then.
To set my puppy up for success, I will visit my friend or dog sitter WITH the puppy before dropping them off. That way, the dog gets to know the space as well as the person. Even if they only spend a little bit of time there, it will help them adapt. When I actually do drop them off, they will be coming back to a familiar place and see a familiar face rather than being abandoned with a stranger in a strange place.
As a rule, I do not leave my dogs with complete strangers (I would in an emergency, but that really is the only reason).
Scarlett’s dog sitting business continues to grow, and because I want to eventually adopt Chai out, I did NOT give Scarlett instructions of how to interact with Chai or how to handle her around other dogs she is looking after. Instead, I asked her to just do things her way. I want Chai to get used to different ways of being handled, and this is a fantastic opportunity for exactly that! After all, I don’t know who will end up being her forever home.
With my own dogs, I do leave precise instructions about how to work with them/walk them/treat them when I leave them with someone (and I only leave them behind if I absolutely have to!)